The Flight Discuss Scoring ‘Alien: Isolation’ And Scoring For Video Games (Interview)

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 15:00

Last week, the long awaited and eagerly anticipated Alien: Isolation hit shelves. Garnering mostly positive reviews, the game is being hailed for its eerie atmosphere and terrifying stealth elements. And one of the elements that is being recognized and lauded is the score, which was composed by duo Joe Henson & Alexis Smith, aka The Flight.

Today, we’ve got an exclusive interview from the duo as they talk us through their process for scoring Alien: Isolation as well as their thoughts on where video game composing might go in the future.

Make sure to check out Adam’s 10 Ways to Die in Alien: Isolation!

Tell me about the process of working on ‘Alien: Isolation’. What was the first step in crafting the score and how important was Jerry Goldsmith’s original score as an influence?

Jerry Goldsmith’s score was our jumping off point. We referenced the film a lot, but were already very familiar with it. It is one of the few films that we still watch at least every year. We each have a very personal idea of what the Alien universe sounds like. Saying that, we didn’t just want to make a pastiche of the original score, so we started there but quickly moved in our own direction.
For this project we teamed up with film composer Christian Henson. One of the first things he did was an amazing piece where he expanded on the key Jerry Goldsmith themes. But from there we tried to get into new territory.
There are also some very iconic non-thematic sounds in Alien that we used throughout our score.

The game uses a lot of technology to make the music a truly immersive experience, one that reacts to what the player is doing. Considering that people have several ways of playing a game, how difficult was it to write cues that matched these different possibilities?

It is a balance. You have to be aware of how the music system is going to work, as that is the way most people will be hearing it, and it has a job to do in the overall experience of the game. At the same time, to begin with you have to try and forget about this, and concentrate on simply writing music in a musical way. It is the key challenge of writing interactive music, and one that we actually enjoy the puzzle of.

Some of the musicians who recorded the original ‘Alien’ score nearly 35 years ago were also there to perform for ‘Isolation’. What was it like working with people who were a part of the original story, before it became the phenomenon that it is today?

It was great to have some of the original players in the orchestra. One of the things we were racking our brains about was trying to replicate that iconic Alien ‘whale’ sound. We had tried using a superball on the soundboard of a piano and we had sung through a Zube Tube. However, one of the trumpet players who had played on the original said he remembered it being a conch shell. We used all three versions in the score!

Over the years, the ‘Alien’ games have long been plagued with bad reviews. Was there any concern in taking on this project?

Not really, we knew that the guys at Creative Assembly were doing something amazing as soon as we met them. They had a great idea that instantly intrigued us and were obviously putting real heart and soul into everything they were doing.

Creating a score that inspires fear, dread, and terror is not an easy task. What sounds or tones did you find sent shivers up and down your spine as you were working on this score?

Those iconic Alien sounds still scare us! The ‘whale’ sound, the menacing col legno orchestral snaps through analogue tape delays, and the unsettling aleatoric high strings. When writing the most extreme part of the score it was sometimes difficult to listen to. The player will only hear the chaos for a few seconds before he/she dies again, but we had to work on them for days.

As game consoles become more advanced, what opportunities does that allow you as composers in terms of creativity, range, and scope?

For us, it just removes any restrictions that might have come before. This is good for the industry – hopefully we can now concentrate a bit more on the musical content rather than how the technology works.

You’ve worked with some very big artists in the music industry. How do those experiences help with your scores?

We’ve come to scoring games from a different angle to a lot of composers; we don’t always think orchestra first. We usually just pick up instruments and start playing ourselves, or get some people together in a room. Working with artists has taught us that the magic usually happens when people collaborate. In some ways music has become a bit of a lonely exercise recently, with a lot of it made by people on their own on a laptop. We want to get away from this and it feels very natural to us both as that is how we have always worked.

In your opinion, what does the future of video game composing look like? What will change, what will stay the same, and what exciting advances do you think will revolutionize how composers create their work?

We hope it becomes more about the music and less about the technology. As the music systems are now limitless in scope, we hope that we can now get past that and return to thinking about what makes music engrossing and emotional. For us, that is about hearing real people playing instruments, as well as pushing electronic boundaries.

We are aware that there are some amazing procedural systems that are currently in development, but that doesn’t mean that is how all game music will be created in the future. We can imagine some types of games where this may be perfect, but hopefully there will always be a place for hearing real people making, writing and playing music.

Categories: Horror News

[Comic Book Preview] “Ghost Fleet” #1

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 13:42

After having just finished “Ghost Fleet” #1 I can assure you this is a comic you don’t want to miss. It’s so much more than a long haul trucker action comic, although it has plenty of that… It’s less Maximum Overdrive and more Indiana Jones, but with it’s own spin. The world is huge and the first issue is pulse pounding and mysterious in all the right ways. Plus writer, Donny Cates is a standup dude. He was more than energetic this past week at NYCC, and was just excited to share his story with others. So be sure to pick this bad boy up in the first week of November from Dark Horse Comics.

THEY TRUCKED WITH THE WRONG GUY!

For the world’s most valuable, dangerous, or secretive cargo, you don’t call just any trucking service . . . You call THE GHOST FLEET. When one of the world’s most elite combat-trained truckers takes a forbidden peek at his payload, he uncovers a conspiracy that will change his life forever! A new series of badass action on the open road begins here!

* From the critically acclaimed writer of Buzzkill!

THE GHOST FLEET #1 is on sale November 5th.

 

Categories: Horror News

[Comic Book Preview] “Return of the Living Deadpool”

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 13:17

Deadpool proves to be Marvel’s answer to defying genre conventions. The incredibly fun hero is comfortable in any sort of environment, and every year it seems the merc with a mouth has gotten himself into more insane trouble. So it should come as no surprise that Marvel is releasing a sequel series to “Night of the Living Deadpool” in the form of “Return of the Living Deadpool.”

To “cure” the horror of a zombie outbreak, the Merc With a Mouth used his own healing factor to save the day. Any zombie that ate Deadpool transformed…into another Deadpool!

“So there are thousands of Deadpools, all of them originating from the one and only Wade Wilson,” says Bunn in an interview with Marvel.com. “Every time a zombie takes a bite out of one of these Deadpools, the zombie becomes Deadpool. But the ‘copy’ is degrading from rebirth to rebirth. You know how Deadpool has numerous personalities? Well, these newly created Deadpools start to latch onto different aspects of Deadpool’s split psyche, forming factions. And these factions don’t all get along!”

As hordes of Deadpools battle for undead supremacy against the zombie hordes, witness a world gone completely insane! Time to find out what’s worse – an army of flesh eating corpses, or an army of wisecracking Deadpools. You decide this January in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEADPOOL #1!

RETURN OF THE LIVING DEADPOOL #1
Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by NIK VIRELLA
Cover by JAY SHAW
On Sale in January!

Categories: Horror News

Take a Photo With An Original Chucky Doll, and the ‘Child’s Play’ Cast!

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 11:56

Not nearly as cool as getting a photo with Robert Englund in his Freddy Krueger makeup, Rock and Shock is still setting up an even that’s still a must for all horror fans.

When the event returns to Worcester, MA from October 17th through 19th, those attending can nab a photo with the cast of both Child’s Play (1988) and Curse of Chucky (2013)!!

Posing with you next to a screen-used authentic Chucky doll are Child’s Play and Curse of Chucky stars Brad Dourif (the voice of ol’ Chuckster), Fiona Dourif and Alex Vincent.

Prices range from $30 to $40 for individual shots, group shots are more like $50 to $70 depending on how many actors are in the shot, explains the site.

Full details here.

Categories: Horror News

The Sexy Maid From “AHS” Has Joined “The Walking Dead”

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 11:40

“American Horror Story” babe Alexandra Breckenridge has joined “The Walking Dead’s” ongoing fifth season, says THR.

The actress will recur in season five with an option to be promoted to a series regular in season six. While specific details about Breckenridge’s character are being kept under wraps, the casting breakdown described the role of “Samantha” as an attractive, strong, smart, charming and articulate woman with a vulnerable side. She’s a mother with a bohemian spirit, and a talented artist.

Season five now finds Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) group back out on the road, where they’re likely to encounter several new people — with additional characters from Robert Kirkman’s comic series expected to be introduced.

Categories: Horror News

IFC Will Have a ‘Dark Summer’ Next Winter (Trailer)

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 10:34

Screen Daily reports that IFC Midnight has acquired North American rights to Dark Summer, Paul Solet’s supernatural horror film that Content Media will introduce to international buyers at the AFM.

“Dark Summer is a stylised contemporary ghost story about a home-alone teenager on house arrest who experiences a terrifying presence.

Keir Gilchrist stars with Stella Maeve, Grace Phipps, Maestro Harrell and Peter Stormare.

The distributor has set the multi-platform release for January 9, 2015, after brokering the deal with Preferred Content and Content Media.

Here’s the first ever image and now a trailer, thanks to Bloody reader Fabien M.

“IFC Midnight truly excels in the elevated genre space and has been a great North American home for the Pact franchise – so we’re very happy to have them as partners on Dark Summer,” said Carmichael.

Categories: Horror News

“MicroFear” Brings Bite-Sized Horror (Crowd Fund This!)

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 10:25

Jason Bakutis – a former professional special FX makeup artist (Friday the 13th: Jason Goes to Hell, Critters 3 and 4), – just wrote in about his new Kickstarter campaign that I am absoutely praying gets funded.

What he’s created is tiny dioramas based on classic, iconic horror scenes called “MicroFear.”

“MicroFear” is a collection of digitally-sculpted, handcrafted miniature dioramas. The tiny pieces each convey a classic horror scene from film and literature that fans of the genre know and love.

Backers of the campaign will receive one or more dioramas to display in their own Cabinets of Curiosity. For an added level of interest, modelbuilding enthusiasts can opt to receive the diorama in kit form! This option is an exciting throwback to anyone familiar with Aurora model sets or other “garage kits” that were wildly popular in past decades.

Each scene measures less than 2.5” tall and features details smaller than 1mm. The majority of each scene is comprised of high quality cast bronze pieces, while remaining elements are composed of materials like onyx resin, wood, lichen, and even sand, that add an element of realness far beyond that of hobbyist model kits. The design starts as a digitally sculpted 3D model from artist Jason Bakutis, a former Hollywood special FX makeup artist. When the model is perfected at the tiny scale, it is then 3D printed in extremely high resolution in wax, and then cast in bronze using a traditional lostwax casting technique.

“I cast the pieces in bronze because the material’s strength allows me to beautifully render small, thin elements that won’t lose their shape,” said Bakutis. “I am a kid from the monster generation. I built model after after model in my day, and I know how much fans like me appreciate this level of incredible detail.”

Backers to the Kickstarter campaign can choose from scenes titled: “The Mummy”, “The House of the Psychopath”, “Bigfoot”, “The Pit and the Pendulum”, “The Nanny”, and “Spook Shack”.

Categories: Horror News

Next On “American Horror Story: Freak Show”, EP 4.03 ‘Edward Mordrake Pt. 1′

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 10:14

While Bree is raving about last night’s episode (read her review), I’ve only managed to catch the premiere of “American Horror Story: Freak Show”.

The show set up a solid premise, was unique and colorful, and introduced enough mysteries to keep us hanging around – and the killer clown was crazy awesome!

The next two episodes are to be a two-parter, with the first being “Edward Mordrake Pt. 1″. In the third episode, “The Freaks refuse to perform on Halloween due to an old carny superstition. Jimmy is smitten by a woman claiming to be a fortuneteller. Ethel receives life-changing news.

Watch the promo below and tell us what you thought of Episode 2.

Categories: Horror News

‘Saw’: Grab These Never-Before-Released Hi-Res Stills!

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 09:50

If it’s Halloween it must be Saw.

We announced last month that Saw (read my review) would be getting a limited theatrical re-release for this coming Halloween to commemorate the film’s 10th anniversary.

Lionsgate has since released a new trailer and variant posters, but today we get something way cooler. The film was released before studios gave a shit about us online journos – meaning there’s barely any content available. Today, we got our hands on some hi-res stills – some never before seen. The ones previously released, you’ve never seen ‘em this large. Save ‘em, us ‘em, celebrate having ‘em!

The film will open on Friday, October 31st, with select screenings beginning Thursday night, October 30th. The seven Saw films grossed $874 million at the box office worldwide and were hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Successful Horror Franchise” of all time.

Saw was the first collaboration for co-creators James Wan, who directed the film, and Leigh Whannell, who wrote the screenplay. Together, they also created the successful Insidious franchise, and Wan has gone on to direct such high-profile films as The Conjuring.

Directed by Wan from a script penned by Whannell, Saw is a psychological thriller focusing on two men who wake up in a secure lair of a serial killer, with a dead body lying between them. The killer, nicknamed “Jigsaw,” leaves them tape recorded messages with details of how to make it out alive. The only way for one man to make it out alive is to do the unthinkable. The two men desperately try to find a way out, while also trying to figure out who’s behind their kidnapping.

The film, which was released over Halloween weekend on October 29, 2004, was produced by Gregg Hoffman, Oren Koules, and Mark Burg.

Categories: Horror News

The ‘American Horror Story: Freakshow’ Theme Gets Heavy

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 09:00

YouTube cover artist Artificial Fear has posted a rather badass metal cover of the American Horror Story: Freakshow theme song. The cover doesn’t go excessively into the metal genre but instead uses distortion tastefully, adding a dark, sinister vibe to the track.

Check it out below and check out other covers by Artificial Fear on his channel.

Categories: Horror News

We’re Backing ‘Origins’, Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead’ Prequel!!

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 08:01

George Cameron Romero has taken it upon himself to carry on the Legacy that his father created… the definitive “Origin” story of a legend as told by a legacy.

Set in the turbulent late sixties shortly before George A. Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living Dead, Origin tells a story of paying the ultimate price for success.

Romero has launched an Indigogo campaign for which Bloody Disgusting is officially backing. You can help father and son tell the genesis story of the ‘Romero Zombie’ as the Legacy continues!

Origins is the story in the Romero universe of how the first ‘Zombie’ strolled across that cemetery and into lives of those in the ‘dead’ series almost fifty years later.

“I want to take back the Zombie Genre in the name of the Legacy that my father created almost 50 years ago,” says Romero. “I want to tell the Origin story of the modern zombie, in a way that my father wasn’t able to do so back in 1968.”

Fans can contribute to the ORIGINS campaign by visiting helptelltheorigin.com.

Origins takes place in the Turmoil of the 1960′s just shortly before “Night of the Living Dead”, and explains how The ‘Original’ Romero Zombie was created.

In 1962, Dr. Ryan Cartwright was on the scientific and altruistic path to find a way for humans to sustain life in the event of M.A.D (Mutual Assured Destruction), a huge topic brought on by the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Little did he know that over the course of the next several years of his life, he would take a well-funded and military focused journey to the darkest corners of the world… as he creates the ultimate weapon for the government and a curse that will plague mankind for the rest of days.

Get involved here and also check out the Bloody Disgusting partner page for more projects we’re backing!

Categories: Horror News

Fall Down The Rabbit Hole Into Jessica Joslin’s ‘The Immortal Zoo’

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 08:00

Something we don’t cover much here on Bloody-Disgusting but still warrants a post here and there are some of the amazing art installations that take place in galleries around the world. That’s why I want to highlight ‘The Immortal Zoo’, the upcoming exhibition from Jessica Joslin, who uses both real and replicated bones mixed with various metals to create a Victorian creature that would be perfectly suited for Wonderland.

Her bio reads:

The creatures that populate Jessica Joslin’s world are intricate fusions of bone, brass, antique hardware and other scavenged treasures. Infused with the Victorian era’s passion for natural history and arcane technology, these creatures reflect both the real and the imagined animal, the living and the dead. Through careful observation and intricate construction, they re-imagine the animal kingdom, bolt by bolt, beast by beast. They are a nod to the Wunderkammer of yore, and the Victorian predilection for invention and exploring science through the collecting of naturalia. The precision of the engineering conveys a sense that these beasts are anatomically plausible, and the spark of life is simulated through limpid glass eyes, engaging the viewer silently and directly.

The gallery runs from October 24th through November 22nd at the Firecat Projects in Chicago, IL. A trailer for the event, which features music from The Parlour Trick, can be seen below.

A gallery of Joslin’s works for ‘The Immortal Zoo’ can be seen here.

Categories: Horror News

[TV Review] “American Horror Story: Freak Show” Episode 4.2, ‘Massacres and Matinees’

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 07:51

“AHS: Freak Show” just got intensely dark. ‘Massacres and Matinees’ the season’s second episode introduced us to two new freaks and sadly (really, genuinely horrifically sad) took away a freak. The turmoil in last week’s premiere episode was created by the townies against the freaks, but this week brought a whole new type of struggle, and it’s rooted deep within the flaps of the Freak Show tents.

When Strongman Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis!!!) shows up with his wife and fellow performer Desiree, a three-breasted hermaphroditic sensation (Angela Bassett), the troupe of monsters begins to face problems they don’t even realize are coming yet. Chiklis knows how to play one role but he plays it very well. He was a corrupt strongman in “The Shield,” a literal strongman in “Fantastic Four” and he’s a dick of a strongman in ‘Freak Show.’ He shows up with the confidence of a mountain, only to crumble into desperation when Elsa rejects his act (as well as Desiree’s three titties, ding-a-ling, and working female parts). Immediately Elsagives in and…boy, was that a mistake. Now Toledo is calling the shots, running the show, beating up Jimmy, and billing Elsa lowest on the show roster. The jump in logic here defies gravity but hopefully it will clear itself up.

Meanwhile, Dot and Bette remain the headliners of the show, only it’s the unsuspecting Dot who shows up her conjoined twin and turns out to be the one with real talent (which we see in yet another anachronistic performance of Fiona Apple’s Criminal, complete with slow motion mosh pits and crowd surfing like it’s a Nirvana show, not a 1950’s carnival). I’ll have to get back to you on these musical numbers because I simply don’t know how I feel about them yet. I will say that, stylistically, this one worked much better than last week’s Life on Mars disaster. The twins provide a complex emotion for the show. All of a sudden their lives are in upheaval, their yearnings for different and separate lives has reached a zenith and is figuratively pulling them apart. It doesn’t help that the overshadowed Elsa isn’t pleased and that just might mean she’ll have to kill off her brand new monster-darlings by turning them against each other.

Perhaps the most exciting element of ‘Massacres and Matinees’ is the teaming up of Dandy and Twisty. But more on that in a moment…

Is it just me or is Dandy the most unexpected character of this season? He whines like a man-child (he is very reminiscent of Veruca Salt and her lovely demanding nature…“I WANT IT NOW!”), he’s bored all the time, possibly kills the neighbors’ pets, drinks cognac from a monogramed crystal baby bottle, and it turns out, is pretty fucking sadistic…all in all, Dandy is my favorite character thus far. He is such a bewildering spectacle and is rising to the top as one of the quirkiest of the bunch. Which is impressive since he couldn’t even secure himself a spot as part of the freak show talent after pleading with Jimmy.

As mentioned above, this episode saw the unlikely duo of Twisty the Clown and Dandy the sociopath team up under a bizarre (albeit well-intentioned) push from Dandy’s mother, Gloria (the impeccable Frances Conroy). But what we see in their time together is that Dandy is the true monster, and Twisty is just…broken. He’s truly a clown who just wants to entertain children, even if he’s a bit misguided in what might entertain them (severed head, little boy?). In some ways, he reminds me of Lennie from Of Mice and Men. Except he’s got that serial killing side hobby. While none of us want to feel sympathetic toward this beaten down clown, part of us does.

Aside from Toledo’s inexplicable rise to ultimate power over Elsa in less than a day, this episode showed a lot of plot strength. It flowed nicely and made a surprising amount of sense for such a chaotic source of entertainment. More so than any “AHS” season, ‘Freak Show’ is really playing up the style. Each season has been highly stylized, but this season seems to put a great amount of focus on it, as if it’s its own character. The show plays out almost like an elaborate music video, or a moving painting. Along with some of the darker moments (MEEP!) and deeper character development (Jimmy has a heart that’s going to make our eyes and our panties wet) ‘Massacres and Matinees’ brought back a lot of the signature cinematography, music, and eerie sound effects that have worked so well to unsettle “AHS” audiences for the last three years. This show can, will, and should be completely kitschy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to get dark and rough, again I say Meep! The pacing is quick; the heat is being turned up inside the carnival walls while Dandy and Twisty turn up the heat on the innocent townsfolk of Jupiter. This thrill ride just got a little more ill.

But of course, it’s not all lollipops and balloons. The show has a few quirks that I can’t get past. For one, Lange and Bates’ accents are insanely bad. I let it go last week to give the show the benefit of the doubt, but after another hour of that madness, I have to say something. Second, are the viewers the only people who see how disgustingly horrific Twisty is? How is he able to walk up to any given person and pass himself off as a perfectly acceptable work-for-hire clown? Something tells me I’ll just have to deal with these issues. But something tells me that’s okay.

Categories: Horror News

R.I.P. Elizabeth Peña Passes Away At Age 55

bloody disgusting - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 07:33

Sad news to report as Elizabeth Peña passed away yesterday at age 55. Her manager has stated that she died of natural causes.

Peña was known to many for her voice acting as Mirage in The Incredibles. However, for us in the horror community, she will forever be known as Jezzie from the 1990 horror mystery Jacob’s Ladder, which was one of the main inspirations for the Silent Hill franchise. She also appeared in the 1996 murder mystery Lone Star, for which she won an Independent Spirit Award.

Rest in peace, Elizabeth. You are missed.

Categories: Horror News

UK Readers: Win Zombeavers on DVD!

Dread Central - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 06:00

To celebrate the release of Zombeavers, out on DVD, Blu-Ray and Download 20th October, we have a DVD copy up for grabs!

From the producers of American Pie, Cabin Fever and The Ring comes Zombeavers: the horror comedy not to be missed with hysterical interludes, gross-out gore and old school animatronics that will have audiences on the edge of their seats.

Synopsis
The film follows a group of college students headed out into the wilderness for spring break, unaware of the danger that lurks beneath the lake. Unbeknownst to the vacationers, a chemical spill has irreversibly altered the wildlife, and Zombeavers are on the prowl. As a weekend of sex, drugs, and debauchery gets under way, the beavers close in on their prey; and the bloodthirsty beasts really do take the term ‘killer weekend’ to the next level.

© 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

To be in with a chance of winning, just send us an email at contests@dreadcentral.com including your FULL NAME AND POSTAL ADDRESS. We’ll take care of the rest.


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Categories: Horror News

Mutator (Book)

Dread Central - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 05:00

Written by Gary Fry

Published by Darkfuse

A somewhat Lovecraftian horror from beyond the stars is unleashed on rural England’s Yorkshire Dales in Gary Fry’s sci-fi/horror novella, Mutator. Having just moved into his beautiful new country home along with his devoted beagle, Damian, recently retired university professor James is looking forward to settling down to his new stress-free existence. His expected serenity isn’t quite to be, however, with the discovery of a hidden laboratory beneath the cottage housing all manner of incredibly strange research tomes and custom stargazing equipment. This, coupled with the whispered rumours regarding the activities of the home’s previous owner operates as prelude to the arrival of a strange silver ball that comes crashing from the sky in the dead of night to punch right through the ground and into the lab.

Seemingly summoned by the apparently dormant equipment beneath James’s cottage, the hieroglyphics-covered ball houses a particularly slimy passenger – one that defies all physical laws of Earth’s organic creatures and will soon be making its presence known in stupendously gory style.

Mutator is a short tale, clocking in at 18 short chapters, but a thoroughly engrossing one that you’re pretty much guaranteed to devour in a single sitting. Fry focuses most heavily on his protagonist, James – a learned man with much prestige, and many a credential, under his belt who simply can’t help himself diving headlong into the mystery of the ball and the research undertaken by his house’s previous occupant. James’s lower-class origins form a strong part of who he is; rightly proud of his wealth of achievements in the face of inherited adversity, but still grounded enough to respect his origins. A particular little moment in which he plays up on his tellingly working class accent in order to have a little fun with the reaction of his newly acquainted, horseback-mounted toff of a neighbour is wonderfully played, and Fry continues to capitalise on little elements such as this in a manner that ingratiates us very, very quickly with the protagonist and his protective canine companion. Thusly, much of the fear in Fry’s tale is generated as James takes it upon himself to dig around in the darkness beneath his abode, following trails of slime and impossibly large tunnels created by God-knows-what as he attempts to get a proper look at the thing that crawled from this interstellar ball.

When the creature is revealed, Fry’s imagination and prose conjures those aforementioned popular Lovecraftian images of insectoid physiology grimly combined with a wealth of slime, deadly pincers, a greater cluster of eyes than could ever be thought necessary for such a being and an expanding maw capable of reducing animals to little more than quivering piles of macerated meat and bone in mere moments. Most surprising, though, is the direction in which Fry sends his tale when the inevitable hunt and confrontation with the beast begins. As James’s vengeful, shotgun-toting neighbour determines destruction of the monster as the only course of action, the professor begins to overcome the overriding terror of the situation insomuch as to consider the wonder of a creature whose physical skills of adaptation and evolution are truly something to behold. And so the stage is quickly set for a denouement which sings not of the more common fear of the unknown (and resultant drive to destroy the ‘other’), but a healthy reverence and, indeed, respect for it and all that it may teach us – even if, of course, it could quite easily have any of us as its next meal in a heartbeat. It’s a refreshing finish that offers much more than the basic ‘beat the monster’ ethos, and one that, in its final moments, sparkles with that same personal sense of awe and wonder found when man turns gaze to the stars.

If anything, Mutator‘s largest failing is its length. It’s very well paced, yes, but over too quickly. Widening the scenario and giving more room for each of his characters to breathe – especially the secondary ones – would have served Fry very well here. There are certainly the makings of a novel-length tale, which would likely have been eaten right up by aficionados of monster fiction and creature features – more carnage, more investigation, and more characters are things that Mutator cries out for, but doesn’t exactly need considering it already works as well as it does. That’s reader’s gluttony talking, perhaps, but it’s disappointing to see the scope that could have been employed here and wasn’t.

Still, maybe we’ll see the return of the professor and his trusty beagle in future tales. That certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.

The post Mutator (Book) appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Rock And Shock 2014 Offering Incredible Child’s Play Photo Opportunity

Dread Central - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 23:00

The amazing Rock And Shock convention returns to Worcester, MA for its 11th year this weekend, rocking and shocking from October 17th through 19th. As if the event wasn’t already packed with enough awesomeness, the ultimate Child’s Play photo-op has just been added to the lineup of festivities, which is a MUST for all hardcore Chucky fans. Read on!

As reported tonight over on the Rock And Shock Facebook page, Brad Dourif, Fiona Dourif (Curse of Chucky), Alex ‘Andy Barclay’ Vincent and even Chucky himself will be posing for photos throughout the entire weekend, and fans will have the rare opportunity to take a group picture with all four of the franchise stars.

While Brad, Fiona and Alex will also be signing individually, the meet and greet with Chucky is only included with the group photo-op. And yes, he is an actual screen-used doll!

Prices will range from $30 to $40 for individual shots and group shots will range from $50 to $70, depending on how many actors are in the photo.

For more information, be sure to visit the official Rock and Shock website, “like” Rock and Shock on Facebook and follow Rock and Shock on Twitter (@rockandshockusa).

 

The post Rock And Shock 2014 Offering Incredible Child’s Play Photo Opportunity appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Walking Dead Fan Creates Ultimate Season 5 Premiere Dinner

Dread Central - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 21:13

This past Sunday night kicked off the fifth season of “The Walking Dead,” and good lord was the premiere episode intense. Packed with action, drama and a whole lot of gore, it was an hour of television that was well worth the anticipation, delivering all the goods that hungry fans could’ve possibly desired.

Kim Atkinson Fiorini was one of those fans who was eagerly anticipating the new season of AMC’s hit series, and she celebrated the return in what I can only describe as epic fashion. Kim and her family hosted a little premiere party of their own, and the zombie-themed meal they put together is nothing short of completely awesome.

Laid out buffet style on the family’s dinner table was a whole host of tasty treats, including sausages, chicken wings and ribs. But it’s not the food that’s noteworthy so much as it was the preparation, as each tray was laid on top of a human form, and made to look like the various entrails and bodily organs of an unlucky victim.

Check out the full spread below, which is sure to make you hungry for some brains, guts and leg meat. Job well done, Fiorini family!

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Categories: Horror News

Scream Factory Runs Amok Announcing Empire of the Ants, Tentacles, Jaws of Satan, and Reptilicus for 2015

Dread Central - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 18:03

Nature must be running amok at Scream Factory seeing as how they decided to follow up their Food of the Gods/Frogs double feature Blu-ray surprise with news that Empire of the Ants, Tentacles, Jaws of Satan, and Reptilicus are also going Blu next year.

Did I call this in my Food of the Gods/Frogs article or what? Substitute Yongary with Jaws of Satan, and I would have nailed all four of these titles.

It probably would have made more sense to pair Bert I. Gordon’s Empire of the Ants with his Food of the Gods, but who am I to argue with how Scream Factory operates? Instead, Gordon’s 1977 H.G. Wells’ adaptation that sees the likes of Joan Collins and Robert Lansing battling giant ants in the Florida Everglades mind-controlling humans into toiling in their sugar plantations will be paired with the more obscure satanic snake flick Jaws of Satan.

Jaws of Satan is what you get when you combine your Seventies satanic panic flick with your even more Seventies nature gone amok flick and then wait until 1981 to release it. Fritz Weaver and an adolescent Christina Applegate star in this tale of a Southern preacher battling a cobra possessed by Satan and a horde of its slithering, venomous minions.

The second double feature Blu-ray they announced is simply mind-blowing. I mean, Tentacles, one of the very worst Jaws rip-offs of all time, is actually getting a hi-def transfer before some of the greatest movies of any genre have made their way to the format? Don’t get me wrong. I have a soft spot for Tentacles simply because it is so astoundingly awful in every conceivable way, but still.

Beyond the Door director Ovidio G. Assonitis somehow managed to wrangle major name actors of the time (John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins, Claude Akins, and even Henry Fonda) to appear in this ineptly assembled, Italian-produced, 1977 Jaws rip-off about a giant man-eating, roaring octopus terrorizing a seaside resort.

Paired with Tentacles will be the finest Danish Godzilla rip-off ever made. Of course I speak of Sid Pink’s 1961 giant creature feature Reptilicus.

After copper miners discover the tail of a long dead prehistoric creature, the serpentine behemoth regenerates and unleashes marionette monster mayhem on the nation of Denmark.

Odds are even Scream Factory will not be releasing the original Danish cut of the film that featured not only silhouette model on string flying monster effects that would make even Edward D. Wood Jr. recoil in horror, but also the movie’s big musical number American audiences have long been denied where a kindly oaf sings a nursery rhyme about the legend of Reptilicus as school children rhythmically frolic.

Even Scream Factory concedes extras will be slim when it comes to these titles for what should be obvious reasons. No matter. Just go ahead and take my money already.

Look for Empire of the Ants/Jaws of Satan and Tentacles/Reptilicus double-feature Blu-rays courtesy of Scream Factory sometime next summer.

What will Scream Factory announce next? You can pretty much look up what titles MGM previously released as part of their “Midnight Movies” series for a good idea of what’s left to pick from. I’m personally still holding out hope for The Vindicator, The Hidden, Critters, Chopping Mall, Split Second, Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge, and/or King Kong Lives. Honestly, I’m just tossing out a series of titles in hopes that I get even one correct so I can do the Nikki Finke “Toldja!” again when they announce it.

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Categories: Horror News

#NYCC Dark Horse & Sega Present 35 Years Of “Aliens”

bloody disgusting - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 18:02

Alex de Campi, Joshua Williamson, Chris Mooneyham, Paul Tobin took the stage in New York Friday night to talk about the legacy of the Alien franchise.

Paul Tobin spoke first about Prometheus. Saying it is about the fear of the unknown. He talked a little bit about the development process. The Fire and Stone development involved all of the writers meeting at Scott Allie’s house and beat out all the scripts over dinner. They worked tirelessly on how to coherently connect it all together.

Predator is all about Ahab. He’s an old predator on his last great hunt. Going after the great white whale: a Promethean Engineer. Williamson said Issue #4 one long fight scene start to finish.

Alex De Campi spoke about the breaking news of Archie vs Predator. Where a predator slays all Archie characters with prejudice. Will look nice and pretty but before long the skinning’s begins. Includes as many original predator film references as possible. Feels like Final Destination, because the predators only attack armed people. Example, someone picks up a fork to eat and is dismembered.

“Archie VS Predator” hits in April 2015

 

 

Categories: Horror News