Hard to Find and Soon to be Adapted Novel Kane Released as eBook

Dread Central - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 11:00

Douglas Borton’s long out-of-print horror novel Kane, which Unstable Ground recently acquired the film rights to, has just been re-released as an eBook via Borton’s current pen name, NY Times and USA Today best-selling author Michael Prescott.

The title is currently available on Amazon (link below), Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

The film adaptation, entitled Mark of Kane, is one of the ‘Off-Frontieres’ Selections at Fantasia’s upcoming Frontieres International Co-Production Market. The adaption is co-scripted by Serena Whitney (writer at Dread Central) and Justin McConnell (The Collapsed, Skull World).

Whitney and McConnell also co-produce along with prolific Canadian-producer Avi Federgreen (Still Mine, One Week, High Life). The team is rounded out by two highly-respected genre directors who currently serve as consulting producers: Adam Mason (Blood River, The Devil’s Chair, Broken), and George Mihalka (My Bloody Valentine, 24 Hour Rental). A director has yet to be named.

Synopsis
Kane is a force of nature. Walking out of the desert into the dying town of Tuskett, which only 23 people still call home, he has only one purpose: to kill every resident. Relentless, stealthy, and without mercy, Kane won’t stop until every last man, woman, and child is nothing but a memory. Soon the surviving townspeople must band together to fight this seemingly unstoppable evil... or die trying. Brutal, action-packed, and most importantly, character-driven, Kane is a thrilling story of survival at any cost.

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Categories: Horror News

[Review] ‘Animal’ Is a Redundant Creature Feature

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 10:35

I enjoyed Brett Simmons’ Monkey’s Paw (review) and thought it was an interesting take on a well-tread story. It had a really eerie atmosphere and great use of location. Simmons applies those same esthetics to his new film, Animal – a creature feature that pits a group of hikers against a blood thirsty predator. Like many monster movies, Animal asks the question “Who’s the real monster? The creature or the humans?” Unfortunately, it doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

I was hoping to see Simmons put his own twist on the monster-in-the-forest motif, but there’s no distinctive hook here – nothing that makes Animal unique. Although it’s finely crafted and the creature looks awesome, it simply feels redundant.

Animal‘s characters are introduced during a car ride to the woods – two girls and three guys. During the ride, no one says anything to each other, so it’s an awkward introduction to say the least. Once they get hiking, we finally see the dynamic between them. The only one with a hint of personality is the nerdy gay guy who makes references to Taylor Swift and the Uber app. That’s as deep as the characterization goes here. He does get a nice moment much later on that drew some sympathy from me, I’ll give him that.

The film’s creature gets the same thin treatment. We’re introduced to him early on, shortly after one hiker finds a discarded backpack bearing a Marines patch. This suggests the creature could be the result of some kind of military experiment. Instead, this clue is never brought up again. I’m not expecting a full backstory detailing where the creature came from, but anything is better than nothing. Even if the creature made a Taylor Swift reference I would’ve been happy. There’s a suggestion later on that maybe the creature is luring them to the cabin in the woods the hikers wind up at, but this too is never explored further. Like I mentioned, the creature at least looks awesome. He kinda reminded me of Brundlefly, with large fangs and claws and less of a hunchback. His howling face manages to deliver a few jump scares, but nothing that truly gets under the skin.

Animal does have some slick cinematography on its side. The majority of the film takes place at night, and everything is crisp and well-lit. All of the forest locations look fantastic and the cabin the survivors convalesce in has some great production design going on. Sometimes craft can make up for a shitty narrative, but Animal‘s almost complete lack of story overshadows everything else. Throughout the whole film it feels like there’s nothing going on besides characters being picked off one by one.

There is some conflict between the hikers and three people they find already hiding from the creature in the cabin. This goes back to the old “Who’s the real monster” theme, which manages to create at least two tense moments in Animal. We’ve seen it before though and I feel like after the promise of Monkey’s Paw, Simmons would’ve taken the overdone theme and ran with it. Sadly that’s not the case though and Animal feels like every other standard creature feature.

Categories: Horror News

Prep for Tonight's Premiere of Dominion with Several New Introduction and Teaser Videos

Dread Central - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 10:30

Planning to check out "Dominion" when it premieres tonight on Syfy? Then grab your coffee and settle in for a bit as we have several new videos to share, including introductions to archangels Michael and Gabriel and a whole lot more!

The series stars Christopher Egan ("Kings"), Tom Wisdom (300), Roxanne McKee ("Game of Thrones"), Alan Dale ("Lost"), Anthony Stewart Head ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), and Luke Allen-Gale ("The Borgias").

Related Story: See our "Dominion" archive here!

"Dominion" follows the perilous journey of a rebellious young soldier, set against a backdrop of the ultimate celestial battle as it touches down on earth.

"Dominion" Episode 1.01 - "Pilot" (airs 6/19/14)
A soldier (Egan) learns he is the "chosen one," destined to lead humanity and end the devastating war with the angels once and for all in premiere of this supernatural drama.

For more info visit "Dominion" on Syfy.com, "like" "Dominion" on Facebook, and follow "Dominion" on Twitter.










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Categories: Horror News

Exclusive: Lucky McKee Talks All Cheerleaders Die

Dread Central - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 10:00

Lucky Mckee has had his ups and downs with various projects from the criminally underseen The Woods to the success of films like The Woman. With his latest, All Cheerleaders Die, Mckee collaborated with his old college buddy Chris Sivertson to relive their college days by fleshing out a short film to a full feature film filled with cheerful mayhem.

Here’s what Mckee had to say about the film, which is now available on VOD with a Blu-ray/DVD release on July .

Dread Central: Did your success working with Jack Ketchum lean you towards collaborating again this time around with Chris? What advantages do you find in that kind of mutual relationship?

Lucky McKee: Film is, in its essence, a collaborative art. It's a blast to create stories with good brains. Chris and I have collaborated like this since we were teenagers so it's pretty natural at this point. In fact, I'd say that my collaborative relationship with Chris is what paved the way for my work with Ketchum. The major advantage to working with a partner is having someone to call you on bullshit.

DC: Either with Ketchum or Chris, can you recall some moments of contention, or did everything run fairly smoothly between all of you?

LM: Pretty dang smooth. We both have our own ways of doing things, but the key to a good collaboration is to be accommodating to the artists you work with. This goes all the way up and down the line, from actors to crew to producers…everyone. Naturally, there were disagreements, but they always led to better ideas.

DC:Do you look at this film as kind of a fun reset after the intensity of something like Red or The Woman? Were you reminded a lot of your college days and the freedom that can come with that?

LM: Absolutely. It was a great way to see what we had learned since we started making features. Plus, the lighter tone was a relief after so many dark and intense films. It was much needed. It definitely called to mind the spirit of our college endeavors. That "seat of your pants" approach to filmmaking and the continuous experimentation.

DC: It might be somewhat of a sore spot because it didn’t get the treatment it deserved, but The Woods is definitely my favorite film of yours and I still show it to anyone willing. Have you reached a point with how you are working and collaborating now where you can protect yourself from the kind of interference and distribution problems that plagued such a great film?

LM: Hopefully so. It's all about setting boundaries around yourself. You have to have ground rules or things just get wacky. I guess I've just gotten better at setting those rules. The budgets have gotten smaller, but there's more creative control, which is fine by me. The budgets will go up if I keep my work protected and pure. I'm sure of that.

DC: This film definitely seems out of your comfort zone and I laughed when I first got wind of the film and your involvement. Do you think it’s an odd pairing, and do you think your experience on this film has expanded your idea of what you’re capable of as a filmmaker? Did it make you want to venture out even more on the next one?

LM: The whole idea of doing this film was to break outside of the creative box I had put myself in. It certainly has opened up my creativity and freed me up to experiment more with tone and style.

DC: What’s up next for you? You tend to take your time and really develop projects so it seems that you always have a lot of irons in the fire. Personally, I’d love to see another moody Lucky McKee period piece from you.

LM: Lots of irons in the fire, for sure. Developing a film version of the last book I did with Ketchum. That one's called I'M NOT SAM, and I'll be governing the production and overseeing the script. But I'm handing off the directing reins to an exciting new filmmaker by the name of Vanessa Menendez. She's currently storyboarding the living shit out of it, and it's an awesome process to watch come to life. I'm also in the midst of a new screenplay/book with Ketchum that's very exciting but I can't talk about yet. The only thing I can say is that it's very different than anything we've done yet.

The high school-set comedy horror-thriller was written and directed by Lucky McKee (May, The Woman) and Chris Sivertson (The Lost, I Know Who Killed Me). It was produced by Andrew van den Houten (Funeral Kings, The Woman) and Robert Tonino (The Woman, In the Family) for Modernciné and stars Caitlin Stasey (“Reign,” Tomorrow When the War Began), Sianoa Smit-McPhee (“Hung”), and Brooke Butler and introduces Tom Williamson. The executive producer is Arrien Schiltkamp.

Synopsis:
Teenage outsider Maddy (Caitlin Stasey; I, Frankenstein) is keeping some dark secrets and holding a serious grudge against the captain of the Blackfoot High football team. When Maddy joins the school's elite and powerful cheerleading squad, she convinces her new friends to help inflict her revenge. After a late-night party goes awry, their plans take an unexpected turn for the worst, and all of the girls die. A sinister, supernatural power intervenes, and the girls mysteriously appear at school the next day with a killer new look… and some unusual new appetites.

"Sexy, campy, funny, subversive, angsty, and most importantly fun" (The Hollywood Reporter), ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE is a rebellious horror-comedy that redefines the genre.

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Categories: Horror News

Vinyl Records Cut Into Salvaged X-ray Films (Random Cool)

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 09:00

This is one of the coolest ways I’ve seen of putting together a vinyl record. Apparently, back in the 1950′s, Russians who wanted to hear and share music would go dumpster diving at local hospitals to salvage exposed X-ray slides with the intent of repurposing them into vinyl records. According to author Anya von Bremzen, these people would then, “…cut a crude circle out with manicure scissors and use a cigarette to burn a hole.

Von Bremzen continues, saying:

“You’d have Elvis on the lungs, Duke Ellington on Aunt Masha’s brain scan — forbidden Western music captured on the interiors of Soviet citizens.”

You can see a gallery of some of these records below. They are SUPER cool and I’d love to have a few of these!

Categories: Horror News

The Walking Dead Season 4 Gets a UK Release Date

Dread Central - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 07:00

Here in the UK we're often forced to wonder if we'll be getting some of the super-cool packages that our friends across the pond can avail of. One such case is "The Walking Dead's" Season 4 "Tree Walker" box set that we showed you here. Well, fret not, brethren, for it is coming!

Entertainment One will be releasing "The Walking Dead" Season 4 on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK this September 15, including the Amazon-exclusive Limited Edition "Tree Walker" Blu-ray display pack.

Synopsis:
In the aftermath of the war with the Governor, we see Rick and the group of survivors fostering a thriving community in the safe haven of the prison. Sadly, in this brutal world happiness is short-lived and walkers are no match for a greater dangers brewing inside the fences. The group's home and new way of life will be thoroughly tested, and they will find themselves prepared to do whatever it takes to survive.

Special Features

  • Over an Hour of Audio Commentaries
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Featurettes
  • Extended episodes

    To stay up-to-the-minute on all things walker related, follow @WalkingDead_AMC on Twitter and visit "The Walking Dead" on Facebook. For more be sure to hit up the official "The Walking Dead" page on AMC.com.

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  • Categories: Horror News

    Final ‘Apes’ Trailer Looks Incredibly Sad and Emotional

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 23:30

    The third and final Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer was just launched, and I sort of wish I hadn’t watched it. It’s really spoiler heavy, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t powerful. There’s a lot of great stuff in there – emotional stuff – that shows Caesar’s love for the humans, and how even that couldn’t stop them from going to war. You can only assume what comes next, which is a tearjerker moment where Caesar must choose sides. For a movie loaded with CG apes, it’s seriously mind blowing how realistic and moving Dawn looks.

    In the sequel to the prequel, “A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

    In theaters July 11, Matt Reeves directs with Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Judy Greer and Jocko Sims starring.

    Categories: Horror News

    First ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Clip An Uncomfortable Welcome

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 22:41

    We just landed the first ever clip from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to the awesome Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The clip shows Jason Clarke approaching the apes in the middle of a forest only to be rejected with a emphatic “GOOOOOOO!”

    In theaters July 11, Matt Reeves directs with Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Judy Greer and Jocko Sims starring.

    In the sequel to the prequel, “A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

    Categories: Horror News

    Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Ghostbusters: Vol. 3′ Is Claymation Madness

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 22:35

    Lee Hardcastle, who you may remember as the winner of The ABCs of Death‘s letter “T” promotion, is back with yet another claymation short, only this one’s loaded with blood and slime.

    With Quentin Tarantino’s Ghostbusters: Vol. 3, the young animator imagines if Tarantino was the director of the third Ghostbusters. This would be the trailer.

    The funniest moment is easily a spoof on Pulp Fiction when Slimer has his goo splattered across the back of the Ecto-1…

    Categories: Horror News

    ‘The Order: 1886′ Special Editions Appear On Amazon

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 20:44

    Two special editions for developer Ready at Dawn’s upcoming PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 appeared on Amazon earlier today. The $79.99 Collector’s Edition brings with it a 7-inch statue, stickers, an official soundtrack, and pre-order DLC. The $149.99 Premium Edition will include all of the above, as well as a 13-inch statue, Blackwater Vial, and a special collector’s box.

    The Order: 1886 is set in Victorian-Era London and follows an ancient order of elite warriors and their war with humans who can transform into Lycan-esque monsters. If you’ve ever wanted an Underworld game, this is as close as we’ll get to one.

    And here’s the latest trailer, in case you missed it last week.

    The Order: 1886 releases on PS4 on February 20, 2015.

    Categories: Horror News

    Michael Bay’s “Beavis & Butt-head” (Video)

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 18:59

    Giving commentary on the lack of originality in cinema, FOX’s “Animation Domination High-Def” takes a jab at Michael Bay, who is behind both big screen versions of Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

    While the joke on Bay is a bit stale, and the video isn’t really all that great (they really should have made better “Beavis & Butt-head” references), I did get a kick out of the faux Michael Bay’s Beavis & Butt-head trailer.

    Grab some nachos and check it out below.

    Categories: Horror News

    Original Sin #4 Special Edition Available Today!

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 17:43

    Marvel has a special edition of “Original Sin” #4 available digitally as of today, and I’m excited to get my hands on it. After the completely insane twist that was the end of issue #3 Marvel has a lot of explaining to do.

    From Marvel:

    Today, delve even deeper into the secrets of the Marvel Universe. Marvel is proud to announce that the ORIGINAL SIN #4: SPECIAL EDITION is available for download right now via the Marvel Comics app and the Marvel Comics Digital Storefront! Brace yourselves as the New York Times Bestselling creative team of Jason Aaron (Wolverine & the X-Men) and Mike Deodato (New Avengers) take readers on another wild rollercoaster that will have fans guessing until the nail-biting last page!

    Digital exclusive special editions of Original Sin #1 , #2 and #3 are also available for download with future special edition issues of the series available digitally the same date as release.

    Hailed by critics as “a riveting thriller” (BloodyDisgusting.com), “beautifully executed” (ComicBook.com) and “the kind of comic book event I want” (ComicVine.com) – Original Sin has already taken the comics industry by storm with its mix of twists, turns, and action-packed thrills. Now, go deeper into the Marvel Universe’s greatest mystery with these digital only special editions of Original Sin jam-packed with extras!

    Not only does this digital exclusive version include the full issue of Original Sin #4, but you’ll also get a peek behind the curtain at making one of the biggest comics of the year! See the process that went into making this landmark comic event as you go from inked pages, to colored pages, to the final lettered issue. See how artist Mike Deodato and colorist Frank Martin bring the story to life as each page from Original Sin #4 is reproduced here in inks only as well as in its colored, unlettered form.

    Then, experience even more bonus material including sketches, cover concepts and variant cover gallery featuring the talents of Gabriele Dell’Otto, Arthur Adams and many more of the top artists in the industry.

    Original Sin continues to send shockwaves through the Marvel Universe, and Original Sin #4 is no exception. With a shocking last page that is sure to have everyone talking and tons of bonus content, no fan can afford to miss the digital exclusive ORIGINAL SIN #4: SPECIAL EDITION, on-sale now!

    ORIGINAL SIN #4 is also available in print today at your local comic shop. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook. For more on Marvel’s Original Sin, please visit Marvel.com/OriginalSin. Join the conversation on Twitter and don’t forget to follow us at @Marvel[www.twitter.com/Marvel]!

    ORIGINAL SIN #4: SPECIAL EDITION

    Written by JASON AARON

    Art by MIKE DEODATO

    Cover by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO

    ON SALE NOW!

     

    Categories: Horror News

    Legendary Releases for August and September 2014

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 17:36

    Legendary Comics have released information regarding their releases for the end of the summer and frankly they are pretty damn exciting. You’ve got Grant Morrison’s “Annihilator” on there, which is enough to have my excitement in overdrive. But, what’s more, they’ve shared some art from the series. I can’t imagine any of these titles being a dud, everything about this solicit screams instant hit. So let’s all set our alarms for the late summer.From Legendary:

    Legendary Comics presents the forthcoming books solicited for release in August and September 2014 - Annihilator,  A Town Called Dragon, and The Tower Chronicles: DreadStalker. From the creative team of Grant Morrison and Frazer Irving, Annihilator  is an original story that takes readers into the most dangerous place in the Universe – one man’s own mind. A Town Called Dragon is an action-packed modern day myth from Judd Winick and Geoff Shaw.

    ANNIHILATOR

    Story: Grant Morrison

    Art/Cover: Frazer Irving
    September 4, 2014 /  40 PAGES / $3.99

    ONE MAN’S MIND IS THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE

    Legendary Comics proudly presents Annihilator, an original graphic novel odyssey from the extraordinary mind of Grant Morrison. This 6-issue series is a subversive sci-fi adventure like no other, brought to life with stunning artwork from Frazer Irving (Judge Dredd, Necronauts). Washed-up Hollywood screenwriter Ray Spass is caught in a downward spiral of broken relationships, wild parties and self-destruction. Out of luck and out of chances, he’s one failed script away from fading into obscurity. Little does he know he’s about to write the story of his life.

    As his imagination runs rampant, Ray must join forces with his own fictional character Max Nomax on a reality-bending race to stop the entire universe from imploding… without blowing his own mind in the process.

     

    A TOWN CALLED DRAGON

    Story: Judd Winick

    Art/Cover: Geoff Shaw

    September 24, 2014 / 56 PAGES / #3.99

    On the surface it seems like your average all-American tourist trap, but this snow-covered town hides a burning secret. After centuries of lying buried within the depths of an icy mountain, the world’s last dragon egg finally hatches – endangering modern life as we know it. Now an unlikely group of dangerously unqualified, ordinary citizens must band together, battling the elements – and each other – to slay this menacing creature.

    An action-packed modern day myth, this 5-issue series is an original story written by Judd Winick (Batman, Green Lantern), featuring the art of exciting new talent Geoff Shaw.

     

    THE TOWER CHRONICLES: DREADSTALKER #1

    Story: Matt Wagner

    Art/Cover: Simon Bisley
    August 13, 2014 / 32 PAGES / $3.99

    HE LIVES TO KILL THE DEAD.

    The supernatural bounty hunter John Tower returns in this thrilling new monthly series from writer Matt Wagner (Mage, Grendel) and artist Simon Bisley (Lobo).

    After thwarting a demonic possession and tearing a mystic artifact away from the clutches of the Brotherhood of the Rose, Tower believes himself one step closer to his mysterious goals. But the next chapter of his journey leads him and his unofficial partner, FBI agent Alicia Hardwicke, to the frozen wilderness of Canada where they must face off against a nightmarish beast that has been feasting on the locals. Will Tower’s mission prove successful, or is he leading Alicia to an icy tomb?

     

    Categories: Horror News

    Review: “Skinned” #2

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:54

    “Skinned” deals with perception and reality in such a fun and engaging way that it can’t help but be captivating. Truly this is a book worthy of your attention for its ambition alone. I’ve never experienced a story so imaginatively aware of the conventions of it’s medium. It’s a challenging and fun read from cover to cover.

    WRITTEN BY: Jeremy Holt & Tim Daniel

    ART BY: Joshua Gowdy

    PUBLISHER: Monkeybrain Comics

    PRICE: $0.99

    RELEASE: June 18, 2014

    The world that Tim Daniel and Jeremy Holt have created here should be filled with wonder and whimsy. Yet, seeing reality as a projection isn’t enough for Aldair and Buoy. Because of this, these two characters push through the boundaries of their own world and upbringing in pursuit of something more than the “utopia” they’re given.

    This is a world of subservience and order. It’s the world we’re headed towards, being shepherded by our smartphones into a herd that is consumed by the screen in front of their face. Holt and Daniel take it a step further plant the screen inside the head, which creates a whole host of solutions to reality, or problems hiding in the guise of reality if you’re Aldair and Buoy.

    Joshua Gowdy should be commended for his work on this book for any number of reasons. Not the least of which is his perfect reimagining of the main characters into a seamless rendition of pop culture icons, or how he somehow can keep likenesses in check with changing everything the characters are wearing from panel to panel. Somehow this constant evolution isn’t distracting but totally holds the attention and keeps flow from page to page. In the hands of a lesser artist this would be one of the most confusing comics on the stands, but Gowdy’s work makes it easy to follow.

    “Skinned” may not have been conceived as a metaphor for our obsession with technology and how it’s shaped our relationship to reality, but it certainly feels that way. It’s a beautiful deconstruction of what people have come to value as ideal and why that idealism is an inherently flawed version of reality. Reality is finite and unalterable or is it? Is the OccupEye any better or worse than our own interpretation of reality? I have a knee jerk reaction to say yes, but I could be persuaded the other way.

    The narrative continues forward from the threads left dangling in issue one and the two characters align in their pursuits. We’re given horrifying glimpses of the power they’re up against and pushed forward with a fantastic pace that ends the issue with a fantastic cliffhanger that will leave you dying for issue #3.

    “Skinned” is an intelligent look at perception and reality that challenges you as you read it. The themes on these pages are heavy but the art is colorful and light. It’s the perfect mixture that is a cause for celebration, it’s a comic that pushes the medium and forces you to think. What more could you ask for?

    Categories: Horror News

    Review: “Henchmen Inc” #1

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:49

    “Henchmen Inc” # 1 provides a brilliant behind the scenes look at the most abused role in comics, the henchman. And what could have easily been poorly done superhero satire actually becomes an interesting and thought provoking reimagining of a job no one would have ever wanted to do, until now.

    WRITTEN BY: Tim Simmons

    ART BY: Jim McMunn

    PUBLISHER: Monkeybrain

    PRICE: $0.99

    RELEASE: June 18, 2014

    It’s a tough world out there for anyone looking to get hired. Especially ex-cons. Yet, “Henchmen Inc” provides the solution in smart and interesting terms. I’m quite surprised no one has thought about this before. The core concept sees a down and out on his luck ex-con join a group of unionized henchmen who are on the up and up. You get free medical, benefits, and you’re not breaking the law.

    It’s almost too good to be true, but as of this first issue Tim Simmons creates a world where this is not only possible but also preferred. He adds in small nuances to the henchmen game and subsequently redefines the tropes of the role. You’ll marvel at just how excellent these little spins on the conventions are.

    Jim McMunn’s art style is cartoonish and adds a lot of emphasis to the world. He adorns his characters with a Saturday morning cartoon vibe that only adds to the reflexive tone of the story. His work in the opening pages will captivate, his paneling is complex but never confusing. He handles himself quite well with action too, but his real strength is designing the overstated cartoon costumes.

    Together these men play with a familiar concept and manage to cast new light on a familiar albeit commonly forgotten character archetype of superhero comics. In doing so they manage to breathe new life into the world of superheroes by showcasing just how egotistical the superhumans are. There are hints at something more beneath the surface too. As the characters are very aware of the world they’re working in, Simmons ends his first issue with a cautionary series of panels.

    This “Henchmen Inc” doesn’t have it all figured out just yet. Something bigger and badder than ever before looms on the horizon, and I imagine these thugs for hire are about to prove themselves heroes.

    In any event these first issue is a strong analysis on what makes a lackey so integral to the superhero genre. It’s incredibly enjoyable, pretty damn funny, and a little heartfelt when it needs to be. Its an impressive package that shouldn’t be missed.

    Categories: Horror News

    5 Skull Review: “The Wicked + The Divine” #1

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:45

    A gorgeous book cover to cover, with rich colors, and a wildly imaginative premise that will hold from page one Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s “The Wicked + The Divine” is not to be missed. It defies high expectations and manages to surprise on almost every page.

    WRITTEN BY: Kieron Gillen

    ART BY: Jamie McKelvie

    PUBLISHER: Image

    PRICE: $2.99

    RELEASE: June 18, 2014

     

    The opening pages of this comic will have you captivated. Gillen and McKelvie continue their trend of playing with comic paneling to create a more dynamic pace. There are panels that are left filled with large numbers, or entire pages devoted to a human skull. But everything is done with a masterful sense of purpose.

    Quickly the book hooks its simple premise by blending musical culture with Gods. The attribution of deity like status onto musical icons is reality here. They are gods, and they are treated almost the same way. Gillen’s script uses razor sharp dialogue to quickly introduce the expectations of a fan and the tongue in cheek manor in which these beings refer to themselves. We’re easily brought into this world and made to think we know how it works.

    McKelvie takes Lucifer and makes the abominable creature into a slick Bowie wannabe with style to spare. His work is marvelous throughout and manages to even make pages of dialogue pop off the page. His character work is absolutely stunning. His thick lines give way to vibrant creations that look incredibly real.

    What’s more is that he can cut a page with whatever paneling he likes and manages to make the entire thing radiate. When Lucifer confronts her attackers, the symmetry on the page is a stunning visual orgasm. Holy hell. And the raw displays of Lucifer’s power and exemplified by Matthew Wilson’s phenomenal color, honestly, he may be the best colorist in comics right now. He doesn’t miss a single beat here, his vibrant and neon soaked colors are irresistible.

    The issue easily introduces the core premise of the book thanks to an outside being sheparded in and a nonbeliever making an ass of themselves. It even manages to flip the core of its premise by the end of the final page and leave you fearful for the future of the characters. Amidst the incredible stakes weird godly reincarnations lies incredibly sharp dialogue and relatable characters that create the core of the book.

    Which is a deconstruction of modern myth laid out for a new century of creatives and layabouts who’d rather worship than create. The very creatures of myth that Gillen and Mckelvie have created on these pages will surely propel the team into a godlike status of their own. This is a first issue pulled off with incredible confidence and mastery, it’s irresistible and all consuming. It’s your new obsession.

    Categories: Horror News

    Review: “Translucid” #3

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:37

    “Translucid” #3 pushes forward in its ambitious mission to change the way we look at good and evil. As The Navigator falls deeper into his own ambiguous morality, Cornelius is faced with trial after trial of abuse and loss. The mirroring of these two storylines (as one falls, the other falls with him) is quite frankly one of the most captivating aspects of this comic book, especially since the relationship between the two timelines remains ominously unclear.

    WRITTEN BY: Claudio Sanchez & Chondra Echert

    ART BY: Daniel Bayliss

    PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios

    PRICE: $3.99

    RELEASE: June 18, 2014

    Review By: Bree Odgen

    “Translucid” is a dark comic book. It proves this fact every month with each new issue. Its creators are absolutely not afraid to push the series and its characters through difficult issue after horrible, tragic, difficult issue. All of the characters are in codependent or abusive relationships. No one seems happy. It’s dark. The difference between “Translucid” and other issue-driven, neurotic stories is the fact that it never quite crosses over into “heavy-handed” territory. All of “Translucid’s” blatant drama feels less like a gloomy raincloud that follows you around, and more like existential villains that propel the story forwards.

    “Translucid” isn’t perfect by any means. There are some pieces of dialogue that feel all too obvious, perhaps even a little cliché. Dialogue like The Horse’s sarcastic remark to The Navigator: “I’d almost forgotten that you still believe justice comes at the hands of lawmakers” feels as if the writers don’t entirely trust the readers to pick up on the story’s nuances without spelling it out for us. There are several instances of this particular explanatory dialogue that are saved by the comic’s unique ability to become totally self-aware at the snap of a finger. When The Horse calls out The Navigator with, “You rely on your nemesis to deliver you truth?” the story faults seem to merge back into place. Because during those moments, it feels like The Navigator suffers from poor character development, but the fact that the comic is aware of its character’s stunted growth, transforms it into something that works so well.

    The story is dense; I wish there were more issues in which to explore it. It’s difficult to feel really connected to all of the characters because the development is slow. Each new interaction between The Horse and The Navigator has been very similar to the interaction before it. But honestly, these criticisms pale in comparison to the dynamic structure of this series. The concept is deep and the art is ideal on both superficial and expository levels.

    My overall hope is that they’re setting up Drake as The Horse. I’ll just set that theory down and back away slowly.

     

    Categories: Horror News

    Review: “BPRD: Hell on Earth” #120

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:30

    Jumping into a long-running title can be intimidating, and the BRPD especially so, with a huge list of long standing characters and a history that not only extends through the twelve year run of the title but also from Mignola’s Hellboy, the series from which BRPD spun off. While “BPRD” #120, part one of a two part arc, does little to ease in new readers, there is still plenty to get excited about that should have those who give it a try running to wikipedia and picking up previous trades.

    WRITTEN BY: John Arcudi & Mike Mignola

    ART BY: Laurence Campbell

    PUBLISHER: Dark Horse

    PRICE: $3.50

    RELEASE: June 18, 2014

    Review By: Ooknabah

    While Mignola’s Hellboy is by far his most well known and celebrated work, BRPD, the series following Hellboy’s former employers/guardians has now gone on to eclipse its father series in quantity by far, and some might argue quality as well. Fans of the Hellboy movies may recognise the Bureau for Paranormal Defence and some of its characters, but what has always set this book apart is its dark and foreboding tone.

    While Hellboy has always been fortune’s favourite son, a wisecracking demon almost gleefully ripping it up with various Nazi/demonic/eldritch horrors, the BRPD has always shown the more human side of a world wrapped in conspiracy and horror: where people are small, weak and very, very mortal, but stand to fight. They may win at the end of the day, but never without cost. And never without the palpable sense that they are constantly being worn down and depleted. For fans of happy narratives, this is depressing, but for horror fans, it’s pure gold.

    Very little of note actually happens in this issue, with multiple flashbacks and info dumps setting the stage for what is to come, however the sense of foreboding is very strong and helps propel the reader further along, trying to figure out what it is all leading towards. Laurence Campbell’s art does most of the heavy lifting in that regard, and he pulls it off beautifully.

    It’s a difficult job to step from behind the (stark and stylized) shadow of Mignola’s own art work, or from series stalwart Guy Davis, but Campbell manages to both maintain the general aesthetic set by his predecessors while taking it into new directions. There is a grit to his work that makes the world feel dirty and used, bringing to mind the art direction of True Detective: That’s high praise. The only complaint that can be levied is that Campbell doesn’t get to really let loose with any prolonged action which I’m now dying to see.

    That is the general takeaway from this issue: Anticipation for what is to come. One almost envies a future trade reader who will be able to simply flip the page and see what’s next. But that anticipation also elevates the sense of dread and heightens the horror: well worth checking out.

    Ooknabah AKA Brent Hirose is a writer, actor and gigantic nerd from Vancouver B.C. You can listen to his podcast about that at HugeNerds.Podomatic.Com or check out his many other projects at BrentHirose.com

    Categories: Horror News

    ‘Come Back to Me’ a Suburban Nightmare? (Trailer)

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:09

    Get ready for another suburban haunt in the quasi-found-footage Come Back to Me, which now has a trailer.

    The film revolves around a young woman (Katie Walder) who suffers memory lapses and blackouts after a car accident. She then learns she is pregnant but her husband (Matt Passmore) is infertile, which leads her to set up a security camera in their bedroom.

    The trailer shows the found-footage angle comes when security camera are installed – and oddly enough, the trailer also spoils(?) the film’s twist?

    Come Back to Me is the feature writing and directing debut for Paul Leyden and will be released in limited theaters and on all digital platforms on July 25.

    Freestyle Releasing and Freestyle Digital Media are handling distribution, which means… ehhhhh. Just watch the trailer and see for yourself.

    Categories: Horror News

    ‘Warm Bodies’ Star Battles Spooks In ‘Spectral’

    bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 15:57

    From zombies to ghosts, THR reports that Warm BodiesCory Hardrict has joined Legendary Pictures’ sci-fi thriller Spectral, starring James Badge Dale and Pacific Rim‘s Max Martini.

    Nic Mathieu is directing the film, which centers on a special-ops team that fights supernatural beings who’ve taken over New York City.

    Ian Fried wrote the original treatment, with the George Nolfi-penned screenplay getting a rewrite from John Gatins.

    As previously reported, the premise of the project is centered on a modern-day, militaristic and gritty approach to fighting the supernatural. Sources say the pitch has been described as a darker and more serious take on a Ghostbusters-like story, with a plot that revolves around a special ops group formed to bring down evil ghosts that have taken over Manhattan.

    Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produce, with Jillian Share and Guy Riedel serving as executive producers. Sophia Sikora will also oversee the film for Legendary.

    Categories: Horror News