As If ‘Doom’ Wasn’t Metal Enough, This “E1M1” Remix Is Pure Demon Slaying Joy

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 13:03

I think we can all agree that when it comes to FPS games, the Doom franchise is hands down the most metal of them all. Doom Guy goes around blasting the hell, literally and figuratively, out of everything around him, all while a metal soundtrack furiously sets a sonic landscape of carnage and destruction. Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than that.

YouTuber Michael Mac has teamed up with Gabriel Leopardi to create a guitar remix of “E1M1” and “At Doom’s Gate” that takes the already heavy music and cranks it up to 11*. Give it a listen below and try your best not to let your inner Doom Guy out on those around you.

*Why not just make 10 louder?

Categories: Horror News

I Ranked All the ‘Puppet Master’ Films…

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 13:01

The ‘Puppet Master’ franchise is put under the microscope, with every film in the surprisingly long series, being ranked accordingly

“We have children to enchant.”

Horror typically lives and dies off of recognition.

Freddy Krueger. Jason Voorhes. Michael Myers. These are all horror icons that are in the ether and whether you’ve seen any of their films or not, you’ve no doubt heard of them. Most horror that ends up turning into a franchise—Hellraiser, Amityville Horror, Saw, Scream, even Leprechaun—are properties that share that same degree of recognition. And yet, maybe you’ve never even heard of the Puppet Master films. Surprisingly, after a staggering ten—soon to be eleven—films, the Bodega Bay Inn doesn’t conjure up the same terror as Camp Crystal Lake. My association with the movies is certainly from the foregone era of video rental stores where you could aimlessly wander through the horror aisle, looking at cover art and cataloguing titles in your brain. I didn’t bite the bullet then, but their distinctly ridiculous covers, paired with the plentiful amount of films in the franchise solidified it as a series that would continue to rattle about my curiosity until I gave in.

Part of the Puppet Master series’ quirky charm is due to it being such an underdog of a franchise. It’s a series that has always strived to be more than it is. Every good horror franchise gives you a great mascot, and Puppet Master gives you five, and yet it’s still largely remained a footnote to the larger beats of horror. For whatever reason it’s never been able to truly penetrate the mainstream and reach the next level. Now, with S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk) voicing early interest in resuscitating the series, running through this crazy franchise, ranking the films from best to worst, seems only fitting. And if you’re new to the world of Andre Toulon and his miraculous, murderous puppets, then this will be the perfect puppet primer to tell you when to jump in!

1. Puppet Master II: His Unholy Creation

 
Sequels can sometimes crumble under the weight of the first film’s success, but with the original Puppet Master merely being a moderately strong start to things, Puppet Master II gets every opportunity to expand on the ideas, but with none of the baggage of setting things up. This sequel follows the creative idea of the puppets using Toulon’s rebirth formula on his own corpse to bring him back to life. Due to Toulon’s corpse conduit being…you know—a corpse—he’s eager to find a new host, as well as one for his beloved Elsa, too.

This is a solid concept made only stronger by the fact that Toulon’s corpse status has left him looking like some Invisible Man/Dark Man substitute that’s covered in bandages (which no one questions at any point). This alone adds a level of crazy to everything that’s present right from the start. It’s such an absurd visual to take in, and Toulon’s Crazy Scientist Voice adds even more to the package. It’s the perfect film to show someone out of context and they’ll pretty much be WTF at any moment, which I think is part of the mark of a good horror film.

This trend of over the top villains continues in the best possible sense, with the film also introducing some highly disturbing, giant puppet humanoid hybrids into the mix. One of these, Camille, is truly frightening and a great visual that transcends anything from the original picture. Even the living corpse version that we see of Toulon (not to mention the visual of him slitting his throat and having the fluids funnel down someone’s gaping mouth) during the end looks surprisingly well done. It’s these touches that make this the better movie.

With the kills being a major enjoyment factor in these films, each one feels fresh and is put to good use here. The puppet work has also come much further along allowing each kill to function as more of an impressive set piece too, showing off the puppets in motion. This culminates with all of the puppets destroying the giant puppet, which is a great little sequence of teamwork. This film also gives us the introduction of Torch, a flame-based puppet, who is wonderful and ups the stakes and effects department appropriately. He’s straight up setting people on fire and watching them burn to death, which is a pretty considerable “talent.” There’s also one of my favorite scenes from out of any of the Puppet Master films where the movie goes out of its way to needlessly show Torch killing an obnoxious child. That’s the sort of Puppet Master film that I want.

The film also explores the lore of the series in a creative sort of way. The first film establishes these killer puppets and this film digs into the mythos and embraces it all. There’s a greater confidence with all of this material this time across and scenes that wouldn’t dare be attempted in the first film—like puppet autopsy—are plentiful here.  Puppet Master II is a film that feels like it’s constantly on the verge of collapsing under the weight of its own insanity, yet it maintains its composure through it all. The reason the movie works so well is because it tows that line as closely as possible without crossing it.

If nothing else, the film concludes on such a crazy note that’s as big an exclamation point as possible. It’ll stay with you long after the credits roll and it’s truly some upsetting stuff.

Rating: 8.5/10

2. Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge

After the balls out crazy ending of Puppet Master II, having part three be a step backwards into Toulon’s past feels like a bit of a cheat. This however turns out to be far from a wasted detour, with it actually getting a ton of mileage out of this flashback story. All while still managing to be one of the crazier, satisfying installments in the series.

This very much works as Toulon’s origin story so to speak, where you see his relationship with his puppets blossoming in the first place and him needing to put his skills to use during World War II. The film also hinges upon the love between Toulon and Elsa, as well as his affection for his creations, where all of this feels very genuine and connects on a surprising emotional level. It leaves you really wanting to see Toulon succeed through all of this.

This is also the film in the series that introduces Six Shooter—the six-armed trigger-happy cowboy—into the mix, which is absolutely good news. He’s one of the better puppets in the series and throws a nice heap of creativity into the fray. Most importantly, there are a lot of murders up in this Puppet Master film! I want to say that is contains the most murders out of any film in the series. The deaths start out surprisingly early and don’t hold back in the brutality department. Tunneler gets everyone in pretty much the worst spots imaginable. The fact that these are all Nazis that are being killed makes it feel like the film takes license to be a little more ruthless and go harsher with the violence and group deaths. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but they’re definitely the focus of the puppet-filled mayhem here.

Oh, and there are Nazi zombies in this, too! Before that was an overdone cliché in pop culture! It still plays as a cliché and largely gives an excuse to knock up the body count. The idea here though is that these Nazi zombies are the results of failed reanimation tests, which isn’t the worst idea out there. It makes sense that there’d be some trial and error to perfecting Toulon’s secret, but at the end of the day, this is still Nazi zombies.

The film goes out with a pretty fitting revenge set piece. This final death is an over the top culmination of Toulon and his puppets taking the man who killed his wife, stringing him up like a flag, no less, only to then impale him in the most inhumane way possible. It’s a crazy ending that’s literally dripping in symbolism. If you only watch one Puppet Master film set during Andre Toulon’s younger years, make it this one.

Rating: 8/10

3. Curse of the Puppet Master

Curse of the Puppet Master is a soft reboot in the best possible sense after the series gets bloated with all of the demon and Sutekh material that would dominate the fourth and fifth “final” entries in the series. The demons are ditched here in favor of just focusing on the puppets, which is exactly what you want here. The simple repositioning of the films’ premise sees a new puppet master in charge of the scamps. The film doesn’t feel the need to provide an ornate origin story here, with the montage of puppet footage that occurs under the opening credits acting as a strong primer on what these puppets are and what they’re capable of. This is the perfect sort of economical way of reintroducing this world after the (long) four years between films

The puppets end up finding themselves in Dr. Magrew’s house of curiosities, where they’re discovered by the film’s new puppet master, a mechanic who the film lovingly nicknames “Tank.” One of Curse of the Puppet Master’s assets is that it actually spends time on characters and their development rather than simply puppet fatalities. The film even juxtaposes Tank’s talented hands and inner beauty with his love interest’s actual wisdom and beauty in a really touching way. Their romance blooms from all of this in a super sweet way, as crazy as that sounds.

Magrew is also too much fun as a stereotypical bowtie wearing, pipe smoking dad. This is a guy that is just dripping in character who says things like, “Well, I’m going to take advantage of a luxury and read the Sunday paper.” In a similar sense, Tank and his boss are also satisfying stereotypes that feel right out of the painting crew in Leprechaun. The bullies here are also the very best sort who are dangerously committed to their trade.

I understand that this might be a controversial choice to have so high, especially above the original film. But I daresay it does as good a job as Puppet Master at throwing this concept at the audience and living up the expectation of what a campy horror film under the title “Puppet Master” should look like. This is a clear case of ridiculous camp and implausible filmmaking raising a film’s popularity and cache. Curse of the Puppet Master isn’t high art (but nor is the original), but it’ a damn good time. Them calling Jane a bitch and Dr. Magrew freaking out over it is the perfect sort of dated, cliché situations you want in a film like this. It’s hardly great cinema, but it’s a hell of a lot more fun than the dour detour into 1930s Germany that the later films in the franchise decide to make their home. There are plenty of puppet murders, but where is the campy horror charm with stupid teenagers?

It’s kind of nuts how far the film takes Joey and his bullies. They’re about to borderline gang rape Jane in one scene until Tank steps in. It’s really uncomfortable, out of control stuff. Then, they later try to break into her bedroom that night to finish the job! It’s nuts. There’s a scene later on where Joey furiously works out while fantasizing about Jane giving him oral sex while he says things like, “That’s right! Do it, bitch!”. He just doesn’t stop getting worse. He’s the perfect villain, to a fault, even. He can’t die soon enough.

The film still gets some great scares out, too, like in the case of Tank’s nightmare of being a hobbled puppet or having a stomach full of clockwork guts, both of which work well and are practically done to great effect. There’s a failed puppet/human hybrid buried underground that is also great, scary stuff as well.

Curse of the Puppet Master gets the most points with me though because it has the most ludicrous ending of any of the films. Magrew has managed to transfer Tank’s consciousness into a robot puppet. This monstrosity then proceeds to electrocute Magrew in the head while Jane screams in horror as her father dies. Roll credits.

That’s it.

It’s so absurd and doesn’t even allow itself a chance to explain things. It’s not really even the end of the story, but this ridiculous ending again gives the film a little more lasting power than it would usually have. I suppose these films also do have a history with WTF abrupt endings but this is just madness in the best possible sense.

Rating: 7.5/10

4. Puppet Master


The original film that started it all, with Charles Band surely having no idea how much of an impression these creepy characters would leave on their audience. The film is grabbing right from its opening frames as Andre Toulon, puppet master, suddenly blows his brains out as the G Men come for him and his secret. That’s an engaging intro that gets you on board, has you wanting more right from the start, and that’s before the film has even gotten to the topic of killer puppets.

There’s a fantastically ‘80s vibe to this film where a team of psychics are sent to the Bodega Bay Inn, as if psychic teams are the most natural thing in the world. The way these characters “experience the past” is wonderful and feels very era appropriate. This leads to some welcome recurring dreams that have such a hyperbolized tone and are really bonkers. In fact, all of this psychic material is deliciously weird and off kilter. It feels like something from out of a different film, like one of the later Silent Night ventures or some manic Carpenter entry. Even the sterile white rooms from the dreams aren’t a look typically associated with Puppet Master. There’s also a particularly over the top performance by Neil Gallagher, the guy pulling the strings on all of this, with everyone being the trope-y sort of characters that you want in something pulpy like this.

It would have been interesting if this psychic angle was what was doubled down on in subsequent sequels, rather than the Nazi material because who knows what fruit that could bear. Imagine people getting into the heads of these puppets and seeing what they’ve been through or even temporarily possessing these puppets and acting as them? That feels a whole lot more interesting than just throwing in pint sized demons and turning the puppets into de facto heroes.

A crucial factor here is that all of the puppets get in a good, frightening kill in this establishing venture, with their specific gimmicks all feeling fun rather than derivative like in later films where it’s like they’re not even trying. These deaths are all well executed and high in the gore department. Jester is still a bit of an anomaly since his “talent” essentially just sees his expression changing as a gag, never as a means of actually hurting anyone. I don’t think he ever gets a solo kill in during the entire franchise. There’s a weird side story to explore there, I’m sure, digging into Jester’s puppet psyche…

Band’s excitement with this universe is also very clear, with creative touches being in play to show off the film’s puppet subject matter. Low angle POV shots from the puppets’ perspective are such a great idea and establish a voice very early on in this quirky horror series. That voice is further accentuated in truly shocking deaths like the initial Leech Woman leech expulsion. This kill is a pretty big deal and put together in a very impressive fashion. It’s kind of ridiculous that the victim mistakes a puppet’s kisses for a woman’s, but that just adds to the absurdity of it all. It’s commendable that they could pull something like this off, even in the first picture. The series’ ambition certainly didn’t stop there though.

Rating: 7.5/10

5. Puppet Master 4: The Demon


I think that ultimately Puppet Master 4 gets a worse reputation than it deserves. It is still very much a fun piece of horror with some wonderfully campy ‘90s moments and characters, but it also introduces demons into the series and pivots Toulon’s puppets into good guys, which holds this title back from being a classic. That’s the direction that 4 and 5 take, which is a bit of a bummer, but the puppet mayhem is still in wide supply. Rick Myers is also a worthy addition to take on the mantle of puppet master, too.

“The magic that gives my puppets life was stolen from a tribe of ancient, Egyptian sorcerers, who pledged their allegiance to the demon lord, Sutekh.” This pretty succinctly sums up the series’ new direction and current focus. The craziest thing about this is the series acts as if this was always a part of the story when there’s never been a trace of it prior, That’s like going ahead and claiming that Jason Voorhes was abducted by aliens or Michael Myers is also a werewolf and saying it’s always been canon, It almost feels like Brand and DeCoteau just came into some demon puppets and wanted to turn demons into demonade.

This whole demon mythos dominates a lot of these pictures though and basically these tiny totem demons are there to act as puppet-sized foes for the puppets to annihilate rather than humans. This was never an aspect that felt missed in the series though, and it comes off as being pretty cheesy. The giant demon, Sutekh, rings more silly than menacing, which is kind of a crucial detail. He looks like a rejected Beetleborgs villain, which is simultaneously awful and wonderful. They’ve done such a good job with miniatures in this series that it’s laughable that they struggle with bigger man-in-suit fare so badly

There is also the treat of getting a new puppet added to the roster in the form of Decapitron, a little more avant garde of a puppet who contains Toulon’s soul and wield electricity powers. In fact, this marks a point in the series where electricity becomes a fun, flashy toy that they can’t get enough of. Lasers and lightning are all over the place here. There’s even a glorious, lengthy laser tag sequence that’s meant to function as efficient puppet training but is just a screaming reminder of the time period it’s taking place in. There’s even a reintroduction of psychic characters—for no reason at all other than to move things back to this sillier direction for the series. Puppet Master 4 takes a lot of bold swings, not all of which work, but it’s still a satisfying time with these creations.

Rating: 7/10

6. Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter

Puppet Master 5 very much feels like the second-half of Puppet Master 4, with this one picking up right after the events of the previous film with Rick in a police station getting grilled over the murders from the past film. Flashbacks are used to fill in much of the previous film in a very clunky way. Plenty of stuff that doesn’t need to be shown is detailed, including copious laser tag footage.

There’s a bit of a different structure to this one with much of the film working as a rescue mission to get Rick and Blade reunited with the rest of the puppets. They’re in the danger of a corporate shill who wants them as well as Toulon’s secret formula, which will bring him in a nice cash reward from his “sponsors.” Meanwhile, frequent scenes in Sutekh’s dimension show him trying to invade the real world and gain increasing power.

It’s a little disappointing that there’s no real violence until 45 minutes into this one, and even then it’s usually just the totem demons scratching people’s faces. There are a lot of puppet versus demon scenes, with every totem that dies somewhat reducing Sutekh’s power. They do manage to fit in a scene where Torch sets someone on fire and they then proceed to fall down an elevator shaft, so it’s not all losses. While feeling like average Puppet Master in many respects, it’s still an interesting entry in the series, if only to see how it decides to wrap things up.

Rating: 6.5/10

7. Retro Puppet Master

Here’s where the massive drop off in the series begins, with the final four titles here being much worse than the six that precede them. Retro Puppet Master feels like the “Jack’s tattoo” episode of LOST of these sequels. The film is based around the idea of exploring how a young Andre Toulon learned Egyptian to do the spells necessary to achieve his puppet work. At this point the franchise is really scraping the barrel in the series’ lore with this unexplored chapter really not needing to be dug into. They’d be better off to just do a one-off with a new puppet master rather than being burdened with this intricate backstory. These are killer puppets! No one cares about the rest!

Early on a young Toulon meets a dying sorcerer (yup) who doesn’t want his craft to die with him, so he passes it onto Toulon. A nonplussed Toulon responds with, “I get it, you’re a 300 year-old sorcerer from Egypt and you want to teach me the secret to life?” This leads to them stumbling upon a corpse and using magic upon it (which is the first of many sequences of cheesy special effects), which is a solid enough sequence that’s different from the rest of the series, as this film chooses to unpack the resurrection aspect of the films a little more.

This stems into mummies being conjured back to life with preliminary puppet master magic—something that’s simultaneously both stupid and brilliant. I guess I like the idea of mummies being the proto-puppets, but this same sort of concept is played with in Puppet Master III with the experimental Nazi zombies that are created, ultimately making this feel like more of the same.

There is a certain charm to seeing a young Toulon in 1902 France making rudimentary versions of the puppets that we’ve grown to love, as well as ones that obviously fell to the wayside through his revisions, like Cyclops (whose design is great, in my opinion) and Dr. Death. Even getting some sort of scene that explains what happened to these reject puppets would have been appreciated, and wouldn’t have been hard to pull off. I also love this version of Toulon where he’s treated like some Liberace-esque, Dawson Leary-looking misunderstood artist. He’s shown as a beautiful soul who can’t express himself properly.

His puppet shows are genuinely interesting to watch as well, and I can’t help but imagine what someone like Tim Burton would have done with this material, if this prequel story were its own self-contained film. There’s a lot to mine from the backdrop that’s established here.

Retro Puppet Master takes its time to dig into young Toulon while fleshing him and his relationships out. “Make some girl puppets—some naked ones,” is a glimpse of this version of Toulon caught in a puppet sex comedy while on this bizarre journey. The film almost tries to play itself off as a humble romantic comedy between Toulon and an impassioned fan, weirdly enough. It’s 35 minutes before any puppet resurrection begins, and then not 45 until any murders are happening (and even then, it’s really just like three set pieces). But as far as backstory goes, it’s a gold mine. We even see Toulon and Elsa (you know, the woman who would become Leech Woman) meet for the first time. It just repeatedly feels like this is a movie that wants to be anything other than a horror film. It’s very much The Wizard and Glass of the series, if you know what I mean.

The film also chooses to frame itself as some sort of bedtime story that Toulon is telling his puppets in the present, which is so ridiculous, it kind of works. It’s yet another element that certainly isn’t needed though. The same can be said for the tired Dark City/The Adjustment Bureau rejects using magic to attempt to take down puppet science. It doesn’t help that there’s some truly atrocious acting going on from all of the supporting characters and extras; like extremely stilted work.

Unfortunately Retro Puppet Master contributes to a wide feeling that nothing really happens—and in the boring way, not the mockingly fun way—with there being very little pay-off behind it all. The real interest of this film is in adding to the series’ mythology, while even introducing new puppets into the fold, too. It’s just a shame that something with the same backdrop couldn’t have moved at a much faster, bloodier pace. You barely remember that there are deaths in this.

Rating: 4/10

8. Puppet Master: Axis of Evil

Axis of Evil does some interesting things right away by taking place immediately before Toulon’s infamous suicide that kicks off the original Puppet Master. The film then shows us that there was actually more to this sequence, involving a war-hungry, crippled cobbler, Danny Coogan, in the Bodega Bay Inn’s basement that was on his way to meet Toulon before his suicide. The cobbler ends up taking some of Toulon’s puppets and secrets, and heads back to war country accordingly.

While the time period and climate very much hang over the film’s head, it’s still comforting to see the movie returning to the fun, low-angle puppet POV shots that the original films played with so well—even if they are just largely cribbing on the same sequence from out of the first film. It marks an appreciated respect for the franchise’s history.

A lot of the story here has to deal with Danny and his brother, eager to enlist and fight in the war for their country. Like many of the later entries in the Puppet Master series, this one takes its time with it not being 45 minutes until Danny and his brother’s malaise leads to any considerable puppet action. And after that point, there’s really only two major death pieces to speak of. Thankfully the film does throw some new puppets at us (and it’s about time), it’s just a shame that they have to be so steeped in the xenophobic times that these films are set. The “Ninja”-looking puppet is simply named Ninja, and is introduced extremely late in the game and feels more like an afterthought. There’s some particularly embarrassing material involving a geisha that also cranks up the cringe meter.

Really the best part of the movie is seeing the film integrate Leech Woman with the film’s inherent Asian flavor. A ridiculous scene—which is also maybe the only piece of the film that you really need to watch—sees her spewing leeches into someone’s sushi, them being eaten obliviously, and it killing them from the inside out. It’s a sequence better than anything out of the past two films and actually one of the better kills to come out of the series in some time.

In spite of any missteps taken here, Axis of Evil opens the larger question as to whether Band always intended for Puppet Master to be such a companion piece to Nazism, or if he just found a niche from the series’ chronology that made sense to explore further. It’s a shame that the other Puppet Master trilogy that was supposed to happen post-part 5 that was a big love letter to the classic Universal monster movies and Hammer films never ended up coming together, with this instead being the trilogy that the franchise would ultimately be known for. Each film in this proposed trilogy would have taken on a different classic monster, from Dracula, to Frankenstein’s Monster, to the Mummy. Arguably still a contentious direction for the series to take, it’s one that’s still undeniably more fun than this rabbit hole into the Reich.

Rating: 3.5/10

9. Puppet Master X: Axis Rising

Axis Rising picks up right where the previous film left off, but manages to up the stakes considerably. Now Danny is looking to use Toulon’s formula to bring to life an army of immortal soldiers to battle the Nazis. On the other side of things, the Nazis are trying to build a Resurrection Device using the same science in order to make sure their army is unstoppable. Take a second to process those sentences because that almost doesn’t even feel like a Puppet Master movie, but rather the premise to some grindhouse venture where science fiction is the key to winning some what if? version of WWII. Unfortunately, it’s not as bonkers of a ride as it should be.

A lot of the film spends time on Danny, his Peggy Carter-esque girlfriend, and her crotchety drill sergeant father as they all struggle to live together in this weird dynamic. Again, this isn’t a premise that you exactly need in a Puppet Master film, but it continues the ongoing “persevering for love theme” present, I suppose. There’s graciously some murder present right out of the gate in the film’s cold open, but honestly a lot of this film is just the bad guys posturing their evil plan while very little actually goes on.

Some goodwill is earned on the film’s behalf by the Nazi zombie warrior rejects having legitimately horrifying make-up and looking like something reminiscent of The Fly. I’d be much more entertained if the film took the direction of looking at failed puppet master experiments and the ensuing body horror that accompanies it. Axis Rising, alas, merely broaches the topic.

On the plus side, the film does contain the Nazis creating their own brand of puppets, Blitzkrieg, Bombshell, Weremacht (who arguably does nothing), and Kamikaze (a tremendous Asian stereotype). It is nice to get some new puppets (and it’s this introduction of new puppets that alone elevates this from a 2.5 to a 3 out of 10), as well as the inevitable puppets versus puppets showdown that it leads to. There is even a stupid puppet “cat fight” scene where Leech Woman and Bombshell slap each other and have at it.

The film is also just a bombardment of gratuitous busty Nazi dames (complete with riding crop) that are meant to be eye candy. The film also gets pretty “Master Race-y” for a while as you just watch Aryans macking on each other. The film has you spend a lot of time with Nazis, and while admittedly a lot of them are stereotypes, you do acclimate to them some. This is a weird headspace to find yourself in, especially when so much of Puppet Master’s theme is about the underdog overcoming odds.

As disappointing as these “Axis” entries are, Puppet Master: Axis Termination is already set to be the final part of this “Axis Trilogy,” which will see release in 2016 and bring this saga of tiny historically-based terror to an end. These later films are just slower than the original ones and are arguably more about the war than puppets, and debatably resembling bizarro historical dramas more than horror films. Hopefully this balance will be reconciled some in the final piece of this story.

Rating: 3/10

10. Puppet Master: The Legacy

This is it, guys. Nadir city. Right off the bat, let me say that this might be the worst movie I’ve ever seen. The thing barely even earns the right to be called a movie. I used to think Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 was the laziest, most insulting sequel that I’d ever seen with how egregiously it reuses footage. The Legacy not only goes even further in the recycling department, but it’s got a shorter runtime to boot, and is lacking anything like SNDN2’s bewildering “Garbage Day” sequence. At least SNDN2 is fun in how it insults you…

This spectacle is a mere seventy minutes long and only seven minutes are of new footage! How can they get away with that! The credits (which steal their idea from the superior Curse of the Puppet Master) even state, “Additional Material Written by Gabriel Yarbrough” so as to make an actual distinction between how much script is recycled material. This should be a DVD extra or special that airs on TV that primes you for the next film, catching up the initiated, not a film unto itself. It’s just such an insult, especially when it kills so many beloved characters off screen and reveals it all through clunky exposition.

The basic structure of this begins with a forced, “Okay Puppet Master, tell me everything…” and then the film immediately going into recycled footage. So much of the initial flashbacks that are shown are only from the previous film too, making their inclusion even less necessary. Basically The Legacy gives you approximately fifteen or thirty seconds in the present as Toulon’s tape recorder is being listened to, before then shifting back into footage from previous films. It’s all just wraparound material.

When a story does manage to reveal itself through all of this, it focuses on the idea of Toulon’s puppets wanting to have their magic reversed and be turned back into humans—an ending that would actually be pretty fitting to everything and connecting back to these restless spirits receiving autonomy. The concept of puppets wanting revenge on their puppet master and hating their “life” is an interesting one, but immediately wasted. I also actually kind of like the idea of an assassin being hired to take out the current puppet masters so someone new can inherit them. That being said, the execution of all of this is done in the worst possible way and hits every cliché in the lady spy handbook.

Almost half of this movie’s flashbacks are devoted to young Toulon and events that happen pre-Puppet Master, which I guess makes sense for a film that’s interested in the formula to life. These aren’t the fun clips from the series that the fans want to re-visit! Show us stuff from the good films. Show us crazy giant puppet lady, Camille! Granted, the flashbacks do eventually get into the events of Puppet Master 4 and 5 (they even get Baker from Puppet Master 4 to record a fancy new voiceover to fill in gaps rather than actually having him appear), but the film still shows so much of useless content that is only relevant to the actual films in their original context. The supercuts that they assemble don’t even make sense without watching the original films and are left feeling super disjointed. It’s like these people have no idea on how to pull relevant clips in the first place, and yet that’s all that the movie is.

The most insulting thing about all of this is that the movie doesn’t even have an ending! A white flash goes off, meant to signify some unseen assailant firing a weapon. It ends on a question mark of a whodunit, as if some big reveal is waiting in the next chronological film, yet it’s something that’s never followed up and even if it was it wouldn’t mean anything! The creators don’t even know how this wraps up. This film is literally five pages of exposition spread out across seventy minutes that doesn’t even have a resolution to fall back on. Then, to rub salt in the wound, the film decides to use all of this as some sort of celebration of the series as a whole, using this horrible non-ending as some sort of finishing touch to go out on. The following text plasters the screen:

“THE PRODUCERS WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL THE CAST AND CREW WHO HAVE HELPED MAKE THE PUPPET MASTER SERIES SUCH A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS OVER THE YEARS”

Clearly this is meant to be some sort of conclusion to the franchise since no other film in the series concludes with such a finalizing acknowledgement. It’s like it’s saying, “Here! Let this embarrassing excuse of a film be your final memory of it while it leaves a bad taste in your mouth!” Every decision here is maddening.

Rating: 0.5/10

Clearly through the course of several decades and nearly a dozen films, the Puppet Master franchise chooses to tackle a lot, whether its Nazis, resurrection, or demons. There’s an absolute charm to this horror series that tows the line of the absurd so frequently. With such an uproar being voiced when iconic horror villains like Jason or Freddy get re-cast, it’s surprising to remember that the antagonizers here are stop-motion, and yet they still connect. It’s also one of the few franchises where the original creator remains involved in some capacity for every film, maintaining its authenticity and keeping its voice—albeit a wonky one—intact.

Zahler’s “reboot” of the franchise looks to be continuing to put the series’ Nazi angle in the spotlight (the film has the working title, The Littlest Reich), so clearly that aspect isn’t going away anytime soon. In the meantime, Puppet Master comics continue to be in publication and continue much in the tradition of the “core” five films, with the demon angle being a prominent focus, too. Regardless of which of these directions for the series you prefer, you’re not going to be in short supply of these deadly puppets killing for their Puppet Master any time soon.

Categories: Horror News

Vote for ‘The Purge: Election Year’ By Getting Tickets Now

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 13:01

While the actual election is months away, Universal Pictures will have fans voting “Yes” to The Purge: Election Year, in theaters this Friday.

The Purge: Election Year preps American’s for the next terrifying chapter that occurs over 12 hours of annual lawlessness sanctioned by the New Founders of America to keep this country great.

Ticket are now on sale, and can be picked up as theaters everywhere as well as online retailers, such as Fandango.

In The Purge: Election Year, it’s been two years since Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) stopped himself from a regrettable act of revenge on Purge Night. Now serving as head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), his mission is to protect her in a run for president and survive the annual ritual that targets the poor and innocent. But when a betrayal forces them onto the streets of D.C. on the one night when no help is available, they must stay alive until dawn…or both be sacrificed for their sins against the state.

[Related Post] The Purge: Election Year Trailer Gets Political!

With our own election to happen later this year, it’s a brilliant marketing move by Universal to tie their own campaign to it and use it to support the film’s release, in theaters Friday. Avoiding the annual Purge is just un-American!

James DeMonaco directs The Purge: Election Year with returning producers Blumhouse Productions (Insidious, Ouija) and Platinum Dunes (Friday the 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) aboard once again.

Twitter: @UniversalHorror – https://twitter.com/universalhorror
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepurgemovie/
Youtube: Universal Pictures – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXMp9fBomJw
Tumblr: http://www.thepurgeelectionyear.com/

Categories: Horror News

“Something is Coming…” in Second Trailer for Netflix’s “Stranger Things”

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 11:55

The upcoming Netflix original series “Stranger Things” has just received a new trailer that will only amplify everyone’s feelings that this is basically an Amblin-esque production. Whereas the first trailer aimed to focus on the mystery that the show will present, this one clearly focuses on the triumph and exhilaration of everyone working together.

An innocent night playing Dungeons & Dragons takes a tragic turn for a group of friends in Hawkins Indiana when Will Byers disappears…seemingly into thin air. The year is 1983 and this small town is abuzz with conspiracy theories behind the missing boy’s circumstances. As friends, family and local police search for answers behind his disappearance they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and the discovery of one very strange little girl. Her appearance and powers appear super human and the boys begin to understand that she might have a sinister connection to their missing friend.

The show stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, Cara Buono, Charlie Heaton, and Matthew Modine.

Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer (“Wayward Pines”) will be acting as writers, directors, and co-showrunners for the series with Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen acting as executive producers.

“Stranger Things” debuts on July 15th.

Categories: Horror News

Adam Wingard Starts Writing His ‘Death Note’

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 11:46

Principal photography has kicked off for Adam Wingard’s manga-to-film adaptation of the Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata penned series Death Note with a 2017 release date planned for the Netflix original feature film.

Wingard proclaims, “I am honored to be working with this great cast and I look forward to bringing Tsugumi and Takeshi’s unique story to a global audience.”

‘Death Note’ follows a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook, realizing it holds within it a great power; if the owner inscribes someone’s name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated with his new godlike abilities, the young man begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.

The movie stars Nat Wolff (Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars) as Light Turner; Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys, The Leftovers) as Mia Sutton; Keith Stanfield (Straight Outta Compton, Dope, Short Term 12) as “L”; Paul Nakauchi (Alpha and Omega) as Watari; and Shea Whigham (“Agent Carter”, “Boardwalk Empire”) as James Turner.

The film will be produced by Roy Lee (The Ring, The Departed), Dan Lin (The Lego Movie, Sherlock Holmes), Jason Hoffs (Edge of Tomorrow), and Masi Oka (“Heroes Reborn”, “Hawaii-Five-0”).

Lee and Din add, “Our vision for Death Note has always been to bring this captivating story to the screen for its longtime manga fans and to introduce the world to this dark and mysterious masterpiece. The talent and diversity represented in our cast, writing, and producing teams reflect our belief in staying true to the story’s concept of moral relevance — a universal theme that knows no racial boundaries.”

Wingard is currently getting ready to see the release of the upcoming horror film The Woods, which reunited him with frequent writing collaborator Simon Barrett. The duo had segments in V/H/S and its sequel.

Categories: Horror News

Honest Trailers Dares to Dive Against ‘Jaws’

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 11:22

If you haven’t seen the “Honest Trailers” series that Screen Junkies airs, you’re kinda missing out. They take movies and skewer them in the most delightful and hilarious of ways, never really by saying anything negative but more by aiming a spotlight at any sort of glaring error or silly occurrence that pops up.

This week, the series has decided to brave the waters of Amity Island to face the greatest shark horror movie put to celluloid, Jaws! Listen and chuckle along with the review as it pokes fun at Quint’s sea shanties, the town’s despicable mayor, and the gratuitous amount of leg shots!

But seriously, I think we can all agree that Jaws is a prime example of brilliant horror. Likable characters, fantastic suspense, and an iconic score that would clear out a swimming pool in no time flat.

Categories: Horror News

Wanna See Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Chris Evans In ‘Akira’ Concept Art?!

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 11:01

Getting a live-action adaptation of Akira off the ground has been like World War III for Warner Bros.

It’s publicly been in development since 2002 and has seen a wide array of directors attached (the latest rumor is that Warner Bros. wants Fast & Furious and Star Trek Beyond‘s Justin Lin at the helm).

But among the first was Ruairí Robinson, who is one of my favorite filmmakers. Robinson, who directed the Child’s Play-esque “Blinky,” about a robot that goes psycho, had been in deep development before the project was turned back over to the studio (who then hired Albert and Allen Hughes; see their unused storyboards here).

The live-action version would be set in New Manhattan and follow the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, Tetsuo, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.

While I just came across this treasure trove, Robinson apparently had shared incredible concept art back in 2014.

The art imagines Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tetsuo (“Travis”), with Captain America‘s Chris Evans as Kaneda, while also diving into what Neo-New York would look like before and after the apocalypse.

Even though Chronicle did up a similar story phenomenally, I’ve been dying to see Akira realized. It’s crazy to think this has been in development longer than us horror fans were waiting for Freddy vs Jason!

Robinson would have been the perfect choice, as would the studio’s other inspired choices like, yup, The Shallows‘ Jaume Collet-Serra.

Anyways, here’s a look at some of the cooler pieces of concept art, while there’s a ton more, with storyboards(!) at Robinson’s official website.

Categories: Horror News

Atticus Ross & NIN’s Trent Reznor Release New Song “Juno”

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:43

Secrets lie deep within Jupiter, shrouded in the solar system’s strongest magnetic field and most lethal radiation belts. Juno will see Jupiter for what it really is, but first it must pass the trial of orbit insertion.

On July 4th, NASA’s Juno spacecraft will be entering the orbit of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. It’s a mission that has been in the making for nearly five years, having launched on August 5th, 2011.

Today, a trailer was released to let people know what’s going on. In that trailer, you’ll hear the music of none other than composing duo Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, who also composed The Social Network and Gone Girl. The track, aptly titled “Juno”, is over 8 minutes meant to mimic the giant planet. The track is described as, “…deeply cinematic — from its feverish atmospherics to its chains of glassy melody to its haunting textures, which sound like the surface of some distant planet must feel.

“Juno” has been made available on iTunes.

Categories: Horror News

Extremely Rare ‘Vampire Hunter D’ Short Story Being Adapted Into a Comic Book

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:15

While we’re all waiting for more news on the upcoming “Vampire Hunter D” CGI series, Unified Pictures has announced that today they’re opening a Kickstarter that will adapt a nearly never-before-read short story written by D creator Hideyuki Kikuchi for a fan event in Japan but was never reprinted or translated…until now.

Unified Pictures explains, “We’re creating a multi-issue comic book series for “Vampire Hunter D: Message” from Mars. It’s an adaptation of “Message from Cecile”, a Vampire Hunter D short story by Hideyuki Kikuchi. This story was only published for a fan event in Japan and will make it’s English debut in this comic book series published by Stranger Comics.”

The limited edition comic will be written by Brandon Easton (Bad Moon Rising, “Agent Carter”) with page art by Michael Broussard (The Darkness, Captain Midnight, The Walking Dead, Castlevania, Minecraft: Story Mode) and concept art from Christopher Shy (Dead Space: Salvage, Pathfinder, Ascend).

The Kickstarter is hoping to raise X amount and they have some pretty incredible rewards available depending on which tier backers support. These include a printed copy of issue #1 with a Kickstarter exclusive cover, art prints, buttons, patches and even a life sized 3D printed model of the Left Hand.

For those who want to be immortalized, there’s even a tier where you can send in a likeness of yourself and you’ll be put in the comic where you’ll be killed by D! I think we can all admit that that’s a badass way to have a presence beyond the grave!

The campaign will run from June 30th, 2016 (the start of Anime Expo) and conclude on August 8th, 2016 (the last day of Gen Con), so make sure to get your support in before it’s too late!

Categories: Horror News

Even More Dolls On the Set of ‘Annabelle 2’

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 09:39

Bloody Disgusting tipster Mike Magnano loves to dig for goodies hiding on social media, and came across shots of Talitha Bateman on the set of Annabelle 2, which is currently lensing in Los Angeles. In the shots, we see Bateman pouting in a room in which she’s surrounded by dolls.

Lights Out‘s David F. Sandberg is helming the follow up to 2014’s hugely successful Annabelle, which scared up nearly $257 million at the worldwide box office during its run in theaters.

In Annabelle 2, “Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

[Related] Annabelle Sequel Will Be the Godfather II of Creepy Doll Movies (Exclusive)

The full cast includes Stephanie Sigman (pictured above in Spectre), Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave), Lulu Wilson (upcoming Ouija 2, Deliver Us from Evil), Philippa Anne Coulthard (After the Dark), Grace Fulton (Badland), Lou Lou Safran (The Choice), Samara Lee (Fox Catcher, The Last Witch Hunter), Tayler Buck in her feature film debut, with Anthony LaPaglia (TV’s Without a Trace) and Miranda Otto (Showtime’s Homeland, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy).

Sandberg directs from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman, who also wrote Annabelle.

Annabelle 2 is slated for release on May 19, 2017.

Categories: Horror News

Arrow to Release ‘Microwave Massacre’ and ‘The Bloodstained Butterfly’ in August!

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 09:30

Arrow Video has two new Blu-ray releases lined up for August in Microwave Massacre and The Bloodstained Butterfly. I’ve never seen either film but both are clearly in a battle for best movie title ever.

Check out the full details below!

Microwave Massacre [Blu-ray + DVD] (August 16th)
THEY CAME FOR DINNER…TO FIND THEY WERE IT!!

Microwave Massacre stars legendary stand-up comedian and actor Jackie Vernon as Donald, a disgruntled construction worker whose wife’s predilection for haute cuisine drives him to cannibalism.

Donald unwittingly stumbles upon a solution to his two major problems in his life – his nagging wife and his lack of decent meals – when, one night, he bludgeons his better half to death with a pepper grinder in a drunken rage. Thinking on his feet, Donald dismembers the body and sets about microwaving the remains, which turn out to be rather delicious. Trouble is, now he has a taste for human flesh that needs satisfying…

Eschewing all notions of good taste, Wayne Berwick’s Microwave Massacre is a deliciously depraved exercise in political incorrectness that has gone on to gain a cult following thanks to a characteristically deadpan performance from Vernon, who delivers such choice lines as “I’m so hungry I could eat a whore.” Vegetarians need not apply!

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
– Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
– Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Brand new audio commentary with writer-producer Craig Muckler, moderated by Mike Tristano
– Brand new making-of featurette including interviews with Muckler, director Wayne Berwick and actor Loren Schein
– Trailer
– Original treatment and 8-page synopsis (BD/DVD-ROM content)
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter

 

The Bloodstained Butterfly [Blu-ray + DVD] (August 23rd)

Directed by Duccio Tessari (Death Occurred Last Night, A Pistol for Ringo), The Bloodstained Butterfly melds the lurid giallo traditions popularized by Dario Argento and Mario Bava with courtroom drama, resulting in a film that is as concerned with forensic detail and legal process as it is with grisly murders and audacious set-pieces.

When a young female student is savagely killed in a park during a thunderstorm, the culprit seems obvious: her lover, TV sports personality Alessandro Marchi (Giancarlo Sbragia, Death Rage), seen fleeing the scene of the crime by numerous eyewitnesses. The evidence against him is damning… but is it all too convenient? And when the killer strikes again while Marchi is in custody, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s more to the case than meets the eye…

Starring 70s heartthrob Helmut Berger (Dorian Gray, The Godfather: Part III) alongside genre mainstays Evelyn Stewart (The Psychic, The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail) and Carole André (Colt 38 Special Squad), and featuring a score by Gianni Ferrio (Death Walks at Midnight), The Bloodstained Butterfly is presented uncut and in a sumptuous new 4K restoration that allows this unique and haunting thriller to shine like never before!

BONUS MATERIALS
– Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
– Original Italian and English soundtracks in DTS-HD MA mono 1.0
– Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
– New audio commentary with critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman
– Murder in B-Flat Minor, a new visual essay on the film, its cast and crew by author Troy Howarth.
– Mad Dog Helmut, a new interview with actor Helmut Berger
– Exclusive introduction by Helmut Berger
– New interview with actress Evelyn Stewart/Ida Galli
– Interview with Lorella De Luca, actress and wife of director Duccio Tessari
– Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
– Gallery of original promotional images
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
– Limited edition 36-page booklet (first pressing only) illustrated by Tonci Zonjic, containing writing by James Blackford, Howard Hughes and Leonard Jacobs

Categories: Horror News

This ‘Scorn’ Trailer Isn’t for the Squeamish

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 09:00

I could list a myriad reasons why you should care about the upcoming PC horror adventure game Scorn, so we’ll begin with its most striking feature. The eye candy you see here might not seem too alien if you’re familiar with the works of Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński, a master of gothic and dystopian surrealism, whose style has guided the look of the game’s “nightmarish universe of odd forms and somber tapestry.”

To think, this game almost didn’t happen. An unsuccessful attempt at crowdfunding didn’t stop Ebb Software, and I’m glad for it. With the help of a private investor, the studio was allowed to continue its development, but not without a cost. The Kickstarter campaign forced them to split Scorn into two parts, with the first coming in 2017.

When its finished, that’s it. “There will be no DLC, expansions or sequels. Ever.”

Scorn is a first-person horror game with a “limited” inventory, no HUD or cinematics, and a “lived in” world comprised of interconnected regions. Like Dark Souls, it’s nonlinear so as to encourage players to explore and learn its rules without the aid of a tutorial. You may want to look around anyway, since “every location contains its own theme (story), puzzles and characters,” says Ebb Software. “Throughout the game you will open up new areas, acquire different skill sets, weapons, various items and try to comprehend the sights presented to you.”

Did I mention Scorn has a weapon that resembles that gun from eXistenZ?

For more on this lovely game, check it out on Steam Greenlight.

Categories: Horror News

Leaked ‘BioShock: The Collection’ Screens Look Great

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 08:30

After months of speculation and leaked listings by two ratings boards and one retailer, it seems as if the existence of a BioShock: The Collection has been leaked again, and this time it came from 2K’s own website. The bundle was spotted by the all-seeing eye of NeoGAF, along with screenshots taken from the site that have all since been removed.

Based on the details we have — all unconfirmed — the collection will include remasters of the full BioShock trilogy when it arrives on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

These screens show off what’s been improved in the BioShock remaster:

And here’s some more…


Would You Buy BioShock: The Collection?
[Source: NeoGAF 1, 2]

Categories: Horror News

‘The Brookhaven Experiment’ Enters the Reservoir

bloody disgusting - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 08:00

In the latest teaser for Phosphor Games’ upcoming virtual reality horror game The Brookhaven Experiment we get our very first glimpse at a brand new map called The Reservoir. It might also feature Radscorpions, or something equally terrifying. Unfortunately, we’re given only a brief glimpse at the insectoid abomination before the video ends, leaving us with a cliffhanger we won’t have to put up with for very long. This freaky first-person shooter releases on July 5, exclusively for the HTC Vive.

In The Brookhaven Experiment, the goal is to survive against an onslaught of living horrors using an arsenal of weapons that can be upgraded. Be cautious going in, as its Steam page also mentions “Occasional Pants Wetting” as a feature, and to my knowledge, its $14.99 (reg. $19.99) price tag does not include include a pair of Depends.

And if you missed this video of an elderly man pistol-whipping hordes of monsters because he ran out of bullets, you owe it to yourself to fix that.

Categories: Horror News

‘Inside’ is Out Now on Xbox One

bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/29/2016 - 23:28

It’s been six long years since Playdead gifted us with the acclaimed 2D puzzler Limbo, but its spirit lives on in the studio’s next drearily atmospheric 2.5D puzzler, Inside. The two games even star a lone boy and his harrowing journey through a frightening world inhabited by seemingly malevolent machines and a sedated, almost zombie-like populace.

Inside is available now on Xbox One, followed by Steam on July 7.

Categories: Horror News

‘Annabelle’ Sequel Begins Filming!

bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/29/2016 - 19:06

Principal photography has begun on New Line Cinema’s Annabelle 2, with Lights Out‘s David F. Sandberg helming the follow up to 2014’s hugely successful Annabelle, which scared up nearly $257 million at the worldwide box office during its run in theaters.

In Annabelle 2, “Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

[Related] Annabelle Sequel Will Be the Godfather II of Creepy Doll Movies (Exclusive)

The full cast includes Stephanie Sigman (pictured above in Spectre), Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave), Lulu Wilson (upcoming Ouija 2, Deliver Us from Evil), Philippa Anne Coulthard (After the Dark), Grace Fulton (Badland), Lou Lou Safran (The Choice), Samara Lee (Fox Catcher, The Last Witch Hunter), Tayler Buck in her feature film debut, with Anthony LaPaglia (TV’s Without a Trace) and Miranda Otto (Showtime’s Homeland, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy).

Sandberg directs from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman, who also wrote Annabelle.

Filming is taking place in Los Angeles.

The new film is once again being produced by Peter Safran and James Wan, who also partnered so effectively on The Conjuring movies.

Collaborating with Sandberg behind-the-scenes from his Lights Out team are production designer Jennifer Spence and editor Michel Aller, joined by director of photography Maxime Alexandre (The Other Side of the Door) and costume designer Leah Butler (Paranormal Activity 3 & 4).

Annabelle 2 is slated for release on May 19, 2017.

Categories: Horror News

Our Most Anticipated Sci-fi Horror Games!

bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/29/2016 - 17:00

It’s odd that a genre like science fiction would have so much trouble capturing our imaginations, when its imaginative by its nature. It covers some objectively awesome topics, from our always evolving technology to space travel and impossible encounters with extraterrestrial beings. Its fascinating, mind-bending stuff.

Sci-fi has always struggled to deliver hit franchises at the same frantic pace as the competition, with their apocalyptic wastelands populated by hordes of the undead, isolated mansions haunted by restless spirits and elaborate traps built by clever sociopaths. And yet, the genre has only managed to produce a handful of short-lived hits in series like Doom and Dead Space — their relative rarity offset by the disproportionately greater impact these games often have on the rest of the horror genre.

This woefully underappreciated genre has enjoyed a small resurgence in the last few years — particularly among indie developers — led by Alien: Isolation, SOMA, Stasis, Duskers and the ongoing revival of System Shock that have been working to pave the way for a new wave of exceptional-looking sci-fi horror games, starting with…


Phantaruk is likely to be the first game on this list to come out. Or it might not, since none of the following titles have been given firm release dates as I write this. Polish developer Polyslash has spent more than two years building the game and the gargantuan spaceship in which it takes place.

Why We’re Excited: There’s real potential in its narrative and the themes it boldly tackles, like transhumanism and existentialism.

Release Date: August 2016 (PC, Mac, Linux)


NYVYE Studios’ beautiful horror game P.A.M.E.L.A. may be the most visually stunning game on this list, in part, because of its bold use of color. The environments remind me of the splashes of color that made the environments in Mirror’s Edge so delightful to look at, only the city of Eden appears to take place much further into the future. That name is horribly misleading, by the way, as the word ‘Eden’ is rarely conjures images of failed dystopian worlds infested by humanoid creatures.

Did I mention the Halo-inspired plasma sword, because P.A.M.E.L.A. has that too.

Why We’re Excited: The enemies we’ve seen (so far) haven’t looked particularly original, but the vivid world they inhabit more than makes up for that. Eden is neon nightmare eye candy, and I’m itching to spend some time in it.

Release Date: Fall 2016 (PC)


The Brotherhood is expanding on the frightening world they first realized in the isometric horror game Stasis, which also happens to serve as the foundation for its latest standalone chapter, Cayne. The game revolves around Hadley, a new mother who wakes up in a seemingly abandoned medical facility that’s been turned into a crime scene. It’ll take about as long as a feature-length film to finish, and it benefits from the Unity 5 engine — Stasis used Unity 4 — so fans can expect an even prettier old-school adventure game when it releases later this year.

Why We’re Excited: It’s reminiscent of Dead Space, which its developer has confirmed to be a source of inspiration for it, and it’s a standalone expansion, so you don’t need to own Stasis to play it.

Release Date: Fall 2016 (PC, Mac)


Aliens haven’t been very scary for a long time, and that’s just wrong. It’s also why I’m thrilled that The Hum: Abductions — one of our most anticipated VR horror games — is a game that’ll eventually exist, because those wee grey bastards and their goofy jellyfish ships are going DOWN. Start sneezing into loaded squirt guns, just in case movies got something right about their weakness, and keep a close eye on your loved ones. No one is who they seem…

Why We’re Excited: It stars classic “grey man” aliens, big heads and all. I can’t even remember the last game about the horrors of an extraterrestrial invasion… Prey, maybe?

Release Date: Fall 2016 (PC, Mac, PS4)


A lack of updates on a game that was announced years ago can mean just about anything, but it’s rarely a good thing. And yet, just when I’m ready to give up on Lunar Software, they usually resurface with another look at their ridiculously scary-looking first-person horror game Routine. It’s been in development for a long time, and though absolutely normal for a team of three to have some difficulties overcoming the myriad obstacles of first-time games development, when it is ready to release, I hope the studio will be able to build up the hype this promising game has lost since its initial unveiling four years ago.

Why We’re Excited: Routine is heavily influenced by the roguelike genre, which can be seen in Lunar Software’s decision to get rid of the HUD, make death permanent, and offer no way to heal yourself should you happen to encounter of the horrors that lurks in that abandoned moon base.

Release Date: TBA 2016 (PC)


Bloober Team could’ve pursued an array of projects after the surprise success of their psychedelic horror game Layers of Fear, but they’ve decided to return to our favorite genre with the cerebral thriller Observer. The game was only revealed at E3 a few weeks ago, so details are scarce, but its first trailer had enough style and unease in its scant 36-second running-time to make a lasting impression.

Why We’re Excited: As much as I enjoyed Layers of Fear, it’s clear Bloober is a developer that’s willing to do something different. They’re experimental and different, and we could always use more horror games that favor strong storytelling over buckets of core.

Release Date: TBA 2016 (PC)


I am deeply impressed with how Night Dive Studios has handled the rights to the System Shock franchise. In just three years, the company has been strategic in their efforts to revive the beloved series. They eased into it with the well-made remaster System Shock: Enhanced Edition that renewed interest in the somewhat obscure survival horror series and laid the foundation for a more comprehensive remake of in next year’s System Shock reboot.

Night Dive turned to Kickstarter yesterday, seeking $900,000 — a third of which it’s managed to raise in its first 24 hours.

Why We’re Excited: Horror classics get remastered all the time. Remakes like System Shock are exceedingly rare things that deserve our support. And more importantly, there’s an entire generation of gamers who never got to experience this thrilling series, and this remake aims to remedy that.

Release Date: Late 2017 (PC, XBO – Possibly Mac, Linux)


The System Shock reboot is a lot for a relatively modest-sized studio like Night Dive to handle, so it’s up to their partners at Underworld Ascendant developer Otherside Entertainment to take the reins on the first real sequel the series has seen in nearly two decades. Voice actress Terri Brosius will return to reprise her role as the rogue AI SHODAN, as will key members of the teams behind the first two games, including concept artist Robb Waters, who’s responsible for the villain’s new look (in the banner above).

Why We’re Excited: It’s a sequel to one of gaming’s most influential franchises that’s been co-developed by several of the developers of the first two System Shock games.

Release Date: TBA (TBA)


We haven’t learned much of anything since Death Stranding was unveiled at E3 earlier this month, but we know it originated from Kojima’s canned concept for Silent Hills and that it’ll star Norman Reedus.

Why We’re Excited: It has Hideo Kojima, Norman Reedus, and one of the strangest trailers I’ve ever seen. Excited doesn’t accurately describe how I feel about it — I’m curious more than anything.

Release Date: TBA (PS4, PC)

So, which of these sci-fi horror games are you most looking forward to?


Which Game(s) Are You Anticipating the Most?

More Most Anticipated Lists:
ZOMBIES | LOVECRAFTIAN | VIRTUAL REALITY

Categories: Horror News

Jon Bernthal Hints That We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet When it Comes to “The Punisher”

bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/29/2016 - 16:56

Jon Bernthal’s portrayal of Frank Castle (aka The Punisher) still has people ranting and raving. He brought emotion, rage, and a ferocity to the role that’s never been done in terms of live action adaptations.

In an interview with Awards Daily, Bernthal explains that The Punisher we witnessed in the second season of “Daredevil” isn’t even his final form*.

I think when you’re talking about characters like these, the way they fight, what’s motivating the fight is very important. Beating someone up to drag them into jail is different than someone who is exercising his rage on people. The Frank Castle you find in this story is not The Punisher. He’s reeling from the loss of his family. He’s driven by rage and is on a singular mission to find these people who took his family from him, and do it as brutally as possible.

Remember, The Punisher is a vigilante who goes after criminals that somehow evade the justice system. He is ruthless and doesn’t give second chances. Considering we only saw him in his character arc’s infancy, I’m guessing that Bernthal has a very exciting path set up when it comes to his own show.

Still, that show is itself in infant stages. “We are going to do a show with him next year. I’m really excited about that. We’ll have to see,” Bernthal explains.

To give you a taste of just how vicious The Punisher is, check out this clip from “Daredevil” which proves that Netflix is doing things right.

*I’m on that dank meme kick today, apparently.

Categories: Horror News

Gotta Admit It, Ice-T’s Body Count Nailed Slayer’s “Raining Blood”

bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/29/2016 - 16:35

Gangsta rapper Ice-T has always been one to push boundaries, as evidenced by his band Body Count, which released its first album in 1992 and has since released an additional four. Oh, and that includes a three year hiatus. This year, the group has announced that they signed to Century Media Records and will be releasing their sixth studio album Bloodlust in 2017.

The group has seen its fair share of controversy. Their first album Body Count originally featured a track titled “Cop Killer”, which was the subject of so much discussion and criticism that Ice-T took the song off the record, although not before people like Charlton Heston and even President George H.W. Bush chimed in regarding the topic.

Sadly, Body Count has also seen tragedy in the form of the loss of three members over the years. First, was the passing of drummer Beatmaster V in 1996, who died leukemia. Then, bassist Mooseman died in 2001 in a random drive-by shooting. Lastly, guitarist D-Roc died in 2004 from lymphoma.

Through all the tragedy, the band soldiered on and, as mentioned above, signed a worldwide deal with Century Media. The group will be once again working with producer Will Putney (Upon a Burning Body, Miss May I), who worked on their previous album Manslaughter.

Ice-T explains, “With our last album ‘Manslaughter’, we tested the waters and got a great response from the fans and critics. Now it’s time to go kill it and make a more aggressive album and keep the Body Count style intact.

To give fans a taste of what’s to come, the band recently hosted a Periscope event where they livestreamed a cover performance of Slayer’s infamous track “Raining Blood”. And you know what? They fucking killed it! The band sounded tight and crisp while Ice-T nails that signature Tom Araya syncopated vocal style while at the same time introducing some swagger into the mix.

Fast forward to about 4:40-ish to get to the action and see for yourself.


LIVE on #Periscope: Testing this LIVE feature… BC Rehearsal.. https://t.co/5q909k5BAw

— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) June 22, 2016

[H/T MetalSucks]

Categories: Horror News

‘Pandorum’ Director Boards ‘The Fox Mission’

bloody disgusting - Wed, 06/29/2016 - 16:09

German director Christian Alvart first broke out with the stylish and twisted serial killer procedural Antibodies. The success of that film was enough for America to take note and the filmmaker was quickly attached to a number of Hollywood films, two of which –  the deep space horror film Pandorum and supernatural thriller Case 39 – were released the same year, 2009.

Despite both those films being largely great genre pieces (Pandorum particularly), neither were considered hits at the domestic box office and Alvart’s American career was suddenly stymied.

Similar to the trajectory of Nicolas Winding Refn following his own disappointing first American film, Fear X,  Alvart retreated back to Europe where he kept working in his native Germany directing a number of hit films including the true-crime thriller Bank Lady and the action film Tschiller: Off Duty. 

Alvart’s production company, Syrreal Entertainment, has also been successfully inking deals with various funding partners to produce genre pictures. The latest of these is with China, considered the most important and fastest growing foreign market in the world at the moment (the last I heard had 15 new movie screens a day being erected there). Jiabo Culture has partnered to produce Alvart’s next directorial effort, an ambitious fantasy adventure film, The Fox Mission.

The official synopsis is as follows:

A nine-tailed blue fox is sent from the Spirit Mountain to the human world to kill the evil emperor.

Said to be steeped in Chinese mythology, Alvart will shoot the film in both Beijing and Berlin this autumn.

Besides The Fox Mission, Syrreal Entertainment will release the science fiction thriller SUM1 (directed by Christian Pasquariello) starring Game of Thrones‘  Iwan Rheon later this year.

Categories: Horror News