Review: “C.O.W.L” # 2

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 15:22

Issue #1 established a temporal setting of 1962 and introduced to the Chicago Six, a band of former communist super-powered villains who C.O.W.L are in the process of eliminating from the city. The concern, as is more so explored in issue #2, is once the threat of evil is neutralized, will the league become obsolete?

WRITTEN BY: Kyle Higgins

ART BY: Alec Siegel

PUBLISHER: Image Comics

PRICE: $2.99

RELEASE: June 25, 2014

Reviewed by Nick Brehmer

 

 

The first thing I thought after reading the first two issues of  “C.O.W.L” was ‘The Incredibles with curse words’. Don’t take that as a dismissal — it’s terrific. C.O.W.L (the Chicago Organized Workers League) is, as issue #2’s front matter describes, “the world’s first superhero union league.” There’s a bureau, filing cabinets, and even hints of in-office romantic drama. The identities of the organization’s members seem to be known to the public to the extent where they’ve become celebrities, having costumes made by designers. They even partake in photo-shoots and magazine profiles. C.O.W.L’s mission, however, is to “stop costumed and superhero crime.” For reasons yet to be fully understood, superpowers appear to be bestowed on multitudes of citizens in varying degrees and for different reasons. Obviously, those with more dangerous powers are those who C.O.W.L hunts down first.

Issue #2 picks up after the fast-pace opening of the series, which had the agents of C.O.W.L engaged in an epic battle above the skyline of Chicago with the last member of the Chicago Six, ex-KGB Skylancer. We get a glimpse at the history of C.O.W.L and its beginnings in WWII with the now-chief Geoffrey Warner (codename The Grey Raven), Reginald Davis (codename Blaze), and the mysterious “Sparrow”, who Warner seems keen to forget. Agent John Pierce, an unpowered C.O.W.L detective, is concerned over the discovery of sensitive C.O.W.L weaponry files found in Skylancer’s lair. Tensions are heightened when playboy Tom Hayden (codename Archlight) does not share in Pierce’s worries.

Perhaps the most gripping aspect of the C.O.W.L series is the personal trials of the agents themselves. Grant Marlowe, another unpowered patrol member of C.O.W.L, experiences growing insecurity made worse by his young son’s embitterment. Working with Karl Samoski (codename Eclipse), who is proving to be quite the anti-hero (to say the least), the two agents are called to a crime scene where the perp is suspected to have increased strength and connections to the Camden Stone crime ring. The ensuing brawl leaves one of the agents in serious condition as the fabric holding C.O.W.L together frays even more.

There’s still a lot to learn about the C.O.W.L universe and its cast of characters. The darkly beautiful artwork creates a very palpable atmosphere making the beginning of this series a joy to dive into.

Categories: Horror News

Over 9,000 Zombies! Stalks onto Steam

Dread Central - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 15:16

What does the undead scanner say about his shuffle level? IT’S OVER 9,000! Aside from incorporating Dragon Ball Z’s most memorable quote, Over 9,000 Zombies! gives PC gamers more of what they want: zombies!

On July 2nd Steam users will get early access to the strategic/action zombie game Over 9,000 Zombies! This news was accompanied by an announce trailer, featured below. Developers describe the game as "a retro-style, top-down zombie shoot ‘em up" with the trailer showcasing its action element.

But how should you greet your new zombie neighbors? Developers say, "Burn them. Shoot them. Blow them up." Over 9,000 Zombies! is being sold as a sweat-soaked demon ride through the constant hell of wave after wave of zombie onslaughts.

While the trailer is all action, developers stress a strategic element, stating you will "choose from a massive array of weapons [and] build a fortified base with automated turrets." Over 9,000 Zombies! looks to deliver the perfect marriage between action and strategy, providing the player with some variety.

But you won’t be tasked with facing the gore-drenched zombie horde alone as it has been revealed that Over 9,000 Zombies! will contain co-op play.

What should truly be fun about Over 9,000 Zombies! is a soundtrack by virtually unknown electronic noise behemoths Clearside. Check out that link for a taste of the disjointed brilliance to come.

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Categories: Horror News

Review: “Sovereign” #4

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 14:56

Image describes “Sovereign” as an “epic fantasy in the tradition of Game of Thrones”. While this issue certainly demonstrates a comparable level of complexity, with massive swaths of exposition and a truly dizzying cast of characters, it fails to capture its audience’s attention in the same way. The accessibility that has made George R. R. Martin’s series a massive hit is nowhere to be seen here, and the final product suffers greatly as a result.

WRITTEN BY: Chris Roberson

ART BY: Paul Maybury

PUBLISHER: Image Comics

PRICE: $2.99

RELEASE: June 25, 2014

Review By: Ooknabah

Sovereign #4 is divided into three parts, chronicling the inhabitants of a city besieged by the undead. Names are scarce, as is context, even while additional intrigues play out over the course of the story. Not much actually happens over the course of the issue, although it all portends to greater action to come. Still, as a new, lost reader, it is difficult to care.

This may all be solved when the series is collected in trade format, as the dense plotting almost demands the ability to flip back to previous scenes to figure out how all the various storylines manage to fit together. Being unfamiliar with what has come before, there is no doubt that many details are passing me by unnoticed. However, there is little to encourage one to delve into those previous issues to retrieve that much needed set up based off what is presented here.

Chris Roberson’s writing captures the voice of your typical fantasy novel, however the individual voices of the characters are almost indistinguishable from each other and the long exposition that covers the first third of the issue fails to entice. Paul Maybury’s art manages to produce a unique look which captures a wide variety of designs, with mixed success. At the more emotionally charged moments of the story it captures the emotions of the characters or the horror of the undead that threaten to overrun our protagonists.  At its worst, it comes across as rushed and amateurish.  

Dense to the point of being almost impenetrable, Sovereign #4 presents a considerable challenge to the new reader. Perhaps readers of previous issues may be hooked at this point and will see fit to continue, but newcomers will have a hard time finding reasons to do so.

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

Trailer For ‘Mall,’ From Linkin Park’s Joseph Hahn

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 14:41

While the film is already out in France (check out the cover art below), we now have the official U.S. theatrical trailer for Paragon Pictures’ Mall: A Day to Kill.

The pic is Linkin Park bandmate Joseph Hahn’s feature helping debut that stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Gina Gershon, Cameron Monaghan, Peter Stormare, and James Frecheville.

It’s the story of five disaffected suburbanites whose lives come together at a shopping mall following a seemingly random shooting.

Paragon is planning to release Mall this fall.

Categories: Horror News

Review: “Dream Thief” Escape #1

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 14:39

Flashbacks from the 80s are always fun. There are Miami Vice-themed duds, movie references, and the perms. “Dream Thief: Escape” #1 branches out the mythos from the original series with a clever approach to family traditions. That plus you get to gators eat people who deserve it. This sequel is a fun second chapter of this new world.

 

WRITTEN BY: Jai Nitz

ART BY: Greg Smallwood

PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics

PRICE: $3.99

RELEASE: 25 June 2014

Reviewed by: Your Friendly Neighborhood Brady

 

 

Things are never as random as they seem in comic books. Sometimes, they feel so spot-on in their delivery that it feels like you’re watching a cinematic gem. Readers are in for a treat like that in this series. Creators Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood hit the ground running in this new story. Dream Thief John Lincoln isn’t the first to don the mask which takes him over to avenge wronged ghosts. That right there is a great theme for future storylines to hop onto. I always enjoy different variations of heroes and villains than we’re already used to. Readers are witness to two in this very issue. It’s a very cool way to see where the story has come from and where it can go to down the line.

The time jumps and scenery swaps are perfectly placed. There are scenes where Lincoln has to literally wake up and jump back into his life after being possessed for untold amounts of time. Artist Greg Smallwood does both the personal moments and the grimier and grittier events exceptionally. His facial expressions really capture the moments in the story successfully.

All that and a ghost who needs the Dream Thief to pull off a break-out means this story will continue to surprise me. As supernatural as this series is based in, it’s the crime and revenge side that I find most compelling. All these ghost pass on their knowledge to the Dream Thief, whether he wants it or not. This setup leaves unlimited possibilities for what’s going to happen next. That’s just the kind of story that deserves your attention, readers. Get in on this caper / paranormal series already.

Categories: Horror News

[EXCLUSIVE Preview] “The Woods” #3

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 14:01

BOOM! Studios has graciously provided us with an exclusive preview of James Tynion IV’s “The Woods” #3. While I found the first issue to be a little muddled in stereotypical characters, I loved the premise and tease of further cosmic horror to come. Luckily things were remedied quite quickly and the book has really taken off into it’s insane little trip. I can’t imagine where things are going but Michael Dialynas’ art has been incredibly haunting. His creature designs fill me with a certain sense of dread that isn’t about to go away any time soon.

From BOOM!:

THE WOODS #3
Author: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Cover Artists: A: Ramón K. Pérez   B: Michael Dialynas (Incentive)
Price: $3.99
Synopsis: As the darkness of night falls, monsters begin to reveal themselves—from both outside and inside the school. Maria struggles to break free of her false imprisonment before Coach Clay succeeds in instilling martial law, and the exploratory crew finds themselves being hunted by unseen shadows.

 

Categories: Horror News

[Video Interview] Joel McHale Talks ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ and How He Would Kill Me!

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 14:00

Writer/director Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister) sees his new, ambitious horror film Deliver Us From Evil hit theaters on July 2nd. When the film’s casting was announced, the presence of Joel McHale (The Informant, “Community”) wasn’t something I was expecting but he actually adds a lot to the film in a way that feels more organic than you might expect.

If you look back at my set visit, you’ll see that I was caught off guard by his take on Butler, a ripped knife wielding cop. There’s more to his character than that though. A lot of people will be surprised by just how much a lot of Deliver Us From Evil feels like a Jerry Bruckheimer film (in a good way), and McHale fits right in to the slightly malevolent buddy cop atmosphere.

Check it out below! While you’re at it you can catch up with my Olivia Munn and Edgar Ramirez interviews.

Categories: Horror News

Ventenner “Wave” Song Premiere

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 14:00

Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with London-based industrial alt-rock/metal band Ventenner to bring you the exclusive track premiere for “Wave”, which comes from the upcoming album Distorture (out September 1st). The track hearkens back to the early 90′s industrial feel, reminding me of Nine Inch Nails, Filter, and Marilyn Manson with some elements of Gary Numan thrown in as well.

A very apt horror description of the album was released, stating:

Sitting in a dark place between a David Lynch and John Carpenter nightmare; this is an album that needs to breathe, its needs time and one that requires your fullest attention to delve into the captivating moments of calm and beauty and surrender to its shadowy presence.

Head below to listen to the track.

Ventenner online:
Official Website
Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud
YouTube

Tour dates:
6th September – London, Electrowekz
18th October – London, Electrowerkz w/ Hanzel Und Gretyl
30th November – London, O2 Academy w/ Orgy

Categories: Horror News

Steam Summer Sale Day 9: Alma’s Waiting

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 13:49

Steam’s Summer Sale is still here, and it’s still offering cheap games. I’ve made it my mission to sift through the bevy of sales to find the best horror deals Steam has to offer. Today’s highlights include F.E.A.R. for $2.49 (75% off) and Alan Wake for $4.50 (85% off) — but that’s not all.

If you’d like to exercise your love for democracy, you can vote here to ensure the next batch of community picked discounts cover some pretty fantastic horror games. If the horror games win, we’ll extend Alan Wake’s $4.50 price tag for another eight hours, as well as see Outlast for $4.99 (75% off), Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs for $8.99 (55% off), and Dead Space for $9.99 (50% off). If it’s cheap scares you want, you can totes make it happen.

Categories: Horror News

Universal Studios Japan’s ‘Resident Evil’ Attraction Returns in August

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 13:21

Remember that incredibly cool-looking Biohazard: The Real attraction that debuted in Universal Studios Japan last year and brought me this close to dropping everything so I could move to Japan and live in the amusement park for a month? It’s returning, and I’m sure it will tease me like a faraway Siren’s call (again) until I’m left curled in the fetal position on the floor of my bedroom, wondering which organs I can sell to afford a ticket to Japan.

Biohazard: The Real 2 will run from August 8 through to September 11, where it will transform the amusement park into the crumbling, zombie-infested town of Raccoon City. Who wants to make a trip with me to Japan?

Categories: Horror News

Fans Make ‘Resident Evil 4 HD’ Even More HD

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 12:35

When Resident Evil 4 released (again) on PC with the Ultimate HD Edition, some fans were unmoved by Capcom’s latest attempt to wring a bit more cash out of the popular game. Me? I loved it, because it did just enough for me to warrant another purchase of a game I now own for five different platforms.

If you were one of the disgruntled fans who didn’t see it as a big enough leap forward graphically, there is a group of modders who are currently working to remedy that with an HD remaster of an… HD remaster.

For those who are interested in making their copy of Resident Evil 4 HD look even better, you can download the first release on their website.

Categories: Horror News

‘Scar Tissue’ Leaves Its Mark On the UK (Trailer)

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 11:02

Evil leaves its mark in the UK when Scar Tissue arrives in cinemas July 25 and on DVD/On Demand August 4.

In the film, which now has posters and a second trailer, “Detective Sam Cross (Charity Wakefield) never got the chance for revenge. Twenty years ago, her sister became the last victim of serial child killer Edward Jansen, moments before he was shot dead by a police SWAT team.

But now, decades later, he’s back…

Luke Denham (Danny Horn) is a normal guy living a normal life until he wakes up one morning to find a mutilated corpse in his bathroom. When the police find Jansen’s DNA all over the crime scene, Luke and Sam are thrown together on a mission to uncover the truth and stop the long-dead psychopath who stalks and taunts them. Scar Tissue is a shocking, gripping and stylish thriller from the producer of The Seasoning House that reminds us how the past can be impossible to escape – evil leaves its mark.

A Sterling Pictures production, the film also stars Shaun Dingwall (Dr Who, Rock & Chips), Helen George (Call The Midwife), Tom Rosenthal (Friday Night Dinner, Plebs) and screen legend Kenneth Colley (most famous for playing Admiral Piett in the original Star Wars trilogy and Jesus in Monty Python’s Life of Brian).

Categories: Horror News

‘The Woman’s’ Pollyanna McIntosh In ‘White Settlers’ (Trailer)

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 11:01

An official website has been launched for White Settlers, a new thriller starring The Woman‘s Pollyanna McIntosh, alongside Lee Williams (“The Tudors”) and Joanne Mitchell (Before Dawn).

Directed by “Splintered’s” Simeon Halligan, take a look at the first ever images and trailer from the indie pic that debuted at Cannes.

It’s Ed and Sarah’s first night at their new home, an isolated farmhouse. This should be a new beginning away from their stressful London lives. And at first it is; come sunset they fall in love all over again as they wander in the beautiful Scottish landscape. But as darkness falls, Sarah suspects they’re not alone, Ed goes to investigate and quickly, the evening becomes a nightmare. It suddenly dawns on them; they do not belong here. And they’re certainly not welcome….

Categories: Horror News

‘Alien: Isolation’ Will Look Identical On Xbox One and PS4

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 11:00

Afraid October 7th will arrive and you won’t be able to decide which platform you should get Alien: Isolation on? Assuming you have a PS4 and/or Xbox One, or are planning on grabbing one and/or the other by October, developer Creative Assembly is making the decision an easy one.

According to Gary Napper, lead game designer on Isolation, both current-gen versions will look “identical”. Obviously, that doesn’t extend to the last-gen versions, but at least we won’t need to worry about varying frame-rates or all that other technical junk that seems to plague so many new releases these days.

The news comes from a chat with Official Xbox Magazine, where Napper confirmed “There’s no noticeable drop or change in graphics between [the PS4 and Xbox One].”

Napper describes the game as being “platform agnostic”, because “I only think about the differences between platforms and the different mechanics we can use like the light on the PS4 pad and the stuff with Kinect 2.0.” So unless you really want to use the Xbox One’s Kinect or have a certain controller preference, it won’t matter which version of the game you get.

Alien: Isolation will release on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 7.

Categories: Horror News

[Review] Sci-Fi Thriller ‘The Machine’ Explores a Worn Out Theme

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 10:59

The new British indie sci-fi thriller The Machine is drawing a lot of comparisons to Blade Runner* for its exploration of what makes us human. This one’s a lot more blatant in its approach, however. The protagonist may as well have been shown actually beating a dead horse, screaming “If she loves, she’s human!” There are a lot of other ideas packed into its script though and the production design is really slick on a humble budget. It’s a mixed bag that leads up to a wholly predictable climax, but for the most part, the good parts outweigh the bad.

In an attempt to cure his fatally ill daughter, talented neuroscientist Vincent (Toby Stephens) is secretly using his hefty government funding to develop a self-aware being of artificial intelligence. The U.S. is at war with China, so the Ministry of Defense is sparing no expense to fund Vincent, but instead of repairing wounded soldiers, he’s creating a cyborg in the visage of his former assistant Ava (Caity Lotz), who met a cruel fate at the hand of enemy goons. It’s soon clear that Ava’s empathy and moral compass is superior to the humans around her, but Vincent’s boss (Denis Lawson) isn’t interested in her emotions – he simply wants her to be the perfect weapon.

Lotz’s performance as the titular machine is genuinely moving in parts as she discovers herself and her relationship with Vincent transitions from creator to patriarch figure. When she’s “activated,” she’s essentially a newborn baby, a fragile child struggling with nature vs. nurture. Vincent acts as the nurturer while Lawson represents nature, teaching her it’s better to kill your enemies before they can get the upper hand. While her heart draws her towards VThe new British indie sci-fi thriller The Machine is drawing a lot of comparisons to Blade Runner* for its exploration of what makes us human. This one’s a lot more blatant in its approach, however. The protagonist may as well have been shown actually beating a dead horse, screaming “If she loves, she’s human!” There are a lot of other ideas packed into its script though and the production design is really slick on a humble budget. It’s a mixed bag that leads up to a wholly predictable climax, but for the most part, the good parts outweigh the bad.

In an attempt to cure his fatally ill daughter, talented neuroscientist Vincent (Toby Stephens) is secretly using his hefty government funding to develop a self-aware being of artificial intelligence. The U.S. is at war with China, so the Ministry of Defense is sparing no expense to fund Vincent, but instead of repairing wounded soldiers, he’s creating a cyborg in the visage of his former assistant Ava (Caity Lotz), who met a cruel fate at the hand of enemy goons. It’s soon clear that Ava’s empathy and moral compass is superior to the humans around her, but Vincent’s boss (Denis Lawson) isn’t interested in her emotions – he simply wants her to be the perfect weapon.

Lotz’s performance as the titular machine is genuinely moving in parts as she discovers herself and her relationship with Vincent transitions from creator to patriarch figure. When she’s “activated,” she’s essentially a newborn baby, a fragile child struggling with nature vs. nurture. Vincent acts as the nurturer while Lawson represents nature, teaching her it’s better to kill your enemies before they can get the upper hand. While her heart draws her towards Vincent, Ava is wicked good at doing martial arts in a skin-tight, flesh covered suit, so some viewers may want her to stray toward the nature side of things.

Stephens and Lotz have great chemistry on screen as he struggles through his own ethical dilemma as well. Their relationship dips into romantic territory at times, but it feels like a very organic move and never overshadows the main story. The screenplay, written by director Caradog W. James, muddles through other murky side plots that are hurriedly looked at. There’s the revolution among the reborn, brain-implanted soldiers at the research facility, as well as Chinese agents running about. This leads to a climactic insurrection you can see coming a mile away, which is made up a fairly standard shootout action scene.

While for the most part The Machine is competent, it has difficulty balancing all of these stories and its “thinking man’s sci-fi” approach. In regards to the “what makes us human” theme, this film gives layman plenty to chew on, but for seasoned sci-fi fans, nothing is really brought to the table. The relationship between man and machine was even explored more deeply in last year’s Her. But for a nice blend of action and sci-fi The Machine is a suitable, enteraining film.

* more than a thematic similarity is the shot of Vincent standing over a docile Ava, his hands cradling her head in silhouette. It’s the same “Do you love me, do you trust me?” bit from Blade Runner.incent, Ava is wicked good at doing martial arts in a skin-tight, flesh covered suit, so some viewers may want her to stray toward the nature side of things.

Stephens and Lotz have great chemistry on screen as he struggles through his own ethical dilemma as well. Their relationship dips into romantic territory at times, but it feels like a very organic move and never overshadows the main story. The screenplay, written by director Caradog W. James, muddles through other murky side plots that are hurriedly looked at. There’s the revolution among the reborn, brain-implanted soldiers at the research facility, as well as Chinese agents running about. This leads to a climactic insurrection you can see coming a mile away, which is made up a fairly standard shootout action scene.

While for the most part The Machine is competent, it has difficulty balancing all of these stories and its “thinking man’s sci-fi” approach. In regards to the “what makes us human” theme, this film gives layman plenty to chew on, but for seasoned sci-fi fans, nothing is really brought to the table. The relationship between man and machine was even explored more deeply in last year’s Her. But for a nice blend of action and sci-fi The Machine is a suitable, enteraining film.

* more than a thematic similarity is the shot of Vincent standing over a docile Ava, his hands cradling her head in silhouette. It’s the same “Do you love me, do you trust me?” bit from Blade Runner.

Categories: Horror News

[DVD Review] The Essential Episodes Collection Is a Perfect Intro to “The Twilight Zone”

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 10:54

Rod Serling’s baby has influenced popular culture for decades, and has been the basis for items ranging from comic books to stage plays to even a pinball game. The series introduced viewers to the serious side of sci-fi, as well as influenced countless artists and actors. Even today, there’s talk of a third revival of the series and another film. In preparation for the series’ 55th anniversary (and another release of the complete series on Blu-Ray and DVD), CBS and Image Entertainment have cobbled together 17 of the series’ classic episodes into a two-disc set. While I won’t go through all the episodes, I’ll give highlights, since while all these episodes are definitely essential, you probably don’t want to be sitting there for hours.

Things start off with the fifth episode from the first season, “Walking Distance”. Gig Young stars as Martin Sloan, an overworked executive longing to get back to the carefree days of his childhood, stops to have his car serviced at a gas station. Martin discovers that his hometown of Homewood is within walking distance of the gas station. After walking into town, Martin sees that things haven’t changed since he was a boy, and that in fact it’s the year 1934. While not one of Rod Serling’s favorite episodes, the focus on nostalgia and the problems it holds makes for a compelling story. Coupled with Young’s performance, Serling’s beautiful dialogue (“You’ve been looking behind you, Martin. Try looking ahead.”), and Bernard Hermann’s masterful score, this starts the set off right.

“Time Enough At Last” is the eighth episode of the first season, and concerns Burgess Meredith as Henry Bemis. Henry loves books, but the world he lives in prevents him from reading them. After an explosion that devastates his city and kills everyone save for him, Henry discovers that while he now is free to read his books, there are consequences to his wish. Exploring the theme of being careful what you wish for while also covering the difference between solitude and loneliness, Serling (basing the episode from a short story by Marilyn Venable) presents probably the most popular episode of the entire series. What makes it even scarier is the fact that in the present day of eBooks, the internet and the like, a story like this one is still very much (if not more) impactful.

In “The Eye Of The Beholder”, Maxine Stuart (and Donna Douglas) plays Janet Tyler, a societal outcast who has remained hospitalized in an effort to repair her hideously disfigured face. But after eleven operations (the maximum allowed under law), there has been no change. But just how disfigured is she? Putting a twist on the societal norms of what beauty is, the real star of this episode is the episode’s cinematography: Everyone, save for Stuart and Douglas, was filmed in shadow, heightening the suspense and making the eventual reveal of Janet Tyler’s face from under the bandages that much more striking. Director Douglas Heyes also helped things by casting the episode by having his back to the performers. The episode’s legacy is cemented with it being remade for the 2002-03 revival, as well as the numerous parodies that have ensued over the years since it’s broadcast.

Being a sucker for Orwellian stories, “The Obsolete Man” immediately hooked me. Burgess Meredith returns to the series as Romney Wordsworth, a former librarian, who is sentenced to death by the State for his obsolescence. After pleading his case to the Chancellor (Fritz Weaver) to no avail, Wordsworth requests that he be granted a personal assassin to whom he may privately disclose his preferred method of execution, as well as his death be televised. Coupled with Wordsworth’s comparisons of the Chancellor to Hitler and Stalin and the numerous themes that have become associated with totalitarian governments, the obvious message of the dangers of totalitarianism is plain to see. However, it would probably fall flat if the episode wasn’t backed by wonderful acting by Meredith and Weaver. Throw in another twist ending that is poetic and delightfully ironic, and you have another treat on your hands.

Then there’s “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, which was based on Richard Matheson’s short story of the same name, and directed by Richard Donner (yes, that Richard Donner), who went on to direct more episodes of the series. Starring William Shatner as Robert Wilson, this episode was remade for the Twilight Zone movie, and more recently, was parodied in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror IV Halloween episode (one of my favorites). Anyhoo, the story is that Robert Wilson is flying home after six months in a sanitarium after experiencing a mental breakdown on a previous flight. While en route on this flight, he encounters a horror that has him trying to save the plane from crashing. Shatner carries this episode, doing quite well at being frightened. It’s his expressions of abject horror that help drive the panic Robert Wilson is feeling. With an excellent supporting cast including Christine White and Ed Kemmer, the only real flaw is in Nick Cravat’s gremlin makeup. This was thankfully corrected in the movie version.

So, with all these classic episodes, are there any drawbacks? Well, anyone who has been keeping tabs on the series’ continued DVD and Blu-Ray releases, you’ll know that this is more or less a cash grab. The episodes, while presented intact, are just that and nothing more, leave you wanting to grab the full seasons. The individual seasons have been out on DVD for a good five years now, and the Blu-Ray versions have been out for only two years. Really, this set’s purpose is to hype the complete series boxset that’s already out, and to milk more money from the fans. If you’re a fan of the series and haven’t gotten any of sets, spring for the complete series boxset. You’ll get far more out of it rather than this sampler. If, however, you’ve never seen the Twilight Zone before, this two-disc set serves as a great (albeit barebones) introduction.

Video/Audio:
Presented in their original 4:3 full frame aspect ratio, the transfers look almost pristine. There are a few scratches, nicks and dirt, but the overall picture is clear and shows off some great detail, even for DVD.

Audio-wise, each episode is presented in its original mono track. Like the video transfer, the audio is top-notch, although given it’s origins, lacks the punch a stereo mix would have, but that’s okay. Dialogue is clear with no distortion, and music (notably Bernard Hermann’s) is also clear.

Extras:
Given that this is more or less a sampler set, there aren’t any extras.

Categories: Horror News

Bloody New Bunnyman Massacre Images Hit With a Splat

Dread Central - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 10:45

Several new stills from The Bunnyman Massacre have hit our inbox, and they definitively prove that blood red is the big guy's favorite color to dye your eggs with. I'm not sure why that sounds so dirty, but alas...

From the Press Release
Midnight Releasing is set to unleash the demented Bunnyman Massacre this August on DVD and VOD across North America. Additional information is forthcoming.

Also known as "Bunnyman 2", the film is a drastically improved sequel to the 2011 cult hit Bunnyman, which gained notoriety from a huge amount of press as well as being in heavy rotation on the cable TV channel Chiller.

The Bunnyman character was inspired by the true story of an axe-wielding man in a bunny suit who terrorized residents of Fairfax County, Virginia, in 1970. Going wild with that inspiration, writer/director Carl Lindbergh and his company, ANOC Productions, created and released Bunnyman in 2011. Despite mixed reviews, the film gained a sizable following and has been known to play back-to-back on the cable TV channel Chiller.

Bunnyman Massacre was completed in 2013, and it's obvious that the ANOC Productions crew took notes from the response to the first film. This one is leaps and bounds (pun intended) ahead of the original in all aspects, from the visual quality to the acting, direction, story, and horror elements. Bunnyman Massacre premiered on Chiller over Easter weekend this year.

If you like your horror served with heaps of gore, lots of kills, memorable characters, and dashes of nudity, humor, and general offensiveness, this film is certainly for you. And with a third installment in production, Carl Lindbergh's bloody and furry creation is on track for true horror franchise status.

"Inspired by the fans' requests, Bunnyman 2, aka The Bunnyman Massacre, was born," explains Lindbergh. "With Bunnyman 2 we were able to realize the potential of Bunnyman 1 and at the same time create a franchise that will continue with Bunnyman 3 (which is currently in production.) What I appreciate with The Bunnyman Massacre is that we were able to make a film that really stands apart from all the countless slasher films and deliver a film that is very unique."

Synopsis
The adventures of Joe and Bunnyman know no limit of bloodlust and carnage. Bodies pile up as Bunnyman indiscriminately slaughters anything that crosses his path in a mutually beneficial relationship that gives Joe plenty of beef jerky to sell in his local store.

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Hi-Res ‘The Guest’ Imagery Takes Aim!

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 10:25

In addition to yesterday’s 80′s inspired trailer, Picturehouse sent us a batch of hi-res images from the Sundance hit The Guest (read our review), from the visionary team behind You’re Next: director Adam Wingard, writer Simon Barrett and Snoot Entertainment’s Keith Calder and Jessica Calder. A September release is planned.

From the director and writer of V/H/S and V/H/S/2, “The film tells the story of a young soldier who arrives on the doorstep of the Peterson family, claiming to be a good friend of their beloved son who died in action. The Petersons welcome David into their home and into their lives, but when people start mysteriously dying in town, mayhem ensues as their teenage daughter Anna starts wondering if David is responsible.

The Guest stars Dan Stevens of “Downton Abbey” fame, Maika Monroe, Brendan Meyer, Sheila Kelley, Leland Orser, and Lance Reddick (“American Horror Story” and “Intelligence”).

Categories: Horror News

#SDCC14: Hannibal Is on the Menu for July 24th

Dread Central - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 10:15

Another fan favorite horror TV series has confirmed its presence at this year's SDCC with this simple sentence that landed in our inbox: "Hannibal" is on the menu once again at Comic-Con!

So far all we know is that the panel date is Thursday, July 24th, but we expect to be hearing more soon, including the participants (fingers crossed that Mads will make it this year!), so stay tuned.

The 2014 San Diego Comic-Con runs July 24-27 (Preview Night is July 23), and you can be sure Dread Central will be there in full force as usual.

Keep your eyes on the official SDCC website for more info and updates.

As for "Hannibal," be sure to visit "Hannibal" on NBC.com, "like" "Hannibal" on Facebook, and follow "Hannibal" on Twitter.

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Categories: Horror News

‘Dracula Untold’ Trailer Reveals a Revenge Story

bloody disgusting - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 10:04

It’s back, and there’s imagery as well!

Originally Dracula: Year Zero, Universal Pictures has given Bloody the official first trailer and stills for Dracula Untold, the Gary Shore-directed version of Bram Stoker’s novella, in theaters October 17, 2014. The trailer reveals a revenge story, where Luke Evans makes a deal with the Devil and uses the dark forces to battle even darker forces.

Starring Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Zach McGowan, Samantha Barks, Thor Kristjansson and Art Parkinson, the film was shot in Belfast last year.

In the film, “Luke Evans is starring as the most famous of vampires in an origin story that sees a Transylvanian prince risk eternal damnation in order to save his wife and son from a Turkish horde. Barks will play a figure in Eastern European folk tales known as a baba yaga, a beautiful young woman who turns into a savage witch. Kristjansson will play Bright Eyes, an Eastern European taken as a slave as a young boy and now a vicious assassin in the Ottoman Army. Parkinson will play Dracula’s son, named Ingeras.

Categories: Horror News