It’s unreal to think it’s been twenty years since indie comedy classic Clerks surfaced. To this day, it remains in my top five comedies of all time. Since then I’ve been a fan of its Writer/Director Kevin Smith. In 2011, Smith branched off unexpectedly into uncharted territories with Red State, a fast, tense, unpredictable crime horror/thriller hybrid about a religious cult. It’s criticized for its schizophrenic nature, a quality that actually worked for me. It was exciting to see a filmmaker predominantly known for clever yet crass, lowbrow comedies to take such a sharp turn, career-wise. Cut to three years later and Smith is back and bolder than ever with Tusk, a darkly comedic horror flick about a podcaster (Justin Long) on assignment in Manitoba, Canada only to be abducted by his eccentric subject matter (Michael Parks) who’s determined to surgically turn him into a walrus.
At first glance, Tusk sounds similar to The Human Centipede and while it shares similarities synopsis-wise, both films couldn’t be any more different. For starters, Tusk manages to be more accessible yet far more balls out than that cult phenomena. Smith starts the film off from the get-go on a fun, likable note by establishing his familiar brand of humor. Assisting him immensely is the always likable presence of Justin Long, who’s every bit the comedic talent as his director. The real fireworks begin when he encounters the insane Howard Howe, played to perfection by the genius that is Michael Parks. Their scenes together are an absolute delight. What starts off hilariously off the wall eventually descends to even weirder, unfathomable depths where Smith really begins to take the viewer into uncomfortable places. Tusk goes exactly where it promises to go…and beyond. Thankfully Smith sticks to practical make-up effects (except for one atrocious CGI shot very early on). They work far more convincingly than I would have ever imagined. Gruesome stuff.
Smith finds that sweet spot where the viewer laugh’s out loud at the sight of truly outrageous, disturbing imagery without ever descending into self-parody. Tautness is felt at every turn. Long gets to showcase his impressive abilities in the dramatic department, having us feel for him despite his character flaws. Words can’t even begin to describe how brilliant Parks is here. Yes, he’s memorable in everything he does but like the best thespians, he has the ability to still surprise us. The character of Howe is one of the most original cinematic antagonists to date. This could very well be Parks’ finest hour and that’s no small achievement. Everything up to this point is absolutely stellar, unlike anything we’ve ever seen from Smith. While the Tusk is hysterical, it’s uncomfortably so. The horror and the comedy of the situation play out hand in hand without one undermining the other.
Unfortunately that’s until Tusk derails when a certain movie star suddenly pops up, playing “Manhunter” Guy LaPointe. Side-note: If you don’t already know the identity of the actor, I highly recommend you avoid finding out before you see the film. I have nothing against the quirky performance by Guy LaPointe (credited as playing himself). He provides a chunk of laughs. My issue is he overstays his welcome and should have strictly been a cameo. His scenery-chewing comes at the expense of what came before, as well as robbing attention from the strong support work of Genesis Rodriguez and Haley Joel Osment (welcome back), who should have been front and center from this point onward. Both of these characters are left underdeveloped which is a shame because I would have loved the interesting relationship between all of the protagonists to be explored more fully. Things are hinted upon but are sadly thrown to the curb at this juncture. LaPointe’s effect on the tone of the picture is downright toxic. It’s as if the viewer somehow detoured into a different film altogether. It seems as if Smith just allowed the actor to ad-lib and indulge into a character skit unrelated to the subject itself.
It’s hard not to feel like Smith somehow didn’t trust his ability at sustaining the horror element and decided to fall back into his comfort zone. The tone shifts completely to comedy mode from this point onward, killing the well-earned tension out of the equation. As a result, the third act fails to resonate. To make matters worse, Smith incorporates visual devices such as 70’s style zooms during the climax that are totally played for laughs, in a scene where the stakes should be high. While this stuff may be enjoyable (the audience responded enthusiastically), it ultimately pushed away my previous investment in the material.
Despite my reservations I had with the second half, I have no qualms in recommending Tusk. It’s thoroughly entertaining. The latest installment in the new chapter of Smith’s career is fearless to say the least. I can’t think of any other filmmaker that’s reinvented himself in such a striking manner. Tusk is as gleefully nutty and unsettling of a genre picture as we’ll likely get this year and possibly for some time to come. I just wish Smith kept his foot on the pedal instead of retreating back to his shtick with the LaPointe character. Oh well. Flaws and all, Tusk is one bizarre, unique and genuinely effective horror film. There are definitely images here that you’ll never unsee. Quite the achievement considering Kevin Smith is a comedy guy first and foremost.
It’s not over until they’re all dead.
AMC has released the new trailer, “Hunt or be hunted,” from the Season 5 premiere of “The Walking Dead.”
Never let your guard down, and don’t stop until they’re all dead. “They” being the cannibals who plan to eat you. The trailer is jam-packed with excellent zombie effects, drama and an explosion that sends walker parts across the screen.
“The Walking Dead” returns on Sun., Oct. 12th at 9/8c.
This Wednesday, September 10th Twitch user Bawkbasoup is helping Bloody-Disgusting celebrate Resident Evil week by live streaming Resident Evil games of your choosing. Everything is set to go live at 9AM PST this Wednesday, or 12PM for those of you on the East Coast. Over the course of the 24 hours you can expect to see the likes of Barry Burton, Leon S Kennedy and many a Tyrant vanquished.
Bawk is a dedicated streamer and he’s gunning to get as many followers on Twitch as humanly possible. So make sure to hit the stream this Wednesday and tune in. Meanwhile enjoy these clips of Bawk taking in various horror games, to get a taste of what you’re in for on the 10th.
What Resident Evil titles would you like to see as part of the stream this Wednesday?
Horror sequels happen all the time but it’s rare that we get a solid prequel, a story that explains where the original horror came from. Sometimes, seeing an evil build to its true form is more terrifying than seeing it in action.
That thought got me thinking of some of the horror movies I’ve seen and how I’d love to see the events that led up to them. And below are some of those movies.
So, check out my list of horror prequels I’d love to see and then share a few of yours in the comments!
Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and “Breaking Bad’s” Sam Catlin continue to prep for the hotly anticipated AMC adaptation of Garth Ennis’ epic “Preacher.”
But, even though there’s been official talk about this project since this past spring, Rogen and Goldberg are yet to write a single page of the screenplay. With that said, it’s happening, now, and Jesse, Tupip, Cassidy, and the Saint of Killers are on their way sooner than later.
Goldberg tweeted this morning, “We have started writing a script. We met with Garth. He gave us great notes. PREACHER!!!!!!!” Rogen RT’d, thus confirming that the writing process is underway. What’s even more exciting is that the reveal that they’ve been working with comic creator Garth Ennis on the adaptation, which is always a good sign when looking behind-the-scenes of the development of a project.
Based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s ’90s comic book series, “‘Preacher’ centers on Reverend Jesse Custer, a tough Texas preacher who has lost his faith and learned that God has left Heaven and abandoned His responsibilities. Custer finds himself the only person capable of tracking God down, and does so with his former girlfriend and a friendly vampire.”
From Bryan Fuller, who is behind the success that is “Hannibal,” comes the Syfy sci-fi horror “High Moon”.
TVLine shared the first four minutes of the new feature, which was cut from a pilot that was originally passed on by Syfy.
An adaptation of John Christopher’s 1969 young adult sci-fi novel The Lotus Caves, the project — penned by Jim Danger Gray (Pushing Daisies) — is set in a future in which the countries of Earth have established colonies to mine the moon’s resources. However, chaos erupts after a new life form is discovered.
The cast includes “Parenthood‘s” Jonathan Tucker, “Easy A‘s: Jake Sandvig and “24‘s” Chris Diamantopoulos.
You can watch the entire pilot on Sept. 15 at 9/8c on Syfy.
It is one of the longest lasting mysteries in the serial killer world. Five woman were brutally murdered over the course of Autumn in 1888 in London’s Whitechapel district. The killer would come to be known as the infamous Jack The Ripper, his identity never determined. Until now.
Using modern forensic science, Dr. Jari Louhelainen, a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology and Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Helsinki in Finland, found that there were two types of DNA on the shawl of Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper’s victims. There was hers and there was also DNA that is reportedly from the killer.
The shawl was purchased by Russell Edwards, a businessman, who enlisted Dr. Louhelainen to analyze it. Dr. Louhelainen then compared the DNA to the DNA of Eddowes descendants as well as the suspects in the murder investigation. This is how he came to find the Ripper’s identification: Aaron Kosminski, a Polish-born hairdresser who lived in Whitechapel and was ultimately committed to an asylum.
The Ripper’s case has drawn the fascination of artists, writers, and filmmakers throughout the years. Films such as A Study In Terror and From Hell tackled the topic.
The full process by which this information was recovered can be found at Daily Mail.
I’ve always been drawn to dark comedies, in particular; how they can take sinister, morbid subject matters and give them a dash of humorous air to contrast against. More specifically, comedy and horror have always gone hand in hand. The very best (An American Werewolf in London and The Return of the Living Dead) can be funny and scary in equal measures. In the case of The Voices, the dark comedy is the perfect dwelling for its central character and his fractured state of mind.
The Voices is about Jerry Hickfang (Ryan Reynolds), an unusual but happy-go-lucky shipping clerk. Outside of work, his world consists of his two pets…that just happen to talk. The dog is the positive reinforcement and the cat is anything but. Things start to go sour once Jerry stops taking his prescribed anti-psychotics. After the accidental death of his lovely co-worker he’s be crushing on, the affable Jerry’s mental state quickly begins to deteriorate and things start to grow increasingly more disturbed.
Director Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) does a fantastic job reflecting Jerry’s outlook on life via the film’s aesthetic. The Voices establishes itself from the get-go as dark comedy on the lighter and quirky end, much like a John Waters film. Jerry’s sunny disposition is represented via a bright, colorful visual palate. Soon as the harsh reality of Jerry’s torment is revealed to himself and onto the viewer, the look bluntly reflects that, courtesy of Director of Photography Maxime Alexandre (High Tension, as well as the Maniac and The Hills Have Eyes remakes). When the film’s tone turns dark, boy does it ever! It feels all the more startling because Satrapi effectively lures the viewer in with the first half’s charming disposition. The vibrant, likable cast which includes Anna Kendrick, Gemma Arterton and Ella Smith greatly assist in creating such an inviting place to spend your time in.
Without a doubt though, Ryan Reynolds’ high wire act of a performance is the film’s centerpiece. He valiantly goes above and beyond the call of duty to convey Satrapi’s highly audacious tonal shifts. He not only plays the lead character but also voices the animals. Despite the increasingly horrible acts Jerry commits, I somehow pitied him and his inner struggle. This character brilliantly showcases Reynolds’ skills as both a comedic actor and his underrated dramatic chops. The genuine depth and complexity he displays through Jerry helps ground the material, much like Christian Bale did in American Psycho. Dark comedies have a way of sometimes being trumped by the filmmakers’ indulges in style over substance which often gives them an air of superficiality. Thankfully that isn’t quite the case here.
As Jerry’s sanity crumbles, unfortunately so does the film’s. The third act continues to play with the contrasting tones to a far higher volume and it’s a mess. Satrapi can’t seem to decide what to settle on and if this schizophrenic nature was her intention, it’s commendable but just doesn’t work. I won’t even begin to delve into the ill-advised musical number (unmemorable tune at that) which left many viewers leaving the cinema scratching their heads all the more. The only thing that keeps us watching is Reynolds, who despite these issues, is still mesmerizing to the very end.
Flaws aside, The Voices is an audacious, unique dark comedy that makes too many interesting decisions for me to dismiss it entirely. Even at its most problematic, the film’s still very much watchable. We’ve seen many films in the past play with tone, yet I feel that Satrapi takes it to some bold, new areas for filmgoers. Again, I can’t praise Reynolds’ performance enough. It proves that Reynolds is far better than his career’s current sour streak, a reminder of what he’s capable of when given something of substance to chew on. Hopefully the sky is the limit from now on. At the very least, it’ll keep me revisiting this unusual film from time to time.
As if we needed another reason to be pumped for Resident Evil: Revelations 2, UK gaming magazine GamesMaster has offered quite a few more that should go a long way in pleasing longtime fans of the series. GamesMaster had the chance to sit down with Revelations 2 producer Michiteru Okabeto for a feature that will appear in their November issue.
Last week, we noticed some similarities between the prison island that serves as the setting for Revelations 2 and Rockfort Island from Code: Veronica.
We still don’t have closure on that, but even if they aren’t the same island there’s still going to be some Code: Veronica in the game. According to GamesMaster, Revelations 2 will star Claire Redfield as the lead. Apparently, Claire has become a “seasoned veteran” since we last saw her. It will also feature Moira Burton, the daughter of gun aficionado Barry Burton, in a supporting role.
The feature also confirms that Revelations 2 will take place between the events in Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, and it will feature single-player and co-op. The first Revelations had both too, but the co-op was restricted to its Raid Mode. If the co-op extends to the campaign, I hope Capcom takes inspiration from Dead Space 3, which smartly didn’t burden players with an AI companion if they chose to go it alone.
The issue also touched on the game’s enemies, called the “Afflicted”. It sounds like Revelations 2 will continue the series’ trend of introducing another twist on the classic zombie type with each new game. Hopefully they’ll be as terrifying as the stuff the T-Abyss virus created. Below you’ll find our first look at what looks like a basic baddie below.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 hits PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in early 2015.
In related news, next week we’ll be celebrating gaming’s biggest horror franchise with our first ever Resident Evil Week. It’s going to be a good time.
This past January, the original Silent Hill turned 15. Because we like to go big here on Bloody Disgusting, to commemorate the anniversary we held a week-long celebration of all things Silent Hill. You all seemed to enjoy it, so I started planning a similar event for the other franchise genre fans are likely to pick when asked what their favorite horror series is: Resident Evil. All I needed was the perfect time kick it off. Now, I do believe that time has come.
Unless you’ve been living under a particularly sizable rock, you may have noticed the steady trickling of some gargantuan Resident Evil headlines. First, Capcom announced an HD re-release of the Resident Evil REmake that graced the GameCube back in 2002. The following day it was revealed the franchise may be dipping its toe into the warm waters of television with an Arklay TV series from Mance Media.
As if all that wasn’t enough, earlier this month, Capcom announced Resident Evil: Revelations 2, which the company plans on releasing in early 2015, alongside the HD remake.
If you were under a rock — first off, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make light of your situation — don’t fret, as we’re about to run in and Chris Redfield that thing right off of you with our first ever Resident Evil Week! This means we’ll have five days worth of content to honor the most iconic horror game franchise of all time, and it all starts on Monday.
Fifty years is a long time. As far as exclusives go, I’m beside myself for this one. We’ve got a first look for you at the cover and interior of the upcoming 50th anniversary issue of “Creepy.” The book doesn’t hit shelves until the first week of October, but get your first taste of terror right here, right now.CREEPY #18 (50th Anni. issue) On sale Oct. 8th. Cover: Dustin Nguyen (Batman Eternal) Frontispiece: Arthur Baltazar (Itty Bitty Hellboy) The Executor: Script by Fred Van Lente (Conan the Avenger, Archer and Armstrong) Art by Alison Sampson (Genesis) Weird, supernatural goings on surrounding the death of Edgar Allen Poe and the posthumous editing and publishing of his work. Over the River to Charlie Script by Corrina Bechko (Star Wars: Legacy, Planet of the Apes) Art by Drew Moss (In the Dark) Young girls are haunted throughout their childhood by a hanged man who’s taken up residence in their dollhouse. Keeping Up with the Creepys: Script and art by Peter Bagge (Hate) Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie’s attempts to outdo each other with their classic rides escalates into neighborhood-destroying hilarity. The Man Who Walked Through Walls: Script by Dan Braun (Creepy consulting editor) A man who discovers a way to become intangible takes his revenge on the neighbors who have wronged him. Gallery: Kevin Ferrera (Dead Rider) Kelley Jones (Batman) Eric Powell (The Goon) Pete Woods (Terminator Salvation) Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man
Capcom is giving Resident Evil fans a chance to unlock additional content in the upcoming Resident Evil HD REmake through a special Contagion mini-game. It can really only be considered a game on the most superficial level, since there isn’t much you can do, but there’s a point to it. Every time someone registers here, a meter is filled. Once that meter reaches 100%, Capcom will reward everyone who participated with special content in the upcoming HD REmake.
We don’t know what the content is, but I imagine they’ll shed some light on that when enough people sign up. At the time of this writing, the meter has reached 34%, meaning we’re a third of the way through “infecting Raccoon City.”
The Resident Evil HD REmake is slated to release on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in early 2015.
Humanity’s war with the scariest thing to come from the ocean since its scarier, older sibling claimed dominance of it back when dinosaurs still walked the Earth will heat up with the release of the competitive multiplayer horror game Depth. Its underwater arena and teams of combatants — consisting of a team of divers and another of sharks, each player-controlled — makes Depth unlike the myriad other multiplayer games we have to choose from, and that’s what has me most excited for it.
That and the aforementioned team of sharks. I’ve wanted to play a game where I could be Jaws since I first picked up a controller, and Depth is likely to be as close as I ever come to getting that.
Depth releases on PC (through Steam) this November.
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns in the new Terminator film, Terminator Genisys, which Paramount Pictures will release on July 1, 2015.
Before that even hit theaters, the studio is already committed to two sequels, locking in the original planned trilogy. Dates set this Friday evening are the sequel on May 19, 2017, with the third film hitting on June 29, 2018. It looks to me as if they’re going to shoot the next two back-to-back!
Alan Taylor shot the newest film in New Orleans. It stars Emilia Clarke (as Sarah Conner), Jai Courtney (as Kyle Reese) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (as a T-800), with Jason Clarke, Byung-hun Lee, Matt Smith, Aaron V. Williamson, Dayo Okeniyi and J.K. Simmons.
Whip out your calendars, folks! Netherrealm has finally narrowed down the nebulous “2015″ release window for Mortal Kombat X. The game will arrive on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on April 14, 2015. If you prefer to guarantee your copy, they’ve also revealed Goro as the exclusive pre-order bonus fighter for all retailers.
Whoever made the smart decision not to force us to choose between multiple different retailer exclusives gets four giant thumbs up.
2012’s The Pact turned out the be a pretty successful indie hit for writer-director Nicholas McCarthy. Rather than return for the sequel, he went on to make the AMAZING At The Devil’s Door. The Pact II was instead put in the hands of filmmakers Dallas Richard Hallam and Patrick Horvath, who together co-directed the fairly well-received Entrance. For the sequel, some of the first film’s actors have returned to continue the story of the Judas Killer, which is effectively expanded upon with some fresh faces. But while it has its (very) creepy moments, The Pact 2 lacks the original’s punch.
(SOME SPOILERS FOR THE ORIGINAL FILM FOLLOW)
Camilla Luddington (True Blood) stars as June Abbott, a woman who scrubs brains off the wall at her day job as a crime scene cleaner. On her off hours, she illustrates and spends nights alone while her cop boyfriend (Scott Michael Foster) works his beat. A couple weeks after the shooting of the Judas Killer (as seen in the first film), June begins having terrifyingly lucid dreams about Judas and her loved ones. Then when a copycat killer surfaces, June’s connection to the original Judas is slowly unraveled.
She eventually seeks out the aid of Annie Barlow (Caity Lotz returns!), who seeks out the aid of her psychic friend Stevie (Haley Hudson returns!). The band’s back together! Of seemingly zero help is an FBI agent played by Patrick Fischler (Mulholland Dr.). I love Fishcler, but his character here is kinda baffling. He’s supposed to be the socially awkward FBI loner, but he comes off more like a stiff dick than anything else. It’s a shame they didn’t develop him any further because Fischler’s range is stifled by the script. He’s unfortunately not given much to do here.
Just like the first film, we follow our protagonists as the try to unlock the mystery of these new murders while also delving into their families’ histories. They piece together clues (a record plays a major role) as June’s visions grow increasingly violent and a little too close to home. Some of the sequel’s most effective scenes are the creep show moments that harken back to the original. A shadow on the wall and the old bathroom mirror trick, for example, are pulled off really, really well. The original’s thick atmosphere of dread and unease is also nicely kept in tack, though a weird glaze over exterior shots gives The Pact II an almost Lifetime movie luster.
Remember in the first Pact, when Judas first crawled out from under the floor? That bit seriously gave me the willies like a real kick to the spine. A lot of moments in the first one had that effect on me. Aside from maybe a handful of scenes (including the two I mentioned), The Pact II ultimately fails to pack that same punch. It feels like Hallam and Horvath really went for it during the climactic twist, but the effect isn’t nearly as strong.
Nighthawk Cinema in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn has a seriously stellar plan in mind for this Halloween. Presenting The Return of… A Nite to Dismember 2014, the Nighthawk Cinema is offering a midnight slate of five classic horror movie sequels for your viewing pleasure.
The lineup for The Return of… A Nite to Dismember includes some amazing sequels. Those lucky enough to be in the Nighthawk Cinema in Brooklyn on October 31 will be seeing (in order of screening):
Evil Dead II (1987),
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981)
Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
Return of the Living Dead (1985)
How's that for a kick-ass lineup? Fuck yeah!
The event starts at 12:00 midnight on Halloween, and in addition to the five headlining films, there will be shorts and swag and all kinds of cool stuff. Hell, they're even going to make you breakfast in the morning. Now that's a class act.
For more information visit the Nighthawk Cinema Return of a Nite to Dismember website. Nitehawk Cinema is centrally located in Williamsburg at 136 Metropolitan Avenue between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue.
From the Press Release
Like all good monsters who return from the grave, Nitehawk is bringing back its all-night horror movie marathon with The Return of… A Nite to Dismember! Starting at midnight on Halloween, we will celebrate our second year by presenting only the very best in horror film sequels: Evil Dead II, The Bride of Frankenstein, Friday the 13th: Part 2, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, and Return of the Living Dead. There will also be horror shorts, inspired montages, giveaways, trivia, and a costume contest plus breakfast in the morning. Hosted by Fangoria’s Sam Zimmerman and Nitehawk’s Kris King! Forget trick-or-treating; spend the nite with us!
McDonald's has been serving fast food for decades and has probably stopped more hearts than even the worst of horror's heavyweights. Still, sometimes we cannot resist the allure of that tasty pink slime, especially around McRib season. I tell you this though... if they sold these Happy Meals, I'd be there every damned day!
Artist Newt Clements has added a vast selection of cult movie Happy Meals based upon the kid-friendly crapmeals offered to today's tots.
All we can say is BRAVO! We'd be collecting these things until a need for a bedside defibrillator became as common as a small reading lamp.
Check out a few of our favorites below, and hit up the above link for many more!
Electronic legend Aphex Twin has released the first single off his upcoming album SYRO, which comes out September 22nd via Bleep Records (pre-order here. You can listen to the track down yonder.
I was going to write the song title in the headline, but making “minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]” fit is not exactly an easy task, I assure you.
SYRO is Aphex Twin’s first album in 2001′s Druqks.
Are you watching BBC America's "Intruders"? Get used to hearing about it because we are hooked! On tap now we have a clip from Episode 1.03, "Time Has Come Today," plus an introduction to Millie Brown, who portrays Madison in her debut lead role on a series.
"Intruders," from writer/exec producer Glen Morgan, is based on Michael Marshall Smith's novel The Intruders. The series stars John Simm and Mira Sorvino with James Frain, Tory Kittles, and Millie Brown.
The creative team includes directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Stamm plus production designer Mark Freeborn. The series is executive produced by Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner for BBC Worldwide Productions, Morgan, and Rose Lam.
"Intruders" Episode 1.03 – "Time Has Come Today" (airs 9/6/14)
Jack returns home to find Amy sleeping soundly in bed. She has a logical explanation for her whereabouts in Seattle and professes her love to him, only to ask for a separation the next day. Jack is terrified for Amy’s mental state.
Meanwhile, Gary calls with alarming news. Things get dangerous as Madison hitches a ride to Seattle, determined to evade capture. A deal from Richard’s past continues to haunt him. Written by Glen Morgan and directed by Eduardo Sanchez.