“Empty Zone” Will Fill You With Terror

bloody disgusting - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 11:39

This morning, Image comics announced bestselling artist Jason Shawn Alexander (Abe Sapien: The DrowningThe Escapists) returns to the drawing and writing table with an all-new series sure to disturb readers in EMPTY ZONE: Conversations with the Dead, which will launch on June 17.

This is my first glance at Alexander’s art but it looks to be tonally fantastic for a horror book. His heavy use of blacks and the gritty appeal of his line work make for a truly unique set of pages at Image Comics. I know that they hire talent over let’s say, diverse approaches to doing the work, but I don’t think there is a horror book at Image right now that has art anywhere near this.

Empty Zone is described as a sci-fi horror saga, where Corinne White attempts to reconcile with the ghosts of her violent past, literally, as she trudges through a world of dystopian cityscapes, reanimated corpses, & ganglands full of animal human hybrids.

“I created the idea for this series 20 years ago. I’m finally bringing it to fruition, through Image Comics, and I’m putting everything I have into it,” said Alexander. “I wanted to create a sci-fi series that veers off into ghosts and the supernatural and becomes something completely different.”

EMPTY ZONE #1 arrives on June 17 and can be ordered with Diamond Code APR150504.

 

Categories: Horror News

‘Five Nights at Freddy’s 3′ Honest Trailer Needs More Erotic Fan Art

bloody disgusting - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 11:00

It’s easy to make fun of developer Scott Cawthon’s Five Nights at Freddy’s series, with its limitless potential for Furry jokes to its unwillingness to stray too far from the formula that made the first game such a hit, its popularity among “Let’s Players” on YouTube, as well as the fact that all three games released within six months of each other. I expected this “honest” trailer for Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 to hit them all, and it didn’t disappoint.

Categories: Horror News

First Look at Chad Michael Ward’s Body Horror ‘Strange Blood’! (Exclusive)

bloody disgusting - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 09:45

Fear the cure.

Bleiberg Entertainment’s Compound has given Bloody Disgusting a grotesque first look at a batch of images and new poster art for Strange Blood.

From producer Pearry Teo (Cloud Atlas), Strange Blood is the directorial debut of acclaimed photographer and music video director Chad Michael Ward, who has worked with Marilyn Manson, Slash, and Static-X amongst others.

When a brilliant but obsessive scientist (Robert Brettenaugh) goes to extremes to develop a universal cure for all disease, he finds himself infected with a bizarre parasite that begins to transform him into a bloodthirsty madman. Time running out, and with the aid of his med student assistant (Alexandra Bard), he must find a way to stop the monster that is growing within and prevent the rest of the world from being “cured.”

Robert Brettenaugh stars alongside Alexandra Bard.

We also have the exclusive first look at the newest poster. Dig on it all below!

Categories: Horror News

What’s Your Favorite Horror Game of 2015 So Far?

bloody disgusting - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 09:00

Those of you who have been paying close attention to my posts here on Bloody Disgusting might have noticed as my writing gradually became more unhinged this month, resembling the incoherent ramblings of a madman. The culprit behind my ever-loosening grip on my own fragile sanity is the ridiculous amount of horror games we’ve received since January.

About a year’s worth of scary games somehow managed to come out in a matter of three months, and keeping up has proven difficult.

H1Z1, Dying Light, Monstrum, The Order: 1886, Five Nights at Freddy’s 3, White Night, Zombie Army Trilogy, Resident Evil Revelations 2, the Resident Evil remaster — I can’t think of many other times when we’ve seen so many releases.

It’s a sign of the times. As great as last year was for horror games, 2015 is shaping up to be considerably better. And I’m saying that based on the games we know about. You can bet there are numerous others waiting to be revealed.

Looking back at the dozens of spooky games we’ve been gifted these past few months, which game(s) have been your favorite(s)? I’ve included a handy poll below, but I’d also like to invite you to explain why you chose what you did in the comments.

Take Our Poll

For a full overview of the last three months, check out our release schedules for the months of January, February and March. Our schedule for April will go live by the end of the month.

Categories: Horror News

Telltale Hints At More ‘The Walking Dead’ Before Season 3

bloody disgusting - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 08:00

To the surprise of no one, both Skybound and Telltale have confirmed they’re working on more of the hit episodic series based on The Walking Dead. The former confirmed the news on Twitter last July and the latter confirmed it for us again at SXSW earlier this month. After the success of the bridge episode 400 days, we imagine another episode like that will be huge.

We don’t know anything about the next episode yet, but if a recent tweet from Skybound is any indication, it won’t be too much longer before that changes.

BTW, look for @telltalegames TWD news really soon. Or harass @kevbru or @jobjstauffer until they break.

— Skybound (@Skybound) March 14, 2015

Check out Telltale at SXSW, and scroll to the 40 minute mark to see them drop the hint of more Walking Dead.

What would you like to see from Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, besides more Clem?

Oh, and since this is hardly news, let me make that up to you with this awesome Walking Dead-inspired 8-Bit Cinema video from CineFix.

Categories: Horror News

‘White Night’ Review: Dark Detective

bloody disgusting - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 01:33

It’s not every day we get a game that’s exactly what it looks like it is. Such is the curious case of White Night, a survival horror game from Swedish developer Osome that aspires to be little more than a decidedly retro take on an old school genre of horror.

Set in the 1930′s, the game follows a man who gets in a car crash near a mysterious mansion. There are signs of life, but nobody is home. Anyone who’s played a spooky game, read a scary book, watched a horror movie or lived on this big blue rock for any significant amount of time would take this as a sign that they should swiftly turn tail in the other direction.

They must have neighbors, no?

Most folks would’ve preferred relaxing in a cold ditch over solving cryptic graveyard puzzles to break into someone’s home, but not this guy. This guy has a fedora and video game logic on his side, and we all know how that’s going to turn out.

This leads me to my one major problem. Take away the mostly gorgeous/occasionally annoying minimalist, black and white art style and White Night becomes every other small budget survival horror game released in the early 2000′s. I can appreciate — admire, even — its desire to give survival horror enthusiasts something to be nostalgic over, but much like the feeling of dread which permeates every nook and cranny of this high-contrast world, I couldn’t shake the notion that I had done this before.

That’s because I did. You did too, if you were playing horror games at the start of the millennium.

What really bothers me is I really enjoyed this game. It’s creepy, takes time constructing its scares and it’s one of a dying breed of horror games that emphasizes atmosphere and presentation over almost everything else.

I love that in series like Silent Hill, but those games usually had something else to carry the experience. An always-changing world, engrossing story, intriguing characters — whatever it was, it’s missing in White Night.

That’s not to say that this game doesn’t have something to offer.

White Night looks great. It does some really nifty things with the lighting, and its restraint in sharing too much of the backstory regarding the main character or his temporary home kept me hooked. What you do find out is drip-fed through documents that have been scattered about each environment. Newspaper clippings and hidden clues shed some light on what’s going on without over-sharing.

Light plays a larger role in the gameplay than I thought it would going in.

The game borrows heavily from older games like the original Resident Evil, or the games that predated it, namely Alone in the Dark and Sweet Home. It takes from these games and gives those familiar ideas a dramatic, noir-style makeover.

Manual save systems and fixed camera angles used to be staples of franchises like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, and they’re back in all their old school glory here. The only truly modern thing about it is its far too easy assortment of puzzles.

If the more action-oriented direction horror has taken over the last decade has spoiled your memory of what survival horror games used to be before Resident Evil 4 became one of the most successful and influential video games of the PS2 era, then let’s take a minute to remedy that.

White Night is slow. It’s about exploration and patience. Sometimes the reward isn’t worth it, other times it is. Stick with it to the end and you’ll leave with memories of one of the best eras for horror gaming. Even resource management comes into play with the matchsticks — often your only source of light — which also happen to be somewhat scarce. Lanterns, it would seem, weren’t invented until after the Great Depression.

I think I enjoyed what this game tried to achieve, more than I did the 5-6 hours I spent with the game itself. Its ambitions are admirable, but its execution leaves a lot to be desired. The ghosts that haunt that mansion’s dimly lit halls are incredibly unsettling, and yet, a few hours into the game I couldn’t help but wonder if they, too, were only there because they were lost as I often was.

The Final Word: For better and for worse, White Night emulates the survival horror games of old. If you can get past its quirks, there’s a lot for a survival horror fan to enjoy here.

Categories: Horror News

‘Dead Space’ Easter Egg Spotted in ‘Battlefield: Hardline’

bloody disgusting - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 00:20

I haven’t had the opportunity to play Battlefield: Hardline yet, but I’ve heard it’s heavy on the shooty and that the explosions are all sufficiently boomtastic. The game released this week to solid, albeit lukewarm, reviews, and while the game has never really managed to catch my eye, this neat little Dead Space Easter Egg sure is entertaining.

Spotted by YouTuber Zuul Be, this nod and a wink shows a couple of bad guys spending some bro-time with the original Dead Space. Enjoy!

A Dead Space mention (or two) in Hardline isn’t surprising. Both games were made by Visceral Games. What is interesting is how clear Visceral’s schedule is now that the studio is between games. Whatever could they do to fill their newfound free time?

Categories: Horror News

Give Precious Blood, Get Even Precious-er ‘Bloodborne’

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 23:56

Blood. You have tons of it. You know what you don’t have any of? Bloodborne. It seems only natural that humanity would find a way to remedy that, and remedy it we have. I’m not sure how popular Bloody Disgusting is in Denmark, but if there happen to be any Denmen or women perusing this site, you may want to clear your schedule on March 24.

Sony Denmark has announced a team-up with GivBlood, a Danish blood donation group, that will give anyone looking to get a copy of Bloodborne the chance to give blood so they can spill blood.

So if it’s Bloodborne you want — or something else, because they’re also offering other more mysterious PS4 games — I suggest you take walk to the IT University of Copenhagen and roll up them sleeves. Meanwhile, I’ll be looking for a way to Fedex a pint or two of mine over there.

Bloodborne is scheduled to release on March 24 for the PS4.

Categories: Horror News

[TV Review] “Supernatural” Episode 10.15 – ‘The Things They Carried’

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 23:23

After a month-long hiatus, Supernatural returns. Sam and Dean Winchester are back in ‘The Things They Carried.’ This series is often criticized for having jumped the shark, and their numerous fan-service episodes– while beloved and entertaining– border on ridiculous, but this episode reverted back to the monster-an-episode format that they’ve found a dependable rhythm with over the last decade.

This episode features the re-immergence of Cole Trenton, the man who (earlier in this same season) kidnapped Sam in order to exact revenge on Dean for killing his (possessed) father, proving that any character that has more than one episode on Supernatural is fair game for a reprisal except for poor Adam.

After last episode’s climactic confrontation with Cain, this whole “Dean is consumed by the evil within” is getting less and less viable as a central focus for the story as a solution becomes less and less possible. Not one to fall into the hole of making an entire series about an unsolvable problem and then giving the audience no leads, this episode takes a different tactic: the people that Sam and Dean will be attempting to save are heroes who rescue people but who have been infected with an evil within; infected, no less, while attempting a great heroic deed. Very subtle and subtext-y. Saving People & Hunting Things: The Army Motto.

This episode follows the Winchester boys, just the original duo without Crowley, Castiel, or any of our other favorite bros, as they investigate the bizarre murder of a woman who should, by all accounts, never have been a victim—she was extensively trained in martial arts, including Krav Maga. However, once they reach this adorable little town, the adorable little cop in the adorable little precinct tells them that they shouldn’t have driven all this way, the perp was a Special Forces veteran with PTSD, and before they go would they like some birthday cake? His partner made it.

The boys investigate anyway, because they didn’t come all this way for birthday cake (if it had been pie, that would have been a different story), first visiting Special Forces perp Rick’s widow and then, on her referral, checking in on Gemma, whose husband Kit had been in the same unit as Rick and was exhibiting the same symptoms—namely, he’s thirsty. Like, really thirsty. Like “drink from the dog bowl” thirsty. Gemma, by some bizarre coincidence, is friends with Cole Trenton (see episode 2 of season 10 for the time Cole tortured Sam for information and then tried to murder Dean), and after a weird awkwardness outside Gemma’s house, the boys and Cole all get burgers– and Sam doesn’t even get a salad. Maybe this is what emotional eating looks like for him. As they discuss the case, Cole gets an encrypted email from an army intelligence contact sent to his cell phone with classified information on Kit and Rick’s most recent op, which is totally believable and not at all ludicrous, even though there’s a video of this classified operation attached to the email that all three view at a picnic table by the burger-vending food truck.

What follows largely deals with Kit’s inability to control the hungers inside of him, whether he’s confronted with total strangers or people he loves, and Cole’s desire to save the people he loves and having to come to terms with evil possessing them such that they are no longer the people he loves. I’m really glad they gave that Mark of Cain thing a rest, though, right? Sam lamenting the idea that Dean might not be the brother he loves, and Dean fighting his hunger for violence, that was getting really old. This was a nice change.

Overall, for a series that has been going for a decade with the same core cast of two, you have to give them credit for keeping their audience consistently engaged. They listen to fan feedback and they respond accordingly. With only that ghost-in-the-wifi episode bringing this season down, this episode is far from objectionable, and is somehow managing to keep this series alive against all odds. It might be playing a bit to the clichés of the show, but the fact that this show has created its own set of clichés is unique in and of itself.

Categories: Horror News

‘IT FOLLOWS’ OPENING WIDE! (Exclusive)

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 21:39

Earlier this morning an erroneous report surfaced that RADiUS-TWC was being pressured into rushing It Follows, the scariest movie in years, direct to VOD platforms.

As alluded to in the article, we thought it was strange, especially considering the already planned expansion and massive opening weekend numbers. We did some detective work and followed up on the report. And what we learned it going to set the horror world on fire.

Bloody Disgusting has exclusive inside info that RADiUS will not be releasing It Follows on VOD or cable platforms anytime soon, and a wide theatrical run is most definitely happening. It’s expanding this coming weekend, and will be creeping to a theater near you sooner than you think.

As we keep pushing on you: I gave It Follows a perfect score, calling it “a classical horror masterpiece.” Mike Pereira referred to as a creepy, mesmerizing exercise in minimalist horror” when reviewed out of the TIFF last September.

While The Babadook is a great movie, it was overhyped. It Follows is different, and I can feel it in my bones that it’s going to be the next big indie breakout horror hit.

Get ready, “It” is coming…

“For 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe), the fall should be about school, boys and weekends at the lake. Yet after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter she suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions; she can’t shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must somehow escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind.”

Categories: Horror News

First Casting Announcement for AMC’s “Preacher”!

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 21:21

Rejoice, fans who have been eagerly awaiting more news on AMC’s adaptation of Preacher! Last we heard, details of the pilot script had been revealed. Now the first actor has been cast (though it’s not Preacher himself).

Deadline is reporting that Agent of SHIELD’s Ruth Negga has been cast as the female lead. She will be playing Tulip, the ex and only true love of Jesse Custer. Together with an Irish vampire named Cassidy, Jesse and Tulip embark on a journey from their small Texas town to find God (do they travel to Florida in the comic? Because he’s certainly not here).

I’m not familiar with the comic (Mr. Disgusting is a rabid fan), but according to the article:

Tulip is described as a volatile, action-packed, sexified force of nature, a capable, unrepentant criminal with a love of fashion and ability to construct helicopter-downing bazookas out of coffee cans and corn shine who’s not afraid to steal, kill or corn cob-stab her way out of a bad situation.

Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg developed the project for television and will be serving as executive producer. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more!

Categories: Horror News

Details Released For Rammstein Frontman’s New Project Lindemann

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 17:32

Earlier this year, we reported that Rammstein vocalist Till Lindemann had created a side project alongside Peter Tagtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain) by the name of Lindemann. At the time, very little information was made available.

However, that’s changed as we now have a track list and a NSFW cover for their debut album, which has been titled Skills In Pills. Both can be seen below, along with a video that briefly teases the project, although no vocals are present.

Raubtier guitarist Hulkoff claims to have heard material and stated:

The small parts I heard really blew my mind! …This will echo in eternity.

The confirmed track listing:
01. Skills In Pills
02. Ladyboy
03. Fat
04. Fish On
05. Children Of The Sun
06. Home Sweet Home
07. Cowboy
08. Golden Shower
09. Yukon
10. Praise Abort

Categories: Horror News

[Comic Review] “The Fly: Outbreak” #1- Revives “The Fly”

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 17:16

“The Fly: Outbreak” is a continuation of “The Fly” series that started with the 1986 Cronenberg film.  This series picks up after the events of “The Fly 2” and follows Martin as he attempts to cure Anton of his mutant condition.  Adaptation and continuation is one of my favorite things about comics.  Unlocking the unlimited potential of storytelling is an incredible ability this medium has, and it is no more epitomized than in this continuation of a 1989 sequel.  Fans of “The Fly” may rejoice, no matter how limited your ranks may be: there is nothing not to like here.

Written By: Brandon Seifert Art By: Menton3

Publisher: IDW Price: $2.99 Release: March 18, 2015

I love comic book continuation.  “Buffy Season 8” was actually what first got my into comic book in high school.  There are no budget constraints, actor availability issues, and, in this case, public demand doesn’t seem to be a major factor either.  Not to bash on “The Fly”, it is a classic sci-fi horror film that I enjoyed quite a bit.  But I also haven’t thought about it in years and I’m willing to bet you haven’t either.

Now the story gets to continue, and I reminded of all these characters and the tone of style of the films, translated beautifully and eerily by Menton3, and I’m delighted to read it.  It reminds me that any story can live on infinitely, and in comics there doesn’t even need to be a huge buy-in from a studio or a fan base.  One quirky publisher known for continuations can revive something even as obscure as “The Fly 2”.

Martin has so baggage about his unnatural origins.  Why he continues to work on Anton’s condition, other than the pursuit of science, I’m not entirely sure.  But we find him in the lab doing experiments on the creature and discussing his vasectomy with his assistant.  After a bit of BDSM with his girlfriend Martin returns the next day to find that the creature has powered up and is currently on a rampage through the facility melting people’s faces off.  Martin catches up to Anton who uses a smart phone to call him son and tell him to confess that he turned him into a monster.  Anton escapes and everyone that was exposed to him is put into quarantine.

It is all fairly straightforward so far, but what struck me Menton3’s creature work.  I loved what he was doing in “Monocyte” a few years ago, and I’ve seen a few other IDW books he’s done recently, but I really loved his monster here.  It was sort of inconsistent in representation, but I think that really added to the twisted reality bending horror of it.  I would love to see him do something with “The Thing” in the future.

If you like “The Fly” you’ll like this.  If you don’t like or know “The Fly” you shouldn’t bother with this.  But you should appreciate that it exists either way, because some day your super niche cancelled tv show or B-horror movie can become a comic book, and that’s a real joy for me.

Eric Switzer  is an aspiring filmmaker and screenplay writer living in Los Angeles.  His work tends to focus on the lighter side of entropy, dystopic futures, and man’s innate struggle with his own mortality.  He can be found on twitter @epicswitzer or reached via email at ericswitzerfilm@gmail.com

 

Categories: Horror News

‘Resident Evil: Revelations 2′ Soundtrack Now Available

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 17:00

The official soundtrack for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has been released digitally via Sumthing Else Music Works. The soundtrack was created and supervised by Capcom’s composer and sound director Kota Suzuki (Resident Evil Revelations, Resident Evil 6, Resident Evil 5) in collaboration with film composer and multi-instrumentalist Nima Fakhrara (Gatchaman, The Pyramid, The Courier) as well as composer and sound designer Ichiro Kohmoto (Resident Evil Revelations, Resident Evil 0).

Suzuki, composer and sound director of the Resident Evil series, states:

Our main theme of focus was ‘duality of sound’ implemented through original instruments. We assembled this compilation with two distinct genres of sound in mind. Aiming for the overall music to deliver a broad, airy feel, while at the same time introducing acoustic instruments to create gaps within the sound, the composition reduces how quickly players grow accustomed to the music, and allows for sound effects to easily create the game’s desired atmosphere.

The full album features over 3 hours of music spread across 95 tracks, all for just $9.99, so you’re getting one helluva deal. Get on over to Sumthing Else to pick up your copy.

Make sure you keep up to date with all of our Resident Evil: Revelations 2 coverage by clicking here.

Categories: Horror News

[Comic Review] “Burning Fields” #3 Builds Tension Like No Other Comic

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 15:28

“Burning Fields” #3 offers a handful of satisfying reveals.  I’ve complained about the first two issues dropping us into the middle of conversations and dropping too many names and referencing too many events making it difficult to follow.  Patience has rewarded and now I feel like I’ve got a grasp on the whos and whats of this book and I gotta say, I’m 100% invested.

WRITTEN BY: Michael Moreci, Tim Daniel
ART BY: Colin Lorimer
PUBLISHER: BOOM!
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: March 18, 2015

“Burning Fields” is a unique blend of noir, political thriller, and horror.  In a way it feels like ideas got pulled out of a hat, but the execution is so on point that it is easy to get swept away and not get hung up on the oddness of it all.  This issue stands out to me, as I said, for being the most accessible in the series.  These killings are beginning to have a domino effect Kirkuk, Verge, and our protagonists and a new, uneasy alliance is formed between Dana, Aban, and Aban’s former cult associate Ghada.  Just as some real progress is about to be made on the case, conflict erupts between Decker’s people and the locals.  Emotions are running high on both sides since the murders started happening, and the tension surrounding the oil field is on the verge of erupting.

It is impressive to see how all of these factions and forces with their own motivations are coming together.  For a serial killer book, “Burning Fields” is pretty grounded.  There have been some not so subtle hints that things are going to take a turn for the supernatural (and I’m not even talking about that freaky-ass cover) and even though at this point I’d prefer it didn’t go that way, I trust these guys to do it in such a way that the book doesn’t lose focus or direction.  I feel like my investment in the series has been earned.

It is difficult to find anything to critique here, but I will say that Dana’s Decker speech got a little melodramatic for my taste.  In particular the page where we have a close up of her face on the left side of the page and her memories on the right.  It was effective, but felt too derivative to me and it followed a high energy scene, making it seems like the issue was slamming on the breaks.

I’ve been praising “Burning Fields” all along and I think #3 is the strongest issue yet.  There are a lot of serial killer books ongoing right now, but please don’t overlook this one. It offers something really unique that I think people should see.

Eric Switzer  is an aspiring filmmaker and screenplay writer living in Los Angeles.  His work tends to focus on the lighter side of entropy, dystopic futures, and man’s innate struggle with his own mortality.  He can be found on twitter @epicswitzer or reached via email at ericswitzerfilm@gmail.com

 

Categories: Horror News

The Offspring Want You To Watch A Bunch Of Clowns Beating The Sh*t Out Of Each Other

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 15:00

Punk rock stars The Offspring have released an official music video for the brand new single “Coming For You” and it’s not for anyone who has a serious fear of clowns.

The video is basically what happens when Fight Club meets It. It’s a bunch of clowns beating the unholy hell out of each other, blood flying everywhere. There’s even a face melting pie, a lá Killer Klowns From Outer Space, not to mention a jack in the box that will give anyone quite the splitting headache. The video ultimately climaxes with a mime that unleashes pure fucking fury.

The single comes from the band’s upcoming 10th studio album, which is expected to drop later this year. It will be the follow up to 2012′s Days Go By.

You can purchase the single via the band’s webstore.

Upcoming tour dates:
April 4, 2015 Tempe Beach Park Tempe, AZ
April 25, 2015 Toyota Stadium Dallas, TX
April 28, 2015 War Memorial Auditorium Nashville, TN
May 3, 2015 Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia, MD
June 6, 2015 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre Chicago, IL
July 30, 2015 The Pacific Amphitheater Costa Mesa, CA
July 31, 2015 The Hollywood Palladium Los Angeles, CA

Categories: Horror News

[Exclusive Interview] Eric Heisserer Talks Space Opera In “Shaper”

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 14:28

We’re part of a generation inspired by the space opera. Star Wars came at a perfect time but movies with that sort of insane scope are hard to pull off, just look at Jupiter Ascending, it’s an ambitious space opera with a huge budget that by all measures failed. Luckily comics are hardly limited by things like budgets. If your artist can draw it, it can be on the page. Screenwriter, Eric Heisserer (The Thing, Nightmare on Elm Street)  knows this, and he’s taking his ambitious idea “Shaper” to the page, giving us an idea we can’t find anywhere else.

The incredibly robust first issue hits stands today, and Bloody-Disgusting got the chance to exclusively talk to Eric Heisserer about the influence of the space opera, the concept of the prodigal son hero, and building giant worlds.

Bloody-Disgusting: From what I could gather, a shaper is a shapeshifter but they were believed to be legend, in a world filled with science fiction tropes and legend why are shapeshifters considered so far fetched?

Eric Heisserer: Honestly, nothing is far-fetched in a space opera world, because your buy-in is huge. But I was driven to this idea by two desires: First, I was curious, in science fiction, what kind of folklore would exist? Does the presence of advanced space travel and alien life automatically negate the concept of mythology, or could you still have some legends and tall tales in a galactic empire? That didn’t really serve me with a solid answer until my other desire, which was to explore something I’ve been noticing in social media lately. For the past year, I’ve been seeing how people can become friends online due to a shared set of hobbies or a mutual love of some facet of pop culture. And then some new element peels back and one friend learns the other is a Muslim, or gay, or an entirely different race than what they imagined, and a culture shock happens for them. Like, they just assumed because they both loved the same TV show or grew up in the same hometown, their friend would be the same in all other major ways. And more often than I wish were true, this revelation fractures the friendship. Like it’s a betrayal, even when it’s not.

When I started looking for a way to express this in a space opera world, I likened it to a race of shapeshifters, who could look just like a native, but in reality they aren’t from there.

BD: I know you mention it in the back matter of the issue, but tell me a little more about why the story for “Shaper” was better suited as a comic book?

EH: Yeah, I think this is a comic book because it tells a story that shouldn’t be influenced by budget. “Shaper” sprawls the galaxy, and if we do it right, is full of craziness, starting with the core Shaper characters who can transform into multiple life forms. Oddly, something that would otherwise be deemed too expensive for a live-action film has a perfect home as a comic book, where the limits are imagination and page count.

BD: Near the end of the first issue you describe Spry as a library of forms, which comes with a ton of visual potential, what is so special about Spry and what does his future hold?

EH: The way Therians (Shapers) gain the ability to take on various forms — called “slipping” — is two ways: First, you have the ones you inherit from your parents. What they learned, you can retain, with training. Secondly, you can still learn new forms on your own, as it’s like learning a language, but it can take years to perfect that slip. So what makes Spry interesting is that he has this repository in him, but he hasn’t been through any training yet, therefore all of the forms we see him use are just instinctual; they emerge as a reflex to some situation. And it’s a bit like the subtitle for BIRDMAN — there’s a virtue in Spry’s ignorance, allowing him to act purely intuitively. Or sometimes, stupidly.

BD: Spry obviously follows many of the typical space opera protagonist tropes with his untapped potential, mysterious backstory, and his call to adventure but what makes him different?

This poor kid just wants his family back. He’s lived his life thinking he was abandoned, when really he was just being hidden away for the time being. And his sense of time is way off at the moment, you know? A shapeshifter is a pretty amazing creature, if you start to lean into just a little science of it. Transformational power like this, there’s a good chance they don’t age, or if they do, it’s really, really slowly. So let’s say an average Therian lives 5,000 years. Whoa, if that’s the case, why isn’t the galaxy choked with them? That’s a crazy population boom. Unless… Unless reproduction is just as slow or rare. If a Shaper can’t mate except once every thousand years, suddenly the concept of “family” becomes a HUGE deal. It’s one of the most treasured parts of Therian culture. So in that regard, I’d say Spry is different because he isn’t fighting to retain some long history of his race — he’s fighting for a future with his family. It’s a weird mix of past and future.

Also, Spry works as an analog for kids stepping out of high school feeling like they have one, or maybe two options for their future. They don’t feel like they’re standing in a field, full of potential, but instead they’re on a railroad car, packed in with other kids given the same ticket. But what Spry learns is, quite literally, he can be anything he wants — it doesn’t have to be college or the military. It can be some really weird, new direction that no one sees coming. That speaks to me, because I grew up in in Oklahoma, where it was just assumed you went to the local college after high school, or else you worked at the 7-11 down the street for the rest of your life. But I skipped town and figured out who I was first, and my first job out of high school was working in graphic design at a NASA subcontractor building gear for astronauts. And really, part of what gave me the courage to do something totally bonkers like that when I was 18, well, it came from the comics and novels I was reading at the time

BD: What went into creating a mythological hero like Tor Ajax? And what influenced his visual design?

EH: Oh man, Tor Ajax — there’s a whole mythology for him. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to explore him properly, because it would require an ongoing series, or at least a second limited run, but imagine the Tarzan story, except the jungle is replaced by a war factory on a planet, fully automated by an AI. There’s even a story about his armor, and how he got it.

BD: What was your development process like to create the massive world of “Shaper?”

EH: I spent two years just building out worlds and populating them — I approached it like I was making a roleplaying game first. And of course a lot of it was inspired by the science fiction I love — to this day, no one rivals Iain Banks when it comes to naming ships, but the Gossamer Knife is a little nod at his genius. When I hooked onto Spry’s story, I began to get a narrower view, something more streamlined. I still wound up spending way too much on concept art for the characters, landscapes, and ship designs, but it was all in the name of fun. Like a game-master in some RPG campaign, I realized at the end that I had too much for one story, stuff no one would ever see, planets no one would ever visit, etc. But it felt good to do that world-building. It got me to the simple story of Spry.

BD: As it stands the comic is a limited series but the amount of depth in the first issue lends itself to an ongoing, can you see yourself telling more “Shaper” stories in the future?

EH: Easily. Of course. I could write a hundred issues.

BD: What’s the one thing you aim to do with “Shaper?” Why are you telling this story?

EH: God, I hope it’s self-evident, but really, it’s to have fun, and those of you wondering if you are stuck with only one or two life choices… nah.

 

Categories: Horror News

Here’s Samara In ‘Rings’, the Prequel to ‘The Ring’!

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 14:26

Rings, the newest incarnation of the J-horror franchise, is now in pre-production.

F. Javier Gutierrez, who is directing the pic, has been teasing Samara’s return via Instagram. Above and below we’ve shared some pre-production art, crew badges and makeup tests that show that The Ring prequel is finally happening, officially.

Italian actress Matilda Lutz stars with a theatrical release planned for November 13, 2015.

Bloody Disgusting was able to find out what the 3-D Ring will be about. Our sources told us last week that the new The Ring is actually a prequel, and takes place before the 2002 remake that starred Naomi Watts as a woman uncovering the mystery behind a haunted VHS tape. Rings will take place years before the creation of said tape and tell the origin of Samara’s reign of terror.

“Rings” is also the name of the short – directed by TCM 2 and TMNTs’ Jonathan Liebesman – that accompanied the purchase of The Ring 2 on home video in 2005.

Aviva Goldsman, David Loucka and Jacon Aaron Estes all had a hand in writing the script, which is based on the 1991 novel by Koji Suzuki.

Printing Samara #Rings #TheRing #SamaraMorgan #movie #Paramount #preproduction #Atlanta #makingof #makeup

A photo posted by F. Javier Gutierrez (@fj6utierrez) on Mar 17, 2015 at 6:19am PDT

Storyboards #Rings #TheRing #SamaraMorgan #movie #Paramount #preproduction #Atlanta #makingof #comingNov2015

A photo posted by F. Javier Gutierrez (@fj6utierrez) on Feb 20, 2015 at 11:10am PST

Crew badges #Rings #TheRing #movie #SamaraMorgan #Paramount #preproduction #Atlanta #makingof

A photo posted by F. Javier Gutierrez (@fj6utierrez) on Feb 22, 2015 at 9:01am PST

Categories: Horror News

Sci-fi Horror ‘Quadrant’ Delayed Due to Technical Difficulties

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 14:24

The makers of the episodic sci-fi horror game Quadrant have been forced to delay the arrival of the first chapter by a few weeks.

“Unfortunately, we had recently began to encounter problems with our game engine,” the developer announced on Steam. “We started seeing a drop in performance, both in-game and in the engine editor itself, and have been experiencing an inordinate amount of crashes. All of this together made it very difficult to continue working with it.”

There is, however, a silver lining to this story. When Quadrant returns, it will bring with it a more capable engine. This means the game will benefit from a number of improvements that wouldn’t have been possible without the upgrade, including…

- Our full-body awareness system can now takes advantage of new features to make gameplay look and feel even more natural.
- We’re upgrading all of our environments to a new physically based renderer shader, for better, more realistic shader interaction with lights.
- We will be using realtime global illumination for realistic lighting and shadows.
- Audio will now be tailored to more realistically represent 3D spatial location and distance, creating incredibly immersive environments.
- Performance upgrades have shown significant improvement, boosting the framerate by nearly 500% for a large majority of the time. This is without any manual optimization on our part, which we will be doing plenty of.

Categories: Horror News

‘Resident Evil Revelations 2′ PC Patch Takes Raid Mode Online March 31

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 14:14

Patient Resident Evil fans should be happy to hear that the disc compilation of the newly concluded Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available now wherever video games are sold when they aren’t sold online. The two bonus episodes are also out — see the below teaser for a sneak peak — and they can be purchased individually or as a part of the Complete Season.

For PC gamers, Capcom has also confirmed they’ll have that Raid mode patch available by March 31 so you can Raid it up with a friend.

In related news, the game has just received support for RE NET. Online events will kick off on April 1.

Categories: Horror News