‘Zombi’ is Getting a Retail Release in January

bloody disgusting - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 09:00

When ZombiU shed its Wii U exclusivity and the awkwardly tacked-on vowel that identified it as such so it could be remastered for PC, PS4 and Xbox One as Zombi, I was like a ghoul at an all-you-can-eat brain buffet. It had been on the short list of Wii U exclusives that I’ve wanted to play for three years — alongside Bayonetta 2 and the still-fresh Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water — so it felt good being able to scratch it off that list.

It didn’t take long for that warm feeling to be replaced by frustration.

Zombi isn’t a remaster, it’s a port. I hoped it would be comparable to what Resident Evil HD was to the Resident Evil GameCube remake, but what we got was more like Resident Evil 4 for Xbox 360 vs. Resident Evil 4 for PC. In other words, it was moderately disappointing.

It’s still a lovely game crammed with smart ideas that go a long way in separating it from the horde of zombie games that continues to grow each month, and despite a disappointing “next-gen” debut, it may still have some life left yet behind those cold, dead eyes.

This modicum of hope comes from the recent announcement that Zombi will be getting a retail release on January 21 in Europe. It doesn’t sound like much, but one could see this as a sign that Ubisoft is testing the game’s sequel potential by watching how it performs as a retail product. And if that doesn’t happen, we may still get something out of it should it perform well enough to warrant retail releases in other territories, such as ‘MERICA.

Categories: Horror News

Have a Look At Some of the Finest ‘Bloodborne’ Cosplay in All of Yharnam

bloody disgusting - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 23:07

The wait is almost over for the first, and likely last, expansion for From Software’s unforgiving masterwork, Bloodborne. We’ve had plenty time to prepare by now, and with The Old Hunters arriving next week, I figured we could give the locals of Yharnam a break while we take a moment to enjoy some quality cosplay.

Clearly, Russian cosplayer Marat Zaborovskiy was Bloodborne to do this.


Categories: Horror News

Norman Reedus Isn’t Letting Go of ‘Silent Hills’

bloody disgusting - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 22:29

The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus is still confident in Silent Hills, a series reboot that would’ve given Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak) the opportunity to breathe some new life into the ailing franchise before Konami canned it in April.

After a decade’s worth of middling games that weren’t able to rejuvenate the series, Silent Hills was the last real chance for it to be relevant again. In a desperate, and necessary, attempt to revive the project, a petition was created in the hopes that it might accrue enough signatures to get Konami to reverse their decision. 190,000 signatures later and we’re still waiting.

And that’s why we have Norman Reedus.

“I’m super bummed that that happened back in Japan,” explained a sad Reedus in a recent interview with IGN. “I have faith. I have faith that we, the three of us, can do something else.”

That faith, it seems, comes from the response its cancellation received from the community. Gamers are known to be a passionate bunch, for better and for worse. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he continued. “Petitions with a hundred thousand people that signed it, petitions to please make it happen, that’s crazy. That’s a crazy fanbase for not just that video game but also those people making that video game, and for me to jump on that truck with them, I was like, ‘Holy balls. It has to happen. You need to do this.'”

Holy balls indeed.

What happened to Silent Hills left many folks — including the demigods who would’ve collaborated on it — bewildered, outraged, or both. Reedus seems more confused than upset, and then there’s Guillermo del Toro, who told us just last month that it “makes no fucking sense at all.”

I’m sure Kojima has the feels too, though I wouldn’t dare use my fragile human brain to try and comprehend them. I’d probably end up like these guys if I did. So instead, I’ll let Reedus take us out.

“Hopefully they’ll come to some sort of agreement and that happens, or we do something very similar that’s different. I don’t know. I have faith that we’re going to do something though because it just seems like it was one of those things that needs to happen. It’s like destiny, it needs to happen.”

Categories: Horror News

Which Awesome Movie Monster Are You?

bloody disgusting - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 19:00

Horror movies have created the best monsters in cinema. That’s not an opinion, by the way. That’s just plain old fact. The Universal Monsters, King Kong, Godzilla, and the wide range of iconic slashers that includes Freddy, Jason, Michael, etc… Horror doesn’t skimp on monsters and that’s why it’s such a fun imaginative genre.

Out of all these awesome monsters, which one do you think you’d be? Based upon your personality, the below quiz will try and figure out the delightful abomination that best fits you!

My monster was “Brundlefly”, which reads:

1987. Seth Brundle accidentally combines himself with a fly and begins to mutate thanks to his own machine. Dies, but leaves behind a son who also becomes a fly creature.

Categories: Horror News

R.I.P. Michael C. Gross, the Creator of the ‘Ghostbusters’ Logo, Has Passed Away

bloody disgusting - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 18:33

Word is spreading on Twitter that Michael C. Gross, the man who created the infamous “No Ghosts” logo for Ghostbusters has passed away after a battle with cancer. We also reached out to someone who explained that they have been working with Gross recently and they confirmed his passing. He was 70 years old.

Gross was the art director for National Lampoon magazine for several years and also acted as producer on films such as Heavy Metal, Kindergarten Cop, Twins, and more.

His logo for Ghostbusters has become one of the most iconic images in the world, one that nearly everyone knows upon sight. It was used heavily in merchandising, video games, and cartoons based off the 1984 supernatural comedy film. The first film was a box office smash, becoming one of the most successful comedies of the 80’s and cementing the film’s place in film history. The sequel, which was released in 1989, fared nearly as well and still remains a beloved sequel.

We send our condolences to his friends and family. Rest in peace, Mr. Gross. You ain’t afraid of no ghosts indeed.

RIP Michael C. Gross. The #Ghostbusters Logo Designer and Producer lost his battle with cancer and will be missed. pic.twitter.com/s9rUopMDe9

— Ghostbusters Dot Net (@GhostbustersNet) November 17, 2015

Categories: Horror News

Enjoy This Sneak Peek at ‘Friday the 13th: The Game’

bloody disgusting - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 18:01

Friday the 13th has come and gone, and that can only mean one thing: I can stop writing about the Friday the 13th: The Game Kickstarter. The game’s crowdfunding ended on Friday, three days after it reached its goal of raising at least $700,000. In total, over 12,218 backers donated $823,704, enough to unlock three stretch goals.

The additional funding will equip Jason with three more executions inspired by the films, including the classic head crush — easily one of my all-time favorites. I’m sure that execution will be particularly calming to Jason. I would understand if he’s a wee bit irritable after missing out on the opportunity to partake in more space murder. Alas, the Jason X-inspired stretch goals would’ve required another $4.5M+ in funding.

In celebration of a wildly successful crowdfunding effort, the folks at Gun Media have shared a brief look at how the game is shaping up so far, as well as a new piece of concept art.

Friday the 13th: The Game is funded, but I’d still recommend bookmarking its Kickstarter page so you can keep up with its development. I’ll also be covering it here, of course.

Categories: Horror News

‘The Escapists: The Walking Dead’ Review: Undead Pixels

bloody disgusting - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 17:36

I love The Walking Dead. A lot of people, it seems, love The Walking Dead, as an entity. It’s a slow-moving freight train of a thing, barreling into and over everything it encounters. It is a hulking horror Harry Potter. A zombie Star Wars. The comic book spawned a TV series, which spawned a spinoff and several video games.

The most recent game is a tie-in called The Escapists: The Walking Dead, which combines the droll horror of The Walking Dead with the claustrophobia of the indie hit The Escapists.

On paper, it sounds like a wonderful collaborative idea. The Walking Dead is a zombie story with a long tail, very often about the act of surviving long-term and rebuilding society after a zombie apocalypse, and The Escapists involves surviving within the walls of a prison. Sounds like a match made in a hellish, post-apocalyptic wasteland.

However, with tedious objectives, a halfhearted crafting system, and a non-existent story, The Escapists: The Walking Dead doesn’t quite satisfy what either type of fan might be looking for.

The Escapists: The Walking Dead’s puzzle / survival sim set-up follows the show’s main protagonist, Rick Grimes, through several of the comic’s / TV show’s more famous scenarios. You’re given a primary goal to accomplish (e.g. clear out the barn of all zombies, find the main generator), and must prepare your fellow survivors to aid in completing the task.

It is an officially-licensed title, so fans of the series will be treated to plenty of familiar little touches, from character names to particular plot lines.

In the course of completing the large-scale objectives, players must maintain smaller, more daily routines and complete quests to keep the zombie hordes at bay. I never played The Escapists, but it was well-loved in the “indie” community, but after learning a little about the game, it becomes more clear why The Escapists: The Walking Dead is structured in its very particular way.

The first game took place in a prison, where tasks are regimented and mandatory, and it almost seems like the same should be true in the world of The Walking Dead, but the analogy breaks down and reveals the game’s flaws rather than obscures them.

The world of The Walking Dead is almost like a prison. But it is not a prison. And the difference is much more meaningful than the game wants you to believe. I’m sure you would imagine that the survivors in a zombie apocalypse would attempt to nourish a sense of the mundane, the obligatory, through keeping up rules and the minutiae of everyday life. But that doesn’t necessarily translate to a compelling gaming experience.

Players in the first level, for example, are required do laundry. In the abstract, I understand how that might be practical during an eschatological catastrophe, but it’s problematic in this game for a few reasons. First of all, it deters exploration, because players who fail to meet their daily objectives get penalized, and the threat of a zombie attack increases.

In the metaphorical sense, it would follow that a pack of survivors not keeping up with the day-to-day would invite a zombie attack, but there is almost no direct correlation in this game with, say, doing laundry or cultivating food and the heightened prospect of an attack. I also want to mention that players can go to the gym and work out in each level, and I’m not saying Rick Grimes has never hit a treadmill in all the 150-plus issues of the comic I’ve read, but it just seems oddly and vividly out of place.

Secondly, the daily burdens, like supply runs and working in the kitchen, do not directly benefit or hamper the experiences of the group. That would be an interesting wrinkle in the system Team17 devised. It’s not like working or not working do anything but affect the zombie meter.

They tether the player to a certain location for a certain period of time, but they don’t serve an actual, functional purpose within the game. But what they don’t do is affect the amount of food the players are allowed, or whether or not the players are able to dress themselves in fresh clothes. They are taken from outmoded 8-bit ideas of how game mechanics should function, but The Escapists doesn’t have the ambition to tie everything together in a meaningful way.

The combat, especially where close quarters are concerned, is kind of a joke. Even though it’s probably supposed to be true that fighting off zombies as a single player should be difficult, but it’s just not fun whatsoever. Nor is it difficult in a satisfying way.

The more frustrating part of the combat is that it is imprecise. If you get attacked by a zombie and you’re alone, it doesn’t really matter, because the life meter on the zombie tells you if you’re hitting it or not. Work with a fellow survivor, and it’s nearly impossible to tell if you’re hitting the target with a melee weapon.

The sound effect fires off for a weapon strike whether or not you hit a target, so it’s really difficult to tell what’s going on. Considering that the penalty can be annoying, it makes combat much less enjoyable, to the point that you try to avoid it as much as possible.

To put a finer point on it, let’s say (a) you’re in the middle of combat and (b) there are a few zombie bodies lying around. You click the right mouse button to attack, in most cases. Well, the right mouse also picks up zombie bodies, so if one of them is in your way, then you might incidentally pick one of them up instead of attacking another zombie. It’s completely broken.

The crafting system, too, feels perfunctory in a disappointing way. In most games, the crafting system’s purpose is to help players expand and evolve their surroundings, but the crafting system in The Escapists: TWD only serves to give players items or food, usually. It is less sophisticated than most other survival games, even those with a relatively modest scope.

Sure, there are ways of upgrading items and weapons, but very often players will find what they need in the wild. You might add onto a shotgun, which is helpful, but there are just as many worthless crafting items in the world, too. There is very little to be developed, and very few items require multiple levels of crafting. It’s a pretty simple system, which leaves little to the imagination.

What passes for a story in The Escapists: TWD are scenarios from the show / comics and random lines from the game. The players, even though required to work together, have no real sense of communication. When meeting for breakfast, for example — a REQUIREMENT in the game — players spout non sequiturs but do not actually communicate. There are no dialogue options, and players are merely recruited for minor missions through a simple button press.

Not only that, but there are “essential survivors,” who, if they die, the game’s over. You have to start the scenario over, from the beginning. Nothing goes against the whole idea of The Walking Dead more than this point. Rick Grimes aside, there has never been such a thing as an essential survivor in the world Robert Kirkman created, so having the game stop at a player’s death and automatically restart could not be further from what The Walking Dead is all about.

To make things even stranger, if you, Rick Grimes, die, no big deal. You start over the next morning and continue on with the mission at hand. Your death is most inconsequential. There is almost no penalty for dying, either, which, too, seems to go against the logic of the this world.

It’s all old-school, but not in a very positive way. With a different design, something interesting could have been made of The Escapists: TWD.

I imagine this game is for fans of either survival-based crafting games or fans of The Walking Dead, but I can’t imagine why anyone would choose this game over one of the other good survival games out there: The Long Dark, The Forest, Minecraft, Terraria, the list goes on and on.

The Final Word: All things told, I think I understand why people would want to play a game like The Escapists: The Walking Dead, but I don’t think this is the game that people who would want this game actually want. Wait for The Walking Dead: Michonne, instead.

Categories: Horror News

‘Alone in the Dark’ Dev’s Next Game May Be ‘2Dark’ for Some Fans

bloody disgusting - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 17:10

Frederick Raynal has the pedigree to make one hell of a horror game. The French-born game developer cut his teeth on both Alone in the Dark and Alone in the Dark 2 before moving onto various projects outside of the genre throughout the 90s and 00s.

Well, Raynal is back with a new stealth-horror endeavor called 2Dark, which asks players to rescue kidnapped children from the erstwhile lairs of serial killers. Judging by the announcement trailer, it will entail a hardened P.I.-type character to infiltrate the killers’ domiciles and pluck innocent children from their midst, all the while keeping them safe.

It looks as though it might play quite a bit like Monaco, one of my personal favorite games from the last few years. The light / dark mechanics look to be interesting, as does the art style. Mock-ups of the killers make them look like stereotypes picked from throughout the genre and mashed together to give them some flare.

What makes the premise interesting is the level of danger the game places the children in. See, the kids are expendable, which doesn’t seem, on its face, to be all too risque. I, myself, just finished beating a game which took pleasure in murdering dunderheaded teenagers in a whole host of inventive ways.

But these are kids. As a rule, they shouldn’t perish in a video game, not in the manner this game suggests. To extend the danger, the protagonist is not exempt from killing the children, either. It’s a tactic meant to push players to be cautious and sparing in how they use weapons in the game. A stray bullet, after all, could take out one of the tykes in 2Dark

The game is currently in a paid beta, and you can request access directly from the web site here. The beta itself is 20,00 EUR, so it’s not a cheap one to tinker around with. It’s scheduled for a 2016 release, though no day and date has been given yet.

Categories: Horror News

All Four ‘Jurassic Park’ Films Depicted in Glorious Lego Diorama

bloody disgusting - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 16:23

Our love of the Jurassic Park movies is pretty well known here on Bloody-Disgusting. And another thing that we love to see is people expressing and sharing their creative talents. That’s why we’re pretty blown away by this incredible Lego diorama, which takes a scene from each film and puts them together in one display.

The first section shows the iconic moment when the two Jeeps drive through the “Jurassic Park” gate. The second, representing The Lost World shows the RV sequence with one of the two T-Rexes as well as the building where Kelly showed off her gymnastics skills in taking out a velociraptor. Jurassic Park 3‘s piece is the abandoned and decaying aviary that featured what is in my opinion the coolest scene of the movie. Lastly, there’s the now widely recognized Mosasaurus scene where it bursts from the water to eat a shark that was featured in trailers and TV spots galore.

The piece was a collaboration between Paul Trach and Markus Aspacher who, get this because it’s about to get crazy, live 600km away from each other! The two somehow coordinated the project together and showed it off at the Bricking Bavaria Convention where they won the Best In Show award.

You can see a slideshow of the diorama below.

Categories: Horror News

Where Something Wicked This Way Came – Charting the History of Witches in Horror Films!

bloody disgusting - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 16:01

“Witches…All of them witches!”
            -Rosemary Woodhouse (Rosemary’s Baby, 1968)

There have been a number of creatures and demons that have slowly filled up the beefy bestiary of horror films through the years. Some of these monsters are constantly being turned to, never quite going out of fashion, while others have remained on the fringe for decades, waiting for their opportunity to be properly realized. Witches lie somewhere in the middle here and have had a somewhat complicated history in cinema. However, with the release of The Witch slowly edging closer and the film stirring up nearly universal acclaim so far, it seemed like a worthy endeavor to examine what has led us to this point and digging into the history of witches in horror cinema. Examining what films about witches have been trying to say through the years, if we’ve always been so forthcoming with them in horror films, or if their sudden power and our fascination with them has been a recent spell that’s been cast over the public.

Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages—the first recorded film about witches, released in 1922 by director Benjamin Christensen—tries to approach the topic from a place of understanding. While initially getting in depictions of witchcraft in art and culture of the time, the film’s main focus is to attempt to understand witchcraft. It’s not mystifying the area, but rather using it as an explanation for mental and psychological ailments at the time. While the film does have many dramatizations and depictions of witches and the devil, the film’s angle is more of a documentary with the intention of educating and correcting misinformation.

In spite of the controversy and banning that the film still saw, it’s fascinating that our first exposure to the creatures in film was not from a place of trying to scare one another, or create terrifying fiction, but rather shed light on the real world and use this horror to heal.

Beyond this the ‘60s was debatably the next big time period that saw cinema and horror becoming enchanted with the idea of witches with a number of films, most notably being Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, playing with the concept. Interestingly enough, the ’60s chose revenge to be the conduit at which it chose to explore witches. The aforementioned Rosemary’s Baby for instance involves Rosemary’s (Mia Farrow) husband making a pact with the devil and the dark side coming to collect its sacrifice in the form of their child. A lot of the revenge and witch side of the film is depicted through psychological trauma and the idea of this secret society of witches hiding underneath everyday life. This dark side of high society that’s covertly pulling the strings to take over the world.

Black Sunday and Witchfinder General get into the topic of revenge a lot more directly, with the former being about a witch returning beyond the grave 200 years later to exact vengeance on the descendants of those who wronged her. The film, which is the debut feature of Italian horror genius Mario Bava, appropriately chooses to capitalize on the more gruesome side of the occult, too. While Bava’s film interestingly nearly depicts its witches as vampires, what with all the blood drinking that goes down, it still deals with a fascination of the occult, and the idea of the past coming up to taint the present, a theme also present within Rosemary’s.

Witchfinder General looks at witches and revenge via an examination of a corrupt social order wherein witchfinders could just come into towns and torture confessions of witchcraft out of people. Much like Black Sunday, scenes here harken back to the 1600s to give witches context before indulging in extreme violence and sadistic torture. The boldest of the three, Witchfinder explores the idea of if there even are witches (which The Crucible—which is not horror, but also of this decade—is interested in), with it being more concerned about commenting on society’s ills, whereas the other films here are still trying to say something, but are also indulging the idea of witches, too. All of these pictures also effectively use witches as a veil to look at a broken society rather than being full-on horror movie monster antagonists at this point. While the ’60s helped usher in our perception of the occult in cinema, the ’70s greatly expanded on this.

Now that the public was at least familiar with witches, films could start beginning to use the icons in much more complex ways. Granted, what the ‘70s were trying to say with witches in cinema was largely a response to the conversation that the ‘60s brought up. Pivotal occult films from the era such as 1971’s both Blood on Satan’s Claw and The Devils carried heavy influences from Michael Reeves’ Witchfinder General. What the ‘70s was trying to say here with all of this was that now that previous films had introduced us to this evil, these movies could bring it forward, confront it, and get rid of it now that we know that it’s out there. Blood on Satan’s Claw examines this through a town coming under demonic possession, banding together, and killing the demonic beast that’s put them under this spell. The Devils, a fellow folk horror film also out of the UK, again puts the power in a naïve, scared society that responds to rumors of a priest being accused of witchcraft and the public circus created being more of the point.

Arguably the most prolific, well-known feature on witches to rise out of the ‘70s though was rising auteur, Dario Argento’s, Suspiria from 1977. While it helped close out the decade and would remain in people’s consciousness, the film has still maintained its famed reputation to this day, being considered one of the more definitive films on the topic. Set in a ballet academy rather than a suspicious village, Suspiria continues the theme of dragging this darkness out into the open, but rather than it letting suspicions and accusations fuel its violence, people here are getting straight up murdered by witches, with there being a rather high body count in the process.

Suspiria acts as a good transition film into the ‘80s where witchcraft would leave its shrouded, more secretive place of mysticism and become more of an actual violent force to be reckoned with. Suspiria would also play with the idea of connecting the topic of witches and motherhood (which is also briefly touched on in The Devils), which would suddenly become a much more common component of the area moving forward. With the framework being set on witches and it being understood as a problem to help explain social issues, films were now ready to make this threat become more of an individual terror and begin to start subverting the idea.

The ‘80s and ‘90s saw us largely getting comfortable with witches as an idea—even bored with them, perhaps—which is why this reflexive, less serious look at them began to be had. Make no mistake, they’re still frightening beings (and even fare that’s meant to be lighter like The Witches still features some terrifying imagery), but it’s almost as if humor is now needed so we’ll let down our guards and the big scares will mean even more in the end. This time period not only saw features that catered to the more comedic, desensitized side of witches, such as in the cases of The Witches of Eastwick, The Witches, or Hocus Pocus (which wouldn’t have been included here, but there’s a very evil vein running through the picture), but even fodder that was meant to be more frightening, like Pumpkinhead, Warlock, or The Craft, still slotted witches into parodical, sometimes even silly, positions. It didn’t help their case that the long running, toned down WB witch-soap, Charmed, was also a product of these times as well.

Now that the brass tacks of witches have been established, the more absurd, unconventional plotlines that the rest of the supernatural have become inundated with are able to be played with. No one is wondering what a witch is anymore or where they came from, which is why a story where a witch is used to summon a giant pumpkin-headed vengeance demon, like in Pumpkinhead can be told. Warlock sees a male witch get transported by Satan from the 1600s to 20th century Los Angeles, with his witch-hunter appropriately hot on his heels. This is the fun that can be had now.

Other works from this time period such as The Witches of Eastwick, The Witches, and The Craft are specifically concerned with the stereotypes of witches that have come to be settled on at this point in pop culture. ‘60s and ‘70s cinema might be trying to educate in this regard and make you aware of a certain piece of history, but these pictures are all about bucking convention. You think you know what witches are? Well think again…

I suppose it’s only appropriate that the film from this era that would turn its back on the rest of these movies and strive to make witches feared again, would come out at the end of the decade in 1999. Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick’s The Blair Witch Project, a barebones found-footage film chronicling a number of campers investigating an old folktale about a local witch, brought the horror back to witchcraft. And it wisely goes about doing this through the necessary task of re-mystifying witches once more. So much of what makes The Blair Witch Project endlessly terrifying is the fact that you only see disparate pieces of all of it. You’re given more than enough details to pull together the occult-y storyline and figure out what all of the creepy evidence means, but that’s enough. After how overexposed and non-threatening witches had been rendered, these gaps and blind spots are what were needed to re-inject the topic with fear. We’ve been seeing everything these creatures have been doing for decades. Nothing is scarier than some mystery at this point.

With Blair Witch having properly refueled witches’ ammunition, the past fifteen years have worked hard to bank off of that, while also incorporating everything from the previous fifty years that has been looked at here. This has culminated in the most sophisticated storytelling on witches that we’ve seen yet, with the well of resources that it’s pulling from being the deepest it’s ever been. Let’s also not forget that it was during this time that we began to be bombarded with eight Harry Potter films, which won’t be looked at here due to them not fitting the horror mold, but they still managed to popularize witches with mass audiences in a tremendous way. The same can be said for the third season of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story, which delighted in milking “bitchcraft” for all it was worth, dragging it through bubbly, pink postmodernism all the while. With audiences becoming so hyper-aware and savvy at this point, filmmakers such as Lucky McKee, Sam Raimi, and Rob Zombie turned to complex subversions that pay respect—and nearly satirize—a lot of staples, when they directed The Woods, Drag Me to Hell, and Lords of Salem respectively. Whether the target is a haunted wood, gypsies, or the music scene, decades’ worth of witch films are touched upon through these titles, whether it’s their historical roots, bloody ties to Satan, or even the ultra-violent Giallo element that Argento brought to the spellcasters.

Then to synthesize this reflexivity with the structural innovation that The Blair Witch Project brought to the table, the Paranormal Activity franchise wrapped all of this into a single package that entertained audiences until it naturally hit its point of diminishing returns (which evidently was six films). Interestingly enough, these films didn’t market themselves to be about witches and the occult, but as the franchise continued references to witchcraft continued to be peppered throughout the films until they eventually became the central idea of the final two offerings.

With Paranormal Activity’s magic officially having cooled down, there’s been a bit of a void in terms of a new reigning voice in cinema for where to take witches. Considerable buzz has been generated around Robert Eggers upcoming horror film, The Witch, which terrified audiences this year at Sundance and has had people talking in hushed whispers about it ever since. The film, taking a page from the works out of the ‘60s such as Witchfinder General and Black Sunday sets its story back in the 1600s focusing its vision on witchcraft’s connection to religious hysteria and madness. The Witch seems to be pulling from a very primal place that relies on the witch lore itself being enough to haunt its audience, rather than depending on flashy effects and magic to make its point.

It’s only natural after witches have been taken through the whole gamut in cinema—especially lately—that the topic would cyclically return to its origin point. Once more the larger theme at hand has shifted from that of vengeance to one of doubt and nihilism. Again we are using the occult to explain our ignorance and answer our problems. Only because we know so much and have gotten exposed to so many incantations of what a witch is does this re-setting of the table work. To compare it to a reboot of a superhero franchise where the origin story is ironed once more isn’t a perfect analogy, but it’s one that works. The Witch will set the new timbre for what witches should be, and if the film connects even half as well as people are predicting it will, we’ll surely see this style and tone continued out for many more films to come until we’re burned at the stake out of heresy.

Categories: Horror News

What Happened When You Called Freddy Krueger’s Hotline?

bloody disgusting - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 16:01

Kids these days have Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and a plethora of other social media platforms to interact with movies.

But what did horror fans do in the 80’s and 90’s?

Scream was more socially relevant than you might recall, especially with Wes Craven behind the camera.

Craven’s A Nightmare On Elm Street franchise was so popular that a Freddy Krueger Hotline was launched (1-900-860-4-Fred; 1-900-909-Fred), which begged fans to call and take on Freddy in a trivia challenge.

With the recent passing of Craven, I started to reminisce on the Elm Street franchise, and recalled this insane hotline. It then dawned on me, I had never called and had no idea what would happen if I had. Then I realized, shit, YouTube has everything on it. After a quick search, I discovered videos of kids recording their calls to the hotline, as well as a series of TV Spots (thanks to lairofhorror for uploading).

Did anyone survive Freddy’s boiler room? In act, did anyone actually win an Elm Street role as promised in some of the promos?!

Categories: Horror News

[Podcast] Whatever – November 17th, 2015 – “Song of Horror”

bloody disgusting - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 15:42

One of the guys behind the indie survival-horror Song of Horror stops by for a chat. Also, Yo-kai Watch for 3DS, and Rise of the Tomb Raider on the Xbox 360. To help Song of Horror become a reality, back it on Kickstarter!

CALL US! Dial (404) 330-9945 anytime day or night, leave a message, and we just might play it on the show!

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Categories: Horror News

‘Most Likely to Die’: A Deathly High School Reunion (Trailer)

bloody disgusting - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 15:41

With Magnet releasing his Last Shift (now on Netflix Instant), the director of Dread, Missionary and Cassadaga took his slasher Most Likely to Die to AFM last week.

Penned by Laura Brennan, and starring Chad Addison, Jake Busey and Tess Christiansen, Anthony DiBlasi’s latest follows, “A group of former classmates gather for a pre-party at one of their homes the night before their 10-year high school reunion, and one by one, they are brutally slain in a manner befitting each’s senior yearbook superlative.

Most Likely to Die is said to be an homage to 80’s slasher genre.

Check out the film’s first clip here.

Thanks to Fabien M. for the tip.

Categories: Horror News

AFM 2015: Sales Art Blow-Out Part 2! Terrordactyl and More!

Dread Central - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 15:46

Each year Santa Monica, CA, hosts the American Film Market, where buyers and sellers gather to show off their latest projects. It’s also when we typically bring you a boatload of sales art, and we did so last week. But just like any good horror movie… there’s always a sequel.

Related Story: All AFM 2015 News Here

Kick back, relax, and dig on the second batch of everything that’s fit to print, INCLUDING the second bit of sales art for the wonderfully titled Terrordactyl!


The post AFM 2015: Sales Art Blow-Out Part 2! Terrordactyl and More! appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

A Haunted Synthesizer Stalks in Nightcrawler’s New Video

bloody disgusting - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 15:35

Horror-infused retrosynth artist Nightcrawler have released an official music video for their track “Haunted Keys”. Themed after 70’s horror films, the video tells the tale of a haunted synthesizer that won’t leave a musician alone. In fact, its powers are so great that it can withstand bullets and even an exorcism, going so far as to…well, you’ll just have to see.

You can buy the Haunted Keys single via Bandcamp.

Categories: Horror News

Fan-Made Friday the 13th Coffee Table Will Drop Your Jaw

Dread Central - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 15:34

We absolutely love when horror fans put their talents to use and pay tribute to their favorite movies in their own creative ways, and that’s why we’re always happy to share that DIY handiwork here on Dread Central. On tap today is a Jason Voorhees coffee table that is, well, to die for.

This bad boy comes our way courtesy of DIY master RLS FX, who has been creating his own horror props since the age of 10. As the artist explains on his Facebook page, which you can check out by clicking the link you just passed by, it was a childhood trip to Toys R Us that sparked his creativity.

I can clearly remember wanting an over-priced, very poorly made Freddy Krueger glove from Toys R Us but was too poor to purchase it,” he recalls. “I figured I could do better anyway, so I made a real one just by looking at the scenes from the first movie – the same went for the makeup.”

I’ve been self-taught in every way. Using only what I had available to me, which I used to call my ‘poor man’s FX tools’,” RLS continues. “Although I now use professional grade materials, I still find that a lot of my makeshift ideas work much better.”

Based on The New Blood, RLS’ Friday the 13th coffee table depicts Voorhees in his watery grave, and all sorts of bells and whistles make it the ultimate conversation piece. The Jason prop housed inside is covered with a glass lid, and LED lighting, as well as audio from the film, really brings it to life.

Check out photos and videos of the world’s coolest coffee table below!

The post Fan-Made Friday the 13th Coffee Table Will Drop Your Jaw appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

The Walking Dead Experience – Chapter 1 Opening Soon in Atlanta

Dread Central - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 14:15

Walker Stalker Con, in partnership with Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment, is hosting “The Walking Dead Experience – Chapter 1,” an immersive attraction created by acclaimed director Michael Counts, for a limited run, November 18-29, near Atlantic Station in Atlanta, Georgia, at 218 14th Street NW.

If you live in or near the city of Atlanta, it’s one event you don’t want to miss!  Read on for all the gory details.

From the Press Release:
The Walker Stalker Con, now the second largest fan convention in North America, in partnership with Skybound Entertainment, the Los Angeles-based entertainment company led by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and executive producer David Alpert, have come together to present a new immersive experience and attraction created by Michael Counts, the theater luminary who has been called a “mad genius” by the New York Times. The production premiered at the 2015 Atlanta Walker Stalker Con, at the Georgia World Congress Center, to sold out audiences and critical acclaim. Among the first to experience the attraction were celebrities Chandler Riggs, Jordan Woods-Robinson, Cory Brill, Michael Traynor, and others from “The Walking Dead” and its new spin-off, “Fear the Walking Dead,” including Lincoln A. Castellanos.

“The Walking Dead Experience – Chapter 1” is a 30-minute full-throttle immersive attraction that drops audiences straight into the chaotic and terrifying world of The Walking Dead. Experienced in small (7-person) audience groups, “Chapter 1” sends participants on an adventure through the edge of a small town on the night the outbreak hit – the night zombies began their rampage and the social order began to unravel.

Set in over 10,000 square feet of highly produced sets and employing state-of-the-art technology and never-before-seen special effects, this attraction promises to take the rapidly developing genre of “immersive” extensions of popular entertainment brands to the next level. Counts, who is one of the early pioneers of immersive theater and attractions, boldly described “The Walking Dead Experience – Chapter 1” as “the scariest and most fully transportive production of this type ever made.”

As the first chapter in an episodic series, this installment renders the “world on the night hell broke loose” at the start of the outbreak that led to the zombie apocalypse. Subsequent productions will continue the stories and experiences introduced in “Chapter 1.” Though the experience is designed so that each episode can stand alone, the structure of the concept follows the expanding story framework of The Walking Dead comic books, TV show, and video game series.

James Frazier, founder of Walker Stalker, executive producer of this project, and one of the leaders of the TWD fan community, explained his motivation as a direct response to the desires of the fans like himself: “We’ve heard the fans’ desire for more immersive and terrifying experiences at our events. ‘The Walking Dead Experience – Chapter 1’ is the response to that desire! We’ve all wanted to be thrown into the middle of TWD. Now we can do that in a way that is true to what TWD is and in a way that we can expand upon in upcoming chapters. This is the ultimate in ‘fan fiction’!” He added, “As a fan of TWD, this is a dream come true to create an immersive experience with the team of Robert Kirkman, Skybound, and Michael Counts.”

Jon Goldman, Managing Partner of Skybound, said of the project, “The Walking Dead has been extremely successful working with fellow creators to expand the universe of The Walking Dead. We’re excited to extend Robert’s vision to live, immersive entertainment.”

Tickets for the attraction allow audiences to choose whether they want to be a “survivor” and/or a “walker,” and premium ticket options offer additional unique opportunities like show quality “walker” make-up and a customized one-on-one experience that the production calls a “sole survivor” ticket. Tickets start at $50.

Counts’ production team includes longtime collaborators Ryan O’Gara (Hamilton) – lights; Matt Haber and Phil Gulley (Michael Kors, Grand Central Station) – Video and Special Effects; Caleb Sharp (Fighting Gravity) – Sound Design; Katie Fleming (Sleep No More, Queen of the Night) – Props, Set Dressing, and Associate Scenic Design; and Katie Naka (Blue Man Group) – Production Management and Associate Direction. The project and ongoing tour are being produced and managed by Captain Worldwide.

For more info and tickets, visit the-walking-dead-experience.ticketleap.com.


The post The Walking Dead Experience – Chapter 1 Opening Soon in Atlanta appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

This Gift is a Curse “Swinelord” Video Premiere [Exclusive]

bloody disgusting - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 14:00

We’ve teamed up with Swedish blackened death metal band This Gift is a Curse to bring you the Satanic and unsettling video premiere of “Swinelord”, which comes from their new album All Hail the Swine Lord!

If the prospect of Satanic rituals didn’t tickle your fancy, just read this description of their new album and tell me it doesn’t sound like some sort of Clive Barker-esque horror film:
This Gift is a Curse unleash a black storm of chaos with ‘All Hail the Swinelord’. The Swedish blackened metal/crust quartet holding nothing back as they swarm the listener with tortured screams of agony, dissonant riffing, and furious drumming. ‘All Hail the Swinelord’ delivers relentless and oppressive fury from the start and leaves no room for mercy.

You can order the album via Season of Mist.

Warning: People with epilepsy may want to avoid this video due to consistent flashing lights.

This Gift is a Curse online:
Big Cartel

Categories: Horror News

Catch Lorne Dixon’s Slippery Blue Eel on November 30th

Dread Central - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 14:00

According to Lorne Dixon, author of the upcoming psychedelic thriller Blue Eel, which Cutting Block Books is releasing on November 30th, it’s time for a new kind of horror book. A proponent of “progressive horror,” a subset of the genre rooted in current social anxieties, Dixon believes the time of traditional monster novels and rewritten urban legends is over.

An established author whose titles include Snarl, The Lifeless, and Eternal Unrest, Dixon’s latest work focuses on the more realistic fears that plague today’s society.

“Blue Eel sits at the crossroads of horror and noir, presenting characters in various stages of moral decay,” Dixon reveals. “Millennials and GenX readers especially will respond to the novel’s modern sensibilities and themes. There are no creaking castle doors or cursed family trees here. The fears on display reflect the anxieties manifesting in today’s society—and tomorrow’s.”

If Blue Eel sounds up your alley, then you can pre-order it from Amazon now.

Long suspected of guilt in his daughter Madeline’s disappearance, Branson Turaco takes an abrupt turn in his life when a lock of Madeline’s hair is found in a child predator’s home. Branson buys an unlicensed handgun, enlists the help of a disgraced filmmaker and a desperate intern, and heads out onto the open road.

Clinging to the dim hope that his daughter might still be alive, Branson finds himself pursued by a team of post-human assassins with glowing skin and a symbiotic relationship with a mysterious species of eel. Lost in a psychedelic world of uncontrollable substances and bizarre evolutions, he must decide how much he is willing to sacrifice in order to unravel the mystery of Madeline’s disappearance.

What remains of a man once he sheds his humanity in the name of vengeance?

The post Catch Lorne Dixon’s Slippery Blue Eel on November 30th appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Werewolves Come Howling in Adrian Phoenix’s Thinning the Herd

Dread Central - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 12:00

Adrian Phoenix, the New York Times bestselling author of A Rush of Wings and The Maker’s Song series, has a humorous, action-packed urban fantasy about a werewolf pack and an animal control officer in over his head heading our way in January of next year.  If that sounds like the type of book you’d enjoy, then read on for a few more details about Thinning the Herd.

Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Star imprint is releasing Phoenix’s new novel on January 4, 2016.  You can pre-order the Thinning the Herd eBook now from Amazon.

Someone is picking off fortune tellers and hippies in Oregon, snatching them out of their Birkenstocks mid-stride. And when the legend himself, Hal Rupert, Animal Control Officer, gets a whiff of the mystery, he knows he’s the man to solve it. In between proudly wrangling out-of-control cats and dogs, he’s noticed a peculiar uptick in another sort of animal… werewolves.

Hal infiltrates the country fair to investigate the disappearance of the flower children. But his real priority is protecting the love of his life, Desdemona Cohen, whose long purple tresses and black-glossed lips captured his heart the moment he first saw her standing behind the register at Hot Topic. Desdemona may have nicknamed Hal “Creep,” but he’s determined to win her heart. And, you know, save everyone else, too.

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Categories: Horror News