Far Far Away Site has more than a handful of first images from FX’s debut three episodes of “American Horror Story: Freak Show”.
Unlike the previous three seasons, “Freak Show” looks very “bright” as the carnival takes to the road. It also looks really hot and dirty.
In Episode 4.01, “Monsters Among Us,” written by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, and directed by Ryan Murphy: “One of the only surviving sideshows in the country struggles to stay in business during the dawning era of television. When police make a terrifying discovery at a local farmhouse, the eccentric purveyor of the freak show sees an opportunity that will lead her troupe either to their salvation or ruin.“
4.02, “Massacres and Matinees,” was written by Tim Minear and directed by The Town That Dreaded Sundown‘s Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. “A citywide curfew threatens to shut down the Freak Show. A strongman from Ethel’s troubled past arrives at camp. Gloria arranges a terrifying play date for Dandy. The Tattler Twins reveal a talent that could knock Elsa from the spotlight.“
Episode 4.03 is titled “Edward Mordrake Part 1,” although there’s no synopsis yet.
Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe and Evan Peters return. New cast includes Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, John Carroll Lynch, Finn Wittrock, Patti LaBelle and the world’s smallest living woman, Jyoti Amge.
“American Horror Story: Freak Show” premieres Wednesday, October 8 at 10 PM ET/PT.
Allstate spokesperson Dennis Haysbert (okay, I tease. He starred in “24″) has been cast as one of the leads in Legendary Digital and Crackle’s zombie movie “Dead Rising,” reports TheWrap.
Set during an epic zombie outbreak that a mandatory government vaccine failed to stop, “Dead Rising” debuted on the Xbox 360 console in 2006 and has since spawned a video game franchise that has sold more than 6.5 million copies worldwide.
Zach Lipovsky (Leprechaun: Origins) will direct “Dead Rising,” which is being executive produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura. The 90-minute feature is based on the Capcom property and will mark the first release from Legendary Digital Media.
Sony’s Crackle will give “Dead Rising” an exclusive digital release in the U.S. before the film receives a multi-platform release on SVOD, VOD, DVD and TV, while Content Media Corp. (“Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn”) will distribute both feature-length and episodic formats on international platforms.
Amidst the assault of YA adaptations flooding our theaters nowadays, The Maze Runner feels like the abused stepchild of the bunch. There’s no love triangle. No bullshit soul-searching. No overtly hunky guys taking their shirts off in the rain. Hell, the only girl in the film feels tacked on. Based on James Dashner’s* 2009 novel, Wes Ball’s feature debut is a sharply streamlined and ambitious YA adventure that pushes its PG-13 rating to the limit.
The Maze Runner throws you right into its world. There’s no prologue or drab opening narration explaining what the hell is going on. Instead, we’re shoved right into the middle of it along with MTV Teen Wolf star Dylan O’Brien. He plays Thomas, a young man who awakens vomiting as he’s hurled towards the surface in something like a service elevator. He emerges in the Glade, a massive field that resembles a summer survivalist camp for boys, walled-in by an ominous maze. He’s quickly hazed by the other boys, including a brutish Will Poulter (Son of Rambow) and Aml Ameen, the unofficial leader of the camp.
The camaraderie these Lord of the Flies castaways display is typically reserved for prison camp. There’s a grizzly maturity about all the boys that helps elevate The Maze Runner above its YA kin. It even feels more mature than the Hunger Games films, the reigning champ of YA adaptations. These ain’t no slack-jawed tweens in The Maze Runner. These kids have seen some shit.
As Thomas learns the ins and outs of the Glade, the maze entrance torments him. The boys believe the maze is their way out and they’ve been struggling for three years to solve it. Gradually Thomas’ knack for leadership and inherent resourcefulness emerge, causing strife with Poulter, who’s the resident power-hungry bully. Thomas doesn’t get balls deep into the maze until well into the first hour and that’s where the Grievers come in. These giant biomechanical, spider beasts patrol the maze, leaving trails of boogers and blood in their wake. The Grievers are the only real CGI-heavy aspects of the film, which is cool since Wes Ball runs his own effects company. He could’ve easily laid on a thick glaze of CGI. Instead, The Maze Runner has an edgy, more dirty feel – thanks in big part to shooting done in rural Louisiana.
Wisely, the film only reveals just enough as it moves along. We only learn about the maze and its origins as Thomas delves deeper. The maze itself is really bleak and reminded me of those shots of Trent Reznor in the pool in the “Perfect Drug” video. The architecture is blunt, with vines and ivy littering its walls. There’s a few notable sections of it, like the “blades,” but it seems like parts may have been left out from the book that included more exciting sections of the labyrinth (anyone read it who can confirm this?).
The young cast does a knockout job effectively conveying the spectrum of feelings the characters endure – from terrifying confusion and defeat to courageous resolve and betrayal. It’s a truly great ensemble of young actors. As Teresa (the lone girl of the group), Kaya Scodelario is not given much to do at all. However, it is refreshing that none of the boys react romantically towards her, forcing an unnecessary subplot. Instead she’s treated just like one of the boys, but overall feels like a last minute attachment by the studios to avoid an all-male cast. Anyone know if she has a larger role in the book?
Rookie Wes Ball and his Maze Runner are definitely not just Hunger Games biters. It’s a far better film than recent YA outings like Divergent and whatever the hell that Mortal Instruments silliness was about. I thought it was more exciting than both Hunger Games combined. The ending is left extremely open-ended for a sequel, gambling on this film’s financial success. If they do continue the story of Thomas and the loneliness of the long distance Maze Runner, I’ll definitely be checking it out.
* His name is Dashner and he wrote a book about a runner? That’s like a guy named Strummer writing a book about a guitar player.
From Here Comes the Devil director Adrian Garcia Bogliano, we now have the official one-sheet for Late Phases, a practical effects heavy werewolf film Patrick Cooper raves about.
Penned by Under the Bed‘s Eric Stolze, Dark Sky’s latest horror offering that stars Stake Land‘s Nick Damici, Ethan Embry, Lance Guest, Erin Cummings, Rutanya Alda, Tina Louise, Caitlin O’Heaney, Karen Lynn Gorney, Dana Ashbrook, and the great Tom Noonan.
In the film, “Crescent Bay is not the ideal place to spend one’s golden years, especially since the once-idyllic retirement community has been beset by a series of deadly animal attacks from the ominous forest surrounding it. When grizzled war veteran Ambrose McKinley (Nick Damici) is forced into moving there by his yuppie son Will (Ethan Embry), the residents immediately take offense to Ambrose’s abrasive personality. But that take-no-prisoners attitude may be just what Ambrose needs to survive as it becomes clear that the attacks are being caused by creatures that are neither animal nor man, and that the tight-knit community of Crescent Bay is hiding something truly sinister in its midst…”
AMC shared a few zombie beauty shots to go along with cast photos and first details for the fifth season of “The Walking Dead”, which premieres on Sunday, October 12 at 9:00pm ET/PT.
It stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chad Coleman, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney, Danai Gurira and Sonequa Martin-Green.
Season Four of “The Walking Dead” ended with Rick and the group outgunned, outnumbered, and trapped in a train car awaiting a grim fate. Season Five picks up shortly thereafter. What follows is a story that weaves the true motives of the people of Terminus with the hopeful prospect of a cure in Washington, D.C., the fate of the group’s lost comrades, as well as new locales, new conflicts, and new obstacles in keeping the group together and staying alive.
Stories will break apart and intersect. The characters will find love and hate. Peace and conflict. Contentment and terror. And, in the quest to find a permanent, safe place to call home, one question will haunt them… After all they’ve seen, all they’ve done, all they’ve sacrificed, lost, and held on to no matter what the cost…Who do they become?
It is based on the comic created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard.
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
Matt Smith, who recently completed a four-season stint starring in “Doctor Who,” and stars in Terminator: Genisys, has joined the cast of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel, writes THR.
The long-in-the-works, on-and-off again project is finally going before cameras Sept. 24 with a cast that includes Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote and Douglas Booth. Burr Steers is behind the camera.
“The movie is a horror-comedy spin on Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” The heroine, Liz Bennett (James), is pressured by her family to marry into a wealthy upper-class home but chafes at the stiff social mores of Victorian England. Instead, she feels that she should help defend the countryside against the onslaught of a horrifying zombie plague.”
Smith will play Mr. Collins, a parson who is on the lookout for a wife and proposes to Bennett.
Here’s the first poster for Wolves, X-Men and Watchmen writer David Hayter’s feature directorial debut.
The pic, starring Lucas Till, Merritt Patterson, Stephen McHattie and Jason Momoa, will be released VOD on October 16th and opens in theaters on November 14th.
“Popular high school student Cayden Richards wakes from a horrific nightmare, only to realize that he’s living it… He is changing into something vicious, unpredictable and wild. Forced to hit the road after the brutal murder of his parents, Cayden tries to hunt down the truth of what he is. In the remote, mountain town of Lupine Ridge, he discovers others like him — Including the beautiful Angelina, a young woman caught between two ancient clans of “wolves”. And when he finally discovers the shocking truth behind his ancestry, Cayden realizes there is only one way to save the woman he loves… A grisly fight to the death, against forces more savage than he could have ever imagined.“
Last night Justin Long participated in a reddit AMA to support Tusk, in theaters this Friday. Hilariously titled, “I’m Justin Long and I’m lonely…let’s talk…please,” the actor responded to fan questions about Smith’s Human Centipede-esque horror, as well as the long-gestured Jeepers Creepers sequels.
As many of you know, Long got his start by starring in Galaxy Quest, Happy Campers, and of course Victor Salva’s creature feature, Jeepers Creepers.
It has been 15 years since the first film hit theaters, and quietly revived the horror genre. Say what you will about the film, but it had a huge impact on the release of true horror. It’s also been 11 years since we saw its sequel, and talk back-to-back sequels have been public for years. What’s the hold up?
“There is a script (it’s called “Jeepers Creepers: Cathedral”),” Long reveals to the AMA crowd. “Gina [Philips] plays the lead in it (which would be awesome to see her come back and kick some ass).
“It’s been tough getting off the ground, financially, unfortunately. According to Victor, I do get my hands on a flashback.”
There you have it, Jeepers Creepers: Cathedral is set to be the third film if Salva can ever find financing. Long would return in a flashback, while Phillips would star.
In the 1999 film, Long and Phillips play a brother and sister driving home for spring break whom encounter a flesh-eating creature in the isolated countryside that is on the last day of its ritualistic eating spree.
Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with Norwegian hard rock band Audrey Horne to bring you the exclusive music video premiere for “Out Of The City”, a crazy, puppet-filled romp of insanity! The track comes from the band’s upcoming album Pure Heavy, which comes out October 7th (pre-order here.
The band states:
We are proud to present the best music video ever made! If MTV had any self-respect, they would drop all their reality shit and blast OUT OF THE CITY 24/7.
Thanks to Johan and Maria for partying with us! Enjoy, and stay pure heavy folks!
Head below for this wild ride of a video!
The band continues, adding:
This video is a result of the fact that we have used the muppetshow intro in our live shows and that we identify ourselves with this kind of creatures. Its a pluss that these dolls look way better than we do. Johan was into it when we asked if he wanted to hang out with some rather weird puppets, and he brought his wife in case things got out of control. Of course it did so a lot of crazy scenes with Ice Dale had to be removed and cut out. We want to asure that no puppets were injured during the making of this video … except the Ice Dale puppet.
Johan Hegg states:
I must admit I was a bit surprised when my wife and I was asked to be a part of this video, but since we’re good friends with the guys and we both really like the band it wasn’t exactly a hard decision. I really liked the idea for the video, and if you ask me it’s just bloody hilarious!
Maria Rizell Hegg adds:
I really love Audrey Horne. No Hay Banda got me totally hooked and I’ve been a fan ever since. The video shoot was therefor a great honor and it was so easy to work with the band. We’d just put them in a box when it was time to go to the next location.
Director Lukas Hambach:
Audrey Horne is a unique band, blending heaviness with a positive vibe. We felt that combining Johan Hegg and puppets resembling the band members would be an awesome way to underline this mix. Of course this created some challenges, but I’m really proud of the end result and hope people will have as much fun watching it as we had in making it!
Slipknot are in full promotional mode for their upcoming album .5: The Gray Chapter, which comes out October 21st. They’ve released two singles, “The Negative One” and “The Devil In I”, and have also announced a tour with Korn that will head out this fall.
One of the things that people were incredibly curious about was the new masks that the band would be premiering, which they showcased in the video for “The Devil In I”.
But a closer look is always good and we’ve got a gallery below that shows the masks in .gif format, giving the pictures the appearance of movement.
What do you think of the new masks?
Japanese instrumental rock band Mono have released a stream of “Recoil, Ignite (Part II)” from one of their upcoming albums Rays Of Darkness, which you can stream below. The album, along with its counterpart The Last Dawn, will be released October 18th via Temporary Residence.
The description of both albums reads:
The Last Dawn and Rays of Darkness are a pair of new albums by MONO. Recorded simultaneously yet conceptually and creatively disparate, the two act as both opposing and complementary sides to a story. No strangers to narratives, the twin albums explore familiar themes for the band: Hope and hopelessness, love and loss, immense joy and unspeakable pain. Those elemental parts of life and the complicated relationships they create have never been more resonant through MONO’s music than they are here. Rays of Darkness is the first MONO album in 15 years to feature no orchestral instruments whatsoever. That fact alone is remarkable given the band’s reputation for sweeping, dramatic instrumentals that recall Oscar-worthy film scores. Instead, Rays of Darkness more closely resembles a jet engine taking off inside a small, crowded auditorium. It is MONO’s blackest album ever, a collection of scorched riffs, doom rhythms, and an unexpected contribution from post-hardcore pioneer Tetsu Fukagawa of Envy. The album ends with the smoldering wreckage of distorted guitars and ominous drones playing out a eulogy to the days when MONO shot blinding rays of light through seemingly endless darkness.
You can pre-order Rays Of Darkness here.
THR reports that Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores, the horror duo known as The Butcher Brothers (The Violent Kind, pictured, The Hamiltons, April Fool’s Day), have cast their upcoming film The Beginners Guide to Snuff, setting Joey Kern (Cabin Fever, “Workaholics”), Luke Edwards (The Wizard), Bree Williamson (“True Detective”) and Brad Greenquist (Water for Elephants) to star.
“The story centers on two actor brothers (Kern and Edwards) who are trying to make it in Hollywood, and decide to make a pretend snuff film to get ahead. In hopes of making it more realistic, they kidnap an actress (Williamson) so they can capture her terror on film. But they soon discover they have messed with the wrong woman. Greenquist will play the head of security at a theme park who has a dark edge to his work.“
Cory Knauf, Adam Weis and Mitchell Altieri wrote the script for The Beginners Guide to Snuff.
Principal photography will begin this month in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles residents get ready for the gathering of a lifetime. No, not the Gathering of the Juggalos (barf), but a Halloween reunion to die for!
Eighteen actors and creative artists, spanning the entire 35 year history of the iconic Halloween film franchise, will descend upon Burbank’s famed gothic retailer Dark Delicacies (3512 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank) to sign copies of Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory’s massive 15-disc Halloween Complete Collection Blu-ray set.
Come see a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of on-screen and behind-the-scenes graduates from the “Michael Myers Film School of Survival!”
The event takes place Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014, 7:30pm.
Here’s the full guest list:
PJ Soles, Halloween (“Lynda Vanderklok”)
Raymond O’Connor, Halloween 4 (“Security Guard”)
Tom Morga, Halloween 4
Erik Preston, Halloween 4 (“Young Michael Myers”)
Kathleen Kinmont. Halloween 4, (“Kelly Meeker”)
Matthew Walker, Halloween 5 (“Spitz”)
Frankie Como, Halloween 5 (“Deputy Nick Ross”)
Daniel Farrands, Halloween 6, Writer
JC Brandy, Halloween 6, (“Jamie”)
Jeffrey Landman, Halloween 6, (“Billy Hill”)
Daisy McCrackin, Halloween Resurrection
Brad Hardin, Halloween 6 and Halloween H20, Special FX Make-up
Adam Hann-Byrd, Halloween H20 (“Charles Deveraux”)
Chris Durand, Halloween H20, (“Michael Myers”)
Donna Keegan Avery, Halloween H20, Stunt Double JLC
Gary Glayton, Halloween Resurrection (“Young Michael”)
Caroline Williams, Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2
Alan Howarth – Composer for 5 Halloween films
Sean Clark – Documentary
In stores September 23, you’ll find full details on this massive box set – of which I’m currently binge watching – by clicking here.
FX artist turned director Victor Garcia’s new film The Damned (formerly Gallows Hill) features well-worn horror conventions and relatively generic thrills. Thankfully, it offers them up in a nice, atmospheric package devoid of many of the obnoxious filmmaking and editing techniques so many horror movies rely on nowadays. It gets off to a fairly slow start and barrages the audience with familial bickering that serves as backstory. Once it picks up though, The Damned offers up some decent thrills and surprises in a thickly eerie setting.
Peter Facinelli (Hollow Man II) plays David Reynolds, a man who travels to Colombia to retrieve his daughter Jill (Nathalia Ramos) from college. She refuses to go along with her dad because she despises his new fiancé Lauren (Sophia Myles). Ever since the death of her mother, Jill has been aggressively rebellious towards he dad, choosing instead to live with her aunt Gina (Carolina Guerra), a reporter in Colombia. Jill’s been getting romantic with her aunt’s cameraman, Ramón. Like I said, there’s a lot of family stuff going on in the first half.
Before the movie can turn into August: Osage County, the whole gang finds themselves stranded in a torrential downpour deep in the rainforest. They make their way to a secluded hotel, which is home to a sketchy old man (Gustavo Angarita) who warns them not to roam around the place. They of course do and find a little girl locked in the basement. When they attempt to free her, the old man turns violent.
This is where Garcia and screenwriter Richard D’Ovidio (Exit Wounds) start getting to the good stuff. Genre fans see where the story is going, but that doesn’t make the chills any less effective. Some of the jump scare moments and overtly gory stuff do fail to hit the mark. Where The Damned really excels is in its haunted house atmosphere and supernatural mythos. The evil being in the film, the “bruja,” has a really great story and Garcia really embellishes her story and role as a manipulative bitch.
There are a few moments during the excitement that threaten to drag the story down. These mainly involve the familial tensions that were set up early on. It’s handled in a pretty skillful way though, as the supernatural force uses it against Peter and Jill. By the end, Peter’s motivations become a bit muddled up, like Garcia and D’Ovidio weren’t sure how to wrap things up. Overall though, The Damned is a conventional horror film that manages to defy expectations enough times to make it a worthwhile watch.
Dirk Manning has worked almost exclusively with horror comics throughout his career, and to say he loves the genre would be an understatement. He is, after all, from Hell, Michigan according to his Twitter profile. This week Manning (alongside artist Seth Damoose) brings back his post-Rapture desperado for another bout with otherworldly monsters in Tales of Mr. Rhee: Karmageddon #1. The first issue is a lot of setup with promises made for what’s to come in later issues. Of course, there’s some fun and violence along the way to help launch a new chapter for Mr. Rhee.
WRITTEN BY: Dirk Manning
ART BY: Seth Damoose
PUBLISHER: Devils Due Entertainment
RELEASE: September 17, 2014
Reviewed By: Lonnie Nadler
One thing that remains from the first volume of Mr. Rhee is the eponymous character’s cagey past, and daily struggles with former ghosts. Such matters kick off the issue, but even with those glimpses into a dark past, this is a story anyone can understand without prior knowledge. In medias-Armageddon-res, Rhee has just killed a bunch of demons and some innocent bystanders along the way. An overzealous Christian man uses his last breath to ask that Rhee protect his surviving children and get them to safety. Rhee agrees and they hit the road, hell-bent on getting to his “teacher’s” place before the demons come completely to surface.
There is a lot of back and forth dialogue this issue between Rhee and Abby, the eldest daughter, which mostly functions to set up her religious background and her concern for her siblings. As a result the latter half of the issue lacks action, but it comes with the guarantee that the next issue will see Mr. Rhee, and the children he’s sworn to protect, in the heart of apocalyptic chaos.
One thing you always get from Manning, regardless of the project, is a distinct feeling of love for his work. The issue bleeds with passion for the genre, and there’s no substitute for that. It is evident how much he adores this black-magic drifter and the crazy world that surrounds him.
Damoose’s art is hit and miss throughout the issue. While his style is distinctive, it comes with a digital look that I’ve never been too keen on for horror comics. The exaggerated features make light of the subject matter at specific moments that call for dramatic tension. A lot of my issue comes down to coloring. The last volume of Tales of Mr. Rhee was done in monochrome, which perfectly matched the mood of the story. The vibrant colors on display here often fail to connect with the apocalyptic setting. Combined with the lack of action, it feels that Damoose wasn’t able to spread his wings. I hope that will change for issue #2.
Despite the slow start, I am rather excited for this series to get rolling with some Lovecraftian goodness that is promised at the end of this issue. And anyone that knows Manning knows Great Cthulhu is never far off.
The dead are back for life this October.
Lionsgate just send us another two new images from Jessabelle, their new haunter from Saw VI director Kevin Greutert.
In the film that opens in theaters and on various VOD platforms November 7, “Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle (Sarah Snook) comes face to face with a long-tormented spirit that has been seeking her return — and has no intention of letting her escape.”
Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, Joelle Carter, Ana De La Reguera and Amber Stevens star.
We told you Paramount Pictures had fast-tracked the next Paranormal Activity, and it has been confirmed this Wednesday afternoon.
Now titled Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, the sixth film in the franchise will release on March 13, 2015, filling in a slot left vacant by Paramount’s horror comedy Scouts Vs. Zombies. Right now, Greg Plotkin is working at lightning speed from a screenplay by Jason Pagan and Andrew Stark.
In regards to Scouts Vs. Zombies, directed by directed by Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones‘ Christopher Landon, it has moved February 20, 2014.
Tye Sheridan (Dark Places), Logan Miller (Night Moves), and newcomer Joey Morgan are three scouts who, on the eve of their last camp out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak. Rounding out the cast is Sarah Dumont (Don Jon) as Denise, David Koechner (Anchorman, Cheap Thrills) as Scout Leader Rogers, Cloris Leachman (The Last Picture Show) as Ms. Fielder, Halston Sage (Neighbors) as Kendall, and Patrick Schwarzenegger (Stuck In Love) as Jeff.
Christos Gage and Nicholas Brendon assemble a hilariously scripted issue of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10”, that’s thoroughly engaging and authentically crafted; with great interior artwork from Rebekah Isaacs to boot.
WRITTEN BY: Christos Gage, Nicholas Brendon
ART BY: Rebekah Isaacs
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: September 17, 2014
Reviewed By: ShadowJayd
After exorcizing a haunted apartment building at the behest of a desperate landlady in exchange for cheap rent, the gang begins settling into their new digs, whilst slowly, but surely, making progress with the VAMPYR book. It’s a responsibility that mustn’t be taken lightly, as any proposed addition to the book could potentially yield disastrous results for their world, and many power-hungry beings would love to get their hands on it. With that in mind, Willow starts to secure their apartments with protective spells, and suggests that new roommates, Xander and Spike, take care of the book until her shared apartment with Buffy and Dawn is locked down. What follows is a fabulous lesson in comedic storytelling and pop culture references from Gage and Brendon, as the boys bicker and bond over tempting fate in the name of love.
It’s really a treat to see such spot-on representations of Whedon’s characters brought to life through Gage and Brendon’s ability to effectively capture their subjects’ voices; although Spike is not without his awkward colloquial faults at times. The light tone, and back-and-forth between characters feels familiar; like home. And that’s not an easy feat to achieve when writing for a hugely popular franchise. Though to expect anything less from these two writers would be silly given the success of their previous collaborative work. The quick wit of both authors feed off each other to the inclusion of more amusing moments between Xander and Spike, of which there is no shortage in this issue. Seriously, there’s enough Spander fan-service for your spank bank to last until the next apocalypse, and it is magnificent.
We were unquestionably critical of Karl Moline and Cliff Richards’ artistic contributions last month, and while it isn’t particularly fair, it’s hard not to compare and contrast all the artwork the series has produced thus far. It’s very easy to pick favourites considering how seamlessly some artists manage to glide into our affections; while others sometimes put us off. And although it’s only a matter of personal taste and potential bias speaking, “I Wish” Part Two is a massive step-up from the last installment thanks to Rebekah Isaacs triumphant return on pencils. From panel to panel, her interior pages are consistently top shelf, and her knack for nailing Buffyverse character likeness is unparalleled. Dan Jackson is along for the ride to add his special touch of colour to her illustrations, effectively enhancing her artwork, and bringing out the best of her creativity; especially where those supernatural Sirens are concerned.
Overall, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10” #7 is a hilariously scripted and wonderfully drawn issue. It concludes with a significant nod to James Marsters’ “Spike: Into The Light”, which will ultimately reignite debates about canonical timelines and exasperate Spuffy shippers. The fandom will no doubt be buzzing with speculation, in anticipation for next month’s release.
ShadowJayd, known everywhere else as Farah Jayden Hakkak, began writing for Bloody-Disgusting in July 2012. You can find her on Twitter, or praising legendary comic book artists in her art column, Visions of Horror.
“Sirens” from George Perez with BOOM! Studios, certainly plays to their strengths. The colors are vivid, the character designs appealing, the protagonists mostly complex, strong, and female. However, it also jumps all over the known universe through time and mythology, completely unpredictably. If that sounds like a fun romp, I’m sorry, because while I find the concept delightful, in practice it’s a little confusing and off-putting. Any first issue of a serialized narrative has a lot to contend with, and chief among those is the challenge of introducing a fully fleshed out universe concisely so that the story can move on. In Sirens, this aspect of the storytelling feels rushed, jumbled, and hard to follow.
WRITTEN BY: George Perez
ART BY: George Perez
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
RELEASE: September 17, 2014
Reviewed By: Katy Rex
Using a technique common in team comics, the issue starts with each team member in a different time/space, and follows some small slice of her life as she begins to encounter the/a Big Bad. And in many cases, this setup requires the audience to be patient and trust that it will make sense—and it is then the job of the story to reassure the audience that their trust is well-placed. In “Sirens,” every time something starts to make sense, the reality seems to shift just a little, so your assumptions are wrong and any understanding you had is gone. This doesn’t keep the reader on their toes, or introduce a charming lack of predictability, or create an aura of uncertainty in a way that is fun and eerie. It’s just confusing and convoluted.
The narrative starts by following an adventuring woman who is seeking (and who discovers) a dragon, with whom she can communicate. Then they’re in space, and then they’re in the old west, but the characters are different? Like I said, hard to follow.
I’m inclined to give this story more than one issue to make up my mind. I want it to be good. I love stories that are populated, largely, by strong and interesting female characters. I love the fusion of sci-fi and fantasy, I love the things-are-more-than-what-they-seem vibe. It’s a really pretty book with a really interesting premise. I’m hoping, with very little reason to hope, that this is just suffering from first-issue-itis, that next issue they’ll solve all the jumping around because the characters will be together, that next issue there will be enough of the universe established that the constantly establishing reality won’t be quite so jarring.
There’s a pretty good chance that issue #2 of “Sirens” could make issue #1 less confusing, less convoluted, less confounding. The problems I see with this issue aren’t unresolvable. But unless it starts taking those steps, this is not a comic I would recommend. If you’re thinking of picking it up, wait. Issue #2 comes out November 19th, and hopefully that’s when it starts to get good.
—Katy Rex writes comics analysis at endoftheuniversecomics.com, comicsbulletin.com, and bloody-disgusting.com. She also writes scholarly articles for various academic journals. She really likes butt jokes, dinosaurs, and killing psychos and midgets in Borderlands 2. She has a great sense of humor if you’re not an asshole. Twitter: @eotucomics Tumblr: katy-rex.tumblr.com Instagram: @katy_rex Email: email@example.com
Steve Orlando is having a banner year. His first creator owned series “Undertow” just recently wrapped and is releasing it’s first trade today. He’s recently put together some of his earlier stories for a new iPad app called Farrago Comics, one about Russian Pop Culture sex gods, and another offering a culinary spin on The Cronicles of Narnia. Apart from that, Orlando is about to have a story featured in Vertigo’s new ambitious quarterly anthology “CMYK: Yellow.”
And we’ve got an exclusive first look for you here today. So catch this candid chat with one of the best dudes in comics. We talk a lot about inspiration and the sorts of stories Orlando always finds himself telling.
Bloody-Disgusting: How did you get approached to do Vertigo CMYK Anthology, and what was it like being part of yellow?
Steve Orlando: This isn’t the first time I did an anthology. My mystery in space book was comprised of four pitches, and they picked the strangest one. It was about centaurs going through puberty doing hallucinogenic drugs. They would engage in a gladiatorial battle where their human self would battle their horse self. This was to decide what type of person they are.
When CMYK came around, which is the most intimidating anthology they’ve ever done. The concept is super vague. Which is liberating, intimidating and ominous at the same time. You’re out to sea on how yellow inspires you. You can do anything. So my story involves cow urine. It’s based on a folktale that involves force feeding cows mango seeds they’d eventually be malnourished until they die. But before then they would pee this glorious mango pee and you would take that and dry it off and make yellow.
I thought that was super disgusting and totally strange. I sent the email, and they approved it. I guess that’s my career now, and what they expect from me. They were very excited about doing something even stranger and potentially more revolting than my horse people story. The crazy thing was that I spent more time on these eight pages than anything else I’ve ever written. We found an amazing artist with an incredible sense of style, and it’s really exciting.
Bloody-Disgusting: Are you planning on working with Vertigo any further?
SO: I would definitely like to. Vertigo is the Pixar of comics. You’re always working the whole team. They bounce things off of one another and there is all this talk of evil sorcerer editors in comics but working with Will and Greg is a dream. They keep your story driven, and without them I’d just fly off the handle. The door is always open, and nothing is ever too strange to talk about.
Bloody-Disgusting: Tell me about your recent partnership with a new iPad app Farrago Comics? People need to know more about Russian Pop Culture Sex Gods?
SO: The app will be making the transition to android, and iPhones. The two books on there are things I’m really proud of. The first Octobriana I wrote in 2008. I was fledging kid going to conventions. I was urged to write about Russia. I was writing my thesis on this man that was right out of Grant Morrison’s playbook. It was this character created by an underground society called the people’s progressive pornography. During the Soviet period it was illegal to show any female nudity, in any way but maternal. You couldn’t show a breast unless it had a suckling child. It was super restrictive. And so these people were making porn as a form of social outreach. They used this women character Octobriana to inspire people, and made material to pass around to educate and liberate using her likeness.
Turned out that the man who “created” her was completely full of shit. He stole this character from a Czech artist; he lifted and totally plagiarized this guy. But at the time the cat was out of the bag and the character became what he wanted anyway. He appears everywhere, his creation was more powerful than him.
My version of all this, is this post modern type of God, trekking across this weird version of Russia. She was exploring in a pulpy way the weird folklore of Russia. I connected her to other Russian folklore. She has an ongoing love affair with Anubis. Central and almost all horror literature is the connection of sex and death. Her perfect lover was an ancient God who was seen as an outsider as well. She’s an outsider because she’s a god made by pagan. She’s trying to find her place and earn her place during the book.
At the start of the book you have this man made God of sex trekking across Russia for a final showdown with in many ways her exact opposite. With incredible art by Chaz Truog, he was the best artist for the story. God love him, I even made him make a Grant Morrison sigil for the book, and he did it.
Farrago is the best format for the story because it’s free, and the ideals of Octobriana are all about sharing and receiving for free. Having it out there so people can consume it without giving anything back is the perfect ideological way I wanted to share this story.
Bloody-Disgusting: Tell me a little bit about “Kevin and the Kitchen Witch” on Farrago?
SO: It was the first thing I financed on my own and something that I did so I’d have something my parents and little cousins could read. In many ways it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. It’s an all ages book, it’s hard for me to removing swearing and breasts from my scripts that I did it.
This doll my mother used to leave in our kitchen to give her good luck and help prevent her from making mistakes inspires the story. It’s got really cool art by Heather Brekham and Olivia Pelays. It’s always a pleasure for me to sit down and read this. It’s basically Chronicles of Narnia in a kitchen. It’s about this little boy, Kevin who sneaks into his father’s kitchen the night before a restaurant is to open. He’s sucked into this fantasy world within the kitchen. The different parts of the professional kitchen become the geography of this world. So the actual part of the map and the landscape is based on where similar items would be located in the kitchen.
He’s got to locate the Kitchen Witch who’s the guardian of this world and the protector of their kitchen. He’s in this race against time, because someone has hired these gremlins to sabotage the restaurant opening.
It has crazy fantasy visuals and honest anime energy. It’s just fun. It’s really bright and will pop on the iPad. This is so unlike anything I’ve ever done before.
Bloody-Disgusting: What can you tell me about the new content in “Undertow Volume One: The Boatman’s Call?”
SO: The “Undertow” collection has a ton of new content. Well over an issue’s worth of new stuff. Much like the variants covers. There are new pinups from artist’s we’ve tracked down. There are also new stories. There is a story about the social relationships and social justice from Lela Del Duca from “Shutter” and drawn by Toni Grigori it explores polyamory in Atlantis.
My reach out for “Undertow” backup stories was much like the reach out for CMYK. I just wanted to see stories in my world, where everything is fair game. We used this strange weird people to talk about things that are going on with us.
Then we have a story from Blair Butler who’s working with a mutual friend TJ Kirsch for a really fun adventure on land, an early explorer who maybe didn’t make it back. We have a two page story with Kingu’s past from Yaroslav who did our stinger scene at the end of the series.
A lot of the backing material is great because it’s not super narrative driven. It’s beautiful touches or elaborations on themes from the miniseries. They are not things that I directed, but just things that people wanted to explore.
Having people write in a world I created was really weird, but it was the most surreal experience about this. When you create comics you sit in your house, you don’t really see other people who make them. The fact that real people have read the book and have opinions about it is still really strange.
Bloody-Disgusting: What’s next for “Undertow?”
SO: There is a plan. But there is nothing to announce yet. Artyom and I have sat down to discuss where we want to go. We’ll definitely have more coming out, but we might take a break, or we might get right into it. But, we’ll definitely be back. It’s all about keeping it fresh, and keeping it interesting.
At this point the conversation devolves into a talk about Bucky o’ Hare action figures, and the Toxic Crusaders cartoon. Seriously a fucking Troma character known for killing a man by shoving his head into a milkshake machine became a environmental hero. Here, what the hell, check it out. This is for you, Steve.