Amazon’s original productions are in their infant state, and many mistakes are to be made. And while I have no idea to their business dealings, the Chris Carter-produced “The After” series was to be, in my opinion, a viewer-based loser.
After being streamed to millions on Amazon Instant Video’s pilot series, “The After” – to my shock – was picked up to series. Thankfully, Amazon got cold feet, and will save millions of people hours and hours of wasted time. “The After” was trash.
Per Variety: “We have decided to not move forward with ‘The After,’ ” said Roy Price, veep of Amazon Studios. “We would like to thank Chris Carter, the phenomenal cast, crew and producers for all their efforts.”
The pilot produced last year featured a large ensemble cast including Adrian Pasdar, Sharon Lawrence, Jamie Kennedy, Aldis Hodge, Andrew Howard, Arielle Kebbel, Sam Littlefield, Louise Monot and Jaina Lee Ortiz. It first aired on the Amazon Prime platform in February.
The drama revolved around eight strangers forced to survive in a violent world that defies explanation.
Originally set to release this past December, Dimension Films has yet to set a new release to the James Wan-produced Demonic.
While we await a date, Bloody Disgusting regular Fabien M. just sent us the international trailer that’s looks like what we’ve come to expect from Wan, the director behind The Conjuring, Saw and Insidious. There’s all sorts of cool set pieces, scares and – as bizarre it sounds – floating blood.
Maria Bello, Scott Mechlowicz, Frank Grillo (The Purge: Anarchy) and Cody Horn star. Will Canon directs with a screenplay by Max La Bella.
“The film centers on the aftermath of a horrific massacre where five college students were brutally murdered inside an abandoned home. Detective Mark Lewis and psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Klein question one of the few survivors who explains they were amateur ghost-hunters, seeking out paranormal phenomenon at the abandoned house, which was believed to be haunted. But what started out as a harmless activity turned into something truly terrifying.“
We’ll update you with release info as soon as it arrives.
Mike Pereira raved about Big Game (review) when he caught the World Premiere at this past September’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Said to be like a PG-13 Ambling adventure film, “The fate of the most powerful man in the world lies in the hands of a 13-year old boy. Plunged into a deadly game of cat and mouse with only hours to spare, Oskari and the President must team up to survive the most extraordinary night of their lives.”
Check out the newly released trailer for the film starring Samuel L. Jackson. Onni Tommila, Ray Stevenson, Jim Broadbent and Mehmet Kurtulus also star in the pic directed by Jalmari Helander.
Variety is reporting that Scarlett Johansson is officially set to star in DreamWorks’ adaptation of the popular anime pic Ghost In the Shell.
Coming off the lackluster Lucy, it will be nice to see Johansson actually fight in an actioneer.
“The story follows the exploits of a member of a covert ops unit of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission that specializes in fighting technology-related crime.”
Rupert Sanders is on board to direct. Avi Arad and Steven Paul are producing the film from a script by Bill Wheeler. Mark Sourian is exec producing.
I was never really one for coloring as a child. It just wasn’t my thing. One, I never knew what the right colors needed to be. Two, I wasn’t good at staying within the lines. Those combined meant that the end result was some garbled mess that no parent would hang on their refrigerator.
However, there are people that are far more talented than myself in this respect. However, these people might also suffer from being ever so slightly twisted and demented, resulting in some incredibly strange and potentially NSFW coloring book images that can be seen below.
If these were the work of a child, I’d recommend a therapist posthaste.
Comics has a long history of strong women, starting in 1941 with Wonder Woman, our longest-running badass woman warrior. This year has seen a lot in the way of women in comics, both feminism and misogyny, with horrible threats being made over a Teen Titans cover to Cosplay is not Consent signs posted at all of the major cons. In the spirit of celebrating the badass women who we have found to represent us in comics, these 18 women span publisher, race, class, sexuality, gender identity, and body type, with one unifying theme: Pure badassdom.
By Katy Rex
Note: all the women listed below are part of series that are currently ongoing in the year 2014, but did not necessarily start this year.
April is way cooler than any 12 year old girl I ever knew, from BOOM! Box’s new series, Lumberjanes, which follows 5 hardcore lady-types fighting supernatural forces and doing friendship to the max. She’s best friends with a possible genius and potential future neurophysics engineer or something equally awesome, she arm wrestles stone golems, and she’s always there for the people she loves. She’s the perfect balance of cute and badass that so many other series have tried to hit. After just 9 issues (as of December 17), Lumberjanes has a huge base of hardcore lady fans, both kids and adults, who are looking forward to whatever the future may hold. The BOOM! Box Mixtape, coming out December 24, will also feature a Lumberjanes short.
Elektra is one of the new female-fronted title from Marvel Comics. Despite cancellation rumors, Issue #9 came out December 17, and #10 is set to come out in January. Originally a Frank Miller creation in the Daredevil series, Elektra’s new title is a “beautifully violent return of the world’s deadliest assassin.” Playing with the dichotomy of extreme violence and elegance, the creative team (W. Haden Blackman, Michael del Mundo and Marco D’Alfonso) is earnest and evocative. Elektra is a deadly lone wolf. The series follows Elektra as she navigates different aspects of her identity, fighting Bloody Lips as an assassin and becoming a bodyguard.
From Valiant Entertainment, Faith is part of the Harbinger series, and left to join the Renegades team when the Harbinger Foundation was discovered to be less-than savory. She’ll be prominently featured in the upcoming Unity title. She’s also been part of the Armor Hunters title, and recently led her own issue #0, Harbinger: Faith. Faith is a girl that grew up reading comics, and that moral sensibility informs her decisions when she gets her own superpowers. Yes, she does tweet a lot for a superhero badass, but she always lands on the side of what she believes to be moral right, whatever that means for her personal life.
15. Princess Ugg
Ülga is the daughter of King Thórgrim and Queen Friðrika. Her homeland of Grimmeria is harsh and cold, and her character reflects that. However, Princess Ülga travels to Atraesca to attend Princess Academy among other young women with similar pedigrees. Ülga starts out as a traditional badass with weapons and violence, but as she learns to respect the values and norms of the other cultures she encounters, she learns that there are several ways to be a badass and she’s determined to master them all. From Oni Press, issue #7 comes out January 28, and a trade of the first arch is already available.
14. Dr. Mirage
Shan Fong-Mirage navigates the worlds of the living and the dead with realism and adeptness. Starting in the Valiant Entertainment title Shadowman, the new series The Death Defying Doctor Mirage is on its 4th issue, with #5 (the final issue in this arch) coming out January 14th. This arch follows her emotional devastation following the loss of her husband, her inability to communicate with his spirit despite her power, and her attempts to find and reclaim him.
13. Ms. Marvel
Kamala Khan is a typical teenage girl who writes fanfic, loves superheroes, and tries to navigate her role and identity in the world. For her, this also means negotiating her Muslim identity in a Western high school, and on top of that, dealing with body changes that are worse than puberty and that have probable supernatural origins. With the onset of her superpowers, she takes on the role of Ms. Marvel, and teams up with Lockjaw the oversized teleporting alien bulldog. She’s equally a funny fangirl and a self confident badass, and in the most recent issue (#10) she monologues about the empowerment of her generation. The next issue comes out on January 28th.
From Image Comics’ new series Deadly Class, Saya is way cooler and more popular than most of the other kids at King’s Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts, especially Marcus Lopez, for whom she advocates admission (and consequently becomes responsible for). She, like her peers, is training to become one of the world’s most deadly assassins, and she is an excellent student. She also doesn’t allow social norms and even formal alliances dictate who she spends her time with and who she feels is worthwhile. She runs the Kuroki Syndicate, a group of Japanese gangsters, but runs missions with Marcus and Willie and Maria when their partnership will help her. The next issue of Deadly Class will be available January 7.
11. Klementina Ristovych
From The Fuse, a space-age cop comic, Klem is old school and a little bitter. She knows all the ins and outs of The Fuse, which she explains to the reader-proxy and wunderkind new cop on the force, Ralph Dietrich. Klem is old and hardened, and dedicated to her life on the force. Her new partner is something of an odd duck, but she takes him in stride as she works the homicide cases in a technically-illegal settlement on a crowded space station on a solar panel array 22,000 miles above earth. She and Dietrich might be partners, but Klem is the leader of the two and the protagonist of the story. The most recent issue (#8) came out December 10, and there is a trade paperback available that collects issues #1-6.
10. Eve Coffin
Eve Coffin of Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda’s Coffin Hill is a badass who doesn’t want to be a badass. She had a rebellious teen phase, but when she grew out of it and grew up she didn’t realize that her teen witchcraft had released an evil that was never resolved. Years later, after an on-the-job injury (she’s a cop) sent her back home, she’s forced to examine her supernatural ancestry and deal with who she is. Issue #14, out now, has art from Ryan Kelly as a guest artist, and the 2nd trade (collecting issues #8-14) will be out this February.
Aquaman gets a lot of flack from fans, and is the easiest butt of comic book jokes. Whether or not you think Aquaman is a silly man in a wetsuit with a pointless power as the jokes seem to indicate, his wife Mera is the coolest. She is strong and stubborn, and she gets stuff done, even– or especially– when Aquaman doesn’t. She does not allow people to disrespect her. She may be most well known because of her husband, but she doesn’t let his identity define her. Her character has been around since 1963, and in the New 52 universe she retains much of her character origin; sent from Xebel to assassinate Aquaman, she instead falls in love with him and joins the society above the ocean. Aquaman #37 is in comic shops December 24.
Luci is the devil herself. From The Wicked + The Divine, a series about gods reincarnated as popstars, Luci is the sexy, rebellious, androgynous, angry fallen angel you can’t help but be attracted to. She doesn’t follow any rules– not the rules of mortals, which none of the gods seem to care much about, but she’s also not interested in the code by which the pop stars govern themselves. Luci is as willing to disrespect the gods as she is to talk to mortals as equals. The next issue (#7) comes out January 21, and there’s a trade available collecting issues #1-5.
7. Poison Ivy
Despite not having a title of her own, Ivy stole the show in this year’s Batgirl Annual #2 from April of this year, written by Gail Simone. Also featuring the former Birds of Prey, this issue follows Batgirl as she navigates her relationship with her ally/enemy Poison Ivy. New 52 Ivy has never been more tragic, fascinating, and compelling as in this issue. Simone examines Pamela Isley’s past before she became Ivy– before she became much of anything, when she was just a little girl. The reader also follows Ivy’s change with the seasons, a function of her Seasonal Affective Disorder. Ivy’s an incredibly sympathetic character who, in this case, happens to be cast as the villain, but is not necessarily villainous. This annual would be a great place to start an Ivy solo title- maybe co-starring her good “friend” Harley?
6. Deathface Ginny
Pretty Deadly is a story almost entirely made up of strong women, an old school Western with a supernatural twist. Deathface Ginny, daughter of death, is part of a legend and a song, but has otherwise been bound to the world of death– until a little girl with one blue eye and one brown eye accidentally sets her free. Ginny is an avenging force, angry with her father and angry with the man who caused her to be bound to hell. She kills ruthlessly, mercilessly, but not mindlessly. Currently there are 5 issues, collected in trade, but the creators have said they will revisit the story in the future.
Originally a Neil Gaiman-created character from Spawn, now Thor’s long lost sister, Angela the avenging angel has a solo title that started December 3. Both an angel of Heven and an heir of Asgard, Angela no longer belongs to either, but keeps her hold on her purpose and values with the mantra “nothing for nothing”- action is of value, and a debt must be paid. Easily able to take down six warriors before they can even react, Angela is deadly, strong, and fast. Without a home, Angela the runaway will be returning to Earth in issue #2, set to come out January 7.
Rat Queens follows 4 badass lady adventuring group types, friends and fighting companions, each with their own strengths to bring to the group. Hannah is an elven mage who communicates with her parents– with whom she barely gets along– via enchanted wizardy rock, and who flies into a violent black-eyed murder spree if anyone hurts her friends. She’s very up-front, not willing to use social pleasantries as an excuse not to tell someone exactly what she’s thinking. She comes off as a cold bitch, but is as sympathetic, flawed, and emotional as any real person, just with a glittery hard exterior. The first two trades are a collaboration between Roc Upchurch and Kurtis J. Wiebe, a one-shot by Wiebe and Tess Fowler will be coming out on January 14, and thereafter the new artist on the title will be Stjepan Šejic.
There’s no Storm quite like mohawk Storm. Under a new creative team, Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez, Storm is an international globe-trotting badass. It may be a new team, but it draws heavily on the character’s past, from her relationship with Forge to her friendship with Yukio. Storm remembers her younger days as a thief as she investigates missing teens in New York, and reminisces about her friend and former love, Wolverine. Storm is a woman, and an X-man, to be reckoned with. A collected trade of #1-5 will be available in February, and the next issue, #7, will be available January 7.
2. Red Sonja
Yes, she’s a babe in a chainmail bikini on the cover of most of her issues (she changes outfits, sometimes even to practical things, on the interiors), but Red Sonja is an interesting, well-rounded, badass lady character. Sonja, now written by Gail Simone for Dynamite, is a barbarian- specifically, Hyrkanian- who gets her start in badassdom in a way that is particularly, shall we say, badass: when her family is killed, young Sonja intentionally leads the bandits into the woods, her home turf, and picks them off, one by one. Sonja swings a sword and drinks hard, and always seems to need a bath. The first twelve issues by Simone have been collected in two trades, #13 came out in November, and the next issue will be available on January 21.
1. Kamau Kogo
New this December, barely making the cutoff for comics of 2014, Bitch Planet exists in a future dystopia, half A Handmaid’s Tale, half prison sexploitation film. In this world, women who are “noncompliant” are sent to a behavior modification facility– a prison off-world, nicknamed “Bitch Planet.” The first issue raises a lot of questions, more than can even be asked here, but the series has tremendous potential, especially with a character like Kamau. Kamau does not accept the status quo, does not abide violence against her fellow noncompliant women, and does not hesitate to kick some ass. What makes her especially badass, and the #1 in this list, is the idea that, in the face of a system built specifically to eliminate her, in the context of a prison built specifically to punish her, an innocent in need can prompt her to jump into full violent-mode. She grew up, was raised, was constantly influenced from her birth by a society that tried to make her compliant. She’s not. The next issue in the series will come out January 14 of 2015.
Who do you think belongs on this list and didn’t make it? Who do you think is on this list and shouldn’t be? Tell us what you think in the comments below!
Check out a lengthy opening scene from Syfy’s anticipated adventure thriller “12 Monkeys”, which will make its series premiere on Friday, January 16 at 9pm ET/PT.
Inspired by the classic blockbuster film, which commemorates its 20th anniversary next year, “ ’12 Monkeys’ explores the provocative story of a time traveler from a decimated future in a high-stakes race against the clock. Utilizing a dangerous and untested method of time travel, he journeys from 2043 to the present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will all but annihilate the human race.”
“12 Monkeys” stars Aaron Stanford (as time-traveler Cole), Amanda Schull (Dr. Cassandra Railly), Kirk Acevedo (Ramse), Barbara Sukowa (Jones) and Noah Bean (Aaron Marker). Additional key recurring roles include Tom Noonan (Damages, Hell On Wheels) as a mysterious villain and Emily Hampshire (Rookie Blue) as mental patient Jennifer Goines.
Syfy and Universal Cable Productions will uncage “12 Monkeys” at New York Comic Con this weekend, with a panel on Saturday, October 11 at 5pm ET headlined by series producers Natalie Chaidez, Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett. Series star Hampshire also stops by to discuss her role, which was portrayed by Brad Pitt in the original feature film. Her character is the show’s wild card, a brilliant and unpredictable mental patient who may or may not be tied into the Twelve Monkeys’ conspiracy to destroy the world with a virus.
Production has begun on the indie thriller Monday at 11:01 A.M., which stars Charles Agron, Briana Evigan (pictured above; Burning Bright, Sorority Row), Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Pumpkinseed) and Lauren Shaw, says Variety.
Agron and Shaw portray a couple out for a blissful weekend in a resort town, where they’re menaced by a cult of druid worshipers from the local forest.
Harvey Lowry directs from a script by Agron, who also produces through Charles Agron Productions. Filming is taking place in Guthrie, Okla.
Lowry recently directed the Civil War drama “Union Bound” and produced “Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage.”
2014 has been an incredible year for the comic book creator; more and more creators have edged out more control in an industry that has routinely bowed to capes and tights. With Marvel and DC making efforts to differentiate their offerings, they still are having trouble keeping up with the incredible new series being launched by the creator owned world. So without further adieu, here are Eric Switzer’s best new series of 2014.
#10 Alex + Ada
I have a really soft spot for “Alex + Ada”, the story about a guy who risks his life to give sentience to his robot girlfriend. It’s kind of slow, and definitely really wordy, but it deals with so many interesting themes and raises a lot of moral questions. It reminds me of the classic sci-fi stories from Ray Bradbury that I grew up on. It has a lot in common with her, so if you liked that film, you find a lot to like about “Alex + Ada”
#9 Dark Engine
“Dark Engine” is a fantasy book by Ryan Burton and John Bivens about a doomed society in the future that creates the ultimate killing machine and sends her back in time to save them before it is too late. “Dark Engine” is rich and expansive and, although there is a bit of a learning curve, it is an expansive and completely original story. It doesn’t always make a lot of sense, but this book is just so utterly other that you can’t help but get sucked in
#8 The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Last year Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa blew us away with his Hard-R revamping of the Archie Franchise with “Afterlife with Archie #1”. This year Roberto and Robert Hack bring us another stunning reinvention with “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”. Only one issue has been released thus far delivering a new, darker origin story, but it’s safe to say “Sabrina” will be an equally huge hit. Roberto is making big things happen at Archie (including next years “Archie” by Mark Waid and Fiona Fucking Staples) and you are going to want to be a part of all of it.
Scott Snyder’s first ongoing series at Image is a horror title called “Wytches” created with past collaborator Jock. “Wytches” has already been optioned for a film, so get wise and get it on this book early because it is fantastically creepy. Scott has always been methodical with his plotting, as you may know from his extra long arcs on “Batman”, and Wytches is no exception. There is a really interesting balance between the archetypes and contributions to the witch legend. Everything these guys do is magic.
This book is bat shit bananas crazy and I am completely transfixed by it. Ray Fawkes is handling all the heavy lifting here to deliver the us into a terrifying world that exists only in the deep dark recesses of his twisted mind. The book is a fever dream involving a dying city, transforming bodies, and freaky riddle repeated ad nauseum. This book stands out the most on this list for its abstract and expressive art. Unrestricted by panels, the images flow into each other and at most merely suggest form. It is a beautifully dark book and one I think everyone should take a look at.
Hannibal fans will be enthralled by this gruesome horror-noir. “Nailbiter” by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson is the best ongoing horror comic this year. 16 serial killers have come out of Buckaroo, Oregon, and Agent Finch wants to know why. The book is deliciously gruesome and a must read for any kind of horror fan. Every issue delivers a new kind of madness, and “Nailbiter” shows no signs of slowing down.
This book is Nostalgia on ecstasy. Joshua Williamson and Carlos Magno have dedicated themselves to matching the original films tone and style perfectly. This “Robocop” reads like a sequel to the first movie, and just nails it week after week. Its all over the top violence and diabolical villains with just enough 80s humor to feel like the real deal. This IS your daddy’s Robocop, and you’ll be glad it is.
#3 Southern Bastards
Jason Aaron and Jason Latour’s “Southern Bastards” an intimate portrayal of culture and corruption in a small southern town. Its a bit “Dirty Harry” and a little Coen Brothers. I think it is the most violent book of 2014, not necessarily in depictions of violence, but in tone. The blood red pages are so full of rage and desperation and the characters, though archetypal, display the most incredible conviction, even the villains deserve respect. Southern Bastards is dense read, but a really fantastic story.
#2 The Fade Out
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have been writing crime comics together for a long time, and “The Fade Out” just might be their best work. It is deeply nostalgic and unapologetically hard-boiled, but these guys are such masters that they stopped imitating a long time ago and became just as relevant to the genre as Chandler, Hammet, and Bogey ever were. “The Fade Out” is just about as good as it gets for any comic, and if you aren’t reading it you are really missing out.
#1 Sex Criminals
From the comic dynamos Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, “Sex Criminals” is a hysterically funny and emotionally honest exploration of sex and relationships in the millennial generation. Suze and her boyfriend Jon discover they both have grown up with the ability to stop time with an orgasm and discover how financially beneficial their powers may be. It is silly and crass, but also tender and relatable. Matt and Chip might shake their fists (or dicks) at me, but I think “Sex Criminals” makes a significant statement for literary legitimacy in the monthly comic format.
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 email@example.com.
Radius-TWC recently acquired Goodnight Mommy, a horror thriller that premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Today, Bloody reader Fabien M. shared a brand new international trailer, which shows an awfully creepy doppelgänger mommy. This movie looks scary as fuck!
Austrian directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala helmed the movie, which “takes place in an isolated home and centers on a pair of twins whose mother returns home from the hospital. But with a bandaged up face and off-liter behavior, the twins begin to think that perhaps this isn’t their mother after all.”
Real-life twins Elias Schwarz and Lukas Schwarz star as does Susanne Wuest.
So Guillermo del Toro is a one cool dude. Fans of horror know this. The guy seriously loves the genre, particularly vampires. Anyone who’s seen Blade 2 gets the impression that the man had something more to say about the bloodsuckers. That something was in 2009′s novel The Strain, followed by it’s sequels The Fall and The Night Eternal. After what seemed like forever to find a distributor for what was initially envisioned as a television series all along, FX presented the first season of the adaptation in 2014. Now that the first season has hit home video, the rest of us can finally see what del Toro was cooking.
An airliner lands at JFK International Airport and immediately shuts down on the runway, with no contact or communication from anyone on board. The CDC is called in to investigate. Four survivors are found on the plane. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City, decides to enact a quarantine. However, as events unfold, Goodweather discovers that there’s something more sinister to this contagion: an ancient strain of vampirism that threatens all of humanity.
Right off the bat, I fell in love with del Toro’s vision of the vampire. The man worked with series co-creator Chuck Hogan to not only put a unique spin on what a vampire is, but also grounds it with as much science as they can. I always get a kick when they successfully pull this off, as it makes the creatures that much more real. Heck, del Toro even tried to do it as far back as Mimic. Later on, the ties to science is driven further when you get to the autopsies. Of course, it just wouldn’t be a show without vampires if you didn’t have some plasma flowing. Aside from the new take on how vampires feed, there are a host of other gory parts, including smashed heads, decapitations, parasite action and more.
On the acting front, the cast as a whole does an adequate job. Corey Stoll, Mía Maestro and Sean Astin all do well as Goodweather, Martinez and Kent, respectively. David Bradley really hits home as Holocaust survivor and pawn shop owner Abraham Setrakian, who turns out to be a cold-blooded vampire hunter. As the perfect antagonist (even if it’s a bit cliched), we get Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichhorst, a Nazi now turned vampire. Sammel’s scenes with Bradley are truly unnerving.
Despite all of the effort del Toro and Hogan have put into cramming the series with interesting characters and their own vampire mythology, there are some drawbacks. In particular, a subplot involving Ephraim and his family. While on one hand, the drama between Ephraim and his soon-to-be ex-wife and their son does add another dimension to the character, it slows the show down by taking the focus away from the real threat. It’s not the same situation as the Rick-Lori-Shane triangle in The Walking Dead, as the zombie menace has already overrun everything. In The Strain, however, Ephraim’s personal drama threatens to take away from the impending threat of the vampire menace.
It’s still early going, but del Toro’s vision is off to a good start. With a wealth of backstory and his own mythology to explore and develop, The Strain is definitely a nice alternative now that True Blood has ended. The cast is definitely strong, with some excellent acting and characters. Having some great gore effects helps out, too. del Toro’s longterm plans are for the series to go for at least three to five seasons. And with the strength of what’s been seen so far, it shouldn’t be a surprise if things continue as planned.
The 1.78:1 AVC-encoded 1080p transfer simply rocks. Minute details like skin and fabric readily pop out. Colours are vibrant and black levels are appropriately inky. Contrast is excellent, with no debris like dirt to speak of.
Like the video, the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is awesome. Packing appropriate oomph and wide dynamic range, the track envelops the listener, making for a great immersive experience. Dialogue is crisp, clear and balanced with goings-on in the background, and is still easy to hear in spite of noisy environments like an airport or office.
Unfortunately, extras are lacking. On the first disc, we get “In The Beginning”, which runs about 15 minutes. The featurette has the cast and crew talk about the pilot episode, the story, the characters and the production value of the show. del Toro also talks about how for the first time with The Strain, he’s able to show vampire biology. This is pretty cool, since before that, we only got to see glimpses of his ideas of a vampire’s biology (albeit in altered form) in Blade 2.
On disc 2, “A Novel Approach” centres on del Toro’s inspirations for the original book version of The Strain, as well as his affinity for vampire lore while growing up. He goes on to say writing The Strain was the most enjoyable piece of writing that he’s ever done, and discusses the differences between the novels and the television show. del Toro also talks about keeping the separation between the written version of the story and the filmed version, and how he always meant to keep that separation. The cast also shows up with their input, noting the differences between their characters in the books and the show.
Rounding things up is “Setrakian’s Lair” on disc 3, which has David Bradley taking us on-set for a walkthrough of a his character’s lair. Bradley points out objects and various set pieces, and their significance. Mia Maestro also shows up to discuss the lair, the story, her character and Bradley’s character. Mixed in are a few behind-the-scenes footage shots, as well as tidbits for season two.
Obviously, there’s a lack of real meat to these extras. No commentaries, no real in-depth stuff on effects or characters, no TV spots, etc. The lack of extras is kind of concerning, indicating that FX might not have much faith in the series, or in typical Fox fashion, are being cheap with something that isn’t a runaway hit. Regardless, the lack of quality extras hurts, especially when the show deserves much more than just three short featurettes.
Hi, I’m Kalyn Corrigan, and I’m honored to say that I’m the newest addition to Bloody Disgusting. You may have read a few of my pieces already, like, “How To Make A Successful Universal Monster Movie In Today’s World”, or my “Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death Review”. Hopefully, you all will be hearing from me more and more in the following months, and some of us might even become friends. After all, what better way to get to know someone than by reading their words? I wish not only to contribute to Bloody, but to help make it an even better, bigger site, that will last for years and years to come. I’m thrilled for the new year, but I can’t move on until I discuss my favorite films of 2014. Some will argue that a few of the titles on this week aren’t really horror movies, but the truth is, the horror genre is expanding. The requirements for a “scary movie” no longer list a masked serial killer, a virgin, or supernatural elements. Horror films can be tense, thought-provoking features that could or could not happen in real life, but still keep you up at night, worrying that these same events may happen to you. It’s an exciting time for the genre, and many promising newcomers are leading the way, like Gerard Johnstone, Jennifer Kent, Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, and Ana Lily Amirpour.
10. Only Lovers Left Alive
Adam and Eve have been together for centuries, traveling the world, reading hundreds of books, living off of the sweet nectar that is human blood, and basking in the love that they hold for one another. No distance and no amount of time can pull them apart, but Eve’s little sister Ava is going to take a stab at it. Only Lovers Left Alive is a sexy, stylish cool vampire movie that’s enticing with it’s heavy ’90s look and feel, dreary music, and strong chemistry between stars Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston. I would’ve preferred a more eventful finale, but I really adored the characters of Adam, Eve, Ava, and Marlowe, and would like to see this same group of actors work together again.
Kylie Bucknell and her mother Miriam have never really gotten along. They’ve always butted heads, with mainly Kylie doing the butting, and Miriam waiting patiently for her daughter to open up and accept her. The two mostly avoided each other until Kylie is caught trying to break into an ATM machine and is sentenced to house arrest in her childhood home, where her mother still lives. Confined to the perimeters of her lawn, Kylie battles her boredom with endless hours of television and occasional digging through boxes and exploring random old rooms.Kylie’s always shrugged off Miriam’s superstitions, and chalked it up to her mother being crazy, but for some reason, staying in this house has altered her perception a little. She hears creaks in the floorboards, feels a presence in the air, and before she knows it, Kylie’s convinced that they aren’t the only ones that live there, and their unwelcome occupant is no longer in the land of the living. Housebound isn’t just one of the best horror movies of the year from breakout writer/director Gerard Johnstone, it’s simply one of the funniest movies of the year, and is a movie every lover of film can enjoy, be they horror fan or not.
Before the mirror, everything that happened in the Russell family’s new home was pretty much what you’d expect. Kaylie and her little brother Tim spend most of their time chasing each other through the hallways, playing laser tag and make believe. Their mother, Marie, shuffles in the movers, directing their movements like a traffic cop as she points to where each piece of furniture should live, and their father Alan begins working almost instantly in his new home office. All is well and merry until the ancient, gothic Scottish mirror claims a space on the wall of Alan’s work space. Soon after, the mirror takes its toll on the family, as Alan spends more and more time alone in his office, and takes on a much colder, more withdrawn persona, like a man committing adultery. Marie starts to believe that Alan’s eyes are wandering because she has aged past the point of beauty, and falls deep into a hole of self-pity, unable to care for herself or for her children. But what starts out like a midlife crisis ends in a nightmare, as the family falls prey to the power of the mirror and the events that follow land Tim in a mental institution and Kaylie in foster care. Before they part ways, Tim and Kaylie promise each other to reunite as adults and destroy the mirror once and for all. Whether or not they succeed is up in the air. Oculus is a thrilling, creepy commentary on the temptation to give into curiosity, and whether or not it’s best to hang on to your pride, or to let the events of the past go and move on with your life. What’s intelligent about this movie is that supports both arguments, and leaves it up to the viewer to decide what’s the best route to take. It also doesn’t delve too deeply into the “whys” and “hows” of the mirror’s actions, keeping the story moving at a swift pace while allowing the film to hold its mysterious tone. Oculus also playfully toys with time, and perceptions of time, just like a mirror.
7. Cheap Thrills
Craig lost his job today. Times are tough, and businesses are cracking down on the amount of money they shell out to hard-working employees each month, no matter how badly they need it. Craig definitely needs it. He received an eviction notice on his door this morning, so with no more steady income, and a newborn baby in the house, Craig’s wife may not be so understanding when he comes home with the bad news. To avoid that argument for a few hours longer, Craig heads to the local bar, and drinks away some of the little money he has left, because: why not? What’s the point? Life’s about to get a lot tougher, and there may not be a silver lining this time. Just when it seems that things are at their worst, a strange turn of events occurs. Craig runs into an old buddy from high school, Vince, and as the two are catching up, they meet a well-off couple named Colin and Violet. The couple apparently get their kicks from daring random strangers to perform various dares of their asking, and giving money to whoever wins the round. As the night grows mature, the dares get more and more bold, until Craig starts to ask himself if a worry-free life is worth performing such horrible acts. Sure, he’d have an instant answer to his problems, but what if the game never ends? What if Craig has entered into a two-man challenge where only one man leaves? Pat Healy and Ethan Embry are enthralling as the reunited best friends whose deep-seated issues are aggressively brought to the surface in the worst possible ways. Cheap Thrills isn’t as much a movie as it is a sick, twisted, appalling ride, and I loved every minute of it.
In the future, climate change has corrupted the world, leaving few survivors. Those who are lucky enough to escape the frozen tundra with their lives are forced to spend the rest of their existence aboard the Snowpiercer, a never-ending train that circles the globe and houses all of the necessities to ensure life-everlasting upon its speeding wheels. The patrons of the train may not stand on soil or collect paychecks, but they are still destined to squeeze into their assigned section of the same caste system that has claimed millions of individuals throughout history. The poor reside in the tail of the train, living in filth and eating the disgusting, gooey food blocks that resemble gel candles more than they do anything edible, while the rich are bathed with an overabundance of the finest foods and libations at the head of the train, never wondering how long it will be before their next meal arrives. All seems stagnant and predictable until Curtis, a working class hero from the back of the train, decides to lead a revolution and force his way to the front, with the help of a few friends and outlaws. Bong Joon-ho, director of the cult classic monster movie The Host, creates a brilliant. exciting genre film in this adaptation of the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige. Not only is this movie just plain fun to watch because of some truly beautifully choreographed action scenes, but it’s also packed with invigorating political commentary on social class, climate change, and necessary rebellion.
5. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
A dark hooded figure strolls the empty streets of Iran, looking for her next victim. She is the darkness, and she carries death with her everywhere she goes. Honorable men need not fear her, for she is the bringer of vengeance; an answer to the cries for help that ring out in the night. She is alone, and she likes it that way. Arash is a hard-working loner who takes care of his junkie father, who hasn’t been the same since his mother passed away. Without the aid of any family members, Arash tries to keep he and his father afloat by working honest day jobs and leading a simple, aloof life. When their paths cross, the connection is instant, but can Arash love a girl who harbors such horrifying secrets? Director Ana Lily Amirpour tells a tragic, romantic tale of star-crossed lovers in a cold, war-ridden world. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is sleek and sexy, yet mysterious and subtle, with a ferocious, charming performance by lead actress Shiela Vand. If you’re a fan of Let the Right One In, you’ll really dig this movie.
4. Under the Skin
Scarlett Johansson has made some really interesting choices lately, with Her, a science-fiction futuristic fantasy about computers taking on personalities of their own, Lucy, where she starred alongside Min-sik Choi as a woman who turns tragedy into triumph when the drugs leaked into her body turn her into an unstoppable super-human machine, and Under the Skin, a sci-fi horror film shot guerilla-style with Kubrick flare. In a succubus-stylized manner, Johansson, known only as “The Woman”, lures unsuspecting men into her lair and traps them in a sea of darkness, left wading for all of eternity — or until she needs them. She’s far from human, but the more time she spends in her feminine skin, the more begins to feel…something. Empathy. Longing. Desire. Emotions are a weakness that we’re all privy to, no matter how removed we think we are from our peers. Director Jonathan Glazer has made an incendiary feature that mesmerizes and holds its audience captive, both by its artsy visuals, and its unsettling score. I’m excited to see what else he’s got up his sleeve.
3. Big Bad Wolves
When a pedophile begins killing the children of a little Israeli town, all of its citizens are severely affected, from the police officers down to the teachers. Gidi, the father of one of the victims, kidnaps a man he believes to be the murderer, and enlists the aid of Micki, a dirty police officer, to help him torture the truth out of Dror. If they can get Dror to admit his crimes, then they can finally rid the streets of his heinous acts and stop him before he submits another innocent child to such horrible degradation. The only problem is, Dror didn’t do it. Not only does he appear completely harmless, but he doesn’t cave to the torture, further proving he is falsely accused by his psychopathic captor. Micki stumbles between his desire for the truth and his guilty conscience, as he soon finds that his interrogation tactics pale in comparison to those that Gidi practices. Whether or not Dror actually is the one to blame is a question that hangs overhead for the entirety of the movie, down to the final shocking moments. For a film with such a heavy premise, Big Bad Wolves is oddly funny, thanks to its well-timed humor and sharp actors. With such a hauntingly beautiful score and such strong performances, this little film out of Israel proves that it’s a contender.
2. Starry Eyes
Hollywood is no place for the weak. Over thirty-eight million people live in California, and at least three million of them call Los Angeles home. With its focus on fame, and so many people trying to make themselves known in an industry already filled with talented people, getting your foot in the door is no easy task. It may take years to make your mark, and even then, you may still never become a face that people photograph and put on the cover of a magazine. You may never become one of the few names that’s passed between hushed lips during the lunch break at an office downtown, or the girl that is sent free clothes by top tier designers, just because they hope that you might wear them in public. You may never hold a golden award in your arms. So, what if someone gave you a short-cut? What if someone handed over an offer for instant, A-list success, and all you have to do is give up your soul? If you honestly look at the odds of stardom when you take the high road, cashing in a get-rich-quick scheme doesn’t seem so awful. Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch are a deadly force to reckon with, as they stun and shock audiences across America with their brave, sadistic venture into the occult and the hypnotizing powers of stardom. The two have created a noteworthy new addition to the old conversation of how much one should be willing to give up to see their name in big shiny lights, and whether or not those sacrifices are worth the outcome.
1. The Babadook
After the loss of her husband, Amelia finds it hard to cope with every aspect of her life. Simple, daily activities, have turned into difficult, time-consuming tasks that Amelia just doesn’t have the strength to endure. Getting from one moment to the next is hard enough, but raising her son on her own in the wake of such sorrow is asking too much of her. Samuel can feel his mother’s contempt when she recoils from his touch, and does his best to cope as well, with not only losing his father, but in a way, his mother as well. Together, the two struggle through life at an uncomfortable, awkward stride, until one day a book appears on the shelf and brings the little amount of progress they’ve made to a screeching halt. MISTER BABADOOK is the title that screams out from the cover, and the story inside is just as eerie and strange. The monster in the book scares Samuel so badly that he begins imagining that the Babadook himself is creeping through the halls of their home, and as much as she fights it, it isn’t long before Amelia sees a dark figure lurking in the shadows as well. The Babadook isn’t just an extremely impressive debut feature for director Jennifer Kent being as it’s one of the most frightening films in years, but it’s also a unique, creative look at how we deal with grief, and what can happen when we let the black monster in our hearts swallow us whole. Mister Babadook is a clever, easily recognizable villain that could very possibly become an iconic character in the future, just as Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees reign as kings of cult culture in today’s horror community. Essie Davis gives a bone-chilling performance as Amelia, the guilt-ridden single mother who falls deeper and deeper down a self-loathing spiral into the hell that waits for her, just another demon coming to terms with its own lack of humanity. Will she be able to pull herself out of her own grave, or will the monster that tugs at her heels be too strong to shake?
1. The Sacrament -A tense, brutally realistic commentary on how religion can be used as a tool for evil if wielded by the wrong people.
2. Grand Piano – Very Hitchcockian and Elijah Wood is terrific.
3. The Purge: Anarchy – Exactly what we wanted in the first movie, which is to see the Purge in action, in the streets with total chaos and lawlessness.
Shout-out to Gone Girl and The Guest. I loved them both, but they walk of the line of being a horror movie pretty narrowly.
Many of us learned to hate Mondays from a very early age. I wasn’t crazy about them because Mondays meant more school, and the idea of spending the best part of my day in a way-too-quiet classroom feigning interest while an underpaid teacher valiantly tries to show me how to find the square root of a rhombus, or whatever math was supposed to be about.
Had little me known of the healing powers of horror art back then, I have no doubt that he would’ve gone on to become a U.S. Senator, maybe even President. Instead, I became a man-child who’s ordered enough pizza for the delivery guy to recognize me.
If you don’t want pizza delivery guys to recognize you, I suggest you take a minute or two to peruse this horror art from Belgian artist Vlad Jartsev.
For more of Vlad’s work, check out his gallery.
When it comes to drawing, painting, etc…, I’m utterly useless. Honestly, I have trouble drawing a stick figure without botching it. I draw a circle and then an X underneath to represent the arms and legs. I can’t even add a torso.
That’s why I’m amazed by the work of reddit user Manatee94, who posted several photos of various face painting sessions she did on herself. She says that the work takes, “…30 minutes to an hour” and that, “…it’s a lot easier to paint my own face.”
The end results can be seen below and are just fantastic! There’s a strange creature whose face is simply a gigantic mouth with aged teeth, reminiscent of the critter from Tool‘s “Parabola” music video, as well as Twisty The Clown from American Horror Story: Freakshow. Give ‘em a view and show us your artistic work by leaving a link in the comments!
I just realized I missed a pretty sizable announcement from last month, so here’s me making that up to you. Also, sorry. December was a crazy month for me — and most of you, I’m sure — and in all that insanity I seemed to have overlooked the announcement that the the open-world survival horror game The Forest is headed to the PS4 later this year.
Endnight Games co-founder Anna Terekhova broke the news on the PlayStation Blog, where she also detailed some of the things we can expect from its console debut.
The Forest has already benefited from the seven months it’s spent on Steam Early Access, and it’ll only get better on PS4. The game will make use of the PS4′s share functionality, giving players the ability to “show off the bases they have built, the places they’ve encountered or just how many trees they’ve cut down,” writes Terekhova. “In multiplayer, hearing the crackling walkie-talkie out of the dual shock controller adds an extra layer of realism, and brings players deeper into the experience.”
No word on a release date yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it’s at least a couple months out. Endnight Games is continuing to use community feedback to help guide its development on PS4, so if you have an idea you think they need to hear, now is the time to share it.
Up until a couple years ago, multiplayer was most often a feature a developer would tack on to their game to help with sales. Nowadays, games like Dead Space 3 are finding creative ways to implement co-op, while the devs behind The Last of Us, Depth and Damned continue to innovate with their competitive offerings.
Multiplayer isn’t a bad word anymore, it’s becoming accepted by more and more horror fans.
I’ll always prefer to experience my spooky scary games solo, but I welcome this trend so long as developers continue invest time and creativity into finding inventive ways to incorporate multiplayer into their games.
Below are a half dozen horror games that we feel have done multiplayer right. Their modes are fully realized and only have a positive benefit on the game itself. We’ll leave it to you to decide which game did it best.
For the unfamiliar, The FEAR Awards is your chance to pick the best and worst horror games of the year. I’ll reveal a new category and its respective nominees every day until Jan 10. From there, voting will remain open until Jan 15, followed by a reveal of all of the winners on Jan 16.
Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with French electronic music producer Carpenter Brut to bring you the exclusive song premiere of “Anarchy Road”. The track pulses with catchy synths and retro tones. It’s perfect for people who dug the soundtrack to The Guest as well as fans of Perturbator.
“Anarchy Road” comes from the upcoming EP III, which comes out January 19th. You can get an instant download when you pre-order it via iTunes. You can also pre-order the entire trilogy via iTunes. It will also be available via Bandcamp in the coming days.
The full trilogy will also see a 3xLP release in March. The artwork, which was done by Førtifem, can be seen below.
20 janvier / Bordeaux / IBoat
22 janvier / Paris / Batofar (sold out)
23 janvier / Auxerre / Le Silex
18 mars / Paris / Social Club
Look, it’s a baby Quint. How cute.
Reddit user SutekhRising shared what is quite possibly the coolest baby bed in the world. Seriously, I dare you to find something better.
Some say this would be traumatic for the baby. I say, it gives adults a reason to have one.
The only thing that could make this cooler is if this were a photo of Steven Spielberg’s baby, which it’s not.
I’ve been struggling with doing a “worst” list over the past few years, mostly because it feels a bit like kicking a dog while it’s down. Not to mention, I’ve had a rough few years and the negative energy just wasn’t needed in my life.
On the eve of 2015, I’m still reflecting back on 2014 (here’s my top 10), only to find myself glued to a few films that struck me as supremely disappointing. While I don’t feel maliciously angry at any of them, I do feel they all failed us majorly, and hope to share some brief constructive criticism to that effect.
It all starts with…Dishonorable Mention: Into the Storm (New Line Cinema)
I’m a huge fan of what Steven Quale did with New Line’s Final Destination 5. Being mentored by the great James Cameron did wonders for his ability to direct an action sequence. While FD5 is all about fun action, Into the Storm was supposed to be a serious horror film with dramatic elements – and then crazy action. Into the Storm has some incredible set pieces, and at times brought me to the edge of my seat, but overall it was a catastrophe on its own right. Everything outside the tornado madness is god awful, from the screenplay to the acting. It gets a dishonorable mention because, while not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, it’s a lesson in what NOT to do with an action-horror film.
From Paul Solet, director of the acclaimed hit Grace, comes Dark Summer, a suspense thriller said to combine the supernatural terror of classic horrors The Shining and Poltergeist, with the tension and modern cool of Disturbia.
Here’s a special behind-the-scenes feature for the IFC Midnight releasing in limited theaters and on VOD platforms January 9!
Keir Gilchrist (United States of Tara), Stella Maeve (Chicago PD), Maestro Harrell (The Wire, Ali), Grace Phipps (The Vampire Diaries) and Peter Stormare (Arrow, The Last Stand, Fargo) star.
“Summer is a time to relax, unwind, take a vacation, and be free. But 17 year old Daniel Austin gets none of that because his obsessive online stalking of his classmate and crush, Mona Wilson, got him put on house arrest for the whole summer. So, no cell phone, no Internet, no leaving the property, and especially no Mona. Then Daniel’s single mother has to go on a long business trip, and Daniel has the place to himself.
Daniel figures out a way to piggyback onto his neighbors’ wireless signal and
believing he’s surfing off the grid, uses his time to check in on his friends – and Mona… But what Daniel didn’t expect is for Mona to check up on him. And what she does next shakes him to his very core.
And then things start to happen. Daniel receives mysterious packages in the
mail, hears phantom noises, sees inanimate objects move, and feels a strange presence in the house…”