Recently, something magical happened. It started with a question from Jace Hall, former Monolith CEO and co-creator of the criminally underrated survival horror franchise, Condemned. In an attempt to gauge our interest in seeing the series continue, Hall revealed he’s considering handing over the IP to an interested — and proven — indie developer.
For this to have a chance at happening, two things need to happen.
The first is we, the dwellers of the Internet and enthusiasts of spooky video games, will need to come together to show our support. If you haven’t experienced the gory wonders of Condemned, I recommend getting on that first.
The second step involves finding a suitable indie studio that can handle the responsibility of continuing a series that was ended far too soon. This leads me to the big question…
Which indie developer do you feel has the chops to do this series justice?
Horrorpunk group Lupen Tooth has released a lyric video for their track “Coffin Pallor”, which comes from their upcoming EP Strawberries & Cream. The trio from Bristol, UK are bringing 5 songs about necrophilia, werewolves & revenge!
Strawberries & Cream EP track list:
1. Coffin Pallor
2. Moonlight Fury
3. Zombie Doll
4. Bury You Deep
5. My Coffin Is My Home
Sony Online Entertainment has been sold to Columbus Nova, an investment management firm based out of New York that specializes in technology and entertainment companies. The announcement was made via a post on their official forums, along with the studio’s new name: the Daybreak Game Company. That has a nice ring to it.
Daybreak is officially an independent developer with a “focus on creating exceptional online games for players around the world, and now as a multi-platform gaming company. Yes, that means PlayStation and Xbox, mobile and more!”
This comes just a couple weeks after the company released their zombie survival game H1Z1 on Steam Early Access. This move should only benefit their existing properties, including H1Z1, which they confirm “will continue on their current path of development and operation. In fact, we expect to have even more resources available to us as a result of this acquisition.”
Tyler didn’t have great things to say about H1Z1 in his review. It’d be nice to see Daybreak use these new-found resources to make some much-needed improvements to it.
Earlier today I brought to your attention SurgeryHead, which I compared to the splatterfests of the 80′s. But now I want to introduce you to Dan Terminus and his brand new album The Wrath of Code.
This album is pure sci-fi/horror retrosynth goodness and it deserves all your attention. If you need a late night pick me up, pop this on and be prepared to enter a pretty incredible world dominated by mental images of flying cars, spaceship battles, lasers flying everywhere, and all those other sci-fi goodies that we hold so dearly.
Oh, and you better believe that there are dashes of horror thrown in there as well. As we know, a lot of sci-fi gets pretty terrifying. Just think of Aliens, Robocop, Terminator, etc… There are strong elements of horror in those films and this music captures that pretty damn effectively.
The story of The Wrath Of Code reads:
She only remembers her name: Code. How long had it been? For how long had she been digitally chained and locked up in this monumental underground server-city? For how long had she been taking care of her creators, the Humans? Why was she destined to be the universal conscience of the Machines? She is unsure whether she is human, machine or both. In a milli-second, Code orders the machines to halt. The world stands still. The Machines are ready. Code gently smiles.
Prepare to face the Wrath of Code.
Another great thing about this album is that it features Perturbator on the title track, which is always a badass treat.
Stream the album below and then pick up a copy via Bandcamp.
Like many of you, I had written off the Condemned series long ago. The series never found the audience it deserved and its original developer, Monolith, didn’t seem all that interested in pursuing a third game, even though the second left us with a gargantuan cliffhanger. The possibility of a third game seemed nonexistent — until now.
In his post, Hall discusses the possibility of outsourcing development of a third Condemned game, saying “Since I am focused on other things, and will be for quite some time, this franchise is just sitting there.” Hall writes. “I am contemplating finding an interested and proven Indie development team AND PROVIDING IT TO THEM, so that they can take over the franchise and move it forward.”
Yeah, that just happened.
“As an indie, it can be very hard to get marketing/media attention for a title that you work on. This franchise is already quite known, has market demand, and is in an innovative genre/category,” Hall continues before leaving the decision to the fans.
One exceptionally clever fan has used editing magic to turn the Silent Hills P.T. demo into a sufficiently horrific found footage film. At under 8 minutes, this terrifying short manages to be more unnerving than a majority of the found footage horror films I’ve seen in some time.
This nightmare-inducing short comes from YouTuber GamebillStudio. I highly recommend watching it with in the dark with a decent pair of headphones.
Life in Harran can take some getting used to. The laws and unwritten rules that govern today’s civilized society went out the window as soon as the city was quarantined from the outside world following a nasty outbreak that turned most of its citizens into the flesh-eating undead. For some, survival means taking from others. But this isn’t DayZ, so we’re going to need to try something else.
I’ve learned some tricks during my time with Dying Light, some of which I’m going to share with you today. My hope is you’ll glean something that will make your experience with this fantastic horror game a little more enjoyable.
Ready? Let’s go.It’s More Fun With Friends
This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Dying Light is exponentially more enjoyable if you have at least one other friend to share the experience with. They’ve even added random challenges that make co-op play more interesting by adding a layer a light competition to the mix.
The game supports up to five players in a game, but who’s that popular?Come Up With Your Own Story
Techland is not particularly adept at constructing interesting stories, relying instead on satisfying how fun it is to use specially modified weapons to carry the game. Dying Light offers a stronger narrative than Dead Island, but it’s still weak.
Mute is always a viable option, as is coming up with your own story, if you’re feeling creative. You can also do what I sometimes do for games that are fun to play but not all that interesting to follow and listen to a podcast. I powered through the entire Serial series during Dragon Age: Inquisition’s quieter moments.Save Your Mods
The weapons you’ll find in Harran can be improved by using blueprints and mods. The latter is found by completing quests, saving survivors, and looting police vehicles. When you get a mod, try and resist the urge to immediately use it on one of your weapons. The reason for this is you’ll almost definitely be swapping out your arsenal with better gear all the time, so it’s better to save up a few mods for when you find a weapon you’ll be using for some time.
It won’t take long. Loot is everywhere, and the shopkeepers’ inventories change every day and every time you gain a Survivor level. I also suggest buying blueprints from merchants when they’re available, because they’re never there for very long.The Floor is Lava
There are no vehicles in Dying Light, so your own two legs will be your only way of getting around this wide open city. This means you’ll want to get that Agility level up fast, as it unlocks new parkour abilities — like the grappling hook, which descends from the heavens when you reach level 12 and immediately makes this game so much better — that make getting from point A to point B easier, faster and way more fun.
There are two ways to become a freerunning master — more on that in a sec — and the first is to run, jump and slide over everything. Just pretend like the floor is lava and stick to the rooftops.Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Contrary to all those spooky trailers, the night is your friend. Harran gets significantly more dangerous when the sun goes down. Going out is worth the increased risk mostly because it doubles the XP you gain, so growing those Agility and Power levels takes a lot less time.
Another bonus to going out for some fresh night air is the precious supply drops that land at night can’t be looted by bandits. If you can make it past all the Volatiles, those supplies are all yours.Get Those Supply Drops
Unless you absolutely cannot go for them, when you feel the telltale rumbling that signals an imminent airdrop, always go after them. Secure enough of them and you’ll never have to worry about flares or medkits, and turning them into the Quartermasters grants a massive amount of Survivor XP.Secure Safe Houses
Scattered about the city are buildings and fenced-off areas that are well-lit enough to provide shelter for runners seeking safe haven at night. Before they can be used for this purpose, they need to be secured first. Securing as many of these as you possibly can early on will make nightime excursions a lot less terrifying.Wait to Repair Weapons
Techland has done away with workbenches in this game, but weapons can still be repaired. However, each weapon can only be repaired a certain number of times, depending on its quality. For example, orange tier weapons can be repaired more times than a basic grey tier one.
To optimize the limited number of repairs you have, hack away or bludgeon Zeds until the game lets you know your weapon can’t take any more abuse, then repair it.Certain Abilities Rock
Overall, I much prefer the skill trees in Dying Light to the more specialized ones in Dead Island. There are only a few I had no desire to invest skill points in, and even those were mostly two-handed abilities I’d never use because a true survivor never double-fists it. One-handed weapons all the way, baby.
Some of the abilities I highly recommend you invest in would include the Shield, because it’s unbelievably useful against human enemies. The head vault skill is great, too. Not only does it grant a decent amount of XP upon every use, but it also makes getting around a lot easier.
The head stomp — one of my favorite abilities in Dead Island — is also worth it. It’s satisfying and makes clearing a zombie-infested street simple. Just jump on a car and squish the heads of the zombies as they try and climb on the hood.
Do it right and you’ll get nary a scratch, I promise.Bombers Suck
Of course Dying Light would have an enemy that explodes, it is a zombie game after all.
The Bombers are particularly nasty because they tend to insta-kill even the hardiest of runners with their too-overpowered kamikaze attack. They’re easily identifiable from the front because they have their insides on their outsides, but they look like any other zombie when seen from behind.Use the Environment
Harran is lousy with environmental hazards. Car traps and electrified fences require certain skills before they can be used, but there’s plenty out there that you can make full use of from the beginning. If you see a puddle of water sitting on a tarp, lure some ghouls to it for a shocking good time. If you see a barrel or a wall with spikes on it, kick a zombie onto it to kill it instantly. Making use of these traps will net you bonus XP that will make improving your runner that much easier.
That’s most of what I’ve learned so far. I hope it helps. If you have some lessons of your own, feel free to share them with us in the comments below. Good night and good luck!
If Techland’s past work — Dead Island — has you unsure about Dying Light, I called it a “flawed, gorgeous, and alarmingly addictive.” It’s not without some jank, but it’s significantly less so than their other open-world zombie game.
Variety reports that Relativity has dated Oculus director Mike Flanagan’s horror-thriller Somnia, starring Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane and Annabeth Gish, for May 8, 2015.
Somnia, written by Flanagan and Jeff Howard, “centers on an orphaned child whose dreams and nightmares manifest physically as he sleeps.” Bosworth and Jane play his parents and Jacob Tremblay is the child.
While a lot of you guys seemed to dislike Oculus, I was a really big fan. I thought Flanagan did an outstanding job with the little indie that could, and delivered some big scares.
Okay, maybe CW has something special up their sleeve? Either that, or they’re about to drop a handful of lame teen-focused supernatural series into development.
With “iZombie” already in the pipeline, CW just ordered a pilot for “Tales From the Darkside”, and just now announced a new genre series from J.J. Abrams!
The network has given the green light to supernatural drama “Dead People,” from “Californication” creator Tom Kapinos and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, reports Deadline.
Written/executive produced by Kapinos, “Dead People” centers on a down-on-his-luck, semi-alcoholic but roguishly charming cab driver. After a near-death experience, he suddenly has the ability to interact with ghosts, including his late ex-wife who he has never gotten over.
Billie Lourd – daughter to actress Carrie Fisher (pictured) – is the latest to join “American Horror Story” creator Ryan Murphy’s “Scream Queens,” says Deadline.
Lourd will be part of an ensemble cast that also includes “Glee‘s” Lea Michele, Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Joe Manganiello and Abigail Breslin.
Production is set to begin in the spring on the first installment of “Scream Queens,” in which a college campus is rocked by a series of murders.
It is set to debut in the fall.
After being announced way back in 2013, the CW has officially picked up its first two pilots of the 2015-16 cycle, handing orders to a reinvention of “Tales From the Darkside” and a project from “The Originals” and “Vampire Diaries” showrunner Julie Plec, says Variety.
“Tales From the Darkside” is a reboot of fantasy-thriller anthology series from the 1980s. Joe Hill (“Horns,” “Locke & Key”) wrote the pilot script and exec produces for CBS TV Studios with Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Heather Kadin, as well as Mitch Galin and Jerry Golod.
“Cordon” revolves around an epidemic that breaks out in Atlanta, leaving some people stuck on the outside of a large city quarantine. It’s based on a Belgian series.
The bad news is that it’s a CW show, although I don’t wanna dog on it until I see “iZombie”. It’s also good to note that this is a pilot order and does not guarantee a series, although it would be wonderful to see a new anthology back on television… even if it is CW.
“Tales From The Darkside” was created by George A. Romero. The pilot for the series aired back in 1983, with it running from ’84-’88.
Not since “Calvin and Hobbes” have I been this excited about an ongoing comic strip.
Meet Erma, a creation by artist Brandon Santiago.
What makes Erma so special is that she’s the daughter of Samara, the antagonist in the U.S. version of The Ring (and probably the newly announced remake, Rings).
Brandon has been working diligently on a comic series that takes us into the daily life of Erma, a life that’s turned upside down with her supernatural abilities.
While you can keep up with Brandon at the aforementioned link, below are two imager embeds of a handful of strips to whet your appetite. They’re super clever and also hilarious.
There is plenty to be excited about when it comes to Resident Evil Revelations 2, which makes its episodic debut later this month, but for me, it’s all about Barry Burton. This guy is one of the most underappreciated video game characters ever — we even dedicated a feature to him in our Resident Evil Week last September — so it’s about time he gets some attention.
Proving their commitment to one of the series’ unsung heroes, Capcom has released a new video that puts the spotlight squarely on that lovable gun enthusiast.
It didn’t take long for Kholat to climb my list of indie horror games I can’t wait to get my hands on. The setting is based on a horrific incident that claimed the lives of nine students exactly 56 years ago in the Dyatlov Pass, which sits at the base of Siberia’s “Death Mountain”. Young men and women dying horribly is tragic, but this specific event also happens to be thoroughly unsettling.
This animated video from the makers of Kholat does a good job of explaining why this story is worth turning into a spooky video game.
In related news, actor Sean Bean has joined the project as a lead narrator. Bean will forever be known to me as Boromir from The Lord of the Rings, but he also did fine work on Silent Hill and Game of Thrones.
Kholat is slated to release on April 24 for PC.
Generally, when you think of Stephen King’s made-for-TV movies, you think of It or The Stand, two of his better-known TV movie adaptations. Yeah, he’s had many other adaptations since then, the last being the flawed Bag Of Bones. King’s latest adaptation, the crime thriller Big Driver, hit Lifetime (yes, that Lifetime) back in October, and now Lionsgate brings us the DVD. While not being a traditional King horror romp, director Mikael Salomon does his best to give us a gritty tale of rape and revenge.
Tess Thorne (Bello) is a famous writer who is out on the road after a book signing. Despite her best efforts and GPS, she ends up lost. Things go bad when she ends up running over some all too conveniently-placed lumber, leaving her stranded on the side of the road. Fortunately for Tess, a truck driver (Will Harris) happens by a few minutes later and offers his help. Tess accepts his help, but it was all a setup by the driver, who sheds his friendly guise and proceeds to beat and rape Tess, leaving her for dead. Tess awakens later and manages to walk to the next town. Instead of calling for the police, Tess decides to exact revenge in her own way.
Now before anything, yes, this film showed up on Lifetime. Let’s get that out of the way. Next, while the basic premise sounds all-too familiar (I Spit On Your Grave immediately comes to mind), the film does offer more in the form of Richard Christian Matheson’s script. Tess is presented as a normal person with a darker, more violent personality underneath the surface. And it just so happens that after her assault, elements of that personality come to the surface in her “eye for an eye” vengeance. As such, the viewer is offered a glimpse into Tess’s head, including conversations with a character from her book in Aunt Doreen (played humorously by Olympia Dukakis) and her GPS named “Tom”. It might sound kind of hokey, but really, is it that much different from having a character reliving traumatic experiences in other films/television shows? It adds to the flavour of a character out for payback.
The acting front begins and ends with Maria Bello. Bello is amazing as Tess, and fully brings Matheson’s script to life, conveying every bit of underlying sadness and anger in the character, the latter of which really comes out in the second half of the film. Dukakis is another treat of the film, doling out King’s trademark black humour as Tess’s muse and voice of reason…even if that reason involves making sure Tess gets rid of the evidence. Will Harris’s imposing portrayal of the film’s antagonist, Lester, is appropriately intimidating and sleazy (though you wouldn’t want to say it to his face), and really makes you want to see his comeuppance.
Even with the excellent script and equally-excellent acting, there are a few issues that creep up. Aside from the obvious rape revenge motif that really doesn’t differentiate from a lot of other films of this nature, the elements mentioned above involving Tess’s character (interactions with characters from her book and the GPS) that do border on the silly. There’s also the actual act of rape, which despite being restricted by the original format and not glorified, is still not something you’d enjoy watching. And like many revenge rape films, you probably won’t be in a hurry to see it again afterwards. Finally, despite receiving third billing, Joan Jett’s role is really nothing much more than a cameo as a bar owner, and feels more like one of those attempts at attention-grabbing in order for people to take notice. But really, why do that when you already have great talent in the film?
While Big Driver doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to films of this nature, the strength of the script and the quality of the acting really make the film stand out. Bello is amazing in her role, and performances by Harris and Dukakis really sell this one. The film isn’t for everyone (given the obvious content), but for those who are able to stomach this sort of topic will be rewarded with another excellent adaptation of Stephen King’s work.
Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Big Driver looks great. Colour reproduction is excellent, the overall image is crisp and clear with no imperfections like compression artifacts. There are some instances where details do look a bit flat, but this is easily one of the better-looking DVDs I’ve seen in a while.
As for the audio, the Dolby Digital English 5.1 stereo track is equally-comparable in quality to the video. Use of directional sound is great, with some excellent instances of the sound moving from one channel to the next. Bass output adds a nice punch to select scenes, and doesn’t overpower. Dialogue is clear and free of any distortion.
You know those companies that put other films’ trailers on the DVD instead of having actual extras that pertain to the film you’re watching? Lionsgate did it here, and it’s beyond annoying. The “extra” that pertains to the film is the ultraviolet copy.
Also included is a slipcase that replicates the art for the case itself.
It’s been a while since I last reported on the indie horror game White Night, with its unique blending of old-school horror inspirations, like Alone in the Dark and the works of Alfred Hitchcock. Its high-contrast, black and white art style is undeniably striking, and goes far in making the game look and feel like it could’ve released in the early to mid-90′s — and I mean that in the best way possible.
White Night is being developed by a couple of the devs who worked on the fifth Alone in the Dark, and it shows. The game is scheduled to release on March 3rd for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
TheWrap reports that Gremlins director Joe Dante’s latest horror pic, Burying the Ex, was acquired by Image Entertainment for release on VOD and in limited theaters this summer.
It stars Fright Night‘s Anton Yelchin, Texas Chainsaw 3D‘s Alexandra Daddario, and The Apparition‘s Ashley Greene. Check out our report from the set here.
“Burying the Ex follows Max (Yelchin), an all-around nice guy, and his overbearing but incredibly beautiful girlfriend, Evelyn (Greene). Their relationship takes a nosedive after they decide to move in together and Evelyn turns out to be a controlling, manipulative nightmare. Max knows it’s time to call it quits, but there’s just one problem: he’s terrified of breaking up with her. Fate steps in when Evelyn is involved in a freak accident and dies, leaving Max single and ready to mingle. Max eventually meets Olivia (Daddario), a cute and spirited girl who just might be his soul mate, only to learn that Evelyn has risen from her grave and is determined to get her boyfriend back…even if that means turning him into one of the undead.”
Dante previous directed The Hole, which is actually a really great children’s horror film.
Update: This vinyl is coming out via Ship To Shore Phonograph Co. One Way Static is assisting with distribution. More about Ship to Shore Phonograph Co. can be found here.
One Way Static has opened up pre-orders for the soundtrack to George A. Romero’s vampire shocker Martin, which was composed by Donald Rubinstein. The vinyl will not be shipped until the end of May but there are limited variants, so make sure you place your order here.
The soundtrack was once named “…one of the top 100 coolest soundtracks of all time” by MOJO Magazine. This will be the first time it’s available on vinyl since its release in 1978.
Roy Frumkes, producer of Street Trash and director of Document of the Dead, states:
Donald Rubinstein contributes a haunting, melancholy score punctuated with sudden, passionate riffs. It is the perfect accompaniment to this tale of lost souls in a barren, nearly post-apocalyptic environment.
Head below for the artwork (done by Brandon Schaefer) as well as the full track listing and different variant details.
> 500 on Marble “Blood” Red Vinyl (This edition/variant has been exclusively made for One Way Static & Light In The Attic Records and is only available through our online stores).
> 500 on “Transylvanian Flashback” Black & White Swirl Vinyl (available only through the official Ship To Shore PhonoCo webstore).
> 1000 on 180 gram black vinyl for retail.
A1. The Calling / Main Title
A2. Train Attack
A4. Tat Cuda’s House
A5. Martin At The Butcher Shop
A6. Antique Chase With Villagers
A7. Garlic Chase #6
A8. Martin Goes To The City
A9. Christina Leaves
A11. Modern Vamp
B2. The Calling (Reprise)
B3. Braddock / Chase
B4. Back To Me
B5. Crawling Sequence
B6. Martin Martin Martin
B7. Marie – Interlude
B9. Fly By Night
B10. Exorcism / Classical Funk
B11. Stake, Well Done!
Between Tales of Halloween and Michael Dougherty’s Krampus, there’s no shortage of holiday-themed anthologies.
The next comes courtesy of indie production and sales outfit XYZ Films, who is teaming with John Hegeman’s newly-launched genre label, Distant Corners Entertainment, to produce feature anthology, Holidays.
Deadline reports that the pic is a group of subversive tales fashioned around globally recognized celebrations like Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Mother’s Day.
Other than the addition of Starry Eyes duo Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, the band of directors isn’t as exciting. In fact, it’s almost a turnoff.
The other vignettes will be helmed by the god awful Kevin Smith, responsible for trash such as Tusk and Red State; Gary Shore, who helmed the bland soulless Dracula Untold, will tell a story; Then there’s Scott Stewart, director of the scare-less and lackluster Dark Skies; other directors include The Pact‘s Nick McCarthy, Matt Johnson (The Dirties), Sarah Smith (The Midnight Swim), and Anthony Scott Burns. More directors will be announced in the coming weeks.
A&E released the official poster for the third season of “Bates Motel” that could have multiple agendas. Is Freddie Highmore acting “sexy” or “scary,” or maybe both? It’s implied that he’s becoming more sexually connected to Norman, so possibly they’re both in the same?
“Bates Motel”, returning March 9, is a contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film Psycho, and gives viewers an intimate portrayal of how Norman Bates’ psyche unravels through his teenage years.
Series stars Vera Farmiga in her Emmy-nominated role as Norma Bates and Freddie Highmore as Norman.
After a blissful summer of closeness with his mother, living within the safe confines of home and the Bates Motel, Norman’s fears about what really happened with Blaire Watson resurface and Norma questions what really happened. Forced to look at the truths about Norman for the first time, their deeply intricate relationship continues to evolve. Norma finds herself turning to the other man in her life, Norman’s half-brother, Dylan (Max Thieriot) and begins to rely on him in ways that she never expected. This relationship inevitably triggers jealousy in Norman and a new kind of love triangle between Norma and her two sons erupts. Estranged brother and uncle, Caleb (Kenny Johnson) returns to haunt the family throughout the season challenging the family bond even further. Pressures of the outside world take a hold of the family when newcomers Kevin Rahm (“Mad Men,” “Desperate Housewives”), Tracy Spiradakos (“Revolution”) and Ryan Hurst (“Sons Of Anarchy”) arrive at White Pine Bay. After a summer of living at the Bates Motel, Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) and Norma have grown closer but there will always have that troubling question mark surrounding Norman. Something doesn’t feel right, but spite of his instincts, Romero finds himself continually drawn back to the Bates family — and to Norma. Emma (Olivia Cooke) also determined to find out what is happening to Norman becomes more emboldened, fearless, goes after the things she wants. Familiar face, Bradley (Nicola Peltz) returns to surprise the family and digs up old memories.