Fans of physical media are no doubt well aware of what the Criterion Collection has to offer. However, if you’re a horror fan looking from the outside in, you may not realize that Criterion has plenty to offer you. On the surface Criterion appears to handle art-house cinema only. In a way that’s true, but Criterion’s definition of art-house cinema stretches beyond the limitations most give the term “art-house cinema.” Here’s how Criterion describes themselves:
Since 1984, the Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films, has been dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements.
Over the years Criterion has released a ton of great genre films, giving them the care, respect and dignity they deserve. With the exception of perhaps Synapse, Criterion delivers on what I consider to be the best of the best when it comes to home video horror releases. This is high praise because despite what some may lead you believe, the home video market right now is booming for genre geeks. With the likes of Vinegar Syndrome, Scream Factory, Arrow Films, 88 Films and more, horror fans are being treated to some of the best home video releases in years. Criterion is leading the way with top notch picture and audio quality, plus they include the absolute best in special features and packaging (I’m a sucker for great blu-ray packaging).
Currently Barnes & Nobel is having their annual Criterion sale. Every July all Criterion releases are 50% off. This is the time of the year to add to your collection. You can’t beat 50% off! What I’ve created is a guide of sorts to serve horror fans. This year you don’t have to let your pretentious film student friends have all the fun, you can cash in on the savings too!
There’s too many titles to go through them all, but I’ll give you my top five and then you can go from there!
“Ki Ki Ki, Ma, Ma, Ma”
NECA stole the show at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con with their “Video Game Jason,” a glow-in-the-dark version of Friday the 13th Jason from the classic 1989 NES video game. Rocking an axe and a machete, the figure was a convention exclusive and sold out immediately. Since then, fans have been clamoring for more, while NECA has released video game versions of Freddy Krueger, RoboCop, Predator, Batman, among others.
At the ongoing SDCC, NECA revealed we’ll be getting an 8-bit Leatherface, which was big news in itself. Now, the toy giant has announced a re-release of the legendary “Video Game Jason,” which will come as a “Theme Music Packaging” release featuring Pamela Voorhees’ rotting head (that glows in the dark!). There’s no word on why it’s called that, but my personal guess would be that, when the flap is flipped open, the midi theme song will play (much like how a birthday card works).
Take a peak below…
At first glance, The Town of Light appears to be yet another ‘trapped in an insane asylum’ game. Yawn. We’ve seen enough Outlast clones to last a lifetime, right?
Italian-based developers at LKA.it are taking a different tack with their horror game, which was recently greenlit on Steam. By creating a landscape based on a real-life abandoned mental hospital in Tuscany, The Town of Light aims to explore the more tragic aspects of being trapped in an authoritative mental institution.
In it, players step into the paper shoes of a former patient, a woman who seems to be suffering greatly from her experiences in the Ospedale Psichiatrico di Volterra.
Voice-over from the thirty second trailer reveal a sinister mode of practice for what was once considered a quite progressive approach to mental rehabilitation:
“I was sixteen, and I was scared. They told me they would bring me to a place where the fear would flit away. That is where I stopped believing. I tried to explain what was happening to me. I was tied to my bed for days. I entered the town of light.”
Very few plot points have been released, but gameplay footage featured on YouTube and elsewhere point to an exploration-based experience. Stepping out on a limb, I’d say you will be traversing the abandoned hospital — closed in 1978 for its arcane and cruel treatment of patients — and collecting some details about the place.
We won’t have access to it yet, because the game is in Alpha, but here’s hoping for a beta or a playable demo sometime in the near future. Updates on the Steam Greenlight page pointed toward a first quarter 2015 release, but since we’re past that, who knows when The Town of Light will be released. Fingers crossed for a soonish beta of some kind.
In the meantime, you can check out the myriad collections of photographs detailing the bone-chilling state of the crumbling institution.
While we get the trailer Friday, San Diego Comic-Con attendees can visit Ash’s trailer and toolshed from Starz’s “Ash vs Evil Dead” and put their hands on his trusty chainsaw!
In the 10-episode “Ash vs Evil Dead” series premiering this fall, Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.”
“Ash vs Evil Dead” (see who’s directing here) is the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film franchise The Evil Dead and is set to premiere on STARZ in fall 2015.
You can read our lengthy interview with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell by clicking here!
You’ll find the previous teaser and full series info by clicking here.
— Den of Geek (@DenofGeekUS) July 9, 2015
— Ash vs Evil Dead (@AshvsEvilDead) July 9, 2015
— Dalton Ross (@DaltonRoss) July 9, 2015
Ellen Ripley’s daughter made an appearance at the ongoing San Diego Comic-Con as NECA revealed the completed 7″ Amanda Ripley action figure as seen in the terrifying “Alien: Isolation” videogame.
As explained by Wiki, “A deleted scene from Aliens, which was later included on DVD releases, reveals that Ellen Ripley has a daughter, Amanda. She was ten years old during the events of Alien, but grew up, married (taking on the surname McClaren) and died during her mother’s 57-year stasis between the events of the first two films. A picture of Amanda as an older adult is shown to Ripley. The picture is actually Sigourney Weaver’s real-life mother, Elizabeth Inglis.”
Earlier today we told you that Paramount’s Scouts Vs Zombies has been retitled to Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.
On the eve of the San Diego Comic-Con, we now have the first teaser clip that so fun.
Watch as one of the scouts is attacked by a zombie cat – before the entire troupe is assaulted!
We also have the official teaser one-sheet from the pic directed by Christopher Landon.
“Three scouts and lifelong friends join forces with one badass cocktail waitress to become the world’s most unlikely team of heroes. When their peaceful town is ravaged by a zombie invasion, they’ll fight for the badge of a lifetime and put their scouting skills to the test to save mankind from the undead.”
It will open in theaters October 30th, and as part of a new distribution deal, will arrive on home video and VOD within 17 days of the film nearing its theatrical exit.
As part of their Comic-Con promotions, go to the Interactive Zone at Petco Park to receive official limited edition SCOUTS badges which will lead you to exclusive footage online!
As an added prize, 5″Golden Dick-Its” will be given out at random. The “Golden Dick-it” winners will receive a VIP trip to Lollapalooza!
A-Kon is an annual celebration of all things anime, as well as the culture that surrounds it, such as cosplay and video games. These two things came together in a magical way last month when half a dozen fans of Shinji Mikami’s survival horror game The Evil Within teamed up to give us this epic cosplay extravaganza. Six familiar faces, or face-like surfaces, from the game and its DLC were represented in glorious fashion, including Ruvik, Juli Kidman, Sebastian Castellanos, Leslie Withers, the Keeper, and even a Shade (first introduced in The Assignment).
The only thing that’s missing from this Evil Within spectacular is some Reborn Laura. Maybe she had trouble getting out of that tub. After all, blood on fiberglass is about as close as science has been able to come to creating a frictionless surface.
Capcom may be getting ready to announce a new game set in the Resident Evil universe. NeoGAF user ekim spotted a trademark the company registered yesterday for what appears to be a video game or gaming related something called Umbrella Corps. This could mean just about anything, though my pessimistic side is already bracing for a reveal of what I’m going to assume is a free-to-play game. I refuse to let them break my heart again. Not again.
Fans will recognize Umbrella as the uber-evil corporation and reliable source of bad things until their downfall in Resident Evil 4. They’ve never completely disappeared, but it’s safe to assume they won’t be nuking any more cities named after hostile woodland critters anytime soon.
Free-to-play may be too negative of an assumption. This could always be a browser MMO.
A few weeks ago, a listing spotted on the Australian Ratings Board outed ZombiU for current-gen consoles, sans the ‘U’. We’re still waiting for Ubisoft to come out and make it official, even if that confirmation is almost unnecessary now that it’s been backed by a second listing, this time from Taiwan’s Game Software Ratings Board.
Both listings refer to it as Zombi, and the latter even included new artwork.
Bringing ZombiU to more platforms makes perfect sense. The game was well-received on the Wii U, but like so many other Nintendo-exclusive horror games, it wasn’t able to find an audience. With its post-apocalyptic setting, undead hordes and the unique twist it puts on player death, this game could make good use of a second chance to succeed.
So yeah, this is pretty much happening.
I hope you’re watching the Showtime television series “Penny Dreadful”, because it’s fantastic and has two of my favorite people in it. Actress Eva Green has long been a favorite of mine, but it’s Billie Piper who stole the show in its second season, which wrapped up this past Sunday. The show has been ripe for a video game adaptation since its inception, with its tales of witches, werewolves, man-made monsters and that always intriguing battle between good and evil.
That battle ought to be fun to explore in developer Midverse Studios’ recently announced mobile game Penny Dreadful: Demimonde. The game is an amalgam collectible card games and puzzle-based RPGs, with the goal being to collect characters and monsters seen in the show to build a team that can compete in tournament-like events.
Midverse Studios CEO Rizwan Virk seems excited for it:
With Penny Dreadful, Showtime and series creator John Logan have created a beautiful and haunting world of supernatural creatures and storylines, all intersecting in Victorian London. But the real battles are happening in the demi-monde—a half-world between what we know and what we fear—and we look forward to bringing the unique creepy, intelligent style of Penny Dreadful to our mobile game.
We also expect that the mobile game will introduce the unique characters of Penny Dreadful to new players that may never have watched the show. Mobile and Social games are becoming an important part of how IP holders engage with existing and potential fans.
Penny Dreadful: Demimonde releases this fall for iOS, Android and Kindle. A Facebook version will follow sometime thereafter. You can sign up for access to the beta over here.
You may have noticed that we have a banner on the right hand side of the page for a company by the name of ‘Cloak and Coin‘. Well, I’m here to tell you a bit about it!
‘Cloak and Coin’ is a company that features some of the Bloody-Disgusting team and it’s their mission to help and work with amazing artists by getting their work out there on clothes, posters/prints, stickers, and more. Right now, they’ve got five awesome products that show love to the following franchises: Star Wars, Hotline Miami, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
We’re always about helping our family and friends we’re thrilled to see them put in this amount of hard work and effort to support and highlight these artists.
Below are the products that are currently available through ‘Cloak and Coin‘.
If any of these interest you, we’ve got a discount code that will get you 10% off your order. Simply use the code “bdisgusting” for this offer! However, know that this coupon code only works for the first 50 people who apply it, so you better act fast if you want some awesome merch at a great price!
From the cult classic A Nightmare on Elm Street horror films, NECA’s newest retro clothed action figure is Freddy as he appeared in Part 3: Dream Warriors!
Freddy stands 8” tall and is dressed in fabric clothing similar to the iconic toy lines of the 1970s. He’s fully poseable and truly terrifying – just lift his sweater to see the tortured spirits trapped in his Chest of Souls!
Removable hat included. Blister packaging with resealable protective clamshell features custom artwork created by Jason Edmiston just for this release!
I’ve never liked the way these look online, but in person these retro figures are stunning.
Back in February we picked up on NECA’s tease that Leatherface could be joining both Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger as 8-bit video game action figures.
NECA officially announced today a new 7″ Leatherface inspired by Atari’s 1983 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and it’s magnificent.
Now a super-rare find, the side-scrolling game was originally released in 1983 for a popular 8-bit home console.
Leatherface stands 7″ tall and has over 25 points of articulation for great poses. The figure comes with vinyl apron and chainsaw accessory. Special paint deco reproduces the game’s stylized look. Comes in special window box packaging that faithfully recreates the look and feel of the classic video game cartridge box.
I love the gross, green Atari look!
This week, the actors behind several of the characters that many of us fell in love with over the course of the first season of Telltale’s episodic series based on The Walking Dead will be reunited in San Diego’s Petco Park for a live performance of the season’s more memorable moments. Fan favorites Lee and Clem, voiced by Dave Fennoy and Melissa Hutchison, respectively, will be there, ready to make us weep for just $30.
If you’re craving the salty taste of your own tears, a Walker Stalker Fan Fest ticket will get you access to the show when it kicks off on July 11 at 8pm Pacific. I was unable to confirm whether or not that ticket also gets you a complimentary box of tissues, so I suggest you do the responsible thing and just bring your own.
Unable to make it? Don’t fret, as Skybound will be live-streaming it on Twitch.
Telltale’s series returns this fall with a new miniseries titled The Walking Dead: Michonne — you can learn more about that over here. The third season is slated to premier sometime in 2016.
Very sad news as it’s being reported that Irwin Keyes, who played “Ravelli” in Rob Zombie’s 2003 horror film House of 1,000 Corpses, has passed away at age 63.
His passing was reported by family member Rene Galarza, who stated:
It’s with deep sympathy that I’m writing this post. Early this morning my family was informed that our beloved uncle, brother, teammate and friend, Irwin Keyes has had his last curtain call. He is now an angel for us all and will be watching down. Our family wishes to thank all of you who have been a part of his life. He will be missed very much.
Keyes had been acting for nearly four decades, appearing in such films as Disturbed alongside Malcolm McDowell, Nice Girls Don’t Explode, Wristcutters: A Love Story , and an episode of Tales From The Crypt. He was also a voice actor for several video games.
We send our deepest condolences to his friends and family.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is on everybody’s mind these days, and for good reason. It’s an open world RPG that not only lives up to such hype that it is being compared to games like Red Dead Redemption, one of the last generation in gaming’s most heralded titles.
If you’ve played it, then you’ve most definitely heard the epic, bombastic score that swells underneath the player as Geralt traverses Griffin-plagued lands in search of Yennefer.
The man behind that score is the talented and versatile Mikolai Stroinski, who was kind enough to answer some questions about the skill set involved in scoring video games, how themes evolve over the course of production, and what projects are on the horizon.
BD: You have a variety of credits under your belt. How do you approach working in television differently than video games?
It’s a completely different world and an entirely different approach. Usually in the television business the deadlines are very short and therefore the pace of work tends to be faster. I have to say that hours of practicing jazz improvisation really comes in handy here – so do the keyboard shortcuts.
Television and film music is all about composing in a linear fashion, meaning the music that plays is not likely to get repeated, much like the scene that it supports. In the world of video games, on the other hand, the pace is much more relaxed with deadlines further into the future. For example, I am just starting a project where the deadline for music delivery is November 2016 which is far enough to let me hopefully come up with something meaningful.
However, the challenge with video game music is making it interactive – in other words, allowing for instant changes in the music which are triggered depending on the actions on the screen. This might mean entering a new area or engaging in a battle and so on. The timing of those events cannot be planned because it depends on how fast the player moves and performs actions on the screen. This requires a composer to build a musical cue from moveable cells which when put together create an artistic whole.
BD: How does the medium of video games require a different skill set than, say, TV?
First and foremost it requires a solid history of playing video games which enables you to get into the player’s chair at any moment and understand the realms of this medium. The element of interactive music has to be comprehended as should the knowledge of the software that takes care of it (called middleware). Video game music has a different pace and narration – just listen to soundtracks from both media and you may subconsciously sense what I’m talking about. A piece of music from a movie might go to a completely different musical place towards the end because that is where the scene that it’s attached to takes it. Generally speaking, a video game music piece will therefore be more stable in terms of musical development.
In TV you need to have a different set of chops – being able to deliver quickly with high production values is one of them. In both cases the more you know about music – the better equipped you are.
BD: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which you scored, and The Witcher 3 have vastly different aural characteristics. How does the individual project influence what instrumentation and leitmotifs you’ll employ?
Those choices are made based on experiences in the actual genre coupled with some instinct. The Witcher has a unique color spectrum that comes from the incorporated Slavic sound but it is still a roleplaying fantasy game. So instruments like woodwinds and the string section will naturally lay themselves well into the sound palette. Ethan Carter had some horrifying elements which was an impulse for me to use darker colors while maintaining the exploration element. The leitmotif had to reflect that coupled with the boy’s innocence and beautiful nature that surrounds the story.
BD: Going from the Dark Souls 2 trailer to Ethan Carter, then Wild Hunt rounds out a pretty interesting set of credits. How do you go about choosing your projects?
In the case of Ethan Carter and The Witcher 3, I knew they were going to be great projects. I was invited to pitch for them and luckily for me I won. In the case of Dark Souls 2, I was just invited to score the trailer and had no idea whatsoever how huge this project was. Only after seeing the audience’s reaction to the trailer on SPIKE TV I realized that I took part in something really special, which was then confirmed by the fan following my piece has gathered me. I like to take part in projects that I would enjoy as a player or a viewer or those that give me an opportunity to write meaningful music.
BD: How much time with the actual game do you get when you compose? Are you given demos of the game being played, or does the developer bring you into the studio, or is it a combination of both?
I often get a working copy of the game somewhere in the middle of the process of composing the music for it. It almost always starts though with a couple of screenshots and conversation with a producer who tells me the whole story. I must say I really like this method because I use my imagination as a source rather than picture so it might give unexpected but very often suitable results.
BD: What methods do you use for developing your basic running themes in a soundtrack? Do you build the orchestral elements on top of a basic melody, or vice versa?
For Ethan Carter I composed the main theme (that you hear at the end of the game) at my piano. I then “disassembled” the piece, took elements of it and used them to compose some other pieces in the game, therefore giving the game its melodic identity. With The Witcher 3 a couple of themes came lingering from the previous installments of the series and a couple I invented while working on the new game. I composed these new themes with the string section in mind mostly. Naturally if a game needs a certain instrument I compose a theme that fits its capabilities. I can’t really say whether the melody or the orchestra comes first. It differs from one score to another.
BD: The Witcher 3 is quite an expansive game. Some estimates place it at over 100 hours of gameplay. Does that make creating a score more challenging?
Yes, obviously a project like that requires you to physically generate more music, and keeping in mind that it is an epic journey – the music has to be epic, which takes even more time to produce especially if you want the music to be interactive.
BD: Do you, for example, think constantly about how the repeating melodies will connect with the player? How does that affect your musical approach?
This is an excellent question. Yes! I need to plan how many times a piece of music will be repeating so that the melody I compose won’t become annoying. However I still want it to be meaningful and not accidental. What becomes helpful is the fact that if a piece repeats it may do so without the instruments that play the melody which makes it more effective when it finally comes back. Melody is not always the best tool – sometimes, especially in situations where a player needs to focus on solving a problem and make more active use of his or her brain, it’s better to leave the melody out because it draws too much attention.
BD: Which portions of a game score are the most fun to work on: the big, bombastic moments, with lots of varied and chaotic instrumentation, or the quieter sections?
Overall I prefer writing more intimate music – it usually serves a more directed purpose and gives me an opportunity to adjust small but meaningful details of sound. The bigger you get with music the more details you lose. The fact that you called it chaotic sustains my way of thinking. It really shouldn’t be chaotic at all – clarity is the single most important goal in music composition. It takes time to achieve it and also for me is very often a challenging task.
All of the above is not to say that I don’t like to write bombastic music. I was fortunate to be scoring Ethan Carter and The Witcher 3 together at the same time. After a couple of intimate cues it was really refreshing to use some explosive colors for combat cues.
BD: How complete was Wild Hunt when you began working on the score? Music is so driven by feel, at least in my experience. Is it challenging to work on a project like a video game, one that takes years from conception to completion?
I think it was a year and a half to two years into production when I joined the team. The direction of music had already been established so there weren’t many changes during the process. The fact that the music is driven by the feel, as you kindly said, is the result of everything I said earlier. This is the gamer part in me that helps achieve it as well as the interactivity of the score.
BD: What genre of game or film or television really inspires you right now? Are there any projects or game types that you’d like to tackle in the coming years?
I don’t actually have a specific favorite. Ultimately though, I want to do projects that I would enjoy as a receiver. Producers do their best to make those projects awesome which naturally allows them to be accompanied with good music. I think we can equally enjoy a good historical piece as well as a futuristic science fiction… A good horror or an action shooter or something that tells the story with a bit slower tempo. The story is always the key here and the assumption that the gamers as well as the viewers have sophisticated taste. Those are the projects I’m looking for.
BD: What projects do you have coming up? Is there anything you are excited to be working on, or that you’d like to announce?
I currently have three video games and two TV series lined up; however, I can’t reveal the titles just yet.
Earlier today, the first trailer for the upcoming adventure horror/comedy Goosebumps finally hit the web, showing us a film that looks like it’s going to be a ton of fun as well as being a great family film! Now a second trailer for international audiences has debuted and it’s nearly the same as the first but definitely features some small differences, such as longer clips and new scenes.
“Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach’s comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange… he is a prisoner of his own imagination – the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it’s suddenly up to Stine, Zach, and Hannah to get all of them back in the books where they belong.“
Goosebumps hits theaters October 16, 2015.
Be Careful, Children At Play.
You can’t escape the terror of Bughuul…
…in Sinister 2 exclusive Comic-Con art.
Attending the San Diego Comic-Con? Watch your step – a gruesome “Sinister Sighting” could be lurking around any corner! Sinister 2 will be taking over San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter with a slew of sinister projections from Thursday, July 9th until Saturday, July 11th between 8PM-1AM. Share a photo of the projection that you spot and then post it to Instagram or Twitter with #SinisterSightings for a chance to win a trip to LA with a friend and receive VIP access to Six Flags Fright Fest.
Newly announced, find one of these exclusive collectors cards in Comic-Con or follow @SinisterMovie to get more information on the sweeps, and learn where you can find the next “Sinister Sighting”.
Sinister 2 opens nationwide from Gramercy Pictures on August 21st, 2015.
“The sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit horror movie. In the aftermath of the shocking events in “Sinister,” a protective mother (Shannyn Sossamon of “Wayward Pines”) and her 9-year-old twin sons (real-life brothers Robert and Dartanian Sloan) find themselves in a rural house marked for death as the evil spirit of Bughuul continues to spread with frightening intensity.”
When the indie horror game Kholat released on Steam last month, its arrival preceded E3 and all of the distractions that come with that convention each year. Its latest trailer serves as a gentle reminder that it’s out, that folks are liking it — our review is incoming — and that you should be playing it. Any game that garners the praise of Pewdiepie and Jim Sterling is worth a look, no?
The game is loosely based on the tragic and very mysterious “Dyatlov Pass” incident that claimed the lives of nine hikers in 1959. That case is still unsolved to this day, because snow ghosts.
Kholat is available now on Steam for $19.99.
Sick of waiting months and months to see a movie when it exits theaters? What if I told you that you won’t even have to wait anymore, and that two major horror releases could hit your home while also in theaters?
Here’s the details that could be a game-changer.
Paramount Pictures, AMC Theatres and Cineplex Entertainment announced a first-of-its-kind in-theater and digital revenue-sharing initiative that could potentially redefine home digital distribution windowing, reports Home Media Magazine.
Under the agreement, upcoming Paramount releases Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension and the newly titled Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (formerly Scouts Vs Zombies) will be given a wide release this fall with digital home entertainment purchase available 17 days after the film dips below 300 domestic theaters!
In effect, consumers for the first time could get retail access to theatrical movies still showing in theaters.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension will be released October 23 and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse will be released October 30.
As soon as they drop into 300 or less theaters, watch for it to hit your favorite VOD platform…