20th Century Fox gave Yahoo! several new one-sheets for The Maze Runner, based on the best-selling Young Adult novel by James Dashner. Most of them channel Hitchcock’s Vertigo, which is really cool.
The previously released trailer looks like a cross between Lord of the Flies, “Lost” and Hunger Games. I’m also intrigued by the tease of creatures outside of the gates…
“When Thomas (O’Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based on the best-selling novel by James Dashner.”
Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter and Aml Ameen star in the film, which is directed by Wes Ball.
Dashner has penned four entries in the “Maze Runner” series to date, with “The Scorch Trials” and “The Death Cure” serving as sequels and “The Kill Order” acting as a prequel.
The Maze Runner will open in the States on September 19, and in UK cinemas October 24.
The oddly infectious yet incredibly odd looking electronic group FartBarf are raising funds for a new music video, which will be directed by Brandon Dermer (Nekrogoblikon, Major Lazer), by releasing a limited edition t-shirt design entitled “Barf At The Moon”, which is a parody of the three howling wolves motif that has since been parodied in several different ways. The shirt, which you can see below, is $20 and all funds go to the filming of the new video, which is scheduled to be shot in September. You can order the shirt here.
Head on down to get a taste of FartBarf (I probably should’ve worded that a little differently).
In addition to the massive Midnight Madness reveal, the Toronto International Film Festival’s Vanguard programme seduces audiences with a sensory experience full of mystery and boundary-busting madness, with bold international films that walk the razor’s edge.
International programmer Colin Geddes brings together the work of some of the most audacious auteurs in the world to present a cinematic adventure that takes audiences to the dark, dangerous places that both unnerve yet intrigue them.
“The Vanguard programme presents the intersection between genre and arthouse to showcase intrepid works that fearlessly defy convention,” said Geddes. “Daring audiences who have grown to love the extreme cinema of Midnight Madness will definitely be seduced by the subversive sophistication of Vanguard.”
The 2014 roster includes master of extreme cinema Takashi Miike (Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, 13 Assassins), fantastical image manipulator Dave McKean (MirrorMask), French fear jockey Fabrice Du Welz (Calvaire, Vinyan), the cleverly unsettling Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio), and the wickedly charming duo of Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (Kern).
Alleluia (pictured below); Fabrice Du Welz, France/Belgium North American Premiere
“When Gloria and Michel meet on a dating site, nothing suggests the destructive and murderous passion that will be born of their crazy love. Alleluia is inspired by a 1947 article about nurse Martha Beck and swindler Raymond Fernandez, who became involved in a deadly, tragic affair.”
The Duke of Burgundy; Peter Strickland, United Kingdom World Premiere
“Peter Strickland’s eagerly anticipated follow up to Berberian Sound Studio and Katalin Varga is a gorgeously dark melodrama following two women who test the limits of their unsettlingly intense relationship. Starring Sidse Babett Knudsen (Borgen) and Chiara d’Anna.”
Goodnight Mommy; (Ich seh, Ich seh) Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, Austria North American Premiere
“In the heat of the summer in an isolated house in the countryside between woods and corn fields, 10-year-old twins wait for their mother. When she returns with her head wrapped in bandages after surgery, nothing is as it was before. Stern and distant now, she shuts the family off from the outside world. Starting to doubt that this woman is actually their mother, the boys are determined to find the truth by any means.”
Hyena; Gerard Johnson, United Kingdom International Premiere
“Michael Logan is an anti-hero for our times: a natural predator, a high-functioning addict, and corrupt police officer. But his dark world is evolving: a recent influx of ruthless Albanian gangsters is threatening to change London’s criminal landscape. Michael’s razor sharp instincts have always kept him one step ahead, but now his increasingly self-destructive behavior and the sheer brutality of the new gang lords send Michael spiraling into a descent of fear and self-doubt.”
Luna; Dave McKean, United Kingdom World Premiere
“Renowned artist and filmmaker Dave McKean (MirrorMask) brings his distinctive blend of live action and gorgeously wrought animation to this dreamlike reverie about four people – Grant, Christine, Dean and Freya – whose long weekend in an isolated house by the sea brings up old resentments and the life of a dead child is revisited in a series of strange dreams.”
Over Your Dead Body; Takashi Miike, Japan International Premiere
“A star, Miyuki Goto (Ko Shibasaki) plays Oiwa, the protagonist in a new play based on the ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan. She pulls some strings to get her lover, Kosuke Hasegawa (Ebizo Ichikawa) cast in the play, even though he’s a relatively unknown actor. Other performers Rio Asahina (Miho Nakanishi) and Jun Suzuki (Hideaki Ito) lust after Miyuki. Off stage the cast’s possessive love and obsessions exist as reality. Trapped between the play and reality, the cast’s feelings for each other are amplified. When it becomes clear that love is not meant to be both on and off stage, love turns into a grudge and crosses the blurred line between reality and fantasy.”
Shrew’s Nest (pictured above); (Musarañas) Juanfer Andrés and Esteban Roel, Spain World Premiere
“Spain, 1950s. Monste’s agoraphobia keeps her locked in a sinister apartment in Madrid and her only link to reality is the little sister she sacrificed her youth to raise. But one day, a reckless young neighbour, Carlos, falls down the stairwell and drags himself to their door. Someone has entered the shrew’s nest… and perhaps he’ll never leave.”
Spring; Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, USA World Premiere
“A young man in a personal tailspin flees the US to Italy, where he sparks up a romance with a girl harbouring a dark, primordial secret in this edgy, romantic drama with a supernatural twist.”
They Have Escaped; JP Valkeapää, Finland North American Premiere
“A boy and a girl meet at a custody center for youth with difficulties. The boy has come to serve his obligatory civil service. The girl is one of the youths in custody, and she is constantly in trouble, with a fire inside her and a lust for life that can’t be quashed or controlled. The boy becomes infatuated with the girl. He is a quiet one; a stutterer. But there is a fire inside him as well. Rules, laws, punishment; the shackles of the hostile environment with no understanding around them can be broken. They steal a car and flee together. Thus begins a journey with endless escapes.”
Waste Land; Pieter Van Hees, Belgium World Premiere
“Leo Woeste is a homicide investigator living with his girlfriend Kathleen and her five-year-old son, Jack. Kathleen gets pregnant unexpectedly just as Leo must solve his most bizarre case to date: the ritual murder of a young Congolese man, which may or may not involve Leo’s hedonistic new colleague, Johnny Rimbaud. As the case’s complexity mounts by the minute, Leo is pulled away from Kathleen and his role as a father, and heads deeper and deeper into the Waste Land.”
The World of Kanako; (Kawaki) Tetsuya Nakashima, Japan International Premiere
“When beautiful straight-A high school student Kanako goes missing, her mother asks ex-husband Akikazu — a drifting, irresponsible former cop — to find their daughter. He embarks on a desperate search in the hope of reuniting his family by any means necessary. But as his investigation progresses, Akikazu starts to discover the darkness that lies behind his daughter’s impeccable façade. Clue by clue, revelation by revelation, he starts his descent into the hellish underworld of Kanako’s secret life…”
Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET daily at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, or visit the Gupta Box Office in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 20 while quantities last.
The 39th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 4 to 14, 2014
The Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness programme brings thrills, chills and all sorts of kills to Festival audiences once again. Get your passports stamped and experience an international cinematic rollercoaster which includes: a Yakuza street gang hip-hop musical epic; spine-chilling Spanish zombies with insatiable appetites; a Finnish boy hunter rescuing the President of the United States from terrorists; and Flemish cub scouts trapped in the woods with sinister companions.
Along with the triumphant return of last year’s People’s Choice Award-winner Sion Sono (Cold Fish), Midnight Madness will also welcome back renowned alumni Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next), Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!) and Jaume Balagueró (the [REC]] films). The Festival is also set to proudly celebrate indie legend Kevin Smith’s homecoming after 20 years.
[REC] 4: Apocalypse; Jaume Balagueró, Spain World Premiere
“Angela Vidal wakes up in a high-security quarantine facility, sole survivor and witness to the horrific events inside the building. But does she remember what happened to her? Is she carrying a virus? Distrust spreads through the isolated facility while new, even more deadly forms of evil spread even faster.”
Big Game; Jalmari Heleander, Finland/United Kingdom/Germany World Premiere
“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, Oskari and the president must team up to survive the most extraordinary night of their lives.”
Cub; Jonas Govaerts, Belgium World Premiere
“Young, imaginative 12-year-old Sam heads off to camp with his Cub Scouts pack. In the woods, he stumbles upon a strange tree house and a masked, feral child. When his leaders ignore his warnings about the mysterious boy, Sam starts to feel increasingly isolated from the pack, and convinced a terrible fate awaits them all.”
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films; Mark Hartley, Australia International Premiere
“Director Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed!) continues his delightful documentary disinterment of down-market movie detritus with this chronicle of the rise and fall of 1980s action-exploitation juggernaut Cannon Films, whose contributions to the cinematic canon include American Ninja, The Delta Force, Death Wish II and Masters of the Universe.”
The Guest; Adam Wingard, USA Canadian Premiere
“The follow-up to Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s wildly popular You’re Next, The Guest tells the story of a mysterious and devastatingly charming visitor, David (Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey) who arrives on the doorstep of a bereaved family claiming to be the best friend of their dead son, a young soldier who died in action. The Petersons welcome David into their home and into their lives, but when people start mysteriously dying in town, their teenage daughter Anna (Maika Monroe of It Follows) starts wondering if David is responsible.”
It Follows; David Robert Mitchell, USA North American Premiere
“For 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe), the fall should be about school, boys and weekends at the lake. Yet after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter she suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions; she can’t shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must somehow escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind. With a riveting central performance from Monroe and a strikingly ominous electronic score by Disasterpeace, It Follows is an artful psychosexual thriller from David Robert Mitchell (whose The Myth of the American Sleepover premiered at Critics’ Week in 2010). The film also stars Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, and Lili Sepe.”
Tokyo Tribe; Sion Sono, Japan International Premiere
“Set in an alternate Tokyo of the near future, director Sion Sono continues his run of sensational films with the explosive street gang tale Tokyo Tribe. Tokyo Tribe is the first live-action adaptation of the best-selling manga series Tokyo Tribe 2, by Santa Inoue, which has sold two million copies and has been published in Asia and the west to great popularity.”
Tusk (pictured above); Kevin Smith, USA World Premiere
“Wallace (Justin Long) is a podcaster on a mission who thinks he has found the story of a lifetime in Howard Howe (Michael Parks), an adventurer with amazing stories and a curious penchant for walruses. When Mr. Howe’s true desires unfold, things take a dark turn and Wallace faces a terrifying transformation at the hands of his captor. As his friends Alison and Teddy (Genesis Rodriguez and Haley Joel Osment) search the backwoods of Canada to rescue him, they discover a nightmare from which there is no escape. Conceived from one of indie legend Kevin Smith’s own Smodcast’s, Tusk is an unprecedented tale that is equal parts hilarious and horrifying.”
What We Do in the Shadows (pictured below); Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, New Zealand/USA Canadian Premiere
“Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), Viago (Taika Waititi), and Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) are three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles—like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. Hundreds of years old, the vampires are finding that beyond sunlight catastrophes, hitting the main artery, and not being able to get a sense of their wardrobe without a reflection, modern society has them struggling with the mundane like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.”
Tickets to screenings for this programme will be available for individual purchase as well as through the Midnight Madness Pack, which includes all 10 screenings for $180, or $115 for students and seniors. Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET daily at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, or visit the Gupta Box Office in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 20 while quantities last.
The 39th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 4 to 14, 2014.
I haven’t played The Last Of Us, something that kills me because it looks like an absolutely incredible game. But I don’t have a PS3, so it’s kinda hard to play a game on a system I don’t own, right?
Anyways, coming to the point, yesterday there was a performance of The Last Of Us: One Night Live that was a little different, a little special. The cast and developers took the stage in Santa Monica to put on a live performance of select scenes from the game as well as select music from the game. Overall, it seemed like a really entertaining, fun event!
But perhaps the most amazing part comes in at the 1:17:00 mark in the video below, where the characters act out the musical alternate ending. All I can say is that voice actor Troy Baker nailed it!
One of the biggest surprises out of the San Diego Comic-Con was the announcement by Legendary Pictures that they’ll release Skull Island in theaters on November 4, 2016.
Reports out of the Con stated that Guillermo del Toro was said to be directing, but now it’s looking as if that may have been misconstrued due to his Crimson Peak being part of the panel.
As much as I like del Toro, he’s overwhelmed and has his hands full, which is why I’m over the moon excited about whom their talking with.
Deadline reports this Monday night that Attack the Block‘s Joe Cornish has been offered the job, although it’s still unclear if he’ll accept said offer.
The bad news is that Skull Island, based on the mythic origins of King Kong, where mutant giant creatures rule, is being penned by Godzilla scribe Max Borenstein. I know a lot of people gave Godzilla a pass, but that screenplay was horrid. The characters were poorly developed, and Godzilla never interacted with any of them.
Cornish is an odd choice to pair with Borenstein as Attack the Block actually understood character development (Moses!). Maybe the thinking is that Cornish will get his hands dirty and dive into Borenstein’s draft to punch it up?
Well, whatever, let’s just hope the new Kong movie ages better than Peter Jackson’s, which is about as relevant as the second Star Wars trilogy.
What would Leatherface’s teenage angst be like? Well, you might find out.
About a month and a half ago we reported on the near-death of one Leatherface and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.
Millennium Films, who was behind the 2013 Texas Chainsaw 3D, quickly refuted telling us it was just taking longer than expected. It appears they were being truthful. How quickly things can change in Hollyweird.
Anonymous Bloody Disgusting sources have tipped us off exclusively that Lionsgate, who released Texas Chainsaw 3D, is back IN TALKS to also bring the next installment of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to theaters.
As you may recall, Texas Chainsaw 3D, released on January 21, 2013, followed a young woman who travels to Texas to collect an inheritance; little does she know that an encounter with a chainsaw-wielding killer is part of the reward (and her family). The film set up Alexandra Daddario as the daughter of Loretta Sawyer and Leatherface’s (played by Dan Yeager) long-lost cousin.
While TC3D ended with a cliffhanger, setting up a sequel and new family dynamics, we’re being told that an unidentified writer is rumored to be in talks to pen Leatherface’s “teenage years“. This would mean that Dan Yeager would not be returning as the iconic chainsaw-weilding slasher, and that it would be a sequel to Tobe Hooper’s 1974 TCM…and a prequel to last year’s TC3D.
To be honest, I’ve never actually paid attention to how old Leatherface was in Hooper’s original cult classic, but it strikes me as odd that he’s being painted as a teenager. Frankly, I don’t care what story they tell as long as they actually figure out the film’s tone as the previous was completely tone-deaf. You can’t make both a PG-13 and R-rated movie – you can’t have your cake and eat it too – and whomever heads the production needs to decide early if they’re going to take it all the way or not. I’m not sure audiences want to see extreme brutality right now, which makes me pray they go for a more fun and energetic sequel along the lines of Hooper’s 1986 Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. What do you want to see?
Forgive me father for I am sin.
Cinema Management Group has licensed the Rufus Sewell (Dark City) horror-thriller The Devil’s Hand (formerly Where The Devil Hides) from Mickey Liddell’s LD Entertainment in a slew of markets, reports ScreenDaily.
Roadside Attractions will release here in the States on October 10. Kaleidoscope will release in the UK and Mongrel Media will handle Canada.
“The film is about six girls in a small village who were born on the same day nearly 18 years ago and start to disappear. While village edlers claim a hellish prophecy may be about to come true, some suspect other forces may be at work.“
Sewell stars alongside Alycia Debnam Carey, Adelaide Kane, Leah Pipes, Thomas McDonell and “Dexter” fav Jennifer Carpenter. Lionsgate will release The Devil’s Hand on VOD, EST, DVD and TV platforms.
The Roommate‘s Christian E Christiansen directed from the screenplay by Karl Mueller.
Variety just reported that Headhunters helmer Morten Tyldum has come on to direct the adaptation of the Swedish thriller Chain of Events with Mark L. Smith attached to adapt.
But here’s the kicker, they describe is as World War Z meets The Da Vinci Code, which my brain can’t compute. What the hell does that even mean? Even after reading the synopsis I’m confused – maybe I should read the book?
The book was written by Frederick T. Olsson and “follows a washed-up cryptologist who finds himself pulled into an international conspiracy that claims to have created a way to map out all human disasters and terrorism through our DNA.“
Warners preemptively acquired the rights to the book last August and will now look to attach a producer to the project while Smith pens the script.
Last week, indie developer Acid Wizard Studio dropped their first project — an open-world, procedurally generated survival horror game called Darkwood — on Steam Early Access. It’s unfinished, but after spending some time with it last night, I’ve come to the conclusion that even in its current state, Darkwood is more polished than most other games you can find on Early Access.
More than that, it’s atmospheric, terrifying, unique, and backed by some truly stellar sound design. Watch me spend some time with this extraordinarily promising indie horror game in the video below.
You can get Darkwood now on Steam for $13.49, until July 31, where it will return to its original price of $14.99.
Electronic icon Gary Numan has released an official video for “I Am Dust”, which comes from his latest album Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind). Directed by Chris Corner (IAMX, Sneaker Pimps), the clip features highly artistic imagery and fantastic texture to create a dark visual experience. In fact, many of the scenes reminded me of TV’s Hannibal.
‘I Am Dust’ was a very exciting promo to film. The wealth of creative ideas pouring from Chris was very impressive. He knew exactly what he wanted and how to get it. Plus he was able to translate those ideas into clear instructions for me to follow. It was hard work to be honest, but very enjoyable.
When I saw Gary in Los Angeles performing ‘I Am Dust’, I knew I had to try to capture his immense stage presence and energy in the video, and to combine it with the raw, abstract visual world that it evokes in my head. Primal, subconscious, mystical, wild. We asked Gary to do some strange things. He did them without question. A testament to his trust and professionalism.
I’m a big fan of Splinter. If you haven’t given it a listen, I highly recommend you snag a copy and check it out. It’s like Depeche Mode mixed with Nine Inch Nails in all the best ways.
When a film begins with a 12-year-old casually explaining how his older brother keeps severed heads in a bowling ball bag in his closet, it’s best to expect the unexpected. Such begins Found, a sincere coming-of-age drama blended with the gore and depravity one would expect from a video nasty. Sounds like a tasty recipe, but unfortunately director Scott Schirmer isn’t able to balance these two motifs (particularly during the film’s climax). Found has enough going for it to make it worth checking out, especially for those who fondly remember trips to the video store for all-night horror movie sleepovers, but overall it’s a terribly rocky film.
The 12-year-old I mentioned is Marty, a horror film obsessed youngster trying to survive the gauntlet of adolescence. He’s bullied at school, even by peers he thought were his friends, and his parents are completely disinterested in his plight. Marty wishes he could console in his older brother, Steve, but recently he’s been cold and distant towards him. Sometimes there are gleams of the close relationship they used to have, like when Steve talks to him about horror movies that’ll knock his socks off. But overall Steve’s absent from Marty’s life, leaving the poor kid alone and confused (especially about those severed heads in the closet).
Schirmer (working off of the novel by Todd Rigney) explores Marty’s complex issues in a truly thoughtful manner. His character is treated like a real person, so there’s no simple solutions to his problems or hamfisted moralizing to insult the audience’s intelligence. This aspect of the film – the coming-of-age story – is handled really well. It’s when Found dips into full-blown horror where it all begins to stumble.
This mainly occurs during the last act, when Steve reveals himself to be the depraved, perverse serial killer Marty suspected him to be (this isn’t a spoiler, it’s in the film’s IMDB synopsis). Prior to this there’s a scene where Marty watches a film called “Headless,” in which he imagines his brother in the starring role – severing heads and screwing their bleeding stumps. Although this graphic bit of debauchery prepares us a bit for what’s to come, when the climax goes down, it feels completely over-the-top and ridiculous. The leaps the narrative makes here are abrupt and sort of disheartening since everything leading up to the final moments was done so well. While the closing shot is supposed to be disturbing, it’s just came off as silly to me.
As Marty, young actor Gavin Brown does a great job carrying the emotional weight on his shoulders. His performance is terrifically nuanced for such a young kid. The other actors, not so much. Marty’s parents deliver their lines in a consistently stinted, forced manner that deflates the intensity in the last act’s intense moments. And while there’s an intense menace in Steve’s eyes, he too gives a stunted performance.
Like the acting, Found is overall an uneven film. There are a lot of inspired moments and, on the flip side, a lot of times where it feels like it’s trying way too hard to be shocking. The trials of adolescence are shocking and disturbing enough, no need to go putting your dick in a bloody stump.
Quick note: I’m also not quite sure what the film is saying about the influence of horror movies. Steven is a horror junkie (with an impressive VHS collection and posters littering his walls) and became a serial killer. Marty is coming up a horror fan and already comes off as numb to things like severed heads. While I’m glad Schirmer didn’t preach to us about his personal stance regarding violent media, Found seems to be arguing that yes, horror movies lead people to become severed head collectors and neck-stump fetishists.
Columbia Pictures has sent us San Diego Comic-Con panel highlights and an interview with Jack Black for their upcoming Goosebumps, their horror comedy that will arrive in theaters August 7, 2015.
Directed by Rob Letterman, “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.“
Scholastic has sold over 400 million Goosebumps books worldwide in 32 languages since the series introduction in 1992, earning critical acclaim and dominating global best seller lists. R.L. Stine has been recognized as one of the bestselling children’s authors in history.
Ben Ketai’s Beneath, which premiering at the Los Angeles Screamfest Horror Film Festival last October, will be arriving on VOD June 27 from IFC Midnight. It will also open in limited theaters July 25.
We now have a second exclusive clip from the pic, starring Jeff Fahey, Kelly Noonan, Joey Kern, Brent Briscoe, Mark L Young and Eric Etebari, in which a member of their underground crew becomes a bloody mess. When things go wrong, there’s no escape…
Heading deep underground, “A crew of coal miners becomes trapped 600 feet below ground after a disastrous collapse. As the air grows more toxic and time runs out, they slowly descend into madness and begin to turn on one another.“
For several issues now Marko and Alana have been safe from the many different factions that have been hunting them. As things quiet down the couple is faced with the challenges that naturally arise in relationships. Meanwhile Price Robot IV receives some terrible news satiates some of that famous “Saga” bloodlust. This issue is one of the most down to earth, melancholy books in the series, and as good as its ever been.
WRITTEN BY: Brian K. Vaughan
ART BY: Fiona Staples
RELEASE: July 23, 2014
Reviewed by Epic Switzer
Now that the dust has settled and our heroes have found a place to lay low, Vaughan is really getting into the nitty gritty of relationships. Invocative of the last seen in “The Graduate”, Marko and Alana fell in love amongst bursting bombshells and the constant threat of discovery. They’re relationship was always dangerous, forbidden, and a metaphor for the excitement of our own youthful affairs. Now that they have escaped certain death, there isn’t a simple happily-ever-after to tack on. The honeymoon phase is over and Marko and Alana are now coping with the banality of normal life. It is a pretty bold direction for this sci/fi adventure book to take but I’m finding it to be both socially relevant and rewarding.
The central conflict for both Marko and Alana has been building over several issue and in this issue they are both just slightly south of crossing that line. Alana is coping with her unfulfilling job by using, which as you might expect is a big part of the entertainment industry culture. Marko, who rarely sees his wife, is facing the temptation of another woman who is actively filling his needs. If you didn’t know I was describing Saga right now you might assume this is any of a variety of true to life dramas, and that cultural commonality is something I think Vaughan is purposely emphasizing in this arc. As always, he gets the point across quite poignantly in the only scene where Marco and Alana are together.
Across the galaxy, Prince Robot IV is having a pity party fuck-a-thon on planet Sextillion after being cracked in the head and failing to apprehend his targets while simultaneously missing the birth of his son and the death of his wife. He’s pissed, and yet another character exhibiting self destructive behavior as a coping mechanism. There’s always a lot to dig into in this book. I can’t wait until everything comes to a head on Gardenia. It will be interesting to see how Marko and Alana handle things together on their next adventure.
Fiona Staples is absolutely incredible, but you already knew that.
Epic Switzer AKA Eric 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.
Returning to the wheelhouse that made him a comics star on Thor, Walt Simonson launches ‘Ragnarok’ a Norse mythology inspired epic. This first issue starts the tale of Brynja, a sword wielding dark elf worthy of standing along the likes of Red Sonja, and delivers a fun tale of violence and adventure.
WRITTEN BY: Walter Simonson
ART BY: Walter Simonson
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: July 23, 2014
Review By: Ooknabah
Taking place in a blasted world in the aftermath of the death of the gods, Ragnarok follows Brynja as she undertakes to kill a dead god for the sakes of gaining immortality for her family. While the characterization is fairly simple, this is well worn territory for Simonson, and the familiarity allows him to create an authentic atmosphere while still playing in its confines. There is little in the way of groundbreaking developments, but for fans of the genre this is good pulpy entertainment which is essentially what the story promises from the outset, and it delivers.
Simonson’s art is good, although the lack of detail on zoomed-out figures comes across as a bit lazy: Still, the work is functional and the action feels kinetic and lively, while the tense and moody elements work well, all in all creating a more than serviceable whole. Of note, some of the larger reveals of ancient architecture brings to mind Simonson’s best work in the 80s. This does not rise to those heights, but the skill and experience of an industry veteran, particularly in layouts and staging, is evident throughout.
All in all, this comic plays out like a forgotten classic of the 80s or 90s, with overblown dialog and prose that leans a bit over the top. Since those days, writing in comics has evolved to allow for more nuance and subtlety, very little of which is in effect here. That said, there is something to be said for the appeal of a throwback to older comics, and for fans of Conan, Thor, or other such medieval-themed adventures, there is a lot here to like. There is a slight worry however, as the premise of the comic may be overtaken in later issues as the dead god set to be awaken could drastically alter the tone that has been set here. But those are problems for tomorrow: Today, you’ve got a classic adventure, well executed.
Bombastic and bold, if you miss comics like Walt Simonson used to make, well then rejoice, as he is still making them today. To be honest, I didn’t expect to care for this one, but it caught me by surprise in a pleasant way. I’ll be here next issue.
Ooknabah AKA Brent Hirose is a writer, actor and gigantic nerd from Vancouver B.C. You can listen to his podcast about that at HugeNerds.Podomatic.Com or check out his many other projects at BrentHirose.com
Alright folks, I’m back with some music recommendations! It’s Monday and who knows what kind of a week you have ahead of you. Regardless, music always helps time go by faster so let’s get some new tunes into your ears! Below is a collection of pop, electronica, possible metal, and some definite metal! Check out this week’s edition of BD Playlist!
Wolves In The Throne Room – Celestite
The latest album from the Olympia, WA black metal band is more in line with Tangerine Dream. Lush soundscapes accent sublime melodies that take their time, building layer upon layer. To put it in the most plain way possible, it’s wonderful.
Even though Zac Thompson strongly disliked the pilot presentation of NBC’s “Constantine”, we’re still hoping that things get better in the following episodes.
Series stars Matt Ryan, Harold Perrineau, Charles Halford and Executive Producers Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer were at the San Diego Comic-Con for a panel Q&A on “Constantine,” premiering Friday, October 24 at 10/9c on NBC.
We have the entire panel for you guys, as well as the trailer shown to those who attended. In addition, a third video shows you the musical artistry that helps bring the world of “Constantine” to life.
The series is about occult master and demon hunter John Constantine, who is tasked with defending humanity from the forces of evil.
The project is based on the “Hellblazer” comic book series.
“Based on the wildly popular DC Comics series “Hellblazer,” seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan, “Criminal Minds”) specializes in giving hell… hell. Armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and his wickedly naughty wit, he fights the good fight — or at least he did. With his soul already damned to hell, he’s decided to leave his do-gooder life behind, but when demons target Liv (Lucy Griffiths, “True Blood”), the daughter of one of Constantine’s oldest friends, he’s reluctantly thrust back into the fray – and he’ll do whatever it takes to save her. Before long, it’s revealed that Liv’s “second sight” — an ability to see the worlds behind our world and predict supernatural occurrences — is a threat to a mysterious new evil that’s rising in the shadows. Now it’s not just Liv who needs protection; the angels are starting to get worried too. So, together, Constantine and Liv must use her power and his skills to travel the country, find the demons that threaten our world and send them back where they belong. After that, who knows… maybe there’s hope for him and his soul after all.”
David Tennant is back… er sort of in “Doctor Who The Tenth Doctor” # 1 from Titan Comics. This is an interesting adventure into New York that marred by spending far too much time with a new supporting cast, and a extremely dialogue heavy script that couldn’t hold my interest.
WRITTEN BY: Nick Abadzis
ART BY: Elena Casagrande
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
RELEASE: July 23, 2014
I’m a huge Whovian. I’ve followed The Doctor through thick and thin since the reboot and was positively overjoyed to see this series from Titan. I’ve sorely missed Ten and would give anything for more but Nick Abadzis’ script sadly misses the mark and fails to remind me of the Ten I love.
It’s not that The Doctor doesn’t sound like himself, it’s that he doesn’t have much to say in an issue filled with dialogue. There is no way introducing readers to the supporting characters of the story will invest them in the adventures that await. Remind us of the charm of The Doctor. While the story doesn’t require any requisite knowledge of previous events, it take far too long to get started.
The dialogue is so over abundant and superfluous that you’ll often forget who’s speaking if it isn’t The Doctor. It all feels very monotone and draining. But does a nice job at developing new character, albeit too much.
Elena Casagrande’s work is stellar. She has a great handle on the human form and draws the sprawling metropolis of New York City with relative ease. Yet, she doesn’t really dive into much of the fun stuff here. The aliens she does pepper in feel in place inside Doctor Who mythology but fail to stand out because they feel so subdued until the final page of the book.
In a lot of ways this is the Doctor Who comic fans have always deserved but it doesn’t really have itself figured out yet. The Doctor is incredibly light, and the scope of his adventures isn’t quite communicated. I mean the scope of New York is hardly on display, and for this world, scope is everything. You’re traversing time and space, so at least take me out of the Laundromat and subway tunnels.
Titan Publishing are releasing ‘Alien – Sea of Sorrows” this week. The novel serves as a direct bridge between the first two films. Writer James A Moore brilliantly captures the tone and the terror of the first films in the series and provides an interesting addition to series mythology.