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‘Rampage’ Destroys Everything in 2018

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 19:27

Even though King Kong is set to return in Skull Island, and Godzilla is getting a sequel, let alone a vs. film that will pit the lizard against the giant ape, New Line Cinema continues to move forward with their own film featuring an enormous gorilla and reptile.

The video game adaptation of Rampage is so deep into development, in fact, that the studio has set a release date, locking in mass destruction for April 20, 2018.

“Colony” executive producers Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal were recently tapped to rewrite the film, which is being directed by Brad Peyton and produced by Beau Flynn.

The director and producer combo are joined by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (DoomFurious 7), who worked with the duo previously on the big earner San Adreas.

No details are coming out yet about how the film is going to play out.

The original game allowed players to select either George the Gorilla, Lizze the Lizard, or Ralph the Werewolf and then embark on a mission to destroy city after city, which allowed us to live out our Godzilla-esque fantasies.

Categories: Horror News

Don Mancini is Standing on the ‘Curse of Chucky’ Set…

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 18:56

Huge Child’s Play fan here, and it’s totally random that I just binged the first four films earlier this week. After what feels like an eternity of teasing, Child’s Play writer and creator Don Mancini just tweeted out a bomb that could mean production is ramping up on the long gestured Chucky 7.

What you see below is Mancini standing outside the setting of the sixth Child’s Play, Curse of Chucky, which he also directed. The house belonged to Fiona Dourif‘s Curse character who survives the doll’s bloody massacre.

The tweet teases that “Chucky is finally coming home,” with Dourif being tagged alongside Summer H. Howell, Jennifer Tilly and Alex Vincent, star of the first two Child’s Play films who returned in a shocking post credits sequence in Curse. The film ended as if Mancini planned to tie the previous three filmsBride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky and Curse of Chucky – together in a seventh film, which has been in development for the better part of the year.

For those who haven’t been keeping up, after Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) failed to transfer his soul into Andy’s body, he retrieved the Heart of Damballa in Bride of Chucky with the help of Tiffany (Tilly), his ex who he transfers into the body of a female doll. The two have doll sex, resulting in the birth of Glen (or Glenda?) who was left out of Curse of Chucky. Chucky returned in Curse, which looked like a reboot, only Mancini was fucking with the audience; the new look was to cover up the stitched together and scarred plastic hiding underneath. When the film concluded, Mancini teased the return of Tiffany (back in her human body) and Andy, who appears to have been waiting for Chucky since 1991.

I’m insanely excited for the family reunion in Chucky 7 and love that it remains one of the only authentic in-canon franchises left.

When will we receive official news? I have no clue, but I am hoping that he’s scouting the location for a shoot early next year. We’ll report back with official news as it comes in.

#Chucky IS FINALLY COMING HOME @fionadourif @1_SummerHHowell @Jtillathekilla2 @alex_vincent

— Don Mancini (@RealDonMancini) November 11, 2016

Categories: Horror News

[Kickstart This] Help Turn the ‘Friday the 13th’ NES Video Game Into a Short Film

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 18:34

LJN’s 1989 film-to-video game adaptation of the Friday the 13th series is a divisive title, to put it mildly. It seems that everyone who played it either loves it, holding onto vestiges of nostalgia, or they hate it with the passion of a thousand burning suns. Me? I’m honestly kinda in the former. Yes, I never beat it and I’m STILL confused as to how the movement relates to the map but there is something idiotically charming about the game. Plus, dat soundstrack tho…

Filmmaker Michael Ramova is raising funds to adapt the game into a movie, which is a weird path when you think about it. First there were movies, which were followed by a game, which is now being turned into a short film. Talk about circular logic! That being said, it’s a loving recreation which will not only include our beloved masked killer but also the zombies that appear throughout the game! No word on if Pamela Voorhees’ floating head will show up…

Anyways, the production actually looks like it’s going to be pretty damn solid and they even got composer Bobby Thompson to do a modern recreation of the game’s score, which I’ll be very interested to hear!

So, wanna help out? Simply head over to Indiegogo and you can claim one of the perks.

Categories: Horror News

George Romero Raves About ‘Night of the Living Dead’ 4K Restoration; “Definitive Version”

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 18:16

We will finally see the original zombie classic as it was meant to be seen.

Over the years, George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead has been painstakingly restored and even colorized on a handful of occasions, as well as re-released so many times by so many companies that the full list would make your head spin. But here in 2016, just shy of 50 years after the film was originally released, the definitive restoration has finally taken place.

Working with the original negatives, the Museum of Modern Art and The Film Foundation have just returned the film to its full, original glory, and the brand new 4K digital restoration will be shown at MoMA this Saturday night, November 12th. The sold out screening is to date the second to take place, with the Romero-introduced debut held on November 5th.

Speaking with The Verge, Romero and Russ Streiner raved about the restoration.

Said Streiner, who produced the film:

The intention of the restoration was not to vacuum up all the dust particles. More than the images themselves, we wanted to restore what the images were trying to tell. It shouldn’t be clean and pristine. It should look how it felt 48 years ago, and the professionals did exactly that.

Romero added:

What we have now, for good or for bad, is exactly what I shot. This is closer than anything we’ve seen to the definitive version of the film. It’s in the right format, 1.33:1, and that’s never been seen before either.

The Verge noted, “the 48-year-old film looks like it could’ve been shot earlier this year.

No word yet on when, or if, the 4K restoration will hit home video. Stay tuned.

Categories: Horror News

Art and Special Features Revealed for ‘Jack Frost’ Blu-ray Release

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 17:21

On December 13th, Jack Frost freezes your Blu-ray player.

As we recently announced, Vinegar Syndrome is bringing Michael Cooney’s 1997 horror-comedy Jack Frost to Blu-ray for the very first time next month. The film was fully restored in 2K by the company, and now that it’s up for pre-order, we’ve got all the details you’ve been waiting for. We also got our hands on the cover art, along with glorious stills from the restoration.

Extras, which you can see in full below, include a commentary track with director Micheal Cooney, as well as a video introduction he recorded for the release. Two new interviews also join the package, and the cover art (from artist Chris Garofalo) is reversible. In addition, a special version with a lenticular slip cover will be available directly through Vinegar Syndrome from November 25th through the 28th, as part of their Black Friday sale. That will be found on their official website.

Read on for full details and pre-order Jack Frost on Blu-ray today!

In the film:

On his way to be executed, the vehicle containing notorious serial killer Jack Frost collides with a hazardous chemical truck, turning Jack into a snow covered mutant and unleashing him on the unsuspecting town of Snomonton, ‘The Snowman Capitol of the Midwest’. Jack immediately takes advantage of his newfound freedom and blizzardy abilities to seek revenge on the bungling Sheriff that accidentally ended his cross-country killing spree. On his way to the Sheriff, Jack terrorizes the snow-man themed town and murders its residents in a variety of winterized ways. Can the residents of Snomonton fight back against the psychopath snowman from Hell or will they all end up in a snow-covered grave?

Special Features:

  • Scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm vault elements
  • Commentary track with Director Michael Cooney
  • Video introduction from Director Michael Cooney
  • Video interview with Lead Actor Scott MacDonald
  • Video interview with Director of Photography Dean Lent

Categories: Horror News

They’re Making Another Lizzie Borden Movie

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 16:46

Jay Huguley, pictured in “The Walking Dead”, has been cast opposite Kristen Stewart (Twilight) and Chloë Sevigny (Zodiac) in the Craig William Macneill-directed upcoming Untitled Lizzie Borden biopic, Deadline reports.

The pic revolves around the story surrounding the infamous murder trial of convicted axe killer Elizabeth Borden (Sevigny), who was eventually acquitted for the 1892 murder her father and stepmother in Fall Rivers, MA. Huguley will play William Henry Moody, the prosecuting attorney in the case. Stewart plays Bridget Sullivan, the Borden’s live-in maid and a key witness.

The script was written by Bryce Kass and filming is said to begin next week.

Naomi Despres and Elizabeth Destro are producing.

Categories: Horror News

Fox is Making a Vampire Series With Ridley Scott and Matt Reeves!

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 16:41

Fox has given a pilot production commitment to “The Passage”, a drama series based on Justin Cronin’s fantasy book trilogy, Deadline reports.

The high-profile project hails from Liz Heldens (“Friday Night Lights”), “Felicity” co-creator Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), Scott Free and 20th Century Fox TV.

Written by Heldens, with Reeves set to direct, “‘The Passage’ begins as a character-driven government conspiracy thriller and morphs into a post-apocalyptic saga with vampires. The series spans over a century and focuses on a young girl named Amy who must save the human race.

Heldens executive produces alongside Reeves and Adam Kassan via 6th & Idaho and Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker via Scott Free Productions. Cronin is co-producer. 20th TV, where Heldens and Reeves’ 6th & Idaho are under overall deals, is the studio. Clayton Krueger will oversee for Scott Free and Rafi Crohn for 6th & Idaho.

Categories: Horror News

Here Are the ‘Bad Kids of Crestview Academy’ (Exclusive)

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 16:35

Outside of Abattoir, Momentum has another intriguing new title arriving soon, this one in select theaters and On Demand / Digital HD on January 13, 2017.

Check out some exclusive images from Ben Browder’s Bad Kids of Crestview Academy, starring Drake Bell, Sean Astin, Gina Gershon, Sammi Hanratty, and Ben Browder.

Based on Barry Wernick and Matthew Spradlin’s graphic novel,”A group of spoiled “bad kids” have been placed in Saturday detention at the prestigious Crestview Academy. After one of the kids locks away their teacher, they find themselves trapped in school with no way out, wondering who (or what) set them up. Their ranks quickly dwindle as each falls victim to a gruesome “accident” while trying to escape.

Categories: Horror News

NSFW: Let’s Revisit 1981’s Saucy and Violent ‘Heavy Metal’

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 15:34

Towards the beginning of the year, animator Robert Balser, who worked on the “Den” segment of Heavy Metal, passed away from respiratory failure. Also known for his work as an animation director on The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, his loss was keenly felt by many who were influenced by and appreciative of his work.

Recently, I got a rather awesome small poster for Heavy Metal and hung it up next to my TV, so it’s pretty much constantly looking down at me when I’m watching a movie, playing a game, or just putzing about on my Playstation. Since I derive such joy from the poster as well as the movie, I thought I’d revisit it and let you know some of my thoughts.

Produced by Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, National Lampoon’s Animal House, Kindergarten Cop) and overseen by director Gerald Potterton, Heavy Metal is an animated anthology sci-fi/horror comedy that tells the story of the Loc-Nar, a green sphere that is “the sum of all evils“, through several tales with a wraparound. The film came during a time when adult animated features were becoming more of a thing, including movies such as Ralph Bakshi’s Fritz the Cat (which was rated NC-17) and American Pop as well as Watership Down, which although rated for children was often seen as containing dark and disturbing subject matter.

Heavy Metal already had a well-established fan base thanks to the magazine of the same name that began a few years earlier in 1977. Upon first starting, the magazine took stories and illustrations from the French magazine Métal Hurlant but quickly carved out their own stories and built a name for themselves with their highly detailed illustrations and artwork. The magazine still runs to this day and I hope that it continues for a long, long time. But let’s get back to the movie, shall we?

I remember seeing this movie as a young boy. For some reason, my father never really thought much of MPAA ratings. Both my parents are/were doctors and, as such, were rather pragmatic about discussing various issues, such as sex, violence, drugs, etc… They rarely sugarcoated anything, preferring instead the open and honest route so that I would be aware of all information. Plus, I’m my dad’s third kid and his second son, so I’m guessing he looked at me and thought, “I’ve got two solid kids. I can fuck around with this one…

What took me aback was that this movie was unlike any animated film I’d seen up to that point. My parents had no problem renting Disney films for me and my sister. I grew up watching Looney Tunes and whatever else was on the TV during Saturday Morning Cartoons. But that was all stuff aimed at children while Heavy Metal most certainly was not. In fact, it was a giant middle finger to the concept that cartoons were only for kids. Comics were already dealing with real and important topics and political one-panel cartoons were often lauded for their wit and insight, so why couldn’t films do the same?

As a child, I admit that I watched it over and over simply because it was “cool”. It’s only as I grew older that I realized how wickedly smart and funny the film can be, all while also offering some truly unsettling segments. Going from the eerie and frightening “B-17” to the jokes in “So Beautiful and So Dangerous” might feel disjointed and even jarring but there is a consistency throughout the movie that allows for such radical changes in tone. Even within one segment it can go from violence to comedy, such as in “Harry Canyon”.

What set this movie apart for me was not only the violence and nudity, it was also wildly imaginative world that was wonderfully animated. I really felt like I was transported to worlds different from mine. It didn’t matter that some of these stories took place on Earth, or at least started there, as in the case of “Den”. What mattered was that the universe felt lived in. It felt rich and expansive. It sparked my imagination in ways that other animated features failed to do so. Just look at the scene where Taarna rides her Taarakian mount across the landscape, including through the skeleton of some gigantic beast. What a beautiful and epic scene!

The voice acting was simply spot on. When you’ve got the talents of people like John Candy, Harold Ramis, Eugene Levy, John Vernon, Susan Roman, Alice Playten, and more, it’s hard to imagine how the lines could’ve been delivered poorly. Each character feels alive and exciting and their delivery is spot on. The jokes are snappy, the terror real, and the presence tangible.

Obviously, it’d be impossible to talk about Heavy Metal without discussing the soundtrack. When you’ve compiled the likes of Blue Öyster Cult, Nazareth, Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar, Black Sabbath, Journey, Don Felder, and more, then you’ve got yourselves a soundtrack that is going to be a hit. It amplifies the film and adds to the hardcore atmosphere that is pervasive throughout. After all, if metal is seen as being listened to by the outsiders of society, doesn’t that make it the perfect fit for a movie that is bucking societal expectations and making an adult animated feature? Plus, it just kicks ass.

On top of that, composer Elmer Bernstein’s original compositions are magnificent. It shifts from sweeping epic fantasy waves into stormy and terrifying interludes through bombastic explosions, all with a class and elegance that seeks to buck the stigma of the movie. Many consider it to be a shining example of Bernstein’s work and they wouldn’t be wrong.

The legacy of the film isn’t as strong as I would’ve hoped. A sequel came out in 2000 that presented a feature-length story rather than an anthology and it was…okay. It wasn’t as smart or as witty, by any stretch of the imagination, and it didn’t have the same wit about it. A remake was announced in 2008, although it seems that all work has completely stalled on that front.

If you haven’t seen Heavy Metal, I encourage you to seek it out and give it a fair shot. It celebrated its 35th anniversary earlier this year and I believe it has held up tremendously well during that time. Is it flawless? Absolutely not. But goddamn is it a good ride!

Categories: Horror News

These Kids Made a Charming Sequel to ‘Jaws’ in the 1970s

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 15:16

This may be the most charming movie you see all year.

The year was 1978. Three years prior, Steven Spielberg quite literally created the Hollywood summer blockbuster with Jaws, a massive hit that sent audiences running from their local theaters and, needless to say, kept them as far away from large bodies of water as possible. But a group of brave kids didn’t heed the warning. They ventured into the water in the summer of ’78.

Why, you ask? To make their own sequel, of course!

The same year that Chief Brody returned in Jaws 2, Cape Cod teenager Rob Hampton and his friends used their Super-8 camera to make a 4-minute short film set in the Jaws universe. The short was originally filmed with no sound, but now nearly 40 years after it was shot, Hampton has dug up the raw materials from his childhood and dubbed in sounds, a score, and even dialogue.

Hampton describes:

Did you know Chief Brody reads wrestling mags and great whites love fresh water? That’s how the ’70s Kids saw it in this Super-8 sequel to their favorite blockbuster.

Ready to smile? Watch the DIY Jaws sequel below!

Categories: Horror News

R.I.P. Robert Vaughn Has Passed Away at 83

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 14:29

Another day, another sad passing to report. Actor Robert Vaughn has died at the age of 83, according to his manager.

Vaugh began acting in the mid-50’s and worked extensively in both film and TV. He was known for his role as Napoleon Solo in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”, which was essentially a TV version of James Bond. He also appeared in the drama thriller City in Fear, the horror sequel C.H.U.D. II – Bud the Chud, the horror comedies Transylvania Twist and Witch Academy, a few episodes of “Murder, She Wrote”, and, although not horror, was someone I found hysterical in BASEketball.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

We send our deepest condolences to his family during their time of grief and mourning. We also wish to thank him for the years of entertainment he brought to countless viewers across a wide range of genre performances.

Categories: Horror News

Check Out This Incredible Art for Each Episode of FOX’s “The Exorcist”

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 13:54

It’s an excellent day… to look at some cool art.

We’ve been talking about “The Exorcist” quite a bit here on Bloody Disgusting, and the reason for that is not just cause we’re big fans but also because we worry that not enough horror fans are watching the show. We’re trying to do everything we can to make sure it gets renewed for a second season, because if it doesn’t, well, that would be another “Hannibal”-like tragedy.

There have thus far been six episodes of FOX’s incredible sequel series, with the seventh set to premiere tonight, November 11th. Over on the official “The Exorcist” Facebook page, gorgeous pieces of art paying tribute to each of the episodes have been posted on a weekly basis, and now that we’ve got a nice collection of six of them to show off, we wanted to do just that.

As far as we can tell – oddly enough, only one of the images is credited to an artist – all six pieces of art are the work of Polish artist Jarek Kubicki, and they depict memorable moments from each of the respective episodes we’ve seen so far. In one of the paintings, Casey vomits out a massive centipede, and another depicts the hospital scene that resulted in her full-on possession.

Check out all of the awesome episode-specific art below!

Categories: Horror News

Lance Henriksen Talks Blomkamp’s ‘Alien 5’; Will Be “Something Spectacular”

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 13:02

Might we see the return of Bishop?

Set for release next August, Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant will serve as both a sequel to Prometheus and another prequel to the original Alien, but it’s not the only project in the works that’s intent on expanding that iconic universe. District 9 director Neill Blomkamp has been working on his own sequel to Aliens, which is being tentatively referred to as Alien 5, and though the film ran into a brick wall when Scott began production on his own franchise return, the key players still seem certain – and, if nothing more, hopeful – that Blomkamp’s vision will soon take flight.

Those key players include Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn, who are set to reprise the roles of Ellen Ripley and Corporal Dwayne Hicks. Newt, who was unceremoniously killed off between the events of Aliens and Alien 3, is also set to return, though will be played by a new actor. But what about Bishop? Will Lance Henriksen reprise the role of the lovable android?

Speaking with IGN this week, Henriksen seemed as hopeful as Weaver and Biehn about Blomkamp’s potential sequel, and he also suggested that there will be a place for him in the film.

The actor told the site:

You know they’re going to make another one. It picks up right where Aliens ended. I don’t know if I’m going to be in a baggie or how I’m going to be in it. Blomkamp is a really wonderful, wonderful writer. I have a feeling that if he did it, it would be something spectacular. And there’s an audience for it.

For now, Alien 5 remains on indefinite hold.

Categories: Horror News

Exclusive ‘Abattoir’ Images Reveal Completed Haunted House

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 13:01

Momentum Pictures shared with Bloody a handful of new images from Abattoir, which is set to release in theaters, VOD and Digital HD on December 9, 2016.

Written by Christopher Monfette (“12 Monkeys”) and directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (SAW II-IV, 11-11-11, Repo!, Mother’s Day), the film stars Jessica Lowndes (The Prince), Joe Anderson (Hercules), Lin Shaye (Insidious) and Dayton Callie (“Sons of Anarchy”).

Bloody Disgusting’s Kalyn Corrigan caught the World Premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and wrote in her review:

‘Abattoir’ makes a name for itself for its premise alone, which separates it from nearly anything else in mainstream horror right now. It’s a terrific little idea that if executed correctly, could spans several sequels, as the house allows for many different types of backgrounds to be explored, and future rooms to be filled.

Abattoir is the opening night film of the 14th annual New York City Horror Film Festival, which will be held Nov 10-13 at Manhattan’s Cinepolis Cinemas (8th Avenue & West 23rd Street).

“Abattoir centers on a real estate reporter (Jessica Lowndes) who unearths an urban legend about a house being built from rooms where horrific tragedies have occurred. The investigation ultimately leads her and ex-lover Detective Declan Grady (Joe Anderson) to the enigmatic Jebediah Crone (Dayton Callie) and the answer to the question, “How do you build a haunted house?”

Abattoir is produced by Jesse Berger (Oblivion) and Brent C. Johnson (Lost in America) under Radical Studios’ genre label Dark Web Productions. Billy Hines serves as Co-Producer. The film is executive produced by Lynwood Spinks, Kevin Niu, Robert Cain, Michael Yedwab, Steve Ponce, and Trevor Allen. Abattoir was financed by Lumenova Entertainment, Pacific Bridge Pictures and Ingenious Media.

Categories: Horror News

New BTS ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Video Focuses on Anime Director Mamoru Oshii and Features New Footage

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 12:09

A new behind-the-scenes featurette for the upcoming live action anime adaptation of Ghost in the Shell has been released and it follows Mamoru Oshii, the director of the 1995 anime, as he visits the set to see how everything is going. Several new bits of footage have been included in the video, some finalized and some before VFX can go in and add their touch.

Oshii at one point specifically talks about Johansson and her ability to portray Major Motoko, saying that she, “…has gone above and beyond my expectations for the role.” He then gives one of the most ringing endorsements I think could possibly be stated when he says, “I’m sure this will be the most gorgeous film in the series so far.” Bold words from a man who changed how much of the world saw anime!

Ghost in the Shell tells the story of The Major (Scarlett Johansson), a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.

Directed by Rupert Sanders, Ghost in the Shell stars Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche, “Beat” Takeshi Kitano, Michael Wincott, and Pilou Asbæk.

Ghost in the Shell hacks its way into theaters on March 31st, 2017.

Categories: Horror News

Namco’s Horror Classic “Splatterhouse” Turns 28!

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 12:01

On the anniversary of Namco’s beat ‘em up horror classic, we hack and slash our way through what makes ‘Splatterhouse’ so special

“This will be your grave! Ha ha ha”

When horror in gaming is brought up, we understandably turn to the survival horror genre and its many titles for conversation topics. It’s not without good reason, as titles like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and even Dead Rising helped popularize the genre in the gaming medium in the first place. In spite of that, survival horror is hardly the only execution of the genre, and sometimes just lovingly sending up horror and all things creepy can be a more effective product than something that nihilistically has you thinking about ammo and health conversation. Namco’s Splatterhouse is a notable title for premiering in the arcade of all places in 1998, before eventually seeing ports to the PC-Engine, FM TOWNS and TurboGrafx-16 (the TurboGrafx version came with warning: “The horrifying theme of this game may be inappropriate for young children… and cowards”). Namco’s eerie sidescrolling beat ‘em up would connect with such an audience that it would spawn a franchise of games and even a flashy 3D remake in 2010.

Splatterhouse tells the story of burgeoning parapsychology student Rick Taylor and his girlfriend Jennifer Willis, who go to the home of insane parapsychologist, Dr. West (who is intentionally supposed to not only be a Re-Animator reference, but might actually be the same character). Jennifer gets kidnapped and Rick is taken over by the game’s infamous “Terror Mask,” accordingly. This is actually a little more story than you tend to get in a 2D beat ‘em up of all things, but it acts as a serviceable premise that throws you into a haunted house of sorts. Each level reflects a new sort of horror staple with an archetypal boss waiting for you at the end, as you murderize your way to your princess.

Impressively, Splatterhouse comes courtesy of Shigeru Yokoyama who has no prior experience directing video games. He came from Galaga, of all places. In fact, the directors for the following Splatterhouse titles, Taiji Nagayama and the mysterious 100 Taro, are all newcomer directors, which is why it’s surprising that the Splatterhouse series has such a consistent track record. The original game is also the first console title to receive a parental advisory warning due to its violent nature and questionable content (such as an inverted cross being prominent during a boss fight in a chapel).

Coming as a huge fan of 2D beat ‘em ups, Splatterhouse is a delight, even if you’re not a horror fan (but obviously you are, otherwise why are you here?). It’s like if Streets of Rage or Final Fight were around during a time where it could have released some holiday themed DLC, with this being the result. Simultaneously, while video game adaptations from this era of big horror titles like Friday the 13th and Halloween are ambitious, messy failures, Splatterhouse beautifully functions as your surrogate solution. Yokoyama has stated that Friday the 13th and Evil Dead II are major influences on the title, and with all the other horror touchstones getting highlighted, it’s easier to just pretend this is some Poltergeist or Re-Animator video game.

Your basic beat ‘em up controls are in play here (along with a myriad of weapons that you can pick up and use at its disposable) and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it’s the game’s bosses where the gameplay especially shines. The game’s real creativity seems to be funneled here, as the bosses force you to incorporate strategy and different tactics rather than the usual “murder, rinse, repeat” that you’re doing in the levels. Some of the gems in Splatterhouse’s rogue’s gallery include a guy with two chainsaws installed as hands, a poltergeist boss that’s really just a room, and a monster that Jennifer turns into that’s actually frightening and upsetting—it even feels like a pre-cursor to some of the gruesome transformation sequences that would happen in Resident Evil. The game’s final boss, the Ultimate Evil, is also just super gross, especially for this era of gaming.

Beyond bosses, there’s also an exceptional soundtrack that amplifies all of the horror that’s going on, not to mention an impressive cinematic intro that kicks off the game in the original Arcade version of the title. The game even takes unexpected narrative twists like horror films are prone to do, such as the decision to actually kill Jessica at the end of the game, rather than rewarding you and Rick with some sort of happy ending. This of course nicely sets the scene for the game’s inevitable sequel, Splatterhouse 2.

Curiously, before Splatterhouse 2 hits the scene, an interesting side-story sees release for the Famicom Computer System. Splatterhouse Wanpaku Graffiti might have only seen release in Japan and seems like it could be a non-canonical entry in the series at that, but it’s actually one of the more satisfying, creative titles in the Splatterhouse library. It’s actually a shame that this quirky title is often left out of the conversation and overlooked (some sort of localization or release via unlockable content seems long overdue at this point).

Wanpaku Graffiti employs a cutesy, super-deformed art style to the Splatterhouse universe in a move that actually works. The game sees Jennifer getting kidnapped from a giant evil pumpkin, with this almost feeling like a parody of the original game, rather than some sequel or side story. In your quest to find Jennifer, you encounter references to The Fly, Alien, The Exorcist, Jaws, Poltergeist, and there’s even an extended Friday the 13th riff in a level set at “Camp Diamond Lake.” In spite of Wanpaku Graffiti never leaving Japan, it’s got a surprisingly American frame of reference and sensibility. The first boss is even a vampire who greets you in a dance reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video.

There’s some inspired level design in play here too, with a sewer level that is particularly gorgeous. Its boss is a hilarious parody of Alien involved an enlarged, radioactive sewer rat, so what’s not to love here? Trick or treating level is also pretty inspired and looks exactly like what a game you’re playing on Halloween should look like. It also needs to be mentioned that the lighting effects and visuals for when you beat the Brundlefly boss are some of the craziest and most seizure-y that I’ve seen on the system.

One of my favorite touches about Wanpaku Graffiti is that the game surprisingly ends with a sound stage illuminating behind you and a director shouting “cut” (“That was some damn fine acting. This’ll be a great movie!”), only to reveal that this is all some movie that’s being filmed, not unlike in a Viewtiful Joe game. It’s almost as if this is the hokey Splatterhouse movie that is being adapted from the original game, giving this sillier tone a little context. That being said, what an ending this is, and I could see it being as contentious as Link’s Awakening and Super Mario Bros. 2 if more people were familiar with this title.

Splatterhouse Wanpaku Graffiti introduces a parodical, hearty sense of humor that is absent from everywhere else in the series. There’s some foresight for the horror genre being shown here for their take on Splatterhouse, and in spite of this game being relatively underknown and generally (unfortunately) ignored in the Splatterhouse canon, there’s a lot to learn from this game. Can you imagine if Capcom released some satire of Resident Evil, where bosses and characters were intentionally meant to lampoon the franchise? I know we’ve seen clever jabs at franchises in works like Dead Rising, but I’m talking full-on satire. If horror films can do it, why not games, too?

Now Splatterhouse 2, the true sequel to Splatterhouse, sees Rick turning to the fray, trying to revive Jennifer, and ultimately succeeding in his task. Splatterhouse 2 is one of those prime examples of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” with this sequel playing nearly identically to its predecessor. Everything just looks a lot more polished and advanced this time around. Some gamers ended up taking exception to the small steps taken forward with Splatterhouse 2 and instead attacked it for its lack of innovation, but this is also a game where you get to chainsaw a baby to pieces, so you pick your battles. Admittedly, the gore quotient is upped greatly in the sequel (a luxury allowed by the game being developed for the Genesis, allowing them access to Sega’s more “mature” gamers), but this sort of material also has less of an impact now, due to it being a sequel. The game does manage to turn the Terror Mask into more of an actual character this time around, which isn’t a bad idea at all. The Mask talks and eggs Rick on throughout his journey, as if some sort of bloodthirsty version of Navi from Ocarina of Time.

Bosses once more are given special attention, with there being plenty of “giant face” battles, a boss that’s an unborn fetus (complete with umbilical cord that descends it onto the screen), a giant diamond, and a huge kraken that you get to fight from a boat. All of that being said, the final boss is kind of lame in the end… Beautifully, Splatterhouse 2 also lost most of its script in the localization process from Splatterhouse Part 2 in Japan. As a result, many of the changes in the game, like why there’s a new West mansion, have no answer. This certainly adds an extra b-movie quality to it all, too. The music is seriously incredible this time around, too. It’s so, so good, with each level delivering catchy, synth-y bliss that meshes with horror like viscera does with a machete.

As if learning from the few complaints regarding Splatterhouse 2, Splatterhouse 3 added some new elements to the series’ gameplay, refining the controls even further and expanding the title in fun ways. Splatterhouse 3 sees a nice twist in the narrative that involves Rick and Jennifer getting married, having a child named David, and getting their own house which in turn becomes haunted and the resident “Splatterhouse” this time around. This time Rick has to save his wife and son. Much like its predecessor, Splatterhouse 3 was a pretty big coup for the Genesis, with the game not seeing release on any other system. The new title differs from previous games in the series by introducing a time trial aspect which in turn alters various aspects of the game (like Jennifer dying in the second level, for instance) based on if you complete levels in time (kind of like Streets of Rage III’s set-up).

There’s also the addition of Eldritch orbs which let you power-up into new forms of “Badassery” when collected. Allowing this extra violence and ability to hulk out (pieces of flesh extend from your chest and become a weapon…so yeah) makes perfect sense for this sort of franchise, too. Your moveset also becomes more complex too, with you gaining the ability to pick up and throw your enemies, rather than simply punching or kicking. On top of all of that, the title also ditches the sidescrolling angle to get into non-linear exploration that encourages backtracking to collect items and find your exit. You’re even shown a map beforehand to help orient your gameplay, whereas such a thing would be completely unnecessary in the previous games. Even the bosses have a bit of a different energy this time around with one being a kid’s come-to-life stuffed teddy bear, a progressively hatching and evolving insect embryo, some Shadow Man that’s basically Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen, and then ultimately a giant version of the infamous Terror Mask itself!

In spite of Splatterhouse 3 performing well both critically and in sales, neither Namco not Sega seemed that interested in pushing things further. The mind reels at what some version of Splatterhouse for the Sega CD or Saturn could have looked like. While 2D beat ‘em ups were progressively on the way out, that still didn’t stop a 3D remake of the game being attempted in 2010. Operating much like some God of War clone, Splatterhouse (2010) added fancy “splatter combos”, decapitations, and many “modern” touches. Whether these elements are necessary or not, in their own way they do sort of mirror the intense violence of the original games. 2010’s Splatterhouse is a loud, admirable flop that effectively put the final nail in the franchise’s coffin (for now at least). With audiences more recently embracing retro touches, and with horror never being more alive, perhaps it’s worthwhile to explore the Splatterhouse franchise once more. Some visionary giving their own take on the source material (like what Hideo Kojima did with Castlevania) could yield super interesting results. Until then, we’ll always have the boreworms.

Categories: Horror News

Ashley Greene Will Star in 90s Comic Adaptation of ‘Accident Man’

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 10:56

Ashley Greene (The Apparition, Twilight) has landed the lead in Accident Man, directed by Jesse Johnson, Deadline reports.

Said to have a Deadpool-esque tone, “The story centers on the life of Mike Fallon, a high-class hitman, known for making assassinations look like unfortunate accidents. Fallon’s cavalier attitude changes the day his ex-girlfriend, Beth is murdered. He teams up with Beth’s new girlfriend Charlie (Greene) on a murderous rampage to find out who killed her.

The film is based on a character from the graphic novel from the defunct monthly UK comic Toxic!, which was written by Pat Mills in the early 90s.

Principal photography begins this month in London.

Categories: Horror News

Alice’s Journey Ends On These ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’ Posters

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 10:51

Here’s a pair of new posters, one international, for Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, which brings back star Milla Jovovich as Alice for one final battle with Umbrella and Dr. Isaacs.

Ali Larter also returns as Claire Redfield, Iain Glen will return as Dr. Isaacs, with Shawn Roberts playing Albert Wesker once again. New additions also include Ruby Rose as Abigail, Eoin Macken (The Night Shift) as Doc, Cuban American actor William Levy as Christian, Fraser James (“Law & Order: UK”) as Michael, and Japanese model and TV personality Rola as Cobalt.

“Picking up immediately after the events in ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.”

Sony Screen Gems has Resident Evil: The Final Chapter slated for release on January 27th, 2017.

Categories: Horror News

‘Painkiller Jane’ Will Get Revenge

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 10:46

Deadline reports that Jessica Chastain (Crimson Peak, The Martian, Interstellar) is set to star in and produce Painkiller Jane, from the self-titled graphic novel series written by two comic legends, Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada.

Chastain will play Jane Vasko, a New York City street cop who gets recruited by the FBI to infiltrate a major NYC drug and human trafficking ring. In a near death experience, Jane develops exceptional regenerative abilities that give her a unique indestructible advantage. With nothing to live for and no way to die, Painkiller Jane becomes an unstoppable force of nature seeking revenge to those who destroyed her life as she leaves a path of death and destruction in her wake.

Lotus Entertainment’s Lenny Beckerman will produce along with Solipsist Films’ Stephen L’Heureux (Sin City: A Dame To Kill For) and Chastain through her Freckle Films banner. Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, Ara Keshishian and Palmiotti will exec produce.

The graphic novel series was published by Paperfilms.

Graphic novelist Palmiotti has penned volumes of “Deadpool”, “Jonah Hex”, “Punisher” and is currently writing “Harley Quinn” for DC Comics. Monilith, based on his graphic novel, is set up at Lionsgate.

Categories: Horror News

New ‘Safe Neighborhood’ Images Foreshadow Death

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 10:29

Bloody Disgusting has a pair of new shots from Chris Peckover’s thriller most excellent Safe Neighborhood starring Olivia DeJonge (M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit), Levi Miller (Pan, Jasper Jones, Terra Nova, Red Dog: True Blue) and Ed Oxenbould (The Visit, Paper Planes, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day), with Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated actress Virginia Madsen (Candyman, Joy, Sideways) and Patrick Warburton (Crowded, Ted, Family Guy, Seinfeld).

Described as Home Alone meets Scream, Trace reviewed the film out of the Fantastic Fest premiere, calling it “a hilariously bonkers home invasion tale.”

‘Safe Neighborhood’ provides a bonkers twist on the home invasion sub-genre that had me squealing with glee from start to finish.

Set in a quiet American suburb on a snowy evening on the lead up to Christmas, Ashley (Olivia DeJonge), the regular babysitter for Deandra (Virginia Madsen) and Robert Lerner (Patrick Warburton), has to defend their twelve-year-old son (Levi Miller) from strangers breaking into the house – only to discover that this is far from a normal home invasion.

The thriller is a Storm Vision Entertainment and Best Medicine production, directed by Chris Peckover (Undocumented) and written by Zack Kahn and Peckover. The film is being produced by Storm Vision’s Brett Thornquest and Sidonie Abbene (Infini, Terminus, SFv1) and Best Medicine Productions’ Brion Hambel and Paul Jensen (Scenic Route, Natural Selection), and executive produced by Steven Matusko, Shane Abbess and Lorenzo De Maio.

Thanks to Fabien M.

Categories: Horror News