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‘Open Windows’ Poster Lights Up Elijah Wood

Sun, 06/15/2014 - 09:46

Check out this cool international one-sheet for Nacho Vigalondo’s (director of Extraterrestrial and Timecrimes) high-tech suspense thriller Open Windows (read our review), recently acquired by Cinedigm for release late summer or early fall of 2014.

Starring Elijah Wood (Maniac) and Sasha Grey, “Wood stars as a fanboy of actress Jill Goddard (Grey), and as the winner of an online contest he gets the rare chance to have dinner with her. However, when dinner plans are cancelled someone named Chord says he can make up for it. Chord gives Nick (Wood) the tools to spy on Jill from his computer, in a way that no fan could ever dream of. After each demand Chord gives Nick, it becomes apparent that Chord set the whole thing up and Nick is a part of a much bigger, more sinister plan.

Categories: Horror News

New ‘The Purge: Anarchy’ Poster; Founding Father’s Website

Sun, 06/15/2014 - 09:42

While IMP Awards shared a second official poster for Universal Pictures’ The Purge: Anarchy, in theaters June 20th, the New Founding Fathers of America have launched their own website.

Frank Grillo, Michael K. Williams, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, and Keith Stanfield star.

Returning alongside writer/director/producer James DeMonaco to produce the next chapter of the thriller are Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity and Insidious), alongside Sébastien K. Lemercier (Assault on Precinct 13, Four Lovers) and Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay (Pain & Gain, Transformers), Brad Fuller (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th) and Andrew Form (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, The Amityville Horror, A Nightmare on Elm Street).

Categories: Horror News

Ed Brubaker’s “Fatale” as Cosmic Horror-Noir Through Semiotics

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 15:26

I must preempt my examination of the horror-noir comic by first taking a firm stance on one historically debated topic among critics: Is noir a genre or style?  Here I must publicly state that I reside strongly on the side of…both.

Those arguing noir as a genre point to the abundance of conventions and tropes that establish it as such; the hard-drinking detective, the femme fatale, convoluted and often unresolved plots, smoking, cities, and so on.  As the genre evolved these conventions remain intact as much as the conventions of any other bona fide genre have, so there is no reason not to categorize noir as such.  

The Truth is 1000 times scarier than the mystery.

Editorial By: Epic Switzer

Noir as a style refers us to the multitude of disparate kinds of storytelling that maintain the noir sensibilities. Notably a dark, grimy, dreadful tone suggesting hopeless, nihilism, the gritty true fear of understanding the world is unforgiving, and that people are naturally selfish.

From this perspective noir is not a subcategory of fiction, but a pervasive feeling present in many genres.  Marrying these two perspectives is as simple as invoking one particular theory of semiotics: the signifier and the signified, the finger pointing to the moon.  Allow noir as genre to represent the signifier here; the sign that points to a bigger idea, the signified style or tone that is the emotional spine of the story.  Let the conventions and tropes act as the finger pointing to the moon that is the feeling being conveyed.  Now we can see the noir as both the genre and the style: a shadow of a man with a gun gives us the feeling of hopelessness.  This becomes important as we examine the way in which noir has stuck its sticky black tentacles into almost every corner of the narrative landscape.

No other genre/style has exemplified the post-modern movement as naturally.  As pastiche and amalgamation became the dominant mode of storytelling in film and literature noir evolved and invaded all types of genres.  The Neo-noirs of the 60s and 70s (Chinatown, Body Heat) give rise to the Sci/fi-noir (Blade Runner, Alphaville) and eventually to our area of interest the horror-noir.  These films and novels took the dark sensibilities of noir and combined the cultural fears exemplified by horror.  The pairing of these genres is a match made in hell, but it may be of some surprise how rarely this narrative combination is produced by comparison.  There are of course prime examples: Silence of the Lambs and Se7en in film and the Nightside series of books by Simon R. Greene as well as Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files are just a few.  But works in the horror-noir genre are too few and far between.

In his recent article The H Word: Hardboiled Horror, Nicholas Kauffmann makes a case for the peanut-butter-and-chocolate-like tastiness of horror-noir.  He says This shared tone of darkness and pessimism makes the horror-noir hybrid inevitable. And why shouldn’t it be? The two fit together like perfect puzzle pieces. But I believe the overlap between them goes beyond tone. Most noir stories involve crime in one form or another, with the protagonist frequently being a hardboiled detective, either professional or amateur, trying to solve the central mystery. I would argue that at the heart of most horror stories, too, is a mystery waiting to be solved.”

Mystery is truly at the heart of the horror-noir.  The fear and sense of dread stem from a core misunderstanding, something distant and uninviting that the protagonist can’t help but investigate. Despite the inevitably that they’ll learn something they certainly didn’t want to know. In essence, the horror-noir is a mystery you’re afraid to solve, because the truth is so much more horrible than anything you can imagine.  The fear of the unfathomably real is the central conceit of cosmic horror, popularized by early 1900’s authors H.P. Lovecraft and Robert W. Chambers, who emphasized the psychological effects a horror would have on humanity over the horror itself (signified and signifier).

Noir has found a home in the cosmic horror genre.  The pervasive hopelessness of in the face of a cold, uncaring world is now hopelessness in the face of a cold, uncaring universe.  The thrill of solving a mystery is replaced by the maddening anxiety of unraveling the mysteries of the universe.  The once tough-as-nails detective who solves the case at hand with his wit and swagger is replaced by a weaker protagonist, one who searches desperately for clues in an effort to save his soul before some unfathomable beast drives him to insanity.  In the cosmic horror-noir, catching the bad guy may be the worst thing you can do.  Escaping him (or more appropriately, “it”) for as long as possible may be the only course of action.  Case in point: Ed Brubaker’s devilishly plotted “Fatale.”

You know you want it.

The first arc of “Fatale” has all the conventions one has come to expect from Brubaker’s crime books and noir in general: corrupt cops, over-zealous reporters, violent murders to solve, a group of interesting characters with individual agendas and yet-undiscovered motives.  What’s more we have classic horror elements: witchcraft, monsters, cults, and an unnaturally persuasive leading lady.  The style, beautifully illustrated by Sean Phillips, depicts the bleak, sharp angled, chiaroscuro world of the noir, along with the horrific violence, inconceivable creatures, and visions of the cosmic horror.  All of this adds up to a unique blending of genres in a novel way.  What isn’t apparent at first glance, and what elicits cause to celebrate the genius that is Ed Brubaker, is how seamlessly these styles are entwined to the point at which you may have forgotten they were ever separate entities to begin with.  Indeed Brubaker demonstrates the perfect semblance of the horror-noir.

It is not these signifiers that permit us to define this book as a horror-noir hybrid, but rather what they signify. The feeling of insignificance one gets from existing in the world of “Fatale” is difficult to overstate.  Dread is pervasive; the threat presented to the protagonist Jo is unrelenting and insurmountable.  As patterns emerge, Jo’s consorts are unceremoniously destroyed in any number of horrific ways, a sense of anguish is all that remains. Resistance to the design of the universe is beyond futile; it’s what the mad laugh hysterically about.

In issue #20 Brubaker quotes Nietzsche:

“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus?”

This sentiment, echoed (rather appropriately per our discussion) by Rust Cohle on HBO’s True Detective, perfectly illustrates what cosmic horror-noir is all about: truly there is no escape, nothing to overcome, nowhere to run and no mystery to solve. You’ve lived these horrors before and you shall live them again exactly the same way. Futility and hopelessness define this genre.  Brubaker takes the ultimate existential crisis and creates a visual experience to approximate it in the most effective way possible, on the comic page.

Side effects of cosmic horror include permanently clenched buttcheeks.

The horror-noir has found its home in the comic medium for a multitude of reasons. Unrestricted by budget and runtime, Brubaker is free to tell the kind of sprawling story that a noir demands while maintaining the anxiety-building pacing of a strong horror tale. Phillips art perfectly balances the grotesque with the smoky, urban environments that characterize the noir.  The effectiveness of this title in this format is rivaled only by the aforementioned True Detective series, hence here’s hoping for a “Fatale” HBO series in the near future.

“Fatale” exemplifies the horror-noir genre, but there are a number of really great reads if you find yourself consumed the darkness and hungry for more.  Tim Seeley’s “Revival” is a rural noir (think Fargo) about a small town that’s got a problem with the dead coming back to life.  There is of course Supernatural Detective John Constantine in Hellblazer” with some arcs more noirish than others, check out Dark Entries for a start.  Also let’s not forget Steve Niles’ excellent Criminal Macabre” stories.

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 ericswitzerfilm@gmail.com
What do you think of Fatale and the cosmic horror-noir hybrid genre?  Am I off the mark?  Leave a comment and join the discussion!

Categories: Horror News

Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” Sung In The Style Of System Of A Down And Type O Negative

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 13:00

If you haven’t heard of Anthony Vincent, be prepared to see him everywhere. He’s the guy behind Ten Second Songs, a channel that takes a popular song and then covers it in various styles, each only for ten (approximately) seconds. He hit viral status with his video of Katy Perry‘s “Dark Horse”, which in three months has accrued over 8 million views (see it here).

Due to popular demand, Vincent took two of the most requested styles, System Of A Down and Type O Negative, in the song and put together full videos. You can watch them below.

Subscribe to Anthony Vincent right here.

Categories: Horror News

R.I.P. Jimmy Scott, Who Sang In ‘Twin Peaks’, Has Passed Away At Age 88

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 10:38

Sad news as it is being reported by The Wrap that jazz singer Jimmy Scott, whose career spanned nearly six decades, including two presidential inaugurations, has passed away in his sleep at the age of 88.

Scott was known to many horror fans for his brief appearance in the series finale of Twin Peaks, where he sang “Sycamore Trees”, a song with lyrics by show creator David Lynch and music by composer Angelo Badalamenti. That track was featured on the show’s full length film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

Rest in peace, Jimmy. You’ve led a long, amazing life and you will be missed.

Categories: Horror News

Researchers May Have Found Dracula’s Grave…And They Want To Open It

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 20:11

Roadtrippers is reporting that Erika Stella, a student doing her dissertation on Naples’ Santa Maria la Nova Church, is convinced that a headstone on a grave belongs to none other than the 15th century Prince Vlad Tepes III, the man who was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

According to history, Tepes’ cruelty and domination was very well-documented except for his final days. In 1476, all knowledge of his whereabouts ceases. Some say he died in battle while others say he was taken prisoner. Some scholars believe that Tepes was the ransomed to his daughter who lived in Naples, where he spent the rest of his days.

Researchers noticed that the tomb at the Santa Maria la Nova Church is covered with Transylvanian symbols, as noticed by Raffaello Glinni, a Medieval history scholar.

Glinni states:

When you look at the bas-relief sculptures, the symbolism is obvious. The dragon means Dracula and the two opposing sphinxes represent the city of Thebes, also known as Tepes. In these symbols, the very name of the count Dracula Tepes is written.

So, what’s next for these researchers? Why, opening the grave, of course! These researchers are asking authorities for permission to open the grave to verify their findings.

Below are some photographs of the site.

Categories: Horror News

[EXCLUSIVE Preview] “Kill Shakespeare: The Mask of Night” #1

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 18:28

We’re happy to host the exclusive preview of “Kill Shakespeare: The Mask of Night” here at Bloody-Disgusting. This series looks like a fine return to form and Andy Belanger’s pencils are razor sharp. Issue #1 launches this coming Wednesday and takes to the high seas. The world of pirates is about to hit comics with hordes of horror in toe. This is one to watch!

FROM IDW:

Kill Shakespeare: The Mask of Night #1 (of 4)—SPOTLIGHT Anthony Del Col & Conor McCreery (w) • Andy Belanger (a & c) The award-winning series returns with a high seas tale of pirate battles, vengeance and lost love. Hamlet, Juliet, Othello and Shakespeare become pawns in a deadly game of survival between the legendary masked pirate Captain Cessario, his first mate Viola, and the new terror on the water, Titus Andronicus’ forbidding war ship The Lavinia. FC • 32 pages • $3.99   Bullet points:

  • An excellent companion piece to the new Kill Shakespeare board game released by IDW Games!

 

 

Categories: Horror News

[Toys] Leatherface, Misfits Join NECA’s 8″ Mego-Style Collection

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 17:31

Figures.com reports that NECA continues to aggressively expand their 8″ Mego-style figure collection with today’s announcement of two new additions.

These include horror icon Leatherface from Tobe Hooper’s 1974 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, as well as the mascot for the horror punk band The Misfits, “The Fiend.”

Leatherface and two distinct versions of The Fiend – black and red – are scheduled to arrive by this Halloween.

Categories: Horror News

Twisted Music Video Of The Week Vol. 139: Salmo & Dope D.O.D. “Blood Shake”

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 17:30

This week’s Twisted Music Video Of The Week hails from a country that has brought us some of the greatest horror films ever: Italy! That’s right, we’re heading to the land of Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci, and more to bring you “Blood Shake”, a video from hip hop artist Salmo. The video, which was directed by Niccolo Celaia and Antonio Usbergo, takes place in what looks to be an abandoned decrepit insane asylum and, true to its name, features tons of fake blood. Check it out below!

Many thanks to Konstantin for sharing this video with me! Make sure to leave your suggestions in the comments below for future TMVOTW entries!

Categories: Horror News

Stephen King’s ‘Ghost Brothers Of Darkland County’ Touring N. America This Fall

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 09:30

The Southern gothic supernatural musical Ghost Brothers Of Darkland County will tour N. America this fall. Written by horror author Stephen King, the act features music from John Mellencamp with musical direction from T-Bone Burnett.

The tour kicks off November 8th in Orono, ME (right outside Bangor) and wraps in San Francisco on December 5th. It will be performed by an ensemble cast of 15 actors and a four-piece live band, comprised of members of John Mellencamp’s band.

The story of the play:

The story goes that Joe McCandless saw his two older brothers battle over a girl which ended in the unfortunate deaths of all three. Now with Joe as an adult and two boys of his own, he’s watching an all too familiar scenario play out before his eyes. As the story continues, a malevolent Shape circles the stage, singing about heaven and hell. Joe McCandless lingers in the dream-land café, remembering the events of his life, and is urged to action by the friendly bartender. In 2007, he goes to his family cabin in Darkland County, Mississippi, where his brothers died in 1967, to tell his own sons Frank and Drake his tale of brotherly love gone sour. With his sons at each other’s throats, Joe’s story will either save or destroy the McCandless family. Will Joe bring himself to tell the truth in time to save his own sons? Find out whether the ghosts left behind will help him—or tear the McCandless family apart forever.

The full tour schedule is below.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
Nov 8 Orono, ME Collins Center For The Arts
Nov 9 Orono, ME Collins Center For The Arts
Nov 11 Toronto, ON Massey Hall
Nov 13 Philadelphia, PA Merriam Theatre*
Nov 14 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center
Nov 15 Washington, DC Warner Theatre
Nov 16 Baltimore, MD The Modell Performing Arts Center at the LYRIC
Nov 18 Red Bank, NJ Count Basie Theatre
Nov 20 Portland, ME Merrill Auditorium
Nov 21 Boston, MA Emerson Colonial Theatre
Nov 22 Providence, RI The VETS*
Nov 24 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
Nov 26 Detroit, MI Fisher Theatre
Nov 28 Chicago, IL Broadway in Chicago’s Oriental Theatre
Nov 29 St. Louis, MO Peabody Opera House
Dec 1 Denver, CO Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre
Dec 3 Phoenix, AZ Orpheum Theatre
Dec 4 Los Angeles, CA Saban Theatre
Dec 5 San Francisco, CA SHN Curran Theatre
* Providence goes on sale June 19
* Philadelphia goes on sale June 27

Categories: Horror News

My Favorite ‘Friday The 13th’ Moment! What’s Yours?

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 09:00

Happy Friday the 13th! For me, one of the big allures of the franchise is that it takes me back to simpler times. There’s not a single installment I don’t like on some level. I love the atmosphere of the first four installments, not just the woodsy environment but their inherent innocence. Sure the characters had sex and smoked dope, but there was something (usually) innately sweet about the whole endeavor. I also loved the sleaziness of A New Beginning, the cleverness of Jason Lives, the Voorhees design from The New Blood and Creighton Duke from Jason Goes To Hell.

The 2009 remake also hit a lot of sweet spots for me and is among by very favorite of the franchise. For those of you who think that the most recent entry is cynical, I actually think it’s anything but. Remember, the studio had zero respect for the franchise during its first incarnation, these were turn and burn gigs that people were turning down left and right because there was no money and the powers that be insisted on unrealistic schedules to keep the money flowing in. I’d argue that the folks behind the 2009 version actually cared more about the quality of the film than most of the people involved in the original sequels (especially later on).

I’d also argue that Steve Miner’s 1981 installment Friday the 13th Paet 2 had a lot of care put into it. I think Miner really took Part 2 seriously (as evidenced by the bravura finale). And, while it’s not the hands down best F13 movie, in many ways it’s the prototypical one – even without the hockey mask. You’ve got Crystal Lake. You’ve got counselors. The vibe is right (the tone of Part 3 is almost as icky as A New Beginning) and there’s still a sense of mystery about the series.

You’ve also got an all time great F13 kill when Tom McBride’s Mark takes that long tumble downstairs in his wheelchair. Not only is that moment shocking in its (almost literal) willingness to go abruptly off the rails, it’s preceded by one of the most effective pre-kill builds in the franchise. So even with everything else that’s great about this franchise – and there’s a lot – this is probably my favorite moment. Ask me tomorrow and it might be another one.

What’s your favorite moment from the franchise?

Categories: Horror News

How Are You Celebrating Friday the 13th?

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 08:51

It’s Friday the 13th. Yes, it happens multiple times a year, but that doesn’t mean us horror fans don’t treat it like an annual holiday!

Some of us get warm with Jason Voorhees and revisit the classic Friday the 13th films, others recognize it as a celebration of our genre and go horror crazy, watching anything and everything from Nosferatu to Drag Me to Hell.

Me, personally, I plan on getting myself a deep dish Chicago pizza (with pepperoni, of course), and watching some black and white classics. It’s been a while since I’ve seen films like The Haunting, House on Haunted Hill and maybe even The Tingler. If I’m still alive, I’ll end the night with a game of “F13 Russian Roulette,” where I’ll randomly pick one of the classics, and end my night with the Voorhees family.

What are your plans?

Categories: Horror News

‘As It Is In Heaven’ Also Drinks the Kool-Aid (Trailer)

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 08:40

Joshua Overbay’s indie thriller As It Is In Heaven is also drinking the cult Kool-Aid.

We now have a trailer, stills and theatrical details for the latest indie cult movie set for release.

In the pic, “After the death of the Prophet, a man is called to lead his small religious sect as they anxiously await the end of the world they were promised. Director Joshua Overbay deftly leads audiences down a twisting path of passion and devotion, envy and manipulation in this sympathetic portrayal of a modern-day cult leader and his spiritual convictions. Devoted to a simple life of faith in unforgiving Kentucky backcountry, a small religious sect seeks spiritual awakening as their Prophet (John Lina) nears death and his son, Eamon (Luke Beavers), prepares to step forward as their new leader. But, in his last moments, the Prophet instead names newcomer David (Chris Nelson) as his spiritual successor.

Categories: Horror News

Ride the ‘Devil’s Mile’ This August

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 08:26

Phase 4 Films has announced an August 12 DVD/VOD date for director Joseph O’Brien’s highly-anticipated horror-thriller Devil’s Mile starring David Hayter (writer of X-Men and Watchmen), Maria del Mar (“24″) and Casey Hudecki (Wolves).

A gang of psychotic convicts take a dangerous and ill-advised detour after brutally kidnapping two young girls. As the captors speed away, events quickly turn out to be much more dangerous and gruesome than they had planned for. While driving down a long and dark stretch of deserted highway, the car becomes surrounded by mysterious sinister spirits, forcing the captors and young girls to work together in hopes of surviving the deadly evil force.

Check out the art.

Categories: Horror News

[TV] Meet the Cast of FX’s “The Strain”

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 08:22

Manhattan. The Country. The World. “The Strain” takeover begins Sunday, July 13th on FX.

From Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, check out these character images that come courtesy of Seat42f.

‘The Strain’ is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers wage war for the fate of humanity itself.

“The Strain” stars Corey Stoll, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Roger Cross, Leslie Hope, Regina King, Robert Maillet, Lauren Lee Smith, Miguel Gomez, Kevin Durand, David Bradley, and Richard Sammel.

Categories: Horror News

Rob Zombie Guitarist Unveils Details On New Solo Album

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 07:41

Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 has released more details for his upcoming solo album Careful With That Axe, which comes out August 12th via 60 Cycle Hum. The album will be the follow up to 2012′s God Told Me To and will be preceded by its first single “This Is My Rifle” this upcoming Tuesday, the 17th, the same day that preorders for the album go live.

The album features Rodger Carter on drums – who also co-produced the album – and Matt Bissonette on bass.

Direct from the press release:

From his flawless finger picking technique on the Latin flavored “El Cucuy” and his fast, intricate guitar-work on the classic Jerry Reed covers “Jerry’s Breakdown” and “Jiffy Jam,” banjo included, to anthemic “Six Hundred and Sixty Six Pickers In Hell,” John 5 gracefully weaves in and out of many different styles ranging from metal and rock, to bluegrass, country & western and flamenco, all harmoniously coming together for his magnum opus ‘Careful With That Axe’.

Below is the full track listing as well as all upcoming tour dates.

Careful With That Axe track listing:
1. We Need To Have A Talk About John
2. This Is My Rifle
3. Flight Of The Vulcan Kelly
4. Jerry’s Breakdown
5. Villisca
6. Portrait Of Sidney Sloan
7. Jiffy Jam
8. Six Hundred and Sixty Six Pickers In Hell
9. El Cucuy
10. The Dream Slayer

John 5’s current European and U.S. tour dates with Rob Zombie are as follows:
6/17 Prague, Czech Republic Incheba Open Air
6/20 Clisson, France Hellfest
6/22 Barcelona, Spain St. Jordi Club
6/23 Madrid, Spain La Riviera
6/26 Rome, Italy Ippodromo Capannelle
6/27 Milan, Italy Ippodromo Del Galoppo Open Air
6/28 ZH, Switzerland Eishalle Wetzikon
6/29 Dessel, Belgium Stenehei
7/1 Utrecht, Netherlands Tivoli Vredenburg
7/2 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg Rockhal
7/4 Roskilde, Denmark Darupvej
7/5 Saxony, Germany Roitzschjora Airport

U.S. DATES
7/17 Oshkoch, WI Rock USA
7/18 Clive. IA 7 Flags Event Center
7/19 Grayslake, IL Fuel Arena
7/20 Cadcott, WI Rock Fest
9/8 Portland, OR Roseland Theatre
9/9 Eugene, OR Cuthbert Amphitheatre
9/11 Post Falls, ID Greyhound Park
9/12 Auburn, WA White River Amphitheatre
9/13 Central Point, OR Lithia Motors Amphitheatre
9/14 Sacramento, CA Discovery Park
9/16 San Jose, CA City National Civic
9/17 Paso Robles, CA Vina Robles Amphitheatre
9/19 Scottsdale, CA Westworld
9/21 Lubbock, TX Lonestar Amphitheatre
9/23 Tulsa, OK Brady Theatre
9/24 Council Bluffs, IA Mid America Rec. Center
9/27 Saginaw, MI FirstMerit Bank Event Park

Categories: Horror News

[Review] ‘Torment’ Is a Slick, Brooding Home Invasion Thriller

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 19:25

The title and art for Jordan Barker’s Torment suggests some typical torture porn. To my relief, it’s much more in the psychological horror realm, with only a couple bits of actual physical torment peppered here and there. The plot is a familiar one, but thanks to some sharp composition, rapid presentation, and decent performances, Torment makes for an enjoyable little thriller.

After a moody prologue sets the stage for some good ol’ fashioned home invasion thrills, Torment introduces us to our protagonists: newlyweds Sarah and Corey. They’re heading to Corey’s old home in the sticks with his seven-year-old son Liam for some family bonding. Shortly after arriving, it’s clear Liam still isn’t comfortable calling Sarah “mom” and adjusting to her new family isn’t going to be the cakewalk she had hoped for. Like when she tries sitting in his mom’s old favorite chair and Liam flips out. There’s some resentment here, but the widow Corey is nothing but patient.

These intimate moments of family drama work really well to introduce the characters and establish some sympathy for them when the shit hits the fan. The great performances add weight to all of this. Katherine Isabelle (American Mary) is believable as the disgruntled stepmom who’s desperate to show Liam she cares for him and Robin Dunne (TV’s Sanctuary) provides a fine mix of paternal shielding and frustration over his petulant son.

Alright, on to the juicy stuff…

Once the initial domestic drama is over, Torment wastes no time kicking into high gear. The home invasion angle is fairly predictable as it goes through the motions of dark hiding spots, running down hallways, locking doors, making it outside, going back inside, etc. There are some unpredictable elements (particularly concerning the invaders’ motivations), but there’s still nothing in the plot that really hooked me. The theme of abuse and the mental scars they leave behind is hinted at, but never really explored.

But while the plot may lack any stimulating elements, Torment makes up for it with its slick presentation and brooding atmosphere. The old house is set off the road in a rural area and the location is milked very well. Barker has a very keen eye for geography.

My only beef with the look of Torment is that it was too dark in some places – to the point where it was a bit tough to figure out where someone was. I should note that this totally could’ve been due to the lesser-than quality of the screener I was given. If that’s the case, never mind.

Aside from the sometimes overbearing darkness, Torment just looks really damn good. The pace is relentless, the atmosphere is eerie, and thankfully Barker relies more on actual suspense than gore to set the tone. It’s simply a fine indie horror flick. And while I typically roll my eyes over obvious sequel set-ups, I’d be interested to see if Torment becomes a franchise.

Torment is available VOD now and will be hitting DVD July 15th!

Categories: Horror News

Follow The “Evolution” Of Skyharbor

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 18:00

International melodic progressive tech metal band Skyharbor have released a video for “Evolution”, their first single from their upcoming as-yet-untitled sophomore album. The album is currently being funded through Pledge Music, where you can get a free download of the song if you’ve pledged.

Vocalist Dan Tompkins (ex-TesseracT) states:

We’re delighted to finally push the first single from our second album out…[Evolution] pretty much sums up the journey we’ve been on since ‘Blinding White Noise’, and we feel it’s the perfect introduction to our second album. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating it!

I’m always interested in sharing music that I think some of you might really enjoy, which is why I’m bringing this here. You can watch the video below (courtesy of Prog).

Categories: Horror News

[E3 2014] ‘Dying Light’ Isn’t About Zombies, It’s About Movement

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:51

Since its reveal last June, Techland’s open-world zombie survival game Dying Light has often been compared to the developer’s previous game, Dead Island. The comparison is an easy one to make, seeing as they each share very similar themes — a post-apocalyptic setting, big open-world, weapon crafting, zombies, etc. — but that’s not how Techland sees it.

Destructoid had the chance to briefly chat with Dying Light producer Tymon Smektala about their next game. According to Smektala, Dying Light is less about the ravenous undead and more about movement. This is a reference to the game’s freerunning system, which is arguably the feature that most sets it apart from Techland’s previous work.

Techland has nothing to do with the Dead Island sequel that was announced on Monday. This was purposeful, as the game the studio wanted to make wasn’t the right fit for the series.

Categories: Horror News

[E3 2014] 10 Minutes of ‘Mortal Kombat X’ Gameplay

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 17:28

Sick of Mortal Kombat X news yet? No? Good, because I have another ten minutes of gameplay that comes courtesy of IGN, which recently had the chance to sat down with series creator Ed Boon for a live demo. The new footage shows off some of the possible interactivity between the fighters and the environments, as well as the fighter variations and their mildly brutal executions.

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