Swedish tech metal masters Meshuggah will be reissuing their 2004 one-track EP I via Nuclear Blast Records. The EP will feature three bonus tracks, “Bleed (live)”, “Dancers To A Discordant System (live)”, and a lesser known track “Pitch Black”.
A full explanation of the EP from drummer Tomas Haake can be read below.
Meshuggah will also be releasing The Ophidian Trek, a live concert DVD/Blu-Ray + 2-CD on September 30th. It can be pre-ordered here.
Drummer Tomas Haake elaborates on the release of I:
This 21 minute madness that is the song ‘I’ is something we’ve always been extremely proud of!! Originally recorded for Jason Popson’s Fractured Transmitter record label, this was a ‘one off’ that NB gave us the go ahead for – as we were under contract with them. Our plan was to just quickly write a little nugget of a song to help our friend Jason to kinda kickstart his label. It wasn’t quick, however. We ended up spending a couple months on this thing as it just kept evolving and kind of took on a life of its own.
This song is really different as it wasn’t ‘written’ in the normal sense, but recorded without anything more than very open guidelines/ideas as to what kind of style we wanted each part to have. For example: The initial 1½ minute drum fill is an excerpt of around a 15 minute recording of me just randomly going off on a kick/tom fill. Once we had chosen which part of it to use, we had to chart out the hits on paper and guitarists Fredrik [Thordendal] and Mårten [Hågström] then basically used sight-reading/Avista to get the hits right while recording.
And this is how we continued through the whole song/process.
We often get the question ‘When will you guys play ‘I’?’ – and though I’m sure it could be done with a lot of listening and hard work, it’s really too unstructured a track. It would take up too much time and effort to make sense.
We’re super stoked now to have this be re-released under the NB flag. Distribution and access to this little demon of a song was never quite what we had wished back when this was released, so we’re thrilled to see it be brought back to life!!
To further add value to this re-release, we added a couple live tracks and another weird little track ‘Pitch Black’ that some of our fans may have heard but probably not all, as it was only released in a limited number. Enjoy!
I track list:
1 – I
2 – Bleed (live)
3 – Dancers To A Discordant System (live)
4 – Pitch Black
Composer Kevin Riepl’s resume includes a wide variety of video games, movies, and television. His movie credits include last year’s highly-disturbing Contracted and 2012′s Silent Night. He’s composed music for the Gears of War series, Borderlands 2 and Twisted Metal: Black. Recently, he scored the Square Enix-published Nosgoth, and last week he sat down with Bloody-Disgusting to talk about working with ABCs of Death contributing director Kaare Andrews on Cabin Fever: Patient Zero and crafting the folk soundscape for the game Ascend: Hand of Kul, from Signal Studios.
BD: How did you come to be involved with Cabin Fever: Patient Zero?
I had previously worked with the director, Kaare Andrews, on his contribution to The ABCs of Death anthology, “V is for Vagitus”. I loved his ability to craft a story in such a short format and have it look as good as it did with a very limited budget. So when he was asked to helm Cabin Fever: Patient Zero I expressed my interest early on. Kaare asked me to submit a pitch reel to get the producers on board and once they were, we were ready to move forward.
BD: What was your experience like working with Kaare Andrews again?
Kaare is a great director to work with. He is very passionate about creating, whether it is art, comics, visuals, directing, props, special effects, he loves it all and is always 100% committed. On top of all that, he has a great sense of storytelling. Not only do I love working with people like Kaare, I love just knowing and being around creative people like him. He is a very collaborative director. With Cabin Fever: Patient Zero he allowed me the freedom to explore interesting ways to create the score. He loves music and was into every part of the process, not in a micro-managing sort of way but in how to make sure we both were on the same page and the music was the best it could be to help support the story.
BD: ‘V is for Vagitus’ is one of the standout segments on The ABCs of Death. Did you see the cut of that short before or after you composed the score, or how did that come together?
Yes, I saw the cut prior to working on it and the cut after it was all completed. When I first saw the storyboards I actually thought to myself, “How the hell is he going to pull this off with little to no budget and an extremely limited amount of time?” Once the edit was locked, it was sent to me to score. Of course it had limited visual fx, color correction, sound design etc. When I saw the final cut, I was pretty damn impressed at how awesome it all looked, especially the robot which Kaare built himself in his basement. I loved that he did that. There’s a segment Kaare posted on Vimeo that shows how he did it. It’s pretty awesome. Kaare put a lot of time and effort into this short and it made me think, this is the type of director I want to work with.
BD: In what way was working on Patient Zero different from V is for Vagitus?
‘V is for Vagitus’ was a quick post-production schedule, so things needed to be turned around rather fast. Patient Zero had a considerably more relaxed schedule. Both were approached with an equal amount of effort and passion. Patient Zero allowed Kaare and I to have a collaborative process during the creation of the score.
BD: The score for the Microsoft game Ascend has a much more ethereal, chant-based aesthetic than some of your previous work. Where did you draw inspiration for creating a horror / fantasy soundtrack?
During the early stages of development there was talk of having the Ascend music be very Nordic in nature, whether it be of the Viking nature or old Nordic folk music. Months prior to signing on to Ascend I had discovered the band Wardruna, who I fell in love with upon first listening. I sent one of their albums to Kristofor Mellroth, the audio director on the game and he loved the direction. It went right along with his vision of wanting the score to have a sound in the vein of Valhalla Rising. With those two reference points and researching old Nordic folk music, the Ascend score took shape.
BD: Video games need way more music than movies. How do you approach the huge gap between the two? How does the difference force you to think differently about the material?
I don’t think I approach either of them differently. In fact, for me, the process is very similar, the only difference really being the amount of pieces needed to be written. That being said, at the start I love to create a spreadsheet of all the music that is needed, whether it’s an asset sheet for games or a spotting cue sheet for film. This gives me a visual for the amount of music I need to write, a checklist of sorts to help keep me on schedule.
BD: How do you prefer to write music for movies? Do you need to see a final cut, or can you work from the feel the filmmakers describe?
I always like working with as close as I can get to the final cut. There will always be edits that happen after I get the reels of the film. But I find it best to work with the closest thing to the director’s vision. Sometimes early in the process before the film is edited, I create ideas and possibly some themes based off the filmmaker’s vision and whatever scenes they may have available in the early stages of post-production.
BD: Do you play the games you score? If so, what are some moments that make you proudest as a composer?
I always try to allot some time to play the games I’ve scored. I’m always eager to see how it all came together. A lot of creative people put in many hours of hard work so it’s nice to see the final product and how it all paid off.
BD: What are some of your favorite games, horror or otherwise, from the last few years?
That is a tough one because there are so many. Some of the games I’ve enjoyed the most have been the Batman: Arkham games, the Uncharted series, The Last of Us and presently I am really enjoying Puppeteer.
BD: What projects do you have coming up?
I am currently working on an unannounced game. I just finished up the action thriller film The Night Crew directed by Christian Sesma, and also in the midst of writing a score for the thriller Beacon Point.
Cabin Fever: Patient Zero can be watched via VOD and limited theatrical release, and Ascend: Hand of Kul is a Free-To-Play game available on Steam and other platforms for Windows. Check out Kevin Riepl’s other works on his web site, KevilRiepl.com.
Samples of the Cabin Fever: Patient Zero soundtrack can be found at the Sumthing Else Music Works SoundCloud page, and work from Ascend: Hand of Kul is available on Kevin Riepl’s own SoundCloud stream.
Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with Toronto, ON industrial rockers The Rabid Whole to bring you the exclusive premiere of their track “Don’t Stop Now”, which comes from their upcoming album Problems. The album was mixed by Dave ‘Rave’ Ogilvie (Jakalope, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson).
Vocalist Andreas Weiss states:
After a year of all kinds of monumental bullshit, we’re finally ready to release the aptly titled, ‘Problems’. We’ve gone to musical places where we haven’t gone before and can’t wait for our fans to hear it. I feel this is some of our strongest/deepest material to date. We’ve got an exciting few months coming up touring North America and will be rockin’ a city near you.
The Rabid Whole will be supporting Cyanotic on a N. American tour this Fall with direct support coming from Wasteful.
Head below to stream the track!
If you’re wondering when you’ll see Donkey Punch director Oliver Blackburn and the Weinstein Company’s slasher Kristy, you may not have to to wait much longer. Those with all region DVD or Blu-ray players can already pick it up on Amazon Germany. Otherwise, knowing TWC-Dimension, it could be a long wait (see Livide, still not released).
Since it’s already out in Germany, it was easy for us to dig around for some officially imagery – the first we’ve ever shown! Check out a ton of stills below, as well as the German red-band trailer.
Formerly titled Random and Satanic, the film stars Haley Bennett, Ashley Greene, Erica Ash, Chris Coy and Lucas Till in an homage to 90′s slashers.
“With the rest of the campus home for the Thanksgiving holiday, Justine and a few of her friends spend the weekend in their college dormitory: studying, relaxing and blissfully unaware of the terror that is about to unfold outside in the cold. Suddenly, confronted by a gang of violent outcasts, Justine’s quiet long weekend becomes one long lesson in survival as her and her classmates are terrorized in increasingly bizarre and brutal ways, leaving it up to her to figure out who her attackers are…and if they can be stopped. “
“Runaways” shows that The Strain has finally found its legs. The chemistry between the Ephraim and Abraham results in some fantastic exposition about the nature of this new type of evil, and even results in a couple of great laughs. I just never want their Van Helsing excellent adventure to end.
Sadly it comes to a close far too quickly but that’s not before showcasing some of the best imagery the series has offered up thus far. The two of these men sharing breakfast was sweet and a little strange. I get your tired after all of that Highlander head lopping, but you’ve just killed some “people” and you’re just chilling in their house cooking their eggs? I digress, the scene was fun and added a lot of history to these vampires, thanks to Abraham’s empowered monologue, reminding us to check everything we know about vampires at the door.
I don’t know if it’s because I carry Dario Argento in my heart with me everywhere, or if the show’s cinematography is really that good, but I couldn’t help but seen a nod to his films in Bolivar’s cold open. The lighting was exceptional, and the actor behind Bolivar makes for a really great vampire.
The only survivor still really kicking is the lawyer, and it shows that the virus can really take hold at incredibly different rates. Her scenes were designed to be the perfect representation of what Abraham said at the beginning of the episode. I love the small moments with her staring at the neck of her son, and smelling her children as they go out the door. I do wish she dug into their necks though, if only to rid us of their atrocious child acting.
The flashbacks to Abraham’s past at first felt a little disjointed. The main weakness of the series thus far is its inability to feel truly rooted in anyone’s story from week to week. It never feels tightly plotted, and that was even more clear this week as the flashbacks hardly felt like they related to the present other than the occasional line of dialogue that allows David Bradley to wink at the viewer. That said, holy fuck The Master moves like a badass. I couldn’t take my eyes of the screen as he moves through the bunks, feeding on the weak and snapping their necks. It begs the question as to why the Nazi’s are harboring The Master, and I’m sure we’ll learn more thanks to that bastard Herr Eichorst kicking around in full Nazi garb.
Let’s talk about Ansel’s wife hanging from the ceiling. Definite Argento vibes there with the pattern on the window contrasted against the lime green walls. It was such a treat. The footage of Ansel’s demise in the barn was pretty great, and I saw Eph’s damnation from it before he even opened that barn door.
I keep saying it each week, but I’ll say it again, Vasily is a fucking badass. He’s the only one close to the truth of what’s going on, and his scene in the sewer tonight was nothing short of the scariest this show has churned out. I love how the vampires move around him, the shot of the black pupils against the flashlight gave me chills, and his narrow escape shows more excitement in the future for this lowly rat exterminator.
The last scene functioned as a slow introduction into the most heightened point of frenzy for the story. I know they could have handled it better but I loved Corey Stoll’s performance as he delivered his impassioned speech about the nature of the virus. Even still it’s a great device to raise the stakes of the show to a near volcanic level and give Jim a much needed redemption.
- Sweet leather daddy fixer in Bolivar’s loft was too cool for school, glad he died rather quickly but I could see it a mile away.
- The stinger was on full display this week.
- Loving how the virus brings the infected back to what they love the most. By far my favorite element of this new take on the old beast.
- Nora was better this week, her scenes had some emotional weight and depth that she so sorely lacked in previous weeks.
Next week is the occulation, expect full scale insanity in the streets of Manhattan.
With Mortal Kombat X, developer Netherrealm Studios is looking to build on the phenomenal success of the last game, which successfully rebooted one of gaming’s most iconic franchises. It’s not due until 2015, but that hasn’t kept them from showing off the game and its impressive roster of fighters. The latest fighter to step into the spotlight is Raiden, a character that’s been a part of the Mortal Kombat series since the very beginning.
In Mortal Kombat X, every fighter comes with three different variations so you can choose one that best fits your play style and master it. For Raiden, the three options are Displacer, Thunder God, and Storm Lord/Master of Storms (the trailer and screens say two different things, maybe they haven’t decided). You can get familiar with them all in the video below.
Mortal Kombat X is slated to release on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2015.
Right now, as you’re reading this, Sony is busy working on bringing developer Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic hit The Last of Us to the big screen. As a huge fan of the game, I have high hopes that this could very well be the first good video game adaptation. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed the Resident Evil and Silent Hill films to varying degrees, but even I can recognize they’re not particularly “good” movies.
I have hope because I know that Sony wants this film to be successful as much as the fans do. After a massively successful start, The Last of Us is poised to become a huge new franchise for them that spans games, films, and everything in-between.
At Comic-Con last month, it was revealed that Maisie Williams, known by geeks around the world as Game of Thrones’ Arya Stark, is in talks to play Ellie. Williams is the best option, in my humble opinion, outside of their going back in time to abduct a 14 year-old Ashley Johnson. The film is a collaborative effort with Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Evil Dead – but you already knew that), proving again that this is something they’re taking seriously.
Because turning a 15 hour game into a 2 hour movie is no easy task, writer and creative director Neil Druckmann has revealed that the film will differ substantially from its source material. “In two hours you can’t tell the same kind of story that you can in a game like The Last of Us, which is 15 hours,” Druckmann told MCV. “I’m in the middle of it now, and it’s been super difficult because there’s so much that happens in The Last of Us – even just in the cinematics – that can’t fit in a film, let alone all the gameplay in-between and dialogue.”
Their interactive nature means games can meander a bit, because the audience is always actively engaged, but a film has to be more focused. So to remedy this, Druckmann needed to find the most important aspect of its story — the relationship between Joel and Ellie — and focus on that.
“It’s been really difficult to cut certain things out, but what I’m starting to get this is really focused narrative that’s about these two characters. Some parts will be similar to the game and some parts will be quite different, but it’s kind of interesting in helping me understand this other medium and its strengths compared to video games.”
I’m glad it won’t be a copy/paste of the game, because I’ve played it. I want a new experience, and it sounds like that’s exactly what Druckmann and company are looking to accomplish with this.
Last July, I wrote about an indie zombie survival game called 7 Days to Die. Now here we are a year later and there’s been nary a post about it since. That’s my fault, as I had plans to preview it on our YouTube channel, but I never got around to it. In an effort to escape the boredom that usually comes during the void of new game releases that is August, I finally gave in and bought 7 Days to Die. A week later, and I’ve spent nearly 30 hours in it.
The time I’ve spent in this game comes alarmingly close to becoming a full-time job, and it’s all because of how ridiculously addictive it is.
The concept is simple. Just combine the harsh survival conditions of Rust and DayZ — also, unfortunately, bringing with it the asshole players that tend to populate those kinds of games — with the zombie hordes, resource gathering and deep crafting system of Minecraft. Zombies are an ever-present threat, but it’s your fellow players, the folks who make it their singular goal to ruin every other player’s good time, who you usually have to worry about. That changes when the sun sets, because that’s when the hordes randomly appear and the undead, who during the day are limited to shambling, are gifted with the ability to run.
The crafting is very similar to Minecraft, only you don’t have to learn recipes because they can all be found in-game. That’s great for people like me who have terrible memories or just don’t want to spend an inordinate amount of time learning how everything is made.
So if you happen to be in the market for something fun and new to play, I highly recommend you check out 7 Days to Die. It’s in Steam Early Access right now, so it’s unfinished, but they’re doing a fine job providing regular updates that consist of bug fixes and new content and features. If you have $24.99 and don’t mind adding a crazy addictive game to your games library, you can grab 7 Days to Die on Steam.
Indie developer Killmonday Games, a husband and wife team based in Sweden, have released a behind-the-scenes video that shows off how they’re going about creating the music and sounds for their upcoming psychological horror game Fran Bow. I’ve always been fascinated with foley work, because it’s an incredibly important aspect of filmmaking and video game development that goes largely underappreciated. If it’s not done right, it can ruin the immersion, and for horror games in particular, immersion is a key component in how effective they are.
For more Fran Bow, I recommend you check out Tyler’s interview, because it’s a great read that offers a bit more detail on what Killmonday is looking to accomplish with the game. If you prefer something a bit more visual, you can watch me playan early version of the game’s demo.
I’ll be honest with you. I don’t get the sports. The football sports, the soccer sports — I don’t understand the appeal of any of it. About a month ago I found out there’s a position in football called a tight end, and I’m still getting over it. I’ll be writing up a post about The Last of Us when it’ll suddenly hit me. I’ll have a good laugh as I think about all those manly men, men’s men, who are hootin’ and hollerin’ as someone who has ‘tight end’ on their resume attempts a 360 degree snapshot barrel roll. Or whatever.
All that is a long-winded way of my saying that despite its dumb name, #killallzombies — that’s right, if you disliked numbers replacing letters in some titles (F3AR, Se7en), hashtags may be the next annoying trend coming our way — shows a world where mowing down the undead hordes is a sport. Like, one they telecast and everything. Finally, a sport I can get behind.
The coolest thing about this game comes when it’s being live-streamed. On Twitch, viewers will be able to vote on in-game events that can spawn more hordes or trigger arena events. They can also enter chat commands that affect gameplay in various ways, like temporarily reversing the game controls, making this a true spectator sport.
No word on a release date, but when it does arrive, #killallzombies will release exclusively on the PS4.
One of the more intriguing features The Last of Us Remastered brought with it when it arrived on PS4 last month was a new Photo Mode. With the press of the button, the world Naughty Dog created is frozen, giving players all the time they need to frame the perfect shot. YouTuber Grant Voegtle has used this nifty feature to create a beautiful new trailer for the game that, through still images and a haunting track from the game’s OST, manages to be more effective than most trailers we get today.
Something we can all agree on is that horror movies tend to fall on familiar tropes to move the story along. Sometimes those tropes are done in unique, interesting ways, so much so that we don’t even realize that it’s a trope we’re viewing.
But sometimes those tropes are so blatantly obvious that we can’t help but groan and facepalm. These clichés stick out like a sore thumb and drive me insane, almost to the point that I want to turn off a movie when it happens.
So I put together a few of my most hated clichés for you to check out below. Then, if you’re up for it, put together a few of your own in the comments! Let’s hear what drives you batty when it shows up!
No Cell Phone Signal (Or Other Issues)
Sorry, I’m just not buying this one anymore. If you were in the middle of the desert, a lá The Hills Have Eyes remake, I’d be okay with it. But when you’re at a motel or a cottage or a camp, I’d expect there to be service. In fact, I’d almost guarantee that it’d be there.
Sometimes a Tumblr comes around that really nails an idea, even if that idea is completely and utterly insane (see Metal Albums With Googly Eyes). Such is the case with Slug Solos, a Tumblr dedicated to taking guitarists in the midst of their solo and replacing their guitar with a giant slug. I honestly can’t tell you why it works so well but it just does. Seriously, look at some of those photos below and then tell me that you’re not entertained.
These are the kinds of things I wish Lego would release a box of. If they had these sets when I was a kid now, I’d be playing with them pretty much all the time.
Artist Mike Doyle is a guy who doesn’t mind spending countless hours upon hours in his endeavor to create amazing art using only Legos. And one of his projects was to create abandoned houses using only white, gray, and black blocks, ending up with creations that look like they’re haunted, infested with the most terrifying apparitions imaginable.
But what’s most impressive about these sets is just how detailed they are. Considering their massive size (some are measured in feet, not inches), you really begin to lose sight of the fact that they’re created with Legos and, instead, think that they are made of something else entirely. It’s seriously impressive.
Check out the small gallery below and then go to Mike’s website to see more incredible builds.
Article by Bloody-Ian
While the celebrity guests take up much of the attention at Flashback Weekend, what would it be without the tireless toils of the vendors’ room? A big empty room. If it’s horror you can get it here; from horror-themed ties, to guitar pick earrings, to vintage horror comics, to original horror art.
Often unnoticed is the effort these vendors go through to make a living off these events. It’s blood, sweet, and rolling carts that transform these drab folding tables into a mobile store front usually no more than eight feet by four. It’s all about getting the fan to stop and look be it huge posters, videos playing, racks with their most collectable items, or just good old fashion sex appeal.
Larry of the MOJO RESIN table has a wide array of classic magazines stacked in front of model kits. His passion for model kits started when he was stationed in Japan and over the decades he has gone to countless conventions. While several comic-cons have become multi-media spectaculars, “…horror conventions have remained grass-roots.” He comes year after year, because he enjoys meeting with people and the celebrity’s are still approachable.
Next to his table is VOODOO COMICS table run by Jim and Griff (pictured above). Box after box of just horror comics overflow their table as they preside over the collection like demented genies granting any request they can.
Jim shared that the vendors (fans, themselves) often barter with each other; be it simply trading collectibles, to logo designs and graphics printing. They are a community within a community, spending their days in the hustling Dealer’s Room and their nights hanging out in somebody’s hotel room. Each event is like a convention within a convention for the vendors. They catch-up, share information, and just have a lot of fun…all while trying to pay the bills.
New this year is a slightly smaller table full of tiny delights. It’s BENT METAL CRAFTWORKS run by John and the artist Stacey. Glittering in the florescent lights is a wide variety of jewelry, row after row of guitar pick earrings featuring Freddy, Jason, and KISS.
Stacey’s (the artist) has been growing Bent Metal online for 5 years but just recently realized how big Chicago’s appetite was for horror. She’s very pleased the convention-goers and the Flashback Staff and expects to do more conventions.
It’s thanks to the efforts of these fans, craftsmen, and artists that a typical hotel ballroom is transformed into this dark caravan of macabre delights.
There’s a handful of developers who are using virtual reality in some really cool ways right now. One example is a game called Don’t Let Go, which conjures most of the major phobias from spiders to a fear of the dark — no clowns! — and throws them at you in an attempt to get you to let go of the Control buttons on the keyboard. If virtual reality is a part of the exciting future of horror, I feel like The Corridor: On Behalf Of The Dead is one of a growing list of reasons to be excited about that.
The premise behind this game is fantastic, as it puts you in the mind of a suspected murderer. That alone has my full attention, as my imagination immediately starts racing, wondering what the mind of a killer is like. Your goal is to use an experimental program called the The Corridor to find out the truth. I imagine it won’t be as easy as it sounds.
The developer is currently seeking £37,500 on Kickstarter, and with just 23 days to go, they’re still woefully short of that goal. Get familiar with it in the video below.
If I had an Oculus Rift, I’d be all over this. It’s games like this that get me very excited for the possibilities that virtual reality offer developers, and particularly those who are working on horror games. For more on The Corridor, feel free to follow it on Steam Greenlight.
In less than two weeks, the armies of hell will march their way to consoles with the release of the Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition, the ultimate iteration of Blizzard’s dungeon crawler series. Just last month, Blizzard revealed they were unsure as to whether or not Diablo III on consoles would see any support post-release. They seem to have made up their minds now, as it’s been confirmed that everything the PC version gets will come to consoles, albeit with a slight delay.
This is great news. I own the game for PC and Xbox 360 already and I plan on grabbing the Ultimate Evil Edition when it comes to Xbox One later this month, because I’m a massive Diablo nerd who spends way too much time scouring dungeons for their sweet, sweet loot.
I was a bit confused when Blizzard said they weren’t sure if they’d support the console versions, not just because it makes no sense to not support every platform, but also because that was an extraordinarily odd thing to say a month before the release of the game you’re saying you might not support. Now that that’s been cleared up, I can look forward to returning to the game for the third time, because there are demons that need slaying and my level 60-something Monk is the right woman for the job.
Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition arrives on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 19.
Guardians of the Galaxy is way better than people are giving it credit for, and it’s starting to wear my patience thin.
Thin is one of the major issues Guardians has, if any, and people on my personal Twitter feed are blasting it for being a touch trite, and also being incredible similir to Star Wars (from the characters to the arc). The fact of the matter is, Star Wars isn’t original, either. In fact, the work of the mythologist Joseph Campbell, especially his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” directly influenced Lucas, and was what drove him to create the ‘modern myth’ of Star Wars. (Wiki)
This isn’t a problem for me, mostly because a film’s structure being similar to another isn’t a strike against it. These days, nearly every film is pitched as “so and so meets so and so.” It’s wholly impossible to be 100% original; everyone’s a poser (sorry, kids).
Now that you understand Guardians IS thin on story, and carried many similar themes and structires to Star Wars, it’s time to get over it. What’s most important to me, an extremely harsh critic (in other people’s eyes, at least), is that I’m entertained. There’s nothing worse in entertainment than feeling like you have to skip a song, or fast forward a movie. If a theater starts lighting up with cellphones, that’s a sign that the filmmakers are losing their audience. Personlly, when I’m bored, I start thinking about how badly I want to start tweeting about it. The second I think about my phone, I’ve been lost, at least until something interesting pulls me back in.
Guardians is one of the best – if not THE best – superhero movie in the past decade. It’s impossible to measure it against films like Tim Burton’s Batman or Blade because that was a different time that had an extremely different kind of storytelling. Now, we expect something grand, exceptional, and me personally, I want my films grounded in reality. Even fantasy flicks should have some sort of anchor in the real world to tell our mind, “hey, this is on Earth, and it’s happening for real!”
James Gunn, who wrote the final draft of Guardians, and directed the Marvel Comics adaptation, brilliantly opens with Star Lord’s (Chris Pratt) origins. It’s a tearjerker moment that easily broke the record for how quickly it had the audience weeping. When Star Lord’s mother dies of cancer, its a heartwarming/crushing moment that the entire audience can relate to; everyone has lost something/someone imprtant to them. This entire prelude takes place on Earh, clearly, until he’s abducted by aliens. Now, when Gunn heads to space, the film is already grounded in reality, and our brains can move forward subconciously thinking, “hey, Star Lord is human. Cool.” It’s the kind of thing you wish took place in Star Wars, especially considering how many human-like Lucas’ characters are…this is one of the major issues with modern Star Wars sequels, not to mention the awful, bloated visual effects work.
On a technical level, Guardians avoids this by not allowing the visual art department to overdo it; there’s serious restraint shown. The alien worlds have a human-like structure to them, adding to our believalilty to the situation. And the fact that Gunn took the time to populate these different set pierces with extras is what truly adds to the realism (see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow for an example of poor polulation in an CGI environment). Even the character’s costume design – which better be nominated for an Oscar or I’m coming for someone’s head – was far superior to any film of its ilk. Suprisingly, a movie about an intergalactiv battle, didnt look cheesy. Probably for the firt time since Star Wars.
All of this works together to make Guardians a technically sound movie, but it’s not what makes it tick. Gunn has put his mark on the film, injecting it with strategically placed humor and payoffs. He clearly understands what an audience want from a movie – escapism. I’m so sick of all of these movies, spawned by the success of Batman Begins, that take themselves too seriously. There’s a bit of 90′s in Guardians, which isn’t all worked up about the science of space, and more focused on how it’s going to make you smile (whether it’s from Rocket Racoon adjusting his crotch or a dancing baby Groot). The soundtrack is the most import device in Guardians as it’s a constant callback to Earth, a cue to our brains to accept this realism, and also an instant mental ejeculation of endorphins.
There’s never a dull moment in Guardians, a masterpiece, yes, a mother-fucking masterpiece of sci-fi/comic cinema. From the moment Star Lord is introduced to the hilarious and uplifting end credit sequence, the audience will be continually engaged with a fury of action-packed fun that, by the final crawl, should have you emotionally locked in to these characters for life. If most films are about entertainment – at least that’s why I go to the theater – Guardians of the Galaxy is cinematic nirvana.
Nope, you read that headline correctly — because the world is a strange and wonderful place, someone has gone and made the original Doom playable in an ATM. If you’re wondering why someone would do such a thing, especially since it looks incredibly frustrating just to control the thing, the answer is simple: because no one else had.
Another possibility is that they were looking for a project that would keep them busy while we wait for Bethesda to show off the next Doom. But if that’s the case they may want to be a bit more ambitious with their next project, because we won’t be hearing from that game for some time.
Article by Bloody-Ian
Flashback Weekend 2014 kicked off in Rosemont, IL…and it did not disappoint.
At check-in, the line stretched through the hotel; a motley parade of all types came out. Metal shirts were standing next to polo shirts, next to others in that all too distinct red and green stripped shirt. Young and the ‘young at heart’ all congregated here in this Chicago suburb to pay homage to icons of horror such as Lance Henriksen, Angus Scrimm, and Caroline Williams. However, there was one name hanging in every conversation; like the halls of Springwood High, everyone was talking about Freddy Krueger.
As the first photo-op got underway (see some samples below, courtesy of Ryan Looney) the crowds were anxious for Freddy. Something magical happens in the makeup when one goes from unassuming Robert Englund to the icon of Horror Cinema, FREDDY.
While Englund works the photo-room for hours in make-up (created by Robert Kurtzman), every photo comes into the hands of a delighted fan and, if for a moment, they forget all the concerns of everyday life. The table where they pick-up the souvenirs has the air of Christmas morning, and of course, Freddy’s there.
It’s important to note that this is NOT a Freddy Convention. Fans of all horror can come and see artists work celebrating everyone from Bela Lugosi to foreign horror of today to independents.
Truly, in the winding neutral walls of this Crown Plaza there is something for every horror fan.
And just when you think it’s dying down, Svengoolie (Chicago’s own horror icon) walks by swinging a rubber chicken…
The opening night capped off with Charles Brand’s “FULL MOON’S 2014 SHOCK-O-RAMA ROADSHOW.” it was a fun time with a lot of audience participation, stories, and several trailers. He shared stories about working with some major actors, distributing GHOULIES and (my personal favorite quote) “Someone stole the Boner-Meter.” It’s truly a show worth staying till the end for.
More coverage tomorrow.
FLASHBACK WEEKEND runs through Sun, Aug 10th.