[Exclusive Comic Preview] “Bodies” #5 From Vertigo Comics

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:34

Si Spencers’ “Bodies” has been one of my favorite reading experiences of 2014. It’s daringly unique, and startlingly different. It’s something that commands your attention and features a painful mystery. How does the same body end up in multiple different timelines? And what is the mysterious marking found on it?

Such is the compelling mystery of Bodies. Featuring a collection of stellar art by a creative team that any one of them would make for a must read book.

U.S. Price: $3.99 ON SALE 11/26

While Whiteman is summoned to the high court, Edmond is busted out of jail, which leads each to very different near-fatal encounters. Shahara has lost the most important part of her case while Maplewood comes face to face with hers. The killers are approaching…and the wind begins to howl.

Art by: Tula Lotay, Meghan Hetrick, Phil Winslade, Dean Ormston
Cover by: Brian Bolland
Written by: Si Spencer

Categories: Horror News

Wanna See Arnold Schwarzenegger In ‘Terminator: Genisys’?

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:33

A German tour group, who recently got the chance to walk around the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood, CA., came across a photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his T-800 make-up in the forthcoming Terminator: Genisys.

Those paying attention to story rumors (spoilers), this looks to be the Schwarzenegger from Terminator 2: Judgement Day, although there’s also supposed to be an “elder” version of Arnold. It’s been reported that the new film – starring Emilia Clarke (as Sarah Conner), Jai Courtney (as Kyle Reese) and Jason Clarke (as John Conner) – will go back parallel to the previous Terminator films.

Alan Taylor shot the film in New Orleans.

@TheArnoldFans @TerminatorFans German tour group at Paramount found #TerminatorGenisys pic http://t.co/ivXYYiWe2Z pic.twitter.com/iYu9WdL8PT

— cClinkenbeard (@sicky_south) November 19, 2014

Categories: Horror News

Lucio Fulci’s ‘The Beyond’ Gets Blu-ray Treatment

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:18

The seven dreaded gateways to hell are concealed in seven cursed places…

And on the day the gates of hell are opened, the dead will walk the earth!

Grindhouse Releasing announced the full specs for Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond Blu-ray, in stores February 10, 2015 and now available for pre-order exclusively at Diabolik DVD.

The Beyond arrives in a lavish 3-disc set with GLOW-IN-THE-DARK artwork housing two Blu-ray discs and a bonus CD of the classic Fabio Frizzi soundtrack, remastered from the original studio tapes. The release is packed with new bonus features, all listed below.

From legendary Italian horror master Lucio Fulci comes the ultimate classic of supernatural terror. A cursed hotel, built over one of the seven gateways to hell, becomes a malevolent abyss that begins devouring both the bodies and the souls of all who enter in a graphic frenzy of gory crucifixions, brutal chain-whippings, eyeball impalements, sulphuric acid meltdowns, flesh-eating tarantulas, throat-shredding demon dogs and ravenous bloodthirsty zombies. The Beyond is a towering achievement in hair-raising, mind-bending cinematic terror!


– Spectacular hi-definition digital transfer of the original UNCENSORED director’s cut

– Breathtaking 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound re-mix by Academy Award winner Paul Ottoman

– Provocative commentary by stars Catriona MacColl and genre superstar David Warbeck

– Optional Italian language soundtrack and original mono mix

– New in-depth interviews with stars Catriona MacColl, Cinzia Monreale and Giovanni De Nava, U.S. production manager Larry Ray, make-up artists Giannetto DeRossi and Maurizio Trani, cinematographer Sergio Salvati, writer Dardano Sacchetti, producer Fabrizio De Angelis, composer Fabio Frizzi, original U.S. distributor Terry Levene, and Antonella Fulci

– Rare archival interviews with director Lucio Fulci and David Warbeck

– Lost German pre-credit sequence in FULL COLOR

– Liner notes by legendary horror journalist Chas. Balun and EuroHorror expert Martin Beine

– Extensive still galleries and theatrical trailers

– BONUS CD – original soundtrack album by Fabio Frizzi newly remastered in stunning 96khz sound from the original studio master tapes


Categories: Horror News

‘Predestination’ Trailer Hopes to Save the Future

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:00

Written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig (Undead, Daybreakers) and based on the short story “All You Zombies” by the late Robert A. Heinlein, Predestination is said to be an ingeniously constructed puzzle-box, as emotional as it is thrilling.

After making the festival rounds this year, Stage 6 recently announced a January 9, 2015 theatrical run for Predestination, which stars Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook and Noah Taylor.

“Predestination chronicles the life of a Temporal Agent (Ethan Hawke) sent on an intricate series of time-travel journeys designed to prevent future killers from committing their crimes. Now, on his final assignment, the Agent must stop the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time and prevent a devastating attack in which thousands of lives will be lost.

Check out the brand new theatrical trailer below.

Categories: Horror News

Ho99o9 “Da Blue Nigga From Hell Boy” Video Premiere (Exclusive)

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:00

Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with rappers Ho99o9 (pronounced “horror”) to bring you the exclusive music video premiere for “Da Blue Nigga From Hell Boy”, which comes from the group’s EP Mutant Freax.

The video, which is absolutely NSFW (due to violence, gore, and sexuality), shows two preachers walking through a small desert town, intent on performing the Lord’s work. They then see a woman collapse onto the ground and rush over to help. Turns out she was completely faking and what happens next is a story of mental destruction and manipulation.

Ho99o9 states:

Head over heels, eat your heart out, horror love story, potential DP went wrong, da blue nigga from hell boy snorting ketamine off the Devil’s dick.

Also, and this might just be me, but the backbeat reminds me a little bit of Portishead‘s “Biscuit”. Give it a listen and tell me if I’m just hearing things.

You can listen to the full EP via Soundcloud.

Ho99o9 online:

Tour dates:
11/28 – Newark, NJ
11/30 – Brooklyn, NY – The Flat
12-4 – Miami, FL – Art Basel

Categories: Horror News

Win a Copy of Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead on Blu-ray

Dread Central - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:00

WellGo USA is releasing Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (review) on DVD and Blu-ray, and right now we have your chance to score a copy on us! That’s right! Free! How could you do any better than that?

To enter for your chance to win, just send us an email at contests@dreadcentral.com including your FULL NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS. We’ll take care of the rest.

This contest will end on December 8, 2014, at 12:01 AM PT.

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead Release Details
Dubbed “Bigger, brasher, bloodier” by Film Threat’s Brian Tallerico, DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS DEAD debuts on DVD and in a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray December 9 from Well Go USA Entertainment. The sequel to the cult horror comedy from director Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) stars Vegar Hoel (Dead Snow, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters), Martin Starr (Knocked Up, Superbad), Jocelyn DeBoer (Stuck Like Chuck), and Ingrid Haas (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World).

Picking up immediately where the original left off, the film wastes no time getting right to the gore-filled action, leaving a bloody trail of intestines in its wake. Wirkola comes up with more inventive ways to maim and dismember than anyone ever thought possible. Combining wry humor with horrific worst-case scenarios, this follow-up to the 2009 Midnight classic shocked the weak-of-heart and delighted even the most hard-core fans of the horror genre when it made its debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

The DVD and the Blu-ray Collector’s Edition both feature audio commentary with the director and writer, a VFX featurette, and Dead Snow comic book; while the Collector’s Edition exclusively features the international version of the film and the short film ARMEN.

DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS DEAD has a runtime of approximately 101 minutes and is rated “R” for strong bloody horror violence and gore throughout and language, including some sexual references.

Martin (Vegar Hoel) hasn’t had the best vacation. He accidentally killed his girlfriend with an axe. He cut his own arm off with a chainsaw. And his friends STILL got devoured by a battalion of Nazi Zombies. This morning, he woke up in a hospital bed with a new arm – but it’s a super-powered Zombie arm that wants to kill him, and anything else it can reach. Martin’s PISSED. And with the help of his new Zombie Squad pals (Martin Starr, Jocelyn DeBoer, Ingrid Haas), he’s gonna deliver some payback to Colonel Herzog and his precious Nazi gold – by raising an undead army of his own.

The post Win a Copy of Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead on Blu-ray appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

See Patrick Stewart As a Skinhead In ‘Green Room’

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:56

Broad Green Pictures together with filmscience announced last month that Patrick Stewart has been added to the cast of Green Room, written by Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin, Murder Party), who will also direct.

We now have a first look at Patrick Stewart as Darcy Banker, the unflinching and industrial leader of a ferocious white supremacist fiefdom based in the Pacific Northwest.

Rounding out the cast is Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Callum Turner, Mark Webber, Kai Lennox, Eric Edelstein and Saulnier’s Blue Ruin star Macon Blair.

In the crime thriller Green Room, a young punk rock band find themselves trapped in a secluded venue after stumbling upon a horrific act of violence, fighting for their lives against a gang of white power skinheads intent on eliminating all witnesses.

Principal photography began in and around Portland, OR. this past October.

Categories: Horror News

[TV] First Look at “Penny Dreadful” Season 2

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:54

Showtime is giving viewers the first look photo from the highly anticipated second season of the network’s drama series, “Penny Dreadful” currently in production in Dublin, Ireland for a 2015 debut on the network.

John Logan, series creator and executive producer, says, “This season Vanessa (Eva Green) and Ethan (Josh Hartnett) face new challenges, and old enemies, and turn to each other for solace. Their intimacy grows as they are forced to confront their demons together.”

This season, Vanessa and Ethan form a deeper bond as the group, including Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), and Sembene (Danny Sapani), unite to banish the evil forces that threaten to destroy them. Meanwhile, Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), the Creature (Rory Kinnear) and Brona (Billie Piper) are all waging battles of their own. Patti LuPone will guest star as a mysterious character of great importance in Vanessa’s past. Helen McCrory returns as Evelyn Poole (a.k.a. Madame Kali), the seductive spiritualist who will pose a unique threat to our protagonists this season, along with Simon Russell Beale, who is back as eccentric Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle. Additional guest stars include Douglas Hodge as a Scotland Yard investigator; Sarah Greene as Poole’s powerful daughter, Hecate; and Johnny Beauchamp as a man with a singular past.

“Penny Dreadful” is a drama series created, written and executive produced by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan (Hugo, The Aviator, Gladiator) and executive produced by Logan’s Desert Wolf Productions, along with Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) and Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road, Call The Midwife), both of Neal Street Productions.

Categories: Horror News

That Time Ace Ventura Visited ‘Jurassic Park’!

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:45

One of the most hilarious scenes in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is when Ace gets stuck in a robotic rhino and is forced to disturbingly slip out of its rear-end.

YouTubers “What’s the Mashup?” has brilliantly inserted this scene into Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park – specifically when Doctor Grant first catches a glimpse of a dinosaur. It may just be the most perfect mash-up in years…

Categories: Horror News

NBC Halts “Constantine” Production…

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:40

Some interesting news comes in via Deadline who reports that NBC has halted production on the inaugural season of “Constantine,” based on the “Hellblazer” comic book.

The freshman season of NBC drama will consist of solely 13 episodes as the cast and crew of the series were informed on Friday that the series will halt production after completing production on the initial 13-episode order.

“Constantine” will remain in its 10 PM Friday time slot for the remainder of its run – and has yet to be canceled. In fact, the site reports that “Constantine” remains in contention for a second-season renewal.

NBC had to make a decision whether to keep “Constantine” in continuous production with little ratings information. While the series began production on a standard fall premiere production schedule, its launch was delayed until late October when NBC’s Friday genre block usually debuts, so the network had to make a call whether to order additional episodes after only four episodes had aired vs. at least seven, which is the norm for freshman series.

The negative to this story is that it’s unclear how the production stoppage with affect the season finale. Did they complete the story arc they had planned or will fans be left in the dark with a weak cliffhanger? The fact that it was originally a 13-episode order bodes well for the finale.

Categories: Horror News

New “Jekyll & Hyde” Series Fights Classic Monsters

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:33

UK’s ITV has commissioned a 10-part action adventure drama inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde,” says Deadline.

“Jekyll & Hyde” will focus on the young, attractive and troubled hero, Robert Jekyll, the grandson of the original doctor. Newly-qualified, Robert is on a quest to discover his real identity, his true family history and the nature of his ‘curse’ which is being controlled with medication by Dr Vishal Najaran. One actor will play the lead role, transforming into Hyde in moments of extreme anger and stress, and when his or the lives of others are threatened.

It is set in 1930s London at a time of Hollywood glamour, aerodynamic cars and monster movies. It’s also the second time in recent days that ITV has resurrected a classic monster: The network announced last week that Sean Bean is leading its six-part period crime drama “The Frankenstein Chronicles.”

CGI will play a “huge” part in the transformation and subsequent superhero sequences, adds the site. Certain recurring characters, including monsters, ghouls, zombies, werewolves, vampires and general freaks of nature, will also be created by CGI techniques in the ambitious ITV project.

The series, “Jekyll & Hyde,” hails from British actor and author Charlie Higson whose credits include “The Enemy” and the “Young Bond” series of books. He’ll write and executive produce.

Categories: Horror News

First Details on Myke Cole’s Gemini Cell: A Shadow Ops Novel

Dread Central - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:30

The first word on Gemini Cell, an upcoming novel from Myke Cole that’s being released by Ace early next year, landed in our inbox; and since it features an “undead” main character, it sounded like a perfect fit for our readers. Read on for the details!

Gemini Cell is the first novel in a new series that serves as a prequel to Myke Cole’s popular Shadow Ops series about an Earth where humanity develops magical powers. It promises to be action-packed, combining realistic modern warfare with magic.

Cole’s background (which includes three tours in Iraq and a career that has run the gamut from counterterrorism to cyber warfare to federal law enforcement) provides the perfect base for writing realistic military fantasy.

The book arrives January 27, 2015; check out its synopsis and artwork below.

US Navy SEAL Jim Schweitzer is a consummate professional, a fierce warrior, and a hard man to kill. But when he sees something he was never meant to see on a covert mission gone bad, he finds himself—and his family—in the crosshairs. Nothing means more to Jim than protecting his loved ones, but when the enemy brings the battle to his front door, he is overwhelmed and taken down.

That should be the end of the story. But Jim is raised from the dead by a sorcerer and recruited by a top secret unit dabbling in the occult, known only as the Gemini Cell. With powers he doesn’t understand, Jim is called back to duty—as the ultimate warrior. As he wrestles with a literal inner demon, Jim realizes his new superiors are determined to use him for their own ends and keep him in the dark—especially about the fates of his wife and son…

The post First Details on Myke Cole’s Gemini Cell: A Shadow Ops Novel appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

[TV] “The Strain” Casts NYC Mayor

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:25

Yahoo has some early casting news for the second season of FX’s “The Strain,” writing that “West Wing” alum Ron Canada landed the recurring role of the crisis-bungling NYC mayor.

In addition, the FX drama is looking to add a series regular in the form of David, an 11-year-old boy who, as the strain spreads, must make a very difficult decision regarding his parents.

After the weak final episodes, it’s going to take a lot to get me to stick with the Guillermo del Toro-created series.

When a freak virus kills all but four passengers on an airplane at JFK, Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), head of the Center for Disease Control’s “Canary Team,” is immediately called to the scene. With help from a mysterious Holocaust survivor (David Bradley), “Eph” and his colleague (Mía Maestro) uncover the outbreak’s ties to vampirism. Now, the only way to stop the terrifying disease from wiping out mankind is to face its source – a sinister supernatural creature known as “The Master” – whose evil intent seems more powerful than any other force on Earth!

Categories: Horror News

[Podcast] Whatever – November 24th, 2014 – “Trailer for a Trailer”

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:08

This week: Jurassic World teasers, Far Cry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Grand Theft Auto V: Next-Gen, and a movie called Septic Man, Anything less would be uncivilized.

As always, you can find us on iTunesSoundCloud, or YouTube.

Leave a comment below, head to our Facebook page, or hit us up on Twitter, and let us know your thoughts.

Categories: Horror News

5 Games That Will Ruin Your Thanksgiving Appetite

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:00

Thanksgiving is that special day of the year when America celebrates that time when our ancestors traded bigotry and racism for valuable, life-sustaining lessons in agriculture and medicine from the native americans before stealing their lands and murdering them.

We celebrate this horrific moment in history by eating, because ’Merica!

If gathering around a table with your family to explore the warm, tasty insides of the Birdception abomination that is the Turducken doesn’t sound all that appealing, I’ve come up with a way to eschew holiday traditions in favor of something even better. Video games.

As fond as I am of gaming, ignoring the Turducken’s Siren call is no easy feat. This is why I’ve come up with this list, because if we’re going to combat this holiday and its formidable army of delicious meats, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce, we’ll need a weapon.

On this list are five fantastically gruesome and gory horror games that I hope you will use to fight your Thanksgiving appetites.

Categories: Horror News

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death – Exclusive Images Haunt You!

Dread Central - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:00

2015 is looking to start off with one hell of a chill as Hammer’s The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death will begin haunting US theaters on January 2nd courtesy of Relativity. For you cats across the pond, it will also be released by eOne in the UK on January 1, 2015. That being said, how about some exclusive stills, one of which reveals the Woman in all of her ghastly glory?

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death stars Phoebe Fox in her first leading role in a feature film. Fox is joined by Jeremy Irvine (War Horse, Great Expectations, The Railway Man), the award-winning Helen McCrory (Skyfall, Hugo, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows), and rising star Oaklee Pendergast (The Impossible).

The film is directed by Tom Harper.

Hammer is looking to take the franchise route with The Woman in Black, starting with this one, which is set 40 years after the events of the original film.

England, 1941. With London in the midst of the blitz, two teachers evacuate a group of schoolchildren to the abandoned Eel Marsh House. Seeking safety from the bombs in the remote coastal location, the group instead find themselves facing an evil far more frightening when their arrival awakens the Woman in Black.

Learn more about The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death on Facebook, on Instagram, and Twitter (hashtag #SheNeverLeft).

The post The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death – Exclusive Images Haunt You! appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Indie Horror ‘Ashen Rift’ is Back and Better Than Ever

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 10:00

It’s been eight long months since we last heard from Ashen Rift, a post-apocalyptic survival horror game that raised an admirable $26,500 of its $40,000 goal on Kickstarter back in April. After taking some time to quietly make it a little more presentable, the game has returned with a renewed confidence and a lot more to show us.

Ashen Rift shows a lot of promise, and enough progress has been made where I think it’s reached the point where it has a good chance at raising the funds they need to finish it. $85,000 is a lot of dough, but can you really put a price on the timeless relationship between a man and his dog?

For more on Ashen Rift, check it out on Kickstarter.

Categories: Horror News

Check This Band Out: Black Map

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 10:00

If you’re looking for some new music to check out, boy have I got a band for you! I want to introduce you to Bay Area rockers Black Map, which features members of Dredge, A Trophy Fire, and Far. The band released their debut album …And We Explode last month just before Halloween and it’s a damn fine example of infectious alt-rock.

The only way I can describe them is that they sound like a unique mixture of A Perfect Circle, Helms Alee, and even dashes of Death Cab For Cutie. You can listen to their album below. Make sure to pick up a copy via Bandcamp.

Black Map online:
Official Website

Categories: Horror News

[TV Review] “The Walking Dead”: Episode 5.06, ‘Crossed’

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 04:04

There is a shot towards the end of “Crossed” that is a lot more effective than I could have imagined. It’s a simple action, but it says so much about where we are with The Walking Dead. Having Abraham’s bloody hand reach out and finally accept the water offered to him by Maggie is oddly powerful.

The show that was all too often people disagreeing only to make a series of decisions that worsen their chances for survival has ended. It’s no longer about waiting to see the next brutal death. Season 5 has shifted its focus onto the difference between real despair and hope.

Abraham’s struggle perfectly captures this dichotomy. As a man who previously was ready to kill himself was instilled with hope only to have it dashed. He spends what seems like an eternity on his knees awaiting some sort of judgment. The intensity boils off his back, but he can’t find a reason to get up.

Somewhere along the way, we find a reason to get off our knees. For Rick, it’s the push to protect his group with extreme prejudice, for Tyreese it’s a compassionate pragmatism and both aren’t wrong. We’ve been shown that kindness in this world may be your biggest weakness.

Something we’re reminded of with Sasha’s head being smashed into a window. But, oddly enough this didn’t cement the point that kindness is weakness. An aversion to trusting Rick’s group makes sense given the circumstances. But we’re reminded that Bob the cop from the hospital isn’t a bad guy. He even earns Rick’s trust in a moment of connection. But you can’t help but feel betrayed by him in the final moments, but wasn’t he only acting in his best interests?

Speaking of which. Gabriel’s struggles back at the church fail to really drive home a point. As a character he’s acting so contrary to his own well being that I can’t feel sympathy for his plight. He’s lived in this world for long enough to know that compassion and killing are not mutually exclusive.  His character is just too illogical to be enjoyable at this moment. But remember! He’s a priest; he spared a zombie because she wore a cross. Blessed be the father.

Hope is a beautiful thing. Something that we’re not often permitted to enjoy on The Walking Dead. But it is something that is becoming a little more common amongst the dread each week. It’s nice to see Beth acting to save Carol in the hospital. A series of scenes that pushes the hospital storyline far enough along to show that our group will have many people helping them from the inside once they reach Atlanta.

The optimism I’m noticing is really encapsulated in a nice scene between Tyreese and Sasha. Tyreese’s lines about holding on to the mere fact that she had something with Bob, really show a growth, both thematically and character-wise. Our survivors are done wallowing – for the most part. Now they’re moving on.

Amidst all the thematic growth we still had time for the blood and guts. The showdown back at Terminus with the cops was thrilling. I sincerely feared for Daryl’s life as the walker’s snapped at his pinned down face. The effects of the melted zombies were disgusting, so much so that I couldn’t look away. While the act of ripping the zombie’s head off and batting his attacker was a little silly, it was too awesome to be inexcusable. I loved it.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the phenomenal work of Bear McCreary’s score. It’s almost as if they waited five years before giving the guy his due, but I found the music this week helped to create the hope I keep talking about. The scenes with Abraham had a beautiful and dare-I-day-it upbeat tone thanks to the music, it just made things so much more effective.

Shifting the focus to each separate group and managing the storylines with care is something The Walking Dead has really earned this year. We’ve certainly had more focused hours, but “Crossed” really did an incredible amount of heavy lifting to get us ready for the mid-season finale.

Are you excited for the mid-season finale?

Have you noticed the hopeful tone in the show’s narrative?

What did you think of Crossed?

Categories: Horror News

‘Escape Dead Island’ Review: Dead on Arrival

bloody disgusting - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 03:55

The folks at Deep Silver have proven themselves to be a clever bunch, and it’s obvious they want Dead Island to be huge. Normally, that rare combination of talent and passion would lead to something truly great. Only it hasn’t. Missteps are common, expected even, when a series is still developing. That’s what the first game is for, to find out what works and what doesn’t, to make mistakes and learn from them.

Unfortunately, I’m starting to wonder how much Deep Silver has learned from the numerous stumbles they’ve made with this series.

After being catapulted to the world stage by an unforgettable introduction, which enamored the world and broke our hearts, Dead Island was guaranteed an audience long before it would release.

That heart-wrenching trailer sold a lot of copies, but it also raised our expectations astronomically high — too high — essentially setting Dead Island up for disappointment. The game didn’t blow many minds, but it did an admirable job in building the foundation for a promising new horror franchise.

Rather than use that reception as a guide, we were given Riptide, a pseudo-sequel that didn’t even try to realize that untapped potential. Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager is in charge of Dead Island 2, and it looks like the series may finally take that long-awaited step in the right direction. But first, we have Escape Dead Island.

This game shouldn’t exist, but it does, and that makes me sad.

A publisher that’s willing to experiment with their IPs can be a breath of fresh air in an industry that’s gradually being overrun by “copy and paste” sequels, usually delivered in annual installments. It’s become increasingly rare for studios to be willing to innovate since we redefined a modest production budget to mean something like $50 million, not including the millions spent on marketing.

Deep Silver took a stab at the MOBA market with Dead Island: Epidemic, and while I’m the last person to be critiquing that genre, I can confirm that it wasn’t terrible. Escape Dead Island is a continuation of this, but where previous games in the series have managed to retain some semblance of a heart and soul, this game is as dead as the ghouls that populate it.

There’s an impressive array of things to hate about Escape Dead Island, and we’re going to talk about all of it, starting with what was supposed to be its selling point — the story. This spin-off wants to be all about that narrative. It wants you to care about what’s going on, even if it fails miserably in offering any real incentive for us to invest anything in this world or its cast of unlikeable characters.

For the unfamiliar, the game follows Cliff Calo, one of the more poorly named video game characters in recent memory. As the son of a wealthy media mogul, Cliff has lived an easy life. “But Adam,” you might say, “How can I care about this guy when he’s such a gargantuan dick?” To which I’ll reply, you can’t. The only thing that’s deep about Cliff is his family’s coffers.

Because this kid is the worst, when his dad hands over the family business to his sister, he throws a tantrum and embarks on an adventure to prove his worth. This takes us to the zombie-infested archipelago of Banoi.

Much like its lead, Escape Dead Island suffers from an identity crisis. This game really wants you to like it, only it’s not willing to put more than a modicum of effort into being more than forgettable. It wants to piggyback on the Dead Island name, even if it strips away everything that was good about these games.

Co-op, crafting, character customization — all gone. In their place is a “survival mystery” played in the third perspective that’s sprinkled with stealth sections and presented in an admittedly appealing cel-shaded art style. The only thing that makes this immediately recognizable as a Dead Island game is the plethora of bugs that inhabit it.

Escape Dead Island is surprisingly unpolished for such an empty game. Characters move with a robotic jerkiness, enemies get stuck in the geometry, and its world lacks the details that would make it feel alive and lived in.

With the crafting, leveling and co-op gone, what we’re left with is a clumsy action game with an underdeveloped combat system. Cliff has a light attack, a strong attack, and a sweeping slash attack. When things get hairy, he can perform a shove or a hilariously useless dodge maneuver. That’s it.

When Cliff sees an enemy, there are only two ways the ensuing fight will play out. He can Sam Fischer his way to an unsuspecting ghoul to execute it, but this move is only to be used when the ghoul is alone. The reason for this is the execution can alert any nearby bro-ghouls who are then free to violently murder Cliff while he’s stuck in the execution animation.

The second way goes something like “See ghoul, shove ghoul, bludgeon ghoul until it falls down. Repeat steps 1-3 on nearby bro-ghouls.” You will be using one of these two tactics on the game’s paltry selection of baddies until you realize you’re better than this and go do something, anything, else.

Have I mentioned the backtracking? There’s a lot of that. The campaign takes roughly six hours to complete, depending on how much time you spend hating yourself for wasting your rapidly diminishing youth on this garbage, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I spent a third of that returning to the same bland environments over and over again.

The Final Word: Escape Dead Island is like winning a vacation to a tropical island you’ve been to before, only instead of spending a few days soaking up a paradise, you’re playing a shitty, soulless video game. That metaphor needs some work, but you get the point.

Categories: Horror News