Playing as part of this year’s Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, is The Stranger, a new film produced by Eli Roth and Nicolás López (Aftershock). Directed by Guillermo Amoedo, the flick star Luis Gnecco, Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, and Aaron Burns.
Check out the first look below courtesy of Latino Review.
Guillermo Amoedo shows a deft ability to turn a bloodthirsty monster movie on its head into a slow-burn, character-driven film. THE STRANGER takes its time, building the tension through occasional flashbacks and having the audience sympathize with Peter, who grew up not knowing his father. Peter, like the audience, is kept largely in the dark about his father’s motives or even what he is… because he’s certainly not human. What is apparent is the chaos his dad’s return has on the small town, especially a member of the police force and his violence-prone son.
THE STRANGER is ultimately about family, the legacy we pass on to our children and the lengths we go to protect and ensure their survival, no matter how dark and deadly they might become.
The post Trailer and Poster for Eli Roth-Produced The Stranger appeared first on Dread Central.
Christos Gage and Nicholas Brendon assemble a hilariously scripted issue of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10”, that’s thoroughly engaging and authentically crafted; with great interior artwork from Rebekah Isaacs to boot.
WRITTEN BY: Christos Gage, Nicholas Brendon
ART BY: Rebekah Isaacs
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: September 17, 2014
Reviewed By: ShadowJayd
After exorcizing a haunted apartment building at the behest of a desperate landlady in exchange for cheap rent, the gang begins settling into their new digs, whilst slowly, but surely, making progress with the VAMPYR book. It’s a responsibility that mustn’t be taken lightly, as any proposed addition to the book could potentially yield disastrous results for their world, and many power-hungry beings would love to get their hands on it. With that in mind, Willow starts to secure their apartments with protective spells, and suggests that new roommates, Xander and Spike, take care of the book until her shared apartment with Buffy and Dawn is locked down. What follows is a fabulous lesson in comedic storytelling and pop culture references from Gage and Brendon, as the boys bicker and bond over tempting fate in the name of love.
It’s really a treat to see such spot-on representations of Whedon’s characters brought to life through Gage and Brendon’s ability to effectively capture their subjects’ voices; although Spike is not without his awkward colloquial faults at times. The light tone, and back-and-forth between characters feels familiar; like home. And that’s not an easy feat to achieve when writing for a hugely popular franchise. Though to expect anything less from these two writers would be silly given the success of their previous collaborative work. The quick wit of both authors feed off each other to the inclusion of more amusing moments between Xander and Spike, of which there is no shortage in this issue. Seriously, there’s enough Spander fan-service for your spank bank to last until the next apocalypse, and it is magnificent.
We were unquestionably critical of Karl Moline and Cliff Richards’ artistic contributions last month, and while it isn’t particularly fair, it’s hard not to compare and contrast all the artwork the series has produced thus far. It’s very easy to pick favourites considering how seamlessly some artists manage to glide into our affections; while others sometimes put us off. And although it’s only a matter of personal taste and potential bias speaking, “I Wish” Part Two is a massive step-up from the last installment thanks to Rebekah Isaacs triumphant return on pencils. From panel to panel, her interior pages are consistently top shelf, and her knack for nailing Buffyverse character likeness is unparalleled. Dan Jackson is along for the ride to add his special touch of colour to her illustrations, effectively enhancing her artwork, and bringing out the best of her creativity; especially where those supernatural Sirens are concerned.
Overall, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10” #7 is a hilariously scripted and wonderfully drawn issue. It concludes with a significant nod to James Marsters’ “Spike: Into The Light”, which will ultimately reignite debates about canonical timelines and exasperate Spuffy shippers. The fandom will no doubt be buzzing with speculation, in anticipation for next month’s release.
ShadowJayd, known everywhere else as Farah Jayden Hakkak, began writing for Bloody-Disgusting in July 2012. You can find her on Twitter, or praising legendary comic book artists in her art column, Visions of Horror.
“Sirens” from George Perez with BOOM! Studios, certainly plays to their strengths. The colors are vivid, the character designs appealing, the protagonists mostly complex, strong, and female. However, it also jumps all over the known universe through time and mythology, completely unpredictably. If that sounds like a fun romp, I’m sorry, because while I find the concept delightful, in practice it’s a little confusing and off-putting. Any first issue of a serialized narrative has a lot to contend with, and chief among those is the challenge of introducing a fully fleshed out universe concisely so that the story can move on. In Sirens, this aspect of the storytelling feels rushed, jumbled, and hard to follow.
WRITTEN BY: George Perez
ART BY: George Perez
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
RELEASE: September 17, 2014
Reviewed By: Katy Rex
Using a technique common in team comics, the issue starts with each team member in a different time/space, and follows some small slice of her life as she begins to encounter the/a Big Bad. And in many cases, this setup requires the audience to be patient and trust that it will make sense—and it is then the job of the story to reassure the audience that their trust is well-placed. In “Sirens,” every time something starts to make sense, the reality seems to shift just a little, so your assumptions are wrong and any understanding you had is gone. This doesn’t keep the reader on their toes, or introduce a charming lack of predictability, or create an aura of uncertainty in a way that is fun and eerie. It’s just confusing and convoluted.
The narrative starts by following an adventuring woman who is seeking (and who discovers) a dragon, with whom she can communicate. Then they’re in space, and then they’re in the old west, but the characters are different? Like I said, hard to follow.
I’m inclined to give this story more than one issue to make up my mind. I want it to be good. I love stories that are populated, largely, by strong and interesting female characters. I love the fusion of sci-fi and fantasy, I love the things-are-more-than-what-they-seem vibe. It’s a really pretty book with a really interesting premise. I’m hoping, with very little reason to hope, that this is just suffering from first-issue-itis, that next issue they’ll solve all the jumping around because the characters will be together, that next issue there will be enough of the universe established that the constantly establishing reality won’t be quite so jarring.
There’s a pretty good chance that issue #2 of “Sirens” could make issue #1 less confusing, less convoluted, less confounding. The problems I see with this issue aren’t unresolvable. But unless it starts taking those steps, this is not a comic I would recommend. If you’re thinking of picking it up, wait. Issue #2 comes out November 19th, and hopefully that’s when it starts to get good.
—Katy Rex writes comics analysis at endoftheuniversecomics.com, comicsbulletin.com, and bloody-disgusting.com. She also writes scholarly articles for various academic journals. She really likes butt jokes, dinosaurs, and killing psychos and midgets in Borderlands 2. She has a great sense of humor if you’re not an asshole. Twitter: @eotucomics Tumblr: katy-rex.tumblr.com Instagram: @katy_rex Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Orlando is having a banner year. His first creator owned series “Undertow” just recently wrapped and is releasing it’s first trade today. He’s recently put together some of his earlier stories for a new iPad app called Farrago Comics, one about Russian Pop Culture sex gods, and another offering a culinary spin on The Cronicles of Narnia. Apart from that, Orlando is about to have a story featured in Vertigo’s new ambitious quarterly anthology “CMYK: Yellow.”
And we’ve got an exclusive first look for you here today. So catch this candid chat with one of the best dudes in comics. We talk a lot about inspiration and the sorts of stories Orlando always finds himself telling.
Bloody-Disgusting: How did you get approached to do Vertigo CMYK Anthology, and what was it like being part of yellow?
Steve Orlando: This isn’t the first time I did an anthology. My mystery in space book was comprised of four pitches, and they picked the strangest one. It was about centaurs going through puberty doing hallucinogenic drugs. They would engage in a gladiatorial battle where their human self would battle their horse self. This was to decide what type of person they are.
When CMYK came around, which is the most intimidating anthology they’ve ever done. The concept is super vague. Which is liberating, intimidating and ominous at the same time. You’re out to sea on how yellow inspires you. You can do anything. So my story involves cow urine. It’s based on a folktale that involves force feeding cows mango seeds they’d eventually be malnourished until they die. But before then they would pee this glorious mango pee and you would take that and dry it off and make yellow.
I thought that was super disgusting and totally strange. I sent the email, and they approved it. I guess that’s my career now, and what they expect from me. They were very excited about doing something even stranger and potentially more revolting than my horse people story. The crazy thing was that I spent more time on these eight pages than anything else I’ve ever written. We found an amazing artist with an incredible sense of style, and it’s really exciting.
Bloody-Disgusting: Are you planning on working with Vertigo any further?
SO: I would definitely like to. Vertigo is the Pixar of comics. You’re always working the whole team. They bounce things off of one another and there is all this talk of evil sorcerer editors in comics but working with Will and Greg is a dream. They keep your story driven, and without them I’d just fly off the handle. The door is always open, and nothing is ever too strange to talk about.
Bloody-Disgusting: Tell me about your recent partnership with a new iPad app Farrago Comics? People need to know more about Russian Pop Culture Sex Gods?
SO: The app will be making the transition to android, and iPhones. The two books on there are things I’m really proud of. The first Octobriana I wrote in 2008. I was fledging kid going to conventions. I was urged to write about Russia. I was writing my thesis on this man that was right out of Grant Morrison’s playbook. It was this character created by an underground society called the people’s progressive pornography. During the Soviet period it was illegal to show any female nudity, in any way but maternal. You couldn’t show a breast unless it had a suckling child. It was super restrictive. And so these people were making porn as a form of social outreach. They used this women character Octobriana to inspire people, and made material to pass around to educate and liberate using her likeness.
Turned out that the man who “created” her was completely full of shit. He stole this character from a Czech artist; he lifted and totally plagiarized this guy. But at the time the cat was out of the bag and the character became what he wanted anyway. He appears everywhere, his creation was more powerful than him.
My version of all this, is this post modern type of God, trekking across this weird version of Russia. She was exploring in a pulpy way the weird folklore of Russia. I connected her to other Russian folklore. She has an ongoing love affair with Anubis. Central and almost all horror literature is the connection of sex and death. Her perfect lover was an ancient God who was seen as an outsider as well. She’s an outsider because she’s a god made by pagan. She’s trying to find her place and earn her place during the book.
At the start of the book you have this man made God of sex trekking across Russia for a final showdown with in many ways her exact opposite. With incredible art by Chaz Truog, he was the best artist for the story. God love him, I even made him make a Grant Morrison sigil for the book, and he did it.
Farrago is the best format for the story because it’s free, and the ideals of Octobriana are all about sharing and receiving for free. Having it out there so people can consume it without giving anything back is the perfect ideological way I wanted to share this story.
Bloody-Disgusting: Tell me a little bit about “Kevin and the Kitchen Witch” on Farrago?
SO: It was the first thing I financed on my own and something that I did so I’d have something my parents and little cousins could read. In many ways it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. It’s an all ages book, it’s hard for me to removing swearing and breasts from my scripts that I did it.
This doll my mother used to leave in our kitchen to give her good luck and help prevent her from making mistakes inspires the story. It’s got really cool art by Heather Brekham and Olivia Pelays. It’s always a pleasure for me to sit down and read this. It’s basically Chronicles of Narnia in a kitchen. It’s about this little boy, Kevin who sneaks into his father’s kitchen the night before a restaurant is to open. He’s sucked into this fantasy world within the kitchen. The different parts of the professional kitchen become the geography of this world. So the actual part of the map and the landscape is based on where similar items would be located in the kitchen.
He’s got to locate the Kitchen Witch who’s the guardian of this world and the protector of their kitchen. He’s in this race against time, because someone has hired these gremlins to sabotage the restaurant opening.
It has crazy fantasy visuals and honest anime energy. It’s just fun. It’s really bright and will pop on the iPad. This is so unlike anything I’ve ever done before.
Bloody-Disgusting: What can you tell me about the new content in “Undertow Volume One: The Boatman’s Call?”
SO: The “Undertow” collection has a ton of new content. Well over an issue’s worth of new stuff. Much like the variants covers. There are new pinups from artist’s we’ve tracked down. There are also new stories. There is a story about the social relationships and social justice from Lela Del Duca from “Shutter” and drawn by Toni Grigori it explores polyamory in Atlantis.
My reach out for “Undertow” backup stories was much like the reach out for CMYK. I just wanted to see stories in my world, where everything is fair game. We used this strange weird people to talk about things that are going on with us.
Then we have a story from Blair Butler who’s working with a mutual friend TJ Kirsch for a really fun adventure on land, an early explorer who maybe didn’t make it back. We have a two page story with Kingu’s past from Yaroslav who did our stinger scene at the end of the series.
A lot of the backing material is great because it’s not super narrative driven. It’s beautiful touches or elaborations on themes from the miniseries. They are not things that I directed, but just things that people wanted to explore.
Having people write in a world I created was really weird, but it was the most surreal experience about this. When you create comics you sit in your house, you don’t really see other people who make them. The fact that real people have read the book and have opinions about it is still really strange.
Bloody-Disgusting: What’s next for “Undertow?”
SO: There is a plan. But there is nothing to announce yet. Artyom and I have sat down to discuss where we want to go. We’ll definitely have more coming out, but we might take a break, or we might get right into it. But, we’ll definitely be back. It’s all about keeping it fresh, and keeping it interesting.
At this point the conversation devolves into a talk about Bucky o’ Hare action figures, and the Toxic Crusaders cartoon. Seriously a fucking Troma character known for killing a man by shoving his head into a milkshake machine became a environmental hero. Here, what the hell, check it out. This is for you, Steve.
It was announced out of left field that both Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin fever, The Green Inferno) and Nicolás López (Aftershock) produced a new indie horror that’s set to premiere this Friday at the Fantastic Fest film festival in Austin, Texas.
Our friends at Latino-Review have the first trailer, image, poster and details for Guillermo Amoedo’s The Stranger, which stars Luis Gnecco, Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, and Aaron Burns.
Amoedo shows a deft ability to turn a bloodthirsty monster movie on its head, into a slow-burn, character-driven film. THE STRANGER takes its time, building the tension through occasional flashbacks and having the audience sympathize with Peter, who grew up not knowing his father. Peter, like the audience, is kept largely in the dark about his father’s motives or even what he is… because he’s certainly not human. What is apparent is the chaos his dad’s return has on the small town, especially a member of the police force and his violence-prone son.
THE STRANGER is ultimately about family, the legacy we pass on to our children and the lengths we go to protect and ensure their survival, no matter how dark and deadly they might become. (James Shapiro)
Tusk (read our review) is not for everyone. Kevin Smith’s newest flick is, first and foremost, meant for Kevin Smith fans. If you didn’t like Clerks or Mallrats, Tusk is not for you. (Don’t worry; no one liked Dogma.) I love Kevin Smith, and I love bizarre flicks, so I had a blast with Tusk.
In Tusk, Justin Long plays Wallace, a mean-spirited podcaster who travels to Canada to interview the unwitting star of a viral video. He gets there and discovers the kid is dead, so he has no story. While taking a depressed piss in a bar, he discovers an unusually verbose advert from a man looking for a lodger. The lodger will pay no rent, but must run errands for the enfeebled man, who promises many wonderful tales from his life. Wallace decides to pay this man, Howard Howe (played by Michael Parks), a visit. If you have spent any time on the internet in the last year, you know what is coming. Howe wants to recreate a special relationship he once had with a walrus, so he drugs Wallace and sews him into his homemade walrus suit, made out of the skin of murdered humans.
“I was always kind of worried the hardcore genre crowd would be like, ‘This isn’t a horror movie!’” explains writer/director Kevin Smith. “They did that on Red State, and they were right. I called it a horror movie because to me, that was horrifying. I can’t technically call Tusk a horror movie, although it plays like a scary movie. To me, it’s a monster movie.” He admits that, technically, he would consider it “body horror” like The Human Centipede, which was something of an inspiration for this movie, despite the fact that Smith has never seen it. “My wife is like, ‘Never in this house, motherfucker.’
“The notion of [The Human Centipede] rocked my fucking world. I was like, you can do that now?? Tom Six was brave enough to make something so fucked up that, even in one sentence, I feel like I’ve seen it. That was inspiration,” Smith admits. He also names Frankenstein and Dr. Moreau as inspiration, but concedes that “American Werewolf in London is probably where I stole from the most. That was the movie that, when I was nine years old, was utterly horrifying. The dream sequence where the SS wolves come in and cut their fucking throats, but then, in the very next scene, they make you laugh. For Tusk, I wanted to honor that model and show [the audience] something fucking weird, then make them laugh like they are in a completely different film.”
Appearing in a film about a man whose greatest wish is to turn another human into a walrus seems like a risky career move to me. It wasn’t an easy decision for the cast. “My agents definitely didn’t want me to do it,” confides Justin Long, something which Smith found “really charming.” “I was intrigued by the prospect of getting to do those scenes with Michael, and by the challenge of that completed transformation,” continues Long. “I needed to challenge myself. It was scary – it wasn’t like a no-brainer, but I knew I was going to do it because I was a big fan of Kevin’s. It was because of my fear [of the role] that I had to do it.” Haley Joel Osment, who plays Teddy, Wallace’s podcasting partner, was less fearful of his role. “Part of me felt kind of safe because I’m not in the walrus costume. We gave Justin a lot of grief: we get to run around with guns and Johnny Depp, he gets tortured a lot.” Unsurprisingly, Smith didn’t face a lot of resistance on his end. “Everyone in my world was like, ‘Oh, he’s showing an interest in movies again. Ssh, let him do it.’”
Tusk opens in theaters September 19th.
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Ernest Hemingway, a guy named Jude and a bull dog walk into a cave…I don’t think anyone can ever claim to have thought of what goes down in “The Life After” #3 except for the brilliant creators behind it. This is downright unbridled imagination at its best.
WRITTEN BY: Joshua Hale Fialkov
ART and COLORING BY: Gabo
PUBLISHER: Oni Press, Inc.
RELEASE: 17 September 2014
Reviewed by: Your Friendly Neighborhood Brady
“The complete history of creation in three pages!” promised by Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov at the end of last issue is not what anyone would expect. There’s still grandeur to the birth of everything. There are also some humbling human revelations as to how pillars of our society came about. The reality of how reality works is brought to the forefront here and it’s not as grandiose as other creation stories have made it out to be. I think that’s what makes this story work so well. Fialkov has somehow merged two worlds together: the mundane running of a company and the reality of how the afterlife operates. It’s fascinating reading to say the least.
The art’s none too shabby either for a book about suicides and purgatory and angels and demons. Artist Gabo has enough creative designs going so far that readers can be diverted from the real powerful moments when they happen in the story. Angels are not as comforting as you’d think. Heaven and Hell aren’t as majestic or as scary as some imagine. All that and the infinite number buried to suffer for eternity. There is some heavy stuff going on here and its gripping visuals help propel things ever forward.
It’s only been three issues so far of The Life After and I know there’s so much more to see. Fialkov and Gabo seem to be on track to give us just enough to intrigue readers for what is happening and what is come. All of this plus monthly doses of Hemingway for good measure! I know Fialkov has dabbled in mainstream work for both Marvel and DC. I’m curious how he’s done working for such big publishers. I will definitely start hunting his other stuff down now that I know what he’s capable of unrestricted.
“The Delinquents” #2 continues the crazy hero / team-up / hobo treasure hunt train that took off last month with all kinds of wackiness. This series is perfectly titled as these “heroes” literally have to get “pickled into a stupor by breakfast” as to stay on mission. Plus there’s The Goat. This series is a whoop with some hoots thrown in for good measure.
Reviewed by: Your Friendly Neighborhood Brady
The two halves of the hobo ass map (yep, that’s a thing here) are slowly coming together as Archer & Armstrong along with Quantum & Woody are drawn towards the same destination: The Bluff House. I don’t care if writers James Asmus and Fred Van Lente researched a single thing in this mini-series. The hobo code, the oddities museum, Da Vinci’s wings…It doesn’t matter in the least. Why? These antics and interactions between all these screw-ups with good intentions are so darn utterly unpredictable and off-the-wall that it’s just a pure joy to read.
Kano’s art seems unshakable in what he can portray herein. There are bullet train rides, rampaging horny bulls, slaughters, would-be epic battles (if things were not forgeries), monster museums and honest facial expressions. This story is supremely non-super heroic but dang it all if it isn’t a treasure to watch unfold.
Fellow readers, we are truly in a golden age of comic book storytelling. I used to compare the wide range of comics out nowadays to how many great TV shows are out there. I’m happy to declare that comics continue to surpass that other medium with examples like The Delinquents #2. It’s so utterly unlike anything else I’ve ever read or seen that it stands all on its own. This creative is proudly showing off what semi-noble folks would do with powers and a treasure map and a pregnant male goat can do or blunder into.
Mondo has announced that they will be releasing the soundtracks for 2001: A Space Odyssey and Shaun Of The Dead at this year’s MondoCon, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday in Austin, TX.
The soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey, composed by Alex North, is apparently a rare treat, with Mondo stating:
Stanley Kubrick’s seminal masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey is known for its classical musical cues as much as it is for its vivid imagery. What few people realize is that the cues that are now forever associated with the film were a last minute revision on the part of Kubrick. There is an original score, composed for the film by the late Alex North (Spartacus, A Streetcar Named Desire) that was abandoned during post-production. North did not discover this until the film’s premiere screening.
Mondo worked directly with North to release this lost soundtrack for the first time ever. The package design by Jay Shaw, features a glossy Monolithic black, tip-on gatefold, with a holographic foil Interior gatefold, housed in a custom clear plastic slipcase. An online version will be sold in November.
The score for Shaun Of The Dead, composed by Daniel Mudford & Pete Woodhead, is the first time the 2004′s soundtrack will be released on any format.
We wanted to ‘play a straight bat,’ as the English say, and treat the film as though it was a sincere and genuinely terrifying scenario.
Director Edgar Wright discusses Mudford and Woodhead’s band The Sons Of Silence:
Indeed, many of the doomier, dubbier tracks of from ‘The Sons of Silence’ would blend in perfectly with my playlist, made up of John Carpenter scores, Goblin rock outs and library tracks from Dawn of The Dead. So even before Dan and Pete were definitely scoring the movie, they were already scoring the movie.
An online version will go live October 7th.
He’s back! Our loveable monster detective, Cal McDonald. And he’s back in a rather demolished state of mind. His physical nature’s not doing so well either. “Criminal Macabre: The Third Child” is the newest arc in Steve Niles’ long running supernatural detective series that blew itself to pieces last fall with “The Eyes of Frankenstein” arc. “The Third Child” issue #1 wastes absolutely no time going completely bananas. Niles told Bloody Disgusting last year, “It’s going to get pretty intense… I’ve been teasing at Cal losing control. It’s one thing to look like a monster, but what happens inside that creates the soul of a monster?” If anyone can answer that question, it’s Niles, one of the greatest “monster comic” writers of the last decade.
WRITTEN BY: Steve Niles
ART BY: Christopher Mitten
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: September 17, 2014
Reviewed By Bree Odgen
“CM: The Third Child” picks up right after last fall’s arc… and I urge you to go immerse yourself in this world if you’ve not already, but for the sake of this review, I’ll say a few things for those of you unfamiliar with the series. Cal has become everything he has ever hated in life. Namely, some form of a monster that we are unsure of. And after giving up his normality to save his ghoulish friends (friends he’ll never admit to caring about), he’s going to have to confront his new “normal” head on.
Niles warned that this arc would take a look into the darkness of Cal’s past and family life. And he does not delay on that promise. It begins with a vague, yet fairly intuitive flashback with a young Cal, showing us a traumatic event that’s implied to have led to his monster hunting, be it monsters of the monster variety or monsters of the human variety. This flashback thread will most likely be a heartbreaking one, but I fully trust Niles to handle it with elegance and care.
Back in the present, Cal is in a deeply dark emotive state and killing monsters in the grisliest of ways. His pals, Adam and Mo are on standby, watching their friend sink lower and lower while the profound level of their love and acceptance makes my heart tighten. Niles doesn’t just write great horror; he has perfected a form of dramatic horror with vast heart and a certain amount of wit that serves his Cal storylines so beautifully.
It’s clear that Niles has a direct path for this arc and he’s not fucking around. Too often, new arcs take at least a full issue to get to the meat, “CM: The Third Child” took a few pages before opening the dialogue on “demon babies” and “monster wars.” As always, Cal will maintain an attitude of distance and apathy. But he’ll never be able to not care. It’s too ingrained in his very nature. He’s trying to hold on to the “him” he’s always known, but in reality, he’s being pulled in opposite directions: the direction to care and fight the good fight while also being pulled in a direction to give himself over to a darker power. In short: he’s a fucking disaster.
Meanwhile, all that talk of demon babies and monster wars was no joke. There are gummy little pink demon blobs turning citizens of Los Angeles into violent fiends. They feed off of pain, hatred, and violence. And while they tear up the place, the monsters of LA are coordinating something else. Could be sinister, could be helpful… it’s a tantalizing mystery.
The first issue of this arc could not have played out more perfectly had the gods of perfect comics written it themselves. Christopher Mitten was born to illustrate Cal McDonald’s world. His art is gritty, loose, hazardous. It feels like the most terrifyingly accurate representation of Niles’ mind. There’s some deep shit here. Like Niles said, it’s going to get intense. This emotional river runs wild and I have a feeling we’ll be touching on issues like self-acceptance, addiction, forgiveness, and most importantly, redemption.
Bree Ogden is a literary agent at D4EO Literary Agency, a judge for the Ghastly Awards, and the managing editor of the macabre children’s magazine Underneath the Juniper Tree, which she co-founded in 2011 with artist Rebekah Joy Plett. When she’s not watching horror films, reading comics, hiding out at the Pacific Science Center, or killing off her bee colonies, she teaches graphic novel scripting at LitReactor.com. Twitter: @breeogden
“Shutter” stumbles this month and has me incredibly torn. On the one hand it’s got a fight scene where someone rides a triceratops and on the other it adds even more uninteresting mysteries. The ambiguity is beginning to wear thin.
WRITTEN BY: Joe Keatinge
ART BY: Leila De Duca
RELEASE: September 17, 2014
Reviewed By: Torbin Chimners
Take for example the mystery of Kate’s siblings; we’re introduced to another one who briefly touches on the fact that there are even more. I’m starting to feel like there’s going to be a revolving door of siblings all with incredibly vague motivations that come into conflict with Kate.
I expected we’d have at least a mild grasp of what’s going on in Kate’s world at this point, but I feel more lost than ever. It’s becoming convoluted to the point of insanity. I like these characters (I like them a lot) and they’re deeply engaging, but the plot they are being pulled through means almost nothing to me now because every machination of it feels random. We’re 6 issues in now and the plot has amounted to Kate learning she’s been lied to about having siblings, she meets one and then decides to run away with him to get answers. It feels like we’re getting nowhere slowly.
One of my biggest issues this month is the way Ekland and Shaw are treated. They’re given a redundant scene that’s just there to make sure you really know these are the bad guys, then SPOILER they’re killed in the next scene. It’s already been thoroughly established that they’re bad; Ekland is even introduced massacring a bar full of people. It makes me question the point of them in the first place. They could have been introduced in this issue, had the scene showing they’re tough shit so you’re worried for Kate and Chris then die and be done with it. What was the point building both of them up in the background of the last 5 issues to have them go out with such a whimper?
While I’ve got my fair share of concerns when it comes to the plot I have no qualms with the stellar art. Leila Del Duca does nothing but kill it every issue of “Shutter” with some of the most beautiful 2 page spreads ever conceived this book is a visual powerhouse. Long after the story’s stopped making sense “Shutter” will be worth it for the art.
Over the last 5 issues I’ve heard and read about a lot of people becoming frustrated with Shutters continued convolution. I used to be on the opposite side of the fence, embracing its perplexing and quirky plot but now it’s pushed me over that fence headfirst. I want to keep enjoying “Shutter” but it’s making that one hell of a challenge.
Torbin Chimners AKA Torin Chambers is a rad dude from the nineties who does film stuff or something. Thomas the Tank Engine is his favorite transformer. Find him on Twitter@Vulgar_Rhombus
It’s over, it’s all over. “Translucid” #6 has comes to a close and it’s been a damn good ride. This is a supremely solid and wholly satisfying conclusion to a mini series that’s always been a cut above. The finale’s not big on concrete answers, but really this was never about answers.
It’s always been a character study of the connection between a hero and his villain, an unspoken bond. While archenemies, they also all too often become each other’s only true friend. The only person who truly sees the hero for who they are, are their villains.
WRITTEN BY: Claudio Sanchez & Chondra Echert
ART BY: Daniel Bayliss
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
RELEASE: September 17, 2014
Reviewed By Torbin Chimners
Upon my initial read I was actually disappointed by how it all ended, but that’s because I was being an idiot. Looking for answers to trivial things and not taking in the grand philosophical machinations at work. I was looking for answers to questions like who The Horse really was; the real answer is it doesn’t matter. He’s whatever he needs to be.
I gave it a second read without worrying about solid answers and enjoyed it for the tale is was spinning. Going into it with the mindset I was blown apart at the seams. They’ve been telling this story since the very first issue, there’s really no other way it could have gone down and god dammit is it superb.
I’ve heard “Translucid” described as the ultimate Batman/Joker, hero/villain story that DC/Marvel wouldn’t and couldn’t ever make. You could make that comparison, but it’d be selling it incredibly short. It’s so much more than that; it’s entirely its own thing. Standing tall and strong on it’s own two legs. No-ones looked at or focused so heavily on the unspoken bond a hero and villain share in the same way as “Translucid.”
I’ve always felt like “Translucid” was operating at an intellectual level above myself. It’s an incredibly smart book that conducts itself on a grand operatic scale at times and at other times slows down to sublime moments of self-reflection. It’s been refreshing to the core, with a seriously psychologically damaged hero, and a villain who at times seems more capable than the hero. I couldn’t be sadder to see it go but I also couldn’t be happier with the ride we’ve shared.
Torbin Chimners AKA Torin Chambers is a rad dude from the nineties who does film stuff or something. Thomas the Tank Engine is his favorite transformer. Find him on Twitter @Vulgar_Rhombus
Gory and disturbing to the core, “Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: Bestiary” #2 is a must-read continuation of the horror franchise that made Pinhead a household name. After so many lackluster sequels, “Hellraiser” is back with a worthy installment. In the right hands, “Bestiary” delvers an anthology of shorts that know how to bring in the shocks and scares.
WRITTEN BY: Mark Miller, Ben Meares, Christopher Taylor
ART BY: Jason Shawn Alexander, Amancay Nahuelpan, Carlos Magno
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
RELEASE: September 17, 2013
Reviewed By Jorge Solis
“Old Hat To The Devil” delivers a gritty and twisted take on the Robert Johnson legend. A blues musician is given a guitar that looks eerily similar to the Lament Configuration. In “Hellbound Desires,” viewers can watch the slaughter of unsuspecting nude, live women on an adult webcam site. In “The Hunted: Part Two,” the captured Pinhead finds himself caught in the middle of a gang war.
Though these are separate stories, all three tales take place right after the events from Brandon Seifert and Tom Garcia’s “The Dark Watch.” Eliot Spencer is back as Pinhead, the Pope of Hell, harvesting human souls for his own sicka musement. In the first installment, I missed Seifert’s witty comic relief, but writer Ben Meares brings back the dark humor in “Hellbound Desires.” It’s a short tale that packs a shocking ironic twist towards the end.
In Christopher Taylor’s “Old Hat To The Devil,” a blues musician wants to make a deal with Pinhead to see his long-lost love. When Calvin performs the music of the puzzle box on stage, his audience becomes fodder for the Cenobites. Artist Jason Shawn Alexander’s watercolors are an impressive sight to see.
In “The Hunted, Part Two,” the Meares and co-writer Mark Miller explores topics such as racism and urban crime, which makes the story feel original and fresh. You have a group of hardcore gang members who show no compassion for the “Devil.” In extreme close-ups, Carlos Magno captures Pinhead in gut-wrenching pain as the gang members operate on his face with machetes and other blades.
“Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: Bestiary” #2 will deliver chilling nightmares to the reader. I can’t wait to read the next list of short horror stories.
A succinct and accurate definition of nostalgia can be found in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again.” In order to feel proper nostalgia, you have to mix the bitter with the sweet, or – as Pinhead might say – the pain with the pleasure. The Guest, which is the latest effort from the creative team of Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, evokes such a feeling. The film hearkens back to low budget efforts from the 70s and 80s, and, while it has its merits – pitch black comedy and strong violence among them – I couldn’t help think that I’ve seen these same themes done better before.
Wingard and Barrett are probably best known in horror circles for the feature film You’re Next (2011) and segments in the anthology films V/H/S (2012), V/H/S/2 (2013), and The ABCs of Death (2012), and, like their efforts in these films, The Guest is entertaining but uneven. Part black comedy, part superhero film, part family drama, part suspense thriller, part . . . okay, I think you get my point; The Guest doesn’t fit neatly into any genre category. Strangely enough, that’s also part of the film’s appeal.
Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame) stars as David, a young man who – out of the blue – knocks on the door of the Peterson family’s house. The Petersons are grieving for their son, Caleb, who was just killed in Afghanistan, and David, claiming to be a close friend of Caleb’s, seems to be just what the family needs in their time of sorrow. With a too-white smile and overt politeness, David first endears himself to the family matriarch (played with dewy-eyed sincerity by Shelia Kelley) and eventually the rest of the Peterson clan: father, Spencer (Leland Orser, who genre fans will recognize as “knife-dick” from Se7en); older teen daughter, Anna (Maika Monroe); and high school freshman son, Luke (Brendan Meyer). Although every member of the Peterson household eventually opens up to David in one way or another, he develops special relationships with Anna and Luke. Unlike their father, who’s too busy trying to get ahead at work, David listens when Anna is having a tough time with her drug-dealing boyfriend or when Luke gets made fun of by the jocks at school. In short, David is there for the kids.
David’s a good listener, but he’s a helluva doer as well. When he picks up Luke from school after a particularly tough day of getting picked on, David asks Luke if he wants to go to the bar and grab a drink – a suggestion that Luke (who’s about 15) initially greets with skepticism – at which point David becomes insistent. You can tell that David doesn’t want to simply read Luke’s tormenters a bedtime story. After the two of them arrive at the bar, David cajoles Luke into telling him which group of kids has been attacking him. Luke does so, and David methodically kicks the crap out of them.
Similarly, David gains the trust of Anna, who has finished high school and works as a waitress at the local diner, but she isn’t sure what she wants to do with the rest of her life. One night, after Anna brings David to a party, she and her boyfriend have a fight, and David listens to her troubles. On the car ride home, there is palpable sexual tension between the two, which is further heightened when Anna sees a well-toned and bare-chested David exit the shower. Anna quickly overcomes her infatuation when she starts asking questions about David and getting only vague answers.
The darkly comedic aspects of the film are what work the best, particularly the progressively absurd and violent advice that David gives to Luke and the way that Mr. Peterson “needs a drink” to handle his increasingly stressful day-to-day. The acting is also uniformly good, with Stevens’ performance leading the way. David can be a smiling and sympathetic figure one moment and then an implacable, snarling psychopath the next. The main fault with the film lies in the script, which loses its way about halfway through before gaining momentum again in the finale, which takes place in a Halloween-themed high school maze (which is really the only nod to the horror genre in the film).
This fact brings me back to the nostalgia conundrum: the pleasure I got from the film derives from a well-acted and fun little dark comedy/family drama, written and directed with tongue-in-cheek rambunctiousness by Wingard and Barrett. Films that confront serious situations with black humor – think Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and Full Metal Jacket or Michael Lehmann’s Heathers – have to walk a thin line between parody and outright silliness. And there’s the rub: the pain of the nostalgic feeling. While watching The Guest, I wanted it to measure up. I wanted it to achieve the lofty goals that it set for itself; however, I also couldn’t help but wish that I was watching another movie that had already been done – and done better.
A brand new chapter continues, “The Strain: The Night Eternal: #2” brings to life the epic third part of Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s giant-sized horror novel. The plot moves at breakneck speed delivering one twist after another. If you’re enjoying the TV series on FX, then you better get “The Strain” comic right now.
Written By: David Lapham
Art By: Mike Huddleston
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release: September 17, 2014
Reviewed By Jorge Solis
The vampire plague began to spread when Flight 753 mysteriously landed at JFK International Airport. First on the scene, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and Nora Martinez, the disease detectives, were too late to stop the biological threat. The Master, the leader of the vampires has now won, spreading eternal darkness all across the entire globe. After triggering a series of meltdowns, the sun was completely blocked by a nuclear cloud. Eph wants to continue fighting the good fight but his spirit cannot keep going after the loss of his missing son.
David Lapham delivers a somber and bleak narrative where our defeated heroes have split apart. Nora has had enough of Eph and can only see him as a wasted drunk. Even The Master sees his opponent as a laughingstock, wishing he had a worthy adversary. Vasiliy keeps the faith because of what Abraham taught him, but he is just one of the few.
Eph’s love interest, Nora, is given more personality in this installment. Just through a conversation on Skype, Lapham has developed her character, who used to be mousy and quiet, to a more verbal and authoritative persona. There is so much resentment in her dialogue towards Eph, as if she blames him for something that happened to her.
In the opening pages, artist Mike Huddleston has given us a vampire apocalypse that is dark, cloudy, and muggy. The moody atmosphere is kept dreary in the panels through the rainstorms. The rain causes all the primary color to fade away, leaving only a gray tone. Almost everyone is drawn in thick shadows. In an impressive wide shot, we see Central Park in ruins.
Eph looks like a homeless bum thanks to his long hair and scruffy beard. Looks can be deceiving though because there is an action hero in him. Huddleston illustrates Eph taking down one of the vamps, driving a sword through its neck. These are the action sequences that makes this comic worthwhile.
If you’ve been around since the beginning, there’s no reason for you not to grab “The Strain: The Night Eternal” #2.With great results, the bleak tone and spirit of the novel has been translated into the comic book medium.
Another Rosemary’s Baby-esque thriller is giving birth on home video this October.
Bloody Disgusting has a first clip from L. Gustavo Cooper’s The Devil Incarnate, on home video October 7 from Image Entertainment.
“The future looks bright for newlyweds Trevor and Holly, but their dreams are about to devolve into a nightmare of unspeakable terror. On a random visit to a tarot reader, they encounter a mysterious old woman who tells them that Holly is pregnant. But soon, their joy is overshadowed by a mounting sense of dread that something sinister lurks within Holly’s womb. As the child grows within her, she begins to exhibit increasingly bizarre and violent behavior. Desperate to save his wife and unborn child, Trevor searches for answers and discovers Holly may have fallen prey to an ancient curse spawned by an evil demon with an insatiable lust for blood.”
Rod Luzzi, Graci Carli, and Emily Rogers star.
So now you know all about the Los Angeles premiere of the intense new horror film Starry Eyes (read my SXSW review here), but did you know you can win tickets to that premiere? We have 5 PAIRS to give away. You have to be over 18 to win and you must live in or near Los Angeles. Why? Two reasons. We want you to actually be able to attend… and to win you have to be willing to share your WORST L.A. HORROR STORY. This is a desperate, broken environment that sees even the most steadfast spirits compromise themselves once their will is chipped away as the rotten carrot of their dream is dangled in front of them. We want those stories. You came to this town for a reason… what’s the worst thing that’s happened to you (or the worst thing you’ve done) in pursuit of your dream? Email email@example.com with those stories (use STARRY EYES Premiere the subject header). The 5 best entries will get two tickets each.
The premiere is part of Beyond Fest (which has an amazing lineup this year) at the Egyptian Theater (6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028) and will take place on Monday, September 29th at 730 PM. You can get tickets HERE.
The Starry Eyes screening will feature a Q&A with writer/directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer along with the film’s star, Alex Essoe. And, as a special treat, Kölsch and Widmyer will be hosting a screening of Andrzej Zulawski’s’s Possession immediately afterwards at 10 PM. Check out the teaser for Starry Eyes, along with a Beyond Fest trailer, below.
Italian experimental metal band Nero Di Marte have released a stream of “Pulsar”, a track from their upcoming sophomore album Derivae, which will be released October 27th via Prosthetic Records.
It’s a dynamic track with many peaks and valleys and is gloriously atmospheric. I really recommend giving it a chance below.
In an interview with Invisible Oranges, vocalist Sean Worrel states:
I think what I’ve fully realized is just to do music for art’s sake. I know it sounds like a given, but today so many bands think in terms of “will this give me exposure” or “will this make money” or “will this appeal to more people”, maybe unconsciously. These shouldn’t be expectations. When I see unknown underground metal bands thinking that way it always begs the question, why are you making music in the first place?
Derivae can be pre-ordered through Prosthetic Records.
I don’t like optical illusions that make people’s body parts look unnatural. This shit makes my skin crawl.
I don’t even want to look at the new poster for FX’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show” that shows a woman’s foot in the shape of high heels.
Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe and Evan Peters return. New cast includes Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, John Carroll Lynch, Finn Wittrock, Patti LaBelle and the world’s smallest living woman, Jyoti Amge.
“American Horror Story: Freak Show” premieres Wednesday, October 8 at 10 PM ET/PT.
“The world’s most famous monster…”
Sideshow Collectibles reveals their massive Godzilla Maquette, based off the 2014 film.
As shown, the King of Monsters towers at 24 inches tall in a dynamic pose. Includes a detailed base featuring destroyed rubble.
It is priced at $799.99, about as large as Godzilla himself. Thankfully, you can install a payment plan.