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FEARNET.com News and Reviews

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    Morbid Anatomy Museum

    New York City is home to all sorts of museums, with art and history being the two things most often showcased inside of them.  The Morbid Anatomy Museum will have both of these things... with a whole lot of the macabre, the strange and the twisted thrown into the mix.

    Joanna Ebenstein (above) is the woman behind the Museum, her fascination with all things morbid beginning in 2005, when she visited and photographed medical museums in Europe.  From there, Ebenstein started the Morbid Anatomy blog, and soon realized that thousands of other people shared in her interests, which led to her opening Brooklyn's Morbid Anatomy LIbrary in 2008.  Now 42-years-old, her massive collection includes everything from taxidermied animals to creepy old medical photos, and the library has for the last several years provided her a place to show off her unique valuables.

    Morbid Anatomy

    As we spotted over on the Wall Street Journal, the library will be expanded into a full-on museum come April, inside Brooklyn's Proteus Gowanus gallery.  The 4,200 square-foot space will span three floors, and it will include thousands of interesting curiosities, as well as an exhibition space, lecture areas, a gift shop and even a cafe.  "You're not going to go to the Met and see what we're planning on showing you," says the museum's chief executive.

    Morbid Anatomy

    For now, you can virtually browse Ebenstein's collection over on her Morbid Anatomy blog.


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  • 01/15/14--11:00: The Unseen: 'Cannibal Ferox'
  • cannibal feroxIn my slightly sordid past, I have been dared to do a number of things including drink a pint of scotch in just an hour, dance on stage with a male stripper named Turbo, and also watch Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox back-to-back before I knew anything about them. Out of all of these tasks, the cannibal films were the hardest to get through and resulted in more nausea than the scotch. In short, I have a thing about animals. I can watch the most extreme horror films where people are the victims. But show me a slightly sad puppy or a mildly inconvenienced raccoon, and I’m disturbed for the remainder of the day. Why? Animals aren’t acting, and in the case of these classic cannibal films, the animal deaths are all real. That said, I have an odd appreciation for these films simply for attempting to push the envelope of decency. 

    Cannibal Ferox, also known as Make Them Die Slowly, was a film that everyone talked about but only the most hardened horror fans had ever seen.  It was a VHS box cover that sat on the local video store shelves taunting viewers with warning labels emblazoned across the front cover. “This Motion Picture is one of the most violent films ever made” printed under the title was my clear invitation to watch this film.  And they are not just marketing tools. This is one extreme film.  Mike, a New York City drug dealer, is on the run after ripping off some underworld criminal-types to the tune of $100,000.  He travels down to Paraguay with his friend Joe in search of cocaine.  While there, they stumble upon Rudy, Gloria, and Pat, three young adventurers researching cannibalism in South America.  Unfortunately, they find exactly what they are looking and are taken prisoner by actual cannibals.

    Prior to the 70s, instances of cannibalism were rather rare on film. Flicks like The Naked Prey and several of the Tarzan films made mention of man-eating tribes, while occasionally films like Northwest Passage (1940) featured scenes of entrails consumption.  What most horror fans know as “cannibal films” didn’t emerge until the 1970s. Many cite the 1972 Umberto Lenzi pic The Man From Deep River as kick-starting the brutal subgenre. The cannibals then exploded in 1977 with the release of Ruggero Deodato’s Jungle Holocaust.  The genre would then climax in 1980 with Deodato’s next film, the highly popular Cannibal Holocaust. Cannibal Ferox rode in on the tail end of the “cannibal boom.”  Despite the market being rather accustomed to the gory sub-genre by this point, Ferox still found itself on the infamous video nasty list in England. In spite of this designation, or possibly because of it, Ferox found itself lofted in the upper echelon of cannibal films.  

    cannibal ferox

    By Ferox’s release, in order to make a successful cannibal film, the director had to try to convince the viewers some of it was “real” or documenting “real events”.  There’s nothing like watching a movie where people wonder whether the director actually had his cast murdered for the sake of the film. I know a lot of the scenes depicting animal torture were real (which is highly disturbing), but let’s not take away from the brilliant FX work of Gino De Rossi.  Best known as the artist behind Zombie (1979) and City of the Living Dead (1980), De Rossi eventually was able to shift into more mainstream American pics like The Last Emperor (1987) and Casino Royale (2006).  But accolades should be given to Ferox for its ability to make an entire generation say, “Did they really just cut that guy’s dick off?” 

    cannibal feroxLike many of the Italian cannibal films, the soundtrack is just as powerful and effective as the disturbing butchery. Cannibal Ferox features a soundtrack that is more 70s cop show than many of its counterparts. The use of funk guitar, bass, rock piano and synthesizer makes for a fun yet still powerful sound.  It’s 70s recklessness with an 80s sensibility, perfect for a film that rides the line between two decades. The bulk of the soundtrack was done by Budy-Maglione, a partnership of Roberto Donati and Fiamma Maglione (who also appears in the film).  This pair was responsible for collaborating on such films as Eaten Alive (1980) and Daughter of the Jungle (1982).

     

    For years, this VHS classic sat on rental shelves under various titles and cuts.  In 2006, Grindhouse Releasing put out the definitive DVD release of Cannibal Ferox just as Lenzi originally wanted it- completely uncensored and disturbing as hell! 

     

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    There is a new Nurse 3D trailer out, and even though it is a television spot (meaning the sex and violence has been toned down) there are still plenty of tasty morsels to enjoy. 

    Nurse 3D tells the story of a sexy nurse who cares for patients lovingly during the day, but at night her attentions become lusty and drenched with blood. When a sweet young nurse joins the hospital staff, what starts as a friendship turns into a deadly obsession.

    Nurse 3D hits theaters and VOD February 7th.


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    For her project “Woman’s Work is Never Done,” UK artist Eliza Bennett decided to make an unforgettable statement about gender roles by using the technique of embroidery... and instead of sewing the multicolored threads into a fabric canvas, she wove the strange patterns directly into the skin of her own left hand.
     
    Bennett2
    Photo: Eliza Bennett/Zillamag
     
    “Using my own hand as a base material, I considered it a canvas upon which I stitched into the top layer of skin, using thread to create the appearance of an incredibly work-worn hand,” Bennett explains. She chose the needlepoint style because it represents a traditional concept of “women's work,” and wove the threads into the shape of calluses to challenge that idea.
     
    Bennett1
    Photo: Eliza Bennett/Zillamag
     
    Bennett's project has been featured in art and design magazines like Hi Fructose and Zillamag, and you can see more of her work at her official site.

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    Although they started largely unknown outside of their native Sweden, extreme-rock quartet Sister eventually broke out into the international arena with the release of their EP Dead Boys Making Noise in 2009, which got them signed to Metal Blade the following year. After their well-received full-length debut Hated and successful shows with the likes of Fozzy, U.D.O. and (long-time FEARNET fave) Wednesday 13, the band quickly became one of rock & metal's most talked-about names; natually, old and new fans have been clamoring for a follow-up.
     
    Sister_2014
     
    The wait is over next Tuesday with the arrival of Disguised Vultures – and while it's definitely the band's most polished record to date, it manages to balance the their aggressive attitude and flamboyant glam-rock stylings with just the right edge of old-school grit and grime. That sound is described by the label as “the bastard child of GG Allin and Guns N' Roses,” and that's actually a pretty dead-on description; I'd also wager the late notorious shock-rocker may have the dominant gene in this particular hybrid. 
     
    Sister_Vultures
     
    While some band members have been sporting a black metal-inspired look lately, the music itself draws more deeply from Misfits-style horror punk and '80s metal than any other genre – and that's apparent in the abrasive and powerful opening cut “My Enemy” and the grim but energized anthem "Arise." With crunchy, heavily overdriven riffs (even the bass has a distinctive crackle) and gravel-throated vocals, most tracks circle back to simple but effective lead melodies, though often offset by a seriously scary tone. This is most notable on the title track – a dose of flamboyant '80s raunch-rock – and the leading single “Sick,” which balances the darker themes with an anthemic, arena-pleasing approach. Listen:
     
     
    The brooding follow-up single "Naked" is another strong entry, a down-tempo creeper which, along with lumbering cuts like "We Salute 'Em," darkens the tone of the album's second half several shades. After a brief return to turbo punk anthems like "DMN" and the exhilarating "(Stop the) Revolution," the record closes out on a strong note with the soaring strummed acoustic chords of "Please Kill Me," which despite its title is the most uplifting song on the record.
     
    Sister_live
     
    For a band that stirs such a wide range of familiar styles and imagery into the pot, Sister has managed to serve up a surprisingly fresh sound, helped immensely by a rough-and-rowdy approach; their haunting image may seem at odds with the flamboyant delivery, but bands with even deeper contradictions have pulled off the same feat with much success (most memorably their fellow countrymen Ghost). The right kind of energy is essential, of course, and that menacing, carnivorous attitude serves them well. They may have laid the groundwork with Hated, but Vultures is a much stronger effort which will likely expand Sister's fanbase across the Atlantic and beyond.

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    Face Off Episode 601
    “Sexy Beasts”
    Original Airdate: 14 January 2014

    In This Episode…

    The sixth season opens with McKenzie Westmore announcing that this will be a season of extremes, and they are looking for bigger and more extreme makeups. She also reveals that, new this year, the judges will have the opportunity to offer a one-time immunity to anyone they think deserves a second chance. I assume that this is one immunity per judge.

    The episode starts with a foundation challenge, to do a makeup that represents themselves as artists, and inspired by a huge, crazy wig worn by a model. George wins and gains immunity for the week.

    The spotlight challenge takes the contestants to a castle, where they are greeted by six princesses in lush gowns, holding a picture of a castle. Working in teams of two, each team must create a Beast to go with his castle and his Belle. Stephen Sommers is the guest judge this week.

    The Creations

    Rashaad and Chloe do a beast reminiscent of The Creature From the Black Lagoon. It is not particularly original, but the detail is tremendous and the makeups were applied beautifully. Neville felt it was a very complete makeups; Stephen couldn’t believe they did that much work in less than two days. Glenn found it to be one of the most complex and complete first week makeups ever on the show.

    Tyler and Bethany created something that… well it was fucking weird. I saw what they were trying to do: incorporate the castle turrets into the makeup, but it was done poorly and literally. Stephen thought it looked mousy; Glenn saw a teddy bear or a clown; Ve thought it was a Persian cat that got mixed up with an ice cream cone. She called it one of the “kookiest choices I have seen on this show.” That seems to be putting it mildly.

    Matt and Margaret went with an alien-like Beast, but he ended up looking more like a strangely proportioned Conehead or something. Ve likened it to Silly Putty. Neville saw no elegance and no reference to anatomy in the design. Glenn was offended by the face sculpt, calling it “beyond unacceptable.” And Stephen seemed preoccupied by the fact that this Beast didn’t have any lips.

    Daran, Graham and George were the only three-person team. (George, as winner of the earlier challenge, got to choose whichever pre-formed team he wanted to join.) Since there were three of them, they knew they had to bring it, and they did, with a Beast that has been trapped inside his rocky cliffside castle with the curse. The longer he is in the castle, the more he becomes part of it. Neville liked the details and thought the face sculpt was particularly good. Glenn was impressed with the way the makeups were extended onto the chest, giving the model some beastly bulk while still looking natural. Stephen, again with the lips, could see Belle kissing this Beast.

    Verdict?

    Unsurprisingly, Rashaad and Chloe are the winning team, with Chloe determined the ultimate winner. Margaret goes home.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    For a season that promises more extreme challenges - this wasn’t one. I guess they were trying to ease the cast into the contest, but it just wasn’t interesting. Create your own version of the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. That just seems so unoriginal. On top of that, the creations themselves were pretty weak.

    Prophecies?

    Crop circles must be incorporated into alien makeups.


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    When you think of The Conjuring, James Wan's horror hit from last summer, most people probably think of the Annabelle doll, a terrifying doll who haunts a pair of young women. The funny thing is that the film wasn't really focused on Annabelle; she was just kind of an introduction into the weird lives of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. But Annabelle has proven herself to be beloved - and now she is getting her own movie.

    Details on the script are under wraps for now, but the two lead actors have just been cast: Annabelle Wallis (The Tudors) and Ward Horton (Days of Our Lives, The Wolf of Wall Street). John Leonetti, who was the cinematographer on The Conjuring will direct Annabelle based off a script from Gary Dauberman (Bloodmonkey, Swamp Devil). Shooting is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles at the end of the month.

    Source: The Wrap


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    The deranged practical jokers at Break.com– the same guys who dropped fake tarantulas on people's heads last Halloween– posted another simple but sadistic stunt, this time involving a supposedly abandoned handbag which holds a slithering surprise for anyone curious enough to peek inside. The result is another hilarious experiment in the basic fight-or-flight response.
     
    Snake_Purse1
    Photo: Benny Mazur/Wikimedia Commons
     
    Notice how most of the men in this clip (including the cop at the end) look way more terrified than the women – one of whom just laughs and immediately spots the perpetrators!
     

     


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    Dark Souls was a pleasantly punishing surprise when it came out, offering a grueling difficulty level set in a dismally dark fantasy world.  The sequel is set to be released in March and the new trailer shows that same bleak backdrop. 

    While it may be fantasy, the creature designs are pretty damn horrific overall (like the original, natch) and hopefully the same sense of frustrating-but-fair difficulty that the original brutally boasted will be in effect.

    Dark Souls 2 will be released March 14th, 2014 for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

    [Source: Joystiq]

     

     

     


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    It's Thursday once again, and you know what that means; time to check out some vintage behind the scenes shots from another beloved horror flick.  Because it's not just Thursday... it's #ThrowbackThursday, fiends! - See more at: http://www.fearnet.com/news/news-article/throwback-thursday-texas-chains...
    It's Thursday once again, and you know what that means; time to check out some vintage behind the scenes shots from another beloved horror flick.  Because it's not just Thursday... it's #ThrowbackThursday, fiends! - See more at: http://www.fearnet.com/news/news-article/throwback-thursday-texas-chains...
    It's Thursday once again, and you know what that means; time to check out some vintage behind the scenes shots from another beloved horror flick.  Because it's not just Thursday... it's #ThrowbackThursday, fiends! - See more at: http://www.fearnet.com/news/news-article/throwback-thursday-texas-chains...
    It's Thursday once again, and you know what that means; time to check out some vintage behind the scenes shots from another beloved horror flick.  Because it's not just Thursday... it's #ThrowbackThursday, fiends! - See more at: http://www.fearnet.com/news/news-article/throwback-thursday-texas-chains...

    An American Werewolf in London

    It's Thursday once again, and you know what that means; time to check out some vintage behind the scenes shots from another beloved horror flick.  Because it's not just Thursday... it's #ThrowbackThursday, fiends!

    When it comes to werewolf movies, they just don't get any better than the one we're here to step behind the scenes of today.  Thanks to a combination of humor, horror and some of the most impressive special effects in the history of the genre, 1981's An American Werewolf in London still holds up today as one of the very best horror films of all time.

    The movie was actually written over 10 years prior to the date that the cameras started rolling, and it was the box office success of Landis' comedy films Animal House and The Blues Brothers that allowed him to dust that script off, and turn it into horror gold.  So let's all say a big thank you to Bluto, Jake and Elwood for that!

    Today, we head back in time to the UK sets of An American Werewolf in London, where zombies, Nazi demons and a hungry werewolf await our arrival!

    An American Werewolf in London

    An American Werewolf in London

    An American Werewolf in London
    An American Werewolf in London

    An American Werewolf in London

    An American Werewolf in London

    An American Werewolf in London

    An American Werewolf in London

    An American Werewolf in London

    An American Werewolf in London


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    Slash1
     
    There's a reason I put quotes around the word “slashes” up there – the Russian science teacher shown in this freaky clip didn't go all Jigsaw on her students and invite them to "play a game" or anything. This is actually a pretty cool and harmless (as far as I can tell) experiment in chemistry that had the class shrieking... and laughing.
     
    The knife (which has no edge) is dipped in one solution, while the student's arm is swabbed with another. When the two are combined, the resulting chemical reaction creates a shockingly realistic bloody red trail.
     
     
    So where were the teachers like this when I was trying desperately to stay awake in my high school Chemistry lab?

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    Horror always had a strong foothold in the history of television. That's a natural progression from horror's dominance as a genre people turned to during the radio days. But it seems like, in years past, horror on television was full of wit, macabre humor, and a sense of fun that we don't see anymore. Naturally something as spooky and fun as a great old horror TV show would deserve its own board game - so today, we take at look at five of our favorite old board games based on spooky shows!

    The Addams Family Game (1974)

    We can't talk about horror television without talking about The Addams Family. The seminal horror comedy made its television debut as a sitcom from '64-'66, then a 1973 animated series, then a 1992 animated series, and then it went on to have several remakes, a few movies, and tons of other franchised wonders. And while there were a few good board games based on the show to choose from, we had to go with the weirdest. From 1974, and illustrated with character designs based on the '73 cartoon, 'The Addams Family Game' featured a wild premise. To quote the box itself: "This weird family does everything different than most folks and this game follows that concept. The object of this game is to lose, not win, for if you win you lose and it's fun either way." Okay… Basically, players take turns rolling a spinner, and attempt to stay away from the end of the game. Once someone reaches the freshly dug grave titled "The End" the game ends, and the player closest to the "Start" tile wins! What a wacky way to play a game, or should we call it "mysterious and spooky," or maybe "all together ooky?"

    The Monster Squad Game (1977)

    Before The Monster Squad was an awesome movie from 1987 it was a really goofy show from 1976. In it Walt, a student working at a wax museum, created a crime stopping machine that's "oscillations" accidentally turned statues of Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankenstein's Monster into real-life monsters. Those monsters, hoping to make up for crimes they committed in their past, work with Walt to put a stop to the very goofy criminals that plagues the town. This Milton Bradley board game, based on the show, was an innovative dice-rolling game. In it, players had a few pawns, and rolled dice to move their pawns either forward or backward on the board. If they landed on the same spot as an opponent, the opponent's piece went back to its start. Like sorry, but with a picture of Henry Polic II on it, this game is definitely one of our weird favorites!

    Barnabas Collins: Dark Shadows Game (1969)

    Dark Shadows was all about the wonderful things that can go wrong on TV. Okay, maybe it wasn't about that, per se, but it did feature some of the best bumps, stutters, and boom mic's in the history of television. A mixture of horror and soap opera, Dark Shadows featured Barnabas Collins as the vampiric patriarch of his family. In the board game named after him, players rolled dice to move around the board. When one lands on a specific spot, you'd spin a wheel hoping to get a specific bone piece to piece together a skeleton each player built on a stand. With an advanced mode, glow in the dark pieces, interactive gameplay, and a little plastic coffin to store all the pieces, this game was one of the best of its time!

    Tales from the Cryptkeeper - Search For The Lost Tales (1994)

    Nowadays its easy to catch episodes of the kid-show horror classic, Tales from the Cryptkeeper… you can catch them here on FEARNET every Saturday and Sunday. But back in the day these great, goofy episodes only aired during the fall of 1993 and 1994 (and a bonus batch in '99). Luckily, if that wasn't enough of a fix of the Cryptkeeper for you, you could purchase this colorful roll-and-move board game. Based on the children's version of Tales from the Crypt, the show was a much lighter take on the horror genre. Aimed for kiddies just like its namesake, the game mechanics were simple: you rolled dice, moved your pawn around the board, and either went ahead, back, or did other simple movements based on where you landed. Sounds simple, sure, but I think you were supposed to imagine the Cryptkeeper cackling in your head while you played, which (we're sure) really added to the experience.

    The Munsters Masquerade Party Game (1965)

    No one throws a party like The Munsters! Based off the popular television show (and one of this author's personal favorite franchises), 'The Munsters Masquerade Party Game' took the basic roll and move mechanics that a lot of these games from the '60s and '70s employed and added a fun twist. When a player lands on a specific type of spot on the board, that player must draw a "Party Card." These cards have ridiculous instructions on them, forcing the player to sing a song, or bark like a dog, or all kinds of other silly dares. If the player is too bashful to do one of these actions, they go back three spaces. A great, simple design for a time when we were all a little more bashful. Except the Munsters… they were definitely never bashful in the sixties!


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    One does not walk lightly into a criticism of Italian filmmaker Dario Argento. The lovable auteur behind horror classics like Deep Red, Suspiria, and Tenebre, Mr. Argento is inarguably one of the most influential genre filmmakers imaginable. Yes, right up there with Romero, Craven, and Carpenter. So even when the man turns out a bad movie, there should always be a degree of respect.

     
    Having said all that, I don't know what the hell was in Dario Argento's head as he directed this hilariously woeful rendition of Bram Stoker's immortal novel. It almost feels like Argento, who used to direct smart, subversive horror films, is playing a game in which he sees how close to an Uwe Boll movie he can get. It's difficult to get angry at a man who has given us so many excellent horror films, but make no mistake: this is one seriously bad rendition of Dracula.
     
    Borrowing the time period and a few character names from the source material, Argento goes about cobbling together a typically dry narrative about noble idiots and nubile women who slowly (ever so slowly) fall prey to Thomas Kretschmann's patently un-scary version of Count Dracula. But technological "advances" have turned a potentially amusing B movie into an eyesore, a headache, and a chore. 
     
    Scenes are harrowingly overlit; many of the actors give line readings that border on indecipherable, and the muddy voice dubbing certainly doesn't help; and the special effects may have been more charming back in 1981. I'll take latex masks and rubber bats over transparent computer animation any day.
     
    But wait. Dario Argento is clearly a talented filmmaker (and by all accounts a very intelligent man), so maybe his oddball 3D version of Dracula is actually broad, silly, and goofy... on purpose? Like maybe it's a very sly satire of the remake cycle and the virtually immortal status of Dracula's filmography? That'd be nice if the film was anything but amateurish and drearily boring; the few moments that are legitimately, intentionally snarky are buried beneath endless scenes of glaring lights, awful wigs, atrocious accents, and completely clueless performances.
     
    Whether Mr. Argento meant this to be A) serious, B) silly, or C) a combination of both, the end result is, I'm sorry to say, almost completely unwatchable.
     

    READ FEARNET'S PARTNER REVIEWS OF DRACULA 3D


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    As I've noted before, Australia is home to some of the world's most uncanny creatures, and seldom a week goes by that I'm not amazed and horrified (in a good way, of course) by some of the bizarre wildlife lurking there. Case in point: our latest real-life monster from Down Under is a lot like the common earthworm, but on mega-mutant steroids.
     
    Gippsland3
     
    The giant Gippsland worm (species Megascolides australis), named after the region of Victoria where it's commonly found, is a pinkish-gray monstrosity that averages around three feet in length... but specimens up to ten feet long have been found. Due to its ability to expand and stretch its body at will, it can appear to be even longer. But that's just the beginning of the horror.
     
    Gippsland1Gippsland2
     
    Aside from its size, the most unsettling trait of Megascolides is the creepy noise it makes. Since the worms tend to tunnel very deep, they only come close to the surface during heavy rains, and their movements through the mud create a loud gurgling sound that makes them easier to find... if they don't find you first, that is.
     
    Gippsland5
     
    Until recently, if you really wanted to get up-close and personal with Australia's mega-worms, you could have visited the Wildlife Wonderland Giant Earthworm Museum near Bass (shown above) and walk through huge simulations of worm tunnels and digestive systems... but according to an update from travel site Atlas Obscura, the museum has been shut down for legal reasons.

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    After impressing us with their tributes to Jaws and The Walking Dead, California's Hero Complex Gallery is out to please us horror fans once again with their latest exhibit, which kicks off tomorrow.  Titled 'Imagined Worlds,' the exhibit is all about visionary filmmakers, guys like Stanley Kubrick, Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott who have built elaborate fictional worlds and universes that we just love to hang around in.

    Alien, The Shining and Pan's Labyrinth are just a few of the films that the contributing artists have honored with their incredible pieces, which will be on display at the gallery through February 2nd.  If you don't live in California, you'll be able to see all the artwork this coming Saturday over on Hero Complex Gallery's website, where you'll also be able to purchase select pieces.

    In the meantime, check out some of our favorite horror highlights from the Imagined Worlds exhibit!

    Pan's Labyrinth

    Alien

    The Shining

    Prometheus

    Pan's Labyrinth

    Hannibal


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    Valley of Peace

    As was pointed out on the website Viral Nova, though the above photo may look like an aerial shot of a bustling town, what you're actually looking at is a cemetery... the world's largest cemetery.  Located in the Shia holy city of Najaf, Iraq, the sprawling cemetery is known as the Valley of Peace (Wadi-us-Salaam), and millions of bodies are buried there, with hundreds of thousands joining them every single year.

    Valley of Peace

    The cemetery spans a whopping 1,485 acres, everything from large family crypts to underground mausoleums and vaults absolutely littering the city-sized landscape.  The valley of Peace has been the sight of Islamic burials for the past 1,400 years, and it is considered a holy land of sorts, with many believing that the souls of the departed will make their way there, no matter where their bodies are buried.

    Valley of Peace

    Though Najaf is one of the largest cities in Iraq, only about 600,000 living people reside there, a number that's absolutely dwarfed by the number of the dead that call it home.


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    Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, EA’s multiplayer shooter-ification (I’m gonna trademark that term) of PopCap’s strategic smash, will be experiencing a slight delay from its original release date.

    Inexplicably, the delay will be exactly one week: the new release date is February 25th for the North American release, and the 27th for Europe.  The game will initially be released on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 for $39.99.

    EA has also released a dev diary video showcasing the Garden Ops multiplayer mode, which puts a team of 4 plants against 11 waves of zombies, trying to wait out the clock for Crazy Dave to extract them in his flying RV.

    [Source: Joystiq]

     

     


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    LEGO enthusiast and Batman superfan Paul Hetherington, a.k.a. Brickbaron, joins the ranks of our favorite genre-themed LEGO masterminds (like this rogues gallery of horror movie villains we spotted Monday) thanks to this humongous diorama inspired by The Joker's Funhouse in LEGO Batman and other Batman video games.
     
    Joker4
    Photo: Carlyle Livingston via Flickr
     
    Not only does it feature three separate levels depicting Batman & Robin battling villains, henchmen and monsters, the set-pieces are also enhanced with incredible motion, smoke and lighting effects (Poison Ivy's "pets" are particularly sick). It's creepy too, as anything with giant toothy clowns naturally would be.
     
    Joker2
    Photo: Carlyle Livingston via Flickr
     
    The Funhouse made its world premiere last October at BrickCon in Seattle, where it deservedly took home the “Evil Genius” award in the Superhero category.
     
    Joker5
    Photo: Carlyle Livingston via Flickr
     
    You can see the display in action in this clip by Dynamic Video Creations, which enhances the chill factor with an ominous industrial soundtrack.
     
     
    Check out more photos like these in Brickbaron's Flickr gallery!

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    The scenic ski resort town of Peio in northern Italy revealed a dark chapter from history when the Presena glacier retreated in 2012, revealing the bodies of Austrian soldiers believed to have died in the final days of World War I.
     
    Glacier2
    Photo: Office for Archaeological Finds, Autonomous Province of Trento
     
    According to The Telegraph, the bodies were partially mummified, preserved by the ice at extremely low temperatures. Extreme cold itself led to several deaths when Peio was a strategic location on the front lines of the “White War,” where Austrian and Italian armies clashed in ice trenches at altitudes of 6500 feet and above. Since the 1990s, higher temperatures have melted more glacial ice, revealing the mummified bodies and preserved personal effects of several soldiers, some of whom had been declared missing in action.
     
    Glacier2
    Photo: Office for Archaeological Finds, Autonomous Province of Trento
     
    The most recent of these were found by Maurizio Vicenzi, director of Peio's war museum. According to the article, they appeared to be part of a medical/rescue team, and were buried upside down, possibly during the final battle in the region in September 1918. Forensics experts are still attempting to identify the soldiers; although they have DNA samples, spotty records from wartime make it difficult to find leads to their living relatives. The bodies are now interred in the nearby San Rocco cemetery.
     
    Visit The Telegraph for the full story and more historical background on Peio and the White War.

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    In a surprisingly low-key tweet, Focus Interactive has revealed concept art for Frogwares’ upcoming The Call of Cthulhu, a Lovecraftian horror title for PC and next-gen consoles.

    This is not Frogwares’ first attempt at wrapping its tentacles around Lovecraft’s brand of cosmic horror: Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened pitted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s opiate-addicted super sleuth against a Cthulhu cult, and their first-person puzzler Magrunner blended futuristic sci-fi with the Elder Gods.

    It’s been a while since we’ve had a full-fledged game release in the Call of Cthulhu universe, with the last being Bethesda’s criminally underrated Call of Cthulhu: Dark Carners of the Earth, as well as a handful of mobile games.  The production art seems to hit all of the right Lovecraftian notes: crumbling New England mansions, occult violence, and overpopulated cemeteries that hold hideous promise.

    The official release date hasn’t been set, but it will presumably be revealed after Frogwares and Focus release their next Sherlock Holmes game, Crimes & Punishments.

     

     

     

     

     


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