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    The term "horror library" conjures certain expectations. If you go to a library, you can assume you'll find more than one specific kind of book. Likewise, a "horror library" is going to be home to more than one kind of horror - you'll have your "Quiet Horror" section, your "Splatterpunk" section, your "Haunted House" section, your "Demonic Possession" section, and so on and so forth.
    Horror_Library_5I believe that Cutting Block Press was very intentional in naming their anthology series Horror Library, and editors R.J. Cavender and Boyd E. Harris continue in this, the series' fifth edition, to take an all-inclusive approach in collecting its contents. While readers who are only attracted to certain kinds of horror may find such far-reaching collections a hit-and-miss affair, those who are open to varying approaches to the genre will find plenty worth reading here. 
    Some of the terrible things you'll stumble across here: a graveyard that harbors a horrible family secret; a bathtub in which drowning is the least of a small child's worries; a frighteningly effective sex toy; a tale of all-encompassing grief, and vultures; and fresh takes on old standards like demon-summoning rock music, ghosts, haunted houses, and more.
    Often in collections like this there will be one or two stories that really jump ahead of the pack in terms of impact, but that wasn't the case this time around. There's a consistent level of quality throughout the 30 stories presented here, a somewhat surprising accomplishment given the number of relative newcomers who appear alongside genre stalwarts like Ray Garton, Bentley Little and Jeff Strand.
    "Themed" collections featuring various takes on common plot points (the apocalypse, vampires, etc.) have virtually taken over the market these days, which makes the Horror Library series all the more important as far as I'm concerned. It's the sort of sampling that can give you satisfying versions of the kind of horror you enjoy, while at the same time introducing you to stuff you might never have investigated otherwise. Horror Library Volume 5 is an investment of time and money that yields nothing but positive returns.
    [Full Disclosure: The author of this review published a short story, “Toll,” in Horror Library Volume 3.]

    Blu Gilliand is a freelance writer of fiction and nonfiction. He covers horror fiction at his blog, October Country, and contributes interviews to the Horror World website. Follow him on Twitter at @BluGilliand


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    Atari’s bankruptcy stings for a variety of reasons, but we’ve got a new one to add to the list: prior to their financial doom, the company had started work on a remake of the classic Alone in the Dark, the proto-horror PC game that all but gave us Resident Evil.  Not a crappy reboot like Alone in the Dark 5, but a almost pixel-perfect remake of the gothic/Lovecraftian classic.

    This was discovered by Kotaku, who found the video below hidden in the portfolio of designer Guillaume Colomb.  The short walkthrough should be a very familiar experience to early-90’s PC gamers, complete with weird mutant werewolves, zombies, and the once-dapper Edward Carnby (whose HD visage looks like King Diamond without makeup) fighting off both of them while solving occult puzzles.  It’s not as subtle an update as some HD remakes, but given the original’s looks, I can’t imagine that would have gone over too well.

    There are a few unfinished textures and whatnot (this was a WIP) but it’s a bittersweet look at what could have been coming to consoles and PC had Atari not succumbed to their money troubles.



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    The American West is home to dozens of abandoned mining towns dating back to the gold rush days. Some have all but vanished into oblivion, while others have become popular historical landmarks (and a few are even available for sale). Among the most memorable of these sites is Bodie, California, which was turned into a historic park in 1962 and still draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
    Photo: Francesco Orfei
    What makes Bodie so special, you ask? Partly because of its size – with over a hundred buildings still standing, it's one of the largest California ghost towns in existence, and it holds the title of the state's “official” gold rush ghost town.
    Bodie also has a reputation for being one of the spookiest historic sites to visit at night, and the otherworldly atmosphere of the town has made it a popular destination for photographers.
    Photo: Jürgen Lobert via Flickr
    Adding to the haunted atmosphere, most of Bodie's intact mills, shops and residences were left exactly as they stood when mining operations shut down in 1942, less than half a century after the town's most prosperous era.

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    German “hero metal” band Van Canto brings something entirely new to the game: proving that heavy metal is not merely a genre label or even a writing/performing style but a state of mind, these six skilled musicians shape their epic sound – riffs, leads, solos, the works – using almost exclusively human voices. Their one concession to traditional metal instrumentation is the inclusion of a drumkit as accompaniment to the vocals – which are multi-tracked, amplified and electronically treated to represent all guitar, bass and keyboard parts. With the help of expert mixing and production, the result is sometimes barely distinguishable from an actual guitar-based band (it's often hard to tell the difference until you hear the lead “guitarist” take a breath between notes), but more careful listening will uncover a smooth, expert blend of classical and experimental voice techniques that elevate Van Canto above the realm of novelty acts and into a rock & metal subgenre of their own.
    Photo: Stefan Heilemann
    Their fifth studio album Dawn of the Brave continues the band's running theme of larger-than-life heroes and their deeds, but this time kicks up the fantasy factor to incorporate tales of comic book and cinematic superheroes. To boost the epic factor, the band recruited over two hundred backing vocalists – most of whom are actually Van Canto's fans, invited to participate in the recording sessions. While this has the earmarks of a promotional stunt, it totally works, lending an extra cinematic grandeur to the material.
    The intro/title track is one of the few instances of clean and untreated vocals, giving you a chance to identify the many intricate layers that go into the musical tapestry and establishing the foundation of the Van Canto sound before launching into the heaviness of the first full song, "Fight for Your Life," a straightforward power metal anthem. Female vocalist Inga Scharf leads the pack for "To the Mountains," a gothic feast reminiscent of female-fronted European metal bands like Nightwish, whose track “Wishmaster” Van Canto covered on their 2008 album Hero.
    Other high points include the ominously deep backing vocals of "Steelbreaker" and “Unholy” (the voice equivalent of drop-tuned guitar and bass riffs), which quickly grew on me to the point where I was only half-aware of the strange hyperspeed phonetics that represent the tremolo rhythms. Another clear standout is the operatic "Badaboom," accompanied by an excellent music video illustrating the band's dark fantasy motifs and displaying the a capella metal technique in action (even the title is a play on the vocalizations the band uses to simulate guitar riffs). Check it:
    Van Canto has also gained international attention for some excellent cover songs, most notably vocal renditions of the Metallica classics “Battery” and “Master of Puppets” (in the mode of Finnish “cello metal” team Apocalyptica), and Dawn of the Brave continues that tradition with four memorable choices: a dead-on rendition of the Black Sabbath classic “Paranoid”; a pensive and haunted version of "The Final Countdown" by Europe; a surprisingly heavy and energized take on Bonnie Tyler's '80s pop staple “Holding Out for a Hero,” and an emotional rendition of Annie Lennox's Oscar-winning “Into the West” from Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, featuring a warm, delicate performance by Scharf, definitely the album's most emotional moment.
    Dawn of the Brave is a distinct step up in quality from Van Canto's already stellar work, benefiting from a fantastic mix and smooth production by Ronald Prent (Rammstein) and Charlie Bauerfeind (Helloween), with arrangements that further blur the lines between vocals and instruments. Metal purists might balk at the concept, but if you approach the material with an open mind and regard the a capella technique as a mini-genre unto itself, this record will make a lasting impression for its creativity and technical prowess... plus these cats straight-up rock, making this a distinctive, one-of-a-kind project from an equally original group of artists.

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    FEARnet is proud to present brand new fiction from Nightmare Magazine. Once a month, we'll be featuring a story from Nightmare’s current issue. This month's selection is “The Totals” by Adam-Troy Castro. Please tell us what you think and enjoy!

    The Totals

    Adam-Troy Castro

    Clutch has killed somebody recently.

    This goes without saying.

    For as long as Clutch can remember, he has always killed somebody “recently.” If not within the last few hours, then certainly within the last few days. He may have gone as long as a couple of weeks without, from time to time, when circumstances conspired against him. But never as long as a month, no, not for living memory.

    Of course, Clutch has never had much of a memory. All the events of his violent life pass before him like dream-images, fading into the past almost as soon as the screams people make at the sight of him are reduced by his misshapen hands to gurgled death rattles, fading to silence. He has never had any real sense of time, and almost no understanding beyond the direction of his next step, the scent of the next living thing he must throttle. But in that part of his mind that works, he still knows that his last kill was not long ago. It only stands to reason. His hands are still sticky with blood and his nostrils still tangy with the smell of voiding bowels and his general simmering rage is mostly sated, so it just stands to reason, that’s all.

    He has no immediate needs of that sort to satisfy.

    Life, or whatever it is he has, is good.

    But he is hungry.

    It is a cold night beneath pinprick stars and he has emerged from a cross-country hike through a stand of pines to a two-lane road that looks like every other strip of featureless blacktop he has ever wandered.

    The unusual sense that he has been here before leaves him unsurprised when he recognizes the sight up ahead, a low silver building hemorrhaging electric light into the surrounding darkness; he feels that he has returned to some place he knows. When he steps off the road and onto gravel, his disfigured expression resolves into something that could almost be called a smile.

    Clutch lurches through the double doors, and into the vestibule with the gumball dispensers and the cardboard display with slots where quarters can be inserted for a charity benefiting a sad-eyed child on crutches. It seems strange but right for the door on the other side of the vestibule, leading to the diner interior, to be scaled to his dimensions: a novelty, he’s always possessed an awkward shape and monstrous bulk that makes breaking down doors somewhat more natural than opening them. He’s also oddly gratified that the dining room he finds past that inner door is also scaled for him, with booths he could actually fit into if he wanted, and stools that seem just the right size to sit on, and not crush.

    It’s not a busy night. Two of the booths and one of the stools are occupied by creatures that make no sense to him, things that are as alien to him as he has long been to the world. One is mostly scales and teeth; the other is mostly slime and structures that would remind a human being of hypodermic needles. They pay him no mind and Clutch grants them the same courtesy.

    The man behind the counter is just as odd, in that he does seem to be a man but unlike most men is tall enough to look Clutch in the eye. That is unheard of in a world where the tallest men only stand as tall as Clutch’s ribs, but this place’s defiance of the way things usually are seems universal, and so it is no surprise when the steaming mug that man sets on the counter before him is also sized for him, complete with handle capable of accommodating his massive fingers.

    Clutch takes a sip. It is not coffee. He has never had coffee, as far as he remembers, but he knows this is not coffee. It is not blood, either—that, he has had—but it is alive, not just the product of life. It swirls of its own volition, and seems to protest being consumed. It is good.

    The counter man says, “Want the usual?”

    Clutch has no idea what his usual is but decides it’s good to have one.

    He sips some more, feeling a rare peace coming over him, the peace that comes with belonging, even if only for the duration of a rare meal consumed in a welcoming place. To be sure, the stool proves awkward. He has never been quite symmetrical, and even when he adjusts himself his left arm rests easily on the counter while the right dangles almost all the way to the checkerboard-pattern floor. He is aware of how unclean he is, how stained he has become with blood and other things. When he shifts his left arm away from his cup the countertop is left covered with a viscous rainbow sheen. The counter man, fussing with other things, does not seem to mind, and that, too, brings a sense of unfamiliar peace.

    The vestibule door opens, admitting a new patron with a gray profile and grayer suit, who would be easy to mistake for what the world sees as normal until after he hangs up his coat, revealing that at least half of him is jagged landscape of ribs that protrude from his flesh like daggers. Impaled on a number of those ribs like pinned butterflies, the severed heads of recently murdered human beings dangle ribbons of ragged flesh still fresh enough to drip. Though their skulls are pierced in places that compromise whatever gray matter still exists inside, their eyes still roll, their lips still grimace, and their mouths still struggle to scream.

    Clutch, who for as long as he can remember has never understood the concept of names and came up with his own only because it’s what he remembers doing most, stirs as he realizes that he knows what this newcomer calls himself: a name that is also a reflection of his favorite activity.

    Pierce takes the next stool over and accepts a mug from the proprietor. “Man. I’ve been looking forward to this.”

    Clutch moans incoherently.

    “Yeah, I know what you mean. It’s good work, but there’s a sameness to it after a while. I keep wishing I could take a break from it, get away from the grind, see a place for longer than it takes to do a proper cull. Not that I’d want to be on the other side, but you know how it is.”

    Clutch, who doesn’t know how anything is, raaars, trailing off into a whine when he recognizes that rarest of all sensations for him: empathy.

    Pierce sips from his mug, then lights a cig and blows out smoke, though the smoke emerges from his lips before he puts the filter to his mouth. “Hey, Mack!”

    The counter man returns from the grill, slinging a rag over his shoulder. “What?”

    “Wanna hear a great one I heard on the road?”

    The counter man winces. “Not if it’s bad as the last one.”

    “No, no, this one’s good. I need you, anyway, because my pal here’s never been all that talented at jokes that required audience participation.”

    “Okay,” the counter man says. “Shoot.”

    “Knock, Knock.”

    The counter man replies in a cynical monotone. “Who’s th—ohmigod ohmigod no no no, what is that thing, somebody help me, help!!!!!”

    “Damn,” Pierce says. “You know it already.”

    “Known it forever,” the counter man says, without heat. “That chestnut’s older than Cthulhu’s childhood nanny. Want me to heat that up for you?”

    “Not necessary,” says Pierce, dipping an index finger into his mug, bringing it to a boil.

    The counter man returns with Clutch’s Usual. It’s alive, though terrible things have been done to it to make that a very unhappy and unfortunate condition. The gaze the meal directs at the being about to dine is not afraid, but eager—finding the only form of hope available to it in the promise of its own imminent extinction. Clutch snarls at it and rips off a chunk of meat, the wrong chunk to give the meal what it wants.

    Its cries are too faint to inhibit conversation, which allows Pierce, stirring his beverage, to move on: “Anyway, it just gets to be a bit much, that’s all. I did a school bus, a few days ago. Not kids. You know that’s where I draw the line. I never do kids. I don’t judge the guys who do, but hell, we all have our preferences. The bus is carrying twenty-three septuagenarian church ladies on their way back from some outing or another, singing hymns as they head home in the dark. I get them broken down on some old country road, and circle them for eight hours tearing down trees and sticking to the shadows, so they only get fleeting glimpses of what’s come for them. I kept chanting that they’d be dead by dawn. They were, of course, but you wouldn’t believe how much of that I had to go through before one of them finally came out and waved her Bible in my face, which was of course the dramatic first kill I wanted. Hours, man. Just to get corpse one. Hours.” He shakes his head and sips from his cup, washing down the burning cigarette. “In my day, people used to have the courage of their convictions.”

    One of the creatures in the booths, the one Clutch noticed before, whose maw is studded with shapes like hypodermic needles, feels encouraged to speak up. “Oi know what you mean. Oi went after this one nutter living in a garret, should have been a straight go from me going ooga-booga to his mind shattering like a dropped glass. It looked real promising at first; he had the walls covered wif newspaper clippings, and old books wif sketches that didn’t even come close to capturing what Oi really look like. You know what the mugger did when Oi came in through the crack in the wall? Took out his bloody iPhone, he did, to get a picture of me for his Facebook friends. Oi was gobsmacked. ‘Course, Oi ate his brains anyway, but it wasn’t exactly the most filling meal Oi ever had.”

    Pierce commiserates. “It’s like you can’t take two steps anymore without tripping over an asshole.”

    The door opens again, admitting more patrons. One is a transparent, man-sized pillar of smoke, churning like an oncoming storm. The other is a creature made out of shiny black tar, who appears to have made a hobby of rolling about in broken glass. More follow. There are beings with flesh that flows like filthy water, beings who appear to be two mismatched halves sewn together by untalented craftsmen, beings who reek of ruptured bowel and beings who could almost be men, but for the obsidian jewels that shine from the places where men would have eyes. They laugh and say hello to one another and swap tales of children they snatched into the empty dark spaces beneath beds, of the unlucky wanderers they found venturing down the wrong alleys, of reaching up through shifting sands to pull uncomprehending men into the earth.

    Clutch, who does not seem to possess the same gift of speech that these others trade with such casual abandon, understands only that these beings are old acquaintances, who remember him even if his memory of them is an elusive presence just beyond his grasp. He feels warm among them, happy in a way he has never been happy unless something alive was turning to something dead in his hands.

    It is only when the diner is full and every seat is taken and every obscene thing has been served its favorite obscene food that the door opens again and a diminutive man walks in. Clutch, who’s been playing with his food for a while—much to his food’s intense displeasure—believes at first that this must be just some unlucky traveler, drawn by more conventional hungers to wander unaware into this place populated by creatures designed to make him scream his last breaths. But instead of pouncing on him from all sides and ripping his limbs off, the diners just murmur and wait.

    The little man says, “Good evening, all.”

    The creatures at their tables all chime out a cordial good evening, Clutch speaking up half a beat after the others, because he’s late in realizing that this is what he is supposed to do.

    This is actually a man of average size, who is merely dwarfed by the fittings of this particular diner; if he stayed to eat, he would likely need a child’s booster seat. But even adjusted for scale, he gives the impression of insignificance. He has a fussy, pencil-thin mustache and wears big round glasses that magnify his eyes into moist blobs. Every occupant of the diner is focused on the object he holds, a clipboard.

    “As always,” he says, “I don’t want to cut into your down time, so I’ll cover the bullet points quickly. First, the quarterly figures. We’ve have a slight dip over our last period, and that’s unfortunate, but the head office says we can mostly attribute that to the cold weather. Frankly, I think that’s bullshit. I think those of you assigned to the warmer states should be doing a little more, to carry the slack, and those of you in the less temperate areas really need to start exploiting ski resorts, ice skating rinks, and the like, for the special opportunities they provide. I mean, it’s not like these people never go outside. Their roads get plowed, their jobs still expect them behind their desks on time. There’s any number of things you could be doing, if you put a little more thought into it. Otherwise, it’s impossible to look at the figures and not know that some of you must be slacking.”

    He adjusts his coke-bottle eyeglasses.

    “That said, a number of you remain solid producers and have banged out truly superlative totals.”

    A quick look at his clipboard.

    “The winners of our mortality contest for the months of December, January, and February are as follows. Third highest victim count goes to . . . ah, forgive me, this is always so hard to pronounce . . . N’loghthl Impo’teb . . . Teb?”

    “Tep,” says an unhappy creature whose facial tentacles dangle into his soup.

    “Yes, you. N’loghthl. Pretty good figures for a guy with the Vermont territory. As promised, you win a framed certificate of excellence from the head office, and five thousand points toward our incentive program. Congratulations, N’loghthl.”

    The polite scattered applause does not touch the creature with the damp tentacles, who instead seethes and mutters, “Whatever.”

    “Come on, Loggy: you know it’s an achievement just to come so close. You just need a little more edge, that’s all. Second place, and I’ve got to stress that this was very, very close—less than five removed from the rep who won the top slot, so close that we were tempted to declare it a tie, but you just don’t go changing your rules at the last minute, do you? Winner of our second prize, the set of steak knives, the rep who’s won second prize four quarters in a row . . .”

    “Dammit!” cries a gravelly voice from the back.

    “. . . and really is closing on that top slot so quickly that our number one guy is really gonna have to watch out, let’s hear it for Mister Thumbs!”

    This time the applause surrounds a figure with a head that narrows to a pin and a pair of arms that, displayed for all to see when he waved them all to silence, end in serrated bony spurs. He is the one who cried out, and he isn’t happy with his position on the winner’s roster, either. Even as the ovation starts to die down he cries an aghast, “What use do I have for another set of steak knives?” that leaves his peers roaring and pounding their tables in hilarious appreciation.

    “Don’t worry about it,” says the man with the clipboard. “You can trade them in for their equivalent value in incentive points. Just come to me after the dinner, and I’ll take care of it.” He flips the top sheet of paper. “Anyway, so that brings us to our number one producer, and I’ve really got to say here, fellas, that the rest of you can honestly do worse than taking a close look at this guy and learning how he does it. He doesn’t complain about his territory. He doesn’t make excuses about management playing favorites. He doesn’t ask for special favors or try to wangle any special treatment from the main office, he just puts his nose to the grindstone and, well, does it, plugging away like the professional he is.

    “Winner of the big prize everyone here wants, the master of disaster, the lean green killing machine, the big kahuna himself, our perennial hero—”

    And everybody chants the name at once, at a volume that rattles the metal walls, that shakes the formica tables, that makes the dishes in their racks crack from the violence of the sympathetic vibration:

    Clutch! Clutch! Clutch! CLUTCH!

    Clutch needs several seconds to remember that this is his name, and to realize this means that they must be cheering him. The epiphany unmans—or un-whatever-he-isses—him. He bows his craggy knob of a head and lets the adulation wash over him like heavy surf. Then a little tickle builds inside his chest, and he feels it move up his windpipe to his throat and then to the lumpy thing he has for a tongue, and he discovers for the first time that it is actually a question, the first sentence he has uttered in a full night of listening to his peers speak. In a voice like a rusty hinge, producing words that escape one at a time with long pauses between them, he begs, “What . . . do . . . I . . . win?”

    “What you always win,” the man with the clipboard says. “What everybody here wants: Oblivion.”

    For a moment Clutch has absolutely no idea what the man with the clipboard is talking about. But as he gropes for an explanation, other things come to him: the particular look on the face of innocents, in the seconds before he rends and tears; the families who have screamed, watching loved ones torn from them; the special feeling of revulsion that has always wanted to come over him whenever he caught his own reflection in a storefront window, or in some full-length mirror passed in the many houses he’s broken into, or in the reflective surface of some mirrored lake. He remembers waking to every fresh dawn, not just acting according to his nature, but understanding it. It is, he realizes for the first time since the last time, not anything he particularly enjoys being, and behind that terrible epiphany—racing into his suddenly waking consciousness like the nightmare it is—comes a horror equal to that which he has always so excelled at bringing to others.

    He almost screams.

    But then comes the sharp jab of pain, a lot like dying, and all of that disappears, contracting into a single bright point before being subsumed by darkness. He knows nothing, only that it has been some time since he last killed. Dully, he is aware that as soon as they free him from this place he will have to do something about that. It is not like he has anything else to occupy his time. Or any thoughts to occupy his head.

    Pierce pulls his burning fingertips from the crater he has gouged in Clutch’s skull, pulling with them the few gobbets of bloody gray matter that have managed to heal and resume thinking since the last time.

    Clutch has no opinion. Literally, no opinion. He has no thoughts, no soul, no regrets, no hunger, no understanding of what he is or what has always been expected of him; just a dull, burning resentment of anything that lives and breathes and moves. Sometime soon, he will be trucked to a fine killing ground and set free, to wander. And when he does, he will not over-think, or for that matter consider at all, any of the impulses driving him to do what comes next.

    Somebody mutters, “Lucky bastard.”

    There is a general murmuring of consensus over this, until the man with the clipboard adjusts his glasses and says, “Yes, well . . . remember that it’s something you can all earn, at any time.”

    A scaled half-man, half-fish mutters, “Yeah. In Minnesota. Right. How the hell am I ever gonna get into the top three, frozen under ice half the year?”

    The dispatcher adjusts his horn-rimmed glasses.

    “You know the way it is, Gil. The top territories go to closers.”




    - - - 


    Nightmare Magazine is edited by bestselling anthology editor John Joseph Adams (Wastelands, The Living Dead). This story first appeared in the Nightmare’s February 2014 issue, which also features original fiction by Kat Howard (“Dreaming Like a Ghost”), along with reprints by Gary Braunbeck (“We Now Pause for Station Identification”) and Tanith Lee (“The Gorgon”). We also have the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with our authors, a showcase on our cover artist, and a feature interview with legendary master of horror Dean Koontz. You can wait for the rest of this month's contents to be serialized online, or you can buy the whole issue right now in convenient eBook format for just $2.99. It's a great issue, so be sure to check it out. And while you're at it, tell a friend about Nightmare!


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  • 02/06/14--15:00: The Unseen: 'Anthropophagus'
  • In 1980, director Joe D’Amato was known for doing cheaply made porn and horror crossovers like The Erotic Nights of the Living Dead and some of the lesser known (but more sleazy) versions of the Emmanuelle series. Many of his flicks were a strange mix of hardcore sex scenes and horror-centered plots, but rarely did the two genres meld cohesively on screen. It was always a case of “oh, we must run from zombies” and then awkward sex happens. Anthropophagus (which I still cannot pronounce or spell correctly) was intended to be D’Amato’s first true horror film, and it is surprisingly good. OK, it’s not a bastion of skilled filmmaking by any means, but it’s enjoyable and gorehounds will go nuts for it, which is why it is this week’s inclusion in The Unseen.

    Like many of the Italian cannibal films, this one has multiple names including The Grim Reaper, Zombie 7, Man-Eater, The Beast, and Savage Island. But the most commonly used title is Antropophagus (no “h”) and Anthopophaugus (added a “u”). For the best definition, you need a Latin/Greek dictionary. “Anthro” is “man” and “phagus” means “to eat”.  So the title means “people eater”. I knew the five years of Latin I took would eventually be good for something. Actually, historically the “Anthropophage” were a mystical race of cannibals that were first discussed in Greek mythology, but they make appearances throughout literature, even getting mentions in some of Shakespeare’s works. 

    In this sick little flick, a group of tourists travel to a remote island and discover a deranged cannibal has eaten all the island’s former residents. This connoisseur of the flesh is still hanging around, growing ever hungrier. Anthropophagus was shot on a number of islands around Greece and Italy. The setting is the same place the epic tale of The Odyssey is set, so once again the world learns that some bat-shit crazy misadventures take place on seemingly deserted Mediterranean islands.  

    The opening is a bit of a turn-off, directly ripping from JAWS (apparently our cannibal can swim great depths and eat people underwater), but stay with me here.  The film then transitions briefly into a Mediterranean island travelogue. The scenic landscapes are really quite breath-taking and serene. The plot is bit rambling and dry in some parts at the beginning until the title character shows up. Then comes the gore! Some moments in Anthropophagus are so shocking and grotesque that the film landed on Britain’s dreaded Video Nasty list. However, just like hearing that the book Catcher in the Rye had been banned made a 15-year-old me want to read it all the more, being told this video was “too extreme” for human consumption made a generation of horror fans flock to see it in any form.

    D’Amato has long said this film was made for foreign markets. Though Anthropophagus preformed miserably in Italy, in other countries it did fairly well. With foreign markets in mind, several versions of the film were created. Some were highly edited to get the film a clean release in the US. Some versions have a trippy synch score that sounds like eerie carnival music. On some cuts, the musical soundtrack is lifted from the 1976 film, Kingdom of the Spider. The version sold today can largely depend on the country in which it’s being purchased, and if you happen to pick up an old VHS format, who knows what cut will be housed on the tape. In the States, the most common version is the 2006 release from Shriek Show. This one comes with a snazzy 2nd disc featuring interviews and docs on the film. 

    Various rumors still surround this production, making it into something of a horror film legend. Supposedly many of the bones used are real. The fetus is a skinned rabbit. I even had a fan try to tell me once that the intestines were from a pig that was slaughtered and eaten by some of the crew (though I’m highly doubting this one). Regardless of the source material used, the gore is very effective and still cringe-worthy twenty two years after its creation. Devoted horror fans know this title well, but much of the general population never saw the flick because of bannings, extreme gore, language barriers, and the film’s low-budget production values. So pop “the Phagus” into your DVD player and prepare for a gory ride. He is still alive, well, and ready to chomp down on his own intestines. 

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    Jon Burgerman subway ads

    Are the advertisements for movies that we're bombarded with on a daily basis too violent, and does that fictional violence have a negative impact on us, as a society? It's a question that anti-horror people often raise, and New York-based artist Jon Burgerman is one of those people.

    In an attempt to combat the growing trend of cinematic violence, Burgerman recently staged a series of what he calls 'public interventions,' wherein he literally brings subway movie ads to life, by inserting himself into them. After being photographed standing next to the ads, Burgerman then heads into Photoshop and spices up the photos with weapons and CG blood.

    By making violent ads much more violent, the artist hopes to make people think about the fictional violence we pass by every day, without even thinking twice about it. “Whilst on the look out for guns and violence in general, I’ve noticed there are some very obvious threats under our noses,” Burgerman told PSFK. “How have we missed these? Who are these people aiming at?”

    The series is called 'Head Shots,' and between you and me, I think all Burgerman has done here is take non-violent ads and cleverly make them much cooler, and much more violent. But maybe I'm just missing the point.

    Check out Burgerman's Head Shots below, and drop a comment underneath and let us know what you think of these!

    Jon Burgerman Head Shots

    Jon Burgerman Head Shots

    Jon Burgerman Head Shots

    Jon Burgerman Head Shots

    Jon Burgerman Head Shots

    Speaking of gory public service annoucements, you're gonna love this one!!

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    Filming is officially underway in icy western New York on We are Still Here. The haunted house thriller stars Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator), Andrew Sensenig (The Last Exorcism Part II), Lisa Marie (Sleepy Hollow) and  Larry Fessenden (Wendigo, Stake Land). This marks the directorial debut from Ted Geoghegan, who previously wrote Don't Wake the Dead and produced The ABCs of Death 2.

    Official synopsis: After their teenage son is killed in a car crash, Paul (Sensenig) and Anne (Crampton) move to the quiet New England countryside to try to start a new life for themselves. But the grieving couple becomes the prey of a family of vengeful spirits that reside in their new home, and before long they discover that the seemingly peaceful town they've moved into is hiding a dark, terrifying dark secret. They must overcome their sorrow and fight back against both the living and the dead as the malicious ghosts threaten to pull their souls - and the soul of their lost son - into hell with them.

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    Sure, his most high-profile characters to date are as creepy as hell, but in reality, veteran actor David Dastmalchian is one of the coolest cats you could ever hope to chat with in an interview.
    I sensed a cool vibe mere moments into a recent phone conversation with Dastmalchian, who is fresh off another unnerving performance as the tech-savvy serial killer Simon on a recent episode of FOX's hit sci-fi series Almost Human. It's the second major project Dastmalchian been featured in the past four months, beginning with a pivotal supporting role opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in director Denis Villeneuve's spellbinding crime thriller Prisoners.
    And before that, of course, Dastmalchian was exposed to millions of movie fans worldwide in a small but mesmerizing turn as the Joker's thug, Thomas Schiff, in Christopher Nolan's 2008 Batman epic The Dark Knight.
    Dastmalchian in "Almost Human" (Series)
    Born and raised in Kansas, Dastmalchian says he developed an obsession with horror movies  in his youth, when he stayed up late Friday nights to watch Creature Features with local host Crematia Mortem on Channel 41 in Kansas City. Schooled in the dark wonderment of Universal Studio's monster movies and Hammer Horror, Dastmalchian without question feels some sinister seeds were planted in his mind for future portrayals. The rest fell into place when he picked his profession.
    "For the actor's quest, or whatever you want to call it, to make a life path out of it you have to be a little bit insane to do that," Dastmalchian said, laughing.
    After graduation, Dastmalchian moved from Kansas to Chicago to study theater, and also did a year in New York. And while he made his big move to Los Angeles in 2010, Chicago will always have an special  place in Dastmalchian's heart because it's where he secured his Dark Knight role.
    The scenes won't be hard for fans to recall. Dastmalchian is the imposter honor guardsman standing next to Heath Ledger's makeup-less Joker before they attempt to assassinate Gotham's mayor (Nestor Carbonell) at the public funeral of Commissioner Loeb (Colin McFarlane). After he's captured by District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and interrogated in an ambulance, we next find the future Two-Face threatening to shoot Dastmalchian's character in the head until Batman (Christian Bale) steps in.
    While his screen time is short in The Dark Knight, Dastmalchian is still allowed enough time to make you feel his character's presence in your bones. It's almost as if there's a level of possession involved that messes with your mind.
    Dastmalchian in "The Dark Knight"
    "I really have to credit the amazing writing, which gave me really good justification for what I was doing," Dastmalchian said. "I've always thought in The Dark Knight that I was playing a role where I was hypnotized by somebody. If the character is mentally ill or disturbed, you can't just go, 'Well, I'm going to play crazy.' You have to find something you can latch on to. You have to find your own narrative for it. For the role, I felt I should be playing somebody completely under control, doing something I didn't necessarily want be doing."
    As frightening as Ledger was on film as the Joker, Dastmalchian says the actor was the complete opposite.
    "They had a double of him in the same uniform if he didn't want to be there during the marching scenes, but he totally just hung out," Dastmalchian recalled. "He stayed around the set and talked with me for a couple days. He was so sweet, generous and had a really had funny sense of humor. One thing that you didn't see in the film is an orchestrated honor guard scene with rifle spinning. Before that, I had  never done any work as an actor where I used a large firearm. I was practicing by myself and was really nervous, and I'll never forget how he came over and talked with me about learning how to use a gun when he was on The Patriot, and he me taught me some things. I felt so fortunate just for that short window of time just to work with him."
    Dastmalchian in "Prisoners"
    Dastmalchian made waves again this past fall playing Bob Taylor in Prisoners as a mentally disturbed man suspected of kidnapping two young girls. The interesting thing is (spoiler alert if you haven't yet seen the film), Taylor isn't all that he seems. He comes off as a very creepy, unnerving individual who could lead anybody to reasonably believe that he's easily capable of committing such a horrific crime, until he's identified on the other end of the spectrum an earlier victim of the real kidnapper. It's the sort of tragic role that few actors ever get to realize.
    "Those are the best characters to play, man. I love that," Dastmalchian says. "It would be really hard for me to play villainy for the sake of villainy. I don't think that's real. I don't think that's interesting."
    Dastmalchian says despite the notoriety he's earned for playing disturbing characters, he's not afraid of being typecast. But if filmmakers and fans want to see him in that light, he's okay with that, because it just gives him more chances to prove everything else he has.
    "You can't worry about it. I'm happy that I get a chance to play these roles that are so complicated and fascinating, and if that's all I get to do for the rest of my career, that's great," Dastmalchian says. "As an actor, of course, you want to play everything that you want to possibly play, and there are things on the horizon where I'm getting to do some roles that are quite different. But I don't have the fear of typecasting. Even in the audiences' eyes, even if I play a role that they would want to call a 'villain' or a 'creepy guy,' I just don't look at them like that. I look at them as people who are just different. I'm thrilled that people think I have a particular strength of going to that kind of place."
    The striking commonality between his roles in The Dark Knight,Prisoners and Almost Human is that they're roles that could be based on real people – and that's why Dastmalchian believes audiences are so freaked out by them.

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    I'm not sure how it happend, and I'm not saying I mind, but it's really become a trend within the horror genre of late to combine two unrelated words into one humorous one, and then make a movie out of it. In the wake of films like Sharknado and Sharktopus comes Zombeavers, an upcoming horror comedy that should be pretty self explanatory, even without looking at the particularly awesome poster you see above.

    Zombeavers is the demented brain-child of former stand-up comedian Jordan Rubin, who makes his writing and directing debut with the film. Once he came up with the idea - over a few drinks, I would imagine - Rubin cut together a concept trailer as a way to pitch it to potential investors, mashing together clips from BBC nature documentaries and already existing horror films. Much to his surprise, the faux trailer caught the attention of some big name Hollywood producers, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Now that the film is getting ready to gnaw its way into our lives, check out the just released official trailer for Zombeavers, which sees three sexy young ladies being terrorized by the nasty little buggers!

    Think zombie beavers are terrifying? Check out these zombie bees, which are currently wreaking havoc over in Vermont!

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    werewolf cats

    I think it's safe to say that nobody reading this right now would ever wish to have a werewolf as a pet. For one, they have a taste for human flesh, and are pretty much guaranteed to attack more than the mailman and home intruders. And secondly, there's that whole pesky thing about them turning into human beings, which could get just a little bit awkward. But what about a werewolf that didn't ever turn human, couldn't hurt you with its bite and was the size of a cat? Well, that'd be pretty damn cute, now wouldn't it?

    Meet the Lykoi, an adorable new breed of cat that essentially allows you to have a werewolf as a pet. Lykoi is a Greek word that means wolf, and these so-called Werewolf Cats look a whole lot like the werewolves we're used to seeing in films like An American Werewolf in London, with similar body and facial hair patterns. In fact, these little guys are pretty much mini-me versions of the mid-transformation Kessler wolf from the aforementioned film, as you'll see in this side-by-side comparison I've Photoshopped together for you...

    Werewolf cat

    Close enough for me to want one, that's all I'm saying!

    As reported by The Featured Creature, the Werewolf Cat is a natural mutation from the domestic shorthair, which a group of breeders developed. They say the unique cats have no medical problems, and the werewolf-like patchiness on their bodies is due to some of their hair follicles lacking the necessary components required to create hair. In 2012, the cats officially became a recognized breed by The International Cat Association.

    Who wants one?!

    Learn all about the new celebrity health fad known as the Werewolf Diet, if you're hungry for more werewolfy goodness! Or if you're looking for more cuteness, check out these Halloween costumes for kids of serious horror fans.

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    The chair creaks as you settle onto it. The candlelight flickers. All around you the ravenous faces of your so-called friends twist in delight as you slowly open the box laid out on the table. Welcome to Dangerous Games! Each week, we'll feature a horror/thriller/monster tabletop game you should be playing. Don't be scared… roll the dice… what's the worst that could happen?
    Miskatonic School for Girls (Fun to 11, 2012)
    Life can be tough here at the Miskatonic School for Girls. Your teachers are driving you crazy. Your lunch lady's been drooling on your food. You can trust your house mates, kind of, but every other student at the school is out for blood. It's like this place is something out of a nightmare. Luckily, if you band together with your friends you may be able to survive all the way to winter break! Maybe...
    In Miskatonic School for Girls, the goal is to be the last house with any sanity left in an all girls boarding school. This deck building game is all about picking the right cards for you and the wrong cards for your opponents. The faculty, comprised of Lovecraftian monsters and chaotic cultists, are trying their damnedest to drive you insane. But by careful card selection and a little bit of luck, you could be last one left with any sanity!
    Gameplay Mechanics
    Each player starts the game with a set of specific starting cards. Each student card that you have has a "friendship" rating and a "nightmare" rating on it. You play these cards and use these ratings to either buy yourself more student cards (with better ratings and special abilities) or to buy your opponent to your left teacher cards. Once a teacher card has been bought for you, you have to fight it.
    To fight a teacher card, you draw another student card, read it's abilities, and attempt to knock away the teacher. But if you fail, the teacher deals damage to your sanity points. In the end, the last person with any sanity remaining wins the game. This isn't a game about beating all the teachers… in true Lovecraft fashion, that's impossible. This is a game about surviving as long as possible.
    Replay Value
    Even though this game can be pretty random sometimes, it doesn't have a ton of replay value if you're playing with the same group over and over again. There isn't a ton of deep strategy to this game. But, if you always have different people coming over to play games I would definitely recommend it, it's much more fun with new players.
    Overall Impressions
    This game will be a definite crowd pleaser if your crowd is the Cthulhu-loving type. The mix of Mean Girls and At the Mountains of Madness may seem like a bizarre combination, but it turns out to be extremely fun and very flavorful. If you like Lovecraft, or deck building games, you should check this out.

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    In addition to being Black History Month, February is also recently known as Women in Horror Month. Throughout the history of horror, numerous women have published works that have won fans and a place in the literary world, but too often they are overlooked in the larger scheme of things. 
    Shelley_FrankensteinMary Shelley is probably one of the most famous female authors of the genre. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus is a work on par with other horror gems such as Bram Stoker's Dracula, and it has spawned numerous movies and other adaptations. While it is also considered a science fiction story, one can't overlook the horror elements. 
    What started as a friendly competition between peers to make a chilling story turned into an iconic vision. Frankenstein's monster has, throughout the years, become a symbol of the quintessential lost, potentially dangerous but also misunderstood being, struggling to find a place in the world. It is also a story of the corruption of power, science, life and death.
    While critical reviews were mixed when the story was first published, it had immense popularity with readers. Still, the story was changed to fit with the overall conservative nature at the time. Both the original and the re-edited versions are popular to this day. This past January marked the 196th anniversary of the publication of the novel.
    FEARNET would like to know how fans feel about Frankenstein. Is it worthy of its status? What are some of your favorite adaptations of this nearly 200 year-old work?

    Nancy O. Greene started writing at the age of nine. Her short story collection, Portraits in the Dark, received a brief mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007. Other works have appeared or will appear in ChiZine; Lovecraft eZine; Cemetery Dance; Tales of Blood and Roses; Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror; Shroud Publishing's The Terror at Miskatonic Falls; Dark Recesses; Flames Rising; Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore! and others. She has a BA in Cinematic Arts (Critical Studies) and a minor in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Southern California, and is a former Fellow of Film Independent's Project: Involve.


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    It’s still mid-February, and the East Coast of America is caught somewhere between Winter Storm Maximus and Winter Storm Niko, neither of which proved to be the Storm of the Century.  The official first day of spring is over a month away; in the snowy doldrums of late winter, March 20th has never seemed further away.  Yet the readers among us, trapped inside due to office closings and school closings and sick days, seem to sense a different sort of storm on the horizon.  Stephen King’s novel, Doctor Sleep, remains a presence on the hardcover New York Times bestseller list, a full eighteen weeks after it debuted at #1 – a stunning success for a chart that seems to showcase King books briefly, then spit them out.  This is an auspicious omen: despite the snow and the subzero temperatures, it feels as if the Spring of King has already begun.

    Recently, King announced that the mass-market paperback publication of Under the Dome was underway, split into two volumes due to its massive page count.  Dome Part One arrives on the 25th, just as February gives way to March.  Exactly a month later, the conclusion – Under the Dome Part Two– hits paperback shelves, giving readers plenty of time to finish the book before the TV series’ June 30th season two premiere. 

    Also getting a second – and third – life is King’s 2013 summer smash, Joyland.  Back when Hard Case Crime originally published the novel, King made the somewhat controversial decision to publish exclusively in trade paperback.  At the time, King stated, “I … loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in [trade] paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.”  Some readers who preferred eBooks took umbrage with King’s choice of publication (though, to be fair, some readers also took umbrage at King only publishing stories like “Ur” and “Mile 81” exclusively digitally).  In late January, King announced that, this April, he’d be rewarding e-readers for their patience: “[N]ow that Joyland is coming up on its second year, I'm … happy to bring it out as an eBook for people who prefer reading that way.” 

    But the eBook is only the beginning of bringing Joyland to 2014: like Under the Dome, King’s nostalgic crime novel will finally come to mass market paperback.  “Joyland is a look back at a long-gone time,” King said, “and I wanted people's initial experience of the book to be like my experiences reading crime stories when I was growing up, back when a book was always something made of paper and ink and glue.  I'm thrilled that Hard Case Crime is going back to its roots with a paperback edition that'll fit in your jacket or the back pocket of your jeans.”  These statements recall King’s romantic paperback notions upon the release of his serialized novel, The Green Mile.  Will this new release of Joyland, appearing in stores on May 27th, replicate that book’s runaway success – or that of its own larger-format counterpart from last summer?  Only time will tell.   

    All this reprint news – one release per month – only amps up the excitement for something brand-new.  For the first time since 2011, we get a new hardcover novel that is not a sequel, prequel, or midquel: King’s bloody Mr. Mercedes slams into stores June 3.  At a relatively slim 448 pages, Mercedes looks to be a swift, dark finale in the Spring of King, opening the door into summer with an obsessed ex-cop and a few gruesome vehicular murders.  King’s last summer hardcover novel was Rose Madder, way back in 1995, and it didn’t exactly burn up the charts.  However, the recent overwhelming popularity of 11/22/63, Doctor Sleep, and last summer’s Joyland paperback juggernaut point toward a successful, exciting run for Mr. Mercedes.

    But that’s not all! 

    As a bonus, Scribner, King’s publisher, finally released information about his other 2014 hardcover novel, Revival:

    From master storyteller Stephen King comes Revival, a spectacularly dark and riveting novel about addiction, religion, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

    In a small New England town more than half a century ago, a boy is playing with his new toy soldiers in the dirt in front of his house when a shadow falls over him. He looks up to see a striking man, the new minister, Jamie learns later, who with his beautiful wife, will transform the church and the town. The men and boys are a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls, with the Reverend Jacobs — including Jamie’s sisters and mother. Then tragedy strikes, and this charismatic preacher curses God, and is banished from the shocked town.

    Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from age 13, he plays in bands across the country, running from his own family tragedies, losing one job after another when his addictions get the better of him. Decades later, sober and living a decent life, he and Reverend Charles Jacobs meet again in a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and the many terrifying meanings of Revival are revealed.

    King imbues this spectacularly rich and dark novel with everything he knows about music, addiction, and religious fanaticism, and every nightmare we ever had about death. This is a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe.

    Evocative stuff.  In a 1989 interview with W*B (the Waldenbooks newsletter), King stated, “I’d like to write a novel about an evangelist, not necessarily an Elmer Gantry novel, but I’d like to write about religion.”  Once again, King’s recent obsession with returning to old ideas and unpublished work and bringing them to fruition seems at work here (as King’s 1978 attempt at Under the Dome finally saw the light of day in 2010, and his aborted 1973 novel Split Track eventually became 2011’s 11/22/63.) 

    It doesn’t seem likely that Revival will appear in July – there’s no confirmed release date yet – meaning that Mr. Mercedes will probably end King’s streak of book-length work released each month … and the Spring of King.  But who knows what the summer will bring?  New short stories, new poems, new eBook essays?  It’s a whole different season for King to make his own.


    Under the Dome: Part One is due to be released February 25, 2014

    Under the Dome: Part Two is due to be released March 25, 2014

    Joyland eBook is due to be released April 8, 2014

    Joyland mass market paperback is due to be released May 27, 2014

    Mr. Mercedes hardcover, eBook, and audiobook are due to be released June 3, 2014

    Revival will most likely be available as a hardcover, eBook, and audiobook later in 2014

    Kevin Quigley is an author whose website,, is one of the leading online sources for Stephen King news, reviews, and information. He has written several books on Stephen King for Cemetery Dance Publications, including a book on comics and Stephen King, Drawn Into Darkness, as well as Chart of Darkness, Stephen King Limited, 13, and co-wrote the recently released Stephen King Illustrated Movie Trivia Book. His first novel, I’m On Fire, is forthcoming. Find his books at

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    The Walking Dead returns to AMC on February 9th with the back half of season four. As our excitement mounts, we spoke with producer Gale Anne Hurd. We spoke about what new challenges our characters will face and what troubles puberty during the zombie apocalypse will cause to Carl. As is normally the case, she won’t give even the slightest hint of a spoiler, but did give us a general feel for what is coming up.

    Is it weird having the season split up like this?

    We love it! I mean, it’s brutal on us the way it is brutal on fans, to be off-the-air for a few months. But at the same time it gives us the opportunity to tell a story that is complete, essentially, in eight episodes, and have a big midseason finale, then have the opportunity to start up again with a midseason premiere and see our characters thrust into entirely new and more difficult circumstances.

    Does it almost feel like you are shooting two separate seasons?

    No, because we shoot continuously. We start in May and we shoot straight through. The production doesn’t take a break in between. Even thought our eighth episode aired in early December and we are picking up again now, we had no break between the eighth and ninth episode this season.

    Now that the prison is overrun with zombies and our characters have split up in the run to safety, what are some of the new challenges they are going to face?

    Some of the challenges will include the great loss they have endured. The loss of Hershel has a huge impact. The loss of the prison, which they turned into a safe haven, where they felt like they could lead normal lives and start civilization again. They were able to joke for a change. They were able to have love and romance - but not for long! Nothing good lasts long in the zombie apocalypse. And they are split up now. So now they have the challenge of, “How do they find each other?” Or do some of the people who were loners to begin with choose to become loners again? Those are the challenges that this new half of the season poses. Some of which we will answer! They are going to have to face some tough decision making. They are going to have to decide whether to risk forming bonds with other people again. Also, the dynamics tend to change. We certainly saw that with Carol in the beginning of the season. She started out a victim in the first season, and she literally became this warrior, surreptitiously training the kids. If she hadn’t, Tyreese probably would have been dead. One of the little girls would not have been able to shoot someone who was about to kill him.

    Are we going to see Carol again by the end of the season?

    Gosh, I hope so!

    Carl has been aging over the course of the series, and he is definitely coming into his own - or at least trying to. Is Rick ever going to be able to come to terms with that?

    It’s tough being a parent to begin with, but parenting in a zombie apocalypse is truly the most difficult task of all. Everyone approaches it in a different way. When your offspring is becoming a teenager, when they are already having separation issues, in the sense that they don’t want to listen to your parenting advice anymore. They believe they have all the answers. You can imagine the kind of difficulties Rick is facing right now.

    Difficulties that I imagine Carl is having, too. He’s trying to find himself, and he is in a different situation than he expected to be in.

    Yes. Because of his upbringing, because he is an only child, he hasn’t really bonded with other kids his age. Other people have, but Carl has been thrust into a role of responsibility very, very young. Sometimes he has handled it well, and sometimes not well at all. What he has been through, I don’t wish on anyone. Having to kill his surrogate father, Shane. Then having to kill his mother. And now, wondering who is the parent and who is the child between him and Rick. Who is more capable of making those difficult decisions?

    Do you think Carl will end up taking control over his father? Do you think he has that strength?

    I think Carl has that strength, but at the same time, deep inside there is a longing to be able to be a child who can look up to a parent. I think that is the central conflict he has - that all children have.

    I know that you can’t give us any spoilers, but what are some things that we should be on the lookout for in the upcoming eight episodes?

    Well, it has been announced that we will have some characters from the comic books joining our show, and we are really excited. I can’t say quite when they will join, but we are excited to welcome the characters of Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita. They are quite different than other characters who have joined the show, so that is exciting. Their sensibilities and missions in life are quite different. We’ll see how they interact with anyone they might encounter. As always, the growing number of zombies remains a tremendous threat because they are on their own, exposed, and vulnerable because they are no longer behind the walls of the prison. There are also people, perhaps, just as evil as the Governor out there.

    So we are going to get a new evil?

    I can’t go into exactly what form it takes, but as the show has always proven, there is no such thing as “smooth sailing.”

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    New comic book Wednesday has come and gone. The dust at your local comic shop has settled. An eerie silence descends as you finish reading your last superhero book of the week. Now it's time for something a little more sinister. Welcome to Bagged and Boarded: comic reviews of the sick, spooky, twisted and terrifying!

    Bad Blood No. 2

    The story of college student Trick, a cancer patient in remission, has just taken a turn for the bloody. After being bit by, and then poisoning, a vampire his friends fell to their fangs. Now he's out to find the blood suckers who killed his friends and make them pay. So it's time for a tour of Philadelphia's seedier bars with a vampire wannabe as his guide. Will he find what he's looking for in the city of brotherly love?

    Bag it or board it up? I said it with Issue one and I'll say it again. This is one of the best comics being made right now. The idea, of a kid with cancer who's blood is acid to vampires, is unique enough. But the outlandish story is so filled with real, honest emotion that it's impossible not to care. Tyler Crook's illustrations in this book are some of the best of his career, and this is definitely worth a read.

    Apocalypse Al No. 1

    Alison Carter is the type of private detective we love to read about. She saves the world from the hordes of evil and darkness. She carries a gun as she swims through the dream-scape. She deals with devils, zombies, psychos and sadists. And she's quirky and quick-witted while doing it. This first issue sets Al on the a new assignment into the heart of "Ultimate Darkness" itself.

    Bag it or board it up? Even though a lot of the artwork involving the buxom Alison Carter is, well… gratuitous, and instills sexist ideals of the "adventuring woman" this comic still has a lot to offer. Alison Carter is a strong female protagonist, she's quick-witted and sharp-tongued in a way normally reserved for the Spider-Men of the world. She doesn't take any crap. She's not afraid to point out your stupidity. The writing of her character is great, but after the third close-up we get the point. That all being said, this is a fun romp through supernatural territory seldom seen.

    Baltimore: Chapel of Bones 2 of 2

    'Baltimore' tells the tale of Henry Baltimore, a one-time solider during the great war, and now a one-legged, sword swinging, vampire hunter. He's traveled long and hard to find the vampire that ruined his life, and now, in an attic of a small tavern, he's found his quarry. In this epic final showdown we not only see the result of all Baltimore's hard work, we also see what lies ahead for the poor, run down hunter.

    Bag it or board it up? Even if you've never read anything by comic author Mike Mignola, you should pick up issue one of two and this issue and read these two comics. A tightly wound, wonderful little store full of dark omens, vile creatures, and escalating danger. If you like this sort of thing (early twentieth century vampire hunters) you'll love 'Baltimore.' Check it out, it definitely deserves your attention.

    Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster 1 of 5

    Another Mike Mignola creation graces comic book shelves this week. Moving on from Henry Baltimore's grim, plodding tales of vampires and long-lost loves, we get 'Lobster Johnson.' Think of Johnson like a goggle-clad 1930's Batman that shoots to kill. This bad-ass vigilante comic is full of explosions, gangsters, gumshoes and gunshots. This storyline we see two wrestlers who go on a killing spree, attracting the attention of the police and Lobster Johnson.

    Bag it or board it up? Whoa, this is crazy even for 'Johnson' comics. Full of big personalities and a seedy, shady plot, this comic amps up the action. If you've read these comics before and they didn't appeal to you, it may be worth checking out this issue. It's so manic, so fast-paced, and so full of twists and turns that even the non-believer will be converted. And as for the believers? Hang on to your goggles!

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    Many historic colleges have spooky reputations (like the allegedly haunted library at Penn State), but it's rare that a single university has a history of not just one or two, but multiple hauntings. Such is the case of the University of Georgia campus in Athens, which according to local lore is harboring a wide assortment of ghosts.
    At least two sorority houses on the campus are said to be haunted, including the Alpha Delta Gamma house (above), which once served as home to former state senator James Yancey Carithers, whose daughter Susie hung herself in the attic after being jilted by her groom-to-be. According to the student paper Red & Black, many members of Alpha Delta Gamma have embraced the legend, claiming that anyone living in the “Engagement Suite,” where Susie was believed to have stayed before her death, would oddly enough become lucky in love.
    Phi Mu house (above) has picked up its own paranormal mystery; it's claimed that the residence is still occupied by the wandering, sobbing spirit of a girl named Hanna Hamilton, whose fiancé either shot himself or was murdered, his body buried beneath the front steps. According to Georgia paranormal history site Southern Spirit Guide, the shape of a cross has been said to appear on the floor in the spot where the shooting took place.
    Joe E. Brown Hall (above) contains a staircase that seems to lead nowhere; the strange dead-end has been linked to tales of a male student who committed suicide shortly after the hall (originally a dormitory) was completed in 1932; his body is rumored to be buried in a secret room sealed behind those same stairs.
    Even the school's administration building may house a spectral resident: according to paranormal blog Across the Veil, the ghost of confederate officer Charles Morris still wanders the halls, and even likes to kick back in his favorite rocking chair in the office of the school president.

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    Nurse 3D hits theaters and VOD today, and while it certainly isn’t a movie for everyone, fans of exploitation will love it. Paz de la Huerta plays Abby, a dedicated nurse by day, sexual predator by night. After a night of partying with her good-girl mentee Danni, Abby’s lust and attention turns from murdering cheating husbands to getting Danni back in bed. And she will kill anyone who gets in her way.

    We spoke to director Doug Aarniokoski about exploitation, being in on the joke, and of course, all the sex and nudity.

    This movie has been on the shelf for a number of years, hasn’t it?

    Yes, it has. It’s a weird thing with this movie. The short answer is yes. We shot the movie, and when we had finished, Summit and Lionsgate hard merged companies, and it became one of those situations where Lionsgate went from having X amount of films to release to having twice as many. So we became one of those films that got put on a shelf while they looked for a release date. It was just one of those crazy situations where we got caught in the blender of two merging companies.

    How did Nurse 3D come about?

    Back when they were making the last Saw movie, the head of marketing for Lionsgate came up with this crazy marketing campaign where they sent out blood drive trucks with the Saw theme behind it. They dressed the women who worked there in these 1940s, Thierry Mugler costumes, and they loved the design so much that it sparked the idea of, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a nurse that is basically a serial killer, hiding in plain sight, killing off these adulterous men?” She was doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.

    I have to admit, I loved it. It was a great mix of exploitation elements. I got the sense that you were going for a tongue-in-cheek feel, and I feel like movies like this don’t always take that approach. They take themselves too seriously, and that can ruin it.

    Yeah, we wanted to really “pick a lane.” This is our movie, we’re going to have fun, we’re going to wink at the audience, we are going to have over-the-top kills, we’re going to give you a fun ride, and hopefully that is what you are looking for on a Friday night.

    I’m really glad you agreed with me on that and didn’t say, “No, it was meant as a serious film!”

    Oh, god no. We were trying to have as much fun as anybody. I always try to put myself in the audience’s chair. If I was watching this movie, what movie would I want to see? That’s how we approached it. I’m also a huge fan of American Psycho, and this felt like an opportunity to do a female version of American Psycho. That is how I approached it: how did they design that character, how do we get into the character’s flaws? Hence the voice overs we had. I guess those were really an homage to American Psycho.

    How did you get Paz de la Huerta for the role of Abby? She is just the right mix of sexy and crazy.

    That is the perfect definition! She is sexy and crazy at the right time. Paz was on Boardwalk Empire at the time, and we loved her on that show. We met with her and I told her, “This is one of those movies where you are all-in, or you’re not even sitting at the table.” There is no half-way with this film; you have to just go for it. I wasn’t going to shoot around the nudity or the sex. Same with Katrina Bowden. When they are making out at the club, they are making out at the club. This is the movie. If you are willing to push all your chips in and go for it, we can have a really fun time and make a really fun movie. Everyone was in. Corbin Bleu, Judd Nelson… they were all 100% in. As a director, that’s really all you can ask for.

    The sex and nudity is obviously a very big part of the film. Are we going to see even more on the DVD?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an NC-17 cut that comes out at some point. We had a very tricky time getting it down to an R rating. It’s very racy and sexy. It was a difficult dance to get it  to the R rating. There is a lot more you will probably see in the future that will explain why we could have gotten an NC-17 rating.

    How much did you have to cut?

    There were a lot of trims. We didn’t have to cut any sequences; we just had to trim stuff down. Usually the ratings board will say, “There is too much full-frontal nudity. There’s too much girl-to-girl. There’s too much stroking of this body part. They’re making out for too long. There’s too much tongue. It’s still there, but it had to be truncated a little bit.

    What was the funniest note you got from them?

    By far, it was that we had too much full frontal of Paz. There was one scene where the girls wake up after having been fucked up the night before at the bar. They obviously slept together, and had a threeway with the guy from the bar. Paz is literally just standing there, full frontal, talking to Katrina before she even puts a bra on. We had to minimize that, so in the version now, her bra goes on much sooner so she’s not just naked. That was the biggest note.

    Paz felt like [her character] had just spent the night with this girl, they had done pretty much everything you could think of to each other’s bodies. It wasn’t like she was ashamed or embarrassed . Her sexuality is one of her tools; that’s what she uses to manipulate men and women. I thought it was an interesting choice that, in that particular scene, she chose to put a bra on  because it is comfortable - she needed the support, but she didn’t feel the need to put her bottoms on. So she played the whole scene like that. Those are the moments on set that I wish everyone could see, because they are so surreal.

    Was this your first film in 3D?

    Yes it was - first time I had ever been involved in any project in 3D. We shot it in 3D. A lot of films now shoot in 2D and convert in post. It’s a pretty giant undertaking, especially when you are a lower-budget film like we were. It takes so much time and effort and planning to shoot in 3D. We had to make sure everything was lined up and dialed in. It is a very painstaking process, which is why I’m sure a lot of people do not shoot in 3D. It was a big undertaking and a challenge. It was exciting and fun, but I don’t know that I would ever rush back to do another 3D movie any time soon. Unless you have a lot of time and a lot of money, it’s a very interesting storytelling tool, but it’s a very time-consuming process.

    Have you already started thinking about potential sequels?

    Yes. Obviously, we left it open-ended, and I know Lionsgate is already trying to decide if they want to take Abby Russell in a different direction, or even Danni. We sort of left Danni damaged and scarred, so we will have to see if the effects of Abby have rubbed off on her in a way that makes her do things she shouldn’t.

    What direction would you want to take a sequel in?

    I would love a revenge story. I’d like to see Danni come after Abby now, after all that happened. It feels to me if you are going to close the circle, you should close it like an old western: you did me wrong, you killed my family, I’m coming after you.

    It would also be closing the loop of a “rape/revenge” cycle.

    Exactly! Single White Female gets her revenge on crazier Single White Female.

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    The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California has been a popular tourist attraction for many decades, and its bizarre and spooky history has made it one of America's most famous haunted homes.
    Photo: John Pozniak
    According to legend, Sarah Winchester, the widow of firearms tycoon William Winchester, was told by a psychic medium that the family estate was cursed by the ghosts of people killed by Winchester rifles. The only way Sarah could escape the curse, so the story goes, was to move west from Boston to California and build a new house... and keep on building it, non-stop, for the rest of her life. It seems she took this advice very seriously, supervising round-the-clock construction on the property from its groundbreaking in 1884 until her death in 1922.
    Photo: Undercover American/Viator
    Along with the paranormal rumors, the house's strange reputation also comes from the seemingly random pattern of construction (there were never any blueprints), which includes dead-end corridors, secret passages, and stairways that suddenly double back or lead outside the building. The randomness is allegedly due to Winchester's attempt to outwit or confuse the ghosts which wandered the mansion's halls.
    Photo: J.W. Ocker/OTIS
    It's been said she even conducted nightly séances to protect herself from the spirits as she worked on the building plans (the “séance room” is one of the house's attractions), and many of the house structures are based around variations of the number 13, possibly in an attempt to ward off troubled spirits.
    Photo: J.W. Ocker/OTIS
    But is the Mystery House really haunted? That remains to be seen, but there have been numerous reports of strange phenomena in the house over the years. Many paranormal investigators (including legendary showman Harry Houdini) have visited the mansion to determine if spirits were present, and the building's caretakers have reported strange, unexplained occurrences... including the sound of breathing in Sarah Winchester's bedroom.
    Visit the Mystery House's official site for more info, and be sure to check out our stories on some more recent (and totally terrifying) house hauntings in Florida and Indiana!

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    Techland and WB Games’ upcoming Dying Light has all of the things that a video game nerd could want: gorgeous graphics, nail-gnawing gameplay, and plenty of “zombies” to dispatch with your arsenal of MacGyvered weapons.  But what if the “zombies” weren’t really monsters at all?  What would that mean for your own humanity?

    It’s a question that would make even the most aggressive of philosophers pause, and Techland is throwing it right in our faces in their latest trailer for Dying Light.  These aren’t just faceless ghouls, but neighbors, parents, children, friends.  There’s plenty of gameplay on parade here as well, capped off with a final chilling question that promises that Dying Light may offer up the emotional impact that those tear-jerking Dead Island trailers never delivered on.

    Dying Light will be released on Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, and PC.

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