Articles on this Page
- 11/02/12--15:00: _‘Until Dawn’ Teaser...
- 11/02/12--16:00: _Bagged and Boarded ...
- 11/02/12--17:00: _Universal's Classic...
- 11/03/12--08:00: _TV Recap: 'Fringe' ...
- 11/03/12--09:00: _TV Recap: 'Grimm' E...
- 11/05/12--09:00: _TV Recap: 'The Walk...
- 11/05/12--10:00: _TV Recap: '666 Park...
- 11/05/12--11:00: _Robert Englund, Dyl...
- 11/05/12--11:28: _'Tis The Season! Th...
- 11/05/12--12:00: _Ready for a New Ste...
- 11/05/12--13:00: _Check Out This Excl...
- 11/05/12--14:00: _Book Review: 'The D...
- 11/05/12--15:00: _Frightful November ...
- 11/05/12--16:00: _These Dinosaur Shoe...
- 11/05/12--17:00: _Take a Tour of '[RE...
- 11/06/12--16:00: _Gift Guide: Zombie ...
- 11/06/12--17:00: _Game Review: 'Hotli...
- 11/07/12--08:00: _Neil Gaiman to Resu...
- 11/07/12--09:00: _New 'Hitchcock' Ima...
- 11/07/12--10:00: _The Call Is Coming ...
- 11/02/12--15:00: ‘Until Dawn’ Teaser Trailer Fills That SAW-Shaped Hole in Your Heart
- 11/02/12--17:00: Universal's Classic Monsters Essential Collection - Worth the Price?
- 11/03/12--08:00: TV Recap: 'Fringe' Episode 505 - 'An Origin Story'
- 11/03/12--09:00: TV Recap: 'Grimm' Episode 210 - 'The Hour of Death'
- 11/05/12--09:00: TV Recap: 'The Walking Dead' Episode 304 - 'Killer Within'
- 11/05/12--10:00: TV Recap: '666 Park Avenue' Episode 106 - 'Diabolic'
- 11/05/12--11:28: 'Tis The Season! The New 'Silent Night' Trailer Arrives Early!
- 11/05/12--12:00: Ready for a New Steampunk-style Vampire Hunter TV Show?
- 11/05/12--13:00: Check Out This Exclusive Clip from [REC] 3 Genesis
- 11/05/12--14:00: Book Review: 'The Dark' Doesn’t Quite Make it into the Light
- 11/05/12--15:00: Frightful November Offerings on FEARnet
- 11/05/12--16:00: These Dinosaur Shoes Can Beat Up Your Non-Dinosaur Shoes
- 11/05/12--17:00: Take a Tour of '[REC] 3: Genesis' Halloween Theme Park Attraction
- 11/06/12--16:00: Gift Guide: Zombie Tarot Cards
- 11/06/12--17:00: Game Review: 'Hotline Miami'
- 11/07/12--08:00: Neil Gaiman to Resurrect Cybermen for 'Doctor Who' Episode
- 11/07/12--09:00: New 'Hitchcock' Images: Hopkins Sizes Up Johansson
Sony’s upcoming Move-enhanced game Until Dawn seemed like a slasher fan’s dream game: sexy teenagers, a snowbound cabin in the woods, and a crazy bag-faced killer looked like a fun slice of 80’s cheese. However, the latest teaser trailer for the game from G4 looks like something a little more recent in its presentation.
The mangled film stock effect? The rust-caked traps that will slowly but surely maim and mutilate its intended victims? The ominous instructions at the end? I smell some SAW fans on the staff at Supermassive Games, which means that Until Dawn might be less a love-letter to 80’s teen horror and more its own unique beast.
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!
30 Days of Night No. 11
The armies of the undead are gathering in the sewers under L.A. As a squad of F.B.I. agents hunts down a coven of vampires, their leader, Eben, goes on a mission to find the remains of his long lost love. After a stand-off goes awry in an airfield, we see "the oldest vampire known to exist." And… scene!
Bag it or board it up? This is a great continuation of the newest iteration of 30 Days of Night. Even though this issue is a bit lacking in action, the narrative is seriously driving this comic. We see characters we love getting hurt, getting revenge, and getting their asses whipped. And when we finally see the oldest known vampire, it's an awe-inspiring payoff and a very abrupt end.
Godzilla No. 6
Mothra and the priestesses show up on the California coast along with Godzilla. Mothra and Godzilla stare at each other for a while. The priestesses that accompany Mothra speak to the U.N. about impending doom. And finally, a group of "monster killers" gets electrocuted by Mothra and sees visions of terrible beasts descending on the world. Make sense?
Bag it or board it up? Technically not a lot happens in this comic. We see some action, we see some monsters, but the monsters don't do what it is that makes us love them (fight.) Now I'm no bone-headed comic reader that demands high action if the story holds up (see above review) but how much story can you really have with a Godzilla comic? At least give me one sweet fight per issue.
Angel and Faith No. 15
This issue kicks off "The Hero of His Own Story" run of stories set in the Season 9 Buffy universe. We get two very different, very cool stories in this issue. First, we see Angel and Whistler having a heart to heart, with Whistler explaining a bit of the where and why of his life. Second, we get an awesome backstory to the half-demons Pearl and Nash, and a foreboding glimpse at what's to come.
Bag it or board it up? If you're a Buffy fanatic this comic is a must. It is very dependent on knowledge of the Buffy universe, but it's totally worth a read even if you're only tangentially interested in the series. With awesome backstories and this issue being a set-up for major future events, now's an awesome time to jump in.
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth No. 100
Whew, okay, there's a lot to cover here… An angsty teenager who may have visions of the future gets a talking-to from Johann Kraus. An elite paranormal strike force faces off against hordes of mutated wildlife. Nazi scientists rush to finish a husk of a body to house the spirit of Rasputin. And said spirit may be residing in Lord Lazar, who walks among dead demons in an ancient time and awakens them to do his bidding. Wow!
Bag it or board it up? Issue 100! Woo Hoo! How does B.P.R.D. celebrate its 100th issue? By continuing with their awesome story and not giving in to corny retrospectives or gimmicky plot lines. This is a comic made by people who know exactly what they're doing and know how to deliver. The artwork on this comic is actively beautiful (check out the panel on the bottom of page 15 or so, where Lord Lazar sees into another realm). This is Pick of the Week material, it's one of the best horror comics running right now.
You know that the classic Universal monster movies are some of the most important and influential horror films ever made. But you also are not keen on spending $150+ for the newly released, fully remastered special edition box set. Let’s take a look at the set, the remaster, the bonus features. Then you can make an informed decision.
All of the films come with its own featurettes that discuss the historical and cultural significance of each film. These have clearly been made at least a decade ago (probably for an earlier special edition) but really, how much info can change about films that were made nearly 100 years ago? The films also include plenty of the expected archival goodies: posters, artwork, trailers, and the like. A collectible booklet inside the set includes a little bit of history and background on each film and their stars and directors.
Released on Valentine’s Day, 1931, and marketed as a romance, Dracula is unique because while Tod Browning was filming during the day, a Spanish version was being shot at night, on the exact same sets with the exact same marks.. It was completely different crew, different cast, and different director. The results were eerily similar, yet utterly different. The entire, rarely-seen Spanish version of Dracula is included on the disc, restored, with subtitles, and an introduction from star Lupita Tovar Kohner. This is clearly the stand-out extra on Dracula, as is the restoration featurette. Also fun is Monster Tracks, a kind of “pop-up video” with behind-the-scenes tidbits that appear throughout the film.
Other bonus features on Dracula include an alternate score by Philip Glass; and commentary tracks by noted horror historian David J. Skal (seriously, you need to read his horror history, The Monster Show) and Dracula: Dead and Loving It screenwriter Steve Haberman (this one, I don’t get. That’s a tenuous connection at best.)
The highlight of the Frankenstein set is a short film, “Boo,” that uses stock horror footage (from Nosferatu, Frankenstein, etc) with some new footage and a comical voice over. In addition to the Frankenstein featurette, there is a Boris Karloff featurette; a look at the importance of Universal Horror as a whole; commentaries from film historians Rudy Behlmer and Sir Christopher Frayling; and Monster Tracks.
Creature of the Black Lagoon
Creature features both the original 3D version of the film, and the remastered 2D version most people are familiar with. I do not have a 3D television so I couldn’t check that out. Other than that, it is the basic generic featurettes, archives, and historian commentary (this time from Tom Weaver.)
The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera
The special features on these discs are all rather limited. Each has archival photos / art / trailers. Each has a commentary from a film historian including Paul M. Jensen, Rudy Behlmer, Scott MacQueen, and Tom Weaver (though The Mummy does include a commentary track from FX master Rick Baker.) The featurettes range between the old featurettes, and generic featurettes on Universal Studios itself. For these discs, the highlights are certainly the remastered features themselves.
So what do you think? Will this set make it onto your Christmas list?
Fringe Episode 505
“An Origin Story”
Written By: J.H. Wyman
Directed By: PJ Pesce
Original Airdate: 2 November 2012
In This Episode...
Our team is desperately trying to hold it together after losing Etta. Peter is filled with anger; Olivia is still in quiet shock. Later on in the episode, Walter gives her astonishingly lucid advice on how to get past losing a child. He sees Olivia and Peter growing apart - again - and encourages her to be sure to mourn together. As they are packing up her stuff, Etta’s cell phone rings. Olivia answers, somewhat hesitantly. It is Anil, and this is the only way he knows to reach her. While Astrid hangs back to try to extract the next tape from the amber, Walter, Olivia, and Peter meet up with Anil.
The Observers have been opening shipping lanes from the future to bring back the air degradation tech that, if the project is completed, would limit human life spans to 45 years. It requires a tremendous amount of energy to open up one of these portals - judging by the amount of charring on the ground - and Peter sees evidence of a cube that must get the ball rolling. During the most recent delivery, the resistance kidnapped one of the Observers and took his cube. Peter theorizes that if they can open a portal, they can also destroy a portal. If they can turn it into a black hole, while sealing up the entrance in our world, it should destroy the Observers’ world and leave this world about as safe as it currently is.
First Peter must correctly assemble the cube. He goes to the Observer in custody, and naturally he is not helpful. Peter insists that since he at one point adapted from humans, he still has all the subtle physiological responses humans have when they experience emotions. He watches the Observer’s eye dilations and puts the cube together correctly - at least, it turns on and doesn’t blow up.
Astrid had been spending the better part of the day decrypting a notebook which turns out to be a shipping manifesto. They discover the next location for a shipment, and get set up. If the cubes are like telephones, the goal is for Peter’s cube to “answer” the call from the other universe before the Observers’ does. At that point, he will shoot one of Etta’s anti-matter bombs into the portal. It should suck the equipment back into the portal and destroy the other side. Olivia and Peter set up like snipers in a nearby building, but the Observers quickly figure out what is going on when they see the portal shimmering and preparing to open well before they even activate their own device. An Observer appears with Peter and Olivia. A fight ensues, and ends with Olivia shooting the Observer dead. Wasting no time, Peter is on his feet and shoots the bomb into the portal, which is nearly done delivering the goods. It has exactly the effect they wanted - it sucks the cargo back inside and seals shut.
Olivia and Peter meet Anil at the escape van. They barely make it down the street before a sight stops them: another portal, not far away, is open and delivering cargo. The black hole didn’t work. Peter is enraged because it should have worked. He goes back to the captured Observer, who mocks him flatly, informing Peter that he saw what he wanted to see. The dilation that drew Peter’s attention was actually the Observer’s reaction to a fly on the window. They exchange jabs about whether or not emotions are worthwhile. Peter insists that he would be far more powerful if he had a head full of tech like the Observers do... which gives him an idea. Naturally. He extracts the long tech node from the Observer’s neck, without anesthetic, which causes the Observer to convulse and die. With great pain, Peter implants the chip into his own neck.
Dig It or Bury It?
This episode picked up a bit at the end - rage is always interesting. I have come to accept that 90% of this 13-episode season is going to be build-up to the series finale (two-hours, airing January 18th, in case you haven’t heard.) So there isn’t as much cool stuff from episode to episode. I am dying to see what kind of horrible side effects come with Peter’s new body mod.
From the imprisoned Observer: “You don’t even know what you don’t know.”
Walter calls Astrid “Abner” tonight. They argue over whose fault it is that there is propane and ethanol on top of the next video. Walter thinks she should have put them away; Astrid says he shouldn’t have tried to make bratwurst on the hibachi.
Our team next heads into a huge old apartment building, which appears to fold and unfold on itself. It looks like an Escher drawing come to life, or, as Peter says, “Something Walter would have come up with while tripping.”
Grimm Episode 210
“The Hour of Death”
Written By: Sean Calder
Directed By: Peter Werner
Original Airdate: 2 November 2012
In This Episode...
Nick and Hank are investigating the disappearance of a teenager, Donna. They question Adrian Zane, who worked in the same office as Donna. He claims that the photos Nick saw him burning were not of Donna, but of his ex, Jennifer. They bring him down to the station but find no evidence on which to hold him. Adrian is a Wesen, and he recognizes Nick as a Grimm, which throws him into a fit, screaming that Nick is going to kill him. Nick believes Adrian is guilty, so he has Monroe whip up a truth serum in hopes that will get him to spill. He breaks into Adrian’s house armed with a crossbow, but finds someone has beat him there - Adrian is dead, tortured to death. Hank shows up - he had been following Nick to make sure he didn’t do anything crazy. Moments later, they hear sirens. Nick rushes to hide his crossbow and they meet Wu outside. Adrian had called 911 to admit that he had kidnapped Donna, and gave the location she was in. Sounds of torture can be heard on the recording.
Donna is safe, but there are strange brands all over Adrian’s corpse. Renard hopes that a press conference will yield info about the brands, and it causes both Monroe and Bud to call Nick, panicky. The brand belongs to a line of uber-Grimms who were intent on killing every single Wesen they could find. Monroe, Bud, and the guys down at Bud’s lodge are truly terrified. Donna remembers that there was someone driving the van she was abducted into, so that means Adrian had an accomplice. The cops find security footage from the building Donna was abducted from, and it reveals only one panel van. This leads the cops to Richard Vernon, a skeezy Wesen who was about to leave town.
His van is loaded with hard evidence that will easily convict him. But by the time Hank and Nick get back to interrogation from the evidence garage, Richard is gone. Security video shows the door opening for him, and a reflection in the glass reveals who that is: Ryan, the over-helpful intern they introduced a few episodes ago. Hank and Nick go back to Richard’s home to re-arrest him, but he has already been killed. Ryan isn’t at his house, but his obsessive mural of Nick is front and center over his bedroom wall. Ryan was last seen with Bud, so they take that investigative route. They find Bud, strung up in his own warehouse, with Ryan - clad in black robes and a mask - preparing to brand Bud. Nick does his typical “give chase until I can tackle him, then punch him in the face” move. Ryan is not a Grimm by birth, but he desperately wants to be a Grimm and believes that Nick is shirking his responsibilities. As Nick handcuffs him, Ryan shifts into some kind of hideous, deformed Wesen, something of a cross between a lizard and a parasite, and he begs Nick to just kill him.
Also: Renard is worried that Nick is wound a little tight and calls Juliette to ask her about him. She agrees to meet him for coffee to discuss Nick. While there, Juliette halfway confesses that she feels weird that Nick is a stranger to her. Renard puts his hand on hers, but this creeps her out and she leaves. Renard stops by her house later that night to return the sunglasses she left in her haste to leave the coffeehouse. He is about to leave, but instead takes a shot and leans in and kisses her. She remembers it was Renard who kissed her at the hospital, and gives in - but only for a moment.
Dig It or Bury It?
Nick did seem a bit extra edgy tonight. I think he is just exhausted from sleeping on the couch. Maybe it was explained at the top of the episode; I missed the first two minutes (damn you, Time Warner Cable!) It was a really enjoyable episode, but at the same time, not an episode which moved the overall story arch forward much. Grimm seems to have a lot of trouble with that.
The Endezichen Grimm were like the Grimm Gestapo. These uber-Grimm would mark Wesen homes with that symbol, then death squads would come through town and execute them. That symbol is shaped like a G (though I thought it looked like a skull) and was how Wesen parents taught their kids the alphabet. Stories of the Endezichen Grimm were written in the Wesen’s own version of fairy tales.
Adalind returns, and Nick questions the guilt of a man he helped put on death row.
The Walking Dead Episode 304
Written By: Sang Kyu Kim
Directed By: Guy Ferland
Original Airdate: 4 November 2012
In This Episode...
Let’s start in Woodbury. Andrea and Michonne are planning on leaving. Michonne is still untrusting of the perfection of Woodbury, and she takes a look at the recently acquired military vehicles and sees evidence that the National Guardsmen were killed by humans, not zombies. She has made a plan for her and Andrea, to head out to the coast in the hopes that the water will offer them some protection. Maybe they will even take a boat, find an island, and live without fear of the dead. The thought of not seeing any other humans ever again does not appeal to Andrea. After arriving in Woodbury, she realized how much she missed human interaction. She meets with the Governor, who tells her if things get too hairy out there, she is always welcome back, and he tells her his real name: Phillip. Andrea drew out on a map the farmhouse, the last place she saw Daryl, and gave it to Merle. Merle goes to the Governor, asking permission to take a couple guys with him to go find Daryl. The Governor doesn’t want to put his men at risk, and when Merle offers to go alone, the Governor proclaims that he needs Merle too much to let him go.
At the prison, our group is planning another supply run. Axel and Oscar come to them, begging to be part of their group. I mean, truly begging. The cellblock they are in now is filled with corpses of their friends, and they can’t get them outside because of holes in the fences that have the yard crawling with walkers. T-Dog is inclined to believe that they will be productive members of the core group, but Rick disagrees. So do Maggie, Carol, Daryl, and Glenn. So they are given the options to stay put or leave the prison. Rick offers them a vehicle and a week’s worth of supplies to get out.
As they are setting up for a supply run or something, walkers descend. There is a mad scramble to kill them and find safety. Rick, Glenn, and Daryl are locked in the chain link “safe zone,” cutting them off from the weaker members of the herd. Beth and Hershel (who has recently regained mobility with the aide of crutches) find safety in a small gated area; Oscar and Axel find a similar caged-in area. Rick, Daryl, and Glenn finally make it inside and set about killing. T-Dog and Carol help until they are overcome and run to the catacombs. Maggie, Lori, and Carl face a similar problem, and race into the prison.
On the way inside, T-Dog gets bitten in the shoulder by a zombie. Carol is worried about him, but he insists on fighting as long as he can, and getting her to safety. they are cornered by a couple of walkers, and T-Dog sacrifices himself to them so that Carol can escape.
Alarms start to go off, which is attracting more walkers. Rick, Daryl, and Glenn go with Oscar and Axel to find the emergency generator and shut it off. They finally find it, and discover that it had been triggered by another prisoner - a human prisoner. He attacks Rick with an axe and the two fight mightily. Neither has the upper hand, both lose their weapons, and it is clear they will not stop until one of them is dead. Oscar grabs Rick’s gun off the floor and points it. Rick thinks he is going to be shot, but Oscar instead shoots the punk who attacked Rick - then hands the gun back to Rick. If that doesn’t earn you a spot in the circle, then nothing will.
Carl is trying to scout ahead to find a safe place to hide with Lori and Maggie. Lori, naturally, goes into labor. Carl finds them a machine room to hide out in while Maggie gets in there to help Lori deliver the baby. She pushes until Maggie says to stop - there is a problem, and there is blood. Lots of blood. Yeah, we all know where this is going. Lori wants her baby to be saved at all costs, and insists Maggie cut the baby out. Maggie does her best, following the C-section scar from Carl’s birth. She needs Carl to come help her hold back the flaps of skin so she can see the uterus and make sure she isn’t cutting too deep. Maggie removes the baby, and it is still. She pats it a few times, and it starts to cry. Carl gives Maggie his jacket to wrap the baby in, but there is one more thing that needs to be done. Carl insists that, since Lori is his mom, it is his responsibility to kill her. Maggie moves away with the baby, and we hear a shot, followed by a stoney Carl who marches Maggie out of there.
Outside, Rick is ready to go in and do another sweep for Carl and the girls. But he doesn’t need to. He hears a noise. Turns around. Sees Carl. Maggie. The bloody infant. And no one else. It takes a moment to register. Lori is dead. Rick is overcome with grief. Maggie sobs. Carl is in shock.
Dig It or Bury It?
I think that cutting between the prison and Woodbury tonight was a mistake. The prison stuff was so intense, and the Woodbury stuff was so... not. Normally this can be very effective, but I found the Woodbury stuff to be repetitive, boring, and lacking any tension. And wow, that ending was pretty intense.
Kill o’ the Week
This one is fairly obvious: Lori. Her death took place completely off-screen, which just made it all the more effective. You didn’t need to see her child put a gun to her head. You just needed to hear the shot, and see the grim-faced Carl, aged far beyond his years and irreversibly scarred.
Woodbury celebrates, Rick goes crazy, and the infant is in bad shape.
666 Park Ave. Episode 106
Written By: Christopher Hollier
Directed By: Allison Liddi Brown
Original Airdate: 4 November 2012
In This Episode...
Gavin enlists the help of Dr. Evans to draw blood from Olivia to make sure her fainting spell was nothing more serious than too much alcohol. He does, and as per Gavin’s wishes, does not tell Olivia that chloroform was in her system. Olivia is met at lunch one day by a man named Victor Shaw, who hints that Gavin might not be the man she thinks he is, and suggests Olivia get her own blood test. She does, discovers the chloroform, and confronts Gavin about it. He admits everything: that she was knocked out by a lunatic who was terrorizing the Drake. He didn’t want to worry her, but someone broke into the safe. The other safe. Olivia is instantly worried that they are not safe. Gavin assures her he will take care of it, and shows her a picture of the man who is behind the safe theft. Victor Shaw.
It doesn’t take much for Gavin to discover that Sam, his long-time attorney, was Shaw’s inside man on this. Sam was purely in it for the money, but Gavin is not happy. Sam gets on the elevator. The lights flicker and the elevator suddenly drops. It comes to rest on the fifth floor. Sam is all too eager to get out, but he can’t. Every way he turns, the hallway stretches out to infinity. Sam literally goes mad trying to get out, and when he can’t, he attempts suicide. Gavin shows up to “free him” just before he hangs himself. Gavin meets with Shaw, not to exchange $10 million for the stolen box, but to warn Shaw that he won’t be intimidated, and he won’t let anything happen to his wife. He leaves behind a gift, a big blue box wrapped with silver ribbon. But it is not money inside; it is Sam’s decapitated head.
Jane walks a couple of detectives through her Halloween hell. There are no clues, no evidence. The dumbwaiter that Jane hid in had obviously not been used in decades. The detectives try not to say it outright, but they think she may be a little crazy. When Henry stops by the precinct to check on the status of the case, they tell him as much. Detective Connor comes by the Drake to visit Jane one more time. They traced the phone call she made back to the phone of a guy named Leo, whose girlfriend reported him missing. This is the guy in the devil costume that Jane saw murdered. Jane finally opens up to Connor about Kramer, and about how a ghost tried to kill her. He tries to keep an open mind
Jane is severely shaken by this whole experience and has started looking for apartments in Brooklyn. Henry loves her, but he is starting to wonder if she needs a little “professional help.” She wants to move. Henry loves living in the Drake, but he loves her more, and will move to Brooklyn or Queens or wherever she wants to go. She wants to go back home to Indiana, and seems pretty prepared to go with or without him. Henry needs time to think. When left alone, Jane notices that one of the men in the archival photo of the Drake is none other than Kramer. She also realizes that Kramer’s daughter, Jocelyn, was her grandmother.
Dig It or Bury It?
Is it wrong that, as soon as Gavin appeared in the lobby with the big blue ribbon, I just wanted to scream, “What’s in the box??” (Seven.) Of course, I was right and the box did contain a head. Having Henry and Jane fighting makes their characters way less obnoxious. Favorite part? The Hallway of Doom.
Meet the Neighbors
We get a little more on Dr. Evans this week. He is the one drawing blood from Olivia. As a thank you, Gavin offers him a loan. Evans takes him up on $50,000 to pay off student loans, but it isn’t really for loans - it was for his horrible addiction to gambling on the ponies. Gavin finds this out and magically etches the loan number onto Evans’s chest. Gavin will turn the other way, but he must be his doctor, on call, at all times. One of those times is when Kandinsky is brought to the ER after being stabbed in prison. Gavin calls and assures Evans he doesn’t want him to kill Kandinsky - he just wanted Evans to turn a blind eye when Kandinsky tries to escape.
Henry proposes; Brian and Alexis give in to carnal temptations
Slasher extraordinaire Robert Englund and maniacal stepfather Dylan Walsh have been tapped to star in director Joe Dante’s new screamer, Air Disturbance.
From the press release: "The horrific action takes place at 35,000 feet on a transcontinental flight from Los Angeles to Toronto. Dylan Walsh plays Sam Davidson, a widowed father of two, whose wife recently committed suicide. When strange atmospheric conditions begin to affect the aircraft, Sam protects his children and his psychic girlfriend from some of the other passengers, particularly a fanatical minister (Robert Englund) who believes that the supernatural phenomena could be a sign from God."
Jeremy Sklar, who wrote Freerunner—yeah, I haven’t seen it either, but it’s sort of like a parkour version of Death Race—will be writing the script.
Dante’s most recent project The Hole 3D was released in select cities and is on VOD. The director told FEARnet that he’s working on several projects, but he thought his next project would be an anthology.
“Well, I’m working on a lot of things at once, which you have to do in this business because you never know which one of them is going to happen next. But the one that looks likely to go next is a French film called Paris, I’ll Kill You. It is an eight-director horror anthology film. That is supposed to be shot in February. I am doing one of those segments,” he said.
'Tis the season to be jolly and it looks like Christmas is arriving a bit early this year! The brand new trailer to Steven C. Miller's'Silent Night', the loose remake of Silent Night Deadly Night has just made its debut on-line and we've got your first look at the killer Santa flick for you below! As a fan of the original series (yes, even the non-Santa sequels), I'm looking forward to this new take which judging from the trailer definitely goes in its own direction. Jaime King and Malcolm McDowell topline the cast and the movie arrives November 30th in theaters, followed by a DVD/Blu-Ray release on December 4th. Sign off with your thoughts on the trailer in the comments below!
The dynamic duo behind the box-office smasher Skyfall, co-writer John Logan and director Sam Mendes, are collaborating on a television series.
Deadline reports that the vampire series, which has already been sent out to cable networks, will be written by Logan, while Mendes will produce and, possibly, direct.
Here’s the gist: “It is described as an origin story set in the 1800s London in the vein of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which also was set in 19th century Europe, including London, and featured an assortment of fictional literary characters. The Logan/Mendes project features such characters as Van Helsing and Doctor Frankenstein as they hunt for vampires.”
From that description, it sounds like the new series basically touches upon every popular nerd genre, with the exception of anime. It’s “All-Things Comic-Con: The TV Show.” But, to be fair, this collaboration of Mendes and Logan bodes well for the project. Both are extremely talented; Logan has received three Oscar nominations and Mendes won an Oscar for American Beauty. It will be interesting to see what they do with these classic genre characters and, if they include it, what form their version of Nemo's Nautilus will take.
I don't know about you guys, but I'm beyond excited for [REC] 3 Genesis, which hits DVD and Blu-Ray tomorrow. The first one was one of the most interesting (and dare I say best?) found footage and zombie movies of the last decade. So much so that it inspired the "shot-for-shot" (and inferior) remake Quarantine. [REC] 2 took things to an over-the-top biblical level and made for a worthy follow-up to the original. And now [REC] 3 Genesis, which serves as a prequel, looks like it's going to deliver on all the gory goods as well. Before you dive into that disc, we've got an exclusive clip for you embedded below. And just to bring you up to speed on all things [REC] 3 Genesis, don't forget to check out our interview with director Paco Plazo, our chat with the chainsaw wielding lead actress Leticia Dolera and if you want another little taste of the flick itself, we also have this other [REC] 3 Genesis clip from a few months back. Enjoy!
The Dark, the fifth in the line of horror novellas from publisher Ravenous Shadows and editor John Skipp, seems to have a bit of an identity crisis: in some places it feels like prose that wants to be a screenplay, and in other places it feels like a screenplay that wants to be prose. Unfortunately, authors Scott Bradley and Peter Giglio never really settle the argument, resulting in an entertaining but ultimately underachieving book.
Ben Pilot is living the same Hollywood story as a lot of his peers - he's a former television star who has followed a series of bad decisions into some dark corners. He's separated from his wife and daughter, no longer has an acting job, and is instead clerking one of the last struggling video stores in Los Angeles. His ex-wife, Claire, is still learning to adjust to life without the money (and the man) she'd grown accustomed to, and their daughter Susie is adrift among the upheaval of her formerly happy life. In presenting all of this, The Dark starts out strong, with Bradley and Giglio opting for alternating chapters that present the events of this one night from Ben and Claire's respective points of view.
Just when it feels like you're settling into a straightforward domestic drama, a well-dressed man stumbles into Ben's store, mumbling strange things to himself and offering up cryptic warnings about dark and light. Across town, a nervous pizza delivery kid and a slumber party guest displaying an uncharacteristic mean streak tip off Claire that things are beginning to get a bit off-kilter. From this point on, things begin to deteriorate quickly for Ben, for Claire ... and for everybody else.
There are some intriguing concepts here, not the least of which is the idea that it's not what's in the dark that the characters have to fear - it's the dark itself. The problem is that the authors never really establish a concrete set of guidelines to help guide readers' expectations. When Ben begins his cross-town journey to get to Claire and Susie, we're led to believe that as long as he stays in the light, the Dark – and the people the Dark has touched and turned into its zombie-like familiars – can't get to him. It's a great setup, with Ben having to find creative ways to keep light on him as he travels through the night. But later on we see that some of the affected people can go in the light without apparent harm. Then there's the occasional convenient appearance of Ben's father, who for reasons barely explained appears now and then to offer Obi-Wan Kenobi-like assistance to his son.
Likewise, some of the characterizations make jarring shifts midway through the story that feel more like plot devices than organic developments. For much of the story, Claire's heart remains hardened toward Ben (and understandably so, given her side of their story); yet she almost immediately gives herself over to him when the opportunity arises. Susie is withdrawn and treated as little more than a background player throughout the bulk of the book, until the very end when she emerges as a credible threat to the Dark's undefined mission.
These things are troubling, but there are bright spots in the book as well. It's a compulsive read, and the alternating chapters provide plenty of mini-cliff-hangers to keep you going. Some of the scenes are very well done, especially Ben's attempt to escape a parking lot surrounded by people touched by the Dark. It's a scene that's full of tension, and it would make a great set piece in a film.
The Dark has put me in a tough spot as a reviewer, because there are parts of the book I can recommend without hesitation, and an almost equal number of parts that just don't click. I was entertained while reading the story, but upon putting it down the ultimate feeling was one of frustration. If it's ever adapted for film I'll be first in line; unfortunately, as a piece of prose, it narrowly misses the mark.
Buy The Dark from Ravenous Shadows.
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.
Before you fill up on turkey and mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving, fill up on good ol' horror from FEARnet. Check out some of our November highlights:
Saturday, November 10th is Adam Green night. FEARnet will be running four of the fearful filmmaker's most horrible films: Frozen, Hatchet, Spiral, and Chillerama (featuring Green's segment "Diary of Anne Frankenstein.") Plus, get a very special sneak peek at the upcoming Holliston Christmas special.
On Sunday, November 11th, look for the network premiere of the family-friendly animated movie Monster House - it's the first-ever PG-rated animated film on the network.
Thursday, November 15th is our "Mama Knows Best" marathon: Monster House, The Stepfather, Silent Hill, The Gate, Daddy's Girl, A Christmas Tale, and the network premiere of Fido.
Forget football. Thanksgiving Day is the FEARnet Bowl, with an all-day marathon of franchise hits that will leave you wanting more:The Devil's Rejects, Ginger Snaps Back, Return of the Living Dead 3, Wishmaster, Wishmaster 2, Single White Female 2, Jack Frost 2, and Leprechaun 5: Leprechaun in the Hood.
I'm a girl. I love shoes. I'm also a horror fan. So I love scary shoes. And these are pretty much the most awesome shoes I have seen in a very, very long time:
This picture has been floating around the internet for a while, but no one seems to know where it came from or where to get them.
The shoes are from the Awkward Collection by Czech designers Lucie Jelínková and Monika Nováková. First seen on the runways during Prague Fashion Weekend, the designers promise the shoes are in production and will be available to purchase soon. Here are a few more dino designs to whet your appetite:
If you can't wait for these shoes to be made, make them yourself. Instructables has a detailed HOWTO on making your own jurassic heels, but it's not for beginners. There is welding involved. I am going to have to wait until I can purchase these safely.
PortAventura Theme Park in Salou, Spain offers [REC] 3 fans a chance to experience parts of the film in real-life.
Check out the video tour below. In many ways it looks like your standard amusement park horror attraction and the video quality isn’t quite as good as these fan-made [REC] videos, but there are some fun bits including a few blood-thirsty wedding attendees and a chainsaw-wielding zombie with a mohawk. There’s also a man in a Beetlejuice costume who seems to have lost his way. If you happen to be in the area, the attraction lasts until November 11.
Regardless of your thoughts on the tarot, most tarot card sets are a little hippie-dippy, with artwork that frequently includes fairies and queens with hair that flutters softly in the breeze. Finally, here is a badass tarot set: Zombie Tarot. The Lovers card features a a woman eating her love's heart. The Scales of Justice are human bones weighing brains. The Hanged Man is a zombie pinata. Far more interesting to divine the cards if you actually enjoy looking at them.
Miami and the 1980’s go together like peanut butter and chocolate, soaking the city streets in neon and dusting them with cocaine in a fashion that’s instantly recognizable to anyone who lived through—or are fascinated by—the decade. Michal Mann’s Miami Vice and de Palma’s Scarface were pastel-soaked looks at the blazer clad underbelly of Miami, and Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City aped the iconic city to parody perfection.
Hotline Miami, the first game from newcomer Dennaton Games, captures this neon-and-new-wave vibe while rendering the rest of the game in rough-hewn pixel art, an appropriate but uncomfortable stylistic decision for a game so mired in the 1980’s, as well as the deep psychological destruction it harbors. The artwork is just this side of hideous, with grimacing characters and stunted animations distorted by flickering lighting and wobbling camera angles. The game’s camera is also locked at a weird, dated overhead view that further accentuates the ugliness of the graphics. As genuinely unpleasant as the art is at times, it fits the ensuing nastiness perfectly.
That nastiness is a series of missions, left on your answering machine, which sends you on a trip to rack up a sizeable body count of enemies who want you dead for unknown reasons. These missions are given to you in either code or a thinly-veiled lie, requesting you “babysit” someone’s “children,” or some other ruse, all of which lead to a simple, brutal encounter where you use your wits, your fists, and pattern recognition to complete your objectives.
The game is brutally simple in its execution: you only need the WASD keys, the space bar, and each of the mouse buttons to move around the environment and massacre your enemies, although this simplicity in controls allows the player to focus on the split-second maneuvers that they will need to overcome your foes, who more often than not outgun you. Kicking open a door to stun an enemy, then run to them to execute them with a rapid-fire flurry of mouse clicks is purest simplicity in theory, but the combination of timing, speed, and plain damn luck make it a far more frantic experience than you would initially expect. You will die, and often.
But when you hit that perfect rhythm and manage to slaughter an enemy and pick up their dropped weapon to murder their team mate that is running at you, it’s a psychotically satisfying experience. There are countless random weapons for you to pick up, and their various outcomes are all shockingly brutal, from bursting a man’s skull with your boot to pouring boiling water over his face. The morality—or lack thereof—is off putting at times, as there is no rhyme or reason to the conflict, just pure feral kill-or-be-killed combat.
These horrific murders reward the player with equally horrific unlockables in the form of animal masks, which you don in order to unlock additional abilities that make the killing easier, at least technically. I cannot stress enough just how uncomfortable the game makes you feel overall, between the grungy graphics, the eerie music, the dreamlike story, and absentee morality. This is a game that puts you in a very uncomfortable place…and that’s what horror is all about.
Who fans rejoice! The Cybermen will return to this season’s Doctor Who thanks to Mr. Neil Gaiman. This will be Gaiman’s second time writing a Doctor Who episode. His first script, The Doctor’s Wife, won a Hugo Award.
The episode is reported to be planned for the spring and will also star Life’s Too Short‘s Warwick Davis and Being Human‘s Jason Watkins.
The Cybermen, cyborg killing machines who are the Doctor’s sworn enemies, haven’t been seen onscreen since 2011. If you aren’t familiar with their evil doings, here’s a classic clip of them in action from The Five Doctors. Also, check out the Master’s awesome guyliner..
We posted a Hitchcock clip of the Psycho shower scene a few days ago, told you how to “share your scream”, and put yourself in a Hitchcock poster. Today we have new images from Fox’s Hitchcock showing stars Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jessica Biel, and James D'Arcy in action.
Hitchcock is a love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife and partner Alma Reville. The film takes place during the making of Hitchcock’s seminal movie Psycho.
The film opens in select theaters November 23.
It has probably never crossed your mind. It is silly, it is subtle, and it is the height of banality. But once you read this article, I suspect you will view horror movies in a whole new way. I am talking about telephones, and how they are the most important prop in the horror genre.
The Call is Coming From Inside the House!
Even if you have never seen 1979’s When a Stranger Calls, you probably know the infamous line: “The call is coming from inside the house!” From that, I’m sure you can infer that the bad guy who is stalking the girl is calling from, well, inside the house she is at. You don’t need to know that she is a babysitter, alone, or being tortured by a mystery phone caller. “The call is coming from inside the house!” is truly all you need to know. Back in 1979, there were no cell phones; no call waiting or caller ID; and a home having two phone lines was almost unheard of. The film itself is not exactly a classic - most people forget that the majority of the film takes place seven years after that call came from inside the house. But that one sentence is so memorable that the 2006 remake focused entirely on the one night babysitting.
When you think about The Ring, you probably think about the mysterious video that arrives, signaling the beginning of the end for its hapless viewers. But without the follow-up phone call, the video loses its power. On its own, the video is weird, maybe a little creepy, but ultimately the kind of thing that is easily forgotten about. The follow-up phone call, however, is tougher to shake. It means that someone - corporeal or otherwise - is watching you, is within spitting distance, and is taking their time to make sure to scare the shit out of you.
What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?
The Scream franchise is essentially built on the menacing prank call. The opening scene of the original 1996 opens with Drew Barrymore getting the call that asks her, “What’s your favorite scary movie?” This sets off a chain of events that not only makes the calls the harbingers of doom, but it also set off the chain of events that made critics and audiences sit up and take notice. At the time, Drew Barrymore was easily the most famous cast member of Scream. Normally, that would guarantee her a pass to the end of the film. But due to scheduling conflicts that prevented her from taking a larger role (initially she was supposed to play Sidney, a role taken by Neve Campbell) she took a role that killed her off before the main credits. This was something that didn’t happen very often. Normally the first kill would go to an inconsequential pretty face. But by killing off the most recognizable face, Scream set itself apart and went on to become one of the biggest-grossing horror franchises of all time. And all of it started because of a phone call. Scream was also the first major horror movie to prominently feature a cell phone (Ghostface places his “scary movie” calls on one).
But Scream could have been done with a landline. Not as elegantly, but it could have been done. Another film, one of the first to specifically use a cell phone as the focal point of the story (and the entire marketing plan) was the otherwise forgettable 2004 film Cellular, which starred Kim Basinger. In it, Basinger plays the victim of a home invasion whose kidnappers lock her in an attic safe room, smashing the (landline) phone so she can’t call for help. But she manages to jury-rig the phone together to place an outgoing call - she just has no way to dial a number. She reaches a young man (played by Chris Evans) on his cell phone who, at first, thinks this is a very expensive prank call (remember back in the day when it was cheaper to have phone sex than it was to use your cell phone?) Once she gets him on board, they have a new obstacle to overcome: a quickly dwindling battery.
The advent of cell phones has forced filmmakers to be more creative when putting their heroes and heroines in dangerous situations. Phones need to be lost or damaged or jammed, especially since it is getting harder and harder to find “no signal” zones - even out in the middle of nowhere. Some have lamented that the saturation of cell phones has destroyed the horror movie. After all, what would Night of the Living Dead have been if Barbra had had a cell phone? However, cell phones are really no different than landline phones in the movies. Before cell phones, a storm would conveniently knock out power or down phone lines, or the killer would simply snip the line.
So what is it about the telephone that makes it such an important prop in the fear factory? For starters, the telephone is almost a phantasmagorical way into your personal space. If a person were to physically enter your home, you could confront them. You could know who - or what - you are dealing with. A disembodied voice can let our imaginations run wild. When I was a child, a girl from my school prank-called my house late one night, and in a spooky voice announced that she was the devil. I don’t believe in the devil, and I knew it was a crank call - I even knew who was making the call - but for weeks after, whenever I thought about that call it would give me the chills. There is a safety in making a phone call because it is easy to stay anonymous. But when you are on the receiving end of that call, the anonymity becomes powerfully unnerving.
The telephone is also a way to bring people together, especially if you are housebound. Whether it is at a remote cabin in the woods or merely a babysitter left alone for the night, telephones are a lifeline. If that lifeline is cut, it’s a pretty good indication that your lifeline is about to be cut as well. Virtually every slasher franchise of the 1970s and 1980s has an example of this in one way or another. (Examples include the downed phone lines in Friday the 13th; Freddy Kruger tonguing Nancy through the phone in Nightmare on Elm Street; and Michael Myers strangling Lynda with the phone cord in Halloween.)
So next time you watch a horror film, don’t be so quick to judge the “conveniently lost” cell phone or the stereotypical dead landline. Think about where horror flicks would be without these tropes, and just enjoy the ride.