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FEARNET.com News and Reviews

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    A mysterious black horse and a cloaked death-like figure travel through the dreams and nightmares of a young boy in “Evil Things,” the new video from dark psychedelic rockers The Black Angels.
     
    Evil_Things2
     
    Directed by artist/photographer/filmmaker Kevin Castanheira, the film's haunting imagery compliments the droning, pulsing cosmic tones and heavy, Sabbath-style rhythms that permeate the band's critically-acclaimed new album Indigo Meadow.
     
    The Black Angels hail from Austin, Texas, and recently played South By Southwest on the heels of a Winter tour with the legendary Roky Erickson (one of the giants of postmodern rock). They will be curating their own seventh annual Austin Psych Fest on May 2nd through 4th, featuring bands like The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Loop, The Dandy Warhols and Panda Bear.
     
     
    Be sure to also check out the Psycho-inspired video for Melinda Ortner's “One More Day,” which debuted on FEARNET to coincide with the Season 2 premiere of Bates Motel.

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    If you're looking for a diverse and entertaining horror themed podcast, hopefully you've already found 'Killer POV,' the weekly horror talk show podcast hosted by FEARNET's own Rob Galluzzo, Fangoria's Rebekah McKendry and Inside Horror's Elric Kane. Available on both iTunes and directly from the GeekNation website (who produces the show), the gang recently celebrated their 50th episode (!) and joining in on the celebration was none other than director William Lustig (aka Bill to those that know him well)! Lustig was the man behind the original 'Maniac,' the 'Maniac Cop' franchise, as well as cult classics 'Vilgilante,' 'Hit List,' 'Relentless' and 'Uncle Sam' (currently streaming this week in The Vault with exclusive video commentary by Heidi Honeycutt & Jill Kill), as well as being at the forefront of home video entertainment with his company Blue Underground

    During the lengthy 2 hour chat, we get to hear plenty of stories of Bill's humble beginnings in the industry, how he met actor Joe Spinell, who was originally cast as the detective of 'Maniac,' what went wrong with the 'Maniac Cop' franchise, how he almost directed 'True Romance' (!) and much, much more! We also delve into creating Blue Underground and releasing the early films of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci. He even drops some exclusive news on upcoming Blue Underground releases. If you're a genre fan, this is worth a listen! You can check it out on iTunes, GeekNation or embedded below. You can now find Killer POV both on the official Killer POV Facebook page and via the official Killer POV Twitter account. Here's to 50 more episodes!
     

     


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    Hannibal Episode 203
    “Hassun”
    Written By: Jason Grote & Steven Lightfoot
    Directed By: Peter Medak
    Original Airdate: 14 March 2014

    In This Episode…

    Will’s trial begins. The prosecution says that the profile Will created when investigating Hobbs was one he couldn’t escape. “He saved Abigail Hobbs from her father, but couldn’t save her from himself.” She says that he is the smartest person in this room and as such was able to create a psychological profile that would become his alibi. 

    Jack is called as a witness for the prosecution. Even though Will didn’t pass the tests to become a full-fledged agent, he thought he would be okay in the field under Jack’s supervision. He admits that Will hated every second of the work but didn’t quit because he was saving lives. “I had been warned by multiple people that if I pushed Will, I would break him.” By saying this Jack is essentially committing professional suicide, but his conscience is clear. Will’s attorney, Brower, is pleased with Jack’s testimony, but Will is not. He didn’t say he thought Will was innocent. A package arrives for Brower. In it is a human ear.

    Hannibal seems to think the ear was sent from an “admirer,” and intended to be a “helpful gesture.” The forensic team discovers that the ear was removed before the trial began - and it was cut off with the same knife that cut off Abigail’s ear. Will’s knife. Will has been in custody, and his knife bagged as evidence. The last person to have the knife was bailiff Andrew Sykes. The FBI storm Sykes’ house and find it booby trapped - the whole thing goes up in flames. Once the fire is extinguished, the forensic team moves in. Inside, Sykes is dead, impaled on a pile of antlers.

    More people are brought in to testify. Freddie Lounds claims that Abigail told her that Will said he wanted to kill her and cannibalize her like her father wanted to. Beside the fact that this is ridiculous, Freddie’s credibility is shot when Brower brings up the fact that she has been sued six times for libel - and settled each one. Chilton is also brought in to testify, and he believes that Will’s empathy disorder and his “confused persona” are a facade. “I believe he would kill again if given the opportunity.” According to Chilton, Will caught other killers to prove he was smarter than anyone else. “He likes to play god.” During this testimony, Will recedes into his “happy place.”

    Hannibal brings Will the report from the Sykes crime scene. He does his “put himself in the killer’s shoes” thing and sees “himself” shooting Sykes, then impaling him on the antlers, and finally mutilating him - after he is dead. This isn’t the same killer - he mutilated his victims while they were still alive. Hannibal is disappointed - he was hoping this new murder would dispel Will’s doubts in him. “I want you to believe in the best of me, as I do in you,” Hannibal insists. He thinks this crime offers reasonable doubt, but Will says it is merely a distraction.

    Hannibal testifies for the defense, saying he was never “officially” Will’s psychiatrist; he was merely meant as stability. And he failed. He consulted on the Sykes case and right there, under oath and in open court, says that he believes the same person who killed Sykes committed the crimes Will is accused of. Under cross examination it is mentioned that the cause of death in the Sykes case and “Will’s” crimes is completely different. Hannibal defends his stance by saying that no two crimes by any killer will be exactly the same. After Hannibal’s testimony, Brower hopes that the judge will allow a change in defense, from a not guilty be reason of mental disease, to not guilty by reason of he-didn’t-do-it. The judge says no.

    The next morning, the janitor is buffing the floors in the courthouse, an he moves on to the courtroom. The judge is there, hanging from the ceiling, very very dead. His skull has been sawed open like a coconut, the heart and brains balanced on the scales of justice in the judge’s hand. He was killed in his chambers, then positioned out here. Like the bailiff, the judge was shot dead before the mutilation began. Hannibal assesses this as a means to a very particular end. Whoever killed the judge wanted a mistrial. (No shit.) 

    Dig It or Bury It?

    This episode was as engrossing as any, and yet when I recap it and look at it more analytically, I feel like ultimately we ended up where we began. A new trial will have to commence. These new crimes shed only a hint of doubt; they were trying to save Will, not admit guilt. I don't know that a new defense strategy will be employed, or even if that is a good idea.

    Chilton is an interesting character. He has never been the "warm and fuzzy" type, but he was also never so maliciously aligned against Will. There was real vitriol dripping from his voice when he took the stand, more than a supposedly impartial, clinical doctor should have. I feel like there is more going on with Chilton that we have yet to see.

    Chef’s Specials

    The second course of a kaiseki dinner, it sets a seasonal theme and usually consists of a piece of sushi and a few small sides.

     

    Prophecies?

    Will remembers Hannibal inducing his seizures; and Beverly seems more and more inclined to believe that Will is innocent… and Hannibal may be guilty.


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    Grimm Episode 315
    “Once We Were Gods”
    Written By: Alan DiFiore
    Directed By: Steven Depaul
    Original Airdate: 14 March 2014

    In This Episode…

    A construction team makes a strange discovery when they knock down a wall that hides a room that shouldn’t exist. In that room is an enormous sarcophagus shaped like the god Anubis. Dr. Vera Gates, from the nearby university, takes possession of the sarcophagus, a very important find in archeology circles. It’s a big enough deal that the local news does a story on it, and a couple douchebags take notice. That night, they break into the lab with the intention of taking the sarcophagus (or at least the mummy inside).  A security guard catches them, and one of the douchebags volgs into an anubis himself. Another guard comes in, and it ends with anubis-douche dead, one of the guards dead, the other guard in serious condition, and the second douche on the run.

    When Nick and Hank arrive to investigate, they discover hieroglyphics spray painted on the wall that say “I protect the dead.” Dr. Gates informs the detectives that this is often seen as a curse. The surviving guard said that his attacker must have been wearing a mask because he looked like Anubis. They open the sarcophagus and discover the mummy is still inside, but it doesn’t look like a typical mummy. Gates won’t know until they investigate, but she suspects it was due to some kind of human deformity, or perhaps it is a religious icon. 

    It is easy enough to track down the surviving douchebag. He is Karl Hermann and is on a number of terrorist watch lists because he has been violently active in movements to get historical artifacts off display so that the dead can find peace. Nick next checks in with Monroe, who confirms that the mummy could very well be an anubis. An anubis. Anubises (anubi?) are wesen, and they are not extinct. Nick is still operating on the idea that the mummy “woke up” and killed everyone, but Rosalee assures him that wesen are like humans: once they are dead, they’re dead. But then they see the hieroglyphics and decide that Karl is part of the Beati Paoli, a vendetta society created in the 17th century to protect wesen culture. Every young, idealistic wesen wants to join the Beati Paoli. While Monroe and Rosalee don’t necessarily approve of the group’s tactics, they do think it would be a horrible sacrilege for the mummy to be on display. After the humans leave, Monroe suggests they call the council. Rosalee wants to stay out of it. Of course, that is easier said than done when the council shows up on their doorstep. Alexander wants to talk to the Grimm.

    The Grimm is busy warning Dr. Gates that whoever broke in before was going to try again. Gates doesn’t care; she has already hired extra security because she is too wrapped up in her research. So when Nick gets the call from Monroe, he agrees to meet Alexander at Monroe’s house. Turns out that the council wants Nick to kill Karl. The council remains neutral on the Beati Paoli, but killing someone means Karl has gone too far. Nick isn’t going to do the council’s bidding; but as a cop, he is going to stop Karl. Alexander doesn’t push the matter - he has a plane to catch. Monroe and Rosalee are weirded out. Nick is too, but he does something about it: has Hank call over to the rental car company. Turns out Alexander has been in town for several days, and hasn’t left yet. They put out an APB for the rental car then return to protecting Dr. Gates.

    They are a wee bit too late - Karl has Gates at knifepoint at her home and makes her call in to get rid of her extra security. By the time Hank and Nick get there, Gates is gone. They have gone to lab. The regular security guard has gone to let in Nick and Hank. Karl is in the middle of his “it’s a sacrilege” speech when Nick bursts in. Karl shifts into an anubis and the guys fight. Hank appears, gun in hand, and Karl shifts back to human. He is arrested without further incident. Gates had gotten knocked out in the struggle, but when she wakes she could swear Karl turned into an anubis. She dismisses it, chalks it up to stress and fear. I think a rash of monster sightings is about to get underway in Portland.

    With Karl in custody, Nick goes back to check on the mummy - and discovers it is gone. Alexander has been parked behind the university, and he and Hank catch him putting the mummy in the trunk of his rental car. Nick stops him, calls him a thief and a liar. Alexander agrees to a compromise: they have a wesen funeral for the mummy (basically burning it on a pyre in the woods).

    Meanwhile, in Vienna, Victor and his team of thugs have abducted Sebastian and are trying to beat information out of him. He finally spills and shows them where he dropped off Adalind and Meisner. From there, Victor and his men will have to go on foot and find the cabin. Renard is worried that he hasn’t been able to get in touch with Sebastian, so he calls Meisner to warn them. He, Adalind, and the baby escape the cabin shortly ahead of Victor’s arrival. If they can make it to Zurich Renard will have travel to the States arranged for them.

    Also: Wu has kept his spirits up, but he is still suffering from night terrors and can’t reconcile the events of that fateful evening. Juliette pays him a visit and tells him about what happened to her after her coma: how she was seeing - or thought she was seeing - ghosts. They seemed very real and they terrified her. She realized that, in order to move past it, she had to choose not to be afraid. It didn’t matter if the visions were real or not - it was the fear that was holding her back. So Wu decides not to let his fear control him, and by the episode's end, he is discharged from the hospital.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    I really dug this episode. Even if it wasn’t exactly about a mummy stumbling around killing people, it still has that old-school feel to it. What I don’t understand is why it would be a “sacrilege” to learn about a person or creature from an ancient time? Why is science and knowledge so unacceptable? Isn’t it more useful to learn from things that are otherwise useless now? I know that when I die, I want every single scrap of me donated: organs, skin, bones, whatever they can take. I do not understand the idea of a dead body wasting space in the ground. Maybe it is because I am not religious. 

    But I digress. I am totally fascinated by Wu’s journey now. While Juliette’s advice is great, it certainly is one of those “easier said than done” things. This is going to fuck up Wu for a long, long time.

    Big Bad…

    …anubis. Back in ancient times, many wesen were worshipped as gods, especially in Egypt. The pharaohs believed that if they were buried with a wesen when they died, they too could become gods. So the pharaohs would beat thousands of slaves in the hopes of exposing the wesen, but they only managed to find a few.

    Prophecies?

    The wesen circus comes to town! Carnivals are freaky pits of terror, so throw some real monsters into the mix… boom. Plus, Nick’s mom is back in the picture - and she wants Nick to hide Adalind and the baby.


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    Leprechaun Origins

    Bursting onto the scene in 1993, and making a name for himself by terrorizing a young Jennifer Aniston, the Leprechaun has gone on to become a bonafide horror icon over the years, appearing in five subsequent sequels. After looking for a bride and traveling to Las Vegas, the pint-sized terror was sent off to space and made two pit stops in 'tha hood,' with the final film in the franchise seeing release exactly 10 years after it started, in 2003.

    This year, the Leprechaun returns in the form of Leprechaun: Origins, a WWE-produced effort that's set to reboot the popular series. WWE superstar Dylan 'Hornswoggle' Postl (above) slaps on the little green hat this time around, which marks the first time the titular Leprechaun has been played by someone other than Warwick Davis. The reboot has been described as being much darker than the Leprechaun films Davis appeared in, going for scares rather than laughs.

    Being that today is St. Patrick's Day and all, WWE has just released the very first clip from Leprechaun: Origins, which is set for release sometime in the summer of this year. Check it out below, and be sure to let us know what you think!


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    Wolfe Manor

    If there's anything I learned from the never-ending Amityville Horror franchise, it's that you probably shouldn't bring objects from haunted houses into your own home, because they have the potential to be as haunted as the houses themselves. But if you're looking to spice up your home with a little paranormal activity, then Todd Wolfe has got you covered.

    As we spotted over on Roadtrippers, Todd is the current owner of the haunted Wolfe Manor, which is located in Clovis, California. The mansion was built in 1922 and turned into a sanitarium in 1935, where it was used for the treatment of terminally ill patients. A wing was eventually added for the purpose of treating mental disorders, and the history of the sanitarium is an insanely creepy one, filled out with tales of murder, suicide and mistreatment of patients.

    Upon purchasing the mansion, Wolfe converted it into a haunted attraction, and he says that several paranormal experts - including the dudes from Ghost Hunters - have determined that the building is haunted by many restless spirits, from its days as a sanitarium. Wolfe Manor is currently in a state of decay, and the city of Clovis is threatening to demolish it, unless Wolfe can bring the building up to code.

    Wolfe Manor

    Fearing that the end is near, Wolfe has begun auctioning off relics from the manor, so that pieces of its legacy will live on. At the time of writing this, he has three auctions listed on his eBay account, which include pieces of tile and a plaque (above) from one of the haunted rooms, and each auction comes with its own 'Buy at your own risk!' disclaimer.

    Head over to the Wolfe Manor eBay shop to see all of the items available for sale, and expect more to be added real soon.

    Looking to buy an entire haunted house, rather than just pieces of one? Then you'll be happy to know that a highly haunted home in Florida is currently up for grabs, where the spirit of a deceased young girl still resides!


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    It's so simple a comedic concept that many filmmakers would walk past it due to sheer obviousness: a mockumentary about a handful of very old yet very childish vampires who sometimes try to assimilate into the modern world but mostly stay cooped up in their New Zealand estate so they can bicker about each other and bitch about the modern world.

     
    But that's the beauty of an "obvious" idea: all it takes is a small infusion of creativity from a bunch of very funny people, and an obvious idea becomes something that will appeal to a wide array of movie geeks. That's what some pretty hilarious New Zealanders have pulled off with What We Do in the Shadows, a comedy that one could easily describe as a Christopher Guest-style mockumentary mixed with a very clever satire of reality shows like The Real World or Big Brother -- but that'd also be selling this movie short.
     
    Co-created by frequent collaborators Taika Waititi (Eagle vs. Shark) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and several funny guys I just met in this movie, What We Do in the Shadows is one clever comedy sketch that runs 85 minutes and feels more like 40. Perhaps 38. Mr. Clement, who could make this reviewer laugh just by reading nonsense -- like he did in the otherwise unwatchable Gentlemen Broncos -- gets some of the best gags as the unjustifiably cocky "leader" of the vamp pack, and that's good news because Clement is the "biggest" of the flick's stars.
     
    The better news? The entire ensemble is great. Writer/director Taika Waititi plays the sweet and refined "dandy" of the vampire clan; Jonny Brugh is the bad boy troublemaking bloodsucker (he's only 107, after all); Nick (Cori Gonzalez Macuer) is the true newbie who goes from low-key nobody to a pretty cool vampire overnight; some normal human nobody called Stu (Stu Rutherford); a dessicated old grouch called Petyr (Ben Fransham); and a pesky werewolf boss (Rhys Darby) who loves to make trouble for vampires.
     
    The "plot" is little more than a series of interviews and vignettes in which the cast takes pleasure in poking fun at various aspects of vampire lore, but not surprisingly (given the filmmakers), What We Do in the Shadows is more deadpan, clever, and silly than it is simple, "schticky," or mean-spirited. And while Shadows is most assuredly a full-fledged comedy in horror clothing, fans of the darker genre will certainly enjoy how colorfully gory the movie gets during some of the best visual gags. 
     
    You don't have to love vampires to giggle your way through this effortlessly appealing little import from New Zealand, but it certainly wouldn't hurt. But if you don't love vampires, why are you reading a website called FEARNET? Exactly. Case closed. What We Do in the Shadows is a great vampire comedy. Sounds like faint praise at first, but really: how many great vampire comedies are there?

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    The long-abandoned underground tunnels of the Paris metro train station – sometimes nicknamed “The Ghost Station” – have been a favorite destination for urban explorers from around the globe. But according to a new report from alternative travel site Thrillist, the station might one day attract a much different kind of clientele... at least if Paris mayoral candidate Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet has her way.
     
    Metro2
    Image: NP Paris
     
    These concept images, designed by architect Manal Rachdi and urban planner Nicolas Laisné and posted to the project campaign site, illustrate alternate proposals for renovating the run-down station and transforming it into a trendy nightspot and/or tourist attraction. 
     
    Metro1
    Image: NP Paris
     
    Ideas for the reboot include a pool, a nightclub/restaurant, an art gallery, an underground botanical garden and a performing arts auditorium and/or theater (I'm kinda partial to that last one myself), reminiscent of a real-life underground auditorium that once did booming business beneath a Boston piano store.
     
    Metro3
    Image: NP Paris
     
    I can't help but wonder if the same revamp might bring new life (so to speak) to the allegedly haunted Ghost Trams of Dublin...?

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    With director Bryan Coyne’s feature Utero having wrapped after thirteen days of principal photography in Los Angeles, we caught up with star and producer Jessica Cameron to get the skinny on the flick, and to bring you some exclusive photos.


    Cameron, who recently starred in and directed the feature Truth or Dare, said of what attracted her to the project (which stars her as an agoraphobic unwed mother who finds her psyche unraveling as she becomes convinced that her unborn child is more monster than human), “I have been friends with Bryan for a while now, and we have talked many times about collaborating on a project. When Utero came up I just had to do it. I simply fell in love with the character Lauren that he created and wanted to explore her universe.
         
    “I learned a lot while working on Truth or Dare, perhaps most importantly that I love to produce as well as act. Something about finding the best people for the team, organizing schedules and details, finalizing marketing and press strategies really calm me. Perhaps it’s because I have been part of more than a few films that I feel could have handled all the above (somewhat) better. In any event, I want to produce more of the films that I act in, since I seem to have a talent for it, and I love doing it! That being said, producing with my partner-in-crime Jonathan Scott Higgins is the best since we work so well together and are both very efficient and focused. We are able to get a lot of work done in less time than most people would think, and we are able to work together to make the best choices, even though we don't always agree with each other.”

    With director Coyne having produced the Paul Hough-directed psychological thriller The Human Race, we asked Cameron if Utero leaned towards that realm, or if it delves more into the visceral, Cronenberg-esque 'body horror' as the teaser poster and tag-line (‘Baby Changes Everything’) implies.

    “It’s a brilliant mix of both worlds,” she answered.

    “I was initially drawn into the complex psychological aspects of the script, but as soon as we started shooting I was blown away with the practical effects. Without giving anything away, one scene actually made me vomit a little. It was just too real, and I started gagging. But that's the sign of some great effects, so I didn't mind.”

    With Cameron acting opposite Feast series filmmaker John Gulager and his wife Diane Goldner in Utero, we asked her of the experience.

    ”I adore John and Diane, both as filmmakers and as people,” stated Cameron.

    “They are a wonderful, positive force within the indie horror community, and it was a pleasure to have them on set. Diane is a trained actor and it shows. Her attention to detail is impressive, and she really brought her character to life. It’s always a joy to work opposite someone that is bringing one hundred and ten percent; you just have so much to work with. She really added extra layers of depth and kindness to her character that beautifully enhanced the story. John is so much fun. He has such a presence on set, and a really great energy.  I was surprised when he handed me his character's business card! He actually made a card for his character's extermination company, which for me was really special since he went to such effort for the role.”

    As for John’s character in Utero, Cameron revealed, “He comes to help my character with a little spider problem.”

    Of Cameron’s character, “The film is really her story,” she offered. “I was in pretty much in every scene, so [there was] lots of dialogue and action to remember! I adore [the character of] Lauren. She is vastly different from me, which is always fun to play with as an actor. She is more shy and quiet than I am, and she is a homebody who becomes agoraphobic during her pregnancy, and once she realizes that she is pregnant she happily puts the rest of her world on hold to focus on this baby. 

    “I honestly don't know if I could ever focus on anyone to the extent that she does, but her baby is the love of her life. It’s her everything and she knows it. She is so endearing and self aware while struggling to maintain her sanity in less than ideal circumstances.”

    “Although I have never been an agoraphobic, there was a time in my life when circumstances kept me confined. So I really related to her and her struggles, even though I myself am vastly different in real life. I am so much more career-focused than Lauren, so this was one of the greatest struggles [in portraying her] since for me it required a vastly different mindset. I don't think much about motherhood, though I suspect I will have a child one day. But for me it’s not a huge life goal, as it is for my character in Utero, and as it was for her from a young age. It took a lot of character work for me to be able to really understand her.”


    As for the reception to her feature directorial debut Truth of Dare and its distribution plans, Cameron concluded, “The fan support is mind blowing and means so very much to me. Connecting with the fans as I started to do with Truth or Dare has really inspired me to be more active, not only in my career but in choosing which stories to bring to life. The fans deserve the best, and I just want to work my ass off to make sure that they get it!

    “Regarding distro, we are currently is talks with a few companies, but have yet to sign anything. We want to do more festivals throughout the summer, since they have all been so kind to us thus far; twenty-three awards and counting, and we are hoping to sign a deal shortly after that run.”

    For more on Utero, follow them on Instagram, Twitter  and Facebook.


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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?
     
    Vampires_Night
     
    Vampires of the Night (Three Magicians Games, 2009)
     
    Your sweet little vampire babies sleep soundly in their coffin-cribs. The sun rises in the east, and it's time for all good little boys and girls of the blood-sucking variety to go to bed. The creaky old castle is quiet this morning. Suddenly, you hear an awful buzzing! It's that damn Van Helsing's son, raining down stinky garlic on your kids! Time to bustle around the castle and clean it all up!
     
    In Vampires of the Night, you play the role of the parent vampire trying to clean up all the garlic left in the crypt. Using an innovative mechanic, you try to score as many garlic points as possible. At the end, the player with the most points wins!
     
    Vampires1Vampires2
     
    Gameplay Mechanics
     
    This is a very simple, family-friendly dexterity game. Players use a "vampire wand" to move the vampire pawn along a board with holes punched out of it. The wand and head of the vampire are both magnets, and their polarity causes the pawn to repel from the wand. Plastic garlic tokens slide around the board, and if you can knock garlic off the side before you knock it down a hole you score the garlic on the token.
     
    Play moves from player to player until all garlic is either scored or in the box below the board. There are no negatives to knocking garlic down a hole except that it ends your turn. The player with the most garlic at the end of the game wins!
     
    Vampires3Vampires4
     
    Replay Value
     
    This is a quick family game that you'll want to return to again and again. Setup takes two minutes and cleanup is a snap. This is the kind of game you could fill a night with or play once before a longer game.
     
    Overall Impressions
     
    This game is perfect for those families that prefer The Addams Family to The Brady Bunch. Not too scary for the kiddies, and with a really fun magnetic mechanic to keep parents interested, Vampires of the Night will please everyone!

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    Penn Hills resort

    Built in 1944. the Penn Hills Resort in the Pocono Mountains region of Pennsylvania began its life as a local tavern, and soon grew into a getaway resort tailor made for lovers looking to spend a weekend wrapped up in the throes of passion and romance.

    Penn Hills was dubbed the 'Paradise of Pocono Pleasure', and rooms were outfitted with heart-shaped bathtubs, with a wedding bell-shaped outdoor pool further driving home the fact that the resort was all about love. It even offered up an ice skating rink, tennis court and a bar, the latter of which was of course shaped like a heart.

    Penn Hills Resort

    After the co-founder of Penn Hills passed away in 2009, the resort quickly fell into a state of extreme disrepair, overtaken by mold and marred by water damage. Five years after being completely abandoned, the building still sits high up in the Pocono Mountains, a shell of its former self, and a creepy reminder of the romantic getaways that it once provided for Pennsylvania lovers.

    Penn Hills Resort

    Check out more photos of the abandoned Penn Hills Resort below, which come to us courtesy of Roadtrippers, and virtually travel to dozens of other creepy locales in the FEARNET 'abandoned' archives!

    Penn Hills Resort

    Penn Hills Resort

    Penn Hills Resort

    Penn Hills Resort


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     Godzilla Jakks

    Though Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures' take on Godzilla is headed our way in just a couple short months, we still haven't gotten a good clear look at the newly redesigned title character, who was only been teased in the poster art and trailer for the film. Oddly enough, it's been action figures that have provided us with the most visual insight into what Godzilla 2014 is going to look like, when he stomps his big ass into theaters on May 16th, and this freshly unveiled new toy gives us our best look yet at the makeover the King of the Monsters has undergone!

    Godzilla Jakks

    Exclusively revealed over on MTV, this highly impressive Godzilla toy from Jakks Pacific measures a whopping three feet long, making it one of the largest Godzilla collectibles ever produced. Equipped with 12 points of articulation, the figure stands two-feet high, and features a swinging tail and a mouth that opens and closes. This way, you can feed him donuts. And your worst enemies.

    Godzilla Jakks

    This must-own Godzilla toy will be available at Toys R Us stores later this week, with a suggested retail price of $49.99. It will hit other retailers in May, in time for the release of the most anticipated movie of the year.

    Godzilla Jakks

    What do you think of Godzilla's new look? Comment below and let us know!


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    Last year, we showed you the comically macabre “Animatus” sculpture series by Korean artist Hyungkoo Lee, which depicted cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny as grotesque skeletons. The latest nightmare project from Lee, entitled “The Objectuals,” goes the science fiction route by using an oversized, custom-designed helmet contraption to transform the wearer into a weirdly-distorted alien invader.
     
    Objectuals1
    Images: Hyungkoo Lee
     
    The complex helmet can be fitted with interchangeable lenses, all of which magnify and/or distort the wearer's facial features in specific and horrific ways... which is particularly creepy when the wearer isn't entirely human to begin with, as in the case of the unfortunate subject below.
     
    Objectuals3
     
    The resulting photographs, some of which were recently curated online by art & design magazine Hi-Fructose, emphasize the key role of the face in our day-to-day social interactions... but to me, it's a pretty effective demonstration of how uncomfortably easy it is to twist our everyday expressions and gestures into something threatening and disorienting.
     
    Objectuals5
    Images: Hyungkoo Lee
     
    You can see more of the spooky “Objectuals” series at Hi-Fructose, and find many more galleries of Lee's disturbing and fascinating work on his blog.

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    Some of the most chilling art projects not only transform the way we see and hear ourselves in shocking ways, but often give us a whole new perspective on the places where ordinary people interact every day.
     
    Space_Replay1
     
    That's the goal of designers Francesco Tacchini, Julinka Ebhardt and Will Yates-Johnson at the Royal College of Art, whose project Space Replay is a remarkable demonstration of how an electronic device can interact with people through the medium of sound... but it's also quite disturbing, as it shows how relatively easy it is for an inventive thinker to eavesdrop on the conversations of passers-by.
     
    Space_Replay2
     
    The sphere is a helium-filled latex balloon fitted with sensitive electronics which record, enhance and “echo” sounds from public spaces as it drifts on air currents and seems to follow commuters, listening in on their conversations and playing them back for all to hear. In the clip below, the ominous object is set loose within the school grounds and in the South Kensington pedestrian tunnel, with curious results.
     
     
    You can learn more about the Space Replay project at the Royal College of Art.
     
    While we're talking nightmare-inducing art projects... how about a series of self-portraits made from the artist's own frozen blood?

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    The new Australian film The Mule is not a horror film -- although, yeah, I bet we'd all love to see a flick about a man-eating, rabid mule. Nor is The Mule exactly a suspense movie or a "thriller" in a traditional sense. So why are we reviewing it at FEARNET? Well, here's the plot:

     
    A sad-sack loser stupidly decides to transport a lot of heroin (in his stomach) from Bangkok to Australia, only he gets caught at the airport and held as a suspect. Law of the land dictates that Ray Jenkins can only be held for seven days, so that's good news, right? The bad news should be obvious: have you ever tried to "hold it in" for seven days? And that's just normal food. One can only assume that 20 condoms filled with heroin would be in an even bigger rush to leave one's belly.
     
    Set in early '80s Australia and, yes, based on actual events, The Mule is not so much about a naive young man who does a stupid thing and learns a tough lesson; it's more about a naive young man who has to suffer through a week of virtual hell in order to maintain a small sense of honor, self-respect, and (obviously) the safety of his family. Let's not forget that someone paid a lot of money for the heroin that's floating around inside Mr. Jenkins' gut.
     
    So while The Mule is not a horror flick or a scary thriller, it does wring a lot of worthwhile suspense out of one unsavory question: how long can Ray go without taking a dump? 
     
    Clearly well aware that this question is amusing, but hardly enough to fill an entire movie, directors Tony Mahony and Angus Sampson (and screenwriters Leigh Whannell and Jaime Browne) have filled The Mule with just enough plot, humor, and personality to support a central story that, frankly, is pretty gross. Plot-wise: Ray is sort of a dopey mama's boy who has unwittingly infuriated a local thug (Whannell) and an effortlessly ominous crime boss (John Noble), plus he also has to contend with a devious police detective (Hugo Weaving) and a distractingly lovely lawyer (Georgina Haig) AND the kilogram of hard drugs that desperately wants to pass through his various colons and intestines already. And we haven't even discussed Ray's mom (Noni Hazlehurst) yet. She's a handful.
     
    To its credit, The Mule is a well-conceived period-piece crime procedural, a dry, sometimes rough, comedy about a really stupid event, and even a touching little character piece when all is said and done -- but where it really shines is as a "ticking clock" piece of gastrointestinal suspense cinema. The supporting cast is superb, the script is quick, and Mr. Sampson runs through a truly impressive array of strong moments in his performance of Ray. But you'll really want to see how it all comes out in the end. (Groan.)
     
    Awful jokes aside: yes. The Mule is a lot more interesting than just the icky but compelling central question of "How long can one poor guy hold it in before his body finally says no, and just... poops?"
     

    READ FEARNET'S PARTNER REVIEWS OF THE MULE


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    As we collectively hold our breath in anticipation of the bad-assery that will more than likely be Gareth Edward's feature film Godzilla on May 16, today Warner Bros. and Legendary have released a new international trailer for the film. Could it actually feature Rodan? Check it out, and pay close attention at the one minute, nineteen second mark, which contains a look at a rather familiar shape.


    Based on director Ishiro Honda’s 1954 original of the same name, the 2014 Edwards-helmed Godzilla stars Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Juliette Binoche (The English Patient), David Strathairn (The Bourne Legacy), Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House) and Ken Watanabe (Batman Begins), in a script by Max Borenstein, Dave Callaham and Frank Darabont, which pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

    For more on Godzilla, visit the M.U.T.O. Research website, and the official Godzilla site.


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    Boheme Cafe

    Here in America, the consumption of bugs isn't exactly something that's considered commonplace or normal, but over in places like Africa, Asia, Australia and Thailand, the practice of Entomophagy is hardly one that makes others bat an eye. As gross as it may sound, eating certain insects has actually been proven to be quite healthy for us humans, and bugs are considered by many to be an alternative protein source to animal livestock.

    As reported by Click 2 Houston, experimental chefs here in America are starting to play around with the idea of eating bugs, and one of those chefs is Rishi Singh, who serves up meals at Houston's Boheme Cafe and Wine Bar. While bugs are typically pests in the restaurant world, contaminating food and scaring off customers, Singh willingly brings them into the kitchen, cooking them up the same way he does other ingredients.

    "I don't think that we should treat these sorts of items as novelty here," said Singh. "I think they should be considered like serious cooking ingredients and that's something definitely I've been trying to focus upon."

    Boheme cafe bugs

    Singh's bug-infused dishes include a pizza topped with silkworms and another that uses crickets in the place of pepperonis, and Houston food critic Dutch Small says that the revolting-looking dishes are actually quite tasty. "The bugs are delicious for one thing," Small said. "I have to tell you, it's not really a novelty thing. It's more of a serious culinary investigation."

    Would you investigate this culinary trend for yourself, or do you plan on sticking to more conventional pizza toppings? Comment below and let us know.

    Speaking of disgusting food, this Italian cheese contains real maggots... proceed with caution!


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    Here's a game for those of you who want to believe. IDW just announced that they're partnering with Pandasaurus Games to create a strategy board game based on The X-Files. The game will focus on the first three seasons of the show, with most players playing as investigators like Scully and Mulder trying to uncover clues. One player, however, will play the role of The Smoking Man and his minions, trying to obscure the truth from the rest of the table. 

    The game is being designed by Kevin Wilson, the designer of the hit horror/strategy game 'Arkham Horror'. It will also feature art direction from menton3, the illustrator running The X-Files Season 10 comic. IDW Games will launch this great big box of mysteries in July with a suggested retail price of $59.99. With that price-point and Kevin Wilson at the helm, this is sure to be an in-depth, deep strategy game. 


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    Dr. Seuss Unorthodox Taxidermy

    Dr. Seuss was the pen name for Theodor Seuss Geisel, which he of course used to write some of the most enduring tales from our collective childhood, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Cat in the Hat and Hop on Pop - the latter of which was the first book that I ever read.

    But before he ever wrote any of those classic books, Seuss brought magical creatures to life in a bit of a different way, for a macabre project that might've slipped under your radar.

    Dr. Seuss Unorthodox Taxidermy

    Brought to our attention by Beautiful Decay, Seuss created a series of taxidermy-inspired pieces back in the 1930s, sculpting fictional characters out of wood and then turning them into wall-mounted trophies. Each piece also had real animal parts incorporated into it, including horns and tufts of hair, which were taken from deceased animals at the Forest Park Zoo, where Seuss' father worked.

    Dr. Seuss Unorthodox Taxidermy

    Predating the good doctor's greatest creations, the collection of highly unique taxidermy pieces serves as a magical, and slightly creepy, early insight into the fully fleshed-out worlds Seuss would soon bring to life.

    Dr. Seuss Unorthodox Taxidermy

    Dubbed 'Unorthodox Taxidermy,' the whole collection is currently selling for $1 million, over on eBay, with individual replicas available for more realistic prices, on the official Dr. Seuss website.

    Speaking of which, these taxidermy disasters will scare the stuffing out of you!


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    In Fear is not your typical horror film. There are no (visible) monsters; no gore; and not a lot of action. The film follows a pair of teens on the way to a weekend at a music festival. They get really, really lost trying to get to the hotel, and the longer they are driving around in circles, the more their relationship devolves. We spoke with writer/director Jeremy Lovering about the haunted legend that inspired the tale, and how he went about finding his fantastic leading actors.

    Where did the idea for In Fear come from?

    Funny enough, I love the woods. I find them a very reassuring and comforting place. When I was a kid I would go and stay overnight in the forest. I found it very comforting. I went to Ireland one time and read about this family who were Anglo-Irish, they lived on a massive estate on the west coast of Ireland. That was an area that was always in the middle of the British / Irish troubles. Four hundred years of ongoing violence. This family was right in the middle of it because they were pro Irish-Republicanism, but they were British, so they were attacked by all sides. Anyway, I went to see them. During the Irish famine, the landlord was instructed by the government to turn out all the Irish tenants. They either died of starvation or just kind of fell into nothing. He bought a boat and tried to send them to America in the first wave of immigrants, but the boat sunk and all the locals came to burn the house down. All the ghosts protected the house. 

    So it was that local legend that I was looking at. I set off for the pub on the edge of the estate, then turned into the estate - like I said, it is huge - and 20 minutes later, I came back to where I was. So I tried it again, and 20 minutes later I was back to where I was. During that time I thought about the history of violence, and it was getting dark… I’m not a fearful person, but I think your imagination takes over. If you fed your imagination with the things I had fed it with that day, you start to imagine things. That’s kind of where it came from. I arrived back at the pub the second time and asked why it was happening. It had involved into a kind of Irish joke, to keep visitors away from the family.

    In Fear is a very subtle horror movie. There isn’t much gore, there are not many scares, it’s really just atmosphere. A very simple premise that anyone can relate to. Were you worried that it wouldn’t find an audience without big scares and jumps?

    That was a very deliberate thing. It was a throwback in many ways, going back to what you might call psychological thrillers. I don’t find gore scary. It just doesn’t do anything to me. What I wanted to do was find a way to make a film that was a genre film but didn’t just rely on cheap scares or cheap gore. I wanted to make an old-fashioned suspense film. What is genuinely fascinating to me is that everyone brings their own interpretation of fear. A friend of mine is a forester, and he wasn’t scared [when he saw the film]. And why would he be? He lives in the forest! It meant nothing to him. I knew that and I was interested in that, looking into the psychology of that.

    We did a screening at Fright Fest in London. Thirteen hundred people there, all horror fans, and that was the [screening] I was most worried about. But they really liked it. Most people stayed for the Q&A after the film.

    There are a few times I did feel the pressure to make people jump. It accelerates your heartbeat and makes you respond. I read a report, I think a Swedish report, about the response specifically to horror films, and what they found is that some people just don’t have the hormone that creates adrenaline, which gives you the sense of fear. Those are the ones who sit there and think, “It’s a bit bloody boring.” So I tried to look at primal fears that motivate everybody: fear of the dark, fear of the unknown.

    Your leads, Iain De Caestecker and Alice Englert, are really engaging. How did you go about finding them?

    I had archetypes in mind for the characters. I wrote a forty-page treatment before I wrote the script, so I went into the casting process wide open, looking for people who understood the archetype and reflect the archetype. I needed someone who didn’t have the massive need to be the alpha male, but who understood the alpha male concept and was slightly dismissive of it. Iain came along, and he’s quite skinny. He grew up in Glasgow and on a Friday night out with his friends, they would always be looking for a fight, but Iain never threw a punch, he always tried to find the joke. That is what I needed: sharp, witty, carried a confidence in who he was. 

    For the role of Lucy, she is someone who is very cool, very savvy, intuitively wise, but she is only seventeen so she didn’t have masses of life experiences. She had a vulnerability - potentially - to big issues of betrayal, trust, sacrifice, and violence. Alice had to look at it like a seventeen year old girl. In the [betrayal scene] Alice found that very tough because she knew what her character would do, and that’s what all of us would do, but she didn’t want her character to do that. The character that Alice created - with my direction - was very much a reflection of things that she loved about herself or things she didn’t love about herself - but it was very personal.

    In Fear is available on blu-ray and on demand.


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