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FEARNET.com News and Reviews

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    We recently told you about the upcoming directorial debut of Martin Owen, which has been described as "a biting social satire of reality television." Titled L.A. Slasher, the film centers on a killer who targets reality TV stars - the kinds of 'celebrities' that have achieved fame and notoriety thanks to their oftentimes reprehensible actions, like starring in sex tapes and being terrible parents.

    I think it's safe to say that most of you reading this right now are probably sick and tired of reality TV, and the way that it has turned nobodies into somebodies, and L.A. Slasher is tailor made for those who are, serving as a bloody indictment of our obsession with pseudo celebrities.

    Today we've got the reveal of a brand new poster for ya, which you can check out below!

    LA Slasher

    L.A. Slasher stars Mischa Barton as a washed-up actress and Eric Roberts as a drugged out mayor, and it boasts a cast that also includes Drake Bell (as a pop star who spits in the faces of his fans), Tori Black (as a teen mom), Danny Trejo, WWE superstar Dave Bautista, Brooke Hogan, Andy Dick and scream queens Ashlynn Yennie (The Human Centipede), Barbara Nedeljakova (Hostel), Allison Kyler (Laid to Rest) and Carlee Baker (The Woman). It's currently in post-production, and seeking distribution.

    Learn more about L.A. Slasher on Facebook and Twitter.


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    Colorado tumbleweeds

    Though tumbleweeds are not at all uncommon in a place like Colorado, where the dry weather oftentimes causes plants to dry up and blow away when hit with gusts of wind, the state is currently experiencing a pretty aggressive invasion from the typically harmless tumbleweeds, which is unlike anything residents have ever seen before.

    CNN reports that the dried up nuisances are taking over Colorado neighborhoods, and the clusters of dead foliage are causing a whole lot of problems. Unusually high winds are to blame for the invasion, with clusters in some areas piling up as high as six-feet tall, blocking sidewalks and driveways. Residents are using rakes and even snow plows to clear up their yards, worried that the massive gatherings of tumbleweeds could potentially pose a serious fire hazard.

    Though it all sounds sort of humorous, the tumbleweeds are literally blockading people inside their homes, and getting stuck underneath vehicles, which poses another potentially dangerous threat. Tumbleweed debris was even found inside of a local Walmart, which just goes to show how bad the invasion has gotten.

    Check out the CNN news report below, which you've gotta see to believe!


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    You've probably seen one of the many memes that have circulated around the poor misunderstood blobfish (species Psychrolutes marcidus), a deep-sea creature considered by many to be one of the ugliest and saddest-looking specimens ever discovered. 
     
    Blobfish
     
    But hey, creepy blobs need love too, right? That's what I wrote last summer when I did a story on this pinkish-gray lump, and apparently I'm not alone: the folks at ThinkGeek now offer shoppers what may be the first blobfish plush toy.
     
    Blob_Plush1
     
    Nicknamed the “Grumpy Cat of the Sea,” the 24-inch-long polyester plush (recently featured on BoingBoing) is described as “sad and floppy,” just like the creature which inspired it. They also suggest the surprisingly cuddly creature “could use a little hug.” See? I was right all along.
     
    Blob_Plush2
     
    The blobfish plush sells for $40 at ThinkGeek.

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    You don’t need to consult the statistics, watch re-runs of Breaking Bad (or a cheesy Lifetime special) or tune into Sally-Jessie (or any barrel-bottom-scraping talk show) to know that addiction is one of the most destructive real-life horrors a person is likely to confront.  And within the realm of genre television, addiction can be even deadlier. Listed below are five characters whose addictive personalities got them in all kinds of trouble: pillaging, alien child snatchers, train massacres, apocalyptic phases and cannibalistic fine dining. Not even cognitive behavioral therapy could help these guys....

    Willow Rosenberg in Buffy The Vampire Slayer– (black magic)

    “Bored now,” – Willow Rosenberg

    It’s no easy feat kicking every square inch of vampire slayer Buffy Summer’s ass. The cutesy  superheroine you’ve shadowed for five consecutive seasons of Joss Whedon’s pop cultural phenomenon Buffy The Vampire Slayer did. Mainlining some seriously bad-ass black magic is exactly what happened with the loveably geeky Willow. In Buffy’s sixth season episode “Seeing Red,” Willow Rosenberg’s (Alyson Hannigan) lover Tara (Amber Benson) took a fatal bullet meant for the slayer (who took one too, just not the fatal kind) from creep Warren, cumulating in Willow’s compulsion for the dark arts intensifying. Even in a monster-magnet place like Sunnydale, if you’re “the most powerful witch in the western hemisphere”, an emergency psychiatric assessment for your addiction issues simply isn’t going to cut it. 

    John Mitchell in Being Human (UK) – (bloodlust)

    “For years I protected humanity. I wanted to join them and they do this? You're right Daisy. We're under attack. You want retaliation? I'll show you retaliation.” – John Mitchell

    In BBC THREE’s monster house-share supernatural dramedy Being Human, day-walking rogue vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner) has battled bloodlust for decades and for the most part, succeeded. Admirable willpower, particularly if you’re an immortal fanger whose drug of choice is the red stuff pumping those veins of yours. In the uber-dark second season of Toby Whithouse’s excellent Being Human, he falls off the wagon in a huge slaughter-an-entire-train way, which is what happens when you fall for a pretty God-fearing scientist, who incidentally, is conducting gruesomely unethical experiments on your spooky friends. The consequences of this new crush is letting those mandatory appointments in undead AA slide, and all of this because a doctor suspiciously shows a little romantic interest. (Come on: you’re a shady-looking janitor clutching a perma-greasy mop-top with a homicidal rap sheet bigger than John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy and David Berkowitz combined.) Love couldn’t save this puppy...I mean it wasn’t like letting go and letting God in was even an option...

    Callisto in Xena: Warrior Princess– (homicide)

    “What a beautiful day for a bloodbath...” Callisto

    Once upon a time in New Zealand, doubling as a time of myth and legend; wonder bras and Colgate smiles, there was a bad-tempered girl called Callisto (Hudson Leick) who enjoyed a good kill a bit too much. She is a revenge-driven woman who loved to experience life in “all of its agonizing glory” and inflicting that agonizing glory on as many innocent schmucks as possible in Robert G. Tapert and John Schulian’s six-season fantasy camp-a-thon Xena: Warrior Princess. Of course watching your whole family barbecued in your formative years is hardly something one can openly discuss in her 12-Step-Recovery Plan, now is it?  So exacting revenge, hacking her way through Ancient Greece and butchering as many hammy-acting villagers as possible must’ve seemed like the only feasible choice, given her situation and of course, the script. That leather bikini-clad beast was a slave to her own murderous impulses.

    The 456 in Torchwood: Children of Earth  (human children)

    “You yielded in the past.” – The 456

    The intergalactic octopus-y, projectile-vomiting antagonists in cahoots with the government of the United Kingdom, The 456 have a scheme involving corralling and intravenously hooking themselves to a large percentage of earth’s kids because it makes them “feel good” has to be the creepiest allegory for addiction to make this list. And how does an off-worlder addict like The 456 convey its request?  These guys hold the world to ransom, forcing essentially decent “middle-man” John Frobisher (the new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi) to make a hard decision: offer up the children of earth to the outer space junkies, or face extinction - and when one of its withdrawal symptoms is global genocide, that’s a tough call to make.  After a weak start (well, two mixed-bag seasons) Russell T. Davie’s Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood was redefined with “Children of Earth,” which unfolded at a breakneck pace back in 2009 on BBC 1 and was followed in 2011 by the STARZ/BBC co-production Miracle Day. 

    Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal– fine dining

    “I never feel guilty about eating anything.” – Doctor Lecter

    It took a while for NBC’s television prequel variation of Thomas Harris’ novels to capture the hostile and menacing atmosphere of its literary and cinematic precursors, and in its second season, the show is giving the fans something to really savor. When you’re a brilliant psychiatrist like Doctor Lecter (a nuanced, sinister, subtle depiction of the famous character by Mads Mikkelsen), Lecter moonlights as the perfect psychopath with a baroque flair for fine dining and tormenting puppy-eyed FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). Lecter’s cannibalistic compulsion often has the dapper loon hosting extravagant dinner parties for his high-falutin’ friends and colleagues. Now, what these nice folks don’t know is that that meat melting in their mouth wasn’t carved from any lamb. Yep, Lecter is hooked on human meat and just loves to slyly feed his victims to guests he has over regularly! So they next time you’re invited to a swanky dinner-party, checking the menu would be advisable before RSVPing! 


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    As horror fans, we make it our business to know the most obscure details about our favorite films. We watch the bonus features on the Special Edition releases of our favorite DVDs; we read retrospectives and interviews in support of our most beloved titles. But even the most diligent fan is bound to miss something along the way. So, to help you get the lowdown, we're running a recurring segment that rounds up some lesser-known trivia from your favorite horror films.

    For this installment, we're setting our sights on the slasher film A Nightmare on Elm Street. There are plenty of well-known talking points regarding A Nightmare on Elm Street but we have rounded up some slightly more obscure facts that we hope will even enlighten even the super fan. 

    Now, we present to you: twelve things you may not have known about Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street

    In the moments leading up to Glen’s death, he is watching the television station KRGR.

    The viewer can hear the name of the station being called out as it signs off for the night. KRGR is a not so subtle reference to the film’s primary antagonist.  

    It’s often reported that Fred Krueger was originally going to be played by a stuntman. That is not entirely correct. 

    While it is customary to cast a stuntman to play the role of the villain in horror movies, according to Never Sleep Again, Wes Craven wanted to have an actor (not a stuntman) take on the Freddy role to give the character personality and bring Fred to life. 

    Actor David Warner (The Omen) was originally cast as Freddy. 

    Warner reportedly backed out at the last minute, saying that he had another project he was already committed to that conflicted with the shooting schedule for A Nightmare on Elm Street

    Fred Krueger was named after a kid who bullied Wes Craven in elementary school.

    The name Fred or Freddy brought up bad memories for Craven and seemed a likely choice when naming the film’s antagonist.

    Charlie Sheen was offered a role in the film but ultimately declined.

    Sheen wanted to be a part of the production but the actor wanted more money than the film’s budget allowed. 

    In addition to wanting to capture the essence of Americana, Wes Craven had several other interesting reasons for choosing Elm Street as the film’s setting. 

    Craven sites the Kennedy assignation occurring on Elm Street as one of the factors in his decision-making process. He also notes the fact that Elm Street was the name of the main street that ran through the somewhat quaint town that he lived and worked in before he left academia for Hollywood. 

    Makeup artist David Miller got the idea for the Freddy makeup from pepperoni pizza.

    Miller was eating dinner and lost in thought when he gained inspiration from the appearance of the pepperoni and cheese on the pizza he was eating.  

    Wes Craven’s ex-wife has a cameo in the film.

    When Nancy is undergoing dream analysis, it is Mimi Craven that plays the part of the nurse. 

    Lin Shaye, who plays Nancy’s teacher, is related to one of the film’s producers. 

    Shaye is the sister of eventual New Line studio head Robert Shaye. 

    In the jail scene, the actor who played Rod was crying about his life, not the scene he was shooting. 

    Jsu Garcia (Nick Corri) was on drugs during the production and going through a great deal of emotional turmoil. His tears were not only real, they were completely unrelated to the film. 


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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? 

    'Cthulhu Gloom' - Atlas Games (2011)

    Life's tough under the thumb of the great old ones. You try your damnedest to make it through the day, but sometimes there's no avoiding a little maiming or insanity. When Cthulhu rises, when the elder gods emerge from beyond the stars, how will you die? That's the question in Cthulhu Gloom. And figuring out the answer to that question is half the fun!

    Gameplay Mechanics

    In 'Cthulhu Gloom' players take on the role of a group of protagonists. Your job is similar to your job in the original 'Gloom'. You want to kill all of your protagonists, but not before you make their life as miserable as (in)humanly possible.

    The cards in 'Cthulhu Gloom' are transparent. When you lay your protagonist card down on the table, you can then layer other cards on top of it. Has your character been "minced by Migo" or were you "crushed by a Shoggoth"? If so, you'll lay one of those cards down on top of your protagonist's card. This creates a layering effect that is not only visually pleasing, but also makes for easy score tallying. In the end, the player with all the dead protagonists and the most negative points wins!

    Replay Value

    This game is wonderful on its own, but if you really want to eek out more replay from it you can combine it with the original game of 'Gloom'. That will add lots of combinations and new strategies. Even so, on its own you'll never play the same game of 'Cthulhu Gloom' twice. The story lines that you weave as you attempt to explain how your character is suffering a terrible fate are both grim and hilarious at the same time, and the replay value of this game is only limited to your game group's imagination.

    Overall Impressions

    This is an awesome spin-off from an already classic storytelling game. This green and creepy version of the game even contains new elements. There are transformation cards, which permanently alter the way your character looks. Also included are story cards that put mini quests into the game. If you like death, sanguine stories, and H.P. Lovecraft... You'll love 'Cthulhu Gloom'.


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    At first glance, you might think this clip is a backstage peek at Lady Gaga rehearsing a new routine – something involving a demon mask and simulated impalement. (You know, typical Gaga stuff.) But believe it or not, it's even creepier than that.
     
    Fembot1
     
    The disturbing dancer is actually a sophisticated robot, designed by artist Jordan Wolfson and brought to nightmarish life by robotics company Spectral Motion for an exhibition at New York's David Zwirner Gallery.
     
     
    If you watch closely, the dancer not only modifies her routine as patrons approach her, but through facial recognition technology, she's also watching them... remembering... patiently waiting. If not for the metal tube (a combination control arm and circuitry conduit) that impales her torso, who knows where she might wander by night?
     
    Actually, she may want to visit the home of artist Suzanne Heintz, who has been living with a family of creepy mannequins for 14 years...

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    Walking Dead beer

    The dudes who run Philadelphia's Dock Street Brewery are huge fans of The Walking Dead, and so it was a no-brainer that they'd inevitably set out to create a liquid tribute to the show. Well, actually, calling it a no-brainer would be a huge understatement, because brains are a key ingredient in this particular brew. Yes. Real brains.

    As reported by Beer Pulse, the company is getting ready to launch a new beer called Dock Street Walker, an American Pale Stout that's brewed with wheat, oats, flaked barley, organic cranberry... and smoked goat brains. Armed with a 7.2% ABV, the unique concoction is described as smooth, creamy and tart, with the cranberries creating a 'sinister, bloody hue' and the goat brains imbuing the booze with 'intriguing, subtle smoke notes.'

    The brainy brew will be released on March 30th, right in time for the Season 4 finale of The Walking Dead. Can you think of a better way to celebrate than by drinking brains? Because I sure as hell can't!

    Learn more over on Dock Street's website.


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    In an interview published in Time magazine in 1986, Stephen King mentioned that he planned to study French in order to finish Livre Noir, a detective story written in French, “the language that turns dirt into romance.” That idea never panned out, and one wonders how his publishers would have handled such a book. Obviously they would have had to translate it into English, which would have defeated the purpose, it seems.
     
    Many years ago, when I was living in Europe, I spent a few days in Paris and gravitated toward the vendor stalls that line the Seine. I looked at artwork and antiques, but mostly I was interested in the books. I found a French copy of ’Salem’s Lot and thought it might be fun to read it in another language. I was certified bilingual when I graduated high school, and had read some of Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret novels in the original French, so it wasn’t a Herculean endeavor. I never did get around to cracking open that book, though.
     
    Last year, King went on his first-ever book tour of continental Europe, with stops in France and Germany to promote Doctor Sleep. By all reports, he was well received, both by his local publishers and by fans that traveled many kilometers to see him. As a gesture of appreciation, King has released a novella eBook in only French and German. The English title is “Bad Little Kid.” In French it is “Sale Gosse” and in German “Böser kleiner Junge.”
     
    Sale_GosseBoser_Kleiner_Junge
     
    Since my German is rudimentary at best, I decided to read “Sale Gosse.” I had to look up a few words and phrases, but for the most part I could follow what was going on. Most of the English idioms translated smoothly — “water off a duck’s back” works in both language — but it took me a while to figure out “les Anglais débarquaient tous les mois,” which I learned means “her periods came every month,” apparently a reference to the English as redcoat invaders! The hardest part was reminding myself that this was a story set in America — that George’s “southern accent” was not referring to Marseille or Bordeaux.
     
    The setting is familiar King territory: a prison’s death row. The man whose execution is fast approaching is George Hallas. Because his date with lethal injection is nigh, he is granted unrestricted access to visitors; however, the only one who comes is his public defender, Leonard Bradley. Despite George’s reticence to assist his lawyer in his defense, Bradley has persisted in exploring all options and appeals, extending George’s life by a few years.
     
    George’s guards had warned Bradley that his client is likely to want to talk during his final week. He’s remained mostly mum until now, so Bradley is ready to listen when George decides to explain why he emptied his six-shooter into a little boy.
     
    The story starts when George is nine. He befriended a somewhat simple girl who lives nearby, and they often walk to and from school hand in hand. It’s totally innocent, and no one gives them any grief. One day, though, a little brat shows up, taunting the poor girl and luring her into the street, where a kindly old teacher strikes her with her car, killing her. No one else saw this pudgy little brat, a fluorescent redhead who wears shorts, a striped shirt and a propeller hat. The incident is written off as a terrible accident, and George never says otherwise.
     
    This little brat shows up over and over again in George’s life, bedeviling him by doing harm to those he knows and loves. He always looks the same; never ages. The French would probably call him a corbeau— he knows things he shouldn’t, and uses this information to torment George. In a sense, he’s a precursor to the antagonist in the forthcoming Mr. Mercedes, a demented young man who tries to manipulate weak people into killing themselves.
     
    George’s tale culminates with the day he shoots the little kid in front of several witnesses. He doesn’t expect Bradley to believe him — he realizes how crazy his story sounds — but he has to get this weight off his chest before they stick the needle in his arm. It’s too late to plead insanity now, Bradley realizes, but he provides a sympathetic ear and, several days later, he attends the execution.
     
    Where does “Bad Little Kid” fit into the King pantheon? It’s reminiscent of “1922” in the sense that it is a confessional. There’s also an aspect of “N.” to it, given that the confessor seems delusional and his insanity might be contagious. It’s a prison story (paging Frank Darabont!) but most of it takes place outside the walls, even if it is being related through a Plexiglas divider in “Needle Manor,” the nickname of this prison’s death row. And, in the end, it is in line with King’s philosophy that there aren’t answers to every mystery. When Bradley asks George why a demonic child would choose him to harass, George responds that there’s no more explanation for that than there’s a reason why bad things happen to good people, or why some bad people live until they’re a hundred.
     
    There are no immediate plans for “Bad Little Kid” to be released in English, but that will probably happen at some point. In the meantime, brush off your high school French or German and give this ~15,000 word story a crack. Bonne chance!

     

    Bev Vincent is the author of The Dark Tower Companion, The Stephen King Illustrated Companion and The Road to the Dark Tower. He has been writing “News from the Dead Zone” for Cemetery Dance for over a decade. He can be found online at bevvincent.com. Friend him on Facebook or follow his Twitter feed.

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    If you drink water from the tap in New York City, chances are you're swallowing countless thousands of tiny clawed horrors called copepods.
     
    Tap_Monsters2
    Photo: ftothe3/New Reddit Journal of Science
     
    Now, before you go freaking out on me, you should know that these microscopic creatures – which are crustaceans related to shrimp and plankton – are not only harmless, but could actually be beneficial to your health... well, sort of.
     
    As it turns out, the presence of copepods in New Yorkers' water has been known for a long time. Gizmodo highlighted an experiment carried out a few years ago by Reddit user ftothe3, who stained the water with a special dye to make the nearly invisible beasties show up clearly under a microscope – resulting in the images you see here.
     
    Tap_Monsters3
    Photo: ftothe3/New Reddit Journal of Science
     
    Those health benefits I mentioned? It turns out you can actually eliminate disease-carrying mosquitoes by introducing copepods into any water containers in which mosquito larvae develop; the critters then snack on the larvae, cutting the mosquito breeding cycle short. So there, now you can stop worrying and learn to love your tiny shrimp friends.
     
    Unfortunately I can't say the same for the water-dwelling microbes known as Naegleria fowleri, which will totally eat your brain...

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    Tomorrow, Vertigo Comics will be releasing American Vampire volume six, a hardbound volume collecting eight stories set in the American Vampire universe. In addition to the comic pages, we also have exclusive, never-before-seen character and cover sketches by Rafael Albuquerque.

    Official synopsis: You are cordially invited to a party--to die for! This volume of American Vampire collects eight amazing stories set in the world of American Vampire, with "lost tales," new characters and old favorites. Don't miss these stories brought to you by series creators Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, as well as other awesome comics talent like Becky Cloonan (BATMAN), Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon (DAYTRIPPER), Jeff Lemire (SWEET TOOTH), Greg Rucka (The Punisher, BATWOMAN), Gail Simone (BATGIRL) and many more! Also collected here is the stand alone tale of Fan-favorite character Travis Kidd--the vampire hunter who likes to "bite them back" in AMERICAN VAMPIRE: THE LONG ROAD TO HELL.

    American Vampire Vol. 6 releases on March 26th.


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    Sick of coworkers or roommates stealing your food from the fridge? This totally creepy prank should scare them off... unless you live and work with cannibals, that is. Then you have a very different kind of problem.
     
    Head_Jar1
     
    The instructions for creating this epic stunt, posted on DIY site Instructables by user Mikeasaurus, are cheap and fairly simple, provided you have access to a large jar, a camera and decent photo editing software (and know how to use it).
     
    Head_Jar3
     
    The instructions explain how to use the photo editor to combine multiple pics of your head – or anyone's head, for that matter – into a composite flat image, which should then be waterproofed by laminating (this can be done at a printing shop). The distorting effect of the water, combined with the curvature of the jar, creates the optical illusion of a three-dimensional head. Green food coloring will give the water a formaldehyde tint, completing the macabre effect.
     
    Head_Jar4
     
    Mikeasaurus suggests putting the jar in the fridge, hidden behind some other items to amplify the shock factor. For added nastiness, he even throws in a couple of boiled eggs.
     
    Head_Jar6
     
     
    You know, this might be the perfect prank to pull in Vernon, Florida – otherwise known as the “Dismemberment Capital of the US.” Uh... then again, maybe not.

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    Fear can be a strange thing. It can pop up at unexpected moments, and for unexplainable reasons. While some people can have irrational fears of things like clowns and spiders, there are a select few who fear places meant to be a safe haven for people in their time of need. A place that always seems to garner a mixed feeling of either dread or serenity is a hospital.  They’re big buildings full of many individuals, and yet they always feel so empty. It could be the dull colors, the odd silence, or the cold that drifts down its many dark hallways that makes one uneasy. Or maybe it’s the aroma of rubbing alcohol and latex that triggers an unpleasant past experience for a person. All of these things are enough to make one think of a horror movie, because they are the perfect setting for disastrous events.
     
    Hospitals haven’t been depicted so nicely in the genre, and some are displayed worse than others. Let's take a look at ten of the worst hospitals in the genre, so you know which places you should avoid being admitted!
     
    Awake
     
    Awake 
     
    Having to be admitted into a hospital for extensive surgery is terrifying enough, but the thought of being awake during the whole ordeal is even worse. Imagine yourself lying there, naked and unable to move. You can feel everything, and you can hear everything that’s going on, but you can’t do anything to make it stop. It’s almost like being buried alive. There’s nothing you can do but wait for the sting of the blade as it cuts open your skin. Unfortunately for Clay (Hayden Christensen), he experiences this horrifying scenario when the anesthesia doesn’t put him to sleep. The situation worsens when he discovers that the whole thing may have been planned. A hospital with sadistic doctors only concerned with furthering their own career and not saving a life is definitely a place to avoid.
     
    Diary_Dead
     
    Diary of the Dead
     
    Aside from a cemetery, a hospital is probably the second worst place to be during a zombie apocalypse. Think about it: it’s full of sick and dying people, and there’s a morgue in the basement. Every inch of the place would be crawling with the undead, and all hospital personnel most definitely would flee the place, leaving you to fend for yourself in a case of injury. In George Romero's Diary of the Dead, Parkside Hospital is the prime example of why one should stay away from hospitals during a zombie plague, but it made for a great place to document the event!
     
    Kingdom_Hospital
     
    Kingdom Hospital
     
    A hospital built on top of another burned-down hospital is probably going to have a few ghosts. The setting of Stephen King's New Kingdom Hospital has so much history; strange things are bound to happen frequently. While the place has regular visitors like psychic Mrs. Druse, it is also flowing with the spirits of a young girl, a punk teenage boy, and a strange creature who watches over them. Who wants to be admitted to a hospital where the dead can’t rest? And neither can you, with their constant appearances. On the plus side the head surgeon is the handsome Andrew McCarthy, and having a terrible hospital experience almost seems worth it if you get to be in the presence of the '80s heartthrob, am I right?
     
    Night_Shift
     
    Are You Afraid of the Dark: "The Tale of The Night Shift"
     
    For whatever reason, a young girl named Amanda (Emmanuelle Chriqui) decides that she wants to volunteer at her local hospital to help the sick. She gets stuck with the night shift — which is completely reasonable for a young person in school — and she begins to notice strange things occurring all around her. Not to mention all of the people working there seem to be barely out of middle school. Patients start disappearing and acting strange, and when Amanda investigates, she learns that a vampire is responsible. As the young girl delves deeper into the mystery, she finds herself face to face with the ancient vampire, who is quick to hold her over the roof of the hospital, intent on dropping her to her death. Volunteer work doesn’t pay enough to deal with that kind of crap, Amanda.
     
    TWD_Hospital
     
    The Walking Dead
     
    Harrison Memorial Hospital isn’t exactly the safest place to be during a zombie apocalypse. For one, the hospital staff will just abandon its patients, especially ones that are in a coma. And secondly, their cafeteria has a bit of a walker problem. Not only is the cafeteria off-limits, but there’s an awful smell in the stairwell near a site full of dead bodies. While there were less walking corpses than one would expect during a zombie outbreak, there were still enough present to put your life at risk. The one good thing about Harrison Memorial is that their patient room doors are strong enough to withstand the walking dead from making their way inside. So, there’s that.
     
    Nurse3D
     
    Nurse 3D
     
    Some co-workers can be a real bitch to deal with. In any type of job, it’s important for people to work together to keep things flowing and organized, otherwise things won’t get done. Issues can arise and bad feelings can form, making your job a living hell. But your workplace problem doesn’t even come close to new nurse Danni’s (Katrina Bowden) and her strange relationship with fellow nurse Abby (Paz de la Huerta). Abby is mentally unhinged, and a hospital that doesn’t do extensive background checks on its employees is putting its patient’s lives at risk. At least the nurses are hot, though!
     
    Sublime
     
    Sublime
     
    There have been real-life horror stories about individuals going into a hospital for one procedure, and having something else done by mistake. It’s a terrifying thing to think about. One puts their life in the hands of an individual who is supposed to be trained to take care of them, and one small, careless mistake can change your life forever. When George (Tom Cavanagh) is admitted to Mt. Abbadon Hospital for a routine procedure, they mistake him for another patient and perform a different operation on him, resulting in his coma. When a hospital is named after a place in the Bible known for destruction and pain, it’s probably not the safest place to go for medical care.
     
    Autopsy
     
    Autopsy (2008)
     
    If the two EMTs who pick you up from the scene of your accident look like criminals, they probably are. It’s understandable for one not to question their rescuers in an awful situation like a car accident, but when you are brought to an abandoned hospital, you should definitely start asking questions. However, when a group of friends are transported to a nearby mysterious facility, they do everything wrong. They split up, they trust the wrong people, and they die. Just remember: if you ever find yourself in an exam room and Robert Patrick walks in wearing a lab coat... just run.
     
    Patrick
     
    Patrick (1978) 
     
    When a patient resides in a hospital for a long period of time, the people who work there tend to get to know them on a different level. Often these relationships between healthcare professional and patient are good ones, and sometimes they come close enough to consider each other family. However, some patients can be unstable and develop inappropriate feelings for the ones who care for them, leading things to become deadly. In Patrick, Nurse Kathy (Susan Penhaligon) gets the worst assignment of her career when she is introduced to the titular young man in a coma. Patrick isn’t just any patient; he has psychokinetic powers which he likes to use to control Kathy’s life. While Patrick’s presence makes the private hospital unsafe enough, the head of the hospital plots murder against one of her patients.
     
    Halloween_II
     
    Halloween II (1981)
     
    Sometimes a little drama is necessary to spice things up in the workplace, but Haddonfield Memorial Hospital gets more than they bargained for when Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is admitted into their care. At first all is good for both Laurie and the hospital employees; Laurie is sedated and safe in her bed while hospital personnel are off boning each other in the basement hot tub. What the workers don’t realize is that Laurie’s psychotic older brother, Michael Myers, is still on the loose and headed their way to finish his job. The lack of security in the place allows Michael to casually slip inside and murder a few people, who seem too horny to care about the lives of their patients. Not only is it extremely easy for Michael to get in and around the facility, but there are hardly any staff on duty that night, leaving Laurie like a sitting duck on the only occupied wing. If you value your life, don’t go to a hospital whose workers are more concerned about getting laid than for your well-being.

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    Phantasm 5

    Last year we wrote up a post highlighting 10 planned horror movie sequels that we're still waiting to see, and Phantasm 5 was one of the films that made the list. 1998 saw the release of Phantasm 4: Oblivion, and ever since then fans have been eager to see the continuing adventures of the Tall Man and his deadly silver spheres, with a fifth installment being the subject of endless rumors and discussions in recent years.

    Franchise creator/director Don Coscarelli has remained tight-lipped about the future of Phantasm, and that future has been shrouded in uncertainty since the moment the credits rolled on Phantasm 4, and we were left off on a cliffhanger of an ending.

    Today, the fog of uncertainty has been lifted...

    The above poster comes to us courtesy of Aint It Cool News, and they say that they have 100% confirmed that it is indeed legit, and not merely a piece of fan art. Though the site is apparently not at liberty to reveal any details about Phantasm: Ravager, in regards to plot or a release date, they say that it may be ready for us sooner than we think, suggesting that perhaps the film has been shot, and kept a secret during the production process.

    An original draft for the fifth installment was set in a desolate future and centered on hi-tech troops attempting to put an end to the Tall Man once and for all, though we have no way of knowing if the upcoming sequel has anything whatsoever to do with that concept. We'll be sure to report more as we learn it!


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    The Following Episode 210
    “Teacher’s Pet”
    Written By: Brett Mahoney
    Directed By: Marcos Siega
    Original Airdate: 24 March 2014

    In This Episode…

    Wrapping up last week’s cliffhanger, Claire didn’t really die; the FBI just faked it to get her into witness protection and keep her safe. But she is sick of witness protection, upset by the resurgence of Joe and Lily’s new cult, and she misses Ryan. By the episode’s end, she has told her security detail to make whatever arrangements they need to - she is going to visit Ryan and she claims to know the key to bringing Joe down. But she doesn’t just want Joe arrested - she wants him dead.

    Back to the crazy. Robert points out the “psychos” from the hole: Tilda, who killed her brother; Patrick, who was dishonorably discharged from the Army for torturing POWs; Lucas, a narcissist; and Mallory, who is there mainly because she is (or was) inseparable from Lance, but she’s “not squeamish.” Robert promises to “shepherd” them, and Joe preaches to all his new followers, including the psychos. His new message: “No redemption without blood.” Pretty much everyone is on board.

    The NSA feels confident that Jana acted alone; Gina had no knowledge of what her ex was doing. They haven’t charged Strauss with anything yet, but Ryan is there to talk to him. His theory is that Strauss said he trained other killers; Ryan thinks Joe might be seeking them out for his new cult. His first question for Strauss is if Lance was one of his. Ryan tells him about the bookstore, which makes Strauss laugh. He never understood Joe’s grandiose nature. Strauss accuses Ryan of being just as obsessed with Joe as any of his followers.

    Ryan decides to try a new tactic. He goes on the record with Carrie, and she reports on Update America that Strauss was arrested in connection with Joe Carroll and his cult. Emma alerts Joe to the news, and he is more startled than I have ever seen him. Scared, even. He calls Jana, assuring Emma that her phone is super-protected. This is exactly what Ryan hoped would happen, as he has some of the NSA’s top people at his apartment, with Jana’s phone all set up to trace the call. Joe is startled when Ryan answers Jana’s phone. He takes a beat and turns on the charm, trying to wave away a panicked Emma. Joe promises that he has a “holy army” and things are going to get much, much worse. Joe hangs up, and Ryan’s crew wasn’t able to trace the call - Jana’s encryption is really really good. Emma moves towards Joe to soothe him, but he throws his phone and she grabs Mandy and they scamper off. I think this is the first time we have ever seen Joe with so little control. Ryan, meanwhile, thinks they may have a new lead: he thinks Joe may have co-opted another religious cult. And he thinks something is going to happen today.

    And something is happening. The little band of Joe’s psychos has taken to the streets of New York in a van. They are taking turns picking victims. Tilda chooses a random jogger who reminds her of a high school bully. She stabs him in the belly. Lucas picks an average family because they have a dog and he likes dogs; he breaks in and kills mom, dad, and teenage son. Back at Corbin, Joe and Emma are trying to teach their followers that “sacrifice” will take them to a better place. Joe kills a cat with his bare hands, which upsets at least one follower. Joe calms her, then assures her - and anyone else who doesn’t feel comfortable - that they can leave, they are not being held against their will. A few leave - and are followed by a beefy guard. Mandy tries to hang on but she can’t and runs out after them. Emma later finds her by a bonfire and tells her that the others who left were placed in the hole; Joe thought she deserved a second chance. The two square off, neither trusting the other; neither wanting to admit they are jealous of each other’s standing with Joe. When Mandy spits out that Emma “isn’t the only one who killed her mother,” Emma almost looks proud.

    Ryan and his crew are out at the suburb killing. “No redemption without blood” is written on the wall in blood, the same message that was stuffed into the first victim’s jacket. Max calls andsays that security cameras have ID’d Mallory. Based on where she is, her past work, and Joe’s video message, Ryan thinks she is headed to a restaurant she used to work at. He sends out swarms of cops.

    Mallory is, indeed, leading Patrick to this restaurant. It’s not supposed to be personal, but she was fired two years ago, so she figures no one will recognize her. They head in and sit at the bar while she watches the crowd. She chooses a middle-aged woman, on a date with her husband, and follows her into the bathroom. Mallory tries to attack her, but she is hesitant, and the woman fights away. She runs into the restaurant, screaming, and Patrick grabs her. Then Ryan and the cops burst in. Mallory joins Patrick, and Ryan turns his attention to her, telling her her parents love her and miss her and want her back. These seems to break something inside Mallory, and she drops her knife. She is about to spill on Joe’s whereabouts, and Patrick panics. He throws his hostage across the room and slits Mallory’s throat before she can speak.Cops shoot Patrick dead, and Ryan tries to save Mallory. He is unsuccessful.  

    Joe holds a lavish ceremony, filled with fancy robes and masks. Tilda and Lucas are the guests of honor. Joe slits his own wrist and anoints them with his blood. “Who here wishes to join their sacred rank?” Pretty much everyone does and the tide of change sweeps across Corbin.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    Honestly, it was a good episode, but not a great episode. It is one of those “middle of the season” episodes, trying to tie up storylines and prepare for the last few episodes. In other words, it just didn’t “blip” on my radar.

    Prophecies?

    Lily’s cult strikes again.


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    Bates Motel Episode 204
    “Check-Out”
    Written By: Liz Tigelaar
    Directed By: John David Coles
    Original Airdate: 24 March 2014

    In This Episode…

    Emma wakes in bed at the motel with “cupcake boy.” She is embarrassed and slips out, then spends the rest of the episode ducking him. Outside, she finds Dylan passed out in his own vomit, in his truck. She goes for Norman, who helps get him into bed in one of the empty motel rooms. He insists he will take care of it, but Norma comes by and sees what is going on. She sends the kids to watch the office, and tucks Dylan in to bed. Emma wants to know what is going on (another recurring theme through this episode) but Norman steadfastly refuses to tell her.

    Norman brings his brother some breakfast. Dylan is mad at him, thinks that Norman has known about his true parentage for a long time, and he and Mother have been laughing about it behind his back. (Persecution complex much?) He suggests Norman talk to Mother about what would happen if “someone has been lying to you about an important event in your life.” Dylan heads to the docks and Caleb finds him there. Dylan refuses to talk to him, and lays out Norma’s accusations. “It’s not like that,” Caleb says - but he doesn’t outright deny it. “The guy she married in high school got her knocked up, that’s your dad.” He gives him back his cash. “I don’t know what is going on but I never should have come here.”

    Norma is having a rough day, too. Christine wants her to come to dinner, but she politely declines. Norman finds her in bed. “I get why you didn’t tell Dylan, but you could have told me. You can tell me anything.” He delicately broaches what Dylan hinted at: “Is there anything else you haven’t told me?” She assures that is everything. She did go to Caleb’s motel with the intention of telling him off, but she couldn’t even get out of the car. Norman comforts as she cries, and begs her not to worry. She eventually goes into the kitchen to clean her troubles away, and Christine comes to the door. She won’t take no for an answer, and picks out an outfit for Norma to wear to dinner.

    So Norma dresses and Norman zips her up, assuring her it is a good idea for her to go out. Dylan comes in and she wants to talk to him; he doesn’t want her to make this harder on him. Norman steps in to protect his mother from a potential altercation, but there won’t be one. Norma wants Dylan to put this behind him like she has; he doesn’t know how to put himself behind himself. “I’m a consequence!” Dylan announces Caleb gave him all his money back, and storms to his room. Just in time: George is there to pick up Norma for their double-date with Christine and Peter. At dinner, Norma is fighting to keep her facade up, but the issue of the bypass comes up and she becomes impassioned about how it will destroy her little business. She excuses herself to the bathroom to cool off. When she leaves, George is waiting for her and apologizes for Peter.

    Norman is at play tech with Cody. He is hammering angrily and admits to Cody that he is having trouble with his family. He tells her more than he would tell Emma: that her mom’s brother showed up out of nowhere and he is a “bad guy.” Abusive-bad. Cody suggests he gives him a beat down, or at least scare him. So they drive out to Caleb’s motel, and Cody hands him a tire iron. While she checks in with the office to find Caleb’s room number, Norman seethes in the car, and has flashes of Caleb’s abuse. Cody collects him and they approach room number 16. But Norman can’t do it and insists she take him out of there.

    After her date, Norma is in the kitchen drinking. Dylan comes home and announces he is moving out. He doesn’t want to live with this mess, and said Caleb told him he wasn’t his father. “He said it wasn’t like that, so live with it.” Norma sticks to her story, so Dylan pointedly asks her: “Why did you have me?” She has no answer. Norman comes home at this point but hides on the porch to listen to this latest fight. Dylan accuses Norma of having him to get her boyfriend to marry her so she could get out of the house. “I was scared, I had no voice, I had no one to protect me!” she insists. “It’s not your fault, but it’s not mine either.” Dylan storms out, and Norman finds his strength. 

    Norman shows up at Caleb’s door. Caleb doesn’t know who he is, so Norman introduces himself. Caleb has nothing to say to “any of you.” Norman has been silent long enough. Caleb pushes him into a chair, and Norman again flashes on what he perceives his mother’s abuse was like. He slips into his fugue state, and when he comes back around, he is speaking as if he was Norma. “I remember, you came into my room. You raped me! You should have protected me!” Norman has a knife, but Caleb pins him down, throws him across the room, and gives him a good swift kick before leaving.

    Norman ends up at a coffee shop. With no ID or cell phone on him, the waitress called Cody after finding her phone number on his arm. He hasn’t said a word or moved, and that doesn’t change when Cody shows up. She delicately walks him into the car.

    Also: Emma finally confronts weed boy and is relieved to find they didn’t have sex. She is still a virgin and her first time could be her last time, so she wants to at least remember it. There is a definite attraction between the two, so I give it no more than two episodes before they have sex. Romero hears that Zane is back in town, and goes to give him a little warning about bringing trouble into his town. Zane responds by setting Romero’s house on fire.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    I am still fascinated that Dylan is taking Caleb’s side so easily. I don’t care how rotten his relationship is with Norma, how can he blame her for years of sustained abuse? How can he take Caleb’s word that “It wasn’t like that?” How is that an excuse?

    Prophecies?

    Norman finds safety in Cody, while Norma seems to be cozying up to Nick Ford.


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    In downtown Seattle, Washington, a certain rusting, battered old Coca-Cola vending machine has seen constant use for over 15 years, but some say there's something more than just the usual stock of cold beverages inside... something that remains unexplained.
     
    Soda_Machine1
    Photo: Jon Manning
     
    In a feature for Vice.com, writer Hillary Pollack examines the urban legends surrounding this battered metal box, which sits at the corner of John and Broadway in Seattle's Capitol Hill district. Apparently no one knows for sure who is keeping the machine stocked and serviced all these years, or who's been collecting cash from it. Adding to the mystique is a button labeled “Mystery” (shown below), which dispenses a totally random drink selection when pressed... including several hard-to-find varieties not advertised on the machine itself. Hmm.
     
    Soda_Machine2
    Photo: Jon Manning
     
    Further investigation into the mystery didn't turn up any answers; the owner of the business next door says he's never seen anyone refill the machine or empty the cash box in all the years it's been in use. Oddly enough, the machine's marked price per can recently went up from 55 to 75 cents: “Looks like even ghosts aren’t exempt from inflation,” Pollack writes.
     
    If horror movies have taught us anything, it's never to underestimate the paranormal potential of seemingily inanimate objects... for example, like the relics being auctioned off from this allegedly haunted California mansion!

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    demon photo

    Though it may look like a screen grab from the next James Wan film, the image you see above was actually plucked from a nurse's viewing monitor, at an undisclosed hospital. The photograph shows what appears to be an inhuman figure standing directly on top of a patient's hospital bed, and what's most frightening about it is that the patient allegedly passed away mere hours after the photo was taken.

    As we spotted over on Before It's News, absolutely no information exists about the image other than that, which has naturally led many to believe that it's merely a hoax. Whether it's the work of a clever Photoshopper or the real deal, there's no denying that the image is absolutely bone chilling, and the very idea of a demon coming to collect your soul, while you're sleeping, is certainly one that sends shivers up the spine.

    Check out video footage of the image below, which is really just the image with creepy music played over top of it, to optimize the fright factor!

    Hospitals are kinda creepy, aren't they? Check out our list of 10 of the most horrible hospitals in horror history!


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    human skin mask

    If you thought Leatherface was the only one wearing human skin masks... think again!

    As reported at the tail end of last year by ECNS.CN, the sale of masks like the one pictured above has been causing many concerns in recent months, as they're readily available for purchase on one of China's largest online markets. Thin, highly detailed and feeling very much like real human skin, the masks sell for as low as $166, and they can even be customized for a higher price, to look like yourself or anyone you want them to look like.

    In addition to just plain being creepy, one of the main concerns is that crimes will be committed by people who are essentially wearing the faces of innocent citizens, which has naturally led to many being outraged over the fact that they're so readily available. "What if a murderer wearing a mask like my face commits a crime?" said one resident, echoing the sentiments of many in China.

    Just this week, a couple months after the article on ECNS was published, The World of Chinese has confirmed the nefarious threat that these so-called human skin masks pose, reporting that a man in China attacked his ex-wife last week, while wearing one of the horrifying flesh masks. Though the woman was thankfully unharmed, the man was arrested, and was found to be in possession of pepper spray and a large knife. He says that he was merely trying to scare his ex-wife, and that he had no plans on actually hurting her. No word on if the mask he was wearing depicted his own face, or someone else's.

    The sale of skin masks in China has reached an all-time high in the early portions of 2014, and though the term 'human skin mask' has been banned from search engines, the lifelike masks are still legally available for purchase.

    Speaking of Leatherface-inspired fashion, check out this creepy ring, which is made from actual human flesh!


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    Last time we caught up with Andy LaPlegua's industrial team Combichrist, they had turned out No Redemption, their complete original score to Capcom's recent reboot of the classic game Devil May Cry. This week they're back with their seventh full-length studio album We Love You– which, despite the deceptively warm and fuzzy title and cover artwork, is definitely the band's heaviest, hardest-hitting release to date.
     
    Combichrist_2014
     
    Combichrist went through a career-defining stylistic shift with 2010's Making Monsters, transitioning from heavy aggro-tech/EBM mode into a much grittier, more organic approach, driven by crushing guitar riffs and huge cyber-tribal percussion. It was a welcome evolution in their sound, and thankfully Andy and company have not only adhered to that mode, but with We Love You they've injected even more high-octane metal into the mix, along with more of the experimental and darkly cinematic elements introduced in No Redemption. They've also brought much more variety to their game on this record, which spans multiple genres and a vast range of sonic textures and dynamics. But at the end of the day, it's raw, bloody aggression that truly marks a Combichrist track, and there's plenty of that on tap here.
     
    We_Love_You
     
    The opening cut “We Were Made to Love You” pulls a shocking bait-and-switch, with a spoken-word intro delivered in a deceptively soothing robot voice before pulling the rug out with the chilling announcement “We will start the elimination process in 10 seconds,” then busting into a huge, skull-crushing cyber-metal anthem, with LaPlegua adopting the hardcore vocals that helped define the new Combi sound – though this time the entire package is cranked to 11, packing in harsh glitch, gang-chanted refrains and erratic, gut-punching rhythms. The album is punctuated throughout with thunderous, guitar-driven pieces like these – including “Maggots at the Party,” which sports one of the album's most badass riffs, and the mighty arena-rocker “Love is a Razorblade.”
     
    Amid the metal holocaust, the classic electro-industrial elements of Making Monsters are still in plentiful supply as well, showcased on “Every Day is War,” the smoldering “Satan's Propaganda” and the truly awesome “Fuck Unicorns” – a bouncing, buzzing instrumental which not only shoots to the top of my list for best song title of the year (“We Rule the World, Motherfuckers” runs a close second), but is also one of the band's least conventional dance-floor tracks, with a spectacular coda that I'd love to hear expanded in a remix. Another strong repeater is “From My Cold, Dead Hands,” a soaring EBM anthem which also serves as the album's first single.
     
     
    Tracks like the hypnotic “Can't Control” strike an effective balance between the album's guitar and synth-driven modes, while the cleaner, more melodic “Denial” and the moody acoustic guitar and piano interlude “The Evil in Me” change up the dynamics in just the right doses, with the latter showcasing a gloomy death-rock lyrical approach. The album closes with the massive two-parter “Retreat, Hell,” which runs the gamut from ominous bass-driven gothic rock to colossal stacked riffage and soaring, layered chorus vocals, wrapping in the second half with a bizarre, pensive talk-sung passage from LaPlegua set against acoustic guitar and dark ambient effects, with a chilling coda that loosely ties it to the opening of Making Monsters.
     
    Combichrist_Live
     
    Going in, I honestly didn't know what to expect from We Love You, but to say I was pleasantly surprised would be the understatement of the year. This is without a doubt the band's heaviest, hookiest and most diverse album since their inception over a decade ago, and it had pretty much rocketed to the top of my Best of 2014 list before I'd even finished the first play-through. If you dig the direction Andy's taken the band lately, you'll be blown away by this one; the Monsters they unleashed in 2010 have now grown to Godzilla-sized proportions. 
     
    We Love You is available now from Metropolis Records in CD and download formats. Get some!

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