Articles on this Page
- 01/24/13--14:30: _Zombie Acting Tips ...
- 01/24/13--15:00: _Gift Guide: 'The Wa...
- 01/24/13--15:30: _Another New 'The Wa...
- 01/24/13--16:00: _Otep: 'Hydra'– CD R...
- 01/24/13--17:00: _Giallo Fever: 'Don'...
- 01/25/13--10:00: _Seth MacFarlane Che...
- 01/25/13--10:30: _Don’t Pick Up the P...
- 01/25/13--10:45: _FEARnet Movie Revie...
- 01/25/13--12:00: _This Week in Horror...
- 01/25/13--12:31: _Shout! Factory Reve...
- 01/25/13--13:30: _Slasher Cinema Show...
- 01/25/13--14:00: _'Zombieland: The We...
- 01/25/13--15:00: _Lightning Swords of...
- 01/25/13--16:00: _Here Are 9 Thriller...
- 01/25/13--17:00: _Bagged and Boarded ...
- 01/28/13--12:00: _Gift Guide: 'Basket...
- 01/28/13--12:30: _FanTasia Seeking Po...
- 01/28/13--13:00: _Tom Piccirilli Scal...
- 01/28/13--13:26: _FEARnet Horror Libr...
- 01/28/13--14:00: _Cult of Luna: 'Vert...
- 01/24/13--14:30: Zombie Acting Tips from 'Warm Bodies' star Rob Corddry
- 01/24/13--15:00: Gift Guide: 'The Walking Dead' Eye Chart
- 01/24/13--15:30: Another New 'The Walking Dead' Trailer - Now With More Shooting!
- 01/24/13--16:00: Otep: 'Hydra'– CD Review
- 01/24/13--17:00: Giallo Fever: 'Don't Torture a Duckling' [NSFW]
- 01/25/13--10:00: Seth MacFarlane Checks Into the Bates Motel
- 01/25/13--10:30: Don’t Pick Up the Phone! First Poster for 'Devil May Call'
- 01/25/13--10:45: FEARnet Movie Review: 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters'
- Audio Commentary with director/writer Don Coscarelli and actors Angus Scrimm and Reggie Banister
- “The Ball is Back!” Documentary – featuring new interviews with writer/director Don Coscarelli, actors Reggie Banister, Angus Scrimm, Paula Irvine, Samantha Phillips and more
- Vintage Behind the Scenes footage: Makeup Effects
- Vintage Behind the Scenes footage: On the Set
- “The Gory Days with Greg Nicotero” Featurette
- Deleted Scenes from archival film elements from Don Coscarelli’s archive
- Additional Scenes – alternate takes and deleted gore footage from the workprint
- Original TV Spots
- Trailers for Phantasm , Phantasm II & Phantasm III
- Still Galleries (Behind the Scenes , Makeup Effects , Hollywood Premiere)
- Rare short film starring Rory Guy (aka Angus Scrimm) as Abraham Lincoln
- Audio Commentary with director Stuart Gordon and the cast
- THE DIRECTOR’S PERSPECTIVE - interview with Stuart Gordon
- THE EDITING ROOM: LOST AND FOUND - Gordon Stuart and MGM restoration team interview
- Interview with composer Richard Band
- Storyboard to Film Comparisions with Introduction
- Two photo galleries
- Audio Commentary with writer Denis Paoli
- MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS – A look at the film’s extensive Make-Up & Creature Effects with Special Effects Creators John Buechler, Anthony Doublin, John Naulin, and Mark Shostrom (20 mins)
- PAGING DR. MCMICHAELS – An interview with Actress Barbara Crampton (15 mins)
- A TORTURED SOUL – An interview with Actor Jeffrey Combs (15 mins)
- AN EMPIRE PRODUCTION – An interview with Executive Producer Charles Band (5 mins)
- 01/25/13--13:30: Slasher Cinema Showcase: 'The Burning'
- 01/25/13--14:00: 'Zombieland: The Web TV Series'?
- 01/25/13--15:00: Lightning Swords of Death: 'Baphometic Chaosium'– CD Review [NSFW]
- 01/25/13--16:00: Here Are 9 Thriller Recommendations For Horror Fans
- 01/28/13--12:30: FanTasia Seeking Poster Art Concept Submissions
- 01/28/13--13:26: FEARnet Horror Library: Ray Garton's 'Meds'
- 01/28/13--14:00: Cult of Luna: 'Vertikal'– CD Review
The Governor is definitely not going to pass this eye test.
The Pressing Pigeon creates horror and TV-themed eye charts for genre fans who are looking for something a little more subtle than a poster to put on their walls. Each chart spells out a quote or saying that corresponds to the subject matter. For instance, the Dracula eye chart reads, “I am Dracula I bid you welcome”. The Walking Dead version reads, “Do not open dead inside”.
Each chart is 8x10, printed on archival paper, and customizable. There are 443 options that include, Night of the Living Dead,Frankenstein, and Dune. Even better: They’re having a two-for-one sale right now.
I don't really have anything witty or insightful to say about this new trailer for the second half of the third season of The Walking Dead. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the fighting, the shooting, and the swashbuckling. No zombies though - I suppose the second half of the season is really pushing the idea of human-on-human violence as a far more deadly concern.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on February 10th.
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is set to host the Oscars on February 24th. Some traditionalists are worried about how he will do as host (I think everyone is worried that he will be offensively crass.) Personally, I'm looking forward to it, especially if the show is anything like this just-released promo for the show, which reimagines MacFarlane as a guest in Psycho's Bates Motel.
Holliston’s Corri English stars in Devil May Call, where she plays a blind woman working at a suicide hotline who is stalked by a former caller. Get a first look at the art below and full synopsis:
Samantha "Sam" works at a crisis hotline where she listens to strangers and helps them deal with their pain. It's a pain she knows well since the hot-line saved her life once when she lost her sight and didn't know how to live in a world of darkness. On her last night on the job, Sam receives an terrifying visit from one of her regular callers who feels betrayed that she's leaving him. This man is no ordinary caller. He's a sadistic serial killer she's unknowingly been keeping from killing himself for over a year. With only a skeleton on the graveyard shift, there's very little that stands between him and Sam. He's come for her and won't let anything or anyone stand in his way. Will Sam survive the longest, darkest night of her life?
English stars alongside Tyler Mane (X-Men, Halloween) and Traci Lords (Blade, Excision). Devil May Call is written by Jason Cuadrado and Wyatt Doyle and is directed by Jason Cuadrado (Tales From the Dead).
I'm not exactly sure who decided that action, horror, fantasy, and light comedy were a good mixture for box office success, but it seems like Tim Burton's 1999 rendition of Sleepy Hollow was just a bit more influential than one might think. Last year's movie version of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter didn't exactly blow the roof of the multiplex, nobody really remembers The Brothers Grimm, and the less that's said about Stephen Sommers' insufferable Van Helsing experiment, the better. So the question is this: who thought that an action version of the old Hansel & Gretel fable called Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters would turn into a big, fat payday at the box office? Who is the intended audience for an R-rated but generally affable piece of tongue-in-cheek action splatter? Who thought this was a good idea?
I have no idea. I just know that, aside from some very clunky editorial missteps in the film's second half, there's a good deal of wit, enthusiasm, energy, and amusing attitude to be found in the dumb-yet-self-aware Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. I'm not the type to act snobbish around a ridiculous film that obviously knows it's ridiculous. In other words, putting aside those editing blunders that absolutely scream of deleted subplots, it seems clear that Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is precisely the film it wants to be: snarky, fast-paced, ridiculous, and odd.
The flick opens with a rather impressive rendition of the famous fable: a young boy and girl are abandoned in the forest, only to come across a house made of candy, but inside the house is a witch who wants to eat the kids, so they promptly jam the witch into the oven instead. Writer/director Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow) extends the tale to an illogical but amusing conclusion: the kids grow up to be famous witch killers! So clearly we're dealing with a premise, a presentation, and indeed an entire film that's not meant to be taken all that seriously -- which is not to say that a willfully goofy film is beyond criticism, but Wirkola does a workmanlike job of getting the actors and the audience in on the same joke.
Better yet, the film has legitimate assets that even the snarkiest film critic could agree with. The score, for example, is jaunty and energetic from the second the prologue begins, and it works as a playful companion through the film's best (and worst) moments. And while the leads (Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton) will probably never consider Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters among their most impressive work, they both bring a pulpy swagger that helps to nail the film's tone down. And that tone is this: wise-ass!
Yes, the movie has lots of wacky "modern" weaponry that has no place in a fantasy film setting, and sure, the actors drop the F-bomb more than you'd normally hear in a film in which witches and trolls eat children, but that's just part of the off-kilter charm that probably brought Mr. Wirkola to the project in the first place. The numerous action scenes are admirably kinetic, if perhaps in need of a few establishing shots amidst all the close-up and hyper-cut mayhem; the special effects are mostly quite good, particularly where a strange troll called "Edward" is concerned; the score, again, is pretty damn rousing; and the overall look of the film is actually pretty nifty.
By the time the flick wraps up (after about 90 minutes) with the lovely Famke Janssen commanding an army of wildly disparate witches to kill the heroes and devour some little kids, you'll have given in to the film's candy-coated charms -- or you'll have long since walked out by that point. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is the very definition of empty-calorie, matinee-style, "why am I watching this movie?" movies, but for those who care to look past the obvious silliness of the whole affair, there's actually some weird but quality craftsmanship at work.
This week in horror saw the birth of the man behind The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Poltergeist, and Lifeforce, Tobe Hooper. He doesn’t need an introduction, but let’s have a moment of silence for this genre-changing director.
1981 gave us Andrea Bianchi’s Italian gore-fest, Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror. Notable for its near total lack of plot and bloody zombie breast-feeding scene, Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror, aka The Zombie Dead, starts with zombies snacking on a bearded professorial-type and ends with a bunch of zombies munching on a group of over-sexed couples. There are also zombie monks in the mix, zombie Etruscans, some mother-son-fondling, and a number of killer garden tools. It was written by Piero Regnoli whose credits include Nightmare City.
On January 21 of last year Irish monster movie Grabbers made its debut at Sundance to generally positive reviews. It’s a movie about a giant sea monster on the Irish coast that’s grabbing up townsfolk ass-over-fairisle. The only way to stop the monster? Get stinking drunk. It’s an inebriated, folk-song-singing Irish Tremors with a little of the X-Files monster-of-the-week episode, Agua Mala mixed in. The cast includes Being Human’s Russell Tovey.
Watch some clips from the films, and pay close attention to the way the zombies slowly and lovingly devour their victims.
Title:Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror
Released: Jan 23, 1981
Tagline: When the moon turns red, the dead shall rise!
Released: Jan 21, 2012
2007 MGM Features:
Since about a week after its 2009 debut, rumors have been full tilt that Zombieland was going to get a sequel and/or a TV series. Nearly four years later, and that's all it has been: rumors. Well, rumors and a lot of development talk that ultimately went nowhere.
Last week, we came across a casting call for a potential Zombieland TV series. New details are emerging about what form that new series might take - and right now, it looks like it is going to be on an even smaller screen. Amazon (yes, the place where your older siblings still buy things like DVDs and books) is in talks with Sony to buy Zombieland as a direct-to-series project. If it goes through, this would mark the first original series from Amazon Studios. The mega e-tailer has been looking to get into original programming in the way that Netflix is bringing back Arrested Development and the Eli Roth thriller Hemlock Grove.
Deadline is reporting that writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and producer Gavin Polone were all on board to return for the Amazon series. Eli Craig (Tucker & Dale vs. Evil) is in talks to direct.
Back when I manned the horror section of the video store I worked at, anytime I’d find a customer skimming through all the “S” titles with mild frustration, 99 percent of the time, I knew exactly what it was they were looking for. And when I would finally ask, my suspicions were confirmed. “Do you have ‘The Silence Of The Lamb’”? To which I’d always reply, “Ah, the Hannibal Lector movies are all in the ‘mystery/thriller’ section.” And usually this would spur a conversation with that customer that would begin with, “Really? I always thought the Hannibal Lector movies were horror!” And it got me thinking about a handful of other titles that horror fans might not even think to hunt for in the “mystery/thriller” section. There are the obvious choices like Se7en or Misery. Then, there’s also stuff like The Sixth Sense, which yes, I’d consider a horror film. But for this article, I wanted to recommend a few titles you might not even be familiar with. So the next time you’re at the video store or browsing titles on Netflix or Amazon and looking for a cool new horror discovery, think about checking out one these following nine thrillers.
Mute Witness– It’s still relatively unknown and criminally underseen, so any attention I can bring to one of director Anthony Waller’s first films is worthwhile. In Mute Witness, director Andy Clarke (Evan Richards) finally gets his big break in the film business by shooting his debut “slasher” film. The only downside is he has to shoot it in Russia with a mostly Russian crew. His girlfriend’s sister Billy Hughes (Marina Sudina) is the FX artist on the shoot who is physically incapable of speaking. Late one night after they’ve wrapped filming for the night, Billy stumbles upon a secret shoot for what at first appears to be a porno film. In actuality, she inadvertently sees the making of a snuff film and witnesses an actual murder. Despite informing the police, the snuff filmmakers manage to throw the authorities off their scent by providing proof that they were merely shooting a low-budget horror film. But with Billy as the sole witness to the crime, she’s now in danger of exposing an underground snuff ring and hence becomes their primary target! What I love about this film is that despite its dark underlining subject matter, the movie manages to be both a taunt thriller and a fun ride, especially Evan Richards character, playing the American director very neurotically and with much skepticism to what Billy has seen. One of my favorite scenes in this movie is actually the opening which is part of Andy Clarke’s “slasher” movie and it’s just so darned well executed that it makes me wish I could see the movie within the movie! For several years, Hollywood has been trying to remake this film for a wider more commercial audience, but I say why bother? The original is great as it is.
Don’t Look Now– Often times I wonder if I’ll ever see a movie that will scare me in the same way that a lot of horror films I grew up with did. I also wonder if some of those older movies that had such an indelible effect on me are genuinely scary films, or if they were just impactful because of the impressionable age I was when I first experienced them. Exorcist III: Legion, for example has one scary moment in it (you know the one) that I recently showed to a group of friends and it proved to me that it still works! Although made in 1973 before I was even born, Nicolas Roeg’s movie Don’t Look Now (which I only first saw a few short years ago) has a moment in its conclusion that scared the absolute bejesus out of me. So yes, sometimes those magical cinematic scares that are captured will forever evoke fear in the viewer. For that alone, Don’t Look Now is a film you need to see asap. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie are a couple who’ve recently lost their little girl to a horrible drowning accident. In an attempt to take a mental break, they retreat to Venice and instead are plagued by memories of their daughter. Could she be sending a message from the afterlife? A psychic seems to think so and hence the grieving father is chasing after a little girl in red he’s convinced is his daughter. Although Nicolas Roeg is a British camera operator, his direction style is very reminiscent of Italian style horror films, ala Dario Argento or Lucio Fulci. Just look at the stylistic blood drip across the lens in the trailer to see what I mean. That’s just a glimpse of the horrors that await you in Don’t Look Now.
Jacob’s Ladder– Man, I remember seeing the trailer for this at an old Fangoria Weekend of Horrors convention and also during the Horror Hall of Fame TV special and feeling completely uneasy by the flashing imagery and presence of demons. Jacob’s Ladder was director Adrian Lyne’s follow-up to his smash hit Fatal Attraction which stars Tim Robbins as Jacob Singer, a former Vietnam veteran who now lives a fairly ordinary life as a mailman. Still in mourning from the death of his little boy and suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, he begins having strange nightmarish visions and hallucinations. What’s the meaning of these (literal) demons he’s facing? A few things stood out for me watching this movie at a far too young age. The ice tub sequence where Jacob is thrown into a tub full of ice to try to break his fever and the bizarre, disturbing ending, which I didn’t “get” upon initial viewing but came to appreciate when I revisited the film as an adult. And seriously, what a great trailer, no?
Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer– I discovered the original book Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer from an unlikely source; the band Nirvana. Kurt Cobain had cited Patrick Suskind’s novel about a lonely orphan named Jean-Baptiste Grenouille who embarks on a quest to capture the perfect scent and make a perfume out of it as one of his favorite books. So much so that it was the inspiration behind the song “Scentless Apprentice” from Nirvana’s In Utero album. I also recall thinking while initially reading the book that making a film adaptation of it would be next to impossible to translate properly. Thankfully, Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer proved me wrong and found a way to adapt the film version perfectly. It’s a beautiful tale of someone born into a life of alienation and loneliness, yet who also possesses such a tremendously incredible gift that drives him obsessively to murder. The trailer below shows a bit too much from the movie in my opinion, but it’s fairly epic in scope so there’s plenty more to discover from watching the actual movie. If you want a taste, I’d actually recommend this creepy teaser trailer instead. And just for the fun of it, how ‘bout we check out a live version of Nirvana’s “Scentless Apprentice” now that you know what inspired that song?
Alone With Her– This is a fairly obscure indie flick that definitely deserves some attention. It’s one of the very select few true found footage films that successfully (for better or for worse) puts us the viewer directly into the mindset and point of view of the movie’s voyeur Doug, played to creepy perfection by Colin Hanks. Doug falls in love with the sweet Amy (Ana Claudia Talancon) almost immediately and sets about infiltrating her life by any means necessary. He goes as far as to set up mini cameras all over her apartment and stalk her every move. He’s able to manipulate her relationships with his knowledge of what he sees until her best friend Jen (Jordano Spiro) starts to suspect there’s something off and potentially dangerous about this guy. And that’s when things start to get scary. By forcing the audience to partake and become a witness to all of Doug’s actions, director Eric Nicholas manages to instill a very deep, subtle fear. Don’t judge this movie by its box art cover (which makes it looks like a knock off of ‘When A Stranger Calls’), Alone With Her is probably one of the most chilling and realistic stalker horror movie ever made.
Bad Ronald– I’m fairly certain I must have heard about this obscure made-for-TV movie years ago, but it was really Judah Friedlander who was telling myself and the Icons Of Fright crew about Bad Ronald. The plot initially sounded like what we thought the Black Christmas remake was going to be about, but by the time that film came out, the similarities turned out to be minimal. Ronald (Scott Jacoby) is an awkwardly shy young high school student that after being fed up by the taunts of his classmates ends up accidently killing one of them on the way home from school. Terrified of what the authorities will do to him, Ronald’s mother hides him in a secret room hidden within the walls of their house. Then she unexpectedly dies and a new family moves in! They think they hear noises; they feel as if they’re being watched and their suspicions are correct. Ronald is still living within the walls of the house, unaware of his mother’s death or what to do. It’s definitely a creepy and weird little movie and has been the subject of a remake for years now. Dabney Coleman plays the father of the new family that moves into the house, and lead actor Scott Jacoby later went on to star with Jodie Foster in The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane. It’s a shock to me that no one ever thought to cast Jacoby and Matthew Modine as bothers in something. (It’s never too late!)
Relentless– While Relentless may look like a crime serial killer drama on the surface, did you know that it was helmed by the same director who gave us Maniac, Maniac Cop and Vigilante?! That’s right. Back in 1989, Bill Lustig delivered this bizarre little flick about psychopath Arthur “Buck” Taylor (Judd Nelson), the son of a police captain who is unable to join the force himself due to him consistently failing the psychological test, and instead begins stalking victims he randomly selects from the phone book. He also assists his victims in killing themselves, adding to the overall unpleasant nature of his crimes. Hot on his trail are detectives Bill Malloy (Robert Loggia) and Sam Deitz (Halloween II’s Leo Rossi!), whose wife in the film is played by another genre favorite Meg Foster. (They Live, Stepfather 2) Lustig’s direction is definitely what sets this apart from the hundreds of other serial killer thrillers out there, in particular the long and drawn out way he depicts the murders. It almost matches the sleaze factor of Maniac. It also (for better or worse) paints the police force to be completely inept from helping victims that report the harassing phone calls prior to their murders to an almost infuriating degree. Also of note is the music by frequent Lustig composer Jay Chattway. Relentless eventually went on to spawn 3 sequels (!) all fronted by Leo Rossi who also served as co-producer on the follow-ups. He goes up against a Russian hitman (I think?) and William Forsythe in the later movies, but the first Relentless is definitely the most memorable of the bunch.
The First Power– A serial killer who wears an unsettling mask of a face, weird Satanic connections, creepy nuns, supernatural elements, the electrocution of a murderer and Lou Diamond Phillips in the middle of it all? The First Power is one of the most bizarre selections of the movies listed here! It’s not necessarily a good flick, but I applaud it for all of its bat-shit crazy plot points. And despite having Detective Russell Logan (Lou Diamond Phillips) surprisingly capture serial killer Patrick Channing “The Pentagram Killer” (Jeff Kober) fairly early on in the movie, logic seems to go out the window at the 15 minute mark. Still it’s a weird ass film and with its religious themes paired up with an invincible serial killer storyline, it’s definitely a horror movie rather than your average thriller.
10 To Midnight– What if Charles Bronson stumbled right into a “slasher” flick like Maniac or The Prowler or Friday The 13th? Well then you’d have the awesome has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed movie 10 To Midnight. There’s a killer on the loose and LAPD Detective Leo Kessler is determined to bring him in! But the killer, Warren Stacy (Gene Davis) manages to avoid capture because every time he commits one of his murders, he does it completely stark naked, hence he doesn’t leave any physical evidence behind. (This is before the days of DNA evidence.) The movie borrows elements from both the horrific real life Richard Speck and Ted Bundy cases, so if real life inspired violence or seeing a dude that spends 90 percent of the movie naked while murdering innocent women skeeves you out, then you’ll want to see him get his comeuppance at the hands of Charles Bronson. And that’s not a spoiler; all of Bronson’s action movies pretty much follow this formula. Doesn’t make them any less fun to watch! This is the rare Bronson movie for the horror crowd.
Other notable mentions: The Vanishing (both versions), Stir Of Echoes, Copycat, Shallow Grave.
New comic book Wednesday has come and gone. The dust at your local comic shop has settled. An eerie silence descends as you finish reading your last superhero book of the week. Now it's time for something a little more sinister. Welcome to Bagged and Boarded: comic reviews of the sick, spooky, twisted and terrifying!
Witch Doctor: Mal Practice No. 3
Dr. Morrow is charged with protecting the Earth. He's got this giant sword he pulled out of a stone and he's got the Pandoracopeia (you know, the book that holds all the secrets of alchemy) kicking around in a dusty old medical bag. As both a doctor of the medical and magical arts, his aim is to help all those who need him, be they humans or monsters. Now, as a showdown looms with a mysterious group of people who want the Pandoracopeia, Morrow and his crew plan a tricky triple-cross. Bets on whether it goes according to plan?
Bag it or board it up?
I have really been "sleeping on" this comic (as the kids say). Holy shit, this is good! The artwork in this beauty crackles with energy, and the sometimes-maniacal facial expressions of the good doctor are both hilarious and stress-inducing. There is some truly insane stuff that goes down in the second half of this issue, and if you haven't read the back issues leading up to this you'll be okay (but I recommend going back and doing a little digging). This is a fun, action-packed, dark arts-laden gem of a comic, and I can't wait to read future issues.
Holy smokes. This is your chance to get into "season 9" of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe. This huge one-shot contains the first issue of four separate Buffy-centric series of comics. There's issue 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which follows the girl herself. Issue 1 of Angel & Faith, which follows the two as their paths intertwine with the rest of the world, leaves Angel with some very hard choices to make and a giant tentacle monster. Issue 1 of Willow shows the dynamic red head in a magical world. And Issue 1 of Spike shows the blondie boy adrift in space, on a spaceship.
Bag it or board it up?
I've reviewed some of these comics in the past, but I feel like this sampler platter is worth reviewing here. These are all pretty good first issues in a series that cares more about its fans than any other series kicking around today. Of all the first issues, I still like Issue 1 of Willow the best, but I'm a fantasy geek… so of course that would be my favorite.
Judge Dredd No. 3
Nefarious villains in Mega-City One have created clones of the relatives and loved ones of the wealthiest members of society. Demanding huge ransoms, the group of kidnappers promise to torture the clones if they don't get what they want. So it's up to Judge Dredd to bring all the cash and take down the bad guys, which is the type of thing he's best at.
Bag it or board it up?
I don't normally review Dredd comics on here because, even though I love them, I don't think they're usually very horror-centric. But kidnappers who genetically engineer clones and then promise to torture them? Yep, that'll fit into this column! It's like an action-packed comic of Repo! The Genetic Opera with Judge Dredd kicking everyone's asses! Check it out!
Godzilla No. 9
The giant monsters from space have arrived! Run! With Godzilla trapped in a containment unit and all the major cities of Earth being ripped apart by giant space monsters, it's up to… well, I don't really know who it's up to to save the world. There's the merc hired to hunt down monsters, the scientist who may have developed a way to make the monsters more peaceable, and a Japanese government official who wants to control the monsters for his own gain. Times are looking pretty bad over here, aren't they?
Bag it or board it up?
A week of good comics! Who knew! Even this Godzilla title is worth reading. The destruction and mayhem are illustrated with glee and abandon, and the dialogue between the merc and an old man who's car he's trying to hijack is legitimately funny. This is a fun comic in a genre that can sometimes be bland, dry, or boring.
Trever Henderson’s original horror illustrations are totally insane and really cool. His etsy shop features hectic and incredibly detailed tributes to his favorite movies including Basket Case, Street Trash, The Thing, and Night of the Creeps. The style is a bit Rat Fink meets Derek Riggs, with just a dash of Pushead thrown in.
Each high-resolution colour print is available in a range of sizes and printed on double-ply matte print paper.
Tom Piccirilli does not write the kind of books described as "breezy."
You should know that going into his latest novella, The Walls of the Castle, which was just published by Dark Regions Press as the first book under their new Black Labyrinth imprint. Actually, you should know that before diving into any of his numerous novels, novellas or short stories. It’s not that the man doesn’t have a sense of humor; he does, but it’s as dark as midnight. It’s not that his books don’t have moments or characters or bits of dialogue that will give you a good chuckle; they do, and often, but it’s the kind of thing where you almost feel bad for finding the subject funny.
There aren’t a lot of those moments in Castle, however. This is tough subject matter, the kind of thing that many readers – me among them – might find to be the toughest subject matter of all. It’s about the grief of losing a child, and what that grief can do to a man, especially a man who had very little in his life to be proud of to begin with.
Kasteel is just such a man. That’s not his real name; that’s just what he’s calling himself right now, because right now he can’t remember his real name. Kasteel’s a con, a thief, but that wasn’t what defined him. Being a father to his son, Eddie, defined him, whether he knew it or not. But the boy is gone now, taken away by a mysterious illness that no one can seem to explain to him, and that no one was able to stop. When the story opens Eddie’s been dead and buried for over a week, but Kasteel didn’t attend the funeral. He can’t bring himself to leave the hospital where Eddie died.
That hospital is an enormous, sprawling complex known as “The Castle.” Thousands of people work there, and hundreds of thousands are treated there every year. It’s almost its own city, the kind of place where a man like Kasteel can easily fade into the background and build a strange sort of temporary life. That’s where we meet him: huddling in the emergency room, wandering the halls, stealing food from the cafeteria, and making his acquaintance with the dregs of The Castle’s cobbled-together society.
Piccirilli packs this novella with several memorable characters, an amazing amount of them, really, given the length of the piece. There’s the mother and son he meets in the ER, where the boy is being treated for an injury delivered by his abusive father. There’s Hedge, the psych patient who is convinced he’s being followed by his dead father. There’s the candy striper with the burgeoning Internet cult, and the lonely old man in ICU. All of these people, in their own way, represent a chance at redemption for Kasteel – a chance for him to take care of someone so he can make up for not being able to take care of his own son.
Kasteel is a classic Piccirilli character, a broken, grief-stricken man on a classic Piccirilli quest for redemption. In its own way, The Castle is a classic Piccirilli character as well, a mercurial entity with layers upon layers of secrets. It’s a place that may or may not be participating in the events unfolding within its walls. To Kasteel it is both a sanctuary and a kind of purgatory. To others, it is an unrelenting Hell.
I’ve reviewed many of Tom Piccirilli’s books, and I feel like I’m running out of ways to praise him. Each new book is as heartfelt and thought-provoking as the last, and every time you think that he can’t possibly come back with something as affecting and personal and ambitious as what you just read, he proves you wrong. The Walls of the Castle is no exception. I have no idea how he’s going to top it, but I have no doubt that he will.
Order The Walls of the Castle by Tom Piccirilli.
Blu Gilliand is a freelance writer of fiction and nonfiction. He covers horror fiction at his blog, October Country and contributes interviews to the Horror World website. Follow him on Twitter at @BluGilliand.