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    From last year's Comic-Con in San Diego, we reported some staggering news for any fan of Ridley Scott's original classic Alien: a series of action figures (similar in size and detail to the first Star Wars figures), based on the movie's characters, licensed from Fox by Kenner in 1979 and subsequently canceled, is being revived thanks to toy company Super7. The company obtained the rights from Fox to produce figures based on Kenner's original 3.5 inch design prototypes: the title creature, of course, as well as the characters Ripley, Dallas, Kane and Ash. 
    But last weekend at Wondercon in Anaheim, Super7 not only revealed the figures, but also a line of super-cool retro "fast food promotion" style drinking glasses, all primed for release this spring and summer. As a lifelong fan of the original film (and a proud owner of Kenner's large Alien figure, one of the few toys they actually did release), this is like three major holidays and a couple of birthdays all rolled into one.
    These close-up images come courtesy of the blog. Go here for their full gallery tour of Super7's booth at Wondercon.

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    It wasn't too long ago we showed you four new trailers from the creators of Hemlock Grove, the original horror web series produced by Eli Roth, which teased more elements from the werewolf-themed story. But today they've gone for full-on lycanthropic transformation in this graphic clip:

    Based on the novel by Brian McGreevy, Hemlock Grove stars Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard, Landon Liboiron, Dougray Scott, Penelope Mitchell and Lili Taylor. All thirteen episodes will post April 19th on Netflix.

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    If you've been watching Bates Motel, you know that one of the darkest secrets on the show is what happened in cabin #4. Norman found a hand-drawn manga-style journal in cabin #4, one which we have only gotten glimpses of on the show. A&E is giving you a chance to dig deeper into the secrets of the motel with "Jiao," an ebook that is an exact replica of the journal that Norman found. It tells the story of Jiao, one of the women smuggled into the US, and the abuses she and her fellow slaves had to endure - including being forced to bury one of the girls who dies.

    The ebook appears to be an exact duplicate of the journal - except, of course, it is only available for iPad and iPhone. One of the best features is the translation. Everything is preserved, including the original Chinese text, but if you tap on the writing, an English translation pops up. It is an elegant way to keep the book as close to the original as possible, but still making it accessible.

    "Jiao" is 71 pages long, and while it shows women is suggestive and disturbing situations, there is no nudity. It is available as a free download from iTunes.

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    Following up on the seductive tease of an exclusive clip we showed you last week (it's here if you missed it), the creators of the sexy vampire thriller Kiss of the Damned have revealed several minutes more of that same scene, which takes it to the next level, if you know what I mean.
    [The video below is age-restricted, so you'll need to verify that you're 18 or older.]
    Directed by Xan Cassavetes, Kiss of the Damned is the erotically-charged tale of the relationship between screenwriter Paolo (Milo Ventimiglia of Heroes and Pathology) and rogue vampire Djuna (Joséphine de La Baume), which leads to Paolo's transformation into one of the undead and puts them both in jeopardy from Djuna's sinister sister Mimi (Roxane Mesquida, Sheitan), who can't control her own predatory impulses. 
    The film is currently available on demand via iTunes, and will see theatrical release on May 3rd. Check out our review here!

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    Errors of the Human Body, a dark sci-fi/horror film from Eron Sheean that picked up critical praise at last year's FrightFest and Fantastic Fest, is set for theatrical release this month, and the trailer is now online...
    Part horror film, part psychological thriller, Errors is the tale of a Canadian geneticist (Michael Eklund) who, haunted by the death of his infant son, sets up an isolated lab in Germany to find a cure to the disease which killed him. But as his research brings him to the brink of success, he soon discovers the dire consequences of his obsession. 
    The film premieres theatrically on April 19th, and will also be available on demand via cable and online vendors. Be sure to check out our review here.

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    The Vampire DiariesEaster is a special occasion. Families gather. Big meals are prepared. Children frantically hunt for Easter eggs. But if you’re The Vampire Diaries’ quick-tempered Klaus, celebrating the holiday may involve other gruesome traditions.

    “Probably boiling bunnies,” offers actor Joseph Morgan with maniacal glee over the phone.

    Klaus might bask in snapping necks and drowning parents, but in the last three seasons, the bloodsucking fiend has developed into one of The Vampire Diaries’ most complex and multifaceted characters. On Good Friday, Morgan spoke to me about Klaus’ love, flaws and The Originals backdoor pilot.

    Klaus and Caroline (Candice Accola) are now officially “friends.” At this point, where are his head and heart when it comes to her?

    Klaus is still very much enamored with her. Look, he felt he was dying and called Caroline. Not his sister. Not his brother. That says a lot about where he is in terms of his feelings towards her. We had that episode where Caroline was dying (Into the Wild) and she said, “I know you’re in love with me.” Klaus wants to believe he is, that he is someone capable of love. We’ll see how it plays out, but he’s definitely on board with the idea of being with her.

    It sounds like Klaus is going a little soft.

    A little soft? Not really, no. What is great is we’re getting to explore more of his vulnerable side, certainly in last night’s episode (American Gothic) where he believed he was dying. We absolutely got to explore some of that fear and vulnerability. The thing about Klaus is just as soon as you start to like him and believe he’s a better person, he goes out and slaughters 12 hybrids with a sword or kills someone’s mom. I believe until the end of this character, whenever that may be, I’ll continue to go through these cycles of vulnerability. He has his ups and downs, which is what makes him such a wonderful character to play.

    Over the course of the series, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) transitioned from this coldhearted psychopath into a tortured antihero. Is the same possible with Klaus?

    It would be nice if The Originals go to series, if it’s ultimately the story of Klaus’ redemption. But I wonder if anyone will really, truly forget about Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning) and the other people Klaus has put in the ground. He has a thousand years of murdering and doing what he wants to get his way. I wonder how quickly you can be redeemed for that. And redemption in whose eyes? I would like to think it is possible for him, but it’s going to take a little work.

    Not long ago, Klaus was magically trapped in the Gilberts’ living room and hell-bent on revenge. Is all that anger water under the bridge?

    Oh no. He spent 500 years chasing Katerina. No, he’s a man who bears a grudge. Your perception of time when you’re that old is a little different. It doesn’t mean revenge has to be immediate. The Mystic Falls Scooby Doo Gang put him down at the end of season three and he hasn’t even forgiven them for that. He’s chased Tyler (Michael Trevino) out of town. Klaus has done a few things to move towards that, but he’s not the kind of man to let a grudge go.

    How has Klaus’ little encounter with Silas affected him?

    Now that Klaus has realized Silas can get inside his mind like that, that he can manipulate him in a way no one else has been able to do… Klaus always likes to be the Alpha. He likes to be the strongest in the room and the most powerful. It’s worrying for him that there is a being out there capable of not only killing him, but making him believe he was dying. That will always be a thorn in his side. It’s not a nice thing to not be in control of yourself, which is what he felt for in the episode last night.

    Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) are heading back to Mystic Falls with the cure. What is that family dynamic like? How does Klaus view his siblings?

    He’s not on good terms with Rebekah. She’s convinced she wants to be human again, wants to love, which he can’t really get on board with or understand. They’ve been at odds since she destroyed his ability to create any more hybrids. He will be more pleased to see Elijah. He’s wanted to see his brother for a while and Elijah is coming home with the cure, which is what Klaus needs to get Silas off his back. There’s a practical pleasure for Klaus there, in that Elijah is bringing home the very thing he needs. But also, he misses his brother, as he would his sister if she had been away too long. I always say this family is one that can do horrible things to each other, as long as no one else does anything to them. Then, suddenly, you’ll see how close they really are.

    Can you preview the next few episodes, especially The Originals, which is serving as a backdoor pilot for a possible The Originals spinoff?

    The next episode is going to build towards The Originals, so we’re going to see Klaus and Elijah reunited. We’re going to see what happens with the cure, at least in terms of where Elijah feels it would be most beneficial and who the cure should go to. We’re also going to see what takes Klaus to New Orleans for the spinoff episode. The spinoff episode is bookended by scenes in Mystic Falls. It starts with Stefan (Paul Wesley), Damon and Elena (Nina Dobrev) and ends with them, but everything in between is how it will be should it go to series. It’s amazing. It’s epic and a bigger story. For Vampire Diaries, it’s more of small-town stories and coming of age with humans and creatures involved. The Originals goes into why Klaus goes to New Orleans. We’ll meet all these new characters, some from his past and some new. We’ll see the world on a bigger scale. The Originals is building towards a war between two species and the struggle that exists there. You can expect a lot of Klaus screen time as well, which was a lot more work for me than an episode of Vampire Diaries. That was a new and fantastic challenge.

    Lastly, why do viewers hate to love Klaus? Are you surprised he’s emerged as this fan-favorite character?

    I was initially surprised. I didn’t set out to make him relatable, although maybe the writers did. I just knew there were parts of him that I related to and I tried to bring those out. I tried to have a reason for everything he did. He was always the child that was loved the least and his father’s least favorite. He was always struggling for his mother’s affections. By giving the character roots, reasons and motives like that, I was giving him a strong foundation. So every situation he found himself in, I could build from that. So yeah, it was surprising, but it gave me an opportunity to show his more vulnerable sides. He’s an immensely flawed character and I think I can be bold and say all of us are really flawed to a certain extent. Nobody is perfect. I hope there are little pieces of Klaus everyone can relate to…  This guy who keeps messing things up for himself, again and again and again.

    Read the latest Vampire Diaries recap here.

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    the conjuring


    James Wan's newest fright flick is The Conjuring, based on the true story of supernatural investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Patrick Wilson (Insidious, Prometheus), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel, Orphan), Ron Livingston (Super 8), and Lili Taylor (Six Feet Under, Hemlock Grove) star in the chiller, which opens wide July 19th. The full trailer has finally launched, along with a sleek new one-sheet.

    Official synopsis: Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville.  Based on a true story, “The Conjuring” tells the horrifying tale of how world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called upon to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most terrifying case of their lives.

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    bryan fullerOne of the most fascinating characters in literature and cinema is Hannibal Lecter, the refined cannibal psychiatrist. Bryan Fuller, creator of such darkly visionary shows like Six Feet Under, Pushing Daisies, and Mockingbird Lane returns with his darkest vision yet: Hannibal. The series follows Hannibal as envisioned in Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon: before anyone knew Hannibal was a killer. We chatted with Bryan about the nature of darkness, the psychological toll the subject matter takes, cannibalism, and dogs. Don’t worry; no dogs were harmed in the making of the show or this interview.

    Hannibal is a very intense show, and probably the darkest show you’ve ever done. What brought this darkness out?

    It all started with a trip to New York I was on the plane with a friend of mine, Katie O’Connell, who had just come on with Gaumont Television in the US. We were chatting and she told me they were acquiring the rights to the Hannibal Lecter character, and she asked me if I thought there was a television show there. She wasn’t necessarily asking me to work on it; she just wanted to know, as someone who has created television shows, what I thought the potential was. I was absolutely certain there was a valid TV show there - there were so many ways to do a TV show about that character. There are as many wrong ways as there are right ways. I asked if she had the rights to the Will Graham character. She said yes, and I said, “That’s your show. The untold chapter of that relationship before Red Dragon, while Hannibal Lecter is a practicing cannibal and a practicing psychiatrist. One of the things I was fascinated with is that the Hannibal Lecter we have met in the films is a lone wolf, a predator, and very dangerous. He has this connection to Clarice Starling, but not really anyone else. I thought, “Who would this guy be, out in the world, if he was this gentleman dandy psychopath? He’s got to have a social life and a world he inhabits with relationships.” I was really excited about telling the story of a Hannibal Lecter who had relationships. I was very curious about the “bromance” between Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham. There is that scene in Red Dragon where Hannibal says to Will, “Do you know why you caught me?” Will doesn’t want to hear the answer because he is afraid that the answer is how much like Hannibal Lecter he is. I thought there is a whole missing book that has a story about the development of a friendship between two crazy guys: one who is so distinct in his crazy (Hannibal) that he has to be a work of fiction because psychopaths don’t function the way he functions. He is someone who appreciates the beauty in the world and he has awe for life and art, and has absolute disdain for those who cannot see the art and the beauty around them. He thinks that if you are someone who is such a pig that you cannot see the beauty in the world, you deserve to be someone’s bacon.

    This may very well be one of the darkest shows ever on network television. How has NBC handled that?

    Of course there are certain things with broadcast standards and practices that are like, “Don’t stay on that shot too long,” or “That shot is too much.” What’s great about the Thomas Harris lexicon is that the killers and the killings - with the exception of the family murders in Red Dragon which are pretty horrific and hard to get around - is that if you look at Hannibal Lecter as a killer, he is a cannibal psychiatrist who can get inside your head and scoop it out with a melon baller. Or there is Buffalo Bill, a man who is so uncomfortable in his own body that he has to kill so he can create a body he is better suited to be in. Or the Red Dragon, who is a man who feels like he is going through an evolution of sorts, into a superbeing that is part of him and inhabiting part of his being, all part of a midlife crisis. So there is this operatic quality to all the villainy and murders in the Thomas Harris world that give it a heightened element that makes it a little more...


    Yes, exactly. To my mind, at least. I think what we have done on the show, whether it is the Mushroom Man or the Angel Maker, those types of villains, I feel like we are doing something a little more “purple” and odd and it bridges into The X-Files territory in the extremity of the cases. We try to make them so heightened as to make them not only ugly and disturbing, but also evocative of certain philosophies. The mushroom murderer in episode two compares how mushrooms function as being similar to how humans function and the metaphor of the story becoming how people seek connections. It is a horror show masquerading as a crime procedural. Silence of the Lambs is a horror movie, but it won an Oscar because it was an elegant horror movie. That is our goal: to do elegant horror on television. There are certain elements of that genre we have to honor. Both myself and [director] David Slade are horror fans with tremendous respect for the genre. We want to be faithful to what section of the video store you would find this in. [Laughs.]

    hannibalCannibalism is, I think, the last true societal taboo.

    It is. What is interesting to me, as an animal lover, is I look at my dog or a pig, and look at the level of emotional intelligence those creatures have. Specialists say the average dog has the emotional sophistication and intelligence and understanding of a five year old human child. Pigs are even smarter than dogs and more sophisticated emotionally. So if you are having a brouhaha about cannibalism, next time you order that pork slider, you are eating a five year old human being. I am somebody who, when left to my own devices, avoids eating walking meat. I eat fish, I eat rice, I eat gluten-free pasta - those are the mainstays of my diet, unless I go to someone’s home or a fancy restaurant. Then I will eat what is in front of me or try the special. I will rationalize it by saying, “Someone has gone to the effort to honor this beast in some way.” That is my sad rationalization of it. I won’t just eat a hamburger - I think, “That’s what you did to this living thing? You ground it up and squished it into a patty?” I find that more offensive than eating a human being! [Laughs.]

    Will Graham is ostensibly the anti-hero of Hannibal. He has his own personality disorders. We have seen characters like this on television, but they all have their own lovable quirks. Will doesn’t have many lovable quirks. Do you worry that will alienate viewers?

    Going back to the books, what was fascinating to me was that it became clear that Will has several personality disorders. There are certain things about him that other characters talk about in the books. For example, someone asks Jack Crawford if Will ever mimics his speech. Jack thought it was just a way to get the back-and-forth going, but no, it is involuntary - he can’t help it. The more I read about those things, I figured he has a form of echopraxia. Echopraxia is [the uncontrollable imitation or repetition of another person’s actions.] It is a condition where their grip on their own identity is a little slippery. I thought that was a fascinating place to start with a character who has to put himself in the mind of really bad people. The challenge of trying to hold onto himself throughout that process kind of upped the stakes on the crime procedural. We’ve seen detectives who are very hard and occasionally cry in the shower when no one is looking. They are essentially professionals. Will Graham, being someone who took himself out of that world because he realized that it had the potential to be psychologically damaging to him, now finds himself back in the thick of it, trying to decide how much to get involved and realizing that what he does is actually saving lives. Not being able to deny that, he continues to put himself in a negative headspace that is very dangerous because of how his brain works. So I thought there was a sense of heroism with a man making those choices. 

    One of the other things that I found interesting in the books is that Will Graham is a dog hoarder. In Red Dragon he sort of puts it off on his girlfriend, but his girlfriend later on says that when Will goes to dark places, he obsesses over the dogs and has to spend time with them. I am a dog lover myself. It feels like this is the kind of guy who has a lot of trouble with people, but dogs are easier because dogs can reflect the best part of you and people can often reflect a very complex image that can be confusing to someone who has personality disorders. 

    There are a lot of tones of social isolation in Hannibal, and it truly does feel like the dogs are the only way that Will can be comfortable with another life form.

    Yes. There is some heartbreaking stuff that happens to Will towards the end of the season. The people in his life all want something from him, or want to protect him, or have some sort of agenda for him. But when he is with his dogs, he is free. I think that is something very relatable and I hope that gives him the likability that I see in the character.

    It definitely does. How can you not like someone who loves dogs that much?

    I still tear up every time he rescues a dog. We understand that this is a human being who wants connection, but has a very challenging time accomplishing that. Dogs are his saviors. He felt very real to me in that instance. It felt like it was an honest way to be able to look at a character who could be divisive because he is odd and “off.” But when you see him at home with his dogs, you realize he is as normal as anyone. That is the Will Graham I want the audience to relate to.

    Also, I feel there is an honesty in dealing with this psychological frame of mind, being put in these situations. He’s going to be a little grumpy! He’s looking at the horrors of humanity on a daily basis. It felt like it was honest to portray him as moody.

    It is nice to see that, because so often in television, you have depictions of detectives that feels sanitized. I can’t imagine being put in some of those situations and not being dragged down by the weight of it.

    With this show, it felt like by showing the horror, not only are we honoring the genre, we aren’t just pulling the trigger and having the bad guy fall on the ground without seeing the ramifications of violence. I feel like on this show, we are really taking a very close look - through the prism of a horror lens - at the effect of exposure to violence and violent thinking. That is what this first season is about: a guy being exposed to really dark things and the toll it takes on his psyche. I feel like that is often glossed over in crime procedurals to the point where I find it almost more offensive to make it easy to rape and kill someone by talking about it or showing glimpses of it, rather than see a murder, and then see a man shaken by that murder.

    Will we see Will evolve or devolve throughout the season?

    From Red Dragon, we know that Will Graham, while investigating a murderer known as the Minnesota Shrike, is so traumatized by that event that he slowly starts to have a breakdown. I wanted to be faithful to that element of the Thomas Harris books. We know that Will was so traumatized by that case that he went into therapy. He had to seek help, and remove himself from the FBI. We are telling that story. 

    All of the stuff I have written to this point, whether it has been Wonderfalls or Six Feet Under or Pushing Daisies, it has all had a certain amount of levity to it. I crammed those shows with things that I liked, that put a smile on my face. Pushing Daisies is full of things I love, from dogs to pies to zombies to Kristin Chenoweth, so there was always someplace to turn for a little bit of happiness. With Hannibal, since it is such dark material, the simple, sweet moments of humanity and human connection that we find - which are few and far between in this show - it was a different psychological headspace than anything I’ve ever written before.

    Was it making you darker?

    I definitely feel like I was impacted psychologically by being exposed to working on 13 episodes of such a dark story. I’m a moody guy to begin with, so I need tethers to pull me in. I definitely felt Will’s isolation and struggle, and I actually developed a very close relationship with Hugh Dancy over the course of the show because we were both struggling with the dark places this character goes to. It was really rewarding and fascinating to bond with an actor over the shared experience of being inside such a troubled mind. So it was isolating on the one hand, but on the other, I feel like I made a fantastic friend through the experience.

    I want to touch on the culinary aspects of the show as well. Is it because of the cannibalism that you wanted to bring food to the forefront?

    I fully acknowledge a certain amount of hypocrisy with this, but it is very hard for me to eat pork and beef. Fish is easier for me because they are so different from me. so for me, part of it is asking the audience a philosophical question about eating meat. Even though when I go to Jose Andres’s restaurant [he is the culinary advisor on the show] and he serves a fantastic dish with Kobe beef, I will eat it. I will think it is ridiculous in its deliciousness - but I will feel conflicted about it. Talking to other gourmet chefs, and asking them about creating new dishes and other flavor profiles, I figure that the thought of cooking human flesh must have gone through their minds. Four out of the five said, “Absolutely!” Meat is meat. Everything on the human body is edible - that was one of the first things I asked Jose Andres. Every part of you can be used as a food product. Your bones can be ground up to be used as Jell-O - in fact, that is one of the episodes. We try not to make too big a deal of it on the show, in part because we don’t want to educate potential cannibals. It’s all fun and games until people out there are cooking actual human beings with Hannibal Lecter’s recipes. But until then it is so horrifying to me that it kind of reaches into fantasy territory. I think it is a fascinating philosophical question about who we are in society. We cannibalize each other metaphorically in so many ways, whether it is in business or in sport or on the schoolyard. People cannibalize each other psychologically. I think the reason it is upsetting is because it is taking something that exists in the abstract and making it literal; shining too bright a light on how far humanity will go.

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    It's been nearly three years since alt-metal superstars Sevendust rolled out their critically praised best-selling record Cold Day Memory, which also represented the return of founding guitarist Clint Lowery (who had left the band back in 2004 to form Dark New Day with his brother Corey). The success of that album – and the interim period in which many of the band members pursued side projects – created pretty high expectations for a follow-up, which arrived with their ninth studio release Black Out the Sun. While the tone of the material on this album is a bit darker and more ominous, it's still every bit as much a Sevendust project; a few elements here began life in another form during Cold Day Memory's songwriting sessions, but as a whole the tense, urgent vibe here falls more in line with their groundbreaking 2001 release Animosity. That's one of my personal faves, so it's only natural I found myself digging this record as well.
    The pensive acoustic intro track "Memory" seems to serve as a thematic linkage to the previous album before the fires crank up in "Faithless,” establishing the signature sound which helped solidify the so-called “nu metal” genre (I always hated that term) in the late '90s. Unlike their contemporaries like Korn and Limp Bizkit, Sevendust maintained a more passionate vibe, thanks to the balance of dense layers of drop-tuned riffs stacked a mile high with the intense melodic vocals of frontman/lyricist Lajon Witherspoon soaring over the top. All of those elements are in play here, making this an ideal kickoff point. Some other genres are folded into that mixture, like the thrash/hardcore motifs of "Till Death" (awesome breakdown in that one), but the band mainly sticks to what they do best, as in "Mountain," which lays down a fat, chugging riff but allows Lowery and fellow guitarist John Connolly enough pace to trade off impressive leads in the bridge. Rocking power chords elevate "Cold as War,” giving a ballad feel to Witherspoon's more pop-flavored vocals, and the title track's coarse, edgy chords and harmonics frame some outstanding multi-tracked vocal work... plus the reverb-soaked guitar solos are truly epic.
    The album's darker tones come through in the second half, beginning with the alternating time signatures and harsh/clean vocals of "Nobody Wants It” (one of the album's scary standouts), and an air of tension and mystery permeates "Dead Roses,” aided by a distorted piano and thick, fuzzy guitar washes. Ambient effects, Middle Eastern harmonies and creeping riffs make "Decay" another strong repeater (accentuated by gothic horror overtones in the video below), and the riffs go even deeper and creepier in the well-titled "Dark AM,” which separates verse and chorus with a lurching rhythm that stops and starts unpredictably. The record's meanest, dirtiest riff is counterbalanced by its most uplifting chorus, elevating "Picture Perfect” to dizzying heights. After all this darkness, the acoustic ballad "Got a Feeling" could have ended up maudlin in the wrong hands; here, it's a slow-burner that climbs naturally from pensive to ecstatic. But we're back in the shadows again for the intense, industrial-tinged "Murder Bar," which ends the album on a note of spooky uncertainty.
    If you're a Sevendust fan, Black Out the Sun will definitely brighten your day. It's a relatively fat-free distillation of everything the band does best, and while it may feel a bit less epic than Cold Day Memory, it's still a muscular, ass-kicking effort for the band, with a warm, human core that doesn't diminish its ballsy attack in the slightest. Want a taste? Here's the creepy video for “Decay”...

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    Murder-Set-PiecesNick Palumbo’s sadistic slasher Murder-Set-Pieces created a lot of controversy when it was released in 2004 with a NC-17 rating.  Some considered the movie too gory and sexually violent and it was banned outright in the UK.  We haven’t heard much from Palumbo since then, but Deadline reports that he is planning his return with two movies,  “psychological horror” film Muse and “indie neo-noir thriller” Last Gas Station.

    “ ... Muse introduces newcomer Samantha Mion as an actress descending into homicidal madness in Los Angeles. Patrick Scott Lewis (Zodiac) co-stars as a fellow actor. Palumbo wrote and will direct the pic, producing with David Palumbo and James Cullen Bressack (Hate Crime) for the trio’s Fright Flix banner,” Deadline said.

    Palumbo is reportedly planning to cut Muse for an R rating, but knowing the director’s background and style there’s no doubt the movie will be heavy on the blood-soaked scenes. Watch the red band (!) trailer from the stylish Murder-Set-Pieces:

    via Deadline

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    Frank Henenlotter is one of a kind. With a totally ridiculous filmography that includes Brain Damage, Frankenhooker, and Basket Case, Henenlotter clearly delights in all things raunchy, rude, and campy. In his films body parts take on a life of their own, dead prostitutes become re-animated, and parasites take over people’s brains. (named after the hotel in Basket Case) is dedicated to the work of Frank Henenlotter and includes exhaustive coverage of his films with behind-the-scenes photos, trivia, filming locations, and scripts. Below are a few amazing behind-the-scenes photos from his films, but there are many, many more on the site.

    Brain Damage Elmer Attacks


    Brain Damage Head Poppin

    basket Case

    Basket Case Strike a Pose

    Basket Case Bloody Mess

    Frankenhooker Bad Attitude

    Frankenhooker Body Parts

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  • 04/03/13--10:00: TV Review: 'Hannibal'

    hannibalAfter seeing the first couple episodes of Hannibal, I grew nervous. I don’t think the show will last more than a few episodes. And not because it is bad - but because it is good. Too good.

    Cliches aside, I think it is safe to say that Hannibal is my favorite midseason show of the year. Following the Hannibal Lecter of Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon, Hannibal is set before anyone knew the good Dr. Lecter was a cannibalizing sociopath. But the series is at least as much Will Graham’s show as it is Hannibal’s. 

    Will Graham (played by a nearly unrecognizable Hugh Dancy) is the FBI agent who chooses an academic career over field work due to a number of troubling personality disorders. Agent Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) lures Graham, a brilliant profiler, back into the field. Graham puts himself in the headspace of perpetrators a little bit too easily, which prompts the agency to send him to a shrink - Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen, in a role that will make you say “Anthony who?”)

    From the beautifully warped mind of Bryan Fuller (Six Feet Under, Pushing Daisies, Mockingbird Lane) Hannibal embraces Fuller’s stylized aesthetic and saturated color palettes. But Hannibal does not offer the quirkiness and levity that his other projects provide, giving it a distinctly darker hue. Add in the cannibalism - society’s last true taboo and a subject that is not danced around - and Hannibal is a true horror show. 

    The ostensible anti-hero of the show, Will Graham, comes across as more “anti” than “hero” on the surface. Suffering from a number of personality disorders ranging from echopraxia to Aspergers syndrome to borderline personality disorder, Will is not the kind of lead character you generally find on a network drama. He is disheveled, not dreamy; he is awkward, not suave; and he identifies a little too easily with the psychopaths he is chasing. I find him a fascinating character - far more interesting than the typical leading man - but I worry that he will alienate viewers.

    I certainly hope I am dead wrong about Hannibal lasting only a few episodes. And honestly, I think that television audiences have become infinitely more sophisticated in the last few years, so I don’t think the uncomfortable and intelligent subject matter will drive off audiences. I just hope that NBC, who has been treading water the last few years, will have the guts to stand behind it. 

    Hannibal is an intelligent, fascinating, immersive, and stylish show. It is horrifying for all the obvious reasons - and for some less obvious reasons. I cannot recommend Hannibal enough.

    Hannibal premieres April 4th at 10pm on NBC.

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    A new short film on Funny or Die features '80s rock star Huey Lewis explaining his pet theories about the film American Psycho to a drunk and totally disinterested Weird Al Yankovic. Of course, if you're familiar at all with the film he's discussing, you'll notice this scene is strangely familiar, especially when Huey slips on a plastic raincoat and... well, just watch.

    Extra meta-points to this short for Lewis riffing on Christian Bale's monologue from the scene, which itself featured Huey's music, which is... oh never mind, you get it. This short marks the 30th anniversary of Lewis's hit album Sports, which in turn inspired Weird Al's parody “I Want a New Duck.”

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    The Purge is a high-concept home invasion thriller set in a supposedly Utopian future America, in which citizens are allowed one night per year to commit any crime they want, penalty-free. Needless to say, that doesn't work out so well for a wealthy couple (Ethan Hawke & Lena Headey) when one of their kids lets a desperate stranger hide out in their fortress-like mansion. 
    The Purge is produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions (Sinister, Paranormal Activity), with James DeMonaco writing and directing. DeMonaco scripted the 2005 remake of John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13, whose plot The Purge strongly resembles. The film is slated for theatrical release on May 31st, and Universal now has a full trailer which you can watch below:
    More news to come!

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    When I Dismember Mama was released as a double-bill with The Blood Spattered Bride at the drive-in and various lowbrow theaters in 1974, upchuck cups were passed out amongst patrons as a gag gift to promote the film and to get people talking outside of the theaters.  The trailer for the double-bill is even better.

    Released on VHS in the 1980s by Simitar Entertainment, I Dismember Mama has become a cult classic amongst horror fans – most likely because of its catchy and alluring title. You would assume that the film is about – well – dismembering mama, right?  Wrong.  This Oedipal-Norman-Bates-style movie has very little to do with dismembering at all, although it has it’s fair share of kills and thrills.

    Directed by Paul Leder and originally titled Poor Albert and Little Annie (a much more accurate title), Zooey Hall stars as Albert, a deranged young man who has been incarcerated in a mental institution for attempting to kill his sociopathic and controlling mother.  While watching soft-core pornography in his room, becoming more frustrated with his deprivation, he escapes by brutally killing a nurse.  Albert returns to his mother’s mansion and his childhood home where he torments, tortures, and brutally kills the housekeeper.  Albert’s killing spree is put on hold when the housekeeper’s young daughter, Annie (Geri Reischl), comes home from school looking for her mom.  Albert views Annie as an untouched, pure, beautiful young girl who has had the kind of childhood that Albert wishes he’d had.  Albert wants to protect Annie at all costs, even if it means killing other women around him.  Annie and Albert become the best of friends (the upchuck cups are necessary for their creepy bittersweet relationship, rather than the blood and guts), but Albert’s sexual urges take over at night, forcing Albert to find immoral hookers to slaughter.  The police track Albert and Annie to a warehouse filled with naked mannequins – and the mad chase is on!

    Leder made some interesting choices, especially with the soundtrack, that occasionally take away from the suspense and creepiness of the film. The most interesting choice is the film’s theme song, “Poor Albert” by Bob Roden. Give it a listen during this clip from the film:

    “Poor Albert, what does the future hold in store?  Poor Albert, do you know what you are looking for?”

    What does I Dismember Mama really have in store and do we know what movie we are looking for?  The lyrics in the song actually sum up exactly how we’re supposed to feel about I Dismember Mama: we’ve been cheated out of the film we thought we were going to see (dismemberment of Albert’s mom in great and gory detail) and we’ve been left with a peculiar tale of a murderous psychopath and his obsession with pure and untouched little girl. 

    Here are a few shots of the VHS box from the Terror Tapes collection, as well as the press booklet that was used to promote the film.

    i dismember mama

    i dismember mama

    i dismember mama

    i dismember mama

    After I Dismember Mama, Paul Leder went on to direct My Friends Need Killing in 1976, another low budget horror film where a Vietnam vet goes on a murder spree, killing men he served in the army with.  Zooey Hall worked in television, including an appearance in Happy Days in 1975 and Geri Reischl became “Fake Jan”, replacing Eve Plumb as Jan Brady in The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

    geri reischlFEARnet tracked Reischl down to remember Dismember and she also shared with us a story about her first onscreen kiss – at just 12 years old!

    There is a strange relationship between your character Annie and Zooey Hall’s Albert in I Dismember Mama.

    Yeah, he believes that all women are bad – that all women are whores because of how he was raised by his mother.  She babied him and he slept in the same bed with her until he was in his teens.  Albert was warped by his own mother.  But with me as Annie, he sees me as innocent and pure and undefiled, as he says in the movie.  I haven’t been touched, I’m a virgin, and Albert likes this. Albert wants to have that childhood that Annie had.  

    There are so many moments in the film where I would yell at the screen, “Eww! God! No, Albert, Don’t!” What was it like working with Zooey Hall?

    Reischl: He was very nice and very professional; he was very into his role.  Sometimes I felt like he got into his character a little too much – about liking me or having feelings for me – and not just onscreen but off-screen as well.  It sort of creeped me out, actually, but it also helped me with my role because as Annie, I’m supposed to feel creeped out by him, but I’m also supposed to trust him

    Did you always have your parents or a guardian on set with you watching to make sure nothing got out of hand?

    Yes, absolutely. Until you’re 16 or 18, you can’t be alone on the set.  My mother was with me all the time, everyday.  I also had a social worker as well to make sure that my rights on set were being honored. The social worker would make sure I wasn’t working past the hours I was supposed to, that nothing inappropriate was going on with me there.  In I Dismember Mama, I have this little mock wedding with Albert.  He gives me a rose and marries me for pretend, just playing.  In one take, he actually got a little too carried away and originally, he was just supposed to hug me to honor our “marriage.”  Instead, he didn’t just hug me, but he looked at me and gave me a big passionate kiss right on my lips!  I was stunned!  At 12 years old, I knew it was weird – I knew that wasn’t supposed to happen!  So, I went to my mom who was with the social worker and I told them what happened.  They were both very upset, so they went to talk to the director and warned him that production could be shut down.  He promised it would never happen again, and the next day, the director brought me a stuffed animal and a box of chocolates. 

    At the time, since you were a young girl, were you a lot like your character?  

    Yes, I was very much like her: happy, loving life, trusting people, wanting the adventure, having fun.  It was an easy part to play but I did have to do my own stunts.  When I run down the fire escape near the end, I had to go down backwards holding the railing, rather than facing forward and just running down.  It was the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, and they wanted to make sure nothing bad happened.

    Running around a dark warehouse full of naked mannequins must have been interesting as well. 

    It was scary, and I had to run amongst naked mannequins, and there are body parts lying around.  All this time, I’m into the character as well, so I’m focusing on running away from Albert, and it was genuinely scary.  He was chasing me with a hatchet.  Even though I knew where I was supposed to run, it was still really scary.  I could still feel it as if it was really happening to me.  I was running hard, getting out of breath, making turns – and I don’t know where Albert is and when he’s going to come out at me, so I still had that fear while in that factory, and it felt very real.  

    Even though you know what’s coming, I can understand how scared you must have been – especially after that kiss!  You never know what to expect!

    Exactly!  Well not only that, but the prop assistant gave Zooey a real hatchet!  He’s supposed to be swinging the hatchet at me, and eventually he hits the mannequin and slices it with the hatchet, but yes – it was a real hatchet Zooey was carrying.  So naturally, when the social worker found out, production was shut down until a fake hatchet was found.  The prop assistants had to go and get a rubber one.  My mom couldn’t believe they were chasing me with a real hatchet.  Of course, everyone was very apologetic.

    Your mom must have had quite a time making sure you were okay on set.

    [Laughs.] Yes, and the bedroom scene when Albert comes into the bedroom, and I’m tucked in the bed and he comes in to check on me…  I only had a nightgown on.  As a 12 year old girl, I know I’m only acting, but it frightened me when Zooey would come into the room for that take, having him stand over me, thinking about whether or not he wants to do anything.  He starts rubbing his bare chest.  Even though I knew it wasn’t real, it was very scary for me.

    The film was originally called Poor Albert and Little Annie, right?  Were you allowed to see the film when it was finished?

    It’s funny because I didn’t know that the title of the film had been changed.  When the film came out, my mother wouldn’t let me go see it because of the nudity, and later on, I didn’t realize that the name of the movie had changed.  The movie played on a double bill with The Blood Spattered Bride and I didn’t see it.  I made the movie when I was 12, and I didn’t see it until I bought it on the internet, on VHS, when I was 40 years old!  I had wanted to see the film for so long because I really felt like I had did a good job on it, and I didn’t get to see myself until years later.  I really love how the film turned out. It was really fascinating for me to watch that relationship between Albert and my character, Annie.

    What was working with Paul Leder like?  I Dismember Mama was his second film after The Marigold Man.

    He was really good, actually.  I had worked a lot on Mattel commercials as a child, so I could tell that he really knew what he was doing.  He was really nice to all of the cast and crew and very organized.  He gave me really good directions.  His daughter was onset quite a bit as well and we became friends.  He also took his daughter and I to Magic Mountain, too, it was a treat after the movie was done.  He was a really nice, laid-back guy.

    Before working on I Dismember Mama, you starred in The Brotherhood of Satan– was this a much different experience because it was your first horror film?

    Both of my characters are very much alike, actually.  But in The Brotherhood of Satan, I had the opportunity to work with Strother Martin (The Wild Bunch, Cool Hand Luke) and L.Q. Jones (The Wild Bunch, Casino), which was really cool.  This was a whole different type of movie too, all about Satan, it was one of the first of its time, too.  We filmed this in 1969 and we filmed on location a lot in New Mexico.  It was fun though – there were bloody body parts, and other kids on the set.  The director, Bernard McEveety, his kids were in the film, too.  It was a great experience, but the two films could not have been more different, even though they belong to the same genre.

    More recently, you starred in The Meat Puppet.

    Yes, it’s a psychological thriller and I play a very twisted part where you think I’m nice and sweet, but there is a lot more to my character than what meets the eye!  The director, Joe Valenti, contacted me and asked me to play the part.  I’m so glad that I did it because I won Best Supporting Actress at the Downbeach Film Festival, and the film actually won eight awards, including Best Director and Best Feature Film.  I had never played a part like that before either, so it was great!

    Having played Jan Brady and after starring in commercials for Mattel and being a successful pop singer, are you ever surprised to get interview requests for your work in horror films, so many years after the fact?

    Yes, sure, it’s wonderful though!  I’m getting offers to appear in films again, which is a lot of fun, and I also do convention appearances.  In September (14-15), I’m doing FantaCon, and I really love meeting my fans at conventions like that.  I’m also in negotiations about another horror film right now.

    Geri Reischl is currently working on her music. She is an accomplished singer with several original songs and she does covers of 70s classics, including her song from The Brady Bunch.  Get your hands on her music at

    I Dismember Mama is hard to find on VHS – currently, a copy is up for $75 on Ebay, but you can watch the film on Amazon Instant Video.


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    In an exclusive video interview with former Korn guitarist Brian 'Head' Welch, he told FEARnet about meeting his bandmates for the first time since his departure in 2004, and the possibility of rejoining them onstage this year... maybe even returning to the studio with them for their next album. One thing we know for sure this week is that a Korn headlining tour with Brian is definitely going to happen, and soon. The band has finally begun posting dates and venues on their social media, and here's what they have listed as of today:
    5/15 - Ice Garden Arena – Belle Vernon, PA
    5/18 - Big Flats, NY - The Summer Stage At Tags 
    5/21 – The Fillmore – Silver Springs, MD
    5/22 – The Wellmont Theatre – Montclair, NJ
    5/23 - Bethlehem, PA - Sands Bethlehem Event Center 
    5/25 – Peabody – St Louis, MO
    Ticket presales begin tomorrow for members, with general sales beginning Friday, April 5th. Full ticket info is available at the band's events page.
    Find out more about Brian's reunion with the band, as well as his favorite horror movies and his solo project Love and Death, in our exclusive video interview here!

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    dawn of the dead

    There seems to be a quickly-growing cottage industry for customized, hand-painted shoes. I only wish I had the artistic talent to make them myself because buying all the cool ones will get real pricey, real fast.

    Newest on my list of "cool shoes I want" is this pair of Converse All-Stars custom painted with the iconic image of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead poster. This may be the first time pink shoes have ever appealed to me. They are painted-to-order, so you can be sure to get the proper size.

    Approx. $116.50 at Etsy

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    supernaturalSupernatural Episode 819
    “Taxi Driver”
    Written By: Eugenie Ross-Leming & Brad Buckner
    Directed By: Guy Bee
    Original Airdate: 3 April 2013

    In This Episode...

    Kevin is starting to crack up under the pressure. He believes Crowley is in his head and has taken to living in a tiny windowless closet on the boat. On the upside, he has transcribed the second trial: an innocent soul must be rescued from hell and delivered to heaven. So Sam and Dean summon a hell demon and torture him until he cracks. He says that rogue reapers will often smuggle people to hell for the right price. He directs the Winchesters to RJ, a taxi driver who dabbles in hell smuggling.

    RJ will take Sam - only Sam - to hell for no upfront costs; the boys will simply “owe him one.” Big mistake on RJ’s part - this all but guarantees he will be killed (and he is, by Crowley, shortly after delivering Sam). RJ knows who Sam and Dean are because he is the one who took Bobby to hell. So clearly, Bobby is the soul that must be saved. RJ opens up a portal and takes Sam in. But it is not hell he is delivered to - it is purgatory, which is hell-adjacent. He gives Sam directions, tells him he will pick him up in precisely 24 hours, and wishes him well.

    Sam makes it through purgatory with surprising ease and finds the rabbit hole to hell. Hell is pretty much what you expect: dark caverns outlined in glowing embers; tortured souls chained and bloodied. It pretty much looks like Diablo. Sam finds Bobby - and is greeted with a punch to the nose. Sam calms him down, and once Bobby realizes this is the real Sam - not one of the hundreds of demon Winchesters he is tortured with on a daily basis - he gives the boy a great big hug. They battle a few demons on their way out of hell. 

    Up on the surface, Dean discovers RJ is dead, so Sam will have no way of getting out through the portal. His last chance is to call Benny. Despite having had no contact in quite a while, Benny is pleased to hear from Dean. He has been having a hell of a time making it in the real world; he doesn’t fit in with the vampires or the humans. Dean feels horrible asking Benny for such a monumental favor, but Benny is happy to do it. I think he is happy to be of use to someone.

    Back in purgatory, Bobby and Sam take on a trio of beasties. Unfortunately, the odds are not in their favor, but Benny shows up just in time and takes out the third beast. Bobby tries to kill Benny, but Sam stops him. Bobby thinks the boys have gone off the rails without him around. Though Sam is a bit wary of Benny, Benny has proved himself to be loyal and leads them to the portal that he and Dean had once escaped through. Sam does his little ritual and Bobby hitches a ride under Sam’s skin. He offers the same to Benny, but Benny declines. He stays behind to slaughter some vampires who have just appeared, and Sam doesn’t argue.

    Dean is relieved to see his brother return safely - and not too surprised that Benny didn’t return with him. Sam chants again and releases Bobby’s soul into the ether. A bright blue light flies into the sky - but is stopped by an ominous black cloud. Crowley is there and he wants his soul back. Just as it appears that Crowley is winning, Naomi appears. She is pissed off that Crowley is stealing souls that have no business being in hell, but she is more angry at being called a bureaucrat. She does away with Crowley, which does away with the black cloud, and Bobby’s blue spirit flies up to heaven. Earlier in the episode, Naomi had revealed herself to Dean, defending both herself and Castiel (she realized that when she told Cas to protect the angel tablet “by any means necessary,” Castiel’s fractured mind could have taken that to mean, “kill the Winchesters.”) but Dean did not trust her. Although I sure as hell don’t trust her still, Dean seems to be a little less untrusting. Naomi disappears, and Sam finishes the trial with an incantation and an excruciating pain that has him doubled over for a minute.

    Dean and Sam head back to the boat to give Kevin the good news, but they are greeted with bad news of their own: Kevin is gone. He has taken everything and left.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    Dig it. First and foremost - Bobby!! I love that just because someone dies in Supernatural that doesn’t mean we won’t ever see them again. This episode had a lot of stuff going on, but it was impressively paced. Nothing felt stretched out; nothing felt forced or anticlimactic. We went through the second trial, got to visit with Bobby, got some closure for Benny, got a bit of insight into Naomi, and got a freakout from Kevin - but it wasn’t rushed. It was just a good, solid hour of television.

    Sibling Rivalry

    Sam finally admits that he misjudged Benny. I guess all it takes is a purely selfless act of heroism to gain Sam’s trust. Dean is saddened by the news of Benny - Benny was like another brother - but he didn’t burn his bones in case Benny ever wants to give life another go.


    Felicia Day is back, so you know it is going to be a nerdy episode. She and Sam and Dean are sucked into a video game where, if you die in the game, you die in real life.

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    the walking deadWhile being a "series regular" doesn't guarantee anything on The Walking Dead, it does come with a pay bump and a certain amount of prestige. So in addition to David Morrissey, there are several other very happy actors returning for season four.

    Returning to The Walking Dead next season as full-fledged cast members (as opposed to recurring cast members) are Chad Coleman (Tyreese), Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha), and Emily Kinney (Beth). While Coleman and Martin-Green only joined the cast this past season, it is about time Kinney got the promotion: she has been on the show since season two, and her father and sister (Scott Wilson and Lauren Cohan, who play Herschel and Maggie) were upgraded at the start of season three.

    Also returning for season four is Melissa Ponzio. She plays Karen, the lone survivor of the Governor's psychopathic bloodbath in the third season finale. Ponzio will come on as a recurring guest star.

    The Walking Dead returns for its fourth season this October.

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    Gamers have been singing the praises of the Gears of War series since the first epic installment broke out to major acclaim. That first entry featured a tough, muscular score by the talented Kevin Riepl (Aliens: Colonial Marines) which helped set the gritty, ultra-violent tone of the series and remains one of my personal favorite game scores. Since then, the following two GOW editions went for a more sweeping, grandiose landscape, accompanied by uplifting themes by another celebrated composer, Steve Jablonsky – whose primary credits began in feature films (including the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and its prequel), and whose work in those games took on an appropriately cinematic quality. Jablonsky is joined by Jacob Shea (a frequent collaborator with Hans Zimmer, including The Dark Knight) to accompany the latest chapter in the hit saga, which fuses the heavy, adrenaline-pumping elements of part 1 with the broader canvas of 2 and 3. Much like the game itself (which is itself a tangent/prequel of sorts to the series' story arc), the soundtrack marks a return to the game's darker, roots, and as a standalone album it's packed with chilling, even shocking moments.
    While there's still a big, boisterous sound to most of these cues, many arrangements here are stripped down to more punchy, action-packed elements, bringing in rock and industrial instrumentation which ramps up the sonic tension, whether paired with game play or not. The opening theme "Judgment" captures this synthesis very well with its jabs of guitar feedback, industrial noise and stomping electronic percussion; there's even a baritone guitar interlude that gives it an early Nine Inch Nails flavor. While it's an appropriately martial-sounding theme, and is riffed in various ways throughout the album to signify the march to battle, the energy really kicks in on blistering tracks like the electro-industrial kicker "High Surge,” the chugging electro-metal backbone of "Disorder in the Court” and the snarly lead guitars of "Shibboleth."
    Dark ambient suspense cues, which stand mostly alone in tracks like “Upper Reaches,” "Pendulum Swings" and "Slowly But Surely," also mesh well with the percussion-and guitar core of cues like "Undefined Charges,” with just enough touches of traditional orchestra to keep the playing field expansive, and there's pure terror permeating the simple but intense tracks “Vantage Point,” "Return Fire" and "Gauntlet,” the latter pairing distant, quivering strings with a creepy, crunchy guitar-and-beat crawl; sudden shocks are in play too, especially in later cuts like "Around the Court,” which might launch you out of your seat. "Tower of Lightmass" and "Evac Zone" are both a bit reminiscent of Brad Fiedel's first Terminator score, blending pulsing industrial electronics and rhythmic hisses with low, brooding strings and brass, and when things go epic for climactic moments like "Enemy Unveiled” and "Taking A Stand,” you may hear a slight touch of Tyler Bates' crushing battle motifs from 300, but with a more blackened industrial edge. The closing cut "Charges Dropped" begins as an ambient synth piece, but segues into a Philip Glass-style string figure and wraps on the same epic martial note that began with “Judgment,” making a cool bookmark to the album.
    Even if you dig the more traditionally orchestrated music of the last two Gears installments, there's plenty of big-screen vibe at work in Judgment, and it comes less from the “bigness” of the production than from the beefy, dramatic punch that brings back the action-horror groove of the fist game in the series. You can get a strong sample of that approach in the opening theme, which you can spin in the clip below...

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