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- 05/14/13--17:00: _Gift Guide: 'Alien'...
- 05/15/13--08:00: _TV Recap: 'Grimm' E...
- 05/15/13--09:00: _My Dying Bride: 'Th...
- 05/15/13--10:00: _Details Announced F...
- 05/15/13--11:00: _Movie Review: 'The ...
- 05/15/13--13:00: _Book Review: 'Joyla...
- 05/15/13--14:00: _The Unseen – 'Rawhe...
- 05/15/13--14:30: _HBO Releases 'True ...
- 05/15/13--15:00: _The Top Five Monste...
- 05/15/13--16:00: _Horror Music Video ...
- 05/15/13--17:00: _'Holliston' Star Ad...
- 05/16/13--08:00: _TV Recap: 'Supernat...
- 05/16/13--11:00: _Giallo Fever: 'The ...
- 05/16/13--12:00: _Watch the Red-Band ...
- 05/16/13--13:00: _Check Out the New '...
- 05/16/13--14:00: _Dangerous Games: 'Z...
- 05/16/13--15:00: _The Hipster Dead: G...
- 05/16/13--15:30: _First Official Clip...
- 05/16/13--16:00: _After Dark Original...
- 05/16/13--17:00: _Blu-Ray Review: 'Tr...
- 05/14/13--17:00: Gift Guide: 'Alien' Chestburster Necklace
- 05/15/13--08:00: TV Recap: 'Grimm' Episode 221 - 'The Waking Dead'
- 05/15/13--09:00: My Dying Bride: 'The Manuscript'– EP Review
- 05/15/13--10:00: Details Announced For 'ABCs of Death 2'
- 05/15/13--11:00: Movie Review: 'The Town That Dreaded Sundown' Blu-Ray
- 05/15/13--13:00: Book Review: 'Joyland' by Stephen King
- 05/15/13--14:00: The Unseen – 'Rawhead Rex'
- 05/15/13--14:30: HBO Releases 'True Blood' Season 6 Poster
- 05/15/13--15:00: The Top Five Monster Sex Scenes [NSFW]
- 05/15/13--16:00: Horror Music Video of the Week: Future Unlimited – 'Haunted Love'
- 05/16/13--08:00: TV Recap: 'Supernatural' Episode 823 - 'Sacrifice'
- 05/16/13--11:00: Giallo Fever: 'The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh'
- 05/16/13--12:00: Watch the Red-Band Trailer for 'V/H/S/2' [NSFW]
- 05/16/13--13:00: Check Out the New 'Pacific Rim' Main Trailer!
- 05/16/13--14:00: Dangerous Games: 'Zombies!!!'
- 05/16/13--15:00: The Hipster Dead: Games That Featured Zombies Before it Was Cool
- 05/16/13--15:30: First Official Clip From 'We Are What We Are'
- 05/16/13--16:00: After Dark Originals 2 Adds 'Children of Sorrow' to Lineup
- 05/16/13--17:00: Blu-Ray Review: 'True Blood' Season 5
Get the look of a chestburster without all the blood and body modification necessary to have an actual alien burst out of your chest. The chestburster is hand-cast in pewter by artist Luis Alberto Cayo whose day job is working in VFX on films like Riddick and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It's one of those things that you can't believe hadn't been made before this.
Grimm Episode 221
“The Waking Dead”
Written By: Jim Kouf & David Greenwalt
Directed By: Steven DuPaul
Original Airdate: 14 May 2013
In This Episode...
Wu and another officer, Franklin, are called in on a domestic disturbance. Arriving at the home, they find a blond woman, dead, and an enraged man destroying the house. Franklin shoots him in self defense. The man, Robert, has no apparent connection to Lily, the dead woman, unless he was her john - she has a long rap sheet for solicitation. But here is the weird: Lily appears to have absolutely no signs of trauma, and when Robert is shot, his eyes are puffy and red, and bright green goo oozes out his nose. When the toxicology report comes back later, Robert has datura in his system, a plant that can cause a person to appear dead, then suddenly “come back to life” several days later, often accompanied by erratic and violent behavior. Weirder still, Robert was pronounced dead at a local hospital three days ago, with death certificate and all. A visit to the hospital morgue shows that Robert is not where is supposed to be. But it’s not like he just got up and walked away! Oh wait...
The medical examiner begins her autopsy on Lily, but the moment scalpel touches flesh, Lily sits up on the table, eyes wide, clearly alive. She is taken to the hospital, but by the time Nick and Hank get there, she is gone. The security footage reveals she was smuggled out by a mysterious man in a top hat and cane. Hank had noticed him earlier at the hospital, and saw him in the crowd outside the Robert/Lily crime scene. This is Baron Samedi, a Creole Wesen, who is creating an army of zombies, keeping them in a shipping container, and telling them to rest, “their Mardi Gras is coming.”
Stefania visits Adalind with a contract written in Romani. Adalind refuses to sign in until she understands what it says, but Stefania insists that she isn’t meant to understand - always a bad sign. Stefania forces Adalind’s hand onto the parchment. The veins grow dark and swollen and throb. When she pulls her hand away, there is a bloody handprint, making the contract iron-clad. Frau Pech spies on this, then goes to Adalind, warning her to be careful and not trust Stefania. Regaining her powers - especially after they were taken by a Grimm - is not easy, and she needs to take care of herself. If anyone found out that she was carrying a royal fetus, she could be worth more dead than alive. Pech then meets with a royal spy and warns him that someone outside the family is carrying royal blood. Havoc could ensue if word got out, and she wants to know how much Eric would pay for the child. The spy immediately calls Sean Renard with this information. He doesn’t know who is carrying the baby or who the father is - he doesn’t even know if Pech is telling the truth. Renard advises him to find out fast. Knowing his brother, Renard assumes Eric will place a bid for the baby, then steal it and pay nothing. At the very least, he will need to put in a bid. Adding another wrinkle is the fact that Eric unexpectedly shows up in Portland - even Renard’s spy didn’t know he was planning a trip to America. Renard is worried that his brother has some sort of ulterior motive, other than just “burying the hatchet,” as he told his brother when he arrived. And in fact he does. He is there to meet with a close friend - Baron Samedi.
Also: Juliette has another favor to ask of Monroe. She wants him to show her whatever it was that Nick wanted to show her the night she fell into her coma. Monroe is very nervous, and Bud, who is fixing Monroe’s fridge, is terrified. Bud protests a lot, in a manner that I think is supposed to be humorous, but is really just grating. They go to the spice shop to have Rosalee help. Monroe is tired of lying and thinks Juliette deserves the truth. Rosalee starts. Juliette marches right out the door - then comes right back. Next is Bud; she thinks he is kind of cute. Monroe is the only one who startled her. But despite all of this, she still wants to be part of Nick’s life. Aw.
Dig It or Bury It?
There was a lot going on here, and no filler. I love that the zombies are rooted in the old school, Haitian and Creole lore. The Baron is such a perfect villain - debonair and gentlemanly, but dastardly through and through.
Cracher-Mortel. The Baron is a blowfish-type Wesen who spits venom on his victims, turning them into zombies, essentially. These are zombies in the Voodoo tradition, not The Walking Dead tradition.
This is a two-parter, so next week’s season finale will continue all these stories. More zombies, and more black-market baby shenanigans.
Looks like audiences need further education - The ABCs of Death is getting a sequel. The anthology, featuring 26 shorts (each one a story about death, focused around a letter of the alphabet) by some of the brightest new horror directors of the time, will expand past horror directors. Of course, that doesn't mean that horror directors won't be prominently features. Genre favorites like the Soska Sisters (American Mary), Marcus Dunstan (The Collection), and Larry Fessenden (Habit). From the press release:
In a significant departure from the first installment, ABCs OF DEATH 2 is expanding beyond horror directors. The sequel’s new roster includes Goya Award winner Álex de la Iglesia (THE LAST CIRCUS, DAY OF THE BEAST); ROOM 237 mastermind Rodney Ascher; Academy Award-nominated animator Bill Plympton; Filipino icon – and Director’s Fortnight inductee – Erik Matti (ON THE JOB, MAGIC TEMPLE); and the founder of Nigerian “Nollywood” cinema Lancelot Imasuen.
Additional confirmed filmmakers include Lithuania’s Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper (VANISHING WAVES), Japan’s arthouse provocateur Sion Sono (COLD FISH, SUICIDE CLUB), SPLICE and CUBE’s Vincenzo Natali, indie horror icon Larry Fessenden (THE LAST WINTER, HABIT), THE COLLECTION’s Marcus Dunstan, France’s Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (INSIDE, LIVID), E.L. Katz (director of the SXSW breakout hit CHEAP THRILLS), twin auteurs Jen and Sylvia Soska (AMERICAN MARY, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK), Israel’s Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (RABIES, BIG BAD WOLVES), A LONELY PLACE TO DIE’s Julian Gilbey, Brazil’s most controversial filmmaker Dennison Ramalho (NINJAS and LOVE FOR MOTHER ONLY), THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM and the upcoming STAGEFRIGHT’s Jerome Sable, and animator Robert Morgan – creator of the BAFTA Award nominated short BOBBY YEAH.
Like the first installment, ABCs of Death 2 will also feature the 26th director competition, which will give a fan the chance to have their own segment featured in the finished film.
More directors and details about the 26th director competition will come throughout the summer. Magnet is planning a 2014 release.
I mention all that as a roundabout way of praising the low-budget but still crafty cult horror film known as The Town That Dreaded Sundown, "docu-drama"-style relic from 1976 that earns high grades for trying to deliver a scary movie while still paying respect to the actual events that inspired the flick. Of course several things have been altered to turn a real-life mid-'40s mini-panic into an entertaining horror film, but you probably won't find many low-budget horror films that even care about sticking to small moments of truth and accuracy.
Admirable more for its attention to detail and a sense of class regarding true-life murders than for any sort of wall-to-wall mayhem, The Town that Dreaded Sundown is a fascinating little obscurity that horror fans would be well advised to check out at least once. And since the film has been resurrected by Scream/Shout Factory, you can logically expect a handful of great supplements to complement the main feature: there's an excellent audio commentary with PhD historian Jim Presley and moderator Justin Beahm, a collection of interviews with Mr. Prine, Ms. Wells, and cinematographer Jim Roberson, and a bunch of bells/whistles like trailers, TV spots, a nifty old essay, and (yes!) a reversible DVD cover. I love those things.
They even went and threw in The Evictors as a bonus movie. It's a decent 1979 haunted house flick from Charles Pierce that stars Vic Morrow, Michael Parks, and Jessica Walter, and you've almost certainly never seen it. Hey, free movie, right?
And it has to be said at least once: I bet this blu-ray transfer looks better than the actual film ever did. To those who only know this movie from cable, VHS, or (gasp) UHF, you simply won't believe how smooth and pretty it looks now.
Could one of our favorite vampires be facing the true death in this season of True Blood? That seems to be what the new poster, released today by HBO, is hinting at. I cannot tell which vampire that is though. It's not Eric... I don't think it is Bill... who do you think it is? Am I just reading way too much into this?
True Blood returns to HBO on June 16th.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, director and Holliston star Adam Green is going home to raise money to aid the victims and families of those most affected by the bombings.
Over the weekend of May 28th-30th, Green will be hosting a variety of events, including a Holliston season two advanced screening and panel; a party; an auction; and a Hatchet movie marathon - including the world premiere of the long-awaited Hatchet III.
So we have a whole bunch of links for you:
Supernatural Episode 823
Written By: Jeremy Carver
Directed By: Phil Sgriccia
Original Airdate: 15 May 2013
In This Episode...
Dean calls Crowley - they are ready to make a deal. The Winchesters will hand over the demon tablet and Crowley will stop killing people they saved. Dean also wants the angel tablet back. The brothers meet Crowley to sign the contract but before they do, Dean snaps demon handcuffs on Crowley. “You’re our bitch.” The boys take Crowley to an abandoned seaside church, chained up and demon-trapped and all that. Castiel shows up to take Dean to help seal up heaven while Sam begins his hourly blood dosing with Crowley.
Castiel has run into some problems with his and Metatron’s plan to shut heaven. Namely that one of Naomi’s spies has ID’d Metatron as the scribe, and absconded with him back to heaven where she began torturing him to probe information out of his brain. Castiel wants Dean’s help in completing the second angel trial: getting cupid’s bow. When they finally find a cupid, she admits that she has been scared to go home for some time and is happy to help the efforts to repair heaven. She hands over her bow (a tattoo that must be carved off her palm) willingly. Naomi visits, begging Castiel to reconsider. Her probing of Metatron complete, she has learned that Metatron has been lying to him the whole time. He is looking for vengeance for being cast out of heaven, and wants to expel angels the same way he was. Naomi’s goal has always been to help the Winchesters close the gates of hell, even though Sam will die upon completion - God always planned it that way, the ultimate sacrifice. Castiel insists Naomi is lying, but Dean is shaken and demands to be taken back to his brother. Frankly, I am surprised at how naive Dean is - I thought it was fairly obvious that Sam wouldn’t survive this.
Back at the church, Sam is in bad shape. During one of his doses, Crowley takes a big bite out of Sam’s arm, just to be a jerk. While Sam tends to his wound, Crowley spits the Winchester blood into his palm and (for lack of a better word) prays to his disciples for help. Help arrives in the form of Abbadon, but she isn’t too keen on freeing Crowley. “Why do you get to be the king of hell?” So she starts beating him up. Sam surprises her with a dousing of lighter fluid and an entire book of lit matches. She burns up and her black smoke monster flies out the window. Crowley is genuinely grateful to Sam, a clear sign that the cure is working. He is surprised when Sam re-seals the demon trap and continues on with “curing him.” Just before Sam can administer the final dose of blood, Dean bursts in, begging his brother to stop. Even after Dean explains that Sam will die, Sam wants to continue. He sees his death being worth it if it means sealing up hell, but Dean talks him out of it and tells him to let go. The glowing in Sam’s arm subsides and whatever “power” the trials put in him fades. The boys head outside, where Sam doubles over in agony, unable to breathe. A meteor shower fills the sky. But those aren’t meteors...
Castiel has returned to heaven to “fix his home.” Upon arriving, he discovers that Naomi was right all along. Metatron killed her, and is waiting for Castiel. The two weren’t completing trials; they were collecting elements Metatron needed for a spell. The final ingredient is Cas’s “essence,” a glowy blue substance that he bleeds from Cas’s neck. Castiel is now human. Metatron sends him to earth. Cas wakes up in the middle of nowhere and has to walk. The meteor shower? Nope, those are fallen angels, about to storm the earth.
Dig It or Bury It?
This is how you do a season finale. I felt like much of the season was a little bit unfocused - too many threads. But this episode really tied them all together, did so in a clear and interesting way, with lots of humor. It was basically everything you want in an episode of Supernatural. There were no surprises here, but that is okay. Metatron was obviously lying to Castiel. Sam was clearly going to die when he finished the trials. I have a hard time with the idea that Cas is now human, but I think that Crowley is going to join with the Winchesters to keep the fallen angels at bay and of course, protect his station as the king of hell.
In trying to convince Dean to let him finish the trials, Sam admits that in his blood-purifying confession, he confessed to how many times he let Dean down. That is what he feels worst about, and he doesn’t want to feel that anymore. Dean insists that there is nothing he wouldn’t put ahead of Sam: not the monsters that killed their mother, not Benny, not anyone. He is actually begging Sam to abort the trial - and he listens.
An ambassador, Neil Wardh (Alberto de Mendoza), and his wanton wife, Julie (Edwige Fenech), arrive in Vienna for business in the midst of a vicious killing spree that has everyone in a panic. Julie's return to the city rouses memories of former lover Jean (Ivan Rassimov) and their sadomasochistic relationship. It also helps that her husband is utterly dull, busy, and inattentive. The restless Julie has a dark secret that only Jean knows about: blood frightens her, but it also arouses her unimaginably. Julie's cruel ex-boyfriend stalks her and sends unnerving love letters, but she finds comfort at swinging parties and in the arms of another man, George (George Hilton). As the city's body count begins to rise, and a mysterious caller threatens to expose her adulterous and kinky secrets, Julie suspects she's next and that Jean is behind the murders and madness. She escapes to Spain with George for a fresh start, but death follows her. In typical giallo fashion, a series of plot twists and red herrings leads to a tension-filled finale that reveals all isn't what it seems.
The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh was Sergio Martino's first entry in the giallo canon and remains one of the most powerful, stylish, and sultry of the genre. The 1971 film was also one of the first gialli that starred the alluring Edwige Fenech. Both director and screen siren (as well as Rassimov and Hilton) would go on to collaborate on the sexadelic All the Colors of the Dark and the awesomely titled Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key— which is a line that appears in one of Jean's letters to Julie. It's a shame the underrated filmmaker created only five films in the genre, but they're easily as evocative as gialli's greatest.
The most visually striking moments in the movie take place during intoxicating — and violent — slow-motion dream sequences that recall the sadistic relationship Jean shared with Julie, set to Nora Orlandi's seductive, eerie score. (The lovers' theme song, "Dies Irae," would later appear in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol. 2.) The scenes embody the heady blend of sex and death that the genre is known for. But the genuinely entertaining performances aren't limited to sex scenes. Strange Vice is one of the rare gialli that features compelling dialogue — with a few biblical references thrown in for added naughtiness — and convincing acting, even while several of its stars saunter around topless. Look for several influential set pieces that appeared in later films — like the park stalking that predates a similar scene in Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet. Imaginatively framed shots, exotic locations, plenty of black gloves, and gleaming switchblades add to the potency of Strange Vice's psychosexual atmosphere, making it essential viewing.
Unless you’ve been in a coma or trapped in a subterranean bunker, you’ve seen that zombies are a pretty big deal in games these days. Resident Evil was like Bill Hinzman in that lonely graveyard in Night of the Living Dead, the precursor to a flesh-hungry mob that’s infested every facet of gaming from cartoony strategy titles (Plants vs. Zombies) to multi-million dollar FPS franchises (Call of Duty). Except Resident Evil was far from the first…there were games that featured the living dead long before the first Playstation was every connected to that old Zenith tube in the living room. So put on your ironic black plastic glasses and take a look at these hipster zombie games…the games that had zombies before it was cool.
Halloween Harry/Alien Carnage
Borne out of the shareware boom of the early 1990’s, which gave us classics like Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM, Halloween Harry (later retitled Alien Carnage so it didn’t feel quite so seasonal) set players in the combat boots of the titular hero as he repelled an alien invasion. Of course, those aliens had to turn people into mindless flesh-munchers as part of their insidious plan (don’t they always?) and Harry had to use his jetpack and arsenal of firepower (including a super-satisfying flamethrower) to reduce the shambling zombies to piles of smoldering bones. The game was released as freeware back in 2007, so you can scratch your retro itch for absolutely nothing. Nice!
Isle of the Dead
Dead Island wasn’t the first game to feature zombies overrunning an island, but it certainly did a much better job at it than Isle of the Dead. Released by Merit Software (ironic, as the game had no merit), Isle of the Dead tried to integrate point-and-click adventure elements with FPS action…and failed at both. The 90-degree angles of the rendering engine weren’t very effective at conveying an organic environment like a tropical jungle, and the adventure elements were unceremoniously shoehorned in. In its defense, the death animations are a hoot and the zombie types are suitably gruesome (although what’s up with the bodybuilder Speedo zombie?), but the game’s music, which you’ll hear in the video below, made the Wolfenstein 3D music sound like it was played by the Royal Philharmonic.
Corpse Killer may have reared its rotting head well before zombies were in vogue, but it has the shame of being part of the most insidious trend of its time: “interactive” movies. The advent of CD-ROM technology now gave developers, who were used to cramming their titles on a handful of 3.5” floppy disks, the then-massive capacity of 650 MB to hock their wares. Unfortunately, many used this increased storage for horribly compressed digital video (another new technology of the era) and the interactive movie was born. Digital Pictures was one of the most notorious distributors of this dreck, filling the Sega CD library with the notorious Night Trap, as well as other barely-interactive crap like Marky Mark: Make My Video. Corpse Killer at least upped the interaction by making the game into a light-gun shooter, allowing players to blast their way across an island overrun with zombies (there it is again). Unfortunately, it also featured the same problems that plagued most of Digital Pictures’ output: barrel-scraping production values. You can check it out in the video below, although I would like to preface it with an apology to Jamaicans everywhere.
Keeping with the light-gun theme, Beast Busters has the infamy of being the last arcade game released by SNK before they released the Neo Geo, and it was a doozy. Beast Busters was rife with lunacy, including a knife-throwing punk zombie that mutates into a killer canine and zombie football players being carried by giant birds. The mix of fast action and splatter was a minor hit, and a Beast Busters arcade cabinet was allegedly brought on tour with video game fanatic and King of Pop Michael Jackson.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
A true cult classic, Zombies Ate My Neighbors is easily the most recognizable title in the list. Developed by LucasArts and published by Konami, ZAMN was a top-down shooter that wore its love of B-movies on its sleeve. Players had to both eliminate the zombie threat and save their neighbors (the ones that hadn’t been eaten, I suppose), and the results were one of the best games of the 16-bit era.
Jim Mickle's We Are What We Are, a remake of the 2010 Mexican film of the same name, is having its debut in Cannes this week. The first official clip from the film has been released:
The official synopsis: A seemingly wholesome and benevolent family, the Parkers have always kept to themselves, and for good reason. Behind closed doors, patriarch Frank (Bill Sage, BOARDWALK EMPIRE) rules his family with a rigorous fervor, determined to keep his ancestral customs intact at any cost. As a torrential rainstorm moves into the area, tragedy strikes and his daughters Iris (Ambyr Childers) and Rose (Julia Garner) are forced to assume responsibilities that extend beyond those of a typical family. As the unrelenting downpour continues to flood their small town, the local authorities begin to uncover clues that bring them closer to the secret that the Parkers have held closely for so many years.
We Are What We Are will get a U.S. theatrical release this fall.
Last week I reviewed the Dexter season seven blu-ray set to much disappointment. In complete contrast, the True Blood season five blu-ray set has everything that you want in a box set.
Each episode has an option called “True Blood Enhanced Viewing.” Playing like a less-obtrusive Pop-Up Video, with this option on, you get lower third graphics with insights into the scene. I like that they slide on and off the screen without a little pop-up sound. These aren’t behind-the-scenes tidbits - those you get from the various commentaries. These are story-based: details on character relationships and histories; things from former seasons that you may have forgotten; biographies of minor characters; details that aren’t mentioned in the episode (like the name of songs playing and what is in Lafayette’s Cajun margaritas), and questions to ease you into watching a little more critically (like, “Jason is the only one who is seeing his parents - but is it really due to his recent head injury?” or “What could Bill’s reasons be for lying to Salome?”) I really like these pop-ups. It breathes new life into episodes you have likely seen multiple times, and it adds depth for the hardcore, obsessive viewers.
Another unique feature of the True Blood set is the “True Blood Lines.” It is basically a family tree for True Blood characters. They are divided up into species (human, werewolf, vampire, shapeshifter, fairy) and clicking on a character brings up a photo, description, and links to other characters to whom they are connected. The layout of each screen is a little inelegant, but with so many characters, I imagine it was tough to code the disc. Also, only season five characters are included here - but there is an “Archive” section that allows you to get quick details on other characters throughout the show’s history.
Additional features include “Authority Confessionals” (members of the Authority tell their story directly to camera like reality-show confessionals); some behind-the-scenes featurettes with cast and crew; and select episode audio commentaries from Alan Ball, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Denis O’Hare, Carrie Preston, and more.
Side note: the surround sound on this set was awesome - it drove my dog nuts. He only goes nuts when audio is very realistic. So there you go - dog approved!