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FEARNET.com News and Reviews

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    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!

    Marvel Zombies Halloween Special

    A little boy and his mom survive day-to-day in the Marvel Zombie world. The comic starts normally enough, with the child and mom accustomed to life in the wastes. When the little boy inquires about Halloween, the mom reluctantly dresses him up as a little Wolverine (adorable!) and they begin to go through the motions of the holiday. As things go awry and character zombies begin to wreak havoc, we learn fun things about the mom and her son and are swept up in a quick, fun halloween story.

    Bag it or board it up? This comic was a delight to read. How could this comic go wrong? It's full of great zombie action, heart-string pulling dialogue, a cute black cat, and a tiny little Wolverine - all set during Halloween! This comic is fun for followers of Marvel Zombies lore, and it features some B-list characters and a surprise appearance from some serious A-listers.

    The Walking Dead No. 103

    Things are, as always, looking grim from Rick and friends. The zombies are, as always, the least of their worries. Negan, the worst, most vile baddie this side of the Governor, has already caused mass chaos and heartbreak within Rick's group. He now demands half of everything the good guys (term used extremely loosely and mostly in jest) own, including important drugs and resources. Rick has a plan, but how long must they wait before it fires off?

    Bag it or board it up? Oh, The Walking Dead, why do you torment us so? Why is your story so compelling but so damned depressing? It's hard to love a comic that keeps you wanting more, but we know Dead will deliver. And that's the redeeming factor of the comic: even if an issue may feel like stalling or ramping up to a big event, the payoff is always amazing.

    Exsanguine No. 1

    Neo-Veteran comic author and illustrator Tim Seeley (of Hack/Slash fame) brings a new take on flesh eating baddies in Exsanguine. Focusing on two FBI partners tracking a serial killer, the story weaves in small town social politics and nasty violence. The main focus of the FBI's investigation is a man with a dark secret and ferocious powers, but he's not necessarily the culprit. Or is he? Maybe. So far all seems misty and unclear (and blood-soaked!)

    Bag it or board it up? This is a fun small town murder comic written by one of my favorite contemporary horror comic writers. Tim Seeley once again brings the grisly and the blood and the intrigue. I'm usually biased against small town murder settings (I think Twin Peaks did everything that could be done in the setting) but Ex really shows promise.

    B.P.R.D. 1948 No. 1

    Mike Mignola and gang are back with more Bureau fun, this time set in the late forties. Several old characters return, as well as a four-year-old little red somebody (did you miss him!?) While testing atomic-powered space travel, a group of scientists may have accidentally unleashed a giant, tentacled, flying terror that snatches hapless cops up and away. That's where the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense comes in.

    Bag it or board it up? There's nothing wrong with an atomic-fueled paranormal story that takes place in post-war times. The Mignola crew continues to churn out stories and books at an astonishing rate, and one wonders how potent each story can really be. But this comic, written by Mike, pulses with an antiquated threat that feels equal parts real and not-of-this-time.

     


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    Ever since I was little, I have loved Cadbury Creme Eggs. Milk chocolate eggs with gooey, pure sugar center? Yes please! The fact that the sugar center was even colored like an egg was just the icing on the cake (so to speak.) Now that I am an adult and I know just how bad they are for me, I limit myself to one pack of mini eggs per Easter season. But now the pushers at Cadbury have made Creme Eggs a twice a year treat.

    This Halloween, they are debuting a Halloween version of the Creme Egg. Called the Screme Egg, it is exactly the same as the Spring treat, but the yellow "yolk" is now a green alien goo.


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    The Exhumed Films 24-Hour Horrorthon has taken place for the past five years over Halloween weekend. It’s an entire day of horror movie mayhem, which breaks down to roughly 14 movies and seven blocks of trailers.

    If you live in Philly, or really any place other than Los Angeles, you know that 24 hours of horror movies, projected on 16mm or 35mm film, is a rare and beautiful thing. On the morning of the thon fans stocked with provisions (mostly of the cheesy variety), sleeping bags—tents were outlawed a few years back—and dressed in various forms of comfy pant attire and obscure horror t-shirts, line up hours before doors open in hope of getting good seats.

    While they are waiting in line, attendees are presented with a program that hints at the movies to be shown; Exhumed never tells what they are showing before the event. The clues, quite frankly, suck. For instance, there’s this one from 2010’a Horrorthon: “Holy fucking shit. The greatest, bloodiest kung-fu movie of all time. I don't even know what else to say, I just... I mean, this... this movie is... holy fucking shit...”

    The movie hinted at was Five Element Ninjas.

    The Horrorthon is the brainchild of Exhumed Films, which grew out of the four fans’ desire to watch the Lucio Fulci double-feature Zombie and Gates of Hell. Dan Fraga, Joseph A. Gervasi, Harry Guerro, and Jesse Nelson have been presenting seldom-seen genre films since 1997.

    The movies and trailers come almost exclusively from Guerro’s collection. “Harry is by the far the behind-the-scenes genius of Exhumed Films. He’s one of the biggest film collectors in the country. He collects hundreds and hundreds of films and trailers,” Dan Fraga said. “As he buys trailers, he’ll splice together thematic reels … We would be completely lost without him … Over the course of 15 years we’ve shown well over 300 movies.”

    Sitting through 24 hours of movies, sometimes on a folding chair, is a serious test of endurance.  Everyone has their own mode of survival. Some go for a healthier tactic, like drinking green tea and eating fruit, while others just slam energy drinks and hoagies all night.

    This year, Josh Gregal is travelling from Seattle for his sixth Horrorthon.

    “ … Pinpointing exactly when I need strategic caffeine and snack breaks, wondering just what the hell that smelly thing the dude in front of me will invariably eat at 2AM, the adrenaline rush I feel when I realize a movie I really love is starting, and the weird sense of accomplishment my friends and I feel after cramming ourselves into a dark room with a bunch of stinky weirdos for an entire day—for a horror nerd, there's nothing else like it,” he said.

    There are only a few short breaks during the thon and the organizers like to play with the audience’s sanity at about 3am. While the opening movies are generally crowd-pleasers, past years have included A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors, Creepshow, and Halloween, Exhumed saves the bat-shit crazy films for early morning hours.

    “The first year we ran a movie called Teenage Mother which was sort of a, I wouldn’t say a joke, but it was thrown in there to throw people off, confuse them. First of all, it was 3:30 or 4:00 am when it came on, which is prime time to fuck with people because that seems to be the apex of delirium … So, that kind of set the stage, and by no means have we ever shown anything quite like that again, but it’s become a tradition to find the movie that will completely mess up the audience and show that somewhere in the three to five am range. We’ve got one for this year. It’s the kind of movie you’ll watch and wonder, ‘I don’t know if this is real, did I doze off and dream some of it?’ because it’s ridiculous and surreal and yet, it exists,” Fraga said.

    Exhumed set up a sleeping room in University of Pennsylvania’s International House for fans that can’t make it through the entire night, after the first year got a little out-of-control. Joseph Gervasi described the aftermath of that first Horrorthon thusly, via email.

    “The first thing to hit me was the stink. The miasma rose and hovered; it was jaundice yellow and vein-laced with green … Here at the International House during the Sunday morning home stretch of the first Exhumed Films (EF) 24-hour Horrorthon, the audience had transformed their environment into a post-Hurricane Katrina tent city. There were, literally, tents set up on the side of the movie screen. Strewn about the aisles were sleeping bags, dozing (possibly deceased) bodies, empty bottles of soda and booze, trash bags filled with junk food wrappers, and the all-permeating reek of human pores flushed fetid through a day and a night’s worth of fevered Frito consumption … As they gathered their bodies from their seats and lurched into the cheerful afternoon sunshine, I could see their smiles and they were a tiny bit beautiful in a barfy kind of way.”

    The draw for fans is not only watching old favorites, or classics they never thought they’d get to view on the big screen, but seeing films they hate. There’s something wonderful in saying, “Oh man, do you remember that one? It was amazing; it was so crappy.”

    Ryann Casey has been to the last four thons and shared her memories of the best of the worst, “ … Boarding House might be THE most memorable because I hated it so much. I really don’t even remember most of the movie but from the soundtrack (piercing notes repeated ad nauseam) to the nonexistent ‘plot,’ it was the only movie that has ever made me angry just having to sit through it—and that’s from someone who actually stayed through most of last year’s Meet the Feebles,” she said.

    As a fan of the event, one of the greatest things for me is being part the community that comes out for the Horrorthon. Crazy film devotees, with, generally, odd social skills, join forces to make it through the terror, torture, and bloodletting.

    “By bringing like-minded (at least in terms of a certain type of cinema-obsession) folks — many of them outcasts, either by self- or societal-definition — together, we attempted to create a supportive environment and engender a sense of inclusiveness … From what’s been said and written to us, we’ve seen friendships and romantic relationships flourish beside creative and even business projects. We began just as the internet was becoming the primary tool of communication and networking in the late 20th Century and into the 21st. Fifteen years on, we continue to draw in the misfits and show them the nightmarish and the absurd. It’s nice to have you here with us. You’re looking absolutely ghastly. Where’d you get that Sleepaway Camp t-shirt? Has anyone told you today how much you totally rule? Oh,” Gervasi said.

    This year’s Horrorthon is October 27 and 28. Tickets sold out in less than a week, but there’s still a chance to get them.

    While the organizers wouldn’t give me details about the roster for this year, Fraga did concede that this year is a “little 80s-centric” with “not a lot of super-popular movies, but there’s a good number of films that people will be familiar with.”  For uber-fans who have attended for several years, you’ll be happy to know they are back on track with the zombie movie finale.

    Images courtesy of Haunt Love


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    This year’s Halloween TV offerings are surprisingly slim. Most of the returning sitcoms are not doing new Halloween episodes, and a few of the new shows I wonder if they will be around by Halloween. Fox, which frequently runs into scheduling conflicts due to the baseball post-season, ran The Simpsons annual “Treehouse of Horrors” episode extra-early this year (two weeks ago!)

    Wednesday, October 24th

    Guys with Kids, NBC - The eponymous “guys” fight with the new head of the co-op board over their annual Halloween hallway decorations - and in doing so, take drastic measures.

    The Neighbors, ABC - The aliens-living-amongst-humans normally fear Halloween and shut off their gated community to it, so the one human family in the neighborhood decides to teach them to love Halloween.

    The Middle, ABC - Youngest son Brick goes through an “unexpected transformation” when he eats too much candy in an episode that is cleverly titled “Halloween III: The Driving.”

    Thursday, October 25th

    Up All Night, NBC - The Christina Applegate sophomore series doesn’t have much in the way of frights, other than a neighbor who does a big neighborhood haunted house display.

    Parks and Rec, NBC - Xena the warrior princess guest stars as the surliest (Ron) and dumbest (Andy) guys in the office take her girls trick-or-treating. The episode is titled “Halloween Surprises,” so hopefully there is more in store. 

    The Office, NBC - Other than the cast dressing up in Halloween costumes, nothing Halloween-y happens.

    The Big Bang Theory, CBS - The comic book shop has a Halloween party, and a couple of the characters dress up like Papa Smurf and Smurfette.

    Friday, October 26th

    Grimm, NBC - Moving away from the tales of the brothers Grimm, tonight’s episode revolves around the Mexican legend of La Llorna, the weeping woman. It also is meant as a tie-in with the Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights maze.

    Mockingbird Lane, NBC - The much talked about The Munsters reboot is finally here, for one night only. Set those DVRs now.

    Monday, October 29th

    Hawaii 5-0, CBS - Murder is always bad, but when it happens on Halloween, it is both grisly and ritualistic.

    Tuesday, October 30th

    Go On, NBC - When Yolanda is disappointed by her friends, they join together to give her her dream “Alice in Wonderland” Halloween.

    The New Normal, NBC - The boys go all-out with decorating, crazy costumes, and a pumpkin patch visit. George Takei guest stars.

    Raising Hope, Fox - Another “not Halloweeny plot but everyone is in costumes so it counts” episode.

    Ben & Kate, Fox - Kate uses Halloween as an excuse to shed her uptight image (as do 90% of women on Halloween), while Ben and his buddy stay home to pass out candy, only to discover one of the kids has eaten the “special Amsterdam” candy.

    New Girl, Fox - Jess gets a job as a zombie in a haunted house.

    The Mindy Project, Fox - See Raising Hope, above.

    Wednesday, October 31st

    It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, ABC - It wouldn’t be Halloween without Charlie Brown and Linus.

    Face Off, Syfy - The prosthetic makeup reality contest has its grand finale in a live Halloween special.

    Friday, November 2nd

    Blue Bloods, CBS - This procedural brings the scares into November in an episode about a Halloween murder investigation that leads into the world of voodoo.


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    Grimm Episode 208
    “The Other Side”
    Written By: William Bigelow
    Directed By: Eric Laneuville
    Original Airdate: 19 October 2012

    In This Episode...

    Renard is given an award, and his whole crew is there to support him. Despite having the night off, Hank and Nick get called in on a case. Renard offers to give Juliette a ride home, and Nick and Hank head to the crime scene. Juliette is still wigged out by Renard, but can’t figure out why. Could be because he seems to want an invite in. Could be because he sees where Juliette gets the spare key. Once Juliette is inside, he steals the key, sneaks in, and follows the sound of the shower upstairs. He approaches, but at the last possible minute he snaps back to his senses and leaves, the only evidence of his having been there a cracked framed photo of Nick and Juliette.

    At the scene, they find an 18-year-old academic decathlon student nearly decapitated after a vicious attack. The cops interview his teammates, but it yields nothing. Nick can’t get a read on any wesen in the room. On the way out, the team coach stops them. He is agitated and furious, and reveals himself to be a lowen, which immediately puts the coach at the top of the suspect list. Also hovering near the top is the mother of one of the decathletes, Pierce. Mom is extremely overbearing and competitive and pushes Pierce to be the absolute best. He wants to live up to her expectations because she is an award-winning geneticist. Jenny, another teammate shows up dead - and she is clutching Pierce’s watch. Nick and Hank pay Pierce and Mom another visit, and they reveal themselves to be a gentle, turtle-like wesen. Nick backs off. The coach pulls the school out of the regional decathlon competition, and then he shows up dead, too.

    Pierce has a horrible headache so his mom brings him some cocoa to make him feel better. He spills it, and takes his sheets to the laundry machine. Inside, he discovers the water is thick with blood. Mom rushes him away, and Pierce calls the cops. Mom knocks the phone away and finally explains what is happening to Pierce. While she was pregnant with him, she conducted genetic tests and spliced his genes with that of a lowen - the hope was that in addition to the fierce intellectual side of their native wesen, he will get the confidence and strength of the lowen. But she didn’t tell him about it, and the two wesen sides of him were warring with each other. Pierce didn’t even remember the attacks. Nick and Hank arrive, and Pierce shows his lowen face. Nick starts beating the crap out of him, which scares Hank because, as far as he knows, Pierce is just a gentle, brainy wesen. Pierce escapes. The cops find him on the edge of a building, ready to throw himself over. Nick saves him. He is facing three counts of murder, but has a pretty strong psych defense.

    Also: Renard goes to the herb shop, looking for a cure for obsession. Monroe does some research, and while he can offer Renard a kind of “reverse viagra,” the emotional component is nearly impossible to attack without the object of his obsession. Adalind is in Vienna with Eric, and the two flirt madly. He reveals that his brother Shawn is only half-royal; his mother was a hexenbiest housemaid.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    The A-story here was dull and predictable - a painfully straightforward Jekyll and Hyde tale. Maybe I watch too much television, but I knew exactly what was going on before the opening credits. But I really liked the Renard B-story. It is taking a little too long (still) to get the whole picture, so I am trying to enjoy every morsel I can. But if it turns out that Renard and Adalind are half-siblings, I’m going to be grossed out.

    Big Bad...

    ...Genio Innocuo, or “innocent genius.” Originally from the Galapagos Islands (so yes, they are turtle-like) the Genio Innocuo are brilliant, but shy and gentle. Which, as Nick’s ancestors note in one of the journals, made them easy prey for culling.

    Prophecies?

    Halloween comes to Grimm in the form of La Llorona, the weeping woman. Nick will trade in wesen for ghosts.         


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    Thanks to Paranormal 4's $30M opening weekend box office success, Paramount already has plans underway for a fifth installment due out next Halloween.

    Not only that, but there’s the Latino spin-off we reported on, which screenwriter and director Christopher Landon will be creating. The spin-off is said to include the demon from the Paranormal movies and will be partially in Spanish.

    There are also some interesting things happening on Jacob Degloshi's Facebook page. Updates have included things like, “I swear an earthquake woke me up last night but no reports of one. #Odd.” and “I think Sarah pulled out all the wires from my computer and equipment.” Degloshi also found an old VCR and some mystery VHS tapes. That can't be good.

    via Deadline


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    The Walking Dead Episode 302
    “Sick”
    Written By: Nicholas Beattie
    Directed By: Billy Gierhard
    Original Airdate: 21 October 2012

    In This Episode...

    Daryl holds the prisoners at arrow point while Rick and the others prep Hershel for relocation. The prisoners wait a minute, then follow. Back at cellblock C, Hershel is rushed inside and the block is locked down while Daryl keeps watch on the prisoners. He tells them they are free to go, so go, but the prisoners start thinking that if a bunch of free people are breaking in to the prison, maybe it’s not such a good idea to leave. Carol and Lori work to stop Hershel’s bleeding, and Rick leaves Glenn in charge in case Hershel does die.

    The prisoners had been locked inside the kitchen of the cafeteria for about 10 months. A kind guard locked them in when trouble started, and they never left. The doors were shut tight and any noise would cause the “things” on the other side to start growling. So they stayed put, assuming that help would be along to save them. They have no idea what is going on out there, and don’t believe Rick when he says at least half the population has been wiped out, maybe more, and it is highly unlikely their families are alive anywhere. Rick tries to shock belief into them by taking them out in the yard, where there are at least 50 dead walkers scattered about. Rick and the “leader” of the prisoners square off over who gets control of cellblock C (where these prisoners hail from.) An agreement is reached: Rick’s group stays, but they will help the prisoners clear out another cellblock in exchange for half the food in the prison and the promise that they will keep to themselves.

    Rick, Daryl, and T-Dog take the group of prisoners to another cellblock. Along the way, naturally, they encounter walkers. The first group, the jailbirds go prison-riot on them, beating them up old-skool. After that, the guys give the prisoners a lesson in zombie killing. They are ruthless zombie-killers, but when one of the prisoners, Tiny (because he is giant) gets bitten, Dear Leader has no hesitation in slaughtering him to prevent walker-itis. Rick is instantly suspicious. The group continues on, through the laundry, to another cellblock. Rick tells Dear Leader to open only one of the double doors so as to create a bottleneck. Dear Leader doesn’t listen, throws open both doors, and they are flooded with walkers. The crew takes them down easily, but the prisoner leader is reckless, nearly catching Rick in the face with his machete while decapitating a walker, and throwing another on top of Rick. When the dust settles, Rick faces off with Dear Leader. Rick looks him right in the eye and brings his machete down square in the prisoner’s skull. The other guys flip out. One runs. Rick chases him down while Daryl and T-Dog cover the other two. Rick chases the skinny kid out to the solitary yard, which is teeming with zombies. Rick coldly shuts the gate and lets the zombies do the work. The remaining two guys - Oscar and Mustache - beg for mercy, swearing they are non-violent criminals (Oscar is in for breaking and entering; Mustache is there for drugs) so Rick reluctantly lets them live. The guys install them in their new cellblock.

    Meanwhile, Hershel is barely hanging on. He stops breathing, and Lori gives him CPR. He grabs her while doing the mouth-to-mouth portion - but he’s not a zombie. He’s alive. Carol needs Glenn’s help. Even though Hershel is (for the moment) alive, he is in no shape to deliver Lori’s baby. Carol is worried that Lori will have to have a C-section and she wants to practice. She stabs a female zombie in the eye and while Glenn distracts the other walkers (there were only like four of them - I don’t know why they didn’t just kill them all) Carol drags her new cadaver into the safe zone.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    Brutal. Rick has become very cold. The leader of the prisoners, I could understand. But leaving that other kid to be eaten alive by a horde of walkers? That’s cold. 

    I also applaud Carol. More than any other character, I think she has really stepped up to the situation. She started as a meek, abused woman, and is now practicing crude surgical skills on zombies. 

    Zombie of the Week

    The female zombie gets special recognition for donating her body to science (even if she did so unwittingly.) Also cool was one zombie, a prisoner in handcuffs, who tears off his own hand so he can attack more efficiently. 

    Prophecies?

    We meet the Governor next week, as he “takes in” Michonne and Andrea.


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    666 Park Avenue Episode 104
    “Hero Complex”
    Written By: Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain
    Directed By: John Behring
    Original Airdate: 21 October 2012

    In This Episode...

    Gavin is under investigation by the city for whatever they call insider trading for land development deals. The ADA and Commissioner Pike bring Henry in for questioning, accusing him of slipping insider information to Gavin. He is given an ultimatum: get evidence to help them convict Gavin, or Henry will be indicted. Henry picks door #1, breaks into Gavin’s office, and copies documents relating to his next land deal. He also takes a file that is marked with his and Jane’s names. Olivia comes home unexpectedly and Henry has to make a less-than-daring escape down the fire escape. He leaves the cap to the USB drive on Gavin’s spotless desk.

    Annie escapes from Kandinsky’s bondage after selling out her editor as the source for her article.  Rather than call the police, Annie goes to her editor’s home in hopes of beating Kandinsky there and warning him. She is too late. Next she goes to Gavin and alerts him to what is going on. He tells her that if she writes an article about Commissioner Pike’s corruption and involvement with the mob, then he will make sure she never sees Kandinsky again. She agrees. After submitting the article, one of her coworkers congratulates her on the piece and comments on how Pike is probably in the mob’s crosshairs. Realizing what she has done, she rushes to a big party at the mayor’s house.

    Henry and Jane are on their way to party at the mayor’s house. Nona rides down the elevator with them. She brushes against Henry and gets a vision of him being in danger of being shot by the man with the compass tattoo. At the party, Gavin returns the USB cap to Henry - he knows. Olivia later confronts Henry, calling him a traitor, and Henry has to tell Jane everything. She encourages him to, essentially, listen to his conscience. When Pike pulls him aside, Henry admits to having the requested files, but he refuses to turn them over - he didn’t look at them, either. Pike is infuriated and fires Henry. Cell phones all over the place go off - a news alert has gone off with Annie’s article. Henry realizes he made the right call. Kandinsky charges through the crowd, bumping into Jane, who sees the compass tattoo on his wrist. She shouts out to Henry in terror. Kandinsky shoots, Henry tackles Pike to the floor, and when the dust settles, Annie is left dead.

    But wait! Actual supernatural stuff happened, too. Just a little bit. Jane is desperately trying to crack open Basketcase. When she isn’t looking, the dials on the combination locks turn on their own. Jane is visited by the little girl ghost and scared into stuffing the suitcase into the closet. While Henry and Jane are at the party, Tony walks by the apartment and gets a funny feeling. He enters their apartment, goes straight to the closet, and takes out the Basketcase. He opens it, and thick black smoke pours out. In a blink, Tony is back in the hallway, unsure if what happened was real or a vision. It was real: later that night, after Jane and Henry are asleep, the smoke monster swirls around the foot of the bed, and takes human form.

    Also, Jane finds out that Nona is the building thief, but connects to her and promises not to tell if she gives all the loot back.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    This was a perfectly bland, perfectly forgettable episode.

    Meet the Neighbors

    We meet Nona’s grandmother - kind of. She is essentially comatose, unable to talk to walk or blink, sitting in a wheelchair, staring out the window. Nona sees a shrink who comes to her home (and is likely court-ordered.) Her parents died in an accident over a year ago.

    Prophecies?

    The residents of the Drake are trapped in the building, and the smoke monster seems to be stalking them all.


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    It’s been six years since we’ve heard anything from the horrors in Silent Hill, but this weekend Silent Hill: Revelation 3D hits theaters. Written and directed by Michael J. Bassett, it tells the continuing story of Sharon (who goes by the fake name Heather in this installment) and her father who are on the run from the residents of Silent Hill that have haunted them since Sharon disappeared in the first film. Sean Bean returns as dad Harry Mason while the now eighteen-year-old Heather is played by Adelaide Clemens.

    Kit Harington, known to many as the bastard Jon Snow from Game of Thrones, also joins the cast as Vincent, who you may have seen in the international poster we put up a few weeks back. FEARnet had a chance to speak with Harington about the new installment of Silent Hill and his character. Concerned with spoiler’s, he wasn’t able to say much about young Vincent.

    “He’s a good person trying to do hard things in hard circumstances. That’s all I can say,” he said.

    Harington is no stranger to playing horror, in Game of Thrones his character has to battle the Others, or White Walkers, and the actor said he generally approaches fantasy like any other part.

    “You just treat it like a person doing what they’re doing under any normal circumstances and there just happens to be monsters trying to get you. It’ a strange one to deal with - this film - because it plays with reality and what is reality and it’s kind of like a trip-fest. It was an interesting one to tackle. It can tough at times because it’s very high stakes in horror but you try not to stay up there in tension all the time.”

    You will recognize monsters in the movie from the video game, including Red Pyramid and the Mannequin, but there’s also an entirely new monster known as The Missionary.  Bassett was set on using practical effects in the film, and Harington got to experience that hands-on while filming.

    “I expected it to be CGI but it wasn’t, it was very visceral, very real. You could touch things. The monsters were actually monsters chasing you. It was like doing those crazy haunted house things. It was like being in one long one of those, it was quite fun,” he said.

    Harington, a self-described fan of horror, said he likes to pop in a creepy movie when he’s relaxing at home. He compares Silent Hill to an early '70s Christopher Lee classic. “I grew up loving The Shining for example, or um, Wicker Man, which is quite similar to this movie in a strange sort of way because they’re both about towns full of odd people who have been shut off from the world and they’ve got quite obsessive and strange.”

    Without giving away too many surprises, one of the best moments to watch in the film in when Vincent is taken to the “nurses” in Cedar Grove Sanitarium to have his mind healed.

    “They were all very expertly trained movement people with dances and they were fantastic.They could contort their body in such a way and stay like that in these horribly claustrophobic masks on all day. But, what was weird was that you got to know all the girls when they didn’t have their masks on and you didn’t know which one was which. That was very strange,” he said.

    Another surprise for fans and for Harington, who told FEARnet two of his all-time favorite films  are Clockwork Orange and If, was meeting Malcolm McDowell, who plays Vincent’s grandfather Leonard Wolf.

    “Crazy eyes, fantastic man. Really, really lovely man. He looks at you and you just suddenly see that kid in Clockwork Orange,” he said.

    No word on whether we will be getting a Silent Hill 3, but Harington said he might be interested in making another if the script is right. Watch him take on the chop-happy nurses in the clip below.

    Chris's test player for html 5 embed codes

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    One of the most crucial elements of paranormal investigator Zak Bagans' hit series Ghost Adventures (which kicked off its seventh season last month) is the study of Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP), in which Zak uses his patented SP7 “Spirit Box” to capture spirit voices from various locations throughout his travels... often with hair-raising results. For a prime example, check out this chilling excerpt, where the SP7 records a possibly evil force...
     
     
    Since so much of Zak's research involves the intense study of sounds and voices (including recorded conversations between himself and unseen entities), it was only a matter of time before a musical experiment would emerge from this treasure trove of audio material. Zak had previously contributed to the single “Paranormal Energy,” recorded by post-industrial music pioneer Praga Khan, who included the track on the latest album Deep Chills by famed electro band Lords of Acid. Their meeting seemed like destiny fulfilled as each man had his own stories of unexplained phenomena, so they decided to join forces and tackle the issue head-on in a full-length concept album titled Necrofusion. I had a chance to talk to Zak during the shooting of a new Ghost Adventures episode, and we discussed the history of the project...
     
     
    FEARnet: So Necrofusion is really kind of a first from a musical perspective, but not your first collaboration with Praga Khan. How did you two firstcome to work together?
     
    ZAK: I was a big fan of Lords of Acid when I was in high school, and he really got me into the rave-house scene; he's a true pioneer in that genre. I started tweeting Lords of Acid a couple of years ago, and then one day I got a direct message from Praga's management, asking me if I wanted to work with Lords of Acid on a track, so we got on the the phone and talked about it. It turns out that when Praga was working on their new album Deep Chills, he started having experiences with the paranormal, some pretty heavy duty stuff. He was a big fan of Ghost Adventures, and he liked my voice, and asked me if I could record some vocals for this track “Paranormal Energy” that he wrote. So went to LA and recoded it with Chris Vrenna [Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson], and it was a really cool experience. 
     
     
    What brought you back together for this project?
     
    Well, since then, we've just reached a new level right now in paranormal investigation when it comes to communication. With the evolution moving so fast in the digital age, we can barely keep up with it. I believe this same technology that we're using in our research is also taking us to a whole new age in the field of paranormal studies. Just as an example, last Friday's episode was our second highest-rated episode in seven seasons. I think that's partly because people are becoming aware that this isn't just a smoke-and-mirrors show. We're very analytical of our own stuff; we debunk the hell out of it. But one thing we can't argue with are these voice signals that are coming in on the SB7 Spirit Box that are overlaying 14 to 18 audio sweeps, and when you look at the wave-form, you can hear them coming through over those sweeps. Even through the interference you can hear these voices answering us. I just want to share these voices with everybody, and what better way to do that than with music? It's the most powerful way to send a message.
     
    It seems to me that just music in itself can be a kind of spiritual communication.
     
    It is! Even hearing just part of a song can bring back old memories, emotions, past loves... it's very powerful. So I thought blending these powerful audio messages I've recorded, over hundreds of recording sessions over the past year... each spirit voice, that story becomes the lyrics of a song. Then I would explain to Praga the emotions I felt during that interaction, and the energy felt from the spirit, where I was and what I was doing, and then together we would come up with a composition to set the tone and recreate that experience. That's the beauty of music: it has the ability to manipulate and change your emotions, and through that medium we were able to recapture the experience I had during those conversations, and recreate the emotional atmosphere of it, as well as provide a platform for the spirits to be heard, and maybe help them to be at rest.
     
    Do you think that these recordings could serve as a form of communication between a spirit and someone listening to the album?
     
    I do believe that, and in fact, for one of the songs “Room 20,” I believed that I was communicating with the spirit of David Strickland [the actor from Suddenly Susan who committed suicide in that hotel room], and I was asking him questions, and I got intelligent responses in a male voice. It was one of the most powerful sessions on the album, and during the preview of that track, somebody listened to it and they started crying, because it served as a kind of closure to them. I think that everyone listening to that album will have their own very personal emotional experience, and maybe even a connection with that spirit.
     
     
    When I listened to that track, I expected it to sound spooky, but I was surprised to feel... it's hard to describe, but it was an uplifting feeling.
     
    Yeah, it is kind of hard to describe, isn't it? I think it's going to be very unique to everyone who hears it. Some of these messages are also just my own feelings too. We live a very short life and we're forced to accept the inevitability of disease and death, and the passing of family members, and that's a scary thing. We all go through this, and these voices are a part of it. On the song “Dead Awaiting,” you'll hear the very first EVP that got us involved in the paranormal, and you'll hear the words “Thank you, but we've done it” captured on a digital recorder and that was a definite reference to us. That was my way of saying, “I don't care if you believe us... listen to them.” I want to be looked at as a new level of paranormal research, and not just another novelty. 
     
    Another key part of your show is how much effort goes in into questioning your observations, and not just taking them at face value. 
     
    That's right, and I've tried so may ways to dissect and debunk it myself... it's human nature, we question the meaning of everything, and we want to understand everything. Some people, when they encounter something so different, they tend to attack it, but I'm listening to it, even if it can't be understood, and I want to expose it. Right now we're filming an episode on Staten Island, and we've had ABC's Nightline crew here for three days; they want to follow us though every step of our investigation, analyze our equipment and everything. We're documenting what I'm seeing, hearing and witnessing, and I can't explain it myself. I need other experts to witness what I'm doing, and I want to give these voices an “Immortal Portal,” a way to be heard, which I think is doing a good thing for them, and for the living, so that they know that there is something beyond this body of skin and bones. It's such a mystery... and I love a good mystery.
     
     
    Necrofusion comes out tomorrow on physical CD and digital download through all the usual vendors (you can also purchase it directly from Zak's website, with is also a pretty damn cool place to explore), making it the perfect addition to your Halloween playlist. But be warned, this ain't no “Monster Mash.” You and your party guests may find themselves riveted to the speakers when these voices from beyond begin to whisper through the corridors of your house...

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    The Walking Dead: Collector’s Edition is available now for pre-order at GameStop.

    The game features a collector's edition box with artwork by Charlie Adlard, The Walking Dead Compendium One featuring exclusive cover art and the first 48 issues of Robert Kirkman's comic book series, and a game disc including the entire first season of the game. The entire package will set you back $69.99.

    For those out there not familiar with the game, here’s the rundown:

    The Walking Dead is a critically-acclaimed adventure horror game set in Robert Kirkman's award-winning universe.  Beginning when Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes is still in a coma, this is a new story telling the tale of Lee Everett - a man given a second chance at life in a world of the undead.

    The Walking Dead game will be available for retail purchase December 4th, 2012 and the collector’s set is only available through Game Stop, so you better shuffle on over there as fast as your zombie legs can carry you if you want to get your hands on the extremely limited edition.
     


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    When it comes to legendary horror figures, few characters come close to the horrific nature of Scotland's Sawney Bean. The long-lasting campfire story informs us that Sawney Bean was the patriarch of a cannibal family that killed over 1,000 people near the end of the 15th century. You can keep your Bloody Marys and your Jersey Devils; when it comes to long-standing local terrors, Sawney Bean is the Leatherface of urban legends. The story goes that Sawney Bean and an equally vicious wife took to the caves, built up a feral family, and murdered hundreds of unlucky travelers for food. 
     
    Sounds like a perfect pitch for a horror flick, yes? As someone who discovered this creepy legend several years back, I've always wondered why there wasn't a "definitive" Sawney Bean horror movie. True, Wes Craven probably used the legend as partial inspiration for the original Hills Have Eyes (1977), and Jack Ketchum's novels Off Season and Offspring almost certainly did, but as far as I can tell, Rick Wood Jr.'s Sawney: Flesh of Man is the closest we've gotten to a "faithful" account. The film opens with a bit of text that explains the legend, but if you're hoping, as I was, for a "period piece" horror story about the "true" mythology behind Sawney Bean, you'll have to wait for the prequel. Sawney: Flesh of Man takes place in modern day, which makes it feel similar to any number of recent slasher flicks, but it also has one foot planted firmly in a grim, gruesome reality that elevates the film well beyond many of its ilk.
     
    Sawney: Flesh of Man, for example, is shot remarkably well. Whether we're deep within a dreary cave splattered with blood and body parts or outside among some of Scotland's most harshly beautiful mountains, Ranald Wood's lighting and cinematography prevents Sawney from ever looking rushed, cheap, or amateurish. (Side note: this outrageously aggressive horror flick is a family affair: Richard Wood co-wrote with his son Rick, the director/editor, and his brother Ranald was the DP. This is how indie films get made, people!) Plot-wise we have a fairly standard framework: a bunch of young women have gone missing from a small Scottish village with a very unpleasant past; a detective and a reporter butt heads but work together ... but the body parts just keep piling up.
     
    Meanwhile, deep within a hidden cave we have the descendants of Sawney Bean -- a family that will seem a bit familiar to anyone who has seen the first two Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies -- and they're an outrageous bunch indeed. The daddy is a firm believer in enthusiastic cannibalism, he has a pair of mutated sons who seem to know a bit of parkour, and there's a feral dwarf and a mysterious-yet-plainly massive "mama" that resides behind closed doors. Basically it's a good thing that Sawney Bean is pure fiction, because the Woods go a little crazy with all the slicing and dicing and flesh-chomping lunacy.
     
    To its credit, aside from a few moments of overt weirdness (seriously, why do the mutant twins flip around so much?), the Woods do a bang-up job of creating an air of doom, gloom, and visual grunge whenever the film stays underground, and once the two plot threads come together (the reporter is the hero, the detective is the sidekick), Sawney: Flesh of Man also delivers some solid moments of sustained tension, splattery shock value, and a few plot contortions you might not see coming. The filmmakers are not above killing off a few key characters early, just to keep us off-balance, and that always adds a nice little dash of unpredictability to a potentially rote slasher flick framework.
     
    Backed by a few solid performances, a tone that balances between over-the-top gruesome and tongue-in-cheek playful, and an unexpectedly intense score by Jody Jenkins, Sawney: Flesh of Man may have a few "first-timer" rough spots, but on the whole it's an admirably confident collection of carnage from the fine folks of Scotland. One assumes that if the flick finds any sort of an audience, Sawney Part 2 will focus more on the old-school legend of 500 years ago, and given what I know about horror fans, we can probably expect that Part 2 within a couple of years.

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    Most people would wear this hat strictly around Halloween, but I know dear FEARnet readers will work this into their everyday wardrobe. Modeled after Persephone the dog in Frankenweenie, you would not be blamed for mistaking it for Elsa Lancaster's Bride of Frankenstein 'do. Sure, it has dangling ears, but you could always blame it on a loose tendril of hair.

    $19.95 at Neatoshop.com


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    The best creative collaborations are the ones which result in a truly unified voice, the kind of work in which you can’t pick out who wrote what. Stephen King and Peter Straub achieved this with The Talisman and its sequel, Black House; just last week I wrote about the duo of Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee, who’ve successfully melded their talents with both The Woman and I’m Not Sam.

    If the names Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola don’t immediately spring to mind when I mention successful creative partnerships, they should. Separately, these two have both produced amazing bodies of work; Golden with countless novels and short stories, and Mignola with his long-running comic series Hellboy and its vast array of spin-offs. Together, they are building a library of titles that pull from their respective strengths to fulfill a voice and vision that could only come from the two of them working side-by-side: Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire; Joe Golem and the Drowning City; and now Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism. The long, unabashedly pulpy titles alone are enough by now to set their books apart.

    Catechism takes place in the shadow of World War II, in a little Sicilian village called Tringale. The war has ravaged the village and its citizens, and a handful of children have found themselves left in the care of a hastily-organized orphanage run by the Church of San Domenico. To this church comes Father Gaetano, a young priest who is about to have his hands more than full.

    Gaetano is unlike any other priest in San Domenico’s history. He is young, for one, carrying the bespectacled countenance of a scientist rather than the stern brow of an older, more authoritative leader. He is also conflicted about his path to priesthood, wondering often if it was a path he chose more to appease his mother than to appease some higher inner calling. It doesn’t help when he immediately finds himself attracted to Sister Teresa, one of the nuns who helps with the orphanage. His blossoming friendship with the sister is one of the great accomplishments of Golden and Mignola’s work here, in that they are able to make it feel so real and natural in such a short space of time.

    As Gaetano settles in, he comes to realize that he isn’t the only one struggling with his faith. Almost immediately the children begin to bombard him with difficult questions, wanting to know how a loving God could allow war to take their parents and siblings away, and how such tragedy could possibly fit into some sort of master plan. Gaetano decides that in order to rebuild their faith he must do so from the ground up, and begins teaching them about the Bible from the very first book of Genesis.

    He’s not making a lot of headway, but one day he discovers that one of the boys, a bright young fellow called Sebastiano, carries with him a puppet made by a former caretaker. There are other puppets and a puppet theater that the caretaker had also constructed, and Gaetano thinks that these might be the tools he’s been looking for to help the children find their faith again.

    What Gaetano doesn’t realize is that the stories the children tell of the puppets visiting them at night are more than imagination, more than the skill of the former caretaker at bringing these characters to life. The stories are true, the puppets are more than puppets, and Gaetano is about to learn more about the nature of God, magic, and evil than he ever wanted to know.

    There are so many big ideas packed into this compact novella that it easily could have run twice as long without running out of steam. The pure power of belief, the possible depths of grief and regret, the almost unavoidable conflict between creator and creation…it’s heady stuff blended with pure storytelling, and you’ll find yourself racing through the pages to see what happens next even as your brain begs you to slow down a minute and think about what you just read. Well, there will be plenty of time for that once you’re done. Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism goes beyond fluff to provide entertainment with substance, an all-too rare treat in our disposable times. Kudos to Golden and Mignola for their work – now, gentlemen, what’s next?

    Order Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism.

    Blu Gilliand is a freelance writer of fiction and nonfiction. He covers horror fiction at his blog, October Country (http://theoctobercountry.wordpress.com), and contributes interviews to the Horror World website (www.horrorworld.org). Follow him on Twitter at @BluGilliand.


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  • 10/22/12--17:00: TV Review: 'The Girl'
  •  

    The first of two Hitchcock biopics this fall, The Girl comes to us from HBO Films and offers a less than flattering view of director Alfred Hitchcock.

    The Girl focuses on Hitchcock’s relationship with actress Tippi Hedren, who starred in Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie. It was a tumultuous relationship, marked with abuse on set and sexual advances off. Hitch’s abuse of Hedren on set - substituting real birds for the mechanical ones with no warning, and working her to the point of exhaustion and beyond - was well-documented and add to the mythology of Hitch’s genius. Less well-known - yet not out of character - were Hitch’s often violent passes at his “Girl,” like during the filming of Marnie when Hitchcock locked Hedren in his office and informed her that she would make herself available to him sexually whenever and wherever he demanded.

    Biopics like this are tough because the filmmakers’ sympathies tend to lie with one side of the story or the other. In The Girl, Hedren is clearly the sympathetic character. On the one hand, the allegations of sexual improprieties seem completely within character for Hitchcock, who was notorious for having a preoccupation with fetishes and eroticism; but at the same time, it seems strange that this is the first we are hearing of this (or at least, the first I am hearing about this.)

    Sienna Miller’s portrayal of Tippi Hedren is fascinating in that she is portrayed as both very strong and pathetically weak. She stands up for herself and does not give in to Hitch’s sexual advances... but at the same time, she agrees to a second picture with him, even after he attacks her in the back of a chauffeured car. Toby Jones is stunningly unrecognizable behind the Alfred Hitchcock makeup and affectation. The recreation of some of the most famous scenes from The Birds were dead-on. HBO Films rarely disappoints on quality films, and The Girl is no exception.

    Ultimately, this TV movie is for fans of Hitchcock and devotees of cinema history. It is a largely “quiet” film - even the moments of violence (Hitchcock’s attack on Tippi in the car, or the scenes on set of Tippi being bombarded by real birds) are restrained. In that way, The Girl resembles Hitchcock’s own films, where he lets the violence speak for itself. Casual fans may be shocked by Hitchcock’s seemingly cold exterior and extreme methods; those who are more familiar with Hitchcock will see it as a window into his brilliance. Either way, it is a compelling two hours that will certainly be a favorite at next year’s Emmys.

    The Girl had its premiere on October 20th on HBO. It will be on a regular rotation on the channel throughout the month, as well as available on HBO On Demand and HBO Everywhere.


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    He knows who’s been naughty …

    Silent Night, Anchor Bay’s re-imagining of the 1984 Santa slasher Silent Night, Deadly Night, has a new poster, chilling stills and is coming to 10 lucky theaters on November 30. Fans can also purchase the blu-ray™/DVD combo and DVD beginning December 4th.

    The loose remake of the Christmas horror classic Silent Night, Deadly Night stars Malcolm McDowell and Jaime King as a small-town sheriff and deputy on the hunt for a murderous Santa Claus terrorizing their community on Christmas Eve. But wouldn’t you know it, there’s a Christmas parade and the killer Santa is one among hundreds in the Santa pack. One thing that might tip off the police: this Santa has a flame thrower.

    The film also features Donal Logue (Shark Night 3D, Blade), Lisa Marie (Sleepy Hollow), Brendan Fehr (Final Destination, X-Men First Class), and Ellen Wong (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World).

    Check out the poster and stills of a seriously Sinister Santa below. You do not want to get on his bad side.
     



    The original Silent Night, Deadly Night is one of those movies that came out at the perfect time to make a gigantic impression on me. As a kid, I had multiple nightmares of an ax-wielding Santa coming down my chimney.  On December 4th, Anchor Bay will release Silent Night along with the original 1984 film, Silent Night, Deadly Night and the 1987 sequel Silent Night, Deadly Night 2. That’s three times the evil Santa. The '80s double feature will be will cost $14.98 for the collection and fans can pre-book on November 7th.

    Trailer and more information on the cities where Santa will slay coming soon.
     










     

     


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    No one would ever accuse Freddy Krueger of being particularly clean, but after a night of terrorizing and slashing, even the crudest killer likes to freshen up.

    This might be taking horrific homemaking to a level it doesn’t need to go, but honestly, this silver glycerin soap, molded to look like Freddy’s glove is pretty cool. It’s really for the die-hard A Nightmare on Elm Street fans, or the sudsiest sadists among us, who aren’t afraid to wash their hands with razor fingers.

    The creator of these soaps also makes tributes to Jason Voorhees and Leatherface.
     



    $6.00 on Etsy.com


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    Corpse Party was a putridly pleasant surprise when it debuted on Sony’s aging PSP, combining old-school aesthetic with truly gut-churning horror.  Well, it’s time to take your poor PSP back out of the mothballs for the game’s sequel Corpse Party: Book of Shadows.

    According to the Playstation Blog, the sequel will be released this winter, and will explore alternate scenarios with characters from the original, although in a different “first-person point and click” fashion than the original top-down SNES style.  This sounds a bit more like a visual novel than the last game, but as long as the game delivers the same brutal horror as its predecessor, it should be a treat for fans.

    Just in case you haven’t had the chance to play the original, publisher XSEED has dropped the price of the original Corpse Party on the Playstation Store to $9.99 so you can bone up on the horror of Happy Host Elementary before the sequel drops.

     


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    This Friday sees the premiere of Bryan Fuller's The Munsters reboot, Mockingbird Lane. NBC will be airing the pilot as a one-off Halloween special, so make sure to set those DVRs - this may be your only chance to see it. Check out this first clip, courtesy of NBC, in which we meet The Munsters.

     

    Mockingbird Lane airs Friday, October 26th at 8pm.


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    There's hardly a musician on my favorites list (or yours, probably) who hasn't crossed paths at some point with industrial rocker, drummer, programmer and producer Chris Vrenna at some point. Whether it's Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, David Bowie, Rammstein, Rob Zombie, Metallica, Lords of Acid or dozens of others, Vrenna's distinctive style has played a massive role in shaping the dark side of multiple music genres over the past couple of decades. Aside from his association with all those iconic names, Chris has also nurtured his own sonic brainchild – an eerie gothic entity known as Tweaker. The project actually dates back to the late '90s, when Chris was still drummer for Nine Inch Nails, but Tweaker solidified as a touring group in the mid-2000s, when Vrenna was joined by guitarist/keyboardist Clint Walsh. After the release of their 2004 album 2 AM Wakeup Call, the band toured with Skinny Puppy and recorded the theme to Doom 3, then faded into the shadows for several years. During that hiatus, Chris has continued working as producer, drummer and programmer with many other artists, until the beast known as Tweaker began to stir... and at last, it has risen.



    Given Vrenna's solid ground as a percussionist, it's easy to understand how Tweaker would be a beat-centered unit with the explosive drumming he summons here... but Call the Time Eternity is far from your typical electro-industrial groove, instead using a wide assortment of traditional rock and electronic tools to craft an ominous post-apocalyptic landscape filled with moments of sheer terror and beauty; the colossal gates to this domain are opened by the madly crackling rhythms and grumbling bass of “Ponygrinder.” Tweaker is also known for high-profile guest vocalists (earlier works have included The Cure's Robert Smith and Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory), and this record is no exception – Jessicka Addams of Jack Off Jill and Scarling provides a smoldering lead vocal for the fierce bump-and-grind of “Nothing at All,” and kaRIN of Collide lends her seductive siren song to “Grounded.” Both of these tracks sit at the top of the album's achievements, and as singles they'd deserve to stake out high ground on the gothic/industrial charts. Abhorrent Derelict provides a creepy talk-sung treatment to the moody closing cut “Fine,” which has  the floaty, minimalist quality of a half-dream... although with sudden shocking outbursts of ground-pounding beats. Vrenna himself takes up the mic on the creepy, skull-busting track "Areas of the Brain,” which also showcases a more exotic percussion style, locked in perfect step with Walsh's tight but supremely dirty guitar riffs, and he also performs a surprisingly straight and incredibly powerful cover of Phil Collins' '80s hit “I Don't Care Anymore,” even replicating the tribal feel of Phil's massive multi-tracked toms and '80s-style synths.

    Solid, danceable electro-rock structures dominate the album and Vrenna's rock-solid drums rule the realm, but there's also a fair share of bizarro experimentation woven through these eleven tracks, including the chilling broken-machine madness of "Hoarding Granules," the chaotic noise and scattered loops of “This Is Ridiculous” (which could just have easily been titled “This Is Insane”), the sub-destroying nightmare bass of "A Bit Longer Than Usual,” the typewriter sample of “Wasted Time” and the alien buzz-fest “Getting Through Many a Bad Night.” They're just odd enough (and fairly short) to shift the dynamics and remind you that Tweaker's world is unpredictable and occasionally frightening, but shouldn't throw you too far off the main road.

    It's already a major thrill to hear Tweaker kicking it after nearly eight years of silence, but it's even more exciting to know they've returned at the top of their game, expanding the scope and scale of their sound and reminding us how crucial Chris Vrenna's skills have helped shape much of modern rock and metal... sometimes in ways so subtle you may not even realize he's doing it. But when it's time for Chris to take the command chair, you'll sure as hell know it... and you'll realize why he's been the brains and muscle behind so much awesome music.


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