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Channel Description: News and Reviews

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    65% of new television shows are cancelled within their first year. With a failure rate that high, it can be dangerous for viewers to get attached to new programming. Genre television series are no exception; there were multiple horror and sci-fi themed shows cancelled this year alone. For every success story like American Horror Story, there are countless series that aren’t given a fair chance because their ratings debut is too low, or the show isn’t resonating with the target advertising demographic. 
    Even shows that do enjoy a longer lifespan don’t always get to answer all of our questions, or explore all of the story arcs that the writers would like. A great recourse in those situations is to create a film version of the series. Sometimes the movie version works in tandem with the series broadcast schedule, while other times it gives the show’s creators a way to provide closure to viewers. This process has proved very popular with fans of the cult classics Twin Peaks and Firefly, and in many other instances as well. Below, we bring you some of our picks for genre television series that we think should be given the big-screen treatment.
    Are You Afraid of the Dark?
    Anyone who grew up in the '90s likely has vivid memories of being scared to death by Are You Afraid of the Dark? The anthology format is perfect for a film version of the show, and a big screen bow would allow for the series to go a little edgier than its run on Nickelodeon. Since the show’s original audience is now grown, making the film version a little more gruesome likely wouldn’t be an issue. A group of three to four vignettes that share the campfire narration wraparound would be perfect. 
    American Horror Story
    American Horror Story is still going strong, and we are not suggesting that a film be made immediately. But after the series wraps up, the premise could make for a very entertaining film. Since the show visits a different location each season, a film would be easy to pull off; it wouldn’t have to follow the storylines of any of the previous seasons, but it would give the creative team behind AHS a chance to bring viewers an unedited look at what lurks inside their twisted minds. In fact, we wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a series of films with Ryan Murphy staying on as executive producer, and a talented writer and director at the helm. It would be fascinating to see a film version examine a murderous cult, or maybe delve in to a storyline that follows a family of serial killers.
    The X-Files
    As you well know, The X-Files has already spanwned two feature films, but diehard fans of the show are still interested in seeing another installment. When the series was cancelled, the original plan was to make a succession of films, like in the case of Star Trek, but very little has happened since the release of the second film. David Duchovny recently said that he was very open to the idea of a third installment, and we are right there with him. Viewers would jump at the chance to see what's up with Scully and Mulder these days, both personally and professionally. In fact, a Kickstarter campaign would undoubtedly fund the project if studios aren't interested in providing financing. 
    666 Park Avenue
    While it wasn’t the best horror-themed series to hit the airwaves in recent years, 666 Park Avenue wasn’t half bad, either. The concept of an apartment building that is tied to great evil was an interesting one. The show was generally well cast, and some of the story arcs were quite entertaining. However, since the show was cancelled and only produced thirteen episodes, a lot of questions were left up in the air and viewers didn’t get any type of closure. A film version would allow the show’s writers to give fans some of the answers that were not provided during the series’ run on ABC. A film based on the book of the same title, picking up where the TV version left off, would be a nice conclusion to what once seemed to be a promising series. There were so many things that we didn’t know about The Drake and its proprietors; for example, exactly what gives the mysterious red box its power? 
    In almost the exact same situation as 666 Park Avenue, the series Cult ended with more questions than answers. Perhaps a made-for-television movie would be a better avenue to explore than an actual theatrical production of the Cult series. The series didn’t have a very large fanbase (even by the CW’s loose standards), and it wasn’t a terribly gripping show. However, those viewers that invested their time in Cult deserve answers, and a TV movie would give them the opportunity to sort things out without producing a costly second season. I was curious as to how Skye’s father played into the cult, and was left wondering exactly who Stephen Rae really was...
    American Gothic
    This cult favorite aired between 1995 and 1996. It still has a rabid fan following and is widely regarded as a show that died before its time. A film version would give viewers one last chance to voyeuristically look in on the town of Trinity, South Carolina and provide the closure that fans of any cancelled series are after. It would be interesting to see what has changed in Trinity over the past 17 years. 
    The River
    I was really frustrated that The River was cancelled after one short season. It’s not the type of show that I would have stuck with if I weren’t reviewing it for another outlet, but I ended up getting in to it eventually. Of course the series is no more, and has little to no chance of being picked up by another network, so it would be great to see what the writers would do with a film version. There were still some loose ends pertaining to the good doctor and his family when the series went off the air, so there is plenty of territory to explore. 

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    The intergalactic monsters of rock are about to unleash Battle Maximus, GWAR's much-awaited follow-up to Bloody Pit of Horror and their thirteenth full-length studio album. This will also be the first GWAR album recorded after the passing of long-time guitarist Cory Smoot in late 2011, and is not only titled in honor of Smoot's legendary GWAR persona Flattus Maximus, but also heralds the arrival of the band's new guitarist, Pustulus Maximus (alias Brent Purgason).
    A concept album depicting GWAR's epic clash with super-villain “Mr. Perfect,” Battle Maximus will feature the following tracks:
    “Madness at the Core of Time”
    “Nothing Left Alive”
    “They Swallowed the Sun”
    “Raped at Birth”
    “I, Bonesnapper”
    “Mr. Perfect”
    “Battle Maximus”
    “Triumph of the Pig Children”
    “Fly Now”
    Once again seizing the spotlight (along with other things we can't mention here), GWAR overlord Oderus Urungus announced that Battle Maximus“should satisfy even the most hardcore Flattus devotee with the fact that GWAR's slay-skills are as supreme as ever... We have mourned, we have honored, and now it's time to fucking devastate in the name of Flattus and the supreme entity that is GWAR." 
    Oderus also heralded the band's world tour coming this fall, with dates, venues and supporting acts to be announced soon. No doubt some of the new songs will be heard at next month's GWAR-B-Q, as well as some upcoming shows co-headlining with hardcore metal icons Hatebreed.
    Battle Maximus is slated for release on September 17th, and they're taking preorders now at Metal Blade Records. Now let's have a preview, in the form of their first single "Madness at the Core of Time!"


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    Writer and popular web humorist Maddox (alias George Ouzounian) has a bone to pick with Sam Raimi: while watching the director's latest film Oz the Great and Powerful, he was suddenly overcome with a feeling of deja vu... somehow, he'd seen this whole thing before. That feeling of familiarity turned to outrage when he reached the startling conclusion that Oz is a nearly scene-by-scene remake of Raimi's 1992 horror/comedy epic Army of Darkness.
    In a rant on his website The Best Page in the Universe, and the first installment of his video series I Liked It Better When... Maddox explains how Oz is essentially the same film as Army, except instead of “chainsaws, deadites and cocky bravado,” Raimi has substituted “magic, witches and bullshit.”
    Maddox points out the major similarities between the two films in the clip below... and pulls no punches in doing so.

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    If you were at San Diego Comic Con last week, you may have gotten the chance to walk through Legendary's "Godzilla Experience," a "love letter" to fans of the giant movie monster. The first part of the experience is like a tour of Tokyo, with lots of props and memorabilia from various Godzilla movies. Visitors are invited to take lots of photos. But after that, alarms go off, and the military rushes you into an "elevator" to evacuate you before Godzilla attacks. It's fairly elaborate, especially for an exhibit that will only be open for less than a week. Video screens acting like windows in the final room show Godzilla thundering by. While the staff at the Experience swear that this is not the new Godzilla, my husband astutely pointed out that it seems silly for the company to spend the time and money to render a Godzilla that will only exist for five days in a single location. On top of that, the staff was very adamant that once the "attack" was under way, there was to be absolutely no photographs or video taken. I mean, a hardcore anti-photography policy. It was obviously not just part of the "act."

    Luckily, nerds are never above shady tactics to get the scoop, and the Godzilla Experience was no exception. One Comic Con attendee (not affiliated with FEARnet, I swear) managed to keep the cameras rolling so that people on "the outside" can get a peek at Godzilla.

    Again, this is allegedly not the new Godzilla. Allegedly. Judge for yourself.

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    Who would have guessed that 30 hours of television would inspire a timeless cult following that has only grown stronger in the 20 years since it went off the air? I am, of course, talking about Twin Peaks, one of David Lynch's most beloved properties. Did you know that there are bars and cafes around the world that are Twin Peaks-themed? I didn't... until now.

    The Black Lodge in Vancouver

    They have only been open for a couple months, but the Black Lodge in Vancouver features a Red Room bathroom, tree slice tables, and Laura Palmer's photo over the bar. The owners promise that they will be incorporating more Twin Peaks themes over the next few months. I assume that will include cherry pie on the vegetarian menu.

    Source: Welcome to Twin Peaks, Yelp

    The Log Lady Cafe in Copenhagen

    A former tattoo parlor-turned cafe seems the perfect setting for a David Lynch-inspired eatery. Taxidermy, tree trunk stools, and cherry pie bring Twin Peaks to life.

    Source: Unlike

    The Bookhouse Pub in Atlanta

    A woodsy, tiki-themed pub and eatery, The Bookhouse features a specialty cocktail list with drinks based on various Twin Peaks characters: Laura Palmer, Agent Dale Cooper, Log Lady, and Audrey Horne among them.

    Source: The Bookhouse Pub

    Mission Chinese in New York

    This hipster dive Chinese place is an ode to cheap take-out places (with a high-end menu and prices to match) but the bathroom is mildly Twin Peaks-themed. Laura Palmer's photo, a totem, and the theme song on a loop highlight the tiny toilet.

    Source: NYMag

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    Bates Motel has added three new actors for its upcoming sophomore season. Rebecca Creskoff (Hung) will play Christine, a society woman who befriends Norma and introduces her into White Pine Bay society. She is described as "charming and witty," and the "first female friend" Norma Bates has ever had. Michael Vartan (Alias, One Hour Photo) will play Christine's older brother, George, recently divorced and now with a crush on Norma (we all know how well that worked out last time). Kenny Johnson (Blade, Sons of Anarchy, and to be seen on upcoming episodes of Dexter) will play Caleb, the brother who raped Norma all through their childhood. 

    The Poltergeist remake has landed its Diana Freeling. The role, originally filled by Jobeth Williams, will now be played by Rosemarie DeWitt (United States of Tara). The remake will be directed by Gil Kenan, based on a script by David Lindsay-Abaire. The hunt is now on for a leading man.

    Terrence Howard (Iron Man) has joined the M. Night Shyamalan event series Wayward Pines. Based on a novel by Blake Crouch, the Twin Peaks-ish series stars Matt Dillon as an FBI agent who comes to Wayward Pines, Idaho, to find two missing federal agents, but soon realizes he may never be able to leave the town alive. Howard will play the Wayward Pines sheriff. 

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    Fantastic Fest has just announced the first wave of films to screen at the annual Texas festival. Among the highlights are Man of Tai Chi (with star Keanu Reeves there in person) and Nightbreed - The Cabal Cut, a two-and-a-half hour "director's cut" of Clive Barker's classic film. These films join the previously announced Machete Kills, which will headline the fest. 

    Other films that were announced:

    BIG BAD WOLVES (Israel, 2013)
    Texas Premiere
    Director- Navot Papushado & Aharon Keshales, 110 mins
    The directing team behind the 2010 cult smash RABIES return to Fantastic Fest with one of the best genre films of 2013.   

    BORGMAN (The Netherlands, 2013)
    North American Premiere
    Director - Alex van Warmerdam, 113 mins
    Something wicked this way comes in the form of the ordinary, the polite and the normal as a drifter and his followers invade the home of a bourgeois family.  

    CHEAP THRILLS (United States, 2013)
    Regional Premiere
    Director - E.L. Katz, 85 mins
    A recently fired father facing eviction is paid to take on an escalating series of insane challenges from a rich couple with a twisted sense of humor.

    COMMANDO - A ONE MAN ARMY (India, 2013)
    US Premiere
    Director- Dilip Ghosh, 120min
    Singing! Dancing! Extreme violence and goofy one-liners from Bollywood's answer to Tony Jaa and Marko Zaror! If Cannon Films were to relocate to India, COMMANDO would be the result!

    EEGA (India, 2012)
    Austin Premiere
    Director - SriSaila Sri Rajamouli, 107 mins
    A murdered man reincarnates as a fly to wreak vengeance on the villain who took his life and his lover. EEGA is an inventive, insane take on a revenge story unlike anything you've seen before.

    HALLEY (Mexico/The Netherlands, 2013)
    Texas Premiere
    Director - Sebastian Hofmann, 83 mins
    Though Beto's life may technically be over, he allows himself to experience it one last time before his body completely falls apart in this unique and contemplative horror film.  

    KID'S POLICE (Japan, 2013)
    North American Premiere
    Director - Yuichi FUKUDA, 100 mins
    When evil criminal organization Red Venus strikes, there's only one team of highly specialized cops who can help. Unfortunately, they've been dosed with anti-aging gas that has turned them all into children.   

    LFO (Sweden/Denmark, 2013)
    World Premiere
    Director - Antonio Tublen, 94 mins
    A solitary man discovers audio frequencies that open the human mind wide to hypnotic suggestion and, ultimately, his total control in this slyly deadpan dark comedy from Sweden.

    MAN OF TAI CHI (United States, 2013)
    US Premiere
    Director - Keanu Reeves, 105 mins
    Keanu Reeves stars in and directs this epic tale about a young martial artist who must compete in an underground fight club to protect his way of life. As the fights intensify so does his will to survive.

    NARCO CULTURA (United States, 2013)
    Texas Premiere
    Director - Shaul Schwarz, 103 mins
    NARCO CULTURA is a graphically disturbing documentary that examines the parallels between the Mexican drug war and the increasingly popular musical style of narcocorridos (drug ballads).

    NIGHTBREED - THE CABAL CUT (United Kingdom, 2012)
    Texas Premiere
    Directors - Russell Cherrington, 144 mins
    NIGHTBREED: THE CABAL CUT is a new director's cut of Clive Barker's horror classic that places the film in an entirely different light.

    NORTHWEST (Denmark, 2013)
    Regional Premiere
    Director - Michael Noer, 91 mins
    A teen hoodlum in Copenhagen becomes entangled in the criminal underworld   

    NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN (Germany, 2013)
    North American Premiere
    Director - Katrin Gebbe, 110 mins
    Tore, a member of the counter-culture Christian movement Jesus Freaks, is befriended and taken in by a family who play an increasingly cruel, violent game and push his capacity to love to its limits.    

    ON THE JOB (Philippines, 2013)
    US Premiere
    Director - Erik Matti, 200 min
    Corruption abounds in this stylish, Cannes-selected, ripped-from-the-headlines story of prisoners released on a day pass to work as killers. The cops must bring them in, never knowing how far the corruption spreads and who they can trust.   

    RESURRECTION OF A BASTARD, THE (The Netherlands, 2013)
    Regional Premiere
    Director - Guido van Driel, 89 mins
    Adapted from his own graphic novel by first time writer-director Guido van Driel, RESURRECTION OF A BASTARD tells the darkly funny, Coen-esque tale of a career thug caught in an existential crisis.   

    SHE WOLF  (Argentina, 2013)
    North American Premiere
    Director - Tamae Garateguy, 92 mins
    A sexual predator roams the streets and trains of Buenos Aires, a beautiful woman who uses sex to lure in her victims. A potent, punk rock spin on Euro-sleaze influences in this raw, erotic thriller.   

    VIC + FLO SAW A BEAR  (Canada, 2013)
    US Premiere
    Director - Denis Côté, 95 mins
    An ex-con named Vic and her lover Flo retreat to a sugar shack in a small Quebec town to start anew. Their attempt to live a normal life slowly and disastrously unravels.

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    Back in October, we premiered the video for “Ugly” by extreme horror metal unit Wrath of Killenstein, from their dark and heavy EP of the same name (check out our review here), one of our favorite horror music releases of last year. As we eagerly await their upcoming full-length album, the band has offered a little something to hold us over in the form of a new single and video, “St. 7000.”
    The track comes with even more sinister cinematic accompaniment than its predecessor, drawing inspiration from occult-themed horror and exploitation flicks from the '60s and '70s (also look for homages to the “spider-walk” and “Captain Howdy” scenes from The Exorcist), which play perfectly into the band's blend of gothic atmosphere, kinky occult theatrics and blistering metal, this time set to an ominous death-waltz beat.
    The clip features a guest appearance by artist & model Ave Rose (who also provides the song's backing vocals), and frontman Killenstein plays Satan himself, of course.
    “St. 7000” will soon be available on iTunes... but first, watch and listen right here!
    [Be warned, some images in this video might be slightly unsafe for work.]

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    One of the best things about Comic-Con is the creative costumes that hundreds of fans put together just for the event! And in particular the "booth babes," gals that come up with everything from 'X-Men' cosplay like Rogue or Psylocke to Phoenix from 'Avengers Alliance' to Amber from 'Suckerpunch.' So, we sent our 14 year old journalist-in-training Ethan to find the best of the booth babes and get some advice from them on how to secure a date for junior prom. I mean, what better place to find a cool date than Comic-Con?

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    Last month we learned that Anchor Bay's upcoming 35th Anniversary Blu-ray edition of John Carpenter's Halloween would feature major upgrades, including a new HD transfer overseen by the film's Director of Photography, Oscar winner Dean Cundey, and a newly-recorded commentary track from Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis. Anchor Bay has confirmed all that and more in a new announcement.
    Slated for release September 24th, the disc will also feature an optional 7.1 sound mix (the original mono track will be included as well), and a newly-produced segment with Curtis entitled The Night She Came Home. Extras from earlier disc editions will be ported over as well, including the On Location featurette, trailers, TV & radio spots, and additional scenes shot for the television version.
    The Halloween 35th Anniversary Edition will be available in a limited run book-style package, with 20 pages of archival photos, an essay by Halloween historian Stef Hutchinson and cover art by Jay Shaw. Anchor Bay will open preorders on August 28th.

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    A woman in China's Anhui province took what she thought was a shortcut home, going down a narrow passageway beside a residential building. That turned out to be a huge mistake – the gap got much narrower and she found herself stuck. That's scary enough, but it's only the beginning of the story, as we learned from the UK Daily Mail.
    During the night, people living in the neighborhood heard the woman's cries for help, but mistook the sounds within the walls for the wailing of a ghost.
    When a rescue team finally arrived seven hours later, they had to break through the outer wall to free the woman from the tiny space, as you can see in the clip below. She was physically unharmed, but probably a lot more traumatized than the people who thought the building was haunted.
    Here's footage of the rescue from China's CCTV:

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    This year at Comic-Con, there was a lot of fun stuff going down at the Entertainment Earth booth! For starters, 'Dexter' writer/producer Scott Reynolds hosted 2 live episodes of his official podcast for the series 'Dexter: Wrap-Up' with special guests Julie Benz and Aime Garcia & David Zayas. Several members of the cast were also on hand to sign autographs for fans through out various times during the week. But most importantly, Bif Bang Toys!, the company behind a lot of the 'Dexter' releated toys unveiled a brand new Dexter bobblehead, as well as a collectible 'Dexter' lunch box set, which features a new action figure, blood-slides and a talking key-chain. FEARnet caught up with both Reynolds and Bif Bang Pow! CEO Jason Lenzi to talk about all things 'Dexter' at this year's Comic-Con!

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    2K Marin’s XCOM has gone through several mutations since its initial E3 announcement years ago, going from a tough-as-nails FPS to a tactical third-person shooter (the more tactical elements possibly introduced in the wake of Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown), but still keeping the early-Sixties Cold War setting.

    The new gameplay trailer for the retitled The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, via Joystiq, shows off the game’s new third-person perspective, as well as the initial seeding of the Sectoid menace that has persisted through the years.  While some of the grittiness that pervaded the original FPS trailers seems to have been smoothed over, it’s got all of the horn-rimmed Cold War-era flavor that will make alternate history buffs swoon.

    The Bureau: XCOM Declassified will be released August 20, 2013 for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.



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    As much as I feel that the zombie apocalypse in gaming is becoming as putrescent and relentless as its source material, there are the occasional outposts of life and hope scattered like survivors across its decrepit landscape.  Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: The Video Game armed itself with a double-barreled shotgun of emotion and character that actually minimized the shambling ghouls to little more than meaty motivation for the survivors to escape the hell of Georgia.  Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us actually manages to trump even Telltale’s beautifully scripted tale with meatier gameplay, more terrifying monsters, and wrenching pathos. 

    Within the first twenty minutes, The Last of Us had reduced me to a simpering mess.  We get a brief, beautiful peek into the life of single father Joel and his teenage daughter Sarah, celebrating a late-night birthday before all hell breaks loose and his world is torn from his grasp.  Riots and mutating citizens reduce the world around him to ashes, and his daughter is killed by an overzealous soldier.  In this pain-drenched moment, The Last of Us defines itself and its tone.  There is no gentle release from the mortal coil, no gentle closing of the eyes punctuated with a death rattle.  Instead we are presented with the agonizing chaos of Joel holding his dying daughter, terrified and unable to save her as she screams and bleeds.

    Twenty years later, and Joel has settled into the world ravaged by the spore-based infection that reduces its victims to fungal zombies.  Martial law is the way of the new world, which has been transformed into beautiful ruin.  In the absence of man, crumbling buildings are now embraced by creeping greenery, a destructive dichotomy of life and death.  Through these ruins Joel has to escort Ellie, a young girl who, in a typical post-apocalyptic fashion, may hold the biological key to humanity’s salvation.  Unfortunately for the two of them, the ruins are populated by all manner of monsters, human and post-human, that must be avoided or overcome by Joel.  The game’s open mechanics allow for a surprising degree of freedom, and all paths are a series of nail-biting challenges.  Joel can stealthily sneak around, using a distracting toss of a bottle to divert his enemy’s attention, dispatch them with a sleeper hold or brutal finisher, or dive in with proverbial guns a-blazing.  All provide their own unique challenges, with the more “open attack” method being particularly hairy at times, with some enemies overcoming Joel within moments or swarming in a truly horrific fashion.  Stealth is especially crucial when engaging some enemies, such as the Clickers that hunt by sound as a result of their faces being blown open by the fungal spores, their upper mandibles reduced to mangled mushrooms.

    Amidst all the horror is some true beauty.  Joel and Ellie start off on shaky ground, but Joel’s paternal instincts take over soon enough and something beautiful begins to bloom out of all of the chaos.  Parallels are quickly drawn as Ellie’s role as a savior becomes more fleshed out: she can possibly save humanity, as well as restore Joel’s.  This is definitely much heavier stuff than Naughty Dog’s normal oeuvre (Uncharted played itself as a far more absurd archaeological adventure), but it works so beautifully that it becomes something far greater than one would expect.  Maybe I’m getting soft on this side of 32, but there’s something truly heartwarming about watching Joel step back into his lost role as a father figure after two decades. 

    The Last of Us represents the best that the zombie apocalypse has to offer: focusing more on the Romero side of things than the Fulci, it reminds us that the human element and character will make sure that the genre won’t become completely lifeless.

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    Cthulhu is probably the geekiest monster in all of literature, so it makes perfect sense that he should be the subject of a chess set. Made by Etsy artist Little Fat Cthulhu, each piece is hand crafted without the use of molds. I love the purple and green color scheme used here, but if that doesn't work for you, custom colors are available. The pieces included are: Pawns - Little Fat Tentacles; Rooks - Rhogog; Knights - Zvilpogghua; Bishops - Chaugnar Faugn; Queens/Kings - Little Fat Cthulhu.

    $250 at Etsy (chessboard not included) 

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    Horror photographer and FEARnet fave Joshua Hoffine swears that his daughters, whom he often uses as the subject of his photographs, were not actually traumatized during the shooting of these photographs. "I am interested in the psychology of fear," says Hoffine on his website. "We are all born with certain inherent and instinctual fears, such [as] fear of the dark, the fear of lurking danger, and the fear of being eaten." His photographs explore fear, especially childhood fears: monsters under the bed or in the closet, dead parents, and of course, clowns. Frequently, Hoffine uses his four young daughters as the traumatized subjects of his photos - but he promises his kids are never scared and are, in fact, very proud of their dad's work. "They loved it. It was like a giant game of dress-up for them. They also knew we were making a scary picture -- and loved the idea of scaring the audience as much as I did."

    For more on Joshua Hoffine and his art, check him out on Facebook

    Source: HuffPo

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    When it comes to an event as big as Comic-Con, you're bound to run into a lot of familiar faces. So it's no surprise that FEARnet's own Angie Greenup got the chance to catch up with Jordan Hembrough from The Travel Channel's hit series 'Toy Hunter!' With a 3rd season just on the horizon, FEARnet got to talk to the ultimate toy collector about why Comic-Con is the place to be when it comes to finding awesome toys and meeting other fellow toy geeks. 'Toy Hunter' airs on Wednesday night's at 9PM on the Travel Channel. You can find more details about the show on the official website.

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    Titanus giganteus hails from the tropical rain forests of South America, and without these pictures for perspective, it doesn't necessarily look that unusual as beetle species go (at least not compared to some of the bizarre specimens we've been showing you lately). But when you realize that this thing can grow to the size of a small dog, that's when the creeps really set in.
    Oddity Central has compiled some interesting info on the well-named Titan beetle, which is likely the largest known insect species in the world. While it's not known to be aggressive to humans, we wouldn't recommend teasing it too much, because its jaws are strong enough to snap your finger right off.
    While the bug is a popular find among eco-tourists, much of its lifespan is still a mystery. Their larva have never been found, but based on holes eaten in the trees where they live, scientists have determined that the wormy offspring could be up to a foot long.
    Here's some footage of the Titan beetle in its habitat, courtesty of the BBC documentary series Life in the Undergrowth:

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    Franck Khalfoun's stylish, ultra-violent remake of the 1980 horror cult classic Maniac has drawn its share of controversy for graphic content since its premiere at Cannes last year, but we haven't heard news of the film being banned from theatrical or home video release until now. 
    New Zealand’s Office of Film and Literature Classification has reportedly banned public screenings of the film outside of festivals or film classes, and even in those cases it's only open to audiences over 18. They've even prohibited the film from being released on DVD. Australia-based distributor Monster Pictures, who had planned on releasing the film in New Zealand theaters, is fighting the ban, calling it “an insult to the intelligence of the adult population of New Zealand," claiming it "does little more than to serve as an open invitation to illegally pirate the film.”
    Prior to a small-scale theatrical release in the US last month via IFC Midnight, Maniac was mostly limited to the festival circuit – including the New Zealand International Film Festival – but it's now currently available On Demand through online and cable TV providers.

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    Acclaimed Spanish director Álex de la Iglesia has some unique and eccentric genre titles to his credit, including the cult hits Day of the Beast and Perdita Durango (a.k.a. Dance with the Devil) and the acclaimed 2010 epic The Last Circus. But the trailer below hints that his latest project Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi, which goes by the English-language title Witching and Bitching, could be his most insane project ever.
    A surreal collision of crime, comedy and horror (genres the director has mashed up ever since the early '90s), Witching and Bitching stars celebrated Spanish actors Hugo Silva and Mario Casas as a pair of thieves who run afoul of a group of seriously pissed-off witches after stealing a cache of cursed gold rings.
    While it's scheduled to make its Spanish debut in September, wider release info for Witching has yet to be disclosed, but we'll keep a close watch on this one. For now, just buckle up and press play on this trailer!

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