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Review – Call of Duty: Zombies (2013)

February 11, 2014 in Game Reviews, Games

The Call of Duty brand is synonymous with classic multiplayer first person shooting gmaeplay. Many gamers much like myself have grown accustumed to that type of multiplayer gameplay, but a new and different game mode has been on the rise. The makers of Call of Duty have been experimenting with the uses of zombies as a primary enemy in their newest endeavors. The main gameplay of the zombies mode involves 1-4 players in any given game, as well in the newest installment of Call of Duty, Black Ops II, players are allowed to have up to eight people in a 4 vs 4 match. The main objective of the zombies game mode is to survive as long as possible, while trying to solve additional challenges that are often reffered to as “Easter Eggs“(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEViFsu1I3g). “Easter Eggs can be completed solo or with other players, but often times the challenges are more in depth or there are more challenges if multiple players are attempting to complete them.

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The Call of Duty Zombies game mode includes many of the fan favorite weapons from the campaign and multiplayer game modes. While the Zombies game mode does include these weapons, their is one twist in which the weapons only hold a fraction of the amunition that they do normally in either the campaign or multiplayer modes. For example, the MK14 can hold up to 18 bullets in both the campaign and multiplayer modes, whereas, in the Zombies mode, that aprticular gun only holds six bullets. This may not seem like that big of a deal, but when you get yourself stuck into a corner, those 12 bullets would be super useful.

originally posted by guest contributor jbrunner20

 

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Official Release Date and Artwork for “DEAD ON APPRAISAL”

February 7, 2014 in DVD/Bluray, Movie News, Movies, On Demand, Video/TV

Dead-On-AppraisalJust received the press release for this one and I have to say that I am officially intrigued. Read on!

Gory, puppet-filled horror anthology moves in on DVD and VOD this Spring!

Brain Damage Films will soon be listing Dead on Appraisal on the horror market starting with a major VOD release on March 1st, followed by an April 8th DVD release!  The DVD will feature behind-the-scenes featurettes, unseen trailers, and more.

About the Film

With its three insane stories, bucket loads of gore and goop, puppets and other props that would get Jim Henson hard, and colorful effects that beg to be seen on mind altering substances, Infested Films’ Dead On Appraisal is a diamond in the overcrowded horror anthology rough.

Produced in 2013 under the original title “Closing Costs,” the film consists of three short films tied together by the story of John Dante, a real estate agent who just can’t get rid of a seemingly cursed house.  Sean Canfield, Scott Dawson, and David Sherbrook share writer/director credits for “Father Land”, “Freddie and the Goblins”, and “The Morning After”, respectively.

Full Synopsis
Real estate agent John Dante is stuck with a house he can’t sell.  Despite his best efforts, he can’t seem to overcome the house’s macabre past.

This haunting anthology’s first tale is THE MORNING AFTER. Following the party of a lifetime, a group of friends wake to find a nightmare in the form of a killer bug invasion.

John is horrified to hear the story of Robbie, a young veteran who returns home to live with his father. In FATHER LAND Robbie’s dark secret slowly bubbles to the surface.

Then there’s Freddie Cooper and his band. FREDDIE AND THE GOBLINS is a tale of how Freddie’s band mates try to ditch him only to be caught up in the singer’s growing psychosis.

In a last ditch effort John’s girlfriend plans a party to help raise interest in the property, but with disastrous consequences. Will they survive the terrors that lie within its walls, or will they become just another of the house’s many sordid tales?

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Eagle One Media releases undiscovered Takashi Shimizu horror film Alter Ego!!!

February 6, 2014 in DVD/Bluray, Movie News, Movies, Video/TV

February 6, 2014.
Alter Ego 584x800Eagle One Media is proud to announce it will distribute Takashi Shimizu’s undiscovered Japanese film Alter Ego to worldwide audiences for the first time. Takashi Shimizu, the famed director behind The Grudge and Ju-on horror franchises, was intimately involved as Supervising Director on Alter Ego and the feature film has never before been released outside of Japan.  North America DVD release is set for February 18 with the film immediately available on digital platforms itunes and Amazon Instant. Produced by King Records the film features the involvement of some of the masters of today’s Japanese horror scene including Issei Shibata (The Locker, The Chasing World); Yukihiko Yamaguchi (Meatball Machine, Kai-Ki: Tales of Terror from Tokyo) along with actors Hideo Sakaki (The Grudge, Versus), Taro Suwa (The Grudge, Ring 2), Kanji Tsuda (The Grudge, Tokyo Sonata), Nobuko Sakuma, Chieko Kawabe (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon), and Sena. Alter Ego can be pre-ordered at major on-line retailers such as Amazon.

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Review – Night of the Demons Collector’s Edition Bluray

February 5, 2014 in DVD/Bluray, Featured, Video/TV

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I starred in a series of wild, nasty, crazy horror movies that I really didn’t think anybody would ever watch. And now, I can’t say it’s 25 years later because, being that I’m only in my late 20’s, that much time couldn’t possibly have passed.”

With that humorous quote, we enter the first of several top notch features in the new Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray of one of the lost classics of the 1980’s, “Night Of The Demons”, an interview with Angela Franklin herself: Amelia Kinkade.

Night-of-the-Demons-bluray-coverYou would be hard pressed to find a true horror fan who doesn’t know of this film. Among Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, and Michael Meyers, Angela and the Night Of The Demons films have become cult icons among horror and slasher enthusiasts. This is true, but there are several major things setting this film apart from other films of this ilk.

1. The villain of the film and franchise is female.

2. The black character not only lives, but saves the day.

3. Nobody dies in the first half of the film.

And of course…

4. The house isn’t “haunted”. The house is “possessed”

The plot centers around a group of misfits who gather for a Halloween party at a supposedly haunted mausoleum, Hull house. We are told all kinds of gross and over the top stories about the house involving a flaming maid, a necrophiliac mortician, and a cannibalistic Native American. These kids all drink and make crude jokes and ogle Linnea Quigley for a decent interval before things go bump in the night. Before you can apply your lipstick, they are being possessed one by one, eyes are being gouged out, strobe lights and Bauhaus are setting the scene for an unforgettable dance sequence, Hal Havins is quoting John Belushi, and Angela herself is “warming her hands in the fire”.

Originally titled “Halloween Party”, this film was helmed by “Witchboard” director Kevin Tenney. Tenney certainly has an eye for detail and creativity. This is obvious in his use of innovative camera shots. Few other films that I have seen have drawn me into crude conversation and exposition quite like NOTD and this is all because of Tenney’s shot selections, the intriguing logic of the script, and how much fun the cast seems to be having.

amelia-makeupA lot has been said about this film in terms of it’s cult status. Scenes like the lipstick sequence, Angela’s dance, an old fart getting his just desserts, and others are commonplace in reviews. But what strikes me about it is that the film is wild and silly, but also very creepy at times. Watching the Blu-Ray, I began to notice how much of this is due to the score by Dennis Tenney, Kevin’s brother. The synthesized score really works to the advantage of the film. The sounds almost haunt as much as the imagery: A low moan during the reveal of Angela’s fiery hands, the high strings at a jump scene, the rapid beating tones as Quigley’s transformation in the bathroom creeps under our skin.

In addition, The film also features some great punk and rock tunes by Dennis that are all over youtube. These include Computer Date, and a personal favorite of mine, The Beast Inside. In short, neither your eyes or ears are bored during the film.

The film is also filled with fun little convo topics for fans. What is the main demon’s motives? Did Judy actually sleep with Sal? WTF happened to Helen???? In most films, these questions would burden the script. But in capable hands, they become the slasher equivalent to “What is in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction?”.

The Blu-Ray itself is a true gift to fans. A 70 minute behind the scenes look back feature treats us to interviews with nearly all of the main cast and crew. In addition to shedding much light on the film, we are given such gems as Havins joking about his famous line: “Eat a bowl of… pudding I think it was.” Everyone seems to look back very fondly on the project and with good reason.

Also, Kinkade is given a 23 minute interview where she discusses how she became involved after wowing the filmmakers with her dance skills and scaring the casting director during her audition.

This feature was my favorite as she also discusses to an extent the two sequels that she appeared in and shows her admiration for everyone involved.

She is not alone, as we are also given actress Allison Barron’s personal memories of the film. Showing us a scrapbook of BTS pics that are enlightening. I do wish someone would explain to me, as I said earlier, what exactly happened to her character. But in all honesty, sometimes it is better to use your imagination. Even with a film as dazzling as this one.

The Collector’s Edition also includes a DVD copy, trailers, TV spots, and several nifty galleries. I don’t think you can love 80’s horror and not be a fan of Night Of The Demons. Nor do I think you should go too terribly long without adding this extravagant Blu-Ray to your collection.

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Review: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) + Live Concert

February 4, 2014 in Chandler Bullock, Exclusives, Movie Reviews, Movies, Uncategorized

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Recently the Rotterdam International Film Festival (RIFF) hit the Netherlands. Honestly, it took me by surprise. I am usually so focused on the Amsterdam festival (Imagine) that I hadn’t considered that Rotterdam’s go at the film circuit might have had a gem or two for us bloodthirsty horror hounds. Luckily, the festival reached out and played films outside the Dutch port city, which is why I managed to catch a pretty awesome screening in our small city of Groningen. I have to say, I’m really glad I caught the screening + concert event on our local cinema’s program, because what I got was a pretty special and mesmerising experience.

 

First of all: the film. Only Lovers Left Alive is Jim Jarmusch’s foray into the ever popular vampire genre. That’s right, the same Jim Jarmusch who turned Forrest Whitaker into an ass-kicking urban samurai and Johnny Depp into a thoroughly dark cowboy is at it again. This time he’s transformed boy toy Tom Hiddleston and otherworldly veteran Tilda Swinton into ancient vampire lovers. I know, I know. On paper that sounds like the most irritating and uninspired storyline to hit the big screen in years, but keep reading you may be surprised.

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The film’s story revolves around Adam (Hiddleston) and Eve (Swinton), and how their relationship has both evolved and fallen apart over countless years. It is never explicitly stated whether these characters are the Adam and Eve of Biblical fame, but there are definitely some hints that lead in that direction. Eve, together with her close friend Christopher Marlowe (played by John Hurt…and yes THAT Marlowe), does her best to enjoy her existence deep in Morocco, while Adam secludes himself in an old Detroit mansion to work on various art projects and, in the process, find a way to block out the horrors of human life around him. Upon hearing some rather disturbing statements about existence from Adam over the phone, Eve decides to visit her long distance lover and to revitalise his sense of self worth.

 

mia729-620x349Enter Ava (Mia Wasikowska), Eve’s younger “blood relation”. Ava is highly unpredictable, volatile, and care-free…the complete opposite of Adam and what he stands for. Trouble ensues for the group, and it’s up to Eve and Adam to fix everything.

 

It all sounds a bit hokey when you sum it up, but Jarmusch has managed to take a fairly simple (if not a tiny bit silly) concept and make it a rather breath taking experience. Hiddleston and Swinton are perfectly cast and have a sort of chemistry I haven’t seen from an onscreen couple in a very long time. Their relationship is loving, playful, and tragic all at the same time. Hiddleston plays the quiet, brooding artist superbly, but it’s Tilda Swinton’s performance as the complexly chaotic yet serene elder that steals the show. Seriously, after seeing Only Lovers Left Alive I have to wonder if Swinton is really a vampire or not, she fits the role that perfectly. The rest of the cast add a proper amount of salt and pepper to season up an already delicious recipe.

 

tumblr_mxic59BvjI1qzoziho4_1280Apart from the performances, what I found really glued the whole film together was the music composed and performed by both Jozef van Wissem and SQÜRL (Jarmusch’s band). Most of the music used in the film ties together with the in-world music that Adam creates to get over his depression. It’s this dark yet otherworldly vibe that composer Van Wissem brings to the forefront in the majority of the film’s score and the result is quite mesmerising. Not only does the score accompany what is happening in the story thematically, but Jarmusch’s camera work seems to live perfectly in the same world as the music. Together the image and the music make this film step out of mass release status and sink its feet deeply into art house territory.

 

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This is not a vampire for the gorehounds, though. There’s blood, don’t get me wrong, but it certainly isn’t the primary focus, nor does it come in buckets. In fact, you could easily strip away the vampire aspect of the film and get an equally effective film. However, I really felt that the usage of vampire lore, mixed with literary and scientific references, added an extra dynamic and I was pleased to see a filmmaker tackle our beloved fanged genre from a completely new direction. Yes, there’s love. Yes, there are real emotions on the forefront, but Only Lovers Left Alive manages to keep itself from ever veering off into melodrama territory, and instead grounds itself with the love story in a way that is ultimately pleasing for a wide range of viewers.

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55303fd8844ece64c6987fbe50dea8cf_XLNow on to what made this particular screening so special. Not only did I get a chance to catch this film before its wider release, but composer Jozef van Wissem himself was present during the screening. Afterwards, he gave a very small and intimate free concert of various tracks from the film. While I had hoped to hear some of the more atmospheric pieces based on Adam’s in-world music, Van Wissem was on his own and gave us all something even more special. He performed solely on a lute and completely blew everyone away. The lute was used heavily throughout the film, primarily in the scenes that took place in Morocco, but it was rarely played on its own. Thus, what we all got was a wonderful demonstration of the raw compositions of some of the more familiar tunes heard during our screening.

Now, I’ve never been a massive fan of the lute, to be honest, but something about the composition and the way Van Wissem played the instrument was just magical to me. He cradled the lute like it was a dear and fragile child. I have never been present during a live performance of a composer’s film soundtrack before, but it was amazing to see how deep into the music Van Wissem went when playing. It was as if he had drifted off into another world…which was quite an experience.

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He played for about 45 minutes (give or take 5 tracks) and rounded the night off with a final piece where he walked through the audience to give everyone a moment of a private show. It was a simple gesture, but somehow the lute and his whole demeanour made it a very powerful gesture.

If you ever get the chance to see Van Wissem perform the soundtrack live (and there are opportunities in the near future for France and England) I highly suggest doing so. You can thank me later.

(You can’t put a score on something like this.)

The soundtrack to Only Lovers Left Alive will be available for purchase as a CD and vinyl on February 17, 2014. For full details go here.

 

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Review – An Aurora Grimeon Story: Will O’ The Wisp

January 30, 2014 in Books, Comics, Comics Reviews, Comics/Books

an_aurora_grimeon_story_-_will_o_the_wisp_gn_coverWill O’ The Wisp in a lot of regards is a book hard to categorize. With elements of horror and dark fantasy along with some decidedly young adult themes, the Aurora Grimeon book stands apart from many of Boom’s (the book was officially released under Boom’s Archaia imprint) other titles, the likes of which include Adventure time and highly popular Hellraiser series.

The story centers around young Aurora Grimeon, an adolescent girl who finds herself transported to her grandfather’s house on an eerie isle in the bayou after the untimely death of her parents. Upon her arrival Aurora finds that that isle is rife with superstitions and that hoodoo, a mix of Haitian and Native American magic, is a way of life that the residents follow to an alarming degree. Aurora’s grandfather, Silver, respects the traditions of the cemetery isle, but doesn’t surrender his faith in science to the many rituals the locals observe. Aurora is torn between her grandfather’s science and the magic of the isle and spends her initial time after her arrival pondering her place amongst the people there.

The namesake of the story, the “will o’ the wisp”, a blue flame seen periodically around the island, presents itself to Aurora early on and after talking with several of the residents, leaves her wondering if it might be the protective spirits of her deceased parents or  something far more sinister. The dark past of the isle however has lingered, a dark past that is directly connected to her grandfather and herself, a past bent on taking the lives of everyone on the isle.

Archaia-Property-Featured-Art-Will-O-the-Wisp-442x288Coming in at 216 pages, Will O’ The Wisp is not only an easy read, but a fast one. Aurora is a likeable character and the supporting cast easily ingratiates themselves to the reader. In fact, the supporting cast, with all of their eccentricities, forms a solid backbone to the story and works to create a fun and very believable community. It is writer Tom Hammock’s attention to and love for these characters that breathes a palpable life into the oddities of the island. It is easy to see shades of Neil Gaiman here as Hammock paints a weird and strangely sentimental world that somehow could exist nowhere and yet all around us simultaneously. It is also interesting to point out Hammock’s reluctance to pepper the story with any staples of technology or trend, making it seem somehow more ethereal and timeless.

The book’s illustrator, Megan Hutchison is able to capture the magic of Aurora Grimeon’s world with a deft ease that draws the reader in invitingly, celebrating the murky charm and otherworldly appeal of the isle and its people. Somewhere between Sam Keith and Edward Gorey, Hutchison works her own sorcery in every panel flirting with a painterly style that captures and rends the writer’s words into an anthem of the weird and wonderfully bizarre.

The marriage of Hammock and Hutchison is a fruitful one resulting in a tale that will satisfy readers of any age.  RECOMMENDED.

An Aurora Grimeon Story: Will O’ The Wisp is available at fine comic book stores everywhere and can be purchased directly from the Boom Studios site here.

 

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Official Release Date and Artwork for “RABID LOVE”

January 28, 2014 in Movie News, Movies, On Demand, Video/TV

Rabid LoveNorth America prepares to catch the virus on DVD and VOD March 4th, 2014

Midnight Releasing will be spreading Rabid Love on DVD and On Demand this coming March to all major and minor digital platforms, rental chains and more!  The DVD features an outtakes reel, behind-the-scenes clips, and on-set vlogs by star Hayley Derryberry.

About the Film
In Rabid Love, a stereotypical weekend camping trip gets bloody when a stranger insinuates his way into the group and people start showing up dead.  Is it a large wild animal?  A blood-thirsty psychopath?  Or maybe a mad scientist‘s super rabies virus infecting the friends one by one?  Viewers will just have to find out for themselves by watching this unique slasher, stylishly made in homage to the 80’s slashers that raised a generation of horror fans.

Written and directed by Paul J. Porter, Rabid Love stars Jessica Sonneborn (Bloody Bloody Bible Camp), Hayley Derryberry, Josh Hammond (Jeepers Creepers 2), and Brandon Stacy.

Synopsis
A group of recent college grads on a final camping trip together pursue their own agendas when it comes to relationships but must put aside their differences and try to survive when one of them disappears and something in the forest starts killing the rest.

Official Trailer and More Information:

http://midnightreleasing.com/rabid-love/

http://www.rabidlovemovie.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RabidLoveMovie

 

Check out these images from the film below.

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Horror thriller Mamiwata and Gabon Films want you to win!!!

January 27, 2014 in Movie News, Movies

Hand-Shower-no-bloodMamiwata Film is the upcoming paranormal/thriller/horror movie from Gabon Films. The movie is due to be released in 2015. http://mamiwatafilm.com/

Enter by 27th February 2014 to win a 50$ Amazon Gift Card!

Click here to enter and win!!!

 

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Official trailer for danish indie “Escaping The Dead”

January 24, 2014 in Movie News, Movies

pic from indie shocker Escaping the Dead“Escaping the Dead” is inspired by a series of articles about the deathdrug “Krokodil” that was published about the same period of time when Ronald Poppo had his face eaten by a naked man hooked on bathsalt in Miami. It is the perfect zombie plot: a deathdrug that turns people into zombies.

The film has its starting point in a typical day for the lead character, David. David is the local marihuana pusher, but he is the kind of dealer that smokes more than he sells. In the meantime the country has been hit by a new deathdrug and when David and his partner in crime Ahmir is offered some exceptionally cheap cocaine they see it as an opportunity to earn big money at the big techno concert the following Friday, but the cocaine turns out to have a terrible side effect that creates a giant zombie outbreak that spreads across the entire Copenhagen. In the film we follow David and his bloody fight out of the city.

Directed by Martin Sonntag and Bastian Brinch Pedersen, the film stars Bastian Brinch Pedersen (who is also the co-director and producer of the film) as David, Rama Øzel as Ahmir, along with Daniel Hutera, Ali Öezkan, Iben Ma Bønnelycke, Nicolai Huan Nguyen, Camilla Ludvigsen and Kim Sønderholm (“Blood Fare”, “The Winedancers”, “Sinister Visions”) playing Lars the policeman.

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Review – Hellraiser: The Dark Watch #12

January 20, 2014 in Comics, Comics Reviews, Comics/Books, Featured

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For those of you following Boom’s Hellraiser line of comics, many familiar characters in the Barkerverse have changed significantly since the mythology was revisited. Both Kirsty Cotton and Harry D’amore have become priests and priestesses of hell. Elliot Spencer (aka Pinhead) has defected to the “other” hell to lead a war against the cenobites and ultimately Earth, and the Harrowers are dropping like flies.

HellraiserDarkWatch_12_rev_Page_3Issue #12, the last in the Dark Watch series, sees D’amore’s forces struggling to retain their foothold in hell as Abbadon and its forces, led by Spencer, begin their onslaught on the citizens of Earth. Tiffany has made the selfless decision to allow herself to become a cenobite in order to join the battle and Kirsty is still trying to understand her place in the order of things. Kirsty and Tiffany manage to close the portal to Earth and just as it seems the war is won, Leviathan brings the news that unless Kirsty and Spencer join forces to help it, Abbadon will destroy hell itself, of course upsetting the balance of reality.

I won’t give away the ending, BUT helping the lord of Hell is not without its rewards, and ultimately its sacrifices. Kirsty and the Harrowers will undoubtedly return although the stakes will seemingly not be in their favor the next time around.

Boom and Barker did a very smart thing with the Hellraiser series in its entirety and gave us a great mix of Barker’s literary universe and its cinematic counterparts. The reader was reintroduced to characters that they were already emotionally invested in and the book was really able to soar this way. Seifert, as always, delivers a great tale under Barker’s direction and Garcia’s artwork paints the page in vibrant, bloody pain. Issue #12 not only delivers a fitting ending to the arc, bet sets up future storylines that will have Hell’s minions, including this reader, coming back for more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

 

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