In the next segment, Second Honeymoon, a couple is on the road, travelling through the west on a seemingly well-earned getaway. We follow them intimately through their own recordings as they have some tourist fun together. The woman gets her fortune told at a Wild West attraction, where it is predicted she will be visited by a “loved one”. This one has a slow build-up of creepiness to it, but is over-all the most simplistic and lackluster short of the five.
The third short, Tuesday the 17th, follows another group of teenagers as they head into the woods for a weekend getaway, all arranged by the slightly off-putting mutual friend, Wendy. They slowly realize she has lied to each of them to get them there and at one point she comes right out and says, “You are all going to die up here.” Soon, the cast is getting chased and picked off by a mysterious stalker who does not show up on the recording. Every time the “glitch man” approaches, the camera pops and fuzzes, so no one ever gets to see what he looks like, even Wendy. It turns out she has faced the “glitch man” before and has lured her friends here as bait and set traps for the stalker, all in an effort to be believed by someone. It does not work out the way she planned.
The next short is titled The Thing That Happened To Emily When She Was Younger, and I found it to be the most interesting and effective of all. The story unfolds through a series of Skype conversations between slightly-off cutie Emily and her long-distance boyfriend, James. She has been noticing strange sounds in her apartment, and is afraid to investigate alone, but encourages James to watch along with her as she confronts her tormenters. This one had a scene in particular that really got under my skin, and is by far my favorite short included here. Things are never what they seem…
Finally, we have 10/31/98, about a group of halfway-decent chaps heading out to a Halloween party. The camera-man in this one is cleverly dressed as a “nanny-cam” teddy bear, so he is hands-free as he films him and his friends arrival at the strangely quiet party. They enter and explore the creepy, quiet house, thinking it is some kind of awesomely extravagant set-up someone did for Halloween. They follow some noises through the maze-like house all the way to the attic, where they stumble onto something they shouldn’t have. This one is great fun, and an excellent way to close out the roller-coaster ride that has been V/H/S.
Overall, the film is a great success, and each short cleverly uses the conceit (or “gimmick” depending on your point of view) to the fullest, delivering us a collection of outstanding first-person vignettes. Also, the ambiguity behind most of the stories is very welcome in this era of over-explaining everything. Sometimes, things are best left to the imagination. V/H/S (Pre-Theatrical Rental) is available through Amazon Streaming right now by clicking the link in this very sentence, before it hits theaters with a limited release October 2nd. One way or the other, check this one out, kiddies!
Grade : A
So we all have guilty pleasures, and I am actually proud to say that the “American Horror Story” series has become one of them. Season 2 premieres on Wednesday, October 17 at 10PM and I am extremely excited for this season because it shows so much promise and a distinctly different story line from the first. As a small recap of season one, Ben, Vivien and their daughter Violet moved from Boston to Los Angeles when a restored mansion becomes available and the family falls in love with it. Unbeknownst to them though, the home still harbors it’s former inhabitants and guests who died. In addition to the house, they also gain a housekeeper named Moira O’Hara. Moira holds her own secrets as well, appearing attractive and young to men but old and weathered to women. Throw in next door neighbors Constance, Addie, and Tate, add a dash of the crazy former student Hayden, and mix in a gaggle of ghosts, and you have a crazy first season that was nominated for 17 Emmy awards.
So when you have such a successful season where almost all of the main characters are now dead, where do you go from there? Series creators Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy have decided that you don’t. They are taking an all new direction with “American Horror Story” and I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Not much is known about the new season, but we do know that some more familiar faces will come back. The setting is the 1960’s in an East Coast institution for the criminally insane, called Briarcliff Manor. Jessica Lange, who played Constance Langdon in Season 1, now plays Sister Jude. Zachary Quinto played Zack, one half of the couple who had previously owned the house in Season 1, now plays Dr. Thredson in Season 2 as well. There’s a ton of new faces as well, beginning with Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan, who play a newlywed couple affectionately known as “The Lovers“.
Click here to watch the first full length trailer for this amazing TV series. Check out their Facebook page and watch more teaser clips as well. I’m ready to be committed, are you?
Years before they famously made a career of pissing off everyone they could every week with Comedy Central’s South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone made Cannibal! The Musical. This will not surprise anyone who has watched the show over the years ; it is full of good songs here and there, and the South Park movie is generally considered a “musical”.
This musical, however, is certainly different than any one you are familiar with. Through song, they tell the story of Alferd Packer, a hapless young horseman who leads a party of miners into Colorado territory in the winter of 1883.
The comedy comes not only from the absurdity of the songs and the many uncomfortable moments between the characters, but the unabashed low-budget pride of the whole production. After a creatively gory black white and red opening scene, we are introduced to Alferd Packer (played by Trey Parker, credited as Juan Schwartz) sitting stunned in the courtroom, claiming, “That’s not the way it happened.”
After being pushed to open up about the truth behind his travels by a sweet young local girl, Packer tells his sad story through song from behind bars as he awaits “Hanging Day.”
The songs are absurd and hilarious, and you will find yourself singing along before you know it, as the group of rag-tag misfits ventures into the rivers and mountains of Colorado, each character with their own reasons for making the treacherous journey.
Despite warnings of doom and dangers, including Asian Indians, huge rivers, random bear traps and even a Cyclops, the dedicated group will not give up on their trek through the mountains.
The downward spiral into insanity and eventual flesh-eating begins when Packer’s beloved horse Leanne disappears in the night carrying all of the supplies.
Alferd is appropriately broken up about the vanishing of his horse, which he articulates beautifully through song :
After more trials and tribulations, Packer and his party meet up with some interesting “Indians”, who have teepees and everything so they must be legit…
Unfortunately, a group of menacing trappers have arrived as well, and the dirty so-and-so’s make all kinds of boasts and threats through this off-key tune….
In an effort to stay close behind the trappers, Packer gets his group moving, but they get lost in the mountains and desperate hunger starts to infect the minds of some of the party…
Everything gets out of control then, with darkly hilarious results. Trey Parker and Matt Stone really impress with their non-existent budget and obvious talent for comedic timing…
He looks like he is about to sing a song...
If you have never seen Cannibal :The Musical, do your homework and check it out, even if you are not a fan of musicals. It is a goofy and gory good time!
And if you have seen this bad boy before, be sure and take a look at the newest Cannibal! The Musical: 13th Anniversary Edition, which includes Trey and Matt’s notorious drunken commentary. Enjoy.
Highly recommended by Darth Biscuits!
Grade : A
Have you ever watched a movie that was over 10 years old and realized that it is still relevant today? I recently sat down and watched Dee Snider’s StrangeLand for the first time and man…it creeped me out! Movies rarely do that so you can imagine my surprise! However, it still rings true to the precautions we have to take when surfing the internet.
The movie starts out with two teen girls, Genevieve Gage and her best friend Tiana Moore, in an Internet chat room when a private message pops up from a CaptHowdy. They strike up a conversation and he invites the girls over to his place. It’s all giggles until the next day when the girls haven’t yet returned. Genevieve’s father, Mike Gage, is a local police officer and he begins to look for clues as to where the girls went to with the help of a younger officer named Steve Christian.
Things go from bad to worse when they pull a car from the lake. Mike instantly recognizes it as Tiana’s car, but they cannot find either of the girls inside until they pop the trunk and find Tiana dead. She had been tortured and her mouth sewn shut. They also find a septum spike with the help of the tow truck operator. Mike and Steve venture into the city to visit a club recommended to them and venture into a world unbeknownst to them. Little do they know that as they are leaving, in the next room over is Captain Howdy, hanging by hooks as he looks forward to crossing into the abyss into death.
Through a fortunate turn of events and a little help from his teenage niece, Mike gets in contact with Captain Howdy on the same teen chat room his daughter was in. After getting an address the cops go and search for Genevieve. The problem is, it was a fake address and they bust through on an old couple having sex. After a sleepless night in the car, Mike logs online and gets a message from Captain Howdy. The voice message tips him off though and he gets a clue as to Howdy’s location. Going to the back of the house, he busts the lock onto the basement and walks through the basement and up the stairs to find a gruesome discovery. Multiple bodies pierced and hanging, all with their mouths sewn together like Tiana’s. He finds his daughter, trapped in a cage and he goes to free her. Captain Howdy comes from behind and hits Mike from behind, knocking him to the floor and the gun away.
After a small struggle, Mike shoots and cuffs Howdy and releases his daughter. Instead of being charged with murder though, they declare him insane and he spends years in a ward. He now has all his piercings removed, covers his face with powder, and his once wild hair is now brown. Dressed like Mister Rogers, he has been declared rehabilitated and ready to join the normal world. However, the normal world is not welcoming with open arms. Genevieve awakes from a nightmare and Mike rushes to her side. A conference is held outside of Captain’s house, who now chooses to go by his real name Carleton Hendricks, and the welcoming committee isn’t as welcoming as he had hoped. Later that night, Jackson Roth, one of the more outspoken of the group, drunkenly calls some pals when his daughter has not come home. Part of the group he calls is Catherine “Sunny” Macintosh, who also told him to burn in hell at the conference. They burst into Carleton’s house and rough him up before shoving him into a car and driving away. Mike sees all of this from outside of his car, and even struggles with calling it in. Instead he just lets them drive away.
So they hang Carleton with a noose out in the woods somewhere. It starts to rain, so they all pile in their cars and drive away, leaving the body. After the branch cracks and the body falls, moments later Carleton starts to choke and looks up at the branch. Makeup washing off in the rain and blood dripping from his nose, he snarls and says “What a rush.” before looking away. Later on that night, Jackson and his wife decide they want to get a little frisky. She comes from the bathroom, dressed up and dancing as Jackson gets all excited. As she comes closer, he notices that something is wrong. Her throat is slit and then moments later, her body falls to the side as Captain punches and knocks Jackson out. Later, Captain messages Mike at the station and calls moments later. After a conversation, he gives Mike new clues and hangs up. Captain walks over to a naked body, that of Jackson Roth and pierces him fish hooks. True to the Captain Howdy style, Jackson’s mouth and eyes are sewn shut.
The fun doesn’t end there though, oh no. Captain has decided that Catherine “Sunny” Macintosh needs a spiritual awakening and decides to put her through the torture of the spears of Sheba. The next day, Mike’s wife calls him and mentions that Genevieve has not made it home from school. Both parents rush home to find that Captain Howdy is on their computer screen. He shows Genevieve on the screen with her mouth sewn shut again. Mike tries to bargain with Captain, exchanging his place for her own and Captain Howdy refuses. The connection then shows that the feed has been terminated.
Officers get wind of a break in and go to investigate. They come in to find the bodies of Jackson and Sunny, as well as many others. Ambulances come and take the surviving people away for treatment. Mike is at the scene, where he finds a matchbook of the club that Captain Howdy had been to and he decides to visit it. It’s now closed as Mike goes in to find Captain Howdy alone. After a lengthy conversation, Mike finally goads Captain Howdy into coming out and a fight ensues. In the last moments, as Mike is being choked, Captain walks away and takes Mike into the room where there are industrial sized hanging hooks. Another fight between the two and Mike rips out Captain Howdy’s septum ring and crawls away. He stands up, grabs a hook and shoves it into Captain Howdy’s back. He then cranks the chains to lift Howdy up as he swings from each side of the room. Mike then takes some oil from a burning candle, douses Captain Howdy in it, and takes the match book and sets him on fire. The body is left swinging as moments later, Captain Howdy falls to the ground dead.
Well, you’d assume that with a dead character, the movie would be over. Not in this world though; there have been reports on and off for several years of a squeal. As of May of this year though, Dee Snider has confirmed that him and his manager are working on getting it financed. So “Strangeland ll: Disciple” is in the works and more people can get their Captain Howdy fix. I want to personally thank my friend, Joel Robinson, for allowing me to use the artwork above in this review. Check out his artwork on his webpage here.
The writers and producers of this game based the idea of their global infection on a real fungus called Cordyceps that can infect insects. After infection, insects climb to a certain height and are killed. Shortly thereafter, infectious spores pour from its carcass to spread to other living insects and deliver a similar fate.
In The Last of Us, this same fungus has mutated to be able to infect humans. Infected humans die shortly and become reanimated, driven by feral bloodlust and the natural instinct to survive by propagating — like zombies. The contagion is airborne, but is diffused most effectively within confined spaces. The infected exhibit some degree of intelligence and are surprisingly quick considering their decayed muscles.
The game looks amazing, and Naughty Dog has gone out of their way to deliver another character-driven experience for us grown-up gamers.
Really looking forward to this one!
What do you guys think?
Pre-order right here right now!
The news over at Marvel is that they have hired Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan, with art by the great Tony Moore to re-boot DeadPool in a brand new monthly series. You probably know Posehn best from his great stand-up work, or maybe his hilarious gay neighbor character on the Sara Silverman Show.
Or maybe you remember him getting shot in the head in Rob Zombie‘s Devil’s Rejects…
He is a quick-witted and very funny weirdo, much like many of us here in this deranged little classroom. This is not his first attempt at comics, either.
Posehn and his collaboraters on this new project all worked together previously on the hilarious mini-series The Last Christmas a few years ago.
The character of DeadPool is in need of an overhaul, and dark comedy is just what the doctor ordered. The series will reportedly revolve around Deadpool vs.the Undead Presidents Of The United States of America!
Sounds crazy enough, and I can’t wait to see Tony Moore get back to drawing the undead. His work on the first issues and covers of the Walking Dead was amazing.
Marvel is making bold moves these days with their books and movies, and this is a great one. It is nice to see that they are so willing to take chances on creative people.
I am very much looking forward to seeing what these talented people can get away with in this series.
Issue #1 will hit your local comic shop this November.
Be sure and check it out, freaks!
Welcome to this weeks edition of 80s Babies, where we take a look back at some of the best, worst, and most interesting horror flicks that generation had to offer.
They valiantly attempt to close the Gate by reading from the liner notes, but the album bursts into flames and a bunch of small demons show up to wreak havoc. They decide to find a bible and read from that, because something in that book must work, right?
At last, Glen and Al’s parents show up to save the day.
There is a warm embrace, and then…
The special effects during the sequences that follow are frankly pretty amazing. Miniatures, forced perspective, stop-motion and guys in monster costumes are all combined to make some of the most effective monster magic of the 1980’s…
Scene from the film.
Behind the scenes.
Sadly, it seems that reading random passages from the bible has little effect, and they chuck that old book down the hole, causing it to explode and appear to seal itself up. Our heroes get a moment of breathing time, before this bit of awesome happens :
Glen, Terry, and Al have the fight of their lives then, realizing that they are all that is standing in the way of this demonic takeover from Hell. All the little demons unite to form one giant beast, that our heroes must find a way to defeat.
Also, the touch of the demon has planted an eyeball in the palm of Glen’s hand, which severely creeped me out as a kid.
All in all, The Gate is a fun movie with some really intriguing effects for it’s time. A few years ago, there were rumblings of a 3D remake in development to be directed by Alex Winter (Yeah, Bill S. Preston, Esq. himself) with the creature design to be done by H.R. Giger.
Although, monsters designed by Giger are always a plus in my book, can’t we just leave this one alone as the cheesy 80s classic it is?
If you kiddies have never seen this fun flick, do your homework!
Geeks everywhere have been drooling in anticipation of Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to the masterpiece The Dark Knight. What we expected was an exciting visit with our favorite characters and a satisfying conclusion of the trilogy.
What we got was a pretty good time at the movies, but a film that almost drowns in its own story. The Dark Knight Rises is filled with too many characters, too many plot-lines, and a story that, at it’s core, is just a re-hash of the first two in the series. Madman threatens to destroy the whole city of Gotham with a convoluted plan…
The film starts off in the aftermath of the events of the Dark Knight, with Batman in hiding, gimping around Wayne manor and growing a scraggly beard. Alfred, Bruce’s only trusted friend, seems to be hanging around just to guilt-trip him and burst into tears at every opportunity.
Soon, a chick shows up to steal his fingerprints.
A rookie cop shows up to make him feel bad.
A bad guy with a mask and an accent arrives to cause chaos.
Commissioner Gordon has a crisis of conscience.
Characters are introduced, and plot-lines threaded and weaved, and still no Batman.
There is a woman, and a bomb, and an existential crisis…
It all gets to be pretty overwhelming and jumbled together, to the point I had a hard time caring at all.
Bane had his moments, and Tom Hardy did his best to make the character powerful and intimidating, but his takeover of the city was pretty unconvincing. The messy explanations of his origin, changed from the comics to fit the “twist” of the film, just didn’t sit well with me.
In fact, the entire third act is what left the bad taste in my mouth. The film-makers seemed to be trying too hard to wrap up all these plot-threads, and it just turns into a jumbled mess.
How much time passed from the detonation of the football field to the return of Batman?
I am not really sure…
In that time, while a madman reigns, the cops are trapped underground, and everyone seems to just be waiting for a giant bomb to detonate, chaos doesn’t erupt in the streets? Everyone just accepts the fact that a madman with a mask and an outrageous accent is in control? They never riot or fight back?
Instead, there are weird trials, where those adjudicated guilty are forced to walk out on ice…um, what?
Well, we all know that eventually Batman will climb his way out of the giant well, or whatever that was, and rise to defeat the evil…
Honestly, Batman does not kick a whole lot of ass in this film. He hobbles around, takes some beatings, gets his back broken, even gets incapacitated by a 2-inch pig-sticker at one point. The new toy, the flying Batmobile, just seems clunky and unpractical. The utility belt seems practically useless.
And, not to spoil it for anyone, but I found the multiple twisty endings to be the film’s biggest problem, because they leave you scratching your head as you exit the theater three hours later.
One, in particular, seems like a slap in the face to the audience.
It may sound like I hated the film, which isn’t true. I found it to be beautiful to look at, and a fitting wrap-up to Nolan’s trilogy, just not something I am eager to revisit any time soon….
Ugli Studios Presents is a collection of two outstanding original comics from Jason Lenox and David Paul.
The first story, Through The Eyes Of Grizelda, is a gloriously violent look at a world called Xendria, a once powerful empire now destroyed. In this world, the meek have inherited a nightmare of chaos and oppression.
The story is not told from the hero’s perspective. Instead, the reader watches from the eyes of a cat, the “familiar” of the destructive necromancer who has brought this anarchy into being.
The artwork is bold and alive with color, giving the feeling of being in the midst of a great battle. The story quickly brings you into this new land, and establishes the rules of the Necromancer and the armies who have tried unsuccessfully to defeat it.
I, for one, am looking forward to seeing more tales of Xendria, and the pet-lover who rules them all…
The second story, The Great Vermin, is a real sci-fi sucker punch.
A team of space-men are en route to planet Ganymedes IV on a high-priority mission to exterminate the last of a dangerous species, the scourge of the universe.
The enemy turns out to be more clever and familiar than we knew, and the story ends on an awesomely bleak note.
Really great stuff!
Ugli Studios is made up of a talented group of individuals :
Jason Lenox is an illustrator who currently resides in State College, PA. His work has been seen in Role Playing Games (TPK Games), Comics (Gray Haven Comics & Viper Comics) and in the Movies (“Zero Charisma” release date 2013) as well as additional freelance works for a variety of clients. Jason is a graduate of The Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts (1992) and he trained under professional illustrator Elaine Renna of Lancaster, PA. Jason currently serves as an Instructor at The Central Pennsylvania Art Alliance where he teaches sequential arts when he is not at his day job, parenting, or chained to his drafting table drawing dark fantastic images. “UGLI Studios Presents” is his first full-length comic book.
Letterist and writer David Paul is the author of Naked Vitality, a nominee for several literary awards and the 2004 International Library of Poetry Silver Award Cup recipient. His works in graphic novels include the award-winning Cold Blooded Chillers by Heske Horror and he is a long time Heavy Metal Magazine contributor. David is the web comics managing editor at InvestComics.com and he writes the cartoon strip “Joseph!” with artist Gary T. Becks.
Cartographer/Illustrator Joseph Freistuhler has been making maps of fantasy places since childhood. After studying illustration at Ohio University years ago, he has recently refocused on his passion for cartography. He currently has several maps being published for the role playing game industry and last year had a map featured in an art exhibition in New York City.
The book can be purchased here, signed, for a measly $5.
Also, be sure and checkout Ugli Studios official website for news and updates.
So, support your independent comic books, and do your homework!
Grade : B+
Okay, I hate spoilers, so I’m not going to give out the rest of the story. Just know that you need to watch this movie. The production company, Asylum, is fantastic for putting out mockbusters direct to DVD. With this movie, it’s pure gold in my opinion as it is genuinely an interesting film. It has a great plot, and incorporates a lot of historical figures. It’s a little campy at times, but Bill Oberst Jr portrays Lincoln wonderfully, and almost to the degree that I would imagine him have being back in the Civil War era. Of course, there are several historical “inaccuracies” portrayed throughout the movie, but unless you’re a history buff you wouldn’t know it.
For the movie budget only being $150,000, it’s a damn good flick. Bill Oberst Jr gives a fantastic performance, and there’s several funny parts throughout the movie. There’s also a “Making Of” featurette in the special features, as well as a short gag reel that is okay. Overall, I would say I got my $10 worth with this movie.