Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Uwe Boll is a unique man. As a director, he is singlehandedly responsible for some of the absolute worst video game adaptations known to man. These films aren't just terrible video game adaptations though, they're terrible movies in general. Go down the list and see for yourself:
House of the Dead
Alone in the Dark
Bloodrayne (three fucking films!)
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (again, three fucking films!)
Postal (though I kind of dig it)
Not to mention the fact that he's helmed some terrible flicks not based on video games, like Seed, Assault on Wall Street, Rampage, Blubberella, Tunnel Rats, and more besides. I can sit here all day and shit on Uwe Boll like everyone else does, but you know what? I'm not doing that. We all know what kind of movies he makes, but goddammit, you kind of have to admire him for going out there and making these pieces of shit. Plus, in all honesty, some of his flicks really aren't anywhere near as bad as many make them out to be. Boll suffers from the fact that when his name is on something, it automatically gets hated on. Is the hate justified? Well, kind of...but it really isn't more often than you may think.
News broke recently that Boll is allegedly retiring from filmmaking. If in fact true, many of the neck bearded trolls of the internet will be cumming in their pants over the news...until they realize they have one less filmmaker to bitch about.
I for one will miss Uwe Boll and his "talents". You can say whatever you want about Boll and his films, i.e. that he's an asshole and his films are garbage (and that's not false either), but I will personally miss the fact that I'll get to see whatever new trainwreck of a flick he manages to scoop out of his ass. Nine times out of ten, no matter how bad his films are, they wind up being somewhat entertaining in spite of their awfulness...mostly because you never know what the fuck is going to happen next.
So long Uwe, we hardly knew ye.
Sunday, October 23, 2016
News broke yesterday that British comic book artist Steve Dillon passed away suddenly at the age of 54 in New York City. The news certainly came as a shock to the comic world, and definitely came as a major shock to me personally. The artwork of Steve Dillon has meant a lot to me over the years, and it wouldn't be out of line to call his work iconic.
I first got a taste of Dillon's artwork when I discovered the Vertigo books Hellblazer and in particular Preacher. I had taken a lot of time away from comics in my teens, mostly because I was sick of superheroes and the same old shit issue after issue. I discovered Preacher first, and thanks to Garth Ennis' maniacal storytelling combined with Dillon's blend of gritty realism and cartoonish mayhem helped make Preacher one of my all time favorite comic books in the history of fucking ever.
His earlier work on Hellblazer, also with Ennis (who was a frequent collaborator), was just as special. I knew about the series and John Constantine previously, but I had never paid it much mind until I got my hands on Ennis and Dillon's work. So I guess I have Dillon to thank for getting me into what turned out to be probably my all time favorite comic book character as well now that I think about it.
I stuck with Ennis and Dillon when they rebooted The Punisher for Marvel years later, a character that Dillon would often find himself drawing and working on even if Ennis wouldn't be involved in it in a number of various series'. Over the years, Dillon would do a lot of Marvel work, including Wolverine Origins, Bullseye: Greatest Hits, Daredevil VS Bullseye, Ultimate X-Men, Thunderbolts, and more. Before that, Dillon cut his teeth on a number of well-known British comics, most notably Doctor Who Magazine and 2000 A.D. (the Judge Dredd-starring magazine), as well as Warrior and Rogue Trooper.
Rest in peace Steve Dillon, you will be missed.
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Back in the late 70s, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and their merry crew of misfits journeyed into the woods to make a movie that wasn't a porno. The end result was the original Evil Dead, which would have its original premiere in 1981; a ferocious and unrelenting horror film that came out of nowhere and took the world by storm. Unlike most films of its ilk, the original Evil Dead wasn't just a commercial success, but a critical one as well. As we all know, the surprise success of the film led to a whole franchise being born, with Evil Dead 2 in 1987, Army of the Darkness in 1992, a remake in 2013, the Ash VS Evil Dead TV show that debuted last year, and tons of merchandise, comics, video games, and more besides.
Looking back on it, that's 35 years of Evil Dead, and honestly who would have thought that the film would have resonated the way it did, let alone become a massive cult phenomenon. It's funny watching the original Evil Dead nowadays, mostly because the film itself is so damn brutal compared to everything that would come in the future. The Evil Dead franchise is known for being nasty, but pretty damn funny too (mostly thanks to the slapstick silliness of Army of Darkness). What a lot of people seem to forget is that the original Evil Dead is an unforgivably nasty little horror film that grabs you by the balls and doesn't let go. We got a slight reminder of this when the 2013 remake came out, which also pulled no punches and packed on even more gore than the original. The original film though was made on a bare-bones budget in horrid conditions, and the pure unforgiving ferocity that it displays would never be matched by any sequel or remake.
Evil Dead the film, and the franchise as a whole, has managed to say relevant 35 years later because of the unforgettable impact it had upon the horror world when it was first released. Even from 1992 on when the franchise was dormant, it still retained a more than solid following. In the late 90s/early 2000s with the advent of DVD, Anchor Bay re-released the film for new generations to discover, and that's exactly what happened.
Let's all be thankful to Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and everyone else involved in bringing Evil Dead to life. The world is a better place with Ash and the Deadites in it.
Saturday, October 8, 2016
It was announced earlier this week that the upcoming sequel to Blade Runner will be titled Blade Runner 2049. Considering the original film took place in 2019, that means this film will be set 30 years later, mostly likely to accommodate the fact that Harrison Ford is now old as fuck. I’ve talked before about how I’m not a fan of this idea at all, mostly because the original film manages to stand on its own (in particular the director’s cut and newer “final cut” which removes the bullshit happy ending and leaves everything open ended…which is pretty much perfect). So of course we’re getting a sequel that no one was asking for just for the sake of getting a few more nostalgia dollars out of an old property that people still revere.
The real issue I have with the concept of Blade Runner 2049 however is the fact that we are seeing basically old man Deckard. Why is this you ask? Well, the age old idea that Deckard is in fact a replicant. This idea was presented very subtly in the film, but everyone from Ford to Ridley Scott has pretty much said that yes, Deckard is indeed a replicant. It didn’t quite take a rocket scientist to figure that out to begin with, but the idea of an old Deckard pretty much means that he’s human. Replicants supposedly have short life spans, or termination dates, that span a couple to a few years. Maybe they’ll keep Deckard a replicant but have a bit of throwaway dialogue explaining that he’s a special one with no termination date? Or maybe Scott will be “na mate, we were just pulling your legs in 1982 about all that, he’s human”.
Blade Runner is a special film, in fact, it’s a visionary film. It was way ahead of its time in terms of aesthetic and theme, and even though it didn’t make much of a splash when it was first released, it managed to resonate with audiences for decades. It’s one of the best films of the 80s in general; one of the best science fiction films ever made, and is probably Ridley Scott’s finest film together with Alien. It doesn’t need a sequel and never has. I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea of a sequel/spin-off that focused on new characters in the same universe, and instead leave Deckard’s fate a mystery. Alas, that’s not what’s happening.
So here we are folks, there’s a new Blade Runner film coming, whether we want it or not. Fuck this noise.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
So...I was wrong.
Not too long ago, I had shared my thoughts about the new Blair Witch movie, claiming that I had believed distributor Lions Gate had only slapped that franchise label on an already completed film in an effort to earn more cash from it. After viewing Blair Witch, I can safely say that I was totally wrong about that. If Lions Gate did do such a thing, the amount of post-production work on the film would have been ridiculous, considering from the beginning on that it doesn't try to be anything else but a film in the Blair Witch universe.
I went into the film with no expectations, having never really been into the franchise at all, although I'm a diehard supporter of director Adam Wingard (You're Next, The Guest) and writer Simon Barrett. I had expected the film to be a smash hit and all and at least garner a good critical reception given the pair's pedigree and all, but then something weird happened...I enjoyed the film, and audiences apparently didn't.
Now I went through something similar recently with The Witch (also from Lions Gate), which I thought was brilliant but a majority of mainstream audiences seemed to hate because either they didn't get it, or because it didn't spell everything out to the viewer. Blair Witch kind of suffers the same fate because it offers little to no explanations to the viewer about anything, but it offers much more taut suspense than the original film ever did, at least in my opinion. Granted some of the jump scares are flat out ridiculously set up, but the film is far better than I anticipated it to be, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Now I know I often say this, but don't pay any attention to critics. In fact, don't pay much attention to those who have seen the film and offered their opinion on it, whether it be good or bad. See it for yourself and judge it for yourself. Also check out the films of Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett; they're fucking wonderful.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
News came out a few days ago that the long awaited, uncut, uncensored version of Fede Alvarez's 2013 remake/reboot of EVIL DEAD is finally going to see the light of day. Alvarez confirmed such while doing the press rounds for his new flick DON'T BREATHE, and it's very well known that this is something we've all been waiting for now for quite some time. This news seriously excites me more than it probably should.
The 2013 take on EVIL DEAD was a shockingly brutal and gory retread on Sam Raimi's original film, so much so that many were shocked it was granted an R rating given the extreme level of violence. The fact that there's an extended and uncut version coming soon makes me wonder just what could have gotten cut out. Funny thing is, apparently this same extended cut ran on a UK channel in 2015 by mistake when the distributor accidentally sent the wrong master of the film for TV airing. Oops.
My only question is why have we waited this long to see an uncut version of EVIL DEAD? Why has it taken this long for it to see the light of day in a wide-release? I guess it doesn't really matter honestly, and that we should just be happy that we're finally going to be able to see it in all its uncut glory.
With ASH VS THE EVIL DEAD being a smash hit and the franchise riding an all time high like never before, it's never been a better time to be an EVIL DEAD fan than it is right now. Who would have ever thought that the franchise would see such a resurgence? It's shit like this that makes it great to be a horror fan.
Sunday, September 4, 2016
Rob Zombie is a lot like Eli Roth to me: a fairly talented horror filmmaker that has had one truly great film on their resume, and rest of their filmography is filled with relative clunkers. With each passing film they release, I hope against hope that their upcoming flick will fulfill all that empty promise we've been handed for the past decade, and still walk away disappointed in the end. At least with Roth's case, The Green Inferno and Knock, Knock were relatively entertaining, so he's redeemed himself a bit in my eyes. In Rob Zombie's case? Not so much.
Rob Zombie's newest film, the crowdfunded 31, is upon us, and it's getting the reception that many of us thought it would: people are either loving the shit out of it, or hating it with every fiber of their being. I haven't seen it yet, but given Zombie's track record with Lords of Salem and the Halloween turds, I'm not in much of a hurry either. Trailers and looks at the film that I've seen make it look like a fairly generic piece of mediocrity, and chances are I'm probably right in my early assessment too. I'm not shitting on Rob or the movie, I'm really not, because even in the movies of his I find myself hating, I manage to find one or two elements about them that I admire the hell out of. I have a sinking feeling that with 31, that won't be the case.
One thing I've noticed lately, especially in the horror community, is that differing opinions really cause everyone's inner-asshole to come out, especially in the case of Rob Zombie films. There are people that genuinely love his Halloween films, and even consider them better than John Carpenter's classic. Now everyone's entitled to their own opinion and all, but really? Does Rob Zombie have the following he does because he's a musician first and filmmaker second? Do people actually enjoy that mess that is House of 1000 Corpses and think it's better than Devil's Rejects? One thing I've noticed in discussing things like this is that fans are fiercely defensive of Rob's work and the pedestal they place it on. Are they such a way because they know in their hearts that his work is shit?
That being said, I've seen people that have seen 31 trash the film, and those who haven't seen the film yet trash the reviewers, and vice-versa as well. Every film needs a fair chance before everyone can drop their drawers and shit all over it holding each other's hands in unison. Also, one other thing I've seen a lot of lately? People saying "if you're not a Rob Zombie fan, you're not a true horror fan". Yes, people have actually said that. These are probably the same people that don't know who Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci are but think that the Scream franchise is the greatest thing Wes Craven ever put on celluloid. Fuck these people, fuck them in the ear. But hey, that's just my opinion...right?
It's attitudes like this that make me sad. Like I said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but being a flat out cock knocker to someone over a differing opinion than yours is just tiresome. That's what politics and comic book geek douche bags have nailed down, keep that shit out of the horror community yeah?
Or wait, you know what? Everyone's an asshole. Just ignore people in general and you'll be alright. Also, I will end up seeing 31 at some point, as long as I don't have to pay for it that is. That's just like, my opinion man.
Friday, August 26, 2016
I'm a sucker for pro wrestling. Ever since I was a little kid I've followed it, well into my teens. There have been periods of time where I stop giving a shit about it granted, but I always find myself drawn back to it eventually. Lately I've found myself being all about it again after a nearly decade-long time of not paying any attention to it at all, and in doing so I have come to a shocking conclusion...
...Brock Lesnar is a piece of shit.
Now I knew this back in the early/mid-2000s when he made his WWE debut and was pushed to the moon. It's extremely rare you see a guy his size have the kind of athleticism that he possesses, so naturally he was pegged to be the new face of the company. After a messy exit, Brock floated around the NFL and found a lot of success in UFC too before coming back for another go-around with WWE. I was never all that fond of Brock as a competitor, mostly because I knew from the offset he was going to be pegged as the next big thing. Aside from a super entertaining feud with Kurt Angle, just seeing Brock and his big fucking head annoyed the piss out of me.
In the time that Brock has come back, he's managed to receive another massive push while being on a part-time contract, which is fine because he's a big money draw just on his name alone. He's built a brand for himself by being an unstoppable monster of a man that does as he wishes just based on intimidation alone, not counting the fact he could take any one of us and rip us in two. Brock knows this, and combined with his massive ego, makes him one of the biggest toolbags in modern day existence.
Brock Lesnar is a no-necked potato-head looking motherfucker.
Between his UFC steroid shit, and the fact he probably went off script to prove a point last weekend at SummerSlam by busting up Randy Orton (what was scripted and what wasn't is still in question), Brock has that attitude of doing what he wants because no one can stop him. He's an overgrown caveman that was more than likely that jock bully douche bag you knew in high school whose dad had a brand new pickup truck every year and yelled drunken insults at sporting events he would make his kid participate in.
So yeah, in case you can't tell, I'm not much of a Brock Lesnar fan. I wish WWE would can him and not put up with his shit, but they won't, because he's a money printing machine. Thankfully he's only part time and we don't have to see his no-necked potato-head looking ass every week.
Fuck off Brock.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Over the past few years, there's been a rise of 80s nostalgia appearing in film, music, and video games. Notable examples include the video game FAR CRY: BLOOD DRAGON, the short film KUNG FURY, and everything produced by synth-pop band Gunship. I find myself enjoying just about all of this stuff quite a bit, but there's something I hold above and beyond all of that since I first discovered it: motherfucking TURBO KID.
TURBO KID is the fever dream of 80s born kids with no budget and big hearts. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic future (well, a post-apocalyptic future that would be predicted in the 80s) and revolves around our titular hero as he struggles to both be a kid and survive against evil marauders (led by genre stalwart Michael Ironside) while contending with a very strange, would-be female companion named Apple. Everything about this film is an over the top blast to say it lightly.
I had heard about this film online for quite some time before it managed to squeak its way onto Netflix where I finally got to see it. After viewing it, I tracked it down and purchased myself a copy. I recommend you all do the same. Granted that TURBO KID doesn't do anything revolutionary with the genre, nor does it try to, but it's a bloody and brilliant good time that tugs on your nostalgia strings. It's still streaming on Netflix right now, and I encourage you all to check it out while you can. You won't regret it.
Monday, August 8, 2016
Well, here we are. We’ve finally gotten around to SUICIDE SQUAD, and of course, it’s getting trashed by most critics, much like BATMAN V SUPERMAN did. Truth be told, it’s easy to see why: the film is hacked to hell editing-wise (it was a victim of re-shoots in an effort to lighten the tone since since BvS was lampooned for being too dark), so much so that even Jared Leto’s much hyped about role as the Joker ends up with him being barely in the film at all. Not to mention the fact that director David Ayer (FURY) was handcuffed by the studio; the end result being an uneven film lacking a true identity.
Flaws aside though, I really enjoyed it. Hell, I enjoyed it more than BvS. The characters were well cast (jury is out on Leto, just because there wasn’t enough of him to get a true reading) and they all looked the parts, even Will Smith who I’ve never been crazy about being Deadshot. It’s a mess, but it’s a very enjoyable mess, and the fact that we now have all these great DC characters on film for the first time ever (ARROW on TV doesn’t count) makes my little black geeky heart swoon.
Like BvS before it, don’t pay attention to the critics and just go see it. Also like BvS though, I’m hoping we get an uncut version down the line where Ayer’s original tone remains intact. One can only hope.
Monday, August 1, 2016
Out of all the slasher franchises from the 80s, I think the one I have the softest spot for is the FRIDAY THE 13TH flicks. I really wish I could give a concrete reason why that is, but I can't. I guess I've always been kind of drawn to Jason Voorhees more so than Michael Myers, and even Freddy Krueger. Or maybe it's the buffet of boobs the series is known for as well? Who knows?
Anyway, today marks the 30th anniversary of a fan favorite of the franchise. On August 1, 1986, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES was released theatrically. This was the first film in the series to feature an undead Jason Voorhees after he is idiotically brought back to life (he was legitimately killed in Part 4 and wasn't in Part 5 at all), and was also the first film in the series to inject a lot of humor and self-awareness into it as well. This is apparent based on the film's storyline, characters, and plot elements; all of which are gleefully tongue in cheek and just totally damn fun.
While Part 4 is, in my opinion anyway, the best film in the series, JASON LIVES is pretty damn close to it. Even if you're not a fan of the franchise, you should give this one a look at the very least; it's really seriously that damn enjoyable. And it also has that amazing Alice Cooper theme song as well, which switches between cracking me the fuck up with laughter or wanting to make me rock the fuck out every single time I hear it.
Oh, and there's not a single boob in sight either, go figure.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
I'll admit this here and now...I've never ever liked THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. I know it was a massive indie hit and became a phenomenon and all, but I could just never get into it. Well, I couldn't get into the film that is. The mythology of it on the other hand, I definitely got into. It's sequel a few years after, BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2, is ridiculously awful, but should be seen just for how bad it truly is.
A while back I saw a teaser trailer for something called THE WOODS, boasting that it was directed by Adam Wingard. Wingard directed some great segments in the first two V/H/S flicks, as well as recent favorites of mine YOU'RE NEXT and THE GUEST. Needless to say, given what the teaser offered and having him attached to it made me excited for it. Well, ComicCon was here, and guess what? Somehow one way or another, THE WOODS is now BLAIR WITCH. That's right, the film has been rechristened a Blair Witch movie (thanks post-production wizardry!) so now we're getting a long-awaited (?) third Blair Witch flick.
This feels kind of cheap to me. I seriously doubt there was any intention of this being a Blair Witch movie to begin with, but considering Lions Gate (the film's studio that owns the rights to Blair Witch after buying out Artisan years back) often bleeds money and has a dormant, once profitable name lying around, why not slap it on the film and re-edit some shit to make it a new entry in the franchise? And why not? This way it's guaranteed to make more cash than it probably would just being called THE WOODS or something.
Either way, I'm still going to see it because I'm a big believer in Adam Wingard and what he brings to the table. I just wish that some franchises would stay dormant and more original horror ideas would be pushed to the forefront.
Yeah, like that would ever become the norm. That shit makes no money.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Well, I guess we're getting another SAW movie after all...sigh...
Of all the horror franchises I can think of, the SAW series is probably my least favorite, so much so that I've never seen a few of the franchise's entries. I think I just got burned out because there was a long period of time when we were getting a new SAW movie every single year, and each one was worse than its previous entry. But hey, they made a shit load of money and were made for dirt cheap, so you really can't beat that kind of profit margin.
Eventually, fans started to grow tired of the franchise, and the SAW series has been dormant since 2010's SAW 3D. Well, next year we're getting another SAW flick, though details on it are a little murky. Is it a reboot? Is it a whole new entry? Is Cary Elwes going to be the new Jigsaw (he doesn't really have much to do these days)? Who knows, but for me though, it's more like who cares? I know this series has its long-admiring fans, and that's all well and good, please don't think I'm shit talking here, but I just could never ever get into the whole torture porn sub-genre. And those that praise the overarching story of the SAW series that continuously got more and more convoluted and confusing with each passing film? Yeah, after the third film, I said enough was enough.
One positive thing I will say about SAW (and which I've often said about it) is that when the first film hit theaters in 2004, it really was a breath of fresh air to the mainstream horror genre. At the time, all we were getting were shitty PG-13 rated remakes of Japanese horror films. They were watered down garbage aimed at teenage girls, and it was just a big, bad, and boring time for horror. When the first SAW hit, the bloodshed and dark tone was what we needed. Audiences thought the same because it became such a massive hit that it birthed a franchise with new installments every year...before that imploded that is.
Regardless, we're getting more SAW movies...ugh...
In the meantime, I'm still waiting for that new Phantasm flick that's been stuck in release and distribution hell.
Monday, July 4, 2016
25 years ago, we were graced with what is probably the best sequel of all time: James Cameron's Terminator 2. I was six years old (going on seven) and I actually managed to see this in theaters. How did that happen exactly? Well, I whined and begged to see it, mostly because I knew who Arnold Schwarzenegger was and because the movie was being marketed everywhere (I didn't see the first Terminator film until much, much later in life).
I remember enjoying what I saw, and being very, very sad over Ah-nold lowering himself into the molten steel at the end, and it wasn't until later on that I watched the film again and started understanding things better. As the years would follow, my love for Terminator 2 only grew (as well as my love for the first film), and the more I learned about it, the more appreciation I had for it. The long shooting schedule, the massive budget for its time (it was at one point the most expensive movie ever made), the way ahead of their time CGI effects (that mostly somehow still manage to hold up today).
If there's any negatives to Terminator 2, it's that there were additional films that followed it. What's ironic though is that no one was asking for a sequel to The Terminator to begin with, but with Ah-nolds since-catapulted global fame and Cameron's status as a blockbuster director, it became something that needed to happen. And low and behold, it was the biggest movie and phenomenon in the world for a period of time.
Terminator 2 has a special place in my heart and always will. It's that perfect mix of action, science fiction, and even a little tree-hugging that doesn't miss a beat and gets every little thing right. Seriously, I can't think of many, if any at all, negatives about this film to this day. The first film was a perfect mix of action, suspense, horror, sci-fi, and even film noir elements on a micro budget. James Cameron really knew what he was doing, and the end result was something very, very special.
You should go watch it again one more time. You'll be glad that you did.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Video games are changing.
E3 happed not too long ago, where it appeared that more games were going to begin following the path of VR (specifically the new "Resident Evil" game) and even current consoles are going to be receiving upgraded forms that can handle doing virtual reality shit. I have no clue how this shit works, nor do I care too much.
Now I've said before on here many times, that I'm sitting this console cycle out for the most part. I bought myself a Wii-U because I got it on a super cheap deal (and now I'm one of eight Wii-U owners across the planet, yayyyyyy) and I don't regret that purchase because I've had a shit load of fun with the console believe it or not. PS4 and Xbox One though I've decided to stay away from. I honestly haven't seen too much that's turned my crank as of yet, and part of me thinks I'm not going to either (granted there's a new "King of Fighters" game coming out that I would love to get my hands on, but I digress). VR accessibility doesn't make things any more appealing for me either.
Yeah, I know I sound like an old man here, and I don't care either. I remember when the Wii came out and everyone shit all over the motion controls gimmick; most saying it was just a fad and didn't really add much to the gameplay experience. Well, those people turned out to be right for the most part, and I think VR is more or less in the same vein. The technology itself is amazing, don't get me wrong. Video games have come a long fucking way since the Atari 2600 and all, and it really does seem like the future has arrived.
But ya know what? Fuck the future.
Maybe I've gotten to that age finally where I want to be left in the past as far as video games are concerned. Maybe the more technologically advanced they become, the more alienated I feel. When games started getting all about DLC and microtransactions and milking the fuck out of gamers for every cent that they can get, I started to feel out of touch. Now I feel even more out of touch than ever before. It happens to us all eventually though I guess, so there's that. Maybe I can hook up with other jaded gamers that have no interest in this shit huh?
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
Sunday, June 12, 2016
About a month or so ago, James Rolfe, AKA the Angry Video Game Nerd, had posted a video explaining why he won't be seeing or reviewing the upcoming "Ghostbusters" remake. Almost immediately, there were a ton of attacks, articles, etc., targeting Rolfe as an anti-feminist and misogynistic pig...which is weird because if anyone would have actually taken the time to watch the video, they'd have seen and heard that the reason Rolfe isn't bothering with the film isn't because of its female-led cast, but because he sees the film for what it really is: a no-imagination reboot that panders to the lowest form of an audience and seeks to cash-in due to brand recognition.
There's been a ton of backlash against the new "Ghostbusters", so much so that its original trailer is the most disliked in the history of YouTube for fuck's sake, but here we are with AVGN getting unjustly shit on by feminazis and feminazi sympathizers. James has been doing his AVGN shtick for over ten years now if you can believe that, in addition to all the other stuff he does on his Cinemassacre site, like movie reviews, let's plays, etc. While his act definitely isn't for everybody, he's always been a lightning rod for views and hits, and he's pretty much the one that started the whole retro video game explosion on YouTube. Pointing the finger at him is the easy thing to do, mostly because he's so well known and revered and that labeling him as an anti-feminist in some shitty blog article is guaranteed to get you at least a few hundred hits.
But hey, that's the world we live in. Throw labels and shit on people and try to start enough hubbub on the internet over it to get support, and there's always going to be at least a handful of brainless morons that will follow you no matter what. I know I sound like an old man here and get the fuck off my lawn and shit, but it's true, and you all know it is too.
James doesn't deserve this, anyone with an opinion doesn't deserve this, and fans of Ghostbusters don't deserve this.
That's right, remember one thing folks: the biggest victims here are fans of Ghostbusters, as they get to see their favorite property get dragged through the mud in the name of making some quick cash.
Saturday, June 4, 2016
"X-Men: Apocalypse" came out last weekend, to a surprising amount of middling reviews from critics and audiences alike. Some of it isn't much of a surprise in all honesty (the X-Men movies have usually wavered in quality ranging from "pretty good" to "pure shit"), but I didn't think "X-Men: Apocalypse" was all that bad. Actually, I thought it was pretty good. It wasn't anything too special, and it wasn't better than the preceding "X-Men: Days of Future Past", but it was pretty good regardless.
Now, in case you haven't noticed by now, it seems any comic book movie not directly from Marvel Studios (yes I know, X-Men is Marvel, but Fox owns the film rights, as they do with Fantastic Four) gets destroyed by critics. How well it does box office-wise is a different story, but critically these movies get savaged. Don't believe me? Look at Rotten Tomatoes; and while you're there, look at the scores for recent Marvel flicks like "Civil War" and "Ant-Man". There's a damn huge difference.
Saying that there's not some kind of bias with critics for anything non-Marvel is saying it lightly. It exists, and we all know it. I watch Marvel movies, and I watch the non-Marvel Studios-produced flicks as well (except Fantastic Four, because I have no desire to whatsoever and never really have). One thing I can tell you is that with "X-Men: Apocalypse", I never felt bored. The stakes legitimately felt high in terms of its story, even if there are plot holes aplenty and non-sensical leaps in logic abound. "Civil War" had some fun moments, but given the gravity of the situation presented in the film's story, the stakes never felt high to me. That however is usually how I feel with all the Marvel movies: there are some genuine shattering events happening, and the stakes just never feel high. Because of that, more often than not, I just get bored to tears. You can shit all over films like "Man of Steel" and "Batman V Superman", but at least the stakes feel high in those films, and one thing they're definitely not is boring.
In terms of the "X-Men" movies though, "Apocalypse" is far from perfect, but it's far from being the piece of shit that everyone is labeling it. I saw some fanboy online saying it "sets superhero movies back 20 years". How do you figure? It does pretty much what every superhero movie does, and it's damn sure better than "X-Men: The Last Stand" or the first Wolverine movie. If X-Men's film rights were owned by Marvel Studios instead of Fox and this movie came out the way it did, everyone would be somehow praising it instead.
In the meantime for you Marvel fanboys that keep your assholes greased up nice for that big fat Marvel cock y'all can't keep off of, try giving something a chance, even if it isn't directly from the studio you all worship.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Well, this was unexpected.
A few days ago it was announced that the "Halloween" franchise had found a new home between Miramax (well, technically they were an old home too, but I digress) and Blumhouse (who have been behind a shitload of mainstream and micro-budgeted horror dirges of varying quality). What's even more surprising though is that John Carpenter is going to be serving as a producer on the next installment of the franchise. That's right, John fucking Carpenter is returning to the franchise he helped birth.
Now what does this mean exactly?
Well, in all honesty, probably nothing much. The "Halloween" franchise has had its share of ups and downs (mostly downs) and suffered through mid-series reboots, ignored chapters, and a remake (with a sequel) from Rob Zombie that should have never seen the light of day. Other than "Hellraiser" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", the "Halloween" series has gotten fucked over more times than Zack Ryder in WWE (get that? No? Don't watch wrestling? Fuck you!).
Bringing Carpenter into the fold as a producer is probably for the sake of his name if nothing else. Saying the franchise needs a shot in the arm is saying it lightly, and having Carpenter's name at the marquee would do just that. Thing is though, don't expect him to really have much of an impact on the film itself. Carpenter was a "producer" on that abortion of a remake of "The Fog". From out of his own mouth he claimed his job was to occasionally show up on set and say hello. That's not something that really bodes too well is it?
Now, who knows how this new "Halloween" will turn out with an attachment from Carpenter. Apparently it's going to be a sequel to the first two films and completely ignore everything that came after? Who knows? All I know for sure is that it can't be any fucking worse than either of the Rob Zombie movies right?
Saturday, May 21, 2016
I had said some time ago that mainstream hype can kind of kill a horror movie upon release, citing recent horror flicks "The Babadook" and "It Follows" as examples. "The Babadook" was overrated anal waste, while "It Follows" wasn't bad. Now I've finally gotten around to seeing "The Witch", which had quite a bit of more than favorable critical reviews, but for some reason, audiences seemed to hate. Keep in mind that when I say audiences, I mean mainstream audiences.
Now why did mainstream audiences shit all over "The Witch"? Well, probably because it doesn't offer a jump scare every twenty seconds. One thing I've realized from going to see a few horror flicks in theaters (the original "Paranormal Activity" being chief among them) is that mainstream audiences base how they enjoy a horror movie from the number of jump scares they experience. "The Witch" doesn't offer anything of the sort. It's cerebral and doesn't spell anything out for the viewer, which is probably another reason audiences hated it. Audiences seemed to enjoy "The Forest" better, and that movie is a piece of shit for sure, but it offers jump scares and little to no intelligence...just like mainstream movie-going audiences. Yes I know that sounds mean, but y'all know it's true.
Now, I had said that "The Witch" doesn't spell anything out for the viewer, and it doesn't. It doesn't flat out spell on the screen that Black Philip is Satan himself, or that he's giving a contract out at the end of the film in an effort to get the surviving daughter to sell her soul to him, but if you had half a brain, you'd get that. Mainstream audiences need to have every rhyme and reason for anything that happens in a movie to be spelled out and explained to them, because that's what they expect. They don't want to think, they want to turn their brains off and be entertained. Now there's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but when it comes to films that offer a more cerebral experience instead of eye-bleeding CGI effects and pure stupidity, most audiences will rather choose the latter.
Not to mention the fact that this film is surprisingly graphic in its depictions of child death/torment, which for someone like me is quite lovely. It's really nice to see a mainstream-released horror movie not hold back. In fact, I'm really surprised this film had a national run in theaters. Seriously, I'm really fucking surprised.
Now I know I sound like an elitist fuck here in this thing, but when it comes to things like this, I guess I kind of am. I'm also unapologetic about it, so there's that. Regardless, you should really see "The Witch". It's the best mainstream-released horror movie in recent memory, and it now holds a special place in my heart.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
We've lost Darwyn Cooke. If you're asking yourself who that is, prepare to be educated:
Darwyn Cooke was a comic book artist, known primarily for his work with DC Comics. He first came to my attention when "The New Frontier" series had originally launched. What attracted me to it was Cooke's distinct style: a pseudo-retro design for characters and panels that both at once combined elements of the Golden and Silver Ages of comics, as well as a modern take. His work was truly unique, and in all honesty, something that I was initially put off by. Over time though, Cooke's work grew on me quite a bit, and it wasn't long before I began tracking down as much of his work as I could.
He'd worked in animation (for the animated adaptations of Batman, Superman, and Batman Beyond) and did other comic work on series' and characters including Catwoman, The Spirit, Spider-Man, and more besides. Everything Cooke touched was a thing of beauty from a visual standpoint, and alas, he's been taken from us far, far too soon.
Rest in peace Darwyn Cooke. My thoughts and hopes go out to your family. Your work will live on forever though, of that there is no doubt.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Remember that sequel to "Blade Runner" you were hoping would one day become a reality? Yeah, I don't either.
Either way though, we're getting it, as Ridley Scott continues to mine his past work in a self-destructive/semi-masturbatory way to squeeze some more cash out of classic properties. Unlike with "Prometheus" and the upcoming "Alien: Covenant" (sweet baby Jesus I didn't realize how dumb that title sounds until I just said it out loud), Scott will only be serving as a producer on the "Blade Runner" sequel, which also sees the original film's co-screenwriter Hampton Fancher returning, as well as Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard. The film is set decades after the end of the original, and will apparently answer some questions the first film left unanswered...
...which sounds fucking horrible.
One of the things that always made "Blade Runner" stick out to me was its ambiguity. I like the fact that the film doesn't spell things out for you like nearly every film released for mainstream audiences has the need to do. So I guess we'll get flat out told if Deckard is a replicant or not? Or maybe they'll just have Ryan Gosling (who is starring in the film) do a shitty and needless voiceover narration to explain things that don't need explaining?
The original "Blade Runner" was a victim of studio interference. That's why there's half a dozen different versions/cuts of the film. Considering all that interference and the fact that the film's studio never had that much faith in it to begin with, does it really warrant a follow up? Can't it just be left alone for fuck's sake?
Oh well, at least it's not getting a remake...
...until the sequel bombs terribly and it's decided that it should be rebooted from the ground up because somebody somewhere still thinks they can squeeze some more cash out of it.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
You know all about "The Killing Joke".
What many consider to be the greatest Batman story of all time, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's classic tale is going to be the next animated DC movie. And it features Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprising their roles as Batman and Joker respectively. Oh, and it's rated R.
Holy shit this is actually happening.
I've loved a majority of DC's animated flicks, most notably "Wonder Woman", "Under the Red Hood", "Batman: Year One", "The Dark Knight Returns", and "The Flashpoint Paradox" among others. Seeing "The Killing Joke" get the same kind of treatment is something I've always wanted to see, although I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any concerns.
It's the fact that knowing this film is rated R, could it be solely because of the infamous Barbara scene? There's always been a slight hint that Joker may have raped Barbara after shooting her and stripping her to take those pictures in an effort to drive Gordon mad, but it was only ever a slight hint and never spelled directly out at the reader. I'm concerned that maybe that whole scene could become even more exploitative; so much so that it loses that impact the scene in the comic had and totally misses the point.
Other than that, I'm truly excited to see "The Killing Joke" in animated form. I'm excited to see one of the best Batman stories ever appear on screen, and featuring the voices of Conroy and Hamill too no less. Hell, I'm more excited for this than I was for "Batman V Superman" (and I'm one of the very few people that liked that film) or any other comic book blockbuster to hit theaters any time this year.
Get ready folks. With any luck, we'll get animated adaptations of "Kingdom Come" and "Hush" in the near future among the many other DC stories that deserve the treatment.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
The pro wrestling geek in me is weeping. Actually a decent part of me is weeping to be honest. Joanie Laurer, better known as Chyna, has sadly passed away. Yes I know that Prince died too, but I'm not here to talk about Prince, I'm here to talk about Chyna.
Making her debut in WWF in early 1997, Chyna was a true pioneer for women wrestlers. Billed as the bodyguard for Triple H (who would become her off-screen boyfriend), no WWF fan had ever seen a woman like Chyna. With her harsh demeanor and rippling biceps, she looked like a force to be reckoned with, and that's exactly what she was. During the WWF's "Attitude" era, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock are usually seen as the faces of this era, and so is Chyna. She played an integral role in many storylines as well as being a founding member of the loveable faction DX, and was incredibly over with the crowd as well.
She was the first female entrant to the Royal Rumble as well as the King of the Ring tournament, is the only female to hold the Intercontinental Championship (twice), and was even the number one contender for the Heavyweight Title as well. That is fucking unheard of now when you think about it. While all the other women performers in WWF at the time were mostly eye candy (and booked as such), Chyna was something else. She was flat out legit, and truly gifted as well.
Her time in WWF ended badly, as she was seemingly given a raw deal when Triple H started porking the bosses' daughter Stephanie McMahon and Chyna found herself jobless. Things took a bit of a downturn for her personally, but I'm not judging her one bit. We all know she performed in some porn, but so fucking what? She never had anything negative to say about that industry and she seemed to enjoy her time there, so stop shitting on her already about that yeah?
Now, one thing that has always bothered me is that Chyna has never been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Reasons for this range from her time in porn to the fact that the WWE brass didn't trust her enough to get up on stage and accept her award without verbally trashing the company in some way. Can't have that now can we. That being said, and as terrible as it sounds, now that she's passed, she will most certainly get in. The sad part is she should have been put in a long time ago. Anyone who says different is a moron. "She did porn!" So what? Look at who's in the Hall of Fame right now:
Ultimate Warrior: a known homophobe and bigot
Randy Savage: probably boned Stephanie McMahon when she was underage (true)
Sunny: she's done porn and is a flat-out nutcase in real life
Scott Hall: killed a guy and had way worse drug problems than Chyna ever did
Jake Roberts: see above (though replace killing a guy with killing his snake)
Jimmy Snuka: possibly murdered his girlfriend
So yeah, Chyna belongs in the Hall of Fame, and she will more than likely get in there very, very soon. It's just a damn shame that she didn't live to see it happen.
Rest in peace Chyna. We love you.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
I have a lot of guilty pleasures in life: pro wrestling, really dumb anime, and motherfucking GODZILLA. My love for Godzilla knows no bounds. It's why I was shitting myself with excitement when the 2014 American take on Godzilla was coming out. While my reaction to that film was...well, mixed; it managed to whet my appetite...kind of.
Now here we are, and Toho is releasing a brand spankin' new Godzilla movie in its native Japan, called "Godzilla: Resurgence". The first video clips of the film have surfaced, and it looks like glorious, dumb, slightly idiotic fun...AKA, a fucking Godzilla movie. And goddammit, this is the Godzilla movie we need and deserve.
At their core, most Godzilla movies revolve around Godzilla taking on another monster, destroying buildings, bringing about a panic, and having many, many nonsensical elements to them that will make you laugh like an idiot. That however is the charm of these flicks for me, and part of what makes me love them so damn much. It's something that most American audiences (or filmmakers) just don't seem to understand. The 1998 US take was a cinematic abortion that didn't understand its source material and instead decided to try to rip off "Jurassic Park". The 2014 American take decided to take a much more serious/disaster flick-style approach similar to the original film that started it all, but kind of lacked where it counted in terms of monster mayhem and action.
"Godzilla: Resurgence" seems to be like the classic kind of goofy Toho fun that we all crave and deserve so much. And goddammit, it's about time. I know we're getting a sequel to the U.S. 2014 version at some point in the future, but I'm not anywhere as excited for what that will probably turn out to be compared to this.
This has me fully erect, I won't lie.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
As most (if not all) of you know, there was a time when I really, legitimately loved "The Walking Dead". The comics, the show, everything. That however, was a long time ago. I got tired of the comics, I got super tired of the TV show, and I got just plain bored with the whole marketing blitz/cash-cow that the whole property has become (in hindsight though, I'm happy that Robert Kirkman and Image Comics have raked in the cash though; both deserve it wholeheartedly, and it's proof that indie comics can still be a force to be reckoned with).
Anyway, it's been a long time since I've watched "The Walking Dead", although I've been hearing plenty about it, namely the long-awaited introduction of Negan and the promise that he'll whack a major character. In the comics, when Negan made his first appearance, he slaughtered long time fan-favorite character Glen in brutal fashion. Most people seem to think the show is going to swap out Glen for Daryl, but apparently everyone's going to have to wait until the start of the new season to see whose brains Negan bashes in.
That's right, after weeks and weeks of teasing, fans now have to wait months to see who gets killed. And, knowing how this show goes with dragging shit out, it probably won't get revealed until the end of the season premiere...or hell, maybe even later.
This show sure likes to be a fucking cock tease eh?
For all the faults of the comic, one thing it didn't do was drag shit out. When major shit would hit the fan, it would hit fast and out of nowhere. That's one of the things that made me fall in love with it way back when. The show on the other hand...well, it's always liked to make you wait. You can label it whatever you want, but it's the truth.
Now truth be told, I don't care what develops on the show and what doesn't. The main reason I'm writing about this right now is because seeing all the butthurt fanboys crying about boycotting the show and making petitions to fire showrunner Scott Gimple (then again, this show goes through showrunners like you wouldn't believe) are just a little too much.
We get it, you're pissed. And I'm not saying you shouldn't be either. But if you're really that pissed off about the whole thing, you should prove it by not tuning into the show when it comes back in October. Show some conviction instead of whining about it on the internet only to go back to it when it comes back on air and then sing its praises after.
But no, that's not what's going to happen, and we all know it too.
If there's one silver lining to all this, it's seeing the butthurt fanboys going against the die hard fans defending this bullshit.
Saturday, April 2, 2016
Do I really have to talk about this fucking guy again? I figured I'd said everything that needed saying already, but he's back in the news, so here we are.
Pedophile director Victor Salva seems to finally be getting "Jeepers Creepers 3" off the ground, and boom, he's hit a roadblock. A casting agency in Canada has removed a post from Salva and his people looking to cast actors for this somehow eagerly anticipated sequel...ya know, because not many people are looking to work with a convicted pedophile director. Needless to say, Salva always manages to cause a stir.
For those that somehow don't already know, Victor Salva was convicted of sexual misconduct with the 12-year old star of his 1989 film "Clownhouse", which included molesting the kid and recording the acts. During his arrest, a whole shit load of kiddie porn was discovered in Salva's possession as well. He didn't do much time sadly, and was out in 15 months.
Salva managed to find work after his release, mostly because he's one of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola's golden boys, and ended up making films like "Nature of the Beast", "Powder", and of course, "Jeepers Creepers" and its sequel.
Now yes, some of you will make the argument that "Salva served his time, blah blah blah", or "give him the benefit of the doubt, he hasn't been in trouble since", and to all that, I'll say this: fuck on off.
There's not much in this world that really sets me off, except for three things: rapists, child molesters, and animal abusers. I have no tolerance for them, any of them, and in Salva's case, he should have definitely served longer than 15 fucking months in prison, and shouldn't have been welcomed back in Hollywood to begin with.
There's been talk of doing a "Jeepers Creepers 3" forever now. I hope, I truly fucking hope, this never sees the light of day, and that Salva ends up wasting away into obscurity.
Oh, and by the way...those of you that have been pining for "Jeepers Creepers 3"? Guess what? Those movies are fucking awful, regardless of who directed them.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
So, "Batman V Superman" finally came out, and as expected, audiences are pretty much polarized. What wasn't expected was all the hate seemingly being thrown at the film. Yes we get it: it's not a Marvel movie. It's dark, and gritty, and rarely holds back. It has a pair of balls on it the size of the fucking Statue of Liberty. Coming off of "Man of Steel", a film in which Superman killed Zod, we have a film with a brutal Batman and even features a dream sequence in which Batman kills people and Superman burns insurgents alive.
Yeah, this isn't a typical take on either character. You know what though? Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe it's just me, but I've grown kind of tired of the bubblegum, lightweight universe of the Marvel films. I'm not shitting on them, I've just gotten bored with them: in the end, they're all the same shit. "Age of Ultron", "Ant-Man", "Thor: The Dark World", and even "Guardians of the Galaxy" to a much lesser extent, all bored me to tears.
You can say whatever you want to about "Batman V Superman", but one thing it isn't is boring. It's not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination. There's editing problems, big story problems, plot holes aplenty, and some big leaps in logic. That being said, it's still a live-action comic book brought to life, which is what these films are supposed to be in the first place. Ben Affleck is surprisingly wonderful as Batman, Jeremy Irons is awesome as Alfred, Jesse Eisenberg isn't too bad as Luthor, and when Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman first appears...well, I won't lie, I had a nerdgasm. Seeing Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman all on screen at the same time made me smile ear to ear. That in itself is an accomplishment.
So yeah, if you didn't like "Man of Steel", you won't like "Batman V Superman" one bit. If you did however like "Man of Steel"...you'll more than likely dig this more. Either way, don't believe all the haters. Check it out and see for yourself.
Saturday, March 19, 2016
It's pretty safe to assume that by now that you've all seen "Deadpool" by now. Any negative thoughts I had about it in the past were thankfully put to rest, and the film is a highly enjoyable blast. The massive and surprising box office reception it's gotten appears to have paved the way for R-rated comic book films to be the next big thing. So big that apparently we're getting a Blu-ray release of an R-rated version of "Batman V Superman" somewhere down the line, and we might get that "Lobo" movie we all deserve, and for fuck's sake, we're probably getting an R-rated "Wolverine" flick too.
Now this isn't the first time we've seen an R-rated comic book movie. We've had "The Crow", "Kick Ass", "The Punisher", "Watchmen", and more besides. Their box office returns were between middling and okay, but never anything earth-shattering and unexpected like "Deadpool" was. Granted, "Deadpool" had no budget, it's own studio didn't believe in it (yet somehow managed to market the holy living shit out of it), and it would have never seen the light of day were it not for that "leaked" test footage that Ryan Reynolds probably paid somebody to leak because he hasn't been in anything worth a shit in over a decade.
Regardless, "Deadpool" happened. Everyone loves it...my god does everyone love it. I haven't seen a movie get this much of a self-masturbatory celebration in a while, maybe even more so than "Force Awakens". And yeah, it's enjoyable and all, but come the fuck on, "Deadpool" isn't the greatest thing ever for fuck's sake. Then again, this is part of the nerd/geek culture we now live in...anytime a movie comes out featuring a property that people get nerdy about, there's always a little bit of pessimism associated with it right before release...then it comes out, ends up being surprisingly not bad, and people go nuts about it.
Now this isn't necessarily a problem...well, maybe. It's just like I said, "Deadpool" is enjoyable as hell, but it isn't anything really great. It's just seeing people go so damn gaga over it can be mind-boggling. "Force Awakens" suffers from the same fate, so do just about all the mainstream Marvel movies. We put this shit on a geek pedestal, and most times we put it up way higher than we really should. Are these kind of flicks enjoyable? Absolutely they are. They bring out all our inner-12 year olds and give us a sense of escapism for a couple hours, which in itself is a good thing I guess. But still, seeing the overwhelmingly positive receptions that some of these things get, which are honest to fucking god average at best most of the time, really just makes things a tad bit...yawn inducing.
Or wait, maybe I'm just super fucking jaded and old and all this shit just bores me to tears anymore.
Yeah...that's probably it.
Friday, March 4, 2016
Oh Dario, Dario, where art thou Dario?
You know what? Don't answer that. After seeing the last few films Dario Argento has made, I'm convinced he's lost to us forever, but that's a story for another day.
Anyway, one of the most beloved and cherished horror films in cinematic history is Argento's 1977 masterpiece, "Suspiria". A film that features brilliant storytelling, gut-wrenching gore, lush set design and colors, and gorgeous cinematography. It's a classic of the horror genre, and nothing Argento had done since can even come close to reaching the greatness that "Suspiria" managed to do.
So of course, it needs a remake, right?
Well tough shit folks, we're getting a remake of "Suspiria".
That's right, and it looks like it's happening here pretty damn soon. So soon in fact that casting is already underway. I had heard that so far we're getting Dakota Johnson (who I'm told showed her boobs in the adaptation of soccer mom porn for morons "50 Shades of Grey") in the lead, as well as Tilda Swinton, who I assume will be the big evil bitch of the film (and I don't have a problem with Swinton, she can literally do anything).
Now, here's the thing: "Suspiria" is a film that is definitely not for everyone. In terms of its storytelling, it didn't spell out everything for the viewer. There's a lot of elements in that film that are either kept ambiguous or are just told through the film's direction. Movies, especially mainstream American ones, don't do that anymore. Instead, we'll more than likely be getting a dumbed down, hastily-put together take on the film by a crew and producers who simply don't get the source material or rather don't want to...because intelligent filmmaking, especially in horror, doesn't appeal to the masses.
This happens all the time: just look at the recent "The Witch"; an intelligent and thought provoking horror flick that has been shit on by the general public because it doesn't spell things out and isn't easy to digest. "Suspiria" is such a film, and an American-ized modern day remake will more than likely be flat out crippled by stupidity. I'm going to list some horror flicks, most of them classics, that have been remade in the past decade or so and totally miss the mark that was set by the films they were adapted from:
Assault on Precinct 13
Dawn of the Dead (okay, this isn't that bad, it just ignores any kind of social commentary that the original had)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (like four times)
Yeah, you see where I'm going with this right? This remake of "Suspiria" will end up having the same result. It's fucking clownshoes.
In other words, fuck this, and fuck it hard.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
We've known about the new, all-female "Ghostbusters" film for a while now, but it looks like the marketing machine is about to kick into high gear. We've already had teasers, set pictures, posters, merchandise, etc.; and even fucking Ecto Cooler is making a comeback apparently. That's right, the nostalgia train is here, and it's time for everyone to get on board for this one way trip to shitsburgh. We're going to be getting a shitty retread of a classic franchise/license that is going to be so half-assed and half-hearted that now when we think about "Ghostbusters", we're going to be thinking about this shitty, modern take on it too.
Yeah, in case you can't tell, I'm not for a new "Ghostbusters" movie.
We've had remakes and reboots of every fucking thing under the sun lately, so it really isn't a surprise that we're getting a "Ghostbusters" one. There was talk of a potential third film for years upon years, but thanks to Bill Murray consistently dragging his feet and the death of Harold Ramis, that became nothing more than a fantasy. Granted we got a pretty cool video game in 2009 that re-united the original cast (which is honestly what I consider to be "Ghostbusters 3"), so at least we got something good out of the deal.
So yeah, the reboot machine got turned on for "Ghostbusters", featuring an all female cast of modern day comedians... oh and apparently there's some kind of involvement from Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd too, who will not be playing their classic roles, but as new characters instead. So yeah, it's a full on reboot, and it looks to be one with little to no thought put into fucking anything. I mean c'mon now, the main antagonist of the film appears to be the ghost from the classic logo. That really took a lot of thought huh?
Look, I don't care if you want to make an all-female "Ghostbusters" film or any other all-female take on any other property. That doesn't bother me at all. What does bother me is that we truly are seeing the bastardization of a beloved property that is being re-processed for mass modern consumption. The classic first "Ghostbusters" film is an example of pure lightning in a bottle. It's a perfect blend of humor, action, and most of all, imagination. To put it bluntly: it's perfect. "Ghostbusters 2"...well, that is far from perfect. Regardless though, it's still enjoyable, and still retains that degree of imagination for it to stand on its own.
This new "Ghostbusters" flick looks devoid of imagination...or anything else really. It's shat-out studio garbage, banking on the fact that it has the name of a beloved property that it will rake in a shit load of money so it can spawn a whole new franchise of mediocrity and keep that money train coming in. How about we not let that happen guys? It's only when you stop giving studios your ticket money that they'll stop making the shit film adaptations of beloved properties that everyone (me included) bitch about on the internet.
So yeah, in case you can't tell, I won't be seeing the new "Ghostbusters" flick when it comes out. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't see it either.
Then again, if there's a steady paycheck involved, I'll believe anything you say.
Saturday, February 20, 2016
So, word got out that we've finally got a new Hellraiser movie coming out...and it's coming out a lot sooner than we expected.
In fact, it's already filming...
...and it doesn't have Doug Bradley in it as Pinhead...
...and it's super low budget and features a number of the crew from Hellraiser: Revelations...
What does all this mean exactly? I'll tell you what it means...
...it means it's gonna fucking suck.
Anyway, here's the deal: the Hellraiser franchise has gotten the shit end of the stick more often than not, with this new film being the tenth entry in the franchise. The only films in the series that are really worth a shit are the first two installments, which are what Clive Barker was the most heavily involved in. The direct-to-video releases Hellraiser: Inferno and Hellraiser: Hellseeker aren't bad for what they are, but they miss the point of Barker's groundwork.
A few years back, Dimension Films commissioned a hastily put together installment called Hellraiser: Revelations...and when I say hastily put together, I'm not exaggerating. To ensure the studio didn't lose the rights to the franchise, they had to pump out a new film. They did, with a shoestring budget, laughable effects, a piss poor story, and a new laughably bad Pinhead because Doug Bradley wisely chose not to be a part of it. Clive Barker publicly derided the film, and with good reason. If you ever have the displeasure of watching it, you'll see what I mean.
Now with this new film, Doug Bradley has chosen not to play Pinhead again, and it looks like this was another wise decision on his part. The fact that it looks like this piece of shit is being thrown together as quickly as the piece of shit that came before it pretty much tells you everything you need to know. This is going to be flat out awful, and everyone involved in it knows it.
The Hellraiser franchise deserves better than this. What started as some fairly innovative horror films that started de-evolving into run of the mill slashers and even got worse as time went on. The fact that the franchise is still around, even with shit sequels, shows that whatever impact it has had still resonates. That in itself goes to show that we all do in fact desire more Hellraiser...but we want Hellraiser done right...not cheap imitations.
Over the past few years, there's been lots of word about a Barker-helmed remake/reboot of the franchise. Believe it or not, I wouldn't have a problem with such a thing. Granted, I really don't think that'll ever happen for a variety of reasons, but I'd still rather see a fresh take on it from its creator than another deluded sequel.
So yeah...this new Hellraiser flick? Fuck it, fuck it right in the ear.
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Sonic the fucking Hedgehog has really been around for 25 fucking years???? Sweet bare-assed baby Jesus, I can't believe it's been that long. It really honestly doesn't seem like it was all that long ago when I first discovered the amazing joys of playing the original Sonic game and running at blazing speeds in 16-bit glory. And now, here we are, 25 years later, and Sonic is still around...well, kinda.
There's a shitload of Sonic games out there, and there's seemingly a new Sonic game every year or so, for better or worse. Sonic has starred in some of the best video games to ever see the light of day (Sonic's 1, 2, 3, and Sonic & Knuckles) to some of the absolute worst games ever made (the 2006 game simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog, and last year's Sonic Boom on the Wii-U). So yeah, he's had good times and bad times, but despite all that, he's still an iconic video game mascot.
So since we all mostly know what Sonic games are good, and which ones are shit, here's a small list of some truly underrated Sonic games that don't get mentioned nearly as often as they should be:
SONIC CD (1993) - Sega CD
One of the handful of games that made a Sega CD worth owning was SONIC CD. This game had the typical kind of Sonic action, but mixed things up with time travel elements to bring new dimensions to the gameplay. This resulted in changing level layouts that gave the game massive replayability. This combined with the fantastic music really made this game stand out. Unfortunately, no one really remembered this game for quite some time. It wasn't until it was eventually re-released on PSN and Xbox Live in 2011 that it started to get the appreciation it really deserves.
KNUCKLES CHAOTIX (1995) - 32X
Yeah I know, Sonic isn't in this, but technically it's still a Sonic game, so blow me. Anyway, you play as Sonic's asshole buddy Knuckles along with a cast of other characters that I don't think have appeared in any Sonic game since. Instead of the speed-based gameplay, this time you are attached to another character using rubber-band physics. This is how you maneuver through the game, and while it takes some time to get used to, it is worthwhile. Sadly because it was on the 32X, no one fucking played it, so the game faded into obscurity. It hasn't been re-released at all either...like at all. I'm hoping that one day Sega remedies that, but it's bloody unlikely.
SONIC ADVANCE 3(2004) - GAMEBOY ADVANCE
While the Sonic games hitting consoles around this time were hit and miss (mostly miss), the Sonic games hitting the GBA were damn good. The first two SONIC ADVANCE games get talked about a lot, but the third doesn't nearly as much as it should. Maybe it's because this installment introduced a team-up dynamic in addition to the amped-up speed gameplay. Either way, this game is a total fucking blast and I still pop it in now and then to this very day.
SONIC COLORS (2010) - WII
I hated SONIC COLORS the first time I played it, just all the other Sonic games that appeared on the Wii. Unlike them however, I warmed to SONIC COLORS. It mixes the 2D and 3D elements of prior Sonic games, and often feels like you're playing a live-action rollercoaster. However, the game actually has seamless mechanics and it looks vibrant and controls super fucking well. Until SONIC GENERATIONS came along and did everything better, I'd actually say that this is the best Sonic game to come out of this era, it just may take a while for you to warm up to it.
SONIC CHRONICLES: THE DARK BROTHERHOOD (2008) - NINTENDO DS
A Sonic RPG? Developed by BioWare (creators of MASS EFFECT, KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC, DRAGON AGE)? On the fucking DS? Are you mad?!?!?!?! Well, such a game exists, and it's actually pretty damn good. Sonic and his whole cast of assholes transition pretty well to the RPG genre surprisingly, There's an engaging combat system and the game is a joy to play. However, it has a cliffhanger ending that will never get resolved, since EA bought BioWare and the game sold like shit to begin with. Still, it's fun and everyone should play it.
So yeah, there's some Sonic games you may have missed out on. If you did, you should go play with. Or go Google search Sonic Rule 34. Thank me later.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Very soon, Playboy will be launching their new issue which will be the first to feature non-nude models...and also a cover that looks like snapchat vomit. That's irrelevant though, because this really does mark the end of an era.
Me, like a lot of guys over the decades, got their first taste of female nudity glancing at the pages of Playboy. Tastefully nude pictorials and the occasional nude celebrity were Playboy's bread and butter for decades; but in this era with internet porn, every fetish literally being just a click away, and celebrity sex tapes being "leaked" every other week, what Playboy had to offer in terms of their nude pictorials had grown stale and become known as old hat.
I myself hadn't picked one up in quite some time, because honestly what's the point with everything I just listed? Well, the other thing that Playboy offered in abundance was their wonderful articles. Yeah yeah I know the old joke: "na man, I only read it for the articles". Well, the magazine has usually always featured some great and informative articles, interviews, editorials, and more. These are what kept Playboy head and shoulders above its much more explicit brethren like Penthouse and Hustler, and what will continue to keep them head and shoulders among other print men's magazines as well, which usually offer the typical scantily clad women, except the photography work is shit and any articles featured are written at a fourth grade reading level by someone that probably uses the word "bro" a lot in real, everyday life.
So yeah, it's actually not that big a deal that Playboy is going non-nude. It's definitely the end of an era to be sure, and I do think that maybe one day they will revert back to their old ways, but for now let's celebrate what the magazine has done in terms of the trailblazing that Hugh Hefner and co. have accomplished, and be happy that we'll always be able to reminisce about where we saw our first boobs and such.
Saturday, January 30, 2016
When I was growing up, one of the bands that had a near and dear place in my heart was Pantera. That hasn't changed, nor will it ever in all honesty. They are the band I've seen the most live in concert, the band whose albums and t-shirts and stickers I'd bought in my teens. In retrospect, Pantera is probably my all-time favorite band from that era.
As the years would go by, bad things happened for the band as a whole, namely they broke up. If you were a diehard fan of the band though, you probably saw that coming. There was friction among singer Phil Anselmo and Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul, and this was known for a long time. So they split, Phil went and did his thing with his many side projects and Dime and Vinnie formed Damageplan. At least they were all still making music.
Then, in 2004, Dime was murdered on stage by an insane fan. Phil was pointed at and derided by fans because of his constant shit-talking on Dime and Vinnie in the media and at various shows (I myself heard him once shit on Damageplan at a Superjoint Ritual show in 2003, though in his defense he did follow it up by saying he loved them all).
So yeah, it hasn't been easy being a Pantera fan.
Oh, and Phil Anselmo just got busted doing a Nazi salute and saying white power.
Okay, I'm going to say this right now: accusations about Phil being a racist piece of shit is nothing new. In my youth, I met Phil, and I know others that have as well, and we've all come to the same conclusion: he's a fucking asshole. But is he really racist? Well...it's kind of hard to think he isn't at this point. In the past, we've all given Phil a free pass because of what all he accomplished with Pantera, but with blatant shit like this, there's no free fucking pass here.
The music that Phil crafted with Dime, Vinnie, and Rex will always be impactful and mean the world to me, but for the love of fucking Satan, fuck Phil right up his fucking ass.
Now, one more thing: metal fans, and Pantera fans especially, usually get associated with being racist fucks. As a metalhead myself (well, not as much as I used to be, but still) I can wholeheartedly say that not all of us are racist fuckheads. Granted there are quite a bit, that's for sure, but not all of us are, and we shouldn't have ever given Phil a free pass over this shit to begin with.
I do believe that Phil is definitely unhinged (he was declared technically dead once or twice back in the day due to his drug use) and he's at that point where he literally gives no fucks about anything at all, and as much as I want to give him the benefit of the doubt about his excuse why he did it (he claims it was an inside joke due to there being the presence and consumption of white wine back stage), I don't think I can.
So hey, Phil, fuck on off and go home with that shit. And fucking hell, get your shit together. The fact that you're still alive and Dime isn't illustrates how fucked up the world is.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
So it's being said that DC Comics is doing another company-wide reboot pretty damn soon. Only difference between this reboot and the New 52 reboot from 2011 appears to be that this one is going to be focused more on characters and properties that are going to be heavily featured in movies and TV shows. So basically we'll be having a lot of titles focused on Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, various members of the Suicide Squad, and probably Green Arrow, Flash, etc.
So um...yeah. I don't really like this idea, any more than I did the idea of the New 52 reboot. Thankfully though for that we got some interesting stories and takes on Batman, Aquaman, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Stormwatch, and more besides; so it wasn't all bad in retrospect. In fact, while a majority of the storytelling was "meh", you can't deny the ballsiness of it.
Now here's the thing, what DC is doing is getting shit on a lot...which isn't a surprise. DC usually always gets a lot of flack thrown at it, sometimes rightfully so, sometimes not. The joke of it all is that this is shit that Marvel has been doing forever, and no one ever shits on them, because they're Marvel. Don't believe me? Well, let's think about it for a second: anytime a Marvel movie has been a hit, Marvel has either retconned characters or flat out rebooted them to streamline with their film counterparts:
Blade (yes, Blade) was never a half-human/half vamp "daywalker". He was a fairly normal dude. That shitty 90s "Spider-Man" cartoon first presented him as the Blade we all know now before the Wesley Snipes films did.
Ever since the first "X-Men" movie in 2000, Wolverine is frequently drawn to resemble Hugh Jackman more than any other physical incarnation he had before anyone ever knew who the fuck Hugh Jackman was.
Nick Fury (the white one) all of the sudden has a never-before mentioned son of African-American descent (and ends up losing an eye) that subsequently takes over SHIELD and the original Fury is written out of the Marvel universe in a non-sensical crossover where The Watcher was assassinated for...reasons.
There's more besides all that, but I stopped reading mainstream Marvel and DC comics quite some time ago. Why? Because the kind of innovative and mostly stand-alone storytelling that I fell in love with from guys like Walter Simonson, Grant Morrison, Frank Miller, and more besides, was being phased out of mainstream comics in favor of streamlined storyarcs that never end and just written to sell more books.
Selling more books is the key after all, which is fine, because the comic book industry is a finicky one and even though it has endured for so long, it still ends up needing a kick in the ass every so often to keep itself afloat. The sales of these mainstream comics are the main source of that for the most part, and are also the most exhausted of ideas and innovation. It's a weird fucking balance, but that's pretty much how it's always been.
So yeah, DC gets shit on, Marvel doesn't. It's the same as it ever was, and that's probably how it'll always be too. The reasons why on that is something I've touched on before, and something I'll probably touch on again at some point down the road.
Now go read some goddamned indie comics.
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Well, I finally did it. After months upon months (and actually years) of looking forward to Eli Roth's "The Green Inferno", I finally managed to sit down and watch the damn thing. I've seen so many cannibal movies in my life and there's been such a draught of them that I guess I was looking forward to this film just on general principle mostly. Well, here we are, and I finally watched it...
I've been saying the same thing about Eli Roth for years: he has tons of promise and always underwhelms. The best film he ever did was his debut, "Cabin Fever", and that was in fucking 2002. "The Green Inferno" is the first film he's directed since 2007's "Hostel 2", and in between those films he's had his name attached to a lot of shit that includes "The Last Exorcism" and "The Man with the Iron Fists" in varying degrees. "The Green Inferno" was supposed to be the film that really cements Roth's place on the upper levels of horror directors, and while the film doesn't necessarily fail in doing that, it doesn't really succeed either.
Now in talking about the film, this is going to be spoiler-heavy, so be warned. A bunch of college kid toolbags that think they can make a difference follow a charismatic leader named Alejandro on a crusade to the Peruvian jungle to stop the place from getting destroyed. One of the students is Justine (played by Roth's real-life wife Lorenza Izzo) whose Dad is a UN bigwig. After she learns she was only brought along because of her UN connection and Alejandro could care less of what happens to her, the plane they're on crashes and they're scooped up and devoured by a cannibal tribe.
Now all of this is well and good, and you can tell that Roth has watched "Cannibal Holocaust" and "Cannibal Ferox" like a few hundred times each, and Roth actually manages to nail most of the big notes that come with these kind of films (thankfully there's no animal deaths or genital mutilation...though we come close), and when it does, the film is actually pretty damn good and features some wonderful gore effects from industry icons Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger.
Where the film fails though are with Roth's infantile attempts at humor. There's scenes where someone can't stop farting and eventually shits themselves (seriously) and Alejandro decides to randomly start jerking off while they're all held captive...but hey, nothing turns a guy on like seeing someone get eaten alive right? While I enjoy seeing Roth satire social justice warriors, knee-jerk liberal college students, and social media itself; the film's characterizations are piss poor and we care nothing for any of them...in fact, I was hoping Justine and everyone involved would get eaten alive in fantastic detail.
I should also mention that the film is nowhere near as gnarly as I thought it would be. Maybe I'm just desensitized to this shit by now, but it actually felt kind of underwhelming? When the gore did happen, it was great, but some of the CGI-added effects are so piss poor it's not even funny. The ant scene? Oh my fucking god, it's so bad...so fucking bad.
So yeah, "The Green Inferno" is far from a masterpiece, but I enjoyed it for what it was. There's a mid-credits scene that sets up a possible sequel, of which there was supposed to be, but those plans got put on hold in 2013 when this film was first delayed before Blumhouse and Universal rescued it from obscurity. If that sequel ever happens, I'd be okay with it...but it looks like that's a big if.
Monday, January 11, 2016
So, it's been a rough past few days hasn't it? Motorhead frontman/icon Lemmy Kilmister passed away at the age of 70 before New Year's. Then late Saturday night news of horror icon Angus Scrimm passing at the age of 89 had spread. Then, finally, I woke up this morning to the news that the living legend David Bowie had passed away as well.
Lemmy. Angus. Bowie.
If there's any silver lining to these three passing, it's that each of them made a hell of an impact in the film and music worlds (and surprisingly, all three had varying degrees of success in both industries), and lived long lives and have subsequently left unparalleled legacies.
Lemmy was first exposed to me in my teens through discovering Motorhead through the music of Metallica (yeah, I said that). His music was full of attitude and badassery that made little teenage Nick swoon. I wanted to be just like Lemmy, minus the warts. As the years would go by and I'd get into horror flicks, I'd discover Lemmy making appearances in various horror films like Richard Stanley's "Hardware" and various Troma movies. Plus, being a pro wrestling fan, I'd look forward to seeing Triple H make his way to the ring just so I could hear his Motorhead theme song.
Angus Scrimm was an imposing man. Before he became a horror icon for playing the Tall Man in Don Coscarelli's "Phantasm" franchise, he won a Grammy way back in the day for writing liner notes. After the original "Phantasm", Scrimm would make appearances in many horror flicks throughout the years, ranging from "Subspecies" to "Mindwarp". I had managed to meet the man once at a convention years back. He was very cordial and an overall nice man, and he seemed to genuinely love interacting with fans.
David Bowie. David. Fucking. Bowie. I can't say anything about him that would do the man justice. His legacy and impact is unparalleled. I was first exposed to him in my youth, like many others my age, by seeing him in Jim Henson's "Labyrinth". I'd later discover his other acting works including Tony Scott's "The Hunger" and "The Man Who Fell to Earth"; both of which had their fair share of impact on me. But more so than that, it was his music. I really didn't appreciate Bowie's music until I got older, mainly because I don't think my brain was developed enough at the time to fully appreciate his genius...or maybe because I didn't get my hands on hallucinogens until much later. Regardless, saying Bowie had an impact on me is saying it lightly.
The fact that all three of these guys are no longer among us makes the world a worse place to live in. Thankfully, their art will be eternal and forever beloved, and I can't thank the three of them enough for that.