Cloverfield on DVD!

Just a heads up that today is April 22, which is NEW DVD TUESDAY! This isn't any old regular New DVD Tuesday either, because today is the day that Cloverfield hits the shelves. If you didn't get the chance to see this one in the theaters, now is your chance. I imagine the camera work will be a little less nausea inducing on the small screen, so don't let that hold you back!

Cloverfield was definitely an 'experience movie,' so if you missed out on it before you may not see the big deal now. You really needed to see it with an audience to fully appreciate the roller coaster. Regardless of that, I think Cloverfield will hold its own as simply an enjoyable film. Yes, you need to have the ability to suspend disbelief as the characters do some pretty unbelievable things, but you'll be well rewarded. There hasn't been a more enjoyable monster mash in theaters since... well, I'm not sure I can even come up with the last one. Jurassic Park? Maybe? (The Host doesn't count as it didn't play within 100 miles of me.)

Anyway, go out and buy/rent Cloverfield now! Hardcore monster fans will either love it or hate it, but you owe it to yourself to at least watch it once. My full review will be coming within a few days, I suspect.

Credit to IGN.Com for the DVD Box Art
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Worst Case Scenario

Edit: Special thanks to NintendoMan for tracking down the identity of the unknown artist. The artist is Travis Pitts and you can find more of his work at!

I'm warning you now, this post isn't strictly movie related. It is, however, highly relevant to my interests. Allow me to paint the scene for you. There I was late one night, browsing several dubious alleyways on the world wide webzors. Despite being in a bad part of town, I was minding my own business, trying not to look out of place. And that was when it found me. Helpless and alone, it descended upon me with a fury unknown to those who have not survived it. I speak, of course, of gaining a glimpse of the following picture.

Wait- before I show you, I think you need adequate prep, dear reader. You must be aware of the awesomeness that is about to forcibly penetrate your retinas. Only then may you hope to survive with some small amount of your eye sight left intact. Without further ado, I give to you 'Worst Case Scenario.'

That title is what the file was saved as. The actual title of the work, I do not know. I also humbly do not know the identity of the insanely awesome artist whom has rendered the greatest piece of art post Da Vinci's Last Supper. If anyone out there knows, please drop me a line so I may give the artist proper credit.

Let's dissect this bad boy for a moment. My eyes are naturally drawn to the large, imposing dinosaur in the image's foreground. I suspect this is largely owing to that fact that I was once a 12 year old boy. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a Velociraptor or a Baby T-Rex, but either way he is as menacing as a cracked out Hamburgler at Mayor McCheese's inauguration ceremony. The topper, of course, is that this is not just any sort of dinosaur wrecking havoc freely in a city, no. No, this carnivorous rapscallion is a mount. His rider? DRACULA.

I wish I could say the awesomeness ends here, but it doesn't. We're just beginning. This Dinosaur-General Dracula not only commands the velociraptor upon which he is perched, oh no. He is also commander-in-chief of a massive invading undead zombie horde. If you thought mindless zombies were bad, wait till you see them under the ruthless command of The Count.

The invading armies do not end here. You, of course, have already noticed the UFO's raining chaos and destruction down upon the hapless city by way of their awesome death rays. Providing further air support are the darkened silhouettes of countless pterodactyles, which one must envision swooping down upon the clueless city dwellers, whom are no doubt rushing blindly into the streets as the aliens take down building after building with their advanced weapons technology. If you look carefully you'll see that the pterodactyles have not been merely mindlessly unleashed. They are, in fact, mounts themselves. At first I thought that perhaps Commander Dracula had outfited these flying death machines with members of his zombie horde, but closer inspection reveals the presence of capes, no doubt implying that these flying riders of doom are in fact vampires!

Congratulations, nameless artist. I have no idea if your title for this work was originally intended to be 'Worst Case Scenario' but truly this has been realized. I've seen a lot of really bad movies. I've envisioned countless more bad movies that I wish would be made. None of the scenarios in my wildest dreams have ever even approached this awesome vision of unholy destruction.

God bless Dinosaur-Commander Dracula and his invading hordes.
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The Sad State of Horror

This last weekend brought both joy and horror to the North American Box Office for us horror fans. On the one hand, a berated genre film overcame the odds and triumphed at the box office, coming at number one over some fairly stiff opposition. On the other hand, this mainstream triumph is a piece of shit film that no genre fan would actually want to see. Unfortunately, it's untimely success may have far reaching consequences.

The movie I speak of is Prom Night, the neutered, PG-13 bastard remake of the 1980 Jamie Lee Curtis classic. Its first weekend managed to pull in a fairly impressice $20.8 million dollar haul, opening against the high expectations cop-thriller Street Kings which came in second with a paltry $12 million. This is a wonderful success for the genre, one that I would hate to belittle, but-

Well, I have to.

Seriously, America? This? Prom Night? You choose this steaming piece of shit as the shining example of genre film to place on a pedestal, for all films for the next year and a half to emulate?

Sorry. Let me calm down for a moment.

Nope, still angry.

Okay. I think that's got it.

Seriously? This is the type of horror that you want to see? The problem with the success of this movie is that Hollywood executives across the city saw the numbers and developed instant profit-induced boners. Each and every one of those asshole now thinks that shot on the cheap, shitty remakes is what Joe-public wants to see. Awesome. So next year when I'm watching PG-13 versions of the Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser, and Friday the 13th remakes, I'll know who to blame.

All of you*.

I have a deep rooted dislike for PG-13 horror movies, especially when they're remakes of R-rated ones. True, if those classic originals were to be released today, they'd likely have lower ratings, perhaps even PG-13. The rating system has adapted over time, and more things are deemed acceptable by today's standards. I'm okay with that. My problem is that these remakes that opt for the audience friendly PG-13 rating aren't staying true to the spirit of the original.

The original films were rated R because, for their time, they pushed the envelope. The movies are great because they made people uncomfortable. That's the point of horror films. You're supposed to be scared. You're supposed to be on edge. You're supposed to be dreading what comes next. Your dread, your fear, your excitement compels you to continue watching, to see how it ends. These classic films are classics because they challenged the standards of the day, they showed you images that you couldn't believe they would show you. This is the reason why these films are still remembered. You can't water down the experience and expect the same societal and pop cultural reaction.

My problem with these PG-13 remakes is they settle for appeasing the status quo. They don't challenge the audience. If regular horror is incapable of being high art (a view I also disagree with), then these films are simply epic failures of the form.

You fail, Prom Night. You fail.

*And by you, I don't mean *you*, gentle reader. I mean mainstream America. Thanks a lot, guys.
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RIP Charlton Heston Is Legend

One-time god of geek cinema, Charlton Heston, has passed away. Between Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, and Soylent Green, Heston will always be remembered as one of the greats. Rest in peace.
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30 Days of Night - Movie Review

Tonight on the chopping block is the relatively recent big-Hollywood DVD release of 30 Days of Night. The flick is one of the better mainstream offerings to come down the pipeline in awhile and is a flick that any horror fan should probably check out.

The movie covers a fantastic premise: A small group of bestial vampires descend upon a small town in Alaska where the sun sets, not rising again for 30 days. The vampires have the free run of the small town population, able to feed at will without the need to worry or hide from the sun. The movie follows a group of survivors trying to outlast the night.

For a Hollywood movie the level of brutality on display here is simply amazing. These aren't your grandmother's Bela Lugosi vampires. These are bestial, ravenous, guttural beasts of the night. They're not going to just drink your blood, they're going to rip you limb from limb and leave you screaming. Over the course of the film we see several beheading, the slaughtering of dogs, and a brutal ax-delivered death of a little girl turned vampire. The level of gore isn't going to impress hardcore indy gore-hounds, but for a wide release movie, you couldn't possibly expect anymore.

The next thing I noticed watching the film was the cinematography, which at times was simply gorgeous. Some of the scenery looks like a living painting, a look no doubt intentional due to the comic book origins of the material. The use of CGI enhancement gives an otherworldly quality to the material, making it jump off the celluloid. I've included an example of this below, but you really need to see the pictures in motion to get the full effect.

Okay, so enough praising. The movie isn't perfect and I don't want you to read this thinking it is. The acting can be a bit rough at times, especially from lead male Josh Hartnett. I understand they were trying to portray a multidimensional lead character but he just comes across as effeminate. The film definitely would have benefited from an actor capable of injecting a bit of testosterone into the proceedings from time to time, especially during the climatic fight scene. As is, the climatic battle between Josh Hartnett and the leader of the vampire pack comes off as sad and pathetic, a far cry from the epic battle you can tell the filmmakers were going for. Having the worst piece of laugh-inducing special effects in the movie cap off this fight didn't help much either.

There's also a serious problem with time progression in this film. At times, they simply throw a subtitle up on the screen indicating how many days are left before the sun rises. The movie skips from Day 1 to Day 9 to Day 29, or something like that. When this happens the scene breaks feel forced. They don't flow naturally, and they decrease suspense.

The Bottomline: 30 Days of Night is an impressive first offering from Ghost House Productions. This level of horror should be consistently seen in theaters across America. The film isn't perfect, but it's a lot of fun and, hey, it beats watching another J-horror remake (looking at you, Shutter). 2 Bruces.

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