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Video games, horror movies..

Archive for the tag “Horror”

What makes a successful launch?

The Secret World early entry period started yesterday for pre-orders and I must say that thus far Funcom is doing a superb job of handing things.  I know no matter how things go with the launch of TSW there will always be those that want to point back to Age of Conan and Anarchy Online and talk about how horrible things were, but I prefer to live in the moment, and at the moment I am having a blast and enjoying my purchase 100%.

This post though is not going to focus on the game itself, I plan on doing that in segments, this is just about the launch and my experience with the process.

I did have a slight delay in processing my purchase via paypal, but once I switched to a CC the order went thru within minutes.  My name reservation was easy to set up and my beta client patched to the early access client without any major issues.  Once I got home from work I was easily able to log in to the character creation menu without any delay.  I have read that from time to time the client locks up at the character menu but by shutting down the client and restarting it will sort itself out.  I have not had to deal with this yet myself but since the forums are not on fire with anger I trust the restart works for most players.

The character creation is pretty much as simple as it was in the extended beta periods, perhaps a few new added options here and there though I did not notice anything remarkable different.  There is already an announcement on the forums that a ‘plastic surgery’ feature is being worked on for a later period that will allow players to redo their appearance once, free of charge, with the exception of changing your gender.  After the initial redo of looks you can still choose to do this in your faction hub, but it will be at the expense of PAX.  I have no issue a developer adding in more content to the character creator post launch, especially when they offer access to it for free to early players.  As it stands I was able to make a character I am happy with at this point.

Once in game I have had nothing but a smooth experience.  I am playing on Arcadia, the RP dimension.  Lag has been a non-issue for me so far even at bottle neck points such as the Sheriff’s Station in Kingsmouth where players are bouncing all over.  I should mention that the population is nothing like what I saw in some other launches, but I have no idea if that is due to me choosing the RP dimension or just low numbers.  Technically with this being early access this could all go to hell on the official launch but I really think a good portion of players are already in the game and do not think a ton of retail buyers are out there.

There has been a report of some players having a delay in getting their pre-order items via the store, but once I was settled in Kingsmouth I opened the store and clicked on my items and they were in my inventory in about 2 minutes… not an issue at all.

I have not suffered a single crash since starting to play yesterday and today I plan on getting to some heavy traffic areas, such as the PVP zones and some of the dungeons.  I am interested to see if things stay as smooth in more congested areas… and especially how things will be later this week when the official launch happens.

 

 

 

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1985)

First and foremost… no.. Michael Myers is not in this movie.  Thanks for pointing that out.  But is it actually a good movie??

Tom Atkins and his late 70’s early 80’s gay porn mustache stumble upon the evil plan of a modern day coven to kill children and restore Halloween to it’s true origin.  Of course they do not want to just kill children with needles in apples or some weak shit like that, they want to melt their brains using top quality latex masks and horribly addictive advertising on tv.  The coven is lead by a guy that looks eerily like Ted Knight from the Mary Tyler Moore show and Too Close for Comfort.  Disturbing.  It is actually a very underrated film for the horror genre, how many films do they actually succeed in killing kids? Not to many.  So they tackle that taboo pretty hard, add in genre favorite Tom Atkins and it makes for a good film.

After Halloween 2 it is actually the best ‘sequel’ in the series.  They decided to drop the one trick pony MM and attempt to turn the Halloween series into an anthology with a new film each year.  Considering the quality of the further sequels that would have been the better path to follow.. but alas Hollywood rarely does what is best for the genre and goes for the quick sale.  After this film John Carpenter left the series completely having directed 1, written 1 & 2 and produced 1,2 & 3. It would be 6 years until the series was brought back and rather than do something original the new producers just brought back MM and give him a line of bodies to slash through.  At this point they were merely trying to keep up with the F13 series, already up to 6 installments and the Nightmare series.

Fright Night (1985)

A great example of how to make a vampire film modern without going the route of self-loathing emo twink goth.  The main vampire in this film does not sparkle… he does not play baseball… and most importantly he does not want to one half of a codependent dysfunctional relationship.  He wants to sleep all day and kill expensive hookers at night.  Interfere with those plans and he does what any respectable creature of the night will do… turn your best friend, steal you girl and make her his toy and fuck with you like a fly in a web.

The 80s were a great time for horror.  Real special fx here, no lame ass CGI that studios love using today.  You get some quality FX, some really good humor, a nice set of actual real breasts, Roddy McDowall as the vampire slayer and the amazing Chris Sarandon as the vampire.  Stephen Geoffreys makes a great sidekick for the nerdy Charlie Brewster… shame he only went on to do the much underappreciated 976-evil before deciding hey… I want to do gay porn for a few years.  I guess you have to take work when you can get it, but damn.

This film came out about the same time as the much more serious Lost Boys but is a great addition to the vampire genre of films.  It takes some elements of the classic films such as the creepy old house, vampire seduction and even the classic vampire slayer, but places them all in a modern day setting that makes for a great film.

 

 

Blind Dead Series

‘A virgin is sacrificed in a blood ritual’   With comments like that in the trailer you know a film is going to be of the highest moral fiber!

The Blind Dead series actually consists of 4 different films made in Spain during the first half of the 1970s.    Tombs of the Blind Dead, Return of the Blind Dead, The Ghost Galleon, and Night of the Seagulls.  Yeah… seagulls.  Whatever.  The seagulls have something to do with virgins and souls or some shit, I just think seagulls are disgusting so what does it matter.

Each film in the series contains a group of ancient knight templars that come back from the dead to hunt and kill a new group each time.  The knights are without eyes and hunt based on sound, hence the Blind Dead of course.  The reasoning for the lack of eyes changes throughout the series from at one point being plucked out by birds to at another time having them burnt out with pokers, but all that matters is they are blind, dead and really pissed off.

It should be said that the Blind Dead series are nothing groundbreaking, so much so that very casual horror fans would do better to skip the series.  True horror fans, especially those that love the horror of the 60s and 70s, should make it a point to see them for some more entertaining and WTF moments.  Moments such as being trapped in a church with flesh eating monsters outside… what to do??? I know… let me just try and rape this gal!  Women escaping near death encounters on the back of an undead templar horse!  Just lots of scenes spread throughout that make you stop and check if you really just saw what you thought you saw.

Slither

Take note genre directors, this is how you make a classic creature feature!  Great humour + quality gore = a fun time for the family.

Night of the Demons (2010)

A remake of the classic 1988 film by the same name.  The story has pretty much been unchanged, a small group of friends attend a late night party at a house that was once host to black magic and ritual murder, naturally things go from bad to really bad for them.  It is what it is, a movie with nudity, sex, drugs and gore.  I would say the film is nothing special, but one thing does set it aside from other films of its nature being made today.  The LACK of CGI special effects.  Granted, they use some in this film, but they are minimal, leaving most of the monster effects and gore to actual special effects artists.  I am no fan of CGI in my horror and it amazes me that after 30 years of slasher/gore films the industry has just decided to abandon classic special effects and go the way of CGI.  I respect the effort to make this film in the same nature as the original, with lots of tits and real effects.  There are also other small nods to the original in this version such as the lipstick sequence and the infamous Angela dancing scene, though slightly different.

Of course the film has its flaws, like the entire sequence with Edward Furlongs character at the strip joint felt like extra footage that we just did not need since the ‘bad guy’ from those scenes is not seen again till after the credits.  And speaking of Edward Furlong, someone needed to put him on a treadmill for awhile before putting him in front of the camera, casting him seemed odd since I could not stop thinking of how heavy and chubby he looked in the film, probably should have just cast his role with another CW actor like the rest of the cast.  Shannon Elizabeth delivered as Angela and her outfit with those boots only added to my love for her in this movie!

I found it to be an enjoyable throwback to the films of the 80’s for sure.  We get one face ripped off, one woman fucked to death and turned into a demon, tentacles, lesbian action, extremely fake breasts, and multiple scenes of impalement.  Good times all around.

The Exorcist (1973) 2010 Digital Remastered Version

Really one of the best films ever made, on so many levels.  Wonderful characters full of conflict, doubt and courage.  I think really breaking this movie down is not needed much, as most people have seen it.  The newest print however did have a few things going for it that the previous versions did not.  Added sound effects that seemed much more clear and creepy.  The growls and the scratching were really well done.  The picture was vastly improved also over past versions.  It was not as noticeable during the inside and night sequences, but the digital upgrade really shined when in Iraq.  It was remarkable to see how crisp and clear they were able to make the outdoor scenes in the desert, I am sure it will look wonderful on bluray with 1080.

After the film they showed about a 20 minute segment of a behind the scenes making of with footage of how they did some of the effects and some screen tests.  I have actually not scene this footage before so it was a nice addition.  Go figure, there are things out there I have not seen still!

One thing that did bug me was at a point during the interviews they kind of take shots at the horror genre, like to be classified as horror is bad for The Exorcist.  At one point they call it a theological thriller or a supernatural detective story.  Personally I can not stand this ‘we are to smart’ to be horror ego so many people seem to have.  I have a rant on this coming up, but need a few shots of Jack to get me worked up more first.

Bottom line, if you missed this in theatres tonite you can still pick it up on bluray when it hits shelves Oct 5.  I think it will be well worth the price tag, hell even without all the extra footage its worth it.

Suspiria

Very few films do I hold in such high regard as Dario Argento’s masterpiece Suspiria.  It combines several elements to make not just a great film, but a fantastic experience.  The use of extreme colors in the set designs, the long stretches of film without dialogue and the score provided by Goblin all add up to a film that fits into my top ten greatest horror films list.

The plot is borderline impossible to follow yet somehow manages to entertain on a purely visual level throughout.

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