40oz. Of Horror! Podcast Episode 80

Episode #80 — “Oh shit, it’s the cops!” HorrorHound Weekend Recap

Hey guys, we’re here… it’s episode #80 of the 40oz. Of Horror! Podcast. We just got back from yet another HorrorHound Weekend where, as usual, hilarity ensued.

We review the remake of It… and read a few Reddit entries of erotic Pennywise fan fiction.

Of course we’ve got tons of horror news and an all new entry of Boozin’ Gone Bad.

 

The Fly (1986)

‘THE FLY’ (1986) – No Insecticide Needed!

I have never seen David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986)

For years, my only real knowledge of The Fly was when Bart Simpson turned into half-boy/half-insect in a Simpson’s “Treehouse of Horrors” Halloween episode where his mom Marge beat him over the head with a broomstick. Needless to say, I was never jumping at the heels to watch the movie that was being joked about. Aaannnddd I’ve never been a big fan of Jeff Goldblum (I’m allowed to have an opinion!). Aaaaaaaannnnnnnnddddddddd I’ve never fully bought into a horror movie based upon something that is so small and insignificant; my dog doesn’t even always feel a fly when it lands on his nose.

But here we are, after years and years of having next to no interest, one day I caved into my Netflix suggestions and decided I’d turn on the 1986 David Cronenberg remake of the early classic – just have it on for some background noise as I cleaned the basement.

No cleaning was done. This movie, which I thought was going to come off as a campy, dated and lame venture, turned into one of my new favorites. I’m not sure exactly how the movie would like to be categorized. Whether it is a Sci-Fi or a Drama, I’m sticking with calling it a horror movie. This movie itself is 31 years old and has some of the most unsettling, skin crawling scenes that I have ever seen.

Keep reading after the trailer

Seeing as how the premise was what made me keep my distance, it didn’t take me long to completely buy into the scenario at all. Brief rundown: Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) tries getting into the pants of journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) the only way a nerd knows how and that’s by showing her his newest science experiment. Brundle gets Veronica into his dimly lit and ultra rapey science lab/apartment. Brundle shows off his two giant honeycomb looking teleportation devices. These devices, he claims, can transfer a living being from one pod to the next. After multiple test runs, Brundle (now banging Veronica on the reg) decides he has so much faith in his creation, that it’s time for he, himself, to be the first human to experience teleportation. That is until a pesky little fly secretly enters the pod with the unknowing Brundle. Once the transfer of bodies is finished, Brundle’s DNA is now mixed with fly DNA; slowly exposing itself within the confines of the greater part of the 1 hour, 36 minute runtime.

The Fly (1986)
Yo Veronica, wanna see my science experiment?

As silly as that may all sound, the players take it so serious and the movie is played in such a tone, that it isn’t hard for you to invest into it – maybe that’s credit to Cronenberg. 80s movies always had such great scores, and the great acting only bettered this movie, but the make-up, THE MAKE-UP and effects were unreal.

Birth of The Fly

Seeing Seth Brundle slowly turn into a gross looking insect/hunchback was crazy fun to watch; each evolved stage into ugliness becoming more and more uncomfortable to witness. The greasiness and oozing of the puss and the hair growth could be a horror movie in itself. McFarlane Toys made this version of the fly immortalized in their ‘Movie Maniacs’ toyline back in the early 2000s. In one “birth” scene, my girlfriend, who watches most horror movies alongside me (to her dismay), had to actually up and leave because it was so gross and uncomfortable – something I’ve NEVER seen her do!

The Fly (1986) Practical Effects
The greasiness and oozing of the puss and the hair growth could be a horror movie in itself.

“It’s Jeff Goldblum’s best movie so STFU”

This movie is worth finding if you have not already seen it and if you have, revisit this particular lab because it’s an experiment worth repeating. The Fly, although a remake, is a great throwback to how fantastic movies from that era were. The simple fact that it’s so unsettling and revolting keeps you thinking about it long after the credits roll – to me, that’s always the sign of a good movie. It’s Jeff Goldblum’s best movie (my opinion so STFU), and it’s the best insect-inspired horror movie I’ve ever seen. Bonus credit in that it has a 100% “girlfriend will leave you alone while watching” rating. To a modern generation, I feel that ‘The Fly’ is so underrated and really deserves to be in the discussion of all-time greats. As for ‘The Fly II’, maybe I’ll hold off just a bit to savor the enjoyment of this movie. Parting words: just remember to be afraid. Be very afraid.

40oz. Of Horror Podcast Episode 79

Episode #79 — Eat Your Weight in Pizza Rolls

We’ve been drinking for 2 days. So sit down, “criss-cross-applesauce,” with a 150 pizza rolls, because it’s time to podcast.

In this episode of the 40oz. Of Horror! Podcast, we talk video games, horror movies, fighting, and… beer.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Rue Morgue Queer Fear Movie Poster

Rue Morgue and Queer Fear screen ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 2’ to celebrate Pride and recognize the film’s cultural significance

With the immediate success of the ground-breaking 1984 horror film, A Nightmare on Elm Street, it was not long before parent company New Line Cinema immediately began plans for a sequel. While they may have been the parent company, the father of Freddy-fright himself, the late legendary writer/director Wes Craven, chose not to participate in the production after reading the script by David Chaskin. The directing reins fell to Jack Sholder (Alone in the Dark, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies) who brought about an ambiguous approach to the narrative. Rushed into production and opening on November 1, 1985, on an estimated budget of only $3 million, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge was met with mixed to negative reviews despite the mass blitz of hype going into it, including the famous FANGORIA Magazine 50th Issue cover. However, all was not lost, as Robert Englund – the man synonymous with the role of ANOES burned child molester turned dream stalker Freddy Krueger – has said that the film did very well in Europe due to its psycho-sexual subject matter. That subject matter remains prominent to this very day and is the reason why, 32 years later, Rue Morgue magazine has resurrected their CineMacabre movie nights in collaboration with Queer Fear, a Toronto based LGBTQ organization.

Keep reading after the trailer

The film, starring Mark Patton (Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and the upcoming Amityville: Evil Never Dies) as Jesse Walsh, takes place five years after the original, as Jesse’s family is getting settled into 1428 Elm Street. Unfortunately for Jesse, Freddy Krueger has decided that he can return from the dream world through Jesse’s virginal body and soul. It was an unusual and daring approach to an already established (and growing tired) formula of the girl-in-trouble slasher vibe by having a male in the protagonist role. Patton, a now openly gay actor, does demonstrate several tendencies and mannerisms that may be absent from the behavior of other lead male players, but this works here and he does it unintentionally, as the character himself is not gay. Or is he? Director Jack Sholder has stated in interviews that when viewed under the homoerotic context, the entire film resonates as a journey of self-discovery for Jesse’s homosexuality, which is why he rejects Lisa (Kim Myers, Studio 5-B, Hellraiser: Bloodline) during sexual arousal (albeit she ultimately saves him) and instead runs to the poster-boy jock/friend Ron Grady (Robert Russler, Sometimes They Come Back, Vamp) for help and protection. Upon first viewing, the homosexual innuendos did not blatantly present themselves to the viewer, even when thrown right in their faces such as the scenes containing the sadomasochistic torture and subsequent killing of the gym teacher, Coach Schneider (Marshall Bell, Total Recall, Virus) while a naked Jesse stands afraid and confused in the shower. Cue the highest pitched scream ever!

You Are All My Children Now

In fact, ANOES 2 takes a daring approach to the subject matter by changing the rules and dynamics set forth by Craven’s original. It is, to some degree, a total mind-fuck of a movie that could seriously be broken down and debated upon in any college or university film studies course. Aside from the symbolism that appeals to the LGBTQ community, there are other factors that ask the viewer to read deep into the material — namely the entire climax and the controversial crossing over of Freddy into the real world: was it reality or was it simply a dream hallucination caused by Jesse’s internal struggle against Freddy? Or by that time, was it Lisa’s dream – tired from the emotional struggle of her push and pull relationship with Jesse and hosting a party – that crossed over into the dream world? The entire climactic elements of ANOES 2 are some of the most iconic of the series, especially with Freddy Krueger looking upon a few dozen horrified teenagers claiming in such perverse threatening fashion “You are all my children now” (as one viewer will touch upon later on and this writer agrees).

Rue Morgue Magazine, breeding out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a staple of horror publications around the world, and had suspended the CineMacabre horror movie nights (previously written here on 40oz. of Horror some three years ago), but thought it was now time to return. Executive editor Andrea Subissati took the time to discuss the journey of bringing this subjectively followed Elm Street sequel back to the big screen.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2
Rue Morgue and Queer Fear screen ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge’

“The decision was collaborative between myself, our programmer Richelle Charkot and Queer Fear’s Joshua Cross. Joshua had just returned to Toronto after being away for a few years and was keen to bring Queer Fear back, so I proposed the collab, and he’s the one that felt strongly about ANOES 2. I liked the idea of a sequel marking CineMacabre’s return and part of CM’s mandate is to movies that don’t get screened a whole lot, so ANOES 2 fit the bill perfectly. The next all-important question was whether or not we’d be able to secure the rights to screen it, so Richelle got right on that and set it up and gave us the date! She also took care of promotion, including hiring Andrew Barr to do the amazing poster of Freddy in a rainbow sweater, and Joshua did a great job securing the pre-show entertainment and post-screening discussion panel.”

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Rue Morgue Queer Fear Movie Poster
ANOES 2 poster art by Andrew Barr

Indeed, any promotion is important to a movie and more so a movie event of this magnitude, as it also tied into the Pride activities found across North America. The poster was a colourful take on Krueger by cleverly brightening some of his sweater hues and encompassing everything about Elm Street 2 – from its horror roots for the horror fan to the subtext adored in the gay community. Barr elaborates that Richelle “hired me to do other posters, so she decided they needed a poster for this one and I was the one to go.” Barr’s first work with Rue Morgue “was a poster for Them back last January.”

The event, housed once again in the vintage College Street venue known as the Royal, proved successful with an undeniably impressive turn-out on June 28, 2017; fans were lined up down the block with the concession dishing out popcorn and booze from the ground floor right up to the awaiting patrons in the upstairs bathroom levels. Whether straight or gay, moviegoers packed the ANOES 2 screening and weren’t afraid to voice their laughs or comments during the film – making the whole experience feel more like a grindhouse midnight movie cult viewing than a Wednesday primetime endeavor.

The Cultural Significance of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2

The sell-out crowd demonstrated that while the film may be a somewhat forgotten sequel in the lineage of the Elm Street franchise, its cultural significance may live on longer than Freddy Krueger himself. Subissati gave a very good point in that “Oftentimes, you can’t tell the cultural significance of a movie until a few decades pass and you can look back in retrospect with more clarity, and ANOES 2 is a perfect example of that.” Barr himself reveals that “it was the first Elm Street I ever saw back when it came out on VHS. One of my friends said you have to see this movie, so I saw that movie.”

The film is nothing short of a culture shock when you look at that timeframe – the Halloween series was on hiatus, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was still in pre-production, Friday the 13th had killed Jason – so what exactly was New Line to do to give their Elm Street sequel an edge? To see so many people turn out to a screening of the film shows that time heals all wounds, as Subissati continues, “One thing I noticed when I was chatting with people in the lobby is that most horror fans saw ANOES 2 when it first came out and dismissed it as an oddball misfire in the franchise. The original ANOES is so inventive and seminal that most audiences weren’t expecting something so different in the first sequel. I certainly hadn’t picked up on the film’s queer elements the first time I saw it in the ’80s but they’re unmistakable now.”

One of those people in the lobby showed more balls than were used in the coach’s death scene by showing up to this event in the guise of Freddy’s famous later on-screen nemesis Jason Voorhees. The man behind the mask – so to speak – was Toronto resident Skyland Fisher, who has his own similar outlook on the sequel saying “it [has] definitely the most ’80s feel of any Nightmare on Elm Street Film. The clothing style. The music style. It has this whole feel that says this is the 1980s. I almost can’t put it into words. It has the most iconic scenes of the series, in my opinion, like when [Freddy] goes ‘You’re all my children now’ and the whole pool scene; it was incredible. Also the whole him coming out of Jesse’s body, like cutting him open and everything, amazing scene. [It’s] iconic to the franchise.“ No doubt, before CGI dominated and subsequently ruined the horror genre, the practical effects headed by Kevin Yagher were on point, from Freddy’s makeup, the aforementioned Freddy-evolving-from-Jesse scene to the school bus perched high upon a hellfire pit. Whether or not the script was strong, the direction was resourceful, or the acting was believable, the special effects presented here were those of a time now forgotten by most modern filmmakers, and they prove to be some of the most extraordinary of the series.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 is one of those films that I find important, even if I don’t objectively love to watch it.

Make no mistake that ANOES 2 tries to upstage neither its predecessor nor any of the successful entries in the series, such as Part 3, Dream Warriors, which is perhaps the biggest success and highlight of the franchise. Subissati even admits “ANOES 2 is one of those films that I find important, even if I don’t objectively love to watch it. The first film is a landmark in horror and probably my personal favorite of the bunch. In terms of watchability, ANOES 3 is the real crowd-pleaser, so I guess I love the first three films for completely different reasons!” Fisher backs up her statement, adding that ANOES 2 “hammers [the gay subtext] home in the most hilarious way. I like the franchise in general but kind of stopped liking it after Part 3. It hits its high point then slowly declines from there. 2 is probably my third favorite. I like the first one the best and third is the one after that I like most. I would say [Dream Warriors] was so iconic [in relation] to Part 2 because Wes Craven returned in a capacity and also the return of Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) brought up the game. They added in new elements like the Dream Warrior powers.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, Barr isn’t hesitant to say that “for the longest time, [ANOES 2] was the only one that I had seen. I didn’t see another one until 4. And for the longest time, those were the only two I saw.”

Regardless of your orientation or sexual preference, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 symbolizes what continues to be a fundamental element of the horror genre that many critics discard, in that it brings together fans of all types, with no negative bias or prejudice; working together to maintain a piece of beloved art. While certainly Rue Morgue Magazine, Queer Fear and any organizations of the type, work together or independently to revive life into forgotten favorites, it is important for all of us in the horror community to never discard a film upon its initial viewing because somehow, somewhere, elements may just play a more prominent role in our society ruling on a fundamental basis beyond our imagination. Maybe that is truly Freddy’s Revenge: exposing us to our own realities; forcing us to admit that even in horror, acceptance and change are necessary.

For more information on Rue Morgue Magazine and CineMacabre horror nights, visit: www.rue-morgue.com

For more information on Queer Fear, visit them at: queerfear.tumblr.com/

For more information on Freelance Illustrator Art Mercenary, Andrew Barr, visit his website: www.moviemonsters.blogspot.com

Very special thanks to Andrea Subissati, Richelle Charkot, Rue-Morgue Magazine and Marrs Media Inc., Andrew Barr and APB Art, Skyland Fisher, The Royal, Amy Rusan, Joshua Cross and Queer Fear, the LGBTQ community, and to all of the horror fans around the world who keep our genre alive.

Resident Evil: Vendetta

A big V for Vendetta: The new ‘Resident Evil’ animated film finally hits home with grounded franchise fandom

After a total of eight films built out of the godfather franchise that gave birth to the survival horror video game, was it possible that this ninth, but subsequently third of the animated series portion, hit the jackpot? Having a limited one night only theatrical engagement, the new Resident Evil: Vendetta ran in select theatres nationwide on Monday, June 19th 2017. It is safe to say that if you felt the concluding entry in the live-action portion of the Capcom franchise, last winter’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, was probably best left unwritten and unproduced, this new animated film was everything that a Resident Evil film should have been from the start and more.

The live-action series, starting in 2002, did their own thing for better or worse, introducing established video game characters into an otherwise alternate RE world. Three of them, alright maybe four, were good and the other two sadly, were not as good. Flashback to 2008, Resident Evil: Degeneration – the first of the animated films – made its debut on DVD and Blu-Ray and that was a welcome return for fans of the franchise. Intertwined with the video game universe, that film welcomed adored characters like Claire Redfield (Alyson Court, “Resident Evil 2”, “Murdoch Mysteries”) and Leon S. Kennedy (voiced then by Paul Mercier, “Resident Evil 4”) back in a new storyline expanding on the corrupt corporation known as Umbrella and evolving the infamous, and infectious, T-Virus. However, it still lacked some of the “Umph” that the first few video games had. Fast forward to 2012, Resident Evil: Damnation pops up in a storyline focusing on Leon (Matthew Mercer, “Monsters University”, “Resident Evil 6”) and giving RE fans their extra fix with another beloved character, Ada Wong (Courtenay Taylor, “Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City”, “Skylanders Academy”). Soviet nation corruption, mixed with experimentation on the T-Virus, lead to a better developed story and the appearances of the tyrant monster Mr. X, so it hit some of the right notes. But what else could be done with this animated line of the franchise? Where are more of the major characters that populated the video games; characters that we all wanted to see come alive in this format.

Keep reading after the trailer

Worry no more Resident Evil gruesome gorehounds – Resident Evil: Vendetta delivers from the very beginning. Launching with a more defined and intriguing narrative structure, we are re-introduced right away to Leon Kennedy (veteran voice actor Matthew Mercer reprising the role once again) in a scene that foreshadows how he will play into this new story while simultaneously letting us all reflect on the loves and the loss in his life so far throughout the video games and movies – story remnants of the Los Illuminados from RE4 are even carried over later on in a nice touch. The best part of these animated films is that they indeed interlock with the running storylines of the games – making it one mass true-to-form Resident Evil world. No sooner after this tease of Leon are we launched into action that is reminiscent of the very first game with a team, led by the number one contender for franchise favorite character, Chris Redfield (Kevin Dorman, “Fallout 4”, “Real Steel”, “Avatar”), as he heads into Mexico on a rescue mission to retrieve a woman and her young son both of whom have been kidnapped by arms dealer and now bio-weapons terrorist Glenn Arias (John DeMita, “Final Fantasy”, “Friday the 13th: The Game”). The helicopter descends and the team gets right to…a creepy old mansion. Perfect. There is just the right balance between the “we have seen this before” element and the “danger lurks so grab the edge of your seat quick” adventure looming on the horizon.

Resident Evil Vendetta

A lot goes down in this opening ten minutes, and then the opening title screen hits. Seriously!? All this and the film is only really beginning. The main antagonist is introduced with such bravado and a hint of compassion, as is a peak at his subsidiaries that will both play prominent sub-boss roles, and we see how the vendetta story arc comes into play. One quick negative remark here and that is that we get the proverbial and clichéd “Noooooooo” shouts into the sky by not one, but two characters; whether it was meant to mirror the other and their vendettas – these just get a bit ridiculous after how many years in movies. Granted, this is the only negative for which can be said here. Right back into the positive saddle is the face that long-time fans have clamored to see whether in the animated or the live-action but never had, and that is the character of Rebecca Chambers (Erin Cahill, “Power Rangers: Time Force”, “Boogeyman 3”); Chambers is an original game character that actually encountered the T-Virus before Chris Redfield and others – she even had her own prequel game on just that encounter with Resident Evil Zero. Where favorites like Jill Valentine and Ada Wong have their no-nonsense and tough-as-nails attitude, and Claire Redfield has her heart on her sleeve with innocence even in her strongest times, Rebecca Chambers is the full real deal combining strength, skills, wills, and the smarts to deal with all kind of situations. In fact, she will play right on the equal field along with Chris and Leon because of her smarts – she has figured out Arias’s new “A-Virus” and developed a vaccine! For this reason, she also becomes the major target in the new story. Not to jump ahead but if you want to see why Chris Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy are the faces that run the RE places – you will not be disappointed as both get some star-shining, serious ass-kicking moments.

Resident Evil Vendetta PosterThe animation is by far the best yet of any of the animated movies, which are a testament to the ever growing CGI technology, but also the team behind-the-scenes who gives the direction and editing to make these scenes blend together and actually forget you are watching animated characters. There is a ton of action here, with some superb hand-to-hand combat sequences and a jaw-dropping scene with Leon, on his motorcycle, racing to evade the nasty virus-infected dogs known as the Cerberus. We have zombies. We have blood. We have brains. We have guts. We have creepy, dark settings like the aforementioned Mexican mansion, as well as dark halls of institutes and even New York City skyscrapers. We have characters that, although established through video games and previous films, still have their own demons and work to face them each day. This is not a fictitious land where heroes experience these horrors then move on – these are characters that hurt, feel, reflect, and ponder what their life is. There is even a great scene with Chris Redfield where he downplays fellow soldiers’ compliments to him with an insight into the reality of being a heroic soldier in a corrupt, virus-infected world. There is a formula that resonated with every game player in 1996, 1998, 2000 and so on up until, maybe Resident Evil 5, that was simply: establish the horror, work the mood, follow the characters, uncover the secrets of the plot, fight horrific zombies and other nasties and lastly, have a climactic battle with a huge experiment turned monster that will gladly make someone need a change of underwear when revealed. Unlike any of the live-action, and the past animated films though they did have their climactic battles with evolved virus-infected characters, Resident Evil: Vendetta gives us the biggest and best while paying homage to the classic Tyrant of the original, and the extremely popular William Birkin G-Monster of RE2.

In a time where the reboot button was partially set on the video games with the recent back-to-the-basics Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and an actual remake planned to start a fresh line of live-action films, there was nothing more rewarding than knowing that after all this time – the creative was able to hit this entry out of the park and out of this world. The other audience members in the theatre this evening equally shared this enthusiasm – reacting to certain scenes – and geeking out by the time the end credits rolled; clearly ready to rush home to play their favorite entries or discuss and theorize where Vendetta fits in and speculate what will happen now (or where it exactly fits though one viewer did mention she believed it was just before, or just after, Resident Evil 6). It is a rarity to have such a compelling horror video game turned animated movie that asks questions, gives the answers, and takes you on one hell of a ride in between. RE fans have no vendetta against the creative anymore – this time fans have a movie that truly can make them proud to be resident, evil.

Resident Evil: Vendetta is scheduled for Blu-Ray and DVD release July 18th, 2017.

Friday The 13th The Game

JASON LIVES and he didn’t go to Hell: A review of the new ‘Friday the 13th’ The Game

It’s here! The Friday The 13th The Game review that I had all intentions on writing a few days after its release on May 26th. Now, almost four weeks later, I was finally able to pull myself away from my Xbox One and sit down to write this mediocre yet passionate “review”.

I’m not a regular big gamer although I am a sucker for the Call of Duty games. I loved Grand Theft Auto 5 and every few years, I’ll buy the newest wrestling game or Madden release. But it’s not uncommon for my Xbox to go months without ever being powered on; just sitting dusty on my entertainment center. These days however, this bad-boy is working overtime. I’m putting in daily work trying to master this ever frustrating yet horror super fun rat race of a game.

I felt like I heard rumors about Friday the 13th: The Game several years ago (and not just the nostalgia of the original NES F13, I mean a brand new game). Finally, this past May, a horror genre game was coming and offered something to get excited about. When the Kickstarter was formed back when, I think I even threw in a couple bucks just to feel like I had some small part in this seeming non-existent idea. That was really the last I remember about hearing anything about this game until I finally saw the trailer and the release date break earlier this year. Still, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have my hesitations. From the beginning, we all knew it was going to be a small independent game; fabricated by a small group of dudes and God bless em. The day arrived – the horror genre fanboys were buzzing – and got right onto that download. Not surprisingly, there were multiple, multiple glitches and errors but rest assured that almost month out, these “technical difficulties” have been fixed. Setbacks aside, the game was still an absolute blast (if you could access a party to play in!). My expectations weren’t only met, they were blown away. The graphics, the characters, the environment, the music – the way it stayed true to the movies but most of all, the KILLS that no MPAA could ever get their hands on!

Keep reading after the trailer

As of right now, the only way to play is online and working with other online players. There is rumor that an offline story mode will be released this summer, but really it’s almost unneeded as online is so much goddamn fun. Understandable that sometimes gamers will just want to work alone at their own pace and time so that’s fair. Hell may even be just as scary if not more that way.

The game isn’t rocket science in theory, but it is in gameplay. The synopsis is basically this: you either start as Jason or as one of the eight camp counselors. If you’re Jason, you try to kill everyone. If you are counselors, you try to survive. Got it? Good. See – simple. You play in one of the three maps of the game: all familiar locations from the franchise including the Packanack Lodge, Higgins Haven & Camp Crystal Lake. On each map, there are multiple cabins and houses you must raid to look for weapons, tools and other items to help you win the game. To survive Jason’s murderous spree, there are a few options available – you can simply run out the clock since each cabin has multiple hiding places such as under beds or in closets. These work well but don’t get to comfortable because Jason can sense your fear and hear you breathing so it is a gamble either way. You can also collect different parts for the car or the boat and escape that way (sorry – this boat doesn’t head to Manhattan but imagine!) or you can find the fuse for the phone and call the cops. It takes approximately five minutes for the cops to arrive so use your time wisely; you must find the proper exit they are at and get to safety. Oh yes – Jason is still on the hunt so hope he doesn’t find you by then.

Friday The 13th The Game

Are you ready though for this? SPOILER ALERT! The real piece de resistance is when you locate the proper cabin and call in for help – that help is franchise player and survivor, Tommy Jarvis. Tommy comes equipped with a shotgun and better stats than any other counselor. He is here solely to fuck Jason’s shit up! But even with Tommy’s aid, defeating Jason isn’t a one man show. To actually defeat that mongoloid, it takes allot of teamwork; a running theme in this game. A female counselor (think F13 Part 2’s Ginny) must locate Jason’s rundown shack and wear his Mother’s sweater, while everyone else has to beat the shit out of Jason until his iconic mask falls off his ugly as shit face. Then, dressed in the sweater, the female counselor stuns Jason into thinking she’s his mother and hits him with a weapon dropping him to his knees thereafter Tommy, now wearing Jason’s mask, slices and dices his head with a machete.

Now, as you can probably tell, this isn’t an easy process, and my description may not even be 100% correct because honestly, SPOILER ALERT haha, I’ve never gotten that far. Not many people have apparently. This is the only game I’ve ever played where the player is meant to fail. Why? Well because Jason is borderline immortal just like in the movies. That’s what makes it so fun. You even get to fulfill some deep dark sickness inside you as a horror fan because when it’s your turn to play as Jason, that’s when the blood really flows. The more XP you gain, the different variant Jason formats you unlock; each from a different movie and even some special bonus variants too. All the Jasons have different strengths and kills but they all share four similar abilities: You can SENSE where people are based on how scared they are. You can STALK, so you can really focus in on one target. You can SHIFT, to where you blitz around as fast as an Evil Dead camera chase. Lastly, you can MORPH, where you can randomly select a different place on the map to magically appear. All these attributes help you hunt your prey so you can kill them in an assortment of ways. This is where the game really shines. The creative ways you can end other players still excites me every time I see it. Whether it be with impaling them with your weapon, throwing them through windows, curb-stomping them into the fire, choke-slamming them on a tree stump or drowning them in the lake – all these multiple kills the game allows are exhilarating. I won’t say whether or not you can perform the famous sleeping bag kill.

Friday The 13th The Game

On top of everything else, the best part of this game is that it really does create the horror mood when playing. You’re always tense and scared wondering where Jason is. The soundtrack plays head games with you too; making you think that he’s closer then he really is until the second he finally appears! Everything about this game is really well thought out and stays true to the movies. The teamwork needed to play is unlike any game I’ve ever played before. Microphones aren’t meant for lonely boy gamers telling other players how they fucked your mother, Nah-uh! With this game, you’re always helping people – swapping tools, navigating and cross referencing. It really is unlike anything I’ve ever played and that seems to be the group consensus with my fellow online players. Think about that – a medium stereotyped to be mindless entertainment and bad for kids brains, in a genre that is stereotyped by senseless blood and guts – yet here is the perfect combination promoting friendship, communication, teamwork and educated thinking. Kudos! That said, doesn’t seem like we get to hook up with our fellow counsellors yet but who knows. I wonder if Freddy Krueger will ever find his way into the gameplay with us. That would be wild.

With all its faults and bugs, launching woos, and initial concerns, this game is still unbelievably fun. I am pleased to say that all the updates and patches are constantly coming out that just put the icing on the cake. Even at its most bare Friday the 13th: The Game is a perfect 10. It’s a game that can give renaissance to the horror movie genre of gaming and maybe help move along multiple others (would love a Texas Chainsaw Massacre game or Child’s Play). It was more than worth the wait and equally worth the price. While we wait for the movies that don’t seem to be happening, at least here we can that Jason lives and he didn’t go to hell in the process.

Now excuse me, I have some killing to do….. Ki, ki, ki, ma, ma, ma

Twin Peaks 2017 Review

Is it Future… or is it Past? ‘TWIN PEAKS’ Returns

It’s happening again

That gum we liked was going to come back in style. After three years of patience, television audiences and specifically, dedicated die-hard fans of Twin Peaks got their wish on the evening of Sunday, May 212017. The series that last aired 27 years ago and was resurrected by original co-creators David Lynch (Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet) and Mark Frost (Hill Street Blues) is back. Shrouded in secrecy, in a world full of advance spoilers, it already began to set a new benchmark that protecting your vision is still possible; thanks to a broadcast company like Showtime being amazingly supportive and keen with their marketing, and the loyal fans who wished nothing more than to discover the mystery on their own.

If the casual cable clicker wanted something refreshing on their channels, then this new incarnation (or third season) of Twin Peaks will have their eyes bulging and their brains exploding. Starting out strong with a flashback to the Season 2 (then Series) Finale, we see Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee, Dirty Sexy Money and John Carpenter’s Vampires) telling Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan, Desperate Housewives and Showgirls) she will see him again in 25 years. The beautiful and artistic camera pans transition us right into the opening credits with Angelo Badalamenti’s famous, award-winning, theme striking all the right chords to re-enter this beautiful world. Instantly the chills are re-awakened in our psyches and our subconscious as we see Cooper, the good side of him that was trapped in the evil-dwelling maze of The Black Lodge, receiving new messages from The Giant (Carol Struycken, The Addams Family and The Witches of Eastwick); The Giant being just one of many supernatural inhabitants found there (a.k.a. “Dugpas” for the fellow Peaks geeks) however the current credits list him now only as ?????.

Keep reading after the trailer

Admittedly, by the half-hour mark, the viewer could be easily lost due to the stretched tone of certain scenes where running time is not of the essence or simply because we are here, then there, with new characters that are not introduced immediately but rather through explanatory means of later scenes and sometimes other characters. Alas these strings do tie together in some way, shape or form; creating a key to unlocking this new series and the mysteries therein.

Twin Peaks 2017 ReviewThe first two parts in what is proposed as an 18-hour long film aired back-to-back and if the first set up some serious “What the F*CK!?” reactions, and everybody’s nails were ruined from scratching their heads; the latter was the hammer that drove the nails deeper. Gloriously returning to some more familiar territory, if you would call The Black Lodge, familiar territory, and welcoming back more residents of the small Washington town including Shelly Johnson (Mädchen Amick, Riverdale and Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers), James Hurley (James Marshall, A Few Good Men and Gladiator (1992)) and Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie, Gone in 60 Seconds and Wild at Heart) – Sarah clearly having not much prosperity in her life since her daughter’s murder and the revelation that her late husband committed the crime. Speaking of, Leland Palmer (Ray Wise, Jeepers Creepers 2 and RoboCop) appears to good Cooper, in the lodge, and so does Laura. A few more friends join this lodge party already in progress too but Lynch brilliantly reassures us not to be content with the old faces because things are still not as they seem. In fact, something is wrong and the question lingering throughout this new narrative: Is it future…or is it past?

Not the Twin Peaks you know

Undoubtedly, some viewers and Peaks fans will not be happy and it is impossible to please all, but Lynch and Frost repeatedly spoke that this is not the same Twin Peaks seen last so we were all duly warned, and for those of us adventurous and daring enough to embark on the new journey then we are, so far, greatly rewarded if not mentally tasked (or even emotionally drained starting with the brilliant return of the late Catherine E. Coulson as The Log Lady; performing to standards despite her failing health).

By the end of the part 102, we are getting closer to the town we once knew and the people in it, but we have to allow Lynch and Frost the freedom and TIME to get us there. Anybody can complain that this isn’t what they expected, and why are we not with all our beloved characters of the past, and the answer is simple. Twin Peaks is going to be a journey between two worlds; the good Cooper is in the Lodge and can’t leave while the bad is doing business dealings of his own including manipulation of people from South Dakota all the way up to Las Vegas.

We have 16 more hours ahead of sheer art and entertainment reflected in a pristine box of brilliance and madness. Like one, or two, characters in the new series, we have to watch this box continuously, patiently, and if you watch close enough, some wondrous things are bound to appear! (Get aroused too soon in the process and there’s going to be trouble!)

I’m a long-time, huge fan of this series, as is my Mother who I remember watching it on TV in its original run, yet I was too afraid to watch. Having now submerged myself into the world of David Lynch and his filmography, it is a trip always worth taking whether I understand right away, or continue to doubt my own theories on what his stories are about with every re-watch. I was so pleasantly mind-warped by these first two episodes and yet I instantly warmed to seeing the familiar once again, and disturbingly moved by the unfamiliar. That is the work of David Lynch folks, and that is the Twin Peaks we are getting now. It’s not just a slice of nostalgia; it’s truly a whole new Cherry Pie. Recommendation: pick-up Mark Frost’s The Secret History of Twin Peaks book available now and it just might help you with some stuff. Parts 103 and 104 are already on demand for those with Showtime and some other on demand media services as well. Don’t spoil it!