Entries Tagged 'Resident Evil' ↓

wednesday comix: Q & A with Zane Grant, writer of WE WILL BURY YOU

Remember last week, when I reviewed We Will Bury You #1? And then that night on The Scare-ening, Heidi and I talked with Brea Grant, one of the book's writers? And then Zane Austin Grant, the other writer on the book, was a surprise call-in guest? And they were cool? Remember all that? Wasn't it cool? Well, it gets even cooler because Zane went and answered some questions. Questions from ME! Do you think I'm cool??

One thing I love about both Brea and Zane is that they're actually, you know, horror fans. Talking with them obliterates any doubts you may have about their motivation behind writing We Will Bury You, about whether or not it's simply a vanity project for some actress. I mean...who knew The Driller Killer could provide such fodder for discourse?

I'm an only child, but from my understanding, brothers and sisters are supposed to hate each other and pull each others' hair. Why, then, would you want to write a comic book with your sister? How did the idea of working together come about?

We both like comics and horror movies, and we get along really well, so…. I’m always surprised when people ask about sibling rivalry. I think we compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses well while working together.

Practically speaking, how did you share scripting duties (ie, did you divide up the characters, etc)?

The way we work is we read a lot about our setting and make notes for stories. Then we get together and outline them, so we knew basically what’s going to happen, but not necessarily how it was going to play out. From there, we just traded off scenes, which I think works for the most part. Can you tell what I wrote and what she wrote? I can’t, because we edited each other so much to keep the tone consistent. Brea wrote all the nasty parts while I looked away and covered my ears, and I did the moralizing parts, so that’s breaks down writing duties into solid categories.

Why is We Will Bury You set in the 1920s?

The 1920’s was the first decade of sexual revolution in the U.S. and a lot of different political ideas were being discussed leading up the great depression, which snuffed a lot of those kinds of things out because suddenly more people were just trying to survive. The lack of certain technologies like cell phones and future weapons makes the spread of mass violence scarier as well. Plus, it just had a good aesthetic that works out well as a setting for a visual medium like comics. We wanted to take the magic of pre-code movies and add it to the outcasts of Tod Browning’s films and make it relevant and entertaining.

What are some of your influences for WWBY, both in terms of horror (whether written, cinematic, or other) and comics?

We try to have a lot of reveals in the books, which were inspired by the surprise endings of EC horror comics. And the shallowness of some of the people Mirah and Fanya run into sort of match the EC tone, where people react almost too normally but they are all hiding something. Also, there is a way in which, we are also reacting to Walking Dead, which pushed the genre in a way by showing horror comics can be ongoing and still have some attachment to the traditional horror genre. I mean Swamp Thing is one of my favorite comics, and it’s horror in a way (he fights mermaid vampires, right?), but it seems like an uncomfortable fit for the genre. A lot of Vertigo horror stuff is like that, especially from the 1990’s, where it’s scary and amazing, but the tone is more psychedelic than horrific, which we eventually delve into. We were inspired, of course, by Romero, but there are other pieces we pull from like Wild Zero (which has a trans person), the Greek zombie film Evil, 28 Days Later, and in the first issue we played with the slasher view from the first page. We give you the view from the husband of this woman he is obsessed with and she is dressing, and he’s nuts.

How did you come across Kyle Strahm's work, and what is it about his art that attracted you? Was there a specific style you wanted when you were looking for an artist, or did it strike you when you found it?

We looked a lot of artists, and Kyle’s portfolio stood out because it was cartoony but had the grotesque feel of too many wrinkles to it, which is how we wanted to write this book. We did some color tests with Zac Atkins, the colorist on the book, on Kyle’s work and really liked the way it looked.

How are you working with Kyle in terms of the script? Are you giving him detailed panel descriptions à la Alan Moore, or are you using the "Marvel method", or something in-between?

We don’t write poetry in our scripts, though we hope to some day. I’m not sure if you can get away with doing that your first book, the artist might quit. We tend to stick to basic descriptions, dialog, and reference pictures for some things. When Kyle wants more, he asks. Like we were bad about military uniform research and what revolvers officers were issued, so he just asked and we did some research and got back to him.

Why do you think comics are the best medium to use in telling this story?

Comics is the best medium to tell any story…. Heh…. But also, I think horror works best as a visual medium, or maybe easiest as a visual medium is more accurate. People have a stronger reaction to seeing pain than reading about it. I do anyway.

In the better zombie films, zombies are usually representative of a societal issue or a certain populace. I have my own thoughts on what they represent in WWBY...did you intend for them to be metaphorical, or did you just choose zombies for your bad guys?

On societal issues and horror, I had an argument with my friend Carrie, who does tryharderyall blog, about Driller Killer a while back because on your blog, you gave it a kind of class analysis, which is my default to reading pretty much everything except that movie. I think Abel Ferrara drills strangers because he is sexually repressed and the gay art dealer and the freaky girlfriend and ambiguous art band singer throw that repression in his face and he can’t deal, and she agreed with your analysis… in the end I saw the film as doing both. Anyway, I think Romero’s films tore apart race and class and gender in nuanced ways that we aspire to, but we use our zombies as heavy handed metaphor for fundamentalist views about economic and cultural values.

How much backstory/history is there going to be for the outbreak in WWBY? Do you think it's important for writers and/or filmmakers to give a reason why the dead return to life?

In the beginning, We Will Bury You was set up as three volumes and the third would have a metaphysical explanation of the gates of hell and how they had to be closed, but no one gets a contract for 36 issues on their first book, so that didn’t happen. Really, I’m of the opinion that it’s not that important why the dead come back. When people try to rationalize zombies, I usually get bored. Whether they explain it through the occult, like Fulci’s hanging priest or Louisiana hotel with a gate to hell installed in the basement, or nuclear waste like in Return of the Living Dead, it just takes away from the fact that most people would never know why, but just have to come up with a way to live.

Are your zombies slow or fast? On which side of the fast/slow zombie horror nerd argument do your loyalties lie?

Fast zombies are scary and have made slow zombies harder to make scary, which is sad. Our zombies are about mass, so they are slow. I’m scared of those rooms in mansions that have walls that close in on you, sometimes with spikes. I want to find the architect who designed those rooms, but that’s a different story. Our zombies are scary like those rooms.

When I think of spiked rooms, I think of Resident Evil. Actually, when I think of ANYTHING I think of Resident Evil. I love Resident Evil.

Talk a bit about being a comics fan and a horror fan. How did you get into each, what are some of your favorites, etc. What do you consider to be the best horror comic of today? Of all time? What's your favorite zombie movie?

I got into comics when I was a kid, but I was scared of horror comics when I was that young. Now, I am a fan of the old EC stuff like Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror, but I think the best contemporary horror comics are Locke and Key, Creepy, Walking Dead, Hellblazer, Night Business and pretty much any horror books Ben Templesmith does. Brea actually got into horror films before me, so I would watch stuff she rented sometimes. We had seen all the major stuff like the Elm Streets and 13ths and that stuff, and then about five years ago my friend Orion moved in with me and brought his horror VHS collection, which is in the hundreds. So, I got to know the genre a bit better through that, got to see more Italian stuff, and now my friend Carrie has a pretty good collection of VHS horror, some really good/bad Media stuff. My favorite zombie movie is the original Dawn.

Are you hitting any conventions this summer? Any more comics in your future?

I will be at MoCCA fest in New York April 10th and 11th, San Diego Comicon this summer, and Small Press Expo in D.C./Maryland in September. I hope to do some more cons, and we will probably be in Austin and have a release for the second issue of We Will Bury You the last week in April. I have an article about comics creator Dash Shaw coming out in Looking Glass Magazine this month. I’m teaching a comics writing course to teens at Brooklyn Artists Gym, and Brea and I are working on another series we hope gets picked up… and I want to do a comic version of Driller Killer.

The Master of Unlocking returns!

Yeah yeah, blah blah blah, I fucking love Resident Evil. I snatch up any and all RE video games, much in the way a crackhead snatches up...well, crack. Therefore, Resident Evil 5 was a day-of-release purchase for me. I had a lot of fun with it, but as I've said, as a whole it was a bit of a disappointment. Not because it was a bad game, but rather because it didn't feel like a Resident Evil game. It was long on action and shooting and short on exploration and puzzle-solving.

Well! It seems that The People in Charge of That Sort of Thing read my diary, because yesterday saw the release of "Lost in Nightmares", a downloadable scenario that plays directly to my fangirlish desires.

There's a flashback in Resident Evil 5 where we see Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine heading back to the Spencer Mansion...thanks to "Lost in Nightmares", we now get to play through those events. Yes, Chris and Jill are reunited and yes, it feels rather good. Traipsing through the dark, dusty halls of that familiar mansion, low on ammo, killing zombies and reading journals (fellow RE nerds, you'll understand that I was happy to see "itchy...tasty" makes a return appearance)...it's like being in the days of yore. It's scary, and it's awesome. Unfortunately, it's only a scenario. Me want full game!

I understand that franchises need to change and grow to stay relevant, but it's tricky. Don't change enough and you end up like Silent Hill- I still suck those games up, too, but even I admit it's feeling a little stale. But if they change too much, it then feels too unfamiliar. I love this little throwback, though, and I hope The People in Charge of That Sort of Thing continue reading my diary and we see a full game that returns to the series' roots. Resident Evil is the king shit of survival horror, and "Lost in Nightmares" reminds me why that's been true for a decade.

slap happy

So, like, remember the other day when I put up a link to my review of Bitch Slap that's currently nestled in the sweet, sweet bosom of Pretty/Scary? Yeah, me too. Wasn't that neat? Yeah, I think so too. Well kids, now there's more of my...uh...Bitch Slappery posted over there. This time in the form of: interviews! Yes, some chattings with actresses Erin Cummings, Julia Voth, and America Olivo...not to mention stunt coordinator supreme Zoe fucking Bell. Read it...if you dare! Clickety click.

Some trivia for you: Julia Voth is the face behind Jill Valentine in the Gamecube remake/relaunch of Resident Evil.

Not gonna lie: there were times during the interview where I was totally going "Hurrr hurr hurrrrr...Resident Evil....hurrr....Jill Valentine....", for as you know I loves me some Resident Evil. Thankfully I was only doing it in my head. Although in retrospect, had I been doing it out loud, it may have made for a nice story for everyone assembled to tell later on.

23:45 – Resident Evil

23:45 – Resident Evil: Degeneration


Day 16: “I hope this is not Chris’s blood…”

Okay, so for today's dose of SHOCKTOBER madness, I'm cheating a little bit. Rather than simply watching & reviewing a movie, I decided to talk about a subject near and dear to me old ticker: horror-based video games. It's been a while since my last big installment- three and a half years, holy crap- so I figured it was time to run down a few of the titles that have sucked me in and consumed hours of my life in the last few months.


BioShock is one of the most fascinating, best-looking games I've seen in my long, long life. The alt-history underwater city of Rapture is an art deco paradise lying in ruin; the utopia based on the philosophy of Objectivism crumbled as gene-splicing became a way of life, transforming the city's inhabitants into hideous mutants. In this first-person shooter you're Jack, a man with no memory who made his way to Rapture after an oceanic plane crash...and now must find a way out in the face of Big Daddies, Little Sisters, and all other manner of psychos. Ayn Rand, stem cell research, body modification, morality...fun for the whole family!

Dead Rising

Yeah, I know I actually reviewed this game once upon a time, but you know what? I'm still playing it, and it's still all kinds of awesome. Zombies, zombies, zombies...so many zombies in the mall. There's also creepy-mask-wearing, knife-wielding cult members and psychotic clowns with chainsaws and and and...Dead Rising is like a love letter to my crusty old horror movie-loving heart.

Dead Space

I have one major complaint about Dead Space: it's too damn short! I want more more more! This game is like Resident Evil meets Event Horizon, and it's absolutely one of the scariest games in the history of the history of ever- yes, it's that scary. You've got to repair your disabled ship while fighting off mutated crewmembers- of course there's an alien flu bug goin' 'round. Standard stuff, eh? Well, Dead Space utilizes sound and light like no other game since Silent Hill, and it's downright terrifying, to the point where I hit 'pause' on more than one occasion just so I wouldn't have to continue on into a pitch-black hallway where something was moaning. The score sounds straight outta Kubrick's The Shining, and it helps sink you into a never-ending state of heebie jeebies. Oh, if only there was more of it...ooh, there's a new Wii-bound prequel, a 6-issue comic mini-series, and an animated feature film prelude, as well. Sigh, I suppose those will have to do.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

While it wasn't a major hit, this oldie but goodie Gamecube release is a favorite amongst nerds in the know. Explore the mansion that belonged to your recently-deceased grandfather as you try to unravel the mystery of his death. Find chapters from the "Tome of Eternal Darkness" and engage in a little time-travel...and then Eternal Darkness really starts fucking with you via the "sanity meter". The more scary stuff Alexandra encounters, the nuttier she gets...and the nuttier you'll get. You'll be in the middle of a boss battle when suddenly your controller no longer works...or the game cuts to the title screen...or Alexandra ends up on the ceiling- the game really messes with your head as a player. There's nothing else like it. Hey, now you're a nerd in the know!

Fallout 3

I'm tempted just to write "Fallout 3 is effing AMAZING, go play it!" and leave it at that. Here's the wiki synopsis to further tempt those of you who haven't become completely absorbed by the game:
Fallout 3 takes place in the year 2277, 200 years after the nuclear war between the United States and China that devastated the game's world in an alternate post-World War II timeline. The game places the player in the role of an inhabitant of Vault 101, a survival shelter designed to protect a small number of humans from the nuclear fallout. When the player character's father disappears under mysterious circumstances, he or she is forced to escape from the Vault and journey into the ruins of Washington D.C. to track him down. Along the way the player is assisted by a number of human survivors and must battle myriad enemies that now inhabit the area now known as the "Capital Wasteland".
Your morality is up to you as you travel the wasteland and encounter religious wackadoos, raiders, mutants, ghouls...I can't even begin to adequately describe how massive- and how massively awesome- this game is. Fallout 3 is effing AMAZING, go play it!

Haunting Ground

Here's another game that got little attention, but horror fans should definitely bust out their PS2s and give it a whirl. At the start of Haunting Ground, you wake up in a cage (!!!) on the grounds of Castle Belli, and you've got to figure out what the eff is going on and how you can escape. Eventually you team up with a white German Shepherd named Hewie to solve puzzles and defend yourself as you search for a way out. What sets Haunting Ground apart from other survival horror games is that your character wields no weapons...just about all you can do when confronted by an enemy is run and try to find a good hiding spot. Sometimes these hiding spots work, and sometimes they don't...but you can never use the same place twice. It's incredibly tense to be crouched behind a curtain while someone is in the room, actively looking in all the corners for you. While there's definitely too much backtracking (and man oh man does the story get a bit perverse), Haunting Ground boasts one of the greatest, scariest video game villains ever in Daniella, the creepy-ass maid (pictured above). I'd say they should stick her in a movie, but we all know how movies based on games tend to go...

Left 4 Dead

Surviving the zombie apocalypse has never been more fun. What Dead Rising is to George Romero, Left 4 Dead is to Zach Snyder. These walking dead aren't walking at all- they're running really fast because they want to eat your face. There are hundreds and hundreds of them, along with "special" zombies, upgraded with all sorts of new ways to kill you. My favorite is the Witch, the goth-looking chick who sits around in her underwear, crying...until you get too close, and then she's up and clawing your eyes out in a flash. Reminds me of college!

Resident Evil 5

I've told you time and time again, I loves me some Rezzies. I'm gonna admit, though, Resident Evil 5 was a bit of a disappointment. On the one hand, it was a delight for an RE nerd like myself (Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, and Albert Wesker are all present and accounted for) and the co-op gameplay was cool. The graphics were amazing and the action was non-stop...but that was, perhaps, the problem. Since the incredible Resident Evil 4, the series has been moving away from the solve the puzzle and read the diary in the dusty, zombie-filled house angle that I love and geek out on so much. The developers should bring the series back to its roots because I want them to. Who's with me?

Silent Hill: Homecoming

It pains me in my heart place, but I'm starting to think that the Silent Hill series may be on its last legs. I enjoyed Homecoming, but it felt like more of the same, you know? Somehow it's missing the magic of the earliest games in the series- it feels like an imitation. The franchise was handed off from Japan to America, but that can't be the only reason why it's stale. Maybe it's just stale altogether...ugh, it hurts to type that. And who am I kidding? Silent Hill: Shattered Memories hits next month, and I'm sure I'll pick it up...and it'll be okay, but I'll have the sads 'cause it's just not like the Silent Hills of my yoot. Then I'll cry, then I'll play something else, repeat until I'm dead.

The Thing

Did you know that there's a video game set right after the events of John Carpenter's The Thing? There is, and it's pretty good! You can imagine how it goes: after contact is lost with MacReady and company, the military sends teams to investigate...alien parasite hijinks ensue. While you've got to battle the creepy-crawlies, you've also got to battle the rising worries of your teammates as they become increasingly paranoid: no one trusts anyone. Dudes get scared and they kill themselves, or they try to kill you. You may have an infected teammate in your party. It's a lot like the game, except no one wears weird, giant sideways cowboy hats- and that's a pity.

Remember that time…

...when the paramilitary commando dudes were going after the Red Queen when they accidentally tripped her defense system and suddenly the hallway they were all standing in had these deadly deadly lasers scooting down it, slicing up everything in their path? And then that one paramilitary commando dude was all ready to face the final laser, like, to jump over that shit or squeeze under it or something, and he was all, "Up YOURS, laser!" but then that eeeeevil, wily laser was all, "Pfft- up YOURS, paramilitary commando dude!" and it turned into a grid and diced him up real good? Yeah, that was cool.

And remember how the same sort of thing had been done a few years earlier in Cube? But when Resident Evil came around, the idea still was a bit novel...but now horror movie schmoes getting silently sliced and then slowly collapsing into a pile of grue-n-chunks is practically de rigueur? Yeah.

Anyway, my buddy JA of My New Plaid Pants has, of course, examined the sequences in Resident Evil and Cube before as part of his most excellent Thursday's Ways Not to Die series. You should check it out, if you know what's good for you!

Speaking of things to check out and knowing what's good for you, here's something else: Scott Weinberg, old friend of both Final Girl and darkness, has bravely gone and posted two massive lists: his top 100 horror and top 100 sci fi films. Mayhaps I'll do a big ol' horror list like that someday so people can get all riled up and call me a jerk for not including House of 1000 Corpses or whatevs. Oh, lists...why can't The Internet quit you?

Another thing to check out, etc etc: tonight- yes, TONIGHT- I- yes, I- will be- yes, BE- (okay that's enough, do-over)...tonight, I wll be a guest on The Graveyard Show podcast! It is something to which you can listen! It will be posted tonight: midnight, EST/9pm PST. I don't remember what I blathered on about, but I do remember that I had a wonderful time talking with The Caretaker. Perhaps this means you will enjoy listening...or not. I can no longer predict your reactions things- in fact, I feel like I don't know you at all anymore. But still, listen listen listen!!

One last thing: as you may have figured out by now, I am a huge fan of all things Resident Evil (although I wouldn't watch the second film again with ten-foot eyes) (whatever that means). It's no surprise, then, that when I saw a television spot for Avon's newest magical age-defying de-wrinkling serum or whatever the fuck it is, I immediately thought Umbrella Corporation. After searching for a picture of said serum online, I quickly discovered that I am not the only massive RE nerd in the galaxy. Behold, the truth behind Avon's serum! It's clearly a bioweapon.

I should warn my mom and gramma about this, lest they procure some and later transform into crimes against nature...although...hmm...that might liven up family functions a bit. Oh, what a dilemma I face!

talkin’ bout mah Degeneration

Fans of the Resident Evil video games have long been clamoring for a movie to give a big "Eff you!" and a swift kick to the butt of Paul WS Anderson and his film series, which bears little resemblance to the source material. Or, at least, I have. Sure, I like the movies okay- they're nothing if not fun- but as I've stated before, I want to have Resident Evil's babies. I mean...uh...I sure do like those games! I don't, like, really want to literally have those babies for real. First of all, if they were born shaped like video games that would really hurt my no no and it would be pretty awkward at family gatherings and, like, in the grocery store and stuff. My village might even shun me! I'd have to run away from them, clutching little Rezzie and dodging the stones they throw, and find asylum somewhere in an underground network-type thing, and that sounds like a real hassle...a hassle for which I do not have the time. Also, I'm not a fan of running or having stones thrown at me.

On the other hand, children are totally the future and I sure do like those games...but enough about my personal life! This is supposed to be about Resident Evil:Degeneration, so let's get small to it.

Seven years after the government eradicated the zombie problems in Raccoon City with a nuclear boom boom, the eeeevil Umbrella Corporation has risen again. Now called WilPharma, the company has been performing tests with human subjects in India. I have a sneaking suspicion that no good will come of this, unless there's FINALLY a cure for erectile dysfunction out there (seriously, every website in the world except mine is running those fucking Vimax ads and I'm really tired of my screen being inundated with obnoxious photos of women going all bug-eyed at the notion of a boner).

Anyzombie, the action begins at Harvardville Airport where Claire Redfield, heroine of Resident Evil 2, has just landed after...doing something for...the FDA or something or other. We meet a few other characters, like the eeeevil greedy stereotype Senator Davis, who's totally in cahoots with the eeeevil pharmaceutical company. Oh, and he's a jerk.

A plane from India is headed for Harvardville and one of the passengers has a decidedly grey and gross pallor...before you can say "Does that guy have rickets or something?" the plane crashes into the airport just like in the opening moments of the comedy classic Airplane!. Before anyone can say "Holy crap, that was just like the opening moments of the comedy classic Airplane!", however, zombies start spilling out of a gash in the fuselage. It was kind of awesome, and I was kind of giddy.

In related news, I'm psyched that I FINALLY have a chance to use the word "fuselage".

As you can imagine, from there things quickly go to bitey hell. The government steps in and attempts to resolve the situation. Enter Leon Kennedy, the hero of Resident Evil 2. Yep. Claire and Leon are reunited, and all 'round the world could be heard the flutter of a million nerd hearts. Or one. Mine. Don't judge me!

Once the sitch at Harvardville Airport is under control, Claire and Leon decide to find out what the eff is going on. They team up with some rookie special forces-types and head off to this place and that, this house and that lab, encountering a few more zombies and beasties along the way. It's all, you know, like, totally action-packed and stuff.

I'm not gonna lie- I dug this movie...but then, obviously I was predisposed to. My biggest disappointment is that the moment never came where I was supposed to pick up my controller and get my Claire Redfield on- and that's exactly the reason why I'm dubious about how the general horror movie lovin' audience will feel about Resident Evil: Degeneration.

Essentially, the film is little more than the typical CGI cut scenes stitched together. The acting is fair, the character development virtually nil, the dialogue sometimes excruciatingly hokey...and it's best if I don't get much into the "developing love interest" wicked-mini-subplot. By "developing", I mean, "these two characters stare stare stare at each other and that means they're falling in love after knowing each other 15 minutes". The plot is absolutely video game worthy as our gang heads down a path that ultimately culminates in your standard boss battle.

I suspect that large chunks of that plot will be confusing and/or inaccessible to non RE-heads, as a basic knowledge of some characters, Raccoon City, and Umbrella Corporation are assumed. Terms like T-Virus and G-Virus are tossed around, and unless you're a nerd like me you probably won't know- or figure out- the difference between the two.

All of that said, this is still a fun movie. The CGI falls squarely in that weird almost real but not trying to be real so I don't know how to feel about it territory. I found most of it pretty killer, but your tolerance may vary. There's some bloodshed, and certainly plenty of action.

Is this going to appeal to the general public the way the Milla Jovovich films have? I'd have to say no. But really, who cares? It's a fun zombie flick (I've certainly seen less interesting live-action zombie flicks), and I finally got my "real" Resident Evil movie. My nerdy little heart is content.

urgh! (a new blog post)

I say unto me, woe, my friends, for October has come and gone with nary a peep from yours truly. NARY A PEEP I SAY! It's a sad state of affairs, to be sure, when my most favoritest time of the year fails to spark a fire in me. But spark it did not! I've been experiencing...not exactly writer's block, per se, but rather, perhaps, writer's blah...as well as watcher's blah. Supreme unmotivation. I've hardly watched anything lately, and when I have managed to park it ("it" meaning "my ass") in front of a movie, it hasn't been horror-related. Sure, the recent Lifetime Movie Network Tori Spelling double feature got me all ten kinds of pumped (umm...back-to-back Co-Ed Call Girl and Awake to Danger, y'all...that's some mid-90s primo Tori action right there! Oh my god, I love Co-Ed Call Girl, especially when Tori's pimp starts talking about the incredible power she seems to have over men...), but that's not really Final Girl fodder. Or is it?

Meh. Though I haven't been jazzed enough lately to put cyber-pen to cyber-paper, I suppose it's time to get back on the cyber-horse. Maybe November can become the new October or something, and my love affair with horror movies will burst into passionate flames once more and I'll wonder why we ever spent a moment apart. Recommend something for me in the comments and maybe sparks will fly.

Lest you think I've simply been sitting here staring at the wall instead of posting, let me assure you: that's only 68% true. I've still been giving AMC their weekly dose of me...I just haven't been talking about it here. But today is the first day of the rest of my life, yes? Yes! So here are links to all the columns I've neglected to mention in recent...holy crap, in recent weeks. Fucking A, I suck!

- I wrote about William Castle and the lost art of gimmick movie-making.

- I created a DIY slashers guide, expanding a bit on my original Slashers 101 series.

- Great moments in gore, y'all.

- Resident Evil! I love Resident Evil!

- A wee recommendations guide.

- I reviewed Roger Corman's The Haunted Palace, starring Vincent Price and Lon Chaney, Jr. It's currently available to watch at amctv.com.

So, I've been writing. I've also been working some Ghostella's Haunted Tomb "magic"; I'd finished and uploaded the season finale, only to discover a need for reshoots. It's totally my fault and it's not really a big deal, but it's a pain in the arse all the same and the episode won't be up until next week, most likely. I can totally tease you about it, though, by saying this: I've got a special guest star! My special guest star is Lena Headey! Yes, the same Lena Headey who stars as Sarah Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Yes, the same Lena Headey who starred as Queen Gorgo in 300. Yes (and perhaps most importantly), the same Lena Headey who starred as a super-sexy cave-diving scientist in The Cave. Lena Headey in Ghostella's Haunted Tomb? As the kids today might say, WTF? I wouldn't believe it either if I were you, but here's some photographic evidence in the form of a "screen" "cap" from the film.

I don't know why I put that in quotes; this really is a screencap.

I know; I still don't believe it, either.

So there's that. I've also been painting a bit. For all my fellow BioShock nerds out there, I made this set: a Little Sister and a Big Daddy:

FYI for all you citizens of Squaresville out there, BioShock is a video game.

I made this dizzazzling set for a friend's birthday: it's 4 glass coasters that double as picture frames, featuring Television's Greatest Geriatric Detectives!

Neat, huh? The pictures are about 1.5" square, and they come in the sweet-n-spinny holder rack thingy. If anyone is interested in...say, a set featuring horror type folks or what have you (I mean, like, coasters featuring Freddy, Michael, Jason, and Leatherface? Or Universal Monsters? Fuck yeah!), just get in touch with me. I'm open for coaster commissions and painting commissions, and I've got galleries on my MySpace and Facebook pages for you social networking goons out there.

Anytinkle, that's about that. Yeah, I think it's high time I made out with Final Girl again, don't you think? I've been so lax I have nary a clue as to what's going on in the horror world at all; I haven't checked the news in weeks. What have I missed? Have they remade the remake of Dawn of the Dead yet? Is Saw MCMVII due anytime soon? I'm so out of the loop; let's catch up over a coffee, preferably one from Dunkin' Donuts.

Oh, and one more thing before I go: You probably haven't heard much about it, but tomorrow is Election Day here in the US. I don't know what your political stripe is, and (aduh and adoy) Final Girl isn't about politics. Regardless, I'm urging any Californians out there to vote NO on Proposition 8. Let's not make discrimination legal, okay?

Here's one particularly eye-opening TV spot, which just so happens to star someone you're probably familiar with by now, Bridget McManus (stand up comedian, talk show host, Final Girl Film Club member, Ghostella's Haunted Tomb star, and my pal).

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find something to watch.


- Look at me, posting a link to my latest AMC column all timely-like! Head over and check out my 10 Reasons Why Phantasm Rules. Yes, of course the Lady in Lavender is on the list. What am I, some sort of rube? Some of my reasoning for including her didn't make it past the editor's steely gaze, but such is life.

- It's a great friggin' time to be a horror video game fan! First, when September 30 rolls around and Silent Hill 5: Homecoming is released, you can just kiss me goodbye. Pyramid Head and knifey nurses, and melty bathrooms? Ba-ring 'em on! Bloody-Disgusting has the creeptastic trailer for you to get creeped out by. Is it just me being a nerd, or is that Travis from Silent Hill: Origins making a cameo in the truck?

Bloody-Disgusting has also got a bunch of lo-down regarding Resident Evil 5, including 2 gameplay trailers that are totally drool-inducing. Uh, the awesomely scary bane of my existence- chainsaw baghead guy- makes a return. Guhhhhhhhshmlehhhhhhhhhhhh. I'm just thankful it's not being released until March 13, 2009- I'd hate for RE 5 to have to battle with SH 5 for my affections. It's like choosing a favorite spoonful of mint chocolate chip ice cream from a single bowl: it's just not possible.

the wednesday wipeout

Jabba works his bitches hard, y'all!

That's the last picture I took at Comic-Con- I only took about 15 altogether, despite going into it thinking I'd get all Jimmy Olsen up in that shit. Instead, I took about 3 pictures of my friends, 3 pictures of myself with friends, and 10 pictures of Star Wars statues because I am a NERD.

As if you didn't know that already.

It's weird, though- there's something about digital photography that makes me less likely to actually take pictures. I'm a luddite crone.

As if you didn't know that already.

(edited to add a decidedly NERDish photo of life-size BSG Centurion that had a red eye light that went back and forth)

The Powers That Be decided to run the newest Ghostella episode until Monday; sorry about that- I know you've all been wringing your hands and peeing your pants in anticipation!

The AMC train is running right on schedule, though, and they've posted my column lamenting the loss of the drive-in and coming up with some double features I'd like to see.

Omigod, I am a crone!

Shock Till You Drop has got a gallery of photos from Resident Evil: Degeneration, the forthcoming CGI feature based on the Konami video games. You know, the movie I'm salivating over (because I am a NERD) but learned nothing about at Comic-Con because I got shut out of the panel because of all the effing peoplekdjkdjdkjhkja;sASD;fCXCDJK...............

In other wow, I missed the panel but I'm not at all bitter about it- okay, who am I kidding, I'm totally fucking bitter about it news, SciFi.com has the whole hour long shebang up at their website. No, I have not watched it yet because I am a big lame currently embroiled in a...in a...err, something something danger and intrigue.

SDCC 08: Friday the 13th

Oh Comic-Con, you've left me but a shell of the woman I once was. 5 days of walking, shouting, looking, and jostling is enough to break even the most enthusiastic geek. The show is so huge and so packed it's practically impossible to actually enjoy it at times. Sure, the film companies have sweet booth setups, but you can't check it out for all the people swarming around it. The panels are great, but if you can hit two popular panels in two different locations, you must be some sort of ninja. People queue up hours in advance like they're waiting for tickets to a Samantha Fox concert or something! I had too many obligations and couldn't spend time standing around in line, and therefore I ended up shut out of a few panels (a press pass, unfortunately, counts for total squat), including the only two I really wanted to see: Resident Evil: Degeneration and Battlestar Galactica. Douchey times! I still did some wicked (wicked as in squee!) cool stuff, though, and I'll have articles and the whatnot trickling in over the next week or two.

I caught the panel for the Platinum Dunes reimaginariumination of Friday the 13th- I know the footage shown was leaked online; maybe you snagged a peek before it was quickly pulled. If you didn't, I bet you wanna know what it was all about, huh? Don't you? And you want to know what producers Andrew Form and Brad Puller and stars Derek Mears, Jared Padalecki, and some chick who only spoke about three words had to say, don't you? Sigh, fine!

First off, here's the teaser poster, unveiled for the very first time, not at all unlike a virgin:

Me like! Simple, spooky, and iconic. Well played, Platinum Dunes...well played.

The footage shown featured a couple of supermodelesque teens wandering into Jason's deluxe shanty during a trip to Camp Crystal Lake; they come across a big pile of lit candles as well as...a wrinkled old head, presumably that of Mrs Voorhees. Eeeeyagggh! The guitars start to whale, supermodels start to scream, Jason finds the hockey mask, Jason busts through a window just like he did at the end of Part 2, Jason starts to make with the chop chop. And yes, there is some "ki ki ki ma ma ma"- if they'd done away with that, the fury of the legions of horror nerds (myself included) would burn with such intensity that the world would suddenly go supernova, then suck in the rest of the solar system as the supernova reversed direction and turned into a black hole.

What? It would. I know my science.

According to the producers, this film isn't going to be a strict remake of Friday the 13th, but rather an amalgamation of parts 2-4. Nowadays one seems to think a broad like Pamela Voorhees couldn't take down a hunky hunk like Jared Padalecki, and besides, no one cares about a broad like Pamela Voorhees anymore- horror fans want Jason. So what is Platinum Dunes doing with Jason?

Well, they ain't doing an origin movie. Apparently we'll briefly learn only a bit about his past, and he's going to be "rooted in reality" as they move away from super zombie Jason of the later Friday films. Derek Mears claims this Jason is smart, sympathetic, and "just a guy". I claim that a few shots in the teaser footage make me think Mears is going to kick ass.

Wait, "kick ass"? Yeah, I have to admit, I kinda liked the footage- a surprising reaction I attribute to the intensity displayed by Mears. The rest looked like your typical loud, brash horror movie fare (this is Platinum Dunes, after all)- ridiculously attractive "regular" teens covered in dirt, a soundtrack turned up to eleven, blah blah blah. But Jason's the star of this show, and he looked pretty fucking cool.

While the film apparently has a finite ending, the producers said they'd love to do a sequel. They also briefly mentioned the imminent retooling of The Birds and how there are so many horror properties out there they're simply itching to remake- one, in particular, is A Nightmare on Elm Street. This immediately made me wonder why the production company doesn't seem to be interested in making anything...well, new and original; it seems they're only going to plunder the past. I felt my righteous horror indignation flare up a bit, but then it quickly dissipated- I had to bolt to make it across the Comic-Con compound to catch something else, and I simply didn't have time to think.

Have no fear, I'm sure you'll be inundated with Friday the 13th news items all over The Internet in the months to come- the film won't be released until Friday, February 13, 2009. As for me, eh. I'll see it- in fact, it might even be pretty effing cool to see Jason on the big screen again.

Ack, what am I saying?? I can't be optimistic about this- damn, Comic-Con fried my fucking brain!

Five Reasons We Love Resident Evil – The Umbrella Chronicles

This Zombiephile has been killin’ zombies again. Lots of them. And it feels really, really good.

Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, released last month and available only on the Nintendo Wii console, is an injection of zombie-slaying goodness directly into the Wii console, and it’s much appreciated. Doubtless the best shooter on the Wii console since Metroid, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles succeeds in so many ways that it’s hard to distill just five reasons: but distill we have.

The Zombiephiles’ Five Reasons to Love Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

5) Capcom has returned truly awful voice acting to the Resident Evil franchise.
Anyone who played the old RE games remembers that the voice acting in the first three Resident Evil titles was absolutely terrible, zero inflection, complete disregard for context and personality, real rubbish. Playing TUC almost feels like Capcom went and dug the old voice actors out of the closet to remake some of the most wonderful moments in improbably bad dialogue that we’ve ever experienced. Kudos.

4) The Umbrella Chronicles lets you relive some of the RE games’ greatest (and scariest) moments, from a perspective that actually makes sense.
We don’t mean that the plot makes sense; that’s still total garbage; we mean that the perspective of the game makes sense - you can actually aim for the head now. The overhead, cinematic camera style of the previous RE games meant it was impossible to get that most satisfying of zombie kills - the head shot. TUC puts the old RE games into a fast-paced, first-person perspective that keeps you drooling for more.


Five Reasons We Love Resident Evil – The Umbrella Chronicles

This Zombiephile has been killin’ zombies again. Lots of them. And it feels really, really good.

Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, released last month and available only on the Nintendo Wii console, is an injection of zombie-slaying goodness directly into the Wii console, and it’s much appreciated. Doubtless the best shooter on the Wii console since Metroid, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles succeeds in so many ways that it’s hard to distill just five reasons: but distill we have.

The Zombiephiles’ Five Reasons to Love Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

5) Capcom has returned truly awful voice acting to the Resident Evil franchise.
Anyone who played the old RE games remembers that the voice acting in the first three Resident Evil titles was absolutely terrible, zero inflection, complete disregard for context and personality, real rubbish. Playing TUC almost feels like Capcom went and dug the old voice actors out of the closet to remake some of the most wonderful moments in improbably bad dialogue that we’ve ever experienced. Kudos.

4) The Umbrella Chronicles lets you relive some of the RE games’ greatest (and scariest) moments, from a perspective that actually makes sense.
We don’t mean that the plot makes sense; that’s still total garbage; we mean that the perspective of the game makes sense - you can actually aim for the head now. The overhead, cinematic camera style of the previous RE games meant it was impossible to get that most satisfying of zombie kills - the head shot. TUC puts the old RE games into a fast-paced, first-person perspective that keeps you drooling for more.