2017 Begins!


Just wanted to give a friendly update on the status of Sonic Mercury. With the help of some very talented people, I’ve been hard at work at the helm of an exciting new project. I can’t say exactly what it is just yet, but know it’s way beyond the scope of anything I’ve posted here in the past. This new and exciting project is also probably a little bit different than anything I’ve posted here before. As things develop further in the next few months I will be posting more information on the project at hand. It sucks to have to be so cryptic about the project right now but it’s just not the right time to reveal anything. Hopefully, when I can finally post something more substantial, you get just as excited about this new endeavor as my crew and myself have been for the past few months.

In the meantime, I wish you all a Happy New Year. Go create something of your own. To paraphrase a bit from Kevin Smith, “only you have your specific voice.” Your expression might have a meaningful impact on another person’s life. You’ll never know unless you try. Here’s to a new year with new adventures!


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Day 5


Day 5 of the 13 Days of Halloween has a less serious tone than our last entry. “Tucker and Dale VS Evil” is equal parts hilarity and brutal dismemberment. The story of two rednecks with hearts of gold “Tucker and Dale VS Evil” flips the script on the old horror movie trope of evil rednecks. In this case Tucker and Dale are just two well meaning guys with poor social skills. After making very poor first impressions on some young vacationers Tucker and Dale decide to head up to their fishing cabin and cut their losses. Guess where the vacationers cabin is? For more on this new classic we turn it over to our master of ceremonies Pat of the GessNation. Just click the link below.


EVIL (2010)


For more from Pat check out his YouTube Channel The GessNation or his Facebook page The Shred Shack

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Day 4


For day four of the 13 Days of Halloween were taking a trip down under. Paul Hogan will not be making any cameos in this one though. Our Day 4 horror film is “Wolf Creek” the story of  some British tourists who encounter a disturbingly upbeat psychopath during their vacation in Australia. A thoroughly entertaining horror film albeit far more gory than Day 3’s film “Freaks.” “Wolf Creek” is most notable for actor John Jarrett’s performance as the movies antagonist Mick Taylor who steals the show and is ultimately one of the most underrated horror movie antagonists of modern horror. As is the case with most movies I can go on and on so I will stop here and let Pat tell you all about “Wolf Creek.” Just click the link below.



For more from Pat check out his YouTube Channel The GessNation or his Facebook page The Shred Shack

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Day 3

SonicMercury.com, The GessNation

Today Pat brings us a piece of cinema history. “Freaks” is a 1932 horror film directed and produced by Tod Browning. Tod is regarded by many film critics and historians as an incredibly talented artist of early cinema. “Freaks” is considered to be Tod Browning’s greatest film for it’s powerful story and unflinching look into the world of its subject matter, circus freaks. Most of the film’s characters are portrayed by real life circus performers. “Freaks” is an excellent edition to this list and a film all fans of not just horror but cinema in general should know about. Without further adieu I submit to you day 3 of the 13 Days of Halloween, “Freaks.” Click the link below to watch Pat’s review.



For more from Pat check out his YouTube Channel The GessNation or his Facebook page The Shred Shack

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Day 2

Sonic Mercury.com The GessNation

“Dead Alive” or “Braindead” as it is called outside the U.S. is one of my all time favorite horror movies. I won’t give much away as Pat will give you the details on this merry trip down insanity lane but I will say “Dead Alive” wins a lot of points with me for its sheer creativity. This blood soaked gem from New Zealand is notable for its bizarre story line, at times impressive special effects and unpredictability. “Dead Alive” is an irreverent horror film that is as gory as it is zany. I guarantee when the credits finally roll on this film you will not have been able to predict any of the events that have unfolded. For more we turn to Pat at the GessNation.

13 Days of Halloween #2: Dead Alive/Braindead (1993)


For more from Pat check out his YouTube Channel The GessNation or his Facebook page The Shred Shack

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13 Days of Halloween

TheGessNation, The Shred Shack, SonicMercury.com.Z3ROTH3RT33N, Z3R0TH3RT33n

Horror Movie Reviews Incoming!

Our good friend Pat the indomitable harbinger of the GessNation has bestowed upon us a glorious message promising a bounty of fictional picture records of crimes most foul upon the month of All Hallows Eve. With a 33 and 1/2 foot blade forged in the flames of the purest heavy metal glory Pat will cleave 13 horror movie reviews featuring his favorite moments and characters. Throughout the month of October Sonic Mercury will feature Pat’s 13 Days of Halloween and will post links to his YouTube channel for your entertainment.  While we patiently await his next transmission here is the link to Pat’s YouTube channel TheGessNation where he describes his Halloween special in his own words.



For more from Pat check out his YouTube Channel The GessNation or his Facebook page The Shred Shack

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Horror News

Sonic Mercury, SonicMercury.com/theevilwithin

The Evil Within Release Delayed

Highly anticipated horror title The Evil Within has seen its release date pushed back. Director of the title Shinji Mikami and his development team requested more time to polish the game. Publisher Bethesda Softworks included this quote with the delay announcement.

“Shinji Mikami and his team at Tango Gameworks have asked for additional time to further balance and refine the game in order to deliver the polished, terrifying pure survival horror experience they set out to create.”

Thankfully the new release date is only a few months so instead of a late August release we will see The Evil Within release in late October, just in time for Halloween. Also included in this announcement were details about in game perks rewarded to people who pre-order The Evil Within. Dubbed The Fighting Chance Pack here is what it comes with as listed on Bethesda Softworks home page.

  • Medical Kit – A vital health enhancement to enable Sebastian to fight on.
  • Green Gel – Used to upgrade Sebastian’s attributes.
  • Double Barrel Shotgun and Three Shells – A larger and more formidable shotgun than the regular shotgun, it’s useful for tight situations with multiple encroaching enemies.
  • An Incendiary Agony Bolt – Capable of showering nearby enemies with damaging fire sparks.
  • A Poison Agony Bolt – Will draw enemies towards it and poison them, allowing Sebastian time for a quick escape.

The Evil Within has been on everyone’s radar because the director of the game Shinji Mikami is the creator of the Resident Evil series and this new title is said to be his desire to return survival horror to its roots. From the different sources I have seen who have had the opportunity to go hands on with The Evil Within it sounds promising that Shinji and his team at Tango Gameworks will make good on their promise. If the game does live up to expectations it will be well worth the wait. The Evil Within is slated for release on PS3, PS4, XBOX 360, XBOX One and PC.


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Horror Spotlight

SOMA is a survival horror title being developed and published by Frictional Games and is slated for a 2015 release on PC, MAC and PS4. Frictional Games most famous game up until now is Amnesia: The Dark Descent. SOMA has been secretly in development since 2010. The first official gameplay trailer was released early this passed October and since then a few live-action trailers have surfaced as well. SOMA and The Evil Within are both going to be games within the survival horror genre and while The Evil Within looks to be a promising new horror title that I am excited to play, it is the game mechanics that I am ultimately drawn to. SOMA on the other hand looks to be potentially a catalytic explosion in the horror world. The gameplay trailer alone is enough to give you goosebumps of depraved joy at how unabashedly demented it is and their is a certain uneasy undertone to the live action trailers that give a hint of SOMA possibly being something truly horrifying.


The world of SOMA is sort of like if the legendary artist H.R Giger of Alien fame was crossed with influences of Hellraiser and placed in a cold futuristic setting where it appears robot technology is common. The goal of the game according to Thomas Grip Creative Director of Frictional Games in his own words according to his blog entry on Playstation.com states that. “SOMA is meant to chill you to your core, and confront you with questions about your very existence.” The stark setting of the game paired with the commitment to exploring futuristic sci-fi theories and philosophies definitely has my attention as an experience that could possibly stand out as more than just a good horror game and be something truly special that none of us will soon forget. 


My impressions of everything I have read and seen so far of SOMA reminds me of a post-apocalyptic short story published in 1967 that was later turned into a 1995 computer game called “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.” The story is fairly disturbing about a self-aware supercomputer that engineers mass genocides around the world until their are only 5 survivors left in the whole world. The survivors live in a vast underground complex but the supercomputer holds great hatred towards humankind and thus makes the 5 remaining humans borderline immortal so it can torture them for all eternity. Although there is little evidence that the two narratives will be in anyway similar I just get the feeling that very bad things are going to happen to the protagonist in SOMA. Furthermore the Creative Director went on to say that the player will not take control of a space marine fighting his way out but rather a regular person finding their way through.


Three years in development and only a little over a month out of secrecy it seems unfair that we will have to wait until 2015 to get our hands on SOMA. Here is a link to Creative Director Thomas Grip’s blog on Playstation.com so you can read what the game is about in his own words as well as check out the official gameplay trailer which is included on his blog page. Please note as with most horror related media the trailer on Thomas Grip’s page does include some scenes of gore and violence. I have also include links to 2 of the live-action trailers for SOMA posted on Frictional Games official YouTube page here entitled “Vivarium” and “Mockingbird.” Bookmark SonicMercury.com for updates on SOMA and all things horror related.



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Horror Spotlight

Survival Horror

The Evil Within is an upcoming new horror videogame that will appear on both current-gen and next-gen consoles in 2014. The game is being developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game centers around antagonist Detective Sebastian Castellanos. Sebastian wakes up in a gruesome world where violence and death are all around him after he and his partners investigated the scene of a mysterious mass murder. Now its up to Detective Sebastian Castellanos to traverse this decrepit world and discover the mystery as to why all this horrible stuff has been occurring.


At first glance it sounds like a typical horror game. Here’s why its not. The director of The Evil Within is Shinji Mikami a name we should all know as he is the creator of Resident Evil and creative lead for every subsequent Resident Evil title for many years. Resident Evil 4 was the last game in the series that he created. The Evil Within is Shinji Mikami’s return to the survival horror genre. Mr. Mikami has been quoted as saying about his new game that this will be a “true” survival horror game in response to his disappointment with current games of the genre he says this game will be, “one in which the player confronts and overcomes fear.”


The original Resident Evil series is a masterpiece. The first RE set the bar as to what survival horror could be on home consoles, the second RE far exceeded that bar introducing Claire Redfield and fan favorite Leon S. Kennedy into the horror of a familiar suburban setting in a chaos storm of monsters and zombies, the 3rd RE polished and refined elements of the first two games with smoother menus and action animations as well as detailed ammunition creation options. The 3rd RE also introduced the walking fear-bomb Nemesis who could go through doors and walk up stairs something previously impossible by RE foes instantly cranking up the tension of this entry. Finally RE 4 redefined the genre all together. Everything in the series had been overhauled for RE 4 new combat system, revamped menus and more cinematic presentation. Everything in RE 4 felt bigger and grander. From the story rife with plot twists and strange characters/creatures to the mysterious girl that Leon must rescue, RE 4 was a stout message to the Resident Evil fans and survival horror fans in general that nothing would be the same.


The graphical leap combined with the directorial decision to make the camera a 3rd person over the shoulder view that follows the player instead of set camera angles proved a very immersive experience. The visuals were gorgeous for a console game at the time. While I truly did enjoy Resident Evil 4 and had hours and hours of gameplay in the various survival modes alone some of the changes in the game were implications to me as to where this franchise was heading and for me I knew that Resident Evil 4 might be the last that I purchase. As I stated it’s not that RE 4 was a bad game in anyway. I felt Nintendo’s influence on the franchise was obvious however. The further I got into the game the more it reminded me of Zelda. The way items were highlighted in colorful columns and the change sound the game made every time you picked one up. The constant search for treasures paired with the more fantastical creatures versus horrible monsters created by viruses and the constant smashing of boxes and or pottery. Blood seemed minimal. The weird guy you bought items from who always greeted you with the same gruff voice, “Hello stranger.” The fantasy influence combined with the treasure hunting elements were just enough of a departure from the original 3 games for me to long for the old days of running through Raccoon City battling T-Virus zombies and not “Las Plagas” drones sent forth by the ghost of Napoleon’s inner child.


Needless to say I was more than a bit wary of the next installment of Resident Evil and my suspicions were confirmed as soon as I saw the trailers for Resident Evil 5. I thought the setting looked boring with lots of muted colors and the focus was obviously action based. Super fast infected people. I really wasn’t that turned off by the two player element that was introduced as I thought it could definitely work if implemented correctly. I played some of it and it just didn’t feel anything like the Resident Evil that I had grown to love. I guess with the success of the highly action based Resident Evil movies starring Mila Jovovich as a superhuman zombie slayer, which by the way undermines the entire genre of survival horror I mean how are you supposed to be scared when Supergirl fights a bunch of monsters that is an entirely different movie than what Resident Evil should be about but I digress, I guess the game developers thought this an appropriate direction for their game.


Then their was Resident Evil 6. Featuring 4 separate but intertwining campaigns. After all the hype it got and the promise that it would at least include Leon in one of the campaigns I decided to give it a shot. Originally 3 of the 4 campaigns were co-op until players made it clear to Capcom that it made no sense to have your game be primarily co-op only to offer the final campaign as a strictly single player experience. The 4th campaign was made co-op and available from the start of the game instead of an unlockable campaign made available after completion of the 3 other co-op campaigns. Each of the 4 campaigns had their own specific characters with their own story pertaining to the same global event. I really enjoyed most of Leon’s campaign quick time events aside. It had zombies in a dark creepy atmosphere genuinely conjuring fearful moments at times. The co-op actually worked great here, even with a friend the tension was still high. It felt like a proper evolution of Resident Evil. The rest of RE 6’s campaigns have their moments but they feel superfluous, like other ideas for Resident Evil games sliced and diced from their games and spliced together to create a grotesque Frankenstein of one game. At the end of the day RE 6 is more like 4 separate games under one title.


Now Capcom is in financial turmoil and the likelihood of a new Resident Evil from the company is uncertain. Just how bad a state Capcom is really in is debatable but information is surfacing that Capcom barely has enough cash to develop one more feature game. In other words if Capcom pays to develop one more game they could go bankrupt. Something to support this belief that Capcom is on dire straits is that when game producer Yoshinori Ono the producer of Street Fighter IV was asked by a fan on twitter if SF IV would be coming to the next gen Ono responded that Capcom lacked the resources to port the game to next-gen consoles although he expressed that it would be “sweet” to bring SF IV to the next-gen. Porting Street Fighter IV to next-gen consoles doesn’t require nearly the team and resources creating an entire game would. If Capcom can’t even port a fighting game to the PS4 and XBOX One how can any of us expect them to create a whole new Resident Evil?


With the most recent entries of Resident Evil 5 and 6 being disappointments for long time fans of the series because of their departure from the initial survival horror genre that Resident Evil helped to define The Evil Within might be just the gloriously gruesome return to the survival horror roots we all grew to love. Shinji Mikami has state that this will be the last game that he ever directs. Let us all hope that Mr. Mikami goes out on a high note helping to create a new chapter of survival horror, one that we can all look upon with fond memories and pass on a new legacy of horror to future generations. I have included a gameplay trailer for The Evil Within here courtesy of Bethesda Softworks YouTube page. Fair warning their is some extreme violence and gore. Bookmark SonicMercury.com for more on other upcoming horror titles in all media.



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Horror Spotlight: Update!

It turns out that their is even more to see this year at Halloween Horror nights. A few more attractions have been added since my last article about this year’s Halloween Horror Nights. One attraction will appeal to horror and videogame fans alike. It turns out that the Orlando location will be getting an attraction based on Resident Evil 2 & 3! The attraction is called Escape from Raccoon City. You will actually get to see the R.P.D. and meet up with Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy. There will even be a 12 foot nemesis walking around firing off a Gatling gun. There will be zombies, lickers and hunters for you to run from as you make your way through famous locations inside Raccoon City from Resident Evil 2 & 3. As a huge fan of these two entries in the Resident Evil series it sounds like an exciting sprint down memory lane. Just the idea of actually getting to run from monsters in Raccoon City, getting to see the R.P.D. and meeting up with Leon and Claire makes me grin from ear to ear. The Evil Dead attraction sounds like a great time but a chance to go to Raccoon City and experience Resident Evil 2 & 3 firsthand is a Resident Evil fan’s dream come true. The other attraction of note is a maze based on An American Werewolf in London where you can traverse the English moors looking for werewolves and explore the circus from the movie, but Resident Evil 2 & 3! You get to go to Raccoon City!



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Horror Spotlight

Let me be clear I don’t in anyway work for or have I ever been an employee at Universal Studios. Halloween Horror Nights is an event that has been held annually on and off again under various names throughout the last 20 years at Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood. For many years the events theme revolved around Jack Skellington of Nightmare Before Christmas fame. In recent years the Halloween Horror Nights event has been themed off of popular horror movies including Friday the 13th which quite honestly I really wish I could have gone to. The reason I bring this all up is because this year looks to be exceptionally awesome if you are a horror fan and a heavy metal fan. Some pretty great horror franchises are being tapped this year for the event so I figured with Halloween not too far off I would break down the different attractions being thrown at this years Halloween Horror Nights.


The first attraction this year is a maze based on the Walking Dead AMC TV series. You start off in a maze through the prison from the series the West Georgia Correctional Facility which is obviously full of Walkers. Even the fenced in area outside the prison is full of Walkers. After you make it through the prison there is a forested section full of Walkers and if you can “survive” the wilderness you will actually end up at the town of Woodbury where you can meet the Governor. Universal Studios has promised that you will relive many iconic moments from the Walking Dead series.


The next attraction is a maze inspired by the Evil Dead. You literally walk through the forest to the most famous of abandoned cabins in horror history. The description says you can either try to run from the Deadites into the forest or you can try to survive the night in the cabin. Exactly how it works I am not sure, you might have to keep running through the maze as staying in the middle seems like a difficult way to get out again. Either way the maze is filled with plenty of gore and Deadites. When you reach the cabin listen for the words from the Book of the Dead as that definitely will be your cue that lots of crazy stuff is about to happen.


OK so by now you probably guessed pretty much all the events are mazes. The next maze is inspired by Insidious. People will actually get to walk through the haunted house from Insidious and experience different moments from the movies first hand. The special effects look pretty impressive as they show a girl being wrapped up by a shower curtain seemingly on its own volition. One of the most exciting mazes for me is the one inspired by songs from Black Sabbath. You start the maze in a demon filled cathedral, then go through graveyards, madhouses, corpse filled battlefields and even a nuclear apocalypse full of mutated beasts. You wear 3D glasses the whole time and Black Sabbath music will be playing in the backround. Personally I would love to see Black Sabbath’s reactions as they all walked through the maze. Its being called a interactive 3D movie inspired by Black Sabbath’s most famous songs.


The next maze I am kind of on the fence about. Its a maze called “El Cucuy” The Boogeyman. I am all for bringing back the boogeyman for some good old fashioned horror fun but this maze is narrated by Danny Trejo. It looks like it could be fun and if Danny Trejo only says a few things at the beginning and end of the attraction it probably won’t be too bad but I just can’t for the life of me find him scary. The final attraction for this years Halloween Horror Nights is called Universal Monsters Remix: Resurrection which is supposed to be a revival of the classic Universal Monsters. That sounds really cool I am all for the original Universal Monsters being revived for the 21st century. However the attraction features the music of Figure a dubstep artist. The comments on the page make him seem pretty beloved by Halloween Horror Nights patrons but I really don’t want to see Frankenstein pop and lock. I have no proof that is what the attraction will be like but my own gut feeling is sour towards dubstep Universal Monsters. Not saying it can’t be done but it is with guarded skepticism that I would patronize this final attraction. All mazes were constructed with direct input from the creators and producers of source materials including the Black Sabbath maze, Ozzy, Geezer and Tony all had input on their maze.


Other non-maze attractions include “Terror Tram: Invaded by the Walking Dead” sort of a tram tour of a Walking Dead infested area. Bill & Ted will have an “Excellent Halloween Comedy Adventure” if you have a will made of pure steel. There are several “Scare Zones” each with its own theme. One scare zone has you playing hide and seek with Chucky. That could be fun. Another scare zone is themed after the movie the Purge that came out last year where you will be literally hunted by psychos with weapons and no laws. One of the scare zones features murderous french clowns in haunted Paris. ( Yes I am laughing even as I type it. ) There will be a field of haunted scarecrows looking to fertilize their crops with human blood, that could be promising. Finally Walking Dead Walkers will be everywhere inside the theme park so look out. The final attraction is you can actually walk through the backlot used in Season 3 of AMC’s Walking Dead series and it will be filled with Walkers. There will also be a landscape you can run from the walkers in that is inspired by Black Sabbath’s new album “13.”


So if I had a way to get to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood or Orlando and could also afford it. This would definitely be on my list of places to go this year for Halloween. If you can swing it and have the schedule for it this just might be the place to get your scares this Halloween.  As always I am Z3R0TH3RT33N and I will continue to keep you updated on all things Horror, Metal and Videogame related.



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Horror Spotlight: Hemlock Grove

Hemlock Grove is a Netflix Original TV series based on a novel of the same name released in March 2012 and authored by Brian McGreevy. Eli Roth of Hostel fame is the executive producer of the series and the show has been nominated for an Emmy in the category of original online only web television. I have to give Netflix credit for not making something safe and taking risks. This is a show that takes out all the stops. A large part of Hemlock Grove’s allure comes from deciphering the unknown but when it comes to events happening to characters pertinent to the story the show can be quite graphic. This candidness adds a rawness and validity to an ever present sense of danger. The tension is high and the atmosphere potent.


Hemlock Grove is beautifully twisted, its Beethoven’s No. 5 painted by Van Gogh and played backwards by Slayer. A symphony for the senses. There is sex, violence, drugs, high school, young love, divorce, love triangles, unexplained pregnancies, monsters, murders, genetic manipulations and the supernatural. These ingredients are slow cooked on a rotisserie of intrigue and served in mouth watering bite sized revelations wrapped in mysteries that are fulfilling but never fill you up. The show hits all the right notes, interesting characters, believable dialogue and a refreshing take on familiar mythologies, while still giving respectful nods to source materials.


First off I have to mention the fantastic cinematography of Hemlock Grove. Almost every shot, be it an establishing shot of a landscape or a plain old alleyway, looks gorgeous. The use of lighting and filters are executed expertly and almost always seem to add to the atmosphere. Several times throughout the series I found myself just gawking at the scenery. It was seldom that I thought the image quality of a scene suffered a little but in those rare instances I couldn’t say for sure if my internet connection slowed down a little bit or if it was an intentional production choice to add atmosphere to a particular shot.


The thing to really get across with Hemlock Grove is that it is so much fun. The world created inside this show is one of limitless potential. You really feel like anything can happen. The characters are unique and satisfyingly fleshed out. While the show has many dark and gruesome moments they never feel overbearing and their is a really nice balance of levity. Another thing that I really appreciate about Hemlock Grove is that it doesn’t hold back, it embraces its premise and its previously mentioned “ingredients” and sprints full force into its own world. Nothing feels toned down, they chose a direction and they run with it. The horror elements are fully embraced and their are some really great effects used throughout the show.


The characters of Hemlock Grove are bizarre. Whenever time is taken to add exposition I couldn’t help but pay attention. Every detail just makes the show even more fascinating. Even at the very very end of the series the freight train of insanity never slows down and if anything it picks up speed. You can literally feel the tension in the air and its genuinely exciting wondering what could possibly happen next?! I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a TV show as much as this one.


Although Hemlock Grove currently only has a single season of 13 episodes each episode averages 45-50 minutes. Each episode is packed with content and a season 2 has already been approved for the series. There are a few moments of utter ridiculousness but the show is so damn entertaining that I honestly really didn’t care I was having too much fun to let these moments bother me. The climax of this series delivers in spades, the payoff to everything leading up to the end is so gratifying. Questions are answered and a lot of plot points are brought to a close but just enough is left hanging in the air of uncertainty that has me wishing season 2 was already here. If you have Netflix or know someone who does and your looking for an exciting supernatural tale of “Who dunnit?” with strong horror overtones and interesting characters go to Hemlock Grove you won’t be disappointed. In case it wasn’t obvious in my descriptions of the show its probably best you put the little ones to bed before turning this one on as the series does have a lot of adult content such as nudity and extreme violence.



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Evil Dead Remake/Reimagining

(Image appears courtesy of Christopher Ott and London 1888)



I just wanted to say a few things about the Evil Dead reboot. It seems somewhat appropriate seeing how it just came out on Blu-ray this week. First off I am a huge fan of the original series. I still remember renting the original Evil Dead when I was like ten years old. The smell of row after row of rental tapes, talking to the guy behind the counter. “Say my man, what’s the scariest movie you have?” and the clerk replied, “Why the Evil Dead young man.” When I was a little kid it seems like all we really ever rented were horror movies actually. The Return of the Living Dead series, Alien, Predator, Wish Master, Lost Boys, Silence of the Lambs, Hellraiser, as a kid I really liked the Puppet Master series for some reason and an endless supply of other old horror movies.


The original Evil Dead struck a chord. Like any great horror movie you lose your self in the plot and this may sound a bit strange but I actually cared about what happened to the characters in the story. I didn’t know until much later in life that the Evil Dead was already a cult classic by the time I rented it back in the early 90’s. What I did know is that it became one my favorite movies. The story was bizarre, the atmosphere was ripe with tension and a genuine sense of fear was conveyed by the purveyance of the unknown. Before this movie I never fathomed anything close to a book bound in human flesh and inked in human blood or what evils it would unleash upon the world.


The X factor of Evil Dead and the subsequent trilogy is the character Ash Williams played by Bruce Campbell. As the series goes on Ash became more and more of a bad ass, quick with a one liner and faster with his boom-stick. The story of Ash Williams has become legend to many, myself included. The character of Ash Williams has appeared in multiple Evil Dead video games and comic book series. Most horror fans would agree the original Evil Dead and Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams are iconic.


Here lies the monumental task of rebooting this beloved piece of horror cinema. ( Note: Evil Dead director Sam Raimi went on to direct the first Spider-man trilogy ) Director Fede Alvarez was hand selected by Sam Raimi to helm this project. The cast and crew were all explicitly told by both Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell to not try and recreate what had already been done. Sam and Bruce, both producers of the film, were very supportive but took on more of a coaching position leaving Fede Alvarez and his cast free to blaze their own story, to create something fresh.


The trailers for Evil Dead 2013 were really promising. Lots of gore, lots of violence and deadites. ( Look up the Redband trailer on YouTube its pretty wild NSFW )This was the first horror movie I had been truly excited for in a long time. When I finally got to see it I wasn’t disappointed. Evil Dead 2013 had an interesting plot giving the cabin more meaning to the characters and a real reason for everyone to visit the cabin. It succeeded in recreating the feeling I had watching the original, tense on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. It was a lot of fun to say the least, Easter eggs for the initiated were abundant without diminishing the new story in any way. I left the cinema happy to see that one of my favorite franchises was in good hands and to see the Evil Dead legacy grow and know that its legend will live on.


I have talked to some people who were really disappointed by this film. I was confused thinking OK it was pretty violent I could see some people who don’t enjoy horror being turned off by this title. That wasn’t the case as it turns out they were huge fans of the original series, and I found out that there are others who shared in their disappointment of Evil Dead 2013. These fans actually left the film confused about what had happened in the movie. Apparently what some fans were hoping for was a shot for shot remake of the original movie just updated with new effects.


The shot for shot remake of a classic horror movie has been done before. The one that jumps to mind is the remake of Psycho. A cinematic legend. Anthony Perkins’ performance in the original Psycho film is legendary. The Vince Vaughn performance in the shot for shot remake of Psycho is infamous. Bruce Campbell and the Evil Dead franchise are iconic. Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams is iconic. Like in the Psycho remake no one could ever capture the performance of the original. A shot for shot updated remake of Evil Dead would be a terrible step backwards for the franchise because all anyone would do is compare Bruce’s Ash to whomever’s Ash.


Even if it was a good shot for shot remake of the original, nothing original would have been done. What a waste of time to re-shoot a classic film scene by scene when you could just watch the original anyway. Instead what we got was a new story in an updated universe of a legendary horror franchise, with plenty of nods to the past to give die hard fans something to cheer for.


Rumor has it that Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell have three more Evil Dead titles in mind. One film will continue with the events of Evil Dead 2013, the second film will be a sequel to Army of Darkness with Campbell reprising his famous role of the chainsaw wielding deadite slayer Ash Williams, and the third film is intended to be a film where Ash Williams’ universe crosses over into the universe of the new series.


The Evil Dead 2013 did not give us an Ash Williams. However the film did give us a compelling story and interesting characters. There is plenty of gore and practical effects. Many events that occurred in the original series are homaged. Evil Dead 2013 is exhilarating, a refreshing new adventure in a beloved horror haunt. A thrilling tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat til the credits roll. I give it 4 and 1/2 stars out of five. If you have the stomach and like full on horror movies that hold nothing back I strongly recommend this film.


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Friday the 13th Remake Critique

 SPOILER ALERT! This is my abridged critique of the Friday the 13 Remake.

1.) Jason’s mother dies in the first 5 seconds of the film. This wasn’t an immediate deal breaker for me but killing her off so quickly made it hard to really comprehend her importance in the story line and it also made it hard to understand why someone would kill Mrs. Voorhees in such a violent way.  As a big fan of the original Friday the 13th series I wanted to like this movie pretty badly but this version just misses the nuances that made the original series (especially in the beginning of the original series) so iconic to me.

2.) One of the biggest most glaring omissions from this version to me is the fact that Jason NEVER KILLS ANY CAMP COUNSELORS! I mean doesn’t it make sense that the people Jason would most want to kill are camp counselors? They are the ones who left him for dead at the bottom of Crystal Lake and they are the ones who ultimately killed his mother, brutally decapitating her. So instead of wasting the first 20 minutes of the movie with the adventures of how stoner mcgee and generic victims 2 through 5 are brutally murdered by Jason (which are a footnote at best on his resume) wouldn’t it have been so much more fun to have seen what Jason did to Camp Crystal Lake for it to be shut down in the first place? Then we the audience would have a vivid understanding as to why the camp is so heavily revered by all the locals?

3.) The character design of Jason was ok. I thought that Derek Mears performed adequately as Jason but at the end of the day if felt more like a man in the woods pretending to be Jason the body language was just off. I thought putting more emphasis on Jason being a conscious hunter was an interesting concept but I really hated seeing Jason out and about during the day so much.  Specifically the scene where he finds the hockey mask was really painful for me. Obviously I love when Jason wears the hockey mask but the moment of him discovering it was really cheapened by the fact that he is just bumbling around a barn in the middle of the day. This last part is more my own personal taste but Jason is just so much more menacing at night.

4.) Why even bother giving any of the other characters names? The only two who stand out and bring anything to the table were the characters of Lawrence and Chewie who were funny and actually made me kind of care about their fates. Now don’t get me wrong Friday the 13th has always been about the gratuitous nudity and the high body counts as well and I totally appreciate and enjoy that aspect of the series but it was hard to care about anyone in this story line at all. I spent the movie praying for Jason to come back in hopes of not suffering more terrible dialogue from generic victim #2 or his friends.

5) They totally left out Jason’s signature moves, just completely ignored staples of Jason Voorhees’s character. There is always a moment in the original series where Jason is about to kill someone or he is stalking someone where something else catches his attention and he violently jerks his head in the direction of the distraction, the move is always accompanied by a sharp musical cue. In the old movies, even as dated as they are now, that was a moment that always gave me a chill and made me smile. The other omission that really bothered me was that in the first few movies there was always a scene towards the end where one of the last survivors would be all alone sneaking through a quiet darkened cabin and you weren’t sure if maybe they might actually have escaped Jason’s attention for the moment. The tension would grow as the character tip toed through the silent darkness when suddenly one of Jason’s previous victims would come crashing sideways through the elongated cabin windows on to the cabin floor right in front of the tip toeing character shattering any sense of false security to dust. In part four when Jason grabs a kid through a glass window, that was classic or the part in six or maybe it was seven where Jason jumps through a dining room window and the lights are dim and he is standing behind some birthday balloons is just terrifying. Later on in another scene when people walk through the same room again it was revealed that Jason was standing in the back of the room watching them the whole time when a quick flash of light subtly reveals him in the back of the room motionless. That sense like in the first Jaws movie like at any moment anywhere terror was lurking. What was a major part of what made Jaws so effective? The music! We all know the iconic Jaws theme, so then why? Why was Jason’s theme so completely minimalized? The Jason theme is iconic and when used properly does fathoms to increase the tension of the movie. These were part of the elements that made the original series so awesome to me. Also I don’t think we ever really see the camera from Jason’s perspective just stalking his victims. This is also a great technique from the old series.  We didn’t get any of that.

6) I will just say the final battle with the wood chipper just wasn’t very interesting or inspired. Not necessarily a terrible moment but for the grand finale of a reboot of such an iconic series that’s weak sauce man, it’s like you’re not even trying. Then of course the teaser where he pops out of the water,  “oh boy, I mean you uhh, you just did that and well we all saw you do that and you’re going to possibly do it again? huh that’s just, uhhh, that’s something.”

Anyway to summarize I think this movie would have made more sense as a continuation than a reboot because so much of Jason’s beginnings are vaguely touched upon or flat out ignored and as mentioned earlier just plain lacking that spark to reignite such a beloved franchise. In the end though, I think that I would rather remember this one as a sort of bizarro world Friday the 13th than part of the actual lore. Yes I know I completely ignored the whole Jason taking a hostage arc of the movie. I didn’t hate that part but I also didn’t really understand it. Why would Jason take a hostage? Even with her wearing the necklace that reminded him of his mother what was his end game? Was Jason going to keep that girl chained up forever? It just seemed uncharacteristic of Jason to do such a thing and I know they were trying to reboot the story and I am open to new avenues with the Friday the 13th series but I just found the hostage arc to be ultimately unrewarding. I get why it was included but it just lacked umph for me. The bottom line with that arc is you got to give me a reason to care for the characters if they are so integral to your story and they just never did that for me.

The bottom line: Not enough attention to detail and the overall integrity of the Friday the 13th series or the character of Jason Voorhees. The film ultimately feels hollow lacking the spirit of the original series.

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