Friday, 26 June 2009

The King of Pop is dead!

Michael Jackson; legend is dead. I'm sure everyone already knows that.

Here's a true story; I got into horror films, and especially zombie films due to Michael Jacksons thriller film/video. When I was young my sister was really into Micky J, she brought the videotape of Thriller. From the first time I saw it I was hooked! I remember as a kid putting plastic vampire teeth into my mouth and pretending I was Mick J turning into a Werewolf "GO AWAY!" classic line, from one of the best music videos of all time.

So without further ado; here is Michael Jacksons amazing zombie song;

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Wolfenstein (X-box Live Arcade)

Wolfenstein is said to be one of the first ever first person shooters. It is easy to see from playing it the elements which came to be the classic Doom.

The game is set (at least at first) in Castle Wolfenstein during World War II. You play as a captured American soldier who manages to escape from his cell. You traverse different floors (levels) in order to escape. The game is corridor based, and maze like, and features lots and lots of Nazi imagery. There are numourous portraits of Hitler about the levels, and lots of Swaztikas, so gives the impression of being in an evil place, though less so than the excellent space setting of Doom.

There are not many enemy types - Aryan Soldiers, German Shepards, and a few others, and not many weapon types (a knife, a pistol, a machine gun, and a gatling gun is all). Many of the levels are quite sparse, and all enemies let out a warning sign before attacking by shouting at you in German making it easy to get the first hit in.

The game has 6 different chapters, each with 9 or 10 levels, and at 400 Microsoft points this has real value for money. It's only really on the 6th chapter that enemies become really numerous, but each chapter features great bosses. I mean, at the end of the 3rd chapter you get to fight Hitler! (wearing a giant robot suit).

A great game to see where the roots of the first person shooter started.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Last House on the Left Remake - Horror Film Review

Well I got round to watching the remake of Wes Cravens 'The Last House on the Left'. I admit I have never seen the original, it's not really something I thought I would like to see. I don't know how faithful or different the remake is to the original, but it was a good film, though very bleak.

A criminal on his way to a maximum security prison is sprung by his brother and girlfriend. The criminals cowardly son accidentally gets two 17 year old girls involved with the fugitives, and as a result are kidnapped. One of the girls 'Mari' causes the car they are travelling in to crash in the woods. Prompting the bleakest scene in the film involving death and rape which actually led to a few people walking out of the cinema, heh. The film really picks up pace from here, and leads to a fantastic last third where retribution is attained and people are killed in various gruesome and violent ways.

The film is bleak as mentioned, in a Straw Dogs type of way. There are some fantastic one liners in the film, and some amusing sequences as well. For the record, the psycho girlfriend of the escaped convict is darn hot! (played by Riki Lindhome) It helps I guess that she spends near half of her overall screen time topless, heh. The entire cast are all attractive though, there is no one ugly in the entire film. The action is violent, and graphic, and there is plenty of the old red stuff spilt. The end of the film was a bit over the top, but enjoyable.

So yes, for a bleak 'realistic' horror film this is recommended, just be prepared for a gruelling ride!


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (2007) - Horror Videogame Review (Nintendo DS)

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is the second Castlevania game to turn up on the DS, and about the billionth Castlevania in the series. Like the previous DS and GBA ones it is a Metroidvania, meaning that the game takes place in one huge level - Dracula's Castle - Castlevania. Unlike the others though, this does feature mini levels.

The game takes place during World War II. The amount of death and suffering in the world has summoned Castlevania which is certainly an interesting concept. Two people head to the castle to defeat Dracula as their ancestors have done before. There they discover that Dracula is not about, but instead a vampire named Brauner has used his painting magic to seal off the dark lord's power and taken control of the castle for his own end.

The game is a platform RPG like before. You control 2 characters - a female magic user, and the Belmont like whip using character. They can be switched about at the press of a button, and can do combo attacks. Items and spells hidden around the castle help you power up, and level up. Much of the game takes place in Brauner's various paintings, so as well as the typical Castlevania locations (eg: clock tower, dungeons) there is also fresh locations such as pyramids, and a circus of the damned. The level based nature of this game was a disappointment at first, but really it is still the one big level, as all can be revisited anytime to find new secrets, items, and hidden areas. The bosses as always are fantastic, and feature many of the usual suspects (including Dracula's henchman Death).
The music is ace, the enemies are the same as usual but cool. The game is about 10 hours long. Lots of replay value due to various fun sub-missions given to you by a ghost, additional characters to play the game as, and a cool boss-rush mode which features many of the bosses from the previous DS game.

Another fantastic entry in a most spectacular series!


Terminator: Salvation - Sci-fi Film Review

Is this film (the fourth in the Terminator series) better than the legendary first 2? The answer is no, but thankfully it is a lot better than the terrible Terminator 3.

The film is set in the future, after judgement day. The humans are fighting the robots, who are controlled by Skynet. John Conner (played by Christian Bale) discovers orders by Skynet to assassinate a young man called Kyle Reese, who of course as is know from Terminator is John Conner's future (or should that be past) Dad.

The film is very much an action film, there is hardly any quiet moments. As an action film it works well though. The character of John Conner is not very sympathetic, he comes across as quite an arse which makes it kinda hard to root for him. Bale kinda makes his lines unintentionally funny sometimes by the hyper gruff way he delivers them.

The film has kinda Mad Max feel in places, the film takes place out in desert mostly, and events seem far more sedate than the flash forwards Sarah Conner has in the originals. Here there is no almighty war, or mounds of skulls, the humans use guerrilla tactics, and the robots only seem to turn up when trouble occurs.

Like all the other films there is a cyborg concerned in a main role. This time the Cyborg seems to be Skynets original version, in stasis he is released near the start of the film after a huge explosion awakenings him. Part of the film follows his journey.

Arnie makes an appearance! He looks the best ever! He only appears in CGI form! He looked far too old in Terminator 3, so using a CGI version is ace. He's modelled on the original Terminator look (so young) but has been buffed up and made taller to look like a monster, entertaining. Lots of references and quotes are made in the film, which is a nice nod to the fans, and a mixed version of the iconic theme tune features in the film also.

Worth watching, not fantastic, but entertaining in a brain dead kind of way.


Thursday, 11 June 2009

Drag me to Hell - Horror Film Review

I saw a new film! Yes, I have gotten a unlimited cinema pass, so shall be seeing mostly new films from now on. Drag me to Hell has been out for a while. Theres an advertisement for it at a bus stop I pass on the way to work, I always think to myself 'drag me to Hell? I am in Hell already!' as I drive past it. Having got a unlimited cinema pass for Cineworld I made Drag me to Hell the first film I saw.

True to the title of the film the intro sequence sees a young boy literally dragged into Hell due to a harsh curse made by a group of Gypsies. The main storyline for the film is that a bank worker (attractive Alison Lohman) has also been cursed by a Gypsy. She finds that she has just 3 days before a Demon will arrive to drag her soul to Hell, so she must find an escape to her predicament. Her boyfriend in the film is played by the main character from Jeepers Creepers.

The film is kinda generic, and it is really obvious what is going to happen (though saying that, the ending was really cool). The characters all seem far too easy to dismiss all the weird stuff going on (Alison's boss seems to find the fact shes gushing blood out her nose not too strange for instance) and the film relies far too much on sudden scares to make you jump. There is quite a comedy recurring comedy character of a dead Gypsy who keeps appearing, intentionally comedic it lends itself well to the otherwise serious story. Where else can you see a corpse of an old woman puke up bile into a girls mouth?

I enjoyed the film, and it's directed by Sam Rami  for gawds sake!


Monday, 1 June 2009

E3 2009 - X-Box 360 Horror News

Woop, just saw the E3 360 presentation. Games of note relevant to this site;

First for action games. 2 new Halo games are coming out, the ODST, and also another more mysterious one called Halo: Reach (like the popular brand of tooth brush).

The new Splinter Cell game Splinter Cell: Conviction was shown in playable form, it looked real good, and Sam Fisher looks like a complete bad ass now.

The next Metal Gear Solid game is going to come out on the 360. The main character is Raiden (god I hope he's better than he was in the awful Metal Gear Solid 2) and the game is titled Metal Gear: Rising.

Onto HORROR! Heh. Alan Wake was shown in playable form. It kinda looked like a less scary Silent Hill, and reminded me quite heavily of Alone in the Dark. The play though showed Alan as he chases after some type of monster which has kidnapped his friend (or something) He ran through some woods, then got a cable car to a shack which was promptly demolished by a bulldozer.

Left 4 Dead 2 was announced. I have yet to play Left 4 Dead, so I really need to pick that up while people are still playing it!

Anyway that is E3 at the moment. Looking forward to more reveals for the other platforms!