Thursday, 31 December 2020

The Rotting Zombie's Round-up of Horror News for December 2020

It is finally the end of a year that most people will agree was an awful one, even for a restrained introvert like me who likes rules and order. In this final post of 2020 it would be all too easy to sum up just how bad it was. But then, everyone is already aware of this, it doesn't need summing up. Instead I will focus on the good.
I've been playing video games since the mid 1980's, I started with the Acorn Electron and have been gaming ever since. In my opinion this has been the most astonishing year for video games in terms of the sheer number of great games released. Lockdown might have been bad for many reasons but video games this year have flourished. To bring up a list of just some of the game that came out in 2020...Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Nioh 2, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Doom Eternal, Half-Life: Alyx, Resident Evil 3 (remake), Final Fantasy VII Remake, Streets of Rage 4, The Last of Us Part II, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2, Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise, Paper Mario: The Origami King, Creaks, Carrion, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Hades, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Watch Dogs: Legion, Visage, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Demon's Souls (remake), Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Immortals Fenyx Rising, Cyberpunk 2077, Ghost of Tsushima, Zombie Army 4: Dead War and Wasteland 3. Sure many of these are sequels or remakes but the sheer number and the sheer quality is all a bit mind blowing.
As to my favourite game of the year...I would have to say Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It may not be horror (outside of the Halloween event) but a game in which you live an idyllic life on a deserted island, coming out in the middle of a global pandemic brought peace and tranquility that was so desperately needed.

Let's start with some music news for a change. Dark electronic duo MAN1K1N have released a new single, Into The Void. Johnny Veil says of the track " the self-deprecating dance of religiously aspiring to an 'ideal' you know you can't achieve. It's a feel good, tongue in cheek sacrifice of the self". Also released is a Big Time Kill remix of Now Your Wounds Are Getting Larger, here titled simply Wounds, which they say is far from a standard club mix. Official visualizers for both tracks are also now out.

Hard rock band Voltagehawk brought out a horror themed cover of Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You. They said "We all know this song sucks, so we made a version that doesn't". The video is a 'Frankensteinesque music video narrative dripping with equal parts sex and carnage'.

Sacramento based band Beauty is Betrayal have released a new song in the form of D.A.R.E. This metal track is described in the press release as 'a colourful pill trip involving Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus with a fusion of metal-horror'. The song hopes to show people what it is like to be able to join a family made up of people just like you.

Reluctant Zero have released a new music video for You Make Me off of the soundtrack to the Friday the 13th fan film Voorhees. The song is taken from their 2nd EP. The group hope to set out on a massive tour once the world recovers from the nightmare of Covid-19.

Festive slasher The Nights Before Christmas is now out on streaming platforms in the U.S. This is a sequel to 2017's Once Upon a Time at Christmas and picks up years after a maniac who has styled himself on Santa faked his own death at an asylum were he had been kept locked up. I said in my review of this " a slick looking horror that excels with any scenes involving Simon Phillips (who played the antagonist)"

A teaser trailer for Rod Smith's Distortion has came out. The film stars Sadie Katz, Helene Udy, Lainee Rhodes, Dawna Lee Heising and Tatiana Larrea. It takes place five years after a notorious serial killer is presumed murdered, though the body is never found. Dr. Epstein has invited the only four survivors of his crimes to his house where she promises them she will be able to cure from the darkness that remains in their lives. Distortion promises plenty of twists, turns and revelations.

Terracotta Distribution has launched the UK's first VOD platform for East Asian cinema. This new streaming service will include new and classic movies, arthouse and indie from across East and South East Asia. Films are available to rent with subscription and hybrid models planned for the future. Highlights include the fantastic Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell, golden-age Jackie Chan films from the 80s and 90s and Korean New Wave classics such as April Snow, Il Mare and Christmas in August.

A new clip taken from supernatural thriller The Initiation can now be viewed. The film stars Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story) alongside Richard Tyson (Kindergarten Cop), Vernon Wells (Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior), Mel Novak (Bruce Lee's Game of Death), Jimmy Drain (Realm of Shadows) and Harley Wallen. A professor discovers a secret society of witches on the campus he works at. The Initiation is directed by Brian McCulley.

As always my inbox is overflowing with news but I shall end it here on this new years eve. Hopefully with a vaccine to Covid being rolled out 2021 can start us off on a track back to normality, but a normality that has learnt some lessons from the past and realises things don't all have to revert back. The planet can be fragile and it is about time some long lasting changes are made to stop humans fully trashing it.

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