Author Archive

Re-Animator: The Musical

Re-Animator is a cult classic horror film about a young med student who discovers a way to bring the dead back life as murderous zombies. It’s a fun movie, based off of a story by H.P. Lovecraft, and while it may not have been groundbreaking at the time, it still has a strong fanbase. It has everything you want in a horror movie: a story about bringing the dead back to life, plenty of gore, and a decapitated zombie who uses his own severed head to go down on a young co-ed. So naturally, the original director of the movie, Stuart Gordon, took this and turned it into a musical.

The original movie never took itself completely seriously, and the musical follows this trend. While the plot of the movie is followed very closely, there are some variations to scenes (aside from the added musical numbers), mostly for comedic affect. The biggest addition to the show being performed in front of a live audience is the gore. Instead of taking the easy way out and toning it down, the original effects team from the movie–Tony Doublin, John Naulin and John Buechler, joined by Greg McDougal and Tom Devlin–create practical effects throughout the show, from dummies being used for killing, to gallons of fake blood. The first four rows of the theater are designated as the “splatter zone,” and a free poncho is given to anyone who sits there. Those ponchos get put to good to use throughout the show.

There are way too many good puns I could make here, so I’ll just move on

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Amazing Spider-Man Review

It’s been ten years since the first Spider-Man movie came out. At the time, it was one of the biggest super hero movies to ever come out. A lot has changed since then though, super hero movies have become big money makers for studios, as “The Avengers” proved, recently becoming the top grossing movie of all time. So in an effort to make more money, Sony Entertainement rebooted the Spider-Man franchise with a whole new cast and crew.

I enjoyed the first two Spider-Man movies and hated the third. Those movies always felt a little off though, like the actors were working off a first draft copy of the script. The dialogue was a little stiff and kind of cheesy at times, and while that may work fine for the original comics, it did not work for the movies. The cast felt a little flat, Kirsten Dunst’s lines had no feeling behind them and Tobey Macguire always looked like he was about to cry. In the new movie, the dialogue flows naturally and all the lines sound like people would say them in real life. I know this seems like nit-picking, but some of the awkward dialogue ruined a few scenes in the original trilogy, mostly the lines between Peter and Aunt May or Mary Jane.

It’s hard to review a movie reboot without referencing the original when there’s been such a relatively short time between them, but I will try and keep it to a minimum. With that said, the new movie does tread some familiar ground as they have to go through the whole origin story over again. Luckily, the movie speeds through it rather quickly. It’s not that it’s a bad or boring story, it’s just everyone knows it by now; there’s no reason to dwell on it. The only downside is that Peter seems a little too accepting of the fact that he gets superpowers from a spider bite, but he does make his own webshooters in this movie, so it’s a compromise I’m willing to make. Continue reading

Gamer Review of “The Walking Dead: A New Day”

I have been reading “The Walking Dead” comics since the first few issues. It’s an ongoing story about people living in a world after a zombie apocalypse, focusing on their lives instead of only the killing of the undead the movies tend to focus on. When the adaptation for television was announced, I was excited because it’s a character driven series that lends itself perfectly to the small screen. In reality, the TV show has been hit or miss but overall still enjoyable. Then I heard they were coming out with a game and I was just confused.

When you think “zombie game,” usually you think one man against a horde of the undead, arming yourself to the teeth to kill as many of them as possible. “The Walking Dead” did not fit this genre. Even more surprising, it was developed by TellTale Games, the company responsible for bringing the adventure game back into the public eye with their recent series such as “Tales of Monkey Island” and “Back to the Future” (both of which I reviewed favorably). “The Walking Dead” seemed like an odd choice for them, but having faith in the company and the source material, it was still a highly anticipated title for me.

The first episode is out now, with four more coming out over the next few months. The results were not what I was expecting, but this is in no way a bad thing. Rather than call this a game, I’d say it’s more like interactive storytelling along the lines of the PS3 game “Heavy Rain.” You progress through the story and have to make some tough decisions along the way (and every once in a while you have to fight off a zombie by mashing a button). There are a few small puzzles that move the plot along, but nothing overly complicated. Continue reading

Cabin in the Woods: A Loving Hate Letter

Over the past few years, horror movies have fallen out of favor with the general public. Slasher movies have become laughing stocks. The invention of cell phones makes fleeing in terror seem even more unrealistic and the sub-genre known as “torture porn” has made many people avoid horror movies over the past decade.

So Joss Whedon, nerd god and creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and many other things, wrote a movie which he called a “loving hate letter” to the whole horror genre. It is now playing in theaters and does not disappoint.

I won’t speak about the plot at all, because this is a movie best seen going in not knowing anything. I went in without even watching a trailer, only relying on the word of my friend and was not disappointed.

Looking at them now, even the trailers give a bit too much away about the story. I will say that while the story may start off enough like your typical horror movie, it quickly changes things up in unexpected ways. The movie isn’t perfect, but it’s a fun ride and I would say it’s one of the few movies that have come out in recent years that is worth the rising ticket prices.

Also, if you are a horror fan at all, you must see this movie. The whole thing is filled with references to other horror movies, the most obvious being “The Evil Dead,” which also takes place in a cabin in the woods. Many lines, visual cues and even small background jokes make references to many horror movies.

If you feel like horror has gone downhill in the past few years, as movies like “Saw” focus on gore rather than storytelling and actual scares became prominent, you will like “Cabin in the Woods.” It’s a return to horror which doesn’t just focus on how many buckets of fake blood they can fit into a movie (although it does use a lot of blood), but a coherent story with some unexpected twists. It is one of the few times I have walked out of a theater completely satisfied.

Silence! The Musical

I’ve never really been interested in musicals. Once in a while though, some shows come along that get my interest. Usually, because the premise is not something you’d base a musical on. It happened before with “Evil Dead the Musical,” and it has happened again with “Silence! The Musical,” which is a musical based on “The Silence of the Lambs,” that is currently playing in NYC.

The full title of the show is actually, “Silence! The Musical: The unauthorized parody of The Silence of the Lambs,” and that’s probably best, I couldn’t take a show about a singing killer seriously. The show itself handles the parody quite well, without ever becoming too wacky. Small changes add to the atmosphere, such as Clarice speaking throughout the show with a heavy southern accent and a slight lisp on her S’s, while major things like the FBI being portrayed as completely incompetent add to the overall atmosphere. Continue reading

New York Comic Con 2011 (With Slideshow)

(Writing by Fly and Photography by LaFemmeLuna)
October 13-16 marked another year for New York Comic Con at Jacob Javits center, and as always, I was there. This is the first year that it was open for four days, Thursday being open to press, professionals and people who bought special four day passes. I was unable to make it on Thursday due to job commitments, but the extra day is a good idea. This convention seems to get bigger every year, and three days doesn’t feel like it’s enough time to see everything. As always, I really have no idea how to summarize 3 days of nerd sensory overload, so I’ll point out the highlights as best I can.

I’m always impressed with the work people put into these costumes. All pictures are unrelated to the text unless otherwise noted, and thanks to Frenchie for doing what I always forget to do.

Continue reading

Review of Back to the Future: The Game

I love time travel. I don’t know what it is about the genre, but I will read any book, and watch any movie there is about it. “Back to the Future”, and its first sequel have been two of my favorite movies since I was a kid (the third one is OK, but not nearly as good as the other two). So when I heard they were making a new game that would continue the story, I was completely against it. Continue reading

Advertisements