(Submitted by his Goon-y Greatness, Mr. Andrew Peters…Thanks, Ho-rror Ho-mie! 🙂 xoxo)
Resident Evil jumped the shark long, long ago past the point that the story lines are convoluted and downright stupid and the characters act like they were born without brain stems, making the most idiotic decisions anything person could ever make all for the sake of moving the story along. Resident Evil: Revelations is the epitome of that.
I think this game is supposed to take place before Resident Evil 5, seeing as Chris and Jill are partners, but I’ll try to sum up the plot of Revelations; So, the game begins with Jill and her new partner, Parker, looking for Chris and his new partner, Jessica, but it turns out Chris and Jessica are looking for Jill and Parker, but neither party knows exactly where the other one is and is always one step behind… and these are the people that are committed to stopping bio-terrorism across the world.
Well, if this is the best and brightest, we’re fucked.
Of course, that crew looks like a bunch of Einstein’s when you compare them to BSAA’s bumbling pair of jackoffs, Keith and Jackass. For real. That guy’s name is Jackass. These two are basically the C-Squad when you know a mission is gonna fail, but you’re obligated to try anyway, you send them. They are so insipid and Jackass’ voice is like nails on a chalkboard. He’s always fumbling, tripping over something and dropping an important item or forgetting it. You have to wonder if it was like Police Academy when they were hired. Were the crime rates too high and the recruitments too low? I know, I’ve been arguing semantics for the last few paragraphs, but I want to impose the question; who is this game (or these multiple games) targeted at? The gore insists that it’s for adults, but the language is toned down and these characters are written to act so it’s slapstick type humor for a younger audience and the plot requires no thinking and a child could figure it out. Even the villains monologue about their evil plans.
This isn’t even going into all the backstabbing and obvious double crosses that you can expect from Resident Evil. Revelations takes place on a cruise ship, which at first admittedly sounds amazing. Zombies and other gross monsters aboard a luxury cruise ship, complete with a casino and swimming pool? Yes, please! This is going to be awesome! But slowly it dawns on you that none of this is actually really all that great. This setting is never used to its full potential. Also as the game progresses, you’ll most likely grow tired of the surrounding seeing as you’ll be backtracking through every section several times.
I enjoyed this game for the first hour, but then I began to notice the repetition and all of the unfavorable survival horror tropes (that began with the later entries in Resident Evil oddly enough), such as the overpowered boss battles, given you mass amounts of resources only to throw you in narrow hallways with far too many enemies (of which there is a very little variety of) just to dwindle down the resources you were just given, running around in circles with no clear direction and facing constant timers instead of allowing the player to explore the environment and become frightened to be in it. In a few words, I dislike Resident Evil: Revelations.
It’s a game that doesn’t fully understand the potential it had. You have a survival horror game that takes place on a cruise ship that offers up plenty of opportunities for scares and the use of claustrophobia, but instead it has you running back and forth doing predictable tasks. Like if you see an elevator, you know it’s not going to work. You’re gonna have to travel back to the other end, do a small, unchallenging puzzle and then travel back only to have something block you along the way. I can’t tell you how many times I saw the setup and groaned loudly. It becomes so tiresome and makes the game feel like a chore when you know what’s coming and you have no desire to play. It’s like taking the garbage bag out from the can and leaving it in the kitchen then going to work. I know I’m gonna have to take that out when I come home, I just don’t want to. The game often pits you against a timer or makes matters seem urgent, forcing you to rush through the areas instead of exploring them and figuring things out for yourself, regardless of the lack of puzzles that have been replaced with fetch quests. Some portions of the game take place under water, too. Yes, the cruise ship is sinking at some point and you’ll be deduced to rushing through areas faster as you don’t want to run out of breath, so once you get certain keys, you better be damn sure to backtrack to all those locked doors and get the goodies inside, because once this thing floods, there’s no going back.
But the two biggest offenders has to be the controls and, as always a problem in Capcom games, the piss poor AI. In the game, you work alongside a partner, but unlike Resident Evil: Revelations 2, you can’t switch and play as your partner to help you advance through a level or even for fun. Enemies will be surrounding you, bosses will be dominating you and your partner may… MAY… pop off a couple shots to help. They mostly stand around and do absolutely nothing. It boggles my mind that even back in 2012 that a game company so revered as Capcom would release a game with terrible AI. Then again, they did make Dead Rising which came out a few years prior and that has some of the worst AI I have ever experienced. The lesser of the two evils is the controls. The game is playable as in you can control it, but something about them doesn’t feel right. They feel a little… clunky, I guess is the word. I would often get hung up on objects, corners and especially on the edge of levels when underwater. Maybe it controlled better on the DS, but I can’t say the same for the PS4.
The one real positive thing I will say about it is that the Raid mode is a lot of fun. Just like with Revelations 2, the Raid mode stands out far better than the actual story mode. You can play Raid mode right from the start, but unfortunately you have to play the story mode to unlock more skins, levels and weapons. However, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has been out for sometime on current-gen consoles and has a far superior Raid mode that is more refined (especially with the weapon upgrade system… and the game is far more fun), so that even doesn’t make the $20 price tag worth it. In fact, the stories aren’t at all related, so you could easily skip this game and pick up the sequel.
As we said in Monday’s post, the zombie as we know it just wouldn’t eXXXist without the late, great George A. Romero. The influence of his Dead films can be felt in just about every form of zombie media, notably the ever-popular Resident Evil video game franchise. We here at Kinky Ho-rror just adore the unholy heck out of out of the Resident Evil series… but who doesn’t? The franchise has sold over 77 million units sold worldwide, produced countless pieces of merchandise, inspired theme park attraction, and inspired a series of Matrix remakes.
While the series eventually went for an action/adventure style, the first few games owe much to Master Romero. From the slow-moving flesh eaters to the claustrophobic setting of the first game, there’s no doubt that these games would not eXXXist without Romero’s mad genius.
In 1998, the series acknowledged the Romero influence by hiring the man himself to direct a live-action TV commercial for Resident Evil 2 (known as Biohazard 2 in Japan). The 30-second spot features a group of gruesome zombies raising hell at a jail and features game-accurate costumes. You can watch that bit o’ awesome below…
Though it only aired in Japan, the commercial inspired Sony to hire Romero to adapt the first game into a full-length feature. Unfortunately, the film eventually died, eventually morphing into Paul W.S. Anderson’s 2002 adaptation. However, it’s been said that the success of that film and the resurgence of zombies in pop culture allowed Romero to make 2004’s Land of the Dead. As an added bit o’ Romero goodness, here’s The King of the Zombies talking about the commercial:
Just another #MonsterMonday here at KH, so let’s wake the dead with one of the undeniable cl-ass-sicks of the ho-rror genre. If it doesn’t scare you, you’re already dead! From 1968, It’s… This one’s huge (hehe ;))…It’s the ultimate zombie movie; often imitated, but never duplicated. The late, great George A. Romero did what few have done and essentially created a new genre of monster fiction. Yes, Haitian/voodoo zombies eXXXisted before (and are still awesome as heck), but Romero’s film created the shambling, flesh-eating corpses we know and fear today. Without this film, there is no Return of the Living Dead, The Walking Dead, or Shaun of the Dead. Night of the Living Dead was unleashed nearly 50 years ago, but it still has the power to get under your skin. Its shoestring budget only adds to the nightmarish nature of the film. With perfect dread and an ending that still galvanizes, this is one of the monster films that will never truly die. George A. Romero is the true King of the Zombies. Check out this masterpiece below:
We lost two true legends today: director George A. Romero and actor Martin Landau. Romero was the man who gave us the zombie film as we know it today, Landau brought Bela Lugosi back to life for director Tim Burton. Both men were masters of their craft and will be deeply missed by us all. During this week, we will be paying homage to these two fallen icons. Thank you, gentlemen. May you rest well. xoxo
If Above the Law, the third episode in The Walking Dead: A New Frontier series, left you feeling a little underwhelmed, then prepare to be totally blown away. Above the Law continued the story fine, but left me (the player) let down. I thought the story arc was fine and I did like how it had me questioning Clementine’s view of David, but it lacked any emotional punch or consequence to your choices and the action sequences were boiled down to repetitive button mashing. I’m not saying it was bad, I didn’t dislike it or anything. Thicker Than Water, the fourth episode, makes up for all of that. Maybe not necessarily make up, because I get the sneaky feeling Telltale planned on you letting your guard down, because there was nothing that could have prepared me for what happens.
Like all episodes, this one also starts with a flashback from Javi’s past, this time he’s with David at the batting cages shortly after the incident that got Javi kicked out from professional baseball. It’s never fully explored, but hinted at which I think is for the better and to be honest, it’s irrelevant to the main plot. The idea behind this little sequence is to allow you the opportunity to shape David and Javi’s relationship, but I have to tell you that not matter what you do, David is always gonna respond like an asshole, so I have no idea if I did good or bad. After that little trip down memory lane, we catch back up with the two in jail who bicker until Joan comes and takes David away and as Javi you get to explore the area to find a way to escape until Kate shows up and helps you escape where you meet back up with the group. Tripp and Eleanor are having a little spat and the weirdest of all things happened, at least in my game; Conrad showed up being all buddy buddy. This is weird, because back in the second episode I shot him in the head to save Clementine. Now, I’m not doctor or anything, but he looked pretty dead. Maybe I just shot him good enough to erase his memory of what happened… and apparently mine. Actually, I did research this and this is a glitch that was pretty common and the only way to fix it was to start over. Since I’m not doing that, I guess we will be seeing more of Conrad, although I feel like I missed out on his arch, so him being here really has no impact on me.
There are some really good bonding moments between Gabe and Javi as they set out to rescue David. Javi’s can lend Gabe some good advice on how to be a better person during a zombie apocalypse as you make your way inside a medical bay where you meet back up with Ava, who is happy or not happy to see you depending on whether or not you bailed on her in the previous episodes and if you did, don’t sweat. You can calm her down. Javi’s injured in a fight, but luckily the good, stoned Doctor is close by as if our pal, Clementine. Clem offers to patch up Javi and has to have an awkward conversation becoming how her bleeding means she’s becoming a woman. Ever think you’d get to be a part of that in a video game? Well, wonder no more. Of course, there’s another Clementine flashback, but this one is used to flesh out the relationship between Ava and Clem, so choose wisely. Me, I decided to be friendly, so I hope that works out. However, much more critical choices lie ahead, as well as some insight on what a good person David actually is.
n style=”font-weight: 400;”>Doctor Lingard awakens from his drugged state and spills the beans about Joan’s plan and that he doesn’t want to live anymore. He offers Clem and Javi the location of AJ if they give him an overdose or you can choose not to, well, that’s yet to be see. I was unsure of this decision when it happened. Seeing as I wasn’t expecting it, it totally threw me off guard and I had to think fast. I wanted to help Clem and get the location of AJ, but killing someone to do so seems like it was going against everything I was shaping Javi to be, so I opted not to. Looking back, I’m still not sure if I made the right decision.
Everyone’s back together and you help to devise a plan, so everything seems like it’s going good. In any incarnation of The Walking Dead, you know that’s not a good thing seeing as things go to shit equally as planned. You’re almost expecting what happens in the finale to come, but for the most part, I wasn’t prepared to deal with it. Sure, I knew this plan was going to go sour and it was sweet to see Javi and Kate decide they were gonna tell David about them and be happily ever after, but you know The Walking Dead can’t let things be like they are in fairy tales. I don’t want to say that these games don’t have happy endings, but rather end on a slight positive note. Unfortunately for the characters, that’s not how things go this time around. Let’s just say that ‘the shit hits the fan’ is putting it lightly.
There’s some minor action scenes here and there, enough to keep you entertained until the finale when all hell breaks loose. With David about to be publically executed, Javi attempts to talk their way out of it, to prove that people need to use words, not violence. Actually, he has a very strong, valid point, but Joan doesn’t see it that way. With two of Javi’s friends captured, you must decide who gets to live and which one gets to die and things only get far, far worse from there. David doesn’t keep his cool and makes matters worse and everything literally explodes out of a control. Then the episode just drops the mic right there.
I was entertained throughout the whole episode. I felt like a lot of things were coming together and we learned more about the all the characters, no matter how big or small their roles are. It made everything and everyone seem to come together and to watch it all quickly fall apart at the end was a sucker punch to face. You knew this was coming, but not to the extent of it. Things go out of control faster than you will be able to make a fully thought decision and you will undoubtedly be regretting the choice you made and second guessing yourself.
Thicker Than Water is a powerful episode, requiring you to think and act faster than you ever have. The consequences to your decisions and actions pack quite a wallop and at times even if you think you made the right call, something bad will happen. Just be emotionally prepared for it. With how great this episode was, I am both anticipating and fearing the next and final episode. I know there are going to be some tough calls to make and there are going to be some serious repercussions, but I can’t wait to see how it ends. Hopefully happy.
Ho-stess’s PS- On a Walking Dead-related note, this happened to me last night at the Saturn Awards. #TeamAbraham4Evah!!! 🙂 xoxoxo
Just another Monster Movie Monday here at Kinky Horror, and this one’s a real clas-sick. We’re going all the way back to 1932 disturb the dead and resurrect… White Zombie!
White Zombie is a personal favorite o’ mine and is one of the finest fright flicks to rise from the public domain. It stars Bela “Bringing SeXXXy Drac” Lugosi as Murder Legendre, who is certainly no traditional bokor, but knows how to get the dead movin’. He’s hired by Charles Beaumont (not the Twilight Zone one) to work his wicked witchcraft, although, he knows, it’s strictly taboo. Ol’ Charlie wants him to make the beautiful Madeline his wife, so Murder makes her a zombie! However, Charlie soon learns that trusting a man called “Murder” who controls zombies may not have been the smartest move…
The film is often cited as the first zombie film ever made, but don’t eXXXpect much flesh-eatin’ goodness. What makes this film a true nightmare is its bizarro, hypnotic atmosphere. Sure, it lacks gore, but it’s still pretty darn spoopy! This film puts you in a terrifying trance, as if you were under the control of Murder himself. Speaking of that ghoul, Lugosi’s deliberately stilted performance is brilliantly weird and from a realm different from our own. Murder is certainly not the most endearing of Lugosi roles, but its definitely one of the creepiest. Oh, Murder… we love that voodoo that you do so well… 🙂
Fall under the spell and watch White Zombie below:
P.S-. A little-known rock band named themselves after this movie… I hope those kids go places. 😉
(Submitted by our Superheroic Ho-mie, Mr. Prince Adam…Thanks, Mr. A! 🙂 xoxo)
“This volume follows our band of survivors as they set up a permanent camp inside a prison. Relationships change, characters die, and our team of survivors learn there’s something far more deadly than zombies out there…each other.”
This story picks right up where Volume 2 ended. Our weary group of humans have found an abandoned penitentiary. Well, save for a group of zombies sloshing around the front gate. After dispensing of the zombies, and a little cleanup, Rick and crew believe they have found their new home, the most spacious, and safest yet.If this sounds at all familiar, it’s reminiscent of last volume when they found the estates.Much like that story, they found other survivors who gave them food, before also encountering other zombies.In that story, those people were Tyreese, his daughter and her boyfriend, who are now members of Rick’s zombie hatin’ posse. In this story, the human survivors found are four inmates, locked safely in the cafeteria.Sure, they’re convicts, one of which was falsely accused, the other a murderer, another was a drug addict. The final member, was a tax evader.Still, they seemed very peaceful, reformed and best of all for Rick and company, they have a kitchen full of food, canned and otherwise; enough for a prison full of people. With that in mind, Rick heads to Hershel farm, to get Hershel and the remainder of his children to move into the penitentiary.Despite the chaos that ensued previously between Hershel’s group and Rick’s survivors, coupled with the fact that Hershel almost shot Rick, I think this gesture is a sign of Rick’s hopefulness and positivity in the face of this hell on Earth.For the first few issues of this volume, I fell for the false sense of security Rick and Tyreese were feeling.This is the second volume in a row, where Robert Kirkman played me for a fool. In this case, it’s a mark of great storytelling, so I am not ashamed.
Things start turning sour when Lori begins to worry and express fear about having a murderer and drug addict in their midst.Rick agrees they should be mindful of potential threats and be cautious, yet remains staunch and optimistic that this new status quo is best for everyone. Tensions are raised higher when Tyreese’s daughter and her boyfriend botch a simultaneous suicide after a night of passionate sex. They planned to shoot each other simultaneously, but Chris accidentally fired too quickly.When Tyreese discovers what occurs he kills Chris in a fit of anger. I can see both sides of this scenario, On the one hand, the two young lovers know their chances of surviving this zombie apocalypse are slim, so why not go out of this world on their terms, together, and as the Joker says; “If you gotta go, go with a smile.”It’s very Romeo and Juliet…but with zombies. I understand Tyreese’s actions too, because planned or not, Chris still killed his baby girl. I’d choke the bastard too! I can rationalize both acts from both parties, given the world they inhabit.These scenes throw an added wrinkle into the story.What was once human on zombie violence, now has taken on an element of human on human violence.If that isn’t a twist enough for you, how about the fact that Tyrese’s daughter and her boyfriend turn into zombies after death….without having being bitten!? Holy Plot Twist Batman! I seriously didn’t see that coming.It’s not explained, as to how it’s possible either. So I wonder, is the zombie gene within every human? Will this ever be answered? It better damn well be because I’m so curious. This plot point leads to a cameo from a character we haven’t seen since the first issue.If that wasn’t enough proof of the unpredictability of this book, Hershel’s two daughters are murdered and beheaded.Yes, in the midst of all this, Robert Kirkman had to throw a murder mystery into this story and at no point does this book feel overstuffed or bogged down by it.Naturally, Team Grimes, specifically Lori, lays blame on either the murder suspect or the former drug addict.Unsure, the group decides to lock them both in separate cells.When Andrea is attacked by the criminal who was convicted for tax evasion and her earlobe cut off, Rick loses it, and nearly beats the man to death. Despite protests from his fellow survivors, Rick unilaterally decides that murder will not be tolerated and death will be met with death. So Rick has him thrown outside the gates of the penitentiary, where he is attacked and killed by zombies. The previous suspects are released, but stage a mutiny holding Rick and company at gunpoint, ordering them to leave the penitentiary. Rick finally snapped and the tipping point was Hershel’s daughters being killed. He blames himself for their deaths. However, you can see the events of each volume chipping away at Rick’s calm and sanity.It continues to affect his relationship with Lori. She’s even getting more snappy with him, though part of that is self admittedly her pregnancy hormones.One thing I love about this book is that every event counts and affects the next story. Nothing is written as filler. Even if I leave this books for weeks or even months, the preceding storyline stays in the back of my mind, racing to the forefront when I pick up another volume.
Charlie Adlard returns for his second stint on the title.He definitely seems more comfortable in this world and with these characters. There seems to be more detail in his work.Last volume, I said the lack of color detracted from the setting of winter.This time though, it works for the setting.Inside and outside, the penitentiary looks spacious. There’s a dichotomy with the art on the interior of the Penitentiary.The kitchen looks plentifully, while the rest of the place looks baron and desolate.The best two zombie images are the pov shot of Rick and Tyreese peering into the gym seeing a horde of zombies on the other side of the door.The other standout is when Tyreese is attacked by the zombie horde and they all swarm on top of him..The most gruesome images are the human vs human violence. Tyreese’s dead daughters lying beheaded was disturbing, but the details of Rick dolling out a beating on the murderer is intense.You can see the welts and bruises on his knuckles, without the aid of coloring.The best cover of this volume is the one with Rick riding his motorcycle. When in doubt, remember that riding a motorcycle always looks badass!
At this point, I’m not sure if I’m going to watch the TV show.Too many friends of mine have said it deviates too much from the book and that the storyline has disappointed as the seasons have gone on. One thing is for sure, I’m sticking with the comic book because it keeps getting better and better. I have a long way to go but I’m excited to read more, It’s no wonder this book tops the charts every time a new issue is released each month.
(Submitted by Mr. Andrew Peters…Thank you, freaky fiendster! :)xoxo)
If there is one thing I love about Italiansploitation films (that’s Italian made exploitation films, which I’m sure you were able to figure out), it’s that they would take a preposterous idea seriously while having fun with it. Sometimes without even knowing that’s what they are doing. The producers tell them that the Dawn of the Dead movie is popular, so crank out a zombie flick as fast as you can. Someone writes a script over a lonely, drunken weekend, turns it in and the first director that says they can make it on the lowest budget wins. The gore is ramped up, a few quirky and disturbing character traits are added and the film is cast. Everything is turned up to ten. The actors take their roles very seriously and put their heart and soul into it. Of course, sometimes it’s hard to notice once these films are atrociously dubbed. The film is then haphazardly cut together in a short amount of time and released to your local grindhouse theater the next day for your viewing pleasure. Nethertheless, once those credits start rolling, you aren’t sure what the hell you just experienced, but you loved it.
I have no evidence to back this up, mind you. It’s something I’ve gathered from watching bonus features, reading stories and the overall impression I’m left with once the film is over.
Burial Ground comes to mind as a perfect example of this. Everything about this film is poorly executed, so why do I love it so much? I should hate this film by all accounts, but I don’t. It’s a film that you can’t really talk about or review without putting it under a microscope and fully analyzing it. So hunker down, this is gonna be a long review. I know what you are thinking, “Isn’t there a movie called Nights of Terror?” Well, no. That movie is Rats: Night of Terror. This movie’s subtitle is Nights, with an ‘s’, plural, which is actually quite stupid since the film only takes place during one night. But seeing as how Night was already taken… or maybe they are being extremely technical since the opening of the film does take place on the evening before, but I don’t think they took that into consideration.
Mall Santa by day, back up ZZ Top member by night, Professor… ? (they just call him Professor or “the” Professor if they are being polite or perhaps in some cruel ironic ploy, his name actually was Professor) has just discovered the secret! A secret so secretive that it will be never be revealed what it is or even brought up by anyone again. He then wanders out to some tomb not too far from his mansion where zombies begin to rise and immediately eat him and by eat him I mean they rub identifiable lumps of gore all over their faces to mimic eating, even after his pleas that he is their friend.
First thing you are gonna notice about these zombies is that there seems to be a mix of pretty decent zombie makeup and some of the worst looking zombies you’ve seen. The makeup job can get so bad, that you can see the actors eyes and lips through the masks, even on a low quality VHS. The second thing you’ll notice is how slow they are are. And when I say slow, I mean S-L-O-O-O-O-W. Crawling doesn’t even define it. These zombies move so slow, you’ll think you’re watching a scene in slow motion. You have to wonder how they ever catch their victims to eat, but luckily we have a smorgasbord of daft idiots for them to feast on and I’m not sure where any of these people are in relation to the Professor, since it’s never really addressed (maybe as colleagues in passing, but I can’t recall). The stand out character from this group is Michael, played by Peter Bark, for a reason that will become glaringly obvious the split second he is on screen; he’s a dwarf in his mid 20’s with a bad toupee playing a ten year old. And if that isn’t creepy enough for you, he also has sexual feelings toward his mother.
Anyway, this evenly matched man to woman crew has returned after six months and what’s the first thing they do? Sex! Yeah, the film certainly knows how to maintain your attention, as you watch each of the three couples foreplay, until Michael interrupts his mother, Evelyn’s. She stands there totally nude, inquisiting the young lad about what he is doing, which I’m sure is in no way sexually confusing to the already sexually confused deviant. Without getting too far ahead of myself or psychoanalyzing the character, Evelyn seems to be sexually confused about her son as well, but it’s (surprisingly) more subtle.
The useless blonde archetype of the group, Janet, can’t help but feel that they are all in danger and wants to warn the others, but is discouraged by her lover Mark. The good ol’ ‘Prophet of Doom’. Most of these Italian films had them, even if they don’t fit into the story, like why is she suddenly getting these feelings? It’s never explained, so let’s move on to the next morning, where after some finely placed J&B Scotch product placement, we are finally giving a brief, but not open ended explanation as to why the zombies have risen.
The Professor was studying ‘the black arts’. There ya go.
And this is why all of the characters are here. This is what the Professor wanted to tell them. A simple phone call or letter would not do. Well, we needed a reason to group a bunch of dimwits together for a zombie, gut munching gore fest, so now we have one.
Now that all (and I do mean all) of the exposition is out of the way, we can move on to more exploitation! Each of the couples separate to do their own hobbies, like sketching, photography or George teaching Evelyn to fire a handgun (which, again, never comes back in the film, so take that, Chekhov’s gun!) Ultimately, all of these activities lead to heavy petting, leaving these fools to be distracted as the zombies emerge from the tomb and attack the profusely stupid and conveniently distracted couples. Janet and Mark are the first two to be attacked and although they aren’t sure what to make of the creatures, Mark intelligently states that, “Whatever they are, they aren’t human!” Thanks Mark, I wasn’t able to figure that out. As they escape, Janet runs around screaming and flailing, making Olive Oil look dignified, manages to get herself caught in a bear trap. Wait, why the hell is there a bear trap randomly placed there. Did I say bear? I meant nimrod trap.
Meanwhile, George is trying to seduce Evelyn, even while Michael is in the room (which I’m sure seeing random dudes grind on his mom is in no way adding to those sexual feelings toward her…). In a disturbing turn of the scene, Michael manages to gain his mother’s attention by finding a cloth, commenting that it smells like death, then showing George how to really seduce a woman as he kisses his mom’s hand all over while staring right into George’s eyes as if saying, “Yeah punk, let me show you how it’s done. I know what my mom likes!” I can’t believe I had to write that. This movie is making me feel ill.
Luckily before things go any further and turns into some weird fetish films, the zombies attack, killing George leaving Evelyn and Michael to defend themselves by throwing paint on the zombies and setting them on fire. James and Leslie, the other couple (sorry, that’s the best description I have for them) manage to save them in time, as they also previously saved Mark and Janet. They group takes shelter inside the house, with what looks like very helpful stage direction from a zombie who points for them to run in a certain direction. Finally inside with the butler and maid, Nicholas and Kathleen, they decide it’s best to check out the rest of the house to make sure it’s safe. Mark heroically volunteers defenseless Kathleen to go search the entire house by herself. Sorry lady, but we can’t spare any of these several people sitting around. After searching the house for a bit, Kathleen finds an open window to close on the second floor, but that doesn’t stop these zombies. These zombies are ninja like experts with their precise accuracy as one throws a tent spike right into her hand, pinning her in her spot and leaving them time to slowly cut off her head with a scythe, making this what could be the best zombie kill in a movie.
These zombies may look laughably stupid, but they know how to organize. Arming themselves with weapons from a nearby and conveniently placed tool shed, they march to the front door and begin smashing on it with tools. However James, who inexplicably now has a shotgun, starts blowing their heads off from an open window. Even these zombies aren’t that stupid, as after about a dozen of them have their brains reduced to mush, they begin to retreat. The group feels they are now safe for the night and Leslie heads off to find some bandages for Janet’s wounded leg, only to be jumped from a zombie outside as she passes a window, who uses a broken shard of glass to push through her brain. This calls for all the other zombies to infiltrate like a SWAT team and attack helpless Janet in a scene that feels like it goes on forever, until the others reappear and fight back.
That was pretty tense! I think everyone needs a break. As they all sit around and rest up, Michael uses this time to make a move on his mom by kissing her and groping, adding a whole new definition to breastfeeding, which she sickly seems to be going with, but snaps out of it and slaps him across the face and immediately apologizes. Yeah, this kid is gonna be messed up for the rest of his life, which coincidentally isn’t too much longer. He darts off only to have his arm devoured by a zombie Leslie, who I thought had glass stabbed through her brain (but, how did she turn if she wasn’t bit?). Evelyn finds the now dead Michael and bashes zombie Leslie’s head up against a bathtub, leaking all kinds of grossly colored juices.
No time for mourning your weirdo son, lady. The zombies have made a homemade battering ram (holy moly, they are resourceful) and have broken down the door! If only they were really slow moving and weak, then maybe they would have a chance of escaping… instead the remaining survivors hide until morning when Janet spots what looks like a monk heading inside the tomb. Monks? Sure why not! I’m sure they are downright neighborly and will offer shelter and help or, as it turns out, they are zombies and kill James upon seeing him, who almost immediately rises from the dead.
So what are the qualifications for becoming a zombie in this movie? Do you or don’t you have to get bit? How long does it take? Who cares! Zombies, right?
The final three realize they are locked in the tomb’s… workshed? Yeah, why does this place have a workshed? I guess when monks and the Professor aren’t studying the black arts, they are heavy into home repair. I’m sure a work shed is in no way a setup for the final act and our remaining victim’s fate (wow, I am using a lot of sarcasm in this review). Michael returns as a zombie, with a whole new arm somehow and a nipple bite later, Janet and Mark are being surrounded and being pushed headfirst into saw blades. The movie closes on a freeze frame, telling of a “profecy” of a “nigths” and that’s not a typo on my part.
So the movie ends about as well as you thought it would. With obviously glaring typos over the survivor’s demise.
If it weren’t for the time that this movie was made, I would have sworn this is a spoof, otherwise there would be no explanation as to how bad things are in this movie. Complaints about some of the terrible and revealing makeup aside (at least during the close ups), these zombies are incredibly slow moving and weak. In order to make them a menace, the characters in this film are written to a point of stupidity so insane, that it is fiction. Nothing anyone does is something anything with a pulse would do. They stand around looking puzzled as zombies slowly shuffle toward them, then while escaping, they run head first into the undead, even though they have plenty of space to run around them. Of course, most zombie films are guilty of this, but here it’s overplayed. Thankfully, it plays for laughs and sheer entertainment. With the exception of Michael, I can’t say anything positive about the other characters. There is simply nothing to them, except to be a meal for the zombies. I’m not expecting deep character development, but literally all of these characters are the same. The guys are all faux masculine and the women just cry. In some sort of sick ironic sense, if it weren’t for Michael, there wouldn’t be any reason to watch these buffoons.
Playful jabs aside, the film isn’t horribly directed. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t consider it to be beautiful like a Mario Bava film or something like Fulci’s The Beyond, but mood is well established and the shots frame everything well to capture what is going on. The soundtrack is… interesting to say the least. It’s no Harry Manfredini score, but it’s odd keyboard ‘pokes’ and tense violin strings do accompany the film extremely well. And the gore. Oh yes, the gore. There is more than enough here to satisfy any like minded horror fan as these poor chumps are ripped apart and have their guts devoured, body parts torn or cut off and even the zombies themselves get their head smashed to bits. Also, I know I joked about some of the makeup looking pretty bad and it can be, but there are some good looking zombies thrown in, complete with maggot covered faces and all. And I do have to say, it’s refreshing to see zombies use some tools for a change and instead of mindlessly lumbering around, these zombies actually had something of a plan and did what they could to do it. I was often reminded of the first zombie encountered in Night of the Living Dead who uses a brick. There are very few breaks in between the carnage for you to sit back and relax, as something is always out to get you. Even the dubbing is fitting for the film. It’s as atrocious as you would expect (especially Peter Bark’s voice over) from an Italiansploitation film, yet it somehow fits into all of this.
Ever hear the phrase ‘so bad it’s good?’ Well, this is what the are referring to when they say that. This is a movie that by all accounts (the special effects, acting, directing, etc.) should be a bad film, but it isn’t. Everything that is bad is what makes this film good. Lying beneath its serious demeanor is a smirk of devilish charm, a film that is (or at least it must be) self aware and having some fun with you. Underneath all the layers of cheese is a delicious blend of fun and hokiness. Burial Ground is what I consider to be the definitive example of the Italian zombie genre of the 80’s. It’s not revered as a classic in the way that George Romero’s earlier zombie flicks are, but the film is looked as a classic in terms of what to expect from an exploitation film of this genre.
Luckily, Severin Films is also a fan of the film and completely restored it in 2K and even though it does clean it up too much to the point where all the bad makeup becomes even more evident, it’s still amazing to watch in clear detail. It wouldn’t even be an official release if you didn’t toss in a bunch of new extras, most of which are interviews with the cast and crew, so that means you have to read it since they are in Italian. There’s also deleted and extended scenes as well as the theatrical trailer and Severin also offers a poster along with it with amazing artwork from Wes Benscoter.
I really could go on forever about Burial Ground, but I think it’s easiest, and probably the best, to say you need to see it. I don’t think you can consider yourself to be a zombie fan or Italian film fan until you do.
(Submitted by Mr. Andrew Peters…I love the crap out of the RE series, generally speaking, but have been hesitant to give this a shot after the mediocrity of the last couple games. Super appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this, Ho-rror Ho-mie…Sounds like I’m gonna have to give it a go after all!! 🙂 xoxo)
When Resident Evil hit the scene in 1996 on the Playstation, little did we know how much it would essentially change our lives. It didn’t give birth to the survival horror genre (in fact, it took the game play and camera placements right out of 1992’s Alone in the Dark), it absolutely changed and popularized it. Never again would we look at the genre the same way again. Resident Evil brought the genre into the spotlight forever and the game itself has spawned over a dozen sequels across many different platforms, some great and others not so great. Resident Evil 6 was by far one of the most disappointing sequels to the fans, focusing heavily on action elements rather than horror and being overloaded with dull, button mashing quick time events. The plot was contrived and, well, stupid, for lack of a better word. The original idea had been so diluted at this point that it barely resembled what it once did and people were sick and tired of being excited for a new Resident Evil game only to be let down harder and harder.
Then comes Resident Evil VII (switching to roman numerals now), which promised to be a whole other experience. The plot was unfamiliar with the series, the game is in a first person perspective to immerse us into the world of survival horror (which is a real treat for you Playstation VR users) and it did away with all those pesky quick time events. Already, it had won fans over and Kitchen Demo that was released blew our socks off. Now that the full game has been out for a little while and we’ve had a chance to play it, we can fully assess Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, the game that may save the franchise. Up front, I have to say it was kind of a rollercoaster, meaning that it has its ups and downs, but the downs aren’t too steep, they just seem like retreaded territory that should have been improved. I know I’m making it sound like it was a disappointment (believe me, it’s not), but it did take away from the overall experience of my playthrough and I couldn’t help but to think about how it could have been improved on. I’m getting way ahead of myself and we haven’t even made proper introductions yet.
The game centers around an average joe, Ethan Winters, whose wife disappeared three years ago and that’s all we know about the guy. We don’t know his day job, we don’t know what kind of survival background he has nor do we know what the dude looks like since it’s all from his perspective and there seems to be a lack of reflections in the game. Suddenly, he receives a video from his wife begging him to stay away from the Baker Estate out in Dulvey, Louisiana. That’s right, we are moving away from Raccoon City or wherever the hell the other games took place. You almost immediately arrive at the Baker Estate, a rather large, old Southern styled mansion, and quickly explore the property to find a back way in seeing as how the front gates are locked and the place doesn’t seem very inviting. This part of the game acclimates you with the basic controls so you are able to get a feel of what you are doing. It controls pretty much like every first person shooter you are familiar with; click the left thumbstick to run, click the right thumbstick to duck, yada yada yada. Along the way, you’ll see some Texas Chainsaw Massacre inspired artwork – things made from bones and animal parts – that act as an omen, but before shortly you’re once again entering the world of survival horror. The door behind you slams shut and you’re on your own. A sense of dread washes over overwhelms you. You can’t but feel as if you made a mistake, but there is no turning back now. And THIS is the feeling Resident Evil had long lost, but has finally recaptured.
Things only intensify as you begin exploring the Baker estate. The beginning hour or so acts as a tutorial of such, further getting you familiar with controls and items and what they can do as you’ll learn in one of the most stomach punching, gut wrenching scenes of dismemberment. You quickly find your wife and if you think escape this early on in the game is the end, then you are sadly mistaken. This only acts to raise some questions that need to be answered and, of course, introduce you the Baker family, who you officially meet over a dinner table scene very reminiscent of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You may be noticing that this game is somewhere between the first Resident Evil game and TCM, which I honestly have to say is a pretty cool crossover. Imagine the Spencer estate from the first game all run down and dirty, filled with mold and rotting food and furniture.
Since I just brought up the Spencer estate and the first Resident Evil game, as the game progresses, you may start to notice that Resident Evil VII not only has the same feel as the original game, but also starts to hit the same beats. Not that this is a bad thing, in fact it’s welcomed. The atmosphere and surroundings are starting to get under your skin and you feel like you’re in constant danger… which you are. One big difference about REVII is the lack of zombies or infected throughout the game. Rather than the game throwing dozens of varied enemies at you, it instead has a lurking, hunting boogeyman in the form of one of the Bakers. As you explore and search the house, looking for answers and trying to solve the puzzles, one of the family members will be stalking you, pacing around the area, kinda like how Scissorman could appear at any moment in Clock Tower or to keep it within the same series, Mr. X in Resident Evil 2, only constant and random. It does add a sense of urgency on your part and makes for some seriously panicked gameplay, but at times I was getting very frustrated. For example, all I was trying to do was open a locked door and Jack, Papa Baker, kept grabbing me and tossing me, because the goddamn door unlocks and opens so slow (because, ya know, tension).
It’s not just being hunted down like a dog as you try and find your wife or an exit. There are puzzle solving elements, some that feel very familiar to those you solved at the Spencer estate in the first game while others feel a bit toned down. That’s actually for the best and helps the Baker estate feel more grounded to reality, as you wouldn’t expect an actual house to have these extravagant puzzles, which it sorta does, but hey… it’s a Resident Evil game. Unfortunately, the puzzles seem few and far inbetween and far too easy for any gamer. In fact, sometimes it feels like they are just giving you the solution. There were a few times with a certain puzzle that requires you to move an object to cast a shadow on the wall, where I swear it’s like the game said, “eh, close enough!” and just gave me the solution.
I had mentioned earlier that the game controls much like a first person shooter, which isn’t a bad thing. Considering we, as gamers, have been conditioned to these controls, it actually makes playing it very easy. The controls also have a classic Resident Evil style going on to them, so it also feels familiar in an old way. Keeping with the old style, you have a limited amount of item space, but unlike the original game, it’s pretty easy to manage and predict what you’re going to need or get to an item box, especially seeing as all the areas seem to loop around, making it easier to find one or even avoid whoever is chasing you. The number of items you carry can be expanded by finding backpacks and you can even combine items, mixing them together to make a single item, like herbs, only this time only green herbs are available. Those herbs can be taken on their own to refill a little bit of health or you can mix them with a chemical pack to make a stronger First Aid formula that heals much more. You can use those same chemical packs to make ammo or stimulants which can be used to find better items. The game also offers permanent health items that carry over into new games once you have beaten it.
There are some downsides to Resident Evil VII, however. I mentioned that it can be frustrating at times when you are trying to accomplish a single goal and a member of the Baker family is preventing you from doing so. It’s especially frustrating when it forces you to backtrack and linger around, waiting for them to move, just so you can do something, like advance through a door. I know the Baker’s are the only enemies I talked about, but there is more. To be exact, ONE more. An enemy called the molded will spawn from these moldy looking spots and they bob and weave, making them difficult to hit and can pack quite a punch. What else? That’s it. Seriously. Just the Baker’s and the molded. To be fair, you get three variations of the molded; the normal, crawling on the ground and quick and fat, but tough. It’s your average variety of the villain and as you run through the game, you will start to feel nostalgic for the zombies, especially in this setting, but then again, they don’t fit into this story. Believe it or not, the enemies that spawn have a reason for being there. The biggest offender about the game is that it uses the same stale, tiring survival horror setup.
Ok, so, the game starts being generous, giving you lots of ammo and health items. Then, it shoves you into corridors and lashes wave and wave of overpowered enemies at you, thus depleting you of the items you just collected. This makes no logical sense to do to a player and to think it’s still being done in games is just ridiculous. The game will also stock you back up on those items and you’ll wander into a room that looks an awful lot like some kind of arena, usually with explosive stuff around, indicating a boss fight. Again, why is this still being done? This completely removes the gamer from any heightened sense of fear they may be experiencing, because you can see it coming a mile away. It’s seriously disappointing to see this still being used. Resident Evil VII lacks some of the actual tense moments, often telegraphing ahead of what is to come and this removes any chance of a legit scare.
Is it the perfect Resident Evil game we all hoped for and thought it would be? No, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a damn fine game. It’s a step in the right direction, even if it wasn’t perfect. It was the breath of fresh air that the series needed. I was glad to see the series dump all of that stupid, nonsense and cartoonishly over the top action and character stories that built up to nothing and went absolutely nowhere (I’m looking at you Ada and Leon). Resident Evil VII does a great job at not leaving plot holes or feeling convoluted and actually raises enough questions to answer, but also leaving a few unanswered so you want more. It was great to see all the homages to the first game, but ultimately that’s all they were. Luckily, the series is headed in the right direction and needs to continue on this path if it wants to make a full comeback. Still, I highly enjoyed Resident Evil VII and I would like to see what comes next.
(Submitted by Mr. Andrew Peters…Thank you, Ho-rror Ho-mie! xoxox)
Part One of Ties That Bind, the first episode of Telltale’s newest season of The Walking Dead, introduced us to a new character named Javi, an ex-baseball player that was trying to reconnect with his family when the outbreak happened and is now on the road with his brother David’s wife, Kate, and her stepchildren Gabe and Mariana. Along the way, shit happens as they tend to do in post apocalyptic zombie stories (how else would you get the plot moving?) and Javi is separated from his group and meets up with Clementine. The two get into all sorts of trouble that ends with Mariana, Javi’s ten year old niece, getting shot in the head by a group of assailants. The first episode tried to play against your senses and against what you would expect, but The Walking Dead has been pulling that trick for so long, you come to expect any happen moment to end in bloodshed. Still, it was great episode and we’re happy to see Clem back and the story is really taking shape.
The second episode, Ties That Bind Part 2, picks up immediately where you left off depending on the choice you made. Since I decided to stick with Clementine and bail on my family, Javi awoke after the explosion, the attackers have ran away in defeat, Clem thanks you for sticking with her, so that leaves only one thing left to do; bury your dead niece. Yes, that’s a part of the game and I have to say that I never thought I’d be attending a child’s funeral in a videogame, but here we are. It actually works for some emotional impact and it’s heartbreaking to see Javi breaking down, but luckily with Clem at his side, he keeps it together and the two head back to Prescott to check on Javi’s family. Gabe is still being an annoying brat and Kate is… well, Kate has had better days. Doesn’t look like she’s going to be making it much longer by the sound of things, but at the moment that’s the least of their worries as those jerks who attacked them, the ones who call themselves The New Frontier, are rolling up to the gates and demanding justice! Having Conrad’s girlfriend, Francine, as a prisoner, they snip off one of her fingers to get Javi to come down, but an untrusting Clem opens fire and everything goes to shit once again.
Seriously, The Walking Dead, enough with the finger cutting offing.
It was during this action sequence, I started to realize how much button mashing was in the particular episode. More specially, the Q button on my keyboard. It seems like every action scene that follows requires you to mash the shit out of the Q key and it grows stale pretty quick. Anyway, the group makes it out alive, well except for Francine, to which Conrad has some choice words to say to Javi. Gabe will raise his gun at Conrad and you have the choice to either talk him down or talk down to him. You might be noticing that this is the case most of the time when dealing with Gabe and I’m just realizing the game is wanting us to shape him into the man he will become. Will he becomes good natured like Javi (if you are playing him that way) or will he become hot headed and dangerous like David, his father? It’s an interesting way to take this character development, similar to what you could do with Clem in the previous Walking Dead seasons. The group decides to head to Richmond, VA, assuming that nothing but good things await them there.
After the situation diffuses the group finds themselves at a jam, literally. A couple of wrecked cars block their path and now is where you get to do some puzzle solving, kinda like what you did in Telltale’s Batman, only this is much more straightforward, almost like it’s on a rail. That does suck the fun and exploration out of it and makes it feel like a time consuming chore. Wouldn’t you know it, zombies await behind the wreckage and the group has once again fudged things up, but thanks to their new friend Jesus, they are able to find a way through the sewers and breaks the sour news to the group that The New Frontier has overtaken Richmond. Uh-oh, probably shouldn’t have sent Kate and Eleanor ahead. Jesus is by far the best thing about the game so far. Nicknamed after the lord and savior, this simultaneously trustworthy and untrustworthy dude talks like Christian Slater doing an impression of Jack Nicholson and does some near Matrix level martial arts, as he demonstrates once the group yet again makes the worst decision possible and makes the situation worse. But it does get worse for them. Clem reveals to Javi her true connection between herself and The New Frontier to which Conrad overhears and once separated from the others, threatens her with a gun and tries to convince Javi to side with him, using Clem as a bargaining chip once they reach Richmond. To further convince Javi, he puts a gun to Gabe’s head and you have a choice to either shoot Conrad or side with him. Wasn’t a hard decision for me.
Having reached Richmond, the group quickly finds the car with Kate inside and Eleanor missing, they also quickly find the gate to The New Frontier’s headquarters and Javi has a new plan; beg. Yup, walk right up to the gate and beg them to let you in for medical attention for Kate. A familiar face greets you at the gate and has reservations about letting you in, so you are given the choice of acting like a dick to him or trying to appeal to senses. No matter which path you take, it ends with a group of Frontier-ers coming down to take you in when you are greeted by their leader. Someone you know, someone you thought was dead and all the cliched, predictable storytelling moments in this episode lead up to this and I gotta say, I really can’t wait to see where it’s gonna go.
Clearly with the reintroduction to the familiar face at the end, Javi is going to have to make some hard choices, especially if you want to keep Clem as your friend. I think there are also going to be challenges with convincing Gabe to do the right thing, which is gonna make for a cool light side or dark side of the force kind of story arc with him. Although Ties That Bind Part 2 was full of stupid people making stupid decisions to move the story along, once the story got to where it wanted (which was at the end), it kinda made up for it, although I can’t forgive the repetitive button mashing action sequences that quickly wore thin. Nethertheless, episode 3, Above The Law (no, not the Steven Segal movie… although, that would be an awesome tie-in), should be out in about a week – February 7th-ish – and you know things are only going to get a hell of a lot uglier.