Saturday, 21 October 2017

HALLOWEEN HORROR: DAY OF THE DEAD (1985) - podcast review out now

We carry on with our appreciation of the late George A. Romero's Living Dead series, and this week we look into 1985's Day of the Dead. With the dead well and truly taking over America, we witness a small group of survivors try and understand their new landscape in an military bunker in Florida. The scientists of this bunker discover that zombies can tentatively be trained to not attack on sight, especially with the case of the docile Bub. However, the soldiers protecting them are having a hard time appreciating this fact, and start becoming more tyrannical within their confines. We discuss in this podcast what we love in Day of the Dead, including Tom Savini's brilliant make up effects, the way Romero writes human's, and how it develops the lore from the first films.

You can download this episode directly here.

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Friday, 20 October 2017

HALLOWEEN HORROR - DAY OF THE DEAD (1985) - podcast review out tomorrow

South Park: The Fractured But Whole - Richee Review

It's been a long time coming, having multiple delays, but finally the sequel to South Park: The Stick of Truth has been released with South Park: The Fractured But Whole. The sequel follows the new kids turn from king of the fantasy realm to superhero, with the super group Coon and Friends, as they look to start their superhero franchise. The team looks to find a missing cat to get the $100 reward, but have to go up against rival superhero group the Freedom Pals. 

The game has had an upgrade in combat mechanics, as you can now roam the battle field to line up attacks, multi attacks and even use environmental items to your advantage. You have a selection of super powers to choose from, you do get them all in the end though which takes away from possible later play through's. The puzzles fell a little lacklustre after a while and the fart powers don't have as bigger impact on the gameplay as the original game.

But the best thing about this game is the best thing about South Park: the humour. 
The story is interesting and goes in some really random places, bringing back old characters with the new. Downside is the story length, coming in just under 19 hours on my first play through with only two side quests to do. The collectibles look to notch up plenty more game time though, as I still have loads of outfits and other items to collect.

Even with the game being delayed there were still multiple bugs I stumbled across, from my moves tool bar disappearing to being stuck in a permanent glitch fart which forced me to reload my last check point. Other then those few problems there wasn't any other issues to report, but with the game being delayed for so long I'm a little disappointed that these issues slipped through. The game looks awesome, with South Park looking great really taking you into the little mountain town again.

More of the same from the team again. The game is witty and fun with plenty to collect and do. The story feels like a super long South Park episode, not sure how I feel about the 19 hours it took to get through the game but that's just the way of it now. Plus it has an awesome mid-credit scene like Marvel where the story, or maybe some DLC, could go from the end. Final Verdict is a 7/10: it's a good game, and a must have for fans of the series, but I feel if you're not a fan of the franchise this might leave you wanting more. Richee 

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

HALLOWEEN HORROR - Society (1989)

I left Brian Yuzna's Society with so many questions. Why do the rich melt into each other and transform into slimy mounds of flesh? I get the whole "rich eating the poor" metaphor, but why, and to what end? And do the rich just get away with it all? I couldn't help but think Society may be a spiritual prequel to certain films. Maybe the Purge films, with their emphasis on the rich institutionally enabling themselves to kill the poor in a ritualistic, one day a year event. Or even Kingsman, where the aristocrats create a secret intelligence agency for the apparent good of country, even though they do nothing but accentuate class differences. What is even the purpose of this film?

Released in 1989, Society has all the 80s signifiers, most rampantly with the fashions (high cut bikini's and the hair being standout components), that give this film that retrospective goofy edge. Nothing in this film is blatantly scary, just uneasy. Firstly you have Billy Warlock playing Bill, the troubled son to the well-off Whitney family. So troubled in fact that he goes to counselling sessions to talk out his paranoid fears. He worries that he doesn't feel part of the family or part of the rich society around him. His sisters ex Blanchard (Tim Bartell) is himself also worried, and plays Bill the secret audio he recorded at Bill's sister Jenny's (Patrice Jennings) coming out party, which makes it sound like his family are engaging in a horrific orgy.

While everyone around him acts like he's gone mad, Bill is determined to prove it, and through some tangents that include upsetting his girlfriend, sleeping with a girl who can twist her whole body around, and the deaths of various people who try to help Bill only for them to mysteriously come back alive, leads us to the films notorious finale. At another gathering of the rich we discover that Bill's paranoid suspicions where true, and that he is in fact not related to his parents, but that the rich of this town are completely different to everyone else, although we never find out exactly how.

Courtesy of special effects designer Screaming Mad George, the film engulfs with a massive hit of body horror, as we witness the horrific orgy that Bill heard earlier. The rich strip down and mould their bodies together to create a formless mass of barely recognisable body parts. Blanchard is sadly sacrificed to the rich, and his own body is assimilated into theirs, in a ceremony they call "shunting". They are literally feeding off the poor, extracting whatever goodness they can from Blanchard. It is unclear as to whether this is their main source of food, or if this is some kind of process they go through in order to continue assimilating into society.

Of course, some of these effects are quite silly by today's standards, but they get across effectively the body horror Yuzna and Screaming Mad George were going for. For me, its not so much the deformation of the rich that is troublesome, its the homogeneous pile of limbs they become. They do not seem to care for individual people but instead just the whole, and just as long as the rich can continue to "shunt", then the rich will survive. But then why do they need to be rich, high-society members at all? The satire is strong in this one, as even though Bill is highly comfortable within his privileged place in society, its the competition he cannot get on with. The rest of the rich though relish on it, and of course, where there's competition, there's rules, and if you want to be a member of high-society there is a lot of rules you have to follow if you want to fit in.

The finale is a great end to a movie with a somewhat jokey premise, but the resolution is troubling. Bill kills the jock Ferguson by pulling his head out through his arse (literally), and then escapes with his friend and new girlfriend in his jeep. Meanwhile, the rich just carry on like nothing happened. Are we meant to just accept these... creatures? Does Bill? He may have defeated the bully, but the high society are still at large to kill again. A sequel, Society 2: Body Modification, was set to go into production which may have answered some of these questions, but that was unfortunately shelved.We do seem to have a mania at the moment to sequelize films from decades ago, so until that film does come out, we have only the memory of a sweaty cornucopia of affluent body parts to ponder over.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

THE SNOWMAN - podcast review out now

WARNING: spoilers heavily insinuated throughout. Based on the Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbø, and directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In), The Snowman looks into the mysterious murders that are plaguing Oslo and its surrounding areas. What's the connection between them? Divorced women with young children, and a god damn snowman at each crime scene. With Michael Fassbender as alcoholic cop Harry, he teams up with a recently transferred police woman (Rebecca Ferguson) to crack the case. Also starring Toby Jones, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Val Kilmer, we break apart The Snowman and ask why this film has bombed so badly, from the killers motives to the lack of suspects, and especially its lacklustre plot.

You can download this episode directly here.

Make sure you subscribe to us on itunes here and leave us a review, as well as following us on twitter and facebook.

Monday, 16 October 2017

THE SNOWMAN - podcast review out tomorrow

DVD Roundup: "You gonna turn your back on family?" edition

Which series is more bombastic? Tansformers or Fast & Furious? There's a lot of explosions between them, but Fast & Furious may still endure within the public's opinion but at least it talks about family and honour without irony. Fast & Furious 8, or The Fate of the Furious in the US, teases at a break in that honour, but not enough to bring it up to the levels of Game of Thrones destruction of dynasties. While still as bonkers as the previous movies, this instalment is not as emotionally investing as 7, but still contains some over the top performances from Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron and Jason Statham. Listen to our full review in the player below.

A man suffers from a family tragedy and falls into a depression, and in order to work through his feelings he moves into a shack in the wilderness, where he has his faith in the Christian god reconfirmed. The Shack in described by Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian as "Not really a film. More an instructional video designed to be shown to teens at a Christian summer camp and earnestly discussed afterwards with a T-shirt-wearing group leader whose smiley tolerance for dissent is finite." Is it bad that I'm looking forward to The Cinema Snob breaking this one down?

Whoa, two Winston Churchill films in one year? And he's on the new £5 note? It seems like we somehow need reminding that he was an important Prime Minister in British history, or something. Churchill, with Brian Cox in the titular role, takes place in the months before D-Day, but focuses more on his infamous "black dog" and his relationship with his wife. While Cox has been praised for his portrayal of the PM, the film has been criticised for being uncritical of Churchill's flaws.

Takeshi Kitano has become quite a cult figure, and some of his older films are being re-released to reach his wider audience. One of them is Getting Any?, a film he stars in and directs, about a man so desperate for sex that he gets involved in random exploits, including buying a car and robbing a bank. Told as a series of skits, this 1994 film may be a little random, but one definitely for those that take joy in the surreal.