Monday, February 29, 2016

Bluray Tuesday!

March 1st 2016

Bluray Tuesday is back! The first of the month arrives with a bunch of new titles to add to our collections. Not many horror related films are out today but many Oscar nominated ones are released. You'll finally be able to check out any that you missed in theaters. On the horror front this week from Grindhouse Releasing is Pieces (1982), for the first time on bluray, and loaded with new bonus features. I am definitely picking up this release this week. Scream Factory/Shout Factory releases 2015's The Boy, which is actually a pretty good psychological thriller. I'd definitely recommend checking it out. Exclusive release out this week is the Rocky spin-off/sequel Creed in steelbook packaging only at Target. This is the second main release I'll be picking up today. Next up is The 88th Oscars Best Actress winner Brie Larson for  Room, another definite pickup for me this week as well. Brie Larson is a great actress and I've heard nothing but amazing things about this film. Stay tuned the next few weeks, because this month has some pretty cool releases as well as more exclusives and steelbooks to add to our growing collections. Overall, this is a big start to the new month. So what will you be buying, renting or just skipping this week? Let us know in the comments. Also check out out Instagram page Here. We love conversation and talking all things horror.  

Pieces (1982): Amazon - $27.99

Young co-eds are being cut up by a chainsaw killer on a college campus. The killer is attempting to put together a human jigsaw puzzle made from body parts. While playing with a puzzle, a teenager is repressed by his mother, and he kills her and severs her body with an ax. Forty years later, in an university campus in Boston, a serial killer kills young women and severs their bodies in parts, stealing body pieces from each student. Lt. Bracken makes a deal with the dean of the campus, and infiltrates the agent Mary Riggs as if she were a tennis teacher and together with the student Kendall, they try to find the identity of the killer.

Pieces (Blu-ray) 

 The Boy (2015): Amazon - $14.99

An intimate portrait of a 9-year-old sociopath's growing fascination with death.

The Boy (Blu-ray)

 Narcopolis: Amazon - $14.99

In the near future, Frank, a police officer, discovers that the legalization of all recreational drugs comes with a price.

Narcopolis (Blu-ray) 

Creed: Amazon - $22.99

Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never knew his famous father, boxing champion Apollo Creed, who died before Adonis was born. However, boxing is in his blood, so he seeks out Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and asks the retired champ to be his trainer. Rocky sees much of Apollo in Adonis, and agrees to mentor him, even as he battles an opponent deadlier than any in the ring. With Rocky's help, Adonis soon gets a title shot, but whether he has the true heart of a fighter remains to be seen.

Creed (Blu-ray) 

Target Steelbook - $22.99
Creed (Blu-ray)
 Room (2015): Amazon - $16.99

Held captive for years in an enclosed space, a woman (Brie Larson) and her 5-year-old son (Jacob Tremblay) finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time.

Room (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art 

The Night Before: Amazon - $19.99

For the last 10 years, lifelong buddies Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have gathered on Christmas Eve to celebrate the holidays with a bang. As Isaac prepares to become a first-time father, the friends realize that their annual tradition is coming to a sad end. To make it as memorable as possible, they plan a night of debauchery and hilarity by searching for the Nutcracka Ball, the Holy Grail of Christmas parties in New York.

The Night Before (Blu-ray) 

Legend: Amazon - $17.99

Suave, charming and volatile, Reggie Kray (Tom Hardy) and his unstable twin brother Ronnie start to leave their mark on the London underworld in the 1960s. Using violence to get what they want, the siblings orchestrate robberies and murders while running nightclubs and protection rackets. With police Detective Leonard "Nipper" Read hot on their heels, the brothers continue their rapid rise to power and achieve tabloid notoriety.

Legend (Blu-ray) 

The Danish Girl: Amazon - $22.99

With support from his loving wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander), artist Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) prepares to undergo one of the first sex-change operations.

The Danish Girl (Blu-ray) 

Youth: Amazon - $22.99

Fred (Michael Caine), a retired composer and conductor, vacations at a Swiss Spa with his longtime friend Mick (Harvey Keitel). As Mick crafts what may be his final screenplay, Fred is given the opportunity to perform for the Queen.

Youth (Blu-ray) 

-The Impostor 

Screenings in the Bay (Monday to Friday)

Happy Monday yet again movie lovers! And we're on our way to another eventful week (and month). Following the lineup for this week's screenings is a bit of an early heads up, so I suggest you don't put those off. They are very likely to sell out.

Terror Tuesday
Tuesday 1st @ 10:45pm (1hr 28min)
Thriller/ Horror (Google)
"Fraternity pledges (Jason Lively, Steve Marshall) pull a prank with a frozen body and let sluglike creatures loose on campus."

Weird Wednesday
Wednesday 2nd @ 10pm (1hr 46min)
Indie/ Horror (Google)
"During the Vietnam War, a squad of National Guardsmen -- including Hardin (Powers Boothe), a no-nonsense Texan; Reece (Fred Ward), a hunter; and Spencer (Keith Carradine), a sensible private -- take part in a military training exercise in the swamps of Louisiana. After attempting to steal several canoes and firing blanks at a Cajun, the group members find themselves being hunted by the locals. Scared and unfamiliar with the territory, the men must scramble to escape."

Smut without the Smut
Thursday 3rd @ 9:30pm (1hr 10min)
"Beneath the dumpsters of America, a netherworld of undiscovered hardcore genre filmmaking lurks in the gutters. But what if these movies were less about the sex and more about the stuff that happens inbetween? Smut Without Smut is hardcore genre movies with the sex removed. In other words, the parameters of reality will never be the same again. Join us for a triple feature of anti-erogenous super-heroic adventures that a Decidedly Cool comic book company never wanted you to see. WATCH! Ms. Magnificent save Clark Click from over-sexed doom! SEE! Splatman thwart the perverted plans of the Pornguin! OBSERVE! Bat P***y crossing a highway on her Bouncy Ball! We cannot be held responsible for any lasting trauma."

I Wake Up Dreaming Presents a Pre-Code Triple Feature 
Torch Singer (1933)
Wednesday 2nd @ 6:15pm (1hr 11min)
Drama/ Musical/ Romance (IMDB)
"A young unwed mother, unable to support her illegitimate baby, decides to give the child up for adoption in order to pursue a career as a nightclub torch singer. Her progress is thwarted as she quickly succumbs to a life of heavy drinking and even heavier sexual adventure!"

Three in a Match (1932)
Wednesday 2nd @ 7:45pm (1hr 3min)
Crime/ Drama/ Romance (IMDB) 
"Mary (Joan Blondell), Vivian (Ann Dvorak) and Ruth (Bette Davis) are old friends who do some catching up after a chance meeting. Of the three women, Vivian, who married successful lawyer Robert (Warren William), seems to have the most glamourous life. Vivian really isn't satisfied, though, and she soon deserts Robert and her son for Mike (Lyle Talbot), a mobster. Before long, Vivian is hooked on drugs, and Mike needs cash -- so the gangster decides to kidnap Vivian's own son for ransom."

The Cheat (1931)
Wednesday 2nd @ 9:30pm (1hr 14min)
Drama (IMDB)
"The beautiful but hopelessly spoiled wife of a wealthy businessman becomes ensnared in a vicious circle of deception and debauchery when her uncontrollable gambling addiction makes her the vulnerable target of a sadistic, sex-obsessed madman! Will the love of her man save her from an ignominious doom? Not necessarily: this is Pre-Code America!"

The following films are not part of this week's screenings, but they are ones that you should get tickets to early if you'reinterested in going. So I'm including them to give you guys some more time.

Presented by Peaches Christ
With special guests
Director Todd-Schulman and
screenwriters Joshua John Miller
and Mark Fortin 
Saturday 19th @ 11:55pm (1hr 28min)
Slasher/ Horror (Google)
"Max, recently orphaned, goes to see a screening of a B-horror movie that her mother made 20 years earlier. When Max and her friends find themselves in the world of the film itself, they must apply their knowledge of horror tropes to survive."

Wednesday 16th @ 7pm (1hr 34min)
Horror/ Silent Film (Google)
"In this highly influential silent horror film, the mysterious Count Orlok (Max Schreck) summons Thomas Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim) to his remote Transylvanian castle in the mountains. The eerie Orlok seeks to buy a house near Hutter and his wife, Ellen (Greta Schroeder). After Orlok reveals his vampire nature, Hutter struggles to escape the castle, knowing that Ellen is in grave danger. Meanwhile Orlok's servant, Knock (Alexander Granach), prepares for his master to arrive at his new home."

Screening will be accompanied by a live score by Invincible Czars.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Silver Scream: 1 Week Countdown

We are less than one week away from the Silver Scream Festival! Earlier this month, when I posted about some of the special guests that were going to be attending, a lot of the convention was still a mystery, since film submissions were just ending and the schedule was not yet organized. But now the mystery has been revealed and the screening/ signing/ panel schedules have all been posted. And I must say, this festival is turning out to be much cooler than I thought it would be; there is a great mixture of big names as well as some of the bay area's local celebrities coming together for a very eventful three days. 

In addition to looking for new talent, this festival is a tribute to the life and work of Wes Craven, whose passing was a huge loss to both the horror and film communities. That is why there will be screenings of both A Nightmare on Elm Street and Wes Craven's New Nightmare, with a Q&A in between the films on the very first day of the convention. And they will be followed up with a screening of I Am Nancy. If you can't make it out in time for those, there will be another screening of the two nightmares with a panel in between the following day, and another screening of I Am Nancy followed by a Q&A with Heather Langenkamp Sunday. And finally, there will be a free signing with Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp Saturday at noon, but it will only be 45 minutes long so you'll need to get in line early if you want to make it. 

To celebrate the 35th year anniversary of An American Werewolf in London, the star of the movie will be in attendance and will be doing a Q&A on both Friday and Saturday, after screenings of the movie. He'll also be signing autographs for two hours Saturday afternoon. 

Also scheduled for this weekend is a screening of Maniac Cop 2, followed by a Q&A with director William Lustig on Sunday. I had the pleasure of watching all three Maniac Cop movies a year or two ago, with a Q&A in between the first two movie, as part of a Midnites for Maniacs triple feature, and I know this man has some crazy stories about the whole experience, so this is something you will not want to miss. 

And like I mentioned, Silver Scream will also have some of the bay area's local celebrities in attendance. I'm talking about our very own late night horror hosts from Creepy Kofy Movie Time, led by the fearless Balrok DelCavo. Sadly, we missed these guys at East Bay Comic Con a couple weeks ago, but we will definitely see them here! 

This isn't even everything that will be happening this weekend, you can find the entire schedule at the Silver Scream site here. Times are scheduled to change too, so they recommend you check back often. 

Tickets for the Silver Scream are still on sale and the prices are not too bad, but if you act fast, you can get them at half the price if you head over to Goldstar. Passes for all three days are $35 and individual days are about the price of a movie ticket. Saturday or Sunday are only $15, and Saturday is $25. But supplies are limited, so the sooner you get these the better. 


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Creepypasta Mania!

Hail weary travelers, come sit round the table. You're just in time to share some Creepy pasta I had prepared for this fine Saturday afternoon. Today's servings are themed around the sound of "tapping"...
I have a theory that a good fresh tasting Creepy Pasta doesn't have to be anything original, you just need to introduce horror into common human experiences. Surely we've all heard some unexplained tapping before.
So get comfortable and prepare to read these stories because from now on this is a requirement. Too many times have people enjoyed my pallet without actually whetting their appetite... Underneath each pasta title is a link to the story, and I promise they are short.

Author: Kevin Liu

Genre: Horror (short)

Reading Time: 3.5 Minutes

Synopsis: A 12-year-old boy is haunting by his sick mothers tapping.

(How Scary)

Pasta Quality

(How Well Crafted)

I apologize for any gray hairs this story may have given you as I hope you find yourself agreeing with 'The Reader' and not sharing the same experience as 'Awesomenessradiatesfromme'.
Besides a light climax and some needed editing, this is a solid dish.

(pasta served here

Author: Wildfur365

Genre: Horror (short)

Reading Time: 4 minutes 15 seconds

Synopsis: If Mittens isn't making that sound...

(How Scary)

Pasta Quality
(How Well Crafted)

Am I the only one that found Mittens to be a distraction? Mittens is nuzzling all over our protagonist while they're encountering a monster... Still Mittens is an obvious favorite while reading through the comments, so what do I know?
The icing on the pasta for this story was the reveal at the end. The words "BEHIND YU" and "NEXT T YU" carved into the closet lost some people, as it seems like a lazy typo (which happens a lot on Creepy Pasta...) but when you are thinking about it a couple hours later you may also start to wonder why they are all in caps... The answer is pretty simple when you start to think about what the "Tapping" was the whole time and how hard it might be to scratch an "O".

- Lord Battle

Friday, February 26, 2016

Screenings in the Bay (Friday to Sunday)

Happy Friday guys! It's almost the end of the month, which means the last Sunday of the month is almost here... and that means the second ever Video Vortex will be screening in just a couple of days! But for those who want something cool to play tonight, check out Midnites for Manics, which will be a triple feature happening, for the first time, at the Drafthouse. But that's not all this weekend has in store; it's also surprisingly musical, but you must read on.

Summer School (1987)
Friday 26th @ 8pm (1hr 27min)
Cult film/ Teen (Google)
"Apathetic gym teacher Freddy Shoop (Mark Harmon) is ready to take the summer off in Hawaii, but he's forced to either teach summer-school English or risk losing his tenure. Now he's stuck teaching a group of unmotivated students as disappointed to be stuck in school over the summer as he is. But with the help of a friendly history teacher (Kirstie Alley), Shoop is at least learning how to act the part of supportive mentor and perhaps even learning something about himself as well."

Ski School (1990)
Friday 26th @ ~10pm (1hr 35min)
Comedy (IMDB)
"Dave Marshak (Dean Cameron) and his friends are a pack of highly skilled skiers and devoted party animals. On the slopes, they are known as "Section 8." But their reputation is at risk when a ski school of snobs -- headed by pompous and preppy Reid Janssens (Mark Thomas Miller) -- shows up looking to win the end-of-season downhill competition. Now, the stakes have never been higher because, if Section 8 is beaten, they'll lose more than bragging rights. They'll also lose their jobs."

Rockula (1990)
Friday 26th @ ~12am 
Comedy/ Horror/ Musical
"Ralph (Dean Cameron) is a sexually frustrated vampire who suffers from a peculiar curse. He's condemned for eternity to watch his one true love, Mona (Tawny Fere), be murdered by a ham bone. Now it's 1990, and Ralph is determined to break the cycle of reincarnation and death. But, before he can think about saving Mona's life, his first order of business is winning her affections. He does that by starting Rockula -- a rock band that's sure to stake a claim on her heart."

Video Vortex

Bloodstream (1985)
Sunday 28th @ 10pm (1hr17min)
Horror (IMDB)
"This is the movie that you were never meant to see. Shot on Super 8 in the back alleys of London and completely unreleased to this day, BLOODSTREAM is the DAVID HOLZMAN’S DIARY of D.I.Y. trash-horror. When filmmaker Alistair’s latest slasher -- also called BLOODSTREAM -- is rejected by a scumbag producer, all seems lost. But when Alistair finds out that the rejection was a ruse to cut him out of the profits, he does what any self-respecting weirdo would do -- he dons a skull mask, calls himself The Angel Of Death, and embarks on a revenge-fueled bloodbath!!"

Midnight Movies
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Saturday 27th @ 11:55pm (1hr 40min)
Comedy/ Musical/Horror (IMDB)
"In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker (Meat Loaf) and a creepy butler (Richard O'Brien). Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named 'Rocky.'"

Phantom of the Paradise(1974)
Friday 26th @ 10:30pm (1hr 32min)
Thriller/ Indie (Google)
"After record producer Swan (Paul Williams) steals the music of songwriter Winslow Leach (William Finley) and gives it to one of his bands, Leach sneaks into Swan's offices. Catching Leach, Swan frames him for dealing drugs, which lands him in prison. After Leach breaks out and again attempts to sabotage Swan's empire, an accident crushes his face. Leach then dons a costume and becomes the Phantom, intent on ruining Swan while saving singer Phoenix (Jessica Harper) from a terrible fate."


Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: The VVitch

of 10 viewers "Liked" "The VVitch" (USA, 2016)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Speed Demon - "Atmospherically amazing. Story wise not interesting and boring. Disappointing to the fullest. One of those films where if you've seen the previews, then you've seen the movie." - 3 Stars

The Impostor - "The Witch was a highly anticipated film for me this year. I went in knowing I'd like this film before even seeing it. The atmosphere and acting are very strong and spot on. Watching the film progress, I felt I was in their world which I feel is hard for a film to accomplish. The pacing is on the slow side and I felt I missed things at times, especially with the thick old English accents, so a second viewing is definitely needed for me. I'm sure I'll like it even more the second time but this is a pretty solid horror film. I'm looking forward to what else Robert Eggers puts out in the future." - 4 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "This film feels so authentic, it kind of reminded me of Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner, where even the English feels like it's in another language. Each moment, each character, each line spoken feels completely part of its own world. The performances of all involved were mesmerizing, the conviction of each character makes the apotheosis so much more horrifyingly inevitable." - 5 Stars

Lord Battle - "Arthouse, slow-burn, and polarizing are all words that get me excited to watch a film. The Witch is definitely deserving of these labels, which are often applied to quickly wrap up a thought process or as corks for holes in the imagination. I find The Witch to be an incredibly strong film that becomes extremely unnerving with a little focus. The Witch also features amazing performances that transcend age and species. Yet I disagree with any who say the film transcends its genre, for no matter how much beautiful framing and rich history flow through The Witch's veins, her heart is horror." - 5 Stars

Huntress - "The Witch is not a film that you should watch at a distance; it's best to sit close up to the screen, pay attention, and get lost in the darkly detailed world being presented before you. Everything about this film was meticulously researched in order to feel authentic and that effort made an obvious difference, but also polarized audiences, which may actually add to its impact. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed The Witch until days later, when I heard a second of its haunting soundtrack, and was returned to New England once again." - 4.5 Stars

Dabbles - "Even though it took me a little bit to click into the way colonial people spoke, as soon as I clicked in things started to pick up. The imagery within each frame was as if from paintings, the drama was so juicy and rich with struggle, the young actors matched or even added to the intensity of the older actors in this movie, especially the kid who played Caleb, the older son. His performance stole the show with subtle motions and impactful emotion. Every actor played their characters beautifully. This director will go places with work like this." - 5 Stars

KillDozer - “I had built up quite a bit of anticipation for this film as the brilliantly edited trailer seemed to be everywhere and placed with every film for the last 5 months or more . A dark and eerie glimpse into a period of American history filled with paranoia, religion, and misplaced optimism. The mood and atmosphere of the film is set from the opening shots and stays consistent throughout. The attention to detail is such that you can tell a lot of love went into creating the look and feel of the film which makes sense since its writer/director Robert Eggers is mostly known for his work as a production and costume designer. Even the language used was period appropriate which seemed to throw the audience off at times but I felt was a good choice. The cinematography captured the mood of the film in the best ways, bringing the viewer into this isolated and dangerous world. The acting felt honest and sincere even when it came to the children. I have no idea what Eggers influences were but this film was dark and unforgiving as well as misleading (in all the ways a monster kid would hope). No spoiler here but I will say that this film seemed to have several endings all better than the one they ended up going with. All together a great witch film the deserves a second viewing.” - 4 Stars (collection worthy)

Creature of the ComiCombs - "The Witch definitely turned out to be something very different from what I was expecting. If you're looking for a new take on the horror genre, don't. Instead you should go in expecting an interesting take on a coming of age story. In the end, that's what this was, a coming of age story with witches. There were some really great shots and eerie scenery throughout the film. The first half played out pretty slow but there were enough unexpected moments and awesome visuals to keep me interested." - 3 Stars

Math Mage - "If you've seen the trailer then you've seen the movie. That's not to say it isn't good (it is); just that there are no surprises plot-wise. What is surprising is how well acted it is and how deep the characters are." - 3 Stars

Ice Giant - "It's a little hard to get into the puritan English but other than that this is a genuinely creepy movie. All the actors were spot on, especially the children, and even the goat. I was expecting everything in the movie to be very realistic so for it to throw out some fantastical elements was a weird but nice surprise. This movie almost suffered the fate of being way over-hyped and I am really glad it didn't fall victim." - 4.5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

“​Beginning February 10 in New York City, The Satanic Temple (TST) will launch premiere screenings of the highly anticipated historical horror film, The Witch, amid interactive performances and ritualized pronouncements of a “new Satanic era.” The Witch, opening in theatres nationwide on Feb. 19 opposite faith based biblical thriller Risen, has received the official sanction of TST, and has been described by Jex Blackmore (TST National Spokesperson) as a “transformative Satanic experience” unto itself.”
(The above notice is an official press release from the TST or The Satanic Temple. The TST was sent a screener copy of the film by indie label A24.)

The Witch is a thoughtful film which demands a lot of focus and energy. And since this section is reserved for interesting notes or discussion, I’d like to discuss Caleb coughing up the apple, which I’ve heard being referred to as confusing, unnecessary, and pretentious. In my experience writing about and discussing film, I’ve found these words (in most cases) to all mean the same thing, which is just that they don’t want to give the film any more energy. 
In this moment, the apple is both symbolic and a device to advance the narrative, not to mention carries a lot of weight as an occult symbol alone, often invoking emotions related to pure love or carnal lust. Venus is depicted holding the apple and she of course represents beauty as it is desirable. The apple often is shown as the forbidden fruit of the bible. An apple was thrown during a wedding party by the Goddess of Discord Eris, inscribed with the words “For the most beautiful one” and the Goddess Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite all laid claim as each thought herself deserving.
In The Witch the apple also represents beauty and desire. After Caleb and his dad return home late from their hunting trip, they are greeted by Katherine who is furious with their recent absence. It becomes clear that this trip was made in secret and an argument quickly erupts between Katherine and William. As Katherine's anger increases, she begins to channel it on Thomasin, when Caleb jumps in and tells her the story about seeking out an apple tree he thought he saw earlier. The lie is not corrected by William and it becomes clear that he is a hypocrite and that Caleb, despite his religious training, is still capable of choosing to sin. Later when the apple appears from within Caleb, it symbolizes the forbidden fruit as described in the bible, as well as the coven's declaration of war on this “theocratic patriarchal society.”

NYC PREMIERE + EVENT "Awaken" DATE: Wednesday, February 10 

LA PREMIERE + EVENT "Rebel" DATE: Friday, February 12 

AUSTIN PREMIERE + PUBLIC RITUAL “Convoke” DATE: Tuesday, February 16 

(Dates and Names of the TST Screenings)

“The four ­part tour of interactive performances, entitled ‘The Sabbat Cycle,’ mirror the phases of “becoming” in the personal road to Satanism. The cycle begins with the theme of ‘Awakening’ to the primal self, followed by the ‘Rebellion’ of oppressive traditions, a ‘Convocation’ of the Satanic coalition and, finally, an ‘Ascension.’ The tour will end in Detroit at the end of the month. Interested participants should visit satanic­ for details regarding access to these events, which are limited.”
-From the TST Press Release

The Satanic Temple has named their screenings after the phases that Thomasin goes through. The events that make up the film's narrative ultimately build until she signs Black Philip's book. The TST is also asking people to officially register themselves into the “Book of Satan.” Is this a case of art imitating life or the reverse?
One brave journalist adventured into an old church in LA for the TST screening of The Witch and wrote in detail about the screening, response, and “Interactive Performances”. I highly recommend reading it (you can find it here).

- Lord Battle

All creatures reviewing attended the 9:45 screeing at The San Francisco Alamo DraftHouse on 2/18/16.
The poster used for the review was created by Nathan Anderson. (His tumblr here).
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Treasures Of The ComiCombs

The end of the month means the end of the battle between two cool books, Nijigahra Holograph and Sons of the Devil. Which one will I be preserving forever in the endless shelves of the Comicombs?
While the release list is a bit thin I have some pretty cool books to pick up this week. There’s something for all types of horror nerds so read on to see what I’ve chosen!

Death Head #6 (Dark Horse)

Writer –Zack Keller, Nick Keller

Artist – Joanna Estep

The final issue of this mini-series is here and I couldn’t be more excited to get my hands on it. “The Doctor is in . . . and he's making a house call. In this climactic battle, the Burton family must finally work together or be torn apart forever. After all of the death and destruction, the shocking truth behind the Plague Doctor is finally revealed.”

The Gingerdead Man #1 (Action Lab - Danger Zone)

Writer – Brockton McKinney

Artist – Sergio Rios 

The Chucky of baked goods, this is one of those books that I just have to pick up. “There is a new designer drug on the streets, and it's called Confection! It's so powerful that it has to be baked into a culinary treat, and the abandoned Betty's Bakery has been taken over by a gang of drug dealers! But by using a leftover box of seasoning containing the remaining ashes of Millard Findlemeyer, the gang has unwittingly unleashed that cookie of doom: GINGERDEAD MAN!”

Haunted Horror #21 (IDW)

Writer - Various

Artist - Various

Before the CCA (Comics Code Authority) was established in 1954, comics were unregulated. While the history of the CCA and how it came about is really cool, that’s a discussion for another time. Haunted Horror is a collection of pre-code (pre-CCA) horror stories. Definitely check this out, it’s pretty cool to see stories from an era long passed.

The last couple of weeks I have been talking about Nijigahara Holograph and Sons of the Devil. Both good books in their own right but when put side to side against eachother, the clear winner is…

Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano

Sons of the Devil has a good story and some good art but it was inconsistent with the pacing and style. Nijigahara Holograph was excellent from beginning to end. The artwork is great and was never something separate from the story, they both worked hand in hand. This is a story that was carefully laid out panel by panel. At some points in the book, certain things didn’t make any sense and that’s just how the book is meant to be. A seed is planted and if you take care to pay close enough attention to it, something wonderful blooms.

After reading Sons of the Devil I started to wonder what the panels of Nijigahara Holograph would look like with color so I went back and skimmed through some of my favorite panels. A bit of color may have given it a little more life but some of the panels are so beautifully detailed that it makes no difference. One thing definitely worth noting here is that Inio Asano wrote the story and also did all of the art. This definitely explains why the dialogue and art went so well together.

Every now and then you will find a comic that deals with topics such as mental illness, suicide, bullying and rape. More often than not, those topics are done in a manner so over the top that it’s offensive. Those are all topics that you find in Nijigahara Holograph. Though it may be hard to stomach for some, all of these topics are things that happen in the real world that you don’t often find in American comics. Asano addresses these in ways that make them particularly hard to stomach not because it’s all done for shock value but because it’s so believable. 

I intended to read this book in two or three parts but was immediately drawn in and blew through it in one sitting. The ending made my mind explode and I have been thinking about this book since I finished it. I highly recommend this book and it is definitely collection worthy. Well done Asano.

- The Creature of the ComiCombs