The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods is an amazing movie that I kept putting off watching because the plot got spoiled for me. You know how it is, you keep hoping you’ll forget so you can watch it feeling fresh?

Yeah. You never forget.

So, if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t read past the poster.

It’s an amazing horror comedy that takes a deep look at the entire horror genre.

cabin-in-the-woods

The Poster
I love the simplicity of the poster design. It illustrates the title clearly and gives us the understanding that there is something seriously wrong with that cabin. The sheer size of the cabin depicted makes me really think of a three-story home but it’s clearly, stylistically a cabin and you’d be lead to believe there are probably all sorts of labyrinthine twists and turns, within its walls.

And you’d be right.

The Good
I don’t really want to say too much about this because I’ll end up sounding like a drooling fanboy. Too late!

The soundtrack is fantastic, the casting is great, the makeup and special effects for the zombies and most of the other creatures are amazing. (Love that merman.) Plus to top it all off we have Sigourney Weaver’s cameo which is perfection!

The story plays on all the classic tropes and cliche’s of the horror genre. It drops them in a blender and throws them back at you in a way that’s not particularly surprising but a hell of a lot of fun. It’s very much like a combination of the Truman show and every horror movie I’ve ever watched.

The number of references to the horror genre are legion and as much fun as it would be to write them all here, the good folks at GoodBadFlicks have already done that for us and I defer to them. Except the one thing I don’t think they mentioned was how the “elder gods” in the movie is a clear reference to H. P. Lovecraft and Cthulu.

The Bad
The copy of the movie I saw had one major flaw. It’s way too dark. At some point the release was delayed for a number of reasons, one of which was to convert it to 3D. Unfortunately the 3D conversion process can often screw up the way a movie looks if it wasn’t actually filmed in 3D. So in many scenes, most noticeably the night scenes, (which is like a third of the movie,) it’s actually pretty hard to get a look at anything clearly.

I don’t hate 3D, but I’m not a fan of it either and I’m definitely not a fan of damaging a films integrity just for a gimmick.

The Ugly
Due to MGM filing for chapter eleven, a tie in with the game “Left for Dead” fell through. This caused the movie to be released several years after it was shot but the tie-in characters from Left for Dead can still be seen in the Cube-like elevator cages.

Nights of Terror

This movie title could be misleading as it has apparently been released under a number of different titles including Zombi 3, Burial Ground, Nights of Terror, Zombi Horror, The Zombie Dead and its original Italian title Le Notti Del Terrore which seems closest to Nights of Terror.

burial-ground
The Poster
The imagery is pretty classic, shadowing figures menacing the viewer, a stark wasteland and a glowing red moon in the sky. We have the classic hand of the dead bursting through the ground and there staring us down is the face of horror. Bits of flesh still cling to its face, muscle and bone exposed in other places. It’s gleaming skull looking metallic, unbreakable and unstoppable.

Without a closer look it’s a great work of horror art but I wonder why all the figures are simply standing still. Not one of them is making a move to come at us. And for me the moon? is a little too much like the sun, or possibly a very juicy orange. Still, if I were looking for a horror flick to pick up in a 1980’s video store, this would probably get my attention. And after all, that’s what the art was made for, to stand out among the other firms on the shelves of whatever video rental shop you happened to be at.

The Good
The plot revolves around a family in a mansion where a scientist had been working. His research unwittingly unleashed the dead who promptly consumed him and then decided to dine on everyone else.

The villa the movie was shot in has the classic feel of a lot of horror films and games. I’m reminded of the mansion from Resident Evil.

The Bad
There are some seriously terrible transitions and shots in this movie.
Early in the movie the mother of the boy Michael pokes her head into his room to see if he’s ok. He’s covered entirely by blankets except for his head. The mother ducks back out of the room and the camera returns to Michael’s face. His eyes bulge open and suddenly the film cuts to the scantily clad ass of another character doing a sexy dance for her man.

I almost snorted my coffee through my nose when I saw this. The “kid” is actually a twenty-five year old who was cast in order for the film makers to avoid some of the rules regarding the use of children in scenes of violence and sexuality. Fair enough, but that hair cut is ridiculous.

He looks like the guy from the Starburst Berries and Cream ad.

Can hardly tell the difference. Amiright?

maxresdefault michael-from-burial-ground-1

 

 

 

There’s a seriously weird incestuous thing about this kid where he starts feeling up his mother and you have the feeling she’s half into it before finally pushing him away.

The Ugly
Some of the shots of zombies look well enough in certain shots. There are real maggots being used on the creature’s faces. But for the most part they don’t do much to terrify. They seem more like Halloween decorations than anything else.

It’s notable that there are plenty of shots of the dead walking around in broad daylight or in well-lit rooms. Where this helps us see them more clearly it also means we can see the makeup for what it is more clearly as well.

As with many of the Italian zombie flicks, these zombies are not simply dead things running around eating people. They reason, use weapons, even set traps to kill the people in the house.
The movie ends.

That’s it. Everyone gets eaten and the movie is over with no real understanding of why these things were up and about doing their thing and no real message or metaphor. The movie is literally just some mild sex and violence and not much else.

1-Bit Rogue

1-bit-rogue-icon
You guys know I’m not a huge gamer. Instead of big, overproduced games n a platform, I tend to go for small, fun games that I can play for a week and then toss.

1-Bit Rogues  is a super fun old-school looking game with a selection of heroes traveling through dungeons. Along the way, you pick up weapons and potions to heal with, battle enemies and kick some butt.

This is all mostly in the vein of classic fantasy games but I’m including it here because you do have to fight zombies along the way. (Yay!)

The game is free but if you tip the developer the price of a beer you can remove ads and unlock the 3-Bit color version. (I prefer the black and white 1-Bit version but tipped the developer anyway cause I’m such a nice guy. Haha!)

Check it out here.

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This is my character fighting a zombie.

Seriously, I loved this game.

 

 

 

 

1-bit-rogue

Zombie Targets

Note: I prepared this blog post to go out around Halloween but was informed that these products are no longer available, which is a real shame because they are pretty awesome.

zombie-targets-3A while back you may recall me sharing some info with you about some amazing zombie paintball masks which I just completely fell in love with.

Well the good people at Nether Designs who brought you those bad ass masks are back with some sweet zombie archery and paintball targets. Imagine sticking a big juicy paintball in the eye socket of a zombie head and the satisfaction of seeing it burst as your arrow drives its way home!

Really picture that because honestly, I don’t know many people that could actually do that who don’t exist in the land of fiction. So it seems like one of those primary skills all people should have or at least try.

Big shout out to Joe Park for bringing these to my attention.

Check out Nether Designs of Facebook

or at their main site. 

zombie-targets zombie-targets-2

Jazon and the Dead

jazonandthedead

I’m not much of a gamer but this looks fun enough for me to say I hope it comes to fruition. The game has a simple but clean look and feel to it that really appeals to me. The artwork sort of reminds me of a Gorillaz video. Hmm. . . Gorillaz fighting zombies? Yeah, I’d like to see that.

The trailer makes it look lighthearted enough to be fun while still adding in a bit of intensity, like when the slow-moving zombies are closing in and Jason is trying to take out the one closest to him with his bare hands. It’s that frustrating feeling of impending doom in a game that makes me start gripping the controller like I’m trying to choke a Z’s head off. (And that’s not easy.)

There’s a trailer running on YouTube I’ve linked to below and you can check out their site and crowdfunding efforts here.

Screamers

I wish I had the time to get on here and make more of these.

But, this being Halloween, I wanted to make a point to get one out to you.
This one is by request.
screamers
You’ve probably heard the horrible moan of zombies creeping through the night. Moaning incoherently or calling out for brains. Most zombies are moaners. But there are some zombies, some really naughty trouble makers that scream. Not unlike the scream queens of Hollywood horror, screamers let out shrill screeches that are a pain for everyone around them to hear. More importantly though all that racket attracts other dead heads to wherever they are which means trouble for any survivors that happen to be in the area.

Monster Letter Line Stickers

As you may have seen my previous set of stickers for the popular Line App which were zombie-centric horrors, you might also already know that I’ve recently made ups  a whole new set for Halloween.

These Monster ABCs spell out a lot of the most common texting phrases like LOL, and WTF.

Check them out here and if you like them, tell your friends. I’m horrible at self promotion so any likes and shares really are appreciated.

 

hi omg monster-letter-line-stickers idk