Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book of The Month Club Announcement

In an attempt to be honest with ourselves (and more like Oprah), we've decided that there are just too many great horror novels and compilations out there for us to handle. If you're an author, you probably noticed we had to put reviews on hiatus a while back because our backlog exploded. It was a little ambitious on our part to think that two dudes with full time lives could keep up with reviewing massive numbers of books for a blog with any kind of regularity. That said, we have infinite gratitude to everyone who felt our opinions mattered enough to review their hard work.


Each month, we'll pick out one particular submission that strikes as something our readers should seek out and consume. Then we can start a nice discussion about said novel/comic/anthology in the comments section. We'll be starting this in December, and submissions for the book club are now fully re-opened. Send us your stuff and see if it makes the cut!

Oh, and you get a free monthly horror book suggestion, and YOU get a free monthly horrorbook suggestion, AND THE ENTIRE AUDIENCE GETS FREE MONTHLY HORROR BOOK SUGGESTIONS!!! (See? Just like Oprah.)

'Lollipop Chainsaw' (Game Review)

I don't know why it took me so long to play Lollipop Chainsaw. This game is tailor-made for reviewing on Terrorphoria. It's an absolutely ridiculous, over-the-top horror comedy title from SUDA 51 and James Gunn that provides plenty of action and gore doused with a healthy dose of humor. Also, there are zombies in it.

Juliet Starling is a popular high school cheerleader who just turned 18. She also happens to be the middle sister in a family of zombie-hunters, and on this birthday she gets the unwelcome present of dealing with a petulant goth kid named Swan who unleashes an undead horde on her high school. Juliette (with the help of her disembodied head of a boyfriend, Nick) must rescue her classmates and stop the Dark Purveyors from spilling tons of evil zombies in from the weird nether evil-verse.

From the very start, the art and music style will resonate with me. The menus have a definite Tales From The Crypt look to them, which I appreciated. The character design is campy, with enemies that range from zombie cops to the Dark Purveyors who take the form of an unholy rock band. Juliet will slash, smash and dismember ghouls throughout multiple locations as she tries to return the unleashed evil back to its own dimension while shopping, scouring for the titular candy treats, and loving Katy Perry.

At its core, Lollipop Chainsaw is a "score attack" beat-em-up that harkens back to the golden days of pumping in quarters at the arcade, and trying to grab that coveted "S" ranking in every level. Although the campaign was fairly short, the story and dialogue were so absolutely insane and entertaining that it I found myself replaying a few levels going "sparkle hunting" in the score attack mode after I had completed my initial outing. Watching rainbows explode from decapitated zombie neck holes never really gets old.

I highly recommend Lollipop Chainsaw for anyone who is looking for a solid button mashing beat-em-up. It has a few camera issues, graphical glitches, and a couple of annoying mini games that you'll probably curse at, but they don't detract from the overall package. Totally worth grabbing on the cheap.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

'Last Year' Gets Kickstarted - 5v1 Slasher Video Game? Count Us In!

Oh man, OH MAN. While all the rest of you are drooling over that much delayed scifi 4v1 game Evolve, I'll just be sitting over in the corner hoping Last Year reaches its funding goal. You guys know we are picky about our Kickstarter projects, but this seems like a genuinely great idea that should have been made ages ago. I saw this on Dread Central and thought you should know about it too.

You know everyone is gonna be calling dibs on the girl with the headgear.

"Annabelle" Review (Guest Post)

(Guest reviewer Stevie Kopas delivers us another great review. This time it's Annabelle, the devilish doll jump-scare follow up to James Wan's 2013 hit The Conjuring. Make sure to click the jump for the full review! You can also read the original post format over on HorrorMetalSounds.com)

Let’s get this out of the way:  I hate dolls.  I hate them with a passion.  Since I was a little girl I never liked puppets, marionettes, or dolls with creepy, painted faces and soulless, evil eyes.  It’s wasn’t my thing, and it still isn’t.

In fact, during my trip to Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights this year, I forced myself to go through the evil doll haunted house and oh yeah, it was fun and totally worth it.  Was I extremely creeped out and making a fool out of myself by squirming and squealing throughout the whole house?  Well of course, but so was everybody else.

With that being said, I couldn’t wait to see the film Annabelle.  The Conjuring was so amazing and when I heard that the infamous doll, Annabelle, would be getting her own movie, I was so excited that I practically jumped out of my seat with a big, fat, “NO” when I first saw the preview earlier this year.  I had such a great feeling that it would be right up my alley and scare the hell out of me.

And yes, while Annabelle had its intense moments, the movie as a whole was actually quite dull.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

All Them Witches - 'Lightning At The Door' (Music Review)

It's rare that I am immediately enamored with a band, or that a band who plays a mix of heavy blues rock meshed with occult psychedelic grooves flies under my radar. Nashville's All Them Witches is a rare band then, in my book.

I was just acquainted with their crazy brand of jams thanks to the recently (re)-released album Lightning At The Door. It's an 8 track, 45 minute wallop that mixes heavy riffs, stoned out fuzz, southern drawl, and some Fender Rhodes keys for good measure. From the opener "Funeral for a Great Drunken Bird", each track twists and turns delivering a solid mash-up of new school heaviness infused with classic delta blues. If John Mayall and the guys from Clutch formed a super group with early era Sabbath, you might get something akin to Lightning At The Door.

All Them Witches appears to be onto something special in this sophomore effort, and this release delves even further into strange psychedelia than their last effort Our Mother Electricity which felt like a more straight forward effort. There's a sense of "playing by feel" on this record, and the end result is better for it. It's a very organic sound, and this lends itself to the spaced out song writing. In the course of Lightning At The Door, Coyote Woman gets married AND dies. This is heavy stuff.

If you're at ALL into heavy blues or stoner rock (do people even call it that anymore?) then you need to give Lightning At The Door a spin. I'm willing to recommend it solely on the cover art of that satanic necromancer goat-wizard drawn in Sidewalk Chalk, but the 8 tracks held within are too good to pass up.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"TUSK" Review (Guest Post)

(Guest reviewer/author/all-around cool person Stevie Kopas was generous enough to grant us this review of TUSK. You can also check out the original posting here on HorrorMetalSounds.com where she also drops horror knowledge on internet lurkers.)

After a hoax advertisement found its way to Kevin Smith and he devoted a podcast to it, the hilariously twisted film entitled Tusk was put together and finally made its way to theaters last weekend.

I’ve read my fair share of reviews of the film to see what others thought of it, and while I see mostly positive reviews where people are embracing it, I’m seeing people negatively rate the film and I think it’s because they’re not getting it.

The film focuses on Wallace (Justin Long) who is an extremely charismatic yet arrogant podcaster. Wallace and his best friend Teddy (welcome back Haley Joel Osmond) are the stars of the hilarious “Not-See” podcast that unfortunately makes its waves at the expense of others. Wallace travels to Canada to interview an e-Famous guy known as the “Kill Bill Kid” only to find out that…well…the Kill Bill Kid killed himself…so he heads to a local bar where he finds a very strange advertisement in the men’s restroom.

The ad boasts free room and board to anyone interested, in exchange for someone to listen to an old man’s tales of adventure. Wallace, not wanting to miss an opportunity for some great material, contacts the old man, Howard Howe (Michael Parks), and agrees to meet him at his home. What begins as comedic interaction with Wallace and Howard quickly turns twisted. Wallace is drugged and discovers, when he awakes, that he is in over his head. Things will not end well for anyone.

I’m not one for spoilers, so you’re not getting any from me, especially not with Tusk. But what I will tell you is that the dialogue is simply enchanting, the comedy ranges from dark to goofy to downright obscure, and the horror is, at moments shocking, and entirely satisfying.

In a style all his own, Kevin Smith takes Stephen King’s Misery and mates it with The Human Centipede to give birth to the most disgustingly wonderful baby I’ve seen in ages. Justin Long’s performance is his best to date. His portrayal of Wallace is wonderfully detestable, and flashbacks are strewn throughout the film to give the viewer insight into the type of person that Wallace really is. It’s hard to feel bad for him, and I often found myself rooting for Howard Howe. Michael Parks, as always, is delightful, and his Howard Howe makes for one of the finer antagonists I’ve seen on the screen.

The film isn’t just about a crazy guy living alone in a mansion and “torturing” people. And that’s especially evident in the manner that Smith chose to end the film. In my opinion, the movie played out like a fable, and in the end, everybody got what they deserved.

With Smith’s 2011 release of Red State, I’m jumping for joy with Tusk, because he has seriously out done himself. I sincerely believe that he has found his new niche in the horror/comedy genre.

 My last thumbs up to the film, was the magical cameo made by “JD” (just putting initials here, figure it out yourself…I don’t want to be blamed). Guy LaPointe was a fantastic addition to the cast of quirky characters in this cinematic adventure.

So you’ve heard my piece, go watch this masterpiece….or else!