Dawn of the Dead

dawn of the dead

George Romero broke unimaginable ground when he made NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD – Movie and changed the horror genre as we know it by giving us the modern zombie. Dawn, the second part of the long running Dead series, brings us a true horror sequel. 4 survivors are on the run during the early days of the zombie takeover. They hop in a helicopter and get as far away from the city as fast as they can. It isn’t long before they start running out of fuel and supplies; the only refuge in site is a shopping mall. It’s up to them to hold up together and fortify the mall, but the question remains why the dead never stop coming?

Dawn of the Dead may very well be Romero’s masterpiece and it was a absolute joy to watch. The acting was great but Ken Foree steals the show as Peter; the four lead actors have great chemistry between them and you do care about them through the movie. The mall is a great setting and brings a lot of tension in both close quarters and the emptiness of it. There are some great, old school Tom Savini gore effects which make any horror film a bit more memorable and there is plenty of zombie attacks throughout the runtime. The zombies look goofy by today’s standard, mostly spray painted gray, but they manage to feel threatening just by the sheer number of them. What I truly love about the movie is all the different beats it’s successfully hits- it’s horror, action, comedy, and has a lot to say about greed and consumerism. Honestly, Dawn of the Dead is a horror must see that’s fun but also pretty smart. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Demons

demons

We’ve all seen a good horror movie that made us terrified of monsters, killers, or what have you but at the end of the day, the terrors are contained on screen. But what if you saw a movie where the monsters weren’t just on screen? Cheryl and her friend Kathy are given free tickets to a movie premiere at the Metropol theater by a masked stranger. The girls ditch class and head to the movies, not knowing what they were in store for. It turns out to be a horror movie at a packed house. But when a girl in the audience gets a cut similar to a girl on screen, all hell begins breaking loose as she begins to transform into a demonic fiend. As the bodies start rapidly piling up, the question is what started the demons and how can they be stopped?

Dario Argento is an Italian horror master and this a good example why. Demons is a fun, blood drenched meta horror show. Seriously, the squeamish should stay away as a lot of the kills don’t hold back. I love the rock score and colorful, claustrophobic setting. There is some beautiful camera work on display. The English dub is pretty corny but it gets the job done. The pacing is just right, fast but knowing when to to slow for some creepy, tense scenes. Some may get bothered at the lack of answers given but honestly I liked that and the downbeat ending. This movie may not be for everyone but damn if it ain’t a fun joyride. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Ju-On: The Grudge

ju on

The Grudge, much like The Ring , was a huge hit when I was a kid. While I heard nothing good about the latest 2020 American incarnation, I wanted to go to the source and experience the film that spawned so many sequels both in Japan and America…

Ju-on follows a series of characters caught in the frightening aftermath of a deadly scene. It begins when caretaker Rika is asked to look in after a catatonic old woman while her family works. During her first stay, she discovers a little boy hiding in the house named Toshio. Things rapidly begin spiraling out of control as the old woman’s children turn up dead and people who’ve gone inside the house either die or go missing, a tragic and malevolent history of the house unfolds and those wronged won’t let themselves be forgotten…

I honestly enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I have to say I have to give the music and sounds a huge shout out, combined they do a really good job at building tension without acting as the gaudy jump scares that plague modern horror. Another thing I love, is the camera work and how a lot of things can be seen going on in the background and how there aren’t many ques pointing to it; I actually missed a few and found them rewinding back which was really cool. The imagery and atmosphere are well done; Kayko stands out for me and she grew more unsettling as the movie continued. The only real complaint I have is some of the shadow effects looked cheesy as hell and took me out, plainly being early CGI. In the end, I’d highly recommend this movie but I’m going to warn you, subtitles are a must. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Predator

Predator_Movie

There was no time for action and sci-fi movies in the 80’s whether it was AliensRobocop , or Terminator the scene was at it’s peak. You can argue which is the best and for me its a close ass tie between Aliens and the original Predator.

Dutch Schaffer is the head of a crew of a special ops rescue team getting reassembled and sent into the jungles of Central America on a mission. Bullets and badassery are on the agenda and delivered as they guerrilla soldiers they came to wipe out have gotten seemingly violent as Dutch and his team find a couple of skinned bodies hanging from trees. The hostages talk of a demon in the trees. Everything seems said and done but members of Dutch’s team are getting picked off one by one by an unseen assailant with some badass tech. Can Dutch and his team survive the mission and face something inhuman?

Predator is a fantastic movie and should be seen by all- yes that’s a short review. You have memorable characters, score, kills, and plenty of badass quotes. The Predator is a Sci-fi action icon and is a great monster. The final battle between Dutch and Predator is one of my all time favorites and the Predator’s dying laugh is truly haunting. The action scenes are powerful and there is plenty of suspense once the Predator enters the scene. In the end, this is an outstanding 80’s action movie I can’t recommend more. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

P.S: R.I.P Little Richard, who’s voice inspired countless artist and set the scene for this badass movie. You will be missed.

 

Resistance: Fall of Man

Resistance_Fall_of_Man

What if the horrors of WWII wasn’t a product of man but what lead to man’s downfall? Enter the Chimera, grotesque aliens that came to Earth in the early 1900’s and by the time WWII would’ve been ending, the Chimera are well on there way to domination. Can Sgt. Nathan Hale survive the war against these monstrous aliens and there impressive technology?

This was one of the PlayStation 3’s first games and in some ways it shows like the gimmick of having to shake the controller when a Chimera grabs you or the graphics that aren’t too distant from PS2 but it’s a damn solid debut. The story is a good looking apocalyptic war story that does has a nice, grim tone and feels surprisingly grounded. The Chimera are pretty creepy and fairly intelligent so they feel like a threat; while the human weapons are solid, the alien weapons are badass and a blast to use. Hale is a bland, generic protagonist but he’s serviceable. A mild issue I have is the environments are dull to look at and thankfully, the sequel has a bit more color. In the end, it’s a solid game that is worth playing if you want a solid FPS that you don’t have to  heavily invest in. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

5 lesser known Resident Evil creatures

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What do you think of when you think of the Resident Evil series? Zombies (be it man or dog)? The skinned, drooling Licker? The behemoth Tyrant variants whether it be the classic, Mr X, or the cuddly rocket launcher carrying Nemesis? Today I want to talk about some lesser known or underappreciated monsters in the franchise whether they be bosses or standard enemies. In no particular order let’s begin with…

re ustanak 1. Usternak ( Resident Evil 6 )-

Like many, I trashed the hell out of this game and while a Winter Soldier take on the Nemesis archetype, this brute was pretty cool as he hunted Jake and Sherry relentlessly with his various combat mods for his metal arm. Honestly, he was the best part of a bad game but deserves some respect.

re chimera 2. Chimera ( Resident Evil (remake) and Resident Evil 5 )-  Crossing man and animal has been a long thought of ideal, but Resident evil made these gross, grasshopper like bastards freaky and extremely dangerous.

re 0 lurker 3. Lurker ( Resident Evil 0)-

Of all the animals to dread on this Earth, who would really think a frog? Well what if this frog could brutally swallow you whole, slowly digesting you alive? I can’t say why but for the love of god that idea freaks me out but c’mon, how dangerous can frogs be?

re revenant  Revenant ( Resident Evil Revelations 2 ) – I loved fighting these things for 2 huge reasons. One, these things are the definition of “oh hell no” and they live up to that reputation. What I like is the tactical approach you need to take to kill them. These things were a healthy source of dread.

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5. Scagdead aka The Comms Officer ( Resident Evil: Revelations )-

We end this list with a boss, a notorious one at that. Slimy, slow, pathetic as it is partially conscious during the battle, crying out for help as it lumbers after you. Scagdead isn’t the fastest beast but the traps he lays surely slow you down so he can give you a big ol hug with his giant saw arm.

I hope everyone enjoyed the list I came up with and it makes some of you want to check the games out. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Resident Evil 4

re4 It’s been 15 years since this particular legend dropped and it’s influence not only influenced the DeadSpace trilogy as well as the series leading up to the remakes of 2 and 3.

After the destruction of Raccoon City, it seems the Umbrella Corporation has finally fallen. Leon Kennedy, the once rookie cop of Resident Evil 2 ( classic) , has become a highly trained government agent on assignment in Europe- find Ashley Graham, the president’s missing daughter. Leon discovers a town overrun by a deadly cult under the influence of the Las Plagus, a mysterious parasite and masterminds Salazar and Saddler. Even with a host of new survival skills and some new weapons, can Leon save Ashley and survive the secrets of this grand conspiracy?

Resident Evil 4 took a lot of risks and made a lot of changes to gameplay and story and it was fantastic. The story is great and after completion, there’s plenty of extra modes to play which are really solid as well; Mercenaries, with a great list of characters, took weeks of my life alone. Gameplay was a humongous improvement and the game found a damn good balance between horror and action unlike Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 . The bosses are some of the most memorable of the series and Leon is badass hero. So where is the downside? One Word: Ashley. She’s a pain in the ass who will frequently make you want to drink, but hey, fan favorite Ada Wong returns and at least you can usually hide Ashley’s whiny ass in a dumpster. The game has aged over the years but there is still a shit load of fun to be had. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (classic)

nemesis classic

Ok, I try not to do this often, but I have a honest disclaimer here: I never finished this game. In fact, I never even got that far in this game but holy shit did this game have an impact on me as well as the horror community as a whole, giving us the both terrifying and legendary badass named Nemesis.

Jill Valentine thought she saw the pinnacle of horror and macabre after surviving the Spencer Mansion. The terror isn’t over for Jill yet; it wasn’t long after the mansion that the T virus found it’s way into Raccoon City and the city became overrun with monsters and the undead. Trying to escape, she encounters a group of Umbrella soldiers tasked with aiding in evacuations and allies herself with Carlos Olivera to try escaping, while being hunted by a new kind of horror trying to exterminate the old surviving S.T.A.R.S members. Enter: The Nemesis.

From the get go, the intro movie blew me away as a kid. Seeing the silhouette of Nemesis in the firelight after wasting the police with his iconic rocket launcher was simply badass and set the stage. The cut scene graphics  were impressive for the day and besides the intro, the Nemesis reveal was grisly and freaked me out back then. Whether you’re on the streets or in the police station before  the events of Resident Evil 2 ( classic) there is a great sense of claustrophobia and even after encountering Nemesis for the first time, hearing his groans or pounding on the walls adds another layer of dread. It was cool that you were presented with choices and given split seconds to decide and each has consequences. Fighting Nemesis is hard as hell because of the sheer amount of damage the bastard takes and he can dish out just as much. So where’s the downside? Well, the gameplay. The game ran ok in the old days- mainly because it was mainly a norm back then- but now it runs like dogshit and a lot of the game’s graphics are muddy as hell, and this is amplified if you can’t fit it to your screen proportions. In the end, I have to say this game has a lot going for it but holy crap it needs a new coat of paint to it and I can’t wait for the remake. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

force unleashed  We’ve talked about plenty of Star Wars games on the blog from the critically acclaimed Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic to the controversial Star Wars Battlefront 2 (EA) and royally overlooked Star Wars Episode 3: The Game . Well before Jedi: Fallen Order, which I’m currently playing, the Force Unleashed was the hyped Jedi experience. So how does it hold up about a decade later?

The story begins as the newly established Empire begins crushing a uprising on Kashyyk, homeworld of the Wookies led by a runaway Jedi. Darth Vader himself faces the runaway and easily brings him near death until a child stops him him delivering the killing blow with the Force. Vader, seeing the young boy’s potential, takes him as his secret apprentice christened Starkiller. Starkiller grows into Vader’s personal Jedi hunter over the years, slaying some powerful Jedi and crushing the rebellion struggling to form, until the Emperor discovers Vader’s secret and suddenly Starkiller’s vengeance is turned toward his former master…

For a game I played on PS2, this game has a lot to potentially offer but there’s some issues here and there. The story is solid but I liked the first half as Vader’s apprentice way more than the bland redemption story it becomes later. There are 2 endings and 2 different final bosses which is a nice touch. Starkiller is a pretty bland character so I can’t say he’s actually memorable. The gameplay feels much like the first God of War  with a pretty impressive ability to use the Force to interact with the environment, use lightning, and a host of other OP abilities. The game gets a bit overboard with the QTEs during the boss fights which gets a bit irritating and sometimes the controls can be a little less than graceful so you will get some bullshit deaths here and there. Character customization is pretty nice with a variety of lightsaber colors and decently cool skins. In the end, while I don’t think it was worth the super hype, it was certainly a solid game worth playing. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones

clone

Many argue what is the best Star Wars movie, in which usually dissolves into either the original or The Empire Strikes Back . As for the worst, there are sadly too many candidates including the entirety the sequel trilogy. While not a fan of Star wars: Rogue One , my vote goes to good ole Episode 2.

Ten Years after the events of the Star Wars Episode 1:The Phantom Menace, Anakin Skywalker has grown into a promising Jedi apprentice under the tutelage of Obi-Wan as Qui-Gon requested. When there friend and Anakin’s secret love, Padme Amidala, survives an assassination attempt, the Jedi are assigned to protect her. When a bigger plot unfolds, Obi-Wan is sent to investigate deeper, leading him to a mysterious army of clone soldiers being developed for the Republic under the order of a long deceased Jedi; the clones derived from a bounty hunter named Jango Fett- the assassin he’s been searching for. Anakin, haunted by dark visions of his mother suffering, is ordered to protect Padme and suddenly there feelings ignite but Jedi are forbidden to love and with Padme’s political seat, it would ruin her.  Are they willing to throw everything away for there love?

I’m going to start by saying, while my least favorite Star Wars movie, I tolerate it, I don’t hate it. My favorite part is watching Anakin snap after the death of his mother and in that brief moment, I could believe I was watching the precursor to Darth Vader. The Fight with Obi-Wan and Jango was cool; just the sight of seeing dozens of Jedi united in battle was a dream come true, plus, the introduction of the purple lightsaber. The score is fantastic and cinematic-ally it looks pretty good, despite too much damn CGI . So, let’s begin the negatives. The love story is pretty shitty, like pre Twilight  level cringe worthy shit; the actors have chemistry but the story and horrendous dialogue crash and burn it. The pacing of the movie drags horribly and following two different stories makes it worse- as a kid I seriously thought it was 3 hour movie. Dooku isn’t in the movie enough to feel like a main villain. The lightsaber fights aren’t great, even Yoda’s debut in combat is damn damn flashy it looks fake to me. Anakin Skywalker comes off like a whiny ass brat most of the time and I found it hard to like him. The story is fine but I feel it tries too hard to connect with the originals. Overall, I don’t hate the movie, like Vader himself- there is good in it- but damn the dark side is strong in this thing so it maybe a watch once kind of deal. May the gaming gods keep you safe from sand, it gets everywhere.