Alien: River of Pain (audio drama)

So this is a first for Saviorgaming as this is the first time I’m reviewing a audio drama via Audible, which is a pretty awesome service. I do plan on reviewing them in the near future so tune in for that. For my first full Audible experience, of course I’d pick a story from the Alien universe.

River of Pain runs in tandem with Aliens , following the downfall of the colony Hadley’s Hope as well as introducing us to Newt before we meet her in Aliens. Following Ripley’s disappearance and her encounter with the creature from LV-426, the Weyland-Yutani Corporation renamed the planet Acheron and began terraforming the planet with it’s flagship colony, Hadley’s Hope. The Colonial Marines offer protection and order for the civilians but there is friction between there new head, Brackett, and the science division of Wey-Yu. The company’s influence is strong. The Jordan family, surveyors, get an opportunity from the company to discover the last undiscovered area of the planet, and the crashed derelict the crew of the Nostromo had found decades before…

As far as a Alien story goes, River of Pain is pretty fitting and is a nice prologue to Aliens. I have to say I’m impressed and loved the movie grade sound effects; the voice acting is really fitting and well done and after the first chapter it was easy to get into. While there is some retread from the movie, it doesn’t feel like padding and thankfully most of the material is fresh. The complaints I have are small like the title “River of Pain” is pretty pointless and starting the story with Newt’s birth was just weird. In the end, if you love the Alien series, this is a cool experience I’d recommend checking out. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Batman: Soul of the Dragon trailer

Batman has literally been to both sides of the tonal spectrum: from the goofy Adam West show to the gritty, tortured portrayal by Ben Affleck in Batman Vs Superman and with that being said, I don’t know where this goes. With the tone and music, I couldn’t help thinking of a 70’s exploitation film with Batman. While its a different pace from Batman’s recent animated movies, I cant help but wonder how it’ll turn out. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Breach trailer

Ok, I love Bruce Willis with all my heart, but not even he could save what I saw here. Breach looks like a hodge-podge of the 2005 Doom movie with The Thing and a touch of Aliens . Granted the actors could pull this through but honestly what doesn’t look generic looks cheap and I’m while I hope it’ll be alright, I not holding my breath. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Tom and Jerry trailer 1

There are few times in life where I find myself truly speechless not only as a nerd but as a cognitive, sentient human being. The Tom and Jerry trailer froze made the gears of my mind come to a screeching halt. Why does this movie exist? Why are their good actors in this movie? Didn’t we learn from the Smurfs, Rocky and Bullwinkle, the Chipmunks, and the various Looney Tunes movies that perhaps people aren’t too thrilled to see classic cartoon characters mingling around in the real world? Sadly we haven’t learned. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Vampyr

Vampyr on GOG.com

Dark, English towns where mists billow cobblestone streets, amongst the ladies and gentlemen fearing a plague…so how about we add vampires into the mix? Vampires rival zombies as the most popular of horror fiends in American culture, and while there have been plenty of games involving the children of the night, I can’t say I’ve played many of them. So what did this offering from the current console gen bring?

The year is 1918 and we play as Dr. Jonathan Reid, a surgeon and physician freshly returned from the trenches of WWI to his sister Mary. After a run in with a stranger, Jonathan is bitten and in the midst of an unholy suffering, he’s thirsty. In almost a trance, he kills Mary, draining her of blood. Besides the unquenchable blood thirst, Jonathan finds himself with super strength, speed, stamina, reflex a s well as a host of deadly powers making him a apex predator in civilized society. Rescued by a Dr. Edgar Swansea and given a job at the rundown at Pembroke hospital, funded by fellow vampire, Lady Ashbury, it’s up to Reid to shape the fate of the city and face the horror of what he has became as well as find his maker.

There’s nothing that burns worse than art in any medium that’s not lived up to it’s fullest potential. Vampyr is a prime example. First, the story and characters kept me going through the game. Reid is a sympathetic character I enjoyed playing as that never felt too sappy. The other characters I also really enjoyed, on top of the scenery and score that channel the classic, gothic vampire movies I grew up with. There’s the highlight. In theory, the list of powers you get are impressive but the inventory loadout doesn’t allow you to experiment with much at a time. While I loved plunging London into absolute chaos, that’s honestly you’re only real option. The game deals heavy with the karma system and if the base mechanics made sense, it’d be quite effective. Combat, which stales quickly, offers dismal XP and completing missions offers little more; most of your XP comes from mesmerizing and feeding off of other characters. You’re mesmerize level only advances as you progress the game but there are prompts to snuff characters you simply can’t yet. Without slaying every character you can, leveling up is a absolute crawl and the game becomes insanely hard. I hate the inventory system which feels really small and doesn’t get much room to expand. The character UI and AI are stupid as hell and randomly the game breaks into sometimes lengthy loading scenes. The game becomes repetitive after the first big boss was introduced. In the end, the game is a irritating slog but the good story and characters may keep you around. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

The Thing (2011)

Review - THE THING (2011) - PopHorror

Whether it was the black and white horror flick The Thing From Another World or John Carpenter’s horror remake masterpiece The Thing , this story played a huge part of my upbringing as a sci fi horror fan. So in 2011, I was pissed thinking Carpenter’s remake was getting remade (to be fair, naming your prequel the same as your original probably wasn’t the smartest move); finding out this is in fact a prequel gave me hope. How does this prequel fair?

Kate is a American paleontologist who gets recruited to a high profile excavation in the Arctic. The venture is a American and Norwegian; the only info most of them have is that a unknown structure is involved and an unidentified specimen. They take the specimen, incased in ice, back to base and celebrate, unaware of the terror about to be unleashed. If destroying a killer alien in the frozen tundra wasn’t a problem enough, what if the creature could be you?

Ok, so bullshit aside, Thing 2011 doesn’t offer pretty much anything Carpenter didn’t do better. Essentially, if you saw the remake, you knew these people were screwed from the get go. I will give the team credit for paying attention to detail so you can backtrack many of the imagery to things seen in the remake. While the acting is solid, no one really stands out. The effects are solid but too CGI heavy and too many times I felt like I was watching a cutscene for a video game rather than a movie; the ending especially has some of the most questionable effects. While the movie moves at a pretty fast pace, it does lack the suspense and intrigue of the remake. In the end, it’s not a bad movie or a great movie, but does good enough at being a prequel to a way better movie (think the Rogue One of horror prequels). May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Halloween ( 2007)

Halloween (2007) — The Movie Database (TMDb)

So folks, this blog has been going on a few years now and with the exception of a brief mention in 5 remakes that went and pissed me off and I’ve praised Halloween as well as Halloween (2018) so it comes full circle having to talk about Rob Zombie’s remake. Oh boy…

The Myers family was a white trash family in a busted down home in the otherwise decent neighborhood of Haddonfield, Illinois. Michael, the middle child, is a mentally unstable kid from an abusive home and consistently being bullied at school loving only his mom, baby sister, and the masks he’s obsessed with. Come one Halloween night, Michael snaps, slaughtering his sister, her boyfriend, and step dad. He’s sent away to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium where he was fruitlessly treated by Dr. Sam Loomis for fifteen years, until he escaped and picked up where his killing spree ended…

Ok, if this wasn’t a remake of one of my all time favorites, I’d be fine with it mostly. Adult Michael is a badass and I do really like the withered mask and his ultra violent nature. I like how Zombie uses a mix of Carpenter’s classic scores as well as a intense, updated version of them. I really like how the movie overall tries to treat Michael Myers as the main character and I was surprised at how heartfelt the relationship between Michael and Loomis was at times. I even liked how it ended between Laurie and Michael. All of these are positives he brought to the table and genuinely you can tell he was into it. BUT the negatives absolutely kill this movie. First, I can’t stand the overusing of language and sleaze in Zombie’s movies; I’m really open minded but Zombie overuses foul language and sleaze to where it becomes just annoying and makes pretty of his characters unlikeable. Young Michael was simply annoying as shit and if you couldn’t peg him as a future serial killer, no one would be, missing almost the whole point of the original. Between the scummy town, dickhead teens, money grubbing Loomis, and whiney Michael, no one in this movie is likeable and the whole point of Michael Myers is thrown out the window. I also feel like this movie is a somewhat decent prequel but the whole third act feels like condensed, rushed remake of the original. I’m also wondering how the hell a chubby kid grew into a jacked up 6’8 behemoth locked away in a asylum for 15 years. Michael’s mask obsession bothered the shit out of me and seemed cliché. In the end, the movie is ok but doesn’t hold a candle to the original or 2018 but it’s way better than House of 1000 Corpses . Happy Halloween everyone and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Scanners

Scanners: The Horror Movie That is Really a Thriller

In a world of live action comic book superhero horror adaptations, it is almost hard to imagine superpowers and fear in the same chain of thought. While movies like Split , Brightburn , and Carrie broke that mold; there’s always been one special film that managed to be smart, quirky, full of action and moments of sickening gore. Enter Scanners.

Scanners are defined as unhinged folks who possess strong telepathic and telekinetic abilities- lonely derelict Cameron Vale is one of these Scanners. Captured and given a drug to subdue the voices in his head, Dr. Ruth of the organization Consec asks a favor of Vale. He asks him to go undercover in search of a destructive and powerful Scanner named Daryl Revok who plans on starting bloody movement. As Vale leads to track down the madman, conspiracies begin to unveil themselves around Cameron as he’s being hunted by a seemingly all powerful foe…

First of all, Scanners is what I consider to be a cult classic by the man who brought us Videodrome and The Fly . I love the gore effects on display and the eerie science fiction music that is responsible for much of the tension; honestly without the score and effects there are things in this movie that would just look silly. While the acting is solid all around, I have to say Michael Ironside is great as Revok, delivering a command performance as a villainous demigod. The story flows well but there are some twists that felt funky to me in the final act. I do appreciate the dark as hell turnout in the end and the fact that the movie doesn’t feel like a comic book but a sci fi thriller all it’s own. In the end, Scanners is a fun sci fi action movie with some memorable gore, a great villain, and some interesting questions to ask. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Halloween Kills teaser 2

I’ll be the first to say it, Halloween is pretty much dead for many, even before the pandemic of 2020. Christmas has Santa, Easter has the Bunny, well Halloween has jolly old Michael Myers. Just a small taste of the beloved icon was enough to make me smile. Next year I’m thrilled to watch the Shape return and see him return home…may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Doom 3

Admittedly my experience with Doom has been pretty limited but I loved 2016 and Doom: Eternal is likely the best game I’ve played all year. With Halloween time upon us, I wanted to see what this iconic series had to offer. What did I find, descending into the black sheep of the Doom franchise?

The UAC has been busy at work on Mars, at the height of there fame and prosperity. A lone, silent marine comes to Mars as part of the security team for the new experiments going on up there. Things go awry as power dies and otherworldly creatures are let loose, demons straight from hell, slaughtering the soldiers and scientists in the facility. Alone, you must battle you’re way through the layers of hell and stop the end…

So first and foremost, I have to say the game runs pretty good for something 2 console gens old and graphicly it holds up quite decent at times. That being said, Doom 3 feels like a generic horror shooter rather than the crazy ass, ultra-violent mayhem fest the series was and is now known for. It’s really dark, there’s creepy whispering in tight corridors, a crazy mad scientist, spooky music and you’re fighting mostly gun wielding zombies, ghost creatures, with some series regulars sprinkled throughout. Gone is the ultra violence and kick ass metal music and feeling like a bloodthirsty unstoppable badass. The shotgun sucks but the weapons from the machine gun and up are serviceable; while you do fair damage, you don’t feel the oomph behind them and the sounds are weak. For a game that involves a lot of sneaking enemies, there could have been better sound ques to alert you for things coming up behind you. In the end, Doom 3 isn’t a terrible game in a pinch but it lacks anything that made the classics and reboots so memorable, but it’s ok as a standard horror shooter. May the gaming gods bring you glory.