Archive for » February, 2010 «

Sunday, February 28th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Idle Sundays can be both a blessing and a curse. In the former, it’s nice to have that break after a crazy week and blow off some steam. In the latter, I enjoy blowing off said steam from time to time wandering the isles of the local second hand stores, pre-owned game stores, and bargain in search of odds and ends. Sometimes you get lucky such as my friend Louis does from time to time and you find a treasure trove of old movies for dirt cheap, other times you find a bit of random curiosity that seems like a good fit at first but eventually causes your brain to hurt. Such is the case with “Onechanbara”.

At first glance, the case of this XBOX 360 game seems pretty clear cut; chicks in bikini’s hacking up zombies with samurai swords! It’s pretty easy to see how I fell into this one. I happen to like zombies quite a bit. I have a long standing love for old samurai films from Kurosawa to Misumi. I even happen to enjoy females in bikini’s! “So why not?” says I to myself, and home I marched with visions of scantily clad zombie slaughter dancing about my brain. These visions would soon prove to be the highlight of my gaming experience with this odd little dingleberry of horror and video games.

To start things off, let me make this clear; by no means is this a full review of the game. I’ve only managed to spend roughly an hour and a half with Ms. Aya and her sister Saki, and Saki got herself kidnapped about half way through. This is more of a first impression because as these things go, this one’s a doozy.

Among the first things to jump out at me about “Onechabara” is that there is a loading screen for damn near every disk read on this game. Sure, they give you the token little 8-bit game to keep you entertained while you’re waiting, but holy cow. Early on in the game, I was concerned that I would be spending more time hacking up zombie sprites instead of the 3D foes that were promised on the box. Once the game finally managed to load, the first head scratching issues began to show themselves; the 3D foes weren’t much better off than their 8-bit counterparts. The graphics in this game are down right bad. Most zombies are all variations on one common theme. All of them shamble about in in slow motion with the same hunched back and outstretched arms. They’re not very bright nor aggressive either. I’ve played through four levels of the game so far and I’ve yet to feel like any of the enemies have really pressed on me much at all until the level bosses show up. They do manage to mix things up a tiny bit with the addition of ‘mud men’ and ‘blood mist zombies’ but those are few and far between. In they case of ‘blood mist zombies’, they’re just down right infuriating. The rest are easy to dispatch though. Apparently because my toon looks great in a french cut and can handle her sword fairly well.

The second and most glaring flaw in this game is that I simply have no idea what in the hell is going on. Japanese titles can be quirky. It’s expected; that’s part of the draw. You generally like to have this quirkiness in characters and story though. For “Onechanbara”, there is no tutorial level. That’s right, no tutorial. You’re simply thrown in with your thong and your cowboy boots and hoping for the best. Now, it doesn’t appear that there is much to figure out in this game as the controls appear to be fairly simple. One button swings, the other kicks. It was when I ran around a corner into a random crowd of undead and my blade became lodged in the chest of the decaying Old Man Smithers stand-in that the issues began. Why the hell did my sword get stuck? This little icon over here is all red, I wonder what that means? It wasn’t until the beginning of level three that I finally discovered that you have to swing the blood from your swords when the gauge is full be holding in the LB button.

This is all well and good in practice, I just wish I was told about it sooner.

There are a lot of other little odds and ends that crop up like this that just simply leave me scratching my head. For instance, after every kill you have to wait for a second or two for a yellow or red orb to appear from the slain body. Once these appear, you run around and pick them all up. I have no idea why, but I’m a completionist when it comes to games and can’t run away leaving something that fell out of a dead body go to waste. I ran into my first ‘blood mist zombie’ early on and frankly thought it was an image glitch at first. After digging around and managing to find a guide for the developer online, I figured out that you need to perform a specific number of ‘Cool Combos’ to eradicating these red blobby bad guys. I’m still digging to figure out how the hell I’m supposed to perform a cool combo, let alone four of them in a row. It’s these clunky matters and a dated graphics engine that makes this game a challenge outside of the game play. Yet, I still find myself continuing on level after level.

The game is simply bizzare and as a curiosity alone, it manages to keep my coming back from more. For more than just the jiggly Japanese swimsuit girls. Really! Sure, the game is blatantly trashy and the story has yet to make a whole lot of sense, but you get a feeling that there could be some good old fashioned Japanese genre storytelling going on here. There is no real narrative built into the game outside of the odd cut scene; the story is literally a break with a wall of text you have to scroll through before moving on. It is still interesting though as they seed you with tidbits about how the sisters Aya and Saki come from a cursed blood line which causes them to hulk out into a ‘rampage’ super power mode as you splatter their lithe bodies with zombie blood. (I’m not joking.) So early on at least, the game has a hook. And boobs.

So, “Onechanbara” is far from a great game…hell, who am I kidding, it’s far from a good game. It’s still quirky enough to work at these early stages but I can see this one will definitely be a challenge reaching the end which is due in no part to its difficulty level.

Note: I am aware that this game is based on a movie of the same name. I’ve yet to catch this flick yet but it is definitely now on my vaguely curious list!

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

I find myself a bit stymied as of late. I simply don’t seem to have the attention span for movies. Sure, I’ve watched a couple here and there and still manage to enjoy them; I just seem to have lost a lot of the patience I once had. There could be a lot of factors contributing to this, such as the Xbox, work stress, life stress, girl scout cookies, on and on. Still, the love affair that once burned strong for any and every bit of cinematic footage seems to be hard to grab hold of and even worse; the excitement to write about them.

I’m sure that more than anything, it is simply a matter of passing fancy as other things grab me by the short and curlies. Having recently received a brand spanking new Xbox 360 for a birthday present has a large part to do with it. Who doesn’t love getting to play with shiny new toys? It could be that the brain engaging action of figuring out puzzles, fighting off hordes of whatever or even something as simple as video pinball is currently overriding the desire for brain melting video fare. There was a time that simply shutting my brain off for an hour and a half sounded better than any other option at the end of a long day, sinking into the couch to watch anything regardless of how bad it was. Lately, this simply doesn’t cut it. Perhaps it’s my advancing age (*cough* 36 now *cough*) that makes me brain require more.

Regardless, as a horror blogger, review writer and contributer to a fairly large website and podcast, these moments of short attention can feel monumentally more frustrating than they really need too. That tiny part of your brain that is responsible for such feelings as ‘guilt’ tells you that you’re not supposed to be dividing your time between other endeavors; you’re supposed to be watching and writing about horror movies! The older more crotchety part tells you ‘screw that, I’ll do what I want!’ That inner child laying deep within is rejoicing with the over stimulation of the side ventures with a controller in hand. That other part of the brain that tries to keep you on an even keel with your advancing age makes you worry that you can’t keep up with the plethora of younger contemporaries out there. It all combines to makes the matter exactly that; a worry.

Sure, this all sounds like one part ‘emo’, one part ‘mid-life crisis’ but in reality it’s far more simple than that. A simple case of writers block can feel like climbing the side of a mountain when such thoughts enter your brain when the fact of the matter is, you just need to sit down and write. What once was thrilling and exciting begins to take on the dusty luster of a chore. When do you crest the top of that hill where instead of sitting and stewing over what past nugget of horror can you expand on more than any body really cares about, pondering how best to frame a review that gets your points across succinctly and in entertaining fashion, wondering if you can in fact manage to keep up with your cohorts out there; do you just let it all spill out and write?

There comes a time in any bloggers life, be it a horror blogger, entertainment blogger or blogger of Care Bear fan fiction, that it all crosses a line and begins to feel more like work than a hobby. It is these moments that you have to truly test yourself and see if you can manage to push past them. You have to be able to sort out for yourself how to stop worrying if you are writing the right things and just writing what you want. Otherwise the game has changed and may no longer be what you originally wanted.

If you’ve managed to stick with me this far, don’t take this as an epithet to my writing career or the life of Cinema Fromage. It’s not that at all. It’s simply a matter of sitting for a week wracking one’s brain over ‘what should I write about’ and finally deciding ‘let’s write about why you’ve taken so long’.

Much like a marriage that can sometimes find itself in a rut, so to is a writer’s brain. Much like a marriage that has worked through that rut and returned once again, the writer’s brain will get kinky once again.

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Monday, February 15th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Now, I would have posted this yesterday or even on Saturday to have it up and online for that special Valentines warm and fuzzy, but the truth is… I was having too much fun with my best ghoul pictured above. Sure, the holiday makes for all sorts of sappy nostalgia and the like, but you know what? She’s been my partner in crime for just about… 16 years now, so she deserves it.

At any rate, Cinema Fromage wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for the Mrs. because when I found her, I found an enabler. I had already had my start in my addiction to horror and such but she brought it out in me even more. She loves the stuff as much as I do! How can a horror nerd not love a woman who chooses a scary movie over a chick flick on any given day of the week? How can you pass up a girl that when you first met her, she was a theater major with a knack (and a full makeup case) for theatrical makeup and could whip up a wicked looking scar with nothing more than a paper towel and some spirit gum? How could you say no to a gal that loved MST3K as much as yourself and had an even stronger love for direct to video and indie horror than even yourself?

Well, as you can see, I didn’t. I thought she was kinda cute so I decided to take her home. Here we sit 16 years later arguing over the intricacies of Freddy Kruger vs. Jason Vorhees and the like. Never mind the fact that she used to think that Robert Englund was hot to trot.

There was a time when she used to contribute here at the site quite a bit and I think I can talk her back into it with just enough nagging power and such to make it happen. (You can help ya know, let her know you want her back in the comments!) Heck, she even used to be the star of the Midnight Muenster podcast back in the day, (even though I think Brother D at Mail Order Zombie was our only listener) and she’s actually pretty gung-ho to bring that show back into action.

Since things are back order around these parts, what with yours truly finally coming to terms with the chaos he calls ‘his brain’, I’ll go ahead and declare that as a Valentines Day Present for the Ghoul of my life, we’ll be slowly bringing the Midnight Muenster podcast back to life so she can get her voice and opinions back on the air. She enjoyed it; I’m the one that let it die out and keep it down. So, I’ll give it back to her. Seems like a good enough idea, right?

So, pay attention here in the near future. New format and plans are taking shape for the return of our own little personal podcast. If you have ideas for what you’d like to hear, (yes, more Mrs. Fromage and less Mr. is an acceptable suggestion) or just general words of encouragement, be sure to let us know!

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Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Go to Hell.

No really, that’s the driving plot point behind the new EA/Visceral Games title Dante’s Inferno! Based on the original epic poem “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri, we traverse the nine circles of hell in search of Dante’s wife Beatrice. Apparent by the inclusion of the phrase ‘Dante’s wife Beatrice’, you can tell there have been many creative liberties taken with the original subject material. But it’s okay. If we wanted to stick straight to the classics, this game would be much drier in tone that what it is.

“Dante’s Inferno” has been anticipated quite a bit by gaming community, myself included. When the demo hit Xbox Live and the Playstation Network, it was met with luke warm excitment. Many people had mixed emotions about the combat and the enemies contained within. The biggest sin that the demo commited, and what continues to be the most vocal slam against the game, is that it is a direct clone of Sony’s God of War series. I’m not a “God of War” purist; I’ve only played the very first game when it came out on the Playstation 2. This means that the comparison isn’t qutie as vivid in my mind. From what I remember though, there are indeed many direct transfers of gameplay mechanics going on here, but it doesn’t have to ruin all of your fun. There are other problems here that can handle that on their own.

The gameplay mechanics at work are pretty simple overall. Mash the X button for a light attack, Mash Y for a heavy attack, B for your magic cross and A…just isn’t used a whole lot. Combine any combinations of these with your right and left triggers and Dante will dance about in gory glory. These simple controls work fine and are easy to pick up. It’s nice to have a low learning curve so no complaints there. The problems arise in the enemies early on in the game.

Throughout the first few levels, the very same levels that you would have seen in the demo, the enemies have a nice awe inspring variation to them and feel just challenging enough to fool you into thinking you’re working for your goal. As you pass beyond this first circle of Hell and onto the portions of the game that were not previewed already; the enemies do not change much. The developers may add on an extra doo-dad to the skin of an enemy you already faced and they will definitely add some extra hitpoints to them as well. This doesn’t really add any extra challenge to the creatures you face, it simply turns them into a damage sponge. Essentially, you just have to mash on the buttons a bit longer. Up through the first five to six circles, we do manage to get one new enemy to face per level which is okay, but more variation would have been great. Outside of these new additions, you’re just hacking away at the same old bad guys, just longer.

Where we do finally get some good variation is in the major level bosses that you face sporadically throughout your descent into hell. These bosses amanage to be pretty awe inspiring; they are gargantuan in size and strike you with the worry of ‘how in the hell am I going to kill this?’ as they should. Most of them manage to be figured out easily enough, providing just enough challenge without feeling too easy or too hard. There’s satisfaction in finishing off a level boss which helps to prod you on further along.

The other major gameply element at work here is puzzle solving. Much like “God of War” before it, you will encounter many of them along the way. The puzzles generally provide a decent challenge that can be solved in a handful of attempts, other may stump you for a bit causing you to sit back and think through your strategy. None of them felt game-breakingly frustrating which was nice. The problem is that the puzzle aspect of the game is the biggest portion of gameplay. I like puzzles as much as everyone else but as the early press releases for this game showed, it was to be filled with many grotesque and fantastical denizens of Hell which you were tasked with laying to waste. There is some of that, but none of it feels like the scale you would expect to face while traipsing through the bad place. Puzzles will come one after another while enemies are sprinkled throughout a level. Nearly everytime you have a combat encouter, you will find yourself locked into the area by magic gates that refuse to open until you’ve defeated everything within. Then, you march on to solve some more puzzles until the next time you are locked into an arena. Not quite the glorious battle against evil I was hoping for.

Despite the game play faults, the one aspect that Visceral Games nailed was in artisitic direction. The landscape throughout the nine circles is gruesome and disturbing, feeling perfectly like you expect Lucifer’s crib to appear. Even the character designs are outlandish at first blush, elliciting many moments of ‘holy crap, I can’t believe they did that’ and the like. Un-babptized babies with blades fused to their hands? They have them. Lust demons with large phallic tentacles escaping from their nether regions? They have that too. Each fits the theme of their own personal circle quite well. The problem is that after five or six circles, they simply stop giving us new ones to ogle. Shocking the first time, a bit boring each consecutive time after.

“Dante’s Inferno” is not a bad game by any means, but it did fall pretty far short of the expectations given early on in the PR campaign. As you can see, the game only came out on the 9th; the game took a mere seven hours to complete on the medium difficulty. Short games have their benefits and “Dante” unlocks a New Game + mode that allows you a second play through with your upgraded stats. For a $60 title that glorifies marching into battle against Satan’s army, I would hope for more than seven hours of game play. Closer to fifteen would have been better at least.

Despite my problems with the game, I still found myself drawn to press on so I could what was next. This worked well in the beginning as your environements change as you progressed but there is a turning point in the middle of the game that those changes come to a halt and things begin to feel more bland. The “God of War” purists are going to hate this game because they are going to see it as an inferior product. For those of you like me who aren’t quite as die hard or never played “Dante’s” spiritual successor; there is still a lot to be enjoyed here. It’s just that the buy-in is pretty steep for amount of enjoyment you get.

Give it a rental so that you don’t feel that sting of $60.

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Sunday, February 07th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

The original Spartacus is an undeniable classic. Kirk Douglas, dissension, gladiators, all that good stuff. When Sam Raimi and his Xena crew announced that they would be bringing the story back to life in a new series for Starz, I was a bit skeptical, but “Xena” did have a bit of fun from time to time and they had the head woman herself signed on to the new cast, so I figured why not. Watching men sword fight with lots of blood and guts is generally entertaining, as is Lucy Lawless.

Now three episodes in, this series was off to a rocky start. To be frank; the first episode was pretty horrible. Filled with back story, which is understandable, the show felt cheaply put together and most of the acting fairly flat. The early attempts at setting up political intrigue and such was just not all that interesting. I may be biased, I decided to watch this on the basis that its about gladiators and the violence that comes with them. Still, I felt somewhat bored throughout the majority of the first episode. In story, acting, and general production, it felt below even the quality of “Xena” before it and that is indeed pretty low. As the episode drew to a close, we finally were able to see ‘Spartacus’ dragged into the arena in attempt to take his life in punishment. This is when the show became entertaining and dragged me into a second episode.

Raimi and crew announced early on that they were going to go for a stylistic change for “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”. What that included was many comic book style elements to showcase the action and blood that should be heaped heavily upon such a setting. We received a taste of this at the end of the first episode and it worked. Granted, the CGI used for blood in the series is pretty god-awful but the slow motion techniques used to showcase the fight scenes worked really well and did manage to frame key moments of the action like an illustrated frame. The fights were choreographed great and it gave us a hint at old world story telling in the likes of Zack Snyder’s “300″.

Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. The first episode of “Spartacus” wanted to be “300″ so bad it could taste it. Sadly for the show, it fell a bit short.

Pushing on to the second and third episodes of the series brought with it a bit of a surprise. Once we get Spartacus on his own in the training grounds of his new master, throwing him into the middle of a whole other group of meat headed gladiators, the show turned out to be much better. There is still attempts at political intrigue in the world of the Roman Empire, but the they are far more subtle and contained to more of a sub plot. In these latest two episodes, focus is given to Spartacus and his training for the arena and his single minded quest to reunite himself with his wife. As well, we’re shown that Spartacus is not some indestructible Roman god who lays flat all who face him. Though fierce, he’s a flawed fighter and his single mindedness actually works against him from time to time. I think it is this aspect that makes the show watchable because we’ve seen the ‘God of War’ scenario to many times in both TV and film.

The other big change you may notice in the TV series over the original film? Sex. Lots and lots of sex. The Romans are historically known for being a bit of a ravenous bunch when it came to the carnal pleasures. For “Blood and Sand”, they’ve tapped into that aspect and overblown it to extremes. After all it’s a cable television show and they figure they need to throw in some extra bits to keep people watching, right? I’m no prude; I like lovely ladies and such as much as the next guy. There are times though that the sex does come across as gratuitous. Not all of them, others play into the infighting and intrigue that goes on between Lucy Lawless’s Lucretia and her husband and much more. Others though are nothing but Spartacus and his wet dreams of his wife. Can’t say I blame the guy, Erin Cummings is a pretty lady. I just don’t always need to watch it. I’ll give the creators some credit; they’re equal opportunity here for all. Regardless of your taste in men or women? You’re going to see a lot of both!

All in all, I’ve enjoyed “Spartacus” quite a bit once we moved past the first episode. It still suffers from being extra over the top and cheesy much like its creators loved to do in “Xena”, but that can still be fun from time to time. If they stick to the fighting and action, it will remain quite a bit of fun to watch. The constant in-fighting between the Roman noble class could prove to be enjoyable as well as long as the creators keep it subtle. They have a fairly solid cast to work with; Lucy Lawless is great and the others have been passable. So far Andy Whitfield who subs in for Kirk Douglas this time around does all right. That is, he looks like a gladiator and can swing a sword. He’s just not a very vocal character yet. Not enough to make me worry for its fate like the first episode did.

In closing, I have to let the male in me speak out; Lucy Lawless is great in this show in both looks and performance. I really hope we get to see her grow a bit more evil as she goes. If she does, it’s going to be GREAT.

Watch TV online at and you’ll find a great selection of the best comedy, drama, action or whatever else you feel like spending the evening in front of.

Saturday, February 06th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Indianapolis is starting to show itself as the home of horror in the mid-west here as of late. It started with Horror Hound Weekend and now it is expanding with the addition of the Famous Monsters of Film Land Convention this coming July! For those of you not familiar, Famous Monsters of Film Land has been one of the longest running horror mags for decades, took a short hiatus, and is now back and ready to claim its spot at the top of the list once again!

If you check the convention page, you’ll see there is already a stellar line up of guests and with the backing of the magazine, I’m sure there is going to be a lot more excitement to be had before it arrives in July. Thomas Jane is headlining the guest stars which in itself is pretty sweet; he’s a pretty cool guy that seems to connect with the fandom. (Read about Jane’s home grown attempt to try out for Jonah Hex here.) On top of that, we get Ernie Hudson, Derek Mears, a “Night of the Living Dead” reunion, a “Nightmare on Elm Street” reunion, (Sorry, no Robert Englund….yet) and a lot more.

All of these guests are great in their own right. Some of them I’ve met a few times before. (For the record, Derek Mears is a hella nice guy, for real!) For me however, there’s one stand out that I’m down right giddy over getting the chance to meet…..

Herschell Gordon Lewis, to put it simply, is the grand-daddy of splatter films. He single handedly created the entire sub-genre with his low budget classics such as “Two Thousand Maniacs” and “Blood Feast” leading to the influence of so many horror film tropes that we all love and enjoy to this day.

I’ve always enjoyed meeting the celebrities and such at conventions and the majority of them are really nice people and happy to chat for a few. I generally refrain from the shrieks and over excitement that often comes with such a moment, but when it comes down to meeting an idol of writing, film making and general creative exploration, it’s kind of hard to contain ones self! I’ve already busted out my copy of Christopher Wayne Curry’s “A Taste of Blood: The Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis” for a re-read before the show and for the highly coveted autograph as well. There will be copious amounts of film watching and posts leading up to the event too, I’m sure. I’ll just come out and say it; I’m in the throws of a fan-boy freak out, in case you couldn’t tell! In the past, I met another luminary in the world of genre starting films when I ran into Rogero Deodata, so this is my chance to add another notch to the meeting idols belt.

One of other quick note: “A Taste of Blood” is by far the best book I’ve found detailing H.G. Lewis’s career. Highly recommended if you want to read up on how gore films got their start.

So, there you have it. “The Famous Monsters of Film Land Convention” hits the Indianapolis-Wyndham hotel July 9-11. Tickets will run you $20 a day or $40 for a weekend pass with what sounds like plenty to keep you busy. I’m sure there will be quite a few films being shown as well throughout the weekend, so should be a blast.

I’ll be there at some point throughout the weekend, so be sure to look me up and say hello!

Wednesday, February 03rd, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

I’ll be the first to admit; I’m not much of a Joel Schumacher fan. Sure, he’s had some winners in his time like “The Lost Boys” or even as far back as “D.C. Cab”, but he’s had quite a few stinkers as well. *cough* “The Number 23″ *cough*. When I originally came across the posters for “Blood Creek”, I was initially intrigued by the striking imagery of an occult carved nazi looking all scary and imposing. Then I read that Schumacher was involved and I pretty much immediately wrote the film off. It wasn’t until my cohort Todd over at Bloody Good Horror turned in his stellar review that I revisited the idea of tracking down the film.

Ultimately, I’m quite glad I did.

The setup in itself is simple; shortly before the beginning of the World War, the Germans learned of strange Nordic runestones located on rural farms across the eastern shores of the United States. With Hitlers fascination with the occult, the Nazis wasted no time in sending agents overseas to investigate the stones in person. As opposed to your typical Nazi Gestapo or SS Officer, they instead sent historians with a specialization in the occult. Once Richard Wirth, played by “Inglorious Basterds” Michael Fassbender, verifies that the stones contain the powers that the fuhrer seeks, the first steps of the end of the world are taken.

Jumping to the present, we’re introduced to Evan Marshall. He’s a busy man, taking care of his spiteful and delirious father after his brother Victor (Dominic Purcell) disappeared nearly two years before. When Evan is approached late one night by a shaggy drifter, he’s shocked to find that the aggressive bum is in fact Victor and that he hasn’t been that far away. Victor has been held captive in a nearby farm house and he wants revenge; and he wants Evan to help him. The very same farmhouse that the Nazis took keen interest in so many years before.

“Blood Creek”, as a I stated, has a simple premise. Nazi occultists, vanishing country folk and revenge. That is not to say that the movie itself is boring, basic or simple. There is a lot of nuance used to weave around our good guys and our bad guys, giving us just enough development to root for who need to and loathe the ones we hate. With such a basic setup, there isn’t much room for plot holes either. This allows the movie to flow and makes it easy to follow. We get to take in the characters we see before us and enjoy the action taking place on screen. This way, things stay exciting which is always a good thing.

In addition to good characters, we’re given a brand spanking new monster for the horror genre which has relied on mutated rednecks and general psychos far too much as of late. Who would you fear more? Random disgusting hillbillies or super charged monster Nazis? I think the choice is pretty clear. Wirth, the German Historian, has a good setup from look to action and motivation. Motivation is easy; he wants your blood for his ritual. You don’t need more than that, it’s clear and to the point! For look, as you can see from the poster he strikes quite the intimidating profile. For action, he is ruthless and cuts straight for the heart and also packs a wee bit of zombie raising power as well, which is always handy for a villain.

Characters and story aside, the action in “Blood Creek” is done quite well and packs a few surprises. That is to say, there actually is plenty of action which gives us a lot to enjoy. The film is not filled with a lot of overdrawn shots of our villain staring menacingly at people from the shadows. There isn’t much slow stalking or biding of time; the scary German guy simply gets down to business. It’s a lot of fun. You’ll be surprised at some of the things Wirth brings back to life to fight for him and you’ll enjoy watching him pounce on anything that moves outside of the house. Purcell and Henry Cavill, who plays brother Evan, fit in just as well. They manage to play smart characters that are tough and not jumpy and twitchy once they know what they are up against. Sure, they may make a few mistakes now and then but who wouldn’t. They are believable, they are fairly smart and though they may be scared, they know there is a job that needs to be done.

“Blood Creek” suffered at the hands of Lions Gate, robbed of a wide theatrical opening and little to no promotion when it finally came out on video this past week. It really is a shame as this movie is very enjoyable overall and deserves better treatment. Consider this me chipping in my own two cents to get the word out and I urge you to get out there and give it a rent. You’ll like it, I promise!

One note: this film has gone through a name change at some point in the release process. Known as “Blood Creek” on the DVD that just came out, it is still known as Town Creek on IMDb and a few other outlets as well.

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Monday, February 01st, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Normally I agree fully with the Bob Geldof and his friends but oddly enough, this Monday leaves me feeling fairly well and somewhat productive in the blogging world. With the anxiety that would normally accompany the start of the week being long in the past, this is a rather nice Monday!

Over the weekend, much time was spent watching movies and playing games, so I figured a quick note about what went on would be a good way to start off this week in which I attempt to ressurect from the dead. So without further adieu….


A Threevening With Kevin Smith – I’m not ashamed to admit it, I’m a long time Kevin Smith. his sense of humor, dialog and in the “Evening with K.S.” movies, he’s got a knack for story telling. This latest outings is indeed a lot of fun, though I didn’t come close to wetting my pants like I did back during “Evening Harder”.

Hour of the Wolf – I’m was a complete and utter Ingmar Bergman virgin going into this one and I wasn’t fully dissapointed. You’ll be able to hear my full views later this week on the Bloody Good Horror Podcast, so I’ll shy away here. To be short and to the point; it’s a good movie and you can see that Bergman is a true master behind the camera. I just have a feeling that I’ll need a second viewing just to pull in the full depth of the movie.

Sherlock Holmes – What can I say, I missed the boat on this one. A combination of busy holidays and only getting see one movie a week on my press pass made it hard to get out there on time. That said, I’m glad I finally got to go and see it. The movie was definitely over the top and rather cheesy but it was a lot of fun. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law play excellently off of each other and really make the film. Normally I’d say I don’t mind Rachel McAdams at all but I felt she was a little outclassed and out of place here. Still, it wasn’t glaring or jarring problems so still enjoyable all the same.


Due to finding a bargain on a wired “Rock Band” drum set, I can now hear the tap tap tapping of my daughter rocking out and beating the hell out of the pads all weekends. I only manned the throne myself a couple of times, but that’s okay; it’s not a pretty site.

Bayonetta – Having recently finished Darksiders, I figured it was time to check out this quirky beat-em-up I’ve heard people talking about so much. At first blush, the game is pretty clever and a lot of fun, though something about it has failed to grab my full attention as of yet. Sure, it’s filled with fan service which normally I’m a sucker for and the controls and action are pretty freaking tight. Hopelly I’ll be spending some more time with Ms. Bayonetta and her hair suit later this week adn we’ll get a better feel if this one’s going to grab me by the short and curly’s or not.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena – Being as I’m back in short attention span mode on the 360, I also snagged a used copy of this one and spun it up. The words on Dark Athena are not too favorable from what I’ve seen, but all of them say that the remake of “Butcher Bay” is top notch. I played through this one back on the original Xbox and quite enjoyed myself. Seeing as I’m a bit of an achievement whore, this seems like a good one to replay.

Comics and Other Stuff…

Well, sorry. I got lazy! I didn’t read much of anything this weekend except for this months issue of Play Magazine. There are new comics lined up for this week however as well as new Brian Keene and Ramsey Campbell review copies to go over as well.


I’m looking to increase my podcast listening, especially towards Video Games and Comics. I’ve done some perusing of my own, but I’m looking for suggestions for some good general shows. Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below!