Puppet Combo Has A Few Scares To Share

PC

This PC games set from Puppet Combo will set you back a mere $6.66 total (you can pay more if you like), but the scares here are worth a million bones, especially it you have a yen for intentionally crafted PlayStation 1-era visuals, grainy VHS filters for that extra layer of authenticity, like crazy and relentless to slow-burning horror games and can get used to the controls being so old school. Take a look at the game page (some imagery is a bit jarring, but you’re expecting it to be, right?) here. Or, you can go all out and get the bundle that includes this collection and much more here.

I want to see Puppet Combo a console dev kit of some sort, as these intentionally low-poly fright-filled short games would be perfect on whichever system they choose to port them over to. Hey, PC and Mac users shouldn’t have ALL the fun, I say.

Scary Tales VHS

Yeah, I’d watch this if it were a film, Horror Blanket and all.

-GW

 

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Red Dead Redemption II PC: Whoa, Horsey, This Looks Spectacular

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Well, wow.  Let me post these stunning images here and stats via this link because yeah, the screens look quite phenomenal and I want to study them more. Okay, honestly, the news is a hell of a lot to copy/paste and yup, I have a lot of games to review and a few films this week to keep me busy. All I’ll say is if your PC can handle this (it supports a wide range of systems), this is the type of game that will run out of the gate better with a hefty system to show off the changes and how amazing it looks. Also, if you want this and not have to wait more that you have to, the Rockstar Games Launcher will be the way to go, pardner.

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PC owners get sore mighty fine bonuses, too.

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Review: Black Sunday/Mask of the Demon (Blu-Ray)

(Thanks, FulciLives!)

Layout 1Say, did I ever tell you all the story of the time a few decades ago back in the 80’s when I learned how to brine a chicken thanks to a pair of very helpful Satanists looking for Kosher salt at a grocery store? No? Well, that’s not why we’re here, so I won’t go into it other than to say I didn’t know they were into that stuff, and hell, I’m an atheist anyway. The chicken? It was excellent by the way. Still is, whenever it’s made.

Uh, speaking of “anyway”, Let’s move on.

Still scary and somewhat phenomenally timeless, Mario Bava’s classic “first” film La Maschera Del Demonio/The Mask of Satan (aka Black Sunday in the US) starts off unsettling and keeps the frights coming until the end. Bava’s direction and art direction here are generally superb, although yes, there are a few plot holes you can drive a rattly (or rat-filled) old Fiat through if you follow the story too closely. But taken as a whole, it’s still a work of brilliance that many films have paid homage to over the decades since its release.

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“Where the hell is my coffee? I just woke up after 200 years!”

Very loosely based on The Viy, Nikolai Gogol’s horror tale from 1835, the film revels in its high Gothic style, early use of gore effects and the stunning Barbara Steele who plays both the evil Asa Vajda and 200 years after her demise, her relative, Katia Vajda. It’s a revenge story of sorts, as that witch and her soulless-mate Igor Javutich (Arturo Dominici) are separated and then executed in a most bloody fashion for their crimes and yes, there’s a bit of a promise of defiant revenge from the witch. 200 years later, it’s young Katya who’s target of a newly revived Asa’s demonic ways and in tandem with the revived Javutich, things get ugly for a few people after that curse literally comes to life. Wait, or is it figuratively? I forget.

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Vincent Price wants his stage wig back when you’re done, pal.

Interestingly, the film links Satanism and witchcraft to devil worship as the same thing, which is about the sole flaw that sticks out (well, I’d guess it was seen as the same in the 1630’s, but I’m a terrible time traveler, getting too sick from the trips to pay attention and all that).

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Preview- Daymare: 1998 Keeps The Old School Zombie Thing Alive

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So yeah, I’ve been playing Invader Studios’ (with aid from Destructive Creations and All In! Games) fun and scary Daymere: 1998 on STEAM for a short while and it’s pretty darn good (and thankfully, also coming to PS4 and Xbox One gamers at some point), although the story and character models could use a little polishing up. The game is so far, a decent enough mimic/response to Capcom’s much praised classic Resident Evil 2 so much so that it looks and feels at times like a newer entry, but intentionally filled with a certain old-school style that make it feel purposely nostalgic.

Here’s a game trailer to peruse:

While the human character models need a bit of work, the assorted undead are all appropriately creepy and the scares are timed to make you jump out of your skin when you’re caught off guard. There’s some method to the madness on display, as the game certainly gets the feelings of fright going on a few fronts. Granted, yes, it does start off initially slow as you get your bearings and yes, the UI could be a lot more intuitive. The game also has a few intentionally draggy moments in spots. But when you’re least expecting it (or because you will be), the tension is definitely there in the quietest of spaces when you think you can take a breather. Overall, it all blends into a horror-fest that’s pretty enjoyable, warts and all,

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The hammy voice acting is well done (funny how that works, right?) and I liked that some animations are a bit clunky, but these elements both fit the era in question. In it’s current form, it’s good, but a few patches away from greatness, I think. That and the game is in need of critical response that appreciates what’s going on here rather than attempting to bash the game for its particular weaknesses where an homage is clearly intended. As a fan of some horror games, this one’s not a bad way to whittle away a few hours on a rainy weekend with. Hey, I like this one a lot, stuff that needs work and all. The overall spirit is what’s important in a project like this and that’s going on in spades here.

-GW

Ghostbusters and Night of The Living Dead Hit Into the Dead 2 as Updates

Nice. In addition to Ghostbusters getting a full-on remaster this year as an updated modern console game for PS4, Xbox One and Switch available physically via your local Gamestop or digitally via their respective online stores, (the PC version is currently only available digitally through the Epic Games store), the upcoming versions of Into the Dead 2 will also be receiving the same nifty time limited additions in the form of its own new Ghostbusters and Night of the Living Dead expansions when the game releases on PC and consoles on October 25, 2019. Check out both trailers above and below and yes, add this fun stuff to your wishlist if you like what you’re seeing (and own one of the systems listed, of course).

These expansions are also or will be available for the mobile version of the popular zombie game for a short time, but this one’s all new to me, as I don’t play games on my phone (Hey, the screen is too small and I’m too busy with console and PC games to have enough time for mobile games, sorry!). I’m guessing over 100 million downloads on mobile devices worldwide is a good thing, right?

-GW

Metal Fury 3000: Cheesy With Intent Means It’s Kind of Awesome, Too

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She does look FAAK-ing familiar, but that’s a good thing.

Speaking of metal, Crian Soft’s new game in progress looks like something out of the pages of Heavy Metal magazine circa 1983 or so. This is a good thing as the developer’s not known for 100% tight gameplay (I’ve played and liked Age of Barbarian despite it being a bit of clunky fun), so I’m not expecting it to break a mold or anything like that. Actually, it is a mold breaker in one way, as it’s the company’s first console release, which is cool (about time!).

Here’s a peek at the game’s first trailer and some screens to ogle. So cheesy it hurts, but hell, I’ll be onboard if it nails more that just the looks just right.

Oh yeah, it’s on, even if it’s not so hot at the end of the day. Hey, if I’m surprised that it’s good stuff, all the better, right?

-GW

Valfaris: Soon to be Everywhere, Rock Incoming

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Nice. Coming soon, a dose of hard metal for your daily supply, courtesy of Big Sugar and Steel Mantis Games (which, as Black Wolf Games bought the world SLAIN: Back from Hell for PC and consoles a few short years ago.

Welcome to Valfaris:

I played the PC demo on STEAM a while back and came away very impressed indeed. Now, it’s about ready for retail and digital in more polished form. When? Well, look out below, folks.

Valfaris launch dates

If the demo is any indication, this one’s going to be fun, tough side-scroller for the ages. See you down on the planet – I’ll be the one hiding out, but easy for enemies to spot.

-GW

Review: The Pyjama Girl Case (Blu-Ray)

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La calma prima della tempesta: Ray Milland as Inspector Thompson does a bit of gardening (sans FROGS to interrupt him).

The Pyjama Girl Case coverLoosely based on a true story (that’s still a tad unresolved), Flavio Mogherini’s 1977 film La Ragazza Dal Pigiama Giallo (aka 1978’s The Pyjama Girl Case) is a pretty depressing flick to sit through when all is said and done. It’s skillfully edited to spool out two tales: one of a retired police detective (Ray Milland) coming back to work on the trail of the person who murdered and mutilated a woman, and the second is the story of Glenda (Dalila Di Lazzaro), a Dutch immigrant who comes to Australia, gets a job as a waitress and later ends up a victim of a particularly horrifying crime.

Even more horrifying are the police coming up with the idea to preserve and display the unidentified remains to the public (yes, this actually happened in real life for a whopping ten years) and painfully getting information though beating up a few suspects (not sure if it’s 1977 addition, but man, is it so not an OK thing to do even if a guilty party is eventually found). Nevertheless, Milland is clearly having a blast in his role, and Di Lazzaro is a lovely, tragic victim you want to see not a bad thing happen to. The film even makes you feel sorry for a suspect in her murder, but you’ll have to watch this to see how the director plays that out.

(Thanks, Blazing Trailers!)

In fact, save for Milland’s Detective Thompson who’s eager to take on the case, most of the detectives and investigators here seem to be all too happy (and incompetent) with finding the quickest means to end the case, even if it means one seemingly obvious suspect is discovered early on who’s a pure creep and not a killer. This adds an air of hopelessness to the narrative as the film plays out and you witness the results of haphazard work (save for the one man who should be home with his flowers). Granted, poor Glenda would still be deceased even through the shoddy police work, as Detective Thompson is only called after she’s been disposed of.

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Severin Films Brings the Sleaze (and We Wouldn’t Have it Any Other Way)

Oh, boy. Severin Films has a nifty set of three horror-filled films you’ll want and a hell of a lot of ways to order them.

Here you go, in the speediest manner as possible. You get to do all the clicking and  buying, I get to be as lazy as hell because it’s been a busy day and my poor wrists are giving out thanks to too much typing. Get ready to pick up some nicely restored vintage sleaze:

The Bundle

So sleazy, but you know that’s how you like it, uh-huh.

The ByPagThrope Bundle: https://severin-films.com/shop/bypagthrope-bundle/

Paganini Horror [2-Disc LE Blu-ray]: https://severin-films.com/shop/paganini-horror-le-blu-ray/

Paganini Horror [Blu-ray]: https://severin-films.com/shop/paganini-horror-blu/

Paganini Horror [DVD]: https://severin-films.com/shop/paganini-horror-dvd/

Werewolf in a Girls’ Dormitory [2-Disc Blu-ray]: https://severin-films.com/shop/werewolf-girls-dormitory-blu/

Werewolf in a Girls’ Dormitory [DVD]: https://severin-films.com/shop/werewolf-girls-dormitory-dvd/

Byleth: The Demon of Incest [Blu-ray]: https://severin-films.com/shop/byleth-blu/

Byleth: The Demon of Incest [DVD]: https://severin-films.com/shop/byleth-dvd/

Severin Films Hall of Fame Enamel Pin #9: Luigi Cozzi

Severin Films Hall of Fame Enamel Pin #9: Luigi Cozzi

Severin Films Hall of Fame Enamel Pin #10: Daria Nicolodi

Severin Films Hall of Fame Enamel Pin #10: Daria Nicolodi

Severin Films Hall of Fame Enamel Pin #11: Donald Pleasence
https://severin-films.com/shop/donald-pleasence-hof/

Yeah, that’s all the variants and a few nice extras, folks. Happy buying, I say!

-GW

Review: The Possessed (Blu-Ray)

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“On a clear day, you can see forever…”

The PossessedGiven the subject matter, The Lady of the Lake is a better title than The Possessed, lets get that out of the way first and foremost. Granted, it’s also the name you’d use if talking about the legend of King Arthur and with a slight tweak, it’s the name of a 1947 film noir classic that’s a neat experiment. Still, this 1965 Italian murder mystery from co-directors Luigi Bazzoni and Franco Rossellini is a compelling, arty proto-giallo well worth a look.

The film blends both director’s styles in an impressive and intentionally at times hard to follow plot, but its intents are made to keep you guessing what’s true and untrue until the mystery is resolved. While based loosely on a series of actual murders, the at times dreamlike presentation keeps things a lot less grounded as our less than heroic “hero” figures out why the gal he was so madly in love with was possibly murdered.

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Virna Lisi as the ill-fated Tilde. She’s not a good girl, it seems.

Bernard (Peter Baldwin), a morose young man with a bit of fame is in the process of writing a new book, visits the same slightly dull Italian village he grew up in only to discover that a pretty maid named Tilde (a stunning Virna Lisi) working at the local inn has died. A little poking around reveals she may have been murdered, but why is that important information held from him (“You didn’t ask.” comes one rather surprising answer early on) and why are there a few potential suspects that happen to be from the same family that owns the inn?

Hmmm… why, indeed? Tilde only appears to him from a few mysterious dreams and flashbacks that may or may not be related to Bernard’s mental state, so he’s maybe as unreliable a narrator as it gets. Hey, at least his hazy, surreal nightmares are pretty darn interesting to say the least.

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