Friday, July 21, 2017

2017 so far - January

I was initially going to do the year to date in one post, but as I went back and looked over my list of thing I've seen this year so far, I realized this has been a pretty good year for movies already. No way did I want to mention all of the good stuff in one post, not only did I not want to write that, but nobody would want to read it. So instead I'm going to go month by month.

Now, right off the bat you're going to notice that not everything I'll be talking about necessarily came out in the month I saw it, or even in 2017. January for instance is a month where I always look at everybody's "best of the year" lists to catch up on things I may have missed. I'm also not planning on being too in depth about each film, especially since a lot of them we talked about on Werewolves. Just a brief "hey, I liked this because" or something. So, with all that said, let's get to it.


The Autopsy of Jane Doe

I initially caught on to this one because I'm a fan of Emile Hirsch. He plays the son of a coroner who works along side his father. The two of them are brought a Jane Doe to autopsy (in case the title didn't  clue you in to that), and as they work, strange things begin to happen. Initially, I thought this was just another Blumhouse-esque ghost movie jump scare-a-thon, and to be perfectly honest, I'm sick of those. Jane Doe was a pleasant surprise though, some genuinely creepy moments, great claustrophobic atmosphere, and a twist that I actually didn't see coming. Don't want to spoil it either, just believe me, it's a good one. 










Beyond the Gates

This is one for those of us who grew up in the 80's and 90's. Two brothers come back home when their father suddenly goes missing. He apparently does this sort of thing on occasion, only this time it's been longer than usual. As they begin to pack up the video store he ran, they come across a strange board game called, you guessed it, Beyond the Gates. Things start to get weird when they start to play it. The board game they play is reminiscent of things like Nightmare, where you have a vhs tape that plays along with the game. If you remember those, and like 80's horror, this one is right up your alley. It has it's pacing issues, but is worth the watch for the nostalgia alone. 











The Eyes of My Mother

Ok, so this is probably the most disturbing thing I've seen this year, as for as good of a year it's been, I haven't seen a lot of extreme stuff. That's not to say this is an easy watch, it just isn't as bad as stuff I've seen in the past. It's also hard to talk about the plot without giving things away. The story revolves around Francesca, who we are introduced to at an early age. She lives on a farm with her family. Her mother is a surgeon, who teaches her in depth about anatomy, death, and all sorts of things little girls probably shouldn't have such an understanding of. A stranger approaches the farm, and ends up attacking her mother. Her father comes home while the attack is occurring, and he manages to subdue the guy, but not before he kills the mother. They chain the guy up in the barn, and Francesca proceeds to remove his eyes and vocal cords with her mother's surgical instruments. The torture goes on for years as the movie progresses to Francesca growing to adulthood with a rather "less than normal" understanding of how to interact with society. I'm just going to leave it at that, but holy shit does this one get dark. 



Train to Busan

Zombie movies. Infected people that act like zombie movies. You're tired of them, I'm tired of them. There are a million of them out there. At this point, the best we can hope for is putting a zombie in a different locale, somewhere we haven't seen them before. That was the only reason I was initially interested in Train to Busan, because if I've seen zombies on a train before, I don't remember it. With almost no expectations going on, I was blown away by how much I loved this movie. Yes, it's a zombie movie, but it does just a few things differently to distance itself from the pack. It's thrilling, nail biting, at times even scary, and surprisingly even heartbreaking. If you'd told me I would be shedding a tear at a zombie movie before I saw this one, I would have laughed at you. This is one of those that I was catching up on from 2016, and it ended up being one of the best last year had to offer. We did an episode of Werewolves on it as well, if you want to hear more about it. 





Split

Despite not having cared for a film here or there, I still call myself a fan of M. Night Shyamalan. I think his older stuff is his best, obviously, but there's no denying he has a distinct style to his films, and I dig it. We all know what Split is, so I won't be going into the movie itself, and again, we talked about this one on Werewolves. What I will say is, holy shit, this is probably my second favorite Shyamalan movie to date. Right behind Unbreakable, which I maintain to this day is a superb comic book film. Split was either going to be amazing, or a trash fire, depending on who was cast as Kevin. Let me tell you, I knew James McAvoy was good, I had no idea he was this good. And that after credit scene?! Damn did I get excited when I saw that. Can't wait for what's coming next. 







That's it for January. I saw other stuff, but these were the best of the bunch. I'll give honorable shouts to The Hollars and I am Not a Serial Killer, the latter of which we covered on Werewolves. Next up, February!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Oats Studios


Director Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium, Chappie) is one of the most talented people working in the entertainment industry in my opinion. I can tell you in all honesty that I've loved every single thing he's done that I've seen. His latest project is Oats Studios, which I have been surprised to discover not a lot of people seem to be familiar with, so I thought I'd do a quick post. The short version is, he's releasing short films which you can watch absolutely free on youtube. If you happen to enjoy what you see, and trust me you will, the option is there to support the studio by kicking the a couple of bucks. You can also buy the assets used in the films via Steam to use in your own projects if for instance you get an idea as to where the story in the films could go next. It's a refreshingly original idea, and I'm really excited to see where this experiment leads. 

So far there have been 3 short films, Rakka, Firebase, and Zygote. I'm going to put all three down below, and they are all fantastic. In fact Zygote is one of the best things I've seen this year. Do yourself a favor and give them a watch. All are well worth your time.



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Divided by Werewolves Ep 26


New episode of the show is now live! We talk about what we've been playing lately, and get into a spoilerific discussion of Spider-man Homecoming. Listen to it below, or download at dividedbywerewolves.podbean.com or find us on iTunes. Thanks to all who listen, as always.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Custom Friday the 13th Dual Shock 4

So  while back, you may or may not have seen this photo when it first hit the net:


As you can see, this is incredibly badass. What you may or may not know is that I'm a pretty big Friday the 13th fan, and I just so happen to play a video game or two here and there. The post with the picture actually had a step by step tutorial as well, and you can probably see where I'm going with this. Yep, I decided I would try and make my own. So I ordered a white dual shock 4 shell on eBay and read over the tutorial at least a dozen times. When it arrived though, I chickened out. I got to this one step where it said to use a "wash" to give it that aged/dirty look. I couldn't find this magical substance anywhere. I looked online, I looked at places like Hobby Lobby, I just couldn't find the stuff. 

So a few months pass by, and for whatever reason I start getting the itch to give it a shot again. So I went to youtube, and I started looking up how to paint your own hockey mask, because it had to basically be the same thing, right? Turns out it was. It also turns out a "wash" is just mixing up some dark brown, black, and gray paint, and then watering it down. This information was the game changer, and I decided to go ahead with the attempt. I had several progress pics, as I had a friend wanting me to keep him posted on how it was going, but those are apparently long gone, so all I have to show are the finished product. At the end of the day, this was a relatively inexpensive and fun project, it wasn't all that difficult to pull off, and I was really happy with the result. I added some red Xbox One controller thumbsticks to mine as well as the Friday the 13th light bar decal you see in the second photo. 



As of right now, I'm getting ready to do another one, this time on an Xbox One controller. I'm trying to decide on which mask I want to do. I'm leaning toward a New Beginning mask with the blue chevrons since the XB controller has more real estate for me to work with, but I'm not 100% on that as of yet. I will of course throw up some pics here when it's done, including progress. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why Come Back?



The more I think about the topic up there, the more I ask myself that question. Why? I'm not a writer, so why type things on a keyboard for no real reason? Who gives a fuck what I think about anything? Nobody really. In the grand scheme of things, I'm just another aging geek with a computer. I'm certainly not getting paid for it. Who in the fuck would pay me to type poorly about video games or movies? I suppose in the beginning, way back before Twitter, Facebook, and countless other forms of social media, I was perusing message boards and started this blog because to be perfectly honest, the amount of people I could relate to in real life, who shared my interests, my weirdness, was next to none. Sure I had a couple of friends, but they were hours away, and that can make anybody lonely at time, even those of us who are mostly fine being all by themselves. I guess what I'm saying is, this blog was sort of my way of showing my voice to the world, in the hopes that one or two people would talk back, and it worked. I met people via this blog that I continue to speak to on a regular basis today, some of whom I've even met in real life, and that is a wonderful thing.

It went past that eventually though. Something I never would have expected of myself, something that I have always prided myself in not doing, began to happen. I tried to fit in. I saw the guys in the "circles" I was running in now doing things like writing reviews, doing big editorials, getting movies free in the mail, and I thought, " I guess that's what I should be doing". I mean, I like movies, I like free shit, why not me? So I started trying to get involved in things, I changed what I was doing here, I started contacting people, and eventually what I discovered was that I was no longer enjoying what I was doing. Not taking anything away from the guys who were, and continue to do it, of course. I just couldn't seem to get my foot in the door, so to speak, which is perfectly understandable when every geek with a laptop is clamoring for the same free "review" copies. Truth be told, thanks to Hack Issues, I had way better luck with comics that I did movies. I never took the lack of response, or the flat out "no's" personally, I just eventually found it to be tiring, and not at all what I set out to do when I opened the doors to the original Batcave. I had to ask myself, was all this effort to be a "somebody" really worth it? Was I, now in my late 30's, actually worried about "fitting in"? When I realized the answer to those questions was "fuck no", I just quit cold turkey. I mean, as you can see by scrolling, I still want to do whatever I can to help get exposure for my friends in their respective creative projects, and to those who have been gracious enough to continue to include me in their work, I am forever grateful. Again, I'm nobody, and to see my name in the credits of a movie under "Special Thanks" is a feeling that I can neither describe, nor will I ever forget. But, aside from that, I was essentially done.

That brings us to today, or yesterday as it were I suppose, blowing off the dust here. Why? The easy answer is because it used to be fun, and fun is something that I need in my life. Especially with the world the way it is. Good Lord, if people ever needed an escape from reality, it's now, probably more than ever. Regardless if this is my last post for another year (it won't be, I have things planned), I stick with it for a few weeks, or this is my less than triumphant return indefinitely, the Batcave will be like it was when I first started out. If I like a movie, I'll probably tell you that I liked it, and maybe even why. If I didn't, the same. That goes for comics, video games, and whatever other nonsense I used to throw against the wall here. If that isn't your thing, and you would rather read real reviews, there are plenty of other places to get that fix, and I'd be happy to recommend a few, I have talented friends. The Batcave will more or less be a written version of Werewolves, so if you dig that, or just want to casually chat about geek culture, or hockey, feel free to stop by from time to time. I'll wrap this up simply with a "thank you". Thank you to anybody who ever stopped by here, to anyone who commented, to the friends I've made via this little blog, I appreciate each and every one of you.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Divided by Werewolves


First things first, hi. I know it's been forever since I was active here. I can't for the life of me imagine anyone still stops by, but on the off chance, let me apologize for abandoning the blog here. Truth be told, I had delusions of grandeur. I was heading into a project that I thought was going to be huge, and unfortunately circumstances arose which kept it from reaching it's full potential. It has been a rough couple of years, I tell ya. 

I've since moved into another area of interest though, something that I've talked about wanting to do for years, and that is podcasting. I know, who doesn't have a podcast right? Well, better late than never I suppose. I finally got over my anxiety about my southern accent and started up a show with my buddy Brandon. You may remember him from the long forgotten, but amazing, Suburban Joe blog, or Disparate Elements, and of course the GameShark podcast "Jumping the Shark". We've been friends for years now, after initially meeting on an Xbox message board. We tend to agree on most things when it comes to our chosen forms of entertainment, save for one very important thing, the best on-screen werewolf transformation of all time. I say American Werewolf in London, he says The Howling, from this disagreement, the title Divided by Werewolves was born. I'll segue from my brief introduction to the far superior one he wrote back from when the show was just starting... 

Divided by Werewovles is two guys, Mitch and Brandon who met many, many years ago on a super secret Xbox Live message board designed to bring together people who wanted to play games on Live together without running the risk of playing with random, racist 13 year-olds. You could only get into the site if you a) knew someone who was already a member and b) was a super cool person. This is a long way of saying that Mitch and Brandon are two super cool people. 
They’re also two people that share a lot of the same likes in TV, comics, movies and video games. After many hours talking about obscure horror movies and not so obscure superhero movies while playing Destiny and Helldivers and Overwatch they decided to bring their conversations to Twitch and YouTube and Divided by Werewolves was born.
We want you to come watch us on Twitch, join in on the discussion (or argument), hang out with us while we stream and feel like you’re in the room with us, cold drink in one hand, controller in the other, playing along and having fun. When we’re not streaming, you can catch up on past broadcasts on our YouTube channel or check out this Tumblr for pop culture silliness. 
We broadcast every other Wednesday at 9PM EST on twitch.tv/rotundbatman and twitch.tv/MisterBinky. Subscribing to one or both channels is the best way to make sure you never miss a broadcast. If you want to watch both broadcasts at the same time, services like multitwitch.tv and twitchster.tv have got you covered. Past broadcasts can be found on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/DividedByWerewolves along with other streaming sessions and random highlights. 
We’d love to hear from you so drop us a line at brandon@dividedbywerewolves.com or mitch@dividedbywerewovles.com. You can also follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Mister_Bones and twitter.com/MisterBinky or twitter.com/DivByWerewolves. 
Brandon lives near Atlanta, GA with his wife, two kids and two dogs and Mitch lives near Auburn, AL with his two kids and a very fat hamster named William. They all told us to tell you “Hello.” 
Most of everything there is still accurate, save for the fact that we no longer live stream the show. What sounded good in theory ended up being too ambitious for two guys who rely on console streaming because they have no interest in high end pc gaming. So we ended up going to the more traditional podcasting model. We record every other Wednesday, and the shows go up the following Thursday. We are still streaming however, just not together most of the time, and while we do chat when we play together, it isn't like we have a topic planned out to discuss. Then there's Drunkwatch, which happens every Friday night at 10pm where a bunch of us who have been online buddies for years get together, drink, and play Overwatch. It's fun, if you're into watching aging drunk gamers attempt to play a competitive online multiplayer shooter.

So yeah, that's what I've been up to. If any of this sounds interesting to you, hit any of those links above. We are also on Facebook, and you can find the past episodes of the podcast here, or look for us on iTunes by searching for Divided By Werewolves. As always, we are eternally grateful to any who listen, and please feel free to interact with us.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Casket Creatures - "Deranged" - *UNCENSORED*

Brand new video from the Casket Creatures has dropped! Enjoy the depravity of "Deranged", the title track from their latest album. Put the kids to bed and for God's sake don't watch this one at work. 




Saturday, August 13, 2016

BB Has A Release Date!

A recent update from the Forty FPS blog has the long awaited information regarding the release date for BB, the new thriller from writer/director CJ Wallis. This movie is 100% Batcave approved! Get the details from the link below...






MARGRETTE BIRD | FORTYFPS NEWS UPDATES | #BIRDSEYEVIEW: BB Available August 18 Via BitTorrent!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Dismembering Christmas Review


My love of holiday themed horror is well known. I also happen to be a big fan of the work that Kevin Sommerfield and the guys over at Slasher Studios do. Earlier this week, I got a chance to check out their latest, a holiday themed slasher, Dismembering Christmas. As with earlier Slasher Studios releases, this is yet another enjoyable example of what an independent company with a passion for the genre can manage to accomplish without a huge budget.

Dismembering Christmas centers around a group of teenagers who are celebrating the holidays together, away from their families, at a lake house owned by one of their fathers. What begins as a weekend full of drinking and partying quickly takes a sinister turn as the group gets a visit, and ominous warning, from a local wandering by. When night falls, the group begins to disappear one by one as they are stalked by a masked killer out for revenge, who has a past connection with the secluded cabin.



That plot description may not sound like the reinvention of the wheel, and it isn't. That's the thing about the slasher genre, most of the plot lines are pretty paint by numbers. You get a group of kids, throw them in a secluded location, and have them killed off one at a time by some sort of masked killer who most likely has a past connection with either one of the kids and/or the location. Throw in some nudity, inventive kills, and a plot twist at the end, and you have yourself a movie. It's what slasher fans expect, and enjoy. That's why I love Slasher Studios so much. They deliver old school slasher films for fans of the genre because that's what they themselves are.

The cast all performs well, with the standouts for me being Baker Chase Powell as Mark, and Nina Kova as Sam. The both played well off each other, and delivered believable performances. Effects wise, everything is practical, so fans of the real stuff will undoubtedly enjoy the gore. The kills themselves range from tame to deliciously clever. I always love it when the holiday decorations in one of these movies come in to play, and let's just say I don't think I've ever seen a better use of a Christmas wreath. The killer looks good, the pacing is almost perfect, and all around this is just a really fun holiday horror film.

With Dismembering Christmas, Slasher Studios once again managed to capture the magic of an 80's slasher, just as they did with Don't Go to the Reunion and their other films before it. The difference this time though? Polish. For as good as Reunion, Popularity Killer, Teddy, and the others are, they are admittedly a bit rough around the edges. Dismembering Christmas adds some finesse, camera work, a tight script, and other little enhancements that makes it their best production to date.