Monday, May 31, 2010

Film Project: Blood Test

For our up coming zombie film project, which we're shooting this weekend, my buddy MJ was we put in charge of the blood and gore, so here is trying out a "blood test"

We're looking for cheap yet effective.

The Outsider

I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.
- H.P. Lovecraft

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Off topic: proud of this page

Here's another page I particularity like from my many pages of drawings that I've been working this week.

The article was about the Sky Ride from the 1933 World Fair. I wanted to make something that look like period advertising, with heavy inspiration from the covers of my pulp sci-fi collection. I found some pics of the ride online and just went from there.

I'm still getting the hang of this page design thing, but at least I'm having fun while learning.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Film Project: On location

So some of my friends and I drove up to the location where we'll be shooting out upcoming Zombie movie for the local Fiji Kula Film festival.

The Fiji Museum who own the place told us today that it was ok to film their free of charge, in return we give them credit for helping us out.

The place in question is called Bilo Battery and it used to serve as an artillery base during the 2nd world war. The place has long since been abandoned and there wasn't even anyone up there except this one kid who watches the gates and his two friends.

The location is absolutely perfect, and felt as though it was made to be left in ruins only so we could one day shoot our movie there.

Looking at the place I have no idea why no one has ever bothered to film a horror movie there, it is just screaming to scare you.

I spent about 20mins or so just taking pictures and going over the script for the movie in my head with the scenery I had around me. Then I decided to grab my mate's mobile phone and put together a little mock shoot, just to get the feel of the place and try out some of the angles that were coming to mind.

I put the whole thing together by simply pausing the camera on the phone and then running around to reposition for the next shot, then I added some music with a software called Video Pad that I got online for free. For the real edit I'll be using Adobe Premier though.

Check out my buddy Wilson's blog for more info on the short film.

Off Topic: Find the Duck

So I've recently started working for an Australian kids magazine.

Which is a pretty sweet deal cause I do all the drawings at home and then just email them over and then get paid on Friday. The down side is that there are a shizz load of drawings to do, which pretty much keeps me busy for most of the day, so it's kinda like a real job.

I've been doing a whole bunch of pages based on articles and stories that's provided to me, but today I had a fun page. I was told draw something and then hide a duck some where in it.

... yes. Hide a duck.

In fact the page is called Find the Duck!

So I did this page here and I was actually really happy with it, though I think I could have hidden the duck better.

Mind you it is for little kids... hopefully they'll be distracted by the nice colours and not see the duck right away.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Behold the Necronomicon!

I got my hands on my very own copy of the Necronomicon today, and man is it awesome!

With a whole lot of work in this week, I was barely able to read the first few stories, but just holding this beast in my hand and going through the pages and the art was enough to slice a grin ear to ear across my face.

The proper title of the book is NECRONOMICON: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft, and it is a collection of over 30 stories and poems by the master story teller himself. I've heard the book get some slack about how some of the lesser known Lovecraft work isn't in it, but it has all the ones I was looking for, along with the popular ones.

The art work scattered through out the book are wonderful to look at, and add a very cool feel to the book, though some of them are repeated here and there ><

Sadly I don't have a working camera right now so I can't post shots of me slicing my palms and giving blood sacrifices to the book, but I found some pics of it over here.

All in all this is an awesome addition to my ever growing old horror/ sci fi collection of books, with the other two recent additions being William Hope Hodgson's House on the Boarderland and The Boats of the Glen carrie.

Next week I'm expecting The Horror stories of Robert E. Howard and The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, so I'll be quite the slimy book worm for awhile. With work and all these books, how will I ever find the time to finish Ghostbusters: The Game?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Zombie Film project

So we have a film festival coming up, and ever since this festival has been running my friends and I have been wanting to enter.

But for various reasons we have done so.

Well this year my buddy Wilson has really been rally up the guys and pushed all the right buttons to set our film entry in motion. When he asked me what sort of movie I would like to do, my obvious answer was:

"Lets do a zombie movie bitch!"

... I didn't say bitch.

But we are doing a zombie movie! We call it Kania Na Yalo Bula which is Fijian for Eat the Living.

I'm not going to give away too much just yet, but we have done up the first draft of the script and scouted a few locations we want to use. There's this mad abandon millitary site that we want to use, and we're currently working on getting permission for that, but we have a back up plan in case that fails.

The basic premise is that a couple heads into the woods to meet up with some friends who are out on a camping trip. They discover that their friends have been messing with things they shouldn't have, and now they're on the tun from crazy flesh eating zombies.

The idea may not be the most original, but it will defiantly be a first for the Fiji Film festival, plus as an editor and camera guy, I'm looking to try out some interesting stuff with the shots.

Like I said I'll keep you guys posted on whatever's new... And I'll be looking to put the film up somewhere for you guys to see when it's done. My buddy Wilson has a write up about the project over at his site.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Off Topic: Frank Frazetta 1928-2010

I was sad to hear that yesterday one of my favourite artists of all time passed away.

Frank Frazetta, one of the great artists who defined the look of savage sword and fantasy, passed away at the age of 82. No cause of death has been put out yet, but he had been sick for some time having suffering from several strokes over the years.

The first time I was introduced to his work was through his involvement in the 1983 rotoscoped film Fire and Ice. I watched that movie to bits, and would spend hours just scribbling out the imagery in it.

Then I went mad for his art when I started getting into Conan, and became fascinated by his awesome Conan covers. To me he his vision of my favourite Cimmerian was the defining interpretation, and most every other artist that followed on Conan would pull from his powerful images. His Conan is what I see in my head when I read the stories.

If you do a Google search of Frazetta's name, it will bring you to a lot of his work, but if you'd like more of an "In depth" look, be sure to check out Frazetta: Painting with Fire which is an awesome doucumentry on his life and work.

Frank Frazetta was a great artist who has left us a massive legacy in his amazing work, and he will be dearly missed.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I'm Not Alone: Good till you get something better.

So the other day I came across an interesting game titled I'm Not Alone.I found out about the game via a link over at Bloody Disgusting while going through their games section, and by the looks of it I became very intrigued.

Not that looks are everything when it comes to video games, but you just looking at this pic below, how could I not want to play it.

They had me at "creepy zombies"

You play the part of an exorcist hired to rid a mansion of the nasties that haunt it, this puts you up against hordes of flesh hungry zombies, nasty poltergeists and creeps that look like they stepped out of the Grudge movies. Behind all this there's somewhat of an intriguing plot to be found, which involves bloody ritualistic kills which plagued with the evil that haunts it.

The game looks pretty good for what is essentially an indie title, but it has a few shortcomings which get in the way of what might have otherwise been a cool horror title.

Relax I'm an exorcist... who sounds like Antonio Banderas.

The controls feel a little clunky, with ridiculous things such as not being able to equip weapons while moving, and when you finally do get them out there a slight issue with hit detection, which means you standing there trying to hit things that are right in front of you, but sometimes your hit will find them, and other times that same hit will just slide right through them.

The game plays a little like the first Silent Hill game, where you walk around, collecting clues to things and solving puzzles. Things such as playing the piano that unlocks a sequence here or finishing a chess game that gives you an item. But a lot of this just feels really dated and progress sometimes becomes really slow as some of these puzzles can be very vague and even illogical at times.

The graphics are good, but not good enough to warrant the long load times that clutters the game. Having to escape the game to save your progress only makes this more tedious, as there are not quick saves or save points in-game.

What saves this game is despite all it's shortcomings, I'm Not Alone manages to establish a creepy atmosphere, and though some of the voice acting is horrible, it gives the game a sort of B-movie feel that serves well to some extent. The baddies you fight have interesting intro animations, as you watch zombies struggle to climb out of the floors to get you, and death animations where a bigger evil reaches out of the ground in the form of creep tentacles to claim the dead bodies. There's also this interesting feature where you are able to step into the unseen world of ghosts and demons to combat things you otherwise wont be able to see.

The somewhat large scale of the game world allows for decent exploration, which I enjoyed a lot, and solving puzzles relating to the murdered victims lead to some unsettling details.

As I had mentioned, being reminiscent of titles such as Silent Hill or even the ps1 Alone in the Dark, with very little to no innovation of game play over these past titles, I'm Not Alone provides decent entertainment.

You won't even be picking up the title if you had a big name horror game to play, so if your out for a quick fix of some horror action, this be the game for you.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Marian Call: Zombie Cheerleading Camp

Watch out for the punk mandoline ... it's awesome.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shellshock 2: Some B movie fun?

Shellshock 2 gets so much slack from so many game review sites. Some of these critics flat out tell you that this game is shit and that you should avoid it like the plague, maybe not in so many words though.

But when I watch all these videos of people bashing it, and saying it sucks, all I can see is the messy zombie kills and cheap thrill scares that make me think of it as some kind of B-grade horror movie, and some of those can be a lot of fun. I'm not arguing that this isn't a shit game mind you, I'm just saying that it's a shit game that I would like to play.

The story follows the games hero who is a solider in the Vietnam war, who ends up at a research site that's working with a new top secret bio-weapon. It seems somehow this weapon got out of hand and now there's a strange infection spreading across the area which is bringing the dead back to life. One of the first casualties of this infection is your very own brother....

Now you have to survive this whole mess... and find out the secret behind Project: White Knight.

Funny thing though is that even though the average rating site Metacritic has no site review higher than 55 with an average of 40, the user reviews for this game are mad though. So it seems some people enjoyed it, and enjoyed it enough to take the time to log into the inter-web and tell other people that they enjoyed it.

That says something right?

This scene looks pretty cool

Ah well, this thing is selling for like $8 at a place in town, so I'll pick it up and give it ago. If it sucks it just means I'm 8 bucks short for cigarettes.

Besides... I liked the first Shellshock game, though that was made by Guerilla games who went on to make the Killzone franchise for the PS3, while Shellshock 2 is made by Rebellion Development who specialise in epic fails like Alien Vs Predator 2010 and Rouge Warrior.

If anything maybe this game will be like a B grade horror movie, you know it's not going to be great, but it's spotting some ideas that you kinda like, and all you can hope for is a few cheap ass thrills.

Bloody Childhood memories.

There's no denying the greatness of such classic games like Yoshi's Island or Castslevania on the old school game systems. These games and many others like them, shaped the childhoods of the gamers of today, laying the basics for the skills and appreciation that games of today thrive on.

Ever since I saw the advert for it inside one of my comic books as a kid, very few retro games continue to thrill and fascinate me like Splatterhouse.

Click to enlarge

Adventuring into the horror mansion of Doctor West (possibly inspired Lovecrafts Herbert West, from the Re-Animator) our hero Rick finds himself an artifact called the Terror Mask, which transforms him into a hulking mass of bone crushing muscle, aiding him in his quest to save his kidnapped girlfriend Jennifer.

Releasing originally in the arcades in 1988 by Namco, Splatterhouse is arguably the maddest horror title of its time. The game made great use of the generations graphics, pumping in tones of horror movie inspired blood and gore, with baddies straight out of some fever induced nightmare, looking at it now you can see that somehow the game managed to get away with a lot.

Hey baby go home!

Fighting giant dangling foetuses with chainsaws, ripping off the head of animated teddy bears which then turn into blood filled demons, rummaging through cellars filled with cut up body parts, if this were a movie it would have been a video nasty.

The release of Splatterhouse 2 on the Sega Genesis brought the game into the home, which is my favourite of the series. Sadly the port of the game outside of Japan was heavily watered down, but thanks to the goodness of ROMs and such, getting your hands on an uncut version of the game isn't hard. Part three rounded off the series, but not before giving way to some weird spin off game that I can not understand.

Well now seventeen years since the release of part three, a new Splatterhouse will be busting onto our video game consoles, boasting every bit of the blood and gore that was the series trade mark.

In fact, it looks as though this game will be redefining the term "Blood and Gore" for video games, as it has buckets loads of it all over the damn screen. Being developed by Namco Bandi Games, the game is set for a late 2010 release. I've been following this thing for awhile now, and so far it's looking like a title that will definitely be one of my must haves this year. It will follow the same beat em up style of the old series, but with a supped up combat system that developers say will be very brutal. It gets so extream that Rick can now be dismembered, and he can use his limbs as weapons.

There's an official website up for the game, which has heaps of screen shots and videose, as well as a cool model viewer where you can check out some of the new nasties you will be taking on. There's pics of the developers taking part in all kinds of crazy promotions too, like a recent metal music awards show where the game team sponsored some of the awards.

If you want to find out more about the series be sure to check out this awesome fan site, which has lots of details on the titles as well as other cool things such as the ROMs for the games.

Literally getting chills

Video games are a lot like movies in the way that you have your big studio movies that take everything by storm, and you have the smaller studios that are doing their own thing.

It's a real treat when you come across that small time movie, that just grabs you by the throat and screams greatness. Movies like Dog Soldiers, 28 Days later or even 500 days of Summer (:P), these films tend to have a charm that the bigger budgets just can't buy.

Games work the same way.

You have your massive titles that come out with such fury that every game site has them plastered across their front page, boasting mad reviews and what not, and then you have that one game that you didn't even know was out there... and it totally hits the spot.

Cryostasis: The sleep of reason
is one such game for me. I had posted some news about it a long time back, and had totally forgotten about it.

I came across it recently when I was fishing around for horror titles that I could get for the pc, and on some site somewhere I came across the games cover. Then one search led to another and a few links down the line I knew I absolutely had to get this game.

Developed by a Russian studio called Action Forums, who I can't seem to find anything about, the game is a survival/ exploration horror game unlike anything I've played.

The game takes place in the North Pole, where you play the part of Alexander Nesterov, a Russian meteorologist who boards a nuclear ice breaker called The North Wind, which has been wrecked on some ice burgs. At first there are no signs of the ships crew, but as you continue to investigate you find that something quite sinister has happened aboard the North Wind, turning it's crew into crazed zombie like monsters.

The most interesting thing about the game is the way the story unfolds itself. As you play through you come across the remains of some of the crew who didn't become monsters. These people died in either horrible accidents when the ship hit the ice bank, or at the hands of the crazed crew. Normally what ever killed these people becomes an obstacle for you, and to get past this you need to tap into the dead persons Death Echo.

O yeah... this is where this game gets interesting.

The death echo allows you to relive the moments that lead to the persons death, and by saving them, usually by means of avoiding an accident or fixing some bit of the ship, you get to progress further.

For example; You come across a body holding onto some floating debris in a flooded part of the ship, you can't get across because the water is freezing. So what you do is tap into the dead persons death echo, in this case it's a guy trying to cross the flooded area. You find him a rubber raft, guide him through the zombie infested waters, and then park the raft where you main character can reach it. When you get the guy across safely, the echo ends and your staring at a rubber raft where the floating body used to be.

There are tones of puzzles like this through out the game, and the echo bits are freaking tense and scary, because you know if you don't act fast enough the person is going to die.

Aside from these encounters, you also run into the zombie crew members while your exploring. You can dispatch of these guys with a cool assortment of make shift weapons, as well as old time guns and pistols that you find here and there. My favourite weapon though is the axe, swings slow, but nails em good.

Another interesting bit of game play is the importance of keeping warm. Being on a wrecked ship in the middle of the North pole is not good for you at all. Lose a little heat and simple things like running and walking around become harder to do, lose too much heat and your dead.

Luckily though there are lights and machinery scattered about the ship which provide just the right amount of heat to keep you going. Some of the bigger machines juice you up for quite a bit.

I have to say the biggest star though would have to be the ship it's self. Being inside the ship is like walking around in the belly of a monster. Massive in size but divided into destroyed sections, the environment perfectly captures the feeling of dread and isolation. As you scurry around, your breath steaming in front of your face, while you peer through your frozen goggles, seeing icy walls and flooded areas, giant machines and huge dark industrial areas of pipes and ladders, the North Wind is a cold, dark death trap that's already claimed it's crew... and now it wants you.

There is a story that plays out about the crew and what happened, as well as a sort of interwoven tale that explains your death echo trips, but I don't want to spoil that.

All in all this would have to be one of the coolest horror games I've played, and easily makes it into my top 5 list of all time favourites. Sadly the game didn't get the mad review scores I thought it deserved, with Gamespots review being one of the few bigger game sites that really liked it, but when it comes to these review scores you really need to take em with a grain of salt.

What's often important to me is the games hook, that is something unique to a game that appeals directly to me. Like if say there was a mad military shooter that got outstanding reviews, and a zombie game that is said to be bloody and fun. You know I'm grabbing that zombie game. Classic example would be The Evil Dead series of games which weren't the favourites of many a game sites, but I played those games to bloody little bits and still consider Evil Dead: Fist full of Boomsticks one of my favourite ps2 games, not to mention Hail to the King which made the last days of my ps1 mad fun.

Cryostasis came in at number one on Gamesutra's list of Top 10 over looked games of 2009.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I heard the call late.

So yesterday I brought home my brand new PC, with the whole graphic card and the quad cores things. My last PC was about 5 years old, and it did everything I needed it to do. It ran photo-shop, and let me go online. I could type in word and listen to my music, and I could play my SNES Roms.

What more could one ask?

Well when I came home with the pc, my friend MJ who put the whole thing together gave me a whole bunch of games to try out. He gave me Just Cause 2 and Borderlands... this one really creepy game called Metro 2033 that I was looking forward to playing.

It's not like I didn't have games to play, every now and then I'd rip shit up on my 360, but my buddies Wilson and MJ get tones of new PC games every month. My brain hurts just thinking about all the games I'm eventually going to leach off them.

Today though I got myself a game that totally made me forget about all the fancy titles I have on my pc right now. As soon as I came across it I knew I had to play it, and after spilling two hours non stop into it, I needed a coffee and a smoke.

The game is called Call of Cthulhu: Dark corners of the Earth, which came out back in 2005 and it is one of the most engrossing games I have ever played.

As the title would suggest it's based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and it follows the tale of a private detective who is hired by a store owner to find one of his missing workers, who has disappeared in an isolated town called Innsmouth.

But right from the beginning you know that things aren't what they seem, and that the people of Innsmouth are hiding something sinister. A dark force hangs over the town, and its presence is nothing short of cosmic.

The story is told through a first person narrative, but this game is not a first person shooter. In fact I didn't even get a gun till like two hours into it, and even then I had to run away from baddies. The game focuses more on the story elements, developing characters and tossing in lots of dialogue. This combined with all the written material you pick up, makes it almost like an interactive horror novel.

In fact the story is so good, that after awhile I forgot about the 5 year old graphics, and I just got sucked into the creepiness tension of it. The game does a great job of creating an eerie atmosphere with old world buildings and moody music, plus I had my GF "Back seat playing" through it with me, which made the whole thing a fun experience.

In terms of game play there isn't much that is new, there's a few bits where you need to sneak around in "Stealth mode" which is cool, because your character sort of holds his breath and you can imagine him all tense as he creeps about trying not to be seen.

You also collect clues through the dialogue as well as through books and notes you pick up. These let you know where you need to go next, or what you need to do when you get there. The game doesn't have your standard interface layout, with the health bars and ammo and such. Instead you have bleed effects that consume the screen, and all it takes is a one or two hits before your out of it.

No recharging shields here sorry.

One really cool aspect of the game is the sanity meter. Though not something you see represented as a bar on screen, the sanity meter kicks in when you directly look at something that's unsettling. It could be anything from a weird shadow that crept past your window, or a dead body lying on the floor, or simply pictures of yourself wallpapering some creeps room.

Once you get exposed to too much messed up shit, the screen messes up and you start to see things and even hear things. Sometimes you hear your inner child crying to go home, other times you hear multiple voices in your head telling you to do things. It can get so severe that you could even kill your self.

The game is full of things that is creepy and sometimes disturbing, all the while keeping true to the spirit of Lovecraft. The amount of mythos lore that is in this thing will make any fan of Lovecraft very happy. As far has fans of horror games go, let me say that this plays like a point and click adventure game that's been slapped into FPS body, being more Silent Hill 1 than Resident Evil 5.

Definitely give this ago if you get the chance.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Aquaman behind you!

Drew this after I read a very cool issue of the DC monthly Brave and the Bold today, which had Aquaman and The Demon taking on a Cthulhu inspired sea monster and it's underwater fiends.

The art was fantastic and the story was slightly creepy, and it also showed Aquaman to be a really cool hero. It actually made me want to look up some more Aquaman reads.

Check out the IGN review of the issue here.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dead Space 2 Website Launched

It seems that the new Dead Space 2 teaser wasn't the only thing Visceral Games was planing to put out on the 29th of April. Yesterday they launched the new website for their upcoming Dead Space 2.

You can grab your self some awesome wallpapers, as well as check out a few cool features such as a "Remember the Ishimura" memorial link to Facebook, which is accompanied by a nice little voice over about the "Event" and a very cool audio log of the salvage crew that picked up Issac after the events of the first Dead Space.

Visit the site here.

Speaking of Issac, check out this hilarious interview with him over at the First Person Observer, where Issac complains the impracticable design of his space rig.

"...building the heath meter on the back of my suit, where I can’t see it, while space-saving and aesthetically pleasing, isn’t exactly useful for me, the guy wearing the suit and wondering how close to death he is."

Don't worry bro... I got your back.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...