Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Well, children of the night, it's finally here. And here's a special Halloween video for ya:

- Mad Jordan M.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Top 15 List of the Week

Top Fifteen Horror-Themed Video Games

That's right, since we're so close to Halloween, this week we are looking at the top fifteen horrific video games, which there just aren't enough of. Games that make your fresh crawl and your skin prickle. Those are my favorite. So, let's take a look:

15. Evil Dead: Regeneration (Xbox/PS2) - By all counts, this game is just above mediocre. However, the inclusion of the wonderful voice acting of Bruce "Don't Call Me Ash" Campbell and Ted "I'm Sam's Brother" Raimi make it well worth playing. Of course, you play as Ash battling through a world that is now inhabited by deadites. Sure, the story is ultimately forgettable, but the one-liners are great.

14. The Thing (PS/Xbox) - A sequel to the John Carpenter movie of the same name (see top ten aliens), The Thing is a pretty sweet game that could use a graphical update for next-gen platforms. Basically, you've swooped in a few hours after McReady and his crew have had it out with the thing, and your trying to piece it together. A cool idea, to be sure, the controls are a little clunky, but it's so cinematic.

13. The Haunting Starring Polterguy (Genesis) - A funny game published by EA in 1993, in The Haunting you play as Polterguy, a poltergeist dead set on getting people out of his house. You do this by taking control of various household items like toilets and beds and scaring the beegeezus out of the humans.

12. Night Trap (Sega CD) - True, the game is only as good as FMV games can be, which has its limits. In the game, you're monitoring multiple security cameras and trying to keep 5 young ladies at a slumber party safe from a vampiric horde that would do them in. Of course, this (along with Mortal Kombat) was the big game that got the ESRB ball rolling, and it really is the best of the FMV games that came out on the Sega CD.

11. Stubbs the Zombie (Xbox) - This is a rather odd game that came out two years ago for Microsoft's big black box. It's one of the few zombie games to actually let you play as the zombie. You're Stubbs, a travelling salesman that was murdered and has come back to life to take his revenge in the 1950's. It's played for laughs, and will definitely elicit a few chuckles.

10. Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Genesis/SNES) - Another of the more comical games on the list, this LucasArts game features two player gameplay in which you (and a friend) are responsible for saving the neighborhood from...zombies! Zoinks! You use your watergun (and an array of other assorted "weapons) to destroy the monsters. It was a ton of fun, no lie.

9. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (Xbox) - If you're into horror literature, or are a Lovecraft fan, this is one of the best games you've never heard of. It's an amalgamation of a few different Lovecraft stories that play out very cinematically. The gameplay does leave something to be desired, but the story keeps you playing.

8. Alone in the Dark series (PC) - The true first 3D survival horror series, Alone in the Dark draws its inspiration from none other than Howard Phillips Lovecraft (see #9). A creepy series on all counts, you play as detective Edward Carnby (in the original trilogy) investigating the supernatural.

7. Quake Series (PC) - Upping the ante of 3D-gaming, Quake was id's next big game after the Doom series. In Quake, you're a marine travelling through dimensions to battle demonic foes. The subsequent volumes don't follow the original storyline, however. Anyway, everyone knows how revolutionary this game was and it was pretty creepy to boot!

6. Silent Hill Series (Multi-platform) - Taking place in the creepy little town of Silent Hill that makes Twin Peaks look like a nice place to retire, this series probably uses atmosphere better than any on this list. It's an interesting story with well developed characters. I've only played the first three, and I definitely recommend those.

5. BioShock (Xbox 360) - The newest game on the list, BioShock doesn't fit as snugly into the horror genre as a lot of the games on here, but it is creepy as hell. Not only that, the story is amazing, the graphics are beautiful, and the gameplay is more than solid . A great game, BioShock is set in a dystopian 1960 in an underwater city called Rapture.

4. Doom Series (PC) - In 1993, id Software changed the face of gaming forever. Doom wasn't the first first-person shooter, but it certainly brought the genre to the forefront. I remember playing this one as a kid, and being floored by how great the graphics were and how awesome the guns were! And Doom II just got better.

3. Castlevania Series (Multi-platform) - Allowing young kids to kill vampires and ghouls since the mid-eighties, the Castelvania series is absolutely amazing. The series follow the Belmont family as they have to kill Dracula over and over again, and, for my money, there just aren't many better platformers on the market. You all know Castlevania and you love it. We can even forgive those N64 3D versions.

2. Dead Rising (Xbox 360) - Number seven on my top 15 Video Games, Dead Rising combines elements from Resident Evil with those of the GTA series to give you a free-roaming, zombie-whuppin', awesome game. Blood and guts galore, you play out a Dawn of the Dead scenario in which your stuck in a mall infested by...the undead! Dead Rising is a wonderful game, and I recommend you pick it up ASAP. If they could make this into a wonderful series, it might one day usurp the throne of numero uno on the list, which is...

1. Resident Evil Series (Multi-platform) - What can I say about Resident Evil? It is the ultimate in survival horror. There are no games that have done it better than this series. You kill zombies that have been created by the Umbrella Corporation. With guns. There's no need for more explanation.

Honorable mentions go to Ghost N Goblins and Splatter House 2.
I do regret to say that I've never played the Clock Tower series.

And, if you're bored at work, you might want to check this one out: Endless Zombie Rampage.

- Jordamn Monster
No Commercy, TX

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Clip of the Week

Alice Cooper - He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)

Today we have yet another Jason clip. This one also happens to feature the radical Alice Cooper as well. It's the video for his song He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask) which was on the soundtrack for Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. Watch, if you dare!

- Jordacula M.
Commurder, TX

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Top Ten List of the Week

Top Ten Forgotten Toys of My Childhood

In some of these cases, forgotten may be the wrong word. Let's say, less well remembered. So, these are the top ten less remembered toys of my childhood. Not the GI Joes or the Transformers. These are the toys that will eventually be lost to obscurity (if they aren't already).

1. Rambo

2. M.U.S.C.L.E.S.


4. Potato Head Kids - These little guys were basically mini-Mr. Potato Heads that came from their eponymous cartoon. I had a ton of them, and specifically remember the kid in the red hat named spud.

5. Creepy Crawlers

6. Bionic Six

7.Visionaries - The Visionaries are yet another group of action figures that were based on a cartoon show.

8. Inhumanoids - Tendril - Now, this is the anomaly of the list as I never actually had this toy. I did, however, always want this toy. Tendril was one of the titular characters of the show Inhumanoids. I didn't know it at the time, but it's easy to see now that his design was directly influenced by the stories of the great H.P. Lovecraft!

9. McDonald's Muppet Babies Toys - So, these aren't your standard toys, but I happened to love them.

10. Madballs - They have actually re-released Madballs! I found one for my nephew last year for Christmas. I was thrilled, but I don't know about him. Anyway, these were just little baseball sized balls made out of foam that were supposed to be completely disgusting. One of them was a skull, one a cyclops, and all were oozing some kind of green or yellow pus from one of their sockets. It seems like a lot of toys from the eighties were interested in a high "gross out" factor, remember Garbage Pail Kids?

- Jordan M.
Commerce, TX

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Top Ten List of the Week

Top Ten Slasher Films

Well, it is October. A month of frights and chills and witches and crap (and amazing baseball). As such, our top ten list this week is going to reflect that. It is difficult to determine what actually makes a slasher a slasher, but I went with my (blood and) guts on it. So, here I give you, dreadful readers, the top ten slasher movies of all time:

10. Sleepaway Camp (1983) - Let's just say this one may have the...oddest...ending of the lot (think The Crying Game, if you must) and is really just a rehash of all the old tropes found in the Friday the 13th series, and, really, any other of the countless generic slasher films of the eighties. If you ask me, though, this one is fun enough to make the cut.

9. The Prowler (1981) - Featuring the effects of Tom Savini, The Prowler is an oft unheralded little gem. Features some pretty great grue, but the story is pretty trite (what do you expect?).

8. The Slumber Party Massacre (1982) - The sequels may have been played for laughs, but the original is pretty straight. Now, there's a really interesting story behind that, as the original script was written by well known feminist Rita Mae Brown as a parody on the slasher genre. She wasn't involved in the rewrites, and it basically became the very thing she'd been trying to parody! Watch the trailer.

7. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) - The first F13 to predominantly feature Jason, this is the one that I prefer from the series. While it wasn't innovative, it really did set the stage for the big-bang of slasher films in the eighties.

6. Bay of Blood (1971)- Considered by many to be the "first" slasher, the Italian master Mario Bava brings us the story of a bunch of money hungry people killing each other off in order to gain access to an inheritance.

5. Hellraiser (1987)- This one I had trouble really pegging as a "slasher", but ended up including it on the basis that if you disregard the sacrilege, it really is a story, not unlike the F13 movies, of surviving against a seemingly unstoppable foe. Plus there's all of that S&M stuff in there for you freaks.

4. A Nightmare on Elm St. (1984) - From the man that helped launch the rebirth of the revenge film, we get a decidedly different type of slasher. Of course, the big twist in ANoES is that the antagonist can only get you in your dreams. And, let's be honest, before and after they played him for laughs Freddy was just cool as hell. Does anyone else remember the DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince song "Nightmare on My Street"? It was awesome.

3. Psycho (1960) - This is another one of those that often claims the mantle of first slasher. I don't really have to explain the plot I'm sure, as it is one of Hitch's best known works. I do, however, have to state that I was torn at the inclusion of this one as well. Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic movie, but is it a slasher? I came to the conclusion that it is. What do you think?

2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - This is another that's hard to pigeon-hole into the slasher category, but it ostensibly fits the trope. A brilliant film on all counts, and certainly Hooper's masterpiece, TCM is an outright scary picture. Amazingly, the film features very little blood, but people always swear that it's one of the goriest films they've ever seen.

1. Halloween (1978) - Forget that atrocious remake, this is the real get-your-frills-deal. This is John Carpenter's master work, and my personal favorite horror film of all time (heck, it's one of my favorite films of all time!). And even though it's not the first, it is definitely the one that got the ball rolling on the entire slasher genre.

I do have to (regretfully) add that I have yet to see The Burning. So, it's obviously not on the list.

- Jordanstein M. for Murder
Commercelvania, TX

Clip of the Week

Fair to Midland - Upgrade^Brigade

This is something that I shot from the side of the stage at Curtain Club way back in 2003. It's the Fair to Midlands performing Upgrade^Brigade. There's not a lot to it, just one continuous shot, as it was only one of three cameras that were rolling that night. Enjoy.

Clip of the Week

Jason On Arsenio!

That's right, everyone's favorite hockeymask-wearin', machette-totin' killer once made an appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show! And we've got the clip, just in time for Halloween...

Look for Jason's return to primetime on the CW show Supernatural, in which he'll appear as a foe for the main characters to tangle with!

- Jordan M.
Commerce, TX

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Top Ten List of the Week

Top Ten Aliens

10. MAC (Mac and Me) - MAC stands for Mysterious Alien Creature. It's similar to how E.T. stands for Extra-Terrestrial. Wait a second, this whole thing stinks of E.T.! I've been had! Oh well. Go check out Mac and Me. And how could you forget the wheelchair scene?

9. The Arbiter (Halo 2 and 3) - Voiced by none other than Keith David (They Live), the Arbiter adds a very interesting twist to the Halo saga. He's a Covenant Elite that has turned Benedict Arnold on his species. He becomes so integral to the story in part 2, that you have to play through some of the final levels as the Arbiter himself.

8. The Blob (The Blob) - The Blob is the gelatinous creature from the film of the same name. It was a faceless, featureless creature that did nothing but devour. Surely there is a metaphor in there somewhere, but I'm not willing to look for it.

7. The Visitors (V) - The creatures from the mini-series (and subsequent TV series) V were lizard-like beings that masked themselves to look like normal human beings (devious lizards!). The whole thing was a thinly-veiled "re-imagining" of the rise of the Nazis. And, if there's one thing that spells quality TV, it's re-imagining the rise of the Nazis.

6. The Mutant (This Island Earth) - MST3K aside, This Island Earth is a pretty decent little Sci-Fi picture. I can only imagine how shocking this mutant beast of Metaluna must've looked in 1955. Well, now that I think about it, it probably still looked like a dude in a foam suit.

5. Rancor Monster (Return of the Jedi) - This is the beast that lived under Jabba's palace. He was a big, mean bastard. From what I've read in the Star Wars Dictionary, it was also the last of its kind (maybe that's why the bald dude with the man-tits cries when he dies).

4. Xenomorphs (Alien series) - Xenomorphs are the titular aliens from Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien: Ressurection (yes, I'm aware they have appeared in another film, but we won't concern ourselves with that one). These things bleed acid and want to kill you. Developed by HR Giger, these Aliens have to be the absolute scariest ever put to celluloid. But, don't worry. They mostly come out at night. Mostly.

3. The Thing (The Thing) - I don't even know what this alien looks like, but I know it's kickass. The Thing (from the Carpenter remake of The Thing From Another World) is a parasitic creature that takes over its host and seems to be able to multiply at an alarming rate. If you've never seen The Thing, you are missing out on one of the top ten movies of the eighties. But, if you don't want to watch the real one (too squeamish?), check out the Lego version.

2. Superman (any incarnation) - Yeah. You might've forgot, but Superman is a gall-derned alien.

1. The Predator (Predator series) - Apparently Predators have been around for a long time (from evidence in Predator 2, Glover's finest work) and are just gonna keep coming back. But, what about that sweet ending when Dutch actually has to go one on one with the predator?

- Jordan M.
Commerce, TX

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

An Update on My Life

What Is Jordan M. Doing?

Well, it's been a little while since last I've updated you, my loyal readers, on what's been going on in my world. Oh, I don't mean things like graduate school or job worries or anything as trivial as that. I mean, the important stuff. What I'm watching, playing, that kind of thing. So, here it is in a nutshell:

Currently Watching (Film):

Well, the latest theatrical picture I watched was Peter Berg's The Kingdom. It was a pretty decent picture with a lof of sheen and polish that pretty well rode the fence as it comes to the political line in was walking. Is that a bad thing? Not sure. I think Berg pulled it off and it worked well. 6.5/10

On DVD, I'm currently giving Alpha Dog and Oldboy another watch. About to start watching some horror for October. Last year, I did a "gauntlet" in which I watched 31 movies in the month of October. Not gonna be able to do that this year, but I've got a few on my plate. A few of the discs I'm eyeing: The Dead Zone, Zombi 2, Graveyard Shift, Cemetery Man, and Carrie. A good list!

Currently Watching (Television):

Playoff baseball. With my adopted team, the Cubs, being out, I'm rooting Rockies or Red Sox. Just glad the Tribe was able to drop the hammer on those pesky Yankees.

Currently Watching (Television on DVD):

The lady and I are currently smack dab in the middle of the full run of the original Kolchak: The Night Stalker series. And, oh is it some delicious, campy fun. Darren McGavin (rest in peace) is my hero.

Currently Listening To:

I've been listening to a lot of Billy Joel lately. Mainly the (consecutive) albums 52nd Street and Glass Houses. I also picked up the latest Kanye West, which is his weakest effort but still worth giving a listen every once and again.

Currently Reading:

Just started reading Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49. Is he Joyce? Maybe not. But he is hella good. I'm also reading on the original Punisher mini-series and I just finished Batman/Dracula: Red Rain (a pretty interesting Else World story).

Currently Playing (Video Games):

Halo 3. I'm on live. Gamertag = TheWarfreak.

Currently Looking Forward To:

A quick release list of some great upcoming stuff looks like this:

Oct. 16 - Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)
Oct. 19 - Margot at the Wedding (Theatrical - Limited)
Oct. 23 - Breathless: Criterion Collection (DVD)
Nov. 21 - No Country for Old Men (Theatrical - Wide)
Dec. 21 - Be Kind Rewind (Theatrical - Limited)

- Jordan M.
Commerce, TX

Clip of the Week

Super Mario Bros. Show Intro

A little late on the CotW, but here it is.

Do you remember the Super Mario Bros. Super Show? With Captain Lou Albano as Mario? Well, if you don't, you missed out.

- Jordan M.
Commerce, TX
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