14 Apr

Dreadfully gangrenous! The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special is coming to DVD

Posted by Bryan White | Thursday April 14, 2011 | News

dreadful Hallowgreen SpecialLook. I know it’s been slow around here lately and I apologize for that. Most of my free time is being devoured by final preparations for this so hopefully in a few weeks when it’s over, I’ll be back in the swing of things. In the meantime, I received this release from both friends of the site, horror hosts Dr. Gangrene (who is also a member of The League of Tana Tea Drinkers along with Cinema Suicide) as well as Rondo winner, Penny Dreadful. Last year the two teamed up for a made-for-tv movie called The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special, which was also up for a Rondo in the last wave of awards. People went apeshit for it and it was only a matter of time before it hit the home video circuit. Check the trailer:

Alpha Video has announced that it has obtained U.S. home video distribution rights to the 2010 made for television movie ‘The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special’. After winning rave reviews following its broadcast last Halloween, the film will be released on DVD April 26, 2011 .

The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special pairs TV horror hosts Penny Dreadful & Dr. Gangrene together. The duo finds themselves readying for the upcoming Halloween season when suddenly all things go awry. It’s up to the physician of fright, Dr. Gangrene, and the eerie enchantress, Penny Dreadful, to set things right and save Halloween for everyone in this half hour special. Narrated by Washington DC’s legendary horror host Count Gore De Vol, this Halloween treat is packed with fright.

The DVD retails at $7.99 and will include the extended cut of the film with footage not aired in the original half hour broadcast version. In addition to ‘The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special’ the DVD will include an all new half hour special entitled ‘Trailer Terror’ hosted by Penny Dreadful & Dr. Gangrene, which has the hosts introducing some of their favorite classic horror film trailers.

Dr. Gangrene said “It is a privilege to work with Alpha Video, a favorite of mine for a very long time, so I was glad we could make this happen. We can now reach a larger audience with the Dreadful HallowGreen Special at an affordable price for our fans.”

DVD bonus features include a gallery of artwork, trailers, bios, shorts, bloopers and outtakes. In addition the dvd will contain rarely seen Penny Dreadful footage from her live Holiday Specials and eight public service short films from the Emmy nominated series “Go Green With Dr. Gangrene”.

The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special is a co-production of Shackle Island Studios and Peculiar Productions. Cast and crew members from Dr. Gangrenes Creature Feature, and Penny Dreadful’s Shilling Shockers produced segments in both Massachusetts and Tennessee, as well as California and Washington D.C.. The film was co-directed by Cameron McCasland and Rebecca Paiva.

In celebration of the DVD release ‘The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special’ will be making a special big screen appearance at this years Wonderfest during the Saturday Night Chiller Cinema Live Event hosted live by Dr. Gangrene and Penny Dreadful on May 15th 2011.

Alpha Video is an entertainment company based near Philadelphia, PA specializing in the release of Classic Hollywood films from the Golden age, as well as interesting and unusual contemporary motion pictures and television productions. For more information please visit www.Oldies.com

Wonderfest will be held may 14-15th 2011 in Louisville, KY. Wonderfest is an international hobby event now in its 22nd year that celebrates the art of movie monster artists, and model makers. For more information please visit www.wonderfest.com

1 Apr

Get ready to break the ice! And donate some cash money to RADrospective!

Posted by Bryan White | Friday April 1, 2011 | News



RADrospectiveI had a really beat up BMX bike when I was a kid. Just about every kid my age did. In some cases they actually rode quality street bikes from the time like Diamondback Vipers and Mongooses. I honestly don’t remember what brand mine was but it was an off the rack bike from Toys R Us, no doubt and I rode that fucking thing until the wheels wouldn’t stay on and the chain was so badly rusted that it didn’t turn. In my mind, I was a BMX maniac and growing up where I did, I was graced with a circular street to live on, decorated with lots of shit to jump your bike off and pull impressive air. God damn, it was a good time to be a kid.

One night, my parents went out for dinner, leaving me in charge of my brother and sister. In times like these, the night was occupied by a few video rentals by my folks who had remarkable accuracy when it came to renting movies they thought I’d like and when I found the tape for Rad sitting on top of the TV that night, they hit a home run. If you’re a kid who grew up in the 80’s, you probably know Rad. If not, look at it like this in slightly more familiar terms. Rad is The Karate Kid if Danielsan was a Canadian teenager underdog with a fashion sense that said ‘tie a handkerchief around your thigh with every outfit’ and a burning need to be a contender in the regional BMX race. The flick is loaded with great BMX stunts and trick riding. It has Talia Shire, a shitload of pro riders from the time and Lori Loughlin, who would go on to commit a global atrocity when he she took a part in Full House. Rad was great Canuxploitation and a perfect time capsule of all things nerdy for prepubescent boys. Every song in the movie also sounds like outtakes from an unreleased Sammy Hagar album. It’s so great.

Seattle filmmaker, Marc Dewey, has embarked on shooting a retrospective documentary called RADrospective, which is mostly in the can but he’s in the final phases of production and is hoping to wrap up post-production and license some music so that he can present the picture at the upcoming 25th Anniversary celebration of Rad in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada. As of this writing, Marc has 36 days to raise $7000 and already has $440 in the bank. Naturally, he’s hitting up folks by way of Kickstarter and is offering some great incentives for cotributions. Take a look, throw the guy some cash, will ya? Rad was such a great flick when I was a kid and I’d love to see this doc when it’s done.

What are you waiting for? Pitch in, already!

Marc Dewey’s RADrospective Kickstarter page

16 Mar

Buy Tee-Shirts. Help Japan.

Posted by Bryan White | Wednesday March 16, 2011 | News

Japan EarthquakeIf I can get sober on your ass for just a second. March 11th marked an occasion that reminds us all that we’re just guests on this rock and a sudden shift in the Earth’s tectonic plates can rearrange our lives forever. Back in 2005, we here in The States bore witness to that principle when the levees in New Orleans broke and washed an entire city out into the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Katrina swept through and ruined everything. Even the most casual observer can see that the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that washed over Japan was far more severe by countless orders of magnitude. Add a couple of nuclear reactors perilously close to melting down and you have to wonder if anything in Japan could possibly get any worse. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced by this tragedy, thousands are dead and missing. Japan will recover from this. It is a nation that emerged stronger than ever after two atomic bombs were dropped on it. They’re going to need some help, though, and I’m hoping that I can leverage some stagnant merchandise to make that happen.

See, a couple of years back, my brother had some shirts made bearing two designs by artist, Tom Whalen. Tom’s distinct illustration style really stood out to us. He was kind enough to turn over two great designs for us under the agreement that for each shirt sold, he’d get a piece of the action. Since then he’s done a tremendous amount of great work, has been featured on Boing Boing for a series of great Star Wars posters he did and even got into the Mondo Tees scene with a couple of posters commemorating screenings of Paul and Steamboat Willie. We put the shirts up on the site to sell and for two years they sat there untouched. We managed to sell three shirts in that time. Eventually I just gave up and pulled the old store link down since no one seemed interested in what I was selling. Since then I’ve handed some out at conventions but we still have a couple hundred of these great shirts waiting for a home and I think I’ve found the occasion to move them.

Slasher Night 2 by Tom Whalen Titanic Monster Beast by Tom Whalen

Right now, for the price of $10 + $3 shipping you can get into one of the following Cinema Suicide/Tom Whalen shirts sized M, L, XL. Each shirt comes in two colors. Both shirts come in black but Slasher Night 2 is also printed on a military green cotton tee and The Titanic Monster Beast is printed on a brick-colored shirt. Both are pictured above, photographed with a really crappy camera. Sorry. Please specify your size in the shipping instructions. I cannot emphasize this enough.


Slasher Night 2 Tee (Green)

Slasher Night 2 Tee (Black)

Titanic Monster Beast From Planet Zero (Brick)

Titanic Monster Beast From Planet Zero (Black)

100% of the money received from sales of these shirts will then be turned around and donated to The Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. Unfortunately, because I am not a non-profit organization your purchase of this shirt is not tax-deductible, you’re just buying a sweet shirt with the knowledge that the money you spent will go to help someone whose life has been turned upside down by a sudden shifting of the Earth.

I’ve been sitting on these shirts forever leaving me to wonder if there’s a market out there at all for them but maybe this time I can turn them around and do some good with them. Buy a shirt. Help Japan. Spread this around the social web, too. I’d really appreciate it if at the very least you could post this on Facebook or Tweet it or whatever.

8 Mar

New York City. In The Future. Cyborg director’s cut preview hits.

Posted by Bryan White | Tuesday March 8, 2011 | News



BloodsportHere’s a little more on that Cyborg director’s cut that Albert Pyun and Curnan Pictures are setting loose. I had hoped for a little more actual running time since most of this preview is titles but the music, the original, intended soundtrack is intact and it’s not bad. As a matter of fact, with all these characters named after guitars, something a little more rock is far more appropriate than the original soundtrack. If you don’t give a shit about the music, you may want to skip the first two minutes of this clip. Once the video kicks in, though, it looks pretty beat but based on Pyun’s caveat about this release, it’s cool. It’s like watching that sweet composite cut of The Warriors that ties in all the TV cut footage and restored footage from the director’s cut, the overall quality is inconsistent and downright crappy in places but you’re not going to be able to see it any other way, so accept it or move on. Here’s Pyun:

The picture quality is degraded because of three principal reasons: 1) Its taken from the original well used 35mm work picture – so dust, scratches, splices and even tear repairs can be seen; 2) The work print is an uncorrected “one-lite” color print that was telecined uncorrected as well to low grade VHS tape; and 3) We had to create this cut from two VHS tapes, because they weren’t the same version. My director’s cut version (an anamorphic unsqueezed picture with time code windows) was missing scenes, shots and optical transitions so it just had “slug”. I scavenged missing shots and scenes as possible from the composer’s reference VHS tape which had a 4:3 cropped picture.

The soundtrack quality is also dodgy as its a stereo temp mix from the VHS and was done a bit down and dirty temp 22 years ago. And it did not improve with age. The pristine copy of the Riparetti/Saad Soundtrack however will be on CD and can be purchased at: www.howlingwolfrecords.com

So those excuses aside, I think this version works well. Hope you’ll agree! Play LOUD and let it ROCK!

Bear in mind that as of this writing, howlingwolfrecords.com is just a parked domain and there’s no actual website there. I’m sure that will change soon. Also, yes. I know the image is Bloodsport. It’s Van Damme and I think it’s funny.

3 Mar

Albert Pyun’s director’s cut of Cyborg surfaces

Posted by Bryan White | Thursday March 3, 2011 | News

CyborgIt’s profoundly odd to me that I can just up and email Albert Pyun about matters like this but I’m glad that I can. A couple of days ago I caught wind of a rumor that a discarded workprint of the 1989 Jean Claude Van Damme flick, Cyborg, had surfaced. I have a tendency to rag on Albert and because of that I feel bad because he’s a really nice guy. In spite of my feelings about the greater body of Albert Pyun’s work, he has a couple of flicks that I actually really like, Cyborg is among them, and a recent one, Bulletface (Review) that reviewed really well here. He tends to find himself in the middle of catastrophically difficult productions and Cyborg was one of them. In the late 80’s, Cannon Film was coming apart after some extremely poor business decisions that mostly involved Superman 4: The Quest For Peace where they essentially took a generous budget for their Superman movie and broke it into smaller pieces to make other movies leaving themselves with not much left to make their Superman flick. The end result was embarrassing for everyone involved. A planned sequel to Masters of the Universe and a Spider-Man feature, both to be directed by Pyun, eventually siphoned millions out of the Cannon bank accounts and never went anywhere, costing the company greatly and once again, leaving them with not much money to make something out of nothing. Out of these troubles, Pyun made Cyborg using sets, costumes and props intended for those failed projects. The script was written in a weekend, Van Damme was cast (instead of Pyun’s original choice of Chuck Norris, who was probably too busy planning the secession of Texas from the Union) and in three weeks, the entire movie was in the can. Depending on how you look at it, Cyborg is either a pathetic dog with a nigh-incoherent script or it’s a testament to the ingenuity of b-movie filmmaking. I lean toward the latter. The guy took bits and pieces from a He-Man movie and a Spider Man movie and made this morbid document of anarchy. The version that hit theaters in 1989 was grimy, nasty and extremely violent and this is after Cannon and Van Damme took it away from Pyun and engineered something that they thought would be palatable to the box office. It didn’t help and the finished product required substantial cuts to pass with an R rating. I emailed Albert to get the low down.

Yes it’s true. My longtime composer Tony Riparetti was cleaning out his storage and discovered this VHS of my last cut of Cyborg, before JCVD and the studio took over the film from me. The cut is before it had to make MPAA cuts to get an R (for graphic violence). It’s the only cut that exists of what I wanted the film to be. The cut was telecine from the editorial 35mm work print and the soundtrack is a temp mix with the comlete Riparetti/Saad score which was replaced in the release version. My cut also has a voice over narration by Van Damme’s character.

And it isn’t an alternate cut but my last cut, hence, i guess my director’s cut. Which Van Damme and Cannon hated.

Albert is being evasive about how you get a hold of a copy because, quite frankly, I’m not sure who owns the rights to this movie and the way this is playing out, it sounds like Albert and Curnan Pictures are making bootleg versions of the movie available to interest parties. Then again, that’s all just speculation. Everything at the Curnan site seems a bit bootleg to me. If you’re interested in a copy of Pyun’s Cyborg director’s cut, you need to email curnanpictures@gmail.com and let them know you want in. I’m sure they’ll provide the details.

One final note from Albert:

It is a bootleg in the sense that any old recording that gets out is a bootleg. But its not pirated as this is the ONLY copy that exists and its my legal cut to have per my directing deal. I just want it to get and be seen by Cyborg fans and maybe offer a comparison to what has been out there all these years. Also, all the movies at Curnan Pictures are owned by Curnan Pictures. None bootlegged or pirated. Though sometimes, I have had to get a version and then re-do it closer to my version so its a bootleg in that sense. I see it as more renegade myself.

Edit: If you’re planning on leaving a lengthy comment below about how Guam hates Albert Pyun, stowe it. I seriously don’t give a fuck. Albert is remarkably easy to get a hold of and I suggest you take it up with him rather than smear your shit on my comments.

2 Mar

Drop your weapon. Plug.

Posted by Bryan White | Wednesday March 2, 2011 | News



PlugGood god, I wish I had more to bring you than just this poster, trailer and extremely vague plot synopsis but from the looks of other sites, that’s about all that’s going around. In truth, this isn’t even a trailer as much as it’s a cool short that may or may not even be indicative of things to come.

Plug comes from production designer, David Levy, who is known for design work done for Tron: Legacy and the game Assassin’s Creed. What happens when he sets out of his own to make a sweet movie? A cross between a Daft Punk video and The Road Warrior. From the Steambot Studios site:

PLUG is a short film produced by Steambot studios that will be sold as a book DVD package. It will include a beautiful 48 pages making of art book, and a DVD with the short film lasting 15 minutes and also more than 45 minutes of making -of and behind the scene. Written by David Levy and Hatem Benabdallah, directed by David Levy, a prominent concept artist in the entertainment industry, this short film combines a strong storyline, unique visuals and landscapes all this running at high speed aboard fast machines.

According to the website:
Leila, a spunky twenty year old on a quest for other life forms, finds her survival in jeopardy when she succeeds…

1 Mar

This tinfoil hat makes my head itch. The Orion Conspiracy.

Posted by Bryan White | Tuesday March 1, 2011 | News

The Orion ConspiracyThere are obvious reasons for why I don’t much talk about my love affair with conspiracy theory. A light anecdote to get your morning moving: A couple of weeks back I wore a shirt to the gym commemorating my visit last year to the 2nd Annual Exeter, New Hampshire UFO Festival. New Hampshire lacks a lot of interesting things and there’s a particularly deep fringe culture vacuum that the UFO Fest came along and filled. It’s  not without context, either. Roswell may be the genesis of American UFOlogy, but Exeter is where the ongoing mythology of abduction, human experimentation and men in black was formed when a pair of Exeter residents claimed to have not only witnessed a UFO but were taken up into it and messed with by the crew of said craft. It drew a wacky crowd of UFO researchers to the area and because I wore this shirt to the gym, it gave one of them license to corner me and start spouting off the so-called truths of reality. Now every time I go to work out I have to waste ten or fifteen minutes of the precious hour that I have there listening to this guy ramble on and on about ancient alien encounters with early man and how there’s evidence all over the world of alien visitation but the scientific community won’t address it because they’re either too cowardly or they’re owned by people who need to keep this evidence under wraps and discredit the people who know the truth. He even gave a paper he wrote on the topic. Twenty pages of impenetrable crazy-talk inspired by the poorly informed pseudo-anthropology of Zecharia Sitchin. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not necessarily a believer in UFOs. My conspiratorial forte tends to rest in doomsday cults and government black projects like The Montauk Project, but I’m not entirely a UFO critic, either. I just so badly want this stuff to be true that I need hard evidence to fortify my beliefs. I haven’t found any yet.

I also want to make it clear that I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m a conspiracy enthusiast, to coin a phrase. There’s a distinction to be made there.

The Orion Conspiracy, a twenty-ish minute long short film on the topic of, well, pretty much every esoteric conspiracy theory ever, insists that it’s not a work of fiction but it’s also not a documentary, which if you’re in the know on these sorts of topics, is actually a remarkably accurate description of the short. A member of an unnamed research group addresses members of the French government in a briefing on the topic of UFOs beginning with the Third Reich all the way up to today and how the world as we know it is not necessarily what we think it is. Because the subject matter and the writing is so strong, you hardly notice that you’re watching a video of a man diagramming some outrageous bullshit while three other dudes just sit and watch. Everything in this short exists out here on the internet somewhere and the slideshow presentation is not manufactured by the filmmakers but is taken from sources elsewhere, lending a tiny, tiny bit of credibility to some high-minded science fiction. It’s fun and it’s packed with enough information to occupy the rest of your day while you Google every name dropped in the movie.

Enjoy.

Then clear your browser history.

You don’t want them knowing that you saw this video.

27 Feb

Scorpio readies Exhumed. Give them cash money.

Posted by Bryan White | Sunday February 27, 2011 | News

ExhumedIt wasn’t too long ago that I enthused about Richard Griffin’s announcement that the next movie in his catalog would be an expansion on his last 48-hour film project, 2009: Mutants of the Apocalypse. As I sat at dinner with the Scorpio Film releasing list of usual suspects, I learned that Richard liberally shifting up his schedule was pretty much de rigeur and the latest news that Mutants is, in fact, not the next project came as no surprise. What strikes me as funny is that not two weeks ago was I seated next to Scorpio screenwriter, Guy Benoit, who made no mention of the replacement project, Exhumed while he ate his Pad Thai. In fact, at that point, I’m fairly certain that everyone thought they’d be spoofing post-nuke movies with aplomb, unless they kept their mouths shut at the table in order to prevent a press leak.

But I doubt it.

So this means that in the last couple of weeks, Richard impulsively changed his mind and decided that what the world needed now more than ever was a tribute to dreary British riffs on gothic horror and if you ask me, I kind of agree. Here’s why:

Have you ever noticed that, unlike other genres, Hollywood seems to think that fans of horror will be satisfied with a litany of sequels and remakes, without an ounce of new or original content? Perhaps that is because we in the Independent community have been lax about bringing new material to the genre as well. How many zombies and vampire movies can be made before that well runs dry? Well, Exhumed is something different, a film about the most malicious and evil creature of all. Human beings.

He’s right about the endless recycling of ideas and we as horror fans are just consumers, consuming what’s produced for us. Through no fault of our own, we support a system that holds us in contempt, happy to feed us crap because Hollywood doesn’t think we deserve much more than that. It’s up to the indies to provide us with an alternative, but they don’t. Do you have any idea how many solicitations I get for an “…of the Dead” type movie a day? No. You don’t. And you could never even begin to venture a guess because the answer would shock you. So here comes Richard Griffin again to inject a little originality into the scene.

From their Kickstarter page:

Exhumed deals with a twisted family that is seemingly unable to leave their own home. Their gnarled existence and mounting animosity finally gives way to violence and visceral panic. Exhumed’s closest living relatives would perhaps be The House Of The Devil, Ils, and The Strangers. The recently deceased would include the weirdo Hammer efforts of the late-60s and early 70s: The Devil Rides Out, Vampire Circus, etc. Exhumed shares with these movies a claustrophobic fear of what lies inside both the home and the head. Sick stuff. Exhumed is produced by Ted Marr. Richard Griffin directs a script written by Guy Benoit. It stars Sarah Nicklin, Debbie Rochon, Michael Thurber, Michael Reed, Rich Trethaway and Ruth Sullivan.

Griffin and his cronies are raising funds to shoot this picture now. Atomic Brain Invasion is making the festival rounds and it’s starting to look like The Disco Exorcist will follow close behind, hopefully with some killer festival announcements. In the meantime, you can help make this picture happen by kicking Scorpio film releasing a few bucks to their Kickstarter fund.

Keep your eyes here, though, because you can bet that I’ll be reporting more as it is announced. That’s kind of what I do around here.

23 Feb

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: What could have been

Posted by Bryan White | Wednesday February 23, 2011 | News



The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and ClayWith a fascination with low-brow movies, sometimes bearing plots detailing the trials and tribulations of a world where cocks explode I fail to inform the public that I actually have tastes in world culture that some might consider sophisticated. Though, I play it down in these parts in favor of portraying a dude who loves nothing more than movies about severed heads and karate kicks a part of my brain starves for complex entertainment and a few years ago I found that in a used copy of Michael Chabon’s novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Put aside the notion that I’m predisposed to love all things comic book and just go with it. Chabon is a member of the current literary mafia that wins high praise from book reviewers and scholars and the sort of people who like Gore Vidal also find time in their busy literature schedules to read books about 20-something Jews in 1930’s New York city blazing trails in the fledgling comic book world. Chabon tells deeply satisfying, emotionally complex stories couched in the genres and when dealing in the literary circles that he does, that’s not something easily found. Even Bret Easton Ellis’ horror novel, American Psycho is a stuffy, wine and cheese affair that struggles with its status as a gory horror story doubling as an American metaphor. Chabon makes super heroes cool while feeding the intellectual cravings of any given brain.

Kavalier and Clay concerns the ordeals of two cousins, one a native New Yorker, the other a transplant from Prague at the beginning of Hitler’s conquest of Europe. Together, they create The Escapist, a costumed super hero stand-in for Superman whose popularity grows over the course of the novel. Meanwhile, they get fucked by the publisher, a deliberate retelling of the story of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of Superman. It’s a loving tribute to the Golden Age of Comics that also happens to examine family, what it means to be Jewish in America and notions of sexual identity; typical trappings of a novel by Michael Chabon. It won a Pulitzer and was optioned for a movie that never came. Locked up in development hell, it’s unlikely that this movie will ever go before a camera but a video surfaced recently showing off a screen and animation test for what might have been. This test, directed by Jamie Caliri was an idea that overlaps the worlds of Kavalier and Clay and their creation, The Escapist. The video that came from that was fucking cool as hell! It’s stylish and lyrical. If only this movie could have been produced!

17 Feb

Trailer: Dead Island. How Not To Market Your Zombie Video Game

Posted by Bryan White | Thursday February 17, 2011 | News

Dead Island TrailerI drew a little fire this afternoon on the ol’ Twitter feed when I dropped some criticism on that Dead Island video game trailer that’s going around. Believe it or not, my major criticism had little to do at the time with it being another god damn zombie game and had everything to do with it being a gigantic bummer.

Let’s assume for a moment that you didn’t watch the video before reading this. In a nutshell, zombies lay teeth into the child of some vacationers while they fend off an approaching wave of running zombies in a hotel. She turns and attacks her father who flings her off his back and out a window. This all happens in reverse slow-mo and is set to a moody piano piece. As a demo for an upcoming video game, it’s not too shabby. There are console games with far better graphics going around but it demonstrates an interesting particle system where blood splashes on player models in a fairly realistic fashion. Let’s set that aside, though. Let’s also set aside the glaring fact that there’s, like, nine million zombie themed games out there and like the glut of zombie themed movies, about one percent of them are any good. Let’s focus, instead, for a minute on the subject matter of this trailer. A game which tantalizes you to play it by watching a child die.

I’m not so much outraged that the rather graphic death of a child is being used as marketing as I am confused about how this was supposed to make me want to play the game. It’s a piece of blatant shock publicity and, no doubt, this trailer was crafted to get people talking because this game “went there”, as it were. At the last Super Bowl, there was an ad for Groupon that pissed a lot of people off because it made light of the tragic human rights situation going on in Tibet right now but let’s be clear: that was the point. TV advertisers have to fight tooth and nail these days to get people to pay attention to their ads. Game publishers don’t. Cable subscriptions are on a steady decline so fewer people every day are seeing ads on TV. Game publisher marketing takes place almost exclusively online, so what’s the deal with this viral trailer? LA Noire, whose trailer is like a fucking movie, never resorts to cheap shock tactics to communicate the message to me that I want to play that game.  The same goes for Heavy Rain.

I guess I’m just mostly disappointed that a mostly underwhelming game trailer with a neat reverse time gimmick resorted to such trashy measures to sell its product. When a game or a movie does something like this all I can think is ‘publicity stunt’ and this translates in my mind as: We have no confidence in our product. Dead Island strikes me as a game by a developer who has no confidence in their product. The shock gag didn’t really shock me so much as it bummed me out. Bummed out will not convert me into a customer.

Flame on.

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