Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Night Trap 25th Anniversary Edition

As you may have heard, Limited Run Games recently did a physical release of the infamous Dana Plato starring fmv horror game, Night Trap. My own personal history with the game isn't nearly as interesting as the game itself's story, but it's a controversial horror game so of course I'm interested. I knew what it was, but at our home the Sega CD was my brother's (even though I bought it for him as a gift). Thanks to the magic of the internet, even though the game had been pulled, he managed to grab a copy. I watched him play a bit, and I think I tried it once or twice. My brother always worshipped at the altar of these fmv games, and in fact still does at times, you can watch him stream Double Switch over on his Twitch account, but they never really grabbed me. I mean, I liked Sewer Shark, Tomcat Alley, and Midnight Raiders well enough, but tracking down my own Genesis and Sega CD to play them was never anything I considered. 

Still, I was pretty excited when the announcement of the remaster came earlier this year, and I waited impatiently for news of the release date. If you're unfamiliar with Limited Run Games, in a nut shell, they produce small runs of physical copies of games that have digital releases. You know I love me some physical media, and Night Trap would be my first attempt at ordering from Limited Run. Now, this wasn't my first rodeo when it comes to trying to score something with a limited release. Scalpers, website crashes, bots, I've seen it all. Still, I wanted this and made sure I was at my laptop. I watched the counter tick down, and the second "add to cart" popped up, I hit the button. The site told me I was in line and not to refresh or I'd lose my spot. Finally the time came for me to make payment. I was sent over to PayPal (which I'd already signed in to), and when I was sent back to Limited Run to complete my order, I was notified that the item was sold out. To say that I wasn't happy would be an understatement. 

I basically spent the remainder of that day publicly stating my disappointment with Limited Run on Twitter/FB/etc. To be told to wait because there was a line, and then having the opportunity to pay but then be told the item sold WHILE I was paying, I just couldn't wrap my head around. Why is there a fucking line at all then? In fact, apparently with this particular release alongside Wonder Boy which also released the same day, a lot of people had negative things to say about their business model, so much so in fact that it has since been announced that they will be offering pre-orders on larger titles in the future. But anyway, I was done with them. Yeah, they release half of the run early for East coast people, and the second batch later in the day for West coasters, but I assumed even if I tried again, I would get the same result. In fact, I wasn't even at home or anywhere near a computer when the email came across my phone that the second batch was about to go live. Meh, I thought, fuck these guys. But I have to be honest, there was that little voice that was in my head saying "What if?". Eventually my resolve gave way, and I went to the site with under a minute left on the countdown. The place in cart button showed up, I clicked it, then the dreaded wait in line page came. Oh well, right? Suddenly it went away, much faster than the first time, and there I was looking at PayPal. So I hit buy, was redirected to LR's site, and I smashed the place order button. 

I waited for a while for the email telling me my order was cancelled, or something went wrong, but it never came. What did come was a order confirmation email, and it appeared as if I had successfully scored a copy of Night Trap. About two weeks later now, there it was, a black bubble mailer in my mailbox with the Limited Run Games logo on it. 



Here it is in all it's glory. It comes with the game, obviously, reversible cover art, a booklet, and a folded poster of the original game artwork. It's a pretty slick package for the $30 asking price. I haven't gotten a chance to play it yet unfortunately, but I will be doing so pretty soon. The plan is to stream the game for Werewolves. I'm still undecided as to whether I should play it first, so at least I know what I'm doing when I stream it, or if I should just go in blind and see just how badly I can fuck it up. 

So that's my first experience with Limited Run Games, and how I got Night Trap. If you're unfamiliar with the game, and would like to know more about it I highly recommend watching the documentary from My Life in Gaming which I'm embedding below. I may or may not post the stream vid when it happens here, so if you're interested in that, give the Divided by Werewolves youtube page a sub. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Best of 2017 so far - May/June

As predicted, I'm just going to post May and June together, since I didn't really see a whole lot of things in either month. Still, there were *good things, so off we go.

Alien Covenant

You know what Alien Covenant is. I'm not entirely sure what people expect from this franchise at this point. Everybody saw Resurrection, right? And yet people still bitch about Covenant? I've read so many criticisms at this point, and to be perfectly honest, all of the shit people bitch about did't bother me in the least. It's not Alien, it's not Aliens, but as a movie that's meant to bridge the gap between Prometheus and the Alien franchise, I think it serves it's purpose just fine. But again, I'm easily entertained apparently (dumb?), so take that into consideration. I do find it amusing as the excitement for Covenant was pretty high before it's release, just how many people who had never done anything but bash the fuck out of Prometheus were suddenly "watching it for the second time and enjoying it a lot more". Bitch, please.






Raw

This is another one that is high on the list for the year. Absolutely loved it. It's about a young girl, Justine, who is about to head off to vet school, following in the footsteps of her older sister, the black sheep of the family who already attends. Her family are strict vegetarians, and after a hazing incident the first week of school where she is forced to eat meat, Justine begins to have an insatiable hunger for it. As the cravings get stronger, and her will begins to break, she eventually becomes cannibalistic. That's about as much as you need to know before going into Raw. The way the story unfolds is done so well, that to say any more will give too much away. I will say, this is not The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Justine doesn't pull up to the table with a plate full of ass or anything. It handles cannibalism much in the same way that Ginger Snaps sort of tied lycanthropy and puberty together. In Raw, Justine's descent is portrayed not so much as a "mental break" but as how this repressed young girl is out on her own for the first time, discovering who the she is and what her place in the world is. Highly recommended. If you want to hear more about it, we talked about it on Werewolves here, but warning, there are major spoilers.



Wonder Woman

Again, not a whole lot to add to what you've already heard. Absolutely refuse to continue to have the fucking DC/Marvel movie debate at this point as well. I'll just say that Wonder Woman is pretty damn high up on my list of favorite comic book movies of all time. It's wonderful, pun intended. You can hear more about it on our most popular episode of Werewolves.















That about wraps it up for May/June. I do want to give an honorable mention to a movie Binky recommended to me though, Shimmer Lake. It's a Netflix original movie told in reverse about a small town Sheriff who's trying to get to the bottom of a bank heist gone wrong. Very good movie, I enjoyed it a lot.

*After some interactions on the internet this week, I felt like I'd say this yet again. I'm not a critic/reviewer of movies, or anything for that matter. I don't know why it bothers people so much if I like a certain thing. It seems to bother some people to the point that the feel the need to let it be known they didn't like it ANYTIME I mention said thing. The very thought of running to the defense of something like BvS, or Suicide Squad, or whatever, every time somebody on the internet says they don't like it is both pointless and exhausting to me. Let's just let each other watch and like whatever there fuck we want, k?


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Divided by Werewolves - Episode 28

Episode 28 of the Divided by Werewolves show is here. We talk Okja and The Blackcoat's Daughter. Listen below, or find us on iTunes. Thanks as always to any who listen.



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

2017 so far - April

April also turned out to be one of my favorite months for movies. There wasn't as many blockbusters, but a decent amount of lesser known things. A few of these we covered on Werewolves, and I'll note which below.

Officer Downe 

Oh boy this movie. I recommend it a lot, but I always give people fair warning, it's batshit crazy. Imagine if somebody gave Lloyd Kaufman a few million dollars and asked him to do a live action movie based on the Saturday morning cartoons of the 80's..you're starting to get the idea about Officer Downe. Another way to think about it is to imagine somebody asked Paul Verhoeven to do a movie about a knock-off Judge Dredd. If any of that is at all appealing to you, I urge you to track this movie down. Kim Coates (Tig!) plays officer Terence Downe, a police officer who is only called in for suicide missions. Unlike the Suicide Squad however, he actually never survives, and usually ends up a mangled corpse in the process. His remains are then collected, and taken back to the precinct where he is resurrected, and sent back out in the field. When he brings down Headcase Harry, and blows up his drug lab in the process, the heads of the crime syndicate call upon the services of Grand Master Flash to put a stop to Downe permanently. The movie is based on a one-shot from Image comics written by Joe Kelley, with art by Chris Burnham, a fact I had absolutely zero knowledge of going in, and is directed by Clown from Slipknot. It certainly won't be for everybody, but I haven't had a better time watching a movie this year. You can hear more about it on Werewolves.



The Void

This is another one that's pretty far out there, but sits comfortably in my top 5 on the year, maybe even top 3. I don't know exactly what people expected from the guys that did the absolutely fantastic Father's Day, but The Void people seem to either fall on the "love it or hate it" side of the argument, with exceptions of course. To try and do a synopsis of this movie would indicate that I had a firm grasp of the plot and all of the many twists and turns there-in, which I don't, so I'm just going to do my best here, and write down what I think was going on. A police officer comes up on a bleeding man in the middle of the road, and rushes him to a nearby hospital which is minimally staffed since it's the middle of the night. Soon after, cloaked figures appear outside, the bad guys responsible for the bleeding guy's gunshot wound show up, the people inside the hospital start going insane for some unknown reason, and as the few people remaining who aren't quite crazy yet flee deeper into the hospital they come across an ancient evil. Now, that may not be exactly it, but it's as close to an understanding as I have. The one thing I do know is that The Void is a glorious throwback to the days of 80's horror, with practical effects aplenty. Weird monsters, blood, gore, slime, goo, you name it. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to watch John Carpente's The Thing on acid, but don't do drugs, this is your movie. We also covered this one on Werewolves.


The Belko Experiment

I'm assuming at this point that everyone knows what The Belko Experiment is. If not, it's basically about a group of people working in a high rise in Columbia, who one day enter work, the building closes off and from outside they hear a voice telling them they have a few hours to kill each other until only one is left standing. Sort of a corporate version of Battle Royale meets The Purge. The reason it's on this list isn't for it's originality, in fact once I saw a trailer or two I almost dismissed it completely. It didn't look like it was going to be something I particularly liked, and I felt like I got what I needed from it from the trailers. I eventually watched it just because I had nothing else to watch, and because it had John C. McGinley in it, and I love me some Dr. Cox. I ended up being very happy I did. Yes, it's a movie about officer workers killing each other in some twisted social experiment put on by the company they work for, but it's also brutally violent, bloody, at times tense and suspenseful, and a hilariously dark comedy. Seriously, I had no idea it would be as good as it was. That said, it has it's problems as well, particularly the ending. This has sort of a Cabin in the Woods thing going on at the end, and just when you think you're going to get some answers, it ends. Still it's definitely worth a watch.


Colossal

Nacho Vigalondo's kaiju of a different color has honestly surprised me in the amount of notoriety it's gotten. From Anne Hathaway showing up on The Tonight Show to promote it, to internet ads and trailers everywhere you look, it's nice to see one of Nacho's films get the exposure it deserves. Hathaway plays Gloria, who is forced to move from her big city life back home due to her alcohol problem. She takes a job as a waitress at a bar owned by a childhood friend, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). In the mean time, a giant creature attacks Seoul, South Korea. Eventually, Gloria learns she has a strange connection to the creature, in the meantime her alcoholism continues to be a problem, and Oscar's behavior begins to change from almost overly helpful to hostile. That's as much as I'm saying about Colossal, as I don't want to spoil it.  If you don't care about spoilers, you can listen to more on this episode of Werewolves. I will say, this movie primarily focuses on Gail and her coming to terms with her problems, and less on the creature, so don't go in thinking you're watching a Godzilla flick. The kaiju is there, but it isn't the films main focus. If you end up enjoying Colossal, I highly recommend checking out Nacho Vigalondo's other work, especially Time Crimes.

That wraps up the best of April. Don't really have any honorable mentions, other than I will say I finally watched the copy of Hell or High Water that I'd owned for months and just never watched, and my God was that movie fantastic. The rest of the year going forward is a bit sparse, so I'm thinking about doing May/June as one collective post, but we'll see what happens.