Saturday-Frights-Halloween-Special-Ep-065

Saturday Frights Podcast Ep. 65 (Halloween Special IV)

What can you expect from the Saturday Frights Halloween Special IV? How about a visit to the Haunted Drive-In for a movie marathon? Furthermore, the Projectionist and myself are joined by a host of friends this time. All gathered to discuss that maestro of horror, Stephen King! We cover the likes of his books, film adaptations and even TV miniseries. Of course since we are at the Haunted Drive-In, you can expect plenty of surprises and vintage audio treats.
Halloween Special IV - King

For the Halloween Special IV, we are joined by I See Robots, Allison L. Venezio, Ashley Thomas aka The Nerdy Blogger, Rockford Jay, Gino Vega, and of course the Retroist. I ask you, what better time to discuss Stephen King than on Halloween?

As for what we cover on the Saturday Frights Podcast Halloween Special IV. It ranges from Cujo to the The Running Man.Pet Sematary and The Ramones – up to the author’s influence on the hit series Stranger Things. I think we have certainly thrown a wide net on King’s work. However I feel there is one movie in particular that managed to plant seeds of fear with more than one of us.
Halloween Special IV - Church

We hope you will listen and share your own King memories in the comments section!

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in the future, email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook.

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The Saturday Frights Halloween Special IV guests certainly deserve links to their spot on the internet!


Both I See Robots as well as the sensational Gino Vega can be found at the The Official Webpage of the IseeRobots Foundation!
Besides her work here on the Retroist you can also catch up on Allison Venezio’s work at Allison’s Written Words!
Ashley Thomas can be located in fact at her namesake – which just so happens to be The Nerdy Blogger!
Our newest intern at the Retrost Vault, I referring of course to Rockford Jay can be found on the Saturday Frights Facebook Page. Naturally!

Happy Halloween!

Dawn of the Dead - Cover

Scream Factory: Dawn Of The Dead Collector’s Edition

When talking about 1978’s Dawn of the Dead it’s fair to call it a masterpiece. The late and great George A. Romero really delivered a triumph in horror. The social commentary elements that he had touched upon in 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. Were absolutely embraced and proudly flaunted in the sequel. It is in fact considered by most to be the best zombie film ever made. Period. Which is why in 2003 when I first heard that someone was going to attempt to remake Dawn of the Dead…I didn’t take it well.

I don’t think I was the only one that was kind of flipping their wig at the news. Furthermore I can recall being at work, sitting in the back office when I read the news. All joking aside my reaction was actually quite a bit like that GIF from The Office. Then I started doing a little research. I hadn’t ever heard of Zack Snyder although I do believe this was his directorial debut.
Dawn of the Dead - Zak Snyder

But James Gunn…now that is a name I knew thanks to 2000’s The Specials and 2002’s Scooby-Doo.
Dawn of the Dead - James Gunn

Which wasn’t exactly a strong selling point for most fans of the 1978 version. Not even the fact that Gunn had written 1996’s Tromeo and Juliet as well as a pass on 2000’s Thir13en Ghosts calmed concerns. He’s gone on record that he literally received death threats over his involvement with the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Which is a pretty sad thing to have to share of course.
Dawn of the Dead - 2004 - Poster

I certainly try my very best to keep an open mind about all movies. Leaving judgement as it were until I have at the very least been able to see the trailer. Having said that – this was a remake of Dawn of the Dead so I can be excused for being a little biased. The afternoon that it debuted online…it was with great hesitation that I hit play on the media player.

[Via] Scream Factory TV

After it was over I found myself kind of slowing nodding my head. Not all of my fears had been settled. It looked like the zombies were running instead of shambling. It seemed like they had taken the tight group of survivors from the 1978 version and greatly expanded it. On the other hand, their casting choices made me sit up and take notice. The feeling…or fear… of being sieged by the Dead also seemed to have been ramped up. As well as scenes of what definitely looked like normal life breaking down at the beginning of an zombie apocalypse.
Dawn of the Dead - Apocalypse

Was I won over completely? No. But I certainly found myself more curious about seeing the finished product than I had been. So when it debuted on March 19th, 2004 – I had my seat at the second matinee. And when the end credits had rolled and the house lights were raised I walked out of the theater and bought a ticket for the next showing. I can honestly say I was blown away by how much I liked the film. Was it perfect? No. But it was INCREDIBLY entertaining to say the least. It was mean, had tons of dark comedy, and overall wanted to scare its audience.

To be fair, the film isn’t really that much of a remake of 1978’s Dawn of the Dead. There are shared elements from both films of course. They are mostly cosmetic though on the whole. The mall being the central spot to which the survivors head to and fortify is there. And there are some cameos from the original film’s cast members. The 2004 remake really stands on its own if I am being totally honest.

So what is the basic plot of the remake? Ana, played by the powerhouse actress Sarah Polley, is rescued by a Police Officer named Kenneth (Ving Rhames). They shortly come across a trio of survivors. Michael, who is hands down my favorite character and played by Jake Weber. As well as Andre (Mekhi Phifer) and Luda (Inna Korobkina), a young couple with a baby on the way. The group takes refugee in the Cross Roads Mall but not before having a confrontation with the mall’s security force. You have racist CJ (Michael Kelly), his lackey Bart (Michael Barry) and the younger and more reasonable Terry (Kevin Zegers).
Dawn of the Dead - Survivors

As it seems that no help is coming, the group end up settling in for a long haul. Soon the group’s number grows with new survivors. Nicole (Lindy Booth), Tucker (Boyd Banks), Glen (R.D. Reid), Monica (Kim Poirier), and Norma (Jayne Eastwood). Oh, there is also the absolutely delightfully sarcastic and scene stealing Steve Marcus, played by Ty Burrell.
Dawn of the Dead - Ty Burrell

Zak Snyder’s direction is on point. Sharp and literally in your face in some scenes. The film doesn’t pull any punches in it’s depiction of the zombie apocalypse either. When everything starts to break down as you know it will. You will care about the characters and their fates.
Dawn of the Dead - Mall Roof

Just like they did with George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead, Scream Factory is unleashing a Collector’s Edition of 2004’s Dawn of the Dead. A 2-Disc Blu-Ray set offering both the theatrical as well as unrated cut of the film. Including of course a ton of extra features.

Disc One:

  • Theatrical Version HD Master Derived From The Digital Intermediate Archival Negative
  • Take A Chance On Me – An Interview With Actor Ty Burrell
  • Gunn For Hire – An Interview With Writer James Gunn
  • Punk, Rock, & Zombie – An Interview With Actor Jake Weber
  • Killing Time At The Mall: The Special Effects Of Dawn Of The Dead – An Interview With Special
  • Makeup Effects Artists David Anderson And Heather Langenkamp Anderson (Yes, Nightmare on Elm Street’s Langenkamp!)
  • Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary By Director Zach Snyder And Producer Eric Newman
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

Disc Two:

  • Unrated Version HD Master Derived From The Digital Intermediate Archival Negative With HD Inserts
  • Audio Commentary With Director Zach Snyder And Producer Eric Newman
  • Splitting Headaches: Anatomy Of Exploding Heads
  • Attack Of The Living Dead
  • Raising The Dead
  • Andy’s Lost Tape
  • Special Report: Zombie Invasion
  • Undead And Loving It: A Mockumentary
  • Drawing The Dead Featurette
  • Storyboard Comparisons
  • Hidden Easter Egg

You can pre-order your copy of the Dawn of the Dead Collector’s Edition by visiting Scream Factory. Or instead you can pick it up on Halloween before you head out to engage in spooky festivities!

Remember while watching Dawn of the Dead on Halloween to make sure it is actually trick-or-treaters outside your door!

Land of the Dead - Cover

Scream Factory: Land Of The Dead Collector’s Edition!

Land of the Dead was a very big deal when it was originally announced back in 2005. It marked the return of George A. Romero to his Dead universe. A mere 20 years had passed since we zombie fans were last treated to Romero’s unique vision of an ever increasing apocalypse. An apocalypse of the flesh-eating hordes of the undead. I can certainly say Land of the Dead had quite a bit of expectation tied to it.
Land of the Dead - Poster

I was so excited in fact that I took off work when it opened on June 24th. Furthermore judging by the size of the audience for the first matinee I wasn’t the only one. It was absolutely packed. I can remember how friends and complete strangers alike were busily chatting away with each other. Discussing their favorite Dead film, memorable scenes and how the movies ranked as well. Then the lights dimmed and an absolute hush washed over the audience.

[Via] W3reW0lfje

Land of the Dead marked the first film that Romero made that had studio support. In this case it was Universal Studios. Which probably helped to nab the talents of the likes of Dennis Hopper and of course John Leguizamo.
Land of the Dead - Dennis Hopper

So what kind of story did Land of the Dead bring us? In short a corrupt business man named Kaufman (Hopper) has created possibly the last sanctuary for humanity. A towering beacon of hope…false hope, for the huddled masses. If you happen to be filthy rich and align with Kaufman’s agenda you are safe and comfortable in the Green. However if you are one of the many poor – you earn your living in other ways. As a soldier guarding the fenced perimeter of the Green to keep out the Dead. Or as in the case of Cholo (Leguizamo) a lackey who is forced to get his hands dirty.
Land of the Dead - John Leguizamo

Our main protagonist in Land of the Dead is Riley Denbo, played by the Mentalist’s Simon Baker. A man who has all but been ground down by the world of the Dead. Not to mention having to go out constantly on raids to nearby cities and towns to scavenge for food and supplies for the people of the Green.
Land of the Dead - Simon Baker

On Riley’s last night out before retirement he notices something odd about the Dead they are contending with. At least in the case of one, Big Daddy, played by Eugene Clark. They seem to be getting smarter or remembering how to act like they did when living. At the very least they appear to be able to communicate with one another now…like forming a mob to repel and hunt down their attackers!
Land of the Dead - Big Daddy

Which is something I might add that Romero has clued us fans to from the start with Night of the Living Dead in 1968. Things go sour for Riley’s retirement plans as well as Cholo’s. In the case of the latter however it means retribution against Kaufman and the people of Fiddler’s Green. If his ransom demand of 5 million dollars are not met he will unleash the fury of Dead Reckoning on the city.
Land of the Dead - Dead Reckoning

Dead Reckoning is Land of the Dead‘s massive anti-dead vehicle. A modified Semi truck, designed by Riley in fact. Equipped to the teeth with all manner of weapons to punch it’s way through large mobs of the Dead. More importantly it has a deadly rocket launcher system that Cholo threatens to use on Fiddler’s Green.

So Riley is forced to go out beyond the safety of the city. To hunt down Cholo and reclaim Dead Reckoning before Kaufman’s empire is destroyed. Thankfully Riley can count on his friend Charlie (Robert Joy) as well as Slack, played by the bad ass Asia Argento. But as with all Romero Dead films…the true threat isn’t the hordes of walking dead…but our fellow man. The real question of Land of the Dead becomes whether humanity even deserves to be saved.

Now back in 2005 as the credits rolled on Land of the Dead I took a big breath. I walked out of the theater and got in my car. I then sat there for a few minutes. George A. Romero’s return had left me incredibly disappointed.

Perhaps I had put too much expectation on the film and what I thought it was going to be about. I will certainly admit that I thought we would be seeing humanity waging an all out war on the Dead after watching the trailer.

[Via] Scream Factory TV

Over the years I at least was wise enough to see how good Land of the Dead actually was. Will it ever by my favorite? No, I am afraid that goes to 1985’s Day of the Dead. A film I should add that when I originally watched it on VHS I wasn’t that impressed with either.

Now the good news is that Scream Factory is delivering a Blu-Ray collector’s Edition of the film. On this Tuesday, Halloween itself no less! This 2-disc edition also contains a horde of special features. Including an absolutely stunning 2K scan of the movie on both the theatrical cut as well as uncut version!

Disc One:

  • Theatrical Cut
  • Cholo’s Reckoning – An Interview With Actor John Leguizamo
  • Charlie’s Story – An Interview With Actor Robert Joy
  • The Pillsbury Factor – An Interview With Actor Pedro Miguel Arce
  • Four Of The Apocalypse – An Interview With Actors Eugene Clark, Jennifer Baxter, Boyd Banks, And Jasmin Geljo
  • Dream Of The Dead: The Director’s Cut With Optional Commentary By Director Roy Frumkes
  • Deleted Footage From Dream Of The Dead
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer

Disc Two

  • Uncut version
  • Audio Commentary With Zombie Performers Matt Blazi, Glena Chao, Michael Felsher, And Rob Mayr
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Director George A. Romero, Producer Peter Grunwald, And Editor Michael Doherty
  • Undead Again: The Making Of Land Of The Dead
  • Bringing The Dead To Life
  • Scenes Of Carnage
  • Zombie Effects: From Green Screen To Finished Scene
  • Scream Test – CGI Test
  • Bringing The Storyboards To Life
  • A Day With The Living Dead Hosted By John Leguizamo
  • When Shaun Met George (Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg)

So before you head out to enjoy your Halloween festivities. Make sure to pick up the Land of the Dead Collector’s Edition. Or of course you can hop on over to Scream Factory and pre-order your copy today.

Did you know that Land of the Dead received a tie-in video game? It certainly did! Check out the trailer for Road to Fiddler’s Green!

[Via] Archives of the Dead

Inferno - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Inferno (1984)

Friends, do you remember Inferno from back in 1984? Manufactured and distributed as well by the legendary Williams Electronics. This is another pick from Christopher Tupa for his Retro Arcade Art project that I have not had the pleasure of playing before. With Inferno you certainly have a mix of Wizard of Wor in addition to some Crystal Castles.

Furthermore the control scheme for Inferno has just a hint of Williams’ 1982 arcade hit Robotron 2084!
Inferno - Inferno arcade cabinet

I should add that most of us do not remember the game. That is of course because it was never widely distributed and it is also believed that only 6 arcade cabinets now exist. Although you can freely find it on MAME as well as the Internet Arcade Archive!

As for the gameplay, you are tasked with dispatching enemies found in the worlds of the Grand Lizard. These enemies which are small multi-colored and known as cyclops, can be shot with your laser.
Inferno - Cyclops

Doing so will destroy their bodies and leave their black souls behind. Which will then attempt to run into the open maw of the Grand Lizard at the top of the screen. You can make contact with the fleeing monsters and absorb their souls.
Inferno - Grand Lizard

Or instead attempt to follow them into the Grand Lizard’s waiting mouth to do battle in the Inferno Wave. Which is essentially a free for all with every bad guy aiming to take you down!
Inferno - Inferno Wave

In addition to the Cyclops you must also contend with the Tankov. A sentient tank threat that requires you to blow off its treads while positioned on a lower level of the maze. Then get on an equal level with the demonic tanks remains and shoot it again.

I’m not quite certain how to describe the character of the Nymph. Perhaps it best you just read the description from the game yourself?

Inferno is yet again another example of what made the Golden Age of Arcade games so great. The sometimes throw everything at the wall elements frequently worked in the games favor. Of course sometimes that didn’t work as well. But here we are 33 years later, enjoying CTupa’s artwork that was based on a game that never was widely released, right?

Now remember that with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s official site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

Now that you know a little about Inferno, why not watch the game in action?

[Via] JSBO

Be sure to check out the earlier entries for the Retro Arcade Art project by CTupa!
(Beezer)
(Bomb Jack)
(Devil Fish)
(Dig Dug)

Ghost Stories - Cover

Ghost Stories Of An Antiquary – Volume II

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II is an upcoming graphic novel. An Adaptation of four of M.R. James’ supernatural tales of terror. By the way of Leah Moore and John Reppion, under Self Made Hero in fact but published by Abrams Books. M.R. James has been cited as being an influence on the works of both H.P. Lovecraft as well as Stephen King.

Ghost Stories - M.R. James

The esteemed M.R. James – medievalist scholar as well as writer of ghost stories!

With it being October of course, what better way to celebrate the season than with some of James’ stories? Because with the second volume of Ghost Stories of an An Antiquary you get a nice selection from the author’s work.

With Number 13, illustrated by George Kambadais. We are introduced to a young man named Mr. Anderson. Who has arrived at the Golden Lion inn in Viborg, Denmark. A researcher who certainly uncovers something startling. Whilst checking on his fellow lodgers he discovers there is no room numbered 13 listed in the available rooms. Except if that is the case…why does Mr. Anderson pass a room marked 13? As well as the mystery of the singing and laughing from behind a door to a room that isn’t supposed to exist?

Next up in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II is Count Magnus! Illustrated by Abigail Larson it is the tale of one Mister Wraxall. A travel guide writer. Mr. Wraxall is visiting Sweden for research on an upcoming book. However the man instead learns of the bloody handed legacy of the titular Count Magnus. A fearsome man who it was rumored was to be on a ‘Black Pilgrimage’. In addition to causing enough fear to warrant three large padlocks on his place of rest. What might happen if those padlocks were to be opened?

Ghost Stories - Count Magnus

Some doors are not meant to be open!

Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad is the third entry. In addition this is a story by M.R. James that I know well thanks to a television adaptation. This story which is illustrated by Al Davison concerns Professor Parkins, who is on holiday. While the Professor might intend to spend time playing rounds of golf, he uncovers an odd item located in a burial site. What was once a Templar preceptory hides a whistle. Being an educated man and scorning of what some might deem superstitious. Parkins blows the whistles. Twice. Being a ghost story it shouldn’t surprise you that something answers the call, right?

Ghost Stories - Oh Whistle

Professor Parkins is going to learn to keep an open mind!

The last story presented in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II is The Treasure of Abbot Thomas. Illustrated by Meghan Hetrick. In this tale we meet Antiquarian, Mr. Somerton, who follows the trail of a coded message. Which in fact is hidden within a stained glass window in the Abbey of Steinfeld in Germany. Furthermore the reason for this coded message is it is said to lead to a hidden treasure. Somerton and his trusted servant, Mr. Brown – are able to decipher the clues which lead to an abandoned well that once belonged to Abbot Thomas. A well that curiously indeed contains steps that lead down into the darkness…as well as a guardian.

It is the fourth tale that is very much like the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, friends. It is probably my favorite of them all. But each one does represent a wonderful type of ghost story by the way. If you find you need a little something to help you get into the spirit of the season. Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II comes out this Tuesday. Or instead you can order a copy for yourself by following the link to Abrams books.

Now that you now what to expect from Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. Why not watch the 1968 television adaptation for Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad?

[Via] Montague James