Netflix's Castlevania

Netflix’s Castlevania Is A Bloody Good Time!

It is hard to believe but Netflix’s Castlevania animated series has been unleashed. I can at the very least tell you, without giving away the entire plot of the series, that it stays true to the spirit of Konami’s video game series. As well as successfully adapting the Gothic and dark story line touched upon by the games for a most assuredly adult audience. Netflix’s Castlevania is delightfully gory and doesn’t shy from it’s horror roots.
Netflix's Castlevania

I should probably mention that this first season of Netflix’s Castlevania is a mere four episodes. In all honesty I found that to be rather shocking. However I have found information that Adi Shankar, the producer, has said in all there will be two seasons. With the second and of course presumably longer season landing in 2018.

As I mentioned when sharing that awesome NES inspired teaser trailer just back in May. The series has been penned by none other than Warren Ellis. A writer I hold in very high regard as his Planetary comic series is hands down one of my favorite books. Ever.
Netflix's Castlevania

The story itself while taking elements from the Castlevania game series, mostly seems focused on the cast of Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse. Which was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1990.
Netflix's Castlevania

Netflix’s Castlevania does something rather different indeed. Right off the bat we are shown a very different version of Dracula. Furthermore one quite different from the character we’ve become accustomed to in Konami’s games. Yes, this Vlad Dracula Tepes is still very much a vampire and dangerous. But he is also in fact reasonable and is convinced by a young woman to rejoin mankind.
Netflix's Castlevania

I mention this, friends, as you will actually side with Dracula a bit. I say side because thanks to a religious zealot, tragedy turns Vlad into a terror of the night. His retribution however threatens the lives of every man, woman, and child. No one will be spared from his wrath.
Netflix's Castlevania

It certainly looks like an undead tide of horror will sweep across the lands. Thankfully there is one man who will take up the challenge of halting Dracula’s bloody reign. Trevor Belmont, the last surviving Son of the Belmont clan.
Netflix's Castlevania

Wait. Hold up a second. While Trevor is certainly an inspiring and dashing figure. The very last thing he wants to do is be a hero. His goal is pretty much to stay drunk as much as possible and keep his belly full. Now, I should add that through the four episodes we totally understand why Trevor is behaving this way. His family too has been subject to the whims of religious zealots.

Trevor crosses paths with a group of Speakers. One of which, Sypha Belnades, happens to be a magic-user. Her desire to protect mankind contrasts sharply with Trevor’s pragmatic nature.
Netflix's Castlevania

While four episodes are short and to be honest, you will be left on something of a cliffhanger. The writing is top notch and the animation style as I have already mentioned is satisfyingly dark. The voice talent is also where Castlevania should be praised. Playing Trevor is Richard Armitage (The Hobbit), Matt Frewer (Max Headroom) plays the Bishop. In addition Graham McTavish (Preacher) lends his voice to the role of Dracula, with Alejandra Reynoso (G.I. Joe: Renegades) as Sypha. Rounding out the cast is Battlestar Galactica’s James Callis, Tony Amendola, as well as Emily Swallow (Supernatural).

Last but certainly not least is Trevor Morris’ powerful and haunting score. You don’t have to take my word on that though as you can in fact listen to the theme below!

[Via] Sariel Dracool

Now if you are ready for a dark and bloody good time. You can binge watch Netflix’s Castlevania animated series right this minute!

Age of Resistance - The Dark Crystal

Teaser Released For Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance!

Why is there an Age of Resistance in the world of The Dark Crystal? We will find out the answer to that thanks to Netflix’s exclusive new series. In fact the company just announced The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance today with this teaser trailer.

[Via] Netflix

Age of Resistance - Skeksis construction
While the teaser indeed showed us some wonderful footage from the likes of Jim Henson. As well as some brief glimpses at the legendary Creature Shop at work. We however aren’t given a lot to go on in regards to the the Age of Resistance‘s story. Thanks to a press release from The Dark Crystal website – it turns out this will be a prequel to the classic 1982 film.

“A beloved classic from the 80s marks its return as Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment network, will bring The Jim Henson Company’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance exclusively to members around the world. The 10-episode fantasy adventure series is a prequel to the groundbreaking 1982 fan favorite The Dark Crystal, and takes place many years before the events of the film. The series will be shot in the U.K., and will star an ensemble of fantastical, state-of-the-art creatures created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ and Brian Froud, the original feature’s conceptual designer.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance returns to the world of Thra with an all new adventure. When three Gelfling discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power, they set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.

Feature film director Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me, The Incredible Hulk) will executive produce the series and direct. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will be a Netflix original series produced by The Jim Henson Company and executive produced by Letterier, Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford. Longtime Henson collaborator Rita Peruggi will serve as producer and Henson’s Blanca Lista will serve as a co-executive producer. Leading the writing are co-executive producers Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (Life in a Year), and Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost, The 100).

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will combine the art of puppetry perfected by The Jim Henson Company, with Louis’ vision, powerful storytelling and a mix of cutting-edge digital imagery and visual effects,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix. “I can’t wait for families around the world to see how we bring these unique characters to life.”

“Louis Leterrier is passionate about the world of The Dark Crystal and has an incredible creative vision for the series. He brings this passion to every facet of the production as he leads the talented team of artists and writers that are bringing this entire universe to life,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. “Netflix has a deep respect for my father’s original work and the many people it inspired. They are the perfect partners to create this next epic chapter in The Dark Crystal story for new fans and the loyal fans who have waited so long for more adventures from this world.”

Age of Resistance - Skeksis Illustration
So in addition to the awesome news that Leterrier will in fact be using practical visual effects alongside digital work. This prequel will most probably explain why the Skekis made it point to seek out all of the Gelflings. If you go by J. J. Llewellyn’s exceptional 1982 book The World of the Dark Crystal. A book I would also add is chock full of beautiful Brian Froud artwork. The Skekis in fact weren’t totally evil when the sundering first took place but soon however they changed. Taking the Gelflings as slaves and then of course destroying them almost entirely when the diminutive race devised the prophecy.

[Via] Antoneey

Of course I will be sure to pass along any new information that we get about this exciting new series. Not only that but if you would like more vintage fun concerning the Dark Crystal.

Read: After 31 Years It Was Time To Open Up That Pack Of Dark Crystal Cards!

Moreover to prepare yourself for The Dark Crystal: Age of Reckoning why not listen to episode 058 of the Retroist Podcast?


Retroist Dark Crystal Podcast

Where's Barb

Have You Ordered Your Copy Of Stranger Things “Where’s Barb”?

Most fans of Netflix’s Stranger Things would naturally agree that Millie Bobby Brown was the breakout star. Her performance as Eleven certainly blew us fans away and that is fact. In addition however I will claim that Shannon Purser’s role of Barb is Stranger Things most memorable character.
Where's Barb

I would say that in addition to a great character, it was Purser’s bittersweet performance, that has garnered such fans. So much so that I am quite excited to announce that those geniuses at ThinkGeek have released a new book. Patterned after the global phenomenon of Where’s Waldo line of object-finding puzzle books. Where’s Barb? gives us a Stranger Thing’s twist!

Where's Barb

Where’s Barb? images courtesy of ThinkGeek.



Here is what ThinkGeek has to say about Where’s Barb?:
“The 1980s hold a lot of great childhood memories for us. It was a time when phones were still tethered to our wood-paneled walls. A time of Choose Your Own Adventure books. Of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Of Cabbage Patch Kids and Trivial Pursuit. And in the late 80s, we were introduced to a phenomenon known as “Where’s Waldo?”

It seems only right that a series which so effectively evoked the atmosphere of the 80s, Netflix’s Stranger Things, would team up with the creators of Where’s Waldo to produce this crossover, Where’s Barb? Search the little town of Hawkins for Barbara Holland. Maybe she’s studying with Nancy. Wait. Why’s her car a couple of blocks from Steve’s house? The police are pretty sure she just ran away. But is that her Trapper Keeper peeking out from under that bush? We promise searching for Barb will be hours of fun for the whole family!

I direct you to any of the ThinkGeek links if you too feel like ordering a copy of Where’s Barb?

Of course you crafty folks already know this is but an April Fool’s Day joke. However, this is ThinkGeek, so you can in fact hop on over and vote for it to become a real product. Not only that but also you might want to check out the Bicycle Horn of Gondor first…of course you can vote for both! In other words, share this with your friends so we can get Where’s Barb? actually made!

Voltron 84

Netflix Unleashes Voltron 84 – 12 Handpicked Episodes!

Here is some exciting news that will certainly get your day started right. Netflix has just unleashed Voltron 84 on their streaming service. 12 classic handpicked episodes from some of those responsible for the hit Voltron: Legendary Defender by Dreamworks.
Voltron 84

Furthermore, each of these episodes is introduced by one of those creative forces. As well as explaining why the choice of that particular episode, why it stayed with them through the years. In addition to how Voltron 84 helped them usher the property to a brand new generation of fans, a mere 32 years later.

VOLTRON

Of course you might be interested in just what episodes have been picked for the Voltron 84 ‘special’:

  • Joaquim Dos Santos (Executive Producer)
    “The Stolen Lion”
  • Lauren Montgomery (Co-Executive Producer)
    “The Sleeping Princess”
  • Tim Hedrick (Story Editor)
    “Doom Boycotts the Space Olympics”
  • Mitch Iverson (Writer)
    “Space Explorers Captured”
  • Josh Keaton (voice of Shiro)
    “Escape to Another Planet“
  • Steve Ahn (Director)
    “The Missing Key”
  • Christine Bian (Design Supervisor)
    “The Right Arm of Voltron”
  • Kimberly Brooks (voice of Allura)
    “The Lion Has New Claws”
  • Benjamin Kaltenecker (Line Producer)
    “Secret of the White Lion”
  • Jeff Adams (Supervising Picture Editor)
    “The Witch Gets A Facelift”
  • Chris Palmer (Director)
    “Give me Your Princess”
  • Josh Hamilton (Story Editor)
    “The Treasure of Planet Tyrus”

I think that you fans of Voltron will agree that is a nice selction of episodes. In addition if you would like to read a bit more about why Voltron 84 came about – you can in fact read this interview over on io9.
Voltron 84

Now that you know of Voltron 84, watch the intro to the original series!

[Via] Skully the Hypno Skull

Stranger Things - Michael Maher

Star Wars Gets Stranger With Cast Of Stranger Things!

It is no big secret that Stranger Things kind of took off like wildfire here at the Retroist Vault. There are quite a few reasons why it managed to entrance us all. Naturally the easiest aspect of the series that attracted us was how it was a massive love letter to the 80s. From film posters to toys and music – it reminded us of the time most of us grew up in.
Stranger Things - Logo

Of course there was also the fact that it boasted a terrific cast. Stranger Things wouldn’t have been even half as enjoyable if not for the actors. While Millie Bobby Brown was the breakout star with her portrayal of Eleven. There was Finn Wolfhard as Mike, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas, Noah Schnapp as Will, and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin as well. Each and everyone of these young actors brought memorable performances. In addition to the work by the supporting cast like Winona Ryder, David Harbour and so many others.

Furthermore there was the Lovecraftian horror meets Ridley Scott’s Alien by way of The Thing. Which presented more than a few scares throughout the Netflix series!

Another thing that creators Matt and Ross Duffer peppered throughout Stranger Things were nods to Star Wars. Which makes a ton of sense for children growing up in the 80s. I mean with Mike and his group who play Dungeons and Dragons. It’s not that hard to see them being fans of the Star Wars series as well, right?

Thanks to artist extraordinaire Michael Maher Jr. we can now see how the kids from Stranger Things would look in the Star Wars universe. Moreover perhaps that would now be the Stranger Wars films?

Image courtesy of Michael Maher Jr.

While I do love the idea of Finn playing Han and Noah as Luke. It really is Millie as Princess Leia and Gaten as Chewbacca that really makes it fantastic. The fact that in Maher’s Stranger Wars artwork Chewie is wearing Dustin’s hat – just a cherry on top. I wonder though…would Ryder and Harbour’s characters be R2 and Threepio?