Tag Archive | "George A. Romero"

Scream Factory To Release ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and ‘Land of the Dead’ Collector’s Editions On October 31st!

Scream Factory To Release ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and ‘Land of the Dead’ Collector’s Editions On October 31st!

This Halloween, get ready for a double dose of zombie apocalypse mayhem and trips to hell! On October 31, 2017, Scream Factory™ is proud to present DAWN OF THE DEAD Collector’s Edition 2-Disc Blu-ray  and George A. Romero’s LAND OF THE DEAD Collector’s Edition2-Disc Blu-ray.  These two definitive collector’s editions boast new 2K transfer, revealing extras and new interviews with cast and crew. A must-have for movie collectors, horror enthusiasts and loyal fans,  DAWN OF THE DEAD Collector’s Edition and LAND OF THE DEAD Collector’s Edition are available for pre-order now at ShoutFactory.com

Avid fans and collectors please take note: Order from ShoutFactory.com and get a FREE 18″ X 24″ poster featuring our brand new artwork, available while supplies last! Also get it shipped Two Weeks early!

DAWN OF THE DEAD Collector’s Edition

Heart-pounding action and bone-chilling thrills power this edgy and frightening remake of George A. Romero’s apocalyptic horror classic, Dawn Of The Dead! From visionary filmmaker Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen), this pulse-pounding jolt-a-thon stars Ving Rhames (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), Sarah Polley (Splice), Jake Weber (Wendigo), Mekhi Phifer (Divergent) and Ty Burrell (Modern Family).

The world is in danger when a mysterious virus turns people into mindless, flesh-eating zombies. In a mall in the heartland, a handful of survivors wage a desperate, last-stand battle to stay alive … and human!

DAWN OF THE DEAD Collector’s Edition Blu-ray bonus features:

DISC ONE – Theatrical Version:

  • NEW HD master derived from the digital intermediate archival negative
  • NEW Take A Chance on Me – an interview with actor Ty Burrell
  • NEW Gunn for Hire – an interview with writer James Gunn
  • NEW Punk, Rock & Zombie – an interview with actor Jake Weber
  • NEW 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
  • Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by director Zach Snyder and producer Eric Newman
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

DISC TWO – Unrated Version:

  • NEW 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

George A. Romero’s LAND OF THE DEAD Collector’s Edition

In a harrowing vision of a post-apocalyptic world, zombies have turned all but a few fortified cities into desolate wasteland. Behind city walls, pockets of humanity cling to survival in a brutal society built by a handful of enterprising, ruthless opportunists like Kaufman (Dennis Hopper), who insulate themselves in high-rise towers and employ a band of mercenaries led by Riley (Simon Baker) to scavenge the countryside for food and other necessities, while the poor fend for themselves. When the previously mindless, slow-moving zombies begin to evolve into cunning, crafty killers and organize for a final catastrophic attack, a group of hardened mercenaries is called into action to protect the living from an army of the dead, even as they battle a rogue mercenary (John Leguizamo) who threatens the existence of their safe haven.

LAND OF THE DEAD Collector’s Edition Blu-ray bonus features:

DISC ONE: Theatrical Cut

  • NEW 2K Scan of the interpositive
  • NEW Cholo’s Reckoning – an interview with actor John Leguizamo
  • NEW Charlie’s Story – an interview with actor Robert Joy
  • NEW The Pillsbury Factor – an interview with actor Pedro Miguel Arce
  • NEW 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

  • NEW 2K Scan of the interpositive with HD inserts
  • NEW 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

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ICON VS. ICON PRESENTS: Acid Pop Cult Podcast – Episode 255: One Crazy Summer

ICON VS. ICON PRESENTS: Acid Pop Cult Podcast – Episode 255: One Crazy Summer


On the latest episode of the Acid Pop Cult Podcast, Jeremy and Jason return for the first time in weeks to discuss their summer adventures. Jeremy starts things off with a spoiler free tease of the upcoming horror flick, ‘Annabelle Creation.’ Jason offers up a solid pick of the week with a review of ‘Behind The Mask: The Batman Dead End Story.’ He also discusses his recent pilgrimages to see the magic of Corey Feldman and The Angels on the Heavenly 2 The US Tour. Other topics include Jason’s latest interviews for Icon Vs. Icon,Friday The 13th: The Game’ and remembering the late great George A. Romero. As always, rates, reviews and shares are appreciated. Flags up for Independence, patriots!

Spread the word, leave a review and be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes for our continuing adventures! Download the latest episode of Acid Pop Cult on iTunes now!

Acid Pop Cult on iTunes – Click here!
Acid Pop Cult on Twitter – @acidpopcult
Acid Pop Cult on Facebook – facebook.com/AcidPopCult
Jeremy on Twitter – @almostgothim
Jason on Twitter – @iconvsicon
Hank on Twitter – @thehenrypricejr

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Blu-Ray Review — Tasty: A Look at ‘Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow’

Blu-Ray Review — Tasty: A Look at ‘Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow’


This week, The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles takes on a walk down memory lane with a look at Synapse Films latest spine-tingling release — ‘Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow.’ Here is a quick rundown on one of horror’s most beloved flicks:

Synopsis: “In 1982, Auther Stephen King and Director George A. Romero collaborated on a feature-film tribute to the controversial EC comics of the 1950s. Told through five jolting tales of terror, CREEPSHOW has become a celebrated horror classic over the past three decades. With an all-star cast, and featuring groundbreaking special effects by genre legend Tom Savini, CREEPSHOW stands as a horrific and hilarious tribute to the stories that helped influence (and corrupt) a generation of writers and filmmakers. Now the tales behind the creation of this chilling masterpiece can finally be told! Featuring rare behind-the-scenes footage and photographs, JUST DESSERTS: THE MAKING OF “CREEPSHOW” also contains over a dozen interviews, including George A. Romero, Tom Savini, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, and many others. These are the terrifying stories behind the film that promised you… “The Most Fun You’ll Ever Have…BEING SCARED!”

REVIEW: We all have those movies that we vaguely remember seeing when we were kids. As we grow older we eventually see the full feature and the “light bulb goes off” in our minds. Creepshow was that movie for me. I remember seeing the opening for the first time when I was 5 years old and hiding under my covers immediately. The opening skeleton puppet scared the hell out of me. A year later my mom called me into the living room and told me to sit down and watchin something cool. She proceeded to show me the Stephen King “Jordy Verrill” segment. The beginning of which made me smile till my heart’s content. King looked like a cross between Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd; my 6 year old self thought it was hilarious. However, the closing moments filled me with so much dread that I didn’t sleep right for weeks. The segment was so secluded and lonely. It ended in such a depressing notion that I didn’t want to watch anymore. It wasn’t until I was 9 that I actually sat down and watched Creepshow from beginning to end. The parts mentioned above still gave me the “willies” but I loved every second of it. It blew my mind that something could make me laugh so hard and at the same time scare me to death. To this day Creepshow is one of my favorite movies of all time, which is why I’m incredibly excited to talk about this release. If you haven’t seen Creepshow…what are you doing! go watch it now! Then buy the soundtrack and this documentary!


In 2007, director Michael Felsher put together an essential documentary chronicling the making of one of the most beloved horror classics, Creepshow. But Dylan, if this was made in 2007, why is being released now in 2016?!?! Well it all comes down to rights issues. Warner Bros. owns the rights in US, Universal owns the UK rights. Universal put out a special edition bluray of Creepshow a few years ago with the documentary while WB continues to refuse a special edition reissue of the film in the states. Thankfully, our good friends at Synapse Films took the documentary, threw it on its own disc, and included a plethora of special features!!!

The documentary itself is a must own for all Creepshow fans. Felsher does an amazing job covering almost every square inch of the film. I say almost because there is a noticeable absence of the person I was most interested in hearing from, Stephen King. I’m unsure of why he didn’t appear and apparently that answer isn’t online either. That hiccup aside, the people they do get tell fantastic stories. Of course you get Romero and Savini, but you also hear from Ed Harris, Adrienne Barbeau, and the always lovable Tom Atkins! The stories told are both informative and hilarious. Two stories that truly stuck out are the “Ted Danson in an aquarium” story and the rounding up of the cockroaches. Everyone seems to look back on their experience fondly but definitely remember the hard work involved. You will not regret spending an hour and a half enjoying this release.

Along with the main documentary, Synapse has included a multitude of special features. Two audio commentaries are included, as well as multiple extended interviews with the cast and crew. We also have a bonus interview with Director of Photography, Michael Gornick. Also included is personal video footage from the set provided by Savini, as well as Savini’s episode of Scream Greats Volume One. Rounding out our features is the always enjoyable, Horror’s Hallowed Grounds and neat little behind the scenes photo gallery.

Even if you are a casual fan I suggest picking this up. Of all horror documentaries this may be my favorite as it is both informative and not exhaustingly long. You won’t regret your decision on buying this incredible release. It’s SHOWTIME!!!!!!!

About The Writer: 
Dylan Lyles – Staff Writer
The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles is an obsessive fan of cinema, pro wrestling, horror, vinyl, and comic books. Bursting from the womb in 1992, Dylan’s surrounded himself with all things geek culture. Earliest memories include Wrestlemania 11, ‘The Death of Superman,’ and Jason popping out of the water. You may see him sharing his opinion on just about everything on the internet or maybe even working the MonsterMania Con on the east coast. You love him and he loves you!
Twitter: @thedylanlyles

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‘Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow’ Is Coming To Blu-ray This July!

‘Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow’ Is Coming To Blu-ray This July!

For years, fans have been clamoring for the definite word on the making of George A. Romero’s classic 1982 horror anthology CREEPSHOW, the first of his many big screen collaborations with best-selling novelist Stephen King. Now 34 years later, Synapse Films and Red Shirt Pictures join forces to bring this terrifyingly entertaining story to life in JUST DESSERTS: THE MAKING OF “CREEPSHOW”, a special edition Blu-ray release documenting one of the greatest horror films ever made! The Blu-ray is slated for a July 12th, 2016 release!

In 1982, Author Stephen King, and Director George A. Romero collaborated on a feature-film tribute to the popular, and often controversial, EC comics of the 1950s. Told through five terrifying tales of terror, CREEPSHOW was a hit with critics and audiences alike, and has become a venerated horror classic over the past three decades since its release. With an all-star cast, and featuring gruesome and groundbreaking creature and make-up effects by genre legend Tom Savini, CREEPSHOW stands as a horrific and often hilarious tribute to the stories that helped influence (and corrupt) a generation of writers and filmmakers, and now the tales behind the creation of this chilling masterpiece can finally be told!

JUST DESSERTS: THE MAKING OF “CREEPSHOW” is filled with rare behind-the-scenes footage, photographs and other exciting memorabilia. Featuring over a dozen interviews, including George A. Romero, Tom Savini, Adrienne Barbeau, Ed Harris, Tom Atkins and many others, this Special Edition Blu-ray also contains hours of additional supplemental materials. These are the terrifying stories behind the film that promised you, “The Most Fun You’ll Ever Have BEING SCARED!”


• Audio Commentary with Director & Editor Michael Felsher

• Audio Commentary featuring interviews with Actor John Amplas, Property Master Bruce Alan Miller, and Make-Up Effects Assistant Darryl Ferrucci

• Creepshow Days – An interview with Director of Photography Director Michael Gornick

• Extended Interview Segments with George A. Romero, Tom Savini, and Bernie Wrightson

• Behind The Screams – A compilation of on-set video footage from Tom Savini

• Horror’s Hallowed Grounds with Sean Clark

• Scream Greats Volume One: Tom Savini, Master of Horror Effects with Optional Audio Commentary with Tom Savini

• Vintage 1982 Evening Magazine Segment shot on the set of the film, featuring rare cast & crew interviews

• Behind-The-Scenes of CREEPSHOW Photo Gallery


Video: High Definition 1080p Widescreen (1.78 :1) Presentation / AVC Codec / Region Free
Audio: DTS HD-MA English 2.0 Original Stereo


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Scream Factory To Release ‘The Dark Half’ and ‘Monkey Shines’ In November

Scream Factory To Release ‘The Dark Half’ and ‘Monkey Shines’ In November

This fall, Scream Factory will release The Dark Half and Monkey Shinestwo horror favorites from acclaimed director George A. Romero. Making their Blu-ray debuts on November 18th, 2014, each release also boasts brand new bonus features including all new audio commentaries with George A. Romero, new retrospective featurettes with cast and crew, behind the scenes footage, deleted scenes and much more! In addition, fans who order their copies from ShoutFactory.com will have their order shipped three weeks early!

'Monkey Shines'

‘Monkey Shines’

Monkey Shines

Allan Mann (Jason Beghe) is a bitter, angry and vengeful man ever since an accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. He’s fed up with himself and everyone around him. All that changes when he’s given Ella, a monkey trained to meet his every need. But when Ella begins anticipating Allan’s thoughts, strange and deadly things start happening. And as she stalks and wreaks havoc on Allan’s fair-weather girlfriend (Janine Turner), incompetent doctor and meddling mother, Allan realizes he must stop the cunning maniacal creature…before she fully takes over his mind!

Monkey Shines stars Jason Beghe (Chicago Hope), Janine Turner (Northern Exposure), Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada), Kate McNeil (The House on Sorority Row).

Fans can pre-order their copy now by visiting ShoutFactory.com

Monkey Shines Bonus Features

  • New Audio Commentary with Writer/Director George A. Romero
  • New An Experiment In Fear – The Making of “Monkey Shines”– An all-new retrospective with Writer/Director George A. Romero, actors Jason Beghe, John Pankow and Kate McNeil, Executive Producer Peter Grunwald, Special Make-Up Effects Creator Tom Savini, Special Make-Up Effects Assistants Greg Nicotero and Everett Burrell and Editor Pasquale Buba  (49 minutes)
  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Vintage “Making of MONKEY SHINES” plus additional interview clips
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spot
  • Still Gallery


'The Dark Half'

‘The Dark Half’

The Dark Half

Based on the best-selling book by Stephen King, The Dark Half  tells the story of horror writer Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton), who hopes to distance himself from his murder novels and from George Stark, the name he has used to anonymously author them. To achieve this, he cooks up a murder of his own: a publicity stunt that should lay Stark to rest forever. But when the people around him are found gruesomely slain – and his own fingerprints dot the crime scenes – Beaumont is dumbfounded until he learns that Stark has taken on life of his own…and begun a gruesome quest for vengeance!

The Dark Half stars Timothy Hutton (Leverage, Ordinary People), Amy Madigan (Field of Dreams), Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) and Julie Harris (The Haunting).

Fans can pre-order their copy now at ShoutFactory.com.  

The Dark Half Bonus Features

  • New  Audio Commentary with Writer/Director George A. Romero
  • New The Sparrows Are Flying Again!: The Making of “The Dark Half”– An all-new retrospective with Writer/Director George A. Romero, Producer Declan Baldwin, Actors Michael Rooker, Robert Joy, Rutanya Alda and John Amplas, Composer Christopher Young, Special Make-Up Effects Creators John Vulich and Everett Burrell, Visual Effects Supervisor Kevin Kutchaver, Second Unit Director Tom Dubensky and Editor Pasquale Buba  (36 Minutes)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Animated Storyboards for the original ending
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage – Special Effectsand On the Set
  • Vintage “Making of THE DARK HALF” plus additional interview clips
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Still Gallery

Shout! Factory will continue to present the on-going SCREAM FACTORY™ home entertainment series in 2014 with specific release dates, extras and key art.  Meanwhile, fans  are encouraged to visit the Scream Factory website (www.screamfactorydvd.com), follow them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ScreamFactoryDVD) and Twitter (@Scream_Factory) or to view exclusive video content onYouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/ScreamFactoryTV).

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Killer Review: Satisfy Your Thirst For Blood With ‘Dead Island’

Killer Review: Satisfy Your Thirst For Blood With ‘Dead Island’

If you’ve read my Pumpkin Beer Power Rankings, you know I love zombie video games.  If you haven’t read my Pumpkin Beer Power Rankings, go read it and come back. DO IT NOW!

Dead Island is a first-person RPG of zombie-killing joy.  It borrows elements from similar games, such as the first-person and RPG elements from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, the multiplayer element from Left 4 Dead, and the creation of custom weapons from Dead Rising 2 and the Fallout games.  Dead Island isn’t exactly original, but it is a lot of fun.

Dead Island

The game takes place on an island resort off the coast of Australia.  At the beginning of the game, you choose from one of four unique characters. Each character has a special skill set. One is skilled at blunt weapons, one at throwing objects, one at firearms, and one at sharp weapons. As you earn experience, you progress through each character’s unique “skill trees” and acquire additional perks and abilities.  The game progresses through several distinct areas, from the island resort to a city to a jungle and beyond.

Dead Island plays very similar to the Fallout games. You progress at your leisure by completing quests.  There are main quests that you have to follow to beat the game, and then there are side quests that are purely optional.  Usually you are tasked with finding food and supplies for the survivors. Along the way, you will find a variety of weapons, from broom sticks to boom sticks, many of which can be modified for maximum carnage.  For example, you can make barbed-wire bats, flaming bats, and electrified machetes. As long as you maintain your weapons, which costs money, you can keep them indefinitely.

Ultimately, Dead Island is all about killing zombies. There aren’t any other enemies to be found. There are several different types of zombies, including the slow, lumbering kind, the “Infected”, which are reminiscent of the fast zombies from the Dawn of the Dead remake, and “Thugs”, which are incredibly powerful and take repeated blows to take down (Hint – chop off their limbs with edged weapons).  The island is crawling with the undead, and they’re just begging to be slaughtered.

Overall, Dead Island is a lot of fun.  The uniqueness of the characters and their skill sets  gives you a reason to play through the game multiple times.  My biggest complaint is that there’s no real penalty for dying.  The game is difficult, and you will die often, but you just respawn at a checkpoint. The only penalty is that you lose some money.  If there is a Dead Island 2, I hope they fix this issue.  Don’t let that minor issue keep you away, though. It’s Halloween time, so settle down with some pumpkin beer and Dead Island. — Pedro Moreno aka The King of Pumpkin Beers

Score: 4.25 out of 5   

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‘Call of Duty®: Black Ops Escalation’ Announces All-Star Cast For ‘Call of The Dead’

‘Call of Duty®: Black Ops Escalation’ Announces All-Star Cast For ‘Call of The Dead’

Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) and Treyarch revealed today that famed horror and action stars Robert Englund, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Michael Rooker and Danny Trejo have joined the cast of Call of Duty®: Black Ops Escalation’s zombie level, Call of the Dead. The Call of the Dead zombie level and four all new multiplayer maps make up the second content pack, Escalation, for the record-setting game Call of Duty: Black Ops, launching first on Xbox LIVE® on May 3rd.  Dedicated to creating a Zombie experience like never before, the Call of the Dead storyline is inspired by none other than legendary horror writer and director, George A. Romero, who also stars as himself in the new level.

“Our latest zombie creation, Call of the Dead, is unreal!” says Mark Lamia, Studio Head of Treyarch. “We set out to create an exciting new zombie experience for fans of the genre that takes Zombies to an insane new level.

“This is Treyarch’s tribute to the legendary George Romero, who truly defined the zombie genre and whose incredible work has been such an inspiration to our team.” says Dave Anthony, Call of Duty: Black Ops Director.  “It was an absolute honor to work with such an amazing and talented cast whose passion and energy brought their characters instantly to life.  Fans are going to love this.”

In addition to George A. Romero, whose credits include Night of the Living DeadDawn of the Dead and Land of the Dead, he is joined by  Sarah Michelle Gellar, whose credits include the hit TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Cruel Intentions; Robert Englund, best known for originating the role of Freddy Krueger in the successful Nightmare on Elm Street franchise; Michael Rooker, most recently acclaimed for his work on AMC’s horror drama The Walking Dead; andDanny Trejo, who starred in 2010’s action-thriller Machete.

Published by Activision and developed by Treyarch, Call of Duty: Black Ops is rated “M” (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence and Strong Language.  Call of Duty: Black Ops Escalation content pack will launch first on Xbox LIVE on May 3rd.  For additional Call of Duty updates and information, visit us on the web at www.callofduty.com/blackopswww.facebook.com/codblackops, and also via Twitter@Treyarch.


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Telltale Games and Robert Kirkman To Bring ‘The Walking Dead’ To Gaming

Telltale Games and Robert Kirkman To Bring ‘The Walking Dead’ To Gaming

Telltale Games and Robert Kirkman today announce a long term agreement to produce games based on The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead is an epic drama where personal trials are magnified against a backdrop of moment-to-moment survival. As a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic proportions sweeps the globe, the dead are rising to feed on the living. The living are changed by the overwhelming realization that those who survive can be far more dangerous than the mindless walkers roaming the earth. In a world ruled by the dead, the survivors are forced to finally begin living.

“We have been fans of The Walking Dead for years. As a narrative-driven company, we really appreciate Robert Kirkman’s masterful craftsmanship in every story.” said Telltale CEO Dan Connors. “Fans of the franchise are going to be really excited by how we deliver this in the games.”

Published by Image Comics, The Walking Dead comic series earned the 2010 Eisner award winner for Best Continuing Series and is consistently atop theNew York Times best-seller list. The television series made its television debut on Halloween 2010 on the AMC cable network and immediately became the most-watched drama series in cable’s history with 18-49 year olds, attracting over 6 million viewers. The television series has earned nominations for numerous top industry awards, including Golden Globes®, Writer’s Guild and Director’s Guild honors.

“The folks at Telltale Games are a great choice for bringing The Walking Dead to life as interactive entertainment,” said The Walking Dead creator/writer Robert Kirkman. “They care as much as I do about the story and characters while seamlessly weaving that into the games they build. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am ecstatic to work with the same people putting out the coolest Jurassic Park game ever.”

The multi-year, multi-title agreement covers PC, Mac, console, handheld, mobile and social gaming media.

Telltale has opened up registration to sign up for timely information and updates at http://www.thewalkingdeadgames.com. Telltale will release additional information on The Walking Dead games in the coming months.

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Review: ‘Dead Rising 2’ Explodes Onto The PS3 and Xbox 360!

Review: ‘Dead Rising 2’ Explodes Onto The PS3 and Xbox 360!

I was a huge fan of Capcom’s 2006 sleeper hit “Dead Rising” (“DR”) The game was a tribute to all things zombie, from George A. Romero’s “Dead” films, particularly “Dawn of the Dead,” to Capcom’s “Resident Evil” series, with equal parts silliness and terror.

I was excited to hear in 2009 that Capcom was releasing a sequel. However, I tend to view sequels to great games with a bit of skepticism. For every “Resident Evil 2” or “Mass Effect 2” that build upon the successful formula, there’s a “Devil May Cry 2” or “Manhunt 2” that crap all over it. The best sequels maintain the elements that made their predecessors successful while correcting flaws and incorporating new elements to enhance the experience. “Dead Rising 2” (“DR 2”), fortunately, falls into the former category and, like DR, is an absolute blast.

In many ways, DR 2 follows the same basic storyline as DR. The protagonist, Chuck Greene, is trapped inside a mall in the midst of a zombie infestation and has 72 game-hours (each in-game minute is equivalent to a few seconds) to survive before help arrives. The mall in Dead Rising was big; the mall in Dead Rising 2 is massive and includes casinos, a hotel and an arena set in the Las Vegas-esque Fortune City. DR 2 adds a twist, however. Chuck’s daughter, Katey, is infected with the zombie virus and Chuck must find a drug called Zombrex and administer an injection to Katey every 24 hours to keep her from turning. Chuck must also battle a host of colorful Vegas-themed psychopaths, including a Siegfried and Roy knockoff and a washed-up lounge singer. As if this weren’t enough, Chuck also has to save survivors he finds along the way and bring them back to the safe room.

You will often have several tasks to complete, each with time limits. Thus, you are forced to plan the order in which you pursue your tasks in order to complete them all before before time expires. In my first playthrough, I was unable to finish every task, though I finished most of them. This really adds to the replay factor of DR 2, since you will want to play a second and third time to complete all of the tasks. It helps that your stats carry over through multiple playthroughs.

The environments are drastically improved over the original. Fortune City looks and feels like Las Vegas, whereas the mall in DR was somewhat nondescript. Capcom did a great job of incorporating Vegas-style elements into the game, from zombie showgirls to the aforementioned psychopaths and even Elvis-style costumes that Chuck can wear. The character models aren’t drastically improved from the original but it doesn’t take anything away from the game. The voice acting is very good. The music is pretty much the same music as the original — there’s generic mall music, cheesy casino rock music and heavy metal for the psychopath battles.

Where DR 2 really shines is zombie killing. Fortunately, there’s a lot of zombies to kill, much more than the original. The sheer number of zombies on screen at one time is mind boggling, no doubt contributing to the lengthy load times. It’s worth it, however, because it allows for plenty of zombie fodder for DR 2’s brilliant new feature – mixing weapons. Scattered throughout the map are workbenches where you can combine basic weapons together to make more powerful ones. For example, combining boxing gloves and motor oil will give you flaming gloves. Combining nails and a baseball bat gives you a spiked bat. There are dozens of combinations, all of which allow for brutal kills. As sadistic as it may sound, some can actually be quite amusing, such as the teddy bear with an assault rifle.

Overall, DR 2 is a great game and a must-have for fans of the original. Even PS3 owners, who didn’t have a chance to play the original, should check it out. I also recommend downloading Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, which serves as a prequel to DR 2’s main story. Case Zero does a great job of introducing the clock system, combining weapons and rescuing survivors, all of which are essential components of the game. Also, be on the lookout for Dead Rising 2: Case West, arriving this holiday season, which serves as an epilogue to DR2’s story and features Chuck teaming up with Frank West, the protagonist from the original. Though you could wait until spring to pick up a used copy, we all know that fall is zombie season, so head out and pick up DR 2 today. — Pedro Moreno

Rating: 4.5 Little Goombas out of 5

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‘Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated’ To Be Unleashed on DVD July 27th!

‘Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated’ To Be Unleashed on DVD July 27th!

Wild Eye Releasing and MVD Visual are pleased to announce the release of Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated for North American distribution on July 27.

Rondo Award-nominated as Best Independent Horror Feature, Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated is a collaborative artistic mash-up of George Romero’s cult classic. Nearly 150 International artists and animators chose their favorite scenes and re-envisioned them through their own artwork, with no restrictions on style, media or process – resulting in an eclectic ‘art show’ interpretation of the seminal 1968 film, all placed over the original’s audio.

With work ranging from oil paintings to comic illustrations and sock puppets to CGI and stop-motion –NOTLD:R not only pays the respect due to this most important work in horror history, but encourages viewers to experience the film in a brand new light that bursts with the humor and horror of a new generation of artists.

“This DVD is like a portable horror or zombie convention,” observes Wild Eye’s Rob Hauschild. “We wanted to recreate the experience that fans have had around the country, where they’ve enjoyedNOTLD:R at film fests, on horror host TV shows, at zombie-themed events, and pop culture gatherings like the upcoming screening during Comic-Con’s opening night.”

The screening will take place on Thursday July 22nd at 9:30pm in Room 5AB at Comic-Con. Directly following the screening, contributing artists will hold a panel discussion covering their varied media and involvement in NOTLD:R. They will also be taking questions, giving away NOTLD:R schwag and signing autographs. Confirmed panelists include: John Chesnut and Josh Barnett (claymation and cut-out animation), Jacquelyn Bond (watercolor paintings), Grant Fuhst (mixed-media artwork), Sean Williams (hand drawn animation), Zina Lahr (toy modification/ experimental animation), Brad Uyeda (stop-motion animation), Anthony Amos (digital animation), and Eric Schock (comic book illustration).

The extras-saturated Special Edition disc confirms the comparison to the fun of attending a major con, with the two commentaries serving as “panel talks.” The first track spotlights NOTLD:R organizer/curator Mike Schneider as he shares behind-the-scenes secrets to this unique project . A second commentary features NY Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, the multiple Stoker-winning transmedia zombie scribe whose body of work includes Marvel ZombiesPatient Zero and The Dragon Factory.

Also included is the hour-plus “Zombie Encounter,” an actual panel that sees Maberry joined by other experts on the undead phenomenon such as David Barr Kirtley, John Joseph Adams (The Living Dead) and Stoker-winner Dr. Kim Paffenroth (Gospel of the Living Dead).

Paffenroth’s presence as a respected academic underscores the DVD’s broad appeal. The cultural and technological trends that enabled the ‘mass collaboration’ of NOTLD:R is fascinating to many, so it was important that the DVD provide insights into process, not just product. To this end, it includes several different making-of videos. For example, Flash animator Mike Boas guides viewers through the process of rotoscoping Johnny and Barbara by showing you his active desktop firsthand.

Extensive information on all of the individual NOTLD:R contributors is available on the DVD, as well as extended versions of some of their favorite scenes, several short films, as well as DVD-ROM content, and even some of their comics. Viewers also get a scrollable gallery of production stills, focussing on the artists and their dark and sometimes humorous but always compelling visions.

Over Two Hours of Bonus Features:

· Special horror host introduction from Count Gore De Vol

· Commentary with curator horror author Jonathan Maberry

· ‘Making of NOTLD:R’ commentary track

· NOTLD:R artist call-in commentaries

· Coloring Book contest entries

· Alternate/ Deleted scenes

· Short films

· Horror comics and related horror art

· Trailers

· Behind the Scenes: Animation Processes

· The Zombie Encounter Panel discussion video

· “Night of the Living Box Art” video

· and more…

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