Monday, 20 October 2014

Cinema Of Stuff presents...The Changeling (1980)

After losing his family in a tragic accident, composer John Russell (George C. Scott) moves in to an old Victorian mansion to get some much needed peace & quiet so he can get back to composing and teaching music, and try to move on with his life. However it soon becomes apparent that this house might not be as quiet as he would have hoped.....

The atmosphere of this film is something I find lacking in most modern horror movies, which tend to go for shocks rather than the slow-burning terror found here. If watched alone with a pair of decent headphones in a dark, empty house, I defy you not to be chilled by this classic! It's well directed and the great cast and intriguing story make this one of my favourite ghost films, and both Martin Scorsese & Alejandro Amenábar have it in their all-time best Horror movie lists too, so I'm in good company! 

The only problem I have with it is the not-so-scary ghostly voice, which sounds a bit silly,  but the rest of the film holds up pretty damn well, and had me wishing my flat wasn't quite so dark as I was going to bed after watching it again last year! Anyway, turn down the lights or close the curtains, settle down into a comfy chair and chuck on a pair of headphones, and you can judge for yourselves how scary it is...

Director - Peter Medak

Writers - Russell Hunter (Story), William Gray & Diana Maddox (Screenplay)

Starring - George C. Scott (John), Trish Van Devere (Claire), Melvyn Douglas (Senator Carmichael), Jean Marsh (Joanna Russell), John Colicos (Captain Dewitt), Barry Morse (Doctor Pemberton)

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Absent Minded Professor

The Gravedigger from Premier Magazine's Horror From The Tomb No.1 (1954)  introduces our next terrifying tale from the Digital Comic Museum in which an absent minded professor reveals to his new love a secret hard to forget....

(Oh, and remember to click the pictures to make them bigger if you're struggling to read them! )

Yeurch! Don't know why she got so upset...he's armless really! Never mind, I'm sure the professor will eventually get some body to love....

Thanks to cimmerian32 who uploaded this, and all the other uploaders who give me loads to read!  

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

100 More Gruesome Games (31 & 30)

Only 17 days left until Halloween, and 31 games to go in the list! Will we actually make it to the end this year? Well, y'know what I'm like so I'm not promising anything, but if all goes well we might just get there! On with the next lot... 

31 - The Mon Mon Monster (MSX2) :

This MSX2 game from 1989 sees you fill the not-very-small boots of that loveable bolt-brain, Frankenstein! Not having the manual, I have no idea what the actual plot is, but it would appear that Franky has taken it upon himself to rid the world of all the other monsters and spooks! Perhaps they stole his cup-a-soup or something?

Whatever the reason, you bash blocks and shoot electric bolts at all manner of monstrosities as you make your way through the levels, navigating moving platforms & finding shortcuts and secret power-ups to use against the end of level bosses!

The game isn't perfect. Sometimes enemies will hit you with a bullet and knock you back a screen, where another enemy instantly respawns and takes a bit of your precious health as you collide with it, for instance. And if you fall into water, instead of restarting where you die the game plonks you right back to the start of the level....and it's quite tricky! I've played a few games now and I've yet to beat level one! But I'm close, and I will be going back to try and get further. It's a fun little game y'see, and that bloody wolf-man or whatever he is isn't getting off that easily....

30 - Halloween Harry / Alien Carnage (PC) :

Another groovy platformer's Halloween Harry (later changed to Alien Carnage to avoid potential buyers thinking it was a seasonal game)! Originally a shareware title, with the first episode being free and the others available to purchase, you can now pick it all up for download via 3D Realm's site!

Aliens have invaded Earth & are turning everyone in to brain-dead killer zombies! Seeing as this is not very nice at all, Harry sets out to free some hostages and get rid of the alien menace! Armed with a flamethrower, some missiles and a jet-pack, Harry is well equipped to tackle the problem. Both the jet-pack & flame thrower use the same fuel though, and so if Harry is to succeed he'll need to find coins to buy more fuel & ammo from the various vending machines that can be found scattered around the levels! There are other weapons to be found too though, so don't worry...

This management of fuel adds a small level of strategy to an otherwise straight forward romp through the maze-like levels, and adds to the fun of blasting all the alien fiends to bits! The cartoon-styled graphics are a joy to look at too, and the different enemies and animations might make you give a little chuckle occasionally! It actually plays a lot like Duke Nukem 1 & 2 and Apogee even went as far as saying on the box that if Duke had a twin it would be Harry!

Anyway, it's a huge load of fun, and if I was you I'd go and download it immediately! He is called Halloween Harry after all, so there's no better time to get acquainted with the fella! And there's a sequel to find as well, called Zombie Wars...but perhaps that's a game to talk about another time.....

Sunday, 12 October 2014

100 More Gruesome Games ( 33 & 32 )

So....this year's blog curse of choice has been a rather nasty cold that has seen me having to deal with the usual nastiness of a runny nose, sore throat and feverish headaches for the last few days, which has been oodles o' fun, but not very many games! And games is what we want isn't it!? So I'll ignore this lingering yuckiness and just get on with it.....

33 - Ghost Battle (Amiga) :

If there's one set of terrifying fiends that people seemed to be a lot less scared of back in the day, it's lawyers! Thalion clearly weren't frightened of them at all, as this game blatantly steals most of its ideas straight from Capcom's Ghosts 'n' Goblins series...

You play as a chap who has had the unfortunate (and yet seemingly very common) upset of his lady friend being nabbed by some great-big-nasty sort, and have to wander through the platform-filled levels defeating zombies, witches, demons, creepy crawlies and all the other usual suspects from these types of games...and it's so blatant in its thievery that there's even those Venus Flytrap type nasties to get past!  There's spikes that pop up to hinder your progress, moving platforms to navigate and you'll be needing a key for coming in at the end of level one too! 

It doesn't quite live up to the task of properly emulating Capcom's success though. There's a lot more awkward jumps, the collision detection can be a bit iffy sometimes and some enemies can't seem to be killed and have to be jumped over to be avoided...which just ends up with you getting jostled annoyingly back & forth as you attempt to clear them.

And yet despite its problems, it remains a fun platformer, with a groovy soundtrack and pretty good graphics, even if the main character's arms do look like they should be his legs ...and vice versa! Still, it's worthy of at least a couple of plays on a cold, October night...and so far I've gotten a tiny bit further every time I play it's keeping me going back to see just how far I can get! It's a grower, I reckon...

32 - The Astonishing Adventures of Mr Weems & The She Vampires (C64 / ZX Spectrum):

Mr. Weems had reached that moment in life where he found himself unhappy in his profession. An accountant for many years, he felt he needed a little more excitement....he'd always fancied running off with the circus as a child, and so he packed up and left to enjoy life on the road as a fearless lion tamer! But alas, even that failed to live up to his expectations...what could he possibly do to find that elusive thrill he so sought? Poor Mr. Weems....

One day, he heard tales of a certain spooky mansion....a spooky mansion populated by the ever-so-scary she-vampires! He decided there & then to hunt down these fiendish femmes & got to work gathering his arsenal! Now armed with a rapid-fire garlic gun and a single smart-garlic pill to be used in emergencies, he entered the mansion, finally excited by what he was about to face....

...which is a fairly standard Gauntlet clone where you, as the brave Mr. Weems, traverse a flip-screen maze collecting keys and battling bats, Frankenstein-types and the She-Vamps themselves! An ever decreasing blood count can be topped up by swigging blood bottles that have been handily left lying around, and there are a few extra garlic bombs littering the place too.

Eventually you'll need to face the Great She-Vampire herself, and to prepare for that epic battle you'll have to find the vital weapons hidden in a box on each level. Only when you've collected all of these will you be able to face the mother of all bloodsuckers!

It took me a while to work out that to stop monsters from spawning and be able open the coffins you have to kill every single enemy and destroy every pot on the screen! There are some places where this is impossible, so ignore those screens and move on! There are also a few hidden walls that have to be found in order to progress, which can be frustrating if you fail to find out where they are.

The Spectrum version is the one I'm most familiar with, but having now played the C64 version I have to say that it's a lot easier on the eye! The colour scheme and movement on the Speccy game can be a bit headache inducing and sometimes it all gets a bit cluttered. Both versions have minimal sound effects, which are nothing to write about really, but they do the job I suppose.
Both games are fairly okay to play too, but unfortunately for Mr.Weems, aren't overly he'll probably be looking for some other career path again once he's done with the Great She-Vamp....

Friday, 3 October 2014

Frankenstein & "Voice Of His Conscience"......

Time for another creepy clamber about the virtual halls of the Digital Comic Museum! And look who we've found! It's Frankenstein from Prize Comic Books Frankenstein 017 (Jan-Feb 1949)! In this story, Frankenstein takes orders from what he thinks is his conscience, but will our freaky friend realise he's being duped??

Thanks go to uploader freddyfly and all the other uploaders who make the museum such a great site to visit! 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

100 More Gruesome Games - ( No. 34 - Demolition Girl )

34 : Daibijin / Demolition Girl (PS2) - 

Crikey! It's been so long since I last wrote the list that I've almost forgotten what I've already covered! I'm pretty sure that I've yet to mention this nonsense though....a game that does nothing to help allegations of video games being incredibly sexist, but at least keeps macrophiliacs happy in the knowledge that one game exists that was obviously made for them!

Y'see, poor fashion model Riho Futaba was relaxing after a photo-shoot on Minakojima Island and taking a stroll along the beach, when she found herself staring at a weird half-jellyfish, half-crablike creature! Leaning down to examine the cute liccle monster, she got stung by one of its tentacles and next thing you know, she's the size of Godzilla and confusedly clambering all over peoples holiday homes and swatting helicopters like flies!

It's up to you then, as pilot of a rather useless selection of military vehicles, to combat this new massive missus & try to get her back down to her normal size. Of course you can't just go charging in with a shrink ray without knowing what you're up against, so first you have to scan her face, boobs, hips & butt with a trace beam to "gather data" !!

To help keep her busy while you try to scan her, you can fire a selection of special weapons...and what special weapons they are! Cake to tempt her with, stereos so she dances to music, a bowl to smack her on the head & glasses that didn't seem to do much at all really! 

After that, you have to drug her with sedatives, protect her as she's airlifted to safety from UFOs which seem to be affiliated with the jellycrab, then battle said jellycrab which has grown huge and attached itself to her head, shoot her in the ass with tank missiles as she runs off after said jellycrab battle and then shrink her back to normal as she clambers up the side of a skyscraper!

If any of this sounds like it might be fun, forget about it....the controls for this are terrible, all of the dialogue and cut-scenes have been removed for the PAL version I played and the six stages take little more than an hour to play through...if you manage to somehow beat Stage 3! It might be worth a quick look if you're into weird Japanese games, or indeed big gigantic ladies...but if neither of those are your thing, it's probably best that you forget you've ever read this and go and watch Anita Sarkeesian videos to cleanse your mind or something....