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Outcast Review: More Than Just Personal Demons

Published June 21, 2016 by rmpixie

outcastposter

Outcast (Cinemax TV series, 2016)

 

There’s a new show in town and it’s called Outcast. Created by The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman and adapted from his comic of the same name, it follows a troubled young man Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), who has had an abusive childhood and is now estranged from his wife and daughter. Kyle is not the most popular guy in Rome, West Virginia due to his violent history and lives secluded from everyone around him. The community is wary of him and his only friends are his adoptive sister Megan (Wrenn Schmidt), and his sympathetic neighbour Norville (Willie C. Carpenter).

When a young boy’s strange (and gross) behaviour turns unbelievably violent, his mother goes to the town reverend for help. She is convinced her child is possessed and wants the Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) to exorcise him. When the demon proves too strong, he calls on Kyle for help. It seems Reverend Anderson has known Kyle for most of his life, and feels that he is destined to help with ridding people of demonic possession due to Kyle’s own experience with a malevolent entity that stole his mother from him. We learn there are very dark forces at work, and they want to make Kyle’s life a living hell so-to-speak.

I’ve watched the first 3 episodes and I’m hooked. The opening credits alone are pretty brilliant. A shadowy substance seeps into the everyday mundane of a small town, and the camera pans slowly like a rollercoaster on Valium. Add an ominous score and my interest was piqued with the disconcerting atmosphere as the names of the cast and crew came in and out of focus. That atmospheric dread comes with each episode as the story is revealed little by little, so if you’re looking for a fast paced show, you’re out of luck. What it does instead is keeps you guessing with tidbits of clarity. We know that Kyle still lives in his run-down childhood home but is plagued with memories of his mother’s horrific abuse. We also know people around him hold him responsible for his estranged marriage because of his supposed violent nature. He lives in a close-knit community, but as the plot goes on, the fabric starts to unravel creating a lot of intrigue and a whodunnit feel that I’m really enjoying. The show is chockfull of violence, and some of it is tough to watch, especially Kyle’s flashbacks of the intense childhood abuse, but it leaves you with a compassion for his character that you realize he needs to give himself.

Patrick Fugit as Kyle Barnes

Patrick Fugit as Kyle Barnes

Fugit who often plays quirky characters, is the right choice to play Kyle. He has a lost look to him that draws you in and makes his anguish believable. British actor Glenister’s disheveled demeanor as the Reverend channels Kolchak from The Night Stalker, and it works. Their mismatched personalities create an unlikely duo with a bumbling chemistry. I also love Reg. E Cathey, most recently seen on House of Cards, who plays the town’s Chief Giles. His character is one to watch, and keep your eye out for Lee Tergesen (know for his many TV series appearances on shows like Oz and Defiance) who plays a really nasty guy!

Kyle (Fugit) and Reverend Anderson (Glenister) banishing demons.

Kyle (Fugit) and Reverend Anderson (Glenister) banishing demons.

I’m curious to see where Outcast will go. It covers horror well for those who love a good demonic possession but also brings in a human element making each episode extremely compelling. Kirkman’s brain is made of horror magic, and the show is already renewed for a second season, so the forecast sounds promising. You can catch it on Cinemax in the States Fridays at 10 p.m. and HBO Canada at 11 p.m.

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Dark Moon Issue #3 Scares up Sci-fi Horror for Halloween!

Published October 28, 2015 by rmpixie

darkmoon3

Dark Moon Issue #3

Art by Benedick Bana

It’s almost Halloween and Dark Moon Comic is all about the treats.  To Freematik, creator of the innovative motion comic, this holiday is about sharing creativity, and to celebrate the launch of the first comic last Halloween, the third and last part of their introductory sci-fi horror trilogy will be released for free on October 29th.

The first two issues brought us a team of survivors beamed to a mysterious moon as the Earth is hit by a deadly meteor.  They are led by Dante, the scientist responsible for saving them, who finds the moon has perils of its own in the way of hostile and hungry creatures.  Surrounded by these beasts, they discover an alien outpost and take cover while trying to figure out their next move.  As they explore the base, they find out what the beasts are and how they got to the moon.

The third installment finds the group’s numbers dwindling and Dante reflecting on the remaining survivors fate.  His inner process comes to the forefront as he feels the guilt of placing them all between a rock and a hard place, and he is desperate to get them off of a planet teeming with bloodthirsty creatures.  And if some of you were wondering, we also learn what has happened on Earth after the meteor hit.

Once again, Dark Moon transports you to a brutal place.  We see aliens run amok and a conflicted leader who wills himself to save this random group of characters.  It was nice to see more back story for both the Earth’s fate and Dante’s relationship to each of the fallen.  Of course, the artwork is absolutely stunning with all the near 3-D detailing accented by bursts of vibrant colours, and the sensory experience is completed with the trippy soundtrack.

I think the average comic reader could get used to this, spoiling them with HD visuals, an engaging story and the added hip-hop fusion scoring.  These mini movies will keep you wanting more story and more creatures, so here’s hoping Freematik and artist Benedick Bana will surprise us with something in the near future (but not like, death by meteor near future…)

Check them out on Twitter : @DarkMoonComic

and their deviant art site: http://freematik.deviantart.com/ to check out issues 1 and 2 so you’ll be ready for the alien chaos in issue 3…all for free!

Wes Craven: A Horror Legend Lost

Published September 1, 2015 by rmpixie
Wes Craven 1939-2015

Wes Craven 1939-2015

 

If you haven’t heard by now, the horror community is mourning the loss of another horror icon:  director/writer/producer extraordinaire, Mr.Wes Craven.  He mastered the tongue-in-cheek horror and produced some of my favourite “B” movies like Wishmaster (1997) and Feast (2007), but he is of course know for bringing to life some of the most memorable horror icons in recent history.

Starting with the rape-revenge horror The Last House on the Left (1972), a twisted and brutal cult favourite to The Hills Have Eyes (1977) showcasing a vicious cannibal family that would terrorize a desert roadway for 2 films plus their remakes, Craven’s vision would carry on to a not-so-well received version of Swamp Thing (1982) and then finally to the king of horror (in my eyes) Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).

Like Dracula’s fangs and black cape, nightmare-dwelling Freddy Krueger’s clawed glove, striped sweater and tatty fedora has become such an iconic image.  Ask anyone on the street who those items belong to, and you’ll most definitely get a resounding “Freddy Krueger!”.  I was 14 years old when the film came out, and my love for the franchise has grown from teenage horror fan-girl glee to a deep appreciation for his writing and direction.  Craven combined nightmares and teenage angst with intelligence and schtick to create a mythology that set a precedent for horror to come.

Our favourite villain Freddy Krueger

Our favourite villain Freddy Krueger

 

His brilliance would carry on to many other films, directing a then unknown Mitch Pileggi (of X-Files fame) in Shocker (1989), Eddie Murphy and Angela Bassett in  Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) as well as the underrated thriller The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), and writing and directing another of my favourites, The People Under the Stairs (1991); but his next set of films would cast a critical eye on horror tropes in such a clever way.  The top-grossing Scream (1996) and its franchise would become another blockbuster winner, and Craven’s vision took it to the next level of cult fandom.  It revived the horror movie yet again, and gave us another go-to Halloween costume with the creepy Scream killer, Ghostface.

Slasher of the 90's-Ghostface

Slasher of the 90’s-Ghostface

 

Craven gained a huge following and was greatly respected within the horror nerd and teen set because he had his finger on the pulse of what horror fans wanted; crushing the idea that horror had no charm or intelligence by mastering what others dismissed.  He was also a mentor to many of his peers and had a knack for casting actors such as Neve Campbell, Johnny Depp and Robert Englund that would make or revive their careers.

And speaking of charm, it seemed as if all his colleagues and friends could attest to his lovely nature.  Looking at his pictures, and following his Twitter feed, you didn’t have to know him personally to see he was a kind man who loved his craft and his fans.  It is incredible to see the heartbroken horror community and their outpouring of grief, admiration and love for his films and accomplishments, as well as support for those close to him.  I think I can speak for horror fans everywhere when I say that I am truly saddened by his passing and send out the deepest condolences to his family, friends and peers over this terrible loss.

Check out his official website for synopsis of his films and details on his career.

http://www.wescraven.com

I am also consoled a little by knowing that he collaborated on a 5 part comic series with my favourite comic writer Steve Niles called Coming of Rage.  Check out the details here.

 

*Wes Craven died of brain cancer at the age of 76.  I think cancer is the real monster here.  It’s insidious and preys upon unsuspecting victims; finally attacking with gusto.  It has taken many people close to me, including my father, and brain cancer recently took a wonderful, no-nonsense, teddy bear of a man named Dwayne who was one of the kindest souls I’ll ever meet, so I thought I would list a few organizations you might want to support:

Canadian Cancer Society:

www.cancer.ca

American Cancer Society:

http://www.cancer.org/

Stand Up 2 Cancer-celebrity driven charity that still gains a lot of press for cancer research

http://www.standup2cancer.ca/

 

The Red Cross-cancer patients use blood services more than we think.

http://www.redcross.ca/

 

Look Good Feel Better-an organization that helps women being treated for cancer take care of their beauty needs.

http://lgfb.ca/en/

Dark Moon: A Musical Sci-Fi Comic Trip into The Unknown

Published January 27, 2015 by rmpixie

DarkMoon_Gallery01

Dark Moon by Freematik (2014)

Art by Benedick Bana

Dark Moon is an otherworldly comic book experience.  Created by Tom Freeman, a.k.a Freematik, a California-based artist/producer, this indie sci-fi horror comic will take you on a musical space journey.

In 2067 after an asteroid collision with Earth, seven survivors led by Dante, a theoretical physicist, find themselves teleported to a mysterious moon to escape the aftermath.  They are thrown into survival mode as this moon is not yet explored and there is only speculation whether it can support life.  Soon after their arrival on the moon, danger sets in as terrifying alien life forms show up as their greeting party.

This story is made unique by the soundtrack created specifically to enhance the reader’s experience.  Each of the 20 tracks make scenes in the comic all the more intense as the action unfolds.  And this soundtrack is, as the kids say, DOPE!!  D-O-P-E, DOPE!  I am biased as I love electronic music, so I really dig this melding of hip hop and trippy, dark electronic soundscapes that create a true sci-fi mood.  My top picks are:

Dark Moon Theme

When Fear Sparks In Your Heart featuring Mad Shad and Lokey

Alien Invasion

The Creatures Attack

Trapped featuring Agent 216

Synthetic Intelligence and This Dark Moon featuring Myka 9

The vocals give you insight to what the mindset of the characters may be and what they may be feeling, and the production is top-notch.  There are also some additional sounds available to enhance the main soundtrack.  What Freematik hopes is that you follow along with the music and encourages you to create your own playlist to fully experience the comic.

Benedick Bana’s slick and beautiful artwork creates an almost 3 dimensional feel, making the action jump off the page with accents of blue and red amidst the dark extraterrestrial landscapes.  The aliens will also float your boat if you are a monster fanatic like me-they are imposing, toothy and vicious.

The first issue of Dark Moon is quite the cliffhanger.  It left me wanting to know more about Dante, the survivors and the moon they have landed on.  While the intention is for the soundtrack to be the primary storytelling device here, I hope the following issues will delve deeper into the characters; who they are and their motivations by using more in-depth, natural dialogue between them, better overall writing and perhaps the use of caption boxes as a narrative guide, as well as more great music for this 4 part multimedia vision.

A print version will soon be available, but you can download the comic here at http://www.darkmooncomic.com where they are offering the full first issue AND soundtrack for a mere $2.95, and there is a really cool “motion book” of the story here:

http://freematik.deviantart.com/art/Dark-Moon-Issue-1-Transported-to-a-Dark-Moon-491512045

and a bandcamp link where you can also purchase the entire soundtrack and comic download plus the additional sounds:

https://darkmooncomic.bandcamp.com/

Check it out!

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