In case you missed the news on Destructoid yesterday, the next video game I'm working on has been announced. That game? Bionic Chainsaw Pogo Gorilla! This is a game character I've had sawing away at my brain for years, and thanks to the brave souls at Adult Swim who understand that such a creature needs to be unleashed upon the world, I can finally make this game a reality. I'm working with my good chums Pox (who worked with me on Abobo's Big Adventure) and Jacob (who worked with me on Santa Fu, MonsterTime, etc.) on this original new title, and it will be released by Adult Swim sometime this year. Destructoid has some exclusive screenshots from the game in their article, and here's an additional for you to check out:
Really excited about this project. It's going to have long levels, loads of crazy enemies, huge boss fights, all kinds of surprises, and as you can probably imagine... lots and lots of blood. BLOOOOOOD!!! Be sure to follow me on Twitter and check out the new Bionic Chainsaw Pogo Gorilla Facebook page to stay posted on all the latest updates about the game. More to come!
So I saw the new Evil Dead (2013) remake the other night with some friends, and figured I'd share my thoughts on it. Before I get to my review, I must preface it by saying that while I absolutely love the original Evil Dead trilogy, and generally loathe modern horror remakes, I went into this movie with an open mind and no real expectations. I wanted to give it a fair shot and hopefully have a good time at the theater with my chums. Also, I'm not gonna deliver any clever movie critic one-liners like, "Evil Dead? More like Evil Dud! Heyooooo!!" with this review. I just want to give an honest, spoiler-free breakdown that will hopefully help you decide whether or not it's worth watching. With that in mind, I'm going to break this review of Evil Dead into two simple sections - the good and the bad. Let's get to it:
If there's one thing I can praise about the new Evil Dead film, it's gotta be the nearly complete lack of CGI. Given how the majority of mainstream horror flicks have been using CGI far too much over the past decade, it's refreshing to see one using the real deal. Tangible blood, puke and gore effects will always look far superior to all the computer-generated crap, and that's one big reason why horror movies from back in the day are far more satisfying to watch. This movie is excessively bloody, gory, pukey... you name it. Most of the effects are traditional, and the blood is all there, dousing each of the actors and their wounds at some point or another.
So yeah, if you're a fan of gore, this movie will definitely satiate your appetite for destruction. You will be pleased. Just don't expect it to be like Dead Alive, which was the Double Dare of messy horror films in my mind, and I'm convinced no movie will ever top that one in terms of over-the-top carnage. That said, it's at least better than most modern remakes, so long as you're not expecting it to be right on par with Dawn of the Dead.
The only other truly good thing I can say about the movie is that they didn't try to replace Bruce Campbell's amazing performance as Ash. There is no replacing Bruce, and had they attempted to do so, I imagine many horror fans would've burned movie theaters to the ground in protest. So, it's definitely good to see the filmmakers knew this, went with their own separate storyline, and didn't attempt to deliver us a new version of Ash. A wise decision indeed.
While they didn't try to replace Ash, which is good, the film lacks any characters that you actually give a damn about, which is bad for something like Evil Dead. Horror movies are notorious for having sub-par actors, which is fine, but there's almost always one or two that you enjoy seeing make it 'til the end. You want to have that one person to root for... that one person who will fight through utter hell and, against all odds, somehow manage to come out on top.
With the new Evil Dead, you just don't find yourself invested in any of the characters or caring about what they've been through. That'd be fine if Evil Dead was a movie like A Nightmare on Elm Street, where you at least have an iconic bad guy to cheer for even if you don't care about the actors, but Evil Dead doesn't have that. It never did. Evil Dead has a book - the Necronomicon. And unless that book sprouts arms, legs, and starts carrying an axe, I don't think I'm gonna be cheering for it in a modern horror flick any time soon.
It's also supposed to be a pure horror movie, like the original Evil Dead, so it doesn't have the campy feel of Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness. While that's fine in itself, as a horror movie, it fails to deliver any scares. The official poster describes it as "The most terrifying film you will ever experience", when in fact, it's nothing of the sort. Not even remotely. This movie didn't make me jump or startle me even once. There was no sense of tension or urgency to it whatsoever. Instead, it just felt like a paint-by-numbers exercise in, "forget the scares, let's just see how much more blood we can splatter as time goes by." But you feel no sense of panic or dread while it's all happening.
The original Evil Dead film was nerve-racking as hell, and its sequels had plenty of jump-worthy moments too. Tension... it matters.
The director (Fede Alvarez) obviously tried to pay homage to Sam Raimi's classic work a few times by having the camera move quickly through the woods. Nice try, but unfortunately, his camera work pales in comparison with Raimi's techniques. With Raimi, you felt like the camera was absolutely out of control as it sped through the woods like some unstoppable, unseen force hellbent on destroying anything in its path. You didn't know if it was going to catch up with Ash or crash right into a tree, and all you could do while this happened was hold your breath and grip the edges of your seat. I still feel on edge when I watch those movies to this day, and I've seen them countless times.
None of that happens in the new film. It feels too polished... the camera just glides past the trees at a fast pace. There's no urgency to it, and you don't get the sense that you're seeing the world fly by through the eyes of some reckless demonic force. No cameras mounted to bicycles here. No crew members or equipment in any danger.
Sam Raimi made you feel like he was literally ramming his film camera into things just to pull off a crazy shot, endangering both his equipment and his crew. That's not the case with the new Evil Dead. With this one, you get the feeling they were more concerned about protecting their expensive film equipment than going for glory in any of the shots. Perhaps, to create engaging horror on film, one must experience a little horror while actually filming it.
In the end, Evil Dead (2013) is a visually entertaining modern horror flick with a fairly heavy amount of carnage in it, but it's also completely forgettable due to the inferior camera work, bland characters, and a complete lack of tension. You may have a good time watching it with friends for the first time if you like enjoy ridiculous gore scenes, just don't expect it to appear in your required annual horror film viewing rotation.
I'm sure some of you have already seen the movie, so feel free to post your opinions about it in this thread and I'll be happy to blab with ya about all things Evil Dead.
One last thing: If you do decide to check out the movie, be sure to keep watching past the end credits for something that will put a big smile on your face.
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