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Associate Producer Dan Tovar Talks New Splatterhouse

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November 23rd, 2010, cannot get here soon enough for gamers! Why, you ask? Because that’s when Namco finally delivers its latest iteration of the classic Splatterhouse to blood-hungry fans!

Recently our own Mr. Dark sat down with Associate Producer Dan Tovar to talk about the reimagining of this truly killer franchise! Curious as to what to expect? Get ready for the goods!


Dread Central: For those who aren’t familiar with Splatterhouse, give us the lowdown on what we’re in for.

Dan Tovar: Splatterhouse is a revival of the classic arcade game from the late 1980’s. You play as Rick Taylor, who was just a regular college student until he and his girlfriend, Jennifer, go to the West Mansion to meet the mysterious Dr. West. When they arrive, they are attacked by monsters, and Rick is left to die while Jennifer is kidnapped. During the scuffle an ancient Terror Mask is knocked into Rick’s blood, and it awakens an entity that had been trapped there for centuries. Rick puts the mask on after he is promised life, power and the ability to save the love of his life. He is transformed into a monstrous brute capable of enduring hell and sets off to find his girl and exact revenge on the man who killed him.

Associate Producer Dan Tovar Talks New Splatterhouse

DC: Being a remake, can you tell us about some of the elements taken from the original three games that we can expect to see in the new title?

DT: We used the original Splatterhouse games as inspiration and direct reference while developing the update. We identified a number of critical elements that were iconic to the franchise and therefore were must-haves for the modern game. Settings, characters, weapons, moves and even music were all on the list. Players who loved the originals will no doubt recognize a lot of familiar elements while playing through the game. That being said, we wanted to be competitive and fun in today’s game market so there is a ton of new stuff for people to sink their teeth into.

DC: Based on the ESRB description, it sounds like this one really pushes the envelope for content in a game. Was there anything that wound up on the cutting room floor because it was just too extreme?

DT: For us it was a bit of the opposite. A lot of the stuff that didn’t make the game was stuff that was not extreme enough. We re-worked a lot of assets and elements to make sure they fit in with the wet and gory nature of the game. Some environments that would not be polished enough in time did not make it in. Some of the moves were just not brutal enough so those got left behind. Some weapons looked puny and insignificant in Rick’s monstrous hands so we had to move on. And some monsters themselves just didn’t seem nasty and savage enough to be a challenge to a brawler like Rick so they were dropped.

DC: We have to ask: The game started with BottleRocket Entertainment then moved internal. How much of that original effort still exists in the game today? Was it a total re-work in the last year and a half or so?

DT: There are definitely still elements from the original development still in the game. The story arc, characters and overall intention are still there. We did update the character art, level art and general design. There was a lot of re-work that went into making all the elements work together, and having two separate phases of development was quite challenging to say the least. But everyone worked hard in the end, and we are all proud of what came out.

Associate Producer Dan Tovar Talks New Splatterhouse


DC: The original design back in the 80’s for Rick had a very Jason Voorhees-like appearance, including the machete and hockey mask. Over time it evolved into the shirtless hulk and skull-like mask we have now. Were there any famous slashers or horror films you felt inspired by during the making of the new game? Any elements you tried to incorporate as homage?

DT: We actually thought about the monsters when we were working on the redesign of Rick. We knew that we had to move away from the Jason type character design and had thought that the bad guys in some of the monster movies always got to have all the fun. So we looked at some movies and comics and said why can’t Rick be the monster?

Characters like Hellboy and the Hulk are also powerhouses that get to wreck some serious carnage, and we looked to them to add some severe brutality to the character.

DC: The soundtrack to the game is stellar. How did you choose all the bands for the game, and how much did their music influence the game design, if at all?

Associate Producer Dan Tovar Talks New Splatterhouse

DT: The game’s soundtrack was chosen out of my personal record collection for the most part. These are all bands that I have enjoyed over the years and had listened to while working on the concept, especially Mastodon and High on Fire. The music just evokes a very particular mood and atmosphere that inspires adrenaline. For a violent game such as Splatterhouse, it really goes hand in hand. The trick became how to keep the atmosphere in the mansion to be creepy still with that heavy sound blasting through your skull so we do have several types of music throughout the game. We have atmospheric moody music for the exploration sections, and then we even have tunes that are inspired by the classic games and horror movie soundtracks from the 80’s. Those tongue-in-cheek flicks have always been at the heart of what drives us to make a game like this.

DC: My traditional last question: What’s your favorite horror movie?

DT: It’s always tough to pick just one. Re-Animator is up there. Dead Alive is beyond classic. The whole Evil Dead series is always in my skull. But I guess if I had to put one on the top, it would be American Werewolf in London. That one really scared the hell out of me when I was younger, and it still holds up even today. The transformation scene was just so over the top.

Look for the game in stores on November 23rd, 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360! For more information visit Namco Bandai Games Online


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Buy Stuff From Eibon Press, Get More Stuff For Free

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Eibon Press have announced that they’re starting Black Friday a day early and will be running their specials for almost a week, through November 28th. This year, they’re doing something a little different, a little more interesting. Rather than reduce prices on their inventory, they’re doing a deal where depending on how much you buy from their store, you’ll get a certain amount of free swag in addition to your order.

The first tier sees anyone who makes a purchase getting two double-sided mini-posters featuring art from their upcoming Bottomfeeder and Maniac and The New York Ripper series. The second tier sees anyone who spends at least $30 getting a free copy of their VHS Comics titles Laserblast plus the mini-posters. The final tier is for those who spend $50 and more and that will net the mini-posters, the #1 issue of Laserblast, and a free copy of Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell #2.

Lastly, five random people will receive an extra bonus gift, which they won’t reveal but promise that, “…you’ll love it!

All order cans be placed via Eibon Press.

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KISS Meets Army of Darkness in New Comic Miniseries!

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Dynamite Entertainment just announced that they are planning to bring two of their bestselling brands together in “KISS/Army of Darkness #1”. The new comic book series will unite the rock band with none other than Ash for some Deadite ass kicking.

The series will be written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims and illustrated by Ruairi Coleman. And the debut issue of “KISS/Army of Darkness” features three art covers from Kyle Strahm, Goni Montes, and Ken Haeser.

You can find all three covers below along with quotes from the creative team. After looking through all of that make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are about this new hybrid comic series in the comments below or on social media!

With Ash vs. The Army of Darkness, Chris and I were given kind of carte blanche to do whatever we wanted to the world of AOD, and we went for broke,” Co-writer Chad Bowers says. “We introduced some new characters and concepts, and built a legacy for Ash’s comics adventures that I’m immensely proud of, but not in a million years could I have guessed we’d get to continue that momentum with the added bonus of tossing the world’s greatest rock n’ roll band into the mix! I’ve been in the tank for KISS since I was in middle school. I remember buying the KISS tribute album, KISS My Ass for the Lemonheads (they covered Plaster Caster), which lead to me picking up Greatest Hits, and so on. But when I found out there was a KISS comic with blood in it, I signed up for life! Of course, I adore the songs (literally listening to Do You Love Me right now), but I’m just as obsessed with the way KISS transcends the music to become something of a genre themselves. It’s something I think about a lot, honestly, so no surprise, it’s a big part of our story too!”

“When it comes to Army of Darkness, I guess you could say that Ash is a bit of a gambler, but he’s nobody’s fool,” Co-writer Chris Sims says. “And since our first story was set back at Alan Shepard High, we’re looking forward to showing him some things that you can’t learn in school. Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the deep-cut lyrics now, but for real — if you thought Deadites at Homecoming and the Supernatural Military-Adjacent Response Team were taking Ash in a new direction, just wait until you see how we team him up with the Starchild, Space Ace, the Demon, and the Catman. In the grand tradition of the film, we’re tearing up the entire space-time continuum and if you think you know how weird this is gonna get… well, you sure know somethin’!”

“Having done some work for Dynamite in the past, I’ve really been wanting to get my foot in the door here for a long time so I can play in the sandbox of the amazing licenses they have,” Artist Ruairi Coleman says. “Chief among those, and high up on my bucket list, is Army of Darkness: Hail to the king, baby! So, when I was offered the job of drawing the KISS/Army of Darkness crossover, I couldn’t believe my luck! The concept is totally bonkers, but in a way, that would make complete sense in the world of Army of Darkness. Thinking about it, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done already and I’m honored (and more than a little intimidated) to be the guy who draws it.”

“After a more than 40-year career, KISS continues to be one of rock’s most celebrated bands, while Army of Darkness continues to be a staple in the comic book industry. We’re both honored to have the opportunity to work so closely with Gene and Paul to bring their world-renowned alter-egos to comics alongside our very own Ashy Slashy,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “The raging guitar chords and pyrotechnic spectacle of their stage shows could have come straight from the pages of the Necronomicon, and this epic battle between The Demon and Deadites will appeal to the hellions in all of us!”

Issue #1 will be available on digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, Madefire, and Dark Horse Digital.

The KISS/Army of Darkness miniseries event hits February 2018.

Synopsis:

KISS is on top of the world and rocking faces until the night disciples of The Destroyer show up and the band disappears. With the tour canceled, a young Ash misses one of the most important events of his life that will change his destiny. Now the Chosen One has to get back on the right path and join the KISS ARMY OF DARKNESS!

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Jason Lives Director Pitched Follow-Up: Jason Vs Cheech and Chong

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One of my favorite entries in the Friday the 13th series is director ‘s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. The mixture of old-school gothic horror and comedy is always a welcome treat around these parts.

But why wasn’t McLoughlin asked to write and direct the follow-up?

Actually, it turns out he was asked to follow up Jason Lives, McLoughlin recently told Mick Garris on the Post Mortem podcast.

But his pitch – Jason vs Cheech and Chong – didn’t go over so well…

“[Frank Mancuso Jr.] wanted me to do another film after we did Jason,” McLoughlin says. “And I said, ‘What are you thinking? I don’t know what it could be now.’ And he said, ‘Well, what do you think about Freddy (Krueger) and Jason?’ And I go, ‘But Freddy’s at New Line and the guys at Paramount have [Jason].’ And it’s like, ‘Well, we’re going to try and see if we can work something out.’ So, I started thinking about that, going, It doesn’t make sense. I mean he lives in one realm and — you know, I take this stuff very seriously, what realm a monster’s supposed to stay in. And he came back, he goes, ‘Eh, forget it, it’s not going to work anyway.’ And I said, ‘You know what? You guys own Cheech and Chong. What if we do Cheech and Chong-meets-Jason? They’re like camp counselors or something. It’s like, ‘Hey, man, I saw Jason out there.’ ‘No, man, that’s a myth.’ But he said, ‘You know what? No.’”

Too bad. While I don’t know how well a Cheech and Chong/Friday the 13th flick would go, with McLoughlin at the helm, the film would have at least been funny as hell.

Plus we already got these two knuckleheads in Part III.

Are you upset we never got Tom McLoughlin’s Jason vs Cheech and Chong? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

You can buy Friday the 13th: Part VI – Jason Lives on Blu-ray HERE.

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