Black and White Creatures Abound in Earwigs - Dread Central
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Black and White Creatures Abound in Earwigs

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Undead Backbrain

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http://roberthood.net/blog/index.php/2011/05/28/theres-a-new-bug-in-town/

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Earwigs. They’re just nasty, filthy, disgusting, evil little buggers. Even their name is awful and can send chills (entered through the ear) straight down the spines of people who just don’t like insects. It was only a matter of time before someone put these pests on film, and filmmaker Bruce LeGrow has done so in grand fashion!

Below you’ll find the first trailer and artwork for Earwigs, the new indie flick guaranteed to make you itchy, which has been filmed throwback style in glorious black and white.

For more on the flick, including lots of stills, head on over to Undead Backbrain. Thanks to DC reader Avery for the heads-up!

Now then! On to the impossibly long plot crunch!

Synopsis
Dr. Rutherford’s home life is in shambles. His wife is an abusive gossip who spends most of her time complaining about her husband on the phone. Amidst his current studies for the military, the doctor has been working overtime to develop a serum that would alter the human brain. The serum is intended to unleash the brain’s full potential for empathy and compassion. After a few failed attempts of using the serum on his wife and selling it as a “love potion” to local hoodlums, the doctor stumbles upon the missing ingredient in his own basement laboratory. Earwigs!

Earwigs are the great mothers of the solitary insect world. Earwigs care for their young well after the second molt! Through a series of radical experiments, the doctor manages to extract the “caring gene” from the brain of an earwig. He carefully adds it to his powerful serum.

Inevitably a domestic dispute ends with Dr. Rutherford kicked out of his own house. Now residing in the military laboratory, the doctor turns his sights to his sexy lab assistant Diana. He propositions that they each drink his serum and start a new loving life together. Diana declines and flees the scene. In a moment of desperation the doctor takes the serum and is strangely mutated into an earwig.

Dr. Rutherford, now more earwig than man, lurks throughout the city. He has a sinister motive to capture women and create his own “perfect” family. After abducting Diana from a car at lover’s lane, the giant earwig creates an evil sanctuary in an abandoned barn on the edge of town. From here he uses his psychic powers to summon and command a vast horde of earwigs.

The earwigs crawl inside their victims, effectively turning them into mindless slaves of the earwig’s evil will. Fear and suspicion reign supreme amidst the plethora of strange occurrences around town. More young women are disappearing, and a manhunt begins for Dr. Rutherford. Rumors abound that the recent phenomenon is part of an elaborate Communist attack on freedom. The military suspects Rutherford is involved in this red plot and begins an investigation. Meanwhile, Private Buck begins his frantic search to find and save his young love, Diana.

The town is in an uproar. It’s becoming impossible to determine who is under the earwig’s command. Greasers and nerds unite after a horrific incident at the sock-hop, and Private Buck finally uncovers the location of the giant earwig’s lair. The earwig threat is growing exponentially. A series of incidents finally prompts the army into action. Heavy artillery moves throughout the countryside. A massive stand-off occurs once the army descends upon the earwig’s lair. Will mankind triumph over the earwig’s lust for power?

Black and White Creatures Abound in Earwigs

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The Midnight Man Review – Don’t Hate The Game, Hate The Players

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Starring Lin Shaye, Robert Englund, Grayson Gabriel, Emily Haine, Gabrielle Haugh, Summer H. Howell, Louise Linton

Written by Travis Zariwny

Directed by Travis Zariwny


Travis Zariwny’s The Midnight Man is largely a robotic hide-and-seek slog, yet if dissected in butchered chunks, smaller bites range from delicious destruction to utterly incompetent character work. Judging by the bloodthirsty opening sequence alone, you’d think Zariwny is about to blow our morality-siding minds. A sad misconception, I’m afraid. After our hopes skyrocket, mechanical plot devices are pinned to a storyboard with the utmost lack of exploration. The Midnight Man’s game is afoot, but these players would barely compete against an opponent crafted from brick and mortar. Can someone calculate a handicap for them, please?

Gabrielle Haugh stars as Alex Luster, a caring granddaughter to Nana Anna (Lin Shaye). One night, upon the request of her not-always-there relative, Alex rummages through attic trunks for a silver-backed hand mirror. Instead she finds a nondescript wrapped box with what appears to be a game inside. Her crush Miles (Grayson Gabriel) has arrived by now, and after an incident where Anna requires medical attention from house-call doctor Harding (Robert Englund), the two friends begin playing whatever it was that caused Anna to screech in disapproval. You know, the only rational decision.

At the risk of sounding like a smug CinemaSins video, The Midnight Man would surely bomb any horror IQ test. Zariwny’s *first* piece of introduced information after discovering Midnight Man’s altar is quite simple – DANGER. DO NOT PLAY. IT JUST CAUSED A WOMAN TO FAINT. Nevertheless, our braindead sheeple follow careful rules to summon Mr. Midnight Man into their house – because, as horror movies have proven, tempting occult fates is buckets of fun! At least the characters don’t confess romantic feelings and makeout while another friend who joins the game late – “Creepy Pasta” obsessed Kelly (Emily Haine) – could already be in the Midnight Man’s clutches, that’d be – oh, right. That happens.

Senile Anna is another story altogether – Zariwny’s grey-haired red herring in the worst way. Lin Shaye injects so much destabilized madness into this energetic, midnight-perfect role, elevating herself into a stratosphere well above The Midnight Man itself. Whether she’s screaming about Alex’s disgusting blood, or ominously whispering dreadful remarks through a housewide intercom, or beating Robert Englund to a pulp with wide-eyed psychosis – well, if you’ve seen Dead End, you *know* the kind of batshitery Shaye is capable of. Her genre vet status on display like a damn clinic here.

Shaye – and even Englund – aside, scripting is too procedural to salvage any other performances. Kelly doesn’t even deserve mention given her “bring on death!” attitude and enthusiastic late entry INTO AN URBAN LEGEND’S DEATHTRAP – a poorly conceived “twist” with less structure. This leaves Grayson Gabriel and Haugh herself, two thinly-scripted cutouts who couldn’t find a more repetitive genre path to follow. There’s little mystery to the gonigs on, and neither actor manages to wrangle tension (even when staring our Midnight friend in the face…thing).

Scares are hard to come by because Zariwny opts for a more “charismatic” villain who talks like Scarecrow and appears as a dyed-black, cloaked Jack Skellington. He can form out of clouds and is a stickler for rules (candles lit at all times, 10 seconds to re-ignite, if you fail he exploits your deepest fear). Credit is noted given this villain’s backstory and strict instructions – which does make for a rather killer game of tag – but the need to converse and expose Midnight from shadows subtracts necessary mysticism. He’s a cocky demon with masks for each emotion (think woodland death imp emojis), but never the spine-tingling beast we find ourselves hiding from.

This is all a bummer because gore goes bonkers in the very first scene – with underage victims no less. One young player gets decapitated, another explodes into a red splattery mess (against fresh snowfall), but then a vacuous lull in process takes hold. It’s not until Alex’s fear of blood and Miles’ fear of pain that we get more eye-bulging squeamishness, then again when Kelly’s bunnyman appears. A no-bullshit, bunny-headed creature wearing a suit, which plays directly into Kelly’s deepest fear. When Zariwny gets sick and surreal, he scores – but it’s a disappointing “when.”

I take no pleasure in confirming that any small victory The Midnight Man claims is negated by kids who should’ve been offed for even thinking about a quick playthrough of Anna’s old-school entertainment. Invite him in, pour your salt circles and try to survive until 3:33AM – sounds easy, right? If the demon plays fair, you bet! But why would ANYONE trust a demon’s word? Makes sense given Alex and Miles’ ignorance of more red flags than a Minesweeper game, and a thrilling chase these bad decisions do not make.

  • The Midnight Man
2.5

Summary

The Midnight Man begins by striking a meteoric horror high, only to plummet back down towards repetitive genre bumbling once the game’s true – and less enticing – plot begins.

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Fight Chainsaw-wielding Psychos in Retro FPS Dusk

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Strongly inspired by hardcore ’90s shooters such as Doom and Quake, the brutal retro-style FPS Dusk has now made its way onto Steam Early Access, with a full release promised to be coming within the next several months.

Dusk was created by indie developer David Szymanski and published by New Blood Interactive, with the soundtrack composed by Rise of the Triad’s Andrew Hulshult. You play as a treasure hunter who travels to the mysterious town of Dusk, Pennsylvania, where he is captured by the locals and hung on a meat hook. After barely escaping with your life, you’re forced to arm yourself with whatever you can you can get your hands on in an effort to fight your way through both the insane locals and the dark supernatural forces which have also settled in the town. So if you’ve ever entertained fantasies of wielding a double-barrel shotgun and going up against chainsaw-wielding psychos wearing potato sacks over their heads, your dreams are about to come true.

Dusk Official Synopsis
DUSK reintroduces you to a world where butchery and bloodshed must be mastered if you’re to survive ’til dawn. Inspired by Quake, Blood, Heretic, Hexen, Half-Life, Redneck Rampage and all your ’90s favorites, and featuring a soundtrack by metal music mastermind Andrew Hulshult.

In THREE distinct campaign episodes hand-crafted from straight outta the ’90s, players battle through an onslaught of mystical backwater cultists, possessed militants and even darker forces and attempt to discover just what lurks beneath the Earth. Featuring a vast arsenal of badass weaponry including saw blades, dual-wielded shotguns from 1887 and an incredibly necessary grenade launcher, DUSK is unapologetic retro action from start to finish.

In addition to the main campaign, DUSK features an Endless Survival Mode, putting you front and center of wave after wave of enemies. For those looking for an extra challenge, DUSK also offers the chance to go head to head online to battle your friends in arena multiplayer, where darkness hosts the worst of humanity in surprising new ways.

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Michael Bay Adapting Duke Nukem with John Cena in Talks For Lead Role

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I think we can all agree that this may very well be one of those times when we see an announcement and go, “Huh… That actually makes 100% sense and I’m completely behind it!”

It’s been announced that the classic FPS shooter series Duke Nukem is getting a film adaptation out of Paramount with Platinum Dunes, the company owned by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller, producing the movie. As of now, there is no script but the plan is to have WWE superstar John Cena taking on the lead role. As of now, it’s still in early stages but this is actually very exciting news as this combination seems like a match made in heaven.

Just think about some of Bay’s films, like Transformers, Bad Boys, The Rock, The Island, etc… Now imagine that kind of gleeful explosive action as the backdrop for Cena to kick untold amounts of alien ass. For those who worry that Bay won’t go hard enough in terms of violence or offensive language, don’t forget that both Bad Boys films as well as Pain & Gain were rated R for very good reasons.

Duke Nukem was originally released back in 1991 in the self-titled game made by Apogee Software. The character has since been in multiple sequels, although there are only four titles to the main storyline, and spin-offs as well as appearing in cameos in other games such as Death Rally, Blood, Serious Sam 2, Balls of Steel and can be seen in the trailer for Ready Player One. Nukem’s last video game appearance was 2011’s Duke Nuke Forever, a game that went through countless delays only to be met with critical panning upon release.

Horror fans who have played Duke Nukem will recognize many of the character’s iconic one-liners as being lifted from several horror films. Quotes from They Live, Army of Darkness, Aliens, Predator, Jaws, Full Metal Jacket, Evil Dead 2, and many more. The references were littered throughout and many delighted in their homages. However, Bruce Campbell wasn’t a fan when asked about the game back in 1999. He told IGN, “…they’re rip-off artists. Let them get their own damn material. It’s called hiring a writer.” [Source].

That being said, how cool would it be if Campbell made an appearance in the film to put Cena’s Duke Nukem in his place should he use one of those quotes? Apart from being a treat for fans of the games, it’d be a great moment in a film that’s meant to be chock full of bravado, machismo, and strong chins!

Coming back to Platinum Dunes’ adaptation, we’ll be keeping a very close eye on this project! In the meanwhile, why not tell us your favorite Duke Nukem moment in the comments!

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