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We Played Nightmare: The VHS Board Game! Here’s How It Went

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The other weekend my friend was in town, and to say she isn’t into horror would be an understatement. She hasn’t even seen It. Yeah, I heard there was someone in Florida and someone in the deep jungles of the Amazon who hadn’t seen the film yet, but I thought that was a myth. Well, I’ve met her. She’s real.

But that said, on one of our recent visits, she mentioned that she was going to be gathering with a group of friends that coming weekend to play a VHS board game I may have heard of called “Nightmare.” I think I scared half the employees and all of the customers inside that particular 2nd & Charles with my reaction.

Needless to say, I quickly made plans to join her and her group of friends the following weekend to finally get my chance to play the lost treasure that is Nightmare: The VHS Board Game.

This is an account of my Nightmare. Moo-haha.

Okay, let’s start this out with a bit more history of the board game. A lot of this I’m taking straight from Wikipedia (I know, sue me) but I took the following pics/video myself, so there. But truth be told, the game is so batsh*t that I’m not sure what the hell happened over the course of the 60 minutes it took for the game to unfold.

But I do know this: it was awesome.

Rundown via Wiki:

Nightmare is a horror video board game released in 1991 by A Couple ‘A Cowboys and J. W. Spear & Sons as part of the Atmosfear series.

The game is set in a place known as “The Other Side”. This place has six Harbingers, each of whom has authority over a Province. To play the game, each player adopts the persona of one of the Harbingers: Gevaudan the werewolf; Hellin the poltergeist; Khufu the mummy; Baron Samedi the zombie; Anne de Chantraine the witch, and Elizabeth Bathory the vampire. The final character in the game is the Gatekeeper, whose job is to ensure that the other characters do not escape from The Other Side.

Gameplay:

The game requires 3–6 players to attempt to collect keys while trying to beat the clock included on the video cassette. At random intervals, the game stops and The Gatekeeper appears to either taunt, reward, or penalize the players in a variety of ways. Prior to beginning the game, the players are required to write their “greatest fear” on individual slips of paper. The game is won by collecting six special keys before making it to the center of the game board where the player draws a ‘fear’. If that player draws someone else’s fear, the tape is stopped and that player is declared the winner. If no one accomplishes this within 60 minutes, The Gatekeeper is declared the winner.

Characters:

The six Harbingers in the game are: Gevaudan the werewolf; Hellin the poltergeist; Khufu the mummy; Baron Samedi the zombie; Anne de Chantraine the witch; and Elizabeth Bathory, the vampire.

Each of the Harbingers is based on either a real person or a myth, except for Hellin. Hellin, “in hell” reversed, is the only Harbinger entirely created by Brett Clements. Hellin is also the only character with limited background information, as Brett wanted players to use their own imagination for this character.

Baron Samedi got his name from the voodoo loa of the dead, though the game’s creators misattribute him as the ancient Arawak Indian God of the Dead. Anne de Chantraine is based on the first “official” witch who was burned at the stake. Elizabeth Bathory is based on a serial killer who is believed to have murdered and drunk the blood of about six hundred and fifty virgin girls. Khufu is based on a Fourth Dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh. Gevaudan is based on a man who was hunted by armies of people for supposedly carrying the sickness of lycanthropy.

The final character in the game is the Gatekeeper (played by Wenanty Nosul), whose job is to make sure the other characters cannot escape from The Other Side to the real world. The Gatekeeper’s character is based on the old cemetery gatekeepers, whose job was to guard cemeteries against grave robbers.

Now, all of that out of the way, let’s get into the game. Like I said before I jumped at the chance to play this game, but let me go a bit more in-depth. My friend was playing in St. Augustine, Fl. and I live in Gainesville, Fl.

This meant my happy-ass had to saddle up for a 2 hr. drive – both ways – the night after a party. I didn’t go to sleep until 4 am. But all the same, I jumped out of bed at the ripe dawn on 1 PM, threw together my “Awesome Horror Shite is Happening Somewhere in the World and I Need to be There” go-bag and headed out to the beach for some VHS horror games.

I did this, not only for my own benefit but so you guys could live vicariously through me and experience the hard-to-find game yourself. You know, in words… But that’ll have to be good enough for the time being.

There is actually a video I recorded of the gameplay which you can check out below, but I have to admit I half-assed the video component a bit as I am known to be a bit competitive and I was mucho into gathering up all my keys and winning this damn game!

Did I succeed? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out…

The first thing you must know about Nightmare: The VHS Board Game is that the son of a bitch requires you to have a VHS player (duh?). But no worries, I hang out with just the kind of cats that still own VCRs.

So we dusted off the old tape-eater and after fighting for too long with the damn connection cables, we hooked it up, gathered around the coffee table, dimmed the light, turned up the speakers, and hit play.

After the standard VHS blue screen and the FBI warning (which took forever) the game began. A creepy creepster emerged onto the screen and we were given a timer that counted up to 60:00. If one of us didn’t gather all six of their keys by the time the 60th minute struck, then that damn curmudgeon Gatekeeper would win it all.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

Because I know all of you skipped the Wikipedia rundowns above, I’ll explain the rules again. Nightmare: The VHS Board Game requires 3-6 players. We had 8. Oh, no. What to do? Promptly, one of my better-organized friends recommended two couples played with each other as a team, and boom! That seemed to work out just fine.

Damn good plan.

After the FBI warning, The Gatekeeper jeepered and creepered his blue and green tinted ass up on the screen. He then immediately began being a total jerk to everyone in the room. But in all the right ways. This dude (played by Wenanty Nosul) started calling us all maggots, yelling at the top of his lungs and demanding that whenever he asked us a question we had to respond with “Yes, my Gatekeeper!”

Remember, this is a game for children. Guess the makers felt the need to sneak in a bit of the old S&M training for the kiddies. Is that wrong to say? Meh. Wait till I get to the part about the staring contest.

No worries, it’s creepier than it sounds.

As you can see from the pic below, the whole VHS element is shot in a very Creepshow-vibe that I dug quite a bit. Green light here. A blue light here. A tattered cloak over greasy hair and rotten, yellow teeth. Good times.

Add in the VHS artifacts and I was in nostalgia heaven.

To say the gameplay was a bit confusing would be to do the game a bit more of a favor than it garners on its own. Sure, there was an entire scroll included in the box that detailed all of the rules, but pfft, who reads the rules, right?

Exactly. We’ll just figure this shite out as we go.

Or will we?

The game, as I mentioned above, begins with a counter on screen. This counter ticks upwards to 60 minutes, again as mentioned above. But what I did not mention is that there isn’t an opportunity to pause the game. Sure, you still could, but you don’t want to be that guy, do you? You better not.

Suffice to say, once the play button was pressed and the Gatekeeper started his taunting and name-calling, the game was off to the races. It was intense, and fair warning if you plan to snag your own copy of the game and play at home: make sure to bring your cocktails with you to the living room and take your bathroom breaks beforehand.

Because something tells me that if you need to stop the game for a pee-break, The Gatekeeper will just nightmare straight out of the screen and proceeded to evacuate your bladder and bowels for you, free of charge. Haha. But that’s just being silly now, isn’t it? We still didn’t attempt it. You give it a try. Let us know what happens.

Some of the highlights were one of our group was told in secret by a card marked “time” to – randomly af – let out a f*cking blood-curdling scream (which she did with aplomb) and whoever she scared the living f*ck out of (which was everyone single one of us) lost a turn or something.

I can’t fully remember, because a girl randomly super-screaming in your ears will have your head spinning for a moment or two. I don’t know what she gained from that scream of the banshees, but whatever it was, she got it.

She earned it.

Another top moment was when the old Gatekeeper picked one of us at random by popping up on the screen and asking “Who’s turn is it next!?” He then proceeded to make our friend enter into a staring contest with him for a full minute and 30 seconds (I went back and checked the timer). Taunting him the entire time.

Don’t think that’s hard? Try it. Right now.

Yeah, it was impressive as hell.

Plus, it wasn’t as if any of the rest of us were offering him much help, honestly. We stared him down like prison guards making sure he didn’t so much as think about taking a blink. We were afraid the man was going to go blind afterwards. In the heat of the moment though, this was a worthy challenge.

And again, he pulled it off. That’ll show that gatekeeping creeper.

Now, I don’t want to spoil the ending — but I’m going to anyways. We all lost. Every single one of us.

However, one of my friends (the girl who hasn’t seen It) was very close to winning. Thus giving us all a heart attack as the game speeds up like a motherf*cker in the last 15 mins. Hence why there is no gameplay video of that section. Sorry.

But in the end, like all the rest of her comrades – my friend failed to roll a damn six by the time the final bell chimed.

So the old Gatekeeper won.

And after an hour of playing, with all the random screams, staring contests and constant taunts from the Gatekeeper, the game was over. And there wasn’t a single winner amongst the eight of us.

It was awesome.

You can check out the video compilation I made from my adventures below and then let us know what you think of Nightmare: The VHS Board Game!

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Spoilers: Which Major Walking Dead Actor Might Leave the Series After This Season?

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*** POSSIBLE SPOILERS ***

Like many of you out there, I gave up on AMC’s The Walking Dead a long time ago. In fact, I gave up after they fired Frank Darabont following the horrendous second season.

That said, I’m not bitter towards the series, and hell, even I watched the season premiere where Negan beat the brains off Big Red and the dude from Mayhem.

Also, I’m aware there has been some controversy surrounding the “death” (yeah, right) of Chandler Rigg’s character. I have no opinion on the matter.

Speaking of character deaths, we might want to expect another this season as it looks like Lauren Cohan, aka Maggie, has taken another job on the ABC pilot “Whiskey Cavalier.”

While this doesn’t immediately mean Cohan’s Maggie character will kick the big old zombie-bucket… it pretty much means that.

Variety reports that Cohan has been in negotiations with AMC for months over her return, but she does not currently have a contract for the ninth season and will instead take the lead in the new ABC pilot.

Do you think this means Maggie is done for? Let us know below!

“The Walking Dead” returns on Sunday, February 25th.

Season 8B Synopsis:
All-out war has had a devastating impact on every person involved. The communities themselves are fractured. Alexandria has been destroyed, the people at Hilltop finds themselves pinned, and the Kingdom is shattered — half of them dead, the other half controlled by the Saviors.

At the very center — Rick, having been distracted by the conflict, has just returned home to learn that Carl, who heroically shepherded the Alexandrians to safety during Negan’s attack, has been bitten by a walker. Once his sole motivation in this otherwise stark existence, Rick is forced to deal with this reality. Carl has always been a beacon of hope, a symbol for the remaining thread of humanity — lessons that the survivors around him would be wise to take with them as this war surges onward.

But Rick isn’t the only person who’s living in peril. Aaron and Enid are in a dire situation at Oceanside — unclear if they’re in friendly territory, or if they’ve just made new enemies. Father Gabriel will do his part in attempting to smuggle Dr. Carson safely back to the Hilltop, and a pregnant Maggie is wrestling with the many moral gray areas that come with leadership during war. In a standoff with the Saviors, she must decide how to proceed with the dozens of POW lives she’s currently in control of, as well as new complications that come with being a leader.

In addition to the war, Negan continues to deal with struggles within his ranks as workers, traitors, and others’ thirst for power cause conflict at the Sanctuary. Having gifted the Saviors a major victory, Eugene’s loyalty is repeatedly tested as new obstacles present themselves.

As all-out war consumes us, the line between good and evil continues to blur. People fighting for what they believe in. Everybody working together for something bigger — to feel safe and have a world worth living in.

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Filthy and Fine! The Best Shots of Ash vs. Evil Dead

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The Evil Dead franchise is my all time favorite horror series, which evolves its mythos with each entry. Of course, the original Evil Dead has been just a straight-up horror film, but thanks to the fateful meeting of filmmaker Scott Spiegel, director Sam Raimi took the franchise into a strange comedic territory, using slapstick while still keeping the tones of sheer terror. What makes this terror stay with the franchise even with Ash’s loudmouth persona is it’s influential and inspiring camera work that Sam Raimi makes a legend behind the camera.

After years of waiting for the master of horror to return to the Evil Dead franchise, our palates were satiated with “Ash Vs Evil Dead” which continued the inspiring cinematography. With two seasons of a television show under Raimi’s watchful eye and a third season on the way, I took a look at every episode in the series to see if each director on board the project kept that eye for cinematography and shooting style. The series was notorious for it’s over the top gore and gags and I could’ve sat here and just gushed over the geysers of blood emitting from every orifice in the show, but, what I found in each episode brought more and more to the table. There are still horrifying shots to balance out the comedy of the show, but there are also amazing character moments within that foreshadow and evolve each character.

Think about it, other than Ash we’ve never had a cast of characters that survived more than two minutes but now there’s a crew of Ghostbeaters! Don’t worry as we still have randoms coming in and out that leave you to ponder, “How long can this poor Shemp live?” as they burst into blood and viscera. There are shots that revel in the grotesque, but there are also shots that revel in who our heroes are and delve into their psyches, the specialty of the Deadites! For those who’d like to follow along with the shots in the show, I’ve given you the time these shots show up if you’re watching the show on Netflix skipping the recaps.

To see the images in their full-size glory, give them a groovy little click!


S1E1: “El Jefe”
Directed By Sam Raimi
12:53
The flashlight twirling on the ground illuminating the scene as it spins on the two detectives faces gives way to one of the best sequences in the series. As Amanda’s deadite partner attacks her, the light spins furiously with the actions of the scene as she tries to retrieve her gun. When she retrieves the gun and aims it at the deadite the audience member would get a sigh of relief that she would triumph but is then tricked into terror. The flashlight spinning becomes slower and slower on both their faces as the man cries in pain pleading to his partner. The light illuminates his transformation back into a deadite horrifyingly for a slow dread filled shot. This shot and sequence show Sam still has it and sets up the series for what’s to come.



S1E2: “Bait”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
12:30
As Ash brings down the cross upon the ground the camera pans to Pablo and Kelly with a bright sunrise upon them. While the horrors of the night are over it is this sunrise the signifies the dawning of Kelley’s new life and her dialogue over this shot swears her vengeance.


S1E3: “Books From Beyond”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
2:38
Up until this point, Ruby has remained a mystery and not given us a sense of danger. Against the howl of the windmill in the background bathing in the moonlight we see her unleash the Kandarian dagger upon the already impaled deadite with a smirk on her face. This shot unravels her mystery bit by bit hauntingly as the first person besides Ash to stare down a Deadite with no fear.


S1E4: “Brujo”
Directed By David Frazee
22:40
The Brujo’s entire set up is pretty creepy with all sorts of totems that he utilizes for good but look haunting. When Kelly steps into the barn possessed by Eligos the totems come to life and react to the evil stepping before them. The best one though is the face that quickly begins to disappear bit by bit as Kelly approaches. It utters the word Mentirosa, Spanish for a liar, as she steps forth, giving way to a visually striking and terrifying warning.


S1E5: “The Host”
Directed By: David Frazee
21:26
Pablo bids farewell to his youth and tutelage under the Brujo while stepping into a new life with Ash that is more in tune with his family’s spiritual upbringing. With each totem lighting up as Pablo walks by the shots build Pablo’s feelings of loss toward a teacher as Pablo emerges a warrior that foreshadows his importance later to come as the first magical force of good in a fight that’s only ever cast spells of evil.


S1E6: “The Killer of Killers”
Directed By Michael Hurst
20:24
This is one of the most hilarious yet meaningful shots of the episode. Amanda’s boss has become a deadite ready to kill her. Ash shoots Amanda’s boss in the head, making her question the authority she had adhered to so much. Her idea of Ash as a villain changed with that charming Smile and look to Amanda in a gory pose over the lower jaw of her former boss. Ash looks to her like Uncle Sam simply saying join us! Blood and viscera flowing around him like a fountain. Dangling legs in the background as an added bonus!


S1E7: “Fire In The Hole”
Directed By Michael Hurst
19:25
Actions in combat can tell a story just like any dance. The compatibility between our heroes is evocative of Ash and Amanda’s budding romance during the entire sequence. However, it is this one masterful shot of the two working in unison dodging hellfire that tells the story of warrior’s love lit by demon fire!


S1E8: “Ashes to Ashes”
Directed By Tony Tilse
18:21
Ash can never escape the past it seems as the series goes on. He is hesitant to trust Pablo and Kelly as friends in his adventure for fear of losing them like he has lost so many others. This infamous shot from Evil Dead 2 is one of the few things that could make him question his machismo. This time he doesn’t even bring the chainsaw down on his beloved Linda but is forced to watch as an invisible chainsaw comes down upon her head forcing him to be reminded of what he did. This plays heavily into his decision making near the end of the season.



S1E9: “Bound In Flesh”
Directed By Tony Tilse
25:20
We finally get to see the book speak and beg Ash to not destroy it. This is something we’ve become accustomed to in the comic series, but have never been treated to the book itself speaking to Ash otherwise. We as the audience become the eye of the book and in true Evil Dead fashion watch, Pablo scream as the camera rushes toward him and he fuses with the book. This moment is the change in Pablo that clashes with his new direction discovered in the shot in Episode 5, which then tortures him internally until the end of season 2 where he is constantly being pulled by the necklace of the Brujo and the evil of the books spells.


S1E10: “The Dark One”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
19:06
A dreary moonlight shot of blues against the cabin looking ominous as Kelly stares on drenched in blood and anger. It’s a hauntingly beautiful shot. Kelly has fully embraced herself as a ghost beater and is done being tormented ready to start saving her boys. For a lot of characters, this could easily be a breaking point, but this shot affirms Dana Delorenzo as Kelly among some of the most powerful and able Final Girls on the rise.


S2E1: “Home”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
27:31
This shot is very telling of Ruby’s betrayal to evil. As her children surround and attack her, she is obscured by darkness and where she lies in terror a bright light emanates from behind her illuminating the scene as if to show her becoming a hero against evil.


S2E2: “The Morgue”
Directed By Tony Tilse
16:41
When this episode aired it was one of the most talked about and disgustingly depraved things to see. A simple Camera rig in front of Ash as he struggles to get out of a corpse, pubic hairs and dick swinging in his face. If Dead Alive wanted to take Evil Dead’s title of biggest gross-out scenes, then “Ash Vs Evil Dead” took the title back with excrement and body fluids all over our hero.


S2E3: “Last Call”
Directed By Tony Tilse
23:08
There are a ton of great shots of the evil Delta but perhaps the best one is this single frame of Lacey telling her boyfriend she loves him as he is splattered across the windshield. Blood and glass between them as they try for one last kiss against the fire and demonic lighting coming from the Delta and then splat! It’s a small touching moment that makes Lacey’s character a bit more sympathetic as the show goes on. As for her boyfriend? Well, I told you there would be plenty of Shemps to kill off.


S2E4: “DUI”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
1:45
After splattering Ash’s dad across the street, The Delta pulls up with a camera spin into the grill revealing an eye stuck in it. Ash’s one true love, his car, that’s survived everything has turned against him and killed his father just as they had reconnected. A perfect role reversal as Brock William’s severed eye is now staring down Ash through the grill of the car. No longer a window into Brock’s soul, but a sick vision of Ash’s love turned enemy.


S2E5: “Confinement”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
17:46
Flashing between light and darkness as the skin is ripped and blood is splattered gives us a horrifying look for the first time at the main antagonist of the season. Baal emerges from the flesh of humanity showing how we are all merely tools for his psychological deceptions.


S2E6: “Trapped Inside”
Directed By Mark Beesley
11:37
The moon reflects an eerie light upon Cheryl’s picture as it begins to bleed like the statue of Mary. The innocence of Ash’s sister was never saved and her soul weeps as the flesh is resurrected for evil’s bidding.


S2E7: “Delusion”
Directed By Mark Beesley
23:59
This entire episode is about breaking down Ash’s spirit and character, making him think he’s truly insane. As he’s at the breaking point he sees his friends and his love for them saves him. It’s a really simple shot that’s amplified by Bruce’s performance, but that disturbed look against the shadowy bars across his face in the dreary room give him his eureka moment where he comes down from his insanity and understands what he has to do to win.


S2E8: “Ashy Slashy”
Directed By Tony Tilse
14:13
Throughout the season the town builds up a boogeyman mythos in Ashy Slashy that we know as an audience member isn’t true but this shot brings Ashy Slashy to life. That boogeyman becomes real as the straight jacket becomes Ashy Slashy’s costume and the fire created by the chainsaw shows a side of Ash we’ve never seen. In this shot, we are convinced he had become a mindless killer.


S2E9: “Home Again”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
19:51
We’ve only ever heard his voice and seen his ghost save for a few shots of him discovering the Necronomicon in Evil Dead 2. Professor Knowby watches his student, Tanya, bleed out on the floor. She looks up at her mentor with horror as light swings back and forth casting shadows on his face. He is almost serial killer in nature and the shot reflects how his quest for knowledge outweighs his humanity. We see Professor Knowby and his daughter Ruby are not too dissimilar.


S2E10: “Second Coming”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
26:12
The finale brings Ash back to the cabin having to completely confront his past to change the future. With Pablo dead, because of Ash’s own follies, it is in the ashes of Ash’s dark past that Pablo is reborn, no longer tormented by the Necronomicon he takes his first breath as a new human. The evil within him gone and his life ready to begin anew.


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McKenna Grace Snags Lead in Rob Lowe’s Remake of The Bad Seed

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Okay so, evidently Rob Lowe is remaking The Bad Seed. Meh, I’m interested. But wait, evidently it will be a Lifetime original film. Urgh, interest is waning.

All jokes aside, I’m intrigued by this remake. Not only is it set to star Rob Lowe, but the man will be directing and executive producing as well.

Another interesting variation is that this film will follow Lowe’s father figure dealing with the evil child, instead of the original film’s mother character played by Nancy Kelly.

And on top of that, today we have news via Deadline that McKenna Grace (Amityville: The Awakening) has been cast as the titular bad seed, Emma, and Patty McCormack – who played the evil little girl in the original, and received an Oscar nomination for performance – will co-star as the psychiatrist who treats Emma.

Grace will next be seen in the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House from director Mike Flanagan (Hush, Gerald’s Game).

The Lifetime remake is directed and executive produced by Rob Lowe from a script by Barbara Marshall. Lowe as executive produces with Mark Wolper and Elizabeth Stephen and stars alongside Patty McCormack and McKenna Grace.

Synopsis:

Lowe plays a single father who seems to have everything under control. But when there is a terrible tragedy takes place at his daughter Emma’s (Grace) school, he is forced to question everything he thought he knew about his beloved daughter. He slowly begins to question if Emma’s exemplary behavior is just a façade and she played a role in the horrific incident. When more strange things begin to happen, he’s faced with keeping a terrible secret to protect Emma, but ultimately must stop her from striking again.

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