GANTZ:O Has Some of the Coolest Monster Designs I've Seen in a While - Dread Central
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GANTZ:O Has Some of the Coolest Monster Designs I’ve Seen in a While



While browsing Netflix last night, I stumbled across a CGI film called GANTZ:O. Based on the manga series by Hiroya Oka, the Yasushi Kawamura-directed film follows a group of recently deceased people who are brought back to life in order to compete in “games” where they must kill strange and deadly monsters across Japan. If these people do well enough in one of these games, they have the option to have their memory wiped and return to the land of the living. Basically, think R.I.P.D. meets Gamer with dashes of Pacific Rim.

While it may seem a bit silly in premise, the film is a cornucopia of highly stylized and extremely brutal violence that brings to life (no pun intended) a wide variety of monsters inspired by Japanese folklore (aka Yōkai), including Oni, Tengu, Tsurube otoshi, Wanyudo, and many more. By utilizing exceptional CGI (think of Vendetta, the latest Resident Evil CG film), these legendary creatures roar through the streets of Osaka, causing havoc, mayhem, and wanton destruction. Assigned to face these creatures by a mysterious black orb, the Gantz teams are humanity’s only hope against these creatures, some of whom are far more formidable than others…

While the film has been on Netflix for almost a year, it simply slipped me by until yesterday evening. Intrigued by the concept and hungry for something anime related (if you have suggestions of what I should watch, please leave them in the comments below), I turned it on and was treated to a sci-fi/horror adventure that I believe every genre fan should watch!

I’ll fully admit that the story is quite basic and the character development is sorely lacking. Additionally, the music is immediately forgettable. But those issues are easily put to the side when you see the phenomenal level of CGI artistry at work as well as the scope of imagination being granted to the artists. Japan has always had a rich history of monster folklore and this film opted to utilize those wonderfully traditional denizens as the enemies, creating a fascinating bridge between the futuristic approach of the Gantz teams and these antiquated creatures. Furthermore, the attention to detail in fleshing out these designs make them stunning and beautiful to watch, even as they bring about death with nary a second thought.

To show you how fascinating the monster designs are, I’ve got a gallery of images from the film below. Be warned that some are NSFW (that giant woman is a Cronenberg-ian amalgamation of dozens of contorted naked women, all fused together, writhing against one another), so look at them at your own peril.

It’s movies like GANTZ:O that remind me of my passion for horror and all things associated with it. While I cringed at the forced romance plot, I still had an absolute blast with this film. If you’re craving something that offers literal explosions of blood and gore along with exciting action, all set against a backdrop of apocalyptic horror, GANTZ:O should be next on your queue.

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Horror is Strongly Represented at This Year’s Oscars!



The nominations for the 2018 Academy Awards have been released and both The Shape of Water and Get Out have received some serious nods in major categories!

Jordan Peele’s socially conscious horror/thriller got noms for Best Director, Lead Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), Original Screenplay, and Best Picture! For a directorial debut AND a horror movie, it’s amazing to see this film get some richly deserved love. Peele even tweeted, “I just spoke to Daniel. You know when you’re on the phone trying to disguise the sound of an ugly cry? I failed at that.

Meanwhile, Guillermo del Toro’s delightful fantasy creature feature The Shape of Water racked in this impressive list: Best Picture, Lead Actress (Sally Hawkins), Supporting Actor (Richard Jenkins), Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer), Best Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Film Editing (Sidney Wolinsky), Sound Editing (Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira), Sound Mixing (Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern), Production Design (Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau), Original Score (Alexandre Desplat), and Costume Design (Luis Sequeira). WHEW!

Having seen The Shape of Water just recently, I can assure you that it deserves every one of those accolades. It’s a gorgeous movie that kept a smile on my face through pretty much every single moment.

Other nominations that are equally important for us are the Visual Effects nods to both War for the Planet of the Apes and Kong: Skull Island and the Day of the Dead-themed Coco getting attention for Best Original Song and Animated Feature.

Congratulations to all nominees and we can’t wait to see what happens this March!

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Ice Cream Man Comic Sells Out, Will Receive Second Printing



If you happen to be one of the many people who believe that print media is dying, this news story will make you fuck right off. I’m talking about the fact that the first issue of Image Comics’ Ice Cream Man series sold out shortly after hitting shelves. Image have confirmed that the book will receive a second printing on February 14 to keep up with what they referred to as “overwhelming customer demand”. Retailers will need to order their copies by January 22.

Each issue of Ice Cream Man is a self-contained existential horror story revolving around the themes of sorrow, wonder, and redemption. As the name of the series implies, the titular ice cream man serves as the narrator of each particular tale, with the official synopsis below suggesting that he may be more than just the driver of a frozen pudding wagon.

The series is written by W. Maxwell Prince and illustrated by Martin Morazzo and Chris O’Halloran. If you can’t wait until the second printing, you can purchase a digital copy of #1 from either ComiXology or Image’s official website.

Ice Cream Man #1 Official Synopsis
Chocolate, vanilla, existential horror, drug addiction, musical fantasy…there’s a flavor for everyone’s misery.

ICE CREAM MAN is a genre-defying comic book series featuring disparate “one-shot” tales of sorrow, wonder, and redemption. Each installment features its own cast of strange characters, dealing with their own special sundae of suffering. And on the periphery of all of them, like the twinkly music of his colorful truck, is the Ice Cream Man—a weaver of stories, a purveyor of sweet treats. Friend. Foe. God. Demon. The man who, with a snap of his fingers—lickety split!—can change the course of your life forever.

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AfterShock Comics Announces New Series Brothers Dracul



We’ve mentioned AfterShock Comics a few times around these parts, and now they’re about to release a new series that has Dread Central’s name all over it! Read on for the first word on Brothers Dracul from Cullen Bunn (X-Men) with art by Mirko Colak (The Punisher), who previously teamed up for AfterShock’s Unholy Grail.

Bunn and Colak are joined by colorist Maria Santaolalla and letterer Simon Bowland. Cover A is by Colak and Santaolalla while Francesco Francavilla provided Cover B.  Issue #1 hits stores on April 11th.

Bunn describes a bit of what the book is about and discusses working with the same creative team as AfterShock’s Unholy Grail“I’m thrilled to be working on BROTHERS DRACUL, a 15th century horror tale that explores the ‘true’ history of the infamous Vlad the Impaler. With this book, we’ve brought the entire creative team of Unholy Grail along. I’m working with artist Mirko Colak, colorist Maria Santaolalla, and letterer Simon Bowland once again. We had so much fun telling a horror story with King Arthur as its central figure, we had to get the gang back together for this story, featuring one of the most shocking icons of horrific history!”

From writer Cullen Bunn and artist Mirko Colak comes a tale of brothers and blood that HAD to be told at AfterShock Comics.

The legend of Vlad the Impaler is the stuff of nightmares. The inspiration for the most iconic of monsters—Dracula, Vlad tortured and murdered thousands of victims. But what turned him into such a depraved killer? The truth lies in his teenage years, when Vlad and his brother, Radu, were held hostage by the Ottoman Empire. During this time the brothers learned many things—archery, riding, the art of combat, matters of court… and how to stalk and slay vampires.

Cover A

Cover B

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