E3 2012: Exclusive Preview: No Man's Land - Dread Central
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E3 2012: Exclusive Preview: No Man’s Land

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Free to play games have been thriving on the PC and mobile devices for quite a while now, but they’ve never quite gotten a foothold in the console market. Sony, along with developer VEEMEE, is looking to change that with their new Playstation Home based shooter No Man’s Land.

No Man’s Land is a multiplayer only, third person cover based shooter set in a post-apocalyptic urban landscape. While that may sound like 90% of all shooters released nowadays, there is a wrinkle that makes this one stand out from the rest: You don’t have full control of your character. All the movement is strictly cover to cover.

How this works is that when you want to move, you push the left stick in a direction, and points of light will appear, indicating where cover points you can move to are. Then just highlight one of them and press the X button, and your character begins to run in that direction until he reaches his destination. While this may sound limiting, it’s actually a fairly interesting way to deal with some of the problems inherent to the genre. Not having to work about how to get from point a to point b and just focusing on putting yourself in the right position to take out your enemies could be an intriguing spin on a familiar concept if handled correctly.

I had a chance to get a little hands-on time at E3 as well as speak with Sony community manager Paul Sullivan, which you can see below.

Right off the bat I thought the controls felt a little awkward. Moving the left stick and it not resulting in my character moving an inch felt a little jarring at first, but after a few minutes I was starting to get the hang of it. Even after getting a little more accustomed to the controls, I was having problems getting to the cover I was intending to end up at, however. Sometimes I’d point to a piece of cover I wanted to get behind and it would jump to the other side of the cover I was already behind or take me to a piece of cover other than the one I intended. As a whole the movement felt a little awkward and clunky.

Then, of course, there’s the shooting, which feels pretty much how you’d expect. Hit the left shoulder to aim and the right shoulder to shoot, fairly standard stuff. It seemed to take an abnormally large amount of rounds to take someone down, though. Even when I had an enemy totally flanked and shooting them directly in the face, it seemed to take an entire magazine before they finally bit the dust. That may have just been a byproduct of me only having access to the standard pistol. Also, you can’t fire, or reload, while on the move. That led to some awkward moments where an enemy and I would both break from cover simultaneously and run past each other without any hostility whatsoever. It just felt kind of strange.

While it may not have set my world on fire, No Man’s Land seems like an interesting little experiment. Having a fairly full featured shooter not only being housed in Playstation Home but also being free to play is an exciting look at what may be possible on the service in the future. And hey, at least the price is right.

They didn’t have a solid release date to announce, but I was told they hope to have it out by the end of June.

E3 2012: Exclusive Preview: No Man's Land

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Satan’s Cheerleaders Blu-ray Review – Sacrifice This Snoozer At The Altar!

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Starring Jack Kruschen, John Ireland, Yvonne De Carlo, Jacqueline Cole

Directed by Greydon Clark

Distributed by VCI


The ‘70s. Satanism. Sultry cheerleaders. Sex appeal. With these tools nearly any low-budget filmmaker should be able to turn out something that is, at the very least, entertaining. The last thing a viewer expects when tuning in to a film called Satan’s Cheerleaders (1977) is to be bored to tears. But that is exactly the reaction I had while watching director Greydon Clark’s wannabe cult comedy. Even on a visual level this film can’t be saved, and it was shot by Dean Cundey! No, unfortunately there isn’t a cinematic element in the world that can overcome a roster of bad actors and a storyline so poorly constructed it plays like it was written on the day. The only saving grace, minor as it may be, is the casting of John Ireland as Sheriff B.L. Bubb (cute), a hard-nosed shitkicker who adds all the gravitas he can muster. But a watchable feature cannot be built upon the back of a single co-star, as every grueling minute of Satan’s Cheerleaders proves.

The cheerleaders and jocks of Benedict High School rule the campus, doing what they want, when they want, with little else on their minds except for The Big Game. Their belittling attitudes rub school janitor (and stuttering dimwit) Billy (Jack Kruschen) the wrong way. What they don’t know is Billy is (somehow) the head of a local Satanic cult, and he plans to place a curse on the clothes (really) of the cheerleaders so they… suck at cheerleading? Maybe they’ll somehow cause the jocks to lose the big game? When Billy isn’t busy plotting his cursed plans, he spies on the girls in the locker room via a hidden grate in the wall. I guess he doesn’t think being a sexual “prevert” is fair trade enough; might as well damn them all, too. Billy has his own plans to kidnap the girls, for his Lord and Master Satan, and he succeeds with ease when the girls’ van breaks down on the highway; he simply offers them a ride and they all pile in. But when Ms. Johnson (Jacqueline Cole) gets hip to his plan the two tussle in the front seat and Billy winds up having a heart attack.

The squad runs off in search of help, coming across the office of Sheriff B.L. Bubb (John Ireland), who, as the name implies, may be a legit Satanist. Bubb invites the girls inside, where they meet his wife, Emmy (Yvonne De Carlo), High Priestess of their quaint little satanic chapter. While the girls get acquainted with Emmy, Bubb runs off to find Billy, who isn’t actually dead. Wait, scratch that, Bubb just killed him for… some reason. The girls figure out things aren’t so rosy here at the Bubb estate, so they hatch an escape plan and most make it to the forest. The few that are left behind just kinda hang out for the rest of the film. Very little of substance happens, and the pacing moves from “glacial” to “permafrost”, before a semi-psychedelic ending arrives way too late.

“Haphazard” is one of many damning terms I can think of when trying to make sense of this film. The poster says the film is “Funnier Than The Omen… Scarier Than Silent Movie” which, objectively, is a true statement, though this film couldn’t hope to be in the same league as any of the sequels to The Omen (1976) let alone the original. It is a terminal bore. Every attempt at humor is aimed at the lowest common denominator – and even those jokes miss by a wide berth. True horror doesn’t even exist in this universe. The best I can say is some of the sequences where Satan is supposedly present utilize a trippy color-filled psychedelic shooting style, but it isn’t anything novel enough to warrant a recommendation. Hell, it only happens, like, twice anyway. The rest of the film is spent listening to these simple-minded sideline sirens chirp away, dulling the enthusiasm of viewers with every word.

A twist ending that isn’t much of a twist at all is the final groan for this lukewarm love letter to Lucifer. None of the actors seem like they know what the hell to be doing, and who can blame them with material like this? I had hoped for some sort of fun romp with pompoms and pentagram, like Jack Hill’s Swinging Cheerleaders (1974) for the Satanic set, but Clark provides little more than workmanlike direction; even Cundey’s cinematography is nothing to want on a resume.

Viewers have the option of watching either a “Restored” or “Original Transfer” version of the 1.78:1 1080p picture. Honestly, I didn’t find a ton of difference between the two, though the edge likely goes to the restored version since the title implies work has been done to make it look better. Colors are accurate but a little bland, and definition just never rises above slightly average. Film grain starts off heavy but manages to smooth out later on. Very little about the picture is emblematic of HD but given the roots this is probably the best it could ever hope to look.

Audio comes in the form of an English LPCM 2.0 track. The soundtrack sounds like it was lifted from a porno, while other tracks are clearly library music. Dialogue never has any obvious issues and sounds clear throughout. Subtitles are available in English SDH.

There are two audio commentary tracks; one, with director Greydon Clark; two, with David De Cocteau and David Del Valle.

A photo gallery, with images in HD, is also included.

Special Features:

  • Audio commentary with director Greydon Clark
  • Audio commentary with filmmakers David De Cocteau & David Del Valle
  • Photo gallery
  • Satan's Cheerleaders
  • Special Features
1.3

Summary

Although the title is enough to reel in curious viewers, the reality is “Satan’s Cheerleaders” are a defunct bunch with little spirit and no excitement. The ’70s produced plenty of classic satanic cinema and this definitely ain’t it.

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Friday the 13th Part 3: In Memoriam Documentary Now Available For Free!

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It’s been a while since we’ve brought you guys any news of the Friday the 13th Part III documentary Friday the 13th Part 3: In Memoriam.

But no worries as today’s news couldn’t get much better. Yes, the entire 36-minute documentary is now available in its entirety online for free!

I know that as soon as I sign off for the day I’m going to be watching this doc at least twice. It seems like I’ve been looking forward to this forever now and I’m a big fan of Part 3 so I can think of no better way to spend my Monday night.

You can watch the full doc below and then make sure to let us know what you think!

Synopsis:

This is a documentary featuring the last known footage of the set of Friday the 13th part 3 prior to its destruction. The plot involves what happened that fateful night in 2006 with additional stories from the cast members of Friday the 13th part 3 telling their memories of the production that took place in 1982.

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Such Sights to Show You – 01/17/18

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Working on shedding those holidays pounds at your local gym? As you’re about to see from the latest entry of Such Sights to Show You, things may not always be what they seem, and the best of intentions can lead you straight to the old coroner’s slab!

Kevin D. Clark is a cartoonist from Scotland who grew up watching classic monster movies, cartoons and wrestling, as well as reading comics. He started drawing at an early age and hasn’t stopped since. His sense of humor is a veritable cornucopia of the wacky and weird inspired by the likes of Monty Python, Mel Brooks, “MST3K,” Rab C. Nesbitt, as well as his older brother.

Kevin was diagnosed with Aspergers and because of that, he tries to push himself to work as hard as possible. Kevin also has a self-published comic book and helps run a film club for autistic people. He has recently earned a degree in cartooning from the London Art College and he’s pretty sure that he could take an octopus in a fight.

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