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Mondo Releases More Drool-Worthy Universal Monster Madness

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We got these images in our inbox this morning but haven’t been able to get to them until now. Why, you ask? Because we’ve had to replace our keyboards nine times thus far because we’ve been drooling on them.

Follow @MondoNews on Twitter for information on exact sale times and for online sale info.

MONDO Presents “The Universal Monsters”
Mondo, the collectible art division of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, will feature the iconic “Universal Monsters” for its next gallery show, which runs from October 19 through November 10, featuring both prints and original works of art from dozens of world-renowned artists including Martin Ansin, Rick Baker, Jason Edmiston, JC Richard, Drew Struzan, Ken Taylor, Kevin Tong and many more. The gallery opening on October 19 will be from 7:00 – 10:00pm with regular hours to follow for the show’s duration. The Mondo Gallery is located at 4115 Guadalupe St. in Austin, TX.

The legacy of the “Universal Monsters” cannot be overstated. The films of the 1930s & 40s gave rise to cinema’s modern horror genre with Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy and more continually reintroduced to each generation. “Few film franchises have persevered as well over time as the Universal Monsters have. There’s just something so dynamic and special about the characters. We’ve done our very best to work with artists that really believe in the importance of these films. I do not think monster fans will be disappointed,” said Mondo’s Mitch Putnam.

“The iconographic imagery found in these classic films has provided me with inspiration and a bizarre comfort throughout my life. There is a dark vibration that still emanates from these classic Universal Monsters. It’s fascinating to see how profoundly sympathetic our contributing artists are to it, even in pieces that appear light-hearted. After surveying the work, I can proclaim this gallery show an authentic celebration, a great privilege and a macabre pleasure. God bless Jack Pierce,” said Mondo’s Rob Jones.

The full artist roster can be viewed in the gallery postcard. It’s an impressive list of talent that includes legendary poster artist Drew Struzan, returning to the Mondo gallery with new, never before seen original works of art and and special effects master Rick Baker will also have two original pieces celebrating these icons of horror.

THE MUMMY
Artist: Laurent Durieux
Size: 24×36
Edition: 400
Price: $50

Laurent Durieux was born in Belgium and studied graphic design at the College of Advertising and Design in Brussels. After over 20 years as an illustrator, he made his way into the world of screen-printed movie posters, creating new art for films such as The Iron Giant and King Kong.

Mondo Releases More Drool-Worthy Universal Monster Madness


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THE INVISIBLE MAN
Artist: Francesco Francavilla
Size: 24×36
Edition: 405
Price: $45

Francesco Francavilla, an Italian artist now residing in America, enjoys international acclaim largely from his achievements as a comic book illustrator. His most popular work includes contributions to Detective Comics, Zorro, Black Panther: The Man Without Fear, and various Captain America titles.

Mondo Releases More Drool-Worthy Universal Monster Madness

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
Artist: Ken Taylor
Size: 24×36
Edition: 430
Price: $50

Ken Taylor, an artist from Australia, has carved a fruitful niche in the world of concert and movie posters. He is a regular illustrator for bands like Bon Iver, Pearl Jam, and Phish. Besides posters, he regularly works on album covers, product packaging, and other commercial illustration projects

Mondo Releases More Drool-Worthy Universal Monster Madness

Mondo's Universal Monsters Gallery

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Troy Baker and Emily O’Brien Confirmed For Death Stranding

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While there’s still no release date for Hideo Kojima’s mysterious Death Stranding, there have been regular(-ish) updates for the sci-fi/horror game. These little tidbits act not only as seeds of information but also as additions to the overall mystery surrounding the game, which is basically what gets Kojima’s all hot and bothered.

Last night, actress Emily O’Brien posted a photo on her Instagram where she revealed that she has been working on Death Stranding alongside Norman Reedus and another actor who is renowned in the gaming community: Troy Baker. No description of either of their characters’ roles were revealed in the description, which leads to the “mystery” part of the story. With Reedus already being shown as the main character, Mads Mikkelsen as the villain, and Guillermo del Toro having a role of unknown size, I’m curious where Baker and O’Brien fit into the story. With side characters having just as much importance as mains in many games these days, you never know what kind of impact these actors will have on the greater story.

Baker is known for playing Joel in The Last of Us as well as Samuel Drake in Uncharted 4, Booker DeWitt in Bioshock: Infinite, and Bruce Wayne in Batman: The Telltale Series, as well as a great deal more. O’Brien has offered her voice in titles such as League of Legends, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, and Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul, as well as acted in film and TV.

Below is a fascinating dive into Death Stranding from my pal RagnarRox.

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Annihilation Review – A Fascinating, Gorgeous New Take on Body Horror

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Starring Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac

Written by Alex Garland

Directed by Alex Garland


Have you ever walked out of a theater and thought to yourself, “That was more than just a movie. That was an experience“? It’s only happened to me a handful of times, the last one I remember being Mad Max: Fury Road. Last night, that sensation washed over me as the credits for Annihilation began their crawl after a near two-hour runtime. I remained in my seat until every name slipped by before I found it within myself to stand up and leave the theater. All I could think was, “I’ve just witnessed something incredible.

An adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s first book in his The Southern Reach trilogy, Annihilation follows Lena (Portman), an ex-soldier-turned-biologist professor at Johns Hopkins whose husband Kane (Isaac) has been missing for a year after leaving on a covert mission of which Lena has been able to get zero information about. When Kane mysteriously returns and almost immediately falls gravely ill, Lena finds herself in a secret government facility that is monitoring a strange and potentially cataclysmic phenomenon: a strange shimmering dome that appeared in a remote region after a meteorite landing, a dome that grows larger with each passing day. Realizing that the answer to her husband’s malady may very well lie within that area, Lena joins four other women as they embark on an expedition into what is called “Area X”. However, it’s quickly realized that nothing is quite what it seems to be and that the laws of nature no longer apply.

The majesty of Annihilation is the time in which it takes to build the story and to ramp up the tension. While it has no problem with frenetic scenes, the film moves at an almost poetic pace, every moment adding something to the overarching narrative. From showing the relationship between Lena and Kane to the interactions between the five women who venture into “Area X” to the action sequences, every part of the movie feels necessary. This is even seen in the climax of the film, which is a 10-minute scene that features almost zero dialogue and yet feels fraught with danger.

Visually, the movie is absolutely gorgeous. The jungle that takes up most of Area X is lush and beautiful. Crepuscular rays break through the leaves and tease a rainbow iridescence thanks to the “shimmer”. A wide variety of flowers impossibly blossom from the same source, a result of the genetic mutations occurring within the dome. Strange fungal patterns explode across the walls of abandoned buildings, their patterns a tumorous cornucopia of colors and textures. Even when the movie brings gore into the equation, it does so with an artist’s gaze. Without ruining the moment, there is a scene where the team comes across the body of a man from a previous expedition. For as macabre as the visual was, it was equally entrancing, calling to mind the strangely beautiful designs of the “clickers” from The Last of Us.

Each setting in the story has a visual style that sets it apart from one another but still feels connected. The governmental facility feels cold and sterile while the jungles of Area X are warm and verdant. As the team ventures further into the contaminated zone, we are taken to the beach next to the lighthouse that acts as “ground zero” for the mysterious event. Here we see trees made of crystal and bone-white roots clinging to the nautical beacon. In this 3rd act, we’re taken into the basement of the lighthouse, which can only be described as Giger-esque, with strange ribbed walls that feel like they pulsate with a life of their own.

The characters of Annihilation feel real and the exposition given doesn’t feel forced. When Lena is rowing a boat with Cass, the sharing of information feels like camaraderie, not awkward plot reveals. Additionally, no character is without their flaws. Even Lena has her own issues that burden her with guilt, making her journey into Area X all the more understandable. As the stress of the mission wears on these women, the seeds of distrust begin germinating into deadly situations that have very real consequences, including the appearance of a bear that would be right at home in the Silent Hill universe. Also, kudos to Garland for writing the film in such a way where the gender roles not only feel natural but are never focused on in a disingenuous manner.

Musically, Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow, who scored Garland’s previous film Ex Machina, create a soundtrack that is atmospheric, haunting, and hypnotizing. The music elevates the dreamy phantasmagoria of the film without overpowering any scene. Meanwhile, cinematographer Rob Hardy, who also worked on Ex Machina, helps create a film where nearly every frame is a work of art.

Those entering Annihilation expecting a clearly defined sci-fi/horror offering will be disappointed. There is certainly a great deal of both to be had but the movie doesn’t want to offer something fleeting. Instead, it uses those genres as a foundation to create a film that will stay with viewers long after they leave the theater. When you get to the core of Annihilation, it’s a body horror film that pays homage to the work of David Cronenberg while carving an entirely new path of its own. Just don’t expect it to hold your hand and answer all of its mysteries. Some questions are left for you to see through on your own.

I do not say this lightly but I truly believe that Alex Garland has offered audiences one of the best genre films in recent years.

  • Annihilation
5.0

Summary

Annihilation is a bold, gorgeous, and stunning melting pot of horror, sci-fi, and drama, culminating in one of the most fascinating films I’ve seen this decade.

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Toy Fair 2018: Storm Collectibles Proudly Display their Mortal Kombat Figures

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One of the goriest franchises in the history of gaming will soon be playable in a different way, because Storm Collectibles have revealed a ton of new Mortal Kombat action figures at Toy Fair.

Fans of the ultraviolent fighting franchise might want to start fighting back their nerd boners, because Storm’s new figure line includes some of the most popular characters from the series, including Ermac, Shao Kahn, Rain, Smoke, Reptile, and Goro, although I was personally a little let down to see that the smooth movie star Johnny Cage appears to be absent.

Toy Ark posted a series of photos of the highly-detailed figures from the event, and we can probably expect them to arrive in stores soon. Since the release of the first game all the way back in 1992, the Mortal Kombat franchise has sold a combined total of 35 million copies in addition to generation over $5 billion in revenue, so these toys will keep the ravenous fanbase happy until the inevitable announcement of Mortal Kombat XI.

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