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Warner Bros. Blocks Release of Asylum’s Age of the Hobbits

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Variety

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http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118063399.html?cmpid=RSS|News|LatestNews

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For a long time The Asylum has made its way (for better or worse) into the hearts of movie lovers and haters everywhere by releasing mockbuster after mockbuster after… well… mockbuster. However, Warner Brothers and New Line have just had their latest attempt for second breakfast.

Variety reports that a federal judge has put a halt to plans to release a parody of The Hobbit just days before Warner Bros. and New Line release their first pic in the trilogy of the J.R.R. Tolkien story.

U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez issued a temporary restraining order barring Global Asylum Inc.’s “mockbuster” under the title Age of the Hobbits (review), ruling that the project was likely to cause confusion in the marketplace. The judge asserted that Warner Bros. and other plaintiffs (MGM and the Saul Zaentz Co.) were likely to prevail in their claim that the parody infringes on their trademarks.

Gutierrez cited evidence from Nielsen National Research Group showing that about 30% to 40% of respondents “exhibited confusion about the source of ‘Age of the Hobbits.’” He noted that, in general, confusion levels of 25% to 50% provide “solid support” for a finding of likelihood of confusion.

Asylum contended that the film’s title referred to an ancient Indonesian sub-species and was not intended to relate to Tolkien’s fantasy, Gutierrez noted, but he wrote that the terms are not unrelated. Scientists came up with the nickname for the Indonesian sub-species because they resembled Tolkien’s characters.

The release date of December 11 — three days before the release of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ — provides additional evidence that Asylum intended to profit by associating its film with plaintiffs’ work,” he wrote.

Gutierrez scheduled a hearing for January 28th to decide if the temporary restraining order should become a preliminary injunction.

Directed by Joseph Lawson, Age of the Hobbits stars Christopher Judge, Bai Ling, Sum Korng, Srogn, and Khom Lyly.

Warner Brothers Blocks Release of The Asylum's Age of the Hobbits

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Such Sights to Show You – 11/22/17

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Each week, we’ve been bringing you a new, original one-off comic from artist Kevin D. Clark. This week, Clark skewers not only Black Friday but also Cyber Monday in one fell swoop, commenting on the predatory and mob-like nature of consumers at public stores while also addressing the glut of online sales that slam workers during the holidays. You can read the comic for yourself below.

About the Artist:
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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Exclusive: Wolfmen of Mars Debut New Group Brass Hearse and Here’s a New Song

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A couple of months ago, we told you about Brass Hearse, a new group that features the members of Boston rock/synth group Wolfmen of Mars. Essentially the same style but now with vocals, Brass Hearse will immediately stand out to fans of John Carpenter but those who listen closer will pick up on elements of The Cure and even some Type O Negative. If you’ve been looking for some goth-y electronic rock with splashes of industrial thrown in hither and yon, I have a feeling you’re going to dig the hell out of Brass Hearse!

Previously, Wolfmen of Mars’ Luke told us, “It’s Wolfmen of Mars with vocals, but very much its own thing. A bit darker, a little bit more new wave. It’s a hard album to describe. Ron Rochondo from Ice Dragon wrote all the vocals and they fit the music perfectly. I can’t wait to share the tunes with you!

Well, today is the day that we get to share a taste of the new tunes with all of you! Below is the premiere of the track “Rain Grey, Dark Sky”, which swirls and pumps in a controlled frenzy, the verse containing itself only to open wide during the chorus, the sonorous vocals suddenly crying out like a ghastly specter.

Brass Hearse’s debut album will be available on vinyl and as a digital download on December 1 from Burning Witches Records. Meanwhile, you can download “Ran Grey, Dark Sky” via Bandcamp.

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First There Was Thanksgiving Night, Now There is Dawn of Consumerism: Dawn of the Dead and Black Friday

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A feast gorged on dead, rotting flesh from animals massacred. Yet there is still a hunger. A mass exodus of the walking dead flocks to a smorgasbord of prizes, each cheaper than the next.

Black Friday is here and the masses hunger, flocking to the local malls and stores for comforts and trinkets. It’s what they crave every year and nothing will get in their way. At least, that’s what George A. Romero taught us.

Black Friday is the biggest sales day of the year and while we have a perfectly-depicted view of it in the opening of Michael Dougherty’s Krampus, it’s Romero’s classic Dawn of the Dead that tells us of our wanton desire to bow to the altar of consumerism.

Ten years after changing the landscape of horror with his masterpiece, Night of the Living Dead, George decided to make a sequel. In his own words, he wanted to make a more adventurous, comic book-style, colorful zombie film that would continue on into more films in his series. At the base of every film George made are themes on humanity.

At the time, giant indoor malls had just become the new big thing. Imagine, all of a sudden, there was a fortress-like building in every city and within its walls were tons of different stores, each one a new world to visit to obtain different items that could fulfill your needs. George saw this monolith as the base of his new film, an impenetrable citadel to hold up against the zombie hordes that would have everything you could ever want or need to survive. What George also saw were zombies in the types of people who would spend every day at the mall in search of what they believed to be their purpose finding some sort of happiness there. These two ideas combined to become the themes of Dawn of the Dead.

Once our main characters find the mall and hole up, they have to go through and purge it of the undead before they can claim it. In the immortal words of Peter, “They’re after the place. They don’t know why; they just remember. Remember that they want to be in here.” To these zombies, items within the mall, places to go waste their time, this is what it means to be alive to them. To recapture their humanity.

Once the mall is secured, our heroes go through taking anything and everything they’ve ever wanted in life. Now that they can just take the items they want and need, Peter and Stephen still go and rob the bank within the mall, taking all the money. In these scenes, Romero asks, are we so different? We all flock to things of our past we no longer need yet still want. What makes us better than the undead if both zombie and human have a basic drive to want something we don’t need?

Romero loves to show how far humanity can sink in the eye of the apocalypse. The final act of Dawn of the Dead is pure chaos, and is honestly the perfect representation of Black Friday. Our heroes have been living in the mall for so long with everything they could ever desire or need that they are completely bored. They dine on exquisite foods and alcohol, play with diamonds and fine clothes, and even gamble with the riches of the mall, but what do you do when you have everything?

When you have it all, of course, people want to take it. A biker gang, led by none other than Tom Savini himself, assaults the mall, breaking through all the barriers our heroes have created, unleashing the zombies back into the mall. Savini has the look in his eye of a man ready to slay for anything in that mall, a look you can often see in real life on Black Friday. Just as Savini brandishes his machete, so to do shoppers brandish their canes, purses, and other blunt objects ready to fight. The gang knocks over everything in their path, taking anything they want while killing the zombies in their way. Bikes mowing down zombies, engines revved. Just as shoppers rev the handles of their shopping carts ready to mow down others in their path. Our heroes must defend what’s theirs and fight the onslaught of the bikers. It’s pure chaos that cannot be stopped! If you’ve been in line for a sale on Black Friday you know it’s every man for himself as people push to get the prize you came for. You will steamroll over another human to save those few dollars.

On this holiest of sales days, once you’ve fought the onslaught of zombie and human alike, perhaps you can take a seat and remember the themes and satire Romero gave us in his life with a viewing of Dawn of the Dead. More than anything you can learn from the mistakes of the living and undead within the film as people everywhere race to their local malls to purchase items that mean just as much to them in death as they did in life.

When there’s no more room in your gut for Thanksgiving…the consumers will walk Black Friday…

 

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