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Exclusive Event Report: Haunted Hollywood Sports 2013

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Exclusive Event Report: Haunted Hollywood Sports 2013Haunt enthusiasts, by this point in October you’ve more than likely been chased by myriad ghouls in fog-filled, seasonal parks across SoCal, but did you have the ability to fire back? We did, and it was sublime! Read on for our review of the intensely unique experience that is Haunted Hollywood Sports.

Located at 9030 Somerset Blvd. in Bellflower, CA, Haunted Hollywood Sports is the seasonal re-creation of Hollywood Sports, a park dedicated year-round to the pursuit of Airsoft and Paintball. For the uninitiated, the former is basically paintball without the mess. Resembling the military-style firearms they mimic, Airsoft weaponry favors 6mm plastic BBs in lieu of paint, BBs which can be fired rapidly and with velocity; in this case, at zombies and zombie rednecks that pursue guests within the park’s three shadowy ‘Killhouses.’

Arriving to the spookily decorated attraction on September 27th for media night, we first found our way to Club Crimson, the park’s onsite nightclub (its interior is permanently framed by Gothic columns and other set decor from director Jan De Bont’s 1999 film The Haunting), and were greeted by not only a full spread of food and an open bar (the latter staffed by vampish, corseted bartenders), but also makeup artist turned ‘haunt head’ Candice Catron, who hosted the park’s launch presentation.

Catron, a haunt enthusiast and FX artist with over six years of experience in the field (having previously worked at Knott’s Scary Farm), told of this year’s haunt (its sophomore effort following the 2012 launch), “As an event, we have matured.”

“We added to our crew and have one goal in mind: to make our customers happy,” she continued. “With the help of 7-Up, we built Venom, a free-standing walk-through maze that is exclusive for Halloween and is not a part of normal park operations. We also have condensed the park immensely to ensure that our guests are being stimulated every step of the way.”

Chatting with Catron regarding what’s new for the 2013 haunt (you can read our review from last year here), she stated, “In addition to the Zombie, Voodoo and Deadman’s Trail ‘Killhouses,’ visitors can also expect for 2013 three haunt mazes (All American Armageddon, Cannibal Caverns and the previously mentioned Venom) and two scare zones (Carnival of the Damned and Outpost Z), in addition to the eighteen and over nightclub.”

After acquiring some libations, we settled in for Catron’s launch presentation and were touched by the engaging atmosphere generated by herself and co-hosts Giovanni Degidio (the park’s owner) and Jerry Paxtan of PaxtonDesignStudios, who along with wife Denice are marketing the attraction. Communicating not only their dedication to Airsoft (a small but growing sport made up of entirely passionate individuals) and their love of haunts, they made it clear that much like a niche boutique hotel, their goal isn’t to compete with the larger fear attractions of SoCal (Halloween Horror Nights, etc)., but to offer their guests an experience that simply can’t be found elsewhere.

Orchestrated to brilliantly illustrate that point, at that very moment the main doors of Club Crimson were flung inward, and a swarm of backlit, groaning zombies, clowns and grotesque creatures shambled into the hall. Before they were able, however, to dine on the gathered press, an Airsoft tactical team decked out in military garb and brandishing Airsoft weaponry neutralized the monstrous threat, all to the cheers of those assembled.

Having soaked this in, it was time for some combat within the Voodoo ‘Killhouse’ (in a nutshell, it’s a pairing of the ‘haunted maze’ concept with the sport of Airsoft). Outfitted with automatic electric air gun G36 assault rifles and protective goggles, and briefed on Airsoft safety by a scare actor with an altogether believable Cajun accent, we were directed into the maze. Receiving direction by our ‘point man’ and the trooper who took up the rear (two park employees with believable military and tactical demeanor), we moved quickly from structure to structure and room to room, firing on myriad zombified Cajuns who crept, lurched and shambled throughout the facility.

It was over altogether too quickly, as evidenced by the ear-to-ear grins on the faces of the assembled press and our vocalized desires to, “Go again! Go again!” With that, we ventured over to the Zombie ‘Killhouse’ in the hopes of a similar adrenaline rush.

There we were provided with Airsoft M4’s outfitted with IR (infra red) and C02 bottles attached to their butt stocks, which would provide, as Catron had told us earlier, “a recoil after every shot to lend realism, and the IR will light up the zombie’s vests, which should leave no room for user error.”

Again, zombies shambled among the buildings and lay in wait amid the darkened recesses of the park’s simulated Middle Eastern town, where our objective was to secure a package (a cure to the plague which had turned the town’s inhabitants into the undead). Our visibility cut by darkness, we made our way through. Some of our group didn’t survive, however (though if touched and subsequently ‘infected,’ we were able to continue along, albeit with the knowledge that we were killed in action). Like the Voodoo ‘Killhouse,’ this, too, was extremely entertaining, given the close proximity of the scare actors. For those who ever wonder how they’d fare in a “The Walking Dead” type-scenario, this was about as close as you are going to get (barring an actual zombie apocalypse).

A great time was had by all, and this writer can recommend without reservation a visit to Haunted Hollywood Sports, but don’t delay, as the attraction’s remaining nights for the season are limited to October 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th (7:30pm – Midnight), 27th and the 31st (8pm – Midnight). For more visit the official Haunted Hollywood Sports website, “like” Haunted Hollywood Sports on Facebook, and follow Haunted Hollywood Sports on Twitter.

As the attraction continues to grow, here’s one thing I would like to see (as did the other press assembled): a VIP ‘Killhouse,’ in which two guests would enter at a time, armed with flashlights, blow-back Airsoft pistols (with only one magazine each) and Airsoft rubber knifes, and be allowed autonomously to make their way. Their thirty-minute mission: to rescue a lone survivor somewhere within the attraction. Now that would be scary!

Note: My thanks to Denice and Jerry Paxtan for their assistance.

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Synapse’s Suspiria 4K Restoration Gets a Release Date

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Earlier this year, we wrote about Synapse Films’ Suspiria 4K restoration and how it was available for pre-order. The weird catch was that there was no release date confirmed and that pre-orders would go out sometime in December 2017. Today that changes as we can confirm that the 3-disc special edition Blu-ray collection will come out December 19th, just in time for Christmas but a little late for Hanukkah. Any chance we can have one extra night this year?

Restored over three years, Synapse has been working tirelessly to create the ultimate version of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic supernatural horror film, which has since gone on to become one of the most recognized and lauded titles in the genre. This cut has been overseen and approved by Luciano Tovoli, the Director of Photography on the film.

Pre-orders are still available via Synapse Films’ website.

Special features:
*Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
*Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
*Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
*Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
*Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
*Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
*Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
*Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
*A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
*Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
*Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
*Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
*“International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
*Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
*Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
*Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
*Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

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Creep 2 Starring Mark Duplass Hits Netflix This December

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Just the other day we shared with you guys an exclusive interview with Partick Brice, the director of the Mark Duplass-starring found footage flicks Creep and Creep 2.

Today we have the awesome news that the killer sequel Creep 2 (review) will be hitting Netflix streaming on December 23rd.

The original creeptastic motion picture is already streaming on Netflix so if you need to catch up – or just watch the original again – you can do so tonight and get ready for the sequel which, personally, I found to be superior (if even just slightly) to the original.

What did you think of the original film? Are you excited to check out the sequel? Or have you already seen it? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Creep 2 starring Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan hits Netflix December 23rd!

Synopsis:

Desiree Akhavan (“Girls”, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR) stars as Sara, a video artist whose primary focus is creating intimacy with lonely men. After finding an ad online for “video work,” she thinks she may have found the subject of her dreams. She drives to a remote house in the forest and meets a man claiming to be a serial killer (Mark Duplass, reprising his role from the previous film). Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him. However, as the day goes on she discovers she may have dug herself into a hole she can’t escape.

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Waxwork Records Unveils Phenomenal 2018 Subscription Package

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Our pals over at Waxwork Records have unveiled their 2018 subscription bundle and it’s packed to the brim with some absolutely fantastic titles! Horror fans who enjoy spinning their music on turntables can look forward to two Romero titles, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs, Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, and lastly they’ll have Jordan Peele’s smash success title Get Out. On top of getting those five records, those who join the subscription program will also receive a t-shirt, coffee mug, poster, notebook, magnet, enamel pin, calendar, and more.

For Night of the Living Dead, Waxwork Records worked closely with the film’s original creators, including Romero himself prior to his passing, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Criterion Collection so that they could source audio from the 4K restoration. It will be released as a 2xLP package.

Dawn of the Dead will also get a 2xLP release that will include brand new artwork, re-mastered audio, and more. The same kind of treatment is being given to The ‘Burbs. Christopher Young’s Drag Me to Hell soundtrack will be a single LP but will get the same level of attention and quality as the other titles.

As for Peele’s Get Out. Michael Abels; score will be released on a 2xLP vinyl set and will pay tribute to one of the most culturally significant movies of the past several years.

The Waxwork Records subscription package will be $250 ($285 in Canada) and will open up for sale this Friday, the 24th. More information can be found on Waxwork’s website.

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