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8-Bit Terror: Nintendo’s Horror Games that Inspired a Thriving Subgenre



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8-Bit Terror: Nintendo's Horror Games that Inspired a Thriving SubgenreAs a nostalgic child trapped in a man’s body, I confess my addiction to all things horror as a youngster and still, as an adult, today. By age 8 I craved the emotionless face of Michael Myers, the idea of what could potentially be at the end of his sharp kitchen knife tugging at my imagination.

I hung on Freddy Krueger’s every punchline, shook in anticipation of Jason Voorhees’ latest inventive means of murder. I loved it all… every bit of that sadistic shit that turned me into the unstable hound I am today.

But parents aren’t typically keen on allowing their young children to sit back and absorb gratuitous violence, excessive foul language and liberal fashion requirements. If a flick is too bloody, graphic, perverse, or politically incorrect, the youth are generally banned from any form of association. That’s what we do as parents in the hopes of saving our offspring from opening Pandora’s Box, from exposing them to something dark enough to be considered evil, that they may, for one reason or another, take a particular fancy to.

8 Bit Terror: Nintendo's Horror Games That Inspired a Thriving Subgenre

I think those little ones who do indeed find some mysticism in disgusting behavior are rare. Most children don’t see a Scream film and aspire to be a magnificently witty murderer who dons a spooky ghost mask and targets the broods of unfaithful parents. Doesn’t seem too reasonable to me. But anything can happen. And that’s why it’s probably best that the youth of today be introduced to horror fare at a slow, steady, controlled pace.

When I was a little turd in the mid-80s, life was pretty simple. Before being allowed the right to explore the cinematic world of horror, I was afforded the chance to excavate other sources. Comic books. Children’s books. But best of all, original Nintendo games. We’re talking the dark ones that, as unfathomable as it seems today, scared the crap out of us. Decades have passed, and the majority of those games have been forgotten. Nowadays consoles feature video games that look realistic. Faces and body types that – when viewed from a distance – could be mistaken for live-action entertainment. Those games are amazing, and they suck gamers in like a vicious tornado. But the truth of the matter is, those games owe a debt of gratitude to systems like the Atari and the Nintendo, especially their horror offerings, which no doubt helped to inspire terrifying games like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Fatal Frame, and Clock Tower.

It’s about time we took a trip back in time and issued a proper nod to the treasures released by Nintendo, (arguably) the originator of horror gaming.

Maniac Mansion:
Hands down the coolest genre game to land on the NES (well, the coolest puzzle-oriented game for the NES), Maniac Mansion was one hell of a baffling game. Loaded with riddles, wrong turns, and creepy doctors, this one is a must. A must play for hours on end!

8 Bit Terror: Nintendo's Horror Games That Inspired a Thriving Subgenre

Friday the 13th:
Prepare for an endless trek through the largest campgrounds in existence. Will you find Jason? Sure. Can you kill him? I never made it happen… but that creepy music always made the attempt worthwhile, and I can chuck rocks at that SOB all day and night.

8 Bit Terror: Nintendo's Horror Games That Inspired a Thriving Subgenre

A Nightmare on Elm Street:
Okay, so A Nightmare on Elm Street is essentially identical to Friday the 13th with foolish youngsters venturing into daunting homes battling an array of creepy creatures, hoping to avoid that bladed bastard Freddy Krueger.

8 Bit Terror: Nintendo's Horror Games That Inspired a Thriving Subgenre

MORE Nintendo Horror Games on the NEXT page!

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Joe Dante’s Matinee Starring John Goodman Blu-ray Special Features Announced!



One of my favorite childhood movies was director Joe Dante’s Matinee starring John Goodman. I watched the flick all the time and still make sure to give it a peep as often as I can. In fact, I just rewatched the movie last month. Still holds up too!

As I’ve grown up and watched more horror movies, I have come to call this film “Popcorn for the whole family.” And visa versa, have labeled Popcorn as“Matinee for the 80’s slasher crowd.” Both of these statements as completely apt by the way.

It is with this love of the film in mind that I wanted to make sure to pass along the news that Shout! Factory is planning to release Matinee on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray January 9th, 2018. And it is a beauty.

You can check out the full list of special features below along with the Collector’s Edition cover art. Then make sure to let us know what you think of Matinee below!

Matinee hits Collector’s Edition Blu-ray via Shout! Factory January 9th, 2018!



John Goodman is at his uproarious best as the William Castle-inspired movie promoter Lawrence Woolsey, who brings his unique brand of flashy showmanship to the unsuspecting residents of Key West, Florida.

It’s 1962, and fifteen-year-old fan Gene Loomis (Simone Fenton) can’t wait for the arrival of Woolsey, who is in town to promote his latest offering of atomic power gone berserk, Mant! But the absurd vision of Woolsey’s tale takes on a sudden urgency as the Cuban Missile Crises places the real threat of atomic horror just 90 miles off the coast. With the help of Woolsey’s leading lady, Ruth (Cathy Moriarty), the master showman gives Key West a premiere they’ll never forget. Anything can happen in the movies, and everything does in this hilarious tribute to a more innocent (and outrageous) time in American cinema.

Bonus Features:

NEW Master Of The Matinee – An Interview With Director Joe Dante

NEW The Leading Lady – An Interview with Cathy Moriarty

NEW MANTastic! The Making Of A Mant

NEW Out Of The Bunker – An Interview With Actress Lisa Jakub

NEW Making A Monster Theatre – An Interview With Production Designer Steven Legler

NEW The Monster Mix – An Interview With Editor Marshall Harvey

NEW Lights! Camera! Reunion! – An Interview With Director Of Photography John Hora

Paranoia In Ant Vision – Joe Dante Discusses The Making Of The Film

MANT! – The Full-Length Version Of The Film With Introduction By Joe Dante

Vintage Making-Of Featurette

Behind The Scenes Footage Courtesy Of Joe Dante

Deleted And Extended Scenes Sourced From Joe Dante’s Workprint

Still Galleries

Theatrical Trailer

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Exclusive: P.J. Starks Talks Volumes of Blood 3



One of our favorite low-budget horror anthologies here at Dread Central is producer P.J. Stark’s Volumes of Blood (review). If you haven’t seen the film, get on it asap.

The film’s sequel Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories (review) was also good horror times, and we would recommend that flick as much as – if not more – than the original.

It is with this in mind, all of us here at Dread Central are counting down the days until the release of the third (and final?) entry in the series, which is currently going by the killer title Devil’s Knight: Volumes of Blood 3.

While the new film is still in the scripting stages, we had a chance to speak with creator and producer P.J. Starks this weekend, and he dropped all types of new info on the film, including how many stories the new film will present, and what we can expect.

Mainly that Devil’s Knight: Volumes of Blood 3 may very well be the final chapter in the series, but a host of spin-offs are still very much a possibility.

You can read our quick interview with Starks below and then make sure to let us know what you think of the Volumes of Blood series in the comments below!

Dread Central: What can we expect from the third entry?

P.J. Starks: Eric and I want the third film to be everything fans of the first two films appreciate and more. The set pieces are larger, the stories are even stronger than in the previous two installments and the body count is probably the largest I know for any independent production. We wanted to really go out with a bang and I feel the script we’ve collaborated on will make good on that.

DC: How many stories will be included in this installment?

Starks: We’re going back to the basics with five stories. We’ve tossed around the idea of doing a sixth possible story, but nothing is set in stone. We don’t want to bog down audiences with too much. There’s a progressive story unfolding over two films already, so we’re being careful not to convolute things. We’re working hard to bring, what I’ve been calling the “Volumes of Blood Anthrillogy” to a smart and entertaining finale.

DC: Is it actually the final chapter?

Starks: Never say never. Right? We do have potential spin-offs planned. As for this being the nail in the coffin of an ongoing story arch, absolutely. I think that’s what separates our series from so many other anthologies. It’s not just a series of random shorts plucked off YouTube with some loose connective tissue. It’s a fun ride, but you still have to pay attention to details and follow the larger narrative developing. Wrap around segments tend to be throw away material, but that was never the intention on VOB.

Nice! Again we are all looking forward to the third entry in the VOB series and any spin-offs that may occur. The possibilities are f*cking endless. Bring ’em on!

Until we have further info on just when Devil’s Night: Volumes of Blood 3 will hit, you can always buy the first two Volumes of Blood flicks on Blu-ray HERE and HERE.

Thanks for chatting with us, P.J.!

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Read Darren Aronofsky’s Screenplay for mother!



This past year we saw the release of writer-director Darren Aronofsky’s mother! (review) a film that was controversial, to say the least. Some loved it, others loathed it.

And speaking of mother!, Aronofsky has said before that he wrote the movie in a mere 5 days (!) and today we have the film’s screenplay for you to download. Paramount released it officially a few weeks back and I say it’s worth the download and the read.

Especially if you fancy yourself as a screenwriter, like me.

What I found most interesting about Aronofsky’s script is that he forgoes typical sluglines. Instead, he jumps from location to location, without any uses of INT./EXT. or DAY/NIGHT. For instance, instead of writing:


Interesting approach.

You can download the screenplay for mother! right here.

After giving the script a read through, hit me up in the comments below and let’s start a dialogue about the screenplay, the format, the structure, and the finished film in general if you’d like. I’m big into the craft of screenwriting so let’s talk about it!

The film is written & directed by Darren Aronofsky and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brian Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson, and Ed Harris.

mother! hits Digital HD Dec. 5 and 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Combo Packs Dec. 19.



A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion and sacrifice.’.

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