RIP Casey Kasem: We Thank You for Your Dedication to Shagginess and the Pursuit of Terrifying Monsters - Dread Central
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RIP Casey Kasem: We Thank You for Your Dedication to Shagginess and the Pursuit of Terrifying Monsters

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RIP Casey Kasem: We Thank You for Your Dedication to Shagginess and the Pursuit of Terrifying MonstersOn June 15th one of the most recognizable voices in radio and television died, succumbing to lingering complications of Lewy Body Dementia. At 82 years of age the legendary Casey Kasem passed on to the next level of existence.

For America it was a sad day. Despite the fact that hordes of the younger generations couldn’t speak on the man’s accomplishments, they know his voice when they hear it. And we know it too. The longtime, hardcore, deeply rooted genre fans know Kasem for his prolific run as the eventual pop-culture standout character Shaggy Rogers, of the timeless “Scooby-Doo” series.

Shaggy was one of (if not the) first animated stoners to hit commercial television. Hanna-Barbera Productions – to my knowledge, which is creepily thorough in all honesty – never stepped out of the shadows to make it known that Shaggy was a major weed-head (totally expected and for quite obvious reasons), but the signs were always there: a little “slow,” a fondness for the back of the van, “the” laugh, clumsiness and never-ending munchies. Shaggy was definitely a stoner, and that actually helped to endear him to audiences of all ages in the late 1960s and onward.

Not much has changed with the passing of time. Millions of Americans are still smoking the green stuff, and I’m sure the number of peace not war types are still standing (or… sitting) in admirable mass. And that’s great. It’s great because tranquility sounds a lot more appealing than chaos, and it’s great because it’s exactly what Shaggy has always stood for. It’s one of the key reasons “Scooby-Doo” was able to survive in the minds of grown individuals who’d technically left childhood behind years ago.

Shaggy Rogers was a laid back guy with a flair for natural comedy and unlikely heroism. He was, in a way, a lot like most of us. And he brought an additional and completely required wrinkle to the “Scooby-Doo” franchise, which was, for a massive amount of us, our introduction to the horror genre. And somehow it’s remained so for youngsters today, despite the accessibility of much more jarring materials.

“Scooby Doo, Where Are You!” debuted on September 13th, 1969. Today, roughly 45 years later, Shaggy, voiced by the late Kasem, has made more than 160 appearances on television and home video. Kasem even voiced Shaggy in 1995 for the video game Scooby-Doo Mystery, which saw release on both Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. The almighty video game is about the equivalent of the collectible action figure. When you’ve got a game, or an action figure modeled after you, you’ve done something insanely right for an insanely long time. And despite the years ticking away, Kasem never slowed his pace. In addition to hosting the famed radio show “American Top 40” from 1970 until 2009, he never stepped too far from his most beloved creation. And make no mistake; Casey Kasem made Shaggy, and he made him a major current hit in the final years of active voice work.

Between 2003 and 2009 Kasem voiced the unkempt one in nine feature length films, four of which (Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire, Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster, Scooby-Doo in Where’s My Mummy? and Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King) are highly enjoyable flicks. But that wasn’t all the attention thrown in Shaggy’s direction. Kasem also voiced the character for 42 episodes of the best Scooby series since 1979’s “Scooby Doo and Scrappy-Doo”, “What’s New, Scooby-Doo?” That’s right – 42 episodes! If ever there was a dedicated performer with an affinity for one specific character, it was Kasem and Shaggy.

They both deserve respect: Shaggy for being a relatable and hilarious personality, Casey Kasem for injecting life in the character. There are too many of us who’ve had their lives changed by the “Scooby-Doo” franchise to pretend as though this isn’t a relevant brick in the wall of existence. For many of us, the show offered a first look at horror. The true precursor to the American slasher film, the show featured an assortment of masked menaces dedicated to stalking nosy teenagers, and we gravitated (still do) toward that like no man’s business. Shaggy was elemental in even making that a possibility. I wasn’t tuning in for Daphne’s personality, I’ll tell you that.

It’s disheartening knowing that we’ll never again hear Casey Kasem utilize that memorable quivery delivery of his, declaring his dire need of a mammoth amount of food in order to satiate his appetite, but that’s the cycle of life. We live, some of us make good of our time here, and then we move on to whatever it is that truly awaits when the pulse fades away entirely.

Casey Kasem made the best of this life and in the process created an on-screen life that legions of fans will never forget. He created a character that helped plant the seeds that would blossom into eventual obsessions with the horror genre. Wherever you are today, Mr. Kasem, may your experiences transcend the amazing feats you accomplished during your time on earth. You’ve more than earned it, and we’ll miss you.

For those who still cherish the “Scooby-Doo” series, here’s a guide to every project to feature the legendary Kasem voicing the silly but charming Shaggy:

RIP Casey Kasem: We Thank You for Your Dedication to Shagginess and the Pursuit of Terrifying MonstersScooby Doo, Where Are You! (1969-1970) – 25 episodes
The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972-1973) – 12 episodes
Scooby’s Laff-A Lympics (1977) – Single episode
The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour (1976-1978) – 8 episodes as Shaggy
Scooby-Doo Goes Hollywood (1979) – TV Movie
Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979-1980) – 16 episodes
The Ri¢hie Ri¢h/Scooby-Doo Show (1980) – Single episode
The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour (1982) – Single episode
The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show (1983) – Single episode as Mr. and Mrs. Rogers (Shaggy’s parents)
The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries (1984) – 2 episodes
The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985) – 13 episodes
Scooby’s Mystery Funhouse (1985) – Single episode
Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987) – TV Movie
Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988) – TV Movie
Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988) – TV Movie
The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera (1990) – Short
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo (1988-1991) – 20 episodes
Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights (1994) – TV Movie
Scooby-Doo Mystery (1995) – Video Game
Johnny Bravo (1997) – Guest episode
Scooby-Doo’s Creepiest Capers (2001) – Video
Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire (2003) – Video
Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico (2003) – Video
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) – Guest episode
A Scooby-Doo! Christmas (2004) – Short
Scooby-Doo’s Greatest Mysteries (2004) – Video
Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster (2004) – Video
Hula Hullabaloola (2005) – Short
Aloha, Scooby-Doo! (2005) – Video
Scooby-Doo in Where’s My Mummy? (2005) – Video
What’s New, Scooby-Doo? (2002-2006) – 42 episodes
Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! (2006) – Video
Chill Out, Scooby-Doo! (2007) – Video
Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King (2008) – Video
Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword (2009) – Video
Peter Kay’s Animated All Star Band: The Official BBC Children in Need Medley (2009) – Short

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New Insidious: The Last Key Trailer Speaks Softly But Carries a Big Whistle

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The last word we brought you guys on the fourth installment in the Insidious franchise was when we let you know the new film had snagged a PG-13 rating from the MPAA for “disturbing thematic content, violence and terror, and brief strong language”.

Today we have a new trailer/TV spot for Insidious: The Last Key, and if you aren’t already on board for a fourth round of spooky shite courtesy of screenwriter Leigh Whannel, maybe this quick trailer will do the trick.

You can check out the new trailer below; then let us know how excited you are for Insidious: The Last Key!

I’m digging what I’ve seen from the new film thus far, and this new trailer only strengthens that. Plus I’m excited to see what director Adam Robitel can do with this series after his fucking terrifying previous film The Taking of Deborah Logan.

The film is directed by Adam Robitel from a script by Leigh Whannell and stars Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Josh Stewart, Caitlin Gerard, Kirk Acevedo, Javier Botet, Bruce Davison, Spencer Locke, Tessa Ferrer, Ava Kolker, and Marcus Henderson.

Insidious: The Last Key hits theaters January 5, 2018.

Synopsis:

Parapsychologist Elise Rainier and her team travel to Five Keys, N.M., to investigate a man’s claim of a haunting. Terror soon strikes when Rainier realizes that the house he lives in was her family’s old home.

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Luke Genton’s The Bone Box Trailer Proves Not All Graves Are Quiet

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Sometimes a fright flick comes along that sells me on the logline itself. And writer-director Luke Genton’s upcoming supernatural horror movie The Bone Box has just such a premise.

The film follows the story of a grave robber who comes to believe he’s being haunted by those he stole from. And if that premise doesn’t sell you on at least checking out the film’s trailer, I don’t know what to do for you.

Speaking of the trailer, you can check it out below. Then let us know what you think below!

The film stars Gareth Koorzen (The Black That Follows), Michelle Krusiec (The Invitation), and Maria Olsen (Starry Eyes), Jamie Bernadette (I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu), David Chokachi (Baywatch), Aaron Schwartz (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), and Tess Bellomo (Liked).

Look for updates on Facebook HERE and the Director’s Instagram: @lukegenton.

The Bone Box is currently in post-production. It is scheduled to be completed by November 2017 and is seeking distribution.

Synopsis:

Depressed and reeling from the recent death of his wife, Tom (Koorzen) has built up quite a gambling debt. He goes to stay with his wealthy Aunt Florence (Olsen) in hopes that she will write him into her will. When a nasty creditor makes it clear that Tom is out of time, he devises a plan with Elodie (Krusiec), the undertaker’s daughter, to rob the graves of the rich townspeople buried in the cemetery across the road. After plundering the graves, Tom begins hearing and seeing strange things that seem to coincide with the deaths of the people he robbed. Even more disconcerting… he appears to be the only one sensing the occurrences. One question lingers: Is Tom’s conscience playing a trick on him… or is he really being haunted by those he stole from?

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H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival: The Card Game, Overview and Review – Last Meeple Standing

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Yeah, I know. I’ve said it before, and I will scream it to the heavens again: There is an abysmal glut of Lovecraft Mythos games out there (and still streaming into the market). For a while there, it was vampire games (wanna take a sparkly guess why?). Then, it was zombie games (only Robert Kirkman knows why). Now it is Lovecraft games, and it is a LOT of them. Shambling, fish-headed masses of them, weighing down the game shop shelves like heavily laden buckets of freshly shorn tentacles (calm down, hentai fans). It’s true, and a lot of them seem to be sad doppelgangers of other games, just skinned with a rotting coat of Elder God goo.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Hahn

For that reason, it is nice to run across a Lovecraft-themed game that is GOOD. H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival: The Card Game is one of those… it’s good, but it’s not great (for ONE painful reason). But, for our nefarious purposes today, that’s good enough. The stars are PARTIALLY in alignment. There is one little detail to get out of the way before we wade into the spawn-infested miasma of this game: it is the hellish offspring of an earlier, more complex game called (you guessed it) H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival the board game. Much has been said about the relationship between these two games and many comparisons have been made, but since I neither own the board game nor have I played it, let’s leave it to fester in cold, barren space all by its lonesome for now. I’m sure its time will come…when the stars are right (rolling his eyes).

COMPONENTS:
It is RARE (like fresh Deep One filets) that the components of a game are as nice as the gameplay, but there are two elements of Kingsport Festival: TCG that really make it shine. The first is the titular cards that make up the bulk of the game. The artwork on the tarot-sized cards depicting the various gods, lesser gods, demons, and evil corgis (I kid) from the Mythos is dark and shows off the creatures to good/evil effect. I have to admit that these are some of my favorite depictions of the creatures from Lovecraft’s mind I’ve seen. They really look threatening here. The portraits on the cards presenting the investigators/evil cultists look dignified, a little creepy, and mysterious, as is only right for nogoodniks taking on Cthulhu’s worst. The graphic design is really classy with easily interpreted iconography and border artwork. Equal care has been taken with the backs of the cards, which have appropriately aged and Victorian elements. The only parts to this game are the cards and the dice. Wait, this is a card game, right?

Well, yes and no.

Although cards make up the lion’s share of the game, there is a heavy dice aspect as well, and these are some NICE dice. I’m a SUCKER for custom dice, and Kingsport Festival: TCG comes loaded with them. There are three types of dice: a white d10 with a clock icon on one face, brain-pink (a nice touch) d12 dice representing the player’s sanity with a Sanity icon on one face, and grey Domain d6 dice with three types of domain faces: purple Evil, black Death, and red Destruction. All of the dice are high-quality and engraved, not printed, with easily recognizable faces for ease of play and match up nicely with the icons on the game’s cards. Squee! Wonderfully evil custom dice!

SETUP:
Set up is pretty basic. All of the cards depicting the horrid gods are displayed in order of their power in six rows within reach of all of the players. The total number of copies of each type of god card is dictated by how many people are playing, so the number varies. Each player gets one of the brain-ilicious d12s with which to track their sanity and sets it to 10. All players white timer die, with the high roller taking the role of the starting player. Then each player sets their Sanity die to 10 (yes, the value can be increased up to 12 through game effects. That player takes the white d10 and sets it to the clock face. Players can pick an investigator card, but I suggest dealing them out at random to each player to liven things up (before they get driven insane, of course).

GAMEPLAY:
Gameplay is equally simple, yet strangely engaging. The first player takes the white timer d10, passes it to the next player to their left, who turns it to the number 1, effectively creating a timer that will count up from 1 to 10, ending the game. That player becomes the starting player. Once the white die is passed, the passing player increases their Sanity by one, as will be the mechanic throughout the rest of the game.

At the start of a game, the players will have no cards in their hands. They acquire them throughout the game, but we’ll talk about a general turn. The starting player rolls one of the domain dice and notes the resultant face. If they have cards to play, now is when they would play them. The card effects are varied. They might instruct the player to roll more dice, add specified domains to their pool of domains, change rolled die faces, etc. There are many possibilities. After the player has played all the cards they wish to and resolved the card effects, the player may spend the resources/domains gained through the dice they’ve rolled and the cards they have played to buy ONE god from the displayed cards and add it to their hand. It should be noted that players are limited to one and only one copy of each available god.

Once the player has completed their turn, they check to see if the round indicator on the white d10 matches one of the Raid rounds shown on the investigator card at the very bottom. If the numbers match, the player must compare the Gun icons on his cards to the strength of the raid indicated on his character card. If the Cultist’s strength is greater, he gains the difference in Sanity points. If the Cultist’s strength matches the Raid strength, they neither gain nor lose Sanity. If the Cultist’s strength is less than the Raid strength, they lose the difference in Sanity points. After this, the next player to the left will take their turn.

WINNING:
The game ends at the end of the ninth round, unless a Cultist is able to invoke the Elder God Azathoth, which results in dogs and cats sleeping together (no, not really). The cultists look at all of their god cards and add up the Elder God symbols at the bottom of each card. The Cultist with the most Elder God symbols/points at the end of the game WINS!

FINAL THOUGHTS:
So, there you have it: an epic battle between creepy Cultists and ghoulish Gods in one rather small box. I’ll get to the point. I really like H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival: The Card Game. I happen to be fond of little filler games like this. The box lists the playtime for this game as 30 min, but once the players know the rules, you can cut playtime down to 20 min, easy. It lists the age limit at 13+, which I think is absurd. There is nothing in the theme or artwork that would preclude players 10 and up from playing, other than rule complexity. Between the awesome art, the devilish dice, and the rad rules (ugh…), there is not much to dislike about this game… other than the hellish rules. You may be asking what I mean. The rules seem easy. They ARE. It’s the rulebook that is a pain in the neck. For some reason, the graphic designer (I’m looking at you, Savini -no, not Tom-) decided to print all of the rule examples in the book in a nearly unreadable “old-timey” font that is TINY. I think they thought they were adding flavor. If so, that flavor is YUCKY. When learning a new game, you want crystal-clear rules, not something you have to squint and struggle over, like this sad, arcane tome. The same hellish font appears on the cards in places, as well, making me one unhappy game collector. You may look past it, but I had a hard time doing so. Other than that, though, the game is great fun, a nice way to fill in time between bigger games, and beautiful to look at. You make your own judgement.

PRODUCT DETAILS:
Designer: Gianluca Santopietro
Artist: Maichol Quinto and Demis Savini
Publisher: Passport Games/ Giochi Uniti
Published: 2016
Players/Playtime/Age Rating: 3 -5 players/30 min/13+ (seriously?)

RATING:
3/5


Last Meeple Standing is brought to you by Villainous Lair Comics & Games, the ultimate destination for board game fanatics in Southern California. For more information visit the official Villainous Lair Comics & Games website, “Like” the Villainous Lair Facebook page and be sure to follow Villainous Lair on Twitter and Instagram.

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