Document of the Dead (Synapse)

Production Year: 1978
Release Date: 11/13/2012
Studio: Synapse
Collection Number: 284

Recently Synapse reissued a new cut of Roy Frumkes "Document of the Dead."  If you're like me you've probably owned this documentary at some point, if not through one of the few stand alone releases than as an extra on one of Dawn of the Dead's many releases.

So you might be saying to yourself "why bother with this release?"  It's a good question.  As mentioned before this one has been an extra on a few of (the countless) Dawn of the Dead releases, is this really any different than the featurette offered on one of those?  The short answer is yes.

This isn't just a simple repackaging.  The blu-ray isn't just a simple "upgrade" in PQ.  The documentary is recut and actually features new footage Frumkes shot during Romero's latest film outings   It makes for a more well rounded look at Romero's career.

Aliens: Colonial Marines (PS3)

Today we will be doing things a little different as we delve into the world of video games.  A few months back I pre-ordered Aliens: Colonial Marines.  As the release date slowly crept up I too was one of the many fans horrified by the number of negative reviews surrounding the game.  I decided to bite the bullet and stick with the pre-order even though many fans jumped ship.  While I would have loved to be one of the first bloggers to show this awesome set in it's entirety, I decided to wait so I could give an honest review of not just the contents, but the game itself.

Last night after about a week of off and on game play I finally beat A:CM.  I've still yet to do much in terms of online tournaments so this review will mostly be concerning the story mode along with the extras included in the limited edition set.

"Game over man, game over"
The game takes place weeks after the Aliens film takes place.  You are one of a handful of Marines sent to LV-426 on an undisclosed rescue mission.  Soon after landing you encounter various obstacles ranging from xenomorphs to Weyland's own army (sent on a similar mission, only to retrieve the Aliens.)

I'm not going to get into more of the story line as I'd hate to spoil it for any fans.  The game isn't perfect, clearly.  It's first issue is a clunky control scheme, the biggest annoyance during game play is actually having to stop and look at an item (health, ammo, weapon, etc) and press a button to actually pick it up.  During a battle this becomes a very big pain in the ass.  The next issue comes with some of the Aliens AI, it's not as awful as some reviewers have pointed out, but their movements become very predictable in some points of the game.  Another issue is a pretty obvious one and that's pertaining to the graphics. The game does look a bit dated for PS3 standards, but considering this has been "in the works" for a very long time I guess that was to be expected.  Flaws aside I found the game to be very enjoyable.  It's standard FPS fare, which is why I think so many people have a problem with the game.  I think a lot of people were expecting something more than a bunch of grunts killing aliens.  Maybe something a little more survival-horrorish, which this is not.  It takes the tone of Aliens strips it down and runs with it.  With all that said after reading countless negative reviews I'm still scratching my head...While I'm not the biggest gamer in the world I'm left wondering "is this really that bad?"

If you're a fan of film I think you'll get more enjoyment out of the game.  While this is sort of an obvious statement, it's true.  The creators went out of their way to recreate the Cameron/Scott vision.  You'll immediately recognize some of the sets.  The weapons and their sounds.  There's even a few familiar faces that popup through the game (some dead, some alive.)  You are literally transported into the movie.  It (again, without spoiling anything) connects Aliens to Alien 3, it ties up any loose ends and answers a few questions.  In that aspect, it is in my opinion very well done.

I would recommend this game, but I would recommend playing a demo first.

Now, onto the extras.  I was blown away when I opened this set.  The Game itself is just a normal PS3 snapper case so there's no need to get into that.  The statue however, is awesome.  It's made out of resin and while the detailing on the marine is a big light, everything else is spot on.  For it's size it really is a well done piece, everything is painted and then given a few washes to look a bit "beat up."  The Xenomorph is spot on and given a bit of a metallic blue wash to bring out all of the details.

Also included is a Colonial dossier with various paperwork and blue prints, this is a very nice touch.  It gives you a mission briefing along with a certificate which can be signed if you so desire.

Completing the set are two Marine patches and two exclusive codes for the game.  The codes give you access to Ripley's flame thrower along with a few skins for the online feature.  Lastly everything is housed in a big cardboard box with a plastic slip case featuring artwork of various crawling aliens.

Overall I'm very happy with the purchase, while there is certainly room for improvement I found the game to be a blast and the box set to be a great display piece.

Walking Dead series 3 (Mcfarlane Toys)

I'll be honest, the first two waves of this series looked like complete ass.  Shoddy likenesses and super sloppy paint work, even worse were the first with awful action features.  To top all of that off, these things were ringing up at 16.99.  Given the poor job and the super small scale there was no way I was wasting my money on them.

But with this line McFarlane has done a 180 with the newest series of action figures based AMC's The Walking Dead.  First and most importantly, the likenesses and paint have all been fixed.  Everything is nearly perfect with the four figures I purchased (I've still yet to buy Merle.)  The price point has also been adjusted, these were only $12.99 at my local Game Stop.

First up is fan favorite Michonne.  Michonne features a removable hood along with her katana and sheath.  The figure is a little hard to stand and had a few loose joints out of the package.  Aside from those issues the sculpt is nearly perfect, a great representation of her onscreen counterpart.

Next up are her two "Pet Zombies" uniquely titled "1" and "2."  Both Zombies feature removable jaws and limbs to recreate scenes from the show.  Also included are chains, backpacks, and one even includes a rifle. The only real problem some of you might have with these two are the included backpacks which are bit tough to get on.  One also has to question if it's worth buying both, since they're both so similar.  I think this is a case where Mcfarlane should have dropped some accessories and just stuck them both in the same package.  Moving onto the last series 3 figure I purchased...

The Autopsy Zombie is probably the weaker figure in series 4 as it just doesn't look that impressive compared to Merle, Michonne, and the pet zombies.  It's still pretty cool though, and while it might not be the best in this wave, it certainly beats all of it's predecessors.  The Autopsy Zombie has a removable shirt exposing a gaping hole which can be filled with the (included) digested hand and animal carcass.  There's also a knife which can be stabbed into the ghoul.

So a really impressive series from Mcfarlane, sort of out of no where too.  I'd heard nothing about these popping up in stores when I saw them at Gamestop.  This year will see the release of McFarlane's series 4, Comic series 2, along with a Michonne statue and (the very impressive) Season 3 limited box set.

Lastly, I have to ask, where the heck were all of these cool zombie toys when I was a kid?

XT Video Texas Chainsaw Massacre Skinbox

Production Year: 1974
Release Date: 06/25/2005
Studio: XT Video
Collection Number: 1257

Every super nerd has their "holy grail" or in my case "grails."  Over the years I've been lucky enough to obtain most of mine.  As of typing this, I've got two real ones left, an original US Release poster of The Gates of Hell and Mcfarlane Toys' JAWS box set.

Point being, this Hardbox is no longer on that list and I am completely in awe of it.  As far as the film and extras go there's nothing new here to see, hell, it's not even the most rare of the foreign release. pretty much standard fare as far as the German releases go.  But if you're like me you've got the necessary editions and still feel the need to own this one, why?  Because it's the motherfucking  SKINBOX!

As I mentioned earlier the extras are pretty standard, the second disc contains A Family Portrait.  It's a small hardbox, so it's about the size of a standard DVD.  The box has a textured/leather-like feel to it, hence it getting the title of "skinbox."  

Overall, it's a super nice looking set.  The idea behind it is a pretty obvious one, but it's done right and looks perfect.  While this isn't the rarest release this film has seen it's definitely one of the coolest, bound to be the highlight of anyone's Chainsaw collection.

One more down, two more to go.

Even more homemade horror!

So my Birthday is a few days away, since I have a bit of everything I'm sort of forced to find things online for others to buy me.  Yes, it is a very daunting task.  Anyhow, while on the hunt for some Texas Chainsaw Massacre collectibles I happened upon this ebay store.   Everyone's got the posters and the toys, I'm always looking out for something different.  I can remember the first time I discovered Satan's Sideshow, it was like finding buried treasure.  Now we have sites like etsy and artfire offering up thousands of homemade items.  With that said, it takes a lot to really pique my interests these days as far as homemade collectibles go, but the books ends have me hook line and sinker.

Another really cool DIY shop is OliviaFrankenstein. Now while most of what she specializes in are for females (make-up bags and such) if you look around you can find some pretty cool vinyl wallets featuring an array of monsters and mad men.  She also does custom orders if you have something in mind that you cannot find on her page.

The last page I'll highlight today is ran by Christopher Perrault, Chris runs the BoutiqueDuFreak shop which specializes in a number of items, the coolest though are film themed bracelets made from melted down records.  He's sold a number of these that range from well known franchises all the way too some of the more niche Fulci films.  They're all pretty cool though.  Chris also makes tile coasters featuring artwork from various horror posters.  Be sure to check out his shop and tell him that Cannibal Reviews sent ya!

I've got some pretty cool reviews lined up for the next few weeks, I've also got a few VERY cool hardboxes headed my way so be sure to check back soon!

Uneasy Archive Announces deal with Jorg Buttgereit

Yesterday evening Uneasy Archive teased that it had some big news regarding future releases on the horizon.   They weren't kidding, soon after making that post they announced the upcoming release of the "Brightside Trilogy" along with a slew of Jorg Buttgereit films.  Now I've never seen the three Brightside Films though I do own one of them (The Gateway Meat) so I guess I should get on that before the inevitable release date.  I have seen the notorious Nekromantik films though, and I loved Schramm so the second announcement is what excited me the most.  Go ahead and read it for yourselves...

"Our second announcement for the evening is that we've partnered up with Jorg Buttgereit for a special VHS release of his films Nekromantik, Nekromantik 2, Der Todesking and Schramm. These will all be limited to 50 units each, some of which will be signed by Jorg Buttgereit and Manfred Jelinski. We will also be releasing a very limited run of box sets featuring the four films I mentioned and Corpse Fucking Art. But that's not all. We will be collaborating with our good friend Lunchmeat and including copies of the Nekronology LP and CD with the box sets. This will also include a signature card to be signed by Jelinksi and Buttgereit. And there will be a limited edition Uneasy Archive t shirt included in these box sets. I would also like to mention that contracts for this have been signed. We aren't pushing releases back. We've never pushed a release back. We get things done. Thank you all for your continued support, we appreciate it more than you can imagine. This was something that we both dreamed of doing and never thought would come to fruition, its humbling. They're films that have been around since I was young and now we're bringing them back to the format that they belong on. 2013 is officially the year of the skimask."

So this year will see the vhs release of the individual films along with a box set.  Prior to this release three of the films were available stateside through (the new defunct) Barrel Entertainment.  Good luck finding those ones though.  There hasn't been a date set in stone or mention if these releases will be part of the initial "23" or more along the lines of the "555" and "Savage Vengeance" releases.  Considering the popularity of the films I'm glad they've upped the quantity of each produced.  If you haven't already joined their Facebook group now is the time!

Toy Fair 2013

Every Year the New York Toy Fair always reveals a few cool treats for us horror nerds.  This year was definitely no exception with Mcfarlane Toys, Neca, Mezco, and Diamond Select all showing horror themed goodies. 

Every year websites host 1000's of photos from the event.  For those who'd rather not dig through all of the Star Wars, Masters of the Universe, and Lego stuff I decided to pull the best (in this blogger's humble opinion) offerings that are coming this year.
First up, lets take a look at what Mcfarlane's limited blu-ray case for the third season of The Walking Dead. AMC's show sort of splits genre fans, it seems like it's either a love it or hate it sort of deal.  Either way, there's no denying the coolness of this blu-ray case.  Each row has decapitated undead-heads which can be moved around to your liking, then all you have to do is fill it up with water and turn on the included led light and you can re-create your own Governor themed room.  Mcfarlane is also continuing the Walking Dead Television and comic themed lines this year with more 3 3/4th scale figures.  Nothing nearly as neat as that case though, sadly.

Next up Diamond Select is continuing their Universal Monster line with a new Creature from the Black Lagoon sculpt along with a rendition of Frankenstein's monster from the Son of Frankenstein film.  Both look great, I'll certainly be adding these to my collection.  I also except to hear some more news from them shortly as they usually have a few more figures in their lines.

Lastly we've got Neca and Mezco.  Neca promised us more Jason Voorhees this year, sadly his presence was a bit absent from their showroom.  Hopefully this will be rectified come Comic Con.  They did show a handful of Alien and Predator themed action figures which look excellent.

Though Mezco dropped the Cinema of Fear line a few years back they recently picked up the rights to the Universal Monsters brand releasing a stylized Frankenstein in 2012, this year they will continue that line with the Mummy and the Creature From the Black Lagoon.

Neca mentioned that the showroom only featured items for the first few months of 2013 so I'm sure this year will have a lot more in store!


Junk Films & Demon Queen hardbox overview

Massacre Video is a true pioneer of DIY releasing, a one man company ran by Louis Justin whom for the last few years has provided fans with limited VHS, DVD, and Hardbox editions of seldom/released seen horror films.   555 for example, never made it's way into the DVD world until Massacre Video, prior to that release the VHS was the only official release available and was somewhat notorious for fetching high prices.

Recently Massacre Video began to ship it's latest Hardbox offerings:  Junk Films and Demon Queen.  Each release is limited to 66 and is hand numbered.  Included with each film is a poster and sticker, Junk also includes a photo still while Demon Queen was to include a (delayed) cassette tape.  The cassette tape for Demon Queen will ship out to customers sometime later this year and Massacre Video has promised fans at least three new releases this coming year.  I'm for one am very excited to find out what titles they have planned.

For more information regarding Massacre video please click here.  Hope you guys enjoy the pictures!

Charles Band to re-release Wizard Video titles

Yes another post about the new resurgence in VHS collectibilty.

Charles Band, director and proprietor of Full Moon  is throwing his hat into the ring.  Charles Band originally headed the now defunct Wizard Video label during the original VHS boom of the late 70's.  He certainly helped pioneer the genre back in the VHS days releasing some of the earliest and most memorable horror films onto VHS.  Let's not also forget created and produced some pretty memorable horror films back then too.

He recently announced the discovery of boxes containing unused 1000's of folded unused Big Boxes.  One thing he did not find however were the tapes.  Alas, he plans on using his original masters to create brand new VHS tapes to go along with these cardboard boxes.  The newly created VHS tapes will contain the original feature along with new trailers, images, and featurettes.  Starting in February he will release 4 Wizard titles each month until he finishes the run of 36 titles.  Each title is limited based on the number of  unused boxes he found and will run around $50 each respectively.  For those completests out there there's also the option to subscribe to the set starting at the low amount of $600.

Now Charles Band and his company have received a lot of flack from the DVD community regarding their handling of the OOP Puppet Master box set.  At one point this set was fetching a pretty high price on the secondary market.  Out of no where Band "found" a seemingly unending wealth of sets to sale.  Apparently some were accusing him of reproducing the set multiple times in order to sale as an "oop collectible."

Now I don't know the legitimacy of these claims, and while they are a bit old it certainly makes me wonder about these VHS releases.  With the collectibilty of VHS in full force and a number of Wizard titles (Zombie, I Spit on Your Grave, etc) reaching double digits on the secondary market, this coincidence does seem to raise ire.  Could this be Band cashing in on this craze?  If you do a bit of math with the price of each unit and the supposed amount he found  there is certainly a lot of cash to be made.  This is a possibility that probably wouldn't shock anyone.

At the same time it makes complete sense he would have these, he was the head of the company after all.  Big Boxes were eventually phased out and replaced by the common cardboard slipcases so this could make sense right?  He could legitimately do these re-releases and find success, Wizard is a very popular label with VHS affiianados.  Which brings us to the next point.

The Wizard fans.  It's almost evenly split, some people are outraged with the notion, others are looking forward to picking up a few of the rare titles to complete their collection.  There are some collectors who are relieved to finally complete the collection without dropping $100's on a few of the rarer titles.  Some are completely irate at the idea that their collection and it's worth might be watered down by Band's re-releases.

Never the less, I find myself intrigued and a little excited about the notion as I can remember a faded copy of Zombie gracing the shelf of Movies ETC.  I've never owned it, but it's always been on my radar.  The idea of finally being able to sit it on my shelf excites me, especially at such a low price point.  The collector inside of me however scoffs at the notion of owning something that's not completely 100% authentic.  One also has to wonder, while he has all the right in the world to release the big box sleeves, what about the film it houses?  Doesn't Blue Underground now own the video and distribution rights to that film?  I guess that's up to the lawyers to decide.

A look at the boxes that were uncovered.
For more information on the releases along with the opportunity to pre-order some of the titles click here.

Craigslist haul

Craiglist.  Mostly full of scams, deviants, and pictures of genitalia.  Here in the wonderful state of Oklahoma I very rarely find anything genre related with the exception of DTV trash.  On occasion though, I have struck gold.

Today's haul is a great example of what good can come of that website. Saturday my mom mentioned that she saw a guy on there selling some older horror figures, this morning I looked into it and gave the guy a call. Without further adieu proof that $50 and a craigslist posting can provide something else other than herpes

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, a big bag of action figures.  Most of them are Neca with a few Mezco mixed in, the one on top though is extra special as it is a custom that looks as if it could have been made by Ones Customs.

(from left to right) Spaulding [NECA] Elvira [Amok Time] Jason IX [Mezco] Jason VIII [NECA] Spaulding [NECA] Mohawk Gremlin [NECA] Jason VII [Mezco] Myers [NECA] Jason  IV [Mezco] Jason JTM [custom] Sam [NECA]

There we have the contents of the bag.  11 total in all with a handful of accessories.

A few of those I already owned, what I was really wanting were a few of the Jason's to fill in some gaps along with the Sam (Trick'r'Treat) and the Elvira.  I'd missed out on those two and I've always regretted it, especially now that the prices on ebay have doubled.

The Jason (JTM) was a very nice surprise, one that I didn't really notice in the original craigslist picture.  It's an extremely detailed custom with a nice shiny coat to simulate Jason's "wet" look from the film.  The mask is removable and the face under is spot on.

All and all I'm very pleased with the haul, some of these figures are no longer produced and can fetch pretty high prices on ebay.  A few of these are missing accessories but that's to be expected.  All of them were in great shape and the guy selling them was extremely nice.  In all my years of using CL I've probably got more horror stories than good ones, but this is proof that occasionally you can find a really good deal.