Blu-ray Review “Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete First Season”

Actors: Bruce Campbell, Dana DeLorenzo, Ray Santiago, Lucy Lawless, Jill Marie Jones
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
DVD Release Date: August 23, 2016

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

I am one of the biggest “Evil Dead” franchise” fans. I have met Bruce Campbell and the cast of the three films in the franchise numerous times. I think I did a double back flip when I saw that we were getting a continuation in the franchise with this new series for Starz. The season is jam packed with enough amazing fanboy head explosion moments to satisfy any hardcore fan. A few of the episodes wonder a bit but overall I see an insane amount of future opportunities in this series and I have a feeling it will stick around for a long time! I am just happy that Ashley J. Williams is back and kicking Deadite ass! Can’t wait for season 2 this October!

The first season of “Ash vs Evil Dead” consists of 10 half-hour episodes and consists as a follow-up to the classic horror film franchise “The Evil Dead” The series is executive produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell, the original filmmakers of the franchise, and Craig DiGregorio (“Chuck”), who serves as executive producer and showrunner. Other than Bruce, who is literally gold with every word he speaks, the supporting cast is great as well with Xena herself, Lucy Lawless, plays a very important role. Also up-and-comers Dana DeLorenzo, Ray Santiago show that they can kick some ass as well and work well with Bruce.

Official Series Premise: The series follows Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip. The cast is led by Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams, Lucy Lawless as Ruby a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks, Ray Santiago as Pablo Simon Bolivar, an idealistic immigrant who becomes Ash’s loyal sidekick, Dana DeLorenzo as Kelly Maxwell, a moody wild child trying to outrun her past and Jill Marie Jones as Amanda Fisher, a disgraced Michigan State Trooper set to find our anti-hero Ash and prove his responsibility in the grisly murder of her partner.

Starz is a great place for this show because they are able to show the gritty shit that other network stations would be afraid to. The Blu-ray includes impressive 1080p transfers. The show is shot digitally and even though it doesn’t have that gritty feel we all love from the franchise films, it looks amazing. Topped only by the outstanding Dolby TrueHD 7.1 presentation for each episodes, which kicks ass with the intense soundtrack and awesome surround chainsaw-welding effects. I should also mention that the slipcover for this release is a sweet lenticular cover!

The first Blu-ray includes audio commentaries on all episodes from cast and creators with some additional extras included on disc two. Sadly, there are no DVD or digital versions of the show are included. I would have expected at least digital since Anchor Bay does include for their releases like “The Walking Dead”. The commentaries are fun and you can tell that the cast really enjoyed working together for this series. Other than the commentaries there are only three other features. The first is “Ash Inside the World” which gives skim details on each episode with behind the scenes details. “How to Kill a Deadite” features Bruce Campbell talking about the title feature. Lastly there is a compilation of Bruce Campbell’s best moments from this season in “Best of Ash”. Honestly expect a little more from these extras.

STARZ Reteams Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert for a New TV Series Based on Their Classic Horror Film “The Evil Dead”

STARZ RAISES THE DEAD

NETWORK RETEAMS SAM RAIMI, BRUCE CAMPBELL AND ROB TAPERT FOR A NEW TV SERIES BASED ON THEIR CLASSIC HORROR FILM THE EVIL DEAD

RAIMI TO DIRECT FIRST EPISODE OF NEW SERIES, “ASH VS. EVIL DEAD”

BRUCE CAMPBELL TO STAR AS TITLE CHARACTER, ASH

 Beverly Hills, Calif. – November 10, 2014 – Starz announced today the greenlight of the network’s next original series, the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film franchise The Evil Dead. The project reteams the original filmmakers, director Sam Raimi, with longtime producing partner Rob Tapert and star Bruce Campbell.

The STARZ Original series officially titled “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” will be 10 half-hour episodes.  Bruce Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead.  When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal.  Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.

“Starz first worked with Sam and Rob on ‘Spartacus,’ and we are thrilled to be back in business with them,” said Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director of Starz.  “With Sam writing and directing and Bruce Campbell returning to the screen, we are certain the show will give Evil Dead fans around the world the fix they’ve been craving.”

Evil Dead has always been a blast. Bruce, Rob, and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to tell the next chapter in Ash’s lame, but heroic saga.  With his chainsaw arm and his ‘boomstick,’ Ash is back to kick some monster butt. And brother, this time there’s a truckload of it,” said Sam Raimi.

“I’m really excited to bring this series to the Evil Dead fans worldwide – it’s going to be everything they have been clamoring for: serious deadite ass-kicking and plenty of outrageous humor,” said Bruce Campbell.

“STARZ has always been a great creative partner and we are excited to be working with them on this project,” said Robert Tapert.

Raimi will direct the first episode.  “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” was written by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi (Darkman, Army of Darkness, Drag Me to Hell) and Tom Spezialy (“Chuck,” “Reaper,” “Desperate Housewives”).  Sam Raimi will also serve as executive producer, along with Rob Tapert (Evil Dead, “Spartacus,” Xena: Warrior Princess”) and Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, “Burn Notice”).  Ivan Raimi will Co-Executive Produce and Aaron Lam (“Spartacus”) will serve as producer.

The original Evil Dead film followed Ash and his friends who travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release demons intent on possessing the living.  The film became an international success and is critically lauded to this day as one of the best horror movies of all time.  It also spawned a media franchise, including two sequels, as well as video games and comic books and a recent reboot that grossed $97 million worldwide.

“Ash Vs. Evil Dead” project was packaged by CAA and Craig Jacobson at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller.  Marta Fernandez will serve as the executive in charge at STARZ.

The series will air on STARZ in 2015.

Starz will retain all domestic and international multiplatform rights including television, home entertainment, and digital.

Blu-ray Review “Deliver Us From Evil”

Starring: Eric Bana, Édgar Ramírez, Olivia Munn, Sean Harris, Joel McHale, Chris Coy
Director: Scott Derrickson
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Run Time: 118 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Deliver Us From Evil” drew my attention since it is from the director of “Sinister” and “Exorcism of Emily Rose”, which are both great films. The film is claimed to be “Inspired by the Actual Accounts of an NYPD Sergeant”. The film stars Eric Bana (“Hulk”), Édgar Ramírez (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and supporting including Olivia Munn (“Magic Mike”) and Joel McHale (“Community”). Deliver Us From Evil” is aimed to be a mix between “The Exorcist” and “Seven” but it really comes off more as a thriller. There are a few decent scares/jumps but it really suffers from using too many horror clichés.

Official Premise: A New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) begins investigating a series of bizarre and disturbing inexplicable crimes. When he uncovers that the crimes are of super-natural origins, he must join forces with an unconventional priest (Edgar Ramírez), schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the frightening and demonic possessions that are taking over and terrorizing their city. Filled with action and thrilling suspense, the film is inspired by the book, which details Sarchie’s bone-chilling real-life cases.

Sony is releasing the film as a combo pack including a Blu-ray + Digital HD copy. The 1080p transfer captures the tone and atmosphere set well by the film. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works great with Christopher Young’s terrifying score. The special features are pretty impressive. There is an commentary track from the director. ““Illuminating Evil: Making Deliver Us From Evil” is a fairly in-depth behind-the-scenes look into the production with writer/director Scott Derrickson’.

The following are Blu-ray ™exclusive bonus features. “Deliver Us From Demons” is a featurette on creating the film’s demonic presence. “The Two Sergeants” is a behind-the-scenes look into Ralph Sarchie and the actor playing “Ralph Sarchie,” Eric Bana. Lastly “The Demon Detective” is an intimate interview with Ralph Sarchie on his experiences and actual inspired events that the film is based on.

The Soska Sisters talk about their films “See No Evil 2” & “ABCs of Death 2”

The Soska Sisters cconsisting of Jen & Sylvia Soska are film directors are literally taking over the horror genre. After their short film “Dead Hooker in a Trunk”, they made the fantastic and original horror film called “American Mary” then quickly following that they were brought us to work with WWE on the horror sequel “See No Evil 2”. They also have a segment in the upcoming “ABCs of Death 2”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with the “Twisted Twins” to chat about “See No Evil 2” and their upcoming projects.

Mike Gencarelli: I just want to start that I loved “American Mary”; it was original, very smart, ballsy and really fucking gory. I honestly reminded me why I love horror movies. Going from that film to “See No Evil 2” with WWE’s Kane; what was that like?
Sylvia Soska: That is a hell of a compliment. Thank you for saying that. That project is very much a part of who Jen and I are. After that film, we took many studio meetings to get the next film made, but all anyone wanted to see was Katharine Isabelle with us as a sexy doctor or surgeon or torturer and it was really depressing. When WWE and Lionsgate approached us to make the film, we read the script and got super excited, but didn’t think there was a chance in hell that we would get hired. It was so much of a dream project, but it happened. Then we started to collaborate on the story, hire the cast, and it just kept getting better. We only make films that we, as fans, would want to see; See No Evil 2 is that kind of film.
Jen Soska: We are the fan directors. We love horror movies so much and I do hope you can tell on every frame of our movies. We want to make a horror film in each sub genre of horror. To have the opportunity to create our own masked man horror icon was incredible. I feel the first film was more of a prequel and this is Jacob’s true first film. The first film had Jacob under the command of his fanatic religious mother. In this film we recreate Jacob’s look, theme music, and array of weapons. It’s a tremendous honor and I still can’t believe we got such an incredible opportunity that so few directors ever have.

MG: What was your biggest challenging tackling that film?
SS: It should have been much more difficult but we were spoiled by our cast and crew. Let me tell you a little thing about the crew you can get in Vancouver – seasoned professionals that work year around on everything from major blockbuster productions, to some of the best genre televisions series we have ever seen, and the darling independent gems. You get this crew and you get peace of mind because they are so good. Almost the entire cast were child actors, so not only was the level of talent very high in our performers, but we had a team that could pull off this very ambitious film very masterfully.
JS: For me, the biggest challenge was making something that was true to the original and respected the fans who loved that film while building on that film’s missed opportunities. It’s hard to come
into an existing franchise and make changes. Every franchise has key parts to it. You don’t want to come into something like, Hellraiser, and take out the lament configuration. Just like with Jacob.
There were untouchable elements, but we had a lot of room to play around with the character and story and kills and almost everything.

MG: Tell us about what it was like working on “ABCs of Death 2” and your segment “T is for Torture Porn”?
SS: It was something we’ve been wanting to make since the open entry contest on the first one. I watch a lot of porn, I love it. I think in horror there are interesting issues you can tackle because it’s not like you’re just preaching at people – you have one foot in reality and one in the fantastical. T is for Torture Porn is a commentary on unwanted sexual violence and degradation with a very angry reaction to that with how the short ends. But there’s still a laugh to it all, wait til the after credits scene – it’s the end of our segment.
JS: A tremendous honor! I loved the first ABCs of Death. I really wanted to be in it, but we saw T is for Toilet (the entry for the 26th slot open to all directors) and it was perfection. We wanted to make Torture Porn all the way back then but we put it on the back burner. We didn’t even expect them to do a sequel. I’m so happy they did and absolutely honored that Ant invited us on.

MG: Are you ever afraid of taking it too far or offending the audience?
SS: Ha ha, from some of the not happy with it reviews, maybe I should have? Naw, art is to make people feel things. It’s to spurn a reaction. Anything that one person loves, another person will hate it.
JS: In the immortal words of one of my favorite comedians ever, John Cleese, “some people deserve to be offended.” It’s just art and art should make you question things and leave an impression on you. It should get you thinking. I’m not a fan of senseless violence or cruelty to animals, but I think that violence and the obscene have a place in art for sure. Though somewhat controversial, MARTYRS and A SERBIAN FILM are superb films. They use their violence, gore, and more upsetting parts as a commentary.

MG: What do you love most about the horror genre?
SS: Everything. Being scared gets me excited, it makes me feel alive. It’s a thrill.
JS: What’s not to love? I feel horror chose us from a very young age. I can’t remember a time I didn’t love it. It’s exciting and fun. You ever go to a Horror Convention? If you haven’t, treat yourself. They are the happiest places on Earth filled with the sweetest people. Horror brings out the best in people.

MG: We ever going to see you both directing a romantic comedy?
SS: I thought American Mary was a romantic comedy. Jen and I are in love with this script written by Josh Murray, this extremely crass female-centric Christmas comedy. I bet you didn’t see that coming, eh? But that’s how we pick our projects – if we would want to see this movie, we would make that movie.
JS: Dammit, I thought SEE NO EVIL 2 was a romance movie! Well, to me, it totally is. I’d love to tackle any genre. I’m not into labels. Some people seem happy to categorize us as “female twin horror directors”, but I just see us as directors. I love film. I love all genres of film. There is no genre we wouldn’t tackle and put a Soska spin on.

MG: You also worked with WWE Studios for “Vendetta”, which is an action films; what can you tell us about that experience?
SS: Vendetta stars Dean Cain, Paul ‘Big Show’ White, and Michael Eklund and it is the most badass film we have ever made. The pure physicality to it, the amazing stunt fights from our Stunt Coordinator, Kimani Smith, and Fight Coordinator, Dan Rizzuto, pushed everything and everyone to the max. You have never seen the cast like this before. It is such a fuck yeah movie. We got our See No Evil 2 team back to pull it off and we really kicked the shit out of ourselves making this gritty crime revenge flick.
JS: It was incredible! It was so nice to have Michael Luisi of WWE Studios be the first to give us an opportunity to do a genre that wasn’t strictly horror. We have stunts and action in all of our films. It was really fun to have so much more of it. Dean Cain is outstanding, a true Hollywood icon. You’ve never seen him like this before, either. I love Dean good, but he’s SO much better bad. And he’s a total badass in Vendetta. Paul “Big Show” Wight is so evil. He plays a lot of comedic roles and the humor here comes from just how bad he is. And he loves it. Eklund is the Canadian Daniel Day Lewis. I just love him. There isn’t anything he can’t do. You hand me a script and I look for the top three roles I can see him in. He’s so capable and versatile. The film is so sexy, and dark. It’s almost a boy version of American Mary.

MG: How is your adaption of “Painkiller Jane” coming along? Is this your next project?
SS: Painkiller Jane is coming along very well. We are on the epic task of finding Jane. She needs to be tough as nails, completely shredded, with a great emotional capacity, and pitch perfect comedic ability. Easy, right? There are a few projects we have in development that are racing to the finish line right now, so I can say 100% sure on anything, but we have a huge focus on making Bob, our monster movie right now. It’s time, we haven’t stop work on it in all this time.
JS: We are filmmaking sharks. If we stop making films, we die. We have several original scripts that we’re pushing forward and have several more films in all stages of development. We’re planning some TV work along with a couple graphic novels, as well, so we honestly never stop. We’re so creative. I love story telling. I’m so blessed to be able to do what we do. With any luck, BOB will be our next one. It’s so very special to us.

MG: Lastly, I just have to ask how does it feel to literally be taking over the horror genre? Very soon, you will be so big that I won’t be able to speak with you again!
SS: Nothing feels like real life to me right now. I am getting to make films I love with my best friend and it’s been years of struggling to get to a point where we feel secure in getting to keep doing this! Thank you for supporting us – otherwise we would be waiting tables still.
JS: Ha ha, OMG, you will ALWAYS be able to talk to us! We still can’t believe people like our stuff. It’s like some sort of weird karma from being so damn unpopular growing up. It’s a profound honor to have people respond to us and our work the way they have. I grew up dressing like movie characters I love. Seeing people cosplay ours or get them tattooed on them is so unreal. Like a dream come true. And all the letters we get mean the world to us. We try to be the role models we would have liked growing up. We’ll always stay the same. Grounded and uber grateful for the influence we have. And we’re only just getting started.

Blu-ray Review “See No Evil 2”

Starring: Danielle Harris, Katharine Isabelle, Glenn Jacobs, Chelan Simmons, Kaj-Erik Eriksen, Lee Majdoub, Michael Eklund
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Lions Gate
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Run Time: 90 minutes

Film: 1 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

When “See No Evil” was released in 2006, I was psyched to see WWE wrestler Kane get a starring role in a horror film. After watching the film, I was totally underwhelmed. When I heard there was a sequel coming along over 8 years later, I was shocked and probably couldn’t care less until I saw that Jen and Sylvia Soska (aka The Soska Sisters) were directing. They did the fantastic horror flick “American Mary” and are taking over the horror genre…but unfortunately this film is a major let down still. It is first of all boring as hell. The kills are not inspired at all and the film follows every typical horror cliche. I know the Soska Sisters are better than this and I will give them a pass but any respecting horror fan should save themselves the true horror of sitting through this film. Lastly, why does everyone love Danielle Harris? Plain and simple…The chick can’t act!

Synopsis: WWE Superstar Glenn “Kane” Jacobs reprises his role as the psychopathic mass-murderer Jacob Goodnight in the rebirth of WWE Studios’ franchise See No Evil 2, the blood-soaked sequel to See No Evil. A group of friends pays a late-night visit to the city morgue to surprise Amy (Harris) on her birthday. But the surprise is on them when the one-eyed corpse of brutal psychopath Jacob Goodnight (Jacobs) unexpectedly rises from a cold sub-basement slab. Their wild party quickly turns into a terrifying slay-fest as the sadistic mass-murderer resumes his savage rampage complete with hooks, surgical knives and power saws.

Lionsgate is releasing this film as combo pack with Blu-ray and Digital HD copy. The 1080p transfer is decent giving the bland colors and boring locations that this film had to work with. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track suffers through one of the most terrible horrible scores that I have heard recently. The special features aren’t much better than the film itself. There are three featurettes included. The first focuses on the directors in “Twisted Twins (Soska Sisters)”, despite my hate for this film, I love these girls and they are going to do big things for the horror genre. “Autopsy: Dissecting the Kills” is a boring look at the boring and uninventive kills in the film. Lastly “Kane’s Goodnight: An Icon Reborn”, looks into the character Jacob Goodnight.

Sharni Vinson talks about new film “Patrick: Evil Awakens”

Copyright 2013 Roget Clinic Pty Ltd.

Sharni Vinson is an Australian actress that got her American debut in the dance film “Step Up 3D”. Since then she has starred in numerous strong female leads like the Australian shark thriller “Bait 3D” and last year’s action/horror film “You’re Next”. She is an actress that is not afraid to get her hands dirty and she plays these fantastic roles. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Sharni about her latest new film “Patrick: Evil Awakens” and what we can expect next.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us what drew up into the role for “Patrick: Evil Awakens”?
Sharni Vinson: I think a lot of things at the time drew me to the film. I always like to keep an eye out for any Australian projects that come up. I am Australian and I love getting a chance to get back there and shoot a film with my people [laughs]. So, the fact that this was an Australian movie interested me immediately. The attached cast was a big draw as well. Charles Dance and Rachel Griffiths are two actors that I definitely look up to and admire their work. I thought it would be a great challenge for me. So I wanted to take the opportunity. I also liked that it was a remake of a successfully film from the 70’s, I was also very enticed to see how it could progress with today’s technology advancement.

MG: What is your process for getting into a character like Kathy?
SV: We did not have any rehearsals for this movie. We never had any table readings. It was really interesting actually. I flew into Australia from America the day before we started shooting. So I hadn’t met anybody from the film and you know they say you are supposed to develop all this chemistry beforehand. But the process for this one was quite minimal and really unfolded as we were shooting. I felt like with the set, which was so dark and our wardrobes was really what put us into the character. As soon as I put on that uniform, I started to visualize how it was going to unfold. It was a lot of happening in the moment. Each project is different and this was a great experience getting to do it so naturally.

MG: What was your biggest challenge working on this film?
SV: It was a very smooth shoot. We didn’t run into too many problems. I think maybe the most challenging part could have been was that I was working with an actor, in more than 50% of my scenes, who was in a coma. So he did not speak at all. It was a lot of it was reacting and then reacting to yourself as well. I felt like it was almost along the lines of green screen work, which was very different for me. So that was definitely was quite the challenge I think.

MG: You are known for playing really strong female leads like in “Bait 3D”, “You’re Next” and now this; what do you enjoy most about kicking ass and getting your hands dirty?
SV: HA! It is exactly that what I love about them [laughs]. I grew up in Australia on a farm. I grew up in the dirt and in the ocean and was always very physical. I did a lot of dancing and swimming growing up. With movies, we all know it can get quite tedious sitting on the set for long hours and there is a lot of waiting involved. So when you are doing a role that is heavily involvement with action and utilizing a strong physicality you are always getting to work with a stunt coordinator or trainer in your downtime. I would always rather keep going in my downtime than stop. When you have downtime, you sort of realize how exhausted you really are but if you keep going you feel like you are Superman or something…it is crazy [laughs]. Action and horror genres have been quite good to me. That’s three in a row…

Copyright 2013 Roget Clinic Pty Ltd.

MG: Yeah, I was going to bring up the common theme genre of horror you have trending; what draws you to these films?
SV: I almost want to say that is complete coincidence. I grew up watching horror movies and now I am shooting them. I was absolutely obsessed with them growing up from a really young age. It wasn’t even that I put it out there that I wanted to do horror, these are the roles that I have come my way and that I have taken a liking to. They also, like you mentioned, have that strong female character in them and that is great also and I am enjoying getting a chance to play those characters.

MG: What else do you have planned for 2014 and beyond?
SV: I am very excited to get “Patrick” out there, which comes out March 14th. Next, I am actually doing a film in China mid-year. It is going to be awesome. A part of the film “Bait” was shot in China, so I am excited to get to back there. I do not think the film has settled on a final title yet, so keep an eye out.

DVD Review “Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong”

Actors: Victoria De Mare, John Patrick Jordan, Robin Sydney, Sonny Carl Davis, Amy Paffrath
Director: Charles Band
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Full Moon Features
DVD Release Date: January 21, 2014
Run Time: 80 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

If you are a fan of Full Moon Features, then you are probably just as excited as I was for this crossover horror/comedy film. “Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong” brings together two of Full Moon’s successful characters into one crazy-ass film. I have to admit, I was really expecting a little more from this crossover. The main problem I had with it was that it spent a good portion of time rehashing each of the battling characters’ prior films in a flashback sequences. So it felt like a bit of a cop out and just burning through time. I am still a fan of both franchises, so it was fun to see them come together. If you enjoy Full Moon films, then this is worth checking out though I am sure that this would work much better under the influence of the “evil” bong.

Official Premise: It’s a War of the Colossal Freaks when serial killing cookie, Gingerdead Man, tracks down the lone survivor of his murderous rampage, Sarah Leigh (Robin Sydney), to take care of unfinished business. But his devious plans go up in smoke when Sarah meets Larnell (John Patrick Jordan), who has a pint-sized problem of his own. The Evil Bong, Eebee, has been unleashed once again. Bodies begin to pile up as Gingerdead Man carves a path for them. Their only salvation is to turn to help from the dastardly Bong. It’s one tough cookie versus one bad trip mother when the two Titans of Terror hash out a war in the Bong World. The stakes have never been higher.

The presentation of the release is much worth mentioning. It comes in a very cool “Nookie Crisp”/”Weedies” Double-Sided Cereal Box and yes, there is actually an 11.5 oz bag of cookie cereal included!  I had a bit of a hard time opening the box as it was super glue sealed shut. So I had to do a bit of surgery to open the bottom of the box, so that was a little annoying. Still it is a great display piece and is down right funny as well. There is also a a surprise collector’s item gift in every box. I got a “Evil Bong” magnet, which features the poster art from the first film. There is also some special features included as well for the film including some trailers and a VideoZone episode.

Meet the Inquisitor, the New Face of Evil in “Star Wars Rebels”!


The next great villain from a galaxy far, far away is here. Fans attending Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Rebels panel today at New York Comic Con got the world’s first look at the Inquisitor, a black-clad, intimidating figure who will play a prominent role in the upcoming animated series.

In a new video screened at the end of the panel, Star Wars Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni officially revealed the character, showing design sketches, a sculpted maquette, and disclosing that the Inquisitor is “tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down the remaining Jedi Knights.”

The panel, hosted by Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, focused on the Empire and how it is central to the story of Star Wars Rebels. Hidalgo revealed that the series takes place about 14 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, a time in which the Emperor’s rule is secure and the Empire is seeking to expand its power to Outer Rim territories. Further details about the panel can be found on www.starwars.com.

If anything was made clear at today’s panel, it’s that the Empire is back — thanks to Star Wars Rebels.

Star Wars Rebels is scheduled to premiere in fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel, it will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.

Blu-ray Review “Evil Dead (2013)”

Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci, Elizabeth Blackmore
Director: Fede Alvarez
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: July 16, 2013
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to remakes, they are always endless debates about the originals and how they shouldn’t be touched.  The original “Evil Dead” is one of my favorite horror films and introduced me to the marvel of Bruce Campbell.  When I heard that there was going to be an “Evil Dead” remake, I was extremely nervous since I feared, like everyone else, that they would ruin it.  Well, goddamn, I will just say that I was absolutely blown away. You know that the original is the original and that is that but this new reboot really packs a major punch. What makes this great is that it has the blessing of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, which makes this all the sweeter.  If you are a hardcore fan of the original stay through the credits for a little surprise. Damn, the credit this film is a crazy ride and a ton of fun!

The film is fast, angry and fucking intense.  I do not think that I had one nail left on my fingers after viewing this film.  I watched this film with my wife in the kitchen and she was scared just listening to the film’s events from the other room.  I thought that Fede Alvarez did an absolutely amazing job on this and I can’t see where he takes this franchise next.  I read his report from WonderCon that he is planning to link the original series with Ash with the reboot’s lead Mia in a third “Evil Dead” after his planned “Evil Dead 2” and Sam Raimi’s supposed sequel of “Army of Darkness”.  All I have to say is “Groovy”!

Official Premise: A secluded cabin. An ancient curse. An unrelenting evil. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell reunite to present a genuinely terrifying re-imagining of their original horror masterpiece. Five young friends have found the mysterious and fiercely powerful Book of the Dead. Unable to resist its temptation, they release a violent demon on a blood-thirsty quest to possess them all. Who will be left to fight for their survival and defeat this unearthly force of murderous carnage?

Sony delivered this film with an amazing 1080p transfer.  The color red is particularly used a lot in this film 😉 When you think the gore couldn’t get any more intense…it does! Even being a horrorhound myself, I found myself looking away a little as well. So damn, they really did a great job there.  I even read that this was trimmed a little to avoid NC-17, so I could only imagine where it was taken from.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is another thing of beauty. Roque Baños’ score is easily one of my favorite horror scores…ever! It literally had me on the edge of my chair.

Along with the Blu-ray, there is also a Digital HD Ultraviolet copy included. The rest of the special features are pretty amazing. There is an audio commentary with actors Jane Levy, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Jessica Lucas; director Fede Alvarez; and writer Rodo Sayagues.  It is pretty awesome for any fan of the film. There are four featurettes including “Directing the Dead” showcases Fede Alvarez’s taking on this daunting task. “Evil Dead the Reboot” has a chat with Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell, Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues, Jane Levy, and J.R. Young discuss the original film and the remake. “Making Life Difficult” has Jane Levy and Fede Alvarez chats about the difficult role. “Unleashing the Evil Force” looks at the new Book of the Dead. Lastly “Being Mia” has Jane Levy doing a video diary about her character.

Roque Baños talks about scoring the new “Evil Dead”

You may have heard composer’s Roque Baños work in films like “The Machinist” and “Fragile” but he recently made his U.S. film debut with scoring “Evil Dead”. His score is not only amazing it is down right terrifying. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Roque about his work on the film and what we can expect next.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you got involved with scoring “Evil Dead”?
Roque Baños: I sent a message to Fede Alvarez by Facebook. We didn’t know each other and I introduced myself to him thinking that he might not have any idea about me and my work. We answered very excited saying that he knew my work very well and he loved it. From there we started a very hard obstacle race to get the score. He temped the lock picture with my music from other movies and everyone was agreed that I should be the composer.

MG: How does it feel to have created a score that literally scares its viewers?
It is very satisfactory, seeing how the music does with the movie and the audience react to that in the way you were looking for. Our proposal was to create the most terrifying score you’ll ever hear.

MG: Tell us about the use of sirens in the score?
RB: I always look for a unique sound in a score that makes it special, as it was with the theremin in “The Machinist”, or a wolf-ghost-like sound in “Intruders”. So in Evil Dead, I wanted a sound that really freaked out the people. At the beginning of the process I was really scared for the movie, and couldn’t sleep for two weeks! I was hearing sirens very late at night in the city, and I thought this could be a good option to make the pope really scared. I tried an acoustic siren and Fede loved it! Me too, actually, each time the siren sounds, everyone is frighten!

MG: With your work on “The Machinist” and “Fragile”; what do you enjoy most about creating scary music?
RB: For me the most satisfying aspect of if is that you can experiment a lot with the music. Scary movies allows that more than any others, and I love that.

MG: Did you get any inspiration from the past “Evil Dead” films?
RB: I knew the very well, but I didn’t use any of them for inspiration. I just try to start from zero-point when I have to compose a new score for a film, that’s the way I think it gets more freshness on it. Fede and I talked a lot about that, and our goal was to create a “classical” score for the movie, more similar to those from the 80’s but with a modern sound on it.

MG: What was your biggest challenge on this score?
RB: To not repeat any music, or get boring with it. To try to caught the audience and stick them to their seat without letting them even breath. And of course, to get an emotion coming out from everyone, beside of the scare.

MG: Do you have plans to work with Fede Alvarez again in the future?
RB: Of course!! We have became very close friends and we have talked already about our next protect together. I wish it happens! Fede is a great director, very talented and very comfortable to work with.

MG: How does this project compare from your past score work?
RB: I believe this score is a resume of all my work since my first movie. I’ve truly put all my knowledge on it, and so far, I consider it my best one. It contains emotion, action, fear, despair…

MG: What do you have lined up next?
RB: I’ve done a couple of movies from Spain since there, and still trying to decide my best option to be next in the US.

CD Review “Evil Dead: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Deluxe Extended Edition”

Composer: Roque Baños
Label: La-La Land Records
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Tracks: 17
Running Time: 72 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

When it comes horror the scores to me are very important. Without a great score, the film could suffer from missed scare opportunities. For example, the score for the film “Insidious”, by the amazingly talented Joseph Bishara, is one of my favorite horror scores. When it came to the original “Evil Dead”, I was never a die-hard fan of the original score. The films, hell yes, but the score wasn’t too recognizable for me. Well what we get here is easily one of the best horror scores in recent years. It is also the first time in a long time that I have literally jumped when listening to a score and I am not shitting you. Whether or not you like remake, this score should be given as chance since it is fresh, original and very scary.

After listening to this score, I immediately wanted to know more about composer Roque Baños, since I wasn’t that familiar. He has composed for the film “The Machinist”, starring Christian Bale. He is now on my radar since he has created a very thrilling rollercoaster ride of a horror score and delivered something that is worthy have the title “Evil Dead”. Also I wanted to point out that if you have downloaded the CD digitally you are missing out since the actual CD release contains more than 25 additional minutes of music and it definitely worth it. This CD is over 70 minutes and one hell of a listening experience. I felt like that I needed to take a nap…but with the lights on.

The album starts off with a killer opener “I’ll Rip Out Your Soul”, which really gets your attention. I am not embarrassed to say it but it also made my ass jump off my chair when I was listening. In fact just from that I knew that I was going to be in love with the rest of the score. I love the use of sirens throughout as well, it is very scary and reminds me a lot of “Silent Hill”. There is also a lot of chanting, which always adds some great demonic feeling. “Get Me Out of Here” is another one of my favorite tracks. I could listen to it on loop for sure. “Abominations Rising” is gut wrenching and running at 7 minutes is what an exhausting track.

After listening to this score a few times and really getting into it. I also couldn’t help relating to the horror scores of Christopher Young as well. His score to “Drag Me to Hell” has a similar feel, which was also one of my favorites in recent years. But I have to admit that “Evil Dead” takes the cake and kicks that score in the balls. There are some many parts that will have you cringing since it is so intense, angry and loud. I can’t wait to see what Baños comes up with next since he now one of my favorite composers. And I owe him a thank you for giving me the need to sleep with the lights on.

Track Listing:
1. I’ll Rip Your Soul Out 4:50
2. Sad Memories 5:21
3. Don’t Say It, Don’t Write It, Don’t Hear It 4:42
4. Demon Possession (Extended) 4:21
5. Get Me Out Of Here 5:24
6. She Tried To Kill Me 2:31
7. He Won’t Let You Out 2:45
8. Bloody Kiss 2:23
9. Three Ways Of Saving Her Soul 4:02
10. Natalie Hunting 5:34
11. I’ll Do What I Gotta Do (Extended) 8:42
12. Come Back To Me 3:02
13. He’s Coming 3:21
14. Abominations Rising 6:58
15. The Pendant / Evil Tango 3:21
16. The Evil Dead Main Theme 1:41
17. Come Back To Me (Alternate) 2:01

Complimentary Passes to the Orlando, FL Screening for “Evil Dead" [ENDED]

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In the much anticipated remake of the 1981 cult-hit horror film, five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.

3D Blu-ray “Resident Evil: Retribution 3D”

Actors: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillroy, Kevin Durand, Boris Kodjoe
Directors: Paul W.S. Anderson
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 21, 2012
Run Time: 95 minutes

Film: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4.5 out of 5 stars

When I went to the theaters to see “Resident Evil: Retribution”, I had no idea it was going to be one of my favorite movies in the series, nor my favorite of the year.  My expectations were completely blown away with this film.  It is hard to believe that the 5th film in the franchise will surpass the film’s before it…but it sure does! “Resident Evil: Retribution” takes what is amazing about this franchise and amps to to 11 (and above)! It doesn’t get old watching Milla Jovovich in skin-tight leather kicking zombie ass.  It reminds me of Kate Beckinsale in “Underworld” but between me and you Milla does it better.

In this fifth film, there are tons of return characters, despite being dead (that doesn’t mean they are zombies either – see the movie to known what I mean). Michelle Rodriguez comes back in her role of Rain Ocampo from the first “Resident Evil”, as well as another character also. Colin Salmon or better known as “One” also from the first “Resident Evil” comes back with in this installment. My favorite return is Sienna Guillory aka the sexy Jill Valentine comes back, this time as a baddie.  She is mega-hot and also kicks some mega-ass.  Oded Fehr from “RE: Apocalypse” and “RE: Extinction” comes back from the dead but not the way that you would think. We find out what happened to Luther West (Wentworth Miller) as he returns as well. Lastly, and probably fan favorite Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) is back and very helpful to Alice – or is he?

What I liked about the opening of this film is that you do not need to see the first five films in order to enjoy this.  It literally goes back and covers all the important ground.  Now if you have seen the previous film it only makes better, like the end scene from “Afterlife” being played backwards in slow-motion. Perfect way to start the movie. The 3D effects in the film are the best that I have seen throughout the entire year! Seriously! There is tons of in-your-face moments and also adds to some great jumps. The depth added throughout and it really works with the films’ action.  Speaking of the action, from the moment it starts, this film is a 90+ minute rollercoaster ride.

Official Synopsis: The Umbrella Corporation’s deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race’s last and only hope, ALICE (Jovovich), awakens in the heart of Umbrella’s most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex. Without a safe haven, Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything that she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. The countdown has begun.

Sony is releasing this film in a very nice 2-Disc Combo Pack, including the Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™, and DVD, as well as UltraViolet™ digital streaming copy.  The film works well in 2D but it looses a bit of its charm.   The 3D in the theaters was great but I have to say that the 1080p transfer on the Blu-ray is really sharp and draws you in so well.  The film literally plays like a video game, which is the way it should be and works best with the transfer.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sounds beyond amazing.  Since the film is literally a 90-minute roller coaster ride, the sound is constantly  pumping giving the surround system quite the workout.

The special features on this release is nothing short of stunning just like the film itself.  I am nothing but 100% satisfied that there are actually 3D special features.  Sony is getting a name for doing this after “Men in Black III” and “The Amazing Spider-Man”.  It is not much but there are still deleted & extended Scenes and Outtakes in 3D that are exclusive to the Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and Blu-ray. On disc two there are also six exclusive featurettes, each better than the next. “”Maestro of Evil: Directing Resident Evil: Retribution”” looks into Anderson returning to the franchise as the director of the film. ““Resident Evil: Reunion”” looks into this huge cast reunion as I described above. “Evolving Alice”” show about Jovovich keeps playing Alice fresh. “In “Design & Build: The World of Resident Evil: Retribution” looks into creating the gigantic sets for this gigantic film. “Resident Stuntman”” gives a look into the action stunts with stunt coordinator Nick Powell. Lastly, “Code: Mika” is a short look with star Mika Nakashima, as she reprises her role as “J-Pop Girl”.

The rest of the bonus features include various cast, director and producer commentary tracks. They each provide different perspectives from the production.  There is also on final featurette ““Drop (Un)Dead: The Creatures”, which is a look into the various creatures from the franchise with the cast/crew. There is also an interactive map called ” Project Alice: The Interactive Database”,” which will allows you to investigate the living, the dead and the undead of the “Resident Evil”. I would also like to note that “The Complete Series: Resident Evil 1-5” will also be available on Blu-ray with UltraViolet starting December 21st, including each 2D feature film in the Resident Evil franchise.

IGN Offers “Evil Dead” Fans a Chance to Meet Bruce Campbell

Media Mikes is teaming up with IGN to offer the chance of a lifetime to the ultimate “Evil Dead” fans. By going to the Facebook link below fans can explain why they are the biggest “Evil Dead” fan. When they do this they will be entered to win prizes from Sony (including a television and Blu-Ray DVD player), a poster and the chance to have an exclusive premiere viewing of the new red band trailer WITH BRUCE CAMPBELL!

Click “here” for more details: http://bit.ly/MeetBruceCampbell

Blu-ray Review “Resident Evil: Damnation”

Directed by: Makoto Kamiya
Starring: Matthew Mercer, Dave Wittenberg, Courtenay Taylor, Val Tasso, Robin Sachs, Wendee Lee, Salli Saffioti
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 25, 2012

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“Resident Evil: Damnation” is the CGI animated sequel to “Resident Evil: Degeneration”. I wasn’t a mega big fan of “Degeneration”. I thought they could have done much better with the “Resident Evil” franchises’ first trip to CGI animation. Well “Damnation” is the answer that “Resident Evil” fans have been looking for. It follows the continuing efforts of special agent Leon Kennedy as he tries to reveal Umbrella Corporation evil-doings.  My only issue with the film was that it was a perfect specimen for 3D.  I have no idea why Sony didn’t put this out as a 3D Blu-ray release, it would have been amazing.  Nonetheless, the film is action packed and packed with some amazing effects.

Sony’s official synopsis: “Kennedy sneaks into a small Eastern Europe country to verify rumors that Bio Organic Weapons (B.O.W.s) are being used in war. Right after his infiltration, the US government orders him to leave immediately. Determined to uncover the truth, Leon ignores the order and enters the battlefield to end the chain of tragedies caused by the B.O.W.s.”

Sony’s release delivers a combo pack including the Blu-ray of the film, as well as the Ultraviolet digital streaming version of the film. The 1080p transfer looks absolutely perfect and is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  I was literally blown away with the video presentation. But like I said this would have been 10x better it was delivered in 3D.  The audio track is also amazing packing a sharp Dolby TrueHD 5.1.  The film is major action packed and literally gave my surround sound a run for its money.

The special features are good but not amazing. There is a behind-the-scenes featurette called “The DNA of Damnation”, which dives into the production but is a little short. “Las Plagas: Organisms of War” looks into the creatures that were created in the film. There is a funny gag reel included on English version, I always love it when CGI films show their faux funny side. Lastly there is a conceptual art gallery, which is actually quite impressive since this showed the origin of where these designs started.