DVD Review: Battle Royale

This week’s selection of  ╬D  Recommendation is the epic Japanese Thriller “Battle Royale”, and this is worth a watch…this completely puts “The Hunger Games” to shame.

LOWDOWN:

“Battle Royale” is a 2000 Japanese thriller film, adapted from the 1999 novel of the same name by Koushun Takami. It is the final film directed by Kinji Fukasaku, was written to screenplay by his son Kenta Fukasaku, and stars Takeshi Kitano.

The film tells the story of Shuya Nanahara, a high-school student struggling with the death of his father who is forced by the government to compete in a deadly game, where the students must kill each other in order to win. The film aroused both domestic and international controversy, and was either banned outright or deliberately excluded from distribution in several countries

REVIEW:
The cast in this film is chock full of Japanese Stars. Kitano Takeshi (Kitano) plays the teacher that basically plays the ringleader. If you have watched spike TV, you have seen him before. This is the actor that plays as “Vic Ramono” on MXC. The rest of the cast is comprised of Japanese teen pop idols. Most notably, the gorgeous Chiaki Kuriyama (Chigusa). You probably know her too. She was Gogo Yubari in Kill Bill Vol 1. Ando Masanobu (Kiriyama) plays the most menacing villain I have ever seen.

Asside from the classic Japanese blood sprays and the amount of ammo some of the guns put out, there is great attention to detail in this film. From what I have read, since the author (Kinji Fukasaku) of the original book directed the film, everything is kept true to the book as close as possible. Every time a student dies, their names appear on the screen in the order they died. Inside the main building, there is huge system of screens that show who is dead and what not. Anyway, that screen is exact on the names as well as the ‘danger zone’ map. I had to look twice to realize that. That is damn good editing right there.

Battle Royale is a film that has affected many, many people. There are rabid fans of Battle Royale and there are even more people that hate it. Let me tell you why. Battle Royale is a film that exercises its right to explore an idea. Many films have great ideas but most are poorly realized. Battle Royale is simply an awesome movie about one of the most hypothetically traumatic things that could ever happen to teenagers. For those that don’t know, the film focuses on what happens when a group of high school students are sent to an abandoned island to kill each other. What brings such a bizarre idea to fruition includes civil unrest, teenage anxiety, and a nation literally terrorized by their youth. It’s set in Japan and though it is just a movie it still hit pretty close to reality due to current problems with Japanese youth. In fact, the film was poorly received by the government who feared that the release of the film would incite riots and other such acts of mayhem by the same youth which it focused on. The problem is the same the world around. Young people are much more volatile than they ever were say 20-30 years ago and Battle Royale captures the essence of the horror that today’s youth would face going into such a circumstance. Friends kill other friends and bullies all to survive. At the same time they get to live out those videogames that they loved to play at home.

The problem is that there can be only one survivor of this island massacre, this only adds extra pressure to the already unprepared children who have to fight for their lives. What is truly shocking is that the actors and actresses who have been selected to portray these teens are around the same ages of their characters. They aren’t the aging 20-30 somethings that just happen to look young; they are literally teenagers. This flick has some serious bite! It’s such a great comment on how we are living in the 21st century in a time when frequently the fear for a country comes from within rather than outside forces.

There are no easy or mindless deaths in Battle Royale. The violent scenes make the point that violence and death are not cool or funny. This is not Kill Bill; every character in Battle Royale has value as a living, breathing human being. It may sound corny to say that the movie is an emotional roller-coaster ride, but it truly is – having dared to give us three dimensional people who bleed when they are cut, the Director sometimes further dares to cruelly follow scenes of tragedy with jarring moments of biting, dark and sarcastic wit.

If this was an American movie, the class would be played by people in their twenties and thirties. Two or three of the students would be given a lot of screen time and the rest would be faceless cannon fodder. Five seconds after the opening titles, you would know who was going to survive. Despite its odd premise, Battle Royale seems closer to reality because its teenagers really are teenagers and it allows no comforting certainties about who lives or dies.

The true genius of Battle Royale lies in the talented playing of the entire cast. Although young, not one of them strikes a dud note and the script gives almost all of the students a chance to shine at some point. The fight scenes are not staged in the style of ‘Enter The Dragon’ – the kids are not weapons experts or Karate champions. We see them kill each other but we are not invited to hate them – they are, after all, children and they are scared and desperate. Even a student who takes to killing with apparent relish deserves our sympathy.

OVERALL:
“Battle Royale” is one of the most controversial and challenging movies ever made.The film is very gory and violent,but it’s also witty,satirical and thought provoking.The concept of “Battle Royale” is pretty simple.The act of Battle Royale decrees that once a year a class of 9th graders is chosen at random,stranded on a small island,and armed with random weapons.The kids are also outfitted with strange necklaces that monitor their locations and life functions,and explode if more than one student is alive at the end of 72 hours.The kids are forced to become savage killers,and the movie provides them with interesting personalities and human reactions to the horrible situation in which they find themselves.The acting is brilliant and the violence is horrific and merciless.The film is very exciting and well-photographed.A masterpiece that needs to be seen by every true movie fan everywhere.

†††††
5 templar crosses out of 5
MUST WATCH…like right now…WATCH IT

TRAILER:


TEMPLAR NOTE:

Criticized by Japanese politicians when it was first released in 2000, the movie became a huge hit at home and in much of Asia, spawning a popular manga series, inspiring a sequel and generating memorabilia from costumes to card games and action figures.

The film was a mainstream domestic blockbuster, becoming one of the ten highest grossing films in Japan and was released in 22 countries worldwide. It received global audience and critical acclaim and is often regarded as one of Japan’s most famous films, as well as one of Fukasaku’s best films.

Game Review: "Slender"

“Slender” is a free indie-developed psychological horror/survival horror video game released in June 2012 for PC and Mac. The game is based on horror creepypasta, the Slender Man.

LOWDOWN:
Lost in the forest, you seek out the lost 8 pages of the manuscript with nothing but a flashlight. Written on these 8 pages are parts of a story of the local internet myth, Slender Man, a man who simply follows and watches you, slowly entrancing you with his stare, driving you to insanity until you can do nothing but stand there and stare yourself to death. Welcome to the world of internet freeware game Slender from Parsec Productions.

Slender Man is an entity that follows the player. He resembles a tall, skinny man dressed in a dark-colored suit with a featureless pale, white face. Slender Man appears far away at first, and proceeds to get closer with every additional note that the player collects. He will also teleport to catch up to the player, and may even fully disappear from view at times. Nowhere is safe, as he can show up anywhere at any time, though he is often found trailing slightly behind the player. As the Slender Man gets nearer, the camera’s recording will start to become distorted. If the Slender Man gets too close, the screen will fade to complete static, the Slender Man’s face will appear on the recording, and the game will end. 

REVIEW:
Slender is a short game that is graphically on par with a high school gaming project from 2001, however do not let that deter you. One part Alan Wake, one part atmosphere of Fatal Frame, you are on the edge of your seat as you seek out the manuscripts. This game is entirely built upon the tension it creates as you walk around, there are no attacks, no special moves or fancy cut scenes. Slender relies entirely on your fear. It is just you and the ever watching eyes of the Slender Man. Slender, it is without a doubt, the scariest game I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Just finishing the brief game’s only task (find all 8 notes) is a marathon of mental perseverance. I wanted to give up on more than one occasion because I was so creeped out. The game is incredibly simple and I think that’s part of its genius. You walk through the woods, abandoned buildings and stranded farm equipment in search of eight notes left behind by somebody. Each note reveals a little bit more about the Slender Man and each note picked up results in an increase in intensity. In terms of audio there’s a sound of your character’s heartbeat, her footsteps, wind blowing through the trees and that’s about it. You’re given a flashlight, no way of defending yourself, and the ability to sprint. The game is set in a first person perspective, making it all the more horrific. Slender does what most horror movies almost never get right: pacing, tension and atmosphere. I don’t want to give anything away because this game relies entirely upon the tension created and the payoffs, but if you shut the light off, turn up the sound and focus you will have a wonderful time.

OVERALL:
the game is free to download and free to play at www.slendergame.com. I would highly recommend anyone who wants to burn an hour or two playing a game to download this as soon as possible.


†††††
5 templar crosses out of 5


It is a thing of beauty in terms of creating a feeling without depending on graphics. We are becoming spoiled with great graphics and forgetting that sometimes the best scares come from the things we can’t see.

TRAILER:

-Brian Lansangan
Follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

*New Silent Hill Revelation 3D Trailer

Open Road Films and Sony Pictures has just released the trailer for “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D”, the upcoming sequel to 2006’s epic horror film “Silent Hill”.

Based on the groundbreaking video game franchise, SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D is the sequel to the hit film SILENT HILL, which opened to number one at the U.S. box office and took in nearly $100 million at the worldwide box office. Featuring an unparalleled horror experience, Konami’s Silent Hill franchise has captivated fans for more than a decade and has spawned a hit comic book series, graphic novels, collectible action figures and numerous soundtracks from rock bands. In SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D, Heather Mason (Clemens) and her father (Bean) have been on the run, always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn’t fully understand. On the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by horrific nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she’s not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her forever.

“Silent Hill: Revelation 3D”, Directed by Michael J. Bassett (Solomon Kane, Deathwatch), original cast members Sean Bean (Game Of Thrones, Lord Of The Rings), Deborah Kara Unger (The Game, The Samaritan) and Radha Mitchell (Man On Fire, The Crazies) return in the film, while newcomers to the series include Adelaide Clemens (X-Men Origins, upcoming The Great Gatsby), Kit Harington (HBO’s Game Of Thrones), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) and Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, The Artist). ‘Silent Hill: Revelation 3D’ opens on October 26th in the US 

Also check out our original post on the “Silent Hill” house announcement at Universal’s Halloween Horror nights by clicking the link below

“Silent Hill” to be featured at HHN

-Brian Lansangan
Follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

*NEW "The Day" Poster and Trailer Released

Anchor Bay has unveiled the new poster and trailer for their sci-fi horror-thriller “The Day”, the film is scheduled for a August 29th release.”The Day” is described as a nightmarish 24-hour look into the lives of a band of survivors fighting to stay alive in a post-apocalyptic world.

A group of five survivors, armed with shotguns, axes and machetes, wander the back roads of a ravaged landscape looking for refuge in The Day, a terrifying look into a post-apocalyptic future. As war ravages humanity, destroying civilization and most of life on earth, the survivors realize they must do whatever it takes to stay alive. Lost, starving, and exhausted, they seek shelter in a seemingly safe abandoned farmhouse. However, while searching for food and resources, they unwittingly set off a trap signaling to their ruthless predators lying in wait to begin their deadly attack. With food and ammunition dwindling, the group must make a desperate final stand–over a 24 hour period–battling for their ultimate survival.

The Film stars: Shawn Ashmore (X-Men Trilogy), Ashley Bell (The Last Exorcism), Michael Eklund (Watchmen, 88 Minutes), Cory Hardrict (Battle: Los Angeles, Gran Torino), Dominic Monaghan (Lost, The Lord of the Rings trilogy), and Shannyn Sossamon (A Knight’s Tale, Road to Nowhere),
-Brian Lansangan
follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

ComicCon 2012: "Silent Hill" to be featured at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

Universal announced at this year’s ComicCon that “Silent Hill” based on the video game will be featured in this year’s Halloween Horror Nights at both Hollywood and Orlando locations.

Universal Studios is re-creating the creepy town of Silent Hill as a haunted house-style attraction for the annual “Halloween Horror Nights” event at both their Hollywood and Orlando-based amusement parks this fall.

During an interview, John Murdy of Universal Studios Hollywood confirmed that the replica of the haunted town will incorporate many of the series’ signature settings and monsters into the attraction: “Fog World, Other World, Pyramid Head, the nurses, all of the incredible characters and environments that the fans of Silent Hill love, whether it’s the video game or the movie have grown to love, we’re bringing them to life at Universal Halloween Horror Nights.”

Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Studios’ seasonal horror-themed event has been running for twenty years, creating rides, haunted houses, and other attractions based on the studios’ scariest films.

Universal is producing a new film based on the franchise, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. The upcoming film plot is loosely based Silent Hill 3, though it incorporates elements from first Silent Hill film as well.

SOURCE: Polygon, Complex

-Brian Lansangan
follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

ComicCon 2012: True Blood Season 5 ComicCon Trailer

A new trailer presented before the True Blood panel in Ballroom 20 teased the drama coming up in the rest of True Blood: Season 5.

Even though Season 5 of True Blood is currently airing now, HBO released a trailer that shows lots of juicy scenes to come in the remainder of season 5, including plenty of sex and lots of drama.

True Blood is an American television series created and produced by Alan Ball. It is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, detailing the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional, small town in northwestern Louisiana. The series centers on the adventures of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a telepathic waitress with an otherworldly quality.




-Brian Lansangan
follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

ComicCon 2012: Resident Evil: Damnation Trailer

The exclusive worldwide Comic-Con trailer debut of the CGI-animated sequel Resident Evil: Damnation.Resident Evil: Damnation, known as Biohazard: Damnation in Japan, is a feature-length computer-animated horror 3D film by Capcom and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan. It is a sequel to Resident Evil: Degeneration, and is planned for a cinema release on October 27, 2012, premièring in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

The film will be directed by Makoto Kamiya and produced by Hiroyuki Kobayashi.The story of Resident Evil: Damnation will revolve around bio-organic weapons used in the European warzone, and will see the return of Leon S. Kennedy as the protagonist.

-Brian Lansangan
follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

Comic-Con 2012: The Walking Dead Season 3 Trailer Premiere!!

AMC has released the trailer for THE WALKING DEAD Season 3, recently at this year’s COMICCON.

The third season of AMC’s television series The Walking Dead is scheduled to premiere on October 14, 2012 and will feature 16 episodes. The series is based on the series of comic books of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard; it was developed for television byFrank Darabont, and is executive produced by Robert Kirkman and Glen Mazzara.

“If we see you out here, anywhere near our people… I’ll kill you.” Don’t miss the season 3 premiere of The Walking Dead, Oct. 14. Only on AMC.




-Brian Lansangan

follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

Friday the 13th Special – Fan Film Corner: The Nightmare ends on Halloween 2

Now that Comic-Con is in FULL swing and Friday the 13th has dawn upon us, I thought it would be really cool to do a review on a Horror Fan Film featuring 5 of the greatest horror icons in film history. Fan Film Corner presents: “The Nightmare Ends on Halloween 2”.

HAPPY FRIDAY the 13th!!!! everyone from all of us here at Templar Digital




LOWDOWN:

The Nightmare Ends on Halloween II, A direct sequel to the 2004 horror mash up, “The Nightmare Ends on Halloween II” recaps the very last scene of the first film and reveals the outcome of Freddy Krueger’s fate. Will he survive a battle royale against Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Leatherface, or will Pinhead reclaim Freddy’s demonic soul?

REVIEW:

I chose to do the review on the sequel then its predecessor because the sequel had more characters and more intense action while still keeping the horror theme going. Picking up directly where the first one left off, Chris R. Notarile’s eagerly awaited sequel to his much admired original horror short gets right down to stirring brass tacks and delivers exactly what it promises with Freddy Krueger facing off against his formidable peers Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and Leatherface in a battle for his very soul. Notarile stages the wall-to-wall fast’n’furious fight set pieces with his trademark lean’n’mean skill and brio; it’s a total treat to see these major horror icons vigorously mix it up in an extremely brutal no-holds-barred manner (for example, Freddy kicks Leatherface right where it hurts most). Roberto Lombardi portrays Freddy with a burning rage and vitality that’s impressive and entertaining in equal measure. Of course, Freddy gets to spit out a few choice terse one-liners amid all the fierce butt-stomping (all-time favorite line; Krueger to Jason: “They should have drowned you at birth!”). Hector De La Rosa as Jason, Josh Rothman as Michael Myers, Anthony Palmisano as Leatherface, and Kevin Lennon as Pinhead (the latter is voiced by Notarile with appropriate deep and sinister relish) are all likewise sturdy in their roles.

OVERALL:
Super Kudos are in order for Notarile’s polished cinematography and snappy editing as well as the cool rocking soundtrack. But it’s ultimately the sheer go-for-it verve of the whole enterprise that makes it such a blast to watch. Highly recommended.

††††
4 templar crosses out of 5

If you haven’t seen it already it, check it out! It’s good horrific fun and one of my favorite films of Blinky Productions. “The Nightmare Ends on Halloween” is one hell of a ride!!



FILM:




CREDITS:
Roberto Lombardo … Freddy Krueger

Kevin Lennon … Pinhead

Chris R. Notarile … Pinhead (voice)
Josh Rothman … Michael Myers
Jerry Todisco … Jason Voorhees

Hector De La Rosa … Jason Voorhees

Anthony Palmisano… Leatherface / Michael Myers

Produced by Chris R. Notarile
Cinematography by Chris R. Notarile (director of photography) 
Film Editing by Chris R. Notarile 
Casting by Chris R. Notarile 
 Art Direction by Chris R. Notarile
Makeup Department
Chris R. Notarile …. special makeup effects artist 

Special Effects by Shay Fogg ….
Prop builder: Freddy’s Glove by Chris R. Notarile
Special photographic effects Costume and Wardrobe Department by Chris R. Notarile

Blinky Productions

-Brian Lansangan
follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

ComicCon 2012: Watch the First Two Minutes of Dexter’s Season 7 Premiere

Can’t wait for the Season 7 premiere of Dexter on Sept. 30? After all, Season 6 ended with Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) catching Dexter (Michael C. Hall) in the middle of a kill. Fortunately, Showtime feels your pain — get it? — and has put the first two minutes of the new season online after the footage made its debut at Comic-Con on Thursday.


Want to find out how Deb reacts to her discovery? How will Dexter handle his sister seeing his true colors? Watch the revealing clip below:

SOURCE: YAHOO!

-Brian Lansangan
follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84