Tag Archive | "modern-horror"

Green Wake Graphic Novel Review

Posted on September 15, 2011 by

“The highly acclaimed, repeat sellout series from writer KURTIS J. WIEBE and artist RILEY ROSSMO is a riveting tale of loss and horror. In the forgotten town of Green Wake, a string of grisly mutilations leads Morley Mack on the trail of a young woman named Ariel, who is the prime suspect. But when a stranger with startling connections to Ariel arrives under mysterious circumstances, Morley unravels a dark plot with a surprising link to his past.”

Have you read a comic book that visually made you want to spend your whole day examining each and every panel? Studying the line work, trying to figure out how the colors work together so well, looking for anything that could be hidden visually? I said it on each review I did for this series so far and I will not stop now, Riley Rossmo was born to draw this book. If I loved his work on Proof and Cowboy Ninja Viking than it’s official that I am head over heels for what he has done on this book because it is just pure simple perfection.

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The Dead Cell Graphic Novel Review

Posted on September 12, 2011 by

“How would the world be changed if the mentally ill were allowed to determine reality? The Dead Cell explores the experiments of the recently graduated Monica McCoy, and her employment with the secret “Dream Research Program” at Breckenridge State Hospital. While being briefed on the basics, nothing can prepare her for the horrors she encounters upon reporting for duty. What ensues is a tale of madness, reality, and the supernatural chronicling one woman’s journey as she comes face to face with the horror of The Dead Cell.”

I have been treated to Simmons’ work before, but it was not in a horror title (lookup Wannabe‘s). I think overall that the book worked on a high level. However there were a few panels that personally I thought some angles were a little off. Did it distract me from enjoying the book though? No not at all. I think the way that really odd/psychological stuff was depicted came off great.

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Steven Dawes

Fright Night (2011) Movie Review

Posted on August 29, 2011 by

So with summer coming to a close, I’ve finally got some days off from school before I’m back again this fall. After all the HTML learning, numeric coding, interface designing, networking essentials and even Human Relations (only cause it’s required), I was ready for some time off. It seemed to be fortuitous that Fright Night came out in the middle of my break, for I am REALLY in need of some horror shenanigans to blow off some steam.

Now, before I continue on, I have a horrible confession to make. I’m very ashamed to admit this, and my fingers are shaking in fear of this revelation so much that it’s difficult for me to even type right now. But they say the truth shall set you free… so here it goes… *exaggerated gulp* … I’ve never seen the original 1985 Fright Night… *the sounds of crickets can be heard clearly in the distance*.

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Billzilla

Chilling Tales Anthology Review

Posted on August 12, 2011 by

Horror is a subjective state; what one finds horrifying another might find merely gruesome or grotesque. It is within this ambiguity I find myself regarding Chilling Tales: Evil DId I Dwell; Lewd Did I Live. There was horror within to be sure; also within was loneliness, isolation, despair, and a lot of really good writing.

Standout stories for me in this collection included “Tom Chesnutt’s Midnight Blues” by Robert J. Wiersema and “404” by Barbara Roden. Both are among the first three tales and get the anthology off to a great start. “Tom Chesnutt’s” is about a philandering folk singer who inadvertently causes his wife’s death. She haunts him now, not actively rattling chains and moaning but rather showing up at his gigs – a phantom only he can see – as a reminder of his misdeeds. “404” is a distressingly familiar tale about office workers who discover their comrades simply disappear one day. As their numbers dwindle and their isolation increases, they each find themselves coming under the watchful eye of their supervisor.

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Flames

SJGames Week: Kenneth Hite talks about GURPS Horror 4th Edition

Posted on July 28, 2011 by

FlamesRising.com is pleased to present you with a peek inside GURPS Horror 4th Edition from its author, Kenneth Hite. For those of you familiar with his work, you might suspect Kenneth Hite is no stranger to writing about all things dark and terrifying. In this essay, Ken talks about the additions and influences he infused into the new edition.

A New Millennium Of Horror, And Of GURPS Horror

I started writing the Third Edition of GURPS Horror in very late 2000, right about the time that Final Destination, Scream 3, and Urban Legend: The Final Cut were finishing off (with one or another degree of skill and chill) the horror boom of the 1990s. No, wait, I lie. I actually started writing the Third Edition of GURPS Horror in 1998, only I called it Nightmares of Mine at the time, and I was writing it for Iron Crown Enterprises. So I began writing it during the Indian summer of clever, self-referential horror: The Faculty, Fallen, and Gods and Monsters were all part of that horror year. By the time I finished it, Iron Crown had gone bankrupt, and I had folded pretty much the entirety of the horror-gaming advice from Nightmares of Mine into GURPS Horror, Third Edition.

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Flames

SJ Games Week: GURPS Worlds of Horror Preview

Posted on July 26, 2011 by

FlamesRising.com is thrilled to present you with an exclusive preview from Steve Jackson Games as part of our publisher theme week. Today, we take a peek at the upcoming GURPS Infinite Worlds: World of Horror supplement that offers new settings to bring terror to your gaming table.

GURPS Infinite Worlds: Worlds of Horror will detail six alternate Earths where history has taken a turn for the terrifying. Designed as being light on rules and heavy on atmosphere, Worlds of Horror should prove fascinating for anyone who wonders what might have been . . . more horrific. This preview material has been taken from one of those worlds, called Taft-1. The year is 1962, and Stalin still lives. And he has worse allies than Hitler.

For anyone hoping to visit Taft-1, a ***Spoiler Alert*** is in effect for this whole preview.

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Flames

San Diego Comic-Con Hosts World Premiere of “Stitched”

Posted on July 17, 2011 by

Avatar Press and Mischief Maker Studios proudly announce that legendary comic book writer Garth Ennis will be premiering his short film, Stitched, at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday evening, July 21, at 8:15pm in the convention’s Room 6DE. Featuring Ennis’s debut as a filmmaker, Stitched blends supernatural horror with a contemporary war story, creating a terrifying landscape which will be explored further in an ongoing monthly comic book series.

The fifteen-minute long film is written and directed by Garth Ennis, best known as the writer of such best-selling comic books as Preacher, The Punisher, The Boys, and Crossed. A Mischief Maker Studios production, Stitched was produced by Brian Pulido, Francisca Pulido, and Ed Polgardy. Adam Goldfine served as Director of Photography, while both Garth Ennis and William Christensen, the founder of Avatar Press, served as Executive Producers.

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Flames

The Secret of Crickley Hall

Posted on July 16, 2011 by

British author James Herbert has been an international sensation since the publication of his first novel, The Rats, in 1974. His books have sold over forty-two million copies, earning him a comparison to Stephen King in the United Kingdom. Last year, Herbert was presented with the title of Grand Master at the World Horror Convention for his outstanding achievements in the horror genre. Now, he prepares to take the United States by storm with the release of The Secret of Crickley Hall – a blood chilling novel that puts a unique spin on a classic horror theme: the haunted house.

Would you stay in a haunted house for more than one night?

Would you live in a place where ghostly things keep happening? Where a cellar door you know you locked the night before is always open the following morning? Where hushed whimpering is heard? Where white shadows steal through the darkness? Where the presence of evil is all around you?

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Monica Valentinelli

Inside the New Instant Antagonist, The Creepy Cottontail

Posted on July 11, 2011 by

Flames Rising is pleased to announce the latest release in the Instant Antagonists line. The Creepy Cottontail author, Monica Valentinelli (and Flames Rising project Manager) shares some notes on the design and writing process that went into this product.

Having conducted a lot of occult research for my writing — both game-and-story-related — there’s a particular concept that always stands out in my mind. Performing a ritual (both real and/or imagined) is work, but the end result of that “job” doesn’t always yield the same results every time. Take a basic love potion for example. Do you have any idea how many different types of love potions there are? In many cases, not only do you have to get the ritual down pat, but you also have to worry about backlash, timing and the integrity of the materials. Even then, there’s no guarantee that magic will function the same way twice because there’s one-too-many factors that you cannot control.

The “cost” of doing magic is something I feel is often overlooked because some view it as an obstacle that gets in the way of a story or a game. I look at it as a characterization of a protagonist or… in this case… Instant Antagonist.

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Flames

Werewolf the Forsaken Chronicler’s Guide

Posted on June 15, 2011 by

Recently David Hill sent us a Design Essay about his latest World of Darkness product the Forsaken Chronicler’s Guide, which was released in serial format. Now the complete guide is out in eBook format.

You come with me, you’re on a journey. You leave this safe and boring world and strap into a wild ride. You won’t know where you’re going. That’s okay-because I don’t know where I’m taking you. All I know is that life is short, but my teeth and my claws are long. The night awaits us, and I am hungry. Aren’t you hungry, too?
– Anna Koren, Wild Child

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Diabolique Magazine Review

Posted on June 9, 2011 by

I am not a horror movie fanatic. I enjoy them and I look forward to seeing a few of them, but my over-sensitized mentality takes quite a bit to shock while my natural sarcastic side urges me to quip, mock, and make other ‘witty’ comments on the movie as it plays. I blame hours of watching B, C, and D movies, including many episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, for this inclination. Thus, I am a movie fan, just not a fanatic. I do enjoy learning what happened behind the scenes on a set, the often turbulent process a movie takes to actually getting filmed and released, and the other details that surround such endeavors.

If you are of a similar mindset, then you would most likely enjoy Diabolique. Diabolique is a bi-monthly publication for the horror connoisseur and seems to cover everything from vintage horror, to recently released films, to works in progress.

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Nightlife RPG Review

Posted on June 2, 2011 by

What would happen if the cult classic “The Warriors” was set in the early 90’s with all the gangs being various super-natural creatures? You would have the role-playing game Nightlife. Nightlife was released in 1990 and 1991, with two editions and several supplements. It is hard to tell why one game fails to catch, and another game spreads like wild fire. It is also hard not to compare Nightlife with White Wolf’s World of Darkness, even though the two have very few similarities.

Both have vampires and werewolves and both games are set in a punk setting with horror elements. They use d10’s as their die of choice and super-natural creatures have strange awe inspiring powers. However, the similarities end there between the two games.

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100 Horror Adventure Seeds Review

Posted on May 25, 2011 by


100 Horror Adventure Seeds is not a ponderous tome of highly drawn out and detailed adventures that focus on the things that go bump in the night. In this collection the ideas that James sets down are designed to trigger the imagination, not to stifle it. He starts off, quite early in the book, with the trials and pitfalls of horror gaming in general and moves on to the relative usefulness of a more structured module. It quickly becomes apparent that James is not a fan of the structured module. He does admit that they are good introductions for a new Game Master to a system, but eventually these will hinder a Game Master due to their lack of GM creativity.

James then describes why a more traditional module format tends to fail, and the main reason is quite simply the players. A player tends to have this nasty tendency to think for themselves and to have reactions that are not completely scripted. It is true that a Game Master can nudge and coddle a group back onto the modules path, but then that strips the players of their freedoms. With this collection, I believe James sets troubled Game Masters down the correct path where the plot is highly fluid and adaptable.

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Scenes from the Second Storey Review

Posted on May 23, 2011 by

Each story in this anthology was based on a particular song by the band God’s Machine, and in particular the album Scenes from the Second Storey. Being utterly unfamiliar with either I was at a loss to see how each work coincided with it’s assigned song. I simply read each story as it was presented.

My interest was heightened when I discovered that the writers were either from Australia, or near that region. As I read I picked up subtle differences between ‘American’ writing and that of their homeland, I am sure this affected my expectations within each tale and my eventual opinion. I delighted in this look at another part of the world and how they write and construct a story. Several of these authors interested me enough that I wrote their names down for my next visit to a bookstore; though it appears that most do short stories I hope to find their other works.

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Hiram Grange and the Chosen One Review

Posted on May 12, 2011 by

Hiram Grange is a bizarro-world James Bond. So far described as an “extremely ugly” man with “piercing blue eyes and a hawkish nose,” a man that nevertheless “moves with a deadly grace,” Grange can give picture-perfect, shaken-not-stirred Bond a run for his money. Hiram has a way with the ladies and has repeatedly saved the world, despite his predilection for alcohol (particularly absinthe, though Bushmills Irish Whiskey plays a large role in Chosen One). Oh, and he also has an unhealthy obsession with Jodie Foster.

In Chosen One, Kevin Lucia brings to light a different side of Hiram, one less encumbered by his vices and more concerned about saving the girl and the world.

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Steven Dawes

Hell House Novel Review

Posted on April 22, 2011 by

Good evening… and welcome to another episode of “Horror Masterpiece Theatre”. I am your host Steven Dawes. As some of you may know, I’ve always found ghost stories to be entertaining and interesting. I find them so interesting in fact that was a co-founder and the general manager of local ghost hunting group for a few years. While I’ve since retired my ghost hunting days, I still enjoy a ghostly tale or three. And it was here where my unexpected visit to “Hell House” began.

Over the last few semesters at my school, a fellow student (who by night is known as “Craig”) has been in several of the same classes I’ve attended. As fate would have it, we were partnered up for a project together last semester, and as we worked on our project we got to know each other and discovered our mutual appreciation for the paranormal.

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Flames

Gary Braunbeck’s Introduction from To Each Their Darkness

Posted on April 18, 2011 by

Explore the world of writing horror from a Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild award-winning author’s point of view. Gary Braunbeck uses film, fiction and life experience to elucidate the finer points of storytelling, both in and out of genre. This part-autobiographical, always analytical book looks at how stories develop and what makes them work-or not work-when they’re told.

Be warned: reality is as brutal as fiction. Rob Zombie, police shootings, William Goldman and human misery are all teachers to the horror neophyte, and Braunbeck uses their lessons to make To Each Their Darkness a whirlwind of horror and hope for the aspiring writer.

Flames Rising is pleased to present the introduction to this book by Gary Braunbeck.

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Flames

Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein Available Now!

Posted on April 11, 2011 by

What if Frankenstein got it right?

What if Victor Frankenstein had embraced his discoveries rather than seeking to destroy them?

Rejected by his peers and his family, hunted by the Creature, Victor slips into the background of history. Manipulating people, events, whole countries, Frankenstein slowly plans and executes his revenge.

Carved out of the Balkan conflicts of the mid-1800’s, Victor Frankenstein hijacks the unification of Romania and creates his own country: Promethea. Established on high ideals of equality and scientific advancement for the good of all, the reality is very different.

Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein is a detailed, fascinating game setting, a terrifyingly plausible alternative history and a fiction anthology; a gothic horror fantasy that will appeal to gamers and the general public alike.

A standalone product, Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein uses a version of the Heresy Engine system and is fully compatible with the Victoriana 2nd Edition, also available from Cubicle 7 Entertainment.

Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Flames

Introduction to Whedonistas by Lynne M. Thomas and Deborah Stanish

Posted on April 4, 2011 by

FlamesRising.com is pleased to present you with the introduction from Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them. This collection of essays was edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Deborah Stanish, and was recently published through Mad Norwegian Press.

Introduction

    Lynne’s Story:

    You may know me as a Chick Who Digs Time Lords, but I’m also an avowed Whedonista. Although Whedon fandom is not my primary active fandom (that belongs to the Doctor), the Whedonverse has been a part of my life for just about as long.

    I mentioned in Chicks Dig Time Lords that watching Doctor Who got me through much of my pregnancy; Buffy the Vampire Slayer got me through oh, I dunno, my whole adult life.

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    Flames

    Interview with Author and Game Designer Robin Laws

    Posted on March 24, 2011 by

    Flames Rising is pleased to present an in-depth interview with author and game designer Robin Laws. An industry veteran, Laws has published role-playing games, supplements, novels and fiction for several companies. His works range from The Esoterroists, produced by Pelgrane Press, to his upcoming Pathfinder novel, which will be released through Paizo this spring.

    Today, we sit down with Robin to discuss horror in role-playing games, his work on the GUMSHOE system, and his endeavors as an editor and novelist.

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    11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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