Paramount Pictures’ horror film franchise “Paranormal Activity” is spawning a new virtual reality video game. VRWERX, a division of Beast Media Group dedicated to virtual reality content, is announcing a “Paranormal Activity VR” video game to be released in 2016 for all major head-mounted displays including HTC Vive, Sony’s Project Morpheus, Oculus Rift; PC; mobile; and consoles, including Xbox One and PlayStation® 4.
“Paranormal Activity” is the second highest-grossing horror franchise of all time and has earned more than $800 million worldwide to date. The sixth film in the series, “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension,” will be released in October.
“’Paranormal Activity’ is the perfect property for VRWERX. This franchise represents a huge audience that loves visceral, unbridled terror, which we intend to intensify through the incredible immersion that only virtual reality enables,” said Russell Naftal, Beast MG Co-Managing Partner. “Our goal is for the Paranormal Activity VR video game to not only be the scariest game you’ve ever played, but the scariest experience you’ve ever had!”
Industry veterans Alex Barder and Russell Naftal recently joined forces to launch Beast MG, an entertainment company with an IP-centric focus that leverages its two-way relationship with audiences to provide content with greater engagement. The two then launched VRWERX to focus specifically on virtual reality content, with a game development team comprised of some of the industry’s most innovative game designers and developers, whose credits include Call of Duty, Homefront, Madden, Defiance and many others. The division is not only creating games but also has several other virtual reality entertainment experiences in development across multiple genres.
“There’s never been a more exciting time to be in our space. The convergence of new platforms, original formats, revolutionary ways to engage audiences and advanced monetization strategies have given birth to a renaissance in media and entertainment,” said Alex Barder, Beast MG Co-Managing Partner. “We’re embracing the future and building an agile business that innovates, evolves and delivers entertainment content to a fragmented global audience who watches, plays and experiences on their terms.”
“Virtual reality provides exciting new ways for audiences to interact with our film franchises,” said LeeAnne Stables, President of Consumer Products for Paramount Pictures. “’Paranormal Activity’ is an ideal fit and we look forward to further terrifying our fans through these new technologies and platforms.”
I don’t know about you guys, but I love to blow shit up. Not in real-life or anything (I swear), but through the magic of technology and from the safety of my own couch where I can eat chips and wear pajama pants. So thank you, Rebellion, for creating Zombie Army Trilogy. Not only can I satisfy my urge to wreak havoc, but I can also do some right in the digital world by taking out Nazi zombies including an undead version of the most hated man in history, that Volkswagen-driving bastard, the Fuhrer himself.
The plot is fairly simple: Point. Shoot. Kill Nazi zombies. You can choose to play as one of eight characters (four men, four women. Love it.) for either a solo game or a multiplayer venture (for the PS4 ‘horde’ (multiplayer) mode, you will need to be a PlayStation Plus member).
With your skin selected, you then get to pick your artillery. Unfortunately, you can only hold onto three weapons at a time (fortunately, that doesn’t include the various grenades and other tiny things that go boom) – one rifle, one automatic machine gun and one handgun, so choose wisely. The weapons menu takes you through the strengths and weaknesses of each weapon (twenty-five all together!). There are also a special few weapons hidden throughout the game that pack a little extra punch with your destruction, so keep an eye out for the Panzerfaust and my personal favourite, the Preacher. Those two are like ZAT’s equivalent to Doom’s BFG. Oh, yes.
With weapons selected, you’re thrust into the first episode, “The Berlin Horror.” Of the three episodes that make up Zombie Army Trilogy, each contains five chapters. That means you’ll be spending a fair amount of time perfecting your headshot and chucking your Stielhandgranates into hordes of the undead. Super fun!
Your missions take you through the German countryside and into the streets of Berlin with one goal: take out Hitler. For those who like a little historical accuracy with their reanimated corpses, real-life locations like the Fuhrerbunker make an appearance. And then there’s just your run-of-the-mill, creepy locations: abandoned buildings, churches, subway stations, train yards, libraries, etc.
The zombies that stand between you and the Fuhrer vary in size, strength and assholery. Some of the undead wander haplessly towards you intent on eating your brains, some are skeletons that can be despatched with a swift kick, others are undead suicide bombers jerks and some even have guns and knives and will not hesitate to cut a bitch. You don’t have to worry about finding health throughout the game as you automatically heal yourself over a small amount of time (unless you’re under constant attack, then you die).
The bosses aren’t too tough and can always be taken out with one or two or seven headshots, even the final boss, Giant-Zombie-Mecha-Hitler. Horror movie fans will appreciate two of the bigger, badder bosses – An American Werewolf in London-style, roided up asshole with a machine gun and a chainsaw-wielding, Texas Chain Saw Massacre-type that even does ol’ Leatherface’s signature swing. Also, the music of the game is reminiscent of John Carpenter’s 80s-era synthesizer jams. That, along with the nice visuals, add to the creepy atmosphere and overall enjoyability of the game.
However a few minor glitches interrupted the fun on more than one occasion. It happened twice relatively early on in the game where the objective was complete but the next area would not unlock. In particular there was one spot where a zombie sniper was stuck in his own glitchy version of the Running Man, but he was well-hidden so it wasn’t apparent he was the problem. With a quick Google check, it became clear that others had encountered the same issue. The solution was simply finding the glitch and shooting it in the head.
I can’t say enough about this game. It took me way longer to complete than I expected and I enjoyed every bloody, gory, Nazi-killing moment of it. I generally prefer puzzle-laden, subtle survival horror games that require more brains than brawn, but this game is just plain fun. So if shoot-‘em-up, tactical war games are your thing (or even if they aren’t), then you’ll have a blast (total pun intended) playing Zombie Army Trilogy.
Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. The newsletter is late. I know it, you know it, so I won’t quibble about it. The good news is that you’re still going to get to see what great books JournalStone has for you this month.
Gary A. Braunbeck’s Keepers is out this month, and you won’t want to miss it. We have been excited from the very first day that we signed Gary, and this book will let you know why. You really will want to order this one today.
You’ll also want to get the latest issue of Dark Discoveries Magazine. If you have ever looked to the future with a touch of fear because of the dizzying pace of scientific progress, this is the issue for you.
I haven’t really mentioned this before, but I hope you’ve noticed the links provided in the newsletter that take you to book and magazine reviews posted on the Hellnotes website. We have a group of reviewers who work hard to find the latest in horror fiction and let you know what books are worth your hard earned money. Before you buy any horror book, take a look and see if we have reviewed it. You may find that it keeps you from making a mistake, or it could make you look forward even more to buying that book you’ve had your eye on. Just so you know, we also review new release movies as well as those on DVD.
I hope you have had a great summer so far. If you haven’t been able to take a vacation…what are you waiting for? Go. Have fun. Relax. Oh, and enjoy a JournalStone book.
Until next month…
NEW JOURNALSTONE RELEASES FOR JULY
Get the following titles, as well as many other exciting offerings, at JournalStone BookStore.
“The Keepers are coming…” The last words of a man who died in the middle of a highway through Cedar Hill, Ohio, still echo in Gil Stewart’s ears when he discovers a dying dog in his front yard. At the same moment a package arrives on his doorstep. A package holding hope that a past young love might not be lost after all.
The Keepers are coming, and they’re bringing with them memories Gil has spent most of a lifetime forgetting, memories leaking through fractures in his psyche.
The Keepers are coming, and the animals – the harbingers – are acting strange.
The Keepers are coming. But from where? And why?
Before the day is over, Gil will have the answers, and the world he thought he knew will be irrevocably altered.
Identical twins share a connection that even modern science doesn’t fully understand. Closer than mere blood can bind, deeper than any sibling bond, one cell, one mind, one beginning.
Alannah Clark has found the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. A magician – but magicians have secrets – secrets that might outweigh Alannah’s own dark corners. But nothing remains hidden forever.
Magic, thrills, romance, suspense, and sorrow are the emotions of John R. Little’s newest and darkest thoughts. Fans are sure to get a thrill ride as he unleashes his newest adventure.
It’s time once again for a one-two-three-four punch of Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST3K to those in the know, from the cool folks over at Shout! Factory. Now we all know what MST3K is, right? Even if you’re a young’un and grew up after this awesome and much loved comedy TV show went off the air, I’d like to think that everyone has seen episodes of it somewhere. Failing that, if you’re a poor thing that’s been living in a cave for years, that you have at least heard about it and know how it influenced the vast majority of funny people in the comedy biz today. But just in case you don’t know about MST3K, here’s the nickel tour. It was a TV show that ran from 1988 to 1999 about a guy marooned on the Satellite of Love way up in space who has to watch cheesy B-grade (or often Z-grade) movies as some sort of deranged experiment. In order to survive his mind-numbing ordeal, our hero made some robot friends and together they make fun of, or “riff on,” all the bad movies. And as simple as that sounds, something that fans of bad movies have done for just about forever, it was revolutionary to see it on television. Oh and not to mention hilarious. So much so, that even all these years after its last episode aired, it still has a rabid cult following, is constantly name dropped by comedians, and lives on in two distinct incarnations today. Check out Rifftrax.com and Cinematictitanic.com for more info on both of those.
Thankfully for us old school MSTies (MST3K fans) the good people over at Shout! Factory have continued to put out the original television show on DVD for years. This four pack is their latest offering and it’s a must have for fans of offbeat comedy and low budget, usually horrible, genre movies. Furthermore, Shout! Factory wisely decided to put out two episodes featuring Joel and two featuring Mike, thus all fans of MST3K, regardless of what camp they fall into on the Joel vs. Mike debate, will be happy.
As for the features in this four-pack that are ripe for the riffing, you get some cold way spy action (more like melodrama), 1960s style, with Agent for H.A.R.M. Moving back to the golden game of the 1950s, you there is a cautionary tale of juvenile delinquency in Teen-age Crime Wave. Staying in the 50s, there is some classic big bug monster madness with Earth vs. The Spider. As a big bug fan, this is easily my favorite episode of the four, not that there is a bad one in this bunch. Last but not least is another flick from the 1950s all about crime, truckers, and those crazy beatniks, if you can dig it, called Daddy-O. These four movies are perfect little time capsules of when they were made and great, albeit cheesy, examples of their individual genres. While they may be hard to watch on their own now, thankfully you have Joel, Mike, and the bots to help you make it through them.
On to the extras that Shout! Factory has included in this four DVD bundle. There are four mini posters for the four movies, each with the added cool of Tom Servo and Crow. There are an impressive five featurettes to be found here. There is “Beatnik Blues: Investigating Daddy-O,” “This Movie Has Legs: Looking Back at Earth vs. The Spider,” “Film it Again, Sam: The Katzman Chronicles,” “Tommy Cook: From Jungle Boy to Teenage Jungle,” and “Peter Mark Richman: In H.A.R.M.’s Way.” If that wasn’t enough MST3K goodness, there are hour wraps for each episode that were used when they first aired.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXXIII is a strong MST3K collection. It really has a bit of everything: horror/sci-fi, spy stories, crime, juvenile delinquents, beatniks, lots of comedy, and both Joel and Mike. For MSTies, this is a no-brainer. Go get it when it comes out July 28th. If you’ve never seen MST3K before, then this boxset is a great way to start. Consider it highly recommended.
Original theatrical poster key art will be on the reverse side of the wrap. Extras and specs for these “Collector’s Editions” are in the works and will be announced sometime in August.
Official street date is 10/20 but if you buy them from us directly we’ll ship it out two weeks early PLUS include a limited edition free 18″ x 24″ poster of the new design (while supplies last).
Pre-order BORDELLO OF BLOOD @ https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-comedy/tales-from-the-crypt-presents-bordello-of-blood-collector-s-edition“
Proving its might as a global pop culture phenomenon, Syfy’s Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! chomped its way to two billion Twitter impressions – doubling the one billion impressions for 2014’s Sharknado 2: The Second One. Generating more Twitter activity than every episode of the final season of Mad Men, every episode of this season’s The Bachelor and Hillary Clinton’s presidential announcement, Sharknado 3 trended #1 in the United States and #2 worldwide.
Following this record-breaking social media performance, Syfy and The Asylum announced they have greenlit Sharknado 4, expected to make landfall in July 2016. After destroying Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C. and much of the Eastern Seaboard, where will the sharks strike next? And will April Wexler (Tara Reid) live or die? Fans can decide if April makes it to Sharknado 4 by voting #AprilLives OR #AprilDies on Twitter or by visiting http://Sharknado.Syfy.com.
Said Chris Regina, Senior Vice President, Program Strategy, Syfy: “Sharknado 3 may have devoured half of America’s celebrities, but there are still hungry fans and sharks to feed, so the adventure continues — not in a galaxy far, far away, but on your television sets next July.”
Additional Social Media Highlights for Sharknado 3:
· Sharknado 3 trended throughout July 22 across social platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
· Sharknado 3 was the most social program on television in Twitter activity on July 22, with Syfy’s Sharknado 1 and Sharknado 2: The Second One also ranked in the Top 5 programs.
· Syfy was the most social TV network in Twitter mentions on July 22.
· Video clips from Sharknado 3 have generated nearly 6 million views to date, including 4.1 million on Syfy’s YouTube channel.
· The social campaign asking fans to decide if April (Tara Reid) makes it to Sharknado 4 by voting #AprilLives OR #AprilDies on Twitter or by visiting Sharknado.Syfy.com has earned nearly 40K tweets since the conclusion of Sharknado 3 last night.
· Among the influencers who joined the conversation and tweeted were Tyra Banks, William Shatner, Kevin Jonas, Wendy Williams, Alyson Hannigan, Grant Imahara, Daymond John, as well as NASA, American Red Cross, the Department of Defense, NASCAR, the NBA and the NHL.
Dark Horse Comics has joined forces with Swyft Media, the company driving the “emojification” of brand marketing, to release a multitude of digital stickers, photo filters, and phone themes with characters from the Hellboy and Itty Bitty Hellboy comics across various apps and marketplaces, including BBM, Photofy, PicsArt, CocoPPa, and Xbox Live Marketplace. Additionally the company has launched three standalone branded Swyft emoji keyboards in the Apple® iTunes® App Store for iOS and the Google™ Play Store for Android. Now, anyone can share their favorite Dark Horse Comics characters across a wide variety of mobile-messaging and social-media applications.
“We are excited to be working with Swyft Media to bring iconic Dark Horse characters to Xbox and mobile devices everywhere. These products present a whole new way for fans to support and engage with their favorite Dark Horse characters, and we have high expectations for the program,” said Dark Horse’s director of digital publishing, Mark Bernardi.
Today’s announcement signals the beginning of a new line of digital consumer products featuring various characters published by Dark Horse Comics.
Dark Horse Comics emoji keyboards by Swyft Media are designed to work on any iOS or Android device and are compatible with virtually any mobile-messaging app or social network, including Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber, LINE, Skype, WhatsApp, and more, giving mobile users the ability to send fun stickers and emoji of their favorite characters from Hellboy and Itty Bitty Hellboy to their friends and family.
“Dark Horse Comics is home to some truly remarkable heroes, with an extremely dedicated fan base, and younger consumers love being able to access and share their favorite characters with their friends,” said Evan Wray, cofounder and general manager of Swyft Media. “Swyft Media’s network offers the opportunity to reach millions of consumers across the world, providing them with fun, engaging, and personalized content to share with their friends. Brands love this approach because it allows them to create an emotional connection with consumers while helping to drive brand awareness, loyalty, and stickiness in the places young consumers spend a lot of their time today: social media and messaging apps.”
With the Swyft Media emoji keyboards and digital sticker packs, Dark Horse Comics fans can customize their Xbox Live avatars with T-shirts, costumes, and accessories from the Hellboy comics, personalize their smartphone’s home-screen wallpaper and icons with their favorite characters from the Itty Bitty Hellboy universe using the CocoPPa app for Android, and enhance their photos with filters and clip art of their favorite Dark Horse Comics characters on the Photofy and PicsArt apps. BBM users can also download Dark Horse Comics sticker packs to send stickers and emoji from Hellboy and Itty Bitty Hellboy to their friends and contacts.