Pick of the Week

This weeks Pick of the Week section comes from @HeyItsKamo, @Omara_Mike, and @SteveHatesU. Warning… this ish is ***Full of Spoilers***

PodcastYou’re driving down a desolate highway. You turn off on to a lonely dirt road. After a long distance, you see your destination: a one room shack. It looks old and deserted, but from it you hear weird sounds. Something draws you closer. Do you dare open the door and step inside? Do you dare enter… The Haunted Shack?

OK creeps, I’m going to make this short and sweet- if you’re not listening to Haunted Shack Theater this month, you deserve to be thrown in to the black lagoon and get touched (in a super creepy manner) by the creature that lives at the bottom.

HST is hosted by “Uncle Yah-Yah” and features audio clips from terrible old horror and science-fiction movies. What kind of movies? you might be asking. Titles like: Teenagers From Outer Space (1959), Hideous Sun Demon (1959), Don’t Go In The Woods (1981), Sledgehammer (1983), and The Wacky World Of Dr. Morgus (1962). The audio quality of the clips played is surprisingly top notch, considering how old everything is, but the hosts levels are a bit fucked up at times- it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment, but it’s noticeable.

My favorite part of the podcast are the Halloween episodes (the past two Halloween episodes are available for download on iTunes now!). In these yearly spook-fests, Uncle Yah-Yah puts his microphone up to the HAUNTED JUKEBOX and we get to hear all the wacky shit that comes out of it. Basically, it’s the greatest thing ever. Old commercials for scary movies, horror related songs from the 50s and 60s (I’d have to say the one about the alien that came to Earth to go to the sock hop is my favorite), random jokes and segments by Uncle Yah-Yah… it’s all so damn good.

It’s perfect to play when carving your pumpkin this Halloween season or when trick-or-treaters visit your door on October 31st.

Game – Right from the introduction of Resident Evil 6, one could see that Capcom has gone even further into the “action” genre of gaming. This addition to the Resident Evil library is faster, almost arcade-y at times and even less scary- we’ve made our way away from the survival horror section of gaming. With only completing Leon’s campaign so far, I can tell you that no part what-so-ever made me jump or feel scared. The only thing that seems to bring any sort of tension is how many enemies they throw at you at times.

The tension is purely, “am I going to make it through this fight so I don’t have to go back to my last checkpoint?” I truly miss being scared by Resident Evil games; the last one that made me jump was RE4. I think the fact that I was going through a phase of playing games with over-the-ear headphones on had some part to do in that (try that out sometime).

Leon’s campaign starts in an interesting way- he kills the President. To be fair, he was a zombie and was about to bite off his partner Helena’s face. They made their way though Ivy University and try to find a way off the infested campus- this section had so much fucking potential to bring back the old-school “zombie leaps through window” scares of the classics but… NOPE, nothing happened to scare me at all. Like I stated before, the only tension I felt was when you became trapped in a narrow hallway and had to wait for a door to open, all while zombies climbed through the surrounding windows.

So Leon and Helena make their way off the campus, find a cop car… only to crash it and end up in the infected downtown area. Once again, this area reminded me of the start of RE2. For fucks sake, it was even Leon who was walking through a destroyed city again! Cars are on fire, they end up in a gun shop and try to find some form of safety- they make their way onto a bus that takes them out of town but guess what happens. You’ll never believe it! It fucking crashes.

From here we end up in a very, very, very dark cemetery. Thoughts of RE4 come rushing through my head; this was the only time I felt a slight hint of terror. This terror only came from the fact that the lighting in this place is fucking awful. If an enemy wasn’t under a light, good luck with seeing them. I will say that that occasional crack of lightening, giving you a slight glimpse as to where they are, was a nice touch. Anyways, you make your way to a cathedral and go into some underground caverns.

I personally think this is where this campaign hits a low point. I couldn’t wait to get out of here. I don’t even want to write about it. Caverns were boring, didn’t like them. One sentence summary; Helena looks for Deborah, her sister, Deborah is infected, turns into monster, we kill her with the help of Ada Wong (her being in this game is awesome).

The rest of the story continues as follows: Leon and Helena find out that the National Security Advisor, Simmons, is behind all of this. They decide to go to China to find him. While on the plane, passengers get infected and Leon has to fly the plane. Guess what… IT CRASHES. They are fine!

For sake of time, I’ll make the summary of the final chapter short. Leon and Helena make their way through China, trying to find Ada and hunt down Simmons. Simmons becomes infected and mutates into a huge monster. You fight him way too many times.

Despite the annoyances, overall this game has been enjoyable. It’s very action oriented, but still fun to shoot at some zombies. But honestly, I just want to be scared again. I give you my thoughts of the Chris and Jake campaigns once I complete those, but in the meantime, this is a title I’d recommend for anyone looking to blast on some zombies.

Book – I don’t really like feeling my own feelings. It’s not a particularly lucrative enterprise. In fact, all production seems to screech to a halt anytime emotions come into play. Feeling sad or emotionally touched has never really done me any good. A very wise man once said that crying is acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon. So don’t be totally surprised when you look through my collection of books and find novels about Batman, Zombies, and Bruce Campbell. The last book that I read that made me cry was probably Tuesdays with Morrie….or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows…I can’t really remember.

Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez is pretty dumb… but that’s why I fucking love it. Look at the premise: two rednecks, one a vampire and the other a werewolf, come across a 24-hour, zombie-infested, truck stop diner in the middle of nowhere and agree to help the manager with her undead dilemma. I immediately knew this book was for me when Martinez described his two main protagonists; both are the polar opposite of glamour. Take your image of vampires and werewolves from garbage like Twilight and The Vampire Diaries and throw it out the fucking window. Earl and Duke are some of the skeeziest, trashiest characters ever in literature.

What’s perfect, though, is how Martinez makes these two endearing and lovable to the reader. At first, it’s almost a slap in the face to know that these two are going to be the guys you’re rooting for the whole time. When I finished the book, however, I was disappointed to know that it was over and I wouldn’t get to read more about Duke and Earl’s exploits. I even unsuccessfully looked up to see if A. Lee Martinez wrote a sequel to this book- that’s how great these characters are.

In terms of the rest of the book – it’s great! Did you like Ghostbusters? Zombieland? What about Evil Dead 2? If you didn’t like any of the movies I just named, I’m sorry, but we can no longer be friends. Grab your shit and get out of here! Martinez has this fantastic style of writing that masterfully combines horror and comedy. Everything in the book is a cliche but in a very good way. It’s comforting to read something familiar with a unique twist. Sure, you may know everything there is about vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts and zombies. But can you imagine those creatures brought to life in a backwoods, southern town like Rockwood?

Gil’s All Fright Diner is no Pulitzer Prize winning book, and that’s just fine by me. People have different interpretations of entertainment. For me, I love a story, regardless of the medium it’s put to, that’s clever but allows you to check your brain at the door. This book won’t touch you, or haunt you, or drastically change your life. It will, however, allow you to get to know some very interesting characters and have a blast killing zombies with them.

Like this post? Fucking hate it? Let Mike, Mike, and Stephen know in the comments section!

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