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Features

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Stuart Bray knows a thing or two about making monsters. The rogue’s gallery of his 20-year special effects career includes Shaun of the Dead’s zombies, Doctor Who’s Autons and a whole host of wounds and disfigurements featuring in everything from The Mummy Returns to Saving Private Ryan, and now most recently Doctor Strange. When Directors and producers want someone to get audiences squirming in their seats, Stuart’s the guy they’ve got on speed-dial. We caught up with him to have a relaxing conversation about terrifying monsters, blood-soaked mayhem, and the importance of keeping things messy in an increasingly digital world.  (more…)

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If the year 2016 is remembered for one thing in the annals of film history, it might be that our expectations were so high that it was almost impossible for most films to meet them. That’s true in a financial sense as well as a creative one, and perhaps there’s no better example of that then Star Trek: Beyond. While the third film in the rebooted Trek universe (the so-called “Kelvin timeline”) produced by J.J. Abrams fell about $100 million short of the box office of its two predecessors, it was still received well critically. So where was the disconnect? Where was the enthusiasm for Beyond? (more…)

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With more than fifteen years of cosplay under her belt, Lindze Merritt is a veritable veteran of the scene. The daughter of a seamstress, costume creation was in her blood from day one. As well a creating a whole host of incredible cosplays to wear at conventions all over the world, she has spoke on panels, judged competitions and has applied her expertise to creating the perfect make up for everything from film to theatre to weddings. Now, her beauty work takes up a lot of her time, but she takes every opportunity to pass on her love of cosplay to her young daughter. (more…)

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Despite having a total of only seven episodes across the space of two seasons and a Christmas special, Black Mirror quickly became one of Channel4‘s most talked about shows. It was met with both critical acclaim and a cult fandom that fell in love with its dark storylines and scathing but fiercely accurate portrayal of humanity’s flaws. After achieving international success when it was released online, future seasons were purchased by Netflix and the conversation surrounding the show got a whole lot more exciting. With a bigger budget put into the hands of creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, the show’s potential skyrocketed. (more…)

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For many cosplayers, creating costumes is about paying tribute to as many of your favourite characters as you can. For others, it’s about finding something you’re really good at, something you love, and honing your ability to create it until you could be mistaken for the real thing. Katie Sheddock is one such artist. She started consplaying in her teens and soon found it to be a great outlet for her love of zombies. Over the past few years, she has experimented with materials and styles to join the ranks of the walking undead. At the first ever Walker Stalker Con UK, she was spotted and her face is now emblazoned across the promos for next year’s event. (more…)

Found Footage Horror: 6 Tips To Save The Sub-Genre

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With the recent resurgence of The Blair Witch Project, the film which many refer to as the original Found Footage trend-setter back in 1999, the sub-genre is in the media spotlight again and is, as usual, under scrutiny. From late-night Skype chats with demonic interruptions and documentaries gone wrong, to home videos turned into snuff films and reality TV night-vision nightmares, Found Footage offers many different ways to scare us. Utilizing consumer technology, and often produced on a fraction of a normal film budget, the sub-genre has brought many talented filmmakers out of the woodwork, bringing creative new filmmaking techniques with them, and new and horrifying ways to terrify audiences. But as a trend that started as something so innovative and shocking, Found Footage’s reputation has arguably plummeted in recent years. A common complaint from horror fans today is that Found Footage has become too predictable and limited – and is just not that great any more. So what now?

Interestingly, numerous fans have attempted to write their own ‘guidelines’ designed to help future FF filmmakers avoid making the same mistakes that have consistently irritated viewers. Here our own 6 key tips for saving the sub-genre…

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If you’re anything like me, then you have spent the vast majority of the summer months discussing at great length all of the possible “what if,” scenarios about whose gray matter was going to see the light of day during the opening minutes of the Walking Dead season premiere this past Sunday. You also probably mapped out all the different paths the show would have to take depending on who they decided on. Some of you were way off, (you knew Daryl wasn’t going to bite it! Come on!) some of you were close, if not spot on. That’s all behind us now. Creatives Scott Gimple, Robert Kirkman,and Greg Nicotero have decided on the path they are going to take us on and the journey has begun. Tragically, that meant the brutal death of not one but, two beloved characters. Yes, they’re dead. No, this is not a dream. Their heads no longer exist.  (more…)

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You know what’s totally heinous?  Being reminded how old you are. But, hey, that’s what happens when reflecting on pop culture classics of yesteryear. If you’re a child of the 80’s/early 90s’, and remember Bill and Ted, then you’re an old dude (or babe). It’s been a whopping 27 years (Whoa!) since rockin’ nitwits Bill S Preston Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan hopped in a phone booth and traveled through time, meeting up with historic figures like Genghis Khan, Socrates (pronounced in Bill & Ted speak as “So Crates”), Billy The Kid, Abe Lincoln, Joan of Arc and Napoleon. And, 25 years, since their follow up sequel Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, which saw the happily dimwitted duo go the hell (literally) and back.

Regardless of the passage time, and despite the long promises of a 3rd movie from actors Keanu Reeves and Alex Winters, the fandom for Bill and Ted  is still strong. So much so, that NECA, purveyors of toys and collectibles from the hottest IPs, have released a most triumphant figurine boxed set. (more…)

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The week of November 4 will be the 25th anniversary of the first airing of “Unification Part I”, the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that finally brought together the two generations of Trek in a meaningful and substantive way. Given how easily universe-building seems to come for producers in the year 2016, one can perhaps not appreciate the logistical challenges in getting one part of the franchise to crossover with another, even if it’s just one-time only, but maybe that’s what made it so special. Aside from Spock and Picard finally appearing side-by-side, “Unification” marked an important turning point in Star Trek at one of its most difficult times. (more…)

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With the hype train going strong for Kong: Skull Island, March sure does feel like a long way away. It is bound to be packed all sorts of mythical monsters, dinosaurs and of course, the main attraction himself: King Kong. If you’re like us, you simply cannot wait to get your taste of all the chest-beating, Sam-Jackson-yelling action that awaits you. Fortunately, for those of you looking to get a taste of the action before it hits the big screen, you can get an incredible appetizer on the all-new Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure.

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