Watchin’ Stuff

Wow, look at that crazy 80’s cover! This movie is about Jeffrey Combs, who’s a comic book artist who brings a monster to life with his art because he was for some reason drawing a comic and reading passages out of some Satanic grimoire simultaneously! How could I have missed something like this for all these years? Well, probably because Jeffrey Combs dies in the first 5 minutes and the rest is pretty awful. It’s just like a longer, more boring version of that Tales From The Crypt episode with the same plot, which now that I think of it was based on a Tales From The Crypt comic, so I guess Cellar Dweller read that same issue and stole it. Bleh. Also, I just realized they spelled cellar wrong on the cover there. Ugh.

A strange little giallo film from Lamberto Bava of Demons fame. It’s a bizarre little murder mystery that was filmed well for its time and has some pretty imaginative death scenes. If you have any interest in this sort of thing I would suggest that you don’t look up descriptions of it, because they give away one of the major secrets of the movie, one that otherwise isn’t revealed until pretty late in the movie and would have probably been quite a surprise if it hadn’t already been revealed by IMDB. Let’s just say that the killer is removing various pieces of his victims for mysterious reasons. Knowing the “what” seemed to render the “why” very easy to figure out. Knowing what I did, I thought I could see what the motive was within the first 15 minutes. I turned out to be quite wrong though. Things were not at all as they seemed and the mystery was much more clever and interesting than I’d expected.

The Dinner is described as “Two sets of wealthy parents meet for dinner to decide what to do about a crime their sons have committed”. Two hours of people talking at dinner isn’t usually my idea of a thrilling movie, but it had some good reviews and a good cast so I thought I’d give it a shot. Unfortunately they spend 3/4 of the movie avoiding actually talking about the main subject of the story and instead end up wandering off into endless flashback tangents, mostly involving how mentally ill and utterly unpleasant Steve Coogan‘s character is. I just didn’t find it all that interesting, watching a movie mostly comprised of him being a miserable petulant asshole to his family. I stuck with it hoping there would be some point to it all, but instead the final quarter just devolved into everyone being completely unlikable and spoiler alert: the whole thing just comes to an extremely abrupt non-ending where absolutely nothing was resolved for anyone. Great. Ultimately it was all just a dead-end character study of an absolutely miserable bunch of people, with nothing at all to say except “family politics can be messed up, yo!”. That’s deep, bro.

Well that was wayyyyy better than the unfortunate Godzilla reboot from a few years ago where they spent most of the movie trying their best to avoid showing any of the creatures the movie was supposedly about. Instead, Kong is an almost non-stop visual spectacle with a much better cast of characters and a heaping helping of crazy looking action scenes with a pretty good variety of monsters. This made me actually interested in the “Monsterverse” again.

Eh. This was ok. A bunch of people are locked in an office building and forced to kill each other to survive. It evokes memories of movies like Cube or Saw, but doesn’t manage to be as memorable as either of those. It claims to be a study of human behavior during times of crisis, but it’s all pretty by-the-numbers. The people who are portrayed as the jerks of the office in the beginning, naturally turn out to be the worst of the lot, the morally righteous nice guy protagonist does his standard duty of trying to get everyone to do the right thing, and it all turns out pretty much exactly how you would expect it to.

An early Danny Boyle film that ironically, is also about a bunch of miserable people doing terrible things, yet somehow manages to be enjoyable. It must be a tricky thing, trying to make a movie about terrible, unlikable people doing terrible things, but at the same time making them and their story compelling enough to be entertaining instead of just being repulsive. Boyle has proven many times to be a director that’s capable of successfully finding that balance.

Season 2 of Preacher has begun. I never expected to like this show, with it being just about my favorite comic ever, I never in a million years expected anyone could do it justice in television or movie form. The show strays pretty damn far away from the original story, but that’s turned out to work out rather well for it. It manages to capture the feeling of the comic pretty well, but is taking it in its own very different direction, and amazingly it works.

We also just finished catching up on old Twin Peaks in order to finally watch the new season. I had never seen all the old ones, because I’d heard about it all ending on a massive cliffhanger that was never resolved, so I figured I shouldn’t bother setting myself up for disappointment, but here we are 25 years later with the story finally receiving a conclusion. Not one to do these things half-assed, I ended up tracking down the fan-edited version of the Fire Walk With Me movie, which impressively sticks all the deleted footage from the later released The Missing Pieces back into the movie in proper order, resulting in a massive 3 and half hour production. Now we’re finally ready to begin Twin Peaks season 3…

The unheard message of The Witness

A Most Agreeable Pastime

Today I’m going to talk to you about The Witness again. I spoke very briefly about it once before, but this time I’d like to take that analysis a few steps further, as well as discussing what it all means about why and how we play games, why this game has attained the dreaded label of “pretentious”, and how this all applies to our real lives.

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First, let’s talk about the “plot”. At this point I suppose I should warn you of impending spoilers, though I’m not sure if the idea of spoilers really applies to a game that has no direct story at all. In The Witness, the game simply begins with you in a tunnel with no explanation of who you are, where you are, who created this place, or what you’re supposed to be doing here. You follow the tunnel, open the door at the…

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Review: Dogolrax

A Most Agreeable Pastime

bandicam 2017-06-08 00-40-22-993What is Dogolrax? Well, Dogolrax is game about you, a nameless human guy, being stranded on an alien planet called Dogolrax, which is named after an alien god that is also called Dogolrax. How did you get there? I don’t know. What’s going on with all the crazy aliens there? You know, I still don’t know. What do I know? Well, I know that Dogolrax is one extremely bizarre game.

bandicam 2017-06-07 23-02-24-154 How did I get up here? Why, I crawled into that giant snake’s mouth and up through his body, naturally.

What drew me into Dogolrax, was seeing a YouTube video of it by FunHaus. They were mocking it for how ridiculous and terrible it looked, as they so often do, but I saw something else in Dogolrax. I saw a game that clearly seemed to be heavily influenced by Another World, with a dash of the…

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Watchin’ stuff

Cub is a Belgian horror movie that came out in 2014. I found it randomly on Amazon Prime‘s movie streaming service (it may or may not be part of our recent Starz add-on, I’m not entirely sure). It has actually been the only good “new” horror movie I’ve found in the piles and piles of crap on there so far (aside from the obvious big good ones that we’ve all seen a million times already). Cub is about a troubled young Boy Scout who meets a strange feral child in the woods on a Scout camping trip. The movie kind of makes it seem like it’s going to be one of those cutesy coming-of-age stories where they become friends and everything works out fine in the end, but then it suddenly take some very dark turns. It’s not particularly gory for a horror movie, but it manages to be pretty disturbing anyway. Very memorable ending. Definitely recommended for horror fans.

As ridiculously cheesy and over-dramatic as you’d expect from a Resident Evil story. Vendetta is packed full of painfully moronic cannon fodder characters, people screaming NOOOOOO at the sky, and a lot of amazing looking action sequences. It’s nothing more than a mindless spectacle of zombies, monsters, and explosions, but it does a good job of it and doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is. A nice treat for Resident Evil fans, but probably not so much for anyone else.

Raistlin0903 convinced me to give this another chance. It really is better than I remember it being. There are some occasional iffy effects, mainly that guy with the splitting face, and I still feel like there are an unusually high amount of plot points that were exactly the same as the Carpenter version, but it still sets itself apart enough to be enjoyable overall.

The television series of The Mist premiered this week. There wasn’t much mist action yet, as the first episode was mostly introducing the various characters and setting things up for the mist to arrive near the end of the episode, but the few moments of horror were surprisingly graphic and good looking. The character drama so far is pretty dark right from the beginning too, so this looks like it’s going to be another fun horror show. Amazing how many quality horror shows are appearing these days.

NIGHT OF THE EMUS

This game was so much better in the arcade, but I’m not about to go buy a ball controller just to play arcade Marble Madness in MAME, so I guess I just have to settle for the old NES version! This game is not great. It’s ridiculously short, but also mind-numbingly difficult, mainly just due to the awful controls. I have no idea how I was able to beat this as a kid. A lot of practice I guess. I can’t imagine spending more than 20-30 minutes on this game nowadays. I would play the shit out of it if I saw the arcade version somewhere though.

My cousin had this game for some reason and that’s the only reason that I ever played it, because no one else in their right minds would ever buy this game. This is another one where the game is actually incredibly short, but also painfully, unfairly difficult, so the playtime is padded out with godawful replay after replay. You just keep moving your boat back and forth between the same two ports over and over again, farming shells as much as you can because each time you reach a port you can use shells to get power upgrades and you cannot possibly beat the first phases of the Jaws battle without many power boosts. Once you finally have enough power to beat Jaws, who you keep running into over and over again randomly throughout your repetitive journey, if you manage to whittle his life bar down you get to engage in the final battle sequence. In the final battle Jaws rushes toward your boat in a crazy serpentine pattern and you have to hit A to use a strobe light, which makes him leap out of the water for some reason, but he has to be in the exact right spot in front of you for you to press B to stab him with the front of the boat, which you also have to do at the exact right moment. You only get three shots and if don’t do it you’re kicked back out to the normal game where Jaws now has his entire health bar again. HOORAY. Don’t play this game unless you have some kind of weird masochistic nostalgic attachment to it. Just don’t do it.

Arrrrgh. This is actually even worse than Jaws. Iconic crane kicks, leg sweeps, and levels and mini-games that vaguely resemble the movies aren’t enough to cover up the foul stench here. Karate Kid has horrible combat and even worse controls. It’s also another embarrassingly short one. Again, you should not play this game. Why did I play this game? I think I might have sworn off playing it forever last time, but then forgotten because it was so long ago. Then I drank a lot and it seemed like a good idea to play it again. Note to future self: STOP PLAYING THIS DAMN GAME! (I will totally end up playing it again 10 years from now anyway, I just know it…)

Because I’m making so many very bad decisions tonight, I decided to play Total Recall next. WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME? WHAT AM I DOING? WHY ARE MIDGETS JUMPING OUT OF HALLWAYS TO PULL ME INTO KUNG FU BATTLE TRAPS THAT DIDN’T EVEN HAPPEN IN THE MOVIE WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF! No, I can’t do it, it’s too much. This game is just too terrible. It does have a super catchy theme song though for some reason.

I bet nostalgia will trick me into playing this one again someday too, but not today, no, not today…

Time for at least one decent one to wash the taste of all that crap out of my mouth. Ehhhh. Captain Skyhawk doesn’t hold up super well either, but it’s still miles ahead of the last few games. You fly what appears to be an F-15 around blowing up bad guys, except you’re flying through some weird geometric places that look like the 1970s’ idea of what virtual reality looked like, and also sometimes taking place in Top Gun/Afterburner style dogfights, and also sometimes in space. Just flying your F-15 around in space, because fuck it, it’s just an NES game, why even try to make it make sense? It’s an ok game though. I guess.

I don’t know why I picked such crappy games tonight. Just feeling flagellant, I guess (I KNOW THAT’S A NOUN! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?!).

You like Castlevania, don’t you? Part II

A Most Agreeable Pastime

castlevaniagameboyWe return to the wild world of Castlevania with The Castlevania Adventure and its sequel Belmont’s Revenge, both for the Game BoyThe Castlevania Adventure is a fun little game for what it is, but I don’t know how much anyone that didn’t already have a nostalgic itch for it would enjoy it. Being a Game Boy game naturally means that it’s been significantly simplified compared to its predecessors. The levels are extremely basic and linear, and movement is oddly slow, not even including the odd occasional lag. Sub-weapons have been removed entirely and aside from Dracula and some minor generic enemies like bats, you won’t be seeing any familiar foes or locations here. The game feels like it may have been outsourced to some people who were simply told to make a game about a guy who whips monsters. Still, it does somehow manage to have a certain Castlevania

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Review: Telltale’s The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

A Most Agreeable Pastime

81ePIm1wiOLDisclaimer: zero spoilers ahead. If you’ve played and enjoyed the previous two seasons of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, then you’ll be happy to hear that A New Frontier hasn’t altered the successful formula at all. If you haven’t, then you’re also in luck, as this makes a great new jumping on point, with the focus being on a new set of characters and almost no references at all to the previous stories. Clementine from seasons 1 and 2 returns, but doesn’t really talk about the past at all. The downside of this being that this has rendered all your choices from the previous games almost completely irrelevant (though I would still highly recommend playing them both anyway).

18922862_10154486025351366_9112060696778103899_o Zahhhhhhhmbies!

If you’re unfamiliar with the modern Telltale formula, these things are really more interactive movies than games, offering very little in the way of direct interaction, but making up for it with…

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The best of classic What If?

Speaking of virtual multiverses, What If? was an ongoing series that featured a different alternate reality every issue, usually with the theme being that everything in a given famous storyline went horribly wrong, and usually in an unexpectedly dark manner. There were a surprisingly large number of great issues of this back in its prime, especially when you consider how they had to keep coming up with a whole new one of these every month. So in chronological order, here are some of the best issues before the dreaded mid-90’s came along and ran the series into the ground like it did everything else.


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What if the alien costume succeeded in taking control of Spider-Man instead of being cast off to later become Venom? Well, naturally it would lead to a crazy, evil Spider-Man who gets wrapped up in some wacky shenanigans that ultimately lead to a horrible death and the symbiote jumping ship and taking over Hulk, and later Thor, before finally being stopped. It’s not the most well-written of the bunch, but you can’t help but be excited by the idea of Venom-Hulk and Venom-Thor (well, at least I can’t)!


This is where there series really started getting grim. The X-Men lose Inferno, which results in them all dying horribly except for Wolverine, who wins the bonus prize of becoming the new possessed champion of the demon invasion. He then proceeds to slaughter the shit out of the rest of the Marvel universe, only taking an occasional break to eat some babies. That’s not a joke, he literally eats a baby. COMICS, KIDS!


Next we have another Spider-Man issue (there were quite a few Spider-Man issues, as you’ll see). This time featuring the famous Kraven’s Last Hunt story, but this time instead of drugging Spider-Man and killing himself at the end, Kraven just kills Spider-Man and goes on a crazy rampage, ending with his insanity becoming so great that he actually starts eating Spider-Man‘s corpse, thinking it will give him spider-power. Also, from the look of that cover, he probably teabagged the corpse as well.


Here we have another tale of Wolverine becoming a monstrous mass murderer, this time by becoming the new Dracula. He does this by getting bit by Dracula and then overpowering him, which you would think by comic book vampire logic would cure him, but no, he just kills the shit out of everyone again. Wolverine gleefully turns all the other mutants into vampires and they pretty much take over the planet until Punisher, who has now become the new sort-of-apprentice of Dr. Strange because there’s no one better left alive, has to fight his way through all of them by himself and snatch the Darkhold to make everything better through the power of magical genocide. Yep, the ultimate spell destroys all vampires, so now all the heroes and mutants are dead. Another cheerful ending for everyone!


Atlantis Attacks was all about some underwater jerks trying to bring the elder god Set back to life so he could eat everyone that hadn’t already been turned into a snakeman. Once again we see most of the major heroes die almost immediately, with the only hope left resting in the hands of an oddball group of random heroes and villains. The survivors are forced to fight and kill all their other surviving old buddies who have become snakemen. Then Set himself drops by and says “FUCK YOU GUYS, I’M HANGRY!” and things don’t go too well for anyone. Set ends up being banished in the end by a convenient plot device, but not before he left behind a bunch of Set babies, who end up eating everyone else anyway, making the vampire world from the previous issue look like they had it good.


This one had two stories about Reed Richards’ daughter surviving, one where she’s good, and one where she’s a horrible H.R. Giger-looking monster that sucks the lifeforce out of all her friends and family until her brother Franklin is forced to team up with Dr. Doom to stop her. This time the good guys save the day and there’s a happy ending for everyone! Just kidding, they all die again.


Another Spider-Man one. This one was actually pretty positive, surprisingly. Yes, he gains godlike power, does weird things to his enemies, gives Aunt May a heart attack, and alienates the hell out of his wife and friends, but amazingly he actually doesn’t go on a murderous rampage and even survives in the end.


COME ON! WHO DOESN’T LIKE VENOM-PUNISHER? Oh. Was it just me? Oh well. What can I say, I was crazy for Venom back in the day, so I got excited by anything remotely like this. The story still holds up pretty well today though.


Here we see what Dr. Doom would have been like if he was Sorcerer Supreme instead of Dr. Strange. Naturally, he’s still a complete asshole, but it made for a pretty interesting story, watching him crush his enemies by combining science and sorcery in such devious ways.


And finally there’s this one. Death’s Head II was one of the grimmest, most XTREEEEEME things around back in the early 90’s. He was kind of like what would happen if Venom and the T-1000 had a baby that was also British. Again, his comics still hold up pretty well even now. That brief 90’s wave of Marvel UK books was really good in general actually. Point being, this issue had Death’s Head, Death’s Head II, and a crazy story where almost everyone dies again. Noticing a pattern yet?


Anyway, I hope you’ve learned a thing or two from all of this, like don’t let Wolverine babysit your children,  don’t pick up and wear any strange alien costumes, and definitely don’t summon snakey elder gods to this plane of existence no matter how fun it sounds.

Review: Nightgate

A Most Agreeable Pastime

6808304_largerI don’t play very many mobile games (nothing against them, I just have so many other platforms I’ve already got too many games for), but every once and a while an impressive one suddenly leaps out of the shadows and bites me. Nightgate is one such unexpected nibbler. I had never heard of the game, but there it was as the ‘Free App Of The Week’, a feature on my phone that I habitually check, despite the fact that there had never been a single worthwhile looking game offered on it before. I almost passed this one over too, dismissing it as something that looked like some businessman’s PowerPoint presentation gone horribly wrong.

IMG_1883.PNG Sales are down this quarter. Time to shift some paradigms.

At the last moment this cryptic description caught my eye though: ‘In the year 2398, a network of intelligent computers known as Nightgate, is the last…

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200 Posts?!?

Hoooooly shit, 200 posts already? Well, let’s celebrate with a massive overhaul! After many years I have finally decided to abandon the horrorgasm name and move on to something new. It’s a name I used on the internet for a long time. My previous crappy site was located at the same domain. It was my screen name in the dark corners of mIRC. It was the name of one of my bands. It’s a name that used to carry a lot of importance to me, plus it just sounds fucking cool…but I’ve come to realize that I’m not that person anymore and I don’t really want to be associated with that person anymore.

It also doesn’t really have a whole lot to do with the things I talk about here. If this place was all about horror movies it would be a great name, but for mostly games and comics? It’s not really relevant to the content. (Plus it sounds like a damn porn site and that’s probably not the most reader-friendly thing, is it?).

Anyway, I think this new name more accurately reflects the tone of this place. I’ll still post about all the same kinds of things, and I think I’ll try to start getting into some new topics just to keep things interesting.

Finally, I’d like to thank all you readers and/or fellow bloggers for your support, participation, and inspiration, and I’ll do my best to try to be even more entertaining than usual as I continue to dive into the depths of the virtual multiverse, searching for the finest adventure and treasure that fiction can offer.