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Hello, boils and ghouls! On the behalf of everyone here at Famous Monsters, it is my pleasure to announce the official arrival of the new and improved Graveyard Examiner! It’s been a while, but absense makes the heart grow fonder... Besides, I am confident that the gems within these pages will make up for any emotional scarring we may have caused by leaving you alone in the cold internet wasteland the past few weeks. As you can already see from these first two pages, we’ve brought a new aesthetic to this FREE digital magazine of ours and, as you are about to find out, we’ve packed in a lot more content as well. Not only will you find the latest news and releases, but original reviews of the material as well! But enough of me talking about it! Flip the page and see for yourself! Barrett Schwalenberg Editor-in-Chief FamousMonsters.com

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Contributing Writers The ED-itor Andy Greene Elvis Kunesh John Scappini Danika Johnson J Astro


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RAIDING THE LOST ARK by Elvis Kunesh

DOWN BY “THE RIVER” by Elvis Kunesh Oren Peli (Creator Amazon. His family teams of PARANORMAL up with a film crew and ACTIVITY) and Executive scours the treacherous Producer Steven Spielberg Amazon waterways to (Creator of YOUR find him, but come across CHILDHOOD) team up to the supernatural on their bring us the documentary- journey. Is it just me, or style horror series THE does it sound a bit like a RIVER, which premieres nightmarish version of THE Tuesday, Feb. 7th on WILD THORNBERRYS? ABC. Though challenging, When asked about horror has been done on maintaining scare factor TV successfully, but can (the first season is a the popular found-footage truncated 8 episodes) Oren subgenre work in a weekly explained, “We’re lucky format? because there’s so much The show focuses on the story of Dr. Emmet Cole, a Steve Irwin-style TV personality gone missing in the middle of the

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folklore and real mythology that we’re drawing from, so I don’t think there’s a concern that we’ll ever run out of material.”

Think you know all there is to know about RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK? Think again. Jamie Benning, responsible for creating three incredible fan documentaries for the original Star Wars trilogy, has returned with his next doc: RAIDING THE LOST ARK. The ‘filmumentary’ explores the creation of the first Indiana Jones film. Complete with behind-the-scenes footage, commentary from cast and crew, deleted scenes, fact track and much more filling out the in-depth examination of the Spielberg classic. The full-length film is now available to watch online and is a must-see for any RAIDERS fan. (That is, the movie. Not the football team.)


OTHER RECENT NEWS RODRIGUEZ ANNOUNCES “MACHETE” SEQUEL HOT NEW “SNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN” PIC

webheaDS REJOICE by Barrett Schwalenberg Spider-man, Spider-man, The fact that this movie is radioactive Spider-man... being marketed as “The Untold Story” has brought The official trailer for about some concerns from THE AMAZING SPIDERdie hard fans who worry MAN has arrived! While that this film may stray too it has been argued that much from the familiar, the botchulism that was but come on... you can’t SPIDER-MAN 3 should tell me that you didn’t get have served as the final at least a little pumped as nail in the coffin of the Spidey crawled through franchise, this new trailer the sewers and the scaley gives us a glimpse at a tail of The Lizard flicked markedly darker version into frame above him. of the web slinger - which could be just what the THE AMAZING SPIDERdoctor ordered to bring us MAN swings into theaters on July 3rd. back.

DOLPH LUNDGREN STEPS INTO “BATTLE OF THE DAMNED” HAMMER SHARES UPDATE ON CLASSIC RESTORATION PROJECT DWARVES, FOOD, AND BILBO IN LATEST “THE HOBBIT” SHOT NEW “JOHN CARTER” TRAILER AND IMAGES RUMOR KILLER: HARRISON FORD NOT IN “BLADE RUNNER” SEQUEL TALKS

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STEVE NILES

The creator of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT and CRIMINAL MACABRE is currently working on IDW’s FRANKENSTEIN: ALIVE, ALIVE!, his fourth project with the legendary Bernie Wrightson, as well as several new tales in Cal McDonald’s CRIMINAL MACABRE universe. In this first part of our three-part interview, Niles shares his thoughts on working with Wrightson, DC Comics’ New 52, and his reputation as an indie horror writer in the comics industry. Famous Monsters. So please, gush about Bernie Wrightson, because I’m going to, if you don’t. [laughs] Steve Niles. The amazing part about this whole Frankenstein project is that his FRANKENSTEIN is literally something I read as a kid. I still have the Marvel edition of the book that came out years ago, and now I’m all grown up and I’m working on the sequel with him. Obviously every shot in that first book is beautiful, but I get amazed by the shots of the bookshelves. Really simple things like that. And I had a really funny thing with his 30 DAYS OF NIGHT cover, because he 10

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brought it over, and it’s this really cool image of three vampires charging at you, going past a fence… FM. I remember seeing that. SN. Yeah, and the first thing out of my mouth was, “Oh my god, the fence is beautiful!” I didn’t even acknowledge the vampires—the fence was so nice! It looked like wood. He is so good with textures. It’s unbelievable. And with this, the way we’re doing it is very different. I’m not writing a full script for him, because I don’t want to restrain him at all. So we sit down and talk, and we plan and we sketch and figure out the order of things, and then he roughts it


out, and we come up with the dialogue, and he goes off and draws it, and then I script to the final pages. FM. Well, it’s funny that you mentioned that the fence was beautiful, because in looking at the leaked FRANKENSTEIN pages, the first thing I thought was, “Oh my god, the snow is gorgeous!” And on the last page, “Oh god, those rain puddles! They look like real puddles!” SN. That’s half a spread, with the puddles, like all of a sudden he just went nuts with his style. Cause we’re on our fourth series now. FM. After CITY OF OTHERS, DOC MACABRE, and… SN. DEAD, SHE SAID. And you know that Dark Horse cancelled CITY OF OTHERS after four issues, but the next issue was going to be DEAD, SHE SAID. And then DOC MACABRE… and then all of them together. We were building this world… FM. Well, you still got the stories out. “Oh, this is a new series we’re pitching. Oh, this is another new series we’re pitching!” You’re sneaky that way. [laughs] SN. I know, but I think it would have been really exciting to see a book with the vampire, the detective, the ghoul, and Doc Macabre… but it’s the kind of thing that happens that makes comics so hard. I’ve had SIMON DARK pulled out from under me… but DC was actually very nice—they gave me a four-issue warning, so me and Scott were able to wrap up the storyline. FM. That’s good. Sometimes they’re just like “Nope. Not any more issues. Too bad.” SN. Yeah, that happens a lot, and it’s so sad. Just gone. FM. And you have this whole arc in your head. It sounds like it would be so frustrating. SN. MYSTERY SOCIETY was probably the biggest heartbreak for me. We came out strong, and then issues got late. We were trying to keep that one going, and it was one of those cases when I was

getting the best reviews, but getting the numbers up was hard, because with all that’s going on with DC and Marvel, there are retailers who… well, that’s all they sell, because it’s hard enough to keep up with that. FM. I’ve been enjoying a lot of what DC’s doing… there are select Marvel titles that I enjoy. Peter David’s X-Factor is still up there. SN. I just… sometimes you just gotta play with the myths. You don’t have to change it, you know? You don’t have to make Hulk red, or give him a beard. He’s the Hulk! There’s an unbelievable amount of stories in the basic myth! Of course, you don’t know when it’s going to be something that actually evolves the character, but that’s the thing. We’ve SEEN it. We’ve deconstructed superheroes as far as we need to. I have no interest in reading about Spider-Man paying his taxes, Batman mowing his lawn… At a certain point, I just want my comic books. FM. Did you read AVENGING SPIDER-MAN? SN. I haven’t. That’s the thing. I go into the store, and I look at the shelf, and I have no idea what is going on. There’s nothing more dangerous than confusing your audience. And if you can’t sell a nerd like me a comic book, you’re doing something wrong. Cause I’m the easiest sell in the world. But they’ve changed everything so significantly. I’m not going to point my fingers at any particular writers, but there are entire series… seriously, just have it all take place in a bath house so they’re all standing around talking waist-deep in steamy water. Because that’s all they’re doing! Talking heads! I just don’t get it. That said, I’m hoping that Jason Aaron’s new run on The Hulk is a point I can jump in on. Jason is a great writer, so, that’s good. There’s one I’m going to at least THE GRAVEYARD EXAMINER

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try. Like I said, I’m too confused, and every dollar counts right now. I can’t take chances. FM. Which are the ones of DC’s New 52 that you’re reading? SN. I’m enjoying Batman. I still don’t think the reboot was necessary, because basically all they’re doing is—yes, this is a good Batman book. This is what Batman should be. FM. You know what I think the reboot did, though? I was never a DC person, and the reboot encouraged me to get on board. I was like, oh god— DETECTIVE COMICS is on issue eight hundred something. Why am I going to pick up a random issue when I have no idea what is going on? SN. Well, the hype almost screwed [Scott Snyder’s Batman] for me, to be honest, because I thought I was going to be reading the new KILLING JOKE. And I picked it up, and I love Capulo’s art, and the story is good. And that’s what it should be. But I had these expectations of unbelievable greatness. I guess that’s just a marketing error. I also think Gail Simone is fun to read, and she does wonderful characters. The one I need to read is ANIMAL MAN. FM. You haven’t been reading ANIMAL MAN? Animal Man is like, the reason for the reboot as far as I’m concerned. It’s the only excuse they need! It’s a horror comic. In fact, I’d say that seventy-five percent of the New 52 titles are skewing dark like that. SN. Well then, I gotta read it! FM. That one and AQUAMAN, but then I’ve always loved Aquaman, so to see him get treated with respect kind of makes me happy. SN. Paul Norris, the creator of Aquaman, always said that all Aquaman was supposed to be was Flash Gordon underwater. So, is it? Is it like sci-fi underwater? FM. Well, he’s dealing with underwater creatures, if that’s what you mean. SN. As long as he’s not like, riding the city bus. I’m so tired of that. “Superheroes need to be more like normal people.” NO! They’re superheroes! I mean, my experience… I grew up being such a Marvel nerd. All I wanted to do was write the Hulk. I just love the monster characters… all the Marvel monsters. It just didn’t happen. Honestly, I just refused to play the games that they want you to play.

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What’s happened is that I’ve been forced to go at it alone. Now I’ve created dozens of properties. I’ve got my own little branding world. It’s not an empire, and I’m sure not raking in the bucks right now, but I’ve got my own thing going. So it’s always been like that. I think they see me as not really a company guy. And that’s a pretty astute observation. [laughs] FM. I was going to say… they might actually be right on that front. [laughs] SN. Exactly! So there’s a weird balance of things. I do have some stuff coming out with DC Digital. I was talking to some creators today, and how when I did the two Batman series nobody really messed with me, which is probably why those series are so freaking crazy. Nobody messed with GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT. FM. What about THE CREEPER? SN. Well, THE CREEPER I had some input on, and that series just… the artist was late, so we had to shift to another artist, and then we were coming back, and then there were editorial changes… The series was just not what I wanted it to be. FM. Well, if it’s any consolation, that may have been the first comic I picked up since I was eleven that had a superhero in it. [laughs] SN. What’s funny is that when I got that, I was like… I’m going to do a superhero book! And I wrote the Creeper pretty straight. An updated version, but straight. And the feedback I got almost immediately was “Where are the monsters?” FM. That’s people putting you in a box. SN. Eh, I don’t mind. If people think of me as the monster guy, then I’m the monster guy. I’m lucky people think of me at all.


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THE INTRUDERS THE WOMAN IN BLACK

Atmosphere. That is the key to THE WOMAN IN BLACK, legendary English studio Hammer Film Productions’ first original big-screen venture in decades. The Hammer brand, so infamous and beloved from the late Fifties and into the early Seventies for producing titillating tales of the macabre that helped to redefine classic monster icons and to introduce the fright genre en masse to the likes of Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and Oliver Reed has returned! THE WOMAN IN BLACK is my first experience with the new Hammer aesthetic. And I certainly can’t say I’m disappointed... READ THE FULL REVIEW!

THE DIVIDE

This day and age, the threat of a hostile attack is never far from our deepest fears. Imagining the sights and sounds of a terrorist bombing or nuclear fallout is a depressingly easy thing for us to do, but to actually experience being in the midst of such horrific violence is something that is fortunately far from our fingertips. The complete confusion over what has happened. The waiting, the endless and hopeless waiting for nothing to come. As unnerving as these qualities may be, they are what make THE DIVIDE stand out among the lengthening library of apocalyptic cinema... READ THE FULL REVIEW!

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Coming soon, our sneak peek at the mysterious thriller INTRUDERS starring Clive Owen and from the director of 28 WEEKS LATER. The suspenseful picture tells the parallel story of two families in separate countries haunted by the same supernatural stalker… a fearsome being known only as Hollow Face. Does the film scare the pants off us or is the only nightmare sitting through the running time? Find out when our full review premieres in an upcoming issue of the GRAVEYARD EXAMINER and see INTRUDERS for yourself when it hits theaters on March 30, 2012!


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ALCATRAZ

Air Date: January 30th, 2012

“Cal Sweeney”

Review by Andy Greene

JJ Adams and his production team Bad Robot’s newest creation is FOX’s ALCATRAZ, the third show after FRINGE and PERSON OF INTEREST that attempts to jazz up the TV procedural a little bit by infusing LOST-like mythology into the mix. As Sam Neil tells us in an ominous voiceover during the credits, Alcatraz didn’t shut down in 1963. The inmates and guards all disappeared, and now, almost fifty years later, they are coming back, without having aged or changed their predisposition to killing in the slightest. Created by LOST alum Elizabeth Sarnoff (LOST) as well as Steven Lilien (KYLE XY) and Bryan Wynbrandt (KYLE XY), the show has potential with its intriguing high concept. But right now it’s simply a mediocre procedural set in San Francisco with only hints of the overarching storyline. In the mold of Anna Torv (FRINGE), Sarah Jones plays the tough and sexy Detective Rebecca Madsen, who’s involved not just to catch bad guys but to find clues about her grandfather (SPOILER: he’s one of the un-aged and killed her partner in the pilot). She’s joined by great LOST alum and Weezer cover boy Hurley, ahem, Jorge Garcia, as Dr. Diego Soto. He’s a comic book nerd with two doctorates and an Alcatraz obsession, and they need some humor to distract from Sam Neill’s stern face. Neill is Emerson Hauser, the mysterious benefactor with an unknown motive to track these guys down.

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Now on the fourth episode of the show, Alcatraz still has some work to do. This week’s installment, “Cal Sweeney,” is written by Robert Hull (Gossip Girl) and directed by Fringe veteran Brad Anderson. While it’s still clearly early, the show hasn’t found the correct balance in terms of procedural and serial storytelling to this point. In the episode we follow, guess who, Cal Sweeney (played by Eric Johnson of Smallville semifame), who has a soft spot for safety deposit boxes and tellers. Cal finds lonely middle aged tellers and preys on them, seducing them during bank hours and luckily finding himself in the safety deposit vault where he then drugs the lady, and robs the boxes, not the cash (or else the Feds get involved). As a former employee at Bank of America, it’s hard to describe how wrong and insulting the idea that any of this would actually work, even with the help of a besotted teller (tellers rarely have access to vaults, they can’t turn off security cameras or the alarms in the vaults, and if they could, everything is under dual control with another employee, etc.). Let’s say Cal’s present day accomplishments would’ve been better suited for the 1960s, as would the whole plot because maybe we wouldn’t have seen it before. As in every episode, the criminal’s return in present day is paralleled with his time in Alcatraz in an attempt to learn more about our villain in mini Criminal Minds fashion. We find out that Cal runs an illegal business selling and distributing contraband through the prison’s laundry system, and is showing young Harlan (Steven Grayhm) the ropes. Soon, the Kyle MacLachlan look-alike Deputy Warden E.B. Tiller (Jason Butler Harner) is onto him after tossing his cell and demands 50% of Cal’s cut or else he’ll reveal Cal’s business to the Warden. With the help of Harlan, Cal hatches a plan to recover what E.B. stole from his cell and to change his mind. The plan is to get E.B. alone at his birthday party and talk him out of it... Really....


BEING HUMAN

presumably wouldn’t capture his reflection, but now only a supervisor has the key cards to get in to the blood, so Aidan’s stash is running out. There’s probably a simple solution here, but the guy’s starving and delirious, making Julia in danger of becoming his next meal.

Air Date: January 30th, 2012

“All Out Of Blood” Review by Andy Greene

A show about ghosts, werewolves, and vampires (groan) based on a BBC show that still runs airing on Syfy. That has disaster written all over it, right? Wrong. Instead, BEING HUMAN is one of the best shows on television. Just three episodes into season two, and it’s clear the show isn’t going anywhere. This week’s “All Out of Blood” is written by Chris Dingess (REAPER), directed by BH veteran Paolo Barzman and as we’ve come to expect, packs an emotional wallop with a shocking twist. Note: If you haven’t seen this premiere, skip to the end to avoid

season’s spoilers.

The show’s central core is about how these monsters attempt and routinely fail at being human (hey, that’s the name of our show), and Aidan is always at odds with his hunger for blood and his desire to be a better man. In this week’s episode, Aidan (Sam Witwer) continues to see newcomer Julia (Natalie Brown), a woman about to start work at their hospital. He struggles not to devour her every time they meet, yet his feelings for her and his vegetarian diet stay his fangs, barely. To make it more difficult, the hospital he works at has finally amped up security due to the massive amounts of blood routinely being stolen from the premises. Video cameras

While Aidan battles with himself in his burgeoning relationship and seeks out alternative methods to feed, Josh (the great Sam Huntington) and Nora (Kristen Hager) prepare for their second “turn” together (but their first when they know that Nora is, in fact, a werewolf). Sam has purchased two neighboring storage sheds and enlisted Sally to keep an eye on them. Nora, as the full moon approaches, has more and more disdain for this “safe” plan, wanting to be free and to explore the wolf side of her, with or without Josh. Josh is torn on whether or not to tell her that she’s a killer (she ate vampire heavy Hegeman in her first furry go round) to convince her to follow the plan. Sally (Meaghan Rath) continues to figure out what the hell to do with all her free time. While werewolves and vampires have been done to death (nailed it!), the ghost mythology is relatively untapped in television or otherwise (I don’t count Medium or Ghost Whisperer and neither should you). As such, I always find myself the most interested in what the writers have planned for Sally and the ghost mythology they are slowly constructing. This week, Sally meets Zoe, a nurse who can see her due to her second sight. Zoe is a cranky medium, but helps ghosts be reincarnated in the newborn babies in the maternity ward. Creepy and controversial stuff. Sally immediately becomes drawn to the idea, and tries to convince Zoe of her worthiness for reincarnation. This leads to one of the weirder ‘job’ interviews ever with the whole gang, more insights into the supernatural, and another mild epiphany for Sally on life after death...

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SPARTACUS

Air Date: February 3rd, 2012

“A Place In This World” Review by Andy Greene

The show that put Starz on the map for original programming has finally returned, albeit without its star lead Andy Whitfield, who succumbed to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September of last year (R.I.P.). Much of the hubbub and discussion of Spartacus’ newest season will begin and end with his replacement Liam McIntyre. It’s impossible to ignore, especially so early in the new season, but for now, let’s get on with the episode. “A Place In This World” was written by show creator Steven S. DeKnight and already shows improvement from the bland premiere, if only because it puts a spotlight on one of its best and elusive characters, Doctore (the excellent Peter Mensah), providing a glimpse into his past. Friday night’s action begins with a blood bath in the pits, a match between a massive white man and a skinny, lithe black man. This black man is Oenomaus, the man who would become Doctore and lanista for the house of Batiatus, the esteemed trainer for Crixus, Spartacus and Barca alike. The battle is as bloody and gruesome as any that we’ve seen on the show (especially its climax), and that’s a bold statement. For fans that watch the show solely for this kind of gore, it’s a welcome sight, even if it’s perhaps a disturbing commentary on our society. Spartacus and Crixus (Manu Bennett) continue their grudging alliance in an effort to free Roman slaves and in particular, to find Naevia, Crixus’ lost love. Crixus’ transformation from hated villain to perhaps the character

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you root for most (that includes Spartacus), especially after the excellent prequel series Gods of the Arena, is a testament to the writers and of Manu Bennett’s underrated work as the conflicted Gaol. The two lead separate factions simmering with tension, and right now, their undisputed leadership of the clans are the only thing keeping the two clans from war. Something tells me that will change in the coming season. But for now, they roam from villa to villa searching for leads to Naevia’s whereabouts, freeing slaves in their bloody wake. After a Dominus’ body slave named Tiberius makes an attempt on the life of Spartacus, the two leaders come into ideological dispute over what’s to be done with the boy. While Spartacus’ company is exalted by their freedom (witness the Gaol’s excessive ribaldry replete with flopping genitalia), one man isn’t: Oenomaus. In last week’s premiere, he refused to join Crixus and Spartacus on their vengeful path, and has returned to the only place deserving of a man who has lost his honor: the pits. As we learn in flashbacks, Titus Batiatus (Jeffrey Thomas) rescued Oenomaus from his eventual bloody fate in the pits and set to teach him honor and train him in the art of gladiator fighting. Obviously, the man would succeed, and it’s another example of how much better a dominus Titus was than his volatile son Batiatus (John Hannah). Speaking of which, this show misses the side-splitting verbiage of Hannah as the lovably villainous Batiatus almost as much as Andy Whitfield, after his beheading in the first season finale. He had the best lines and deserved an Emmy for his work, and without Ashur (Nick Tarabay) to this point, the show lacks much of its vigorous dialogue and gusto.

As Oenomaus looks for death in his return to the pits, Claudius Glaber (Craig Parker) exhausts every possibility to stop Spartacus....


FRINGE

Air Date: February 3rd, 2012

“Making Angels” Review by Andy Greene

It’s taken four and a half seasons, but the writers of Fringe have finally given the spotlight to one of its most underappreciated characters, Astrid (the delightful Jasika Nicole), and the result is one of the best episodes of an uneven season thus far. Hopefully this week’s episode is a harbinger for things to come. Our story begins on the Other Side, with their Broyles (Lance Reddick) summoning Fauxlivia (alternate Olivia, Anna Torv) and Linclone (the other Lincoln, Seth Gabel). Turns out, someone from their side has used the bridge between worlds without authorization. Who is it? None other than their Astrid, or as Jasika refers to her, KickAsstrid. Fauxlivia volunteers to bring her back. A man is given a 95% chance of survival when an early form of cancer is discovered in his body. Waiting for the bus on the way home, he’s approached by an Asian gentleman we’ll come to know as Neil (played by The Dark Knight’s Chin Han), who plays out the man’s future, claiming that he’s the unlucky 5% and the rest of his short life will be pain and suffering. As the bus motors past, the man’s lifeless body is splayed out on the bench.

wants to know if our Astrid has suffered the same heartbreak. Really, she just wants a friend and is clearly curious to see what our Astrid is like and how our world differs from her own. Given the limelight, Jasika shines as essentially a more brilliant Rain Mantype autistic savant as the other Astrid, and the sweet, always helpful Astrid of our own side. When Fauxlivia arrives to inject enthusiasm and a welcome sense of humor, we’re having fun watching Fringe again. The two Other Siders assist the Fringe Division with their case, creating an interesting dynamic. Walter hates Fauxlivia (the pair’s back and forth is priceless), but loves the innocent genius of their Astrid, even calling her by the correct name to the chagrin of our Astrid. Fauxlivia just likes to stir the pot, and I love her for it. As more bodies pile up with seemingly no pattern to connect them, we see that Neil is putting these men and women out of their misery. Each have a bleak future ahead of them, and before they can enact it, he kills to “save” them. Neil sees himself as a saint, and his ability to see the past, present and future calls to mind the Observers, and their connection is one of the cooler moments of the episode, as we’re finally gaining new information rather than rehashing old twists. Along the way, Their Astrid makes knowing commentary upon the nature of our division’s lab and the group’s dynamic, and we get some genuinely touching moments between the two Astrid’s, ending with some insight into our Astrid’s home life. Written superbly by Akiva Goldsman, J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner, this episode succeeds in large part due to Fauxlivia and KickAsstrid’s appearance on our side. In many ways, we know Fauxlivia more than our side’s Olivia, because this season, the main characters are another wrinkle away from their actual selves (plus Fauxlivia is undeniably more fun)...

Walter (the brilliant John Noble) and Peter (my man crush, Joshua Jackson) bicker in the lab, when KickAsstrid enters. Olivia and Astrid quickly follow, as Astrid confronts her doppelganger for the first time. KickAsstrid is distraught, as her father has died, and

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THE WALKING DEAD

Air Date: November 27th, 2012

“Pretty Much Dead Already” Review by Andy Greene

It’s been a couple months since the midseason finale of THE WALKING DEAD, and with AMC’s hit ramping up just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s time to look back at “Pretty Much Dead Already,” an episode that proves to be a turning point for the show and many of its characters. TWD is one of the best shows on TV, and that’s even if it sometimes devolves into scenes from WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (albeit with zombies). Every single plot and subplot of this episode involves an argument between two or more characters. But it works because these characters are so rich, their emotions so real; the struggle to retain one’s humanity when in hell is really the focus of the show, not the (external) monsters they are fighting, which sounds a lot like a play to me. The season so far has dwelled on the growing heat in the rivalry between former best buds Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Shane (Jon Bernthal) and who is the best leader, who/ what is right and wrong, and what’s best for their group. It has also focused on the search and rescue for Sophia, and the growing heroics and complexities that color Daryl (fan favorite Norman Reedus) as he spearheads the

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task. In this episode, we (finally) get the answer we were looking for with Sophia (one that many won’t expect), and perhaps an answer in the Rick and Shane debate. The action begins with Glenn (Steven Yeun practically jumps from the panels of Kirkman’s comic book) telling the camp that Herschel has been keeping live zombies in the barn this entire time. Obviously, this sparks uproar and reignites the debate over Herschel’s rules on the farm, particularly between Rick and Shane in another in a sea of moments that highlight both Lincoln and Bernthal’s Emmy candidacy. Rick clings to the notion that they are guests and must obey Herschel’s wishes against arms to stay in this haven they’ve found, whereas Shane doesn’t see the point in staying somewhere that clearly isn’t safe with zombies lurking and without guns at hand to kill them. Daryl packs up again to go off looking for Sophie perhaps too quickly after his recent injuries, and Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride) expresses concern over his safety. Daryl’s not used to anyone’s concern, especially when he’s trying to find Carol’s daughter, so he blows up in her face. Rude. Moral compass Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn), like clockwork, expresses concern over Andrea’s (Amy Holden) association with Shane and what he’s become and whether she really wants to be like him. As always, it blows up in Dale’s face. This time, he responds rashly by grabbing the remaining weapons to hide them in the woods. Off to the side, Maggie and Glenn continue their adolescent tiff over Glenn revealing the secret about the barn, but their burgeoning relationship proves to be the only (and very much welcome) bright spot in the series right now, and Glenn’s speech to Maggie is the cutest darn thing you’ll ever hear. Yes, I love them, which probably means one or both will be food soon enough...


ONCE UPON A TIME

Air Date: January 29th, 2012

“Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” Review by Andy Greene

I’m not going to mince words here. I had no intention to watch ONCE UPON A TIME. But upon receiving this assignment, I found myself immersing myself in fairy tale land, and soon, less grudgingly by the week, enjoyed my time in the fictional town of Storybrooke, Maine (of course it’s set in Maine). With spotty acting and a premise that requires several leaps of faith and an open heart (aww), the show could’ve been a disaster (there are still moments, like when you meet the ill-fated eighth dwarf named “Stealthy,” when you question yourself). But creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis (both co-executive producers on LOST), found the successful tone and formula for the show early on, and haven’t strayed from it. And people have caught on, as this week’s episode was its highest rating of the past eleven weeks at 10.8 million viewers, and with “reimagined” fairy tales becoming pop culture’s newest fixation, that may not change any time soon.

other, in the enchanted forest of Happily Ever After (it’s not actually called that, but you get the point). Like LOST, OUAT has a huge cast of characters and a mythology that grows by the episode, and each week there’s a specific focus on one or a couple fairy tale characters and their origins told in glorious LOST flashback mode, and what they’re up to in Storybrooke. Its newest episode, entitled “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree,” a title that has obvious roots in fairy tale lore (and the greatest fairy tale of all, the Bible) and its double meaning becomes transparent if you’ve taken a law class, is written by the aforementioned creators of the show and directed by Bryan Spicer (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers). The episode focuses on the origin story of Sidney Glass and his fairy tale alter ego, played by the fantastic Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad fame. To this point, in part due to the nature of his character (he’s the face of the Queen’s mirror mirror on the wall), he had been grossly underused. Until now. Turns out, he wasn’t always trapped in the mirror to advise and be a pithy sidekick to the Evil Queen. He was a genie of Agrabah (the first of many nods and hammers to the head references to Disney’s Aladdin in the episode), who is discovered by guest star Richard Schiff (West Wing) in full blown regent’s regalia as King Leopold, adding yet more royalty to a rather muddled fairy tale hierarchy. After hearing the Genie’s plight (like everyone else in the show’s two worlds, the Genie just wants to be loved), the King incredulously reveals himself as the greatest human being on the planet. Not only is he completely happy and “wants for nothing,” he wishes for the genie to be free, and with his second wish, wishes for the genie to have his third and final wish. He didn’t need a whole movie and an accompanied Disney soundtrack to reach enlightenment; he got it done before the credits, and there you have the setup...

The show, in many ways, is LOST meets Disneyland (Jiminy Cricket is not a fairy tale character. But hey, ABC is owned by Disney!). Each episode follows two inextricably linked timelines, one “our” world, and the

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PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 Paramount Pictures Review by Danika Johnson

Paranormal Activity 3 is the R-rated cherry on top of a supernatural sundae. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the movie is cinematic gold, however, with each additional prequel a simple 86-minute ghost story is transformed into a mystifying timeline of a family history steeped with malevolent spirits and an apparent hatred for men. What sets PA3 apart from the other two films is the amount of on-screen paranormal action that occurs. Unlike the first Paranormal Activity, the third presents supernatural happenings from the get go, that culminates in a pretty shocking series of events... READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

MST3K VS. GAMERA Shout! Factory LLC Review by The ED-itor

There can be little doubt that Gamera has always been the “red-headed stepchild” of the kaiju world. While Godzilla and Mothra have always received high praise, Gamera has been a frequent punchline. Whether it be for the fact he appears as a giant turtle with rocket boosters or that his movies make heroes out of children while reducing scientists to hapless morons, the laughs have always tended to be at the films as opposed to with them. So while the films may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Shout Factory has given a gift to the world that makes Gamera films easy to consume. What followed were some of the most successful episodes the series had ever produced... READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!


CRITERION’S GODZILLA The Criterion Collection Review by The ED-itor

When it comes to giant monsters, none are more famous than Godzilla. And with Criterion’s new release of the monster’s premiere outing now on Blu Ray, it’s a good reminder as to why the character and the film still remain at the forefront of monster culture. From the beautiful B&W cinematography and Eiji Tsubaraya and Haruo Nakajima’s teaming to bring the monster to life, to Akira Ifukube’s haunting score that will stay with you long after the closing title card, all brought together under the watchful eye of director Ishiro Honda, the elements combine to make something that simply transcends the boilerplate of monster films and creates an experience even an art house filmgoer can appreciate... READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

IN TIME 20th Century Fox What if everyone over 25 years old was doomed to die unless they could afford to buy a longer life expectancy? IN TIME explores just such a world where, quite literally, time is money. Brought to us by the great Andrew Niccol (GATTACA, THE TRUMAN SHOW), IN TIME tries its best but can’t quite give the heady premise the justice it deserves. Starring Justin Timberlake as Will Salas, an average Joe who struggles to make a living (pun intended) to provide for himself and his mother (Olivia Wilde). His life changes forever when a mysterious man gives him several lifetimes worth of time, sending him down a twisted road of action and adventure, where he meets Amanda Seyfried’s character, a gorgeous socialite, and the uncompromising Cillian Murphy. The subject of an intense manhunt, will Salas save the day? Or will the bad guys... clean his clock!?

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SWAMP THING #6 Story: Scott Snyder Art: Marco Rudy Review by Holly Interlandi

Scott Snyder has a knack for taking things up another notch, even when you think you’ve reached the veritable climax. DC’s new SWAMP THING, in which Alec Holland has been on the run from a horrifying force called The Rot, has thus far been a nightmarish trip of backwards heads, exploding tumors, and pigs fused into giant monsters. But if Issue 5 was intense, Issue 6 makes 5 seem like warm up. Don’t be fooled by the DC logo, or the suspicion that SWAMP THING is a cheesy superhero comic. It’s disturbing, unique, and vivid as a car crash... READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

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FATALE #2 Story: Ed Brubaker Art: Sean Phillips Review by Holly Interlandi

Brubaker and Phillips are a team well-versed in the world of comics noir, being responsible for the popular titles CRIMINAL, INCOGNITO, and SLEEPER. Their new series FATALE is unique among them, however, for bringing supernatural weirdness into the fray, in the form of Lovecraft cult worshippers and Elder Signs written in lipstick by a mysteriously immortal woman named Josephine. FATALE #2, however, like the first issue, continues to read very much like a classic mystery—twisted and text-heavy... READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

VENOM #13 Story: Rick Remender Art: Tony Moore Review by Holly Interlandi

One could argue that Marvel comics are always at their best when they don’t take themselves too seriously. Venom #13 is a shining example. The first issue of a team-up of sorts called Circle of Four, the story provides a plot as trite and hyperbolic as the Son of Satan using a Vegas nightclub to harvest souls and bring about Hell on Earth. Sound familiar? But with the way Rick Remender handles his four characters and their coincidental meeting in Sin City, you spend far too much time being amused to worry about originality... READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

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THE HAMMER VAULT by Marcus Hearn Titan Books Review by Elvis Kunesh

B-MOVIE REELS by Alan Spencer Samhain Publishing Review by John Scappini

B-Movie Reels has a lot going on. It’s sort of like a horror quiche, throw in a few toxic mutants, deranged lunatics, some magic, some zombies, set the oven to gory—and voila, you have Alan Spencer’s monster-movie mashup. Set in the unfortunate rural town of Anderson Mills, B-Movie Reels tells the story of Andy Ryerson, a recent college grad. Tasked with reviewing a crate of lousy B-movies for his old professor, Andy’s uncle Ned helpfully puts him up in his old home, a house that has more than just central air going on within its woodwork. Mayhem, and quite a bit of dismemberment, ensues when the characters and creatures from the B-movies begin to materialize and attack the townspeople... READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

If you’re looking for a great book to go with your blood-stained coffee table, have we got the recommendation for you... THE HAMMER VAULT – an immense tome bursting with illustrious artifacts and elaborate stories behind the creation of every single entry in the HAMMER film library. Each enormous two-page spread spotlights a single film. Author Marcus Hearn says something unique about the background of each film, charting Hammer’s roller coaster history all the way up to present day. Every movie is featured with an alluring array of concept art, poster work, annotated script pages, props, promotional material, exclusive set photos and private messages written between production heads... READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

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KINGDOMS OF AMALUR:

RECKONING

Electronic Arts A single player RPG set in the titular fantasy universe of Amalur, this game features an Open World game environment for the player to explore as they craft their character’s destiny. That’s right, you get to craft your character’s DESTINY. Throwing away the rigid character class systems found in most fantasy RPGs, Amalur allows you to choose various abilities and items to shape how your character grows throughout the game, providing a much more unique experience. Active combat plays an important role, utilizing a wide array of weaponry as well as magical powers. Brought to you by such creatve geniuses as R.A. Salvatore, Todd McFarlane, and Ken Rolston, KINGDOMS OF AMALUR boasts “a mastercrafted universe featuring some of the most intense, responsive, and customizable RPG combat ever!”

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THE DARKNESS 2 2K Games One of the most intense first person shooters available for fans of horror and the supernatural! THE DARKNESS 2, inspired by the comic book series by Top Cow Productions, features a spectacular graphic-novel art style that will blow you away. As you play, you are put into the shoes of Jackie Estacado, the demonically empowered head of a NY crime family, as he struggles to shake the memory of his girlfriend’s death while simultaneously fighting in a full-scale mob war and attempting to control the Darkness within him. Intense. If an awesome plot isn’t enough for you, THE DARKNESS 2 is also the only first person shooter to feature quad (four weapons) weilding (using all four of said weapons AT THE SAME TIME!). Oh, and two of those weapons are giant, demonic serpent arms... ‘Nuff said.


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Home Video

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

Metal Shifters

Filth to Ashes, Flesh to Dust

Dorm of the Dead

Day of the Dead 3D

The Deadly Spawn

Stormhouse

Machete Joe

Super Shark

The Bunnyman Massacre

Books

Book

of

Sith

City of Dragons

Apocalypse Go

to

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Comics

Batman And Robin #6

Bionic Man #6

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Nine #6

Carnage USA #3

Conan the Barbarian #1

Dead Or Alive #4

Deathstroke #6

Demon Knights #6

Dungeons and Dragons #15

Ferals #2

Collectibles

Green Goblin Action Figure

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Tokidoki Kaiju Plush

Greedo Action Figure


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The Graveyard Examiner - 02/07/2012