The Strangers (REVIEW)

Bryan Bertino made several powerful and effective decisions in crafting his debut feature, "The Strangers," but one in particular set a unique and rewarding course. At the film's outset, voiceover and on-screen explanation informs us that the story that follows is based on actual events. We're also told that the FBI estimates that there are roughly 1.4 million violent crimes each year in the United States. It's what comes right after this information though, that preps us for the harrowing journey that Bertino has laid out.

Horror Headlines 5/30/08

"The Strangers", starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, is in theaters everywhere today. The film deals with a vacationing couple who are terrorized by three unknown assailants. The marketing has claimed it to be based on a true story, however the only thing we could dig up is that it may or may not slightly resemble the true story that the French film "Ils" ("Them") was loosely based on. We'll have a review up for you some time on Saturday, and the film will be the subject of our podcast this week, so keep your eyes peeled!

"Robocop" remake to be shot in 3D? Okay, that might be enough for me to retract my bile a bit.

Brett Ratner is rumored to be interested in directing the "God of War" adaptation, and video game fans every where begin to weep. This, coupled with the news that he may be directing a fourth "Beverly Hills Cop" film must be some sort of sign of the end times, right?

Elizabeth Berkley has been cast in the "Donnie Darko" sequel titled "S. Darko". The film is being directed by "Chris Fisher" and has started production in Utah. I'm not sure if a Saved By The Bell joke or a "Showgirls" one is appropriate here, so you'll have to fill in the blanks yourself.

In Real People News: 

When I think of the ultimate practical joke, never does lighting my friend's crotch on fire pop into my head. Apparently, I'm alone in that boat.

On this day in history: 

1431: Joan of Arc is burned at the stake in Rouen, France for relapsing into heresy. After having signed a confession a week earlier, Joan appeared in court wearing difformitate habitus -- degenerate apparel -- or more precisely, men's clothing.

Horror Headlines 5/29/08

Robert Rodriguez is shopping a TV Show around called "Women in Chains". The show, described as a "violent drama" is reportedly influenced by 70's exploitation films, and is to star his "Planet Terror" muse (and apparently, fiance) Rose McGowan. I haven't read the rest of the news yet but I'm assuming this will be the strangest story of the day.

First pic from "Death Race". I've never seen the original, but this looks like "Twisted Metal" to me and needless to say, that's awesome.

Rainn Wilson joins the cast of "Transformers 2". I'm guessing this will totally silence all the people who were pissed that the first film wasn't really about the Transformers... Oh wait, no it won't.

Two new banners for "The Dark Knight". Also, we're finally a little over a month away from release! This film is rivaling "Cloverfield" for film to come out this year that seemed to be in development FOREVER.

Bad news for "Reanimator" fans, as Stuart Gordon says "House of Reanimator" probably isn't going to happen, at least any time soon. The film was to be about Herbert West being called in to reanimate a dead president who then turns into a zombie, and has his inner circle running things for him. Sound familiar? It should, as the whole thing was cooked up in the early 2000's as a satire on the Bush Administration. In related news, those of us who have seen "Beyond Reanimator" aren't too sad at this news.

In Real People News: 

According to pillar of honest journalism, Fox News, A Denver man will reveal "evidence" of 4 foot tall gray aliens on Friday. Oh, that's not that long to wait for proof of life on other planets. See you guys tomorrow!

It might be time to cancel that visit to the UK, mainly because of a new trend called "Happyslapping", where gangs of roving children beat people to death, film it, put it on Youtube, and laugh heartily. Jesus christ, what the hell is "happy" about that?

Finished breakfast yet? Good, because news today is that Chef Gordon Ramsay may have eaten part of some dude's thumb during filming of his reality show "Hell's Kitchen". Now if you'll excuse me, I think I have to go get a refund on my breakfast.

On this day in history: 

1999: Hikers discover the skeletal remains of Philip "Taylor" in his Ford Aerostar at the bottom of a 200-foot ravine in Malibu, California. The onetime bassist for the band Iron Butterfly had disappeared four years prior.

Apocalypse Mixtape Part VI: Blood Wings

Reader Farkwit McFakename writes:

Dear John,

Glorious, Slow-Motion Fighting Robots

I used to love watching that old robot fighting show on Comedy Central (BattleBots?). This is a way classier looking (and sounding) version of that goodness.

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