"The cinema was made for horror movies. No other kind of film offers that same mysterious anticipation as you head into a dark auditorium. No other makes such powerful use of sound and image. The cinema is where we come to share a collective dream and horror films are the most dreamlike of all, perhaps because they engage with our nightmares." And so Mark Gatiss opens his three-part series, A History of Horror. "One of the great virtues of this series is that it is thoroughly subjective. Gatiss does not feel any particular obligation to give us an A to Z of horror, but instead lingers lovingly over his own favourites," taking the viewer with him from the Golden Age of Hollywood horror through the American horror movies of the 1960s and 1970s. [more inside]
BBC Radio 4's 'The Film Programme' talks to George A Romero. 'Forty five years after the release of genre-defining Night of the Living Dead, Francine Stock talks to the director George A Romero about inventing the undead zombie and where he might unearth horror in contemporary society. Plus why he doesn't rate Stanley Kubrick as a horror director.' [SL BBC Radio 4 episode] [more inside]
A (youtube, some language that is NSFW) 'documentary' about the discovery of a new gene responsible for arseholish behaviour. Enjoy.
Lead programmer John Carmack is clearly the main reason behind the technical superiority of Id's games.... When the contractor Id hired to do the network drivers for Doom didn't come through, Carmack matter-of-factly wrote a network driver and had it up and running the next day.Monsters from the Id: The Making of Doom (reprinted from Game Developer magazine issue #1, January, 1994.)
[Project] specialist John Romero ... plays the latest beta making his own sound effects with his mouth to compensate for the game sound effects that haven't been added in yet.
It's debatable whether the troubled World War Z signals the end of the ongoing zombie craze, but the film that started it all is much more clear: Danny Boyle's bleak, artful cult horror-drama 28 Days Later, which saw its US premiere ten years ago this weekend. From its iconic opening shots of an eerily abandoned London (set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's brooding post-rock epic "East Hastings") to the frenzied chaos of its climax, Boyle's film -- a dark yet humanist tale of a world eviscerated by a frighteningly contagious epidemic of murderous rage -- reinvented and reinvigorated the genre that Romero built (though many insist its rabid, sprinting berserkers don't really count). And while sequel 28 Weeks Later with its heavyhanded Iraq War allusions failed to live up to the original (despite boasting one of the most viscerally terrifying opening sequences in modern horror), and 28 Months looks increasingly unlikely, there remains a small universe of side content from the film, including music, short films, comics, and inspired-by games. [more inside]
Matt Barton's Matt Chat started as a series of discussions on classic video games from Elite to System Shock 2. It now features interviews with the likes of Chris Avellone (Planescape Torment), Tim Cain (Fallout pt.1, pt.2); Arcanum, Brian Fargo (The Fall of Interplay, Waste land and Fallout, Bard's Tale and Wizardry), John Romero (Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake and the infamous Daikatana) and Al Lowe (Leasure Suite Larry pt.1 and pt.2). [more inside]
iD Software has been acquired by ZeniMax media. (Reports here, here, and many other places.) John Romero, the co-founder of the company, had some initial concerns but seems to have cheered up. No doubt a wide variety of retrospectives, histories, opinions and flames will rise from this most infamously-independent of game studios joining forces/merging/being swallowed by another, younger one. (ZeniMax was founded in 1999, iD in 1991.) With iD releasing games with years-long gaps between them, younger readers might not have grown up playing this company's output, but if you've ever run down a hallway with a gun bouncing earnestly before you and looking through a heads-up display, iD has touched your life too. Masters of Doom is an excellent history of the company in book form, assuming you still read.
A visit to id Software, 1993. A must watch for anyone who's ever played Doom.
DOOM is a 3D adventure game with arcade-style elements. It was programmed for computers running
DOS Flash 10. Here's the plot: your character is a Space Marine on the planet Mars, who uses guns his fist, and even a chainsaw to kill monsters from another dimension.
Wasted West is a nice short film that pumps some fresh blood in those dried up veins of the western genre.