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by Nick Dinicola

23 Oct 2009

Saw VI comes out today, the latest movie in the “torture porn” sub-genre of horror. When this sub-genre first began to grow in popularity, many film critics lamented that torture had become something entertaining, but in all the time since then, horror games have not jumped to cash in on the trend. Horrow games have changed dramatically over the six years since Saw was first released but not along the same lines that their filmic counterparts have. Horror games have become more action packed thanks to Resident Evil 4 and Dead Space, all but ignoring the seeming popularity of torture. It seems those critics can breathe a sigh of relief because, while certain horror fans enjoy watching torture, it seems that they also don’t want to partake in it directly.

That’s not to say there are no instances of torture in modern horror games. One scene near the end of Silent Hill: Homecoming feels ripped straight out of Hostel. The hero is tied to a chair while a cultist stabs a drill into his leg, and a few quick-time events later he’s free and the drill is sticking out of the cultist’s eye. Then there are the Manhunt games in which players are forced to participate in a snuff film. And the franchise that arguably started it all, Saw, made its first jump to video games earlier this month. What’s interesting about all these examples of torture is that the player is always the victim, never the torturer. We’re tied to the chair in Silent Hill: Homecoming, we’re a killer in Manhunt, yes, but a killer forced to play the starring role in a snuff film. In the Saw game, we don’t play as Jigsaw but as a cop caught up in one of Jigsaw’s maniacal, elaborate traps. Every torture device that we come across has someone else stuck inside it and solving the trap plays out like a mini puzzle game. This allows for a variety of play that we wouldn’t get to participate in if we had control over Jigsaw because torturing people just isn’t an interesting game mechanic.

by Caroline Shadood

23 Oct 2009

Partisan Records Showcase
Bowery Ballroom, New York City
The subtle, wiry tunes of David Strackany (aka Paleo) launched the Partisan Records showcase at the Bowery Ballroom last night.  Reminiscent of the late Eliott Smith, Paleo’s warbly, delicate vocals stood out against his charmingly modest demeanor, also reminiscent of M. Ward or a less jarring Conor Oberst.  Privileged onlookers parked themselves on the floor and were treated to an array of poetic acoustic sounds with torchy hints aplenty.



by Tyler Gould

23 Oct 2009

This is a great video, and so full of great animation (by Anthony F. Schepperd) and great moments that I only wish it could be longer, but that’s probably a selfish impulse, as its compactness makes it all the more impressive.

by Allison Taich

23 Oct 2009

It’s hard to believe, but this winter marks the 20th anniversary of the release Nirvana’s debut album, Bleach. In honor of this music milestone, Sub Pop is re-issuing Bleach as an expanded CD/double LP. Originally recorded in December, 1988 and released in June of ’89, the album received international recognition after Nevermind took off.

Some of the features include a previously unreleased live recording at the Pine Street Theatre in Portland, Oregon from 1990, and extended liner notes with candid photos. Producer Jack Endino oversaw the sessions as the album was re-mastered at Sterling Sound off of the original tapes. The album is available for pre-order at Sub Pop.

01 Blew
02 Floyd the Barber
03 About a Girl
04 School
05 Love Buzz
06 Paper Cuts
07 Negative Creep
08 Scoff
09 Swap Meet
10 Mr. Moustache
11 Sifting
12 Big Cheese
13 Downer
14 Intro (live)
15 School (live)
16 Floyd the Barber (live)
17 Dive (live)
18 Love Buzz (live)
19 Spank Thru (live)
20 Molly’s Lips (live)
21 Sappy (live)
22 Scoff (live)
23 About a Girl (live)
24 Been a Son (live)
25 Blew (live)

About a Girl [MP3]

Scoff (live) [MP3]

by Thomas Hauner

23 Oct 2009

Male Bonding
Piano’s, New York City
The Windish Agency showcase was eclectic in sound and personality, but it didn’t begin with Male Bonding.  The UK trio’s rhythm section was tight and its drummer rigorous, propelling their songs at Slayer-speed.  Vocals and intonation were at odds, but that seemed to be their MO.  Sadly their dejected attitude made it seem like they were just trying to finish the set at soon as possible. Above it all, loud guitars and racing beats—not entangled pitch, however—made for a respectable opening.

//Mixed media

Indie Horror Month 2016: Executing 'The Deed'

// Moving Pixels

"It's just so easy to kill someone in a video game that it's surprising when a game makes murder difficult.

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