Author - Jerry Paxton

GRIP: Combat Racing Collector’s Edition and Soundtrack Announced

Watford, England – October 9, 2018 – Wired Productions Ltd., a leading independent video games publisher, and developer Caged Element Inc. are honored to announce the London-based independent record label, Hospital Records, have amongst others, provided a sensational selection of licensed drum & bass tracks for GRIP: Combat Racing – the staggeringly-fast, futuristic arcade combat racer.

Adding a clutch of carnal drum & bass tracks to a now 24-strong lineup for GRIP: Combat Racing, Hospital Records have licensed the following 11 tracks to help usher players through each of the game’s gravity-defying courses:

  • Battery x Makoto “Submerge
  • Krakota x Urbandawn “Coyote”
  • Inja x Pete Cannon “War Games“ (Instrumental)
  • Krakota “Citadels
  • Royalston “Diorama
  • Rawtekk “Restless
  • Whiney “Sunday Grunge
  • Whiney “Talisman
  • Lynx “Clap Track

Megan Bean, Head of Business Affairs & Sync, Hospital Records said “We’re excited to have our producers featured on the awesome new GRIP: Combat Racing game.”

We’re super excited to have Hospital Records on board, bringing their industry-leading line-up to GRIP: Combat Racing and joining forces with the rest of our great soundtrack roster,” said Chris Mallinson, Game Director for GRIP: Combat Racing. “We think players will love pumping the huge tunes we’ve got in the game.”

Hospital Records’ tracks join the following great music already included in game:

  • Entita “Can’t Wait
  • Full Kontakt “Cyborg
  • Full Kontakt “BlackOut
  • Full Kontakt “Clock Watch
  • Full Kontakt “Power Train
  • Full Kontact “The Creeper
  • Imperium “Cerbera
  • Kevin Green Lee “GRIP
  • Mart-E “Boost Empire
  • Pragmatic “Going Down
  • Revaux “Solidify
  • Silence Groove “Reconnect
  • Xtigma “Crash City

Players looking to enjoy even more from the game’s soundtrack will be pleased to learn that the Collector’s Edition features the original soundtrack on double vinyl, CD and MP3 Download. Available from This collector’s edition is extremely limited with only 500 numbered units being produced and only 300 being made available for general sale.

The exclusive GRIP: Combat Racing Collector’s Edition includes:

  • GRIP: Combat Racing video game
  • Double Vinyl + CD Soundtrack + MP3 Download key
  • 3 x 12” double-sided art prints
  • Classic Game Manual & Lorebook
  • GRIP USB Drive
  • Exclusive DLC (Nyvoss Hex Paint Kit, Vortex Rims and Vehicle Decals)
  • GRIP Sick Bag
  • Vehicle Decals
  • Numbered card of authenticity

Careering towards its November 6th release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam for Windows PC, GRIP: Combat Racing offers players a uniquely competitive experience, testing their reflexes to the limit as they accelerate towards the finish line at over 767mph. Those wishing to take their highly-tuned skills into the PVP sphere can enjoy:

  • Split-screen competitive play in both Race and Arena modes
  • 10 Player online multiplayer with full lobby and matchmaking support
  • Full tournament building support allowing racers to combine race modes and arenas to build bespoke playlists and competitions with friends
  • Online leaderboards for Carkour and Race modes

E! People’s Choice Awards Food Truck Coming to LA and Austin

October 8, 2018 – To celebrate the pop-culture hungry people that make the entertainment industry possible, the E! People’s Choice Awards themed food truck is feeding fans around country, making pit stops in Austin and Los Angeles with a menu of delicious bites inspired by the finalists.

When fans arrive at the truck, they will place their votes for a The E! People’s Choice Awards category and then receive a free, customized, Instagrammable food item representing their choice. Fans can then post photos with the hashtag #PCAs.

To vote for The E! People’s Choice Awards, go to: The E! People’s Choice Awards will air Sunday, November 11 at 9 p.m., only on E!

WHEN & WHERE (all times are local):       


Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13 from 12:00pm-6:00pm 

Republic Square Park
422 Guadalupe Street, Austin, TX, 78701



Thursday, October 18 and Friday, October 19Thursday from 11:00am-5:00pm and Friday in the afternoon / evening time.

Thursday, October 18 on Hollywood Blvd b/t Highland to Orange Dr
Friday, October 19 at 5 Towers on Universal CityWalk (adjacent to Universal Studios Hollywood) – 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Leisure Suit Larry – Wet Dreams Don’t Dry: Making Of Video Part 2

Wiesbaden, 6. October 2018 – Round No. 2 of the three-part Making Of series begins now. Larry Laffer in the present – curse or blessing? How did the character design around Larry come about? Have an inside look of the development of the new point & click adventure Leisure Suit Larry – Wet Dreams Don’t Dry which will be released for PC and Mac on November 7!


Knott’s Scary Farm 2018 Review

The granddaddy of Halloween haunted events, Knott’s Scary Farm, is back again for its 46th season. This year, the park has added a couple new mazes as well as revamped some older ones, but it has also lost its star in the retirement of Elvira. Can Knott’s Scary Farm recover from the loss and bring the scares to Southern California? Read on to find out more!

We were invited to attend their opening night and arrived at the park early. After some logistical wrangling, we were allowed into the park to a staging area just outside of Ghost Town. There, ropes had been setup around the intersection and crowds were already gathered, waiting for something to happen. At 7:00 PM, there was a crack of thunder and a song started playing on the PA system – a revamped version of Harley Poe’s The Hearse Song. Then we saw them: A line of monsters and ghouls walking through the Ghost Town fog towards the anxiously-waiting guests. At the end of the song, they ran forward, causing panic and terror as the guests shuffled into the park. The opening rope drop ceremony is a fun thing to see and I highly suggest you get to the park early to do so.

Once into the park, we started working our way through its various haunted houses or “mazes” as they call them. New for 2018 are The Depths and Dark Entities – both of which turned out to be my favorites of the night. The Depths sends guests into a mine shaft that ends up leading to all manner of underground areas. Shipwrecked pirates, monsters, submarines, and a lot more will be waiting for you to explore. The Depths is one of the most jaw-dropping mazes I have seen in a haunted attraction – ever. Dark Entities is a sci-fi based maze taking place on a space station taken over by a mutating alien infection. The maze is wonderful, with cool tech elements throughout, the story of this space station’s fall is told well and I always enjoy a haunted house with a decent narrative element. If you do not have a “fright lane”, front of the line pass, I suggest you go to these two mazes first – you won’t regret it.

There are plenty of returning mazes at Knott’s Scary Farm this year – but park designers have, for the most part, tried to do a little something new with each. Trick or Treat: Light’s Out is back, and this time the interactive flashlight tech shown last year has been taken to the next level. They work very well this time and I love how they would change function throughout. I am very interested to see how else Knott’s can leverage this technology in future haunt mazes.

Knott’s Scary Farm has long been known for its various “scare zones” throughout the park, and this year sees an entirely new one added to the mix. The Forsaken Lake is located from the North side of Ghost Town and runs across Reflection Lake. Unfortunately, on the night we attended, there were no sets or scenery setup and no lighting for the monsters to work in. It was empty and dark. Now, I have heard from people who attended the haunt since that they have added props and lighting to the area – so if I can go again I’ll be sure to update this review. Ghost Town and The Hollow are both still killing it with high-energy characters and plenty of great set design and props.The park’s Boardwalk is still full of maniac clowns and they usually have their tongues planted firmly in-cheek. Despite the Forsaken Lake, the park’s scare zones were all doing very well and bringing great scares to guests.

Without Elvira, Knott’s Scary Farm had a void to fill for 2018 in the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. They decided to bring the improv based Hacks! show in, and they do a very entertaining experience for guests. It’s not as much of a spectacle as Elvira’s show was, but it’s a lot of fun and worth watching. New for 2018 is the Conjurers – Magic and Mirth show in the Birdcage Theatre. It’s a magic show – but an entertaining magic show and a fun one to watch.  Rounding out the event’s shows is The Hanging, which lampoons popular culture from the past year. This year is no different and the entertaining show is its usual mixed bag of hit or miss jokes.

Overall, Knott’s Scary Farm has entered the 2018 haunt season in very strong shape. Its two new mazes are each incredible in their own way and there is so much to see over the course of the evening, especially when ticket prices start around $42 dollars! Less, if you pick up the discount coupons floating around fast food restaurants.

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Superman Celebrates 40th Anniversary with 4K Release

BURBANK, CA, September 25, 2018 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC Entertainment announced today that 1978’s Superman, featuring the beloved DC Super Hero, will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on November 6th. An Alexander Salkind presentation and directed by Richard Donner (The Goonies, Lethal Weapon, The Lost Boys), the film stars Academy Award® winner Marlon Brando (On the WaterfrontThe Godfather) as Jor-El, Academy Award winner Gene Hackman (The French ConnectionUnforgiven) as Lex Luthor, Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, and Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman.

Based on the DC character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman was produced by Pierre Spengler from a story by Mario Puzo and a screenplay by Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman, and Robert Benton.  Ilya Salkind served as executive producer.  The film also features Ned Beatty as Otis, Jackie Cooper as Perry White, Glen Ford as Jonathan Kent, Valerie Perrine as Eva Teschmacher, and Terrance Stamp as General Zod.

Superman was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Film Editing, Best Music (Original Score) and Best Sound.  The film also received a Special Achievement Academy Award for Visual Effects.  In 2017, Superman was inducted in to the Library of Congress National Film Registry.

Ultra HD* showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Superman will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Superman will also feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.

Superman will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $41.99 SRP and includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features. Fans can also own Superman in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on November 6th.

Screamfest 2018 Announces First Wave of Films

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – September 25, 2018 – America’s largest and longest running horror film festival, Screamfest Horror Film Festival, is proud to announce the first wave of its official 2018 film line up.  In its 18th year, the festival, which will run from Oct. 9-18, 2018 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters in Hollywood, has launched careers – providing a platform for filmmakers and actors to showcase their latest work to enthusiasts and general audiences. Actress Lin Shaye, the star of the successful horror franchise Insidious and other popular horror films including A Nightmare on Elm StreetDead End2001 Maniacs, and the soon-to-be-released reboot, Grudge, will serve as this year’s festival ambassador.

“Screaming is good for the soul,” said Shaye.  “I am extremely excited and honored to serve as this year’s Screamfest ambassador and scream with all of you! I’m thrilled to support and celebrate a space where filmmakers, actors and fans can unveil their hard work, and celebrate the horror genre.”

 Screamfest Horror Film Festival will offer unique access to some of the most creative forces in the horror genre through film screenings, Q&As and conversations with some of the most captivating artists working in the industry today.

“We could not be more excited to partner with Shaye,” said Belofsky.  “Her work has inspired many and she has become a force in the horror and genre community.”

The festival is best known for discovering Paranormal Activity in 2007. Other past premieres include Tragedy Girls, Tigers Are Not Afraid, Trick ‘r Treat, 30 Days of NightLet the Right One InThe GrudgeThe CollectionThe Human Centipede and Diary of the Dead. Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, Clive Barker, Eli Roth, James Wan, Zack Snyder, William Friedkin and John Landis are just some of the filmmakers who have supported the festival year after year.

Film festival badges are currently on sale at and individual film tickets will be available end of September 2018. All screenings are open to the general public. Winners will receive a 24 karat gold dipped skull trophy designed by the legendary, Academy award-winning special make-up effects creator, Stan Winston, who partnered with the festival until his passing.

Screamfest Horror Film Festival is proud to announce that the following films have been admitted to the festival – the first wave of the 2018 line up.

SPLINTER-VERSARY– 10 year anniversary screening of SPLIINTER 

***Splinter premiered at Screamfest 2008 and took home six awards that year. ***

A couple retreats to the wilderness for the weekend but are car-jacked by an escaped convict and his girlfriend on the run from the police. As they travel the backroads, they find themselves in deeper trouble. A parasitic creature has taken over the woods, and the two couples are now in its sights. Finding shelter at a gas station, they must use their wits and every weapon at their disposal to stave off the onslaught, not only from the insatiable creature, but also each other.

Directed by:

Toby Wilkins

Produced by:

Kai Barry & Ted Kroeber

Executive Producer(s):

Graham Begg, Chad Burris, Jamie Carmichael, Mark Cuban

Written by:

Ian Shorr, Kai Barry

Main Cast:

Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo & Jill Wagner


Directed by Daniel Farrands

Written by   Daniel Farrands

Cast: John Robinson, Chelsea Ricketts, Paul Ben-Victor, Diane Franklin, Burt Young, Lainie Kazan

Produced by Eric Brenner and Lucas Jarach

On the night of November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. took a high-powered rifle and murdered his entire family as they slept. At his trial, DeFeo claimed that “voices” in the house commanded him to kill. This is their story.

World Premiere


Directed by Matt Mercer and Mike Testin

Written by   Matt Mercer and Mike Testin

Cast: Suzanne Voss, Matt Mercer, Najarra Townsend, Graham Skipper

Produced by Matt Mercer and Mike Testin

Suzanne wasn’t always this confused. She wasn’t always DEAD either… When an ex-con takes a job as a handyman for an unstable elderly woman to avoid a parole violation, it becomes a choice he may regret.

West Coast Premiere


Directed by Mario Sorrenti

Written by   Mario Miscione, Marcella Ochoa

Cast: Thomas Kretschmann, Nadine Velazquez, Josh Stewart, Chris Coy, Bex Taylor-Klaus

Produced by Harald Kloser (Independence Day: Resurgence.White House Down, 2012), Marcella Ochoa, Co-produced by John Michael Elfers

A neuroscientist’s obsession with a drug that expands the human mind inadvertently unleashes a deadly supernatural force on his team.

World Premiere

DRAUG (Sweden) 2018

Directed by Klas Persson and Karin Engman

Written by   Klas Persson and Karin Engman

Cast: Elna Karlsson Thomas Hedengran Nina Filimoshkina Ralf Beck Urban Bergsten Matti Boustedt

Produced by Klas Persson and Karin Engman

In the 11th century a missionary goes missing somewhere in the huge forests bordering the northern parts of Sweden. Among the rescue party chosen to find him is Nanna, a young woman on her first real mission and her first return to the part of the country where she was born. But what they will find deep inside those woods is something else entirely. Something dark. Something ancient. Something evil.

World Premiere


Directed by Timothy Woodward Jr.

Written by  Jeffrey Reddick, Jonathan Doyle, William Halfon

Cast: Lin Shaye ( Insidious franchise, Ouija franchise) Michael Welch (Twilight franchise, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane) Tony Todd (Final Destination, Hell Fest, Candyman) Spencer Locke (Insidious: The Last Key, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Extinction)

Produced by Jeffrey Reddick, Lauren De Normandie, Timothy Woodward Jr, Johnny Cleveland, Thommy Hutson

From the creator of the Final Destination franchise comes a new tale of death. Following the passing of his father, Aaron Hammond (MICHAEL WELCH) returns to his hometown to help his devastated mother (LIN SHAYE) and to confront his past demons. Shifting through his father’s belongings, Aaron comes upon a mysterious item that is far more than it seems.

World Premiere

THE GOLEM (Israel)  2018

Directed by  Doron Paz and Yoav Paz

Written by   Ariel Cohen

Cast: Alex Tritenko, Brynie Furstenberg, Hani Furstenberg, Ishai Golan, Lenny Ravich

Produced by Ariel Cohen, Doron Pazm Shalom Eisenbach, Yoav Paz

In this re-imagining of the old mystical folklore, when a woman’s tight-knit Jewish community is besieged by foreign invaders, she conjures a dangerous creature to protect them but it may be more evil than she ever imagined. THE GOLEM is the third feature for co-directed by Doron and Yoav Paz.

North America Premiere


Directed by:

David Holroyd

Written by David Holroyd


Sophie Stevens, Nick Bayly, Ray Macallan, Maggie Daniles, Kirstie Steele, Virginia Denham

Produced by:

Crispin Manson, Matthew Stradling

In a rambling, isolated house, Emily’s first night-shift as carer to an elderly dementia patient turns into a nightmare as she is tormented by a vengeful spirit and uncovers the house’s dark secrets.

World Premiere


Directed by Sky Wang

Written by   Sky Wang, Baiying Wu

Cast: Martin Yang, Mingyi Yang, E’Naan Zhang, Ray Wang, Fengzhu Jia, Qianhua Chen, Simpson Tang, Man Yang

Produced by Iris Liu

A group of seemingly unrelated individuals fight their way out of a virus-infested hotel, only to find themselves at a worse place than before.

West Coast Premiere

OPEN 24 HOURS (US) 2018

Directed by  Padraig Reynolds

Written by   Padraig Reynolds

Cast: Emily Tennant, Brendan Fletcher, Vanessa Grasse

Produced by

A paranoid delusional woman, Mary White (Vanessa Grasse), has just been released from a mental hospital for setting her serial killer boyfriend on fire. Her boyfriend, James Lincoln Fields is brutal serial killer known as The Rain Ripper. After being released from the Hospital, Mary’s vulnerable demeanor aids her in obtaining employment at an all night petrol station. However, left alone to her own devices, her paranoia and hallucinations return with furious consequences. Customers and friends suddenly start turning up dead, mutilated, all around her. Is The Rain Ripper back to finish her off?

West Coast Premiere

PLEDGE (US) 2018

Directed by Daniel Robbins

Written by   Zack Weiner

Cast: Zachery Byrd, Aaron Dalla Villa, Cameron Cowperthwaite, Phillip Andre Botello, Jesse Pimentel, Erica Boozer, Joe Gallagher, Zack Weiner, Jean-Louis Droulers

Produced by Mark Rapaport, Keaton Heinrichs, Akiva Nemetsky

A group of college freshmen pledge an exclusive fraternity but soon realize there’s more at stake than they could have ever imagined.

US Premiere

TUMBBAD (India) 2018

Directed by Rahi Anil Barve, Anand Gandhi

Written by  Mitesh Shah, Adesh Prasad, Rahi Anil Barve, Anand Gandhi

Cast:  Sohum Shah, Harish Khannaa, Anita Date, Mohd Samad, Jyoti Malshe, Deepak Damle, Dhundiraj Prabhakar Jogalekar

Produced by Amita Shah, Mukesh Shah, Sohum Shah

A greedy village boy, in 19th century India, pursues a cursed Ancestral treasure, guarded by the devil himself. TUMBBAD opened the Venice’ Film Festival’s Critic’s Week 2018.

West Coast Premiere

YOU DIE (Italy) 2018

Directed by Alessandro Antonaci, Stefano Mandalà, Daniel Lascar

Written by   Alessandro Antonaci, Stefano Mandalà, Daniel Lascar

Cast:  Erica Landolfi, Simone Moretto, Micol Damilano, Rocco Marazzita, Alice Piano, Simone Valentino, Carola Cudemo, Ja’Michael Darnell, Daniele Marmi

Produced by Daniel Lascar, Simone Offredo, Francesco Scrufari

US Premiere

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights 2018 Review

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights has been a Southern California’s flagship haunted attraction for quite some time now thanks to their film tie-ins and big budget. We got the chance to visit the event during its opening weekend thanks to their amazing PR team, and stayed for the whole night, beginning at 7PM and finished at 1AM. This year, the flagship street zone and opening ceremony are tied into Michael Dougherty’s modern Halloween classic, Trick r Treat, and it was a welcome change from The Purge inspired opening of the last few years.

This year’s mazes include the previously-mentioned Trick r Treat as well as Poltergeist (based on the 1982 film), Stranger Things Season 1, Halloween 4, The Horrors of Blumhouse Chapter Two, Universal Monsters, and the Terror Tram. Overall, most of the mazes in this year’s lineup were at the very least “good”. However, the two standouts were Poltergeist and Universal Monsters. Poltergeist recreated the facade of the Freeling house from the film and the maze hit all the right moments that scared you as children. For the movie buffs out there, you might be interested to know that Steven Spielberg actually ghost directed Poltergeist while a very young Tobe Hooper was listed as the director on paper. Universal Monsters was a trip through the various Universal Monsters films of old, from Dracula to Frankenstein and many more. I loved that the event paid homage to these classic monsters and did so with terrific set design to sell their various environments. A big runner up award in this goes to Holidayz in Hell. It’s not quite a street zone, but not quite a maze and serves as a transitional area between guests and the New York street backlot mazes. Holidayz in Hell takes a year’s worth of holidays and, as it suggests, places them in some sort of Hell dimension with tons of gory props to look at along the way.

Unfortunately, the Stranger Things maze didn’t quite live up to its potential. In terms of set design and construction, its beautifully-crafted. Moving from the woods to the Byers house and then on to Hawkins Lab and the school – each look amazing. The designers and builders should be given big kudos for their work. Also, John Murdy (the director of Horror Nights) did an amazing job with the audio work in this maze. Where the maze loses its spark is in its scares. The Demogorgon is shown way too early in the maze and there is no real build up to what should be the final confrontation between it and Eleven at the maze’s climax. The biggest problem with the maze design of Halloween Horror Nights is its dependence on dark “Boo Box” hallways. What was once just a spice that could allow the event to hold large puppets (such as in the maze based on John Carpenter’s The Thing) is now simply everywhere – in every maze – multiple times. You just start expecting you turn into a dark corner hallway now.

Trick r Treat was a mixed bag with some really great beats separated by some more Boo Boxes. Also, I got the feeling that the designers of this maze didn’t quite watch the film closely enough as the scene in the maze with Kreeg didn’t happen that way at all in the film. But, I digress… In any case it is wonderful that this sleeper of a film upon its release has become the cult classic that it is today and garnered such attention. Between this and the maze from Murder House Productions, the Trick r Treat fan in me is very pleased.

Halloween Horror Nights features some terrific 2D and prosthetic makeups this year, thanks to the folks at Magee FX. This studio is also responsible for the prosthetic work on the Whoville citizens during Universal Studios Grinchmas event. They have done a great job of selling each maze’s and street area’s scare actors. For Trick r Treat (and its associated scare zone), they masterfully-replicated the masks of the various special school children who perished in the bus crash as seen during the film. In Universal Monsters, they brought to life some of the classic movie monsters of old, including Frankenstein. They are to be commended for their practical makeup work.

As usual, the park was sold out on the night we attended and, reflecting this, the Stranger Things maze had a two hour wait in line for standard admission guests! I highly recommend that you pay for the upgraded front-of-the line tickets – you will not regret it! On the food front, Horror Nights had a decent array of food options this year. We ate from the New York street backlot food truck and I had a tasty meatball sub while my wife had some good sliders. In the upper lot, you’ll find quite a few options as well, including my favorite Luig’s Pizza near Springfield.

Overall, Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights is a lot of fun this year, with tons of things to see and do. While I am concerned by the dependence on Boo Boxes between visual beats in the various mazes, Horror Nights has, as usual, gone all out on set design and makeup effects. I loved the focus on Trick r Treat and can’t wait to see what the event has in store for us next year. Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights runs through the end of October – you can find ticket information and more at their official website.

Photo Gallery

The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep Review

Many of you gamers out there might remember a classic PC gaming series known as The Bard’s Tale. First released in 1985, Tales Unknown Volume I: The Bard’s Tale put gamers in charge of a party of adventurers seeking to stop an evil which has befallen the city of Skara Brae. With its party-based combat, RPG focus, and innovative movement system the game became an instant classic and spawned several sequels. Now, inXile Entertainment has released a brand-new chapter in the series, The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep, and hopes to infuse it with more modern gameplay elements while also keeping true to its roots. Did they succeed? Venture forth!

The Bard’s Tale IV, like its predecessors, starts in the city of Skara Brae, where a religious movement (or cult) is actively hunting for those deemed unholy or heretical. Also, they have a real hatred towards adventurers. Unfortunately, YOU are an adventurer! After a public execution, your first task is to find the Adventurer’s Guild, but all does not go according to plan. Drama unfolds and, of course, the plot thickens and becomes satisfyingly more complex as it progresses.  Your character can be kept the default bard or made from a few other classes: fighters, rogues, etc.  I chose a fighter for my play-through, and enjoyed the more combat-focused skillset, but I look forward to playing it through again with a different class.

Movement is done in a more modern manner than its predecessors. Players move about with mouse and WASD keys in 3D space, not bound to grid-based movement. The system is smooth and easy to get the hang of. As you approach an enemy or something to interact with, it outlines in a particular color and offers you choices when put under your reticle. In the case of an enemy, you can attack. But, based on if they detect you and your direction of attack, you might be able to get the first strike in combat. You’ll also be able to smash breakables for loot and speak with NPCs. Visually, The Bard’s Tale IV is sometimes a sight to behold. When crawling through the game’s various dungeons, you’ll be pleased with all the ambient visual effects presented to you. Textures are detailed and rich while particle effects are convincing and immersive. Unfortunately, the above ground visuals don’t hold up nearly as well. The Bard’s Tale IV does feature some decent voice acting which helps to sell the game’s various quests and character dialog.

Combat is handled tactically and on a grid, where your party of up to six characters can take on all manner of enemies – from creatures to humanoids and more. Controls are straight-forward and wielding your characters’ various skills and abilities is easy to figure out. When characters level up, you can assign a new skill point into several different trees depending on their class, adding new skills or enhancements to their roster. The experience is refreshingly tactical, yet not so unforgiving that you’ll be frustrated often.

The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep does suffer from some problems. There is something of a “lack of polish” on many aspects of the game which, while not a deal-breaker,does lead to some frustrating moments. For instance, I experienced some very long load times and other technical glitches during my playtime with the game. One big issue for my particular setup was a forgetting of my UltraWide resolution anytime a game loaded. Also, there is no way to save your game anytime you like. Instead, games can only be saved by interacting with special totems located around the dungeons. Despite a patch released yesterday by inXile, the load times and resolution issue still persist on my machine. As with most game bugs, your mileage may vary of course. What really irritated me was that, the patch that was released erased all my saved games! Oh well, I wanted to try the game as a Bard anyway – time to do so.

Overall, inXile Entertainment has done a very good job in bringing The Bard’s Tale to life once again with The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep. It will please both those that played the original games as well as new players to the franchise. Hopefully, inXile can get some of the technical glitches under control as they have a deep respect for the source material and I would love to see more of these games from them.

Halloween Horror Nights is Now Open

Universal City, CA, September 14, 2018 – Legendary Hollywood icon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Caleb McLaughlin and Gaten Matarazzo from Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” GRAMMY® Award-winning musician SLASH, filmmaker Jason Blum (The First PurgeGet Out), director Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat) and filmmaker Eli Roth (The House with Clocks in Its WallsHostel) were among the stars on the red carpet to celebrate the opening of “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Halloween Horror Nights,” Southern California’s most extreme Halloween event, continues on September 15-16, 20-22, 26-30, October 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-28, 31, and November 1-3, 2018.

Other celebrities attending the event premiere included Priah Ferguson, Sadie Sink and Jake Busey from Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” Vanessa Hudgens (Dog Days, “So You Think You Can Dance”), musician Travis Barker, Lex Scott Davis (The First Purge), Gabriel Chavarria (“The Purge”), Jessica Garza (“The Purge”), Quinn Lord (Trick ‘r Treat), Danielle Harris and director Dwight Little from Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Oliver Robins (Poltergeist), Chandler Riggs (“The Walking Dead”), Pollyanna McIntosh (“The Walking Dead”), Kyla Kenedy (“Speechless,” “The Walking Dead”), Jaime Camill (“Jane the Virgin”), Emma Kenny (“The Connors”), Ariel Winter (“Modern Family”), Nolan Gould (“Modern Family”), Violett Beane (Truth or Dare), Matthew Bohrer (Unfriended), Moses Storm (Unfriended), Olympic Gold Medalist, Chloe Kim, Cody Christian (“All American”), the Jabbawockeez award-winning hip hop dance crew, Angélica Vale, Angélica Maria, and John Murdy, Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood.

This year’s terrifying lineup of “Halloween Horror Nights” lineup mazes and attractions includes:

  • “Stranger Things”  Netflix’s critically-acclaimed series comes to life for the first time in an all-new maze featuring the Upside Down and the predatory Demogorgon.
  • “Poltergeist”  Inspired by MGM’s iconic supernatural horror film characterized as one of the scariest movies of all time.
  • “Universal Monsters” – A contemporary twist on Universal’s original cinematic Monsters featuring an original score produced and composed by GRAMMY® Award-winning musician, SLASH.
  • “Trick ‘R Treat” – Based on the Legendary Pictures’ cult Halloween classic movie directed by Michael Dougherty.
  • “The First Purge”  Inspired by Universal Pictures’ blockbuster thriller franchise, where all crime is legal for 12 hours.
  • “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers”  The iconic slasher is back in an all-new maze based on the classic Halloween franchise.
  • “The Horrors of Blumhouse: Chapter Two”  A killer maze that unites two hit movies produced by Jason Blum – Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare and Unfriended.
  • “The Walking Dead” – Universal Studios Hollywood’s permanent attraction inspired by AMC’s record-breaking television series
  • “Terror Tram: Hollywood Harry’s Dreadtime Storiez” – The notorious serial killer clown that terrorized Universal’s famed backlot returns as the host of this year’s Terror Tram.
  • Jabbawockeez -The award-winning hip hop dance crew returns.

Tickets can be purchased at Advance purchase is recommended as event nights will sell out.  Following are the various tickets options:

  • All-new R.I.P. Tour:  Groups of up to 12 can scare in style with all-new R.I.P.  Tour featuring exclusive experiences with a VIP guide, trolley transportation, valet parking, a gourmet buffet dinner and drinks plus unlimited Universal Express privileges to mazes and attractions.
  • After 2 p.m. Day/Night Combo:  Experience the park’s popular attractions, by day and remain for the terror that awaits by night.
  • Multi-Night Passes options:    Frequent Fear Pass – Visit up to 21 select nights.

Ultimate Fear Pass – Scare every single night of the event.

2 Nights of Fear Pass – Scare for two select nights.

  • Universal Express™   This in-demand pass enables guests to enjoy one-time express access to mazes, attractions, Terror Tram experience Jabbawockeez performance.

For exciting updates and exclusive “Halloween Horror Nights” content, visit, like Halloween Horror Nights – Hollywood on Facebook; follow @HorrorNights #UniversalHHN on InstagramTwitter and Snapchat; and watch the terror come to life on Halloween Horror Nights YouTube.

Reign of Terror Returns to Thousand Oaks for 2018 Haunt Season

SEPTEMBER 13, 2018 — THOUSAND OAKS, CA — Janss Marketplace announces the 2018 dates for the 15-night Reign of Terror Haunted House, one of the top ranked immersive haunt attractions in the U.S.  Now entering its 19th-annual season, Reign of Terror, will be open to the public on September 29October 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31 and November 3 at Janss Marketplace, located off the 101 Freeway, at the intersection of Hillcrest Drive and Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks. Reign of Terror hours are 7 – 10 p.m. weekdays and 7 – 11 p.m. on Saturdays.

Each year, the annual haunted house at Janss Marketplace adds new exciting features. For the 2018 season, each of Reign of Terror’s 8 separate attractions has been expanded or updated with new special effects, new scenes and new fear inducing characters. In all, the haunted house contains 105 separate rooms. Reign of Terror’s 2018 edition marks the largest production with the most rooms inReign of Terror’s 19-year history.

Included in the updates for 2018 is an entirely new attraction, called “Inbred”, which features a group of strange and creepy family members living in a ramshackle shack in a forgotten corner of the countryside. Also new for 2018 is “The White-Out Experience”, located inside Reign of Terror’s Fun House attraction. The “White-Out Experience” gives visitors a uniquely unsettling sense of time and place. In addition, on November 3Reign of Terror will host its first-ever “Lights OUT” event. Visitors to “Lights OUT” will walk through all 105 rooms in total darkness, lit only by one small glow stick per person. This will allow guests to experience Reign of Terror like never before.

Ticket prices range from $15 to $25 for general admission and $25 to $35 for express entry admission.  Tickets are available for purchase now online at At Janss Marketplace, the Reign of Terror Box Office will also be open starting 6:30 p.m. each night, so tickets can be purchased at the event as well. Anyone holding a ticket and in line for entrance prior to closing time each night is guaranteed entrance.

Reign of Terror is an intense experience geared for horror and thrill-seeking fans, but it can still be enjoyed by all ages. For families with younger children, Reign of Terror Lights On tours are offered two Saturday afternoons, October 20 and October 27 from 1 – 4 p.m.  Lights On tours have no special effects, no darkness or scares in operation, but all regular lighting is on. Admission for the Lights On tour is $5 for children and adults, payable at the Box Office. Additional information is available on our website:

Reign of Terror succeeds in providing more than a good scare by giving back to the community. Because Janss Marketplace hosts the event in over 23,000 square feet of indoor space, the haunted house is able to donate proceeds from entrance fees to the Conejo Recreation and Parks District.

Each year, Janss Marketplace’s annual donation benefits the District’s Thousand Oaks Teen Center, Young Artists Ensemble programs and the Conejo Theatre for Everyone, which gives special needs youth the opportunity to perform. Over the past nine years Reign of Terror at Janss Marketplace has generated over $200,000 in donations.

Reign of Terror Haunted House 2018 Quick Facts

  • Open 15 nights. Our biggest season ever.
  • Over 105 separate, custom designed rooms.
  • 8 separate, interconnected attractions target a different type of fear.
  • Covers 23,000 sq feet of indoor floor space, making it the single largest indoor haunted house in all of Southern California.
  • New Attraction: “Inbred” – Visit this creepy family who live OFF the grid, but unnaturally.
  • New Experience: “The White-Out Experience”- You won’t believe your eyes.
  • New Adventure: “Lights OUT” – After you see Reign of Terror once, come back again onNovember 3 to be terrified all over again, this time in TOTAL darkness.
  • New Features, New Effects and a Horde of New Characters added throughout the entire Haunt.

Reign of Terror Haunted House won numerous haunt industry awards including,

  • “Best Professional Haunt”, from CreepyLA
  • “Oscares Award, Best Haunt”, from The Haunted Attraction Association
  • “Must See Haunt in the U.S. (one of 31 nationwide)” from Haunted Attraction Magazine
  • “Best Halloween Attraction in Los Angeles”, from Hollywood Gothique