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Personal opinions and commentary.

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Midnight Void: Raw Force

Never trust brochures. Don’t open them, and if you do open one, don’t read it. If you see one lying in the street, just leave it there to be run over. Why this hatred and distrust of brochures? Let me tell you about Mike from the Burbank Karate Club. He read the brochure for this place called Warrior’s Island, which claimed to be where “monks raise dead martial artists from the grave.” What the brochure failed to add is that the only reason these monks have this power is because they lock nude women up in bamboo cages, slather them in BBQ sauce, and eat them. It also neglected to mention that the women come from a man with a Hitler mustache who sells them in exchange for wicker baskets full of “uncut, AA-grade” jade.

But back to Mike and how his belief in brochures ensnared him and his fellow karate clubmates in a web of cannibalism, kung fu, and kung fu zombies. It’s a story for the ages. A story depicted in the film Raw Force, one that could only exist here, in the Midnight Void…

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Bringing the Drama: What’s New About the New “Boys Over Flowers”?

Boys Over Flowers is a contemporary shoujo classing for fans of both manga and anime. It’s such a fan favorite, in fact, that there have been five live-action series based on it! The most recent, from 2009, hails from South Korea and features all the same characters you’ve come to know and love from the original series and all its iterations.

But just how close does the K-drama come to the original? Surprisingly close… with a dash of surprisingly different.

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Of Gods and Despots: An Analysis of Stargate’s Goa’uld

Back in the 1990’s, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were a very successful writing/directing team. Though their output then, beginning in 1992 with Universal Soldier, has been criticized for being schlocky, heavily reliant on special effects, and ridden with clichés, one project they did still continues to inspire such fervent admiration, Stargate (1994). A box office success in spite of the lukewarm reception by critics, and responsible for spawning several TV shows and a couple of TV movies, the franchise is pure sci-fi pulp: a mix of Star Trek idealism, Flash Gordon-esque villains, and a healthy smattering of pseudoarcheaology. Reduced to its most basic premise the story is about a round metallic structure, the eponymously named Stargate, discovered in Egypt in the early 19thcentury and, when turned on by dialing in a set of coordinates, allows beings to travel to distant planets and galaxies.

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Faded Family Portraits: Exploring Father of My Children (2009)

Depression, famously defined by Sigmund Freud, as “anger turned inwards”, is a tough subject to address for many filmmakers due to the difficulty in portraying such an internal conflict cinematically. Oftentimes, it is played for histrionics. At other occasions, the drama is reduced to pure mawkish tropes. Mia Hansen-Løve, a French filmmaker who has been garnering a lot of praise in cinematic circles for the last ten years, has devoted her entire career to telling low-key psychologically complex tales. For her sophomore feature, Father of My Children (2009), she turns her eye towards telling a family drama.

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Midnight Void – 1990: The Bronx Warriors

The film scholars who have long touted neorealism as Italian cinema’s golden age are nothing more than the perpetrators of a lie. The masterminds behind a grand deceit meant to distract you from the true golden age of Italian cinema: the age of the rip-off. From roughly the late 1960s through the 1980s, a shameless wave of sleaze-coated copycats splattered the silver screen.

For Conan the Barbarian fans, please allow me to (not) recommend Ator, the Fighting Eagle. Did Jaws make you afraid of the water? Well, Cruel Jaws will make you afraid of ever watching Cruel Jaws again. The late, anti-great Bruno Mattei — agent of chaos that he was — once directed an Aliens knock-off and called it Terminator 2.

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Gary and His Demons Tackles the True Horrors of Life

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (‘n Goblins) are totally terrifying in their own right, but many of those shocks and shivers start to lose their punch when you place them next to some of life’s greatest challenges. Likelosing those you love, or dealing with the death of a beloved pet. How about holding a steady job, or even trying to get rid of a job that’s a little too steady? These are the real horrors of humanity, and they’re on full display right past that split-in-twain specter in Mondo’s new animated series Gary and His Demons.

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Get a Quick Cartoon Fix: The Top Five Titles from Go! Cartoons

Need more cartoons in your life but don’t have time to get married to yet another running series? Go! Cartoons was made for you.

The short anthology series features 12 stand-alone episodes of new animation, each only around five minutes long. That’s plenty of time to meet the unique cast of characters and get a sense of the setting, but still short enough to fit into your watch list without too much fuss. The only down side? You may find yourself getting attached to some of the characters and wishing for more!

Watching the entire series will only take you an hour and some change, so we highly recommend it. But if you’re gunning for an extra quick fix, allow us to introduce (in our own opinion, anyway) the top five shorts Go! Cartoons has to offer.

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For Sale (It Haunted): A Listing of Haunted House Films on Shudder

We’ve all been there. You find the perfect place: spacious, high ceilings, swimming pool. Sure, it’s a little pricy, but perfection doesn’t come cheap. The only catch: your realtor forgot to tell you it was built atop a Native American burial ground that was also the site of a tragic quadruple murder-suicide-black magic ritual. Before you know it, the kitchenware is floating down the hall, your TV is demanding a blood sacrifice, and an unfriendly spirit has taken to watching you on the john.

It’s the worst.

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What to Watch After Dragon Ball Super

If you found yourself caught up in the habit of watching Dragon Ball Super on a weekly basis, you’re probably still feeling a colossal void in your schedule. There was something downright comforting about following Goku’s journey, especially during the high-stakes final run through the universes-shattering Tournament of Power arc. Now that we’ve had some time to soak it in, the lack of Dragon Ball Super feels more deflating than ever.

Don’t let it get you down, though! While nothing can perfectly match the electrifying heights of Akira Toriyama’s world of Dragon Ball, there’s plenty of anime out there for those looking to scratch a similar itch. So, prepare your watch list accordingly, and get ready to commit to a few more ground-shaking journeys and the unforgettable characters that make them all worth taking.

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What Do I Know About… Sword Art Online?

For someone who doesn’t watch a lot of anime, I know a whole mess of anime-related facts—chalk it up being online in 2018, which has also inculcated in me a wealth of knowledge about professional wrestling, mobile games, and vaping culture. But the truth is, I can name the anime series I’ve watched on two hands. I grew up on the mainstays of Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon, graduated to some rented Slayers VHS tapes as a teen, and more recently have gotten into shows like My Hero Academia and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

But again, even though I haven’t watched most of the classics or contemporary hits, I know things about them. I know about the dragon maid lady. I know about the big robots people have to kiss inside to make them go. And I know about the man who punches real good.

So I thought I’d do an experiment—I’d ask Twitter to pick a show for me, write what I thought I knew about it, watch a few episodes, and compare fact with fiction. I gave Twitter three options, each shows I’d heard about but never seen: Sword Art Online, Darling in the Franxx, and Boruto.

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Midnight Void: Silent Rage

There are films on Shudder that simply belong to another place, a place reserved for the indefinable, the indefensible, the irredeemable. Cinematic slime banished long ago to a dimension that’s only to be visited at the midnight hour. So leave your humanity behind, embrace the social mutant within, and enter the Midnight Void…

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Why the New Sonic Comics Rule: A Fan’s Perspective

As a kid, I’d get so excited whenever my family would take me grocery shopping. No, not because of the potential snacks I’d try to sneak into the cart and definitely get caught for, but because I’d run straight to the magazine section looking for one thing: Sonic the Hedgehog comics.

I naturally always looked forward to the latest issue simply out of my love for Sonic, but there was something that Sonic comics achieved that separated it from other franchises. Comic publisher Archie Comics was able to take the success of a gaming icon and build an entirely reimagined, expansive universe around it, turning Sonic the Hedgehog into the longest running (and fastest running) comic series based off a video game character ever. Since I started reading, hundreds of more issues followed and it felt untouchable.

However, after 24 years of a prosperous Mobius, it was announced that SEGA of America concluded their publishing partnership with Archie.

This news was heartbreaking. What would happen to Sally Acorn? Rotor the Walrus? Bunnie Rabbot? And god forbid, what would we do without Antoine? Years of canon (amidst the reboots) would be lost, and I along with many others couldn’t help but feel it was an end of an era.

In typical Sonic fashion, he didn’t go down without a fight. SEGA of America announced that they would be partnering with IDW Publishing to release an all-new Sonic comic. It was comforting knowing that there were more adventures in sight, but what could we come to expect from them?

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Let’s Get Freaky: Japanese Horror Waiting for You on Shudder

Spring is here, the birds are singing, and the weather is (slowly but surely) getting nicer. And you know what that means: time to pull the curtains, turn out the lights, and scare ourselves silly.

Just because we’re half a year away from the Scary Season doesn’t mean there’s isn’t time for some freak-outs. And if you’re a fan of gory, psychological Japanese horror, there’s plenty waiting for you in the depths of Shudder and the other channels on VRV. We’ve plumbed the depths of the catalog to find just a few freakishly fun offerings to get your spine tingling.

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Altered Beasts: When Animals Attack on VRV!

An insidious entity lurks within the dark recesses of VRV. An unholy apparition, an indescribable thing from the depths. Ancient texts — inked in blood and bound in flesh — prophesied its arrival. They called it…Shudder, the premier human-curated horror streaming service, its vast catalog of films waiting to be unleashed upon humanity like a plague.

Terrifying, no? But that’s why I’m here: to guide you down the shadowy corridors, holding a cobweb-covered candelabra up to one horror sub-genre at a time. So join me, join me and gaze at the horrors of… When Animals Attack!

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What to Watch While Traveling

Travel is hard, y’all.

Whether you travel for business or for vacation, travel is tough. There are people all around, unfamiliar places, delays, and scheduling conflicts everywhere. If you’re flying, there are the plane delays, the long lines to get through security, the more tedious lines to get on the plane, and the endless, existential sitting around that is the actual flying itself where you’re hanging out in a metal tube avoiding gravity for hours and hours! And then, once you land, there is more waiting to get to the gate, to deboard the plane, to find your taxi or subway or bus…

You need a lot of patience to travel anywhere these days. So what do you do to fill the time? We at VRV have got you covered. With our mobile app, you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want. Cool, right? But what to watch? You don’t want to get so engrossed in your show that you miss your flight. Nor do you want to lose the thread of your show when the announcement comes over the loudspeaker that your plane is suddenly leaving from a totally different gate. Watching VRV shows out in public, while traveling is a different beast than watching them from the comfort of your own home. Check out our list of favorite travel shows and share yours in the comments!