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Pump Up The Jam: September 22, 2017

This week on Pump Up The Jam: Shannon Lay, Cold Cave, Duds, Death Bells, New Candys, and OSHH.
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Kingsman and The LEGO Ninjago Movie enter the box office battle

Two new movies are looking to taking down horror’s reigning king, and either one of them might just do it. Here’s our prediction:

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the sequel to the surprise Matthew Vaughn-directed hit from 2015. The cast is key here, with Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges as new additions to the action franchise bringing the hype to the goodwill the series has already generated. The trailers have been strong, and audiences are not doubt ready to see the character of Eggsy back in action. Look for Kingsman: The Golden Circle to debut in first place with $39 million.

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Exclusive: Andy Burns talks to Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews of ‘The Houses October Built 2’

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Sometimes movies just come around and hit you in that sweet spot – that was the case with The Houses October Built and its sequel. To be honest, the first one, released back in 2014, absolutely slipped past me, but when I received an email about the sequel and whether I’d be interested in talking to any of the principles involved, and I went back and watched the original.

I loved it. The Houses October Built is a found footage/documentary style story about a group of friends looking for the most extreme haunt in America (haunts is the vernacular for haunted house attractions). Legendary among fans is The Blue Skeleton, which as the film shares, is supposed to be the most extreme of the extreme. Which means, of course, that our leads wind up facing off against what The Blue Skeleton has to offer.

The Houses October Built 2 picks up immediately following the first film, and serves as a chapter two rather than a sequel or follow-up. Both films give audiences a look into what goes into making a great haunt, as the ones depicting are the real deal. They also feature believeable performances from everyone involved, and make a strong case for the ongoing use of found footage in horror films, especially when its done right.

On that note, here is my email interview with series director/co-writer/actor Bobby Roe and co-writer/actor Zack Andrews. Be warned – there are spoilers contained for the first film here:

Andy Burns: Congrats on a great new franchise. I love what you guys have created with The Houses October Built. How did you two come up with the concept?

Zack Andrews:  Thank you very much.  We wanted to take a setting that we loved, Halloween haunted houses, and make a film around them that felt unique and not just the same old thing that has run the genre stale.  We knew we had an audience: over 35 million people a year go to these attractions and Americans spend over 8 billion dollars on Halloween every year.  So it was about finding a narrative that would allow us to shoot on real sets using real scare actors in order to take the audience on a genuine Halloween adventure.

Andy Burns: For those of that don’t know (including me), how did you two meet in the first place?

Bobby Roe: AP English. We grew up in the same town playing basketball and both loved movies. We’ve known each other for 25 years.  And actually, in high school in October, we used to love going to a horror movie and then hitting up one of our local haunted houses.

Andy Burns: I think we all know that at this time in the horror genre, found footage/documentary style films are really hit and miss. I’m happy to say you nailed the genre in my mind. Did you have any concerns with the first film wading into those waters? Read the rest of this entry

Happy 70th birthday, Stephen King!

Stephen KingToday, Thursday, September 21st, 2017 marks Stephen King’s 70th birthday. I think it’s fair to say that for many of us at Biff Bam Pop!, we wouldn’t be writing words regularly if not for the inspiration of King and his incredible work. To celebrate the monumental occasion, the writers of Biff Bam Pop! have banded together to share our favourite books from Stephen King’s catalogue, and say thank you to the man for all the nightmares.

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Name: Andy Burns
Favourite Stephen King Book: The Stand
Why: The Stand is epic storytelling, full of wonderful characters and stunning set pieces. It was the first apocalyptic novel I can remember reading, and I was thoroughly gripped by the end of the world scenario King crafted. Though The Dark Tower as a whole is my favourite work by King, as a standalone novel, The Stand is the author at his finest. The Complete and Uncut version also contains my favourite King moment from any of his books – Stu Redman’s recollection of meeting the long dead Jim Morrison at a gas station. Happy birthday, Stephen King!

Name: Glenn Walker
Favourite Stephen King Book: The Stand
Why: It was his first magnum opus, his first truly epic novel, with a huge cast of characters – characters that on multiple readings became more and more real.  Everyone in the book lived and breathed in my head as I read, and I followed them all from their lives in the old world to the reconstruction of the post-Captain Trips world.  It was a tale of ultimate good and evil, introducing concepts like the Walkin’ Dude that would resonate with later works, and a story of survival and seduction, and at times unspeakable horror, touching on everything available to the writer at that moment.  It’s not perfect. It was also the first of King’s disappointing cop-out endings, in my opinion, the rest of the book was so good I didn’t care.  I love this book so much, it’s one of my top five favorite books ever, and I have revisited it dozens of times since first reading it in paperback fresh off the shelf.  Like a good vinyl album (yeah, I’m that old), you play it so much, you have to replace it because it’s so worn down – I have been through three copies of The Stand, I love it that much. Read the rest of this entry

Frank’s Back, Baby: The Punisher Trailer Drops

Looks like somebody’s been watching John Wick. And taking notes. The trailer for Netflix’s The Punisher dropped yesterday, and it looks perfectly brutal. (The full mouthful is Netflix Original Series Marvel’s The Punisher—can’t wait till we start adding extra corporate sponsors to titles, too.) Trailer after the jump!

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Too Big to Fail: The WWE No Mercy Double Main Event

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I keep thinking that one day I will grow out of my pop culture pursuits; comics, movies with aliens and explosions, action figures, and the one that gets the most side eye from other serious adult people: Professional Wrestling.

I know its “fake,” I know its lowbrow, I know that watching two grown men in tight stretchy pants getting sweaty and pinning each other to a mat is kind of suspect, but the thing is… I just don’t care.

If you had tickets to a Maple Leaf Stanley Cup final game in one hand and tickets to NXT TakeOver in the other, let’s just say that you would still have Leaf tickets while I was running out of the room trying to catch people with a classic “too sweet” high sign.

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Heroes and Villains – Reviewing Recent Comics 9-20-2017

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This time on Heroes and Villains, we’ll be looking at a variety of comics out this week and last, from a variety of genres and companies. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack #1, Angelic #1, Gasolina #1, Dark Knights: Metal #2, Secret Empire: Omega #1, Kid Sherlock #4, The End League, Jeff Steinberg: Champion of Earth, and more… be warned, there may be spoilers…

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All Aboard The “Dark Ark #1” On The Wednesday Run

Let’s take a walk back to the Biblical flood.

Noah placed animals two by two into his giant ark in order to save the world’s indigenous animal population from the impending doom.

Gorillas, lizards, tigers, bears and mice. The wily raccoons that make a mess of your garbage cans. And even the ornery Canada Geese that make a mess of your local park with their poop.

Yep. Noah saved them all.

Except the unicorns, who somehow didn’t get “flood” memo.

But what of the more unnatural creatures of the world? Who would save them?

Out today, Dark Ark #1 begins to tell their tale!

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Take a Virtual Reality Tour of the ‘City of Ghosts’

Over the weekend the Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories (FIVARS) took over the House of VR in Toronto.
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Outlander S03 E02: ‘Surrender’

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On the last episode of Outlander, we saw Claire and Jamie move on with their lives without each other. Claire and Frank are raising little Brianna as their own, while Jamie escaped execution and was returned to Lallybroch. How did they fare this week? (There are spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the latest installment).

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