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Editorial

Personal opinions and commentary.

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[START]: VRV Music Project

We’re proud to announce our latest artist collaboration project: VRV MUSIC! 🎉

What is VRV Music you ask? It’s the next step in a series of creative initiatives where we partner with, support, and help promote independent creators!

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How the Australian Government Funded a Wave of Bizarre Horror Films, Embarrassed the Critics, and Kickstarted the Careers of Hollywood Writers

In 1975, Peter Weir’s haunting Picnic at Hanging Rock cast a spell on viewers worldwide; the ambiguous tale lulled its audience into a dreamy haze with the mystery of three schoolgirls vanishing at the titular Hanging Rock. The picture heralded a New Wave of Australian cinema, and local critics were ecstatic to have such a work represent the continent to filmgoers across the globe.

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Midnight Void: Night Train to Terror

God and the Devil share a cabin aboard a train barreling through the night. A Night Train to Terror, if you will. Oh, I almost forgot, in the car up ahead there’s this breakdancing guy in DayGlo sweats. He’s the lead singer of this band, and they only have one song. I know they only have one song because they perform it over and over, and over again. There’s also a saxophone player, he gets a solo at one point. But back to the night train. Its destination could only be one place, a place we know all too well by this point: The Midnight Void.

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Candle Cove Is Coming to VRV to Mess You Straight the Heck Up

As fans of horror, we all have different tastes. Some of us want gory slasher action. Some of us want more quiet, psychological dread. And then there are those of us who want to be left staring at the screen, terrified and baffled and wondering what we just saw and if we’ll ever sleep again.

If, like me, you’re in that last category, then you might enjoy a trip to the childhood nightmare that is Candle Cove.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the series — and its parent show, anthology series Channel Zero — if you’ve been online long enough you’ve probably heard the title. The concept started as a short creepypasta by writer Kris Straub, and blossomed into a world of wiki entries, fanfic, and fanart. The television series marks the culmination of the fan fascination with it, as well as your first chance to watch a show that (according to its own lore) doesn’t even exist.

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The Future is Here, The Future is K-Pop: 9 Muses of Star Empire (2012)

I am not a fan of K-Pop. As a former expat, living and working in South Korea for almost five years, I tried to like the genre, but it all seemed too bubblegum to be taken seriously. The knowledge that everything: the songs, the performances, the very image presented were mere inventions of a committee rubbed me the wrong way. Of course, no matter how much I disliked K-Pop it was impossible to escape its grasp. You couldn’t ride a bus, wait for a subway, go to a department store, or even go out to eat without being inundated by the multitude of products, screens, and speakers peddling some new girl group or well-established boy band.

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Dracula Sucks! Vampires on VRV!

Before you get too excited, this is not a comprehensive critical dissection of Dracula Sucks, the 1978 X-rated adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic, starring “The Elliott Gould of Porn” Jamie Gillis as Count Dracula. But since you’ve already got me talking about it, I need to air the one gripe I have with that movie. You can’t just title your film Dracula Sucks, and then not deliver. I get the intended double entendre, and on the surface it’s clever. But at the end of the day it’s nothing more than an empty promise, and a broken dream.

Now that that’s off my chest, it’s time to move on to the actual topic of the day: Vampires. And not just any vampires. No, this is about vampires who aren’t musty old Dracula, because frankly Dracula sucks —except of course in the movie that’s literally called Dracula Sucks.

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A Wonton Western: Let the Bullets Fly (2010)

Beginning his career as an actor for Fifth Generation luminaries Zhang Yimou and Xie Fei, Jiang Wen’s move to the director’s chair would happen in 1994 with In the Heat of the Sun, a nostalgic tale about a group of adolescent males set during the Cultural Revolution. His subsequent directorial projects continued to mine China’s recent past, films full of pathos and irony, that were willing to not merely propagate state sponsored propaganda but attacking preconceived prejudices. And as a testament to Jiang’s skills behind the camera, critics and audiences alike have rightly lauded each film for their visual inventiveness and narrative sensibilities.

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The ’80s Anime Classic You Probably Haven’t Seen

If you’ve watched anime for a while, you know not to judge a show by its title. Cowboy Bebop doesn’t sound like it’s going to be about intergalactic bounty hunters, and Tiger & Bunny doesn’t bring to mind superheroes with corporate sponsorships. So it’s understandable that an anime called Bubblegum Crisis isn’t immediately going to sound like a love letter to 80s sci-fi films, packaged with hard-suited biker girls and an awesome soundtrack.

If you are good with context clues, you are probably picking up by now that yes, that is exactly what Bubblegum Crisis is: eight episodes of the best of the 80s, done up in a rough, neon cyberpunk setting.

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The Story of Anime’s First Blockbuster

A city of the future then, and of the “now” today. An oppressive metropolis lined with flashing neon. Relentlessly tough streets ravaged by teenagers consumed in a cycle of violence and debauchery intrinsic to their dystopian society, an ethos of cataclysmic revolution seeping up through the sewer grates and into the street.

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Holiday Hack’em Ups on VRV!

It’s that time of the year again when there isn’t a single holiday worth a damn in sight. July 4th is a distant memory, the fall and winter festivities are a dot on the horizon, and does anybody really care about Labor Day? But hey, it’s always a murder holiday in our hearts, and in the realm of horror, the holidays have long played host to murder…

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Expectations Vs. Reality: Hunter x Hunter

In a world where anime is bigger than ever… one woman hasn’t actually seen much of it.

Can she successfully piece together the premise of a popular series based on knowledge she’s absorbed from being online? Or will she endure the shame of believing that there is a talking dog which merely turns out to be an extremely hairy man?

Placing a poll on Twitter dot com, she puts her fate in the hands of the many. Whatever show they choose, she is honor-bound to describe what she thinks she knows, watch several episodes, and compare her knowledge to the cold truth.

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My Brother, My Brother, and My Original Character, Do Not Steal: MBMBaM’s Top Ten OCs

My Brother, My Brother and Me (MBMBaM for short) is an “advice show for the modern era.” But that doesn’t quite get across the charm, hilarity, and heart of the podcast run by the three McElroy brothers, Justin, Travis, and Griffin—or its television counterpart, which is available in its entirety right here!

Of all the gags and goofs MBMBaM has generated over its long run, my favorites are the characters the McElroys happen to develop in totally unexpected ways. Some of them are recurring, while most are one-offs. There are too many to count, so in a celebration of comic creativity, I give you my highly scientific top ten McElroy original characters.

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The Must-See Anime That Inspired Countless Creators

1991’s Otaku no Video is a two-part OVA that serves multiple purposes. It’s a wildly fictionalized parallel to the history of anime studio Gainax, a loving but harsh portrait of what it means to be an otaku, and a severe cautionary tale to those who walk the thin line between normal citizen and all-out maniac. It also sits firmly on the Itano Circus ground zero of a bunch of heavyweight careers, from Hideaki Anno to film director Shinji Higuchi. The former had just wrapped Gunbuster a few years prior, was smack dab in the middle of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, and just four years away from sending ripples throughout the otaku community with Neon Genesis Evangelion.

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Barf Bags Not Included: Italian Zombies Invade VRV!

Zombies: I’m sick of them, you’re sick of them. The only thing that could possibly make me cringe harder than a zombie is a pirate — and if you make a zombie pirate joke, I will stand up and walk away. But it’s not just a mere case of overexposure. They’ve become too safe; they’ve become Sunday night TV with the fam. And zombie movies should be like porn: you watch them alone or with a group of like-minded companions, but never with your family.

Frankly, they belong in the gutter. I like the gutter, you like the gutter. The Italians, they LOVE the gutter. Pick any disreputable film genre, and the Italians have not only dragged it down into the gutter, but tossed a bucket of maggots on top and bathed it in an overturned port-a-potty. They’re a beautiful people.