SAN DIEGO — July 23, 2008 — Horror and comedy often come together on the show floor at Comic-Con International, just never like this. Microsoft Corp. today announced that a set of original short film pilots will be coming to Xbox LIVE this fall, free to all members around the world. The unique concept of masters of horror taking on comedy, conceived by filmmaker James Gunn (“Slither,” “Dawn of the Dead”) and producer Peter Safran (“Scary Movie,” “Meet the Spartans,” “Disaster Movie”), will see some of the world’s greatest horror directors bring their comedic visions to life. Microsoft is teaming up with Safran Digital Group to produce these exclusive shorts.
Beginning this fall, the short film pilots will be available worldwide on Xbox LIVE from influential horror directors James Wan (“Saw,” “Death Sentence”), David Slade (“30 Days of Night,” “Hard Candy”), James Gunn, Lucky McKee (“May,” “The Woods”), Andrew Douglas (“The Amityville Horror”) and Marcus Nispel (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Friday the 13th”). All of the pilots will be free either for download or streaming on Xbox LIVE. The new short film pilots available on Xbox LIVE this fall include the following:
“Doggie Heaven (Woof!)” — The creative team behind the smash hit “Saw” films, James Wan (“Saw,” “Death Sentence”) and Leigh Whannell, tell the story of a young man who is having a dog of a day. He’s just been shot dead, but his real problems are only just beginning because of a clerical error that has sent him to the wrong heaven.
“Humanzee!” — James Gunn (“Slither,” “Dawn of the Dead”) directs and stars in a sitcom about his human-chimp hybrid son, the Humanzee (played by Gunn’s brother, Sean Gunn, from “Gilmore Girls”). It’s a delightful mix of “South Park,” “Wonder Showzen” and “Small Wonder.”
“MEATDOG: What’s Fer’ Dinner” — Director David Slade (“30 Days of Night,” “Hard Candy”) presents MEATDOG, an animated mutt made up of cold cuts. MEATDOG is pitted against a church of evil occult pigs while being pursued by a carnivorous rabbit and a slobbering hound. It’s dogicide when everyone wants MEATDOG on their menu.
“Blue Like You” —From director Lucky McKee (“May,” “The Woods”), “Blue Like You” follows the antics of old friends Patrick and Cyndy as they get to know their mysterious and extraordinary new friend Blue, a beautiful young woman who doesn’t seem to understand how the simplest of things work.
“The Miracle of Phil” — From director Andrew Douglas (“The Amityville Horror”), “The Miracle of Phil” shows that the best relationships are full of screaming, shouting and cursing, but when Phil gets knocked up, Chris is the one who feels screwed.
“Adrenaline Slam” — Director Marcus Nispel (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Friday the 13th”) brings “ADRENALINE SLAM,” a high-octane hybrid of hidden camera reality and Hollywood fantasy that exposes ordinary people to extraordinary events.
In addition, Microsoft has sought pilots from emerging online talent John Clisham:
“Assorted Nightmares: The Janitor” — From online director John Clisham and starring Jenna Dewan (“Step Up”), somewhere in the darkness just beyond “Tales From the Crypt” and a little south of “The Twilight Zone,” is “Assorted Nightmares,” a modern-day horror anthology show. The first episode pays homage to the 1980s horror-slasher genre, as things at school for Jennifer don’t turn out as expected.
“We’re excited to launch the Xbox original content with these world-class directors, who are all tremendously talented and at the cutting edge of their craft,” Safran said. “Their youthful and innovative approach is the perfect combination for this unique digital venture with Xbox 360, and we expect to see some very creative, horrifying and hilarious shorts as these masters of horror present their comedic vision. We can’t wait to give fans at Comic-Con a taste of what’s to come.”
Microsoft will also be “Bringing Comic-Con Home” on Xbox LIVE from Wednesday, July 23, to Sunday, July 27, so anyone can get a behind-the-scenes look at all of the action. The Xbox 360 team will be covering every inch of the show floor with daily coverage on Inside Xbox and Xbox.com, as well as MSN and Zune Marketplace. The Xbox 360 team is joining forces with Warner Bros. to provide sneak peeks of all the panels and videos shown at the event, along with interviews with talent for movies and TV shows, including the upcoming feature films from Warner Bros. Pictures “Watchmen” and “Terminator Salvation,” as well as “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Fringe,” “Chuck,” “Supernatural,” “Lost Boys: The Tribe” and much more. Xbox LIVE members will also be among the first to see the following:
Warner Premiere’s Motion Comics’ “Batman: Mad Love” draws on a massive amount of source material to bring a visually engaging experience to life, through the use of subtle movements, voice-overs, sweeping music scores and stunning comic book artwork.
The exclusive branded consoles for “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Watchmen” and DC Comics, and the upcoming “Gears of War” comic book-inspired console, with all the limited-edition consoles being given away at Comic-Con.
New gamer pictures and themes from DC Comics, available only on Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
“Bringing Comic-Con Home” will also give people an exclusive look at two Xbox 360 panels at the show:
In the “Xbox 360 ‘Gears of War’ Showcase” panel, Cliff Bleszinski, design director at Epic Games Inc., will be joined by comic writer Joshua Ortega and novelist Karen Traviss to discuss upcoming installments to the “Gears of War” universe, including a look at the holiday blockbuster game “Gears of War 2” for Xbox 360. The panel will be held on Saturday, July 26.
In the “Horror Meets Comedy Xbox Original Short Film Pilots” panel Friday, July 25, the audience will see a sneak preview of what is coming this fall, and will hear from all the directors on their creative vision for the shorts.
Xbox LIVE members will also get an online backstage pass to the famous Comic-Con masquerade ball, where the person with the best Xbox-themed costume will win an amazing “Halo” prize package, including a Master Chief costume and a “Halo” console. Further information is available at http://www.xbox.com/comiccon08.
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