Lights on at Dark Maze Studios

So much for taking a breather! Ed Glaser and his team at Dark Maze Studios have rebounded quickly after the dramatic build-up to the release of their feature-length movie, PRESS START, back in September. During my interview with Glaser (see item: 12/19/07), mum was the apparent word on future doings apart from resuming production on their Flash animated prequel/sequel series, PRESS START: BONUS LEVELS, but clues gleaned from all over virtual space reveal a much more happenin’ picture.

A press release issued January 28 announced that BONUS LEVELS would be relaunched as PRESS START ADVENTURES for viewing on mobile devices. Presented by ThunderSquid Incorporated, the series will feature 14 of the original cartoons and 10 brand-new episodes. Future stories will introduce “Zach Nimbus” (played by Josh Stafford in the movie), reveal the fate of “Count Nefarious Vile,” and feature the arch-villain “Lord Vlad” (to be voiced by video game veteran David Humphrey). Dark Maze and ThunderSquid will presumably post release dates on their Web sites.

Elsewhere, casual surfing on the official PRESS START Web site revealed that two prior Dark Maze projects had finally been committed to DVD: NIGHT OF ANUBIS and THE NOCTURNAL JOURNAL: ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY. Second monster-fest first, JOURNAL features a comedy team a la MST3K jawing over one of the many Mexican creature mash-ups originally imported to the United States by K. Gordon Murray (see item: 12/22/07), while ANUBIS is an original production pitting students against a resurrected ghoul on the University of Illinois campus. (You are not going crazy, dear reader. You actually have heard this one before.) Both titles are available at reasonable prices on high-quality DVD-R. Although JOURNAL is bare-bones, ANUBIS is packed to the coffin lid with extras including the usual (commentaries, trailer, alternate cut) and the unusual (cartoon, full MP3 soundtrack, six (!) Mummy eBooks).

Even further casual surfing on C-U’s edition of revealed that Dark Maze is seeking thespians for a new live-action series for mobile viewing called NINJA HUNTRESS. Per the announcement, the plot concerns “a beautiful, katana-wielding Caucasian ninja known as Huntress whose sensei is murdered by an evil ninja clan for a piece of a mystic artifact. Huntress vows to avenge his death and recover all eight artifact pieces.” Shooting is expected to begin in April and last roughly one day per episode. Since no formal casting decisions have come down the pipeline, some roles may still be available; feel free to contact Glaser and inqure.

Finally, my dear Watsons, simple deduction has made it known that Glaser and Dark Maze associate Meagan Benz recently tied the knot amidst all this madness. Congratulations to Meagan and Ed! I just have to wonder what in the world the wedding video looks like…

~ Jason Pankoke

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