wednes: (Queen of <3's)
It's no secret that I take issue with some of the messages in Disney movies. I hate how 90% of the time, everyone looks exactly like what they are. Heroes are attractive, villains are ugly (exception for Snow White's Evil Queen), fat people are jolly, women have crazy-long hair. And until recently, with minimal exception, the girl stories end with a wedding, while the boy stories end with a coronation. Okay, not Pinochio, and not Jungle Book. But come on.

So...Beauty and the Beast is being retold, and parents and chicks are going goo-goo for it.

I don't mind telling you that I have never understood the appeal of this story.
An old man steals a rose from a giant, wealthy-looking estate. He gives it to his daughter. We find out that the estate is owned by a beast. Literally, a hairy cloven-hooved person with a foul temperament and a distaste for all people.
What's his problem? Well, one night an old lady came to him for help. He refused to help her. So she cursed him with ugliness.
Later, the girl stays with the beast, and they end up falling in love. That somehow breaks the spell and the beast turns into a hero--by which I mean he becomes handsome.

Really? I mean...REALLY?

Sometimes Beast breaks the spell by finding it in his heart to love a beautiful young woman who is also the sweetest, kindest person who ever lived. Sounds like she wouldn't be particularly difficult to love, right?
Sometimes the amazing part is that the woman falls in love with beast. Because what woman could possibly love an ugly person with a foul temper (insert Melania Drumpf joke here)?

So at best, this is a story about a dickish man who was mean to an old lady, but learned to be kind to a hot young girl.
At worst, it's a story about an abusive relationship where the woman gradually accepts that this is probably the best she'll do. Or maybe it's a story about how loving an awful man long enough will change him into someone better.
Do women really need the message that if you stay with a mean, abusive man long enough, he'll eventually become the person you want him to be? Are you fucking kidding me? Is Disney kidding all of us?

Seriously...until Twilight (which is similar, thematically) this was the worst story ever in terms of the lessons it teaches young women. I mean, Cinderella is pretty bad. And most Disney women do sit around waiting for someone to rescue them (until very recently). But this one seems far worse than even the usual Disney fare.

Am I missing something? What is it about this story that people respond to?
Is it the music? The talking clock?
Why does anyone like this? Why would anyone let their kid near it?
I'd really like to know.
wednes: (Sad)
It's been a few days, so I think I'm finally ready to say something about the death of my favorite living actor, Bill Paxton. I'd always been a fan of his from stuff like Weird Science and Aliens which we saw over and over again when it came out--I was a junior in high school. Plus I remembered him from The Lords of Discipline. I thought he was so versatile and funny and amazing. He was credited as "Wild" Bill Paxton, which I thought was super awesome.
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I didn't realize he was the guy from the Fish Heads video until much later. But I had always loved that vid. He directed it too, which seems insane until you remember that he started his Hollywood career in the art department on Roger Corman movies. I know, right?


I won't do a whole thing about his career, because most of you know all about it. You know about the amazing sci-fi horror trifecta. You know at least a dozen of his movies and at least that many of his famous lines. Maybe you didn't know that he played a Nazi in a Pat Benetar video (that also features Judge Reinhold as a good guy).

Shadows Of The Night - Pat Benatar by KamdenMason

I have to mention Frailty though, because finding out Bill could make a horror movie that blew my mind--I'm sure you can imagine how that made me feel. It was like his artistic spirit came into my TV (I couldn't afford to see it in the theatre) and hugged me. My favorite thing in any horror movie is when I honestly don't see it coming...
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...(and it makes sense), and with Frailty, I didn't. So bold, brave, intense for a first time feature director. Paxton said that he always wanted to direct a classic. As a horror fan, I have to say that he did.
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When I woke up Sunday morning and checked my communique, I got seven texts and two Emails letting me know that Bill Paxton had died. Still, I spent a few seconds frantically wondering who could have organized such an unfunny prank on me. He has a new show--it JUST STARTED. He looked totally healthy in it. Bill Paxton smoked cigs for a long time, and he probably drank some. But he wasn't some kind of self-abuser. I couldn't believe it. I burst into tears so hard that I scared H, who thought a friend or a family member must have died. I couldn't even speak. I just handed him my iPod touch and he looked at it, then at me, and said "Oh no...honey, I'm sorry."
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People called him an "everyman," which I suppose is true to a point. No matter what kind of character he played, you kind of felt like you could see a little of yourself in him. He helped us identify with his characters, even if they were totally shitty. I mean, what kind of idiot takes on a Predator with a handgun, I ask you? Paxton wasn't just a horror guy, but he obviously was a fan. He wasn't just a smartass, or a jokester, or a family movie guy--he was all of that and more. He was tons of things most of us will never know about. And everybody loved him. Everybody who knew him.

Bill Paxton took shit seriously--the art, the work in general, his family, his fans. He was a good sport and an awesome person. Generous with fellow actors and good to his crew. Nobody spoke ill of him. Even when he found out his ancestors owned slaves, he handled it with grace and without bullshit. I adored him. I really did. Like, it's probably a good thing I didn't rescue him if he crashed his plymouth in a snowstorm. Because I was his Number One Fan. I also should have been one of his wives on Big Love, because seriously.
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Because I have a rich inner fantasy life, I always imagined that someday I'd meet Bill Paxton. I'd tell him how much I liked Frailty, and he would be impressed with my passion for, and knowledge of film. I imagine most of us want to think our heroes would like us, and this was especially true in this case. Plus, he was so damn handsome.

Goodbye, Sir. I'm sorry I'll never meet you.
I thank you for a lifetime of work that will stay with us forever.
wednes: (Zombie Cart)
Like most horror fans, Creepshow has always been high on my list of fave horror movies. I love the cast, the camp, the gruesomeness, and that hilarious dub where it's super obvious that Adrienne Barbeau called Emily Vanderbilt a cunt. Hahahaaha.

H and I watched an awesome documentary about it recently. Apparently, it was on the UK DVD reissue that never actually came to this side of the pond. That's bullshit, BTW. Because then I had to download it on the grey market. Shame on me!

I have always thought of the middle story, Something to Tide You Over as being about revenge zombies. Ted Danson "steals" Leslie Neilson's wife, so he buries them both in the sand up to their necks so they can drown slowly when the tide comes in. It really is masterful suspense and drama. Over-the-top performances make this essentially two-man piece (the chick is mainly a prop) a thrilling watch no matter how many times I see it.

So...In the documentary, Savini refers to these characters as "ghosts." I must say, it never occurred to me to even consider that these might be ghosts. That's probably because Creepshow is Romero and Savini, who are just naturally associated with zombies. Stephen King has done both zombie and ghost stuff (and in-between stuff like 'Salem's Lot, which is technically vampires--but ones that are highly shambly and zombie-like).
It is true that the zombies/ghosts suddenly appear on the other side of rooms, just behind the guy they're tormenting. That can suggest ghosts more than zombies. I had always presumed that revenge zombies are inherently magical, so they could just do stuff like that. Now I wonder if my willing suspension of disbelief is overactive. Probably not though, because watching the Arrowverse is one long exercise in repressing my inner cries of "Shenanigans!"

I ask you, horror fans and cineasts, are they zombies, or are they ghosts?
Do you have an immediate reaction to this that differs from your thoughtful one?
I hate the idea of disagreeing with Savini about his own work (which is funny, considering how often I want to tell Nicotero to go fuck himself), but I'm just not seeing what he's seeing.
What say you?
wednes: (Santa?)
So, we had Xmas. It was also H's birthday on the 20th. This means that at the Webster-Friday abode, there was much materialism, indulgence, and slothery. Why slothery? Because I made a commitment to watch #Arrow in its entirety, and I'm now about half-way through season three. Lots of shenanigans to be called on that show--but it's still a fun watch. Apparently it takes a mere 5 years and a death in your family to become a world-class assassin. Unless you're a girl, or a poor kid, then it takes even less time than that. Some things never change though, by which I mean John Barrowman is hot as fuck, and Ra's Al Ghul can kiss my ass (not literally of course).

Anyway...
For H's birthday, I got him a super cool book about the Whovian universe.
Plus a T-shirt with the Planet Express logo on it.
Plus some high end super spicy corn chips from Paqui. I wanted to get him the One Chip Challenge, but they were out of them for the season.
I made H's favorite cake, which is Frangipan (a buttery white cake made with marzipan). He loves it, but it's expensive and massively unhealthy so he only gets it once a year.

For Christmas, we made our usual holiday lip balms.
Coconut lime, because that's everyone's fave--including mine.
Cherry cordial (which is chocolate, cherry, hazelnut, and almond flavors)
Cinnamon Bun (cinnamon and vanilla). This was a new flavor and I didn't love it. But always nice to have something different. Think I might bring back the chocolate orange next year. That was good stuff.

H and I didn't give many gifts outside the family. We got H's sister a set of knee braces that she wanted, because she's been working super hard to be healthy. She has more discipline than anyone I know, seriously. My brother is getting a batch of Aztec brownies, because he loves them.

H's stocking was filled with a 2-pack of Reece's cups that weighs a pound. Yes, that means he got TWO half-pound Reece cups, which is the very definition of holiday indulgence. He also got a small jar of Jif cookies and creme with hazelnut spread. It's like a swirl of cookies n creme filling with nutella. He loves it, but it's not to my taste. He got an assortment of hot sauces and a huge vinyl decal that is the Crack in the Wall from Doctor Who, plus some jalapeno cashews.

Gift wise, he got a Blu-Ray of #Interstellar, which he loves and I have not seen. Plus a TARDIS pillow since he loves to lie on the couch with pillows. And finally, I got him an Attack on Titan hoodie, that even comes with a cape. He loves it. So that was great. I was pretty stoked to be able to afford it, since when I first saw it it was $75.

H got me a fancy assortment of foodie food. This included 2 types of Zingerman's bacon (1/4 pound each), some nice bread, fresh mozzarella, a tiny box of palmier cookies, and a fancy lemonade. H's mom got me the study bible I've been wanting, and H's sister got me a White Walker fig from Pop Funko. Speaking of Funkos, H got me a Weeping Angel, which is awesome.

H got me the Master's pocket watch from Doctor Who--which is pretty cool and which I have also wanted for a long time. Plus a DVD of Pink Floyd The Wall, which I hope to hang onto by not letting anyone borrow it.

We got a sweet box of cookies from Bre and the kids, and some assorted sweets and cards from family. The Overstreets gave us the Pop-Up Game of Thrones map, which is badass, the 3rd Walking Dead Compendium, and the Hannibal Lector cookbook. The Lector cookbook is pretty amazing, as it's written by the food stylist for the Hannibal show and has tons of cool pics and trivia. Not sure I'll be making those recipes since they require crazy ingredients like calves head, lungs, or of course, Gillian Anderson's left leg. Bahahahahhaa. So yeah, we got gifted up good.
wednes: (Sad)
Okay dammit, there have been too many artist and fictional deaths this year.
I'm fucking sick of it.

Like who, you ask?

Alan Rickman -- this was bullshit. Not that old and we had no idea it was coming. Shenanigans.

Bowie -- no comment required.

Prince -- ditto. All of these are utter bullshit

Norma Bates on Bates Motel. Okay, we knew that was coming. So why was it so horrifying and tragic? Because they're great at what they do.

Anton Yelchin --again, this was bullshit. Crushed by a car that should have been recalled months earlier. Shenanigans again.

Glenn and Abraham. *sigh* Just because we read about it first, doesn't mean it didn't tear our hearts out.

Gene Wilder lived a long, full life and was a pretty cool dude. He was 83 and had Alzheimer's. So this one is not bullshit, just regular sad.

Leonard Cohen -- again, not exactly youthful, but a loss all the same.

Hodor. God damn you [personal profile] grrm. A man lacks honor.

It's the middle of November, and I've got to think we're due for another major blow before the year ends. Who will it be? Someone we all love and admire. Another beloved actor? A great musician? Me? As I say in my reviews: Time will tell...
wednes: (Heavenly Creatures)
Finally saw the new Ghostbusters after hearing whinging man-children go on and on about how it's "unnecessary" and how they're only making it with women to be "PC." Because as I've explained before--letting ladies star in a movie is a special gift from the men who run the world. Now that we got our lady-movie, we should all sit down, shut up, know our places, and stop making such an emotional fuss.

This post will have major spoilers, so scroll past now if you don't want to know.

Okay then...

Things I loved about this movie:

Erin is shown at the beginning with a shitty boyfriend. American viewers are trained to know that this is laying the foundation for a romantic subplot. Won't it be awesome when she finds a man who is worthy of her? She deserves it.
Except...she doesn't. Erin flirts with Kevin (more on him later), but doesn't wind up with a new man at the end. This is not thrown in our faces, it's just what happens. Love it. Love that we can have a happy ending (giggity?) without finding love as a prerequisite.

Kevin. First, I don't condone that he was sexually harassed in the film, on a human level. It is not right for Erin to have said and done some of the things she did. But that's the point. In movie-trope terms, Kevin is the Miss Moneypenny, the Miss Tessmacher, Phoebe Cates in a red bikini, the...every hot woman thrown into a movie for no other reason than the movie needed a hot chick. Kevin is also super stupid--just like most ladies in man-movies. And they had to rescue him.
I especially love that at one point, I was thinking "Okay, I like what they're doing with Kevin, bit I wish they'd had him do more. It's kind of a waste of a Hemsworth." And then he got possessed by the bad guy. And then he danced. Oh my Zod...he danced.
Turns out, objectifying people is fun. I see why men enjoy it. And it should be noted that Kevin never expressed displeasure for anything that went on. That doesn't excuse Erin's conduct, but it makes it less squicky.

Abby was super physical and awesome. She reminds me of Chris Farley without the cocaine and early death. Oops. I just made myself sad...

The women were genuinely friends. They didn't try to one-up each other, didn't talk about ways to improve each other's appearance, or PR skills, or anything really. They just supported one another and got shit done. Much care was taken to NOT see these women as messing around with ghost stuff until they all landed husbands.

Jillian. Holy shit, Kate McKinnon was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Okay, that may be an exaggeration--but only a slight one. Jillian is gay, right? I mean, they don't say it. But it seems like they hinted at it enough times that they wanted us to be able to pick up on it without making it (or anyone's sexuality) the focus of the plot. Not sure I've ever been so instantly taken with and charmed by a new character in anything.
I'm not exactly sure why I got choked up during Jillian's big fighting scene. Not sure if I just loved her character that much, or if I was truly overwhelmed by the amount of raw girl power. At least for a minute, I was picturing little girls in Jillian costumes for Halloween instead of being goddamn Frozen princesses or lady-Batmans in a frilly pink dress.

Humor. There was soooo much great humor. I especially liked the gag with Ed Begley Junoir--when they say they talked to him and the tour guide is all "He died 15 years ago...whoooOOOOOooooo." But then it was his son. Ha!

Patty was also great. I like that she didn't veer into "sassy black chick stereotype." At the same time, she was truthfully portrayed--at least to my middle-aged white lady mind. Plus her necklace helped me remember the character's name. Plus, Leslie Jones is so not the type that often gets to be a lead in something. I hope to see her in lots more roles like this. She's way too entertaining to be relegated to the funny friend or quirky office mate.

Cameos. Wow! They were really well done in how they were timed. Seeing Bill Murray was no surprise--though just when I worried that we didn't see enough of him--he came back. Toward the end, I was all "I don't see why Dan Ackroyd couldn't have shown up..." and then he did. I knew there was no Moranis cameo going in, but that still sucked. Ernie Hudson, duh. That was great. And as the credits rolled, I was like, "Well, it would have been cool to see Sigourney Weaver, but I can understand why she might be too busy to--OMG THERE SHE IS!!!" So awesome.

EDIT: I almost forgot to mention the Harold Ramis bust. That was great.

I honestly don't see what there is to dislike about the movie. If you really saw it and hated it, I have to think you were looking for reasons to. I'm told that there were some plot holes that the extended version (the one I saw) fixed. I can't speak to that. But the tone, premise, cast, villain, themes, all of it. So good. If I had a daughter, I'd buy her a copy of it immediately--so she could put it on her movie shelf next to A League of Their Own.

If you honestly couldn't find things to like about it, I'd love to hear why. Not why you think it didn't need to be made, or why you hate that they cast mostly women. I mean a reason why you didn't like the film itself.
Because the movie I saw was fun, touching, hilarious, and another affirmation that women can carry a film that has wide appeal. I really wish I'd seen it before I made my list of Family Friendly Halloween movies. It would have been in the top three.
wednes: (Carrie & Mom)
September 6th is my mom's birthday.

It occurred to be recently that I tend to refer to mater in the past tense, even though she's not dead. I wouldn't even say she's "dead to me," because I don't pretend she's dead. I just talk to her slightly less often than I talk to (or toward, more like) people who actually are dead. There are plenty of dead people I think of as better, smarter, cooler, kinder, and less violent and psychotic as mater. For the record, I last spoke with mater in September of 1995. So I guess that's a sort of anniversary as well.

Funnily, I've also been thinking about gaslighting lately (Even saw the film from which we get the term. Jessica Lansbury is 19 years old in it!!). More than the violence, constant emotional and mental abuse, being ordered around like a servant, rarely being allowed out, the gaslighting did a shitload of damage to me. It's another one of those things I didn't realize was SO pervasive until much later. It's also another one of those things that I reacted hugely and horribly to when it happened (often to a very small degree) with other people later on.
If someone tells a story wrong, I'd be outraged even if it was a stupid thing that didn't matter. "His shirt was BLUE, not green! Tell it RIGHT!" Because I grew up knowing that when someone didn't tell the truth about something, they were doing it to make me look bad. That's not actually paranoia when you grow up with one of those "You see what I've got to put up with!" parents always harping on how tough they have it while they're using their kid as a punching bag.

Everything my mom ever said about me was exaggerated to make me look bad, stupid, selfish, greedy, vain, or otherwise terrible. Didn't matter if she was talking to a teacher, a neighbor, her husband, or our extended family. If they were impressed with a drawing, she'd tell them I traced it. If someone praised my good grades, she'd lie and say she called the school and "made" them change my grades. If I lost something, she said I sold it or gave it away, or "let" someone take it. Always. Constantly. And the bitch of it is, there are still people in my family who believe that shit. I'm told my mom's husband actually thinks I invited a band of drug fiends into their house to steal sports memorabilia. Nevermind that I don't think I have a single friend who would knowingly walk into a house with a basement full of swastikkas. But I digress.

It was my mom's birthday. I didn't sit around crying, drinking, watching movies we watched together when I was a kid. I wasn't angry or short with H, or walking around finishing arguments from 30 years ago while the cats just stared at me, confounded. I had a regular day, doing all the stuff I normally do.

So I feel pretty good about that.
Guess we'll see how I do next Mother's Day.

Responses

Jul. 15th, 2016 01:54 am
wednes: (X-files)
It's time once again for me to address some of the utter crap that's been going around the Internets of late, mostly to get it off my ample chest. Because people are lazy and mean and dumb, and I like to think I'm smarter, more active, and kinder than most (based on no factual evidence, just me and my intellectual vanity wishing). For the purposes of this post, I shall refer to the Internet as if they are a cohesive collective--while knowing that, of course, they aren't.

--Remakes/Reboots.
Internet: "Why do they have to remake everything?"
Wednes: "For money. Movies are a business. Businesses work to make money. Duh."

Internet: "Can't Hollywood think of anything new and original???"
Wednes: Can't YOU? You say this same shit every goddamn time a remake comes out. Besides, originality is not the same as good. How many times have we seen a cool new concept squandered by mediocre filmmaking or a godawful screenplay? #Pixels You might as well say "Why do they have to base so many movies on books? Can't they write their own?"

--Pokemon Go!
Internet: "People shouldn't be playing this game in [place where serious historical things have happened]. It's disrepectful."
Wednes: No, they probably shouldn't be. So why are there catchable animals hiding at these places?

Internet: "This is stupid. Why are adults doing this when [tragic world event that commenter has done nothing about] is going on?!?"
Wednes: If you think adults playing a fun game is stupid, how exactly would you categorize going online to complain about it? Also, complaining about others doing something other than charity work is just empty preening bullshit unless you posted it while simultaneously doing charity work.

--Ghostbusters
Internet: "MY RUINED CHILDHOOD?!?!11/1!?!?!"
Wednes: If this is the thing that ruined your childhood, I don't know how to adequately express how charmed your life must have been or how fucking batshit stupid you are now. Remakes do NOT ruin the original thing; and they certainly don't ruin the first time you watched it. If you're honestly letting this "ruin" anything for you, you're a mewling child looking for reasons to feel wronged. Here, I'll help: Happy Holidays!

Internet: "They're making it with women just to be PC."
Wednes: So now it's "PC" to acknowledge that women do things? The only reason to depict women as anything other than a love interest, sex object, or funny fat friend is because of "political correctness?" We must be up to 5% female lead characters at this point in movie history--and it's astounding how many dudebros feel legit threatened by that. Yes, you all go right on telling yourselves that female characters (along with racial minorities, gay/bi/trans folk, those with disabilities, etc) are only in movies to appease whiners. Congratulations. You just demonstrated that many types bias are alive and well, while announcing that you'd prefer that we not do anything about that.

--#AllLivesMatter
[specific demographic of the] Internet: "I happen to think ALL lives matter, because I'm not racist."
Wednes: That's bullshit, and I think you know that it's bullshit. Anyone who says this is willfully missing the point. This can only be because they honestly believe that there's no problem with police and racial profiling, police and the murder of minorities, or minorities and the criminal justice system at large. They have to feel it's appropriate that for-profit prisons to create a demand for prisoners that is then met by railroading poor people (mostly, though surely not all) minorities and at-risk populations. People who are offered 18 months instead of 10 years for crimes they didn't commit--and who take pleas so they don't risk missing their kids growing up. People who get a total of 7 minutes to discuss their case with their PD. Anyone who believes in #AllLivesMatter seem to miss the point that responding to cries of "Stop Murdering Us" with 'Come on, you guys have to be exaggerating. Cops have never done that to me or any of the middle-class white people I know.' IS goddamn fucking racist. Even if you think all the cops in all those videos are justified. Even if you think every last victim deserved to be murdered because they moved their hand, refused to put out their cigarette, or "didn't comply" quickly and humbly enough. It's still racist to respond to "Please Don't Shoot" with "This isn't a big deal, and I'm sick of hearing about it." Beyond racism, it just makes you an asshole.
Stop being an asshole.

[specific demographic of the] Internet: Cop Haters shouldn't call a cop if they need one, because doing so makes them hypocrites.
Wednes: There's a world of difference between "hating cops" and hating that murderers get to wear cop uniforms and get paid by taxpayers even after they murder someone. It's not hating cops to be disgusted that there are otherwise good cops who cover for and defend those that aren't. Everybody knows that there are good cops and bad cops, just like every job has good or bad employees. It's just that cops are given guns and permission to use their discretion to kill if they need to. That means they deserve more scrutiny than those of us who aren't. You're not being kind to the good ones by pretending the bad ones don't exist--nor are you hating on good cops by acknowledging that they do.

There. Now I feel better.
wednes: (Wednes Logo)
Probably the question horror writers get asked the most is "Why Horror?" When I interview people, I ask it too. The answers reveal as much about the author as they do about the power of horror itself. No lie. I've been thinking about my earliest introductions to horror, and how I always sort of knew I would always be a horror fan. I've narrowed it down to a few, which are presented in no particular order.

1. Sir Graves Ghastly. Sir Graves was the Detroit host of scary movies on Saturday afternoons. If I was home on a Saturday at 1pm, you could always find me in front of the TV, waiting for Sir Graves to show a black-and-white horror movie. If I wasn't home, I was complaining loudly that I was missing Sir Graves. I saw King Kong, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Brain that Wouldn't Die, Them!, something about a woman who could change into a cobra, and whatever else he had for me. Sir Graves read birthdays (and said one year that I had a cute name), showed drawings kids sent in. Once I sent him a giant ceramic skull that was a bank. He opened it on the air. No footage of this exists, which is true of most of Sir Graves broadcasts. They were tossed out like a bunch of S1 Doctor Who episodes. But I always loved Sir Graves--and eventually got to tell him so when I got his autograph when I was about 12.

2. "How to Care for Your Monster" by Norman Bridwell (the guy who also made Clifford the Big Red Dog). I loved this in particular because it looked at the Universal Monsters in a new way. Horror AND Comedy?!? The idea boggled my 2nd grade mind. And I wanted a Frankenstein's Monster soooooo bad.

3. Jaws. I was 4 when trailers for Jaws started running. I begged my mom for a Jaws poster from the grocery store, which was put up on my bedroom door. However, I had so many nightmares that ended with me waking up screaming, my parents finally took it down. Even the trailer gave me nightmares. This was long before we had a VCR, so I didn't actually see Jaws until they showed it on TV. I couldn't fully explain then why I pursued something that gave me nightmares, but I didn't care. I wanted it.

4. 'Salem's Lot. This made-for-TV Tobe Hooper movie scarred many kids my age for life. Not only is it terrifying, children are not safe from The Master (who in this movie is a silent Nosferatu type). The kids get vampirized, and go on to vamp-up other kids. I hadn't felt so personally targeted by a horror movie ever--and frankly didn't again until Silence of the Lambs featured a killer who specifically went after fat chicks. Reading 'Salem's Lot, while awesome, never scared me as much as watching that movie did. I've seen it a billion times and it still makes me jump when Anchorman's boss gets it, and again when Danny Glick sits up in his coffin.

5. The Oakland County Child Killer. A local murderer with a highly unimaginative name (though some called him The Babysitter), this guy was on the prowl for kids my age in my neighborhood for a few years in the 1970's. He was on the news constantly, everyone was talking about him. At one point, my mom told me that my biological father might have been the OCCK. That's not true, but even if it were, that's an insane and horrible thing to tell a child. When I delivered school newsletters to the houses on my street (literally, my route was 3 blocks long), my mom followed me in her car to make sure no one stole me. So I grew up being told daily that a death by kidnapping was imminent. Again, this is something you'd think would repel me from horror, but it didn't.

6. Night of the Living Dead. I've talked at length about this. It scared the hell out of me, and still does. When I have zombie nightmares, they're often about no one believing me that we're all in danger, that the undead are coming, that we need to prepare.

7. Psycho. A movie about a killer mother who turns out to be about a matricidal son? What's not to love? This movie stuck with me not so much for the shower scene, but because I was so totally taken in by it. I responded exactly as Hitchcock wanted me to, at every turn. The novel is a very different sort of story, because Norman is a very different guy. I talk a lot about this in my Bates Motel reviews.
wednes: (X-files)
I was watching Hannibal (the show) recently and was quite taken with the brooding sexiness of Will Graham. That Hugh Dancy is an attractive guy. But when he's clean shaven and smiling, eh? Not as good IMO.

This got me thinking about the popular archetype of the attractive broken guy all the ladies want to fix (or gay men, whatevs). There are plenty of guys like this on TV: Jon Snow, Sawyer from LOST, every other TV cop (Stabler, Mike Logan, Tim Bayliss, etc). I was trying to figure out how far back that goes and who started it.

I'm not super old--but as far as I can tell it goes back to James Dean. The sad kid who nobody understood, was sexy and needed a nice lady to hold him and stay with him and tell him that he's good. What is it about us that attracts us to such men? Is it that we're also damaged and want to be around someone as damaged as us--if not moreso? I mean, hanging out with a broken guy allows us to put our energy into "fixing" him (which we probably call "helping him") instead of looking inward and dealing with our own shit.

Uh oh, I just became aware of a RL parallel in my early years of dating. Almost exclusively, I dated broken men all through my teens and 20's. Life-wise, I can't be the responsible sane one in any relationship. Objectively, I am neither of those things.

And yet...this brooding male archetype is wildly popular. So it can't be just me. How much further back does it go? Did people look at Caligula and say "Aw, he just needs to find the right girl?" I mean, even Hitler had a girlfriend--one who suicided herself right along with him. People love Severus Snape even though he's a complete prick--it can only be because he's so dark...and so sad.

As Rod Serling would say--there's not a lesson here. We're just taking a look into a broken thing in our world and wondering WTF.

EDIT: Sarah pointed out a glaring error in my thinking here. I'm embarrassed to have not thought of Edward Rochester. That's one of my fave roles for dudes, and can reveal intense acting chops a'la Orson Welles, Ciaran Hinds, Michael Fassbender et al. My bad.

Some Things

Feb. 9th, 2015 05:25 am
wednes: (Grimey)
Posting spoilers for any show, especially within 24 hours of the first airing, makes you a dick. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you? #LadyStoneheart, bitches.

Bavarian creme is not the same as custard creme. People who make paczkis should know this already. Still, that's good paczkis.

Law articles today. I do find it funny that I even get paid to do that, given that I've never even taken the LSAT, let alone a law class.

Getting a free review copy of Rosewater. Stoked.
If any locals want to have a viewing party, let me know.

Still not sure what I'm getting H for Val's day. Whatever it is, it probably won't be here on time.

Kickstarter is lagging so far despite a great project and kickass perks. Little help?

Watched Birdman last night. Wow, even going in with high expectations, it was great. Kind of a Noises Off meets Rope meets a wrenching black comedy. Plus, Ed Norton.
wednes: (Snakes on a Plane)

Seems I was slow on the draw with this article that I actually wrote to post someplace newsy.  I'm posting it here despite the fact that it's not the typical style for this blog.  

             I'm not ashamed to admit that I was looking forward to "The Interview," the new comedy from perennial stoners Seth Rogan and James Franco.  But I'm gonna have to make new plans for Christmas Day, since it will no longer be showing in American theatres.  Thanks Obama!  Oh, I mean Thanks Sony!

            What led up to this?  Well, "The Interview" reportedly angered North Koreans since it…you know, openly mocks their leader.  Kim Jong Un, of course, was rumored to have fed his own Uncle to wild dogs, has outlawed anyone having his name, and is generally a crazy cuckoo-pants.  He also seriously needs to fire his stylist.  Right before thanksgiving, it was believed that angry fans of "Dear Leader" hacked into Sony's most secure servers.  The hackers called themselves Guardians of Peace or "GOP."  Embarrassing exposures ranged from the new James Bond script, to tons of private Emails and some bullcrap about Alex Trebek not wanting to reshoot Jeopardy around a kid's temper tantrum.  The massive hack left Sony angry and embarrassed.  The FBI is still investigating.

            Cut to December 17th, and several major theatre chains refused to show the film after GOP released a warning that included the message: "Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made…the world will be full of fear…remember the 11th of September 2001."  Sony has since decided to indefinitely postpone the release of "The Interview."  So I guess that means that the terrorists got exactly what they wanted.

            Theatre chains declining to show the film include Regal, AMC, Carmike, Cineplex, and Bowtie.  I imagine more would have joined this group if Sony had not decided to pull the film altogether.  The statements from the theatres and from Sony all lamented the decision, reiterated their commitment to artistic freedom, and then said that safety was the most important thing.  Odd, because usually when people talk about America, it's the freedom that takes center stage.  Would theatres or Sony Pictures be responsible for those hurt in a terrorist attack protesting "The Interview?"  Of course not.  The terrorists would be.  But Sony is responsible for giving in to those who would use fear to gain control over others. 

            In the immediate aftermath of the Sony hack, ponderings that it may have been North Korea were quickly shouted down by both Sony and the FBI.  In recent days, Gizmodo , CNN, and Kaspersky  have all asserted North Korean involvement according to their own sources.  Internet wags have wasted no time in pointing out other times American films have mocked world leaders.  Team America: World Police spoofed Kim Jong Il relentlessly, causing controversy—but nothing that delayed the film's release.  Trey Parker and Matt Stone have never been shy about ridiculing dictators from Osama Bin Laden, to Saddam Hussein, and even showing a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed back before people were routinely murdered for doing so.

            Cynics are wondering aloud whether this is all some giant publicity stunt.  I don't see how.  I also can't see how a decision that will surely lead to massive illegal pirating could possibly be helpful to Sony.  Does anybody honestly believe they'd allow the new James Bond script to be leaked to promote a Seth Rogan movie?  No offense to Mr Rogen, but I don't fucking think so. 

            Can a company truly support freedom of artistic expression if they're pulling films because people are upset by the content?  I don't see how.  Are we really a free society when humor is stifled at the behest of terrorists?  Freer than some, perhaps, but not as free as we claim to be.  I certainly hope Sony won't keep "The Interview" under wraps for much longer.  A Video-on-Demand release seems inevitable, yet no one has confirmed that anyone is even discussing it.

            To some, a stoner comedy like "The Interview" may not be vital or important enough to warrant this kind of attention.  But that's not the point.  It's also not about whether you like James Franco, think Seth Rogan has a dumb laugh, or believe that mocking people is mean.  If pioneering smut peddler Larry Flint has taught us anything, it's that every form of expression needs to be protected, even those we don't personally like—even under the threat of arrest, censure, or terrorist threat.  Otherwise, we're not protecting freedom.  We'd just be sticking up for things we already like. 

            

wednes: (Zombie Film)
Picking Brains with Wednesday Lee Friday: Jeremy Gardner


J Gardner's debut picture, The Battery looks to be one of those amazing zombie films that does a whole lot with a few dollars and some really dedicated performers. After the interview, you'll find a short clip that I predict will make you as stoked as I am to see this flick. Mr Gardner has a lot of erudite things to say about filmmaking, Romero, and day-jobs.

WLF/ZZN: Hey Jeremy! I so appreciate you taking the time to answer Q's for Zombie Zone News. Your movie The Battery was made for around $6,000. With such a small budget to work with, why choose something as makeup and FX oriented as a zombie movie?
Hey, not at all, thanks for having me. And to answer your question: Because I’m an idiot. Honestly. It just never came up. The story sort of evolved, first out of an audition tape I made for another horror movie, and then out of the concept of doing a post-apocalyptic movie, but staying in the woods. Zombies tend to hang around where people are, and there aren’t as many people in a dense forest on a mountain as there are in the town at the bottom. So that idea made sense from both a story, and a micro-budget filmmaking perspective. It was going to be expensive, and difficult to shut down roads and businesses, and it would be dangerous for our characters to go there anyway. So… stay in the woods. It’s kind of the opposite of the old horror trope “Don’t Go Into The Woods.” It seemed like an incredibly inexpensive idea for a movie. No one ever really brought up zombie effects until late in the process, and by then we were just going to do it anyway.

WLF/ZZN: Having watched the trailer for The Battery it a few times, I can say without hyperbole that it kicks ass. Did you edit it?
Thank you so much. I did not edit it, as a matter of fact, my brilliant d.p./renaissance man Christian Stella, cut the trailer. And really only cut it together to give our friends and family a little taste of what we’d been doing out in the woods for those two weeks. We never intended for it to get the kind of response it has–which has been really amazing—but is also why it has been slagged a little for being too long. Because it was supposed to be more of a showcase, than a traditional trailer.

WLF/ZZN: The intense, dancing around with a gun, bearded guy—is that you?
That is me.

WLF/ZZN: The song in the trailer is amazing; the lyrics are evocative and creepy. I want to download it immediately. How do I go about that?
That song is called Fire at the Pageant by the Felice Brothers, an absolutely incredible band from upstate New York. Run, run I say, as fast as you can across the interwebs to www.felicebrothers.com and blow all your milk money on all of their music. That track is on their latest album Celebration, Florida. But all of their albums are fantastic. I’m sure you can get them on iTunes as well.

WLF/ZZN: You've spoken about the zombies in this movie being almost incidental to the real plot. What do you mean by that?
What that means is, the zombies are a stand-in, for any disaster that might have put our characters in the position they are in. Romero has spoken about this numerous times, so I can’t take credit–nor all of the blame–for it. But the idea is to f*ck up the order of things and then watch how the people react to it. There are some mighty big themes tackled in some of the classic zombie flicks, but I was really interested in watching it on a very personal, intimate level. Seeing how two conflicting personalities deal with the situation when they are forced to rely on one another. One of the characters has taken a real liking to the nomadic, hunter/gatherer, skull-crushing lifestyle that they have been thrust into; while the other, clings to any shred of society and order and comfort he can find. So in that way, in just really concentrating on how those two people butt heads, it kind of makes the reason they are where they are beside the point.

WLF/ZZN: I understand that it rained during the very tight shooting schedule. How much impact did all that rain have on the final film?
It only rained two days, but they were consecutive, and it was a f*cking deluge. And all throughout the shoot, I kept saying, “If it rains, we shoot. It’s production value.” But it happened to hit, and hit hard, on the one day we had actors in from out of town. And it was a real drag. We were on a mountain, it was freezing cold, and these incredibly professional actors stuck it out. I mean, to the bone soaked. I’m a burly guy, I look like a thing born of woods and rain and winter, but after about six hours of it, my teeth were chattering and my hands were shaking. It was rough. We had a couple days built in to the schedule in case of rain, but unfortunately, there was no rescheduling those two actors, so we just had to get the scene as best we could under pretty terrible conditions.

WLF/ZZN: You've been quoted as saying: I’d rather watch a romantic comedy with fascinating characters and a great story than a horror film that aims only to hit a certain gore quota.—Surely you're not implying that it's possible for a romantic comedy to have fascinating characters?
Sure it’s possible. Even probable. Not that I can cite any recent examples unless you consider 500 Days of Summer a romantic comedy. I was simply stating that genre is like an ornate, hand-carved box. And story, is the hundred year old heirloom locket with the only surviving photo of your great grandmother’s secret Confederate soldier lover, that you keep inside the box. Yes, the box is f*cking cool, but it’s only real function is to serve the locket.

WLF/ZZN: Did you find Connecticut to be a zombie-friendly place to shoot?
Connecticut–more specifically North Western Connecticut and the town of Kent–was an incredibly zombie friendly place to shoot. It was very laid-back. Business owners would bend over backward to accommodate us, and literally asked for nothing in return. We worked with the town selectman to shut down a stretch of road, and the residents were very patient with us. A bunch of locals came out to be extras, stood around in zombie makeup for hours on end and never complained. A few of them even went to the local Fireman’s Festival in full makeup and attracted so much attention that a local reporter came out to set and did a little story on the shoot. It was very cool, a full color picture with the slugline: WEEKEND OF THE DEAD. There is a southern sort of hospitality to that area, that the stretch of Connecticut I live in–along the I-95 vein–is moving too fast to entertain.

WLF/ZZN: How did making The Battery impact your personal zombie defense plan?
Perhaps surprisingly, I haven’t thought too much about my own zombie defense plan, but I imagine it would be similar to what I wrote here. Get into the woods. Don’t trap yourself. Live off the land. Do recon missions into towns for specific supplies only when it is completely necessary. Or when you run out of Tennessee Sippin’ Whisky.

WLF/ZZN: What do you do when you aren't surrounding yourself with zombies?
I work. I’m a waiter. That old cliché. I write. I watch movies. I lose far too much sleep over the Atlanta Braves. I’m a huge baseball fan, as might have been gathered from the characters in the movie, and even the title itself, The Battery, refers to the tandem of a pitcher and a catcher on a baseball team.

WLF/ZZN: You've said that you wanted to make a classic zombie movie that would make George Romero proud. What do you think George would like best about The Battery?
I hope Mr. Romero would most appreciate the focus on character over carnage. I just ripped a page out of the book he wrote and tried to make a zombie movie that wasn’t really about zombies. I also think he would appreciate that our zombies are not rage-infected speed monsters. They’re dead, they are in a constant state of rot. They can’t run.

WLF/ZZN: When are fans gonna be able to get their mitts on a copy?
Well, we’re still very early on in the editing process. Hopefully we’ll have a rough cut some time in November. We’re hoping to make a few festival deadlines. And then the final cut should be done around the first of the year. So, fans–or people even remotely interested– should follow our Tumblr page, and our Twitter feed, for updates on screenings and the overall progress of the process.

WLF/ZZN: Thanks so much, Jeremy. Before we close, do you have any advice for aspiring filmmakers who want to make an awesome small budget film?
Sh*t, I’m so new at this, I’m not sure I should be giving advice. But, f*ck it here goes:
Shot list everything. Even though you want to wing it and be spontaneous, you WILL get into the editing room and realize you don’t have enough coverage, or the eye-lines are off and there will be nothing you can do about it. When you’re working with such a low budget, on such a tight schedule, never underestimate the importance of planning. I’m sh*t at planning, I just want to go do it, and it cost us a few times.
Sound. People watch movies on their phones, they make movies with their phones. They will forgive a sh*t image. But if they can’t hear it, they’ll check out. I turned a movie off just last night because the sound was bad. Get a good, hungry, dependable sound guy.
And finally: Just go do it. Don’t sit around telling people you want to make a movie. Tell them you are making a movie. Then, get a good cheap camera and some loyal friends, strap on your sh*t-kickers and go kick the sh*t out of it.
Thanks, Jeremy!
wednes: (Zombie B&W)
 

10 Fictional Characters YOU want on your offensive zombie team:

It's no secret that more people than ever are planning for the zombie apocalypse.  I know plenty of people who spend more time developing a zombie defense plan than planning for college, retirement, or what they'd do if they won a million dollars. You've probably thought about which of your favorite fictional characters from TV and films you'd want fighting off the undead with you.  I don't just mean fighting with Ash or Alice or the guys from Shaun of the Dead.  I mean how characters who have never even seen a zombie before would handle them—surely you've thought about it? 

What?  You haven't?  Well, that's just weird.  Luckily, I took the time to make a list just for you, in no particular order:

--Ellen Ripley: It is well established that Ellen Ripley knows how to stay calm and kick ass during a crisis.  Better still, Ripley actually follows the regulations designed to keep catastrophes from happening.  With minimal training and equipment, she fights her way through three fantastic Alien films…and then another one.  She exhibits proficiency with weapons, strategic defense skills, loader driving (believe me, it's more useful than you think), and a general ability to keep her wits about her.  Ripley is a must-have for zombie situations.  Best of all, she has a strong moral center that will keep her from murdering you, no matter how egregiously you screw her over. 

--General Maximus Decimus Meridius: (Gladiator, to his enemies) This guy is a fighter.  Close combat man, he's got it covered.  Sword work will prove invaluable during a zompocalypse, and nobody is better trained than an old-school pre-gunpowder sword swinging gladiator.  Equally valuable to the sword, a properly wielded shield can make all the difference.  As a soldier, Maximus is acclimated to going for long periods without food or water.  Anybody who can fast for days and still beat up a tiger is someone I want on my team—even if he is husband to a zombified wife and son.

 --Legolas:  If you're going to incorporate an archer into your team, and Green Arrow is otherwise engaged, you can't do much better than the Elf known as Legolas.  He is, as they say, peerless.  If it happens that you need to kill a specific zombie from very far away—Legolas can oblige.  So look out, zombie-Jay-Leno and undead-Rosie-O'Donnell, or the elf guy will um…arrow you.  As you can see in this pic, Legolas takes zombie fighting pretty seriously. 

--Yu Shu Lien:  Perhaps you don't remember her name, but when I mention Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, she is the first thing that comes to mind.  An amazing fighter, fiercely loyal, she will make a fine addition to any zombie fighting force. When you're forming your zombie attack team, consider that these may end up being the people who survive to repopulate the earth.  We can't have all of humanity descend into a seething pool of homliness.  For every funny-looking Legolas, you're going to need someone attractive to balance him out.  With that in mind, Yu Shu Lien is a big WIN.

--The Bride:  A roaring rampage of revenge is nothing to mess with, especially when it comes in the form of one of the deadliest women on earth.  While any of the Five Deadly Vipers would be handy in a battle with the undead, only The Bride can be trusted not to stab you in the back…or shoot you in the head.  Anyone who's seen her battle with the Crazy 88's knows that Beatrix Kiddo is more than ready to take on the horde. 

--Jason Bourne:  Hero of books and films alike, Jason Bourne is an unstoppable fighting machine.  Well-versed in multiple kinds of combat, skilled in breaking in and out of places, hotwiring and driving any number of conveyances, Bourne has it all.  So what if he doesn't always know who he is, who he was working for, or why so many people are trying to kill him?  What he lacks in cohesion, he more than makes up for in hunkiliciousness.

--Sayid Jarrah:  Speaking of attractive and deadly fellas, Sayid Jarrah is definitely welcome on my team.  While it seems that nearly every character on LOST was an awesome shot and knew how to knock someone out with one blow (without killing them—amazing!), Sayid had so much more.  The guns, the training, the electronics, mechanics, breaking that guy's neck with both hands tied behind his back—is there anything Sayid can't do?  **sigh**  He can't find happiness, but that doesn't make him any less valuable in a zombie infestation situation.

--Mace Windu: Despite succumbing to the most infuriating death in all of Star Wars, Mace Windu is a total badass—even compared to other Jedi Knights.  One of the last Jedi Council members to support the Galactic Republic, Mace Windu's fight scenes are as legendary as his mastery of The Force.  If there's a better weapon to fight hordes of undead than a light saber ™ this will be the first I've heard of it.  And if you have your choice of Jedi Knights, there's no reason not to choose the Master of the Order.

--Sarah Connor:  As everyone knows from the first Terminator movie, there were a couple of Sarah Connors.  I refer here to the one who lived long enough to bring John Connor into the future with the help of the Governor of California.   The one who became the fightingest single mom in American history.  Sarah Connor is highly trained, in top physical condition, and it completely unafraid to die.  She may not live forever, but you can bet she's gonna take down a crapload of zombies before she goes out.  She's in!

--Professor John Frink:  As a Simpsons fan, I wanted to bring at least one Springfieldian along for the zombie-infested ride.  But who?  Surely none of the actual Simpsons.  Only Lisa wouldn't be a seriously liability, and the zombie apocalypse is no place for an 8-year-old girl.  Snake is untrustworthy, Flanders won't want to shoot anything, Wiggum is a joke.  No…Springfield's only hope against undead invaders is Professor Frink.  Only he will be able to invent something fantastically clever enough to defeat them all in a single episode.  There's no telling what kind of undead shenanegans might necessitate a frog exaggerator, hamburger ear muffs, a sarcasm detector, or flubber—but with Frink on your side, your team will be ready.

Hon Mention: Galactus.  I'm not exactly sure how one gets Galactus on your side.  But if you can manage it, he would be, if nothing else, a solid Plan B in your zombie contingency plan.  

wednes: (Zombie Cart)
This week's ZZN reprint is from Danish director Casper Haugegaard.  I loved this little film.  



Casper Haugegaard is the director of the newly released film, Opstandelsen (AKA The Ressurection) I found this to be an awesome little Danish chompfest, and I enjoyed it very much.
ZZN was fortunate to interview the film's lead actress, Marie Frohme-Vanglund last winter. She shed plenty of insight on the film, and on her character, Esther. As if that isn't awesome enough, now Casper Haugegaard relates some production stories, and we learn that it can be tricky scrubbing blood off a church floor.

But that's no surprise to ZZN readers, eh?

WLF/ZZN: Who are your favorites, and/or least favorite purveyors of zombie pop culture? I could name a few. There wasn't really any particular zombie films that inspired me to do Opstandelsen. I love horror and gore, and that's what I initially wanted to do with this film. Zombies just seemed to fit the story that I wanted to tell, perfectly.

WLF/ZZN: Please tell us about something unexpected that happened during filming. A lot of unexpected stuff happened, and a lot had to do with our extensive use of film-blood, plus the fact that we film shot the film in a real church. The first couple of weeks of shooting were supposed to be in the church. But after doing a very chaotic and gory scene inside the church we accidently left a small stain on the floor, which got us banned from shooting there ever again. We still had at least a week worth of shooting to do there. That really made things difficult for us as we now needed to change a lot of things. We had to go on shooting the underground scenes without knowing if we would be able to finish up the project, which was pretty stressful. When all underground scenes were shot, we still hadn't done the ending in the church. Then all of a sudden after begging the church for ages we were allowed to come back and use the church for two nights to finish it up. But this was like a third of the time we needed to do the scripted ending, so we had to think fast and alter things to fit our timeframe. So the ending might seem a little off to some people, but I really love how it turned out!

WLF/ZZN: What scene turned out the best in your opinion? The ending for one. But I'm also quite fond of the sermon in the beginning of the film. It really gets you in horror mode before the film unleashes the zombies and gore. And Hans Maaløe is one evil g*ddamn preacherman. But also some of the more violent and gory scenes works really well I think. The gory gags are so fun to do and it's amazing to watch something done in the simplest and cheapest way, turn out great.

WLF/ZZN: The film has a wonderfully unique setting, the underground scenes in particular. Is there a story behind your choosing, and gaining permission, to shoot there? When I started scouting locations for the film I just began to check out every cellar around me. And I found some pretty rough and dirty locations in places where I didn’t really need to gain permission. We were a tight little crew on the film, consisting of two or three people besides the actors. With a little crew like that it's easy to go and shoot unnoticed. So we actually didn't always bother asking for permission as we were going to soak everything in blood.

WLF/ZZN: Some of the blood spatter—especially on the actor’s faces, looks painstakingly applied. Did you have a particular philosophy with regard to the make-up and special effects? I just wanted the blood-spatter on the actors to increase throughout the film. Most of the time I did the blood-spatter on the actors myself because it was so much fun to throw blood at them. Every single day of shooting I covered them in this sticky, smelly, homemade blood-mix and they really hated me for it. So later in the shoot when I had to do my zombie cameo, the actors couldn't wait to do the blood-spatter on me. In terms of the gore and special effects I really wanted to do everything as old school, down and dirty as possible. No CGI blood spatter or anything like that. Horror films these days tend to overuse that stuff and just doesn't look good, no matter how well it's done. Even on big-budget films gory CGI gags look like crap. So I'm glad we stayed clear of that and did everything the old fashion way.

WLF/ZZN: Kunzen, the German composer wrote a famous oratorio that shares a title with your film. Coincidence, or inspiration? ...flat out coincidence.

WLF/ZZN: George Romero is insistent that zombies are regular people reduced to base instinct. Agree or disagree? I'm not fond zombie films explaining to much about what zombies are, and Romero for one tend to do that too much. In the case of "Opstandelsen" I guess the take on zombies is more in a spiritual sense, and my zombies are maybe a bit more demonic then they are "humans reduced to base instinct". But there's really no explanation for the zombies in my film and you never really get to know that much about them. I think the zombie is interesting to use in telling a story and it's an amazing concept to use when doing a story about Christianity. But I only needed them to be there as a background terror throughout the film, I didn't want to do a film "about the zombie character" as I think that is a general mistake a lot of zombie-directors make.

WLF/ZZN: What are your feelings on having Opstandelsen dubbed into other languages for DVD release? Bring it on! I would love that. As long as the subtitled version is available I don't mind a dubbed version being out there as well. We'll see what happens, but for now people in the US will have to settle for a subtitled version on the Danish DVD release.

WLF/ZZN: Are you dedicated to the horror genre? Not really. As much as I love horror and gore, and as much as I really enjoyed making Opstandelsen, I also want to explore a lot of other things. To do another horror film like Opstandelsen isn't something that appeals that much to me right now. But some day I might get back to it.

WLF/ZZN: What is next for you? I'm doing music videos these days, toying around with a lot of different styles and trying to do some interesting stuff. And then I just started writing a feature film that people should be able to enjoy in a couple of years. Very exiting stuff! If folks are interested in what I'm up to they should join me on FB.

WLF/ZZN: Thanks so much, Casper. And thanks for the badass film.
wednes: (Zombie Cart)
I've been doing Wednesday Reprints of my old Zombie Zone News articles since they can no longer be seen on the site. Taking a break from interviews this week to reshare my article detailing why I hate The Evil Dead--especially when everyone assumes I must love it.



I hate The Evil Dead: Explained, because you asked for it.

As a life-long zombie fan from the great state of Michigan, I am met with varying degrees of surprise when new friends learn that I loathe The Evil Dead movies—and indeed, all of Sam Raimi's horror. "Even Army of Darkness?!?" they say in feigned hipster shock. Yes, 'fraid so. People have been asking me to explain (read: justify) this for at least 20 years now. I wanted to explain it, but I honestly didn't know—until now. This might end up being more about me than the film itself, but hey, you asked. See, I don't just "dislike" Evil Dead. I loathe it. I've reached a point where I'm pissed that people praise it so highly, love it so much—especially when the most gung-ho people aren't even zombie fans. "The Evil Dead" is kind of a silly title if you think about it—akin to The Mean Murderer or Bad Men We Don't Like.

Until my preparation for this article, I hadn’t seen the original Evil Dead in over 15 years. I remembered it as tritely scripted, horribly acted, rife with ridiculously bad dialogue, and generally shitty overall. It was also advertised as a zombie movie, which it really isn't. On the off chance that I asserted this, I would typically be met by—let’s say vigorous disapproval. Eventually I became perplexed, suspicious that there must be something I was missing. The disagreement was SO strong that I doubted the veracity of my hatred—even Stephen King has admitted liking The Evil Dead.

"But…it's terrible," I'd say, referring to the aspects of the films which are…you know…terrible. And here's the thing—no one disagrees that Evil Dead has horrible acting, is poorly written, has amateurish special effects and makeups that are lit far too brightly, and is generally stupid. Everyone concedes these points. "But, you don't understand--they had so little and did so much," they bray. What I gather from that is that I'm supposed to love the movie because they took the time to make it, and it was hard. It's probably hard for Uwe Boll to make movies, but the fact that he did so isn't enough to make me go. I'm not falling for THAT again. Now that YouTube exists, we now know that movie making is not some elusive skill that only Kubrick, Fincher, and Hitchcock were ever good at. Simply making a film with a small budget is not a good enough reason to like it.

Side note: I once paid to see Drag me to Hell in the hopes that there would be ONE Sam Raimi horror movie that I could enjoy. No dice. I love Spiderman, but all of Raimi’s horror watches like he’s enjoying a private joke that I just don’t get. The talking goat was enough to make me want to walk out in a huff; and I spotted the **spoiler alert** button switch from a mile away. Sad, because like Evil Dead, Drag me to Hell has a promising beginning.
It's even been suggested that I don't like Evil Dead because I'm a girl. And apparently, Girls don't know anything about zombies. Pish tosh, I say. If you don't think chicks know zombies, I'd implore you to check out Z Magazine, and its proprietess Eloise Knapp. Hell, you can read my own zombie book, The Finster Effect, which is a damn sight more interesting than any horror Raimi has ever directed. AND it's set in the great state of Michigan.

The Evil Dead starts out fine. There is some great footage of a swampy, wooded area (that isn't in Michigan, for some reason) where scary shit is no doubt brewing. These swooping opening shots are fun and visually appealing—setting us up to think the movie will have a certain artistry that just doesn’t develop. By the time Ashley et al have a near-miss car collision, it’s clear to the viewer that not a single one of them can act. An abundance of 20/20 hindsight tells us that only one of these people went on to do any actual acting—if indeed, Old Spice commercials and Bubba Ho Tep can be counted as "acting." ;-)

Because this film is so well-known among fans, I'm not going to do a play by play of character or plot. If you're reading this article, chances are you don't need the information. That said, I do feel compelled to mention the following:
--How am I supposed to like a character who thinks it's funny to point a loaded gun at his buddy? Unless the setup is "they're a bunch of douchebags and you shouldn't care if they die," I don't see the point.
--Some of the props are really cool—the book and the skull in particular.
--A chick is raped by a tree. I'm gonna say that again in case you aren't getting that. A Chick. Is Raped. By a Tree. Evil Dead is considered to be an American classic, and a shining example of great filmmaking on a tiny budget. And in this zombie opus and source of American pride—a chick is raped by a tree. Women have come a long way in horror since then, but c'mon.
--Scott: Huge Asshat, or the Hugest Asshat? In fact, for being such close friends, all of these people are serious dicks to each other.
--Um, is that gerbil supposed to be a wild animal? If so, really?
--The clouds going past the moon shot is an affront to all things lunar. If you can't just shoot the actual moon, please don't bother.
--"Zombism." Personally, I believe in a relaxed and inclusive definition of "zombie" which can include infected, voudon, bite-based, chemical, viral, etc. But being possessed by a Demon is not really zombism. Evil Dead "zombies" don't seem to want to actually eat anyone, not as a primary goal anyway. What really bugs me about this is how many zombie aficionados will scream for days that 28 Days Later is not zombie movie because infection isn't dying blah blah blah, but have no issue with this? I guess later in the film it's a little more zombie-like, but really? Evil Dead is a zombie movie like Pet Sematary is a zombie movie—which is to say: kinda, but not really. In fact, it isn't even marketed as a zombie movie anymore.
--Bruce Campbell. I know he has legions of fans, and is purportedly a really nice guy. He's handsome. Ridiculously, absurdly, chiseled-out-of-stone handsome. No disrespect, but Bruce looks like he could be Mitt Romney's brother. He's so handsome, I'm suspicious and want to dislike him on general principle.
--Claymation. I gotta admit, I like it.
--Zombies don't talk. And you can posthumously tell that prick Dan O'Bannon I said so.

Lets agree for the time being that The Evil Dead is a zombie movie. Zombies are part of the horror genre, and will be until they sparkle and make the romance with teenage girls. But The Evil Dead isn't scary. It's gross and silly and ridiculous. It doesn't take horror seriously. And I do. Horror is serious business, and if you're going to piss on it with your foolish FX and shittier than shitty dialogue (which is free, BTW. Good dialogue costs nothing, and the only thing you need to get it is talent) it needs to be at least as funny as say, Fido. Evil Dead isn't, not in MY humble opinion. It isn't even as funny as Saturday the 14th and how many of you have even seen that little gem of a film? ** insert horsehead bookends joke here **

There's one more thing that keeps me from digging The Evil Dead. And I didn't put it together for the longest time. And it begins with the Fake Shemp. A "Fake Shemp" is a delightfully nerdy expression derived from when the Three Stooges had to complete a few shorts after Shemp Howard's sudden death. They worked around him with (what we now call) some Ed Wood-style body doubling. They had to shoot around Bruce Campbell to finish the film. Since Ted Raimi was far too adorable to stand in for Mitt jr, they used a series of these Fake Shemps.

Hmmm…a Three Stooges joke. Even with that knowledge, it still took someone actually telling me that one reason I don't appreciate Evil Dead movies is that I don't like the Three Stooges. Once I looked for it, Evil Dead was rife with references, parodies, a veritable cornucopia of Three Stooges humor. That's the ongoing joke that I just don't get. And let me assure you, that running gag is holding that movie together more than some of you realize. Without it, the whole thing turns to an unfunny crapshack.
Even more eye-opening was the realization that I don't know a single chick who likes Three Stooges. Not one. I mean, I've seen a few of their shorts and don't wish them any specific harm. A lot of fingers in eyes and pies in rich dowager's faces. Hardee har har. But aside from thinking that recent movie was an affront against the gods of cinema, I know fuckall about the Three Stooges, and am quite comfortable with that. But I was pissed to realize that my dislike of Evil Dead had more to do with me being a chick than I'd care to admit.

In the end, I can forgive lame special effects, bad makeups under too bright lighting, suspiciously handsome actors, and can even learn to tolerate poorly written dialogue. But if I'm not scared, I need to be laughing, intrigued, or care even the tiniest bit about these characters. I wasn't, and I couldn't, and I still can't. And that, ultimately, is what keeps me from enjoying The Evil Dead.
Aren't you glad you know?
wednes: (Jack Mocks)
Watched a couple of movies this week since I've been feeling so sad about the world I actually live in.

You're Next was tremendous fun, if not particularly scary. Family squabbles, creepy masks, and rampant douchebaggery made this blood-soaked funfest a total treat.

Occulus was much more serious, and really quite scary. Katee Sackoff gave a stunning and strong performance as the mom who...well, I won't spoil it. But the casting of this one went a long way toward bringing truth and real terror to what could have been a simple haunted object film.

However...I KNOW I've read a story about a haunted mirror with a small crack in the corner. I know that a guy sees it in some kind of curio shop and doesn't believe the guy who tells him it's haunted. Terror and sundry hijinks ensue. That's all I remember, and it's driving me crazy that I can't place the story. Early Stephen King? One from the Clive Barker collections? Tonally, it could have even been Ray Bradbury, but I'm damned if I can remember.

This is gonna drive me crazy.

Jim Carrey

Jun. 22nd, 2014 06:31 am
wednes: (Milk & Cheese)
It's really a shame that Jim Carrey's career began with Fire Marshall Bill and Ace Ventura. If he wasn't so awesome, he could have been saddled with that crap forever the way people still think "Whoa!" or "Duuuude" when Keanu Reeves is mentioned in any context.

I love him in stuff, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is damn near a masterpiece. And The Cable Guy is a brilliant film commercially ruined by the dumb expectations of douchebags.

He tells a great story that I couldn't find on YouTube about his audition for SNL, which of course, he did not get. As he was arriving at the NBC building, someone was standing on a tall floor threatening to jump to their deaths. A crowd of people on the ground was divided, some yelling "NO" and some yelling for him to jump. Carrey was totally shaken when he arrived and asked if he could have a minute to calm down. They basically said "No, man. It's a live show. We don't always have a minute for you to calm down." I see their point and all. But I still wish we'd gotten Jim Carrey as a regular on SNL.

I finally watched The Truman Show tonight, after people telling me for years that I need to. I don't think I've ever disliked characters played by Laura Linney or Ed Harris so much. Well, Linney was a vile person in The Laramie Project, but she was slightly less evil than this. What a beautiful film. I wanted it to keep going after it was over--but that, of course, would have negated the larger message.

I searched for half an hour to find that SNL vid where Jim Carrey plays Jimmy Stewart busting on Jim Carrey. It's listed all over the place, but none of them actually play. Frown.
wednes: (Snakes on a Plane)
Did the mag layout tonight in about 3 hours. Seems like it's gone okay. Once I get edits from the authors, I'll do the conversions and turn it in. It's another strong issue, and I love that we have a solid movie reviewer and a lit reviewer. I'd still like to find somebody to write about videogames though. You'd think that would be easier to find. I guess too many gamers would rather game than write about gaming. Jerks!

Friday's Pics continues to be fun and well enjoyed. Apparently I've inspired some youngsters to watch better movies. Yay!

I'm not posting a pic, but I did get an awesome haircut. It's nice and short in the back and almost chin length in the front. Nolas Underground Salon is def my new hair place. Dani is a hairgician, and everyone should see her. I'd never waited 10 days to see a hairdresser before, but she was totally worth it.

Bates Motel had a few slow episodes toward the middle of the season, but it's wrapping up with a vengeance. I'm beginning to wonder if this won't be the season Norma gets it. Game of Thrones is progressing nicely, and I'm pretty stoked to start reviewing Penny Dreadful on Showtime.

I'm pretty sad that Colbert Report is ending.
But John Oliver starts this week.
Sunrise, sunset. LOL
wednes: (Hail Ants!)
Matthew McConaughey is not returning to True Detective next season. Luckily, he's not why I watch. Still...a little Bill Paxton would be nice.

I'm glad I don't actually know anyone in RL who thinks their religious liberty depends on being able to legally discriminate against gays, or anyone really.

Not linking to it, but Zack Snyder seems to think he directed Watchmen to "save" it from the Terry Gilliam's of the world. Fuck you, dude. Even if Terry Gilliam stopped making films after The Fisher King, he'd still be a goddamn genius.

Did everybody see my Seattle PI article about horror and perspective?

I do not support sending troops to the Ukraine, no matter what kind of shenanigans Putin is getting up to over there. Might be a non-issue though. Wait, do they have oil? I'm sure that will make all the difference.

Bates Motel comes back tonight. I'm reviewing it.

I was interviewed for Women in Horror Month, at long last!

Pasta for dinner, with tons of capsecum, mushers, and ground pork. Unusual for us to eat ground pork, but H does most of the shopping now--so I ain't complainin'

We're finally gonna watch Thor 2 so we know what the heck is happening on Agents of Shield tomorrow.

Shockwave Flash, I hate you. Chrome for mac, you're really starting to suck.
wednes: (Neville)
H and I took a look at Good Day to Die Hard. We didn't watch it, per se, just took a look. It was super explosiony and lacked any sense of why people liked Die Hard in the first place. Anyway, the movie takes place in Russia. McLean is pissy because everyone is speaking Russian--in RUSSIA. He actually punches a guy at one point because he's mad that the guy is speaking Russian. That's basically a hate crime--and he's the goddamn hero. Lame, and John McLean is just cartoonish at this point. That especially sucks because we know he's capable of so much more.

Speaking of actors who give us more, film and theatre fans were collectively punched in the dick this weekend with the untimely death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman I won't belabor the obvious loss to his medium, and to all of us who enjoyed watching him do his thing. In a dream world, he would have played Mikey Goretti in a film version of Kiss Me Like You Love Me. I can't begin to imagine who I'd cast now.
Anyway, it's clear to me that the more intuitive a person is, the more difficult it is to deal with what they know. This probably sounds douchey, but I hate the kind of understanding I have of my fellow humans. I further hate that seeing people has not helped me to be more empathetic, though it does lead me to make excuses for keeping people in my life when I know intellectually that they shouldn't be there. In the end, using intuition, empathy, and understanding to communicate something vital? Awesome, practically the meaning of life. But what's awesome for society can be excruciating to the individual.

So, I read the Hunger Games trilogy in less than a week. Cut for spoilers and swears ) Imma check out the first two movies when I'm caught up on work. I hear the first is not great but the second is better. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments.

Still having a tough time with the mag conversions. Getting closer though. I'm told that Under the Bed's layout is complicated compared to the other mags. I didn't really think it was--I'm just trying to make it look nice and have a good vibe. I had a bunch of ideas for stuff I want to do when I'm better with the program. If you've checked it out, I'd be grateful for your input on the layout.
Maybe I should get better at cutting myself some slack.
I'm behind with work in general, as are a few of my bosses/editors. I think the cold is slowing us all down.

We watched a horror movie called The Colony, mainly because it was a horror movie and contained Bill Paxton. He didn't look so good in it, and he was a jerk, and he died. Not a bad movie overall, just really ordinary.

I've been buying stuff lately. Got a few pieces of inexpensive jewelry ($13 for both things including shipping!!) that I love. One is a Dumbledore's Army pendant that looks like a scroll, and the other is a glass egg that looks like there's a tiny dinosaur embryo inside. It's badass, and made by one of my fave etsy jewelry chicks. I also had to get a new Logitech Marble Mouse. I swear, it's the greatest mouse in the world--except that they're practically disposable. I don't think I've ever gotten more than 2 years out of one. But they're cheap and work great...until they don't.
I also got us a living room lamp because it's damn dark in here with just one. I have a bunch of crafty projects I want to do--many of which are thinkin' frogs. But I can't do them because there isn't enough light. I also got a piece of wood I'm gonna make a ouija board out of, and a cool planchette I found on etsy.
wednes: (NaNo Runner)
I've been pretty busy lately, and also somewhat sidelined by an injury. Last week I was cleaning the bathroom when my back suddenly seized for no apparent reason. It took me literal minutes before I could straighten it up. Then my left leg got a charley horse that lasted 5 days and hasn't completely gone away. Apparently, this is called "Sciatica" and is a friggin' pain in the ass, and the leg, and also specifically the calf. God DAMN it hurt. Came and went for no apparent reason. Calling the doc on Monday to find out WTF, even though it is slowly getting better thanks to time, stretching, and resting.
I am awesome at resting.

The Mag gets better and better with every issue. I'm still figuring shit out, and my conversions are not all they could be. The last issue had an annoying issue with the Contents page. I thought it was getting fixed, but then it went out unfixed. Still, that issue is full of strong material, cool art, and great features. I'd like to take on a book reviewer and a miscellany reviewer who can talk about TV, videogames, stuff like that. If you know anyone who wants to work for free and is awesome, do send them my way.

Under the cut is the cover for the February issue. )

I got offered a gig writing 10,000 word eBooks for $100. I thought about it, and realized that would be dumb. Ghost writing should pay a lot more than that. Then the proverbial lightbulb went over my head. I was gonna write this book about Customer Service--the Millicent Mixter book. But then the publishing house that was gonna publish it closed up shop and I was getting the freelance thing off the ground and then the mag happened...long story short, I never finished it. Right now it's a collection of notes, some partial sections, and a great outline.
I set myself up a schedule that, if I can stick to it, will have a solid draft by the end of March. Then there will be beta readers and hopefully some art for the inside and cover. Seems like it might be a good book for fall. But I don't want to rush it. I'm pretty excited about that. I'll even be able to lay it out myself. It'll be my first self-published book, and it won't even be dinosaur porn!

And now for something completely different...
wednes: (Wednes Blue)
H's sister, Girl-H introduced me to Lara Bars a few years ago. Damn, they are tasty. They're made entirely out of dried fruit, tree nuts, and seeds. They're delicious and healthy without added sugar or tons of fat and salt. I eat them for breakfast a lot. Even though I work from home, I don't really get it together to make breakfast. Sometimes I have a Fage yogurt, but if left to my own devices, I tend to eat the same kind of cereal I ate when I was 10.

Anyway, my favorite Lara Bar is the Uber cherry cobbler. It's most dry cherries, figs, and almonds. It's not all ground up and smooshed into a bar like their other bars, everything is left pretty much whole. Delicious! Yeah, kind of expensive, but the portion control is worth it.
And then Meijer decided not to carry them. I went to the herb website that sells them by the case for cheap. No dice. Finally I went to Amazon, where they have 16 count boxes on sale for $20. Clearance.
It really seems like they're discontinuing my favorite bar.

Meijer offers a new bar, called KIND. As a pothead, that's pretty funny.
KING bars come in great sounding flavors that include dried blueberries and pomegranates, pistachios and cashews. I try a few. They are tasty, but very sweet. Some of them even have chocolate in them.
After reading the label I see that not only are KIND bars more expensive than LARA bars, but they have added sugar and are about 1/3 puffed rice. Puffed rice is a lame filler with basically no nutritional value. So I'm bummed.

Movie-wise, I watched The Fury for the first time in years. This was Brian DePalma's next film after Carrie, and it also stars Amy Irving. Daryl Hannah is in it, right around age 16. Dennis Franz is skinny in it, with a full head of hair. Not as good as I remember, but it's always fun to see John Cassavettes play a double crossing a-hole in stuff.

Gonna try to get H to watch Sinster this week since he still hasn't seen it. I may have to sit through the new Riddick in trade.
Worth it.

Movie Talk

Jan. 17th, 2014 06:45 am
wednes: (Default)
Dude, Where's my Car? is a cheap homage to American Grafitti.

House of 1,000 Corpses is a better remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre than the actual remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Most horror remakes are shitty.  A few are great:
Dawn of the Dead
The Fly
The Hills Have Eyes
13 Ghosts
Red Dragon (original title: Manhunter)

Some are pretty good
The Hitcher
Psycho
Salem's Lot
Halloween
Last House on the Left
Night of the Living Dead (Savini)

I wouldn't say these are definitive list, but those are the ones that come to mind.  I also really need to have a lot more Pixar movies.  As I was thinking that, Disney sent me a thing to join their movie club.  H doesn't have a copy of Avengers, which he totally should.  I need a copy of Up, and would like to have Monsters Inc and Wreck it Ralph.

Found out tonight that the head writer from The Daily Show has left to work on John Oliver's new show.  This bodes well for Oliver, and HBO, and us viewers.  I imagine TDS writing staff is solid enough that this won't be an issue that makes it all the way to us.  

"New Year"

Jan. 6th, 2014 04:24 am
wednes: (Wut?  JoJo)
I still think it's dumb to start a new year in the middle of winter. Where I am, there's literally a foot of snow on the ground, and even seasoned Michiganders (NOT Michiganians though, because fuck them!) are losing their shit. It's dangerous out there, folks. I predict that H and I will have a spirited argument when he goes back to work Wednesday night. He'll insist that it's perfectly safe to walk a mile to the bus stop. I'll disagree strenuously and end up envisioning stoned Ann Arborites sliding their Volkswagons off the road and right into H.

*sigh*

Otherwise though, all is well at Chez Wednes.
I decided to by myself the damn Furby (*Zoidberg voice* Why not?) since I was rolling in gift certificates and totally wanted one. Sadly, the accompanying app will not work on my iPod. I've been thinking about getting a new iPod touch (or probably a newer refurbished one), since I need a way to take credit cards at events. After I figure out a new computer, that will be my next fanciful tech-want.

Been looking around to pick up another writing gig. I'm amazed at how little some of these places are offering when they want people who've been published in national magazines. Two dollars a page. Really?

Technical issues at the mag continue to vex me. I'm told that the EiC will be more available this year, so that will be good. There's a lot of great fiction coming up. Artists continue to be awesome in letting us use their work. The Feb cover is creepy cute, while March will be downright gruesome. Working with authors continues to have its challenges. Who knew customer service skills would come in so handy working with pushy authors and their fragile author egos? Oh wait, I did. ;-) Anyway, the January issue will be available on Amazon soon. If you've been readin' the mag it would be awesome if you could take a mo' and leave a review. If you'd like a review copy to check out (you'll need to leave a review at Amazon and Goodreads to get a freebie), hit me up.

Been actually writing the screenplay instead of just talking about it. For now, Final Draft is the software that's working best for me. I really only like Word for stuff that's full of paragraphs. It's not as funny as it should be yet. After I lay out the story, I can go back through and punch it up.

Did I already post about Stoker? OMG it was fucking incredible. The cast was pitch-perfect--Matthew Goode is one of the creepiest guys in the world--except usually he does romantic comedies. Ew, right? Stoker was truly exceptional. Scary, sexy, suspenseful, and damn surprising. Loved it.

Closer

Nov. 16th, 2013 10:36 pm
wednes: (Grimey)
I'm getting much closer to figuring out the epub and mobi conversions for my beautiful magazine layouts. Turns out, I just have to make 2 different versions of each issue so the epub and mobi will look as awesome (though different) than the pdf. It would be nice if pdfs were easier to read on Kindles and stuff. Personally, I find them difficult to read on mine. The letters are so tiny.

"I'll be fine. Besides, if I get raped it'll be my fault for what I'm wearing." Mark Wahlberg as John Bennet in 'Ted'
Ted is a hilarious movie. I enjoy it more every time I watch.

I have lost my baking mojo. The last few things I made from scratch have not turned out. I tried to make another batch of butterscotch blondies and they tasted ghastlier than a thousand ghouls. I literally threw away an entire pan of brownies. They were seriously inedible.
For the party, I'm using box mixes until I can figure out how to get my baking mojo back.

Oh yeah, my annual party is this coming Saturday--November 23rd.
I'm hoping that people just aren't RSVPing, because very few people have and I'm never prepared for the possibility that people don't enjoy my company.
I'm awesome, right? RIGHT?!?
Anyway, I invited the usual ton of people. It's open-house style, so peeps will most likely be wandering in and out from 6pm until 2am or so.
I'm making a chocolate hazelnut cheesecake trifle, and a big thing of queso dip. Plus I imagine people will bring a few things.

Finished MaddAddam, which is the 3rd in a trilogy by the great Margaret Atwood. God damn, that chick is brilliant. Such elegant writing, it's almost unworthy of some of the characters. Fuck those Painballers, seriously. It didn't end as tragically as I expected, but after reading GRRM, if a single person lives or doesn't get tortured, it seems happy and/or hopeful.

I decided today that if I could be anyone else for one day, I would be Queen Latifah. Because, duh.

WayWard Manor has been pushed back until March 2014 because they just got a whole bunch more of money. I'm stoked to give it a whirl. H says he's gonna play it with me.
wednes: (Tyrion)
I encountered some haters over at Amazon today. Why do I comment? Yeah, I'm not sure. I was looking at GRRM's book, The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister )

I'm also hearing a lot about how people are refusing to pay to see Ender's Game. It certainly makes sense to not give money to someone if you think they are a vile person. But let's look at this rationally... ) Chances are, every movie ever made has at least one person involved in it who thinks something terrible about someone--be it gays, women, minorities, or atheists. Same with books, video games, TV shows, and sporting events. So maybe we could put less emphasis on what we're NOT seeing, and more on what we're doing to actually make things better.
Orson Scott Cart would HATE that.
And let's do something shitty for Fred Phelps while we're at it. My years of refusing to attend his church aren't having much of an effect.

If you haven't seen my new website yet, do check it out.
My cousin Richard made it, and it's sweet!
I'm starting a newsgroup so I can keep everyone abreast (*snerk*) of my various goings on. So if you're not boycotting me, please do sign up. ;-)

My newest Kinkly article is about Vampires, because it's almost Halloween. It covers vampires and biting from pre-Christianity through the sparkly kind.

Dexter

Sep. 23rd, 2013 06:16 pm
wednes: (TV!!!)
Even if you've never seen an ep of Dexter in your life, you've probably heard people bitching about the finale online. See, any show that's been on TV for longer than one season will have haters after the finale--no exception. If I liked the finale, the haters can shut up. If I didn't like it--well, they can have at it. ;-] (I liked LOST and Sopranos, but was furious with BSG, for example)

Despite the formulaic season structure on Dexter, and despite the fact that we went through this season surrounded by pivotal characters we barely knew--I thought the finale was beautiful and tragic. I liked it very much.

That said, Dexter pales in comparison to other things on TV...now. I don't know what genius at Showtime decided to run the Dexter finale the week before the Breaking Bad finale, but that was a terrible choice. And it didn't just work out that way--it was planned. Dexter was moved ahead over a month from when it normally airs, so I don't get that at all. Speaking of Breaking Bad. Damn...this shit is getting really sad. Maybe crime doesn't pay?

With S1 Under the Dome behind us, I'm starting to review Hostages tonight. I hope I didn't choose wrong, because we watched the Sleepy Hollow premiere last week and it was pretty good. I don't even think GeekBinge is covering that, which is a drag.

Speaking of good, Boardwalk Empire has been kicking ass.

In Under the Bed news, the EiC and I made the choice to skip a month of the mag so we could have a regular release schedule. This is due to some weirdness at B&N and some other crap I didn't really want to worry about. So what was Undead September is now our October issue. November will be full of monsters. For December, I really want to put the Krampus on the cover. I'm hoping someone will come through with a drawing. *eyes you artists*

You can beat the rush on our awesome zombie issue by subscribing before it comes out. Here is where you'd do that. It's only $1.99 a month, or even less for a whole year--$19.99. Every month you get at least five awesome short stories along with features (*ahem* [personal profile] porcelain72), reviews, interviews, and my own snarky commentary. How can you resist, and why would you want to?

We have Wreck-it-Ralph on the DVR.
If H won't watch it with me, I'm going to punch him.
I wish I had a boxing glove. I'm not a very hard puncher.
wednes: (Really?)
As I was watching Ghost Shark last night, it occurred to me that these shitty CGI movies could be less shitty with better writing. I mean, make a stupid, over-the-top monster movie with boobs everywhere and a cast that looks straight out of the United Colors of Benneton (do kids still know what that is?). But do it with a compelling script, a zillion pop-culture jokes, maybe a single character that audiences actually like--just for fun.

I could do that.
One might even argue that with my love of monster-movies, sharks, and horror--with my wit and dark sensibilities, and my passion for good dialogue that I'm incredibly well suited to this sort of work.
I have some awesome ideas, but I'm not posting them here.
Someone with an agent would totally steal them.

But no...
It seems that prestigious film scripts like Sharknado, Piranhaconda, and Ice Spiders can ONLY come to the SyFy Channel via an agent.
Yeah, those cheap-ass, underwritten CGI crapfests that I love so well have all gone through agents.

Is anyone else picturing a Saul Goodmanesque agent extoling the virtues of mixing dangerous animals with weather or other dangerous animals to make a boob-filled teen romp that only the SyFy channel would air?

Anyway...dang.



In other news, aside from not really having the voice for it, I think Ben Affleck will be just fine as Bruce Wayne/Batman
wednes: (Wednes Logo)
Checked out The Orphanage today after buying it a long while ago. Damn, it was amazing. Beautifully shot, great cast, and plenty of surprises. It was creepy throughout, damn scary in parts, and had a motherfucking gut punch I in no way saw coming.
So yeah, bravo once again, Guillermo Del Toro.

Speaking of movies, the remake of Maniac was fucking incredible. Exactly what it needed to be, plus Elijah Wood. Very strong camera work, excellent stylized kill scenes, and just the right amount of camp. I did think that Elijah Wood could pull off a serial killer, so it wasn't a total surprise. I was very pleased with how well he developed such a dark character, and how much humanity he was able to bring to something SO melodramatic and textbook.


The first mag issue is coming out on August 4th. I daresay it looks more like an anthology with pictures than an actual magazine at this point. It's a great read though, with some fun stories and cool extras. The subscription link isn't quite ready yet because there's an error and I can't find where to fix it.

Horror fans take note: I'm looking to bring in some more curators to read, comment, and vote on submissions. It's pretty fun--so much fun that we don't actually pay people to do it. But you'll get to read tons of free fiction as well as getting your name in the mag.

And finally, Taco Bell's smothered burritos are pretty good. They are spicier than I expected, very filling, and tasty.

Dang.

Jun. 20th, 2013 06:39 am
wednes: (Sad)
I was shocked and saddened earlier tonight to learn of the sudden demise of James Gandolfini. Damn. He should have had at least 20 more years of acting ahead of him. By all accounts, he was an awesome guy who was warm and welcoming to everyone. If you heard some crap about how he wasn't--do us both a favor and keep it to yourself, at least as far as this blog is concerned.

Like most people, I will remember him best as Tony Soprano. Soprano was an infuriating character that met a predictable end. But damn, I couldn't stop watching. Gandolfini has been great in lots of stuff, most notably as Juror #6 in Billy Friedkin's excellent remake of 12 Angry Men, and as Carol in the tear-jerking Where the Wild Things Are. When I had crazy mafia dreams about the Sopranos, James Gandolfini was always my dad. Take from that what you will, I guess.

As if that wasn't enough to be sad about, Stephen Colbert came back tonight with a tear-filled and touching memorial about his mom. She sounds like one of those super strong women who weathered a hard life and always looked on the bright side. Plus, eleven kids? Damn. It's sort of uncomfortable to hear Stephen speak as himself rather than the character. As a viewer, I really only hear that when he's on another news show or if something is wrong.

In non-sad news, Under the Dome starts on Monday. I'll be pretty disappointed if it's not totally badass. I saw a pic of Stephen King on the set. That certainly bodes well. Plus it almost certainly means he did a cameo. Woot! Don't forget, I'm reviewing it for GeekBinge.

Oh, how's the writing going? Funny you should ask:

wednes: (Heart Horror)
Marketing 2.0 is about to get underway as I update my website, start a newsgroup, and continue with the paid adverts. Audiobooks will (hopefully) be out soon--but that's tougher since it's not all under my control. I'm not gonna be linking this blog to my site anymore--at least not as the main blog. I have a big awesome plan for something I could tell people about that they don't already know and will find fascinating.

So I'm stoked about that.

TV Reviews continue to be fun and good for exposure. The money is not great, but the writeoffs are awesome.

We watched Defiance, all they've showed so far. It was not bad. Derivative, but hell, what isn't? There are some future-Lannisters in it. Bright blonde hair, ruthless while pretending to be on the level, and inappropriate nakedness between family members. Mom, please put on something besides beads before you hug your kid. All I remembered was the door and weights, that there were witches, and that a girl a little older than me (at the time, I was probably about 11) was trying to steal a grown-up lady's husband. Amazingly, she was successful, which blew my mind as a kid.

For H, I got some Assassin's Creed game he had on his wishlist. He likes it, though he says he's "way behind."

Tonight I have two TV reviews--thank the gods The Following is finally ending tonight. I've had fun mocking it, and puzzling how Bacon and Purefoy could have thought this was good writing. *swoon* Purefoy...
It's so disappointing that such a promising show was SO terrible. I'm still digging Bates Motel. Both of the leads, Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga, give excellent performances. I expected the tacked-on brother to be a throwaway character, but he's also been interesting and good.

Reading Under the Dome so I can be in-the-know when the series comes out this summer--I'm totally reviewing that too.
wednes: (Snakes on a Plane)
Last year, there was a Spiderman reboot. Did you hear about it? Maybe not, because the Broadway Spidermusical was still grabbing headlines with its string of unfortunately disasters and general crappiness. This new movie has that cute girl from 21 Jumpstreet, and Dennis Leary, and some kid I'd never seen before. There was also a fun appearance by C Thomas "Ponyboy" "The Reaper" Howell. That was unexpected.

This movie was not too sucky. I wouldn't say it was great, but I've surely seen worse comic book movies. Daredevil, GhostRider, Green Lantern, and Catwoman all come to mind. The Lizard was the main bad guy, and was played by Xenophilius Lovegood. Neat, eh? He was like Doc Ock, in that his own technology ran away with him. Gwen Stacy is smart in addition to being pretty. Aunt May was Sally Field, and Uncle Ben is Martin Sheen. And he never actually says that stupid line the other Spiderman movies say over and over.

Stan Lee did cameo, but didn't appear to have much other involvement. In the Tobey MacGuire series, Lee gave them drawings of all the important, memorable Spiderman poses to make sure they all made it in to the movies. That clearly did not happen here. I'm not sure I saw any of the Spiderman poses I remember--not that I was ever a giant fan of the comics. But I was WAY into the cartoons when I was a kid.

There's a sequel coming wherein Chris Cooper will be playing Norman Osborne. That should be wicked cool. I won't quite agree that it was Amazing, but it was entertaining enough.
wednes: (Wednes Blue)
It's been asserted that I'm a cynic who thinks it's cool to rip on stuff other people like. Yeah, because people en masse have such great fucking taste. I wanted to enjoy Cabin in the Woods. I really did. It's not my fault that it sucks, or that so many people who should know better are pacified by pablum. I'm not even going to tell you how much money A Haunted House made this weekend. But it's more money than I've made collectively in my entire life to date. By all means, watch crap if you want to. I do. I love shitty slashers and terrible SyFy CGI movies. But please, don't pretend that they're good or that I'm being mean by not liking them. Please.

It's true that I don't like a lot of things "everybody" likes. As far as I know, nobody likes everything that Everybody likes. Duh. Because "everybody" doesn't actually like it. Shit that's popular for a while often fades into the background and is completely forgotten about by people who swore they'd love it forever. BTW, that's also why there should be a waiting period for tattoos. So no, it doesn't really make sense to bust on someone for not liking something other people like. I actually find people who follow every goddamn trend no matter how stupid to be infinitely more irksome.

As I so often do, I wonder what it is that makes people say "You are wrong" instead of "I disagree." Why people have to assume that there's ignorance or stupidity afoot when there is dissent. A particular peeve of mine is when people say Oh, well if you read such-and-such by so-and-so, you'd agree with me as if I'm so malleable that the right book would instantly change my mind. Books are powerful, but not more powerful than the human mind. Not MY mind anyway.

In fucking stupid news, I'm mildly bummed that [profile] sweinberg never talks to me on Twitter. He posts twenty kajillion times a day, but totally snubs me. #drag We used to be such great pals, ten years ago on LJ.
wednes: (Wednes Poison)
Got up today, prepared to do my last 8 articles for the week. After that, I was gonna be free to work on Stig and the Puppetman, which is due at the end of the month. After that, would have been Millicent Mixter. But I got hit up for some emergency work, and had to do six articles today on subjects I knew nothing about. So it actually took longer than the 8 I was going to write--and which I now have to write tomorrow. Boo!
I don't know when I'm gonna have time to work on the trailer. Tomorrow is already Wednesday, plus I'm not going to get anything done Saturday as I have a thing I'm going to. Yikes.

On the plus side, this is the last week I have to do three reviews a week. In the future, I'm not going to do more than two, though one is preferable in addition to what I do for ZZN. I need to pitch the sex site I'm writing for, though they haven't put up my last article yet. Any topics you want to see? They seem to like lists. Damn lists...fun, but kinda lazy and fluffy, ya know?

Picked myself out a new knife. It's supposed to be here tomorrow. A box of stuff from Amazon came today, which turned out to be stuff for me, from H. We have a $40 budget for birthdays, so he got me some stuff from my wish list. A replacement copy of Raving Rabids to replace the one I loaned Cindy. This one has more games on it though, so Yay! We have a riot playing Wii--usually on Sunday afternoons. Also, the original Clash of the Titans and a DVD of Tommy which I love. And Twilight Zone: The Movie which is both famous and infamous.
Poor Vic.
And finally, this glorious thing. I've wanted this zombie book for some time now, and it's even better in person than it looked online. I loves it!

For H's birthday, which is 25 days from now, he's getting the 11th Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver. It makes the right noise, and lights up, and is an actual screwdriver. Badass, right? He's also getting a Bugs Bunny T-shirt and a crazy hot bottle of hot sauce. He gets a new hot sauce from me every year.

Made a batch of chocolate peppermint lip balm. Well, I attempted to do that. I actually made an oily mess that had to be discarded, along with $16 worth of blank tubes. Drag. I had a bum recipe, and have done a bunch of research. This weekend, I'll buy new blank tubes and try again. We shall see... I also want to do a batch of cherry, and some cold balm with eucalyptus, lemon, tea tree, that sort of thing.
wednes: (Wednes Poison)
That's right. I turned officially Old as Fuck yesterday on the occasion of my 24th birthday. Ha! Did I say 24th? I mean 42nd.

Here's a link to the partay pics from FB. The party was sort of random and scattered this year, with many guests coming at different times, on different days, or not at all. One person skipped because they thought another person was attending--but then neither of them actually showed up. DRAMA!!! I hate that shit, because I never know if I'm handling it right.

A goodly number of fine people did attend, and a few of them even brought gifts. We played Cards Against Humanity, which is always hilarious. There was great food, and precious little drunkeness. I bought a fifth of Southern Comfort that was barely touched. Not sure what I'll do with it. I bet it'd be good on a holiday cake.

I got Sid Haig's autograph in a cool frame, signed to me. Sweeeeeeet!! I also got Michael C Hall's autograph, and a Dexter clip-on badge. It was sweet. My assistant, Sara, made a gift basket with different kinds of lemon soda. H made me a sweet card and got me some gifts he says will arrive later in the week. Neat, eh?
I also got a sweet pair of sketchers, some really beautiful and thoughtful cards, something from Ryan that will also be here in a week or so. Plus Game of Thrones S1, The Muppets, and these:


It was the best pineapple cake in years. Sometimes I use boxed cake mix, for ease. But lately I'd been trying different recipes in an attempt to find the perfect one. This year I did Martha Stewart's yellow cake recipe but used butter crisco instead of butter. I've never actually made that substitution in a cake before. Alton Brown was right when he says it makes things taste more buttery than actual butter. The foodie in me was uneasy, but the cake was fucking delicious. I also added half a cup of sour cream--that's my "secret."
I didn't take a picture, but it was pretty, and in a bundt pan. It was light around the outside, and I wasn't sure it was done. It was.
I really, really, REALLY need a new bundt pan. I've had the same one since 1998 and it really has seen better days.
wednes: (Really?)
I've been so busy with work writing and NaNo writing and pretending to be a comic-er...whatever you call someone who arts comics, that I haven't been watching any new movies. I like to sit down and enjoy a movie every week. Now that I'm caught up on a few things, I thought it would be cool to watch 2 movies over the weekend.

Cabin in the Woods. Really? This is the movie you people have been blathering about since mid-summer? Let me see if I can set up my review as a cutaway: Remember that Family Guy episode where Peter says he hated The Godfather? And the family is shocked and demands that he justify it? Peter says simply, It insists upon itself. I've pondered that ever since. Peter has a point. I still love GF and GF2, but that criticism stuck with me. Last weekend, when I watched CitW, I realized that it totally insisted upon itself--and everything that came before it. In detail...including my thoughts on Who is a horror fan. )

The Muppets. On Sunday afternoon, I finally checked out that Muppet movie that came out last year. I'd had it on the DVR for a while, and grew tired of waiting for H to be in the mood to watch it. Man, it was fantastic. Fun, inspiring, incredibly moving. I'm exactly the right age to appreciate the intense nostalgia, and the sadness of Fozzie Bear having to endure the drumming of Dave Grohl. Ba-ZING. Just joshing, Grohlly ol' chap!
If I ever meet Jason Segel, I'm just going to hug him and thank him for The Muppets. Chris Cooper was delightful as Tex Richman. I wanted more cameos, but there were a bunch of cool ones anyway. The songs were good, the story was classic, and I swear, I cried through half the movie.
Everyone should watch it, but be ready to be made aware of just how old you fucking are.


If I may issue a plea to some of you's: The Finster Effect is in great need of reviews and good buzz. If you've read it, please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. If you'd like to review it and can't afford to buy a digital copy, hit me up privately, and we'll arrange some kind of barter for sexual favors, or cookies. ;-] If you're famous, please blurb it.

Three cheers, as Resilient Brainforest #4 is out. This is a FREE pdf comic collection from people who don't normally make comics. You will find crude drawings and photos, sexy talk, drug references, and #3 of Stig and the Puppetman, my delightful comic about mismatched serial killers who are also roommates. Every issue has a theme, and this months theme is "WANT." Know what *I* want? I want you to download it. We are looking for contributors, so ask me for details if you'd like to be a joiner. (Psst. Be a joiner. It's ridiculous that I know so many people yet haven't brought anyone in to this thing!)
wednes: (Heart Horror)
The peeps over at GeekBinge, of which I am one, put together a series on our favorite Halloween subgenre films. I would not say these are my definitive pics. It was first come, first serve. But, they are all good films worth mentioning to the yowens.

#1 Haunted House Movies

#2 Monster Movies

#3 Horror Comedies

#4 Horror for the Whole Family Oddly, there are two rated-R movies on this list. o.O

#5 Psychological Horror

For the first time in I have no idea...I didn't do crap for Halloween this year. How strange. And how untypical of me. I will be reviewing American Horror Story though. That'll be good.

Stay safe to my buddies on the East Coast.
And come back, Daily Show and Colbert!
We need you now more than ever.
wednes: (Tyrion)
I was going to refer to these as "Bullet Points," but then I remembered that we're toning down the violent rhetoric.

--TV writing is behind schedule.

--Writing for TV is awesome.

--If I was a mystery shopper, I wouldn't be able to tell you about it.

--Enjoyed free bacon today.

--Copy of "Spiders" Anthology arrived this afternoon. Neat.

--Have had chest cold for 9 days now.

--Chest colds are horrible.

--Marketing writing continues unabated.

--Gonna watch a shitty action movie with H tonight.

--Either Battle Los Angeles, or Cowboys Versus Aliens
EDIT: We actually watched The Thing prequel.
Aside from some silly CGI, it was pretty good.

--Red Meat for dinner. Red meat makes me happy.

--NaNoWriMo soon.

--Sadie 2nd Edition editing is slow going.

--I used to say that the prez at my former day-job looked a lot like Anderson Cooper. But that was before I knew who Paul Ryan was.

--I'm kind of surprised that Warren Buffet or someone like that hasn't stepped up to cover PBS in the federal budget. Why isn't there a group of rich liberals doing this?

--Stig and the Puppetman is so much fun. I'm seriously going to do enough of these for a book. Seriously, I am.
wednes: (Pot meets Kettle)
Uverse on Demand requires a bit of buffering. Who knew?

It was pretty good. Snappy writing, fun action scenes, Loki is a great villain and everyone was well developed, I thought.

The Hulk, though. There was some rather rampant inconsistency in terms of how much control he had over his Hulkiness. They led us to believe it was none, but then it was some, then it was a bunch. But why? And why did no one discuss it at all?

Jeremy Renner. Damn. Wow. Damn and wow. I loved him in the Jeffery Dahmer movie (which I merely liked), but this was amazing. He had such a strong screen presence. His physicality screamed ICON. Why didn't he get his own movie? Seriously. Give me it!

This week I'm finishing up edits to Kiss Me Like You Love Me so I can re-release it early next year.

I gotta put some more blue in my hair tomorrow so I look super awesome for the big show this weekend. These dudes are playing on Saturday for the first time in 15 years. My buddy Finster is flying out from California so I don't have to dance by myself. It's gonna be way far insane and awesome. H is even going, he got the night off work. I know, right?

Working on the next Stig and the Puppetman comic about the two mismatched roommates who are also serial killers. Yay! It's fun making comics, and I really enjoy how they're coming out. So good on that.

Got approved for another job. Another one of these gigs where I have no idea whatsoever how much work there will be or when it will come in. Drag.
The steady stuff is groovy, but I wish there was more of it.
wednes: (Snakes on a Plane)
Scraps of money still coming in here and there, nothing solid or steady quite yet. I am becoming frustrated, but still hopeful.

I finally watched Solomon Kane starring James Purefoy. He is, if you did not know, the sexiest Brit alive. It was pretty good. Not sure why there haven't been a few more of those. Atmospheric, nice period style, cool effects, and did I mention that James Purefoy is sexy?
He's got a mid-season show coming up where he's playing a serial killer. Yummy! Kevin Bacon is on it, which is handy because it links him to the entire cast of ROME.

A friend recommended Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. I had vaguely heard of it, but thought it was a real documentary about the Friday the 13th movies. Actually, it's a fake documentary that discusses slasher icons as if they were real, and follows a killer as he does his thing. The writing was clever, and there were plenty of fun cameos, in jokes, and over the top performances.

Finished checking out season one of Breaking Bad. Man, that's a good show. Excellent writing, outstanding character development. Can't wait to see where it goes next. I can't imagine Walt's wife becoming any more vile, but I'm told that she does.

Daniel Radcliffe is starring in the movie adaptation of Joe Hill's Horns. I've not read any Joe Hill yet, but I've heard good things. Alexandre Aja is directing. All of [profile] eroslane's chiding aside, I dig him and am confident that this will be worth checking out.
wednes: (Work)
I'm signing a contract for a freelance gig that is essentially well-paid, per project content creation. It's cool, but not exactly my dream job. And I'm not sure how steady the work will be.

Was supposed to hear back on the job I was testing for. Was supposed to get an automated Email last night letting me know. I stayed up until 12am PST to get it, even though 3am on a Sunday is late even for me. Didn't hear. Still haven't heard. The site indicates that I finished the test, but no results. I are irked. It specifically says not to write and ask for results, but if they're more than 2 days late, I probably will. Right now they're only 18 hours late.

Also waiting on another contract that will allow me to make a big announcement. I imagine most of you have figured it out already. Plus, I told 3 people not counting H. I hate waiting, and I suck at it.

For movie night, we watched Hannah. I was hoping it would be pretty good. I ended up digging the hell out of it. Was worried at one point that the ending would flop, but I felt quite satisfied. H and I are fans of Eric Bana, and Cate Blanchette is great in everything. Tonight, H and I are finally gonna watch The Horde. Last week we checked out The Revenant, and thought it was pretty good, and I'll likely write that up for ZZN.
Speaking of ZZN, got some fun interviews coming up. A few of the kids from Zombie Hunter and a Dr Rotz who does a series of web vids that I'm finding pretty hilarious.

Michael Dorn is the Captain in the new Star Trek series.
Imma watch the hell out of it! (Of course, I said that about Enterprise but didn't actually watch it due to its lameness)

And finally Mel Hines and James L Grant have dropped yet another webcomic on an unsuspecting world. Failure to Fire is online as of today. It's gonna be awesome.
wednes: (Snakes on a Plane)
H wanted to watch Flash Gordon today while we were eating our pancakes.
We decided that Flash really could use a Hollywood facelift.
As such, we've decided on a cast:

Flash: Chris Hemsworth (because it's Hollywood)

Ming the Merciless: Patrick Stewart

Aura: Zoe Soldana

Zoltan: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Klytus: Ian Glen (Sir Jorah from Game of Thrones)

Dale Arden: Ellen Page

Hans Zarkoff: Robin Williams

Prince Baron: Bradley Cooper

General Calla: Angelina Jolie

*makes grabby hand motion*
Funding Please!

While I'm here, I did put up a new podcast ep today. Chaps 31 and 32 of Kiss Me Like You Love Me. It's a good 'un too. The new Mikey is creepy as shit!
wednes: (Heart Horror)
We went to see Prometheus, after making 1 million jokes about Jay Sherman's student film. Because, seriously...


I liked it very much, as did H.
Funnily enough, we watched A.I. last night. I'd never actually gotten around to seeing it. I thought it might make me sad. Yeah...
A friend described it as "greif porn." That pretty much nails it. It's wrenching, all the way through. It should have ended much sooner. It was like Logan's Run in that way--there were a few good places to end it, but it went on and on.
Still, it was a cool movie with a great cast and I'm glad I sat down and cried my way through it. I'm stoked for what will happen when Haley Joel Osment reemerges as a grown-up actor. Maybe he and Lucas Haas can play stoner brothers in something? Anywhoo, watching A.I. put me in a weird space to watch Prometheus. Plus, both movies had an artificial person named "David."

So yeah...Prometheus. An Alien Prequel/Spinoff
Thematically, it's the most *important* film in the series. Spoilers lurk here. )

No, Prometheus wasn't what I was expecting. And I'm glad of that. My favorite thing ever is when I don't see the ending coming. Prometheus was awesome in the truest sense of the world. I almost wish I'd seen this at age 22 on LSD. I'd have felt like every question in the universe had been answered and I could move on to more important things.

Speaking of universal questions, I have finally posted a detailed article about why I loathe The Evil Dead. It is my hope that I will never have to answer that question again. Please, horror peeps, link to your friends. I keep hoping for a ZZN flame war and I never get one.

In other news, I got a call about a job I'd love to have. Will be phoning them back tomorrow. Details to follow, if applicable.

Oh, and the Frankenweenie trailer makes it look like a delightful watch. I have to laugh though, because even among his animated characters, Tim Burton casts the same ones over and over. That is totally the kid from Vincent, and the dog face from Nightmare Before Christmas, and a couple of people from Corpse Bride. But hey, it's Tim Burton, so you know it's gonna be some fun watchin'

New podcast tomorrow. Kiss Me Like You Love Me. Yay!
wednes: (Hotch and The Reaper)
Today is day-one of my 3-day day-job work week. It's also my first day back after the Happy working at the day-job for five years dinner H and I attended on Saturday. I think I committed a faux pas by not shaking hands or hugging the owners of the company. There are 3 guys in the same family that run this place: one whom I like very much, one who introduced himself to me like we'd never met--three and a half years into my tenure with the company, and one who I've never spoken to at all. The guy I like left early, leaving me with the awkward choice of pretending I enjoy people I don't know, or taking my present (everybody got the same present) and sitting the hell back down. I chose the latter.
Amazingly enough, H got the night off to accompany me. I like showing him off. I seem much more together and professional with a chap like H on my arm. He's my trophy husband, except I don't intend to trade him in for a younger model.

Wearing my suave new blue Nike's today. I love Nike's, and love it even more when I find some for under $70. These are comfy, correct my pronation, and are badass looking.

Finished my first of 2 short stories that are due this month. The second one, I'm writing with my 9-year-old protege. It's about spiders, and will be scary as fuck. Or in kid language, scary as heck, really REALLY scary, or Gosh-Darn scary!

Criminal Minds season finale meets Doctor Who humor? Love it.
Love everything about it. That said, I'm annoyed that Garcia and Kevin don't seem to be together. I want them to get married and be the Danny DeVito and Rea Perlman of our generation--the Anges Depesto and Creepy-Guy from Ghost, if you will...the quirky couple that is obviously goddamn perfect for each other---like the Wednes and H of crime drama.

Watched the 2011 remake of Jane Eyre. It was pretty great. I adore that story no matter what, but in this version there's not a lot of the Brockelhurst villainy and not much of Jane as a young girl at all. St John was portrayed as a huge douchebag in this version when she decides not to marry him. Even worse than in the Masterpiece Theatre version--which is severe. The film had some really funny moments, and Judy Dench as Mrs Fairfax was inspired!

In Game of Thrones News, fuck you, Theon Greyjoy. You are a complete coward and a runty little shit with a giant chip on your shoulder. Tonks should have killed you while you were sleeping!
wednes: (Home Movie)
As promised, I checked out Farmhouse last week. I was pleasantly surprised. The violence was not as intense or pervasive as standard torture porn fare. But it was grueling and suspenseful with a strong cast. Steven Weber as a bad guy. Yes, I like it. Like Martyrs, it has an intriguing premise that you won't understand until the very end. Stick with it, because it's a pretty good watch if you like the hard-R-for-violence stuff.

Got my biggest royalty check ever yesterday. This might be the year I achieve my dream of being a thousandaire. Maybe someday, my yearly income will be more than what Mitt Romney earns in 2 weeks. Man...that'd be something.
Speaking of Mittington of Romneyshire, have you been reading about all this shit he got up to as a punk born with a silver spoon in his whiny gob? Beating up a gay kid and cutting his hair? Screwing with a blind man? Gods, what a prick. I don't necessarily believe in electing the president I'd most want to have a beer with--but he can't be an out-of-touch sociopath who lies like the rest of us drink water (which is to say, whenever his mouth gets dry).

My relationship with my day-job continues to struggle. At the end of the month, they are cutting 28 hours of open-time a week. Instead of being open 9-9 M-F and 9-5 on Saturday, we're only going to be open 10-6 M-F. I also hear we will not be doing our usual streak of hiring in the fall. I imagine I'll stay around until the busy season, but it looks like another round of "Please do the work of several people for the same pay you're making now, with less flexible hours and less available support." As you might imagine, I'm not really a fan of that sort of thing. The job market is getting better though. People are slowly getting back on their feet. Let's hope the trend continues.
wednes: (Wizard or the Skull)
Trying to finish a short story draft today that I intended to finish by the end of last month. Oops. Can't seem to get around to all the anthologies subs I want to sub to. Ah well...
Still not sure how to set up the reveal. It's pretty damn creepy though.

Reviews are still trickling in for my various books. Funny how I haven't put out a novel in over two years, and people are reading my stuff more than ever. Reviews are largely positive, and I'm nowhere near the point where I want to avoid reading press on myself. I really need to get my Finster packet together so I can go about the task of securing an advance. I wish I could just pay someone to do everything but the cover letter. That just feels like cheating to me. Funny considering how many times I've written college papers for cash--back in the day.

If you missed Neil Gaiman's recent interview with Stephen King you really should check that shit out.

Game of Thrones is still super badass. That little prick Joffery better not live out the season. I'm with Robb, I really don't care who rules as long as it's not him. We shall see, I suppose. I don't really like watching a show where I have to constantly resist the urge to go to Wikipedia and find out what's going to happen. It requires a level of self restraint I simply do not possess.

Gonna check out an extreme horror movie called Farmhouse on DVD. Still can't really afford to see Cabin in the Woods or The Raven yet. And the early word on The Avengers is that it's extremely ordinary. I welcome you to confirm or deny in the comments.

I have a 3-day weekend I plan to fill with Short Story writing, reading another big hunk of this AMAZING book that is changing my life and confirming a bunch of shit I already suspected, making thanksgiving casserole for H because he asked for it, baking banana bread for the day-job, and applying for freelance gigs. I'll watch The Comedy Awards, Game of Thrones, and roughly half of whatever FOX is serving up on Sunday. I will also be resisting the urge to order more sushi, and figure out why this goddamn blue will not stay in my goddamn hair.

Livejournal peeps, the site is working like ass (again/still) and not letting me comment. I have plenty to say, I'm really not ignoring you.

Question: What causes the phenomenon where after an hour+ visit with someone, one or both of you thinks of a zillion more things you HAVE to say after you've gone to the door and opened it, so you just stand there conversing in full earshot of any neighbor within 5 meters of their front door?
Seriously. It's rampant.
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
Picked up an extra shift at the day-job this week to cover for someone attending a funeral. What am I gonna say? No, I don't feel like it even though my plan was to stay home, relax and dick around on the computer? Possibly, but I didn't. I could use the scratch. I need to order new magnet bracelets since my good one broke (after over a decade) and my pretty ones aren't really strong enough. I got another pretty one that is stronger, and a super-dooper-uber-strong one that will top out at around 4000 gauss. Mmmmm...gauss. I realize that I am a great believer in a few medical things, like magnets and EMDR, that a lot of people assume are bunk.
Magnets, for example, are sold as being miracle cures. They aren't. They don't lower your blood pressure, stress level, or give you an enhanced state of being. But they have helped me through some awful pains. I first used them to take down the swelling in an abcessed molar. If you've never had the displeasure, it's like a throbbing kidney stone in your mouth. Magnets did the trick--I didn't even care how absurd they looked taped to my face. These days, they curb the carpal/cubital tunnel pain.

The "ENTER" key on my keyboard at work sticks terribly.
I find it irksome.

This weekend I'm hanging out with my new buddy, a little kid I'll refer to as G-man. G-man is the child of a chick I went to college with. His family is Mormon. He is a certified genius and a huge fan of all things horror. He came out to Ann Arbor a while back to record a short story for me--and was great. I think he's 9, though he might be 10. Anyway, he's coming over on Saturday and sleeping over in H's office. We're gonna talk horror, maybe record some more fiction, and watch whatever horror I have that is swear-free and hopefully won't scar the kid for life. I'm thinking of showing him Night of the Living Bread, maybe a few original Twilight Zone eps, and either the original Dracula or Frankenstein.

I'm also taking suggestions on stuff that is quality horror but can still be shown to a kid with religious parents. The original JAWS should be fine if he hasn't already seen it. Apparently, he loves megalodons.

Still chipping away at this med situation. Doubling my dosage tonight of the Celexa. Here's hoping it won't make me more tired than I already am. My appointment with my regular doc and psyche doc together is supposed to be next Thursday, but I just found out I have to work. I'm hoping I can get that figured out, since I can't get another refill until I see both docs together. I do feel a lot less tense, angry, and worried about stuff. But I'm tired and not getting very much work done. It's so hard finding a balance...

And finally, this Friday the 13th is the giant, enormo, FREE Kindle giveaway for A Stabbing for Sadie. ONE DAY ONLY, BITCHES! I don't have H's fly graphic with me at work, but please do tell everyone you've ever known. Graphic will be up by tomorrow. Honest.
wednes: (Snakes on a Plane)
I have the week off from the day-job and thought I might want to see about seeing a movie. When I checked out the box office reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, I was so sadly amused that I screencapped their current goings on just so I could show the all of you's.



I know, right?

short day-job redux ) You know when The Daily Show shows a bunch of clips of everyone on FOX news (or in the media in general, depending) all using the same buzzwords to enforce a specific dialogue--and then pretending like they aren't? It kinda felt like that.

Working on edits of The Finster Effect. Just a few little things I think will help the reader along. Planning to send a query to Tor, while not really thinking they would take it (that's the spirit!)--it's my first choice right now. Once I hear back from them, next up is Permuted Press. I would love, Love, LOVE to get in on their deal with Audible.com. TFE is gonna be damn difficult to cast as an audiobook. Speaking of which, new podcast ep drops this afternoon. Mixing it in a few minutes, in fact. Off I go then.
wednes: (Lecter/rude)
There were no cartoons last Sunday night, and we don't give a rat's ass about football. There have been a lot of ads On Demand for Lenny, starring the great Dustin Hoffman, and the chick who played Miss Tessmacher. I had never seen it, and I know very little about Lenny, except that he was a vulgar comedian who got arrested a lot. I presumed it was due to anti-establishment talk--the sort of thing that might get you pepper-sprayed today if you said it outside. There was some of that. But it's embarrassing to remember that there was a time in America when you could be arrested simply for saying a word. He was arrested a bunch of times, just for dirty talking in adult establishments. His opening act was a hooker for chrissake! It's not as if there were children there. Plus, he was kind of angry and nuts. So I relate.

The movie paints Bruce as troubled but desperately trying to do right. Hoffman plays him as kinda nuts, at least bi-polar if not schizophrenic. I am of the opinion that Dustin Hoffman is fucking amazing and one of the greatest actors of our time. As a kid, Little Big Man was deeply moving. Marathon Man is a horror/thriller classic. Kramer versus Kramer made me cry and cry. This movie is another masterpiece. An incredibly engrossing watch, and I'm still thinking about it days later.

Near the end, Bruce is trying to appeal to the judge in his anti-obscenity case. He could have literally gone to prison for telling dirty jokes. Lenny doesn't believe the judge is a bad guy. He also believes in his work, that is has value, that it isn't just profanity for the sake of it. He's right, for the most part. When he's yelling Can't we just talk about it--like people?!? and Please, don't take my words! it kind of fucked me up. I'm super emotional and precarious about the new book right now, so it was well-timed for that sort of thing. Drug deaths are always frustratingly sad, and his seemed totally avoidable. In the movie at least, Lenny Bruce is portrayed as just the type of guy who could be helped with mental health intervention. He just wouldn't have known or believed that in his time. Being an outsider meant not trusting anybody, and given how he was treated just for breaking a few social mores, I can't say that I blame him. Being that angry all the time really takes it out of you. I've been feeling it lately, so again, well-timed.

So yeah, I'm downloading some of his stuff to check out. And some Carlin too while I'm at it.

I'm planning to get a bunch more writing and marketing stuff today. Then I'll look for some new jobs to apply for when I get home. I have to haul my CPAP machine over to the supply place so they can read the SD Card to prove I'm using it. I don't know why I can't just bring the card, but they are lame about it. Plus I'll find out what, if anything, my new insurance will cover on the CPAP since it's nowhere near paid for. That should be fun. I'm also gonna check out a movie called Deliver Us From Evil, which I'm going in to basically cold.

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