Uncategorized

James is Still Cool. He’s Always Been Cool.

**UPDATE: Ohhhhhh my god, I get it. “Bang Bang” bar. Chicks with bangs. Stellar bangs.**

It’s girls night at the Bang Bang Bar. The Chromatics are playing because evidently small town bars in the Pacific Northwest are the go-to places for emerging indie-electronic bands. Cocktails and laughs are suddenly interrupted by a glance at a cool, middle-aged man in a leather jacket. It’s James. He’s still cool. He’s always been cool.

Except, no. James is the worst character in the Twin Peaks universe and David Lynch doesn’t need to be throwing shade at all of his haters like that via Madchen Amick’s eternally youthful face. James sucks and he should feel lucky that I believe in second chances. We’ll see if his character has progressed from someone who gets involved in secondary soap opera story lines, the world’s worst type of alliteration.

Still, it’s fun to see the dive-y Bang Bang Bar’s evolution into a hipster paradise where the Rainiers are cheap and the dancing is peak whiteness. Episode four ends with Au Revoir Simone. The Bang Bang has a killer lineup this month. Will every episode in the Twin Peaks revival end with a bevy of sullen-eyed white women with fabulous bangs singing the electronic blues?

Image result for the chromatics twin peaks

Advertisements
Standard
Uncategorized

Alien: Covenant Creates its Creator

Alien: Covenant answers a few important questions in the Alien universe, most importantly expanding on the origins of the Xenomorph. Ridley Scott’s second film in his trilogy of Alien prequels feels a lot more like the original entries of the franchise – a welcome change of pace that will satisfy fans who weren’t happy with the lack of gore and action in Prometheus. I was particularly stoked to see the return of the facehugger and classic, yet updated Xenomorph Drone in Covenant.

However, strategic touches of nostalgia aren’t enough to mask the film’s flaws. Covenant somehow has too much story and not enough. It’s wildly ambitious in its quest to explore theology, philosophy and the meaning of life. This is a horror franchise that built its success on bursting chests and acid spit, after all. For example, the newly instated captain, played by Billy Crudup, supposedly struggles with competing forces of faith and science. Early in the film Crudup’s character reveals that he’s faced doubts about his ability to lead a crew due to his ‘faith’. Later on, he briefly explains an encounter with “the devil” as a young boy. All of this could’ve been an interesting story arc, but it was never fully realized or explained. It just suddenly ends.

Still, there are obvious and effective ties to religion vs. science, particularly the theme of creation, both in the film’s title and in its plot. Indeed, the film’s opening scene (which takes place before the events in Prometheus) depicts David’s self-realization and understanding of creation. He tells his creator that he fully understands that he will live and his creator will die. And if that’s not enough, just count the number of allusions to Milton’s Paradise Lost. David literally says “it’s better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven”.

I also can’t get over the homoeroticism between David and Walter – both played brilliantly by Michael Fassbender. I found myself giggling when David was teaching Walter to play the flute and said “I’ll do the fingering”. Real mature, I know. Honestly though, Fassbender steals the entire damn movie in my book.

Let’s talk about the Neomorphs. Insanely cool and scary looking. Bloodthirsty and very Velociraptor-like. Yet all I saw in their brief screen time was that they were easily enchanted by robots. I guess because David is the creator. Still, I really needed more information on the Neomorphs and wanted to see the extent of their carnage. I also wanted to know more about the demise of Shaw from Prometheus. There were certainly enough clues, but I would’ve loved a flashback or something. Also wanted to know what came from Shaw’s belly – was it a neomorph or is that how David made the first Xenomorph?

There are a lot of things I liked about Alien: Covenant. I loved the Daniels character. What a badass chick. Super reminiscent of young Ripley. The end scene when Tennessee (Danny McBride) and Daniels are fighting the big bad Xenomorph is visually very similar to the end of Aliens. I almost thought that Daniels was going to get into a Caterpillar P-5000 work loader. I liked that David is decidedly evil. I couldn’t really tell in Prometheus if he was good or bad. Maybe that was the point. The Xenomorph at the end is really cool. It looks like the O.G. baddies but slightly different. Perhaps CGI had to do with that. It’s good CGI though, and I am a staunch believer in creature effects.

The end of Covenant sets up the next sequel nicely. Overall, I just felt that Covenant tried to do too much. It should’ve focused on one or the other: either go all the way with the grand “meaning of life” theme or amp up the B-plot of the crew trying to colonize a new planet. They felt like completely separate stories. Don’t get me wrong though, I didn’t leave the theater unsatisfied. And trust me, I will be paying money to see the next installment in theaters.

Standard
Uncategorized

Syfy’s New Grindhouse Show features Thad Castle

Give me a hell! Give me a yeah! Okay, you won’t get that unless you watched Blue Mountain State on Spike. Somebody at Syfy knows what they’re doing. On June 14 the network will debut a new Midnight Grindhouse series called ‘Blood Drive’. Per the show’s Facebook page, the series is described as “the classic story of when boy meets girl and cars powered by human blood”. Love it. Summer television is the best and I can’t wait to watch Alan Ritchson – aka Thad Castle – get down with some souped-up, blood thirsty Honda Civics. It’s the direction we’ve all been waiting for in the Fast and Furious films. In fact, that’s exactly how Paul Walker should’ve made his exit from the franchise – being shredded by the engine of a 1999 Acura Integra and harvested for fuel.

Check out the gnarly poster below and tune into “Blood Drive” on Syfy starting June 14!

Image may contain: 4 people, text

Standard
horror

Officially a Fannibal

Image result for fannibal and proud

Four years ago I was flipping channels in bed on a Friday night. I jolted out of my seat and did a quick double take. Did I really see what I just saw? I did. It was season one of Hannibal, and I had just stumbled on the “human cello” episode. My mouth dropped. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on network television. It was gruesome, creative, and oddly beautiful. I needed more.

Image result for human cello

But, because I was 26 and going out nearly every weekend, and because NBC was stupid to show Hannibal on Friday nights, I missed out on watching the show when it was airing (I was too cheap to pay for DVR service).

One year later I couldn’t stop thinking about that scene. I was bummed to discover that the series wasn’t available On Demand, and I couldn’t find it on any of the streaming services. It was 2014 and I was bummed over the lack of availability of a network tv show. These were simpler times.

Flash forward to the end of 2016! Not only did I turn 30, I got to mooch off of my amazing boyfriend’s Amazon Prime account. FINALLY! I was able to watch every episode of Hannibal. I am now proud to say that I’m a bona fide Fannibal.

Image result for fannibal

Not really my design. If I knew who designed this “this is my design” image, I’d say that it was their design. Because I credit people and don’t steal. Stealing sucks.

 

Brian Fuller’s Hannibal is the best horror TV show of this decade. It’s better than The Walking Dead. It’s better than American Horror Story. And as far as how much I’ve enjoyed watching a series, it’s on par with some of the G.O.A.T.s like Breaking Bad and The Wire – really!

Season one – at its most basic – is a classic crime drama with a grisly edge. We meet the curious Will Graham and steadfast Special Agent Jack Crawford of the FBI. We learn that Will has an empathy disorder that allows him to understand the reasons behind why the most demented murderers kill. It’s all very CSI or NCIS at the beginning with more interesting characters and way better gore. Because we’re horror fans, we know who we’re dealing with when Dr. Hannibal Lecter is introduced to the show. But we’re not quite sure who he is at this point and how he fits into everything – until we see him cooking human lungs. Same ol’ Hannibal.

Mads Mikkelsen’s portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter is better than Sir Anthony Hopkins’ performance in the film trilogy. Sorry, Hops. I love ya but it’s true. Watching Mikkelsen befriend and manipulate Hugh Dancy’s Graham throughout season one is a treat for viewers. It also sets up an incredible story line for season two where Will toes the line between repairing his psyche and submitting to much darker urges.

Hannibal’s second season is possibly my favorite season of any show – ever. Bold claim, I know. I could not get enough of Will’s struggle to rebuild himself when nobody believed him and Hannibal’s arrogance that ultimately led others to discover his true identity. I told you there would be spoilers, and here’s one of them: the episode where Beverly’s body has been perfectly sliced – vertically – into even sections and then meticulously encased solidified my opinion that Hannibal Lecter is the most interesting and complex character in the history of horror. Another highlight of this season for me is when – spoiler again – Mason Verger uses a knife to slice off pieces of his face and then feeds them to Will’s dog. Holy crap. Seriously, this was on NBC? If you want to talk the finale of season two, hit me up. I could go on for hours.

Related image

How stunningly rich and decadent is season three? Bedelia and Hannibal seem like a power couple I would want to know. They are beautiful together, entertaining, classy, and intelligent. Everything you want in a dinner party guest or host, except no, you do NOT want to be a guest at any of their dinner parties. Bedelia’s internal conflict of being a “participant” or an “observer” is quite an interesting character study. As her story unfolds, we learn why her final dinner scene makes perfect sense. Also – Zachary Quinto is amazing and I wish I would’ve gotten to know his character as Bedelia’s ill-fated patient a bit more.

Of course, the real “meat” of season three is Hannibal and Will’s lost bromance. The cat and mouse game of season two may have ended in violence, but in season three its clear that Will and Hannibal can’t quit each other. Will goes to great lengths to find Hannibal in Europe and even with all that has happened between them, he still very much feels a deep sense of loyalty to and connection with Hannibal. Will realizes he can’t lead a normal life and cannot return to his wife and stepson. Too much has happened between Hannibal and Will. They have saved each other and they have tried to kill each other. Will knows that he cannot kill Hannibal, so he hopes that Francis Dolarhyde, aka The Red Dragon, will do it for him. Well, things don’t quite turn out that way. Will and Hannibal take on the Red Dragon together, and the rest is history… or hopefully a fourth season.

Image result for hannibal vs dolarhyde

The visuals in Hannibal deserve every accolade they’ve received. I can’t possibly write anything more clever than what’s already been written about them. They’re simply stunning. The cinematography, lighting, sound, and set design are all intentional and convey exactly the type of feeling that the moment intends.

In fact, here’s an entire list of examples that prove how visually breathtaking the show really is. Yes, I know you’re not supposed to end a sentence with the word “is”. Dammit, I did it again. Anyway, my personal favorite example of imagery in the show is when Hannibal discovers the creator of the Human Color Wheel and peers into the silo and casually states,”Love your work”. Delicious. God like. Genius.

Beyond Will and Hannibal, the other main characters are so alive and vivid that I feel that I know them. Jack Crawford spends all of his time trying to prevent deaths – including his own wife’s. Dr. Alana Bloom begins her journey on the show as a just psychiatrist who values fairness for all and sees the best in people. It is so damn interesting and fun to watch her transform into a lesbian hitwoman vying to get revenge on Hannibal. The scenes with Margot, Alana, and Hannibal while they’re working together to defeat Mason are delectable. Speaking of Margot, lets talk about how wonderful Katharine Isabelle is. She is and forever will be my modern scream queen. Even Dr. Chilton and Freddy Lounds are characters I couldn’t stop watching.

There is so much subtext, content, and symbolism in Brian Fuller’s Hannibal that I know I will need to watch the series one or two more times before I fully grasp the weight of the body of work I’ve witnessed. It’s a show that I cannot stop thinking about even months after finishing the series. I truly hope we are treated to more from Fuller and his team!

In the mean time, though, I think it’s safe to say that I am officially a “Fannibal”.  Hope the rest of the community will welcome me with open arms and a freshly roasted leg.

 Image result for bedelia du maurier leg

Standard
Horror Fans Rule, Upcoming Horror

Let’s Talk About That “IT” Trailer…

…because it literally gave me chills. The day is finally here! Director Andy Muschietti tortured us via Instagram with images of numbered red balloons for the last several days. It didn’t take long for fans to decipher that it was a countdown to the release of the first teaser trailer for Muschietti’s upcoming adaptation of “IT”. We now finally have our first official look at Muschietti’s vision of Derry, ME and the Losers Club.

Watch it HERE:

As a faithful fan of Stephen King’s novel, I am eager to see how the full movie ends up. It will be an epic disappointment if the film panders to the high-school “jump scare horror” crowd. This fantastic first trailer gives me hope, but as we all know, too much “hype” can be a killer of movie dreams. Let’s take a deep breath and say a prayer to horror jesus that Muschietti respects the King. Nothing will top the book, but we don’t have to be complete assholes about our expectations. Let’s give “IT” a chance. Trailer looks phenomenal!

What did you think? Comment below!

Standard
Horror Fans Rule, Uncategorized

I am Woman, Hear Me Horror

This February marks the 8th annual Women in Horror Month. I figured I should remind all one or two of my readers that I myself am, IN FACT, a lady horror fan. I recently watched the fantastic documentary Why Horror? which follows super fan and horror journalist Tal Zimerman as he explores the many reasons why people love the genre. “Horror journalist” sounds like a dream job. Tal also got to talk to a LOT of very cool people like George Romero and John Carpenter which fills me with stark raving jealousy.

Image result for why horror documentary

Image result for john carpenter

John Carpenter. *Swoon* Just LOOK at this sexy feathery hair/sweater combo!

An early part of the documentary investigates the reasons why seeing a horror movie is considered to be a great first date, presumably because it stimulates us and gives straight dudes an excuse to put their arms around a chick. A particularly obnoxious experiment in the documentary entails a woman who goes on dates with different guys and is instructed to have different reactions to a horror movie. The experiment found that (hetero) dudes perceive women who are afraid of the movie to be much more attractive than ladies who really dig the scares. They did the experiment in reverse and (hetero) women reported that they found it more attractive when a man didn’t seem fazed by the film. To which I kindly say FUCK THAT.

Women who love horror are the BEST dates, girlfriends, and wives. We are cool as shit. We can have thoughtful discussions about disembowelment! C’MON. On the flip side, dudes who have real reactions and genuine feelings are sexy as hell. I would rather laugh along at a ridiculous blood bath scene or share a jump scare together than be with someone who can’t show any emotion. Thankfully, my super awesome boyfriend supports my horror fandom and encourages the hell out of it.

Image result for women who love horror

Bela Lugosi knows what’s up.

Luckily the documentary goes on to support girls who love gore and features a bevy of kick-ass women in horror, like the Soska Sisters, Barbara Crampton, and Karen Lam. These women, along with hundreds of others, are my soul sisters. Literally. I want to steal their souls like Shang Tsung.

Image result for karen lam

Karen Lam. I love a horror sister who can also rock a side bang and a great nude lip.

Like my fellow fans of fear, I love horror for many different reasons. I love the thrill of feeling scared. I love the creativity of the genre. I love gore and special makeup effects. I find it entertaining when people jump and gasp and clap and laugh at the theater. Plus, watching horror movies reminds me of growing up. Women can and do enjoy a good scary movie (or an awesomely bad Z movie like “Honky Holocaust“) just as much as men. I would put my passion for horror up against the mightiest meat(cleaver)head.

What you may not realize is that we are everywhere. Women who love horror are not always the goth girl next door – although those ladies are my heroes and they’re cool as shit, too! Lady horror fans are every type of woman. For example, I enjoy monogrammed sweatshirts and know way too much about most of the Real Housewives. Can’t believe it? Care to test my horror credibility? Bring it on and I’ll literally go toe-to-toe with any naysayer while simultaneously dismembering said toes one by one.

Image result for real housewives of horror

When passions collide.

So this February, I first command you to learn and celebrate all you can about black history. If you’re white like me, I particularly challenge you to examine your privilege and to demand more diversity in horror. Support horror movies and books made by women, directors of color, and foreign artists. Fear is subjective and including diverse perspectives will only promote creativity within the genre, which is something that horror fans obviously crave.

Ernest Dickerson shouldn’t be the only black horror director in the game.

After you feel sufficiently ‘woke’ (ha), remember all of the bad ass ladies of horror this month. Love and thank your fiancee or sister or neighbor who lives for splatter and the macabre. We’ll probably be pretty handy to have around when the zombie apocalypse actually happens.

Image result for girls who love horror

Standard
Uncategorized

I’M GOING TO SHABOOMS!

David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and John Carpenter are teaming up to continue the Halloween franchise? This could either be insanely epic or the absolute worst collaboration of all time. Comedy and horror aren’t that different. Both genres unabashedly explore topics and human experiences that are considered controversial, subversive, or even depraved. Perhaps that could be advantageous here. In any event, I hope there will be lots of fiiiiiixins.

Standard