messier object

they’re gonna put me in the movies
2011, January 26, 8:03 pm
Filed under: cinema, history | Tags: , , , ,

And Jessi said country music doesn’t have anything to do with outer space!

(to 4:02 or so)

like pixellated scraps of jazz mags in your head
2010, March 1, 8:54 am
Filed under: cinema | Tags: , , ,

I’ve had this song stuck in my head all day today so far.

holy cow is it ever good.

Post about the The Crazies remake, Pontypool, PTSD, dialectical behavior therapy, The Haunting of Hill House, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” and mental illness in horror fiction coming as soon as I have time to type it up.


Communists Say Avatar Director ‘Robbed’ Soviet Science Fiction: Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia

Indignant party members say that Cameron, prepared to do anything to execute the command of the White House, surreptitiously entered the mysterious and romantic world of Soviet science fiction, and transferred all the action to his primitive propaganda film and to the Strugatsky-created world of planet Pandora.

Now, I haven’t seen Avatar yet.  But, of course, as we all know, the Strugatskys’ Pandora is a world given over entirely to scientific research giant crayfish hunting where when you try to go there you end up crashing off-course because you got hijacked by a time-traveling Red Army officer and if you try to go back in history you end up being menaced by a skull.  And does this mean Frank Herbert’s The Jesus Incident is also to blame for this?

avatar, as told by my friend in one line:

“it is basically an animated Yes album cover”

turn down your lights (where applicable)

For y’all, the inexplicable science-fictioning of Christmas, with more jokes about Pia Zadora than ever!  Well, unless they put in more jokes in the Cinematic Titanic version.  I still haven’t seen that one yet.

I think there’s a Christmas movie for every subgenre, or just about – this, Silent Night, Deadly Night, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, Silent Night, Deadly Night 3, Silent Night, Deadly Night 4, Silent Night, Deadly Night 5, Jeremy Isbell’s nanobudget Silent Night (those reviews are for another movie).  I just can’t think of a sword-and-sorcery one.  Maybe Christmas magic is too close to the stuff already – every other genre just riffs on the differences between Santa and their own tropes.  Santa’s not gonna have a rocket sled this year, no.

Oh, and here’s the start of the other Christmas MST3K.  This one’s probably Christmassier, but it doesn’t have the new classic “(Let’s Have) A Patrick Swayze Christmas.”

Turn down your lights, folks – I’ve got to go be subjected to the Jimmy Buffet Christmas album until I want to put a letter opener in my ears.

it’s a very, very mad world

Following all that negativity, though, there is one good thing I have to say about the viral campaign for this – the (oh god I’m about to hate myself) Twitter account is pretty neat.  The notion of having a part of a viral campaign just reporting on related real-life news ups the menace a little (a little) and weaves the fiction in a little neater than the Dakon/Pendrill site or the Ogden Marsh homepage do.  I’m a bit surprised this intermingling has only cropped up in ARGs in the past year or so, though.  I suppose the 8 years since The Beast/Majestic debuted isn’t that long, but still.

Anyways, for making it through that here’s some Tears for Fears as my gift to you.

why are the good people dying?

Seriously, this poster is about a thousand times better than the new ones.

So.  They’re remaking The Crazies, Romero’s fourth movie (after his ill-advised dive into romantic comedy).  And as if the “of the Dead” remakes weren’t meh enough – cool opening credits sequences don’t really make up for a mediocre execution – this one looks to be just as middle-of-the-road.  While it’s always nice to see Timothy Olyphant getting work as a sheriff, the concept and apparent execution this time seem to lack some of the wild-eyed paranoia of the original.  That one had a sort of predecessor to the plague-zombies of late – intelligent humans bent on murder by a virus in the water supply, with a possibility of worldwide contamination – while the new one seems, from the viral marketing, to be more along the lines of the X-Files episodes “Red Museum” or “Blood” – evil chemicals make the good people want to kill.  Not that it’s ever a bad time for a Bhopal-referencing horror movie about the terrors of environmental degradation, but… why this one?

When I saw the first trailer, I have to say I was a lot more excited than I am now.  It was, according to Wikipedia, going to be set in Georgia, and when I saw these clips in the trailer it was hard not to think of New Orleans.  We haven’t really had a good Katrina-related horror movie yet, or even a good Southern horror movie that didn’t rely on the Civil War in quite some time.  Sure, there’s Left 4 Dead 2. (‘though I’ve still gotta play that, and, yes, I’m going to extend it to being Katrina-related even if the government is generally competent and not paranoia-inducing just because of where it’s set.  You’ve got to make due with what you get.)  But I thought the ’70s Vietnam-derived paranoia that runs rampant through the original – two of the main band we follow are veterans, and, I mean, it’s a movie about the U.S. Army wiping out a village while under threat from a runaway biological weapon – were going to make a really great match for a Katrina-based horror film.

See what I meant?

Great, then, was my dismay when I put together the slogan on the sign up there and on the header of this viral page meant it was going to be set in rural Iowa.  I mean, yeah, tranquil small-town Americana is a classic horror-within! setting and, sure, pollution impacts us everywhere.  But couldn’t they have just saved that for the eventual remake of Frogs?

wonder women! rated pg
2009, December 20, 10:00 am
Filed under: cinema | Tags: , , ,

Jai alai! Is there any sport more retrofuturistic?  Sure, we saw it on Mad Men, and the catch version in this classic bit of Syd Mead futurist-Americana is a nice little touch (although not enough to distract one from wondering why the ground is hovering and the lake is cut off by a concrete barrier, or what the deal is with Orange Jackie’s weird asymmetrical just-a-bit-more-conservative-than-a bikini).  But, frankly, the sign that a sport hasn’t made it is probably its appearance in a Z-grade movie (sidehacking, anyone?), which I think also signals it’s ripe for the taking – the endless Rollerball remakes (well, okay, the one Rollerball remake that felt like it went on forever), the Death Race remake with King Silas Al Swearengen Ian McShane, sidehackers in any number of post-apocalyptic road movies.  So when is it going to be jai alai’s turn?