No special post today. Go check out Violent Blue then have yourself a happy Halloween!
I changed my mind when I got the invitation to the sneak preview at Reagal Cinemas and I’m glad I went. The screening was in IMAX and this movie was absolutely designed for that format. There are lots of antigrav sequences (imagine weightless Laser Tag) and tons of space scenes – not only shots of stations or ships passing by, but a great many POV shots. It takes fullest advantage of the IMAX format and I imagine it’s a trip in 3d as well.
The score was a pleasant surprise as well. Full and unobtrusive when necessary, but rousing during the action sequences and very memorable. Thematically it was very reminiscent to 2001 to me.
Harrison Ford is…well, he’s Harrison Ford. The same character he plays in every movie. The good thing is we like that character. Ben Kingsly gives this film far more gravitas than even it’s very well thoguh out subject matter could have achieved on it’s own. Asa Butterfield is extremely good as the title character, and pulls off a very difficult role. We see years worth of maturity develop in a relatively short span of time. We see him become a very different person, far older mentally and emotionally than he ever reaches chronologically.
It’s actually the problem of time that is the films single flaw. It feels like it’s happening over a week or two (though I realize it’s longer). The pacing is a little fast, though I can understand why, any slower and this could have easily been a three hour movie – and while the subject matter could definitely have justified it, I’m not sure it would have survived public perception (cool sci-fi action flick)
Definitely catch this in the theater. Catch it in IMAX or 3d because there’s no way this will ever look this good on a TV no matter how big a screen it is.
Like on Free Comic book Day, publishers release special editions with the Halloween Comic Fest logo on them and these are distributed for free at participating retailers. It’s a way to especially get kids into comic shops these days. I’m still plowing my way through the stack of free comics I got, along with a couple I bought while I was there (I hate just showing up, grabbing the free stuff and leaving. Same as on Free comic book day, we make it a point to buy SOMETHING – even if just a couple issues from the quarter bin or dollar boxes), but here are some of my favorites so far….
Batman : Lil’Gotham.
I really haven’t been into this series. I suppose it’s fair to say it’s not aimed at me. Even worse, Damien is still alive in it and I hat him with such passion it’s unreasonable. There’s also something just ….wrong about cute gothamites. Batman villains just aren’t supposed to be…chibi.
This has some great moments in it though. Damien being completely unfamiliar with trick or treating so he goes and attacks kids in costumes….
it works as a fun kids book and was naturally one of the centerpieces of this years selections.
There was a My Little Pony book this year. I actually made a point to get to the comic shop kind of early In the day just to make sure I could snag this for my girls. Bronys are unpredictable and I could have easily seen this one getting sold out before we could manage to get in the shop. Thankfully, not only did both of my girls get a copy, I even got one myself. It’s a reprint of one of the stories form earlier this year, but it’s a good bit of the story and nicely scary – appropriate for Halloween.
Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the only pony book out there this year.
Another book called “Vamplets” was out with a kind of “Ghostly Pony” look to it. I almost missed the thing entirely until Maddie pointed it out to me. This and the My Little Pony books are bothe mini comics – about half the size of a normal one. Ashcans we used to call them. A lot of the kids stuff was set up this way. Still, fun books and perfect for Halloween.
Next up is Art Baltazar’s new book. I know, I keep gravitating towards the kids stuff, but Ity bitty Hellboy is just not to be missed. I really loved Tiny Titians, and this is just more of the same only with different characters. In fact, I’m not always into Hellboy that much, but this book was too much fun for words.
I did get through the Thor issue they had available and would actually really like to hear someone else comment on it. I’m not a big fan of Thor in the first place – he appeal has always mystified me, and lately a lot of his titles really seem to emphasize the elements of him that I really don’t like in the first place- most notably the big dumb football player personality with the big chin and no neck….and this issue is no exception. It sets up a new story arc about someone or something who is going around the cosmos killing small “g” gods. It’s an interesting enough concept, but with no investment in the character and a general dislike for beings who refer to themselves as gods or pantheon mythology in general this one really didn’t do a whole lot for me. Sorry guys. Like I said, I’d love to hear someone who’s a Thor fan chime in on this one. If I find something elsewhere, I may reblog it.
My last pick from the pack was Ultimate Spider-Man. This isn’t the actually Ultimate Spidey as in the Ultimate universe, or the Bendis run, this is more based on the cartoon that Disney and Marvel are currently running. I’ve watched it with my kids, it’s okay, and a good attempt to bring Spidey in to the Avenger’s universe. The book is divided into two features, beginning with an origin story, told as Spidey fights off the Shocker. Meh. The second feature where Spidey is shadowing an LMD of Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury is much more fun. Inside are also a couple of one page gags where they’ve taken a page from the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko comics and redone the text pull things completely out of context. A really fun book.
Carl and John’s went the extra mile as well, also handing out candy and bookmarks and buttons (with Itty Bitty Hellboy on them). I’m really enjoying Halloweenfest, and I love that it makes Free Comic Book Day come twice a year now!
Oddly, Halloween of us is less about the actually Halloween night but none about the weekend before – all of our traditional activities seem to fall on the preceding Saturday, in this case last Sat.
Earlier in the month, I started off the season getting the front decorated. I’m appalled that the kids in the neighborhood recognize Michael Myers but not Jason Vorhees.
Every year I put up figures in front of the house on Halloween. Back when I was a child, I’d love this season because on the bus ride to school my friend Ethan Lydon and I would watch for the dummies an halloween decorations on the houses we passed and duck below the windows so the monsters wouldn’t see us. Now it’s my turn to put the monsters out…and watch the kids have fun being scared of them.
I even found another Iron Man there!
But my main costume this year was going to be Freddy Kruger…and I wanted to do it from scratch. In the past I’ve bought the commercially available Freddy makeup, but just like I wanted to do an upgrade on my past Pinhead attempts last year, I also wanted to try and to Freddy “right”.
Of course while I was working on my makeup, Lydia was trying to decide what to be for Halloween……
Maddie was considering Wednesday Addams….she had the doll all set….
I got up early on Saturday morning, slipped into my makeup and Got Maddie ready to go!
Lydia was at ballet so she missed our first two stops. We started off at the Nursing home where my Aunt lives. We always trick or Treat there and since Lyds couldn’t make it, we carried her bucket and Maddie got treats for her and Lydia.
One of the residents had a dog there in a costume….maybe the best costume I saw this year!
We then headed out to Carol and John’s comic shop for Halloweenfest. This is similar to Free Comic Book day. The rule is that you have to wear a costume to get free books! You can choose up to 12. Maddie decided she was only going to pick six for herself and then use her remaining six selections to get Lydia books too.
They had a great little play are set up in the back with Night mare Before Christmas playing.
Maddie found a She-ra doll!
We swung back to the house and picked up Lydia and were joined by my parents to go trick or treating at the local Flea Market. Don’t underestimate this stop. The girls haul SO much candy and fun things away from here it’s amazing.
We actually made a quick trip out to Crocker Park as well, but the Trick or Treating had begun an hour earlier and almost everyone was out already! What a drag! We still found a few stores giving out candy and games to play, but over all, not worth it. We have to remember to get there earlier next year.
Finally back home to carve pumpkins. We had planned on hitting the Halloween walk at the Carlisle reservation (one of our favorite traditions) but it was just too cold and wet and we were all tiered. Still, we managed to finish out pumpkins and get the jack-o-lanterns out on the porch!
Finished the night with e Corpse Bride. A first time for the girls who love The Nightmare before Christmas. We still have trick or treating proper on Halloween night, but this weekend was really our main Halloween festivities. How about you? What traditions do you all have out there?
While we were playing one night, Eric found that his daughter had slipped a few tiny kitty toys in with his heroclix. he thought it was cute and put one in between the claws of the Predator X he was playing.
Then he immediately attacked my Batman with it.
So Predator X is beating my Batman to death with a squeaky toy and all I can think about is how mad Batman is at the indignity of it all.
Most nights, the girls ask what we are doing in the morning. Usually they will ask me if I have work in the morning. They also ask on Saturday mornings when I wake up and come down stairs. Any day I tell them I have work they pout and are sad.
I’ve explained to them that Daddy works so we can pay for out home, our food, our cars and everything we need to get by, but they still tell me they wish I didn’t have to go away and work every day.
Maddie stayed with her grandparents a while ago and when she came home she brought me this.
Inside it reads “A monster you can find in the Library is called Matthew”
Friday starting at 7:00 the Aut-O-Rama drive-in theatre will be presenting a horror marathon : Night of the Living Dead, Nightmare On elm Street, Friday the Thirteenth and The Shining (Yay! I was so bummed that the shining screening was cancelled a few weeks ago). The Drive-In has two screens, so on the opposite screen there will also be family friendly films like Hotel Transylvania, Gremlins, Casper and BeetleJuice. The cost for the four film marathon is thier standard admission of $9.00.
Saturday night going into Sunday morning is 12 Hours of Terror at the Capitol Theatre on west 65th street in Cleveland. The all night marathon includes the Original Evil Dead, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, From Beyond, Creature From the Black Lagoon (in 3d!), Christine, Street Trash and a surprise feature. Seven movies for $30 at the door (or $25.00 in advance).
After Breakfast at Church, I’ll be heading out to the Lorain Palace for thier double feature of the Friday the Thirteenth remake and Poltergeist. Cost for the double feature on the biggest indoor screen in Lorain County is $5.00.
A film weekend of Cinema Wasteland proportion (for about the same as a weekend pass). I know we’ve all seen most of these films on TV over the years, but there’s something special about seeing something like this on the big screen at a theater. There’s an experience to it….and these aren’t the sterile, neon lit, faceless multiplexes that are scattered through out the country. These are beautiful old theaters. Places with character. The Palace is one of my favorite places on earth, and I’m so grateful that we still have a drive in like the Aut-O-Rama around here- close to my home (twenty minuets) and already upgraded to digital.
There are some movies that benefit from sequels. Nightmare on Elm street, while a good movie on it’s own right, slides in line nicely with the rest of the sequels. I don’t think Evil Dead and Friday the thirteenth can’t really exist without their sequels, they NEED to be series.
There are other films where the sequel actually diminish the source. I can’t abide any other the TCM sequels, even though I do like the remake.
I’m not sure what to do with the sequels for Sleepaway Camp. For the longest time, it was really just #2 and #3. In fact, my first exposure to this series was when my friend Mike got me the box set (the one with the red cross on it that was quickly pulled from shelves) which included the first three movies. Even then though, I always tended to watch the first movie separately from 2 and 3. It’s a totally different film, with a giallo edge and a twist at the end that could never be replicated in this series no matter how hard you tried. It would be like attempting to get that same shock from the twist at the end of the Sixth Sense – you can’t make a sequel for that stuff.
Still they tried, going down the standard slasher route, and maintain a tenuous connection to the original. Unhappy Campers and Teenage Wasteland are light, bloody fun, but not even in the same class as Sleepaway Camp.
The box set also came with a fourth disc, unused footage from an aborted fourth film, tentatively called “The Survivor”. It looks like they got a day’s worth of shooting in with little or no script and realized they didn’t have anything or any funding and just gave it up. I recently became aware that this footage was cut with footage from the other movies into a full feature, essentially a film version of a clip show. Amazon was printing these on demand for a while, but the response was overwhelmingly negative. I can see why, if you don’t know what you’re getting into, especially if you are hoping for this “Survivor” movie to have finally been completed, this could easily be a huge let down.
I rather enjoyed it. It’s kind of like watching the three movies condensed into a little over an hour instead of spending over four hours on it. It makes good background and good party viewing. On the other hand, it’s really the lowest point this series could sink to….or is it?
There’s a short film out there called “Judy”. You can find it on the Sleepaway camp website. The premise is the mean-spirited antagonist from the original film didn’t die at the killers hand –logical considering all we saw happen to her was a brutally creative use of a curling Iron. Traumatic, but not fatal. The short has a slightly too amateurish feel to it, it’s main credibility coming from the fact that they got the actress from the original movie to reprise her role as Judy. It’s cool as a curiosity, but that’s all. (you can find it here http://www.sleepawaycampmovies.com/judy.shtml)
That leaves us with possibly the most “official” sequel and one that ignores all the others.. Return to Sleepaway Camp takes the material the most seriously of all the sequels, trying to recreate the mystery and throwing red herrings around to keep you guessing. The problem is, like I said above, you just can’t recreate that twist from the original and really, the whole movies hangs on that. The last thirty seconds of Sleepaway camp are what make it more than just another horror flick and keep it memorable. They try in Return, but honestly, every potential twist, every misdirection, all of it can be seen a mile away. It’s a nice reunion with some of the original cast, but it fails to recreate the shock and suspense of the original, and for that reason, I’m more likely to watch 2 or 3 (or now, possibly the clip-show-lie #4) for the lighthearted nature of it. In the end though, none of it is Sleepaway camp, not really. It’s a movie that should stand alone, and any kind of a franchise is just a bad idea.
I just saw this license plate on a car while I was driving to a worksite. Just what I needed to get me back in the mood to work on that Pinhead costume!
Every Wednesday and Friday
The first time I saw Wordsmith, I was struck by the imagry…the whole “Pulp” look. It reminded me of soem kind of cross between The Shadow and the Green Hornet (we’ve covered my affection for these characters way back in Top Five Favorite Superheros) so I was intrested right away. It didn’t hurt hat teh publisher was “renegade” which happened to be the same as a game shop I went too. I don’t remember if I found this in a discount bin or not. I probably did, but it was alone. The single issue.
When I opened it up, it wasn’t what I had expected. The story wasn’t about the masked hero on the cover….not exactly. It was about the person writing the story, a pulp writer back in the golden age of pulp novels.
It took a few years for me to track down all twelve issues of the series, and I paid a good price for a few of them, but it’s really one of the most movie series I’ve ever read. We follow the main character through the heights of the pulps to the genesis of comic books. Along the way we watch his relationship fall apart, then see him meet and marry the woman of his dreams. We see the beginnings of World War two in the background….it’s just magnificent.
One of the great strengths of this series is knowing when to quit. We meet the main character in his twenties, in a bad relationship, but still doing what he loves for a living. I could feel like I was there, looking over his shoulder as he typed up westerns, mystery men and romance pulps. Seeing him successfully transition into married life, fatherhood and comic books, you feel a sense of closure – you know the story has been told. It’s one of the reasons Violent Blue will be coming to an end next year.
You’re going to have to hunt for this one. Individual issues are good, but to really be satisfied, you need to read this entire run.
Part nine of my Screwtape Letters series. And don’t forget, new Violent Blue tomorrow!
Another long weekend, but a good one. Last weekend I cosplayed, did an art show, and horror show and concert, and zombie walk, a game tournament and had a movie planned. I drove from Lakewood to Medina to Elyria to lorain….I found myself realizing this is so much easier when all the events are all in one place. In other words – a convention.
Cinema Wasteland is the very best con out there. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. there’s so much more content there than any other show out there. There’s unprecedented access to the guests. The convention hall is full of candy and booze flowing freely.
I eat a lot of candy.
There’s also movies. Movies I’d never think to watch on my own, and movies I’ve never even heard of. This year I got exposed to the excellent “Mother Jugs and Speed”. It’s possibly the weirdest Cosby film I’ve ever seen, also starring Larry Hagman, raquel Welch, Bruce Davidson and Harvey Keitl. I may have to start a new column on this site just covering strange and fun films like this. I also saw the dreadful “Hollywood Knights” (I expected more from Robert Wuhl and Tony Danza, not to mention Michelle Pffifer and Fran Drescher) and the absolute dreck that is “Black Devil Doll from Hell”. I also caught “The Projected Man” and “The Incredible Melting Man” as well as the incredibly fun “Day Planner of the Dead”. It’s a cute short zombie flick with appearances by Tom, Kyra Schon and Gary Striener in it. I’m kind of regertting not grabbing a copy of that over at Tom Sullivan’s booth…but honestly – $20 is a bit much for that movie.
He suppressed his memories of killing Scotty and Cheryl and Shelly. That’s why they don’t appear in the second film. The demons exist, but Ash’s delusions make things worse. He imagined the stuff with cutting off his hand and this is also why medeval Britian looks like a desert – like no landscape of the time or place that ever existed. We discussed Ben Affleck as Batman (how did we get to THAT subject???). Tom’s a fan of the Daredevil film like I am and he really likes the R rated director’s cut. We discussed remakes with a fan of the new Evil Dead film. I reviewed it a while back and still stand by my opinion that this film could be a seqal rather than a remake. Tom detailed a graphic Novel he wrote (it was being released as a mini-series but was unfortunately cancelled after two issues) where his protagonist is locked up in an insane asylum when the deadites start to posses the doctors.
After grabbing some candy from Tom’s book of the dead, I headed into the rest of the show. It was a shame that a lot of familiar faces like the Killer Shrew and Angelique weren’t there this year, but I still ran into my friend Jason a few times. I was talking with Dee Wallace (from E.T., The Hills Have Eyes, and the Howling) and spotted him coming up one of the isles. I waved him over “Jason! Dude, you’re just in time to take a photo of Dee and me!” (I’m such a putz!) Dee was incredibly nice and friendly and insisted on giving me a hug before I moved on. The rest of the cast of the Hills were great fun as well, particularly the composer Don Peake. It was his first con and I was in fact his first autograph! Wasteland has this effect on guests. More than once I’ve heard of it spoiling them for other cons. Don was thrilled to be there and couldn’t believe how loved he was.
The same could also be said for Chester Turner, there promoting the new release of “Black Devil Doll From Hell” and more importantly “Tales from The QuadDead Zone” – a VHS cult film. It’s incredibly rare and a few years ago an existing copy fetched $660.00 on eBay. There was a screening of Black Devil Doll Saturday night.
It may be the worst film I’ve ever seen.
Seriously. I don’t get the cult following it has. I’ve never even seen a youtube video as bad as this.
I’ve never seen super 8 or High school video tapes as bad as this. Yes, it’s absurd, but the soundtrack was obviously done on a tiny casio back in the early 80’s. It’s AWFUL. The script is TERRIBLE. The cinematography is non existant…I sat and listened to the panel and it’s obvious that this guy takes himself seriously as a filmmaker…and so did everyone else….and I have no idea why this guy wasn’t being laughed out of this show. He kept talking abotu how story was so important when you have no budget. How he worked so hard on this story….and I kept asking myself “did we watch the same film here?”
Enough of the hate though. There’s so much more to love at Wasteland. And At least I know who this guy is. QuadDead is a legend amoungst the VHS collector crowd (there was a screening of the seriously entertaining documentary “Adjust Your Tracking” on Friday by the way. I missed about half of it at Days of the Dead. I’m glad I got to see the rest. Now I want a copy of it) and It’s cool to have seen the guy that made it and seen the movie up close.
For me, the Highlight of every CW is alway Ghastlee night at the Movies. It started off with a rousing game of “What’s in my underpants?”, this time around starring Count Gore DeVol. I particuarly liked Ken’s game (done to the tune of how much is that doggie in the window) where you had to destroy a pile of balloon animals before your opponent did. I jumped up for Sally’s game (Sally always does the most fun games of the night). That was when they put a sack over my head, handed me a police baton and told me to smash a spider. I’m poor at piniatas when I can see. This time around I didn’t make a dent. I didn’t feel too bad. Another familiar face,
Douglas Waltz came up after me and did just as poorly.
Ken brought us in leftover pizza right before the midnight movie and ended Saturday night on a high note.
All told, I think I saw 11 films over the weekend (Friday and Sunday are shorter days. Most of the action is Saturday), visited with a buch of folks I only see at wasteland like Jason and Doug and Tom, as well as people I know from clubs like Pop! such as Mark Mackay, Sean Macentyre and Bryan Griffen. I also made a point to get a photo with Janet Jay, the Daughter of Ghoul since the last two times I saw her (including when I was on her show), I was buried under so much Latex I wouldn’t even recognize me!
I had entertained thoughts about hitting Cleveland ComicCon this weekend, but I think I’m going to skip that one and save up a little. I’ve been pretty much gone allweekend two weekends in a row and I’ve still got 12 hours of Terror coming up in two weeks, not to mention Akron Comicon is next month!
Maddie Plays with some toys I brought back with me – Bats, spiders, a dead teddy bear….
Loved the hearse..wait a moment…
Is Willard at this show or something?
Just a reminder, the best convention in the area is coming up! This weekend is Cinema Wasteland! I’ll be out in Strongsville for the whole show, can’t wait to fill up my Hills have eyes poster!
If you see me, tap me on the shoulder and say hi!
I thought this was a really interesting project. Maddie was given half a picture. she not only had to color it, but she also had to draw in the other half of the picture. I was really impressed at how well she did. She even got the little shaped toppings right!
Pinkie Pie would approve.
I wanted to try something different this time. Last year at hauntville, I was doing makeup every night and that afforded me t he opprutunity to experiment a little. Instead of making the ridges on my forehead out of mortician’s wax, I’d try cotton and cover it with latex. Then I’d try making it so it could be removed and redone….it worked well with the false nose and ears I bought from the store and the cuts I was making out of cotton and greasepaint….
Check out some of the other zombies who came out to the food drive this weekend!