Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Archive for September, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3 – Trailer

Check out the new trailer for Paranormal Activity 3… and don’t forget to click on the link and Tweet Sydney to be included for one of 20 exclusive screenings. Click here

Paranormal Activity 3 – Tweet To See It First

Paramount Pictures has announced a “Tweet To See It First” campaign which will allow twitter users to determine which 20 cities will get to see Paranormal three days before the film’s global release. The third film in the series is a prequel which takes us back to 1988, where we get to “Discover How The Activity Began.” Paramount press release:

Tweet to Decide Who in the World Sees “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3″ First!

Paramount Pictures Launches First Ever Global “Tweet To See It First” to Kick Off the Eagerly Awaited 3rd Installment of the Thriller Franchise

Movie Will Premiere in 20 Cities Worldwide on October 18th

In an unprecedented move, Paramount Pictures will debut PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 exclusively in cities where the most fans “Tweet To See It First”. This first ever of its kind campaign launched today at 8:00 a.m. PDT and is open to fans worldwide. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 will premiere on October 18th in the top 20 cities with the most tweets, 3 days before the film’s global release.

“The support of this franchise from the online community is phenomenal. We again look to reward them for that support by offering them the chance to see it first, this time expanding our reach globally,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures.

To vote, fans can go to ParanormalMovie and select their city from a global map, which will also serve as the point of entry to create a tweet with a special set of hash tags that link directly to twitter. Once a tweet posts, it counts as a vote. A leader board will show the top 20 global markets in real-time.

The “Tweet To See It First” competition is available to audiences worldwide and ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Thursday, October 13th. The top 20 cities will be announced on Friday, October 14th.

Michael Powell

Michael Latham Powell (30 September 1905 – 19 February 1990) was a renowned English film director, celebrated for his partnership with Emeric Pressburger. They produced a series of classic British films, notably ’49th Parallel’ (1941), ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp’ (1943), ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ (1946), ‘Black Narcissus’ (1947), ‘The Red Shoes’ (1948), and ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’ (1951). His controversial 1960 film ‘Peeping Tom’, however, was so vilified that his career was seriously damaged.

Peeping Tom is a 1960 British psychological thriller written by the World War II cryptographer Leo Marks. The title derives from the slang expression ‘Peeping Tom’ describing a voyeur. The film revolves around a serial killer, Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm) who murders women while using a portable movie camera to record their dying expressions of terror.

Its controversial subject and the extremely harsh reception by critics effectively destroyed Powell’s career as a director in the United Kingdom. However, it attracted a cult following, and in later years, it has been re-evaluated and is now considered a masterpiece.

Peeping Tom has been praised for its psychological complexity. On the surface, the film is about the Freudian relationship between the protagonist and his father and the protagonist and his victims. However, several critics argue that the film is as much about the voyeurism of the audience as they watch the protagonist’s actions. For example, Roger Ebert, in his review of the film, states that “The movies make us into voyeurs. We sit in the dark, watching other people’s lives. It is the bargain the cinema strikes with us, although most films are too well-behaved to mention it.”

Lewis is an allegory of the director of a horror film. In horror movies, the directors kill victims, often innocents, to provoke responses from the audiences and to manipulate their responses. Lewis records the deaths of his victims with his camera and by using the mirror and showing each of his victims their last moments, provokes their own fear even as he kills them.

Martin Scorsese, who has long been an admirer of Powell’s works, has stated that this film, along with Federico Fellini’s ‘8½’ contains all that can be said about directing: “I have always felt that Peeping Tom and say everything that can be said about film-making, about the process of dealing with film, the objectivity and subjectivity of it and the confusion between the two. captures the glamour and enjoyment of film-making, while Peeping Tom shows the aggression of it, how the camera violates… From studying them you can discover everything about people who make films, or at least people who express themselves through films”

Dark Shadows – Images

Tim Burton’s latest film, an update of campy classic television series ‘Dark Shadows’ has already drawn quite a few negative reactions from online sites and the gossip magazines, all from people who haven’t seen any footage… Prompting Warner brothers to release a few official images to try to counter the negative publicity. Check out the on set report at UK Empire and official Press release at Entertainment Weekly.

Dark Shadows cast: Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman; Chloe Grace Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard; Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard; Gulliver McGrath as David Collins; Bella Heathcote as Vitoria Winters; Johnny Depp as Barnabas; Ray Shirley as Mrs. Johnson; Jackie Earle Haley as Willie Loomis; Jonny Lee Miller as Roger Collins; and Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard.


Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (29 September 1571 – 18 July 1610) was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque school of painting. 

Born in Milan, his family moved to escape the plague which was ravaging the city, they settled in Caravaggio. In 1584, he began his four year apprenticeship to the Milanese painter Simone Peterzano, described in the contract of apprenticeship as a pupil of Titian. Caravaggio then left Milan for Rome in mid-1592, in flight after “certain quarrels” and the wounding of a police officer. A few months later he was performing hack-work for the highly successful Giuseppe Cesari, Pope Clement VIII’s favourite artist, “painting flowers and fruit” in his factory-like workshop.

Caravaggio left Cesari in January 1594, determined to make his own way. The themes of his personal work were quite new for Rome, and proved immensely influential over the next century and beyond.  He preferred to paint his subjects as the eye sees them, with all their natural flaws and defects instead of as idealised creations. This allowed a full display of Caravaggio’s virtuosic talents. This shift from accepted standard practice and the classical idealism of Michelangelo was very controversial at the time. Not only was his realism a noteworthy feature of his paintings during this period, he turned away from the lengthy preparations traditional in central Italy at the time. Instead, he preferred the Venetian practice of working in oils directly from the subject – half-length figures and still life.

The realism of Caravaggio’s paintings on religious themes, and the emergence of remarkable spirituality belied his personal lifestyle. He was notorious for brawling, even in a time and place when such behavior was commonplace, and the transcripts of his police records and trial proceedings fill several pages. On 29 May 1606, he killed, possibly unintentionally, a young man named Ranuccio Tomassoni from Terni (Umbria). Previously his high-placed patrons had protected him from the consequences of his escapades, but this time they could do nothing. Caravaggio, outlawed, fled to Naples. There, outside the jurisdiction of the Roman authorities and protected by the Colonna family, the most famous painter in Rome became the most famous in Naples.

He moved to Malta, working for the Knights of Malta. Then moved to Scicily before returning to Naples where an attempt was made on his life. At first it was reported in Rome that the “famous artist” Caravaggio was dead, but then it was learned that he was alive, but seriously disfigured in the face. He painted a Salome with the Head of John the Baptist, showing his own head on a platter.

In the summer of 1610 he took a boat northwards to receive a pardon, which seemed imminent thanks to his powerful Roman friends. What happened next is the subject of much confusion and conjecture. The bare facts are that on 28 July an anonymous avviso (private newsletter) from Rome to the ducal court of Urbino reported that Caravaggio was dead. Three days later another avviso said that he had died of fever on his way from Naples to Rome. A poet friend of the artist later gave 18 July as the date of death, and a recent researcher claims to have discovered a death notice showing that the artist died on that day of a fever in Porto Ercole, near Grosseto in Tuscany. Human remains found in a church in Porto Ercole in 2010 are believed to almost certainly belong to Caravaggio.

There have been a few movies, television movies and series depicting the wild life of Caravaggio, the best of which are Derek Jarman’s arty ‘Caravaggio’ (1986) and Angelo Longoni’s ‘Caravaggio’ (2007); both worth searching out.

Naomi Watts

Naomi Ellen Watts (born 28 September 1968) is a British-Australian actress. Watts began her career in Australian television, where she appeared in series such as ‘Brides of Christ’ (1991). She started with roles in B-class movies, such as ‘Tank Girl’ (1995) and the 1996 horror film ‘Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering’, as well as roles in television and independent movies.

Watts gained critical acclaim following her work in David Lynch’s 2001 psychological thriller ‘Mulholland Drive’. A difficult role in the complex role-reversal thriller, Watts established herself as an brave actress, a trait she would continue to display throughout her career.

The next year, she received public recognition for her participation in the box office hit horror film ‘The Ring’. In 2004, she received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Cristina Peck in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s 2003 drama ’21 Grams’, alongside Sean Penn. Other notable film roles include PeterJackson’s 2005 remake of ‘King Kong’, the sequel to the Ring, ‘The Ring 2’ (2005), David Cronenberg’s excellent 2007 thriller ‘Eastern Promises’ and Michael Haneke’s 2008 remake of ‘Funny Games’.

An excellent actress, she makes interesting choices and is always good even in films not deserving of her talents.

Stephen King – Doctor Sleep

Stephen King has been talking about his sequel to The Shining while making book tour appearances. At the George Mason Awards ceremony he discussed the book and read a short excerpt. King was 64 last week. 

King briefly laid out his tentative plan for the novel, which would see the emotionally scarred Danny Torrance, now a 40-year-old orderly at a hospice for the terminally ill in upstate New York. But Danny’s real job is to “visit with patients who are just about to pass on to the other side, and to help them make that journey with the aid of his mysterious powers.” And on the side, Danny bets on the horse races, a trick he learned from his old friend Dick. The title of the book is “Doctor Sleep.”

His official website posted this news yesterday: “It’s now official–Stephen is working on Dr. Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.  This weekend Steve read an excerpt from this at his appearance at George Mason University.  They have given us permission to post their taping of the event here on Steve’s site which we will do as soon as we receive the file.  Dr. Sleep’s plot includes a traveling group of vampires called The Tribe which is part of the passage he read from.”

Priest *½

Priest is set in an alternate, post-apocalyptic world, which has been ravaged by centuries of war between men and vampires. After the last vampire war, which was won by warrior Priests, the religious guardians have created massive walled-in dystopian cities in which they control the population with Orwellian slogans and faceless, automated drudgery. Outside the walls lie vast wastelands populated by nomadic people and farmers trying to eke out an existence on the lifeless earth.

A family of farmers are attacked by vampires, the mother (Madchen Amick) and father (Stephen Moyer) are slain and their teenage daughter Lucy (Lily Collins) is taken hostage. She is the niece of a former warrior Priest (Paul Bettany) who against the church leaders wishes, sets out from the city to track her down to rescue or kill her…

Priest is a grab bag of material from a myriad of sources; stolen from Judge Dredd, 1984, any Terry Gilliam futuristic film, most post-apocalyptic adventures of the last few decades, The Searchers and innumerable martial arts flicks with a bit of Blade for good measure; so not much original thought.

It’s both poorly written and poorly performed; Paul Bettany as the titular Priest is wasted here even more so than in the similarly lack-lustre Legion. Karl Urban as bad-guy, former Priest turned vampire and Cam Gigandet as a kind of frontier sheriff are charisma vacuums. Maggie Q is also wasted in a pointless role as another former Priest sent out to track ‘Priest’ down.

Written by Cory Goodman from a Korean graphic novel, which I haven’t read and have no intention too, Priest has a thin plot, underwritten characters and pedestrian dialogue. It’s directed by former visual effects developer and Legion director Scott Stewart, and as you’d expect with his background, some of the production design and special effects are good. But without characters worth following, a predictable storyline and distinctly PG-13 styled violence, Priest has very little else to offer. The vampire design is more akin to Salem’s Lot with a bit of The Descent and the odd Orc thrown into the mix than the sparkly versions that have been populating the screens of late.

There are some nice touches, the solar-powered motorcycles look great and the vampire war history told through some violently bloody, graphic animation in the opening titles is a fun few minutes.

The movie leaves itself wide open for a sequel, apparently there are several graphic novels; however it’s difficult to see anyone being interested in seeing it.

Quality: 2 out of 5 stars

Any Good: 1 out of 5 stars    

Will Sampson

Will Sampson (September 27, 1933 – June 3, 1987) was an American actor and artist. A Native American Muscogee (Creek), Will was born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. His most notable roles were as Chief Bromden in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and as “Taylor the Medicine Man” in the horror film ‘Poltergeist II’. He had a recurring role on the TV series ‘Vega$’, as Harlon Twoleaf and starred in the movies ‘Fish Hawk’, ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’ and ‘Orca’.

Sampson was also an artist. His large painting depicting the Ribbon Dance of his Muscogee people is in the collection of the Creek Council House Museum in Okmu;gee, Oaklahoma. His artwork is currently displayed online by The Kvskvnv (“kuskuna”) Association. Sampson also appeared in the production of Black Elk Speaks with the American Indian Theater Company in Tulsa, Oaklahoma where David Carradine and other Native American actors like Wes Studi and Randolph Mantooth starred in stage productions.

In an interview in TV Ontario’s series Film 101, “Hollywood Asylum, Explored or Exploited?”, film actor Brad Dourif (who played Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) stated that Sampson had been imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. After he was pardoned, after serving ten years,his release came without apology or compensation. Sampson reportedly observed the cast on set and noted, based on behavior, that only he and Dourif truly understood what it meant to be institutionalized.

In need of a heart and liver transplant, he died on June 3, 1987, of post-operative kidney failure and pre-operative malnutrition problems. Sampson was 53 years old. He was buried in Hitchita’s Graves Creek Cemetery.

Maleficent – Angelina Jolie

Fairy tales are big news in Hollywood after the $1 billion success of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Producer of that hit, Joe Roth is negotiating to become producer of ‘Maleficent’, Disney’s re-telling of its 1959 classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’, this time told from the vantage point of the evil witch. It’s no secret that Angelina Jolie wants to play that character. The script was written by Linda Woolverton, who scripted Alice in Wonderland as well as Disney’s recently re-released The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. They are looking for a director after a preliminary courtship of Alice helmer Tim Burton didn’t work out.

Aside from Alice in Wonderland, Roth is producing Disney’s Sam Raimi-directed Disney pic ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ with James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz, as well as ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, the Universal Pictures epic that is being directed by Rupert Sanders and stars Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth.

Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh (born 27 September 1958 Leith, Edinburgh) is a contemporary Scottish novelist, best known for his novel Trainspotting. His work is characterised by raw Scottish dialect, and brutal depiction of the realities of Edinburgh life. He has also written plays, screenplays, and directed several short films.

His first novel, ‘Trainspotting’, was published in 1993. Set in the mid 1980s, it uses a series of loosely connected short stories to tell the story of a group of characters tied together by decaying friendships, heroin addiction and stabs at escape from the oppressive boredom and brutality of their lives in the housing schemes. It was released to shock and outrage in some circles and great acclaim in others; Time Out called it “funny, unflinchingly abrasive, authentic and inventive”, and The Sunday Times called Welsh “the best thing that has happened to British writing for decades”. One critic (Welsh’s personal friend Kevin Williamson) went so far as to say that Trainspotting “deserves to sell more copies than The Bible”. It was adapted as a play, and a film, directed by Danny Boyle was released in 1996. Welsh himself appeared in the film as Mikey Forrester, a minor character. Review here.

Next, Welsh released ‘The Acid House’, a collection of short stories from Rebel Inc., New Writing Scotland and other sources. Many of the stories take place in and around the housing schemes from Trainspotting, and employ many of the same themes; however, a touch of fantasy is apparent in stories such as The Acid House, where the minds of a baby and a drug user swap bodies, or The Granton Star Cause, where God transforms a man into a fly as punishment for wasting his life. Welsh himself adapted three of the stories for a later film version, which he also appeared in.

Welsh’s third book (and second novel), ‘Marabou Stork Nightmares’, alternates between a typically grim tale of thugs and schemes in sub-working class Scotland and a hallucinatory adventure tale set in South Africa. Gradually, common themes begin to emerge between the two stories, culminating in a shocking ending.

His next book, ‘Ecstacy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance’ (1996), became his most high-profile work since Trainspotting, released in the wave of publicity surrounding the film. It consists of three unconnected novellas: the first, Lorraine Goes To Livingston, is a bawdy satire of classic British romance novels, the second, Fortune’s Always Hiding, is a revenge story involving thalidomide and the third, The Undefeated, is a sly, subtle romance between a young woman dissatisfied with the confines of her suburban life and an aging clubgoer. Most critics dismissed the first two as relatively minor affairs and focused their praise on The Undefeated. Welsh’s narration imbued both characters with surprising warmth, and the story avoided easy, pro-ecstacy conclusions.

A corrupt police officer and his tapeworm served as the narrators for his third novel, ‘Filth’ (1998). Welsh had never avoided flawed characters, but the main character of Filth was a brutally vicious sociopathic policeman… and being his worst creation, also happens to be a Hearts fan, local football rivals to Welsh’s beloved Hibernian.

‘Glue’ (2001) was a return to the locations, themes and episodic form of Trainspotting, telling the stories of four characters spanning several decades in their lives and the bonds that held them together. Having revisited some of them in passing in Glue, Welsh brought most of the Trainspotting characters back for a sequel, ‘Porno’, in 2002. In this book Welsh explores the impact of pornography on the individuals involved in producing it, as well as society as a whole, and the impact of aging and maturity in individuals against their will.

At the request of the Daily Telegraph, Welsh travelled with a group of authors and journalists to the Sudan in 2001. A book called The Weekenders: Travels in the Heart of Africa was the result, to which Welsh contributed a novella called Contamination, about the violence and warlords in the region. A second book, The Weekenders: Adventures in Calcutta, was published in 2004. Welsh, Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith each contributed a short story for the One City compilation published in 2005 in benefit of the One City Trust for social inclusion in Edinburgh.

Welsh’s most recently published novel is entitled Crime, whose main character is Ray Lennox (who appeared in Welsh’s previous work, Filth). Detective Inspector Ray Lennox is recovering from a mental breakdown induced by occupational stress and cocaine abuse, and a particularly horrifying child sex murder case back in Edinburgh. The story takes place in Florida.

Welsh is currently writing a prequel to Trainspotting, to be called ‘Skagboys’, which follows the fortunes of Trainspotting’s main characters on their path to drug addiction, helped along the way by the same problems faced by many people in the 1980s.

Sheri Moon Zombie

Sheri Lyn Skurkis (born September 26, 1970) is an American actress and fashion designer. She legally changed her name to Sheri Moon and later Sheri Moon Zombie after she married her longtime boyfriend Rob Zombie. She is a modern day Scream Queen.

Moon was raised in Connecticut. After graduation she moved to California; however she soon found herself moving between homes in both states to attend school and seek work. On October 31, 2002 she married musician and film director Rob Zombie after almost 13 years of dating. The two were introduced by mutual friends at a concert in New Haven, Connecticut.

But Moon found herself preoccupied going on tour with Zombie. When Zombie’s band White Zombie disbanded, Zombie became a solo artist, taking Moon on as a dancer where she also choreographed routines and created costumes for the tour.

Moon has appeared in eleven of Zombie’s solo music videos and an additional four previous to that when he fronted White Zombie. She most famously starred in the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari-themed music video “Living Dead Girl”. Moon has graced the cover of the single for “Living Dead Girl” (1998), Zombie’s remix album American Made Music to Strip by (1999), and the cover of the single for “Demon Speeding”.

In 2003, Moon co-starred in her husband’s first feature film, ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ as Vera-Ellen “Baby” Firefly, but previous to that, she claims that she had never had aspirations of becoming an actress. As Moon explains her character in that film, “Baby is the angelic-looking bait to get the victims.” The film was not received well by many critics, including James Brundage of popular website film critic who claimed that it was “too highbrow to be a good cheap horror movie, too lowbrow to be satire, and too boring to bear the value of the ticket.” The film saw some expansion in later weeks and ultimately grossed $16.8 million worldwide, which was successful based on its $7 million production budget.

In 2004, she had a brief appearance in the Tobe Hooper film ‘Toolbox Murders’ starring Angela Bettis, the only film she has been in not directed by Zombie.

Moon reprised her role as Baby Firefly in the 2005 sequel to House of 1000 Corpses, titled ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ (2005). The Devil’s Rejects was financially successful, recouping its roughly $7 million budget during its opening weekend, going on to earn over $16 million and better received by critics than its predecessor. Critic Roger Ebert gave the film three out of a possible four stars. Ebert wrote, “If you are a hardened horror movie fan capable of appreciating skill and wit in the service of the deliberately disgusting, ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ may exercise a certain strange charm.” Moon was awarded Spike TV’s Scream Awards award for “Most Vile Villain” alongside co-stars Haig, Moseley and Leslie Easterbrook for their portrayal of the Firefly family.

Moon designed a clothing line, Total Skull, which debuted at the end of May 2006. She explains, “The phrase “total skull” to me means awesome, rad, the best of the best.”

In 2007, Moon starred in a short faux trailer segment for the film “Grindhouse: . She appeared in the segment directed by Zombie titled ‘Werewolf Women of the SS’ as Eva Krupp. She also appeared in her husband’s version of the 1978 classic ‘Halloween’ (2007), playing Deborah Myers, the mother of serial killer Michael Myers. It currently stands as the highest grossing overall film in the Halloween franchise. Moon reprised her character in the sequel Halloween II, which was released on August 28, 2009.

Moon provides the voice for the character of Suzi X in the animated film ‘The Haubted World of El Superbeasto’ (2009), written and produced by her husband Zombie. In 2010, she guest-starred on the series CSI: Miami in the episode “L.A.,” which was directed by her husband. She will next be seen in the Zombie directed movie, ‘Lords of Salem’.

Linda Hamilton

Linda Carroll Hamilton (born September 26, 1956) is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Sarah Connor in ‘The Terminator’ and its sequel ‘The Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ and Catherine Chandler in the television series ‘Beauty & the Beast’. Currently, Hamilton has a recurring role on NBC’s ‘Chuck’.

Hamilton’s acting debut came first on television, followed by a major role as Lisa Rogers in the prime-time soap opera ‘Secrets of Midland Heights’ (1980). Her theatrical debut was in the thriller ‘TAG: The Assassination Game’ (1982). Hamilton then played the lead in ‘Children of the Corn’ (1984), based on the horror story by Stephen King. The movie was panned by critics, but it made a profit at the box office.

Hamilton’s next role was as Sarah Connor in ‘The Terminator’, co-starring Arnold Swarzenegger, in 1984. It would be pointless describing this movie as if you’re reading this you must have seen it! The movie was an unexpectedly huge commercial and critical success.

Following The Terminator, Hamilton starred in ‘Black Moon Rising’, an action thriller with Tommy Lee Jones. She then returned to television as a guest-star in the mystery series ‘Murder She Wrote’ and then ‘Beauty & the Beast’, opposite Ron Perlman, scoring favorable reviews.  The series was critically acclaimed, and she received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Hamilton left the series in 1989 and it ended in 1990.

Hamilton returned to the big screen in 1990 with Michael Caine in ‘Mr Destiny’ and in 1991 with ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’, the sequel to The Terminator. The latter was a smash at the box office, grossing over $500 million, more than any other film of that year. Hamilton underwent intense physical training to emphasize the character’s transformation from the first film. Her identical twin sister Leslie Hamilton Gearren was Linda’s double in Terminator 2. Hamilton received two MTV Movie Awards for her role in the film, one for Best Female Performance and the other for Most Desirable Female. She reprised the character, Sarah Connor, for the Universal theme park attraction T2 3D. Following the success of the Terminator series, in 1990, Hamilton was chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world.

While filming Terminator 2 in 1991, Hamilton began a relationship with director James Cameron, whom she had met seven years earlier when he directed her in the first Terminator film. They had a daughter, Josephine, born in 1993. She and Cameron eventually married in 1997, but the marriage was short-lived, ending in a $50 million divorce settlement in 1999.

The Terminator series apart, in 2009 she returned as Sarah Connor in ‘Terminator Salvation’, in voice-overs only, Hamilton has had a largely unremarkable career. however, she was awesome as Sarah Connor in Camerons Terminator movies.

John Landis – Monsters in the Movies

Check out this excellent John Landis article at Wired, where he discusses his new book: monsters in the movies

David Lynch – Viennale Trailer

The Vienna International Film Festival, aka the Viennale, scored a coup for its latest promotional festival trailer: This year’s comes from none other than David Lynch. Titled The 3 Rs, it serves as a very brief return to film while Lynch preps the release of his debut solo album. The Viennale, set for Oct. 20-Nov. 2, has a tradition of seeking out high-profile directors for these shorts, follow links to other trailers for the festival at the end of the clip.

Mark Hamill

Mark Richard Hamill (born September 25, 1951) is an American actor, voice artist, producer, director, and writer, best known for his role as Luke Skywalker in the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy. More recently, he has received acclaim for his voice work, in such roles as the Joker in ‘Batman: The Animated Series’.

However, he has made a few other notable (and some not so notable) appearances in other films of note. Here are a few of the better ones…

His first good non-Star Wars movie was ‘The Big Red One’, a World War II action movie starring Lee Marvin. Written and directed by Samuel Fuller, it was released by United Artists in 1980. The film details the experiences of several US soldiers from The Big Red One (the nickname of the 1st Infantry Division), serving in an infantry squad as part of a rifle company and the effects of the war on them. Heavily cut on release, a restored print is now available on DVD and is well worth the effort.

His only other good non-Star Wars movie is Britannia Hospital, a 1982 black comedy film by legendary British director Lindsay Anderson which targets the National Health Service and contemporary British society. Britannia Hospital is the final part of Anderson’s critically acclaimed trilogy of films that follow the adventures of Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell) as he travels through a strange and sometimes surreal Britain. From his days at boarding school in ‘if…’ (1968) to his journey from coffee salesman to film star in ‘O Lucky Man!’ (1973), Travis’ adventures finally come to an end in Britannia Hospital which sees Mick as a muckraking reporter investigating the bizarre activities of Professor Millar, played by Graham Crowden, whom he had a run in with in O Lucky Man.

Sleepwalkers (also known as Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers) is a 1992 American horror film based on an original screenplay by Stephen King and directed by horror legend Mick Garris. Which isn’t very good but features the shapely Madchen Amick.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a 2001 American adventure comedy film written, directed by, and starring Kevin Smith as Silent Bob, the fifth to be set in his View Askewinverse, a growing collection of characters and settings that developed out of his cult favorite ‘Clerks’. It focuses on the two titular characters, played respectively by Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith.

The film features a large number of cameo appearances by famous actors, actresses and directors. The major scene involving a long chase with studio security from a fictional ‘Scream 4’ in production, Jay and Silent Bob end up being forced into their comic alter-ego costumes of Bluntman and chronic and thrown on stage with a racist director (Chris Rock), they must engage in a duel with Cock-Knocker played by Mark Hamill.

Scarface – Remake News

More bullshit remake news… this time Scarface. As reported by Mike Fleming at Deadline: Universal Pictures is developing a new version of Scarface, the title first released in 1932 and then turned into the iconic 1983 film that starred Al Pacino as Cuban gangster Tony Montana. I’d heard that the studio has been meeting writers to script a take for a film that will be produced by Marc Shmuger and his GlobalProduce banner along with Martin Bregman.Bregman produced the Pacino version.

The film is not intended to be a remake or a sequel. It will take the common elements of the first two films: an outsider, an immigrant, barges his way into the criminal establishment in pursuit of a twisted version of the American dream, becoming a kingpin through a campaign of ruthlessness and violent ambition.

The studio is keeping the specifics of where the new Tony character comes from under wraps at the moment, but ethnicity and geography were important in the first two versions. In the 1932 Scarface, an Italian (Paul Muni) took over Chicago, and in the Brian De Palma-directed remake, a Cuban cornered the cocaine trade in 1980s Miami, only to be consumed by it. Ann Dvorak, George Raft and Boris Karloff starred in the original and Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer and Mary Elizabeth Mastrontonio starred in the remake.

Does the iconic Universal library title Scarface deserve an updated version for a new generation? I’m told that when Universal put together the 1983 film, there were howls of heresy; after all, the film was considered a Howard Hughes-produced classic, with a script by Ben Hecht. Howard Hawks directed it with Richard Rosson. The remake became iconic in its own way, particularly in influencing hip-hop culture. Tony Montana’s image is still widely merchandised; his signature line “Say hello to my little friend’ remains the biggest selling cell phone voice ringtone, and Universal has sold over 10 million DVD units worldwide.

The Thing – Graphic Novel

In time for the latest big-screen incarnation of “The Thing,” which hits theaters Oct. 14, Dark Horse Comics is releasing a digital comic set in the same universe — “The Thing: The Northman Nightmare.” The first installment of the 29-page book, written by Steve Niles with artwork by Patrick Reynolds, goes live Wednesday on Dark Horse’s  website.

Niles, best known for his comics ’30 Days of Night’ and ‘Criminal Macabre’ (and more recently for his vampire expertise on the Vampires Vs. Zombies “Deadliest Warrior” finale), has his hands full these days. His latest comic, ‘Criminal Macabre: No Peace for Dead Men’,  just hit shelves. He’s writing “30 Days” again after a nine-year hiatus. And his comic ‘Remains’ is making its small-screen debut as a Chiller network TV movie this fall. But Niles said when he was offered the chance to write “The Thing,” he couldn’t turn it down. Hero Complex writer Noelene Clark caught up with Niles about “The Thing,” John Carpenter and horror in comics.

Check out the first eight pages of “The Thing” comic in the gallery on the Hero Complex website here

Deadliest Warrior – Vampires vs. Zombies

What happens when a show founded on the science of hypothetical battles between knights, ninjas, gangsters and centurions swaps swords and guns for fangs and claws? Spike TV’s “Deadliest Warrior” series 2-1/2-hour season finale, pits vampires versus zombies in a bloody battle to the death. The two classic horror movie monsters will spar to determine who has the bigger, badder bite and more skull-crushing strength. I need to see this geekfest NOW!!!

Robert Bloch

Robert Albert Bloch (April 5, 1917 – September 23, 1994) was a prolific American writer, primarily of crime, horror and science fiction. He is best known as the writer of ‘Psycho’, the basis for the film of the same name by Alfred Hitchcock. He many times remarked that he had “the heart of a little boy”, quipping “I keep it in a jar on my desk.”

Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories and over 20 novels. H.P. Lovecraft was Bloch’s mentor and one of the first to seriously encourage his talent. Bloch won the prestigious SF Hugo award in 1959, the same year that Psycho was published.

Norman Bates, the main character in Psycho, was loosely based on two people. First was the real-life serial killer Ed Gein, about whom Bloch later wrote a fictionalised account, “The Shambles of Ed Gein”. (The story can be found in Crimes and Punishments: The Lost Bloch, Volume 3). Second, it has been indicated by several people, including Noel Carter (wife of Lin Carter) and Chris Steinbrunner, as well as allegedly by Bloch himself, that Norman Bates was partly based on Calvin Beck, publisher of ‘Castle of Frankenstein’.

Though Bloch had little involvement with the film version of his novel, which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock from an adapted screenplay by Joseph Stefano, he was to become most famous as its author.

The novel is one of the first examples at full length of Bloch’s use of modern urban horror relying on the horrors of interior psychology rather than the supernatural. “By the mid-1940s, I had pretty well mined the vein of ordinary supernatural themes until it had become varicose,” Bloch explained to Douglas Winter in an interview. “I realized, as a result of what went on during World War 2 and of reading the more widely disseminated work in psychology, that the real horror is not in the shadows, but in that twisted little world inside our own skulls.” While Bloch was not the first horror writer to utilise a psychological approach, Bloch’s psychological approach in modern times was comparatively unique.

Bloch’s agent, Harry Altshuler, received a “blind bid” for the novel – the buyer’s name wasn’t mentioned – of $7,500 for screen rights to the book. The bid eventually went to $9,500, which Bloch accepted. Bloch had never sold a book to Hollywood before. His contract with Simon & Schuster included no bonus for a film sale. The publisher took 15 percent according to contract, while the agent took his 10%; Bloch wound up with about $6,750 before taxes. Despite the enormous profits generated by Hitchcock’s film, Bloch received no further direct compensation.

Only Hitchcock’s film was based on Bloch’s novel. The later films in the Psycho series bear no relation to either of Bloch’s sequel novels. Indeed, Bloch’s proposed script for the film ‘Psycho II’ was rejected by the studio (as were many other submissions), and it was this that he subsequently adapted for his own sequel novel. Bates dies in Bloch’s second Psycho novel, and has been dead for several years in Bloch’s third novel entitled Psycho House.

Following his move to Hollywood, around 1960, Bloch had multiple assignments from various television companies including 10 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1960–62) and Alfred Hitchcock Hour (7 episodes, 1962–1965). In 1964 Bloch wrote two movies for William Castle, ‘Straight-Jacket’ and ‘The Night Walker’. Between 1966 and 1972 Bloch wrote no less than five feature movies for Amicus Productions – The Psychopath, The Deadly Bees, Torture Garden, The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum.

In 1994, Bloch died of cancer at the age of 77 in Los Angeles after a writing career lasting 60 years, including more than 30 years in television and film. He was cremated and interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetary in Los Angeles.

The Grey

Directed by Joe Carnahan and starring Liam Neeson. The Grey is about a group of oil-rig roughnecks who are left stranded on the sub-arctic tundra after their plane experiences a complete mechanical failure and crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. The survivors, battling mortal injuries, biting cold and ravenous hunger, are relentlessly hunted and pursued by a vicious pack of rogue wolves. Check out the trailer, Liam is about to punch a wolf with his broken bottle knuckle dusters!!!

Fright Night (remake) **

Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) lives with his mom (Toni Collette) in a new housing estate on the outskirts of Las Vegas. His father ran out on them and Charley naturally feels protective towards his mom, more so when new next door neighbour Jerry Dandridge (Colin Farrell), moves in, Charley is suspicious of their mutual attraction. However not as suspicious as his ex-best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who believes that Jerry is a vampire. Charley is initially dismissive of Ed’s claims because, well, Charley is a dickhead who dumped his previous best friend so that he could ‘fit-in’ with the cool kids at school when he scored hot girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots). Then Ed goes missing and Charley investigates…

I liked the original Fright Night, it was a fun, campy tribute to all those fun, campy horror movies I grew up watching as a little kid. The characters were well cast, especially Roddy McDowall, they were fun caricatures, quirky and we cared enough about them to enjoy the ride. Although the remake has better quality actors, they are given less interesting roles and feel slightly miscast, Colin Farrell apart, who is obviously having fun in a role that although not a stretch allows him to dominate the movie. Some mention must also be given to David Tennant plays Peter Vincent as a Criss Angel styled Las Vegas illusionist with obvious glee. He and Mintz-Plasse supply the only humour in what I assume was meant to be a horror comedy.

Fright Night looks good, it’s well shot and features a few excellent set-pieces, and that’s it. It doesn’t really have much else going for it. There are two well choreographed scenes, a home invasion (or home extraction), followed by car chase and Charley’s attempted rescue of a neighbour from Jerry’s house. These scenes apart, Fright Night has no tension, suspense or God forbid, horror; we know exactly what’s happening and where the movie is headed.

The special effects are awful in this remake; CGI effects have no place in the horror genre unless they are used to supplement traditional latex and make-up. The effects in Fright Night are almost exclusively CGI and the movie suffers because of it. Without CG, Colin Farrell appears menacing, with it he looks like a cartoon character. Awful design, awful execution, awful results… points off for the effects, they really are that bad.

On a positive note, Fright Night is a passable popcorn movie; I enjoyed it while in the cinema, it’s lightweight fun but it is also immediately forgettable. It is better than Van Helsing, but I hate Van Helsing more than almost any other movie I can recall, it was a massive waste of talent and resources, and so is Fright Night. It feels like an extended episode of Buffy. At least Jerry doesn’t sparkle in the sunshine.

Quality: 2 out of 5 stars

Any good: 2 out of 5 stars (a point off for bad CGI effects)

LEGO – The Exorcist

Another nice LEGO image, this time of the classic levitating scene from The Exorcist.

America’s Top Exorcist

This interview with Father Gary Thomas about exorcism is a great video to watch. It was interesting to find out what an exorcism is really like. It goes to show just how much of an impact a Hollywood film really has an audience. Since the exorcist came out most people have always thought that what they watched in the movie is what a real exorcism is like in real life.