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

Archive for May, 2014

Best Horror Films of 2013 – Early 2014

Best-Horror_2013-20142013 to early 2014 (we get some movies late down here in Australia. Last year was a better than average year in the horror genre. For all the usual whining and complaints on numerous horror-themed websites, as well as here, there was some good work over the last year.
So, here’s my list of best and worst of 2013 (and a bit), from what I’ve seen…

BEST CINEMA RELEASE FILMS
Evil Dead (I know a lot of people hated it, but it’s my list and I liked it)
Maniac
Stoker

BEST DIRECT TO VIDEO / VOD FILMS
American Mary
Berberian Sound Studio
We Are What We Are

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE HORROR
Here Comes The Devil

BEST DIRECTOR
Franck Khalfoun – Maniac
Special mention to Jen & Sylvia Soska for American Mary

BEST ACTOR
Elijah Wood – Maniac

BEST ACTRESS
Katherine Isabelle – American Mary

BEST SCREENPLAY
Jen & Sylvia Soska – American Mary

BEST SCORE
Rob – Maniac

BEST MAKE-UP EFX
Roger Murray & Jane O’Kane – Evil Dead

DISAPPOINTMENT
Carrie – Good performances but just a bit lame.

WORST FILM
Frankenstein’s Army – More of that CG ‘Horror’ started by the godawful Van Helsing, ‘perfected’ by Underworld and now everywhere… and I hate it all.

It’s obvious from the list that I really liked American Mary. It was probably my favourite horror movie of the year… best story and the Soska twins would have taken out best direction if Maniac hadn’t been so incredibly well constructed by Franck Khalfoun. Feel free to comment…


Sin City – MPAA Banned Poster

Apparently this poster shows too much for the MPAA who have banned it… I think it’s bloody great.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past – Infographic

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Big Trouble in Little China – Eric Powell

big-trouble-in-little-china1John Carpenter’s 1986 kung fu fantasy masterpiece Big Trouble in Little China was a flop when it was first released, but a long life on home video helped foster a retroactive appreciation for star Kurt Russell’s fast-talking Jack Burton and the style with which Carpenter delivers his crazy tale. It is now a bona fide cult classic, and it is getting resurrected in comic book form.

Beginning with the first issue on June 4, Boom! Studios will be rolling out Big Trouble in Little China, the new comic book series co-written by Eric Powell (creator of the awesome series The Goon) and Carpenter, with art care of Brian Churilla (creator of the critically acclaimed The Secret History of D.B. Cooper). In the comic, Burton — still played by the likeness of the mullet-clad Russell — finds a series of new adventures aboard the Pork Chop Express, the big rig he kept trying to recover in the film.

Though they hadn’t met before, Carpenter and Powell found kindred spirits in one another. “I had a definite idea of what I wanted to do with it,” says Powell. “The minute we sat down and started talking, what he thought we should do was exactly what I had in mind. We were on the same page from the beginning.” Carpenter describes their working relationship thusly: “Eric works really hard, sends his stuff to me, and I say, ‘Good job!’” the director says. “It’s a great process. It’s one I can actually do.”

The comic book kicks off right where the film left us nearly 30 years ago, with a mythical Chinese creature stowing away on Burton’s truck. Carpenter says despite that open-ended finale, there was never a direct intention to make a sequel, though he relishes the idea of being able to explore the Big Trouble universe again. “It’s a story and characters and a world that I love, because I really loved making the film,” says Carpenter. “I hadn’t seen anything like it, and it gave me a chance to make a kung fu movie. I fell in love with kung fu films back in the ’70s. For as much fighting they had, they were also so fun and innocent. They had some outrageous stuff, and I thought what a great thing to be able to do in an American movie. It’s an innocence, a purity of character. I really love them.”

Carpenter particularly appreciates Powell’s brand of fandom, particularly because Big Trouble In Little China was so mishandled and went generally unseen when it was first released. “It’s great that people are re-discovering it and like it. It’s a nice way to go into my old age to realize that movie finally got its due. There are some others I hope will come along too,” he says.

Carpenter says the team is already into the second arc of the book, and he’s particularly pleased with Powell’s take on Burton. “He really gets Burton’s sense of humor and who he is,” Carpenter says. “Jack Burton is really a piece of s— if you want to be honest. He’s a blowhard, he’s sort of incompetent but he thinks he knows everything. He’s really fun. He’s completely out of his league. That’s the most fun about it.”

The first issue of the ongoing monthly comic book series Big Trouble In Little China hits stores on June 4 with five different collectible covers drawn by Powell, Joe Quinones, Chris Weston, Terry Dodson, and Emi Yonemura Brown. But just to whet your whistle, you can take the first exclusive look at the first six pages below:

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Rick Baker – Designs for Night Skies

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After Close Encounters of the Third Kind became a hit, Columbia Pictures wanted a sequel. Director Steven Spielberg did not, but the one thing he wanted less than a sequel was for Columbia to make one without him. So he set about developing a much darker, horror-tinged film that would act as a follow-up to Close Encounters. It was originally called Watch the Skies (which was also an early Close Encounters title) and eventually referred to as Night Skies.  John Sayles scripted, and Rick Baker was hired to design the alien concepts.

Rick Baker has been posting images of his designs on Twitter, and they’re wonderful to see. Several will look very familiar, too. Because while Night Skies was never made, the concepts from the film ended up in several other Spielberg projects, E.T. adopted several big ideas, and films such as Poltergeist and Gremlins took concepts and pointers. Courtesy of The Rick Baker and /Film.

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Nosferatu – Poster by Lafar

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Game of Thrones – Imagined as Disney Art

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