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

Posts tagged “Aliens

Bill Paxton R.I.P

bill-paxton-near-dark-vampireThe actor Bill Paxton, who was 61, has died due to complications from surgery, according to a statement from a representative of Paxton’s family.

“A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker,” read the statement, in part. “Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable.”

That warmth earned Paxton a career that began in B-movies, experimental film and music videos, moved through bit parts in big pictures and, ultimately, leading roles. The epitome of a working actor, he described to The Los Angeles Times his on-screen presence as that of “a very straight-looking guy, very old-fashioned.”

“I consider myself an everyman, and there will always be an underdog quality to my stuff,” Paxton told Cosmopolitan magazine in a 1995 interview.

Paxton often found a way to make these roles his own. One memorable moment? As Pvt. Hudson in James Cameron’s film “Aliens,” Paxton’s desperate, defeated whine after a spaceship crash became a catch-phrase: “Game over, man! Game over!”

Born William Paxton in Fort Worth, Texas, the actor was the son of a hardwood salesman and, he told “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross in a 2009 interview, expected that he’d follow the same path. But after taking theater classes in high school, Paxton made a decision to become an actor.

He relocated to Los Angeles when he was in his late teens. One of his first gigs was at New World Pictures as a set designer for famed B-movie producer and director Roger Corman on the Angie Dickenson movie “Big Bad Mama.” A year later, he acted in “Crazy Mama,” a New World production directed by a young Jonathan Demme.

The actor continued with set design gigs while making inroads in front of the camera. Early appearances included a starring role in “Fish Heads” (1980), a cult-classic novelty video for the music duo Barnes & Barnes, which Paxton directed and that aired on “Saturday Night Live.”

Paxton played a blue-haired punk rocker in an opening scene of “The Terminator,” a role that led to a friendship with director James Cameron and jobs in “Aliens,” “True Lies” and “Titanic.” Paxton’s acclaimed turn in “Apollo 13,” further confirmed the actor’s abilities.

He was fantastic as the trashy vampire in “Near Dark” scene stealing as the scary, and comic relief, Severin.

“Every day you’re taking a final exam as an actor,” Paxton told the late film critic Roger Ebert in 1998, while discussing his work in “A Simple Plan.”

As Hank in “A Simple Plan,” Paxton harnessed his average-Joe demeanor in service of a career-defining role alongside Billy Bob Thornton. After their two characters find millions of dollars in the woods, Paxton’s Hank endures hardships that reveal the ways in which good men can do bad things.

“I don’t play my characters with any judgment,” he told Gross. “I don’t think it’s possible to play any character with judgment.”

The actor carried that philosophy into one of his most notable performances, as Bill Henrickson in “Big Love.” As the polygamist patriarch, Paxton played a husband juggling family, work and spirituality — with three wives, a half-dozen children and a sect-wide family feud.

When “Big Love” concluded, Paxton told The Los Angeles Times’ Mary McNamara that he faced a hurdle. “It was the only steady job I’ve ever had as an adult,” he said. “But then nobody knew really what to do with me.”

As was always the case, though, Paxton found work. He earned an Emmy nomination in 2012 for the miniseries “Hatfields and McCoys,” and had a recurrent role in the TV series “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Paxton was starring as Det. Frank Rourke in the first season of the CBS series “Training Day.” The 13 episodes finished shooting in December, with nine still set to air.

CBS and Warner Bros. Television praised Paxton’s work in a statement issued Sunday morning.

It read, in part: “Bill was, of course, a gifted and popular actor with so many memorable roles on film and television. His colleagues at CBS and Warner Bros. Television will also remember a guy who lit up every room with infectious charm, energy and warmth, and as a great storyteller who loved to share entertaining anecdotes and stories about his work.”

Paxton is survived by his wife, Louise, and two children, James and Lydia.


Airlock

Check out the new series from the creators of The Tunnel, Enzo Tedeschi & Julian Harvey.

When a ghost ship docks with a remote space station, Jonah Ashbrook’s investigation into the fate of the crew quickly escalates when a group of stowaways are discovered on board.

Buy the bundle at http://www.deadhousefilms.com for the entire series PLUS a TON OF BONUS EXTRAS DOWNLOADS:

– All 3 episodes (w English Subtitles)
– “LOCKDOWN” Behind The Scenes Featurette
– “Clear The Aura” Music Video
– Original Score Album by Paul Dawkins
– “Songs Inspired By Airlock” EP featuring Tim Hilberts, Adam Slade and Split Dogs
– Teaser Trailer


Own An Original Rick Baker Prop!

Legendary special make-up effects artist Rick BakerBaker-Auction_Lot-410-Sir-John-Talbot-Anthony-Hopkins-Werewolf-Mask-682x1024 is auctioning off his creations on May 29. The collection includes 417 lots from 50 productions spanning Baker’s career. Its estimated total value is $750,000, and pre-bidding started April 16.

Prop Store will sell the items in a no-reserve auction starting at 11 a.m. PDT at the Hilton Universal City in Los Angeles; bids can be made in person, via telephone (+1 818-727-7829) or online HERE.

An online edition of the full-color catalog features additional images and videos. Follow the link to download the full Rick Baker: Monster Maker catalogue HERE

Here are some of the items available:

-Full-Size Alien Edgar Bug Animatronic Character, Men in Black (estimated value: $30,000 – $40,000)
-Servo Operated Mohawk Mogwai Puppet, Gremlins 2: The New Batch (estimated value: $6,000 – $8,000)
-Michael Jackson Complete Head Lifecast, Michael Jackson: Moonwalker (estimated value: $1,000 – $1,500)
-Incredible Melting Man Zombie Face and Hand Appliances, Michael Jackson: Thriller (estimated value: $400 – $600)
-Mid-Transformation Werewolf Back Mold, An American Werewolf in London (estimated value: $800 – $1,000)


John Carpenter – Night

Video for the track ‘Night’ from John Carpenter’s debut album of non-soundtrack material which is out now on Sacred Bones. Video by Gavin Hignight and Ben Verhulst: “Upon hearing “Night” by John Carpenter my head was instantly filled with these nighttime highway road dreamscapes. Someone or something, haunted, traveling the road alone in the late hours.”


Predator: Dark Ages – Teaser

New teaser trailer to the upcoming short fan film PREDATOR: Dark Ages. Set during the Crusades, the faith & fighting skills of a group of Templar Knights is put to the test when they encounter the Predator. Their battle is the thing Myths and Legends are born from.

Starring Adrian Bouchet, Amed Hashimi, Sabine Crossen, Ben loyd-Holmes, Jon Campling, Joe Egan and Philip Lane. Written and directed by James Bushe… bring it on!


The Leviathan

Variety reports that not only has Ruairi Robinson‘s proposed sci-fi film The Leviathan attracted Neill Blomkamp and Simon Kinberg as Producers, but now Fox has bought the The Leviathan movie pitch and the script for the film, written by Jim Uhls (Fight Club).

Here’s the blurb and proof of concept teaser: By the early 22nd century mankind had colonized many worlds. Faster than light travel was made possible by harvesting exotic matter from the eggs of the largest species mankind has ever seen. Those that take part in the hunt are mostly involuntary labor.

The Leviathan — Teaser from Ruairi Robinson on Vimeo.


Wes Craven teams up with Steve Niles

The-Disciples_Steve-NilesWes Craven, the iconic horror director behind Last House On the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare On Elm Street and Scream, is partnering with 30 Days of Night co-creator Steve Niles, to adapt Niles’ upcoming comic The Disciples, drawn by Christopher Mitten, a sci-fi horror story set in space. Reported by The Hollywood Reporter HERE

Universal Cable Productions, which produced shows such as “Being Human” and “Defiance”, is in the process of picking up the rights to the title, which is due to hit stands in May from Black Mask Studios.

Craven, who is not writing or directing, will exec produce along with Sara Bottfeld of Industry Entertainment.

Here’s a description of the debut comic:

Dagmar, Rick, and Jules, intrepid private eyes/bounty hunters, have been hired by a high ranking Senator to retrieve his teenage daughter who’s run off to join a mysterious religious cult.

This is no ordinary cult though. In the near future of “The Disciples,” the ultra-wealthy have become true Masters Of The Universe by colonizing moons throughout the solar system. Billionaire industrialist McCauley Richmond is one such colonist: he’s built a new society on Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter, where his flock of cultists can have the religious freedom to worship him.

But when the team reaches Ganymede in their Starship Venture, they discover something has gone horribly wrong…

This ghost story in space reunites comics’ king of the macabre Steve Niles with his longtime collaborator Christopher Mitten, whose stylish mix of grit and flow matches Steve’s sharp characterizations and taste for screams.


Alien Chestburster – Art of the Scene

A newborn Xenomorph bursting violently from John Hurt’s chest is one of the most iconic, and important, scenes in science fiction or horror movie history. A lot went on before and after Ridley Scott shouted “Action”


R.I.P Alan J. Hirshfield

Hirschfield (Medium)Long-time former studio and media executive Alan J. Hirschfield has died of natural causes at 79 in his Wilson, Wyoming, home, his son confirmed. Hirschfield was perhaps best known for overseeing the creation of Taxi Driver and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but had a long career heading a number of media and entertainment companies before becoming a consultant and board member with many more companies in the industry and beyond.

Hirschfield was born in New York and grew up in Oklahoma. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma, and an MBA from Harvard University. 

Hirschfield was CEO of Columbia Pictures from 1973 to 1978 before being ousted because he refused on moral grounds to reinstate David Begelman, who had embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from the studio. Between 1982 and 1986, Hirschfield was chairman of Twentieth Century Fox, then became a consultant for several years, including two as consultant to the chairman of Warner Communications.

From 1990 to 1992, Hirschfield was an investment banker and also co-CEO of Financial News Network. From 1992 to 2000, he was co-CEO of Data Broadcasting Corp., which subsequently merged with Financial Times/Pearson’s Inc. He then returned to consulting in the media and entertainment industry as president of Norman Hirschfield and Company. In the 1960s, he was an investment banker, and director and CFO of Warner/7 Arts.

A busy man, Hirschfield served on the boards of directors of Forbes, Carmike Cinemas, CBS Marketwatch, Billboard Publishing, Motown Records, Chappell Music Publishing, Chyron Corp., Cantel Medical Corp., Peregrine Systems, Interactive Data Corp., Enercrest, Wiltel Corp. and Leucadia National Corp. For decades, Hirschfield collected notable artifacts and art tied to the Old West and Native Americans. He also served with a number of philanthropic and non-profit organizations, including as director of the Lymphoma Research Foundation, as a trustee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The George Gustav Haye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, Grand Teton Music Festival and the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole. He also was a trustee of the American Film Institute and an MPAA director.He is survived by his wife, Berte Hirschfield and three children.


Dr Who – T-Shirt

The Doctor and Clara in classic Bill Watterson style… available at Shirtoid HERE

Dr-Who-and-Clara_t-Shirt_Watterson


The Mist: The Novella Cut

The-Mist-The-Novella-CutKevin Karstens, a graphic illustrator, prefers the Stephen King version of the Mist and hates the movies ending.  Kevin said: “I had looked forward to a film adaption for over 20 years, and was thrilled to hear they were doing one (and by Frank Darabont, no less)…until I started hearing, ‘they changed the ending’….and I personally REALLY did NOT care for the ‘new version’…so I did something baout it, and you might find it interesting…”

What he did was recut  the movie, creating a fan film titled, The Mist, The Novella Cut. “Certain scenes have been cut, others added from the DELETED SCENES found on the DVD release, as they mirrored actual sequences from the source material. Chapter ‘headings’ have been added in areas to reflect the feel of a novella, and the ending now pays homage to the ‘Hartford/hope’ finale originally seen in King’s original text.”

Amount of time Cut/Added : CUT: Approx 10 min ADDED: Approx 5 min.

Go to Kevin’s webpage where you can access information to obtain/view a copy of the recut version HERE

I for one actually liked the ending of The Mist, it’s a brave way to end a big film. Darabont did what King has failed to do so many times in his books, actually have an ending that made sense. King is a master at creating incredible set-ups but not so great at creating endings…


Jaws Poster by Anthony Petrie

Anthony-Petrie-JawsArtist Anthony Petrie has quietly been perfecting a unique, very cool way to approach well-known films. Over the past year or so, he’s been making posters for iconic movies that look like charts or maps of each movie. I love this Jaws poster. For more of Anthony’s work check out Gallery 1988 HERE

 


The United States of Horror

The United States of Horror updated by The Art of Horror. See more HERE

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Terminator: Genisys

The Terminator franchise has been Star Trekked: The first trailer for Paramount and Skydance Productions’ summer 2015 reboot reveals how the time travel sci-fier, starring Game Of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor and Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, isn’t quite a reboot or a sequel but an alternate timeline shake-up of the familiar Terminator lore. All thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who’s back (again) and here plays a Terminator sent from the future who raises a young Sarah and warns her of the impending robot apocalypse. Jason Clarke, Matt Smith, Byung-Hun Lee, and JK Simmons also star for director Alan Taylor. Terminator: Genisys opens July 1, 2015.


Alien – Neca Series 4

Alien_Ripley_Neca_series-4Neca are releasing Alien series 4 next year, featuring Ripley in Nostromo Jumpsuit comes with flamethrower and Jonesy the cat. Dallas in Nostromo Spacesuit comes with removable helmet, pistol and flashlight. Ripley in Nostromo Spaceuit comes with removable helmet, harpoon gun with two different attachments, and a frightened version of Jonesy the cat. Each fully articulated figure stands approximately 7″ tall and comes in special 35th Anniversary packaging.

 


Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Every Reference in The Cabin in the Woods

Considering that The Cabin in the Woods is very much about all of the horror films that preceded it – it’s both an homage to and criticism of the entire horror genre – trying to pinpoint each of the hundreds of subtle and not-so-subtle references in The Cabin in the Woods is an undertaking worthy of applause.

For those of you who have seen the film, you’re definitely in for a treat. If you haven’t, stop what you’re doing and watch it immediately so that you can come back and partake in this wonderful video essay. Obviously, there are some spoilers ahead.


Out of Print – FREE Documentary

Julia Marchese has spent the past couple years producing and directing Out of Print, a documentary on the allure of 35mm film projection, with the New Beverly at the center of the doc. Financed in part via Kickstarter, the film features interviews with Patton Oswalt, Edgar Wright, Rian Johnson, Joe Carnahan, Kevin Smith, Seth Green, Joe Dante, Mark Romanek, John Landis, Fred Dekker, Lloyd Kaufman, and Richard Kelly.

Now, she has released the film online for free. The title Out of Print has proven to be unfortunately prophetic, for reasons Marchese explains in her online release and on her webpage HERE, but you can enjoy the feature in full right now.


X-Men: Apocalypse – Viral Teaser

The blu-ray release of this year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past provides Fox with a prime opportunity to launch viral promotions that expands the world seen in the X-Men films, and possibly begins to link them together, and from Fox’s point of view, promote X-Men: Apocalypse, for which Bryan Singer will return to direct.  Check out a four-minute Days of Future Past viral video below, and get links to a couple of websites that represent organizations claiming to work for the benefit of mutantkind: Tandem Initiative HERE and M Underground HERE


The Art of Bob Peak

Peak-Movie_Apocalypse-NowAnyone who’s visited this blog over the last few years would know I have a passion for Poster Art. Great news this week with the announcement of the release of The Art Of Bob Peak which celebrates the works of one of the world’s most legendary movie poster artists, edited and annotated by his son Thomas Peak.

Peak casts a huge shadow across the worlds of popular illustration and graphic design, and his influence is also felt in comics. His style and innovations echo through the work of Jim Steranko, Howard Chaykin and Bill Sienkiewicz, three of the most groundbreaking artists ever to produce sequential art.

Bob-Peak_Star-Trek-The-Motion-PicturePeak himself actually got his start as a cartoonist, providing strips for his college newspaper before becoming one of America’s most in-demand illustrators, and this book covers his career from those early gag panels through to his last painted masterpieces.

Bob Peak’s use of hue and shape to call attention to specific figures, and his knack for dropping out color and detail to sharpen focus are just a couple of his compositional hallmarks. His figures race forward and almost vibrate apart, separating into component tones and lines – the motion pulls the viewer’s eye across the page, and the kinetic combination of textures gives these images a depth and character that goes beyond any that could emerge from more realistic styles of depiction.

Bob-Peak_RollerballAnd nearly all of Peak’s iconic works are represented in this collection. From his Coke promotions to his posters for My Fair Lady, Camelot, Modesty Blaise, Superman, and countless other films, to the abstract motion of his sports illustrations and the stark graphic nature of his airline commissions, it’s all here, and all stunning.

Tom Peak has crafted a fitting tribute to his father’s creative prowess, but he’s also provided an invaluable service for scholars, pop culture historians, designers, and art aficionados. This is rewarding reading for anybody with an interest in American visual culture, or for anyone who simply likes to look at beautiful pictures.


Six

5b1a505c53d45748d3052a4de07452e7_largeSIX is a 64 page horror comic anthology. It collects six tales of terror written by Fabian Rangel Jr with art by various artists. The comic has already 100% funded in the first week. However you can still get involved as they have extended and added to the brief.

If they raise 3,500, the book will increase in page count to include script pages and characters designs! So you’ll be getting a thicker book, more in line with a trade paperback than a one-shot single issue.  If the total reaches 5,000 EVERYONE will be getting a free print from “Blood and Snow” artist Jonathan Sawyer!

Check it out HERE 21 days to go!


Mike Mignola

Mike-Mignola_HellboyMike Mignola was born September 16, 1960 in Berkeley, California and grew up in nearby Oakland. His fascination with ghosts and monsters began at an early age (he doesn’t remember why) and reading Dracula at age 13 introduced him to Victorian literature and folklore from which he has never recovered.

In 1982, hoping to find a way to draw monsters for a living, he moved to New York City and began working for Marvel Comics—First as a (very terrible, according to the man himself) inker and then as an artist on comics like Rocket Raccoon, Alpha Flight, and The Hulk. 

Hellboy_graphic-novelBy the late 80’s he had begun to develop his signature style (Thin lines, clunky shapes and lots of black) and moved onto higher profile commercial projects like Cosmic Odyssey (1988) and Gotham by Gaslight (1989) for DC Comics, and the not so commercial Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser (1990) for Marvel. In 1992 he drew the comic book adaptation of the film Bram Stoker’s Dracula for Topps Comics.

In 1993 Mike moved to Dark Horse comics and created Hellboy – A half-demon occult detective who may or may not be the Beast of the Apocalypse. While the first story line (Seed of Destruction 1994) was co-written by John Byrne, Mike has continued writing the series himself. There are, at this moment, 13 HELLBOY graphic novel collections (with more on the way), several spin-off titles (BPRD, Lobster Johnson, Abe Sapien and Witchfinder), 3 anthologies of prose stories, several novels, 2 animated films and 2 live action films staring Ron Perlman. Hellboy has earns numerous comic industry awards and is published in a great many countries.

mignola_bprd-hell-on-earthMike also created the award-winning comic book The Amazing Screw-On Head and has co-written two novels (Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire and Joe Golem and the Drowning City) with best selling author Christopher Golden.

Mike worked (very briefly) with Francis Ford Coppola on his film Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), was a production designer on the Disney film Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) and was visual consultant to director Guillermo del Toro on Blade II (2002), Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008).

Mignola_rocket_groot_cover_colorMike considers The Magician and the Snake the best thing he has ever done. Though scripted and drawn by him the 6 page story was actually plotted by his daughter Katie (at the time 7 years old) and earned both of them Eisner Awards for best short story.

He lives somewhere in Southern California with his wife, daughter, a lot of books and a cat. He is one of the few comic artists that I buy work unseen based on his participation (the others are Berni Wrightson, Liberatore and Eric Powell) I suggest you purchase some of his work immediately.


Best Horror Posters of 2014 – Wolf Creek 2 & Sharktopus vs Pteracuda

best-horror-posters-in-2014_Wolf-Creek-2_Dan-Coxbest-horror-posters-in-2014_sharktopus-vs-pteracuda


Monsters: Dark Continent – Trailer #2

Vertigo Films has released another new Monsters: Dark Continent trailer, the sequel to Godzilla director Gareth Edwards‘ exceptional 2010 low budget debut film Monsters.

Directed by UK filmmaker Tom Green (Misfits, Blackout), the sequel takes a more action-heavy military perspective and seems to be a change from the original movie, which was more of a suspenseful tease set against an indie human relationship drama.

Seven years on from the events of Monsters, and the ‘Infected Zones’ have spread worldwide. Humans have been knocked off the top of the food chain, with disparate communities struggling for survival. American soldiers are being sent abroad to protect US interests from the Monsters, but the war is far from being won. Noah, a haunted soldier with several tours under his belt, is sent on a mission: an American soldier has gone rogue deep in the Infected Zone, and Noah must reach him and take him out. But when Noah’s unit and transport are destroyed, he finds himself with only a young and inexperienced cadet for company – the brother of the man Noah has been sent to kill. The two soldiers must go on a life-altering journey through the dark heart of monster territory, accompanied by a young local woman to guide them. By the time the three of them reach their goal, they will have been forced to confront the fear that the true monsters on the planet may not be alien after all.