Newsday- Nintendo, Fred Williamson, Summer TV +more

Mario Kart 8, work and training for a 5k has eaten my blogging life. I didn’t pick up my comics yet this week, so I figured I’d tell you what’s on my mind.

Penny Dreadful, which I have been loving is renewed for season 2! After 4 episodes! FINALLY a show that I like doesn’t get axed with plotlines hanging around everywhere!

Fred Williamson, AKA “the Hammer” ex-football player and total badass has a new movie called The Last Hit Man. Written, directed and starring Williamson, with Franco Nero and Gary Busey. I got to meet Fred Williamson at TerrorCon over the weekend. I attended his Q&A where he said he turns down 4 or 5 movies every week (every WEEK) because the black characters are written as spoofs or goons or idiots who die in the first 5 minutes. Kudos to him for being uncompromising and making it work on his own terms, but shame on Hollywood for presenting the choice as “don’t work” or “degrade yourself”. It’s a damn shame. 

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He’s also in his 70s and will still kick your ass.

Under the Dome is back on June 30th, Stephen King himself  releases/reads the intro to snowball some hype. We have to wait until July 9th for Extant- Halle Berry fronts this scifi CBS show… about a woman impregnated by aliens after a trip to space. +3 for diversity, +1 for Spielberg, +2 for women in science… but impregnated by aliens? yeesh. Apocalypse/saviour baby plots are not my fave. Raped by aliens is not good. 

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TRUEBLOOD’s final season kicks off in a couple weeks. Rumor mill says there will be a same sex hook-up (“from non-gay characters”) in ep2. Honestly, I can’t imagine this will be handled in a mature fashion most of the gay characters have been bogged down with tropes on tropes. Every one is still hoping that Alexander Skarsgard is involved. Honestly, I think his little brother is cuter. Which is why I’m counting the days til July 11th when Bill Skarsgard returns as Roman on Netflix original series “Hemlock Grove”. 

Official season 2 trailer, anyone?

Absolutely no one anywhere can wait for the new open world Zelda. But we have to. 2015.

 

 

31 Horrifying days: Day1- SkinWalkers (2007)

In honor of the upcoming TerrorCon, June 7&8, I’ve decided to embark on a month (and a day) long horror movie marathon. This will consist of classics, new films, things I’ve been meaning to watch and old favorites I haven’t viewed in a while- anything from horror themed action comedies to old school slasher to big name monsters. 

SkinWalkers may seem like a weird place to start, but i’m a huge fan of werewolves. In the film, there are two werewolf packs. One embraces the beast and the other wants “the curse to end” (wack. being a werewolf would be the coolest). A half werewolf half human child on the eve of his 13th birthday controls the fate of the species. So basically: sharp teeth +ancient prophecies +special snowflake children +sexy people and CGI.

One thing is immediately obvious: Skinwalkers are not actually Werewolves. Skinwalkers are part of a Navajo legend, those who would become Skinwalkers are highly skilled priests who take the form of animals to inflict pain and suffering, to achieve the ability to shapeshift they must kill a close family member. Popular forms include coyote, crow, owl fox.. and wolf. Which is where the skinwalkers = werewolves came into play for these particular Hollywood types. Skinwalkers’ identities must remain a secret, in the legend pronouncing the evil one’s full name would mean his death. That’s a tad easier than a well aimed silver bullet. Recent fantasy lit and TV has grabbed on to alternate versions of Skinwalkers lately, from Patricia Brigg’s main protag Mercy Thompson who shapeshifts solely to coyote, to ML Brennan’s white blooded/sharp-nailed literally wearing human skin villain, it was True Blood that came closest to the original tale with Sam Merlotte’s short time lover, Luna- she technically killed her mother (being born) and could change skin to a human. None are an exact match, the Navajo took the threat of skinwalkers so seriously that wearing animal pelts was taboo, worn only for ceremony and they did not use the hides of predator animals. 

The movie does little justice to the original source material, aside from shots that show the soon to be teenager’s gun toting grandma becoming suspicious of a hawk over head before a leather wearing biker type werewolf comes into view. If Tim lives to be 13, the werewolf curse will be broken. 3 days prior, the moon turns red and team “I ❤ being a werewolf” goes on the hunt, Tim and his human mother are quickly scooped up by the good guys. As if the threat to Tim’s life wasn’t enough from badass wolves, he’s also a sickly and asthmatic little dude. It ramps up the urgency and it’s not bad.

The awesomeness of werewolves are usually smothered by misogyny: From the barren and bitter female wolves in the Mercy Thompson series, to the dominant male wolves and crazy wild women in Sookie Stackhouse novels (and TrueBlood’s out of control Debbie Pelt) to the naked and crazy slutty slut slut wolf women in the Anita Blake novels (who are powerful, but hardly ever lead a pack, and if they do it’s because they are impulsive and brutal, not because they are good leaders). Skinwalkers escapes that trope with competent females on both sides:

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From Sonja, who wants to be a werewolf: she’s as vicious and badass as her male counterparts, fierce and no one’s lover or plaything. Sonja was played by Natassia Malthe who major had roles in Bloodrayne: Deliverance, Bloodrayne:Third Reich, Alone in the Dark 2. Not exactly big hits. But her character had value, and man could she wear that bikini top and Levis.

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Sarah Carter (TV series Falling Skies) played Katherine, sweet cute and loyal… well, that goes awry, but she’s smart and nice and still vicious when necessary. 

And of course:

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Holding it down for the humans: Rhona Mitra (Number 23, SGU:Stargate Universe, UnderWorld:Rise of the Lycans) cool headed protector willing to take on man and beast alike. She goes from disbelief to gun toting final-girl esque action-mom rather quickly.

The cinematography is good, most scenes are filmed with a reddish hue, scenes of team “keep Tim alive” are often tense while they hide from the bad dudes. Slow motion angle changes intensify action sequences There’s not much focus on the transformations but the full werewolf make up is decent if uninspired. 

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That’s Jason Behr- Tim’s father, Bad Wolf former star of Roswell and the Grudge. 

Also starring Elias Koteas from Shutter Island, Let Me In and the Killing as the leader of Team Tim. 

Directed by James Isaac …also known for Jason X ..This flick was much better than that. The ending was awesome, while the plot (by James Roday- the white guy from Psych, James DeMonaco and Todd Harthan) was somewhat convoluted, it was snappy and enjoyable and looked as flashy and spectacular as one would hope. 

But was it scary? Well, not really. It was so action packed and zany that there is no stretch of the imagination that this would happen to me and there weren’t any “jump out of your seat moments.” This is more in the vein of Underworld, Van Helsing, Resident Evil action with a horror twist. 

Overall rating: 3.5/5