Category Archives: Sci-Fi/Horror Hybrids
ALIEN-United States/United Kingdom-1979
Directed by Ridley Scott
Screenplay by Dan O’Bannon
I couldn’t believe it. I checked and double-checked and still I couldn’t believe it. I’ve reviewed everything from Halloween to The Howling to Dead Hooker in a Trunk for this blog and yet there is one glaring omission.
I’ve never reviewed Alien.
But then again maybe ‘reviewed’ is too harsh a word. To say that I have never reviewed this film would perhaps indicate that I am going to tell you not only about its strengths but also about its weaknesses. Alien has no weaknesses. It is similar to its titular creature in that it is the perfect science fiction/horror film hybrid. It is even more perfect than John Carpenter’s masterpiece of xenomorphic terror, The Thing and that is a truly bold statement as that film is my favorite of all time.
You don’t believe that Alien is the perfect sci-fi/horror film? Just ask the 17 year-old boy that sat with his fingers over his eyes in that dark movie theater in South Carolina in 1979. This young man watched in horror at the screen as this huge ship with a strange name, Nostromo, and a small crew picked up a distress signal in the far reaches of space. He watched as it began with a parasite that hugged tight the man’s face and planted its seed in his stomach. We all know what happened next; so much blood and a creature that in its infancy screamed its way across a blood-soaked table and into cinematic history. I can assure you it would not stay an infant for very long. One by one like the characters in a twisted version of an Agatha Christie novel it picks off the crew of the Nostromo until only one is left alive. Oh, and don’t think I’m telling you who. There is always that remote chance that some unlucky soul has never seen this cinematic work of art and I will not be the one to spoil it for them.
It has now been 33 years since Alien made its debut. There have been three sequels and two other films that have crossed over into the mythos of another creature, the Predator. Each film has met with varying degrees of success or notoriety. None of them, and I mean absolutely none of them will ever have the impact that this first film in the series had on me all those years ago. So, no, this is not a review as you are familiar with the word; it is merely a labor of love.
Thank you, Ridley Scott. Thank you, Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett. Finally, thank you Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. As much as I have always loved the movies, you made me love them even more.
Originally to be directed by Walter Hill, but he pulled out and gave the job to Ridley Scott.
The rumor that the cast, except for John Hurt, did not know what would happen during the chestburster scene is partly true. The scene had been explained for them, but they did not know specifics. For instance, Veronica Cartwright did not expect to be sprayed with blood.
H.R. Giger’s initial designs for the facehugger were held by US Customs who were alarmed at what they saw. Writer Dan O’Bannon had to go to LAX to explain to them that they were designs for a horror movie.
The screen test that bagged Sigourney Weaver the role of Ripley was her speech from her final scene.
The original title was “Star Beast”.
There is no dialog for the first 6 minutes.
- Review: “The Thing” (1982) (viewerscommentary.wordpress.com)
- Great Scene: “Alien” (gointothestory.blcklst.com)
- Happy Birthday to Sigourney Weaver & Comic Review: “Alien – The Illustrated Story” by Goodwin & Simonson (lezgetreal.com)
- Alien Anthology [Blu-ray] $29.99 (ritholtz.com)
- Ridley Scott Explains Prometheus, Is Lovably Insane (tor.com)
- Review: Alien (ch2289.wordpress.com)
- Movie Discussion: Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) (girlmeetsfreak.com)
- Alien (1979) Macabre month of horror #11 (greencarbon2112.wordpress.com)
- Aliens: Colonial Marines Impressions — Xenomorphs At NYCC 2012 (g4tv.com)
- Maybe ‘Prometheus’ Would Have Been Better Without Any People in It (theatlantic.com)
Written and Directed by James Gunn
The great thing about “Slither” has nothing to do with the plot of the film. We’ve seen it a million times before. Aliens take over the minds of humans and a small group of the uninfected rise up to save the day. The infected include Michael Rooker (“The Walking Dead”), who spends more than half the movie looking like a cross between H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu and a double slice of extra cheese pizza. The uninfected are represented by Nathan Fillion (“Serenity”, “Super”) and Elizabeth Banks (“The Hunger Games”, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno“). Toss in Gregg Henry for unexpected comic relief and enough body popping special effects to make a fanboy blast off in his britches and you’ve got yourself a nice little slice of sci-fi/horror pie with comedy ice cream on top.
But like I said before, that has nothing to do with why this movie is so cool. “Slither” is cool because director James Gunn has not forgotten the movies that paved the way for him. There are references to “From Beyond”, “The Thing”, George Romero‘s zombie flicks, “The Evil Dead”, “Night of the Creeps”, “Basket Case” and “Rosemary’s Baby”. Hell, there are probably a dozen more films that Gunn has paid tribute to with “Slither” that I might have missed. Gunn never takes “Slither” too seriously. If he did there would be no way that it would be as fun as it is.
So, pop “Slither” into your DVD player and see how many movies you can spot. Oh, and be prepared to say ‘what the fuck?’ a lot. It sort of comes with the territory.
Haig Sutherland was the first person to be cast. Elizabeth Banks was the second. Gregg Henry was the last actor to be seen for the part (out of more than 100 actors from Los Angeles and Vancouver) and nailed his audition. Nathan Fillion was the last actor to be cast, about a week before shooting began. Shooting lasted 47 days.
Dangled above the street at the beginning of the film and on stage later at the Deer Cheer celebration you can see “Henenlotter’s Saddle Lodge presents Deer Cheer” signage, a clear reference to cult horror writer/director Frank Henenlotter, famed creator of Basket Case and Brain Damage.
Rob Zombie: voice of Dr. Karl, talking to Starla on the phone.
- James Gunn Fights For Integrity In A World Of Suits (badassdigest.com)
- Love It or Hate It? Elizabeth Banks’s Premiere Look (bellasugar.com)
- Trevor Henderson Adds Color To Feature Creatures And Body Horror [Art] (comicsalliance.com)
- This Snake Wants to Slither in Your Shower (bellasugar.com)
- Elizabeth Banks gives sex toy to Seth Rogen (thesun.co.uk)
- Reflections On Top Of The Mountain (cottonbombs.wordpress.com)
- Nathion Fillion Firefly Outtakes (bananascoop.com)
- Nathan Fillion’s Comic-Con Card that He Hands to Fans (geektyrant.com)
- Nature Report: Slithering Surprise (valleycentral.com)
- Elizabeth Banks – Elizabeth Banks Loves Giving Colleagues Sex Toys As Gifts (contactmusic.com)
Directed by Jim Wynorski
Written by Gary Gerani
Based on the comic book created by Forrest J. Ackerman
Who in the hell was responsible for this piece of crap? I love the comic book character Vampirella. I mean face it, for a red-blooded American male there are a lot of reasons to love her. She’s tough, she’s sexy, she’s beautiful and she rocks a costume that easily borders on the incredibly ridiculous. That in itself is the reason why I hate this movie so intensely; it takes all the things I love about the character and makes a mockery of them.
Hailing from the planet Drakulon, Vampirella chases the villainous Vlad across the galaxy to Earth to avenge the murder of her stepfather. She finds Vlad posing as rock musician Jamie Blood. Siding with Adam Van Helsing, she attempts to put a stop to Vlad’s reign of terror. That’s the plot and within the first two minutes of the film you know it’s going to be one big disaster. The acting is so bad it makes Keanu Reeves and Megan Fox look like Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep. The sets look like they’re borrowed from the local high school drama club. The costume, oh man, don’t get me started on the costume. Observe the image below:
Now, gaze upon this travesty:
See what I mean?
Then there’s the villain, Vlad. Can someone please explain to me why they felt that they had to get Roger Daltrey of The Who for the role? Was Ray Davies of The Kinks unavailable? Did they even try to get anyone with any credibility whatsoever for the part? At least they got someone hot for the title character of Vampirella when they hired Talisa Soto. In fact, that’s probably the only thing they got right with this movie.
By the way, wasn’t one of the vampires carrying an Oozinator? That’s an inside joke. Just ask Derek from Its Latin for Cookies.
Oh, and one more thing; if you’re going to put vampire fangs on your actors, make sure the damn things fit properly.
The character “Forry Ackerman” is a tribute to the film’s associate producer, Forrest J. Ackerman, who also was the Editor of “Famous Monsters of Filmland” magazine (and also coined the title characters nickname – “Vampi“).
The old man briefly shown dancing while the band is playing is the real Forry Ackerman.
The space sequence of Vlad and his cohorts leaving Drakulon is footage from Not of This Earth, run in reverse. Both films were directed by Jim Wynorski.
- Dynamite Entertainment Announces Dark Shadows/Vampirella! (comicbooked.com)
- Vampirella Vol 1 Crown of Worms (2012) (extratorrent.com)
- Jerwa Does Double Duty With “Pantha” & “Vampirella” (comicbookresources.com)
- EXCLUSIVE: First Look At VAMPIRELLA #22 (comicvine.com)
- Vampirella Meets DARK SHADOWS’ Barnabas Collins in August (comicvine.com)
- Vampirella Takes on… Fluffy the Vampire Killer? (comicbookresources.com)
- Vampirella Meets Dark Shadows’ Barnabas Collins In Dark Shadows/Vampirella #1 From Dynamite Entertainment! (graphicpolicy.com)
- Exclusive First Look: DARK SHADOWS/VAMPIRELLA #1 Colored Pages (comicvine.com)
- Vampirella Meets Barnabas Collins in “Dark Shadows/Vampirella” from Dynamite (comicbookresources.com)
- Pantha #1 Sells-Out At Dynamite! (graphicpolicy.com)
- Dynamite’s “Pantha” #1 Goes Back To Press For Second Printing (comicbookresources.com)
- Famous Monsters and Me (tdhicks.com)
Directed by Kate Robbins
Written by Kate Robbins and Jill Garson
I watched “Candy Stripers” at the suggestion of a friend who informed me that he was a stuntman in the film and that he had some considerable face time. Trust me, he does. If you watch the film you’ll see him as the guy that gets his arm broken before being unceremoniously tossed across the room by one of the alien nurses. I must admit I teared up a bit during that scene. Well, not really.
“Candy Stripers” is bad movie making at its best; or worst, depending on how you look at it. It goes beyond reviewing. So I thought I would share a couple of observations I wrote down while watching the film. Check it out:
1. In an early scene a girl dials 911 and before the phone even rings she shouts out “Ohmygodthere’sbeenanaccident.” This would indicate that she got an immediate answer. I have called 911 on a few occasions and have never gotten an immediate response. What was her secret? Does 911 have this girl on speed answer?
2. I work with nurses. They work long shifts and are on their feet constantly. Therefore they are not about to wear shoes that are of the type that Jenna Jameson or Tera Patrick would consider fashionable. It’s just not going to happen.
3. Telling a gorgeous nurse “Kiss me. I’m about to die” will not actually get you a kiss. If it did I would have tried it years ago.
4. The alien possessed nurses eat a ton of doughnuts, candy and sugar packets to sustain them. At the hospital where I work there is always candy of some kind near the nurse’s stations. Should I be worried?
5. Doctors do not spend their time seducing nurses and drinking Schnapps.
6. If you do an image search for photos from “Candy Stripers” I must warn you that there was also a porno film with that same title. You may want to adjust your filter. But then again, maybe not.
If you like hot girls, nudity and ludicrous storytelling then Candy Stripers is the cure for what ails you. Otherwise, take two aspirin and stay at home.
- Striper Fishing And Catching on The Saint John River, Jemseg (thejoyofflyfishing.com)
- Candy Stripers and Junior Volunteers (thielst.typepad.com)
- Four Future IU Candy Stripers? (4tunate.net)
- Striper fishing and lilacs blooming (mainestripers.typepad.com)
- National Nurses Week: Swedish/Ballard puts nurses in the spotlight (ballardnewstribune.com)
- [personal|writing] A change of direction (jlake.com)
- Can This Candy Make You Prettier? (bellasugar.com)
- Sunday Trout And Striper Fishing on The Miramichi River (thejoyofflyfishing.com)
- Forever Young, and in our dreams~ (manyhorsesmane.wordpress.com)
- Maine Striper Update (mainestripers.typepad.com)
- Maine Striper Update – Good News, Bad News (mainestripers.typepad.com)
- You’re No Longer Safe from being watched – not even in the Hospital Bathroom!!! Spy cams installed in NY hospital bathrooms to monitor handwashing (blogginghounds.wordpress.com)
- Uncle Scott Bevan’s “Little Stripers” (gloucestercitynews.net)
- 25 Helpful Sites on Hospital Administration (thielst.typepad.com)
- June Flash Giveaway! Enter to win for 4 BOXES of CANDY that represent 4 different decades from Candy.com! (pennypinchboutique.com)
- Charlie Moore Allows Giants Fan Onto Show in Hunt for Stripers (Video) (nesn.com)
- Big stripers have arrived … but don’t be greedy (gloucestercitynews.net)
- 10 Things a Real Geek Would Never Do (livescience.com)
- Princess Pass (denisecopeland.typepad.com)
- QHR Associate Named Chair of Maine Hospital Association Board of Trustees (prweb.com)
- Getting his prescription filled…. (jeffsmessydesk.wordpress.com)
TIME AFTER TIME-United States-1979
Directed by Nicholas Meyer
Story by Steve Hayes
Written by Nicholas Meyer
Based on the novel by Karl Alexander
H.G. Wells travels across time in pursuit of Jack the Ripper in the granddaddy of all mashups, Time After Time. Yes, I know the term applies more to computer jargon than it does to movies, but what else can you call it? A film that combines the science fiction of Wells and the true life horror of the Ripper can only be described as a mashup. What’s amazing about it is that on paper the whole thing sounds like absolute rubbish. Don’t let that fool you; Time After Time is one of the most intriguing and entertaining films, not to mention one of the most underrated.
Malcolm McDowell is brilliant as Wells, a man who wants so badly to believe in a futuristic utopian society. Wells is quite literally a man out of time as he searches for the Ripper in 1979 San Francisco. Everything is new to him, from McDonalds to taxicabs. The scene where Wells hails a taxi by mimicking the actions of the woman before him is hilarious. Wells is assisted in his quest by the always talented and lovely Mary Steenburgen. Every time I’ve watched Time After Time I become a fan of hers all over again.
Equally brilliant is David Warner in the role of John Leslie Stevenson aka ‘Jack the Ripper’. As much as Wells is completely out of place in 1979, Stevenson is more at home than he ever was in London of 1888. In the 2001 film “From Hell”, the Ripper tells Inspector Abberline that ‘men will say I gave birth to the 20th century.’ What makes that quote so amazing is that it took a science fiction/horror hybrid from 1979 to prove it right. Serial killers, war, bullying, hate crimes; Jack the Ripper truly did give birth to the 20th century.
The movie theater where Wells and Amy see the film was the same one which showed The Exorcist in an exclusive engagement. The infamous San Francisco serial killer, Zodiac, saw the film there, too.
Corey Feldman’s first film role.
Nicholas Meyer’s first choice to play the Ripper was Edward Fox. Mick Jagger also considered for the part, but Meyer couldn’t see Mick Jagger convincingly playing a Harley Street surgeon.
The tune played by Jack the Ripper’s Pocket watch is based on Chants d’Auvergne, “The Spinner”.
- Malcolm McDowell for ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night’ remake (digitalspy.co.uk)
- Nothing is for always. Except death. Ask The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day. (aintitcool.com)
- MovieBob: Intermission: Real People, Fake Movies (escapistmagazine.com)
- ‘Clockwork Orange’ returns May 19 with Malcolm McDowell in person (herocomplex.latimes.com)
- Jack the Ripper inspires Kanye West (lostateminor.com)
- The London of Jack the Ripper: Then and Now – Robert Clack & Philip Hutchinson (madameguillotine.org.uk)
- All clues point to concept art for Visceral’s canned Jack the Ripper title (joystiq.com)
- WOMAN IN BLACK Producer Buys Jack The Ripper Script (geektyrant.com)
- Amazon UK Kindle Daily Deal! The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper by Maxim Jakubowski for £0.99! (randomizeme.net)
- TIME TRAVEL IN MOVIES with Karyn Gerrard (bookworm2bookworm.wordpress.com)
- Lola Delgado – Art Gallery & Museum Studies – Manchester Art Gallery: You mean an engraving by Jack the Ripper? (culturalpractice.wordpress.com)
- Hughes Brothers #4 – From Hell (thehollywoodprojects.com)
- Film: Newswire: Silent Night, Deadly Night is getting a remake with Malcolm McDowell (avclub.com)
- Exclusive: Filming Begins on Silent Night; Director Steven C. Miller Speaks! (dreadcentral.com)
- Malcolm McDowell Talks Silent Night, Deadly Night Remake (dreadcentral.com)
- Malcolm McDowell Plays A Cult Leader On ‘The Mentalist’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Horror News (thebitemagazine.wordpress.com)
- Quote of the Day: Nicholas Meyer on India’s License Raj (delong.typepad.com)
- In My Mailbox ♡: Week 52 (birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)
- New Philadelphia Experiment (scifitalk.com)
- Timing… (londonoa.com)
EVENT HORIZON-United Kingdom/United States-1997
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
Written by Philip Eisner
Paul W.S. Anderson must get really frustrated when re-watching his sci-fi/ horror hybrid Event Horizon. It must confound him when he watches and realizes that ever since then he has done nothing to equal it. Not Alien vs. Predator, not even the Resident Evil films that he’s shot. It’s kind of sad, actually, to know that you’ve directed this creepy little movie and later on down the line you realize you’ve blown your entire wad on it. What’s even sadder is that although it’s an effectively creepy and atmospheric film, it’s not perfect in any way.
The Event Horizon has come home. Seven years after disappearing to God knows where, it miraculously reappears. The crew of the Lewis and Clark, led by Laurence Fishburne as Captain Miller, and assisted by Sam Neill as Dr. Weir, are given the order to investigate the ship. Their mission is to find the crew and to salvage what they can from the Event Horizon. Of course, this is a horror/space opera, so you just know it’s not going to be that easy. Pretty soon there are hallucinations, madness and enough gore to satisfy the average slasher fan. That’s the good part of the film.
Now let’s discuss the flaws. The acting in Event Horizon reminds of when I was in the sixth grade and my school had a talent show. Some friends of mine put on their own little Star Trek scenario. I thought it was awesome…when I was in sixth grade. It’s not so much fun watching Laurence Fishburne and the rest of the cast of Event Horizon act the same way over 30 years later, especially when you know that they are all capable of so much more.
Also, it’s easy to see that Event Horizon took its main cue from Alien. In fact, I kept expecting Sigourney Weaver to pop up in certain scenes.
But, anyway, there you have it. Paul W.S. Anderson’s shining moment. It’s okay to enjoy it. It’s a fun movie. Too bad it’s neither a perfect or original one.
The Event Horizon was modeled on Notre Dame cathedral. Its long corridor resembles a church nave, and its interior is filled with cruciform shapes, columns and vaults. Also, its engines resemble rotated church towers.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson was forced to cut over 20 minutes of violent scenes so the film could reach the R-rating.
According to the DVD documentary, the first cut of the film had a longer “Visions from Hell” sequence, more blood, and a different, though similar, ending. The test audience didn’t like it, so it was re-cut with an alternate ending involving what director Paul W.S. Anderson called “The Burning Man Sequence.” The second test audience didn’t like that version, and the film was edited again. The final cut is a less-intense hybrid of both test screenings, with significantly less gore.
- Film Review: The Three Musketeers is Fantastically Horrible (filmophilia.com)
- UA Scientists to take first ever picture of black hole (disclose.tv)
- New Resident Evil Film’s Plot Revealed (escapistmagazine.com)
- Seeing a Black Hole (laf.ee)
- All Change at the Event Horizon (creatingreciprocity.wordpress.com)