WHAT’S THEIR BEST FILM?: ALEXANDRE AJA

In the last installment of What’s Their Best Film? you fantastic voters were right on top of it in picking The Thing (1982) as John Carpenter’s best film.

The director I chose this week has a somwhat smaller filmography than Mr. Carpenters. Don’t forget to vote in the poll after the posters.

WHAT’S THEIR BEST FILM?: ALEXANDRE AJA

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Happy Voting!

 

 

 

WHAT’S THEIR BEST FILM?: JOHN CARPENTER

The votes for last weeks poll have been tallied and you, readers and voters, chose Inglourious Basterds as Quentin Tarantino’s best film.

This week’s entrant has a more extensive filmography so move this along, shall we? Don’t forget to vote in the poll after the posters.

What’s Their Best Film?: John Carpenter

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ALT-POSTR-SPOTLIGHT: JOHN CARPENTER’S THE THING

From what is possibly (perhaps probably) my all-time favorite movie; here are 14 fantastically awesome fan-made posters in an ALT-POSTR-SPOTLIGHT on:

JOHN CARPENTER’S THE THING

Tyler Stout

Tyler Stout

Robert Wilson IV

Robert Wilson IV

Randy Ortiz

Randy Ortiz

Mark Welser

Mark Welser

Jock

Jock

James White

Fro Design Co,

Fro Design Co.

fritosparrow

fritosparrow

Daniel Keane

Daniel Keane

Dan Mumford

Dan Mumford

Chris Weston

Chris Weston

Artist Unknown

Artist Unknown

Artist Unknown

Artist Unknown

Artist Unknown

Artist Unknown

Got a movie you want featured on ALT-POSTR-SPOTLIGHT? Mention it in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

 

 

UPDATE: SCREAM QUEEN OF THE YEAR

Okay, I posted the poll for Scream Queen of the Year on Dec. 7. The poll will be open for a few more days so may I remind you to catsvote, folks.

Here’s how the voting is going so far:

Lily Rabe is in the lead:

January

Gillian Anderson and Sharni Vinson are tied for second:

July

November

Carolyn Jones is in third place:

February

Danai Gurira and Raquel Welch are in fourth place:

March

Various - 1965

Christina Ricci and Amber Heard are in fifth place:

September

October

Bringing up the rear are Chelan Simmons, The Soska Sisters, A.J. Cook and Traci Lords:

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May

June

August

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VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED IS A LOW POINT IN JOHN CARPENTER’S FILMOGRAPHY

VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED-United States-99 Mins. 1995

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Christopher Reeve as Dr. Alan Chafee in Village of the Damned

Christopher Reeve as Dr. Alan Chafee in Village of the Damned

Kirstie Alley as Dr. Susan Verner in Village of the Damned

Kirstie Alley as Dr. Susan Verner in Village of the Damned

Linda Kozlowski as Jill McGowan in Village of the Damned

Linda Kozlowski as Jill McGowan in Village of the Damned

Michael Paré as Frank McGowan in Village of the Damned

Michael Paré as Frank McGowan in Village of the Damned

Directed by John Carpenter.

Screenplay by David Himmelstein.

Based on the book “The Midwich Cuckoos” by John Wyndham and the 1960 film and screenplay by Wolf Rilla, Stirling Silliphant and George Barclay.

John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned is a somewhat boring affair that is interesting solely for the common bond it shares with a handful of his better efforts.

A dark shadow passes over the town of Midwich and everything-man, woman, child and animal-faints. They soon awaken, or at least the fortunate ones do; there is the matter of the man who passed out over a hot grill and the other guy who is the hapless victim of a fiery collision. A few months afterward a handful of the women of Midwich (ten in all including a post-Crocodile Dundee Linda Koslowski) become pregnant and the date of conception is traced right back to the day of the fainting incident. Of the ten, including a virgin (Meredith Salenger-go figure), nine give birth and one infant is stillborn. To say these children are different is quite the understatement. Five boys and four girls, they all sport blonde hair, have blue eyes and are devoid of human emotion. They can also read our minds and can persuade us to do horrible things regardless of our reluctance. This leads to several suicides and the film’s gorier moments. It’s up to the town doctor (Reeve) and a government scientist (Alley) to stop the little buggers before the entire town is wiped out. Can Superman and Rebecca from Cheers save the day?

Village of the Damned is based on the book “The Midwich Cuckoos” by John Wyndham and the 1960 film directed by Wolf Rilla. This is all irrelevant; Village of the Damned is a John Carpenter film through and through as it shares two common threads-an alien being(s) that hide themselves behind a human guise (The Thing, They Live, Starman); and the conquest of earth via enslavement/assimilation. It’s great to see Carpenter come back to these themes. It’s also great to see Christopher Reeve in what would be his final role before a horseback riding accident left him paralyzed for the remaining nine years of his life. The common thread that would have made me, a fan of Carpenter’s work, happy would have been for Village of the Damned to be good but alas, it is not.

TRIVIA

In the scene with the crowd bearing torches, the words that the minister’s wife scream are all from the Book of Job.

Whenever the kids are walking or sitting together, they are lined up 2 by 2 with boys on the left and girls on the right.

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Christopher Reeve also appears in Superman the Movie and Street Smart.

Kirstie Alley also appears in Look Who’s Talking and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Linda Kozlowski also appears in Crocodile Dundee and Almost an Angel.

Michael Paré also appears in Bad Moon and The Philadelphia Experiment.

WRITTEN IN BLOOD SCREAM QUEEN OF THE MONTH-OCTOBER, 2014-AMBER HEARD

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Alright, so Amber Heard hasn’t been in a ton of genre films; look at her and ask yourself one simple question: does it really matter? The girl is hot with a capital MEOWWWWRRRR!!! and sexy with a capital WHOA!!! So, is the fact that she’s only made a handful of forays into the horror and thriller genre going to let those of us here at Written in Blood stop us from making her our October Scream Queen of the Month? Absolutely not!

Amber Laura Heard was born in Austin Texas on April 22, 1986 to internet researcher Paige Parsons and contractor David Heard. She made her acting debut in 2004 in the pilot episode of the TV series Jack and Bobby. Her genre credits include All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006, released 2013), Zombieland (2009), The Stepfather (2009), John Carpenter’s The Ward (2010), And Soon the Darkness (2010), Drive Angry (2011) and Machete Kills (2013).

Her non-genre film credits include Friday Night Lights (2004), Drop Dead Sexy (2005), Alpha Dog (2006), Spin (2007), Pineapple Express (2008), The Rum Diary (2011) and Three Days to Kill (2014).  TV credits include roles in The O.C. (2005), Criminal Minds (2006), Californication (2009) and The Playboy Club (2011).

Use both hands and join us here at Written in Blood in welcoming the gorgeous Amber Heard as our October, 2014 Scream Queen of the Month!

WHAT WE HAVE HEARD

Dropped out of school at the age of 17, to go to New York to start a career in modeling, she then relocated to Los Angeles to get into acting.

At the age of 16, her best friend died in a car crash and Heard, who was raised Catholic, subsequently declared herself an atheist, due to the influence of the works of Ayn Rand and George Orwell.

Ranked #21 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 Women of 2008 list.

Good friends with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Engaged to Johnny Depp.

WHAT AMBER SAYS

“I’ve worked really hard to bring something more to “pretty girl” roles over the years. I consider it a challenge.”

“I am constantly struggling to show people that there is more to me than my appearance. You do have to try and overcome those hurdles. Female actresses need to be given the chance to be more than how they look. There’s two categories for women in Hollywood; you’re either sexy and that’s it, or you’re not and because of that you often get given better opportunities. You can’t be sexy and get as many good roles, fact. It’s so frustrating to see women compartmentalized in those ways, but it’s not going to change until the amount of female filmmakers and producers get to anywhere near being half. So many female characters and stories are written by men. It’s a flawed system.”

“The last few years have been non-stop for me. I’ve been going from job to job without even going home in-between jobs for the last year. And I’m doing what I love. I’m enjoying the perks of the job-the travel. I am having a great time being a shape shifter and I’m really getting a kick out of it. I love my job.”

THE QUIET ONES LACKS ITS OWN IDENTITY, SPINS ITS WHEELS

THE QUIET ONES-United States/United Kingdom-98 Mins. 2014

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Jared Harris as Professor Joseph Coupland in The Quiet Ones

Jared Harris as Professor Joseph Coupland in The Quiet Ones

Sam Claflin as Brian McNeil in The Quiet Ones

Sam Claflin as Brian McNeil in The Quiet Ones

Erin Richards as Krissi Dalton in The Quiet Ones

Erin Richards as Krissi Dalton in The Quiet Ones

Rory Fleck-Byrne as Harry Abrams in The Quiet Ones

Rory Fleck-Byrne as Harry Abrams in The Quiet Ones

Olivia Cooke as Jane Harper in The Quiet Ones

Olivia Cooke as Jane Harper in The Quiet Ones

Directed by John Pogue

Screenplay by Craig Rosenberg, Oren Moverman and John Pogue

Based on the screenplay by Tom de Ville

I’m trying to come up with something good to say about The Quiet Ones; I’m not sure I can come up with very much. I liked Olivia Cooke in the role of Jane Harper, the young woman who either is or is not possessed by a supernatural spirit named Evey. Then again this may stem from my admiration for her on A&E’s Bates Motel than from her actual performance or character in this film.

An Oxford University professor enlists the aid of a trio of students to assist him in experiments conducted on a young woman, Harper, to prove that she is not possessed by a malevolent supernatural being known as Evey; instead she created Evey through a figment of memory from her childhood through a news article or having heard her parents speaking about her, and having locked it away in her mind and releasing it upon reaching adulthood. If this all sounds hokey to you I can assure you that you are not alone. As the professor, Jared Harris spouts all sorts of paranormal and psychological lingo with a haughty English accent (yes, I know he is from England-that does not make it any less haughty) and it translates into warmed-over mumbo-jumbo.

The Quiet Ones could have been a good film if it had been able to find its own identity. I was reminded of The Legend of Hell House, the original The Haunting and the Paranormal Activity series throughout much of the film. The other problem is that it is so uneven it seemed as if the film was written and directed by placing scenes in a box, shaking it and using whatever came out next. The aforementioned Cooke was a pleasure as was Erin Richards but for reasons that I wonder were more visceral than due to actual talent and there were a couple of scary scenes but other than that all I keep thinking is that perhaps The Quiet Ones should have been kept silent.

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TRIVIA

Filmed in 2012, it sat unreleased until 2014.

Jared Harris also appears in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and John Carpenter’s The Ward.

Sam Claflin also appears in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Snow White and The Huntsman.

Erin Richards also appears in Open Grave.

Rory Fleck-Byrne also appears in Stealaway and Vampire Academy.

Olivia Cooke also appears in The Signal and Ouija.