Archive for John Carpenter

MOVIE REVIEW: ANNIHILATION

Posted in Aliens, Beauty, Eye Candy, Fantasy, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2018 by darklordbunnykins

ANNIHILATION

Paramount’s decision to sell Annihilation to Netflix for all territories outside Canada, the US, and China is great if it gets the film a wider audience than would pay to see it in a theatre. The shame is that Ex-Machina writer-director Alex Garland’s adaptation of the Jeff VanderMeer novel is a stunning work of art whose natural home is a darkened movie house. Indeed, on a big screen with a great sound system, Annihilation‘s thrills, chills, and ideas are that much more profound and intense.

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Left to right: Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson in ANNIHILATION, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Natalie Portman (Black Swan) plays Lena, a soldier-turned-scientist whose military husband Kane (Ex-Machina‘s Oscar Isaac) returns to her a year after going missing. His assignment: to investigate the Shimmer, a mysterious phenomenon slowly engulfing the southern coast and making its way towards populated areas. An ill Kane is re-captured by the military, and Lena goes with him. Eventually she persuades Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the leader of the next team to go into the Shimmer, to let her come along. What she discovers there is best left unexplained, as it is alternately astonishing, beautiful, and terrifying.

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Indeed, while the IMDb classifies Annihilation as “Adventure, Drama, Fantasy,” it possesses a bloody streak of body horror. Some of the most genuinely weird and wild images ever seen in a big-budget Hollywood production are on display here, and its visual and thematic debt to both John Carpenter’s The Thing and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Annihilation mark it as a bold work of imagination.

DEVIANT DVD: “SAINT” (2010)

Posted in DVD, Festivals, Ghosts, Gore, History, Movies, Reviews, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

SAINT

Starring Egbert Jan Weeber, Bert Luppes and Huub Stapel

Written and directed by Dick Maas

eOne Entertainment

The recent angry Facebook status updates I have noticed from those looking to reclaim their right to wish people “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” speaks to just how protective some people get about Christmas… sorry, the holiday season. Similarly, the Dutch take their equivalent, Sinterklaas, very seriously, to the point where poet and artist Quinsy Gario was pepper sprayed and arrested in Dordrecht, Holland, last month for wearing a  homemade T-shirt that read “Zwarte Piet is Racism.” (Zwarte Piet — or Black Pete — is Sinterklaas’s Sambo-like servant.)

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WRETCHED REVIEWS: THE THING (2011)

Posted in Aliens, Eye Candy, Gore, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Violence with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

THE THING

Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton and Ulrich Thomsen

Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

Written by Eric Heisserer

Universal Studios

 Like you I went into The Thing with modest expectations and outsized apprehension. After all, John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) is a modern horror classic, and the idea of a retro-engineered prequel seemed unwise at best, opportunistic at worst.

But having read interviews with Dutch director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. – and having spoken to him myself – it became obvious that he was a fan of Carpenter’s film so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. And don’t forget that Carpenter’s Thing was itself a remake of a smartly-written sci-fi classic, 1951’s The Thing from Another World. Plus I was always curious about what happened to those crazy Swedes… sorry, Norwegians mentioned in Carpenter’s film.

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EXCLUSIVE! “THE THING” DIRECTOR SPEAKS ON CARPENTER, ARMY OF THE DEAD, AND FUTURE PROJECTS

Posted in Aliens, Eye Candy, Gore, Interviews, Monsters, Movies, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Violence, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

Horror fans wait with bated breath for the release tomorrow of The Thing, the much-anticipated and already much-reviled prequel to John Carpenter’s much-lauded classic. The DLB spoke to director Mattjis van Heijningen, Jr., earlier today about the expectations of fans, combining practical effects with CGI, and his future plans, including the status of that much-talked-about zombie epic Army of the Dead.

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FANTASTIC FISH: HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP (A.K.A MONSTER) (1980)

Posted in DVD, Gore, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Sex with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2010 by darklordbunnykins


Starring Doug McClure, Ann Turkel and Vic Morrow

Directed by Barbara Peeters

Written by Frederick James

Shout! Factory

Humanoids from the Deep was one of those films whose giant clamshell package on the shelf of my local video store always caught my eye as a kid. The combination of a nubile woman and inhuman eyes on the cover tweaked my growing brain’s twin interests: girls and monsters. But the film’s R-rating meant I wouldn’t be seeing it anytime soon, no matter my protestations to whichever parent held the video club card.

Some thirty years later, Shout! Factory has done us geeks the honour of putting out Humanoids on DVD and Blu-ray, and the excitement I felt inserting the disc into my player was almost sexual. Finally, after all these years, I was going to get to see if the movie of my adolescent imagination would live up to the promise of its cover art.

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FILM SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL TONIGHT: JOHN CARPENTERS’ GHOSTS OF MARS (2001)

Posted in Events, Ghosts, Goth, Interviews, Monsters, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2010 by darklordbunnykins

Despite his busy schedule. former Rue Morgue writer and current Fangoria editor Chris Alexander continues to put on his Film School Confidential events at Toronto’s Bloor Cinema. Twice a month, Alexander screens a cult film, often one otherwise critically reviled or underappreciated by both critics and audiences. John Carpenter’s 2001 effort Ghosts of Mars certainly falls into both those categories. Described by Alexander as a “berserk amalgam of 3:10 TO YUMA, RIO BRAVO, Carpenter’s own ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, DAWN OF THE DEAD and PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES,” GOM will get a long overdue critical reappraisal tonight, June 23rd, at The Bloor.

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