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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old July 1 2011, 12:11 AM   #661
RJDiogenes
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Tonight is the final, as far as I know, Creature Feature Drive-In night on TCM. The movies are The Blob, The H-Man, The Magnetic Monster, X The Unknown, The Thing From Another World, and It! The Terror From Beyond Space. After that, there's a documentary called Watch the Skies! Not sure yet which I will tape....
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Old July 1 2011, 02:24 AM   #662
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I watched Mario Bava's Black Sunday, aka The Mask of Satan last night.

What a disappointment. I found it so dull, I was actually fast-forwarding at one point. How could a movie so rich with Gothic atmosphere be so boring?

The only good part was the beginning, where Barbara Steel's character is executed for witchcraft. After she rants about how the power of Satan will allow her to wreak vengeance from beyond the grave, Inquisitors take the aforementioned mask--a metal mask with spikes on the inside--and hammer it onto her face.

But that just made the rest of the movie seem even worse by comparison.

I'm ready to give up on C. S. Cody's The Witching Night, as well. It's comparatively well-written, but just... dull.
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Old July 1 2011, 09:27 AM   #663
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Coincidentally, Black Sunday was on Penny Dreadful a couple of weeks ago-- she's a local "Horror Host" who shows B-movies, something along the lines of Elvira. I haven't watched it yet, but I fast-forwarded and it did look pretty rich in atmosphere.

Last night, I taped X The Unknown and It! The Terror From Beyond Space.
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Old July 7 2011, 02:17 AM   #664
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Just finished reading Edward Lee's City Infernal--an unusual and enjoyable book.

The whole novel revolves around Lee's re-imagining of Hell as a city--the Mephistopolis. It begins with the main character, a Goth girl named Cassie, suffering a terrible tragedy. Then it fast-forwards to her and her father leaving Washington, DC and moving in to a rural house with a dark and sinister past.

Cassie makes contact with some damned souls who have escaped from the infernal city, and what started as a conventional haunted house story becomes a very dark urban fantasy as Cassie and her new friends pass through the veil and enter Hell. And along the way, Cassie discovers that she has an unexpected and important destiny.

Lee's vision of the infernal metropolis is very interesting and detailed, but in some ways, the story's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. The main characters spend a lot of time exploring the Mephistopolis, seeing the revolting sights, and talking about the features and rules of the afterlife. And as a result, at times, the narrative takes a back seat to exposition. It's a bit like a superhero origin story, in some ways.

Fortunately, Lee's imagination is vivid and inventive enough to make these talking-head passages enjoyable. And in time, the story does pick up, and arrives at a satisfying, suspenseful, and even epic climax. I give it three 's out of four.

There are two sequels, Infernal Angel and House Infernal, and a volume of short stories by other authors who were invited to play in Lee's sandbox. I'm looking forward to reading all of them.
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Old July 7 2011, 09:21 AM   #665
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I like expositionary passages if they're interesting. Exposition was a hallmark of some classic literature. Maybe it was a homage to Divine Comedy.
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Old July 7 2011, 01:44 PM   #666
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Hmm. I wouldn't describe it as a homage--except perhaps in the sense that all such stories are riffing on Dante's work, in some way.

When I think of actual homages to Dante, I think of things like Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's Inferno and its sequel, Escape From Hell.
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Old July 12 2011, 05:46 PM   #667
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

From 29 October 2010:

Goliath wrote:
So, my copy of REC 2 arrived today.

I popped it into the DVD player, and... discovered there were no English subtitles.

I could have limped though it if it was in French, but I don't habla espanol at all. So, needless to say, it was a pretty confusing movie--especially towards the end, when they seemed to be randomly switching back and forth between nightvision and normal light.

I will say the visuals were quite good, and made interesting use of video effects and frame-in-frame. The periodic explosions of violence were quite exciting, and the film employed an intriguing non-linear structure. Think of a mash-up of Aliens, The Blair Witch Project, 28 Days Later, Pulp Fiction, and The Exorcist, and you may have an idea of what REC 2 is like.

I am looking forward to the Region 1 DVD release, when I can finally find out exactly what happened. Until then--stay away from the all-region DVD, unless you speak Spanish.
REC 2 has finally been given a North American DVD release, today. I'm looking forward to picking it up later, watching it again this evening--and finally understanding what the hell was going on.

For those who aren't familiar with the series, REC is a Spanish movie that was remade in English as Quarantine. The original was better.
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Old July 12 2011, 11:20 PM   #668
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

It would have been quicker to learn Spanish.

Over the weekend, I saw a mildly funny movie called The Last Lovecraft. It's billed as being in the style of Shaun of the Dead. It's pretty good, but not great; most of the humor is derived from the well-known fact that geeks are awkward social misfits who live with their parents. That gets a bit tiresome. But other than that, it's a nice story of ordinary people triumphing over an extraordinary threat. It's got some nice special effects, and a clever animated summary of the Cthulhu Mythos.
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Old July 13 2011, 02:32 AM   #669
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
It would have been quicker to learn Spanish.
Maybe.

Now that I've seen the movie with dialogue I could understand, I recommend it highly. Every bit as good as the first one.
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Old August 10 2011, 07:24 AM   #670
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

At long, long last, Island of Lost Souls is coming to DVD and Blu-ray, as part of the Criterion Collection.

I'm really looking forward to owning a copy. I've been able to catch it on TCM a couple of times, but it'll be great to see it restored and in high definition. Plus interviews with John Landis and David J. Skal.

Good stuff!
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Old August 10 2011, 09:27 AM   #671
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Yes! I've wanted to see this for a long time and never managed it. It's coming out on 10-25, which is a little close to Halloween; I hope I can get it in time for my annual marathon.
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Old August 10 2011, 03:09 PM   #672
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Excellent news!
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Old September 4 2011, 11:04 PM   #673
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I just finished reading Richard Matheson's Hell House. If anyone is looking for a really good haunted-house novel, I recommend it highly. It was the basis for a movie, The Legend of Hell House, which is also supposed to be pretty good. I'm looking forward to checking that out.
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Old September 4 2011, 11:12 PM   #674
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

^^ Thanks for reminding me. I bought that a while back and then loaned it to my Sister before reading it.

Earlier today, I ordered a copy of Told You So, a new anthology containing a story by our own Ruaidhri. The publisher, Pill Hill Press, has a few other Horror anthologies that look pretty good, too. They're also looking for submissions for a couple of upcoming anthologies, so I may see what I can cook up (they say no reprints, so I don't think they'd accept anything from my self-published books).
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Old September 18 2011, 02:05 PM   #675
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

And Told You So turns out to be pretty good. Ruaidhri's story is the first one and it's quite creepy and unnerving, with an atmosphere similar to stuff like Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. But I was also impressed with the originality of the concept and the verisimilitude of the science.

I've also been reading Larry Blamire's Tales of the Callamo Mountains, which is a collection of his Horror-Western short stories that he's self-published thrugh Lulu (the same company I use ). They're very good so far and not what you'd expect from the guy who brought us Lost Skeleton of Cadavra and Dark And Stormy Night. These are serious and subtle stories. They don't rely on fright or gore, but rather a moody fear that creeps up your spine. Good stuff.
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