Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Spaceman Spiff, Oct 10, 2007.
Not a fan of those Jack Frost films, then?
Never heard of them, actually, but I'll check them out. If they're really good or really bad I'll probably like them.
In this case, I was specifically looking for written fiction, though, for Spiff's Holiday reading list.
I think they're more leaning towards "really bad", possibly intentionally so.
Spoiler: Jack Frost
Good point: It stars Scott MacDonald, who Trek fans will recognize. Can't go wrong with that.
Bad point: It's about a serial killer who comes back to life as a SNOWMAN.
Actually, that sounds vaguely familiar. Or maybe I'm thinking of a soup commercial.
A few years ago, I was at the computer while my roommate at the time was channel surfing. He stopped on a channel, watched it for a minute, then said, "Isn't Jack Frost that movie where Michael Keaton becomes a snowman so he can hang out with his kid?"
"Yeah," I said.
Another minute goes by. "Ugh! This snowman is killing people!"
I got Horror for Christmas in the mail on Friday. It actually looks like a decent little anthology. It's got a few big names in it from different periods, like W.W. Jacobs and Robert Bloch. Not bad for a cheap little used book.
I'm reluctant to put down Wolf Men, but it'll keep.
Hah. I wonder how many people order the wrong one from Netflix or whatever.
I'm determined to finish Rogue Moon before I start Wolf Men, but it's painful. Not recommended, very not recommended.
Happy New Year, horror thread.
Christmas and my birthday are pretty close together, and as usual, I got some pretty cool horror-related goodies.
Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror - A pretty good book, though it's not nearly as exhaustive as Universal Horrors. It's more like a coffee table book, really. It's got lots of good information in it, but not really anything that isn't offered in Horrors. Big, pretty pictures, rundowns of each franchise--that sort of thing.
Heroes of Horror - This was a cool little surprise. It's a collection of A&E Biographies of Lugosi, Karloff, Chaney Jr., Lorre and Price. There are also collections of brief interviews, some trailers, etc. I watched them all in two days.
Karloff & Lugosi Horror Classics (The Walking Dead / Frankenstein 1970 / You'll Find Out / Zombies on Broadway) - By no means a "must-own" set; but I'd really wanted The Walking Dead. And if you enjoyed Frankenstein 1970, this is apparently one of the only versions to preserve the correct aspect ratio.
The Fantastic Films of Ray Harryhausen - Legendary Monster Series - Not quite horror, but hey, it's Harryhausen!
My silent horror collection was expanded a bit with The Golem and Faust. KINO always knocks it out of the park with these sets. The Faust one is especially impressive and feature-packed.
The William Castle Film Collection - I've mentioned this set previously in the thread; now I'm glad to own it. It's a nice, compact set.
Adrift on The Haunted Seas: The Best Short Stories of William Hope Hodgson - I enjoy Hodgson's nautical weird tales, so this one's a no-brainer. Apparently, one of the stories was the basis for Matango, mentioned a few months ago.
Bumper Crop, by Joe R. Lansdale - Lansdale is great, and this is a cool little collection of short stories.
Top it all off with the last couple of Hellboy and The Walking Dead comic trades, and I made out pretty well.
In addition to the goodies, after a goof-up with our TV bill, we got some discounts on our current viewing package, so we decided to upgrade to the one that includes Turner Classic Movies. It's great to have it back after going without for a few years, and it's even better with TiVo. Yesterday I watched The Most Dangerous Game and enjoyed it.
I was surprised to see how much it was a precursor to King Kong. It had cast members like Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong and Noble Johnson, was written by James Ashmore Creelman, and had Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack behind the camera.
It even used a lot of the same sets, most noticeably in the jungle scenes. They even go so far as to cross the famed log over the gorge.
It also used a few of the same camera tricks, like tracking runners through the jungle.
It's a short little movie, at just over an hour, but it was a cool little bit of education on the lead-up to one of the most famous movies of all time. And it had a cool, pulpy, "big knife in one hand, babe in the other" feel.
The funny thing about Jack Frost is that I always think it's going to be the movie where Jeff Goldblum is a mental patient who may or may not be the devil - and I turn it on, only to find this snowman shit.
Sounds like you're definitely having a Happy New Year.
That sounds great. I love the A&E Biographies.
Heh. I remember seeing Frankenstein 1970 when the title implied modernity. It would be quite a trip down Memory Lane to see it again.
I've got The Golem, but I'm not familiar with Faust. I'll have to take a look at that.
Good eyes you've got there. Most Dangerous Game wasn't a precursor to King Kong-- it was filmed at the same time, with cast and set overlaps-- Kong by day, Game by night. I love that movie. It's one of my favorite short stories, and this is a good adaptation; sure they changed it, but who can complain about Fay Wray? I was always amazed that this movie was released so long before Kong was. It was one of the first movies I owned on VHS, and one of the first I owned on DVD.
I guess it makes more sense for them to have been filmed at the same time.
I was thrown by the gap between them, but now the reason for Kong's delay seems obvious: Much of Willis O'Brien's animation had to be done in post-production.
It's an indulgent but beautifully shot film by F.W. Murnau of Nosferatu fame, with Emil Jannings as Mephisto. Excellent film, though I'm not sure if I'd call it horror (granted, Mephisto gets some creepy expressionistic moments, and then there's the plague, and... hmm.)
^^ Actually, the plague part sounds a bit familiar. I may have seen it a long time ago.
That's true. And they had pretty slow computers in those days.
Did you ever crack open Wolf Men?
I did indeed! I read the Hugh B Cave and the Manly Wade Wellman stories. Both were excellent, especially Manly Wade Wellman; I love his stuff. This one really had that early 20th Century charm, as well as several interesting ideas. The Cave story was only vaguely Werewolfian, but still good.
At that point, I got distracted by the holidays and didn't read much besides magazine articles and my new Bloom County book for a while. Then I was in a Hard SF mood, so now I'm reading Polaris by Jack McDevitt.
When I'm done with that, I'll probably go back to the Werewolves.
Today I finally received The Wolf Man Special Edition. It's finally the correct DVD, so it feels like the end of a saga. Maybe I'd better check the discs to make sure they're not blank or anything....
I also received Jonathan Maberry's novelization of The Wolfman remake. Of course, now they say there's a Kindle edition, so I could have saved some shelf space. Ah, well. It's weird that Amazon sent me a copy, but now it's only available from other sellers. Maybe it sold out unexpectedly?
I don't normally go for novelizations, but I so enjoyed the Ghost Road Blues/Pine Deep trilogy and Patient Zero from Maberry that I thought I'd give it a shot.
The latest Rue Morgue has a couple of articles on the new movie, but it's also got a sidebar about House of the Wolf Man. It sounds like they're still looking for a distributor. Hopefully, the coverage in the magazine will lead to that.
How can House Of Wolf Man be looking for a distributor? You'd think somebody would snatch that right up. Of course, I hear that Larry Blamire has trouble getting his stuff distributed, too. Strange....
I'm not sure what you heard about The Wolfman remake, but the original's status is pretty safe. The sets, make-up and costumes were all great, and the performances were pretty good, but the movie was overall pretty mediocre. I enjoyed it well enough, but it should have been a lot better. There are reports that a lot was taken out, and there will be an extended DVD, but it'd have to be some seriously good stuff to elevate it.
I don't want to come down too hard on it--it wasn't bad. It just wasn't as good as it could have been. But remakes have been a whole lot worse.
I stayed on a werewolf kick and read Frostbite: A Werewolf Tale by David Wellington. It was a good little pulpy read. It was different from a lot of werewolf stories, in that the protagonist is a woman, and the werewolf transformations are handled in a way we're not used to. It's not the usual sort of transformation, with hair sprouting out of skin and such--it's closer to a shape-shifting deal--and she turns completely into a wolf (a dire wolf, to be exact). In that sense, it's a little closer to the werewolves of lore. Fans who prefer a human/wolf hybrid may not like that so much, but I'm open to all types of lycanthropes.
It's a fun, fast-paced read, and I'll be reading more from this author.
About a week ago, I got Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown from Netflix. It's a great documentary about the man and his work, with interview with people like Neil Gaiman, Guillermo Del Toro, Ramsey Campbell, and, of course, S.T. Joshi. It probably won't tell you anything you don't know, but I think it's still pretty enjoyable. The special features are pretty good, with almost an hour of extended interviews.
It put me in a Lovecraft-y mood, so I've been reading The Annotated H.P. Lovecraft with notes and introductionby Joshi.
I'll watch the Wolf Man remake when it comes to On Demand, but my opinion of it will be colored by the fact that it's a remake. I still think that if you're going to make that many changes, you should just go all the way and make something original. But "original" is too scary a word in Hollywood....
Both Frostbite and the Lovecraft documentary sound good. They are now resting in my Shopping Cart.
Don't read too much about Frostbite at Amazon. There's a pretty interesting twist about a third of the way in that really kicks it into gear.
I haven't read any of the reviews yet, so I'll hold off on that. I have to get my Brother a Birthday present, so maybe I'll order it tonight.
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