Look Out For … Nights of the Living Dead edited by Jonathan Maberry and George A Romero — This Is Horror

Look Out For … Nights of the Living Dead edited by Jonathan Maberry and George A Romero “It’s with a reflective mood that we’re looking forward to seeing what some of the genres finest writers are bringing to the very start of Romero’s legacy” In 1968 the world experienced a brand new kind of terror…

via Look Out For … Nights of the Living Dead edited by Jonathan Maberry and George A Romero — This Is Horror

Ness confirms he wouldn’t be involved with Class year 2 — Sci-Fi Bulletin: Exploring the Universes of SF, Fantasy

If Doctor Who spin-off Class is eventually picked up for a second year, then creator Patrick Ness won’t be involved. “I decided awhile back that, with unbelievable regret, I won’t be writing any more Class, even if a season 2 moves ahead,” he wrote on Twitter on June 4. “It has been the MOST amazing […]

via Ness confirms he wouldn’t be involved with Class year 2 — Sci-Fi Bulletin: Exploring the Universes of SF, Fantasy

Netflix’s Sense8 is Cancelled After Only Two Seasons — Welcome to the Legion!

Netflix’s Sense8 is Cancelled After Only Two Seasons Netflix’s most compelling LGBTQA sci-fi series Sense8 has officially come to an end, after only two seasons and one HUGE cliffhanger. Sigh…. “After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the Sense8 cluster is coming to an end,” Cindy Holland, VP Netflix original content, said…

via Netflix’s Sense8 is Cancelled After Only Two Seasons — Welcome to the Legion!

Stake Land 2 :Film Review 2017

A sequel to Stake Land which came in 2010, it has been a gap of a few years but it seems to get right back to the feel and look of that film quickly and with ease. There had been quite a bit of positive respect for the first movie at the time as it seemed to offer something with a slightly different take of the vampire/dystopian future story which had been lacking in cinemas at that time.

I did like that first film even if I did maybe feel slightly let down or confused at what had felt like very high praise, possibly too high. It was a good film though which did try to do something different enough even if it did not change the vampire/horror genre totally.

The thing that did stand out for me with the original was how the blood of the vampires in that first film seemed to appear almost like tar-very black and thick. It may have just been the setting on my television…

This new sequel has come to Netflix suddenly I was curious to see if the next chapter of the story would be worth viewing. It have a different director this time, but it has continuity as it retains the same writer whom is also the main older lead character known only as ‘Mister’.

The first film followed a young man who joins with the mysterious ‘Mister’ in a potential near future ruined world plagued by rabid vampires as the pair of them travel across to a safer place. This sequel picks up the story a while later when the pair have been separated. The young man called Martin travels alone until finally reuniting with Mister. They also save a young feral girl and move together to take down the Brotherhood.

This sequel has come when audiences have been watching shows such as the hugely popular The Walking Dead and movies like The Hunger Games. People are very familiar with bleak future dystopian lands on screen. While there are unavoidable similarities with The Walking Dead and many modern zombie movies this sequel does manage to mostly move forward with a storyline which just about keeps us interested. the Brotherhood were introduced in the first film, which stood as a symbol for what religions can often do when not held back by state or led by the most immoral and crazed leaders. As with The Walking Dead where the zombies regularly are a background threat to the narrative, vampires here are around and get in the way but the story about much more than  simply bloodsucking terror.

The concept of the ruined dystopian world run wild and lawless with all kinds of barbaric human violence besides vampires stalking around is no fresh thing here, and so the writer of Stake Land 2 continues to explore the relationship between young Martin and Mister and what is now happening with the deadly Brotherhood religion/cult. It is not taken too far, and does remind of a few 80’s fantasy movies such as Willow as well as other zombie survival flicks from Romero and others and also I am Legend.

It is really the cinematography of the film and the acting which kept me in my seat until the end. Like the first film it does look visually very convincing-vast oppressive skies, stark dried out bare landscapes around the characters. The main actors also seemed to have really built a strong connection and work well together, all very suited to their individual roles.

While it may not seem very original among the increasing numbers of dystopian post-apocalyptic movies and years of The Walking Dead on television, it is still a good enough sequel to a special first movie. There is not really too much in the way of real serious vampire imagery or gore. This is a film about a young man maturing into a grown adult and stepping right into the vampire hunter role of his adopted father figure Mister.

A contemplative but still adventurous dystopian horror sequel journey.

James E. Parsons is author of SF books Orbital Kin and Minerva Century both available now in amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and all good bookshops in paperback, ebook and hardback. His first horror novel is published later in 2017.

 

The 17th annual Sci-Fi London Film Festival will run from the 27th April until the 6th May 2017 across London with ten days of film, live music, immersive experiences and more. This year’s event will showcase 6 world film premieres, 13 UK film premieres, 11 world short premieres and 13 UK short premieres. It will […]

via Sci-Fi London programme released — Sci-Fi Bulletin: Exploring the Universes of SF, Fantasy & Horror!

Those who were disappointed by the many deviations from HG Wells’ plot and characterisation in the BBC’s recent War of the Worlds may want to pick up a copy of a new version coming this July. Renamed The Coming of the Martians (for licensing reasons), this adaptation by Nick Scovell for Sherwood Studios is faithful to the […]

via The Coming of the Martians brings Wells’ War faithfully to life — Sci-Fi Bulletin: Exploring the Universes of SF, Fantasy & Horror!

High Rise-Film Review

It is around a year since it was released, this adaptation of the classic J.G.Ballard novel from 1975 it was shown on television last week and I watched it this weekend. I am a big fan of the books and fiction of Ballard and Ben Wheatley, the director of this film has been making increasingly good and very original films for the last few years in the UK.

News of this adaptation made me very curious at the time and Wheatley even managed to pull in top Hollywood star Tom Hiddleston (Loki in the Marvel Avengers and Thor movies) and others such as Jeremy Irons, Luke Evans and others familiar faces.

Alright, so I had not read the book of High Rise but was familiar with the story concept and it seemed similar to a few other Ballard books he had written after that one which I had enjoyed. Over the years there had been a number of occasions where his books were almost put on the big screen or can be seen to have obviously influence a good number of science fiction and thriller films. The one clear adaptation which stands out was the David Cronenberg directed Crash-a version of probably the most famous and notorious Ballard book. Like that story and some others from Ballard, High Rise explores the psychologically dark and uncomfortable interests and desires of mankind in modern or near future times.

So from the slick poster artwork and trailers and knowledge of Ballard fiction I might have been expecting something extremely brutal, disturbing and challenging. Is this what I got?

To a degree yes but I may have been let down in some ways. It did not have to be just like the cold and perverse tale of Crash, and this film was actually even surprisingly humorous and retained a more restrained kind of satire I felt.

Like a number of Ballard stories it looks at how society could go over the brink and breakdown starting from what we see as the perfect example of civilized and decent western post-industrial living. With this tale, in what is built as a state-of-the-art high rise building we see the divides of class and society stacked over each other. It only takes a short of amount of time before the rich and poor begin to antagonise each other to the most absurd and extreme ways.

I was expecting Tom Hiddleston to lead the story in a more engaging way but he seemed possibly distant-but then Ballard lead characters can often seem like that. The actor Luke Evans actually puts in a very good lively performance as the rage fueled and frustrated tv actor, along with one of the better performances from Jeremy Irons in a long time.

It was fairly obvious to see clear influences of the director in the style of visuals and editing-hints of Stanley Kubrick, Nic Roeg. The music often bringing to mind A Clockwork Orange.

I think one main problem for me was that the director decided to set the film in the 1970’s when the actual book was written. if the book like other Ballard novels was intended to be set in simply a near future then this may have confused things for me. Was it that the director wanted to say things about that period of time or did he just want to really make a period film, paying homage to some of his favourite films and directors of that time?

This film then is not set in a near future for us, but a kind of alternative 1970’s where things spiral horribly out of control. I believe that I did read the director saying that the political climate of that time had interesting parallels with today and so did feel like an interesting place to put the film.

Would I personally like to see a version of High Rise set in our modern times or a contemporary new near future? The story or book may now be dated to some extent and has influenced a few films over the years already. Will our civilized  capitalist society still yet unravel and tear itself to pieces? Any future may yet be possible…

James E. Parsons is the author of Orbital Kin and Minerva Century both available from Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, WHSmith and other good bookshops internationally now. His first horror novel is due in 2017.