From director Albert Band (I BURY THE LIVING, DOCTOR MORDRID) comes ROBOT WARS, Full Moon’s sister film follow-up to 1989’s cult hit ROBOT JOX. In a gas-ravaged future Hell, the United States is divided into two opposing blocs, the North Hemi and the Eastern Alliance and targeting them both are roving bands of pirates known as the Centros. While…
This was the main movie I decided to go with this Halloween. I usually pull out a couple of horror classics or films which I really like, that way I can be sure not to be disappointed. This year I thought, no I’m going to watch one or maybe two fairly new horror flicks for a change.
Now I had heard and read quite a lot of good things about this new movie over the last year or so. I had heard that it actually had practical special effects-okay this does happen, but often they just turn out looking terrible. In this case the feedback was that these effects worked really well. Surprise there, plus I grew up on 80’s horror movies where it was all about lots of latex and animatronic effects clear to see and buckets of blood and gore all over the show so this appealed to me.
It also seemed to have a fairly distinctive and original concept and mysterious idea in the story which seemed to make it stand out from a number of recent horror movies. I’ve been waiting for something to come along which was brave enough to offer up a new mythology, a fully formed world of terror instead of yet more twenty-somethings running around with some masked killer on their trail.
So this movie seemed mysterious and confident, just what I wanted. Halloween, get ready for this in my dvd player.
If you haven’t seen it yet I won’t let out too many spoilers or I’ll try not to do so. The story takes place in and around a small town hospital with a young police officer observing a number of shocking and creepy events connecting up around him and the small set of main characters. They become trapped in the hospital as they soon notice a large number of what seem like hooded cult members surrounding the building while it is soon enough clear that something not of this world is trying to take them down…
This movie does have a strong 80’s vibe and several films come to mind while watching it such as Assault of precinct 13, The Thing, Hellraiser, Phantasm and others. It is often quite claustrophobic and intense. Considering that the directors had only previously made shorter spoof parody genre movie, with this movie they conjure up genuine serious cinematic terror all the way.
It was good to see a new horror film which soon enough moves at a quick pace and has a cast of good enough actors which help build up the panic and hysteria of the story around them. Some have said that the plot gets quite confused or disjointed as it goes on. There may a couple of plot holes but the main issue has been that many felt it was quite derivative of some of the classic 80’s horror films I have mentioned. Also there are two strands of terror coming in to attack the main characters and yes, in some ways these two elements may not exactly make totally logical sense.
I can assure you though that the film does have a bunch of really impressive set pieces, a load of blood and gore spilling out all over the place. Some of the acting may be a little hit and miss at times but generally it works well enough. Ultimately this is a genuine bold new spectacle of a horror movie. It all builds and builds toward a final head-trip of an ending. It might be good to see some kind of sequel to this movie if the directors would be interesting in the idea.
So if you are a fan of some of the most bloody and creepy 80’s monster movies with a sharp supernatural twist this could be the one you have been waiting for right here. Dare you enter the VOID?
James E Parsons is author of two SF novels-Orbital Kin & Minerva Century. His first horror novel Northern Souls has been published this Halloween. All three are available from all good bookshops or online now.
He does not need an introduction. John Carpenter is one of the Masters of Horror. A maverick, visionary, and extremely influential, Carpenter’s work taps into the visceral, primal fears we all know too well, driving our nightmares with iconic imagery and pulse-pounding suspense, with his tongue firmly in cheek for a lot of it. He’s…
CBS All Access has renewed the latest Star Trek TV series for a second season. “In just six episodes, Star Trek: Discovery has driven subscriber growth, critical acclaim and huge global fan interest for the first premium version of this great franchise,” Marc DeBevoise, president and chief operating officer at CBS Interactive explained. “This series […]
(Spoilers Alert ) Here we are over three decades after the original SF movie classic was in cinemas and flopped but gained an ever-growing cult fan-base and actually influenced almost all sci-fi films, books, television ever since.
I had been reading a few articles and interviews with the new director Denis Villeneuve (whom had recently had success with SF alien first contact film Arrival) and the actors involved this time including Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. As the original film was set in 2019 which is only a couple of years away right now the new sequel moves further in time but only by around thirty year so that it could still be some sort of ‘near future’ story. Given the current advances in AI and robots, DNA/gene splicing and research and bioengineering we can potentially believe some of this new story could take place in some ways in our actual near future.
For decades now of course the fans of the first film have long debated the truth of Rick Deckard-was he human or replicant? Thanks to around half a dozen versions of the film from director Ridley Scott there have been a number of ways to interpret the film. Is this one of the reasons it has been such a cult favourite for so long?
The story does move on this time. There has been a catastrophic global blackout on energy and data which helped the original Nexus replicants to escape and hide. The company did collapse due to scandal after the many dangerous escaped replicants such as the ones we know from the original movie. After time a new visionary businessman named Wallace has come along and has designed new breeds of replicants with longer and natural lifespans but he does have some deadly intentions for the long term.
We follow a new Blade Runner named simply K in this sequel as he starts to find some clues which begin to lead him to an extremely important case which breaks apart what he thinks he really knows about himself and his work. With this story, we start knowing that K is a new natural lifespan replicant Blade Runner-we know that he knows this, but what he uncovers still leads toward the end of what he thinks of as his truth and the true work he is doing and for what reasons.
Often criticism of the original movie argues that it lacks enough narrative, short on story and character at the expense of breath-taking visuals and soundtrack above all else. I understand that, but do not entirely agree with it. With this sequel, of course it does resemble the original in very many ways. This will keep the many loyal old-time fans pleased, but again it might provoke those same negative comments to some extent.
We are now more than thirty years down the line from the first Blade Runner movie. The fans and viewers have grown old with that film (and the many different director’s cuts and theatrical versions). So in some ways this sequel really did have to offer more for cinema audiences in terms of story depth and detail, to some extent at least. Over the many years there have been at least one spin-off sequel novel, a sort of sequel videogame and comic-book versions which have moved the story on in a number of ways, and so there have been a number of possibly strong enough concepts and ideas to move forward with if and when a sequel was ever made. Some really did not like the idea of a sequel to this particular cult classic. Was it another cynical cash-grab from Hollywood? If it was, well it is forgiven and a relief to find that it is a bold success.
I have seen in the last week or more since it was release, at least two extremely positive reviews from a couple of very well respected UK film critics whom I usually trust. I have also read and heard a small number of negative remarks, and these are possibly justified in some ways.
It is good to see that the director has mostly kept the film quite stripped down of CGI besides the girlfriend of K and a few other effects which help support the near-future atmosphere in subtle ways. There were actual miniature sets made and real international locations filmed and I think the combination of these worked really well did help connect this with the original film. Along with this, the film just looks absolutely stunning. at least four or five times I was sitting there thinking to myself ‘my god, that looks so amazing’ as I watched the screen.
It is I think even longer than the original Blade runner movie, and does seem to pack in a fair amount of more story, twists and detail this time around. This might be one aspect which almost made it feel too different to the original, but again we are in 2017 now, the core fans of the original are probably older and willing to take in more narrative levels this time. Thankfully I don’t think it goes quite too far with this.
With the actors and acting I largely think they were all great choices. Ryan Gosling fits the world of Blade Runner really well, and feels like a new younger Deckard-which fits in well with the film later on. Harrison Ford is held back until really fairly late on in the film but this works and feels natural for the story. It seems Ford understood this thankfully. Someone recently didn’t seem to like the performance of Jared Leto as new corporate messianic businessman. I think it probably is more about the almost repetitive and not entirely always required dialogue he is given. He could have opened up the character I think but it may have posed a danger to the overall film.
But this is a sequel to Blade Runner and it is the direction, set design, soundtrack that we really want to see work well and it certainly does give us what we’ve been waiting for. We see much more of what we only had brief glimpses of in the first movie. This is a truly breath-taking vision of a possible future, bringing to mind Spielberg’s A.I., The Matrix and Dune in different ways among many other scifi visions.
Go see this movie on a very big IMAX screen if you can. This is another example of a rare and very worthy sequel to a highly influential and classic sci-fi film.
James Parsons is author of two SF books- Orbital Kin & Minerva Century, both available now in all good bookshops and online. His first horror novel Northern Souls is published 31st October.
In the Beginning Depending on who you ask, the answer may vary on the origin of horror comics. Mike Howlett, a horror comics history scholar, would tell you to look back to December 1940 for the comic based on Mary… The post The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of Horror Comics: A Basic History appeared first…
DOCTOR WHO: THE LOST DIMENSION SPECIAL #1 Writers: Gordon Rennie, Emma Beeby Artists: Wellington Diaz, Ivan Rodriguez Cover A: Mariano Laclaustra Cover B: Photo FC – 36pp – $4.99 – On sale: October 11 OVERSIZED EXCITEMENT FROM DEEP WITHIN THE DOCTOR WHO EVENT! ALL-NEW STORIES FEATURING: • THE FOURTH DOCTOR! • RIVER SONG!…
Finally, after a two and a half year long delay, the 18th entry in the Amityville Horror series is available to view for free on Google Play. While a limited theatrical release is scheduled in two weeks followed by the DVD launch, I have waited so long for this movie and I’m proud that I…
I finished Philip K. Dick’s 1970 novel A Maze of Death this afternoon. The end made me tear up a little, unexpectedly. It’s a sad end, profoundly sad in some ways, and the unexpectedness of the sadness, is, like, particularly sad. Sad because I didn’t quite expect (hence that adverb unexpectedly) Dick to stick any kind of ending, what, after […]
Jeff Noon is perhaps best known for his award winning novel Vurt (1993). His latest, A Man of Shadows sees a return to the traditional novel format after a series of experiments in fiction. Jeff kindly agreed to answer a few questions via email about his new book, his writing processes and the future. GS: Your latest…