Entries Tagged 'battlestar galactica' ↓


What up, peeps? Big apols for being so remiss in my blogging duties. I fear the next week or two will be light as well, for I am balls deep (metaphorically, I swear) in prepping for the shooting of a short film. WOW, it's true! It's been occupying 99% of my time; I've only come up for air to watch DVRed episodes of America's Next Top Model (I'm so team Fo, despite the fact that she calls herself "Fo") and yes, Harper's Island, which debuted last week on CBS. If you're a horror fan, I suggest checking it out- it's not, you know, overly frightening or gory - this is CBfriggingS- but it's an intriguing murder mystery following the slasher formula. Click that link to find out more and watch the premiere; characters will be killed off every week, so you don't want to get too far behind. Besides, all the cool kids are watching it and you DO want to be a cool kid, don't you? Smoking is no longer enough!

Though I may be MIA next week, my AMC columns will still go up on Wednesdays, so don't fret. This week, my excitement over the DVD release of Slaughter High has prompted me to yak about a few slasher flicks I like. Omigawd, I know- it's like, so what else is new, right? Haw haw.

By the way, you should watch Slaughter High now that it's readily available. You won't be sorry! Unless, of course, you're a jerk.

Speaking of not jerks, check this out: mi amigo Wes Fierce (of the highly way awesomer than FG site Horror Film Magazine) had a bee in his creative bonnet and subsequently sent me this:

Yes folks, that's a one-sheet for EsKILLator, which you surely recognize as one of the fifty horror films I'd like to see. Actually, it's number one on the list!

The cast list is certainly inspired- Sid Haig and Tricia Helfer...that's a team up the world has been waiting for. One of you start an online petition and let's get some funding for this puppy!

nom nom nom

As I've pointed out in the past, a general rule of thumb regarding anthology movies is that there will be one stinker in the bunch, one shining star, and a few segments that aren't stellar, but at least they're largely inoffensive. This rule can also be applied to the dynamics of groups of friends and salads...stupid carrots, always ruining everything. Well, not everything, exactly- I mean, they're fine when they're cooked or on their own, but in salads? Okay, fine, even in salads they're alright, but only if they're, like, slivers. A big, fat disc of carrot will fuck a salad up like no one's business--

Before I go on and on about carrots and the myriad ways in which I enjoy them or don't enjoy them, let me just say that the 2004 Malaysian film Visits: Hungry Ghost Anthology pretty much proves my theory on the portmanteau flick- to me, this means that I'm right about everything all the time, and therefore no one can contradict my views, whether they be regarding carrots or Battlestar Galactica (best show ever) or what you should do with your hair (I say shave it all off).

Sorry, BSG just started up again and I've got the fever for the flavor of a Pringle.

The 15th night of the 7th month marks, essentially, Chinese Halloween. During this time, "hungry ghosts" are released and spirits walk the earth to mingle with the living. Hungry for what, you ask? No, they're not here for your Cool Ranch Doritos, my friends...they're hungry for your face! At least, that's the way the film played out in my imagination. In reality, the hungry ghosts of Visits are just...sort of...here, despite the fact that we're promised some truly scary stories in the framing narrative, which finds a radio DJ recounting stories to his listeners.


Two girls lie on the ground in a bloody pile. One of them dies, one of them ends up in the hospital with a concussion and amnesia. Was it a suicide pact? Why is the dead one hanging around the largely-empty hospital, showing off her scabby face? How does her boyfriend tie into all this? Flashbacks fill in all the predictable blanks, but unfortunately it all happens a bit too fast. There's no build to the story, and there's little tension- just a few jump scares. Honestly, 1413 had me dreading the hour-plus I still had to slog through in Visits; I'm happy to say that the stinker of the bunch was out of the way first.


Sam receives a phone call from her childhood friend Anne, during which Anne imparts that she's recently broken up with her girlfriend and as a result her world has gone to hell. Her ex isn't returning her calls, how did things go wrong, she can't live with out her, blah blah usual breakup drama blah. Soon Sam can't get a hold of Anne- until she finds Anne wandering down a lonely road late one night. Anne has nowhere to go, so Sam takes her in. Anne sees clammy feet in Sam's closet and splits, and only later do we learn her fate.

Huh? Yeah, clammy feet peeing (typo but it stays) out from the back of a closet are about as spooktacular as Waiting For Them gets. It's much more a character study/drama with a few bizarre sequences (a moment that finds the two women brushing their teeth together was a highlight) (yes, brushing teeth was a highlight) than a straight-up horror story, ghost or otherwise. It's odd, then, that I enjoyed this segment- it's so quiet and still that you may wonder if there are actually actors or if the director has simply staged set pieces with mannequins. I liked getting my Murder She Wrote on, though, as I tried to figure out Anne's story. Your mileage, of course, may vary.


I know, that title, right? I was totally all "What the heck is a nodding scoop? Does it involve ice cream? 'Cause if it does, I'm totally nodding yes! HA HA HA!" Sadly, it does not involve ice cream. "Nodding scoop" is a device constructed from a ladle and a wig, and it's used as a sort of Ouija board when people attempt to communicate with the spirits. So, if you were like "Hey dead person, are you here?" and the dead person was, the scoop would, you know, nod. In this segment, which finds some college students filming themselves using the device as they perform a seance, the silliness of the contraption gave way to supreme creepiness. As can be expected, the students really do summon a spirit; the creepiness promptly goes out the window and the plot quickly devolves into nonsense. An extremely disappointing end to a very promising start.


Here we have a security guard who's obsessed with one of the female inhabitants of the apartment building in which he works. He plants tiny cameras in her apartment to spy on her, and his behavior continues to escalate until he's spending time in her home when she's not there. Soon he finds out that she's got a secret of her own.

Anybody Home? was my favorite story of the bunch, and it's certainly the standout of Visits. The segment is almost completely wordless as we view life through the various cameras of the apartment building- we see the girl coming home drunk at 2 am, stumbling to the elevators; we watch every boring facet of her life, from doing the dishes to going to the bathroom- we see what's arousing the security guard. We watch him in her apartment, invading her space and reacting violently to something he finds in her freezer. This moment marks a shift in the story's narrative- the stalker becomes the victim- and unfortunately it's also a change in narrative devices. The security camera conceit is dropped and the rest of Anybody Home? plays out in standard style, which is a complete detriment to the piece. Still, it's an unusual spin on fairly standard Asian Horror fare.

That seems to be the biggest problem with Visits: Hungry Ghost Anthology- each segment treads overly familiar waters, waters that have been explored to much greater effect in other films. Each story here fell victim to the anthology format, in that they're essentially short films. Horror shorts need to pack a wallop, and if anything, Asian ghost stories are slow mood pieces. It's difficult to build ample tension and create an unsettling atmosphere in such a short amount of time. While none of these segments truly pays off in a completely satisfying way, there is some interesting material to be found for enthusiasts of the genre.

easy like Friday mornin’

Last night (or this morning, if you want to get all semantical about it), I went to see Underworld: Rise of the Lycans so I could review it for AMC. I can't say I was overly enthused; beyond the catch a 12:10am show, then immediately write a review aspect of it, I knew next to nothing about the franchise and I didn't think it would be my cup of tea at all. How did I fare? How did the movie fare? Did I enjoy it, or did I want to kill myself? Read and find out, lest Rhona Mitra stab you with that pointy thing!

There's some new art posted over at my website- namely, a commission I recently completed: Miike's Audition.

No, I still haven't seen it. Yes, I'm a wicked big lame. I'd say I'd watch it tonight, but tonight Battlestar Galactica holds my heart and my mind captive.

Yes, I'm also a nerd...oh, come on. Like you didn't know that already.

SDCC 08: Friday the 13th

Oh Comic-Con, you've left me but a shell of the woman I once was. 5 days of walking, shouting, looking, and jostling is enough to break even the most enthusiastic geek. The show is so huge and so packed it's practically impossible to actually enjoy it at times. Sure, the film companies have sweet booth setups, but you can't check it out for all the people swarming around it. The panels are great, but if you can hit two popular panels in two different locations, you must be some sort of ninja. People queue up hours in advance like they're waiting for tickets to a Samantha Fox concert or something! I had too many obligations and couldn't spend time standing around in line, and therefore I ended up shut out of a few panels (a press pass, unfortunately, counts for total squat), including the only two I really wanted to see: Resident Evil: Degeneration and Battlestar Galactica. Douchey times! I still did some wicked (wicked as in squee!) cool stuff, though, and I'll have articles and the whatnot trickling in over the next week or two.

I caught the panel for the Platinum Dunes reimaginariumination of Friday the 13th- I know the footage shown was leaked online; maybe you snagged a peek before it was quickly pulled. If you didn't, I bet you wanna know what it was all about, huh? Don't you? And you want to know what producers Andrew Form and Brad Puller and stars Derek Mears, Jared Padalecki, and some chick who only spoke about three words had to say, don't you? Sigh, fine!

First off, here's the teaser poster, unveiled for the very first time, not at all unlike a virgin:

Me like! Simple, spooky, and iconic. Well played, Platinum Dunes...well played.

The footage shown featured a couple of supermodelesque teens wandering into Jason's deluxe shanty during a trip to Camp Crystal Lake; they come across a big pile of lit candles as well as...a wrinkled old head, presumably that of Mrs Voorhees. Eeeeyagggh! The guitars start to whale, supermodels start to scream, Jason finds the hockey mask, Jason busts through a window just like he did at the end of Part 2, Jason starts to make with the chop chop. And yes, there is some "ki ki ki ma ma ma"- if they'd done away with that, the fury of the legions of horror nerds (myself included) would burn with such intensity that the world would suddenly go supernova, then suck in the rest of the solar system as the supernova reversed direction and turned into a black hole.

What? It would. I know my science.

According to the producers, this film isn't going to be a strict remake of Friday the 13th, but rather an amalgamation of parts 2-4. Nowadays one seems to think a broad like Pamela Voorhees couldn't take down a hunky hunk like Jared Padalecki, and besides, no one cares about a broad like Pamela Voorhees anymore- horror fans want Jason. So what is Platinum Dunes doing with Jason?

Well, they ain't doing an origin movie. Apparently we'll briefly learn only a bit about his past, and he's going to be "rooted in reality" as they move away from super zombie Jason of the later Friday films. Derek Mears claims this Jason is smart, sympathetic, and "just a guy". I claim that a few shots in the teaser footage make me think Mears is going to kick ass.

Wait, "kick ass"? Yeah, I have to admit, I kinda liked the footage- a surprising reaction I attribute to the intensity displayed by Mears. The rest looked like your typical loud, brash horror movie fare (this is Platinum Dunes, after all)- ridiculously attractive "regular" teens covered in dirt, a soundtrack turned up to eleven, blah blah blah. But Jason's the star of this show, and he looked pretty fucking cool.

While the film apparently has a finite ending, the producers said they'd love to do a sequel. They also briefly mentioned the imminent retooling of The Birds and how there are so many horror properties out there they're simply itching to remake- one, in particular, is A Nightmare on Elm Street. This immediately made me wonder why the production company doesn't seem to be interested in making anything...well, new and original; it seems they're only going to plunder the past. I felt my righteous horror indignation flare up a bit, but then it quickly dissipated- I had to bolt to make it across the Comic-Con compound to catch something else, and I simply didn't have time to think.

Have no fear, I'm sure you'll be inundated with Friday the 13th news items all over The Internet in the months to come- the film won't be released until Friday, February 13, 2009. As for me, eh. I'll see it- in fact, it might even be pretty effing cool to see Jason on the big screen again.

Ack, what am I saying?? I can't be optimistic about this- damn, Comic-Con fried my fucking brain!

the rig is up

It is a well-known fact that one of the sides comprising the equilateral triangle that represents the best television shows in the history of ever is the new Battlestar Galactica (the other two sides being, of course, Melrose Place and Dallas).

Wow, writing that sentence totally got me jonesing to do some alg/trig, what with all the letters and formulae and angles that are involved. Scalene triangles are the best triangles, don't you think?

Wait, I mean I hate math! Christ, I keep forgetting that I'm a girl. Damn this moustache!

The point is, when one loves Battlestar Galactica as if the show is one's own child and one is browsing at Video Hut and one spots a movie called Ghost Rig (2003) and one notices that the words "Jamie" and "Bamber" are emblazoned across the top of the box, one gets very excited and one brings Ghost Rig home. Jamie Bamber, see, plays Apollo on Battlestar Galactica, and Ghost Rig is ostensibly a horror movie. A squared + B squared = 2 great tastes tasting great together, my mathemagical friends!

In Ghost Rig, a bunch of environmental activists occupy an abandoned oil rig that's about to be demolished. Believing that the "artificial reef" formed by the rig debris will do more harm than good, the crazy kids of "Action Planet" intend to stay on the rig until...until...uh, I guess until the government promises not to destroy it. You know, they use the strategy of those folks who sit in trees to protest the chop-chop.

After what seems like 453968 minutes of activists walking around with flashlights, we learn that the rig is not, in fact, abandoned! There's someone on board, though whether corporeal or otherwise it's unclear. This someone's intentions are perfectly clear, however, and soon the someone makes with the Black Christmasing of an unlucky activist.

After the body is found, the group is divided into two factions: those who want to stay and those who want to split. The stayers outnumber the splitters so the activists decide to keep...activisting.

Captain Action Planet decides this is a good time to casually mention to the group that the rig was quarantined before their arrival. Nothing like a little exposure to unknown viruses and the such to liven things up a bit!

At this point, Ghost Rig becomes the rig-ified baby of John Carpenter's The Thing and that movie I've seen ten minutes of about seven times, Fallen. The virus ain't a virus per se, but rather it's a...demon of sorts, and the possession is passed from person to person and therefore no one can be trusted. The ragtag group of activists must overcome their differences (Captain Action Planet is an a-hole! Jamie Bamber is totally a double agent, which kind of doesn't make any sense!) as they fight for survival. Will they be able to?

People flip out and whale on each other with hammers, wounds heal via dodgy CGI, there's a 'demon voice' which proves that Mercedes McCambridge is the only person who could do a believable demon voice and she didn't need any fucking help from a computer thank you very much, there are corpses tucked away in the walls, and the activists piece together what happened on the rig before it got all possess-y, starting with the discovery of a giant devil's hopscotch.

By the way, the term "devil's hopscotch" reminds me of Devil's Hopyard, which is a state park near where I grew up. Obviously it's the best name for a state park EVARRRRRR. It also has the coolest legends of any state park I've ever encountered, which, as you can imagine, fueled wee Final Girl's imagination:
Another tale focuses on the potholes near the falls, which are some of the finest examples of pothole stone formations in this section of the country. Perfectly cylindrical, they range from inches to several feet in diameter and depth. These potholes were formed by stones moved downstream by the current and trapped in an eddy where the stone was spun around and around, wearing a depression in the rock. When the rock wore itself down, another would catch in the same hole and enlarge it. We know this now, but to the early settlers the potholes were a great mystery that they tried to explain with references to the supernatural. They thought that the Devil has passed by the falls, accidentally getting his tail wet. This made him so mad he burned holes in the stones with his hooves as he bounded away.
Stupid, awesome, superstitious settlers.

But! Now is not the time for southeastern Connecticut's geological history. Now is the time for mediocre horror movies, so back to Ghost Rig.

I must admit, just when I was thinking that this movie was a let down, Apollo or no Apollo, Ghost Rig surprised me with a twist ending that was interesting, satisfying, and undoubtedly the best part of the movie. I'm not going to give anything away here because not only was the ending completely unexpected, but it's also complicated and I'm too lazy to type all that shit out. Suffice it to say, when Ghost Rig ended I had to give it a begrudging "Not bad, kid...not bad at all." Then Ghost Rig gave me a Coke and I threw my shirt at it*.

So. Should you seek out Ghost Rig? Well, if you're anything like me, then perhaps yes. "Anything like me" means that you want to make out with Battlestar Galactica so badly that you even consider rewatching Halloween: Resurrection, a movie that opened with fifteen minutes that made you want to kill yourself and the entire world the first time you saw it, just because Starbuck is in it. "Anything like me" means that a movie about a haunted oil rig is something that makes you genuinely go "Ooh, hey, this could be good". "Anything like me" means you would buy an algebra workbook just for fun, but I suppose that's sort of beside the point.

*I realize that there are plenty of you out there who have absolutely no clue what I'm referencing here, so voila. Great Caesar's ghost, I've dated people who are younger than that commercial. How is this possible? In related news, does Coke really add life?