This weekend at ConnectiCon, I debuted two brand new panels. The 18+ panel was called Lovecraft on the Silver Screen. It was an exploration of the best and the worst attempts to bring H.P. Lovecraft’s stories to film.
Unfortunately, there were some major tech issues during the panel and the projector kept freaking out, preventing any of the full videos from playing. I want to thank everyone who came and stuck with the panel that largely turned into a lecture with guest appearances by convention A/V staff trying to fix everything from muted audio to the blue screen of death.
Below the jump, I’ve embedded the full PowerPoint presentation as well as the videos from the panel in order. You can read along if you choose or just jump straight to the videos for NSFW Lovecraftian madness.
As of 12AM this morning, the 3rd Annual Cinnefessions Summer Scream Challenge is over. I scored a respectable 293.75 points in 30 days of viewing sci-fi and horror films and TV series. I spent a lot more time on TV this year for the score factor and it paid off. Not too well, though; two other competitors practically eclipsed my modest little efforts to vie for the top prize in the challenge.
To put it in perspective, I watched 50 films and 111 episodes of television in a month. That’s not counting all the non-horror and sci-fi content I was keeping up with, like indie films (Belle is amazing), the new Sailor Moon subs, and all my usual research shenanigans for panels and writing work.
Just a few highlights from the month while I’m feeling nostalgic.
This is not a drill. Do not adjust your dial. Everything is going to be okay.
Guillermo del Toro has officially announced that Pacific Rim will be taking over the world. The beautifully shot, wildly entertaining, and kick-ass female character-starring kaiju v. mecha film is getting a whole lot of new content in the next few years.
15 years ago, an unexplained disaster hit Japan, wiping out a nuclear reactor and killing Joe Brody’s wife Elle. Now, in 2014, his son Ford is called to Japan to claim him from police custody. Joe has convinced himself that he can prove the disaster was not an earthquake if he breaks into the quarantine zone surrounding the disabled reactor. Ford humors him, only to discover that scientists have known for years that Joe’s theories about giant creatures and echolocation are correct.
Godzilla, the fifth attempt to reboot the giant monster series from Japan for an American audience, thankfully succeeds as a Godzilla film. The focus is not placed on the monster himself but on the people from all walks of civilian, science, and military life trying to find a solution to the rampage of an inexplicable beast.
In Night of the Creeps, the aliens have already landed and we were never meant to know. The one infected human, a frat boy, is cryogenically frozen in 1959 for study. However, a fraternity initiation prank in the 1980s goes horribly wrong when the two pledges assigned with snagging a dead body stumble upon the alien host in a lab. The slug-like parasites begin to multiply, entering hosts through the mouth and turning them into flesh-hungry zombies. Now only the two former pledges can fight against the alien invasion stalled decades before.
Writer/director Fred Dekker, best known for The Monster Squad, presents a funny and gory horror/sci-fi film. The murders are as disgusting as the jokes are hilarious. It is, at its core, a genre film about wise-cracking nerds just trying to get some action in college.
I wasn’t even sure I could actually write a review of The Toxic Avenger. I’m a fan, for sure, but it’s kind of impenetrable in its own way. The Troma team wasn’t setting out to do anything traditionally cinematic with it and succeeded on their own terms. That’s the challenge in trying to dig into the how and why of the film.
Horror Thursday: The Toxic Avenger
This week, we’re looking at Galaxy of Terror over at Man, I Love Films. Why? It was the bonus viewing for the sci-fi/horror theme week in the Cinefessions Summer Screams Challenge. I did it for the points.
Horror Thursday: Galaxy of Terror
It’s back! Cinefessions is running their annual horror/sci-fi film watching challenge and Sketchy Details will participate for a third year in a row. I’ve always managed to pop up near the top of the scoreboard and I don’t intend to stop that trend this year.
The checklist is worth 30 points. The five extra bonus items are another five points each. Completing the full checklist, with bonus items, is 80 points. I’m allowed three wildcard films that just miss the horror/sci-fi genre.
Films are one point; half hour TV is a half point. Those scores are doubled for matching the weekly themes.