Archive for September, 2007

Friday vampire dance party

Collide: Euphoria.

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‘Moonlight’ premieres tonight

The CBS Angel wannabe show of a vampire detective helping the living begins tonight.

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From Fangoria

In a scenario with echoes of the WB’s ANGEL, Alex O’Loughlin plays Mick St. John, a Los Angeles detective who also happens to be a 60-year-old creature of the night. He longs for pretty tabloid reporter Beth Turner (Sophia Myles, whose credits include UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION and last year’s BBC DRACULA, and took over from the presentation’s Shannon Lucio) while getting chastised by his much older undead buddy Josef (VERONICA MARS’ Jason Dohring, who supplanted THE FOG’s Rade Serbedzija). Josef feels Alex should be spending less time helping humankind and more protecting the secrecy of their nocturnal subculture. And Shannyn (THE ORDER) Sossamon replaced Amber Valletta as femme fatale Coraline, who “sired” Mick in the first place. “What we’re trying to do is a vampire show for the 21st century,” Stanton says. “We’re trying to keep it grounded and real—and make it a little more fun and sexy. We have a bigger love-story component than some other similar series that have been out there.”

snip

The big question for Fangorians, however, is how horrific MOONLIGHT will become—and the producers feel that there will be enough bloodshed to keep die-hard fright fans satisfied. “Look, he’s a vampire, he needs blood to survive,” Werksman notes. “He has fangs and super-abilities in terms of strength, speed, hearing, sight and smell, and when he goes up against other vampires, you really see these people being supernaturally cool. To that end, we have a great stunt department and coordinators who are doing amazing things—almost Errol Flynn-like battles between, for example, two vampires in a stairwell, with these guys pummeling each other and biting.”
Of course, when you’re beholden to a major network like CBS, you ultimately want the best of both worlds in terms of viewership, and Stanton and Werksman believe they have delivered the goods. “What we’re doing is making a show that horror fans will get behind, but if you’re not a horror fan, you won’t be scared away by it,” Stanton says.

Here’s what USA Today wrote: ‘Moonlight robs the graves of better shows’:

If you must steal, at least make good use of what you take.

When it comes to grand-scale theft, it’s hard to be more obvious than CBS’ vampire-detective drama, Moonlight. It’s basically Angel without the search-for-a-soul underpinnings that gave Angel depth, and with a more ponderous script and less adept cast.

OK, so maybe it isn’t Angel after all.

snip

Mick is trying to solve a murder; what is the show trying to do? Where tonight’s premiere verges on the comic, the second episode — written by Angel’s David Greenwalt — moves the show in a darker direction. But Greenwalt has since left, so what tone comes next?

Whoever is running Moonlight needs to learn to pay more attention to real-life details. Tonight’s episode asks us to believe that a string of murders could take place without the police interfering with any of the very obvious suspects. The second posits a supposedly well-regarded reporter who writes a book about a convict without looking into his past or speaking to his arresting officer.

Why does it matter? If we don’t buy the “real-life” aspects of a fantasy, we’ll never buy the fantasy itself. That’s one of the crucial lessons ingrained in Angel.

Next time you visit the scene of the crime, steal that as well.

BREAKING: Dems WANT to lose 2008

Through a secret source, I was just sent this story that’s breaking on the wires. I’ll post a link as soon as available.

I’m going to post as much as I can while trying not to break the site’s rules on copyright violations.

The Times

WASHINGTON – Congressional Democrats unveiled tonight that their vote on resolutions condemning MoveOn.org and lackluster efforts to end the Iraq war were part of a plan to lose the 2008 election.

“MoveOn.org has done much to help Democrats win so we had to attack them,” said one Democratic Hill staffer. “They’re upsetting our best efforts to lose.”

Congressional Democrats fearful that polls and many prognosticators have predicted a major victory for Democrats in 2008 are doing their best to turn the possibility of a landslide for them into a crushing defeat.

“We hate the thought of winning,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “I can’t believe people haven’t got that message yet. We’ve done everything but tattoo it on our foreheads. What’s it going to take for people to realize we like being in the minority party?”

Democratic bloggers said they’ve known of the Congressional Democrats desire to throw what should be a favorable election year for Democrats into a loss.

“They couldn’t be showing so little regard to their own base by accident,” said one blogger, who asked not to be named. “We know they’re trying their best to throw the election. The flaw in their plan is we’re so pissed off at them we want to make sure they win just to spite them. The bastards. We see a Democratic victory in 2008 as a two-fer: a chance to foil the best efforts of Congressional Democrats and Republicans.”

Update: more from the article

Senate Democrats said the anti-war sentiment that swept Democrats into power in 2006 had to be countered with today’s vote on Iran.

“Look at what Senator [ Robert C. ] Byrd’s anti-war votes in the past did for him in the 2006 election,” said Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). “He won in a landslide. From my recent statements it looked like I had learned my lesson from my mistakes regarding Iraq and torture. I had to do do something radical to show that I had not.”

Other Senate Democrats said their Iran votes today were cast for a similar reason.

Doyle’s interest in seances

The Times of London has a feature on Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle’s interest in seances.

Sherlock Holmes may have been the epitome of scientific reason, but Arthur Conan Doyle, his creator, was obsessed by seances and spiritualism.

Notebooks describing his earliest contact with mediums and psychic phenomena have emerged this week, 120 years after he wrote them, proving that his interest in seances had started 30 years earlier than previously thought.

The author was working as a doctor in Portsmouth when he attended his first seance in 1887, the year that he published his first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet.

After seeing a medium talking in different voices and a table moving jerkily, apparently tapping out words uttered by the spirits, he wrote of witnessing “a new revelation” to the human race in which religion had become a “real thing” and not merely “a matter of faith”. The contents of the notebooks, which date from 1885 to 1889, are disclosed in a new biography, Conan Doyle: The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes, by Andrew Lycett.

Mr Lycett said: “He had an interest in the paranormal from an early age, but the detail of his actual dabbling in seances had not been known. He didn’t come out as spiritualist until the First World War. What is interesting about this is that it shows him engaging with spiritualism at an earlier age than that.

“These notes helped me understand what I consider the central enigma of his life – how a trained doctor, who created such an epitome of the rational detective, was obsessed by the supernatural – to the point where, after the First World War, he became a leading proponent of spiritualism.”

In contrast, Holmes was dismissive of the paranormal. When presented with a case involving possible vampirism in his 1924 story, The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire, the detective jokes: “This agency stands flat-footed upon the ground, and there it must remain. The world is big enough for us. No ghosts need apply.”

Legal battle looms at Dracula’s castle

From the BBC:

Romanian MPs have become embroiled in a row over the ownership of Bran Castle – the 14th-Century building famous for its links to the Count Dracula story.

It was returned to New York architect Dominic Habsburg, a descendant of the country’s former rulers, last year after 60 years under state control.

Some MPs say that process was illegal and want to stop the castle being sold.

Mr Habsburg has threatened legal action, saying it would be a “dreadful injustice” to strip him of ownership.

The infamous Prince Vlad “the impaler”, the real-life inspiration for Dracula, is reputed to have spent a night at Castle Bran.

This connection has been a boon to the tourist industry in Romania, and MPs are keen to hold on to a prized asset.

It’s all fun and games until the lawyers get involved.

Police raid doomsday cult

Paging Inspector Legrasse. Inspector Legrasse to the courtesy phone please. From Reuters:

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Ugandan police have arrested 12 leaders of a doomsday cult that believes floods swamping large parts of the north and east of the country herald the end of the world, state media said Sunday.

Apocalyptic sects are a particularly sensitive subject for the east African nation, where another group killed nearly 800 followers in massacres and a mass suicide after its prediction the world would end at the start of 2000 failed to come true.

It has been among the hardest hit of 17 African countries ravaged by floods in recent weeks. Some 300,000 Ugandans, many already uprooted by conflict, have been affected.

“We sent our investigation team who found cult members praying and claiming they are prophets sent by God with 18 commandments to preach the end of the world,” a police commander in Gulu town, Johnson Kilama, told the Sunday Vision newspaper.

And artists and poets across the globe continue to have nightmares.

A love letter to a zombie film

Although he’s wrong about White Zombie, he’s right about I Walked With a Zombie.

Posted in Film | 1 Comment »

Marcel Marceau, RIP

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Update: From my 9 year old daughter, who deadpanned, “I wonder what his dying words were.”

Posted in Art, Obits | 1 Comment »

The HP Lovecraft Film Festival

October 5-7 at the Hollywood Theatre, Portland OR

Poster for the 2007 HP Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR

Clicking on the image will bring you to the festival schedule. And yeah – in case you can’t tell from the poster, John Carpenter is the guest of honor.

Late Friday vampire dance party

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