Archive for April, 2018

ConCarolinas is a multi-media, multi-genre convention located (this year) at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, NC over the weekend of June 1st, 2nd, 3rd. This year’s convention offers up a wide array of things to do and people to see with panels galore, musical guests, parties, and creators ranging from indie writers to pop culture celebrities like author/actor/pro wrestling superstar Edge. 

One of the highlights to look forward to this year will be the ConCarolinas Short Film Festival. The ConCarolinas Film Track’s heads Bill Mulligan and Jason Gilbert along with a host of creators are serving up hours of entertainment this year that, in some cases, you might not be able to catch anywhere else in the immediate future. Check out what’s on the lineup.

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It’s #AlienDay

From time to time, the timeline of cinema history has giant red lines etched into it that separate eras. There are the way things were or were expected to be before that point in time/event and then the way things were or were expected to be after that point in time/event. For science fiction cinema, the 1970s had two huge red lines etched into its timeline that changed the way we expected big budget science fiction to look on screen.

One of those lines came in 1977 with Star Wars. Star Wars brought on entire new expectations with regards to what science fiction on the big screen would look like. But, for as much as some people talk about the dirty, used, lived in look of the technology in Star Wars, the real impact Star Wars had was the work ILM did with both the FX work and in how some of that FX work was shot. The world of Star Wars may have been dirtier and more dog-eared than the world of 2001: A Space Odyssey just shy of a decade before it, but many of the visuals of the one could have easily felt at home in the other. Then the other red line in cinema’s timeline came along in 1979, and that red line, the movie Alien, changed the way we expected science fiction on the big screen to look in more ways than one.

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The Assignment: Horror Podcast

Godmonster CoverThere’s not a lot to say about this week’s assignment that wasn’t said in the intro and then by the crew during the show. Fredric Hobbs’ Godmonster of Indian Flats was a, well, for lack of a better word, legendary lost film that makes the previously reviewed on the blogMonsterlook like a high end movie production. 

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1980’s Ruckus was writer/director Max Kleven’s attempt to do a film around a damaged Vietnam vet who gets harassed by the locals and has to ultimately fight for his survival thanks to the local good old boys deciding he needs to be taught his place. While the movie predated First Blood by two years, it came out eight years after the release of the novel and studios had been trying to put together a film version of the novel for almost the entire ten years it took to finally get it to the big screen. During that time, early scripts were written and passed around and it became more and more of a buzz property. While I’ve never seen a direct admission of this, anyone who watches both Ruckus and First Bloodwill immediately notice the many similarities in the story and the character concepts. Where the films don’t have something in common is in the overall quality of the filmmaking.

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The news started trickling out Saturday morning that Art Bell had passed away at the age of 72. By later in the morning, the sad news had been confirmed. A lot of people out there likely don’t know who Art Bell was; although they still may have heard him on the radio or seen him on TV more than a few times. However, for those of us who knew the man’s work well the news hit like a ton of bricks even though he’s largely been off the airwaves for some time now. That impact is not even dependent on you being a believer in any of the subject matter Art used to discuss on his show.

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On April 16, 1988 in Japan, 30 years ago now, an animated film, an early film for the just shy of three-year-old Studio Ghibli, opened in movie theaters in Japan. The film itself was based on a 1967 semi-autobiographical short story, Hotaru no Haka, from writer Akiyuki Nosaka. The story itself had become well known in Japan, and Akiyuki Nosaka had reportedly turned down several offers to turn his story into a live action movie or television film believing that live action would not capture the intended spirit of the story. He had never considered animation, but first the pitch from Studio Ghibli and then the early storyboards convinced him that the story could not be properly told at that time in any medium other than animation. There are probably a lot of people all around the world who are glad he came to that conclusion, because had he not done so we would never have seen Grave of the Fireflies. Of course, that’s as much a blessing as a curse for some.

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The Assignment: Horror Podcast

CoverWe celebrated April Fool’s Day at The Assignment: Horror Podcast by turning the tables on our three older horror movie buffs. This episode, it’s John, Jerry, and Becca who find themselves locked in the dungeon and assigned a movie to watch by Richard. Richard’s assignment to the crew is a movie he stumbled across some time back and quite enjoyed, 2006’s Open Water 2: Adrift.

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