I don’t know if it’s a sign that I’m getting older and losing track of time, but once again, I sit down feeling the blog writing urge and I look at the last one, which I swear by Spielberg’s beard can only have been a couple of weeks ago - and realise that a month has actually passed. In my defence, though - I’ve been busy adding film reviews as I’ve seen them and trying to figure out what my favourite film of the summer blockbuster season was.
I had it all figured out, except depending on my mood it alternated between Captain America: The First Avenger and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Both of them really rocked my world, or at least the bubble I tend to live in. Then I saw Super 8 on Friday and it settled the matter as I basked in a nostalgic glow and enjoyed the hell out of that film which took me back to the Goonies/Explorers/My Science Project era. For the full review, head over to the Features section where I wax lyrical about a movie that seems to have got bad reviews elsewhere. But then again, I never did run with the pack.
I was a bit surprised that Green Lantern didn’t make more of an impact. Yes, he’s a second tier character, but then I was just as surprised that Thor was more of a hit. I would’ve bet money that the box office fortunes of those films would’ve been reversed. I also look forward to revisiting those movies on DVD during the winter months. Both films have already been guaranteed sequels, plus we get to see Thor again in next summer’s huge super hero ensemble The Avengers, where he’ll team up with Captain America, Iron Man and Hulk. The very concept of seeing that line-up live in a movie rather than a cartoon hits me right dead centre on the geek sweet spot.
Speaking of ensemble casts, I heard this past week of the ultimate cast being assembled for The Expendables 2. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better than the eighties action juggernauts who joined forces for the original, it is apparently confirmed that joining Stallone, Statham, Lee, Rourke and Lundgren with Willis and Schwarzenegger returning in expanded roles are Jean Claude Van Damme AND Chuck Norris. I mean...holy shit. What a cast. I understand that Travolta and Cage are also being sought. No idea when this is being filmed or its subsequent release, but count me IN. Day of release.
Anyhow, that’s summer done with for another year, next summer’s blockbusters are lining up nicely and probaly for the year following (provided that the Mayans were wrong and the world doesn’t come to an end in December 2012). It’s mid-September already and the shadows are getting longer, the days are getting shorter, there’s an autumnal chill in the air and the stores are beginning to set up their Halloween displays. I love this time of year. The best Halloween I think I ever spent was in the year of 2005, when I spent the evening enjoying all of the haunted houses in Universal Studios’ famous "Halloween Horror Nights" attraction in Florida. Nobody puts on a live show like Universal and part of me is sorry that I can’t be there this year. One of the attractions is a maze based on Alice Cooper’s "Welcome To My Nightmare" and I’d love to see that. However, I’m not too cut up about it and I’m going one better than walking through a maze based on his songs. Come October 30, appropriately named Devil’s Night, I’ll be attending one of the special events the Coop has planned. I have tickets for Alice Cooper’s Halloween Night of Fear, a special concert apart from his current tour, where he’ll be joined on stage by real freaks and what he politely calls "alternative performers" for an evening of the ultimate rock and roll horrors, kicked off by opening band, the legendary New York Dolls. What a way to celebrate Halloween. There will be a full report posted here, naturally.
Incidentally, Alice’s new album "Welcome 2 My Nightmare" has just hit the stores and is the perfect soundtrack to your Halloween festivities. I’ve been listening to it in the car practically on a loop since my pre-ordered copy was delivered and can’t recommend it highly enough. Alice has followed up his 1975 album perfectly with a package that captures the same essence of a disjointed nightmare as the original did back in the day. Check it out here.
Actually, here’s something I’ve noticed about Cooper. In an industry where looks and youth are seen to be paramount above all else, Alice’s ageing has improved his act. He looks better performing his act now than he did back in the seventies - the years and the smeared make-up have given him an air of Bette Davis "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane" and his voice has also improved over the years to further enhance his legendary stage show. There’s nothing quite as sinister as hearing "I’m Eighteen" sung by a guy in his mid sixties.
In the run up to Halloween, there’s a little thing I do called Shocktober. It’s a film festival. Those of you who used to read my old MySpace blogs might remember last year’s? But here’s the thing - you don’t have to travel to participate, I choose a theme, all the movies I choose on that theme are easily available so you can watch them in the comfort of your own home, (unless I throw in a ringer) and each of those films will be reviewed right here. Well, not here - over I think in Cult Corner. This carries on all through the month of October. The films will be announced on this site’s Facebook page so come and join in. I’m not announcing the theme until next Sunday, but I’ll bet that the first film to be covered will make my friend Thomas Pirrie very happy.
All films will also be open to discussion on the site’s Facebook page, so if you’re not already a member - please feel free to join up. That’s where all my activity on this site is announced first. Membership of that page has been at 122 for quite a while, let’s have a recruitment drive. Tell your friends, spread the word, there’s a crazy psycho loose on the internet and there ain’t no stopping him.
Halloween also will be the first anniversary of this very site. I’ll have been ranting, reviewing, raving, hollering and occasionally barking at the moon over here for a full year come October 31. I’m glad to announce that I’ve renewed my contract with the web hosting and support company for another year - and have added a stipulation that both my site and my domain name are to be automatically renewed from now on. What started as an experiment in the middle of October last year to see if I could take the next step and start up a site of my own, away from MySpace and retain some of the people who read my material in the late GoreZone has proved a success so I’m here to stay.
But of course, if there isn’t enough material here for you - remember I’m a regular columnist at Starburst. I have my Future Imperfect column over there every month, and this last week saw the debut of a brand new column I’ve created and written with my friend and colleague J.R.Southall. What we’ve done is take a point of discussion and we debate it back and forth in an article, then the readers can join in our discussion in the comments section. The column is called (wait for it) "When Words Collide" (- you know my weakness for really bad puns - right?). The first column has us discussing, bickering and bitching about the validity of remakes. Check it out here, and don’t forget my look at the Flash Gordon serials in Future Imperfect. Best of all, you don’t even have to register or log in to read any of this any longer.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I have some Vincent Price, some Charlton Heston and some Will Smith to watch for next month’s column.
Stay low, stay sharp, stay safe........