Friday, March 10, 2017

Are You Following Me?

I hope so. I'm keeping pretty busy these days, both with my "day job" as an intrepid reporter for VAMPIRES.COM, WEREWOLVES.COM, DARKNESS.COM, TOPCOMICS.COM, and ZOMBIES.ORG, and playing with the gang over at EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS. All of those above are also to be found on Facebook and Twitter, too, so there's no excuse for not staying up to date. Pretty please keep reading! I needz your support! 

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Letter to PENNY DREADFUL Creator John Logan, From His Fans:




Dear Mr. Logan:


How could you? Do you not have more respect for your audience than that? An audience that has been loyal to you every step of the way? And what of the actors and the crew members who worked so hard for those 3+ years to bring your vision to life? Do you not have any respect for them? Do you not have any respect for your own work?


I’m not a better writer than you, John. I know this. Yet I can think of a good half-dozen scenarios in which PENNY DREADFUL could have continued, and none of them would leave any of the dangling plotlines that your peremptory season finale left us with. Please don’t bother trying to convince us again that it was always your intention for PENNY DREADFUL to run for only three seasons. You are insulting our collective intelligence. A brief web search will uncover several documented instances of you making contradictory statements concerning how long you initially intended the series to run and at what point you made the decision to end it at three. Even without this corroborating evidence, however, it is obvious your decision to end the series the way you did, at the time you did, was, if not a last minute decision, at least a recent one. Or, if the plan had been in your mind for any duration of time, the sloppy, slipshod manner in which you managed the third season suggests that you were already preoccupied with other projects, that you were simply “phoning it in.”


Why introduce such a complex and fascinating character as Catriana, only to do nothing with her? Such a last-minute addition makes no sense. Why introduce Henry Jekyll if you never planned to show us Edward Hyde? What about those story points back in season one, the connection of the vampires to ancient Egypt? Why bring in Dracula, such a larger-than-life, scene-stealing, eclipsing character, then do nothing with him? Are we really supposed to believe that he would just shrug and walk away after Vanessa’s death? That he would not at the very least have taken his revenge, vented his rage, upon Ethan and the others? And what will he do next? There were so, so many loose ends, John. You are far too talented a writer to leave a project so unfinished, and yet that is what you did. Because it was always a part of your grand design? Hogwash. We know you too well, John. You proved to us, over and over again, that you are better than that. A second-rate hack might view such a flawed, contrived ending as sufficient, but not a writer of your caliber.


(As an aside, yes, we will accept that your intention was always to have Vanessa’s story end in such a way, and that particular sequence was haunting and beautiful. It would have been hard, would be hard, for you to top it. No complaints there, John. That particular ending you got perfectly right. But you jumped ahead to it, didn’t you? Yes, you did. You cut right to the grand finale at the expense of a hefty chunk of what should have been the third act. PENNY DREADFUL wasn’t JUST Vanessa’s story, John. You seem to have forgotten that.)


So stop lying to us, John. Your decision to end PENNY DREADFUL in such a way was NOT always your intent. Why did you do it, then?


We’re smart enough to put the pieces together, John. You have a new project in the works with Showtime. Bully for you. So you got bored with PENNY DREADFUL and wanted to move on, and you felt proprietary enough over the series to want to put the period in place yourself. If you cared that much, though, why not take a little more time and end it properly? Another season, or even a few additional episodes, would have sufficed. But you were in a hurry, weren’t you, John? It’s obvious to us, John, that this was the case. Why? Were you under pressure from the network to get busy on your new show? Was there a financial incentive for you to do so? Or are you just a pampered, spoiled genius who can afford to make such decisions based solely on whim, because you know you’ve reached a status of success where no one will call you on it? Does it even matter WHY you did it? Not to us, it doesn’t.


You betrayed us, John. You betrayed our trust in you. Please, tell me why we should ever trust you again. Why should we ever become emotionally invested in any show you oversee, any project you create, knowing that you are subject to, at any moment, get bored and pull the plug, or get offered a juicy new gig and decide to put a premature end to your current show, and this without even bothering to tell us you are doing so until after the fact? By waiting to let us find out that PENNY DREADFUL would end only when we saw the two words THE END emblazoned on the screen, you not only cheated us, you gave no us no advance notice, no chance to prepare ourselves. This is hardly surprising. When one is doing wrong by another, he seldom informs his victim ahead of time.


Make no mistake, John. You screwed us over. We know it and you know it. By trying to claim otherwise you are adding insult to injury. You screwed your fans. We won’t forget that, John. We won’t forgive it. Do you care? I doubt it; not yet, anyway. In the future? Time will tell. But you may rest assured, you are going forward from this point without us. You’ve lost us. Your audience. Your faithful. Your Dreadfuls have turned on you, John. You have turned your most ardent supporters and fans into, not enemies, exactly, but people who will never believe in you again. You should be ashamed, John. You’ve let us all down and you’ve let yourself down. Shame, I say.


And once more, because it bears repeating, SHAME ON YOU.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Did Dracula dip his bread--or his fried chicken--in the blood of his enemies?


I asked historian and Dracula expert Hans de Roos whether he though the mistranslation of the poem describing Vlad Dracula dipping his bread in the blood of his enemies--it should read that Dracula washed his hands in the blood of his enemies--written in the 1400s but rediscovered by Dracula biographers Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally was intentional or deliberate on their part. His response follows: 

"I cannot look into the souls of dead people, but I can tell you this, Wayne: For anyone familiar with German, or Old English, for that matter, translating "hend" with "bread" makes no more sense than translating "cat" with "sponge, "nose" with "fork," "apple" with "shoe," "water" with "book," "tree" with "donkey," etc. etc. The two words have a different spelling, a different sound, a different meaning and a different origin.. "Hend," "Hende," "Hände," "Hand" and "Hant" all come from the Proto-Germanic *handuz (“hand”) and speakers of English, Dutch, Flemish, French, Frisian, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, as well as students of Middle and Old English and Old Saxon can easily recognize it.

For "bread," by contrast, Beheim would have used the Middle High German "brōt," from Old High German "brōt" (attested since the 8th century), from Proto-Germanic *braudą, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰrew- (“to seethe, to boil”); an extension of Proto-Indo-European *bʰerə- (“to well up, to boil, to be in motion (as of fire or water)”). Originating from the same root are "Brühe," "Brei," "braten" and "brennen" [Source: Wiktionary.]

For anyone seriously attempting to translate the discussed stanza from Beheim's poem, translating "Hend" with "bread" makes no sense at all; it has nothing to do with a "liberal translation" or a "far-fetched" interpretation. In my opinion, it is a fabrication that serves the interests of authors who like to extrapolate Vlad's habits (that are gruesome enough already) to a type of behavior that fits the definition of "vampire."

If McNally and Florescu would be negligent or ignorant enough to make a simple translation error, the far more plausible option would be to mix up "Hend" with "Hendl," the Bavarian word for (fried) chicken -- a term that has gained global popularity by the famous "Oktoberfest," where the "Hendl" and the "Brez'l" are the traditional companions of the good German beer ("bier" from Middle High German "bier," from Old High German "bior," from Proto-Germanic "*beuzą" (“beer”), from Proto-Indo-European "*bʰews-," "*bheus-" (“dross, sediment, brewer's yeast”).


The "HENDL" almost a homonym of "HEND".... Yes. would it not be imaginable that Vlad the Impaler dipped his HENDL in the blood of his victims??"

Monday, April 25, 2016

Director William Collins (KILD-TV), whom moi interviewd this past weekend at the LEGLESS CORPSE FILM FESTIVAL, shares some thoughts on the GHOST IN THE SHELL/Scarlett Johansson controversy

Its not at all about racial whitewashing. Stupid ignorant leftists are always trying to make everything a racial case. Its the reality of films as a business. I am a director and a filmmaker, and I think about what sells first. In this case, the issue is that Ghost in the Shell is a JAPANESE story of the highest caliber. I've been dreaming of making this since I first saw the anime. It must remain Japanese to transcend time and have its desired effect. i.e to alter conciseness and usher the era of cybernetics. And its here that the film-business regarding Johansson misses the point. Representation/identifying quality does not slave to the story of origin. A tale that transcends is racially blind, and Ghost in the Shell is that type of film. It would be smarter film-business to consider the savings of not using an super star (Ashkenazi jew /not representative of cybernetics), and make the story in the real back yard of where this is taking place (Japan). Otherwise this story has to be done in NY or San Francisco, and the type of runaway silicon valley of cybernetics would have to be created from scratch, chances are it will not be believable to anybody, killing one of the greatest stories of all time.

Friday, April 22, 2016

BLUEBEARD: THE TRIAL OF GILLES DE RAIS --World Premiere!

Our Poster


       Our Cast: 
 GILLES DE RAIS--JEREMY WOODS
PROFESSOR--TANJA LEWIS MILLER
FIRST JUDGE--SUE HASSETT
SECOND JUDGE--MARK MAREK
THIRD JUDGE--TARA FERGUSON
JOAN OF ARC/CATHERINE DE RAIS--SONIA GUETTLER
JEAN DE CRAON--GREG BRANHAM
RENE/POITOU--THOR SMITH
CHARLES/HENRIET--JONATHAN BAIN
FRANCOIS PRELATI--TODD HESS
EUSTACHE BLANCHET--FRED TAMM-DANIELS
JEAN DE FERRON--MICHAEL BRADLEY
PERRINE MARTIN--AMBER DICKEY
 MOTHER--MARCIE JACKSON
BOY--JASPER FERGUSON

Our Crew: 
SOUND: HEATHER HUBER, TODD HESS
SET: MARK MAREK, DANE WAVERLY
LIGHTS: AMBER DICKEY, WAYNE MAYHEW

Our Venue:
THE HISTORIC LOWRY HOUSE

Saturday, April 2, 2016

BYZANTIUM movie review by Sean Rourke



BYZANTIUM, now on Netflix

If it happens to be dark outside, and you're looking through your streaming services to find a descent vampire movie, then I highly recommend calling up Netflix and watching Byzantium.

Without spoiling anything, you're in for the story of two female vampires and their tale of survival.  The first is Eleanor, played by Saoirse Ronan, (which, btw, sounds like an awesome vampire name,) and her older sister, Clara, played by Gemma Arterton, (which is an equally impressive vampire name!)

Eleanor is an immortal trapped in the body of a sixteen year old.  She appears to be beholden to Clara, who claims to be her older sister, though the two could not be any more different.  Clara is a devious seductress who seems perpetually drawn to the darker corners of the sex trade.  Her fishnet shirts and high heeled boots contrast sharply with Eleanor, who is a cardigan-wearing, introspective  artist. 

But as the movie progresses, we begin to discover the roots of these two vampires and the complex relationship that holds them together.  All the things that a vampire enthusiast hopes for in a film can be found here, from bloodletting victims in remote corners of the urban sprawl, to flashbacks of the vampires' mortal lives, to fleeting glimpses of the larger tapestry of vampire secrets in the world.

If any of this sounds familiar, that might be because Byzantium is directed by Neil Jordan, who gave us Interview with the Vampire.  But whether you hated or loved his interpretation of Interview, this movie deserves your attention.  What he's done with Byzantium is give us a character study of two vampires that is both rich and bleak at the same time.  The nuances of their relationship are new to the vampire genre, and that doesn't happen often these days. 

And when it comes to vampire tropes, Byzantium rarely takes the easy way out, always giving a slightly new interpretation, while never straying far from what is familiar.  The vampire origin story is especially vivd.

There are some nods to previous vampire works in the naming of certain characters, as well as the casting of Johnny Lee Miller in a minor role.  Miller's pedigree includes the debatably important Dracula 2000, where he portrays a young vampire hunter.  In Byzantium, his character is far different, and surprisingly short on screen time.  (I'm assuming he did this one during a lull in his career, before he took the lead in Elementary.)

Tom Hollander also appears in a small role in Byzantium, who was previously seen hunting Saoirse Ronan in another movie, Hanna.

But ultimately, it's the performances of the two leads that make this film.  Both are haunting and devastating in their own way, with Saoirse channeling a girl desperate to break free of the child that she's been playing for over a hundred years.  Meanwhile, Gemma plays counter to the role that we've grown accustomed to seeing her in: as that of the wise and aloof love interest to the adventuring hero.  In this, she is an unapologetic survivor - damaged, dangerous, and cunning, pulling at any thread she can in order to insure that the two vampires are always one step ahead of their enemies.

For the vampire fan, Byzantium is worth your time.  It's tense, indulgent, sexy, and dark, and it's streaming right now.

By: Sean Rourke

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Guitars. Beautiful guitars.

Hail to the King, baby! 
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Who's your Mummy?
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It's Murder!


 
Love the color!
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Glorious black and white!
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Supposedly the guitarist for Metallica owns one like this.
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Looks like Frazetta artwork. 
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The ORIGINAL Mistress of the Dark: VAMPIRA!
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Bite me!
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