Sunday, June 19, 2016

Eli Roth's Clown

Eli Roth's Clown is a demonic nightmare
No Bozo, all blood on Clown
If it seems it has taken forever for Eli Roth's Clown to make it to the big screen, well it hasn't but it has been a few years, The film, about a man possessed by a demonic clown suit, was actually filmed way back in 2012. You know back when we all thought Donald Trump running for President was just a joke. Those were simpler, more innocent times. But now, Clown, bearing a 2014 release date is finally, actually available in the U.S. on VoD, almost four years after filming.

There has been buzz about Clown for the last several years, no doubt helped by the attachment of Roth's name as producer. But the film is good enough to stand  on it's own, and honestly is better than most of Roth's work in my opinion. Clown was directed by  Jon Watts, who resists the urge to add comedy to a dark film (pay attention Eli), and make no mistake Clown is a dark film.

Clowns have always inhabited that weird place in out lives and culture. On the surface, happy, funny beings meant to make us laugh.  Yet the truth is, Clowns are also scary as shit. Kids know this, adults know this and film makers know this fact. There's just something about that painted on smile that never seems sincere. Watts takes that deep seated fear and externalizes it in Clown.

In Clown,  Kent (Andy Powers) a loving, and hard working father is running late for his son's birthday party. Adding stress to the hectic day, he's just informed the clown he booked can't make it. Luckily he comes across a decrepit old clown suit in the closet of the house he's remodeling. In order to not disappoint his son he fatefully puts on the suit. Unbeknownst to him it's not actually a clown suit but the skin of an ancient demon. A demon that has a taste for children.
Peter Stormare finds bloody remains from Eli Roth's Clown
Peter Stormare finds left overs from the clown

Any time you throw kids into a horror mix, it can go to dark places. Normally filmmakers shy away from harming kids in films. It may be alluded to, but it's never really seen.  Clown doesn't shy away. You do see actual child deaths, so sensitive people should beware. The more graphic kills are kept off screen but you see the bloody consequences, and you know fully what's going on,
Pennywise, the clown from It
Don't look so sad Pennywise, we're still terrified of you

If the death and cannibalism of kids wasn't enough, the film is even darker by the fact no one involved really deserved their fate.  Kent is honestly a decent guy. We don't see him ignoring his kid, cheating on his wife, or any major hubris. He seems to genuinely love his family and wants to take care of them, His only minor flaw I could possibly point at was, did he steal the clown suit? But it was in a house, the owner was dead, and it was being remolded for sale. It would have definitely been tossed in the trash bin if he hadn't decided to wear it. No, Kent was just an innocent, a nice guy who stumbled onto an evil presence and was taken over by it. That, to me, makes Clown much scarier.

The film hints and feints at going to even darker places before pulling back to a safer ending. The final fate of the clown was perhaps the weakest part of the story. It was definitely the lighter of several possible endings, basically re-enforcing what Kent was told at the beginning, there's no real escape, On a last note the effects team did a great job on the clown make up. They manage to create a creature that looks nothing like a human being. We watch as Kent goes from a goofy looking clown to something ancient and sinister.

Before the horror starts in the clown
A rare light moment from The Clown

Clown also stars Laura Allen (From Within) as Kent's wife and Peter Stormare (Dylan Dog:Dead of Night) as Karlsson, a man who has a connection to the suit, and might know a way out, Director Jon Watts is next slated to direct the Marvel and Sony collaboration Spiderman: Homecoming. If Clown is any indication spidey fans should be in for a damn good time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans

Marie Laveau, shes the subject of rumors, mysteries, of comic books, horror movies and television series. I can't remember when I first heard her name. I grew up a fan of comics and horror movies. To some extent Marie has always been with me. Lately Marie Laveau has become even more widespread, with a fictionalized version of her starring on the television series American Horror Story: Coven.
Marie Laveau
Marie Laveau

Coven the third season of American Horror Story was set in the city of New Orleans and surrounding areas. To not have Marie a part of the show would almost be a slight. However people of New Orleans, people who live with her legacy weren't that happy with her portrayal. It's not that Angela Basset didn't do a good job with the role itself, but more the way Marie Laveau was presented. American Horror Story took the worst of the stories and rumors and amplified them. Their voodoo priestess was a sadistic murderer and baby killer. While there is a lot of mystery about Marie's life, and death, this scenario seems far from the truth.
St. Louis Cathedral from the Mississippi River
St. Louis Cathedral in the New Orleans French Quarter, home of Marie Laveau

True, not a lot is known about Marie Laveau, and a lot of what we thought we knew, is often brought into question. So when talking about her, always realize it could be true, only part of the truth or legend. What we know, or believe as of now, is that Marie was born the daughter of Charles Laveau (or Laveaux) and Margeurite. Marguerite was the daughter of a freed slave, and Charles, according to different sources was either a wealthy white plantation owner, a free person of color, or even the fifth mayor of New Orleans. The fifth mayor of New Orleans was named Charles Laveau Trudeau, so it's easy to see where some would claim him to be Marie's father, but it's likely not true. In fact the free person of color seems most likely.

In 1819 Marie Laveau married Jacques Paris, in a ceremony that was believed performed by Father Antonio de Sedella, who is also known as Pere Antonio. No one knows exactly what happened to Jacque, but he disappeared and was believed to have died (at this point, several hundred years later it is pretty safe to say he has passed away), and Marie became officially known as the Widow Paris. While it is believed the couple had no children that survived, one of Marie's daughters at times used the surname Paris.

After her marriage ended, Marie became he mistress of Christophe Glapion, a white veteran of the Battle of New Orleans. Marie stayed with Glapion until his death in 1885, and reported never took another male companion after his death. The couple reportedly had between 7 and 15 children in their 30 years, and descendants of the couple are still alive today. Their first child, widely known as Marie II was born in 1827. Legends said she looked very much like her mother, and many think this contributed to the legends of Marie. When She walked the streets of the French Quarter, were the people seeing Marie II, or her ageless mother, kept vital by the black arts.

Most of Marie's involvement with Voodoo is rumor and conjecture. She is believed to have been a successful hairdresser and to have gained information from her wealthy clients that aided her Voodoo practice. She regularly held ceremonies and performed on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain, or was that her daughter Marie II? Almost everyone agrees that while being the High Priestess of New Orleans, she was also a devout catholic. Local guides will tell you she attended Mass every day.
House from American Horror Story: Coven with Marie Laveau
The Coven house from American Horror Story: Coven, which featured a version of Marie Laveau

She is also credited with healing and lending aid to victims of the many Yellow Fever outbreaks alongside Pere Antonio. When most New Orleanians of the time tried to avoid the sick and dying, these two took them in and cared for them. Unlike her character in American Horror Story:Coven, Marie, at least according to locals voodoo practitioners,used her voodoo for healing and good, not evil. She is revered almost as a saint to many in New Orleans. It's believed in the later part of her life she turned away from voodoo, more fully embracing the catholic faith. She continued in her charitable doings. Over her life she took in indigents and orphans, feeding them and giving them a home if needed. She even allowed those with no place to be buried, find final rest in the Glapion family crypt. There they lay alongside her beloved Christophe, her children and eventually Marie herself.

In 1881 Marie Laveau passed away, peacefully in her sleep in her home on St. Anne street in New Orleans. She was buried in St Louis Cemetery #1 with a traditional catholic ceremony. You can visit her tomb now, with a tour, the cemetery is closed to non licensed tour groups die to vandalism. A lot of the vandalism, unfortunately involves the tomb of Marie itself. Vandals have taken to desecrating the tomb with X's as a way of contacting Marie, as well as spray painting the tomb. Please don't do this. It's disrespectful, it's callous and it's very illegal. Beyond showing disrespect to the dead it can actually damage the tomb.
tomb of Marie Laveau
Final Resting place of Marie Laveau

So who was Marie Laveau, beyond the fact that she was the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. It kind of depends on who you ask. New Orleans locals for the most part see her as a kind woman, a loving mother and devout catholic. Still some whisper there was a darker side. No one will ever know for sure, but it's almost certain her legacy as an evil person was highly inflated, by Hollywood, and those who didn't understand Voodoo. Her generous side is likely inflated to some extend as well, like I said, the real truth is only known by the dead themselves.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Days of the Dead Atlanta part 2

The second part of my photos from the Days of the Dead Atlanta. Plan on uploading more convention photos this week if I get the chance. Thanks for viewing
Leatherface Dan Yeager
Dan Yeager from Texas Chainsaw 3-D

They Live's Keith David
Keith David of They Live, The Thing, Pitch Black and Requiem for a Dream, among others

Jason Voorhees Derek Mears
Derek Mears from Friday the 13th

Stacey Dixon
Full Moon Tattoo and Horror Convention's Stacey Dixon

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Days of the Dead Atlanta 2014

More blast from the past convention photos. This time from  Days of the Dead Atlanta back in 2014, The special guest headliners were Damien Echols, of West Memphis Three fame, and Tara Reid, of Tara Reid fame.

Damien Echols held a meet and greet and Q and A, and it was definitely worth the ticket price. Growing up close to Memphis in the 80s and 90s, I was all to aware of the West Memphis Three. Being one of those people who don't fit in with the conservative Christians of the deep south, I am acutely aware of how outcasts are treated. Basically I was excited about the chance to meet and talk with Damien, and to hear him talk. I wasn't disappointed.
Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three
Damien Echols

Damien Echols at Days of the Dead
Autographed Damien Echols poster

 West Memphis Three's Damien Echols al
Damien Echols and Me at Days of the Dead Atlanta

I wont lie I was also excited to meet Tara Reid. She's a real cutie and everyone knows her. The lines weren't horribly long, and she was incredibly sweet and generous
Tara Reid
Me and Tara Reid at Days of the Dead Atlanta

There were a lot of other celebs that I was able to meet as well. I will add those photos in another blog post. Hopefully I will get it up in the next day or two. Till then 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ya'll Motherfuckers need Deadpool.

The truth hurts, but ya'll motherfuckers need Deadpool. Yep Deadpool the surprise (to Hollywood bigwigs anyway) hit starring Ryan Reynolds is coming to Blu Ray and DVD really soon.  May 10th real soon, and there's no reason to wait when you can pre-order your copy today.

Do not be the last person on your block to own a copy. Hell even pre-order bragging rights are worth it. If you are a total loser and didn't catch Deadpool in the theater here is a way to regain some small semblance of manhood.  Order now, it will get you laid!

Have you ordered yet? Fuck it guy! What the hell, click the link already! The merc with a mouth demands it!

Deadpool, Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead
Deadpool is shocked you haven't pre-ordered his movie yet

OK, OK so you haven't seen it and want to know why you should. In short, Deadpool is the story of Wade Wilson, who is anything but your typical dude. He's a wise cracking mercenary, with maybe the faintest bit of morals. He falls in love and as his luck would have it, finds out soon after that he is dying with cancer.

He accepts a shadowy proposal that could save his life, or kill him. But if he lives he just might have super powers. He does live, but is horribly scarred, He also gains virtual immortality, rapid healing, and maybe just a touch of insanity. Deadpool is born. He sets out on a mission to save his love, and gain revenge on the people who lied to him. Along the way Deadpool leaves a trail of bodies as he tracks down the evil Francis. Yup. He also runs into a couple of X-men and a giant ship that is definitely NOT a SHIELD Helicarrier. (Hey MCU!)

Have I sold you yet? Yes? No? What the hell just buy a copy. You're going to any way eventually.  In all seriousness, Deadpool is one of the best comic based movies in recent years, maybe ever. I'm counting those MCU and webslinger movies too (the Raimi ones), Check out Deadpool, you wont be disappointed.

Go here, buy Deadpool today

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Horrorhound Indy 2014

Yeah, I have been slacking. Going to try and catch up with my con photos since they always seem to be a popular subject. These photos were taken in 2014 at the Indianapolis Horrorhound weekend. I went with my friend Robin, and our main goal was to meet Mads Mikkelson. If you aren't familiar, Mads played Hannibal Lector on NBCs Hannibal for three seasons.

Apparently Hannibal is now dead, although it's fans still hold out hope, a dwindling hope maybe but still hope that the show might return in some form, some day. But whatever the fate of the show, at least we got to meet the devil himself, Hannibal the cannibal.

Of course, if you aren't familiar with Hannibal as portrayed by Mads Mikkelson the first thing you should do is GET FAMILIAR. The series is available on Amazon Prime as well as on DVD and Blu Ray formats. If you watch through to the second season finale, I doubt you will ever see anyone other than Mads as Hannibal Lector.

I didn't meet many other celebs there, but I did meet the beautiful Sheryl Lee, who many will remember as Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks. For someone who died before the first episode ever aired, she was still the heart of the show. She later joined the show as Laura's cousin, Maddie I believe and feel free to correct me if I got it wrong As always, pay no attention to the fat guy in the photos.

Horrorhound weekend Mads Mikkelson photo op
Photo op with me, Robin and Mads Mikkelson

Mads Mikkelson Hannibal
Mads Mikkelson and myself

Hannibal's Mads Mikkelson at Horrhound Indy
Me, Mads Mikkelson and Robin

Autographed 8x10 by Mads Mikkelson

And then there was the still gorgeous Sheryl Lee from Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks Sheryl Lee
Laura Palmer herself, the beautiful Sheryl Lee from Twin Peaks and myself

Sheryl Lee from Twin Peaks and John Carpenter's Vampires
Autographed 8x10 of Sheryl Lee

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Will the Walking Dead Survive Post Negan

So, I'm not the biggest fan of the Walking Dead, but I can't deny it's impact on pop culture. I also can't deny or ignore that tonight's episode has fans on the edge of their seat, and it's still hours away from airing as I write this. This is the night, that they introduce the biggest, baddie of the series, Negan.

Everyone is expecting a major character, most likely Glenn or Daryl to bite the bat tonight. Or possible their will be a cliff hanger and not croak till October. I think this is very likely, and also a shitty way for the filmmakers to treat their loyal fans. Thousands may riot if Daryl dies, at least that's what they scream, in all caps, on social media.

Topless Lauren Cohan of the Walking Dead
Why I still watch the Walking Dead

But beyond who will die, there is another question. Will the Walking Dead, the show itself survive Negan? In the comics life goes on. People live, people die and new threats arise. But the war with Negan lingers on in the comics for a while.  It does end though, and the survivors settle down in Alexandria for several years.

This presents quite a change in dynamics for the show. The survivors have never stayed in one place long. The prison latest the longest but there was constant threat from the Governor looming, not to mention walkers, prisoners, and the flu. Now, following the comics, the survivors, minus possibly several loved characters, are stuck in one spot for years. Exploring the exciting world between cities.

Will fans stay behind a show that is basically a post apocalyptic Mayberry RFD? Well hopefully not that slow, but the show has been mostly about a group on the run. Nowhere is safe. After Negan they find safety, if it continues to follow the comics.

sexy Lauren Cohan in underwear
Seriously, this is why I watch the Walking Dead

There are options for the Walking Dead. They could time skip, which I think the comics do, till the next threat. It gives them time to let Judith grow, and bring in new characters. It gives them time to greive and move on. But it also brings them closer to keeping up with the comics and possibly running ahead of it. A lot of the television walking dead fans still don't read the comics so that shouldn't hurt too bad. But a major change in theme, coupled with the loss of one or more beloved characters, could, maybe cause a major down swing in ratings.  Even if the Dixon Vixens don't riot.