Archive for Vampires

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. So close but it missed the mark.

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2012 by urbannight

This movie sounded interesting.  It was so close to being good but just missed.  I should mention it is based on a comic that I have not read which, from what I researched, the movie makes a rather large departure.

Dylan used to act as an agent who helped keep the peace between the vampires, werewolves, zombies, and various undead people as a sort of ‘special detective’.  After his lady-love is killed by a vampire, he take out most of the vampire leaders and then retires.

Until a potential new case results in the murder of his friend, who wakes up in the morgue as a zombie.  Seems like everyone is after an artifact that will create a monster that looks a lot like the medieval painting of demons.

I thought the special effects were good, the sets were good, the fights weren’t bad.

The story was a good one and most of the script was good.  But some of the lines failed.

The acting was spotty.  Most of the main characters seemed to fluctuate between moment of brilliance and moments of wooden, stiff delivery or overly excessive delivery but most of the time it was just so-so.

The actor playing Dylan, Brandon Routh,  was good with body language and great with the ‘hard boiled PI’ voice over narration.  But for some reason, a lot of his actual conversations fell a little flat.   And, well, he does look amazing in red and black and his eyes look amazing.

Sam Huntington, as Marcus, was pretty great as the human who is having trouble accepting his death and the fact that he is now a zombie.  Most of his acting was great, they just put too much of the freaking out in it.  If they had pulled back on that a bit, I wouldn’t have any complaints about him at all.

Anita Briem played Elizabeth, the client AKA monster hunter.  They cast her for type, for look, and not ability.  She had some of the worst line delivery in the movie.

Vargus was performed by Taye Diggs.  This one is really sad.  You get the impression that he really understood his character and it could have been so much more.  It almost felt like he was over directed and if they had given him a little more room, he could have really made the villain shine.

In fact, while the direction, as far as staging and movement and visual aesthetics go, was good, the direction of the actual actors was not so good.

You watch the movie and can see and feel that it could have been so much better.  You can see what they wanted to do with it and hit just fell a bit short of the mark.

A Tribute to Peter Cushing

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2012 by urbannight

Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin

 

I still have Peter Cushing on the brain. 

If you claim to be a fan of horror movies in general, or a fan of vampire movies, and you do not know who Peter Cushing is, I may have to call you a Poser.

This British actor, born in 1913, should rank up there with Bela Lugosi in name recognition.  Horror and Vampires owe as much to him and Christopher Lee as they to do Bela. 

Having an aunt who was an actress inspired his own acting dreams and he did amateur theater while also going to drama school. 

He continued to perform and decided to give Hollywood a try in 1939 when he landed a part in Man in the Iron Mask (good film, haven’t seen it in years) that same year.   But Hollywood wasn’t his style and he did a bit of acting  in Canada and on Broadway and returned to England to entertain the troops during WWII. 

He had the opportunity to perform Hamlet with Laurence Olivier and Christopher Lee was there in a bit part.  He and Lee also had the opportunity to do Moulin Rouge together as well. 

He is a perfect example of the British entertainment industry, where actors perform in film, on stage, and for television and he became a very familiar face on British television sets.  In fact, he was so well-known on t.v. that a comedian once called a television set “Peter Cushing with Knobs”.  (IMDB)

Near the end of the 1950’s, Hammer Film’s started to remake all the old horror films from the 30’s.  People saying we are in the decade of the Remake/Reboot are failing to notice that every decade does this.  They usually draw on material from 20 to 30 years prior.  What is unusual now is that they are currently drawing on material that isn’t actually all that old.

The Cushing and Lee names eventually became synonymous with Van Helsing and Dracula, at least to American viewers and apparently became best friends for life.  Cushing thought it odd that people would look at him and see a monster, he never actually played a monster.  He was occasionally the creator or a monster, Such as Baron Frankenstein, but often the man who killed the monsters, such as Van Helsing and Sherlock Holmes, who proved monsters were just humans with a bit of unusual knowledge.   It was Lee who often played the monster. 

For 20 years, Cushing performed in primarily horror programs.  During this time, although he did two films as The Doctor, he was actually the first choice for the original doctor.  I have not yet found out why that didn’t happen.  Of course, his most notable exception was Star Wars, as Grand Moff Tarkin. It is interesting to note that as many people working on Star Wars expected it to fail, Cushing actually thought kids would really like it. 

After his wife died, he seemed to have lost a lot of his will and didn’t perform as much.  His Star Wars performance was one of the few things he really did after her death.  He did do a few other bits and peices, but nothing as well know.

One of my favorite quotes by him is “You have to have a sense humor to be alive. Or a bit mad.  It helps to be mad.”  Of course, I’ve discovered that this isn’t the accurate quote.  It should be “You have to have a sense of humor, darling, to be alive.  Even a bit mad.  It helps to be mad”. (1991)

I found information on a variety of sites, I think I want to pick up either one of his autobiographies.  Most of the information seemed identical to IMDB or Wiki.  I’m not sure if wiki was based on the others or the other’s were just regurgitating Wiki.  So I primarily used IMDB for the timeline to organize the information I knew and filled in a few bits from Wiki.  Since most of what I know came from various t.v interviews and overviews over a lot of years, I couldn’t even begin to remember which programs my knowledge originally came from.  It probably came from PBS, A & E, and random stations running themed marathons where they talk about the people in the movies between showing the movies.

NaNoWriMo year two.

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2011 by urbannight

Several months ago I decided to write a fictionalized novel on the life of Raedwald of East Anglia. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for over a year. Only I still had holes in my research as November approached.

So I started to chart out a fantasy, mystery, romance crossover novel with a main plot and a totally different sub-plot that overlapped with the mail story. I still want to do this, but I just couldn’t really get my brain into it.

On Halloween I decided to write another story I’ve been wanting to work on. I want to bring the evil back to vampires. I’m getting tired of this white washing and sanitizing of all the monsters. At the same time, I want the vampire to be the main character and to win the girl.

I remember watching Bela Lugosi as Dracula and thinking that Mina would be better off with him. Her fiancé/husband or whatever, looked like a football player but was annoying and ineffectual. I didn’t like him at all.

So I want to write a romantic horror novel in which the vampire corrupts the girl, makes her his bride, wins the day, and they live happily ever after in their blood drenched castle somewhere.

One small problem, I hated the way the story was going. The research into Spiritualism and Spiritism movements and the dates when several novels were published meant that the back story I wanted simply would not work out properly. My attempts to work around this just made the story worse. So two days ago I shelved it.

And yesterday I get a great idea for a comedy of manners. Involving a vampire. Because, for some reason, I got hooked on it. I really want a bad guy as good guy who really isn’t ‘good’. It is also still so close to Halloween and I don’t want it to end yet.  It was going MUCH better. And still is.

Only I noticed that I mistyped on my notes:  comedy of errors. This gave me another idea. One that creates another layer to this same story. One that will not require adding anything to what I already wrote. So it will be a comedy of errors on top of a comedy of manners on top of a supernatural romance novel.

And it seems to be going VERY well now.

It may seem silly. It may seem trite. It may seem like I am pandering to the masses. But what is wrong with that? I can write something fun that targets a large portion of the readers out there. It may be utter crap but at least it’s something that I can get farther than a couple pages without starting to hate it.

All You Zombies…..

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Holiday with tags , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2010 by urbannight

It is that time of year again.  The Zombie Walk is comming up in another week.  I’ve got to get some more supplies.  It will be fun.  I need to dragoon someone to come take photographs since I will be a zombie and a camera looks a bit out of place.

It is also time to remind people of a wonderful little short story by Robert Heinlein.  It’s called… wait for it… All You Zombies.  This is one of my all time favorite stories.  A man has managed to become his own mother and father.  It’s a mind bender for sure.

It is also time to pull out my Mick Farren books.  Starting with book one, The Time of Feasting.  In an era of watered down, pathetic vampires, Farren gives us Vampires that are still fampires.  Evil and ruthless and not humanized.  It’s a great time to get back to the basics with Vampires and Zombies.

Go read a book and get your zombie on.