Monthly Archives: October 2013

Spooky Empire Ultimate Halloween Weekend 2013

When I started writing this blog earlier I didn’t anticipate being put out of commission for several hours due to a headache which caused me to be nauseous and vomit several times. Wow, so glad that’s over.

This past weekend my husband and I went to a Horror Convention.  The Spooky Empire Ultimate Halloween Weekend to be exact. This was our second time going and the first time for the full weekend.   We stayed at the overflow hotel.

There was a really good line up of activities from movies to lectures to Question and Answer sessions with top celebrities and directors.

We jumped right in on the first day, attending several lectures and checking out the vendor hall and the celebrity hall.

We went to:

Brains vs Blood – panel discussion by authors of the horror genre who discuss vampires and zombies. Fairly interesting

Witches, Ghouls and Haunts– a paranormal discussion on ghosts, haunting and bringing the darkness back to Halloween.  (many of the same members of the previous panel were on this one with some new people. It was interesting.

Sick and Twisted –  A panel discussion about what is wrong with you.  Basically if a rational adult shouldn’t think it and a sane person shouldn’t want to see what it looks like they talked about it.  It was pretty heavy duty adult stuff.  We should have really gone to see a screening of Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.

Unfortunatly I didn’t make it to the midnight screening with shadowcast of The Rockey Horror Picture Show.  My husband had never been to  a shadow cast screening of it and I’m sorry we had to miss it.  It was being introduced by Patricia Quinn (Magenta)

The Second Day (Saturday) we hit the celebrity hall first.  We spoke with Brandon Adams (Fool) from the People Under the Stairs (we didn’t meet although we saw the rest of the cast there including Sean Whalen (Roach).

I was privileged to meet, speak to and have a photograph taken with Kane Hodder (jason from Friday the 13th 7,8,9 and 10)  I also purchased his book Unmasked: The True Life Story of the Worlds most Prolific Cinematic Killer. He was the nicest man.  He is also HUGE. He signed the book for me.

I also spoke to Warrington Gillette, Jason from Friday the 13th part 2. I did not get a picture with him.

I got a picture of Tom Savini but not with Tom Savini.  He seems like a really nice guy.

My husband got a photo with and bought the book written by George “The Animal” Steele.  He was thrilled and told him of the time he saw him at the old Boston Garden.  Turns out Mr Steele was only a part time wrestler and was a teacher like my husband.  His wife was also there.

We didn’t get to meet George Romero because his line was very long.

Others that were there of note.  Cast reunion of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (including Marilyn Burns), Danielle Harris (I saw her but we didn’t approach)  Jason Mewes (saw him too and he looks so different) ,the cast of the Creature from the black lagoon (another reunion), Meg Foster (Lords of Salem), someone else was there from Lords of Salem not sure if it was Sherri Moon Zombie because I can’t think of anyone else who it might be from the movie.) Tom Savini had a table and he’s not a dick.  Others who were there included Doug Bradley (Pinhead- Hellraiser) Dee Snider, Peter Criss (KISS) and Gunnar Hanson (Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

Sunday,  I went to the Q & A with makes up FX master Tom Savini.  The Room was packed and he was kind of a softer spoken guy and he answered a lot of questions giving thoughtful and interesting answers.

We also went to a lecture called Why We Like to Be Scared.  This guy had a lovely power point presentation about why we like to be scared what happens when we are scared and the pleasure response we get after the “fight or flight” cascade.  Very interesting.

At 4pm we went to the Q &A with George Romero  He didn’t sit on the stage so we couldn’t see him about halfway back.  That room was also packed.  He said some interesting things including that he doesn’t hold the copywrite on Night of the Living Dead and it is now Public Domain (You can watch it, in it’s entirety, HERE)

We went to a panel about Zombie survival where they were talking about surviving during a zombie apocalypse, the best places to hide, what to take, how to prepare, slow zombies, fast zombies, and The Walking Dead.

At 6:30 we went to a lecture about the History of Zombies, which was given by the Daughter of the gentleman who did the Zombie Survival lecture.  She was very smart (graduated early and holds a college degree in Biochemistry) but she was a terrible speaker.  We could tell she was nervous and very breathy in speech.  She jumped around too much and it got very confusing to follow so we left before it was over.

At 7:30 we went to watch a screening of The People Under the Stairs which I had never seen.

 We watched some independent films at the Freakshow Independent Film Festival which was part of the Con.

Movies

Mr White -filmed in ocala.  A story loosely based on the legend of Madam LaLaurie in New Orleans according to the film maker in the Q&A after the film.  It was a fair film.  Teaser Trailer

Dirty Bill Of Health – Short – Canada  13 minutes  You think you know whats going on but you soon find you do not.   BEhind the Scenes Trailer

Next Exit – Short – United Kingdom  WHat it’s about. No trailer available

So Dark – Short – USA  21 minutes

So Dark is a follow up and continues the story of So Pretty

Sound of Nothing-  80 minutes United States.  This was my favorite of all four.

Trailer

Happy Halloween Everyone!!

Walking Dead: Isolation

In this episode

  • Rick goes ape shit
  • Carole goes all Don Corleone.

The entire prison is in isolation basically.  Baby Judith and Beth are in the room by themselves to keep from getting infected.  Glen is sick, as well as the doctor and Lizzie. They are all placed in quarantine.

In our opening scene they are digging graves for the dead.   Tyreese is really upset with people over Karen’s death.  He picks a fight first with Daryl and then with Rick and Rick goes ape shit and they beat the crap out of each other.

At the counsel meeting Hershel decides that they need to go to the veterinary college to get some antibiotics for the group to manage their symptoms (but won’t help a virus if it is a virus.)   So it is decided a party will go out to this school which is 50 miles away.  It is Daryl, Michonne Bob and Tyreese.

Meanwhile Carol goes outside the prison to unclog a pump line from the river by herself.  Suddenly she is surrounded by walkers and Rick sees her and tells her to run.  Walker massacre ensures and Carol gets back to the prison safely.

The search party makes their way toward the school in Zach’s really fast car.  Zach doesn’t need it anymore- he’s dead.   The four of them are driving along messing with the radio and they hear a voice on one of the channels.  While he is trying to tune it in, he runs into a few walkers and manages to miss them all and continues to drive but soon suddenly stopping short.  The scene opens up and we see hundreds of walkers on the road in front of them.  The walkers surround the car.  Thinking quickly, Daryl, backs up the car quickly, hitting a bunch of walkers.  There are walkers piled up under the back wheel and in an effort to get free the tire spins macerating a bunch of still moving walkers under the tire.    They must abandon the car so Bob, Michonne and Daryl jump out of the car and head for the woods massacring walkers every step of the way.  We see Tyreese sitting in the car still buckled into his seat belt.  Is he giving up.  He just doens’t move.  Bob screams for him to come on. Finally, last minute, Tyreese jumps from the car and starts killing walkers.  He gets surrounded and the group runs off.  Is that the end of Tyreese?  No, he shows up about a minute later unscathed and runs off with the group.

 

Carl and Hershel go out side the prison gates and Hershel collects berries.  They encounter two walkers.  They do not kill them and walk off.

Hershel, knowing he may have already been exposed decides to go into the quarantine with some elderberry tea to help with their symptoms.  Maggie objects and Hershel delivers the best lines of the episode.

“Listen, you step outside, you risk your life. You take a sip of water, you risk your life. Every moment now, you risk your life. You don’t have a choice. You can only choose what you’re risking it for. I can help them feel better. I can save lives. That’s reason enough to risk mine and you know that.” 

Maggie steps aside and lets him enter.

Rick discovers a hand print of a wall while investigating the murders of Karen and David.  He suspects Carol from the size of the hand print and seeks to to ask her what she knows.  He says to her “Did you kill Karen and David?”   She turns to him and calmly says “Yes.”   I guess Carole believed she could help the entire group by killing the two infected members to stop the spread of the illness.  Too late. I wonder what Rick will do as a result of this new knowledge?

 

Walking Dead: Infected

I think it is fairly interesting that the entire time this show has been on the air I NEVER ONCE thought about people getting sick with colds or flu or other nasty bugs. I guess I just assumed the real danger was the Walkers and the survivors killing each other.

Now it seems not only do the survivors have to worry about Walkers now they have to worry about some mystery flu. (See Hemorrhagic Fever on the CDC website)  But as you know, since everyone is already infected with the zombie virus when you die you turn to a walker.

As the show opens we see someone feeding the walkers rats through the fence. Well no wonder now the Walkers are coming in droves!  But who is doing it?

Tyreese is serenading Karen in one of the cell blocks and Tyreese wants to take it further but she says no and takes her leave of him, meanwhile coughing, and enters the bathroom where lo and behold Patrick is, although she does not see him and we do not see him either until later.

Later happens and Patrick gets up off the floor of the bathroom and starts his walk to the cell blocks.  He bypassess the sleeping occupants only to stop when he hears someone coughing in one of the cells of cell block D.  He enters the cell and bites the occupant right on the neck and then gets to work eating his midsection out.  My husband and I struggle to see who it is and I exclaim “it’s just a red shirt”    This bite starts a chain reaction in the prison and it becomes a walker vs the survivors bloodbath. Several people are killed or bitten.  Rick finds one in a cell block cell that hasn’t been bitten or any obvious injuries.  It becomes clear that the pig’s death and Patrick’s death are caused by some type of microrganism.

Think back to the first episode of the season. Remember the Walker that has the bleeding eyes?  Remember Patricks face and the face of the walker which died of this virus or bacteria?  They all have bleeding eyes, noses or mouths and all look distinctly different than the other walkers.

It is decided that all those showing signs of infection should be quarantined on death row.  (pretty fitting if you ask me)  This includes Karen much to Tyreeses chagrin.  Karen actually agrees.

It looks as though the walkers are more attracted to the prison than ever before.  hundreds of them line the fence on the parameter of the prison.  The group notices that the fence is bending inward with the pressure from the walkers pressing on it.  They spring into action.  They all start stabbing the walkers through the fence while the walkers learn and push on it making it bow increasingly inward. There is a great part of the scene in which a walker’s head is pushed through the chain link fence like dough through and extruder.  That made me yell “Oooooo!”

Inside the prison, there is a father who has been bitten by a walker who is dying.  Carol brings in his daughters (lizzie and Michah to say goodbye (one of which is the one who gave Carl attitude about naming the walkers, ie Nick)  The younger sister tells the older sister that she should be the one to stab her father before he turns.  She takes the knife but cannot do it.  Carol ends up having to do it in front of the girls.  Carol is badass now. I’m proud of her.

Beth is with Judith singing her a song and Judith pukes on Beth and Beth begs Michonne to hold the baby.  She flat out refuses but then relents and she reluctantly holds the baby and presses her face to Judiths face, I got a very strong impression that she had  lost a child.   Very very strong.  I think we have some new back story to learn about folks. And I can’t wait.

In the end, they decide they must draw the Walkers away from the fence so that it may be reinforced.  They grab a vehicle, a cart and the piglets and drive in the field away from the prison. Rick rides in the back grabbing a possibly infected,  squealing  piglet every 40 feet or so and slicing it’s hind quarters and tossing him out the walkers.  (that was a little too much for me and I nearly cried) Rick does not look like he is enjoying himself each time he slices a little pig and it’s blood splatters on his face and clothes. It is doing the trick and the Walkers are moving away from the fence while the rest of the group try to reinforce the fence with logs and poles.

As rick is pulling apart the pig pen back inside the prison, Carl approaches him and tells him that Carol is teaching the children how to use weapons to defend themselves and that the parents of the children are unaware of this.  Carl then asks when he can have his gun back.  Realizing that violence is necessary in order to survive in this world, Rick gives Carl his gun back. The pile of wood is lit on fire and they watch it burn.

Tyreese is going to the cell block to see Karen with some flowers and looks inside the cell to find a smeared trail of blood.  He follows the trail where it joins another smeared trail of blood which leads to outside the prison where he finds two burned bodies. One of which we know is Karen.  He is heartbroken. Who burned them?  The freshly rearmed Carl doing “What he had to do.” or Rick who was the last person seen with the gas can?  Will Carl every be sassy again?

 

 

Get A Kit, Make A Plan, Be Prepared. emergency.cdc.gov

Follow The CDC Emergency on Twitter

Buddy Update 10-21-2013

Buddy had another  appointment today at the oncology vet.  Our appointment was for 10 am.  We got there at about 10 minutes until 10 and was in a room by 10 am.  They asked me if I was going to wait for Buddy and I asked how long they thought it would be. Carol, the tech, told me 30 to 45 minutes.  I told her I was going to Target (one I haven’t been to in a REALLY long time since I haven’t lived in the area for more than 10 years)

I did a little shopping and got some stuff we needed.  Then I went next door to Pet Smart and got some treats for Buddy and Blue.  ( I always get Buddy a treat for a job well done at the vet)

I came back in 50 minutes and Buddy was done.  They put me in a room and Dr Lurie was there  in less than 1 minute and we spoke for a few moments and then Buddy came in.  We were in and out in 1 hour.  Such a nice difference from previous visits!

Buddy is pretty much the same.  Nothing different about his physical exam.  His blood work looks good.  We will go back at the beginning of December

The Walking Dead: 30 Days without an Accident

It seems we are 6-7 months since we last saw our group of rag tag survivors from the original group and the new Woodbury group (and apparently some other people they have picked up along with way.)  The prison is more like a small community with a community  gardens, farm animals , a decision making council  and homey features.  (As homey as you can get when you sleep in a cell block)

The episode opens with Rick, walking out of the prison, apparently just woken up, and he washes his face in the rain water barrel.  He is listening to music.  Some crazy old time country music and a music device that I didn’t even realize was there until he pulled one of the ear buds from his ears.  It is only when he does this do you hear the walkers and their constant roar as they are outside the fence and they have come in droves.  He finds a gun which he does nothing with except reflect for a moment on how he used to be and he removed the magazine, throws the gun in the wheel barrel and continues farming.

He moves on to feeding the pigs.  There are is a large apparently ailing pink big which Carl has named Violet, much to Ricks chagrin,  lying in the corner of the pen. Rick warns Carl not to name the animals as they are not pets but rather food.  Surprisingly, after last season, Carl is not sassy.

There are apparently some new relationships and we are introduced to some new people in the group.  It seems as if Daryl  and Carol might be starting up a  little something as she calls him “Pookie”.  New character Zack, ( played by Kyle Gallner, from 2010’s  A  Nightmare on Elm Street remake)  and Beth are in love (wonder what Hershel has to say about that).  Tyreese and new group member Karen are together as well.  Maggie and Glen are still together and we discover that she is indeed not pregnant.  Glen is relieved and tells Maggie that he doesn’t want her to go on “the run” that will happen today.  We also meet the much heard about Bob Stooky who is an alcoholic veteran  medic  who was once in the military.  I did not picture Bob to look as he did.  I figured an older vietnam vet who is still dealing with his time overseas.  Bob is a young,  African American man, who I will assume is a vet of the gulf war or Afghanistan.

Michonne has been out, apparently looking for the Governor and returns bearing comic books for Carl.  Hershel speaks with Rick telling him that they want him to take his gun with him when he goes and checks the snares for animals for food. He volunteers for this and agrees to take his gun (and that’s a damn good thing).  Rick is no longer the leader and it seems that Daryl has stepped up in a leadership position moderated by the council.

Two main stories occur during this episode. The group of Daryl, Glenn, Zach, Sasha, Micchone and Bob make a run to the local “Big Spot” store (a Walmart of sorts).  What they didn’t see was the Walkers  and a downed helicopter  on the roof.   They enter the store, clear it of any walkers (one or two) and proceed to “shop”   Bob proceeds to the shelves of alcohol and is very tempted going so far as to pick up a bottle but puts it back on the shelf.  Placing the bottle on the shelf causes the shelf to fall and the bottles to break all over the floor, alerting the Walkers above and causing the entire shelf to fall on Bob trapping his foot.  The group rushes to free bob from the shelf but before they can walkers start falling through the roof into the store.   Most notably, a Walker falls through and is hanging from his own intestines and another falls through and completely explodes when hitting the floor and becomes a giant splat of blood and guts.  Walker massacre ensures and a walker discovers Bob’s trapped ass and crawls toward him.  This walker already looks like he has an axe put in his head from the giant crack in his head.  Bob, I guess in an attempt to destoy his pain starts putting his hands inside the head peeling back soft bone, and  then Daryl comes by and stomps the walkers head stopping it forever.   Zach is bitten and eaten by a walker.  To top it all off, the helicopter falls through the roof as the group flees the store.

While all of that is going on at the store, Rick is out checking the snares for trapped animals.  He sees a downed pig lying in the foods and starts his approach but we see, what looks to be a walker fall to its knees in front of the pig.  She implores him to help her. Help her carry the pig back to her husband who is in camp.   Her name is Clara, she speaks with an Irish  accent and asks Rick if he has a camp and if she would be able to come back with him with her husband.  Rick tells her he would have to meet him first and ask him three questions.  On their journey back to her camp, Clara tells Rick her story about how she was freshly married and was on her way to Mexico when the apocalypse occurred and the airport  were shut down.

They get to the camp and there is no husband.  Clara runs over to a crate and says he needs something live to eat.  I honestly thought it was a baby at first, but as it turns out it is Clara’s husband. He is now a walker and she has saved only his head and it is in a burlap sack.   She runs at Rick with a knife, attempting to stab him.  She is unsuccessful.  She ends up stabbing herself.  As she lay dying, he asks her the three questions.  How many walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed (“only me”) and Why? She has had to do many terrible things to survive and the guilt is too much for her.    She dies.  Rick gets up and leaves her and her walker husbands head behind.  It seems you can’t come back from what you have done.

Upon the return to the prison, the Daryl, infoms Beth of Zach’s passing.  She is unemotional.  She cannot cry anymore.  She is happy she did not say goodbye to him before he left. She hates to say good bye.

Carole is in the prison library doing story time for the children of the group.  Carl sneaks in and watches from the stacks. Carole stops reading mid sentence and pulls out a tray of Knives, telling the children they will learn how to use a knife to defend themselves.  Patrick sits above the other children who are sitting on the floor and asks to be excused as he is not feeling well.  He actually looks green.  Carole admonishes him stating that if his life was in danger would he just give up because he was sick?  He says that he just didn’t want to Yak all over anyone.  He is excused and he leaves the room.  Carole spots Carl and asks that he not tell his father what she is doing.

Rick is back at the pig pen and we see that Violet the pig is dead.  We can see Rick pondering why this is the case.

Later that night, Patrick gets up from his cell berth and is coughing while heading off the the bathroom.  He leans over a barrel of water, coughing and pumps a pump and drenches himself in shower water.  He falls to the ground.  He is motionless lying on his back.  Close up to his face. The eyes open, he is now a walker.

The big question is what made that pig and Patrick sick.  Is is the same thing.  Is it swine flu?  Is in some other organism? Is it airborne, waterborne or vector transmitted. The episode begins and ends with water. Could that be a clue?  What will happen to all those sleeping people up in the cell block now that Patrick is a Walker?

 

 

Walking Dead Zombie Survival Class

Ever wonder how you’d fare in a zombie apocalypse? AMC, Instructure and the University of California, Irvine today announced the joint production of a massive open online course (MOOC) exploring a broad range of topics through the lens of a hypothetical zombie apocalypse.

UC Irvine is hoping that a hit show about a zombie apocalypse can make higher learning about advanced mathematics and other serious academic subjects more palatable.

The eight-week course called Society, Science, Survival: Lessions from AMC’s The Walking Dead  — which begins Oct. 14, the day after the premiere — will feature lectures from four instructors across a range of disciplines: public health, social science, physics and mathematics.

This course will run for 8 consecutive Mondays starting the Monday after the season premier of The Walking Dead. ( October 14th  through December 2nd.)

 

I’m doing it just for fun.

Learn more about the course and Enroll and Survive here  Use Friend code 7K9NW8

Lords Of Salem

What a piece of crap that movie was.

I am a fan of horror. I am however not a fan of Rob Zombie.

I have seen three Rob Zombie movies

    Halloween (reboot)
    Halloween 2 (reboot)
    Lords of Salem

The only one I liked was Halloween. I consider myself a fairly intel event person but Halloween 2 made me scratch my head and say what?

Lords of Salem had me doing much of the same. The basic plot is this. A radio DJ, Heidi, gets an durge of a recording by a group called The Lords. They are dubbed by the radio show group as the lords of Salem since they reason they must be from Salem. This record affects her in a bizarre way and she starts acting weirdly.

There are these three chicks played brilliantly by Patricia Quinn (Rocky Horror), Judy Geeson and Dee Wallace Stone one of which owns the building that Heidi lives in.

Those ladies are possibly the best thing about the movie.

There is a whole mythology about the Salem witch trials and the diary of Reverand Nathanial Hawthorn in which he referees to the some 25 witches that died during the Salem witch trials.

There is a revelation, thanks to Francis Mathias, that Heidi is actually Adelaide Hawthorn, a descendant of Nathaniel Hawthorne. One of those witches cursed the women of Salem and the descendants of Nathanial Hawthorne.

There is a mass suicide and Heidi is missing.

That is really way over simplifying the plot of the movie. The premise and the twist seems like it would be interesting but it just wasn’t. The imagery was just confusing overdone and loud.

I wish I could get 101 minutes of my life back. It has been said that Rob Zombie understands horror as an aural-visual experience that should gnaw at the nerves, seep into the subconscious, and beget unshakeable nightmares. Well yeah, this movie gnawed at my nerves but not in a frightful way but it simply got on my nerves period.

I watched The Last Exorcist 2 just prior to Lords of Salem and enjoyed that more.

I think I’ll have to give up on you Rob Zombie.

The Faculty of Horror Podcast

I discovered a new podcast with much thanks to Rue Morgue podcast.  It’s called the Faculty of Horror.  This podcast is by two highly educated ladies Alexandrea (Twitter @scarealex) and Andrea Subissati  (Twitter: @necromadrea) is a sociologist and writer on cultural studies and the horror film genre.

This cast is different than any other podcasts on horror that i have listened to.  They speak intelligently about these films.  They “tackle all things horror with a slash of analysis and research”   They discuss themes, archetypes, cultural impact from a psychological and sociological point of view.  It’s really a fresh perspective on these films and themes.

They are only  8 episodes and the majority of them are 45 minutes or less (with the exception of the I Slaw Therefore I am  which examines   Joss Wheedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer series.  (they examine some of the thematic and schematic  elements of significant episodes of the series.)
So far the episodes include:

 

Ep 2   Valentines Day (a look at Fatal Attraction (1987) vs Fear (1996)
Ep 4   Do You Like Scary Movies?  (looks at what scares us and why)
Ep 5   I Slay Therefore I am (Buffy)
Ep 6   Ring to Rule Them All (About The Ring)


If you like horror and you like smart commentary check these ladies out.  The links above link to PodOmatic but you can also download them on iTunes.