Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

We’ve just announced the eleven extraordinary short films that will be competing for the $1,000 Grand Prize in our Final Frame Film Competition.  This event has become one of StokerCon’s most anticipated and popular features, so be sure to mark Friday night on your con calendar!  So, indy film lovers, these ones are shorts, to be shown at StokerCon Friday night from 8 to 11 p.m..  Or to quote more fully from the latest Progress Report, received yesterday afternoon:  The Horror Writers Association is proud to announce the third annual short film competition held in conjunction with StokerCon 2018, held at the fabled Biltmore Hotel, in Providence, Rhode Island on March 1st through March 4th, 2018.  Final Frame celebrates the darkest, weirdest and fantastic short horror films from around the globe.  The winner will be announced at a cocktail reception after.
So if you’re going to StokerCon too (cf.February 13, et al.) perhaps I’ll see you there.  A quick rundown on the films themselves can be found by pressing here.
This one comes to us courtesy of Mike Olson via ON THE EDGE CINEMA and pretty much speaks for itself:  “25 Great No-Budget Horror Movies You Probably Haven’t Seen” by Kieran Fisher on FILMSCHOOLREJECTS.COM.  For what it’s worth, I don’t think I’ve seen a single one either, though several are available through Amazon.  As author Fisher puts it, [t]he best horror movies are often produced outside of the studio system.  This isn’t me knocking studio movies by any means, but most connoisseurs of fright fare would agree that a lot of their favorite films are independent ones.  That said, some independent movies still receive media attention, promotion, and even the occasional theatrical release on their way towards a home video release of some kind.  Independent horror is great, and while there are lots of lists out there dedicated to celebrating overlooked gems this one is dedicated to the movies that bubble under the surface, dwelling in the darker, more obscure corners of spooky cinema.  That’s right — we’re going underground here.
To join on the journey yourself, just press the magic button.  (And a happy Valentine’s Day to all!)

So in one respect the second part of this saves some worry, plus lets me get to StokerCon without likely to be unrealized expectations.  Still TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH having missed the final ballot (cf. January 25, et al.) is a disappointment.  So how about watching a movie instead, maybe one not seen before, as listed in “11 Severely Underrated Horror Movies You Should Watch Tonight” via THE-LINE-UP.COM?  The fourth on the list, in fact, has been reviewed here (cf. “With Snow on the Ground Casey Surely Was Freezing in that Miniskirt, Though,” December 27 2015).  For the others, press here.

And for me, one thing that might cheer me up:  If you’ve read TOMBS and feel, at least, it did deserve being on the preliminary ballot, perhaps you could post a review of it on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, et al.


For those going to StokerCon at the beginning of March this year, the program (or at least a preliminary version of it) has been published.  Or more to the point for me, I’m listed on two panels.  Thus, the first of these is on Friday afternoon:  Dark Poets Face to Face Redux (Moderator: Marge Simon), 4:00 PM, A select panel of talented contemporary horror poets read and discuss each other’s works.  The audience is encouraged to participate and will be given copies of the poems for comments as well.  Panelists will be asked for three poems, 50 lines max per poem.  I will share all the poems with everyone in advance and they pick another poet’s poem to read to the audience.  They must pick 3 poems by different poets on the panel.  After reading it, they will state why they chose it, and/or what sparked their feelings about it.  Audience will have copies of all poems read.  The round continues until time is up, so every poet will have at least one or two poems read aloud and discussed.

And then, for Saturday:  Vampires:  The Next Generation (Moderator: James Dorr), 4:00 PM, Sparkly vampires are dead!  Long live ugly vampires!  With the popularity of young adult vampires in books, such as the TWILIGHT series, and television shows, such as THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, finally waning, where do vampires go next?  There are plenty of vampire romance novels.  But there’s also a swing back to the vampire as a monster, as seen in THE STRAIN books and television series and Justin Cronin’s PASSAGE trilogy.  What’s next for horror’s favorite undead bloodsucker?

As for this second, I don’t at this moment know who the other panelists will be, but insofar as, going back at least to the lamiae of ancient Rome, allure has traditionally been one of the vampire’s deadliest weapons it’s possible that not all vamps we’ll discuss will be physically ugly — albeit still dangerous.  For instance, I’m kind of into mermaid vampiresses at the moment, including the film THE LURE (see below, April 25 2017, but also in poetry in the current STAR*LINE), as well as, to continue with films of the past few years, Ana Lily Amirpour’s survivalist (sort of) A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AFTER DARK (see January 11 2015) and the gorgeous, if nevertheless unsparkly, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (June 26 2014).  Any ideas that you could add too?

And then, finally, for the “well, mostly” part of the headline, I will hopefully also be doing a short reading from TOMBS, but, since airline schedules have me arriving by nearly evening Thursday, and leaving around dawn Sunday morning, I had to pass up the first time slot offered.  Hopefully though one will be found for me (as set up, I believe, these will be hour sessions with three readers each, giving us about fifteen minutes apiece, so it may possibly take their finding some other already scheduled reader who’ll be willing to trade for a Thursday or Sunday slot).

If you have a chance to see a movie called AS BOAS MANEIRAS, or in English GOOD MANNERS, do so. It’s a long film at about two hours and fifteen minutes and, as confessed by the docent introducing it at the Indiana University Cinema Thursday night, almost anything you can say about it would be a spoiler.  So, at the risk of spoilers, here’s what the IU Cinema catalogue says:  Mysterious and wealthy Ana hires Clara — a lonely nurse from the outskirts of São Paulo — as housekeeper and nanny to Ana’s soon-to-be born child.  Against all odds, the two women develop a strong bond, but a fateful night changes their plans.  Oliver Lyttelton from THE PLAYLIST perhaps best articulates the you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it AS BOAS MANEIRAS as “the year’s best Brazilian lesbian werewolf musical melodrama.”

Lesbian werewolves, what more could one ask for?  Except that’s not really what the film is about.  Also, toward the end, there’s what one recognizes as the classic torch-bearing peasants storming the castle – in this case a São Paulo slum apartment – scene, except that’s not really what it’s about either.  In a way, in fact, it’s really two films and, yes, what girl-on-girl action there is falls in the first part. Except maybe one of them’s really sleep-loving.  But then the second part is very different.  And if there’s a theme it may be about innocence — that of children and mother’s love — and trying to do the next right thing when dealt a weirdly bad hand by life.

Except that there is a werewolf too, and maybe someone should have known better.  But what’s one to do, especially if one’s from the lower classes and almost anything one might try isn’t likely to end well?  And how much truth should one tell a child?  And, even with werewolves, could something like all this really happen — I mean, there are secrets, but maybe some have just too many loose ends?   So, probably not, but the final scene is both sad and heroic — and brought applause when the audience realized the film had ended.

To my best knowledge, the film’s not available on DVD, at least not yet, but if you should have a chance to see AS BOAS MANEIRAS, I think there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy it.

So it’s still the Christmas Season, isn’t it (cf. number 10, “12 Days of Christmas: A Tale of Avian Misery,” and one of my favorites)?  So herewith, to while the minutes of an otherwise very cold late New Years Day, at least where I live and not a time to be going outside, welcome “13 Short Horror Films to Exorcise Holiday Mirth and Cheer” by Marni Molina, courtesy of DEARDARKLING.COM.  Viewing times range from 1:49 to 16:01 minutes.

To sample, press here — but think twice before sharing these with the kiddies (this means you too, Triana)!

So as December fades into the new year, Daniel Kurland and BLOODY-DISGUSTING.COM have offered this interesting list:  “The 10 Best Foreign Horror Films of 2017.”  And the neat thing is, I’ve already seen and even reviewed one (Hi there, Indiana University Cinema!), Poland’s THE LURE, for which see below for April 25.  It’s fourth on the list for what that’s worth — the films aren’t overtly stated to be arranged from best to worst, or vice versa — sandwiched between Portugal with THE FOREST OF LOST SOULS and Mexico’s anthology movie MEXICO BARBARO II.  Last on the list is the Mexican/French WE ARE THE FLESH while the feature begins with Turkey’s THE HOUSEWIFE, with the remaining entries VERONICA (Mexico), COLD HELL (Germany), SALVATION (Spain), and DANUR: I CAN SEE GHOSTS and BADOET (both from Indonesia).  To see for oneself, with a photo (the one shown here, above, is from MEXICO BARBARO II) and a brief description for each, press here.

Roughly half the movies cited in “13 Best Horror Movies of 2017,” by Orrin Grey on THE-LINE-UP.COM, are also noted in July 5’s post, below, “Best 2017 Horror Films Thus Far” — which figures, if you think about it.  So, THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER (check), IT (check), THE GIRL WITH THE GIFTS (check), RAW (check), they’re all there.  THE DEVIL’S CANDY (check).  Six films in all, and now seven are added to represent the year’s second half, such as HAPPY DEATH DAY and BETTER WATCH OUT.  THE BELKO EXPERIMENT. . . .

It’s all just one person’s opinion, of course, but for a fear-filled Christmastide’s viewing it’s one place to start, for more on which press here.

And what better thing for an extended holiday weekend than to wallow in horror movies you may not have seen yet?  So for tonight, from THE-LINE-UP.COM, “15 Brilliant and Creepy Horror Movies You May Not Know About but Need to See” by Abbey White.  “Goodnight Mommy,” “We Are What We Are” (“Somos Lo Sue Hay”), “I Saw the Devil,” “The Void,” “The Loved Ones,” more, for all of which press here.  Then read and enjoy.
So once upon a time, say a month or so before October, the Horror Writers Association was setting up a series of Halloween-related member columns to post, given sufficient participation, one or more a day in October up to the big night.  And so I wrote up a piece on how, in a university community with a lively arts scene, those of us too old for trick-or-treating and/or jaded on parties can always find things like mini spooky film festivals to help celebrate the season.  Calling it “No Place to Go for Halloween?” I wrapped it together with bio and social link material plus a raft of info on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, as participants were instructed to do (that is, to include information on latest books, projects, etc. — also, if desired, to offer prizes for those who commented and the like) and sent it in.
Well. times were busy, and while I checked in at one point to see if my piece had been put on the schedule, I didn’t find it (or so I thought, though in retrospect it may be just that things weren’t final yet).  So I figured that maybe they couldn’t use it — no big deal, one can’t use everything.  So it goes.  And it being a busy time for me, I ended up failing to follow the feature myself after about the first week and a half .
Silly me!  So yesterday afternoon (today being exactly one week after Halloween) I received an email from Coordinator Michele Brittany with contact information on those who had commented on my column.  It had in fact been used after all on October 21!
And so, in lieu of having  announced it at the time, for those not members of the HWA or otherwise having missed “HALLOWEEN HAUNTS,” to see my part in it (and from there, if desired, to go to the other daily columns — just  click “HALLOWEEN” on the bar at the top) one may press here.

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