November 24th, 2008

Scary Books

After the Fall #14 + The Last Generation #1 Reviewed

Angel After The Fall #14

The extremely annoying Gunn puts a new plan into action. He makes Illyria revert to her/its true form. So now the monstrous Illyria decides to end existence. Gunn is pleased by this, someone needed to stake him several issues ago. Meanwhile Spike blathers, Angel blathers, Wesley continues to refuse to leave, the poor dragon is dead and no mention is made of Gwen's fate. This was an okay issue that continues to pile trouble on Angel and his gang. The artwork is hideous, which is standard for this title.

Star Trek The Next Generation Myriad Universes: The Last Generation #1

In this universe depicted in this comic, things went terribly wrong during the events of 'Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country'. War broke out, Earth was conquered by the Klingons and Starfleet lies in ruins. A resistance fights an underground battle against the Klingons while in deep space, the mythical last remaining Starfleet ship patrols space waiting for day that Earth can be liberated. This is an okay tale. However the artwork looks extremely 1980's and one wonders how Ro and Tasha Yar are on Earth.
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Masters of Horror: Dreams in the Witch House

Based on H.P. Lovecraft's tale of math and monsters.

Walter, a graduate student at Miskatonic University, rents a room so he work on his thesis on string theory. Soon he notices strange events in his boarding house and is tormented by nightmares. Is there a doorway between universes behind his wallpaper? Does a rat have a human face? And is a witch about to sacrifice his neighbour's child? A trip to the university's rare book room and a viewing of the Necronomicon, is enough to confirm his worst fears. Unfortunately for Walter, his attempt to save the day ends badly for him.

This was okay, just a bit dull. However the SFX of the rat with a human face is unspeakably naff.
Scary Books

Movie Review: Quarantine (2008)

I was so looking forward to this, only to be let down. Like 'The Strangers', this was a failure of a horror film. I wasn't scared, just annoyed at the idiot, screeching, trouble making moronic reporter Angela.

TV reporter Angela and her cameraman are covering the night shift at a fire house. They follow the crew on a callout and are confronted by ill old woman. So far, so routine? No, after the overly long, tedious 'comedy' that led up to this, it comes as a relief when the granny goes on a biting rampage against her rescuers. Soon people are bleeding, then foaming at the mouth and then the building is sealed up by the authorities. Soon it is clear the people trapped inside have been left to die of what seems like an extreme outbreak of rabies.

This could be scary except for the fact that the people trapped in the building are mostly argumentative idiots. One defiantly walks off only to get eaten by a rabid dog, a few insist on going off to investigate in the dark, people yell and shove, people with-hold important information, others make noise at inappropriate moments and another acts like her brain was surgically removed at birth. Why do people in horror movies have to be so stupid?

As the action builds up, rabid people run around but the jerky cam is so extreme the viewer can't tell who they are. The last two survivors run upstairs into the attic and learn the source of the outbreak and the reasons for the authorities extreme reaction. Now this is the sole truly unnerving segment of the film. The outbreak's source has been foreshadowed throughout the film but afterward, you do wonder. Were the other building occupants both deaf and lacking a sense of smell? Couldn't they hear or smell what was going on up there? Also the 'heroine' screams, wails, blubbers and acts like an idiot during the entire sequence so the ending isn't as creepy as it should be. This isn't scary except for the attic sequence and the extremely annoying Angela will put most viewers off.
Scary Books

More Trailers! Trailers! Trailers!

True Blood promos
I saw various promos for almost all the eps and it looks fantastic. TPTB took the 'Sookie Stackhouse' novels and made rich, juicy looking tv out of it. Reminds me in tone of 'American Gothic. Okay the vampire fangs look a bit plastic and hokey, even the Hammer movies had more realistic fangs than that. But it has blood, the American Deep South, shapeshifters, vampires, a telepathic waitress, bars, magic, murder, lies, sex and a man breaking a pool cue to use as a stake. .

Twilight trailer
The book about a passive girl and her sparkly vampire boyfriend is for tweens, but the trailer actually made me want to see this movie. The tone reminded me of 'The Covenant' (but in a good way) and it looks good.

Quarantine trailer
A sad case of the trailer being better than the film. They really shouldn't have put the very final scene of the film in the trailer. Even if you haven't seen the film, you'll know which bit I mean. So much promise, so very little pay-off.

Watchmen trailer (new)
This puts the original dull trailer to shame. This was so cool, 'Watchmen' looks cold, dark and awesome.

Lost Season 5 promo (new)
Leaving aside the annoying music video motif, this looks good. Still no new shots of Richard, if they kill him off I'm out. Jack has shaved but why are he and Sayid brawling? So looking forward to season 5.

Dollhouse promo
Longer than the first promo I saw, it is somewhat better than that promo. But the concept is tinged with sleaze. Still this promo plays up the 'unwilling volunteer' angle of Echo and her companions and then there is the investigation in the Dollhouse setup angle. This promo manages to be okay and lame at the same time.

Friday the 13th trailer
Is there anything they won't remake?!? Jason and his trusty chainsaw are on the rampage at Camp Crystal Lake. Which is an error for obvious reasons. As 'Scream' so memorably reminded us, Jason wasn't the killer in the original 'Friday the 13th'. His mother was!
Scary Books

Survivors Ep 1 Review

Can a new world arise from the ashes of the old?

A remake of the cult classic BBC series that ran from 1975 to 1977. A plague causes the global collapse of civilization by killing 90% of the world's population. Now a bare handful of survivors are left to somehow live in a near empty world. It sounds thrilling, unfortunately the execution of this first episode was a bit bland, overly glossy and too full of coincidences.

Yummy Mummy Abby is obsessing over her son Peter when she is struck by the virus. After days she wakes up after recovering only to find her husband and all her neighbours have died. So with no hesitation she starts stealing cars and ram raiding hospitals in search of her son who was in the wilderness on an outdoor adventure course.

Elsewhere an idiot playboy hangs out in a nightclub, which is still operating despite the fact that all public gatherings should have been stopped due to the serious 'flu' outbreak'. When the idiot playboy realises the world has essentially ended, he goes drunk driving, helps a kid in need and drives around some more while uttering funny lines to make the viewer like him.

Meanwhile Tom is a prisoner with only one facial expression. He gets out of jail, hooks up with two young people who he tries to menace. However they throw him out of their moving car and Tom is left lying on the road to no doubt decide that some self-actualisation is called for in his life. A passing doctor takes pity on him and helps him.

Then there is Greg, who seems to have an actual grip on what to do. He points out to the oblivious others that the cities are now uninhabitable by warning them of: "All the diseases that come of millions of unburied bodies."

By coincidence all the above mentioned characters join up near ep 1's end and have to decide what to do and where to go now. Then there comes the twist final scene, which shows a bunker full of scientists muttering ominously about work they have to do.

This ep was dull and populated by unsympathic characters. Everyone except for Greg, Anya the doctor and Neill (who threw Tom out of the car) are either shrieky, selfish or dumb. And as for the scientists in the bunker twist, all you can do is go: whhaaattt? This show was promised to us as being about a disparate group of people plunged into a nightmarish quasi-medieval post-apocalyptic world where they have to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic and the repercussions of the loss of their old world, face the grim realities of long term sustainable survival now the old certainties have gone forever and rebuild the world anew. And instead we get a conspiracy plot?
Scary Books

Book Review: Mere Mortals

Star Trek Destiny: Book 2 Mere Mortals by David Mack

Now this was a vast improvement over the vastly underwhelming and boring book 1 'Gods of Night'.

On Earth the Federation President gathers allies and adversaries alike to form a last line of defence against the coming Borg onslaught. Will the Ferengi, Gorn, Breen, Cardassians and Tholians stand alongside the Federation, Klingons and Romulans? Elsewhere on Earth, Seven of Nine tries to get people to listen to warnings that even this may not be enough. But nobody listens.

In deep space, Picard and Dax work together to explore the mysterious subspace tunnels that seem to be the Borg's pathway into Federation space. As they explore the tunnels, they encounter many sights. During one trip the Enterprise discovers the ominous sight of ancient galaxy where every star is hidden within a dyson sphere. During another trip the Enterprise and Aventine run across an unfamiliar Delta Quadrant species and then have a very bloody encounter with a familiar Delta Quadrant species, the Hirogen.

Meanwhile the Titan is held captive by the supremely advanced Caeliar. As Troi's medical condition worsens and events become violent, Riker is forced to make a choice that may change Titan forever.

Also flashbacks show how Erika Hernandez was changed by her imprisonment by the Caeliar. Is she suffering from Stockholm Syndrome or was she forced to adapt to events totally beyond her control?

This was a good thrill ride. The Borg onslaught is scary, the threat and awe of the Borg is in full force. Then there are the little touches: hints of what is to come in future books of 'Star Trek: Enterprise', the 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' relaunch and 'Star Trek: Vanguard'. The starship Voyager makes a cameo appearance in this book and what happens to it, sows great potential plot for the upcoming books in the 'Star Trek: Voyager' relaunch. Also there are hints of even more malevolent races out there in other galaxies, could this be setting up future books?

One wonders how everything in this book can possibly be resolved in Book 3 'Lost Souls', it obviously can't. So the direction of many book series' will change after this. But how can they resolve the Borg armada? Seven says there is only one way to end things: us or them. Will genocide tactics have to be used in 'Lost Souls'? It's a scary thought.