Tuesday, October 21, 2014

31 Days of Halloween – Odds N’ RENDS: Walker Stalker, Carrie, and Cabin Fever

Today’s post was supposed to be a recap of my visit to Walker Stalker Con. For multiple reasons that particular subject is not enough to fill up a post or keep your attention, so instead I’m going to throw a few different topics together and hope that I come up with enough to satisfy my (and your) demands for a full daily post.
Chances are we’ll both end up wishing I’d just posted that review of Goat-Man.

The Carrie Remake
We noticed this was on Netflix the other night and decided to watch it since it is one of the few horror flicks available to watch for free this month that we haven’t already seen or doesn’t look like total garbage.
I thought it was great up until the last fifteen minutes or so when things stop making sense. SPOILER ALERT – when the cops don’t go to Carrie White’s house after a thousand or so people just saw Carrie White murder a bunch of people, that just doesn’t make a lick of sense. And the rest of the movie from then on just is not great.
But everything up until that point is awesome. The pacing was strong and the narrative was much more compelling than the original adaptation. I enjoyed Carrie’s awareness of what she was and the talents she had. I thought Julianne Moore’s portrayal of Carrie’s mother was unnerving and fantastic. She was villainous without beign a cackling, overwrought fiend. And Chloe Moretz was phenomenal. Not only was she excellent at portraying Carrie as an awkward outsider, she was much more believable than Sissy Spacek as somebody that might conceivably be invited into at least a portion of the popular kids’ clique. Her feeling of, “Wow – could I be part of this? Could my life be normal?” was much easier to go along with. Which made the inevitable outcome that much more crushing.
I recommend this one. I was never a fan of the original, but this one was a fun experience. Even the end wasn’t outright awful. It took some thinking and discussion with the missus to nail down what was wrong with it.

Cabin Fever 3
Outright garbage. It started off okay and seemed more promising than the second one, but ended up feeling like a Syfy Original movie. And not in a good, fun, campy way. In a disastrous, lack of filmmaking and storytelling way.
The cast were just plain bad. From the nurse with the open shirt and the high heels to the whiny brother that wouldn’t stop being a bitch, everybody was severely unlikeable. And not in a way that made you want to see how they would die. In a way that made you want to turn the movie off. Or fast forward, which I did.
The biggest missed opportunity was a catfight between two infected females. The movie had already gone to utter shit by the time this happened, so they might as well have had a ridiculous brawl where titties got ripped off and a clothesline resulted in an arm disconnecting at the elbow. That sort of thing. Instead we got shitty camera work and an overly long focus on a single gory act. It was unbelievable that the creators didn’t go all-out on this absurd scene after committing to it.
Most disappointing was the fact that this mess was directed by Kaare Andrews, a phenomenally talented comic book writer and artist. I am a HUGE fan of Andrews’ printed work. So much so that I would give his movies another chance. And that’s saying something after the rotten turd he dropped with Cabin Fever 3.
Walker Stalker Con
I had an incredible media experience with last year’s Walker Stalker. The media rep kept in close contact with me despite the fact that Needless Things is definitely a smaller entity and I was made to feel just as important as the larger outlets. I was given the opportunity to interview Zack Galligan and participate in a rare roundtable interview with Andrew Lincoln. Overall it was a very validating and rewarding experience, which is why this year I once again applied for a media pass despite the fact that I was not a fan of The Walking Dead in the period between the fourth episode of the second season and the final episode of the fourth season.
And yet I kept watching, but that’s a whole other article.
I also applied again because I knew Beth would enjoy the con. Her coverage will be up at 11 AM today.
I wasn't expecting to see a troll costume at a zombie convention.
My own coverage is not as thorough as it could have been because on the Thursday before the con I left work to go to the doctor and was diagnosed with Strep throat. This derailed my plan to attend on Friday and get interviews, and also ended screwed up my Saturday, which was supposed to include a Walker Stalker visit and our annual trek to Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse. But I just wasn’t up to doing anything on Saturday. The family ran out to Target and a couple of other places and I was exhausted afterward. There’s no way I could have walked all over a convention hall, let alone run from zombies in what has been confirmed as the lengthiest AZA experience yet.
But on Sunday I was determined to at least drop by for a couple of hours, so we picked up the other half of our Adventure Team – Jessie and Jonathan of WrestlingWithPopCulture.com – and headed down to Zombietown.
I absolutely fucking hate being in Downtown Atlanta. I hate driving, I hate trying to park, I hate walking through certain portions of the city. My buddy Andrew of (site) had sent me a message saying that the best and easiest place to park was the parking deck for building 2 of AmericasMart (the building in which the con was being held), but that lot was full when we got there. So we had to do my least favorite thing in the world aside from being abducted and anally probed by aliens – look for parking downtown.
I do not handle this well. I am not pleasant to be in the car with and I curse loudly and frequently. And do not ever try to suggest parallel parking of any kind to me.
Once we found parking I put my twenty dollar bill into the little slot, noticing just a moment too late that there was no slot for change. Sure enough, there was a sign stating that the machine did not return change for overpayment. I should have read that, but at the same time I never would have imagined that such a thing existed. So I was out fifteen bucks. I was furious and uttered more profanity in the form of shouting, “I FUCKING HATE DOWNTOWN ATLANTA” to an uncaring city. Perhaps you heard me and were wondering what kind of moron would be in the middle of a place they hated. That would be me.
After I regained a tiny bit of composure we walked the thirty-eight uphill blocks to the AmericasMart.
Checking in and getting our Media passes was easy enough except for the fact that they were out of Media passes and out of lanyards:
So the guy gave us Vendor passes, which was fine and didn’t really matter because I wasn’t going to be trying to get interviews anyway. That was Beth’s mission and as of now I have no idea how successful she was, I just know that her post goes up in a few hours, so check back. I know that I was not contacted once for any kind of interview opportunities over the weekend despite the fact that another journalist I know was invited to two different roundtables.
My main reason for going to the con was to do an art trade with Bones. He had painted up one of his trademark skulls in an appealing purple and green manner and also set aside one of his kickass Yog Sothoth plaques for Mrs. Troublemaker. I hooked him up with some toys because apparently I am pretty good at finding toys.
Right next door to Mr. Bones was none other than Bambi Lynn of Phantom favorite rockers Radio Cult.
I didn’t want to snuggle up too close for fear of lingering effects of my illness and also because luchador masks are not recognized as effective PPE by the CDC or the WHO (I already made this joke on Facebook, which you would know if you followed me there). I also ran into Ricky Zhero and had another brief but awesome talk about toys. One of these days I’m going to have those folks on the show and it’s going to be awesome.
I also once again chatted with the folks at Plastic Empire. I love running into them at cons and we always end up buying stuff, mainly because they’re so darn nice. We got a few Funko POP! toys this time – Los Muertos from The Book of Life, Frankenstein’s Bride, and of course the inevitable Creature from the Black Lagoon. There’s no way I wasn’t going to buy that one eventually.
Finally, we found Doug P’Gosh.
I ran across an incredible print of his a couple of years ago and posted it on Mrs. Troublemaker’s FB wall because it combined two of her favorite things – a mermaid and the Bride of Frankenstein:
I have a terrible memory, so I posted it a couple more times over the following months. My buddy Mike Gordon posted an awesome Creature picture that turned out to also be by this P’Gosh fella:
I tracked him down online, but I’m always wary of buying art that way. You never know exactly what the quality is going to be. Thankfully we were able to meet P’Gosh in person, inspect the prints up close, and buy some stuff. He’s an incredibly talented and nice guy and I recommend you go to his site and buy some awesome art and stuff. Hopefully I’ll actually get around to painting my Tiki guy and Naked Titty Lady.
That’s pretty much it, folks. I didn’t pursue any celebrities. Heck, we didn’t even walk into the celebrity holding pens. Walker Stalker – for me, anyway, is pretty much like a Renaissance Festival without the shows or entertainment. I’m just going to shop around. And I have to say, it was worthwhile to be there for that purpose. There were a lot of vendors that you don’t see at Dragon Con or even at Days of the Dead. I had to resist the urge to buy a number of things. The thing I actually regret passing on was this kickass They Live poster by Electric Zombie:
From ElectricZombie.merchline.com
Yeah. I totally should have bought that.
To sum it up – if you’re a fan of The Walking Dead TV show, this con is for you. It’s well organized, they get pretty much all of the big names from the show (and some not-so-big – Jonathan got to meet the babies that play Judith Grimes!), and the guys that run it truly have a passion for the TV franchise. The vendors have TONS of Walking Dead stuff, as well as just enough other merchandise to keep things interesting. If there was a con run the same way that was devoted to Buffy the Vampire Slayer I’d lose my fucking mind over it.

Needless Things V. 31 Days of Halloween

Every October for the last few years Needless Things has provided commentary on SyFy’s – the television channel devoted to science fiction (sort of) – schedule. Not because the channel provides the best Halloween content, but because they provide the most. Aside from some paid programming in the wee hours of the morning (because somebody has to pay for Sharknado 3: Again With This?), SyFy makes an effort to program content that is at least Halloween-ish every hour of the month.

It is for this that we thank them and devote far more effort than we should into dissecting what they have to offer.
Syfy is treating us to an all-day marathon of Face Off, so there’s not much to say other than just watch it. Town of the Living Dead comes on later this evening. I gave you my thoughts on that pile of unwatchable turd yesterday.
Oct 21 11:00 AM Face Off Ancient Aliens 
Oct 21 12:00 PM Face Off Twisted Trees 
Oct 21 01:00 PM Face Off Animal Attraction 
Oct 21 02:00 PM Face Off Wizard Of Wonderland 
Oct 21 03:00 PM Face Off Killer Instinct 
Oct 21 04:00 PM Face Off Serpent Soldiers 
Oct 21 05:00 PM Face Off Scared Silly 
Oct 21 06:00 PM Face Off Teacher's Pets 
Oct 21 07:00 PM Face Off Off With Their Heads 
Oct 21 08:00 PM Face Off Beautiful Disaster 
Oct 21 09:00 PM Face Off Creature Carnage 
Oct 21 10:00 PM Town Of The Living Dead A Zombie Baby Is Born 
Oct 21 10:30 PM Town Of The Living Dead Don't Mess With The Money-maker 
Oct 21 11:00 PM Face Off Creature Carnage 
Oct 21 12:00 AM Town Of The Living Dead A Zombie Baby Is Born 
Oct 21 12:30 AM Town Of The Living Dead Don't Mess With The Money-maker 
Oct 21 01:00 AM Z Nation Resurrection Z 
Oct 21 02:00 AM 31 Days Of Halloween Movie My Bloody Valentine 
Oct 21 04:00 AM Scare Tactics Tracy The Tour Guide 
I would go on any tour that Tracy Morgan headed up. Unless he was driving.
Oct 21 04:30 AM Scare Tactics Uh Oh! It's Maggots 
This title cracks me up every time I see it. I mean, it’s no “Dong of the Dead”, but it’s pretty silly.
Oct 21 05:00 AM Paid Programming
Oct 22 06:00 AM Paid Programming 
Oct 22 08:00 AM Ghost Hunters, Season 9 Ghosts From Hale 
Oct 22 09:00 AM Ghost Hunters, Season 9 Scream Park 
Oct 22 10:00 AM Ghost Hunters, Season 9 The Ghost Hasn't Left The Building

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