The End Is Here: Extinction Movie Review

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Extinction

Movie Review

By Jessica Dwyer

Extinction isn’t your typical zombie fare or film.  It has two male leads and a little girl who are the focus of the story.  Typically in a film with two nice looking actors like Matthew Fox and Jeffrey Donovan the focus of the film will be a love triangle…and in a way it is…but not the typical sort.

Patrick (Fox) and Jack (Donovan) have managed to out last a zombie plague that seems to have swept the world.  They’ve headed as far north as possible and due to the lack of people still living the snow and ice that buffets the town of Harmony has turned the area into a sort of mini ice age over 9 years.  In that time Lu (Quinn McColgan) Jack’s daughter has grown up never being allowed out of the house further than the screened in yard.

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Next door lives Patrick who, while great at hunting, isn’t so much with the sanity or not drinking himself to death.  He has a dog who hunts with him, and doesn’t communicate with Jack or Lu…even though they are neighbors.

As the story plays out you realize that these men have a history together and it centers around Lu and her mother.  In a way this story is the main focus of the film…the zombie situation is secondary until about half way through the movie.

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I really enjoyed Extinction.  The structure that director Miguel Vivas uses to tell the story makes it very compelling.  The story of Patrick and Jack is a tragic one.  And the chemistry between the three leads had to be believable and work for the way this film plays out.  You are with the three of them and the three of them only for 90 percent of the movie.  And they deliver on these characters.

Donovan and Fox are both excellent here, with Fox playing a character losing his mind and trying to hold onto it for the little girl next door.  Donovan plays a man who is desperate to keep the only thing worth living for safe.  Lu’s safety is the most important thing in the world and he’s dedicated to keeping a sense of normalcy for her in a world gone to hell.

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There’s no explanation for the zombie outbreak…it’s already started when the movie begins.  There’s also the evolution of the zombies which is still a relatively new concept. The undead have evolved to their environment and can hunt faster and move quicker. The design for them is pretty fantastic too…and disturbing.

The zombie/creature designs aren’t the only thing visually stunning in the film.  The way Vivas shot the film itself is really lovely.  The snowscape and lighting, the camera movements during a battle sequence, they are unique for most of your usual zombie fare these days.  Not to say there isn’t gore…there is…but that’s not the focus of this.  The creep factor and the human side of the story are the focus.  But Vivas doesn’t forget to include the importance of making an impact with what is beautiful about this new world.

I’m not ashamed to admit that this film made me openly cry while watching it.  It’s got an emotional punch that will hit you square in the chest.  Just be prepared for that.  This isn’t a typical zombie film just interested in your brains…it’s going for your heart too.  And that’s not a bad thing.

Extinction is available now on DVD.

Thank you For the Nightmares

A Twitter found poem about #WesCraven, compiled and crafted by Sarah Buck.

 

American film director, writer, producer, actor and slasher-tastic cult horror icon

Dies at 76.

Bleak 70s nihilism, fantastic 80s, self-referential 90s

A master of horror has passed.

True #horror trailblazer: true self-aware genius

You gave me nightmares and made me scream.

This one hurts.

#WesCraven didn’t teach the world what nightmares were, he just made them a whole lot more horrifying

This dude probably gave most of us our first nightmares

My favorite nightmare creator is gone from this world

Goodnight to the creator of many of my nightmares

He scared the crap out of me for many years.

Thanks for the chills.

Thank you for a lifetime of scares, screams and nightmares.

Thank you for making me lose control of my bowels.

Thanks for the show.

#WesCraven has died but he will live on forever

What?! #WesCraven has left us?! OMG!!! #RIP #MasterofHorror

HEY, CANCER! UP YOURS WITH A TWIRLING LAWN MOWER!

#WesCraven a true film making genius and horror movie master.

Incredible person with a gift for scaring the hell out of us

You will forever be in our Nightmares.

I like to think that #WesCraven will come back and haunt us all. I mean, why stop just because you’re dead?

The Song will Sing Again: River Song Is Back !!!

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I’m giddy with this news because ever since Peter Capaldi’s snarky, awesome Doctor became a reality I’ve been dreaming of this.  River Song is returning to Doctor Who for the Christmas Special this year.

Reported by Variety, Alex Kingston has already met Capaldi on the set for the read through and the episode has begun filming.  Apparently there’s going to be some more surprise pop ups in the episode…but for right now my eyes are filled with visions of epic hair meeting epic hair.

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Artist Spotlight: Tommy Harbour

Artist Spotlight:  Tommy Harbour

By Jessica Dwyer

Geeky art is a joy to behold.  And it’s even better when you discover it in a local artist in your town.  That’s what happened when I was introduced to Tommy Harbour.  Tommy has been making art since he was a young kid discovering the joys of comic books and video games…especially Nintendo.

Tommy and I made a geek trade of goods via Facebook and I got the first 8 Bit Tardis he’d ever made.  Tommy’s got a specialty in 8 Bit art.  Everything he does is by hand and it’s pretty spectacular.  When I went to his house to pick up my trans dimensional art (no lie…it’s cut out of wood and painted so 3D!!!) I asked if I could showcase some of his other creations.  When I stepped inside his home I was blown away by the display of awesome creativity, skill, and flat out awesome that is Tommy’s art.

8 Bit was everywhere…including a recreation of Super Mario Brothers that dominated part of a wall.  Tommy’s sketch work and paintings were also impressive.  He allowed me unlimited access so I photographed everything.  You’ll see the images below.

Tommy doesn’t have a Deviant Art page yet (I strongly suggested it.)  But you can contact him through his Facebook page.  He’s accessible and friendly and willing to take commissions.  He’ll also be appearing at Eucon in November with a booth where you can purchase some of his art.

The Cute…including He-Man, Lion-O, and a cast of comics.

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The 8 Bit

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Comicopia!!!

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The Hannibal Finale (I refuse to believe it…) Episode Review/Recap

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The Hannibal Finale (I refuse to believe it…)

The Wrath of the Lamb

Episode Review/Recap

By Jessica Dwyer

(Spoilers are here)

The finale of a series like Hannibal had to be beautiful and gut wrenching with a gleam in its eye and blood on its lips.  Bryan Fuller managed to combine all of that into a perfect hour of television for the send-off to one of the most artistic, intelligent, and sweetly evil series to be on network TV in possibly ever.  If this is the end for Hannibal it went out like it came in…pulling no punches and looking stylish as hell while doing so.

Once again Fuller and crew did not stick to the books completely for the story of The Red Dragon.  Instead they made the story be about Will and Hannibal coming together and coming to terms with what they mean to each other…while simultaneously sending off Francis Dolarhyde to that great Dragon in the sky.

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The episode began immediately after the ending of last weeks and showed that Francis, as we all knew, truly loved Reba and couldn’t kill her.  I admit I was wondering if she wasn’t going to make it as Fuller, as I said, hasn’t been following the story as it played out in the novel.  But she does make it out, smartly and through a flame filled home as Francis decides to blow his head off and let her burn because he can’t bear to watch it happen.

When the FBI and Will Graham figure out he’s still alive (being jumped in your hotel room is way more telling than having the medical examiner figure out the crispy, headless body isn’t the right one) a plan starts to form.  Specifically Will decides to point the Red Dragon towards Hannibal Lecter, to kill the not so good doctor after all.  Will then shares this plan with the rest of the gang including Bedelia and Alana Bloom who aren’t thrilled with the plan which entails Hannibal being allowed to escape.  Will warns Bedelia that she might as well prepare for whatever will happen.

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Alana on the other hand confronts Hannibal directly and his response is that she’s been living on borrowed time ever since she survived that night at his home.  He fulfilled his bargain with her and every thing she’s gotten since (her wife, her child, etc.) was from his promise.  Alana’s response is to pack up the wife and kid and leave the massive Verger estate.

All roads lead to the reckoning and it is a doozy.  Hannibal’s escape is actually assisted by Dolarhyde who shoots all the guards in the van and cars following it that’s carrying Hannibal.  The only two left alive are he and Will.  Hannibal is very matter of fact about the situation and says that what Dolarhyde has planned for them requires someplace special.  They then head for his home on the cliffs where he hid Abigail.

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It is there the reckoning comes down with Hannibal shot by Dolarhyde and Will drinking wine and watching as Francis starts to film the death of Hannibal.   You wonder if Will is truly going to let this happen and at the last moment he has a change of heart.  He reaches for his gun, but Dolarhyde is quicker and stabs him, tossing him outside.  The fight is on as Hannibal, with that oddly superhuman way he attacks, jumps on Dolarhyde’s back.  The two men fight the Dragon and it is as bloody and brutal as anything you’ve seen.  It takes both of them to finally kill Dolarhyde with Will stabbing him (after getting stabbed in the face and shoulder himself) and Hannibal biting and tearing his throat out.

When it is all said and done, the Dragon having finally earned his true blood red wings, Hannibal tells Will that this was all he ever wanted for him.  They embrace, each of them bloody and torn.  And there’s a sort of acceptance that comes over Will’s face and a smile on Hannibal’s.  And then Will pushes them off the cliff.

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The last thing we see is Bedelia sitting at a dinner table alone and beautiful…with her own left leg as the main course, lovingly prepared.  She’s waiting patiently, picking up a fork with her now left stump freshly bandaged.

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This ending (if it is in fact over) is poetic and fitting for the series.  Hannibal and Will I don’t think are conventionally in love (despite the massive amounts of fanfic and art out there…which the cast know about.)  I think more it is that they are the same.  Hannibal is what Will could have become if he’d not been tethered.  Will sees in Hannibal someone who can understand him and know him in a world where no one had done that before.  They are both dangerous men but there’s a connection between them that hate can’t severe.  Hate is too strong an emotion to waste on someone you don’t like (as the saying goes.)

And with all that happens Will realizes the simple truth, especially with what happens with  Dolarhyde…he’s been irreparably changed by not only Hannibal, but by his own nature and mind.  He’s killed with Hannibal.  He’s orchestrated events just as Hannibal had done before.  He’s gone over that edge at last and he knows enough to realize he won’t be able to come back from that.  He can’t go back to his family…a family that he tried to desperately be normal with and which in the end was tainted by his need to be involved.  And so Will does what he must…he goes completely over that edge and takes Hannibal with him.

The symbolism doesn’t just end there with the episode as we see Bedelia as our last scene.  She’s offered herself up as a meal for the beast…in effect chewing off her own leg to escape the trap she’s found herself in.  The scene also shows just how determined and twisted Bedelia’s own mind has become as she’s seen lifting a fork at the last moment.  She’s going to eat her own leg…or possibly put her own foot in her mouth.   It’s a perfect mic drop, as Hannibal had said earlier.

And so ends Hannibal’s possibly last season.  I’m very sad to see it go.  I want to see just want happens to Chilton and his creepy line about wanting to wear Hannibal’s skin.  I want to know if Will survives that plunge into madness.  What about Hannibal himself?   I’m sure these tales will be told via Fannibal Fic…but I’d much rather see it unfold with this talented group of actors and creators at the helm and splashing red and bold across by screen.

Bravo Hannibal and Company.  You created a strange and beautiful tale of insanity and murder that was like watching paintings come to life and slaughter each other with class and style.  Thank you for the madness.

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The YouTube Treasure Vault: Dracula 1968

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One of the rarest and hard to find versions of Count Dracula’s tale I recently discovered on YouTube!  This was a version done as part of a series on UK TV that showcased thrillers and gothic stories called “Mystery and Imagination.”

It’s a different take on the Stoker novel and an interesting meshing of the Nosferatu look mixed with the image we have in our minds of a cape wearing nobleman.  Denholm Elliott as Dracula was also an interesting choice.  He sports sunglasses and a goatee in the role.  Susan George and Corin Redgrave are also a part of the cast.

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If you are a vampire nut like I am and a Dracula lover you should check it out.  The poster has turned off embedding of the video so click the image of Dracula below to be taken to the video itself.  There are 6 parts at 15 mins per segment…so it is a full length piece.

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The Finale Theme from Hannibal

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I’m still coming to terms with the fact Hannibal is over.  I’ll be writing up a recap and posting it later because my mind is quite blown away with how amazing it was.  Bryan Fuller and his team did not let us down.  And if this is the end of the show (please no.) it went out beautifully.

But to tide you over, here is the equally beautifully Siouxsie Sioux song that I call the Finale Theme “Love Crime”.  The tears are flowing on Tumblr right now and this is the perfect mood music for that.

The YouTube Treasures Vault: The Elvira Show

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Digging around YouTube! You never know just what you might find.  This time around I found a classic from the land of the macabre.  The Elvira Show.  Shot in 1993 the single episode pilot for a would be series has Elvira with co-stars Katherine Helmond and a talking cat voiced by John Paragon (Jambi from Pee Wee’s Playhouse.)

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If you love Elvira and blatant innuendo this is the sitcom for you.  Elvira’s a witch in hiding in Kansas (probably afraid of falling houses.)  Her niece shows up who’s also a budding witch.  Elvira’s also in lust with the local lawman.  And there’s a laugh track.

The show never got picked up but it’s fun to watch a piece of the Mistress of the Dark’s history that you  may have never seen before.