The Front Yard

In attempting to find the right balance between blogging about releases, writing stuff, author guests, I thought I’d include the occasional, general post about stuff and am calling it The Front Yard, because I often have great conversations with my neighbors in our front yard, often after corralling their chicken. (Talk about free range and we get fresh eggs too!) We cover a myriad of topics from life in general to tv and movies because we are for the most part, geeks. Although I surprised my neighbor recently by admitting I had never watched Doctor Who. Even I have limits.

So I chaperoned my son’s kinder class on a school field trip to a local farm. While my voice grew hoarse constantly rounding up my charges, (the second you get one little critter next to you, the next one had taken off), I had lots of fun. We picked vegetables, walked through a corn maze, and, one of my son’s favorite moments, saw the llama poop.

TV: Holy cow. American Horro Story: Coven. I’ve been loving this season. Didn’t watch season one, couldn’t really get into season two (don’t need to see lobotomies and why the serial killer?), but Coven seems to have found the right balance, and Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, and Angela Bassett??? How can it not rock? I appreciate these actresses even more, because they could totally go the scene chewing route, but while they do dominate their scenes, they know how to tone it down. But last episode’s zombie takedown via chainsaw!!! I wanted to shout. What awesome Evil Dead carnage. It was ridiculous, especially when she split the one zombie in half, vertically. I’m truly curious as to what’s going to happen with Sarah Paulson’s character (Fiona’s daughter) now that she’s blind but can see, and I called Zoe being the Supreme in the first episode 🙂 Can’t wait for next week!

Still trying to fit Marvel Agents of Shield. It’s one of those shows that just doesn’t feel right, like the shirt that’s too tight on the shoulders. I never read the comic, never got into Shield all that much, but have learned enough about Shield from their appearances in the comics I do read. And this tv group does not feel like Shield. They feel like the minor league Shield. And I can’t understand why they aren’t drawing upon the Marvel universe more. Maybe it’s ABC, making the show more wide reaching (read bland), but Whedon can do so much better! While he’s not writing the show, his brother and brother’s wife (I think) are the writers, he is the producer. Who knows? Maybe the Whedon formula is finally wearing out its welcome, or maybe you can’t just paste the Whedon tropes on meh actors and meh writing and expect it to work. We’ll see.

On a more exciting front, Marvel and Netflix announced a deal to bring multiple live-action series featuring Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Cage, all in their own shows, leading up to a Defenders mini-series. Now that’s what I’m talking about. I think a Netflix series will be less constrained than a major network show and I find the approach intriguing, not to mention, characters like these will adapt well to the small screen.

Speaking of Marvel, can’t wait to see Thor this weekend. From what I’ve read and seen in trailers, this looks to be wider in scope, more of the nine realms, and a more hands on, grounded approach to the fighting and physical appearance of Asgard. And we get to see Heimdall with his helmet off = Idris Elba!

Hellraiser remake.

Clive Barker is going to pen a remake of the Hellraiser movie. That is exciting in many ways. First being that Clive Barker, the man who wrote the book, Hellbound Heart, on which it was based, and directed the original is going to write the remake. Also, Doug Bradley, the original Pinhead, will reprise his role.

The movie was ahead of its time in the themes it explored, the S&M, slasher, horror mashup. Probably a progenitor of some of the torture porn stuff today, but with a compelling and interesting story. I mean, the friggin’ Cenobites (from the Order of the Gash in the book), and the idea of LeMarchand’s Configuration (the puzzle box) are fascinating creations. And to this day, I still think the use of sound in that movie was some of the best in any horror movie, giving everything such a creepy vibe. Not surprising, because Barker made a point in Hellbound Heart, to describe how the arrival of the Cenobites sounded, the ringing bell, and the cries of people in Hell or the labyrinth. (Crying babies, yikes!) I love a movie that brings in a weird, mysterious mythology with origins in old occult, think the Book of the Dead in Evil Dead or the entirely made up Necronomicon in H.P. Lovecraft’s mythologies.

While the movie followed the book fairly closely, I think they could explore some of the themes even more in a remake, and in reimagining Pinhead. I love Pinhead’s original look and old school gory makeup effects, but some new techniques and effects could definitely liven things up.

And just to tanatalize, here are Barker’s own words, which is exactly what I would want to see in a remake:

The idea of my coming back to the original film and telling the story with a fresh intensity-honoring the structure and the designs from the first incarnation but hopefully creating an even darker and richer film-was attractive to Dimension.

I’m with you Clive, and…

What can I tell you about it? Well, it will not be a film awash with CGI. I remain as passionate about the power of practical make-up effects as I was when I wrote and directed the first HELLRAISER. Of course the best make-up in the world loses force if not inhabited by a first-rate actor. I told the Dimension team that in my opinion there could never be a Pinhead without Doug Bradley.


Have a great weekend!

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