Sunday, 26 April 2009

Remake Films

Do you know that feeling when you've seen too many crappy remake films?

This week I saw the new Halloween remake movie and if you've ever seen it, you'll know exactly what I'm saying.

Although it has to be said that I had never heard of Rob Zombie before and I haven't seen any of his previous films. I didn't have any concept of his work or directing style. So, having come to the film with no previous impressions I watched Halloween Unrated - Director's Cut with an open mind. I was totally unimpressed.

I know this was 2007 and I'm a little behind the times but originally it didn't appeal to me for obvious reasons. How can anyone dare to imagine they can do any film better than John Carpenter? Although I could see how he had tried to improve on it.

This film went into the background of Michael Myers in depth. An interesting concept; but unfortunately this prior information worked against the fear element of the story. It was a little hard to be scared, when you knew exactly who was under the mask. It lost the psychological element and surprises of the first film.

The other problem I had with the film was that mostly it was little more than a slasher/torture porn movie. It was filled with scenes of naked, injured women crawling on all fours. Obviously a fetish of someone on the production team - maybe Mr Zombie himself - but frankly, after the first killing, the viewer becomes desensitised and after that the constant killing scenes ran into each other and it became totally boring.

There were however some great things in it. Malcolm McDowell was brilliant in his role as Myers' psychiatrist. Daeg Faerch was an impressive and convincing young Myers and Sheri Moon Zombie was great as Myers' lap-dancing, loving mother.

I found the ending to be completely unsatifactory. It decended into an abstract chase through the old Myers' house, chasing after, what I sort of gathered was Myers' younger sister Laurie Strode - it seems she was adopted by another couple after her mother killed herself.

Malcolm McDowell apparently has his eyes gouged out, but then magically looks up at Myers and grabs his leg - yeah right.

The ending went for full-on blood and gore, Laurie was a bloody mess by the end. By then I was completely switched off and had switched on my laptop to do somehting better.

But I must add, that after watching the movie, we looked at the special features and there was a little gem among them - an alternative ending. The alternative was far more emotive, explained the motivation of Myers' behaviour better but had less gore.(It was shorter too, which had far more impact than constantly trying to crank up the tension).

So, Mr Zombie - I have to refer to some of the most successful and terrifying films of the past. Remember The Changling ,(1980) The Legend of Hell House,(1973), The Amityville Horror (1979), Rosemary's Baby, (1968)to name but a few. All of these films held something that the latest Halloween lacked - they played on the mind of their audience.

The old adage, which is still amazingly relevant, even in our society of producing 'shock' movies. Less is more ...

Overall verdict therefore for this movie - boring, boring, boring.

I'd like to see a return of decent scripts to be honest, action does not necessarily equal good viewing - but strong plot with twists and turns, that aren't predictable usually works best for me.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

What new writers need to know - Part 4. -

As you know social networking sites have their place and are a very good way of making new friends. This can also be an excellent way of connecting with other professionals and building a fan base.

I've talked about several of these sites as I'm sure you'll remember. Myspace, facebook and twitter are among the ones I use.

If you've recently had a book published or if you have one that's due to be launched you should consider joining Goodreads is a social networking site that is dedicated to fiction and non-fiction books. It is inhabited by people who are interested in reading, like to leave reviews and take recommendations on new novels.

The first step ...
Open up a profile, search for your own book(s)and then click on the button at the top which asks you if you are the author. It's a fairly simple process to verify your I.D. with goodreads and you can then begin to build a friends list among people who actually read. That in itself is worth being a member for.

But be warned! I've found that even on this site there are still people who like to send solicitous emails. Usually from European men looking for an English wife! On the whole I ignore them, though occasionally have been driven to give a piece of my mind. I usually do this by pointing out that I am using an 'author' profile, that I am a 'professional person' and 'I'm very much taken. Please don't write again ...'

Don't let this put you off though, because this is a pitfall that I've experienced on all of the sites at sometime or other anyway. If you're female - make your position known immediately. I now have it plainly written on my profile that I don't welcome emails of this nature and it's stopped happening (so clearly people DO read on goodreads).

I'm sure that the same thing happens to any men as well, I just haven't heard about it - but I'd be very interested to know if it has!!!

My advice, for what it's worth, give goodreads a chance if you want to expand your fanbase and let me know if you've found any other sites that you think are good for this too.

Good luck!

Sam x

But don't let this put you off. It's like I said initially, goodreads is a really great site for promoting your work.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

EasterCon LX

Just a reminder that I will be attending EasterCon LX in Bradford Easter weekend. (10th-13th April 2009.)

This takes place at the Cedar Hotel, Bradford.

I will be taking part in panels on Saturday so I hope you will have time to call in. The rest of the time David and I will be found floating around the venue.

In the dealer's room Murky Depths will have a table selling copies of Killing Kiss and taking orders for Futile Flame, which should be available in June.

For further details of the events, membership and booking log onto the link below.

EasterCon LX

Hope to see you there!