Archive for the ‘other people’s art’ Category

so what are we doing here

I didn’t really say in the first post; the idea with these horror film polls is that we’ve got two going now, two more next week, then the last week of October, we’ll take all the winners and put them up against the Universal classics to have our CHAMPION OF HORRORS! October is a pretty big horror film month around the Lair, and some of our favourites are going to be showing up in these polls, and I wonder how much of that will be shared.

So if you’re into these films, go clickie, and let’s see what comes out on top.

Apparently the Thing prequel isn’t getting much love in reviews – the Rotten Tomatoes score is a fairly sad 30%, even if the audience reaction is much better. I’m a little surprised by that, honestly; I’m particularly perplexed by one reviewer’s comment that it was dull. While it has its flaws, it wastes no time getting things moving and keeps up a pretty solid pace throughout.

I did want to talk about the film a little more, though, mostly about two topics.

First, there’s a fanon for the whole series – everything except the novella, really – that the Thing itself isn’t actually the alien that built the spaceship, but is what brought the spaceship down.

That ties in for me particularly strongly with this prequel, and I’m wondering whether that’s intentional. It’s always bothered me that the Thing is really kind of stupid – and it’s significantly worse in this version. I have an extension of the fanon that the Thing is not entirely intelligent; that it can use the intelligence of the beings it operates, but doesn’t really integrate that intelligence well into its own being. It’s sort of a puppeteer, rather than an integrator.

That works very well in this film, and well in Carpenter’s, and to a lesser degree, works in the novella. It fits less well with the 1951 vaguely carrot-monster-ish version, but, well, it’s a modern fanon.

not this carrot monster

For another take on that intelligence question entirely, however, you will certainly enjoy Peter Watts’ short story, The Things, which takes rather the opposite approach and is just a lovely piece of creepy, creepy work.

Secondly, and on the plus side, I’m really happy that we finally have an entry in this mythos that passes the Bechdel Test. Kate Lloyd is functionally the Ellen Ripley of this film, albeit one coming from a different emotional starting point. My take on this was that this is entirely intentional; and for me, it’s the most overdue update to the entire concept.

all out of bubblegum

Much of the rest, I touched upon already; reasonable characters, an interesting reshading and invocation of the original; I liked that a lot of the dialogue was in Norwegian, and wish it’d been a bit more than it was, but with three American characters and an American audience, that’s kind of unavoidable.

Keep an eye on the shows page, I have some show announcements coming up soon! A couple of dates are already pencilled in; one’s even in ink, but I’m waiting for a couple more pieces of mail before I get completely specific.

I’ve never done a house concert before! It’s new! and exciting! I’m still looking for opportunities to the north (Lower Mainland in particular), and Portland, which should tell you something about where my pencil marks are at this point. XD

Have a good weekend, everybody!

october: nothing but horror

First! The winners of our last poll: in Cascadia, blackberry is the leader of our four horseplants of the botanical apocalypse; outside Cascadia, in North America at large, kudzu is our winner.

And based on total votes, let’s hear it our all-star continental dream team of planty death: blackberry, horsetail, kudzu, and English ivy! Well strangled, all around.

Let’s all just hope there’s never zombie virus variant for plants, shall we?

It’s October! And I literally 20 minutes ago returned from a preview showing of The Thing, the prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter film The Thing, which is, in turn, a remake of the 1951 The Thing from Another World, based on John Campbell’s rather excellent 1938 novella, “Who Goes There?

It’s getting pretty damn meta at this point, because this film covers the events in the Norwegian research base, and we see the end of those events at the start of the 1982 movie, and earlier moments from it through the 1982 film, and all of those were in that movie because the ’82 film used footage from the ’51 film to show events from that base!

Also, the pronouns are getting a mite tricky.

All in all, they did a pretty good job of capturing the atmosphere of Carpenter’s take, and not just in set design. They made one pretty significant change to the events seen or implied in the ’82 film, and from a film standpoint, I can see why you’d do that, tho’ I’m still not convinced it’s necessary. A good skiffy horror romp; not groundbreaking, but fun.

But that brings us to this week’s poll! It’s October, Halloween month, so we’re going to have a series of horror polls! Since we’re starting the month off with a skiffy horror flick, we’ll start with a skiffy horror poll – a roll call of skiffy horrors so terrible, so rampant, so utterly indescribable, that they can only be known by their pronouns! Or, in some cases, their indefinite nouns.

As usual, if an answer you want isn’t available, comment, I’ll add it, and you can come back and vote for it.


[poll id=”13″]

[poll id=”14″]

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