By Jason Harris
The Invisible Man is predictable at times, but overall I enjoyed it. It contained a number of jump scares, which is expected in a horror movie and definetly in one where the antagonist is invisible.
I saw it at an AMC Dolby Cinema. The experience was interesting and quite different. It was an experience that definitely made my enjoyment of the movie better.
It was nice seeing Aldis Hodge in the movie. I have enjoyed seeing his acting since Leverage.
The Invisible Man was predictable at times, but I wasn’t expecting the ending, which is why I recommend this movie.
Altered Reality Entertainment, owners of Rhode Island Comic Con, the Biggest Show in the Smallest State, celebrates the return of Terror Con with a Halloween Reunion.
Terror Con, which returns to the Rhode Island Convention Center after a two-season hiatus, welcomesMalcom McDowell, Tyler Mane, and Scout Taylor-Compton in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the 2007 remake of the original movie by Rob Zombie.
Throughout a career spanning over fifty years, McDowell is perhaps best known for the controversial roles of Alex DeLarge in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, the title character in Tinto Brass’ Caligula, and Mick Travis in Lindsay Anderson’s trilogy of if…., O Lucky Man! and Britannia Hospital. He is also known for his work in Cat People, Tank Girl, and The Artist. McDowell has had recurring roles in numerous television series such as Entourage, Heroes, and The Mentalist.
Tyler Mane is a former professional wrestler. As an actor, he is known for playing Sabretooth in X-Men and X-Men: The Official Game, Ajax in Troy, as well as Michael Myers in the remake of Halloween and its sequel, Halloween II. Scout Taylor-Compton has appeared in numerous television roles and feature films. In addition to her role as Laurie Strode in Halloween, her most notable role includes her role as Lita Ford in the film The Runaways.
Halloween is an American horror movie franchise that predominately focuses on the fictional character of Michael Myers who was committed to a sanitarium as a child for the murder of his older sister, Judith Myers. Fifteen years later, he escapes to stalk and kill the people of Haddonfield, Illinois while being chased by his former psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis. Michael’s killings occur on the holiday of Halloween, on which all the films primarily take place.
Terror Con, celebrating horror, paranormal, music, and wrestling, comes to the Rhode Island Convention Center on February 25th and 26th. Tickets are currently available through the event’s website, www.theterrorcon.com. Ticket prices range from $25 to $45. VIP packages are available for $99.99.
Looking for a good book this holiday season? Check out Secret Things by Stacey Longo. It’s a collection of unapologetic chillers. Perfect for your horror fan’s stocking, this collection of wickedly entertaining stories will compel you to lock the doors, keep the lights on, and ponder what it might be like to embrace the darker side of human nature.
Everybody has secrets. Sometimes they can kill you. Find out and purchase your own Secret Things here.
It’s Black Friday. You’re either still in a turkey coma, out in the crowds looking for deals, relaxing at home, or looking for your next convention fix. If you’re looking for a convention then I have the perfect gift for you. Here’s a website, Upcoming Cons, that I recently found. It can be a good resource to find the next convention to attend. Conventions can be found by location or genre such as literature, furry, comics, horror, or steampunk.
The second Queen City Kamikaze convention happens in Manchester, New Hampshire next Saturday. It’s what everyone needs after winter storm Nemo this past weekend. Everyone should be dug out and will want to head over to Manchester Memorial High School, located at 1 Crusader Way. The convention runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The admission price is $10.
The NEHW will be participating in two panels: Horror in the Movies and Vampires in Literature and the Movies from Nosferatu to Edward Cullen. The panelists for Horror in the Movies will be Jason Harris (moderator), Stacey Longo, Rob Watts, and David Price. And the panelists for the other panel are Bracken MacLeod (moderator), Scott Goudsward, Errick A. Nunnally, and Bill Rockwell.
The NEHW will also have a number of tables where our members will be selling their novels, anthologies, children books, dvds, and other merchandise. Stop by to buy a book and get it signed or just stop by to talk.
Rob Smales and Tony Tremblay, two other NEHW members who are not on the panels, will be on hand at the tables as well.
Here is the novella’s description, “In the distant future, when man has learned to live in balance with the forces of the universe. When greed and corruption are but a memory and cooperation has defeated competition. A small boy goes missing and is presumed to have perished at the hands of an ancient evil. Unconvinced of this, the boy’s older brother sets out to find him and discovers the machinations of an unearthly horror”
Stearns is an artist and art teacher.
Click here to purchase the novella from Amazon.
Readercon, My Favorite Speculative Convention
by Bracken MacLeod
This past weekend in Burlington, Massachusetts I attended Readercon, a conference as they describe it, devoted to “imaginative literature” — literary science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the unclassifiable works often called “slipstream.”
This is one of my favorite speculative cons as it is devoted (like my other favorites, Necon and Anthocon) to literature–no cosplay, no gaming, and almost no media (there’s plenty of talk about movies in panels because movies can inform prose story-telling, but no movie panels). Although the conference is usually weighted a little more toward Sci-Fi and Fantasy than horror and slipstream, there are excellent horror writers in attendance like Gemma Files, Laird Barron, Nick Mamatas, to name only a few, and the guests of honor this year were dark fiction legends, Peter Straub and Caitlin Kiernan. Sadly, I will have to defer to other NEHW contributors for a recap of Mr. Straub’s contributions to the con as his panels and readings were concurrent with other panels I attended.1 Instead, let me give you a short recap of what were the high points from the panels I attended.
The dystopian fiction panel led by NEHW member Jack Haringa, “Through a Glass Dystopianly,” was an excellent deconstruction of the recent trend in YA literature to make everything The Hunger Games. I’m not being fair. There’s a lot of good YA (and adult) dystopian fiction out there. But there’s a lot of drek too. As a genre, Leah Bobet seemed to nail the intention of YA dys fic with her deliberate oversimplification of it as the literature of mom and dad (i.e., the repressive government) won’t let me have the car or stay out late, so I’m going to escape to the forest and drink and have sex as much as I want! Or if you prefer that idea to be unpacked, the idea being, that dys fic is a reasonably fertile ground for young readers to identify their own struggles with autonomy and authority by imagining themselves as potent agents struggling under the dystopian regime. When pressed on the issue of dystopia versus utopia versus post-apocalyptic setting, Haringa threw out my third favorite bon mot of the conference: “All science fiction is optimistic because it all assumes we have a future.”
Next on the list of favorites was the panel titled “Wet Dreams and Nightmares” about weird and transgressive erotica. This panel stayed blissfully distant from paranormal romance and actually addressed real erotica and transgressive sex in a mature and unflinching way. Would you expect anything different from a panel featuring Caitlin R. Kiernan? The give and take between Gemma Files and Kiernan regarding their distinct approaches to erotic body transformations and what they individually find sexy made this panel pure gold.
The panel on horror and the social compact (another one featuring Dear Leader Haringa) presented some interesting viewpoints on the scope of horror versus science fiction, wherein it was posited that it is actually very difficult to discuss horror in the context of a Hobbesian social contract. With a few exceptions (e.g., Soylent Green—which I’d say is both sci-fi and horror), most horror is about violation of trust and/or autonomy on a personal scale as opposed to a societal one.
This panel shared an interesting deconstructive quality with one on Sunday titled “Uncanny Taxonomies,” where the conclusion was also reached that taxonomies of speculative fiction (i.e., genres) weren’t all that helpful for anyone other than book marketers and possibly consumers. It was during this panel that Kiernan gave my second favorite line of the convention: “All [novels], by definition, are fantasy; they did not happen.”2
My second favorite session of the weekend was Dr. Laura Knight’s slideshow titled “Autopsy and Postmortem Primer for Writers,” which gave the audience a basic rundown of the process of a typical autopsy and human decomposition. The con organizers grossly underestimated the appeal of a dead body slideshow to fantasy and sci-fi (and a few horror) fans and about a quarter of the attendees to the session were left sitting on the floor or standing when all the seats filled up. One poor woman who was standing in the back of the hot room (possibly with her knees locked) fainted when Dr. Knight put up the slide of decompositional bloat and a little body degloving (I am sure the heat and having to stand were also contributing factors). Sadly, that attendee missed the next slide of the two people whose little yappy dogs had partially eaten their faces. (Cat lovers take note: Dr. Knight commented that in over 2,000 autopsies, she had yet to see a feline case of filiaphagia–but those nasty little dogs… they’ll turn on you in a minute.)
Finally, at the top of my list of favorite events at Readercon (unrelated to standing in a blacked out hotel bathroom staring at disintegrating atoms in a spinthariscope—look it up—and drunken yoga in the hotel lobby) was “A Story from Scratch.”
The basic conceit of the session (in several parts over three days) was that using models from the audience and props provided by celebrity guests, Hugo-winning writers Michael Swanwick and Elizabeth Bear will crowd source a story outline and write a short story to be professionally brought to life by photographer Kyle Cassidy and illustrator Lee Moyer. On Sunday, the story would be read aloud by Swanwick and Bear accompanied by a slide show of the work that Cassidy and Moyer produced. Bear provided a very condensed version of her course on effective fiction writing and the small crowd of participants began throwing out ideas for the story. What eventually took shape was the sad tale of a Chinese restaurant owner whose wife has been taken hostage by the Yakuza (I know), and must find the ransom before her wife (it is Massachusetts after all) loses all of her fingers and her entire memory (somehow stolen with each successive finger chop).
When the call was made for volunteers to be photographed by the amazing Mr. Cassidy, of course I volunteered. Given my cuddly and welcoming appearance, I was immediately cast as one of the Yakuza gangsters. The short version of the rest of the story is that, as one could predict, this became another instance of “and then Bracken took his shirt off” at a con. Fortunately, this bout of semi-nudity led to Cassidy and Moyer making me look like the coolest fucking American Yakuza since Viggo Mortensen and Bear and Swanwick crafting a Philip K. Dick style story containing my single favorite line of the entire Con: “Tom and Bracken were evil men, but not brutal.” (As soon as the story, titled “Dismemberance,” and photos are posted online I’ll be sure to link to them.)
The bottom line is, if you have a broad taste in genre literature, you could do a lot worse than attend a Readercon, but you’re going to be hard pressed to do better.
1 I know. I know. Revoke my horror fan card if you must.
2 Other excellent lines came from Michael Swanwick: “Wincing equals good fiction,” and Elizabeth Bear, “The worst reaction a reader can have to your story is ‘Fuck you!’”