Archive for the ‘SciFi’ Category

Cloverfield Sucks (Spoilers Alert)

January 26, 2008

SPOILERS ALERT 

cloverfield.jpgOnce again giving credence to the ravings of lunatics as well as the occasional heart-warming personal essay, I went to see Cloverfield tonight. Wow, it’s been some months since I felt that jacked by a movie. The buzz all over the net is that this thing is a harrowing, brilliant thrill ride; in fact, as far as I’m concerned it’s an embarrassing, amateurish piece of crap.

By “amateurish” I don’t mean “lo-fi.” The alternative format is the only thing the flick had going for it. I was excited to see Cloverfield because I thought this handheld camera thing was a great idea, maximizing the storytelling possibilities of democratized media and just generally shaking things up. That’s how I felt about Blair Witch, right until I hurled my cookies around the beginning of Act 2.

With Cloverfield I never even got that far; the flick had me hooked before I ever walked in the door, and managed to completely alienate me in the first 3 minutes. The flat characters of Blair Witch are magnificently sublime and amazingly complex compared to the annoying yuppie fuckbags of Cloverfield. These useless ciphers are right out of central casting, which has led some reviewers to claim that they’re Everyman characters of the sort in H.G. Wells’s original The War of the Worlds. In fact, these characters are just craptastic stick figures drawn by a small child with a crayon. If this was what “Everyman” was like, I would have killed myself years ago. But they’re infinitely more interesting than the even less complex stereotypes that blunder in and out of the movie’s point-of-view — primarily soldiers, who speak in an embarassingly flat military pidgin that makes 24’s worst clunkers seem authentic, and recite Einsteinian news flashes in a staccato parade of “As You Know, Bob”s that seem right out of a GI Joe cartoon or a Mack Bolan novel.

All of that is essentially unforgivable, but the movie still could have been a rockin’ good time if the thrillride had provided any actual thrills. Instead, we get a 90-minute parade of nausea-inducing camera swirls from a chowderheaded cameraman who, whenever anything interesting happens — like, oh, say a giant monster eating Manhattan, for instance — points the camera everywhere the monster isn’t. In story terms, we’re supposed to believe that it’s because he’s scared and confused, but I’m sorry, no one sees a giant monster eating Manhattan and doesn’t stare at it for a second. It’s probably for the better, though, because when we finally get a good look it’s a weird looking lizard thing that doesn’t make physical sense; the creature design is right out of the Mos Eisley Spaceport’s list of fourth-string discards.

Last but far from least, the most eggregious cliches in this movie are lifted wholesale from other movies — from the nuke attack to the baby Godzillas to the devoured-from-the-inside parasitic alien bite; there’s even a moment when the female main character, the camera close to her face, hysterically sobs “I — am — so — scared,” in either homage or theft, but who cares? It’s weak, empty, pathetic, and crazymaking.

If this is the derivative crap America’s movie critics rave about, next time I’ll stay home.

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M. Christian

October 30, 2007

If you read short erotica in book form — gay, straight, bi, queer, trans, mixed or just about anything else — you’ve read a story by M. Christian. As one of the English-speaking world’s most widely-published authors of erotic fiction, he’s seen his short stories in literally hundreds of anthologies. But he’s also known as an author of science fiction, fantasy and horror, most recently with his gay San Francisco vampire mystery The Very Bloody Marys. Though he’s straight, he writes some of the hottest and filthiest gay — and lesbian — erotica around, as well as telling the gay coming of age story (as in Marys) with moving inspiration, proving that the erotocreative impulse is nature’s guaranteed genderfuck, a font of imaginative subversion that crosses, blurs and at times obliterates all gender and orientation lines.

As if that weren’t enough, Christian, Chris to his friends, also blogs extensively and writes uproarious articles about weird history, science and the arts, exploring a list of obsessions that ranges from robots to Japanese culture to classic film to spy novels and Victorian crime fiction, publishing hundreds of articles in addition to his fiction output. If any writer out there can keep up with M. Christian, I’m betting they sport a chrome skeleton and radionuclide power source crammed up their ass.

We caught up with Chris for a long-overdue chat about writing, sex, history, death, and perversion.

Read More at Eros Zine.

Beauty Pageant Contestant Performs “Star Wars” on the Trumpet

October 23, 2007

starwarstrumpet.jpgYou heard me: Beauty Contestant Performs “Star Wars” on the Trumpet, and not just the theme song, either. Her interpretive dance of the opening battle scene is, admittedly, somewhat abstract, but no less so than Jake Lloyd’s performance in Ep. 1.

No, seriously. Dude. Seriously. Your brain will hurt. Take morphine beforehand. Lots of it. I’m not fucking around here.

From Who Sucks.

P.S. Dude. Seriously. You think it’s going to be bad… you have no effing idea. Dude. Serious. I’m telling you. Morphine. Seriously.

P.P.S. Oh yeah that reminds me… Miss Trannyshack is coming up.

Beauty Pageant Contestant Performs “Star Wars” on the Trumpet

October 23, 2007

starwarstrumpet.jpgYou heard me: Beauty Contestant Performs “Star Wars” on the Trumpet, and not just the theme song, either. Her interpretive dance of the opening battle scene is, admittedly, somewhat abstract, but no less so than Jake Lloyd’s performance in Ep. 1.

No, seriously. Dude. Seriously. Your brain will hurt. Take morphine beforehand. Lots of it. I’m not fucking around here.

From Who Sucks.

P.S. Dude. Seriously. You think it’s going to be bad… you have no effing idea. Dude. Serious. I’m telling you. Morphine. Seriously.

P.P.S. Oh yeah that reminds me… Miss Trannyshack is coming up.

Creature from the Hillbilly Lagoon (DVD Review)

October 19, 2007

This goofy B-movie concerns a group of science students sent in to test the waters of a backwoods lagoon for contamination by environmental toxins. Little do they know that a pair of yokels from the local toxic waste dump have just disposed of a 55-gallon oil drum of faintly phosphorescent bio-engineered toxic mutant poison lovin’, and when one of said yokels spills it all over himself he disappears into the lagoon to metamorphose into a radioactive hulk that swims around and goes after beer-drinkin’ redneck chicks in bikinis. The fact that the local rednecks don’t take kindly to the State College researchers sampling their water would be a bigger problem if they weren’t all about to be eaten by ol’ Mutie.

Read more at Eros Zine.

Splatter Beach (DVD Review)

October 19, 2007

The cover of this flick features a decapitated and screaming “Erin Brown” who, in case you are not completely obsessed with extremely bad horror and softcore lesbian porn, is the artist formerly known as Misty Mundae. Erin has changed her name, apparently, to focus on her “serious” acting career, which she showcases with aplomb in this wacky spatfest by delivering her lines in a strange monotone and claiming to be a lesbian even though hers is an entirely non-sex role (as they all are here). Splatter Beach also stars Erika Smith, who I am obsessed with much like the MST3K robots are obsessed with Kim Cattrall, ever since I saw her in Countess Dracula.

Tonya, Rodney and Rupert head to Sea Bright Beach for a weekend of relaxation. Little do they know that some freaky humanoid slime creature that swims about in the lagoon and dismembers people in most gorrific fashion. Shoegazer local Tess (Brown) tries to convince them that something is seriously fucked up in paradise, but not before we get a gratuitous scene of Erika Smith disrobing (high five!). From there, it’s periodic mass slaughter of beachgoers by ol’ slimey himself, and next thing you know the out-of-towners have slogged their way through mutilated locals to discover about a zillion humanoid slime-creature egg sacks just moments from well-hatched babydom. Run! Be afraid!

Read more at Eros Zine.

Bacterium (DVD Review)

October 19, 2007

I’m going to be honest with you, my inner Beavis was already writing the review for this masterpiece before I watched the flick, just based on the awesome cover. It started something like this: “Mutant alien space-spores rule! THEY RULE!!!” Luckily for me, my inner Beavis often gets a swift kick in the nuts and I shall instead start this review by pointing out more eloquently that mutant alien space-spores do, in fact, rule, but perhaps more to the point this low-budget drive-in green slime orgy hits everything that I love about the shamefully small genre of biohazard-mutant virus-teen jeopardy shock cinema. It also is quite possibly the best movie I’ve seen yet from Shock-O-Rama cinema, not because of its rampant and self-aware badness (and there’s plenty of that… come on, look who you’re talkin’ to) but because of the deftness with which it treats its action sequences, and the general skill applied to the campy scripting and quick pacing.

Read more at Eros Zine.

Techyum Roundup

October 9, 2007

sanfrancisco.jpgSaw III Director Remaking Scanners (techyum)

Recorded Bee Sounds Help Manage Kenyan Elephants (techyum)

Wikipedia Moving to San Francisco (techyum)

Landsat7 image via Wikipedia.

Techyum Roundup 24 September

September 24, 2007

HG Wells Stage Festival in NYC

$100 Laptop to be Offered to US Consumers (Not for $100)

Brian Dettmer: Book Autopsies

Starbucks PWNED by Beijing’s Forbidden City

Image of HG Wells via Wikipedia.

Techyum Roundup

September 22, 2007

spacesuit.jpgEhlers-Danlos Syndrome (techyum)

NASA Accepting Aps for its Astronaut Training Program (techyum)

Nine New Ebola Cases in DR Congo (techyum) 

H.G. Wells Stage Festival in NYC (techyum)

Photo via NASA Image of the Day Gallery.