Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Links: Giant Seagulls, Flooded Cemeteries, and The Mind of Mr. Soames

It's been a busy week, so are you sure you managed to catch everything that happened in the world of the bizarre and horrific?  If not, here are some highlights:
  • At Ghost Hunting Theories, we were treated to a roundup of stories involving flooded cemeteries (ew).
  • Terrorphoria returned from summer break long enough to review the movie It Follows: "A menacing tone steeped in nostalgia for classics like Halloween is established from the first scene. Director David Robert Mitchell could be accused of borrowing too heavily from early John Carpenter works, but It Follows has enough original ideas to keep it from feeling derivative. There’s a lot of retro goodness here though, including a synth score from musician Disasterpiece, who is best known for his work on indie game FEZ. One of my favorite tricks that David Robert Mitchell borrowed was the use of still wide-angle shots. It was so refreshing to see that in the current horror landscape drenched in “shaky cam” found-footage movies."
  • Giant seagulls attacked full-grown sheep in Ireland: "[The sheep owner] has since called for a gull cull as the animals show little fear of humans and are coming further inland. It's not the only gull assault that's been reported in the area. In nearby Iveragh, Vincent Appleby was on his motorcycle when a large gull nearly knocked him off."
  • It was all David Bernstein all the time this week at Nev Murray's Confessions of a Reviewer!!, with  a two-part interview and a review of the novel Skinner: "So – a group of kids trapped in an abandoned cabin with some sort of wild animal outside that is basically scaring the crap out of them. Yeah it’s been done before hasn’t it? Whenever I get into a book like this and discover the plot I panic. Purely and simply because if there is nothing different to this story, I will not finish it if my attention is not kept at a high level. I finished this one. In fact I couldn’t really put it down. Why? Because Mr Bernstein added his own little twist to the story that made it the same, but different."
  • From the Depths of DVD Hell reviewed the documentary The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?: "A project most people know about thanks to Kevin Smith regularly regaling audiences with his contribution to the project as the original screen writer as part of his Q&A sessions whenever given the chance. More recently though this project has generated a lot of discussion because it would have seen Nicolas Cage taking on the iconic role, but until now there’s never been any real attempt to explain what happened to the project outside Smith’s tales and that costume test photo of Cage in his Superman costume."
  • Sean Eaton opined, contra the Rolling Stones, that time was not on our side at his thoughtful R'lyeh Tribune: "Lovecraft enthusiasts can depend on his able hagiographer, S.T. Joshi, to set the record straight.  The complex relationship between Derleth and Lovecraft is deftly analyzed by Joshi in volume two of his excellent biography of Lovecraft, I Am Providence (2013).  According to Joshi, one of the reasons Farnsworth Wright rejected work by Derleth as early as 1931 was because, quoting Wright, “you have lifted whole phrases from Lovecraft’s works, as for instance: ‘the frightful Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred…’”—Wright goes on to list several more examples."
  • Zombos' Closet unearthed an awesome lobby card you have to see.
  • At Jim Mcleod's Ginger Nuts of Horror, Kit Power reviewed Paul Feeney's novella The Last Bus: "Elsewhere, the author has described the plot as ‘B-Movie fare’ and while I understand the description, to me it read more like a feature length episode of ‘The Outer Limits’. The setting is really smart - a typical commuter bus in a busy city. It’s clever because it is a natural environment for a classic horror movie cast of strangers flug together by circumstance. It’s a canny move, and one that speaks to Feeney’s clear grasp and understanding of genre."
  • John Kenneth Muir analyzed the 1970 film The Mind of Mr. Soames: "At England's Midland Research Institute, Dr. Maitland  (Nigel Davenport) and a brilliant surgeon, Dr. Bergen (Robert Vaughn) embark upon a unique experiment. John Soames (Terence Stamp) has been in a coma since birth, and never once opened his eyes. Now, a new surgical technique allows Bergen to awaken the thirty-five year old man for the first time. The surgery is an incredible success, and before the eyes of a curious TV camera crew, Soames enters the world of the conscious. Maitland enrolls the grown “baby” into a rigorous instructional program, attempting to teach him all the knowledge and important lessons of life in a mere six weeks."
  • Here, I pointed you to a review I wrote of Jasper Bark's Bloodfellas and talked a little more about the July 4 DC Metro stabbing.
Illustration by Rodell D. Sanford, Jr. for Triad Entertainment's Lurking Fears Call of Cthulhu supplement.

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