Thursday, May 21, 2015

Oh, I missed this one! Casting call for Portland locals interesting in appearing on stage in a Horror-Noir-Sci/Fi- Musical!!



My fault for missing this one, but I'm sure Horror Fans and actors in the Portland area will be interested,.  GuignolFest will hold auditions for New Horror-Noir-Sci-Fi Musical, “Terror At Angel’s Horn”, Saturday, May 23rd and 30th at The Panic Room (3pm- 6:30pm).  The show will open in August at The Panic Room, so be aware, this is a live theatrical production you'll be auditioning for.  Read more from the Facebook event page...


GuignolFest presents auditions for “Terror at Angel’s Horn”, a horror-noir-sci-fi musical by John Marble, Saturday, May 23rd and 30th at The Panic Room from 3pm to 6:30pm. The play will be directed by Dylan Hillerman (“Headless Body In Topless Bar”, “Reservoir Dolls”, “Black Lodge Burlesque”) and produced by Julia Reodica. There are eleven roles available. Some parts will be double-cast. Just bring yourself. We will have cold readings. 
Agatha Cain: A woman in her 20s or 30s; a private detective. 
Street Pedestrians: Any sex, age. 
Buddy One: A man in the street, any age. 
Buddy Two: A man in his late 20s or older.

Joe King: A man in his 30s or 40s; Agatha’s ex-boyfriend.

Satán: Man in his 30s to 60s; a crime boss.

Brujo: A man, any age; one of Satán’s thugs.

Demonio: A man, any age; one of Satán’s thugs.

Diablo: A man, age; one of Satán’s thugs.

Cayenne Pepper: A woman in her 20s to 40s; a stripper; Satán’s girlfriend.

Doctor Eleanor Robert: A woman in her late 20s to 30s; a physicist.

Monsanto: A Clown without Pity.

Halliburton: A Clown without Pity.

Chiquita: A Clown without Pity.

The Creature: Any age, sex or species.

Now in its 7th year, GuignolFest brings fresh, daring, independent horror films and theatre of horror to demented audiences of all persuasions. Often over-the-top and in-the-gutter of classical theatre, GuignolFest has its rabid devotees. Last year we were featured by Exotic Magazine in four articles!

GuignolFest brings one live show annually to The Panic Room (formerly the Tonic Lounge), 3500 NE Sandy Blvd. in Portland, OR. GuignolFest also hosts a horror film series called “SHOCK @ PANIC!” every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at the Panic Room.

Tri-Met Bus #12 stops right in front of The Panic Room. For future shows and times, please visit GuignolFest.com.

For More Information Contact:
[Dylan Hillerman, guignolfest@gmail.com]

Auditions are the last two Saturdays of May, so visit the Facebook Event Page, or contact the email listed above, for more information.

Here's the news you crave, Northwest Horror Fans. I'm back from the sunny skies of Florida and, once again, under The Shadow Over Portland!!



Again, Portland Horror Fans, sorry for not posting in a few weeks, but I was vacationing in the Sunshine State and following the trail of Dr. Leopold as he tried to infect the waters of Florida with the chemical know as Zaat!  Hope I had better luck stopping his evil scheme than the INPIT investigator, or my folks will be swamped with giant walking catfish some time soon.  


But that's for a later post.  Right now, I have stuff to share that should keep you busy for the next few weeks...

May, 2015

Now playing






What We Do in the Shadows, a comedy about old school vampires dealing with modern world problems, continues to play at Cinema 21 in Portland, OR and The Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, WA.  Click on the Cinema 21 website and The Pickford Film Center website for more information and showtimes.

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It Follows continues to play at The Academy Theater and The Laurelhurst Theater in Portland, OR.  The tale of a 19 year old girl stuck with a SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED HAUNTING she is only able to escape by passing the curse to someone else has garnered some great reviews.  So click on The Academy Theater or The Laurelhurst Theater website for more information and showtimes.

------------------------------------------------



Crypticon Seattle runs through May 24 at the Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center.  Guest include Michael Berryman, Sid Haig, William Forsythe, Clint Howard, the Soska Sisters and more!  The Christine Movie Car will also be at the event.  For more details about guest, prices and hotel rooms, visit the link.

Saturday, May 23




A Hip Hop fundraising event for Frenetic Films upcoming zombie Mormon film, The Cemetery People, takes place at Luckey's Club (933 Olive Street in Eugene, OR).  You'll find more information at the link, so if you can attend, party on and support local horror filmmakers!  

------------------------------------------------





I'm sure Horror Fans and actors in the Portland area will be interested this announcement.  GuignolFest will hold auditions for New Horror-Noir-Sci-Fi Musical, “Terror At Angel’s Horn”, Saturday, May 23rd and 30th at The Panic Room (3pm- 6:30pm).  The show will open in August at The Panic Room, so be aware, this is a live theatrical production you'll be auditioning for.  Read more from the Facebook event page...


GuignolFest presents auditions for “Terror at Angel’s Horn”, a horror-noir-sci-fi musical by John Marble, Saturday, May 23rd and 30th at The Panic Room from 3pm to 6:30pm. The play will be directed by Dylan Hillerman (“Headless Body In Topless Bar”, “Reservoir Dolls”, “Black Lodge Burlesque”) and produced by Julia Reodica. There are eleven roles available. Some parts will be double-cast. Just bring yourself. We will have cold readings. 
Agatha Cain: A woman in her 20s or 30s; a private detective. 
Street Pedestrians: Any sex, age. 
Buddy One: A man in the street, any age. 
Buddy Two: A man in his late 20s or older.

Joe King: A man in his 30s or 40s; Agatha’s ex-boyfriend.

Satán: Man in his 30s to 60s; a crime boss.

Brujo: A man, any age; one of Satán’s thugs.

Demonio: A man, any age; one of Satán’s thugs.

Diablo: A man, age; one of Satán’s thugs.

Cayenne Pepper: A woman in her 20s to 40s; a stripper; Satán’s girlfriend.

Doctor Eleanor Robert: A woman in her late 20s to 30s; a physicist.

Monsanto: A Clown without Pity.

Halliburton: A Clown without Pity.

Chiquita: A Clown without Pity.

The Creature: Any age, sex or species.

Now in its 7th year, GuignolFest brings fresh, daring, independent horror films and theatre of horror to demented audiences of all persuasions. Often over-the-top and in-the-gutter of classical theatre, GuignolFest has its rabid devotees. Last year we were featured by Exotic Magazine in four articles!

GuignolFest brings one live show annually to The Panic Room (formerly the Tonic Lounge), 3500 NE Sandy Blvd. in Portland, OR. GuignolFest also hosts a horror film series called “SHOCK @ PANIC!” every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at the Panic Room.

Tri-Met Bus #12 stops right in front of The Panic Room. For future shows and times, please visit GuignolFest.com.

For More Information Contact:
[Dylan Hillerman, guignolfest@gmail.com]

Auditions are the last two Saturdays of May, so visit the Facebook Event Page, or contact the email listed above, for more information.

Sunday, May 24



VHS Uber Alles presents a screening of Class of 1999 at the Highline Bar (210 Broadway E. in Seattle, WA) at 6 pm.  Watch as the androids on the teaching staff of a dysfunction Seattle high school explain to the students about the three Ms; Murder, Mayhem and Mutilation!  The film is presented in glorious VHS, exactly the way it was intended!  Admission is free, so be sure to spend a few bucks on drinks and food from the vegetarian/vegan menu.  Also, you must be 21 or older to attend.  Visit the Facebook Event Page for more information.

Tuesday, May 26



Oh damn, oh damn, oh HOLY DAMN!  The Hollywood Theatre in Portland, OR, in conjunction with The Grindhouse Film Festival, is presenting Dario Argento's Suspiria at 7:30 pm in GLORIOUS FREAKING 35mm!!!  Okay, we all know Argento's lost some of his luster (okay, maybe a lot) in recent years, but Suspiria is a classic and the chance to see it on the big screen in 35mm is an opportunity horror fans can't miss.  Advance ticket purchases are recommended (ya think?), so click the link and reserve your seat!

Wednesday, May 27




Once again. Wednesdays get WEIRD at The Joy Cinema in Tigard, OR, as The Giant Gila Monster plays -at 9:15 pm.  Yes, it's a bad movie, featuring horrid rock tunes by a mediocre singer, some awfu; stereotypes and lots of male leg raises (thank you, MST3K).  Still, it's a great B-Movie and admission is FREE, so you have nothing to lose other than a few bucks at the awesome snack bar (which serves some alcoholic beverages).  Be advised, you must be 21 or older to attend.

Friday, May 29



Alfred Hitchcock's avian spookfest, The Birds, screens at The Laurelhust Theater in Portland through June 6.  Showtimes are not available yet, so keep reading The Shadow Over Portland for updates or visit The Laurelhust Theater website later in the month.

June, 2015

Thursday, June 4



Okay, this isn't really a horror event, but I'm sure it was a spooky adventure for kids in the 80s.  Astoria, OR, is celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Goonies in a big way, with tours, costume screenings of the film, and much more from Thursday, June 4, to Sunday, June 7.  You can find more information at The Goondocks website.  More information to come, so stay tuned!

Saturday, June 6



Really?  No one cared to inform me about the world premiere of Zombie Cats from Mars?!?!  Oh, you folks at The Academy Theater in Portland, OR, you didn't think I wouldn't promote THE LIVING HELL out of this one?  And yes, it uses LIVE CAT ACTORS!  Screens at 9 and 10:45 pm tonight only, so DO NOT MISS IT!!!!  More information, including the trailer and advanced ticket sales, at the link.

Sunday, June 7



"Well, I know what CHUD stands for!"  If you don't head to The Highline Bar (210 Broadway E) in Seattle, WA and find out why C.H.U.D. is a cult classic.  Though you should, as The Simpsons even mentioned it!  The show starts at 6 pm and admission to this screening, in glorious VHS, is free, allowing you to buy more vegan/vegetarian treats and booze!  And if you think 80s action films have some amazing plot holes, wait until you see the secret government trucks that are rigged to explode when the driver hits a pothole.  Man, we'd have some massive explosions here in Portland!  As you might expect, you must be 21 or older to attend the screening, sponsored by VHS Uber Alles.  Visit the Facebook Event Page for more details.

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Well, that's all I have for now, Northwest Horror Fans (oh, except I will see the remake of Poltergeist at some point this week, as promised)  But, should you have a horror/fantasy/sci fi event you think might interest followers of this blog, email me at shadowoverportland@live.com and I'll be happy to post details.  

And, should you attend any of these events, please let the organizers know you read about it at The Shadow Over Portland!

Monday, May 18, 2015

I have to start this update with an apology.  In my last update of the horrific happenings in the Northwest, I forgot to mention I would likely not be posting for a while, as I was headed to the Sunshine State for my yearly visit with my parents.  I'm sorry for the omission, it's just things were happening too fast and I forgot to add it to the post.  The trip was fun, and I got the chance to visit Green Cove Springs, one of the towns featured in Zaat (AKA The Blood Waters of Doctor Z)!  Indulging my geeky side, my parents took part in a two hour drive so I could run about on Walnut Street and take pictures of the town, along with a few sites included in the film.



Trust me, I couldn't fit the "G" into this selfie.  


I'll share more about this adventure later in the week, but for now, let's get onto the horror happenings under The Shadow Over Portland!

Now playing



What We Do in the Shadows, a comedy about old school vampires dealing with modern world problems, continues to play at Cinema 21 in Portland, OR, as well as The Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, WA.  Click on the Cinema 21 website and The Pickford Film Center website for more information and showtimes.

------------------------------------------------



It Follows continues to play at The Living Room Theater,The Academy Theater and The Laurelhurst Theater in Portland, OR.  The tale of a 19 year old girl stuck with a SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED HAUNTING she is only able to escape by passing the curse to someone else has garnered some great reviews.  So click on The Living Room Theater Portland, The Academy Theater or The Laurelhurst Theater website for more information and showtimes.



------------------------------------------------



Arnold takes on the undead to save his daughter in Maggie, which screens at The Kiggins Theatre in Vancouver, WA.  I don't know if this will be the touchy-feely Arnold of the recent times, or more in line with his 80s persona, so be sure to check it out if you can.  Check out The Kiggins Theatre website for more details.


Friday, May 22





Crypticon Seattle runs through May 24 at the Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center.  Guest include Michael Berryman, Sid Haig, William Forsythe, Clint Howard, the Soska Sisters and more!  The Christine Movie Car will also be at the event.  For more details about guest, prices and hotel rooms, visit the link.

Wednesday, May 20




The Joy Cinema in Tigard, OR, brings on the weirdness to another Wednesday as they screen Face of the Screaming Werewolf, with Lon Chaney Jr.  I can't tell you anything about this one, as I've never heard of it, but I suspect it will be WEIRD!  The show starts at 9:15 pm and admission is FREE, loosening up your wallet for goodies at the snack bar.  And yes, you can purchase beer or wine to go with the upcoming cinematic insanity!  But, you must be 21 or older to attend.  Click on the link for more information.

Saturday, May 23




A Hip Hop fundraising event for Frenetic Films upcoming zombie Mormon film, The Cemetery People, takes place at Luckey's Club (933 Olive Street in Eugene, OR).  You'll find more information at the link, so if you can attend, party on and support local horror filmmakers!

Sunday, May 24



VHS Uber Alles presents a screening of Class of 1999 at the Highline Bar (210 Broadway E. in Seattle, WA) at 6 pm.  Watch as the androids on the teaching staff of a dysfunction Seattle high school explain to the students about the three Ms; Murder, Mayhem and Mutilation!  The film is presented in glorious VHS, exactly the way it was intended!  Admission is free, so be sure to spend a few bucks on drinks and food from the vegetarian/vegan menu.  Also, you must be 21 or older to attend.  Visit the Facebook Event Page for more information.

Tuesday, May 26



Oh damn, oh damn, oh HOLY DAMN!  The Hollywood Theatre in Portland, OR, in conjunction with The Grindhouse Film Festival, is presenting Dario Argento's Suspiria at 7:30 pm in GLORIOUS FREAKING 35mm!!!  Okay, we all know Argento's lost some of his luster (okay, maybe a lot) in recent years, but Suspiria is a classic and the chance to see it on the big screen in 35mm is an opportunity horror fans can't miss.  Advance ticket purchases are recommended (ya think?), so click the link and reserve your seat!


Friday, May 29



Alfred Hitchcock's avian spookfest, The Birds, screens at The Laurelhust Theater in Portland through June 6.  Showtimes are not available yet, so keep reading The Shadow Over Portland for updates or visit The Laurelhust Theater website later in the month.

June, 2015

Thursday, June 4



Okay, this isn't really a horror event, but I'm sure it was a spooky adventure for kids in the 80s.  Astoria, OR, is celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Goonies in a big way, with tours, costume screenings of the film, and much more from Thursday, June 4, to Sunday, June 7.  You can find more information at The Goondocks website.  More information to come, so stay tuned!


------------------------------------------------

That's what I hve for now, folks, though I'm busy updating the Horror Calendar and hope to have more listings by the end of the week.  Of course, you can always email me at shadowoverportland@live.com and I'll add your horror themed event to the calendar and post an update to the blog.  Even if your event falls into the fantasy/sci fi genre, send me an email and I'll be sure to add it.  Hey, it's my blog and I'll post what I want to!

And remember, should you attend any of these events, let the organizers know you read about it at The Shadow Over Portland1

Monday, April 20, 2015

Why the Poltergeist remake will beat Crimson Peak at the box office, and how Alice Robb explained it.



Last year, Alice Robb wrote about what a horror fan is on The New Republic website, and the article wasn’t flattering.  I posted a response, citing how horror fans could defuse any argument used in the article, should family members, coworkers or acquaintances ask why you are such a monster.

However, two big horror movies hitting theaters this year caused me to think about Robb's article.  First, we have the 3D remake of Poltergeist, hitting theaters on May 22.  Guillermo del Toro’s latest, Crimson Peak, opens on October 16, a more appropriate date for a true horror film. 


Yes, I'm calling this a TRUE HORROR FILM.
I hope I'm not wrong.

You can check out trailers for both films on YouTube.  However, after seeing the trailer for Poltergeist in the theater last week, I was reminded of Robb’s article and why I believe the remake will likely be the bigger box office draw of the two. 

The trailer for Poltergeist was even more sense assaulting in the theater than on a TV or computer monitor, thanks to the big screen and a Dolby Surround Sound system.  Yet, it was also a case of déjà vu for me, as I saw the original when it opened in theaters, and multiple times since then.  Sam Raimi and company could have saved some money by just digitizing the original, as the preview shows nothing fans of the Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg version haven’t seen.  Little blonde girl in front of a TV (now a REALLY BIG HD TV) proclaiming, “They’re heeeere,” young boy being menaced by an animated tree, pathways leading to “the other side,” a much taller home exorcist spouting Zelda Rubinstein’s lines almost verbatim, and, of course, a scary clown.


Sorry, but the other clown was scarier.  Even in the trailer.

Seriously, I think the tagline for the film should be a redo of Rubinstein’s line, “It knows what scares you,” only with the new exorcist saying, “It knows what scared audiences in the 80s.  Now it’s ready to do it again, only with CGI effects and LOUDER MUSIC STINGS!!!”

As the trailer closed with the film’s release date, I was reminded of the article on The New Republic site, and Robb’s final assumption about horror fans, that they are males (a point she made earlier in the article) interested in dates that are “distressed women.”  In short, Horror Fans are mostly guys looking for women willing to cling to them in fear.  And, as long as the guys aren’t scared, or at least not as scared as their dates, the women enjoyed the date more (according to the study cited in the article). 

Zits says it better than I could in just four panels.  

Again, I will argue that Horror Fans are not the couples that comprise the study Robb cites in her article, but they will comprise the audience that attends the opening weekend of Poltergeist.  Despite the involvement of Sam Raimi, this film is not targeted at Horror Fans, but an audience eager for cheap jump scares, loud music stings and a reason to huddle/cuddle close in the theater. 

And, I suspect, this is the reason we don’t get many strong, atmospheric and creepy horror films, ones that play on our deeper fears and emotions.  Studios are looking for big openings, horror films that will make back their budget in a couple of days, than pull in home video sales, rather than develop an audience from word of mouth. 

Horror Fans can protest on Facebook, and our blogs (I am counting myself), that horror films can be artistic and scary, but as long as Hollywood sees a bigger box office return from the same cheap, make-the-audience-jump, crap infesting theaters over the past decade, I doubt the strong critical response to films like The Babadook and It Follows will lead to any changes in the films offered up to mainstream audiences. 


Give me a creepy pop-up book and a slow burn over cheap jump scares any day.

Also working against horror films is the tentpole mentality of the major studios.  A Poltergeist sequel is set up in the film’s trailer, as the exorcist proclaims the housing complex was built on a graveyard, but something stronger is present.  Sure, it’s a variation on a line in the original, but given the current cinematic climate, I suggest a CGI tequila vomit-worm will crawl into theaters within a couple years, if the box office returns for Poltergeist are strong enough.


I don't care how good the CGI looks.  It won't match this moment.

Nothing is going to change anytime soon, unless Horror Fans are willing to take a few risks.  We need to support the quirky independent features making it into theaters.  You might like them, or not, but vote with your dollars, Horror Fans.  We need to stop thinking about trying to change the minds of the studio executives and focus on the theater owners, especially local, independent theaters.  If we make a market, such theaters will respond and start booking independently produced horror film for a limited run.  Readers of this blog know independent theaters in Portland are finding box office success with independent horror films, and if other regional independent theaters are successful booking such films, the major studios might start paying attention. 

It’s a long shot, but better than a future of reboots, prequels and classic monsters in a shared, superhero-style universe films coming to a theater near you.



 Now, THAT"S SCARY!

Post Script: I know I've fallen into the trap of judging the Poltergeist remake based on the trailer, but the previews in theaters are suppose to draw us into the film, not repulse us.  Still, I offer my readers this promise.  Barring unforeseen circumstances, I will watch the Poltergeist remake during its opening week and offer an honest review.  As I suspect I will be buying my own ticket (what studio will offer me a preview pass after this article!), but I will likely avoid opening weekend, as I don't want to support what I suspect is a cheap ripoff.  But I will post my honest opinion and really hope I'm wrong concerning my fears about the trailer.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Once again, the Gillman gets no love from Portland



The winner of this month's This is Your Theater vote has been announced and...

Really, Portland Horror Fans,  No love for Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3D?

The winner is the classic anime, Akira, which I will admit is a disappointment for me.  Still, the film will look pretty cool on the big screen at The Hollywood Theatre.

Remember, just winning the vote doesn't count.  Filmgoers need to buy 100 advanced tickets, and the current count is at 13 (as of 6:17 pm on April 14).  You need to buy your tickets within the next 9 days to ensure the screening will happen.  If 100 people purchase advance tickets, the film will screen on Saturday, April 25, at 7 pm.

And, as I've mentioned previously, an advance ticket purchase ensures you're able to attend.  Last minute buyers were turned away at the box office from previous screenings, so if you really want to see this film on the big screen, click on the link and buy your ticket now.

As for disappointed Creature fans, I will find a way to get the Gillman back into The Hollywood, I swear.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Why I’m dreading a Creature from the Black Lagoon remake, whether Scarlett Johansson is involved or not.




Word dropped on the Internet Thursday that Scarlett Johansson is being approached to star in the upcoming Universal remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon (click the link for the meager details). It took a bit of time for me, a devoted fan of the original film and the sequels, to formulate an opinion about this news.  But I'm okay with it, though I'll likely skip the film.  Like death, remakes of classic horror films are inevitable and as Universal Studio is looking to create a shared universe for their Classic Monsters, I knew the Gillman would end up in the mix at some point.  

And the casting of Johansson isn’t a problem either.  If the rumor is true, and, as we all know, everything on the Internet is true (please insert sarcastic tone when you reread that statement), I think it shows Universal plans to deviate from the original in a big way and that wouldn’t be bad.

But let’s get this out of the way.  Johansson would be a bit of stunt casting.  I’m not saying anything about her acting skills.  But one has to wonder if Universal isn’t looking to entice male moviegoers to the film with the promise of the underwater ballet between the female lead and the Gillman.  I doubt the studio will cast Johansson and not have her swimming in a bikini during the scene, rather than a one-piece swimsuit or a wet suit, which would be more practical for a scientist exploring the depths of the Amazon.  Nope, it will be a two-piece suit and it will look fabulous.


Yeah, this has NOTHING to do with the studio's casting decision.

Also, I think Johansson’s possible involvement spells a different direction for the remake.  If Universal is attempting to bring a star like Johansson into their Classic Monster Universe, the studio will have to rewrite the female lead.  As much as I love Julia Adams in the role of Kay, her character is a product of the 50s and will have to be rewritten to work in a remake.  And I’m sure Johansson won’t be interested in a script that reduces her character to a damsel in distress waiting to rescued (and upstaged) by a male lead during most of the movie.

A revamping of the female lead is NOT a bad thing in a remake.  Kay was a competent woman in the original, at least until the second act, when she turns into the hapless victim of a romantic pyramid between Mark, David and the Gillman.  For a modern remake, Kay’s character needs to be rebuilt, allowing her to be strong against the Gillman, even if she has a human romantic interest in the new film.  And such a character change can work, as proven by the remake of The Blob, where Shawnee Smith proves to be just as capable at battling the monster as Kevin Dillon.  I just hope the script doesn’t follow Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake, where the script tries to rationalize Ann’s affection for the creature over her attraction to her human suitor, Jack.  


Yeah, she's screaming at the start of the film, but Shawnee turns into Rambo by the end.

Regardless of how Johansson character comes across onscreen (I suspect the character would be named Kay as an homage the original film, but will be nothing like Adams’ version), my problem with the remake stems from Universal’s previous announcement, and the release of Dracula Untold, indicating a shift to more of a superhero style film.  And that is the problem.  The remake will not be helmed filmmakers wanting to bring a respectful re-imaging of the original, but a group of people interested on creating a franchise.  Say what you will about Jackson’s Kong, one can see the love and respect he had for the original.  And the remakes of The Blob, The Thing and The Fly prove that filmmakers can make solid remakes while still paying tribute to the originals.

But turning the Gillman into a pawn in a universal struggle of good and evil monsters destroys the heart of the character.  With few exceptions from the Classic Universal Monster film catalog, the monsters work best contained to their own stories, rather than a titanic struggle of good verses evil.  The Marvel Cinematic Universe works because the comics laid out the foundation, pitting hero against hero until they united as a team to overcome an overwhelming threat.  The Universal Classic Monsters work best with their own stories, depicting their struggles to exist in a world that despises them, not as pawns in an epic battle against each other.

Whether the Gillman is on the side of good or evil is irrelevant.  The fact is, the Gillman works best as a prehistoric creature looking for a mate and not well versed in modern courting techniques.  Laugh all you want at that last sentence, but it’s true.  The original Gillman was too primitive in his courting techniques, even for the 50s.  And while David embodies the perfect man for the time, Mark is the creepy in-between for Kay’s affection, a predatory suitor hidden under the veneer of civilization.

And that’s what the remake should focus on.  Sure, Johansson’s character should be more suited for current times, and the remake NEEDS the underwater ballet moment.  It’s an iconic scene and must be included, regardless of the swimwear worn by the actor.  But I worry that, in order to make the film part of a franchise, the Gillman will end up tamed by Johansson and she will use her power over him to fight on the side of “good” in the inevitable final conflict film.  You don’t sign Scarlett Johansson to a single picture in a franchise, and I can’t think of any other way the series could write her into future films.


Yeah, just ask Lori Nelson how well taming the Gillman worked for her.


And yes, I ignored the CGI verse practical effects debate, as we all know the outcome.   I suspect most of the underwater sequences will be CGI “enhanced” as well, which makes glad to have the original trilogy on DVD. 


Hell, even Zaat might look better that a CGI Gillman.


It would be easier to cheer for practical monster effects if I wasn't being groped by one.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Win VIP Tickets to the advance screening of Unfriended on April 15




So, your taxes are finally in the mail and you need to unwind.  Well, Portland Area Horror Fans, you could de-stress from the IRS induced fear with VIP Tickets to an advance screening of Unfriended!

The new Universal technological horror film, Unfriended, follows a teenager as she and her friends are stalled by someone out to avenge those who posted a shaming video that lead to a suicide.

The screening will take place at the Century Clackamas Theater (at the Clackamas Town Center in Southgate, OR) at 7 pm.  Each winner will win VIP Tickets for themselves and a guest.  Winners do need to check in by 6:20 pm, but you will be reserved a seat and not have to wait with the general crowd.  However, according to IMDb, the film is rated R, so you need to be 17 or older to win.  If you enter the contest and win, than are denied admission because you're too young, I warned you not to enter.

Other than that, the stipulation for this contest is you must be in the Portland area on April 15 and be able to attend the screening (valid ID will be required, so don't try to win and sell the tickets to someone else).  One entry per person, please.  Just send me an email at shadowoverportland@live.com and I'll pull five random winners out of the hat I wore last Halloween.

All entries must be within my inbox by 6 pm on Sunday, April 11, to be entered in the drawing,

You'll find more information about the film, including a trailer, at the link.