Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Here's your Horror Update through July, Northwest Horror Fans. But fear not, lots of great events are happening next month!

Okay, the end of this month might seem a bit slow, but things are picking up in August and I've even found my first October event.  Oh, you know as the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR grows closer, more will be added to the Weekly Update.  But if you can't wait, be sure to click on the Horror Calendar in August for all the events that I can find.

But for now, here's the events for this week!

Ongoing



Submissions are being accepted for the PDXtreme Fest, 3 days of horror, crime, gore and more at the the Academy Theater (7818 SE Stark) in Portland, OR, December 2 through 4 this year.  You can find more details on how to enter your film at the Facebook Event Page.

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Mental Trap Escape Room Game invites you, and four to ten members, to escape a locked room in one hour.  And yes, it is timed.  Created by the devious minds behind 13th Door Haunted HouseGlowing Greens Miniature Golf and Haunted Productions, this offers you the challenge to find the clues keeping you locked in the room and escape within an hour.  But, as the website suggests, it's not as easy as it sounds.  Located at 3855 SW Murray Blvd in Portland, OR, you can challenge your wits (and those of your team mates) to solve the puzzle before time expires.  I don't know what happens if you don't succeed, but that's part of the fun.  For more details, visit the link.

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Bleedingham, a Northwest Horror Short Film Festival, is now excepting submissions.  The chosen films will screen at the Pickford Film Cinema (1318 Bay St) in Bellingham, WA later this year.  More details can be found at the official website.

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You can still have your Lovecraftian film considered for the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon, which happens October 7 to 9 at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR).  For more details, visit the Official Website.

Buy it NOW!



On Friday and Saturday, August 5 and 6, at 9:30pm, The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR, will screen a digital restoration of A Cat in the Brain, directed by, and starring, Lucio Fulci.  This meta take on creating horror films has Fulci playing a director tormented by the gore he's released on the screen, only to have reality take a twisted turn as a serial killer is committing murders that mirror the onscreen mayhem he created.  It's trippy, it's gory fun and I'm sure it will sell out, so buy your advance tickets at The Hollywood Theatre official website.  

July, 2016


Wednesday, July 27



Okay, Portland area Horror Fans and lovers of WEIRD WEDNESDAY, you have plenty of time to head to The Joy Cinema and Pub (11959 SW Pacific Highway in Tigard, OR) for a screening of Santo...

Oh, sorry, the American title is Samson vs. the Vampire Women.  But seriously, it's SANTO, the silver masked luchador taking on a horde of vampire women.  Oh, you know you have to see it if you can.

According to The Joy Cinema Facebook page, should this film be unavailable, it will be replaced with another movie with just as much SANTO!  And, let's be honest, you can't get enough Santo in your life.

The film starts at 9:15 pm and ADMISSION IS FREE!  That should liberate a few extra dollars to spend at the concession stand, with is stocked with soda, tasty popcorn and beer!   Spend the extra cash, and help support The Joy Cinema and Pub as they continue to keep Wednesdays WEIRD in the Portland area.

Oh, you must be 21 or older to get in.  Visit The Joy Cinema official website for more details.


Thursday, July 28



Moonlight Cinema at Redhook Brewery (14300 NE 145th St in Woodinville, WA) presents a screening of Labyrinth tonight at dusk  Festivities start at 6 pm with a Bowie tribute with Oddmall Emporium of the Weird.  Admission is $5.  The Redhook Brewery official website isn't very helpful (click and good luck to you, as all I got was a limited calendar and a pop-up with details about the films and advance ticket sales).  Hope the website is updated later by now.

Friday, July 29



Projekt Records and Movies in the Dark present the David Cronenberg thriller, The Dead Zone, tonight at 9:30 pm at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd) in Portland, OR.  Based on the Stephen King novel, the film deals with a man (Christopher Walken) who awakes from a coma with the ability to see the future of those he touches.  And, as you might guess, things don't go well.  For more details, and advance ticket sales, visit the link.

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Okay, it's my blog and I'm going to include The Hollywood Theatre's (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR) screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark this weekend, because it's one of the best action movies ever made and the ending is PRETTY CREEPY!  I can't think of many horror fans objecting to a film where, in less than a minute, we get a head being desiccated, another melting and a third blown to bloody bits!  Especially a 50-FOOT BIG SCREEN!!  IN GLORIOUS 35mm!!!!  Visit the theater's official website for showtimes and advance ticket sales.  I suspect this will sell out, so buy your tickets early.

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VHS Uber Alles returns to the Grand Illusion Cinema (1403 SE 50th St in Seattle, WA) with a screening of Kamillions in GLORIOUS VHS.  All right, all right, I've never heard of the movie either, but the plot involves two ugly shapeshifting aliens crashing a party.  Cheesy gags and practical effects ensue, and this is one of those movies you'll only see if you come across a VHS copy on eBay.  Admission is $2 and if I was in Seattle area, I'd be checking this one out!!  Visit the Facebook Event Page for more details (and the event's special thanks to Scarecrow Video).

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Philip Kaufman's terrific remake of the Don Siegel classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, screens at The Laurelhurst Theater and Pub (2735 E Burnside St in Portland, OR) through Thursday, August 4.  The film stars Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright and Leonard Nimoy, as well as cameos by Siegel and Kevin McCarthy.  No showtimes have been announced, so check back here, or visit the theater's official website, later in the month.

Saturday, July 30



Seattle Outdoor Cinema, now relocated to the South Lake Union Discovery Center (101 Westlake Ave N in Seattle, WA), presents a 21 and older screening of one of the greatest action films of the decade, Mad Max: Fury Road.  The new location features a larger screen (35 by 55 feet), along with improved sound and projection for one of the best outdoor movie experiences available.  Oh, and there will be food trucks, a beer garden and pre-show entertainment.  You can get more details, as well as the rest of the schedule and links for advance ticket sales, at the official website.

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As I mentioned, October is just over TWO MONTHS AWAY, and I know lots of stuff will be happening.  So, if you want your film festival, pumpkin patch, haunted house or other creepy offerings listed on The Shadow Over Portland, send me an email at shadowoverportland@live.com.  October is my busiest month, with lots of Northwest Horror Fans checking out the Weekly Updates, and the Horror Calendar, for all the cool stuff happening in the area.  And I will have extra pages listed on the main site, so fans can find what they want with ease.

Oh, and I should mention that listing your event on The Shadow Over Portland is 100 percent FREE!  I don't expect any compensation, but an email will ensure I list your event.  I can't scour every Internet listing, so make sure your site is listed by letting me know about it!

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Wolfcop (2014)



I was very lucky to have turned 18 years old back in 1979.  Before that time, I was watching horror films on broadcast television (thankfully, some were uncut, even on Saturday afternoon, so I got to see some of the mayhem major networks would censor).  My folks weren't fans of the genre, so I could never get them to drive me to a theater to see the latest horror film, let along go with me to the R-rated ones.

Okay, before I go further, this is not a rant against my parents.  They didn't like the genre I was enamored with and wouldn't have sat through the stuff I wanted to see.  And, in their minds, a child shouldn't be exposed to the horrors shown on the big screen.  But they had no problem letting me read books like The Exorcist, or the novelization of The Omen, to name a few.  And they accept my love of all things gory, spooky and macabre, and fill their DVR with films I can't see on cable (as I don't have cable) whenever I visit them now.  They accept me as the weird one out of their three sons and are happy to indulge my strange tastes, and I love them for it.




Hey, they kept Sharknado 3 on their DVR for over eight months so I could see it.
And they drove me to Silver Springs so I could visit the Black Lagoon.
But that's a tale for next month.


Where I am going with this is, once I could drive myself to the local triplex, I was able to see a lot of low budget cult classics that would show up for a one week run at the local triplex.  Zombie, Humanoids from the Deep and other such "low brow" offerings would show up to fill space between the more mainstream films, and I attended a lot of them.  Also, it was a time where theaters could screen Unrated films without the MPAA cracking down on them.

It was a wonderful time, and I'm sure, had it been made back then, I'd have seen Wolfcop at the now demolished Hazel Dell Tri-Cinema back in the 80s.  A glorious exploitation film from Canada, Wolfcop is everything that was right about 80s horror.  It was an original idea (not another Freddie or Jason film), with lots of gore, a bit of nudity, and enough goofy humor to make me long for those days sitting in the theater with a bunch of friends, not knowing what we were going to see, but knowing it would be something really weird.


Yes, it's a Wolfcop with a machine gun.
You know you have to see this movie now.

The story takes place in the small community of Woodhaven, which hosts a yearly Drink and Shoot, has a radio station sponsored by Liquor Donuts (seriously, Portland, why is this not a thing?) and has a police force of two officers, Sergeant Tina (Amy Matysio), officer of the month for what appears to be years, and the chief.

Oh, there is a third officer, Lou Garou (Leo Farfard), but he's a severe alcoholic and barely hanging onto his job. Oh, and yeah, if you didn't guess who the Wolfcop is by his name, you're probably reading the wrong blog.


Seriously, that's how he gets his exercise.
Flask curls.


Sent to investigate occult activity in the area reported by the local gun store owner, Willie (Jonathan Cherry), Garou dismisses it as some heavy metal fans.  But, ordered to follow up on a second disturbance, he finds the current mayoral challenger strung up on a tree.  He's knocked unconscious and wakes up the next morning with bizarre flashbacks to the previous night, heightened senses and a pentagram carved into his torso.

Garou also has a sudden interest in police work, after the body of the upstart candidate is found dead of a possible drug overdose, with animal bites on his neck.  This leads the current mayor to cancel the upcoming Drink and Shoot, but Garou discovers the event has been cancelled during every Lunar Eclipse.

Oh, and the next one is just days away.

After a day of surprisingly productive police work, he heads to the local bar.  Jessica (Sarah Lind) suddenly shuts her establishment down for the night, while offering Garou a few free drinks and the promise of a bit more intimate time after she's done cleaning.  But Garou has to make a hasty retreat to the men's room, where he finds himself transforming and fending off a group of attackers.


Well, if this was your bartender,
who wouldn't be a bit distracted?

Garou awakens chained to a bed at Willie's house, with the gun shop owner telling him he turned into a wolf.  Garou agrees to be restrained in a jail cell that evening, where he again transforms.  But, as a call comes in concerning a robbery by a gang wearing pig masks, Garou answers the call, despite Willie's protest that, "You're a Wolf."

"Cop," Garou replies and the movie kicks into full, furry fury.  And it is gory and SO MUCH FUN!

I'm stopping here, and will admit I've left a few plot point out of this summation, as viewers should really check it out and enjoy the ride as the mystery unfolds.  And it's a glorious ride, with practical effects, a sweet Wolfcop upgrade to a standard police car and a few twists along the way.  And, given it's a 79 minute film, the script is so smart and so rounded out, you'll wonder why Hollywood blockbusters take over two hours to tell a story.


Let alone fail to deliver so much GORY FUN!

For example, the script is chocked full of Big Bad Wolf references.  But even better is that screenwriter/director Lowell Dean delivers both Tina and Garou's motivation without a massive exposition dump.  The script explains who the main characters are, and why they are behaving as they do, without slowing down the story.  It's a beautiful example of how to explain why a character acts as they do without stopping for a lengthy scene to spell things out to the audience.

And it's nice that Garou's nature doesn't change with his transformation.  It's hinted that booze is to him what spinach is to Popeye, and that's all that we need to know.  No over explanation, no over theorizing, just a quick couple lines which allows the audience to just go with the reality the script has set up.

Seriously, the script is that smart.  And Wolfcop shows how a low budget film can deliver, without a ton of money and numerous rewrites trying to make sure the audience "gets it."  Dean just tells his story and trust the audience will follow along, a nice change from many screenplays that pound into the audience's head what's happening.



Okay, if you don't get the fairy tale reference at this point,
you're watching the wrong movie.

My only complaint with the film is we don't get enough Wolfcop.  But, as it's an origin story, things need to be set up.  I'm hoping the proposed sequel remedies that problem, because a Wolfcop is an awesome idea.  And the mythology is set up in the first film that can take the characters in many different directions.  The hints of a bigger baddie (or group of them) is enticing enough to keep me panting for the sequel.

Seriously, check this one out before the upcoming sequel.  You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hey, here's the events genre fans in the Northwest are craving to hear about!



Well, I was working on the Horror Calendar update tonight, with some cool screenings from the Rocket Sci-Fi Matinee at The Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, WA, and an exciting screening at The Hollywood Theatre in August,  but I realized it's Weird Wednesday, and you shouldn't miss watching local podcast legend Derek M. Koch (of Monster Kid Radio) introducing the Paul Naschey film, Horror Rises from the Tomb tonight at The Joy Cinema and Pub (11959 SW Pacific Hwy in Tigard, OR).  The show starts at 9:15 pm, and you must be 21 or older to attend.  Admission is FREE, so be sure to spend a few extra buck at the snack bar and help The Joy keep WEDNESDAYS WEIRD!

Be sure to check the Ongoing and Buy It Now section of the update, for films that I suspect will sell out, and opportunities to submit your genre film to local festivals.

And check out the Horror Calendar, for events such as Hot August Frights at the 7th St Theatre in Hoqium, WA, for a creep crawly good time, genre movies in the park, and SO MUCH MORE!   And I will update the Rocket Sci-Fi offerings later this week.

And I would like to thank everyone who checked out my review of the new Ghostbusters movie.  I know some of you didn't agree with my feelings towards the film, but you made it the most viewed moment in The Shadow Over Portland history.  So, I thank you.  And I welcome your comments and viewpoints.  Nothing will be blocked or censored, unless you're just being a jerk.

But now, onto the upcoming events!

Ongoing



Submissions are being accepted for the PDXtreme Fest, 3 days of horror, crime, gore and more at the the Academy Theater (7818 SE Stark) in Portland, OR, December 2 through 4 this year.  You can find more details on how to enter your film at the Facebook Event Page.

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Mental Trap Escape Room Game invites you, and four to ten members, to escape a locked room in one hour.  And yes, it is timed.  Created by the devious minds behind 13th Door Haunted HouseGlowing Greens Miniature Golf and Haunted Productions, this offers you the challenge to find the clues keeping you locked in the room and escape within an hour.  But, as the website suggests, it's not as easy as it sounds.  Located at 3855 SW Murray Blvd in Portland, OR, you can challenge your wits (and those of your team mates) to solve the puzzle before time expires.  I don't know what happens if you don't succeed, but that's part of the fun.  For more details, visit the link.

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



Bleedingham, a Northwest Horror Short Film Festival, is now excepting submissions.  The chosen films will screen at the Pickford Film Cinema (1318 Bay St) in Bellingham, WA later this year.  More details can be found at the official website.

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



You can still have your Lovecraftian film considered for the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon, which happens October 7 to 9 at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR).  For more details, visit the Official Website.  Oh, and I'm a guest at the fest, so hope to see you there!

Buy it NOW!



The Grindhouse Film Festival presents a rare 35mm screening of Lucio Fulci's gutmunching classic, Zombie, at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR) on Tuesday, July 26, at 7:30 pm.  Grindhouse Film Festival screens often sell out, so buy your tickets early!!  More information and a link to advance ticket sales, are available at the theater's official website.

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Oh, this will be all shades of AWESOME!  Tonight at 7:30 pm, The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR) will present a screening of David Cronenberg's Scanners in GLORIOUS 35mm.  Okay, that's enough for a geek out moment, but Michael Ironside will be in attendance, with a Q and A after the show!!!  OH HELL YES!!!!!!!  Tickets are $9. and I advise you to buy them EARLY!  Unfortunately, the website is saying online sales are closed, so check back later, or head to The Hollywood Theatre to purchase advance tickets now.  

July, 2016

Wednesday, July 20


Horror Rises from the Tomb at  The Joy Cinema and Pub (11959 SW Pacific Hwy in Tigard, OR).  This Paul Naschy deals with a warlock and his wife being beheaded, only to come back centuries later to possess the living to make them perform human sacrifices and search for the rest of their bodies.  And Portland podcasting legend (and Rondo Hatton winner) Derek M. Koch (of Monster Kid Radio) will be introducing the film!  The 9:15 pm screening will be free of charge, so do you part to keep Wednesdays WEIRD in Tigard by taking the money you saved on admission and buying some tasty snacks and a beer (or soda) at the concession stand.  You must be at least 21 years of age to attend.  For more details, visit The Joy Cinema website.

Thursday, July 21



Get ready to be hungry for Twinkies and set your sights on Zombie Kill of the Day!  Moonlight Cinema at Redhook Brewery (14300 NE 145th St in Woodinville, WA) presents a screening of Zombieland.  Festivities start at 6 pm with a Zombie Burlesque Show.   Admission is $5 and you must be 21 or older to attend.  The Redhook Brewery official website isn't very helpful (click and good luck to you, as all I got was a limited calendar and a pop-up with details about the films and advance ticket sales).  Hope the website is updated later by now.

Friday, July 22



Northwest outdoor cinema favorite, The Goonies, plays tonight at Westlake Park (401 Pine St in Seattle, WA) as part of the Movies in the Park series.  The movie starts at dusk and admission is free.  If you want more details, good luck, as the websites aren't too helpful.  Visit the Westlake Park Calendar, the Official Seattle Parks and Rec website or the Westlake Park Facebook Page.

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If you're more in the mood for a dark fairy tale, head to Jefferson Park (3801 Beacon Ave S in Seattle, WA) as Outdoor Movies in Jefferson Park presents Labyrinth.  Festivities start at 7 pm with open mic, and the movie starts at dusk.  If you want more details, visit the Beacon Arts official website.  And the site has a link for you to email the organizers if you want to perform during the open mic session.


Sunday, July 24



The 1968 sci-fi classic, Planet of the Apes, is headed back to the big screen, courtesy of Fathom Events.  Playing on Sunday, July 24, and Wednesday, July 27, at 2 and 7 pm both days.  Catching this sci fi classic on the big screen is an event most genre fans won't want to miss.  Click on the links to find locations for the July 24 and July 27 screenings.

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Another dystopian vision of the future screens tonight at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd) in Portland, OR, as Frak! Theater presents a digital restoration of John Carpenter's Escape from New York at 7 pm.  I don't think I need to say anymore than Snake Plsskin on THE BIG SCREEN!!  Part of a Harry Dean Stanton series, in honor of his 90th birthday, you can find more details and advance tickets at the link.

Tuesday, July 26



They are going to EAT YOU!  The Grindhouse Film Festival presents a rare 35mm screening of Lucio Fulci's gutmunching classic, Zombie, at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR) tonight at 7:30 pm.  Yes, the film with the classic shark verse zombie battle, as well as the most infamous moment of eyeball trauma in a Fulci film (and he's filmed A LOT of eyeball trauma)!  I saw this film when I was 18 years old on it's initial release and man, it was hard not to look away at times.  If you've never seen it on the big screen, don't miss this opportunity!  Don't forget, the GFF screens often sell out, so buy your tickets early!!  More information and a link to advance ticket sales are available at the theater's official website.

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Well, that's what I have for now, Northwest Genre Fans.  Should I have missed anything, email me at shadowoverportland@live.com and I'll be sure to include it.  

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ghostbusters (2016)



Okay, before I get into this review, let me make one thing absolutely clear.  I HAVE NOT received any perks from Sony or Columbia Pictures for this review.  No free screening (paid for my ticket), no swag in any way.  Hell, I bought my own beer... so I owe Sony/Columbia NOTHING!

Had to get that out of the way, as a lot of Internet trolls are suggesting any reviewer with a positive take on the new Ghostbuster film was paid off by the studio.  I WAS NOT, and I have to make that clear because I really liked the film.  It was much more fun that Batman V. Superman or X-Men: Apocalypse, delivering about two hours of a cast of characters busting ghost, taking names and delivering some laughs without having to go all dark and depressing.  All you could want in a summer movie.

Let the nerd rage commence....


And bring it on, as I'm sure these gals
have my back


To be honest, the reboot isn't the best movie ever, but it's solid fun and a big step forward in how women in action/comedy films are portrayed.  And, though I can't call it a true horror comedy (as with the first two films, they are comedies with horror elements), I feel I need to discuss this film in the hopes that it gains more support and changes how women are portrayed in genre related films.

But more about that later.  Onto the plot...

Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is a candidate for tenure at Columbia University.  But her academic plans are derailed when a book she cowrote with Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), attempting to give a scientific explanation for ghosts, shows up on Amazon.  She finds this out when approached by the curator of a potentially haunted house comes to her, asking her to investigate the sightings.

She goes to Yates' lab at at a rather shady "university,"  She meets Yate's coworker. Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and getting involved with their investigation of the haunted building.  They record an apparition, but the resulting video results in Gilbert being kicked out of Columbia and Yates being kicked out of her office.  The trio set i[ their own research lab, then teams up to investigate a supernatural event in the NYC subways, reported by Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones).

Eventually, the four team try to scientifically prove the existence of ghosts, while uncovering the plot of marginalize hotel employee Rowan North (Neil Casey) to bring about a world wide apocalypse.  Even when the New York City authorities, and members of Homeland Security, are convinced the threat is ended, the Ghostbusters discover North's plans have only begun and must save the world, and their dumb as a bag of rocks secretary Kevin (a hilarious Chris Hemsworth), from utter destruction.



Yeah, the ladies steal the stage from Ozzie,  
Good for you!

Okay, most everyone from the original has a cameo.  Harold Ramis shows up as a bust in the halls of Columbia University, leaving the only Rick Moranis missing (understandable, as he's given up acting, but I might have missed an homage to his character in the film).  Even the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man shows up, though not as the main villain, despite what some websites might lead you to believe.

And that's the problem with all the online hatred for this film.  It's not perfect, but it's so much better than you'd expect.  Most of that is thanks to the script, by Katie Dippold and Paul Feig.  Sure, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis share script writing credits, but Dippold and Feig take the basic idea and make it a separate movie from the original.  It's a complete reboot and it works, as the script gives the new actors room to breathe and form their own characters, rather than slavishly conforming to the stereotypes in the previous films.

Having watched the original film, and the sequel, a week before the new version was released, I can say that time hasn't treated the originals well.  Sure, the practical effects are amazing, but Venkman (Bill Murray) is a total sleaze, despite the fact that he's suppose to be the hero.  Instead, the man would have multiple restraining orders against him, including a few from Dana, and I wouldn't blame her.


Sure, this is a scientific device.
And yes, I am happy to see you.

And the dick jokes.  Oh My God, too many dick jokes.  That's not to say there is not some genital humor in the reboot, but the focus isn't on stroking up proton guns and making them hard.  It's based on overcoming political oppression and kicking ghost ass.  And that's why this movie works so well.

Sure, we get a back story from Gilbert, about how she saw a ghost when she was a young girl and no one but Yates would believe her.  But the script avoids giving any of the women a stereotypical reason for wanting to bust ghosts, and that is a big plus.  Unlike movie like Aliens and the Underworld series, which have strong female characters, their motivations come from finding a nuclear family unit of some type to make them fight the main villain.  Instead, the new Ghostbusters are attempting to prove the existence of the supernatural, before protecting the world from the End of Days.

Okay, Gilbert is hot and heavy for Kevin, but her attraction is mocked by her teammates.  But unlike the originals, who are out to make a buck (while one is looking to score with a hot cellist), these gals only want to prove they are right and keep the world safe, even if the government denies their actions.  And that is awesome in a movie with no male lead, as woman are finally invading this final domain of manliness in movies.  You know the troupe, the guy getting into the action (however reluctantly) to prove he was right about the bad guy, as seen in every 80s action movie since First Blood.

The cast is solid.  Wiig and McCarthy play characters we've seen in films like Bridesmaids, but their performances are solid, and it's nice to see McCarthy not play the heavy girl that is the butt of every joke.  Tolan is funny as well (though, to be honest, her character is the least developed of the bunch), but the real standouts are Hemsworth (the man has some comedic chops and, if you stay for the credits, can really DANCE; I'm an old Hollywood musical fan and that man has some moves!!), as well as McKinnon, who steals every scene she's in.  And when she gets the chance to gun-fu like she's in a John Woo movie, she is AMAZING!


Yeah, I have a new nerd crush.
Go ahead, judge me.
I dare you!

This was the most fun I've had watching this year's genre related summer blockbusters thus far this year.  Yes, it's not breaking any new ground, the CGI effects work for the most part (but still pale compared to the original, though I doubt any practical effects could generate the amount of ghosts and proton rays on the screen in the final act).  But again. the cast is solid, the jokes work for the most part, the film plays off the original well, and, damn it, I was grinning most of the time.  It may not be "fresh," but it's a lot of fun and much better than you might expect.

But if my review doesn't convince you to support this version of Ghostbusters, just check out the picture below.  After seeing women being marginalized in countless movies (seriously, Marvel Cinematic Universe, you need to do better with Black Widow, Sif and Scarlett Witch), young girls dressed up as Ghostbusters for the film's Hollywood premiere and, by the looks on their faces as they meet Kristen Wiig, appear to believe they can do what the women did in this film.  And I think that's the most important reason for this reboot.



If these girls don't melt your heart,
you're dead inside.


That's right, girls.  You go BUST SOME GHOSTS!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Well, Northwest Horror Fans, it's summer and the sun is starting to come out, so time to head indoors for some AWESOME screenings and a few haunted events that will test your mind.  And be sure to look at the Ongoing part of this update, as you still have time to submit your horror film to a couple of local festivals.

And The Hollywood Theatre here in Portland, OR, has two events in the Buy It Now section that deserves you attention.  And check out the next Weird Wednesday at the Joy Cinema in Tigard, OR, as Derek M. Koch introduces a screening of Horror Rises from the Tomb, with Paul Naschy!

Details for these, and other events, are listed below.

And, if you're looking deep into the future, check out the Horror Calendar, as I've listed events from film screenings, cons and horror themed belly dancing into 2017.


Oh, and I'll be a guest at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival, starting on October 7 at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR).  I don't know what panels I'll be on, but I'll be sure to post them.  Please stop by and say hello!




The Shadow Over Portland is back and spreading the spooky news over the Northwest.


Ongoing



Submissions are being accepted for the PDXtreme Fest, 3 days of horror, crime, gore and more at the the Academy Theater (7818 SE Stark) in Portland, OR, December 2 through 4 this year.  You can find more details on how to enter your film at the Facebook Event Page.

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Mental Trap Escape Room Game invites you, and four to ten members, to escape a locked room in one hour.  And yes, it is timed.  Created by the devious minds behind 13th Door Haunted HouseGlowing Greens Miniature Golf and Haunted Productions, this offers you the challenge to find the clues keeping you locked in the room and escape within an hour.  But, as the website suggests, it's not as easy as it sounds.  Located at 3855 SW Murray Blvd in Portland, OR, you can challenge your wits (and those of your team mates) to solve the puzzle before time expires.  I don't know what happens if you don't succeed, but that's part of the fun.  For more details, visit the link.

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Bleedingham, a Northwest Horror Short Film Festival, is now excepting submissions.  The chosen films will screen at the Pickford Film Cinema (1318 Bay St) in Bellingham, WA later this year.  More details can be found at the official website.

Buy it NOW!



The Grindhouse Film Festival presents a rare 35mm screening of Lucio Fulci's gutmunching classic, Zombie, at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR) July 26 at 7:30 pm.  Grindhouse Film Festival screens often sell out, so buy your tickets early!!  More information and a link to advance ticket sales, are available at the theater's official website.

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Repressed Cinema presents a RARE 16mm print of the Roger Corman CLASSIC, Death Race 2000The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd) in Portland, OR, will host this event starting at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, July 19, with 16mm trailer screening before the show.  Visit the theater's official website for more details and advance ticket sales (I'd say that's HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!).

July, 2016

Wednesday, July 13



Well, it's the middle of the week and that means it's Weird Wednesday at The Joy Cinema and Pub (11959 SW Pacific Hwy in Tigard, OR).  And tonight's feature is 1958's The Screaming Skull!  Yes, there is a screaming skull, as well as an offer to provide a free burial service to any patron that dies of fright durning the movie.  Well, The Joy Cinema isn't offering any such measures should YOU die of fright, but they promise that the 9:15 pm screening will be free of charge.  So do you part to keep Wednesdays WEIRD in Tigard by taking the money you saved on admission and buying some tasty snacks and a beer (or soda) at the concession stand.  You must be at least 21 years of age to attend.

And if you want to learn more about this film, check out Episode 163 and Episode 164 of Monster Kid Radio!  Portland podcasting legend Derek M. Koch talks with author and fellow Monster Kid Stephen D Sullivan about the film, but beware, as the two might scream out some spoilers!

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Oh man, OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, located at 1945 SE Water Ave in Portland, OR) opens it's 2016 Sci Fi Film Festival tonight and the roster is AMAZING.  From Forbidden Planet to Robocop, I'm pretty sure you'll find something interesting playing through July 15.  Just click to the OMSI Website, than scroll till you find the Sci Fi Film Festival link.


Thursday, July 14



Though it's considered by some to be the worst movie ever made, I must strongly disagree and say Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space is an amazing film, one where the enthusiasm of the cast and crew overcome their overall filmmaking incompetence, leading to one of the most gloriously entertaining bad movies ever made.  I mean, you can't not listen to Dudley Manlove (oh yeah, that's his name) deliver the line, "You see?  You see?  Your stupid minds!  Stupid!!  Stupid!!!" and not realize he's giving it his all to make the delivery intense and exciting (Really, I've seen some BAD films and Manlove is an Oscar winner compared to some other performances).  See for yourself as the NW Film Center screens the film tonight at 7 pm at the Whitsell Auditorium (1219 SW Park Ave) in Portland, OR.  For more details, visit the NWFC official website.

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Pemco Outdoor Movies at Magnuson Park (7400 Sand Point Way NE in Seattle, WA) presents a screening of the dark fairy tale, Labyrinth, presented by Seattle Children's.  Admission is $5 per person at the door, with kids 5 and under admitted into the event for free.  Festivities start at 6:30 pm with entertainment and food carts, the movie starts at dusk.  For more details, visit the event's official website or the Facebook Event Page (where any cancellation information will be posted).  Remember, Seattle parks are smoke-free.

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The Porkchop Express makes a stop at Redhook Brewery (14300 NE 145th St in Woodinville, WA) as Moonlight Cinema presents Big Trouble in Little China, complete with a martial arts expo and brick breaking demonstration.  Festivities start at 6 pm and admission is $5.  At least that's all I could gather from the Redhook Brewery official website (click and good luck to you, as all I got was a limited calendar and a pop-up with details about the films).  Hope the website is updated later in the week.

Friday, July 15



Who is the real father of the adopted son of Robert and Katherine Thorn?  Could it be SATAN?!?!  As if you didn't already know.  Tonight, Friday Night Frights Tacoma presents a screening of the 1976 classic, The Omen, at the Blue Mouse Theatre (2611 N. Proctor St) in Tacoma, WA.  Possibly the first American film to feature overly creative death scenes, you don't want to miss a character's (not spoiling it here) decapitation on the big screen.  It will look AMAZING.  The show starts at 10 pm and admission is just $6.  You'll find more details at the Friday Night Frights Tacoma Facebook Page.

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Get ready for the most amazing Bug Hunt in GLORIOUS 70mm, as The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd) in Portland, OR, presents a screening of James Cameron's Aliens through July 17.  As of Monday, July 11, all showings are sold out.  Should that change, I'll be sure to post the information as soon as possible.

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If last night's screening of Plan 9 has you interested in more about the career of one of the worst directors ever, check out tonight's screening of Ed Wood.  Presented by the NW Film Center, this film is gives a rather fictionalized account of Wood's life, but star Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton are able to capture the enthusiasm Wood brought to many of his pictures.  And the film will be presented in GLORIOUS 35mm!!  The show starts at 7 pm at the Whitsell Auditorium (1219 SW Park Ave) in Portland, OR.  For more details, visit the NWFC official website.

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The Grand Illusion Cinema (1403 SE 50th St in Seattle, WA) is screening a new restoration of Lucio Fulci's Lizard in a Women's Skin.  One of his Giallo films, the story involves a frustrated wife finding her violent dreams becoming a reality.  Or are they?  Check it out and find out the answers for yourself!  The film screens tonight and tomorrow at 9 pm.  Visit the theater's official website for more details.

Saturday, July 16



Spend an evening with Rowdy Roddy Piper running out of bubble gum while kicking ass, as John Carpenter's They Live screens as part of The Olympia Film Society (206 5th Ave SE in Olympia, WA) Fright Club tonight at 9 pm.  For more details, visit the OFS official website.  And remember, the first rule of Fright Club is let all other Horror Fans know about Fright Club!!

Tuesday, July 19



Repressed Cinema presents a RARE 16mm print of the Roger Corman CLASSIC, Death Race 2000!  Okay, I shouldn't need to say anymore, but for those who've never seen this amazing film, think a cross country road race with bonus points awarded for pedestrian kills.  Yeah, okay, it's like GTA, but with more satire and dark humor than anything on a gaming platform.  And the race favorite, Frankenstein (David Carradine) is planning on taking out the President, who uses the Death Race to pacify the populace.  Director Paul Bartel makes the most of a stellar cast, including Sylvester Stallone, Mary Woronov, Martin Kove and FRED GRANDY (Gopher from The Love Boat), as well as directors John Landis and Lewis Teague!  The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd) in Portland, OR, will host this event starting at 7:30 pm tonight with 16mm trailer screenings.  Visit the theater's official website for more details and advance ticket sales (I'd say that's HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!).

Wednesday, July 20



Horror Rises from the Tomb at  The Joy Cinema and Pub (11959 SW Pacific Hwy in Tigard, OR).  This Paul Naschy deals with a warlock and his wife being beheaded, only to come back centuries later to possess the living to make them perform human sacrifices and search for the rest of their bodies.  And Portland podcasting legend (and Rondo Hatton winner) Derek M. Koch (of Monster Kid Radio) will be introducing the film!  The 9:15 pm screening will be free of charge, so do you part to keep Wednesdays WEIRD in Tigard by taking the money you saved on admission and buying some tasty snacks and a beer (or soda) at the concession stand.  You must be at least 21 years of age to attend.  For more details, visit The Joy Cinema website.

Thursday, July 21



Get ready to be hungry for Twinkies and set your sights on Zombie Kill of the Day!  Moonlight Cinema at Redhook Brewery (14300 NE 145th St in Woodinville, WA) presents a screening of Zombieland.  Festivities start at 6 pm with a Zombie Burlesque Show.   Admission is $5 and you must be 21 or older to attend.  The Redhook Brewery official website isn't very helpful (click and good luck to you, as all I got was a limited calendar and a pop-up with details about the films and advance ticket sales).  Hope the website is updated later by now.

Friday, July 22



Northwest outdoor cinema favorite, The Goonies, plays tonight at Westlake Park (401 Pine St in Seattle, WA) as part of the Movies in the Park series.  The movie starts at dusk and admission is free.  If you want more details, good luck, as the websites aren't too helpful.  Visit the Westlake Park Calendar, the Official Seattle Parks and Rec website or the Westlake Park Facebook Page.

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If you're more in the mood for a dark fairy tale, head to Jefferson Park (3801 Beacon Ave S in Seattle, WA) as Outdoor Movies in Jefferson Park presents Labyrinth.  Festivities start at 7 pm with open mic, and the movie starts at dusk.  If you want more details, visit the Beacon Arts official website.  And the site has a link for you to email the organizers if you want to perform during the open mic session.

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Be sure to check out the Horror Calendar for the latest updates for this year and 2017!  If I missed your event, email me at shadowoverportland@live.com and I'll be sure to add it.

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