Christine Elise

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HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Seven – 10/07/18

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Seven – 10/07/18

10/07 – 1993: BODY SNATCHERS

 

 

 

Of the approximately half-dozen remakes there have been, since director DON SIEGEL first terrified the world with INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, based on Jack Finney’s timeless sci-fi terror tale, two standout versions are, for me, the smartest of the bunch. The first is PHILIP KAUFMAN’S dark satirizing of the San Francisco “self-awareness” scene back in 1978, and BODY SNATCHERS, the often-unsung version directed by genre favorite ABEL FERRARA (MS. .45, KING OF NEW YORK, FEAR CITY, BAD LIEUTENANT).  Ferrara’s ferocious, take-no-prisoners sensibility and dark sense of humor was a glove-like fit for an adaptation worked on by no less than five writers, which included STUART GORDON, DENNIS PAOLI and LARRY COHEN.

The oft-told story was still very flexible in terms of where it could be set and how it reflected the times in which it was being re-told. And what better place to set a story about assimilation, blind compliance and loss of identity, than on an ARMY BASE? Brilliant.

 

 

 

 

 

GABRIELLE ANWAR (SCENT OF A WOMAN) plays Marti Malone, the oldest daughter of the Malone family, along with dad Steve (TERRY KINNEY of HBO’S OZ), and little brother Andy (REILLY MURPHY).

As good as everyone is in the cast, though, the must-see performance of the film comes from…MEG TILLY as mom, Carol Malone. Yeah, the same Meg Tilly you knew from THE BIG CHILL is here to deliver a “bigger chill” of a totally different kind, with a monologue that’s as chilling as any pivotal “possession” scene in the other versions, including the original.

Filming at an actual base as well as the surrounding areas in Selma, Alabama, Ferrara and DP BOJAN BAZELLI (PUMPKINHEAD) were able to infuse this version of Finney’s story with the same sharp sense of dread and paranoia that is inherent in the other successful versions.

  

Other interested parties who become involved in the nightmarish events that begin to engulf both the soldiers on base and civilians alike, include characters played by BILLY WIRTH (THE LOST BOYS), CHRISTINE ELISE, (CHILD’S PLAY 2), R. LEE ERMEY (FULL METAL JACKET) and FOREST WHITAKER (THE CRYING GAME, A RAGE IN HARLEM).

There’s so much more I want to say about this ‘hidden’ gem, but once again, it’s one of those cases where the less I spoil for you, the better it will be if you’re seeing it for the first time. In fact, try doing a ‘double’ with this and the Kaufman version!


Posted by Samuel Glass in EDITORIALS, FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, HALLOWEEN, SCI-FI HORROR, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
CON REVIEW:  Mad Monster Party 2018 (Carolinas) Charlotte

CON REVIEW: Mad Monster Party 2018 (Carolinas) Charlotte

Last weekend Mad Monster returned to the Queen City of Charlotte, NC. Their lineup included Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, Jen and Sylvia Soska, Felissa Rose, KISS Co-Founder Peter Criss, Alex Vincent, Christine Elise, Tuesday Knight, Amanda Wyss, R.A. Mihailoff, and many more. Thousands of fans from several States flocked to the Hilton to meet their favorite stars, take advantage of the photo ops (done with amazing backgrounds by Prints Charmn), watch movies in the 7th Annual Mad Monster Film Festival and get to see a 10 minute clip of the upcoming film Death House, introduced by co-writer and director Harrison Smith during the Death House Q&A with Smith, Felissa Rose, and R.A. Mihailoff.

Be sure to check out my interviews with Harrison Smith and Felissa Rose and my EXCLUSIVE pre-release review of Death House.

Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Like any event that attracts thousands of people into one venue, there are going to be speed bumps. Not everyone is going to be happy. There has yet to be a convention, sporting event or any large gathering where every single person went home completely satisfied. Robert Englund is a huge icon in this genre (easily top five over the last four decades) and him attending a show is not a common occurrence. He is a massive draw. Robert is also very gracious to his fans and enjoys sharing a few words and memories with them. He appreciates the fans coming to see him, so his line doesn’t move as if you were scanning two items in the express lane of the grocery store. It can take some time. Many fans were in line for quite some time.

Both Friday and Saturday, the line had more fans than could be accommodated and something had to be done. Credit the staff at Mad Monster for coming up with quick adjustments. They had a system where the fans that remained in line received a number based on where they were in line. Was it perfect? Of course not. Was it the best option? It was the only option. The staff knew that people were going to be upset but came up with a solution with their limited options. It could have been easy to say “that’s it for tonight, please try again tomorrow”. That was not what they did and they handled the issue the only way to make as many people as happy as possible.

Crypt Keeper Clint at Mad Monster Party

Sunday, a light rail (train) knocked out the power for everything in the vicinity of the venue, including the hotel itself. This caused a delay in allowing fans into the show. The power was eventually restored and the show went on, business as usual.

Now that the hiccups are out of the way, let’s talk about the positive aspects. The celebs engaged and enjoyed talking to the fans, there were plenty of vendors for fans to shop from and the panels were informative. For me, one of the highlights of the weekend was the R.I.P. (Mad Monster’s VIP) Party on Saturday night. It was more of a moderate social gathering than a party. The RIPs along with the celebs that attended all gathered to celebrate. Saturday was Tuesday Knight’s birthday and everyone sang and had cake. The RIPs, STIFFS (volunteers), and celebs at the party mingled and shared stories til past midnight. It was a relaxing way to spend the evening after a busy and packed house on Saturday.

The show ended on Sunday and despite the hiccups, the show went off with success. The staff at Mad Monster deserve commendation for how they pulled through. Despite being short-handed (the flu has been nasty and caused several volunteers to have to miss the show) several worked double and triple shifts to ensure there was enough coverage on the floor. They also had to deal with the power issues on Sunday, photo ops selling out in advance and long lines for Robert Englund and Peter Criss. The team was able to power through and make sure as many fans left with amazing memories.

Overall I grade this show a B+.

Next up for Mad Monster is their annual Phoenix, AZ, show July 13-15, 2018.

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EVENT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments