Tulsa Bound!

In a few short hours, at the “butt-crack of dawn” – Deejay, Jeff, Deej, and myself will be road tripping to Tulsa Oklahoma to attend the Sci-Fi Horror Weekend.

This will be the third convention we’ve gone to this year (after Texas Frightmare Weekend and Flashback Weekend) and I’ll be interested to see what the smaller convention offers. I’m wondering how much different it’ll be. Oh, and we’ll also be attending Nebraskon in Omaha next month

We’ll be seeing Charles Band again, and apparently this time, the Full Moon road show will have all the bells and whistles that did not accompany Flashback Weekend. I want to make sure I get Deejay’s interaction with Joe Bob Briggs on video, because you know it’ll be crazy. I’m also interested in seeing Evil Dead: The Musical and catching the screening of Dark Night of the Scarecrow that I missed in Texas. And what is this “Screampunk Ball” that I keep hearing about? Should be a fun time. Can’t wait.

While there, we will be recording Splattercast #200, probably late at night in our hotel room and posting pics and updates right here on DL. So check back throughout the day tomorrow and Saturday to see what we’re up to.

See you in Tulsa!

Red Undead Redemption DLC and the sadness of Fallout: New Vegas

It was only a matter of time until Red Dead Redemption got a zombie DLC pack. I’ve stated many times how stupid and uninteresting I think zombies are, but of course I’m going to plunk down my hard earned money to pick this up. RDR is an incredible game and the dlc content has been really good so far, plus, I gotta admit, that trailer looks rad. It comes out October 26th, just in time for Halloween.

In other sad news, I have decided to not buy Fallout: New Vegas. The internet is abuzz with horror stories of how glitchy and unplayable the game is. So much so that Bethesda has already issued a statement saying that they are working on fixing the problem. Who knows how long that will take considering the red tape it takes to get patches put on XBOX Live. So rather than have a shitty experience right out of the gate, I’m just going to hold off on buying the game until I know the issues have been resolved. Which sucks, because I was REALLY looking forward to playing this game. Ah well. Christmas present here I come!

Splattercast 199: Pumpkin Master…er… Puppet Head…er….

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This week you get a rare treat: listening to  Jeff hate on multiple movies in the same show! We delay ourselves as long as possible before trudging through the Pumpkinhead series.

November is Noir Month on the Splattercast

I’m very excited to announce this. We’ve mentioned it a couple times on the Splattercast but I’m now ready to reveal the full slate of films that we’ll be talking about on the Splattercast next month.

Though we are, primarily, a horror themed podcast, it’s always nice to take a break for a bit and watch stuff outside of our normal comfort zone. I chose to program a Noir month for a couple of reasons. The first being, film noir is awesome. The second being that horror films, specifically the Universal horrors of the 30’s and the Val Lewton budget flicks of the 40’s had a big impact on noir. Many of the artists who worked on those films also went into noir. And you’ll see a lot of overlap in terms of visual style (German Expressionism) and themes (paranoia, self-destructiveness, etc.) that fit right at  home in the horror genre. Murder, duplicity, and death were the name of the game in many noirs, not unlike horror. The supernatural element may be gone in many cases, but the tone and atmosphere is similar in many ways.

We’ll be covering a lot of stuff. Over 20 films from a “genre” (we’ll discuss whether or not noir is a genre unto itself, or just a visual style, or something else entirely) that encompassed over 300 (by some accounts) films and spanned nearly 20 years (1940-59). We’ll be covering everything from the stagey playlike stuffiness of The Maltese Falcon to the revolutionary aesthetic of Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil. And we’ll be covering other notable things, such as the pre-code, pre-noir masterpiece I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang to fun stuff like the noir inspired Lovecraftian horror flick Cast a Deadly Spell.

It’s going to be a fun month of great movies. After the jump, you can see the full schedule and lineup. I encourage all of you to check out as many of these movies as you can. Many are on Netflix Instant, but all are “required viewing” of one sort or another. And watch along with us, week to week, to see how the classical noir style changes over the course of 20 years. And, of course, send us your feedback and let us know what you think of these movies!

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The Thing Theatrical Experience

My mom likes to brag that she got me started on John Carpenter. The first time I was ever in a theater was when she took me with her to see The Thing. I was only a year old at the time, and I remember nothing of the experience, but according to her I was absolutely riveted to the screen and never made a peep. John Carpenter got his hooks into me early.

So it was with great excitement when our local mega theater chain offered a 35mm print of The Thing as part of their special October “Frightfest” lineup (Carrie, The Thing, Pet Semetary, and Friday the 13th) that I would finally get to see my 3rd favorite movie of all-time on a big screen. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know how many people would show up, so Steve and I got there early (Many of the other Dead Lantern crew decided to pass on the movie in favor of playing Dungeons and Dragons. Seriously. And they will be mocked on the next Splattercast). I wasn’t sure if the print was any good. All I was sure of was that this was a can’t miss opportunity (you hear that Jeff?). I was certainly excited.

We got there about 45 minutes early. I think Steve and I were the first ones in the theater. The theater was giving out free popcorn with the purchase of any size soda for anyone seeing The Thing which was rad. I got a popcorn and a drink for three bucks and the ticket was only $5. A win all around. Then Steve and I ran into a couple Lincoln sci-fi dudes who are putting on a convention here in Lincoln involving gaming and movies, so we networked Dead Lantern a bit and made some new contacts. Always a good thing. I should have told those guys that we had some friends trudging their way through a make believe dungeon and rolling dice, but I digress… 🙂

Steve and I chatted ideas for our noir film and as we looked around, we realized that the theater was packed. It wasn’t a total sellout, as there were empty seats here and there, but the place had to be 85% capacity. Some time back on a past Splattercast, we mentioned “Why don’t the studios just run their old movies. Who wouldn’t want to see Raiders of the Lost Ark in a theater again?” I have a feeling that this will become common in the future, when more and more theaters have converted to digital and the costs associated with 35mm are gone. If the attendance of The Thing was any indication, this is a totally untapped revenue source for theaters and I’ll bet they start telling the Hollywood studios “Hey, we can easily display these movies digitally and on the cheap, let’s get this goin!”

After some previews, the film itself began. The print looked and sounded a little sketchy at first. This wasn’t a remastered print or anything and the vivid, bright white of the snow setting really showcased every little scratch and tear. Fortunately, it got a lot better, and wasn’t distracting. Overall, the print was very good. It had noticeable blemishes and the blacks weren’t as black as you’d expect, but hey, for a print that is almost 30 years old, it looked pretty great. I’ve seen worse prints, for sure.

I was curious as to what kind of experience it would be with a packed theater. Would the crowd participate with the film, or would they be quiet and let the film do the talking? The answer was a little bit of both. Most of the time, the crowd was engrossed in the atmosphere and tension, but there were moments when everyone laughed at Wilford Brimley (in a loving way, not a mocking way), shouted at the ominous shots of the dog, and screamed during the jump scares as if they’d seen them for the first time. The film ended with audience applause. It was a great time and I’m glad I didn’t miss it.

Next week is Pet Sematary. We’ve got an early a.m. wakeup call before we head to Tulsa the next morning but I think I’ll definitely hit up the theater to see it. I’m a big fan of PS and am excited to see Herman Munster get it on the big screen. The following week is Friday the 13th. I might go to that just because, but I’ll probably end up passing on that one (because it sucks 🙂 ).

Anyway, awesome time and I got to see one of the greatest horror films ever on the big screen. Sucks for all of you who missed it!