Sunday, October 28, 2012

PIMP MY STUFF
OCTOBER KOMIKON 2012 TITLES (Follow-Up)

I'd just like to take this opportunity to send out a big "Thanx" to all you mighty fine folk who passed by the Alamat table yesterday to pick up the new titles...


... and for making us run out of copies of Chapter 1 of Kadasig's first volume...


From myself and my mighty fine collaborators, Ace, Ian, and Xerx, we'd like to humbly express our gratitude for all the support and enthusiasm you've shown for our work.


you can’t drink just six,

Dave

Friday, October 19, 2012

PIMP MY STUFF
OCTOBER KOMIKON 2012 TITLES

So, with this year's ¡Qué Horror! rundown all done, let’s turn our attention to some Komikon hijinx.
Any of you mighty fine folk who plan to be there on October 27 and to drop by the Alamat table will have these titles to choose from (in alphabetical order):


BATHALA: Apokalypsis
Issue 5B (of 7) [Black-and-white]
By David Hontiveros and Ace Enriquez

What if there was only one superhuman in the whole world?
What if the world was about to end as predicted in the Book of Revelation?
What can one superman do to hold back the hand of the Almighty?

Rescued by the People from his torturous captivity in Abaddon’s locust hive on the Guadalupe Bridge, Bathala must now face the four Angels of the Euphrates to prevent the slaughter of 2 billion people.
Meanwhile, Harold Hernandez and the UP are just waiting for their shot at putting an end to the hero once and for all.


KADASIG
Volume 1: The Skeleton at the Feast
Issue 1 (of 5) [Black-and-white with colored cover]
By David Hontiveros and Ian Sta. Maria

Kadasig has served the Lady Ibu for centuries.

He was human, once. But today, he is a living, breathing kutummu, his skin now merely the scabbard for the seemingly infinite array of weapons he draws from inside himself, weapons he shapes from his own flesh and bone, to best serve the Lady in the only way he truly knows how.

He is the Lady’s kallaapu; her knight, her enforcer.
He is her beet tilli; her arsenal.
He is her kak daami; her bloodstained weapon.

And she is about to use him to finally lay her enemies low…

Picking up where the Underpass story, “Katumbas” left off, “A Life Less Ordinary” is the first of five chapters of The Skeleton at the Feast, chronicling the further adventures of the tsinelas-wearing badass, Kadasig.


Δ: A Vision of Dust
Issue 1 (of 4) [Black-and-white with colored cover]
By David Hontiveros and Xerx Javier

In the many rooms of the House that is the World, there are arelim and shedim. Most men know them as angels and demons.

On occasion, both these races have been known to spill their seed onto humankind, producing hybrids forever caught between species, having characteristics of both, but belonging to neither.

Lucio Portador is one such hybrid.
He is the first point of our triangle.

Δ: AVoD is a four-issue limited series about three individuals who are trying their best to be who they yearn to be, while having to deal with all the weird sh!t baggage of who they are.

See all you mighty fine people at the Kon, which will be held on October 27, 2012, Saturday, at the Bayanihan Center, at Pioneer, Mandaluyong City!

you can’t drink just six,

Dave

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


¡QUÉ HORROR! 2012
The Wrap-Up

As promised, here’s the rundown of all the other horror films I saw between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012, that I felt deserved some ¡Qué Horror! love, but I just didn’t get the chance to write about in their own ¡Qué Horror! Candidate posts…

Apologies to all concerned that I didn’t get to talk about your films more, but for those of you who frequent the Iguana, here are some other titles to seek out…

Imago Mortis (January 2009), dir: Stefano Bessoni
The Dead (August 2010), dir: Howard J. Ford
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (November 2010), dir: Troy Nixey
Retreat (February 2011), dir: Carl Tibbetts
The Innkeepers (March 2011), dir: Ti West
Some Guy Who Kills People (April 2011), dir: Jack Perez
The Moth Diaries (September 2011), dir: Mary Harron
Livide (Livid) (September 2011), dirs: Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo
Exit Humanity (September 2011), dir: John Geddes
El Páramo (The Squad) (October 2011), dir: Jaime Osorio Márquez
Rites of Spring (October 2011), dir: Padraig Reynolds
Piggy (May 2012), dir: Kieron Hawkes

So the field this year consisted of 46 titles, from which the final list emerged.


Plus, I should also mention One Hundred Mornings (July 2009, dir: Conor Horgan), which isn’t strictly a horror movie, but it’s positioned quite firmly in apocalypse cinema, and is a horrific title nonetheless (I should mention that I find it quite interesting that amazon.co.uk simply classifies One Hundred Mornings under “Horror”)…


Detention (March 2011, dir: Joseph Kahn), which, alongside The Cabin in the Woods, is, hands-down, the most entertaining film I had the awesome privilege of seeing this past year…


Chronicle (January 2012, dir: Josh Trank), one of the best found footage titles from the past year, and a powerful argument for the flexibility and versatility of the superhero film…


and the harrowing Wake in Fright (May 1971, dir: Ted Kotcheff), which gained a well-deserved revitalization after it was selected by Martin Scorsese as a Cannes Classic Title for the 2009 festival.
Like One Hundred Mornings, this isn’t strictly a horror movie, but it is, nonetheless the sort of disturbing tourism-killing cinematic experience that will put you off traveling to the particular corner of the world it’s showcasing; in this case, the Australian Outback.

To one and all, have a Happy Halloween, as I settle down to begin the search for next year’s ¡Qué Horror! hopefuls.

(One Hundred Mornings UK quad courtesy of dnotes.info; Detention, Chronicle, and Wake in Fright OS’ courtesy of impawards.com.)


A Rundown of the 13 (plus) Best Horror Movies I've Seen in the Past Year
[13 of 13]
The Found Footage Slot



And we wrap up the 2012 list with a three-way tie!
I love these films, particularly since I had to slog through quite a number of mediocre and uninspired found footage titles this year. These are the ones that stood far above the rest of the shakycam horror hordes…
Please welcome them into the ¡Qué Horror! fold…

V/H/S
(January 2012)


Brought to us by a crowd of familiar genre names (most of whom are also quite at home on the ¡Qué Horror! front) and tied together by a concept from Bloody Disgusting’s Brad Miska, V/H/S takes on two standard horror sub-genres, one (found footage) currently more popular in the mainstream than the other (horror anthology), and does both of them exceedingly proud.
Surrounded by the preponderance of mediocre and derivative found footage titles in this day and age, V/H/S crashes the party and kicks all of the bland and terribly unimaginative pretenders in the ‘nads, planting a decisive flag to prove that the form isn’t just a way for Hollywood to make a quick profit from a low production cost, but can also take the audience to some really strange and interesting places. (Even when you may guess where the story’s headed--which happened to me a number of times--the end result is still worth seeing and still holds some startling moments.)

The segments are, to wit:

“Tape 56,” directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett, who brought us fellow ¡Qué Horror! 2012 title, A Horrible Way To Die, and who also both appear in the fragmented segment which acts as the connective tissue of the anthology;

“Amateur Night,” helmed by one-third of The Signal directing team, David Bruckner, and written by Bruckner and Nicholas Tecosky;

“Second Honeymoon,” written and directed by Ti West, who brought us past ¡Qué Horror! title, The House of the Devil, as well as The Innkeepers. This one stars Joe Swanberg, from A Horrible Way To Die, who also directs another V/H/S segment (see below);

“Tuesday the 17th,” written and directed by Glenn McQuaid, who brought us I Sell the Dead, a previous effort I must confess, I wasn’t too overly fond of;

“The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger,” directed by Joe Swanberg and written by Simon Barrett;

and “10/31/98,” written and directed by the Radio Silence collective of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, and Chad Villella, who also appear in the segment.

Truly exceptional work from all concerned, and I, for one, am excited to see what all these gentlemen have up their sleeves next…

EVIDENCE
(March 2012)


These days, the found footage film is like the zombie film: ubiquitous.
Seemingly, all I have to do is turn around, and there’s at least one making the rounds, there’s at least one waiting to be released, at least one that’s deep in post-production, at least one that’s filming, at least one that’s being cast, at least one that’s in development, ad nauseam.
Given the sheer amount of terribly mediocre titles that quickly begin to blur into each other, it’s sometimes quite the task to find the ones that deserve to be noted, to be set apart from the rest of the hordes.
Well, allow me to honour Howie Askins’ Evidence with that distinction.

What begins as an amateur documentary about camping gradually becomes what initially seems to be a rather good “strange goings-on in the woods” shakycam horror deal, then, ultimately, becomes something more.
I’ve always greatly admired found footage films that are not only well-made and well-executed examples of the form, but are also ambitious pieces in their own right, and Evidence is certainly that.
Like [REC] before it, there’s a certain point in Evidence’s running time where the constricting walls of the found footage genre are blown wide open as the audience is given a glimpse of the bigger picture within which the film’s POV narrative exists.

As always, I don’t wish to spoil anything for the potential viewer, so let me just leave it at that: the ¡Qué Horror! seal of approval on Evidence.
May that be enough for you to check it out.


A NIGHT IN THE WOODS
(August 2011)


September 3rd 2010.
3 walkers disappear on Dartmoor.
The footage they left behind has been edited to tell their story.

This is what the film’s opening tells us, and so far, so found footage familiar.
But here, writer/director Richard Parry services the form in the most excellent manner by proving that you can make a shakycam horror film that adheres to the genre’s “classic” template that’s actually worth watching.
Is the scenario familiar? Yes. Nonetheless, A Night in the Woods is a gripping and nastily effective found footage scarefest that will once again prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that the outdoors is a very, very, very nasty place.

(V/H/S OS courtesy of bloody-disgusting.com; Evidence DVD cover art courtesy of amazon.co.uk; A Night in the Woods UK quad courtesy of impawards.com.)


A Rundown of the 13 (plus) Best Horror Movies I've Seen in the Past Year
[12 of 13]


THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
(December 2011)


Though I was never particularly a Joss Whedon fan*, when news of The Cabin in the Woods first broke, I was hopeful because of Drew Goddard’s presence on the title.
And when the casting news began to trickle in (Richard Jenkins! Bradley Whitford!), my curiosity only intensified.
But, like the Red Dawn remake (incidentally enough, also starring a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth), an already-completed Cabin got stuck in the morass of the whole MGM bankruptcy thing, which also delayed the production of The Hobbit and the latest James Bond installment.**
A couple of years passed, until Lionsgate came to the eventual rescue, and Cabin finally got released, and, I must say, it’s been well worth the wait.


Honestly, I would have loved to have gone into Cabin completely cold, and I would have, if not for that damned trailer.
Still, Goddard and Whedon have more up their collective sleeve, even if you’ve had the misfortune of seeing that damned trailer.


Whether or not you’ve seen that damned trailer though, any self-respecting horror head will know this cabin, will know the conventions and the tropes that accompany that blasted, isolated cabin in the middle of those godforsaken woods, but Goddard and Whedon take that familiar scenario and those familiar characters that populate it, and have a grand old time with them, and with the film’s audience.
There’s quite a lot going on in The Cabin in the Woods, and all concerned manage to deliver a crackingly entertaining horror film for those who love their horror substantial enough to bite into, with pulpy and juicy bits fit for dissection, and subsequent reflective chewing and rumination.


Plus, there are some priceless cinematic moments, like Jenkins shouting, “F*ck you!” six times in quick succession, and Whitford exclaiming, “Aw, come on!” and a whole bunch of nods (and faces) that should be nostalgically (and, in some cases, oddly) familiar to all you horror heads out there.


Like the tagline on the Lionsgate one sheet goes, “You think you know the story…”
Come on in, this Cabin’s waiting for you…

* I guess the closest I came to being a fan before this, was Dollhouse, which was a very good and intriguing show, although I did have some issues with it… (For the record, I've yet to see The Avengers.)

** You’ll note the original trio of one sheets (which I still love), sporting the United Artists and MGM logos on the bottom corners.

(The Cabin in the Woods OS’ courtesy of aintitcool.com, twitchfilm.com, & impawards.com.)