Do you have the crazy?

It’s hard to keep up with all the horror media these days, so sometimes it takes a good film being sent my way by a friend. Spokane Steve sent me this DVD, which sat on the shelf through Thanksgiving, Christmas, a slew of new blu-ray movies until New Year’s Day, where I was so tired of playing Fallout 3, the wife and I threw The Signal (2007) into the Sony and were pleasantly surprised. Here is the trailer:

Now don’t watch if it you can’t take gore, because there is plenty. Humor, too. The story is told in three parts (Transmission I, II and II), written and directed separately. The film’s official site is here. The following is’s blurb:

It’€™s New Year’™s Eve in the city of Terminus and chaos is this year’€™s resolution. All forms of communication have been jammed by an enigmatic transmission that preys on fear and desire driving everyone in the city to murder and madness. In a place once marked by conformity but now sent into complete anarchy, the rebellious Ben must save the woman he loves from the bedlam in the streets as well as her crazed sadistic husband. But the only way he can tell who to trust or who has given in to violence is by uncovering the true nature of The Signal.

Anyway, The Signal gets a big thumbs up from me. Nothing like watching a good end of the world via technology-creates-apocalypse flick to get the New Year started right. You can watch it at’s VOD here. Whatever you do, don’t judge the horror flick by the first three minutes.

Nothing like a martini to get the night rolling

I’ve been writing too much to post anything recently, but in honor of the new James Bond flick, Quantum of Solace, I thought I’d post the following, straight from the 1953 novel Casino Royale. A few simple lines, very well written, by Ian Fleming (who wrote the short story for which the new movie is loosely based). From the wiki:

“The Vesper or Vesper Martini is a cocktail that was originally made of gin, vodka, and Kina Lillet. Origin: The drink was invented and named by fictional secret agent James Bond.”

” “A dry martini,” [Bond] said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.”

“Oui, monsieur.”

“Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”

“Certainly, monsieur.” The barman seemed pleased with the idea.

“Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,” said Leiter.

Bond laughed. “When I’m…er…concentrating,” he explained, “I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I can think of a good name.”

-Ian Fleming, Casino Royale

How vampire novels can influence local economies

Another reason why vampire novels are good for you and me. Even in this day and age of financial hardships, one Washington town is getting a boost in their economy from Stephanie Meyer‘s Twilight series. Forks, Washington is reporting a 48 percent increase in lodging tax revenue. The town is settled in the Olympic Peninsula, not too far from Seattle. Kinda. Here’s a map:

View Larger Map

Travel industry officials told the Peninsula Daily News that fans of the vampire novels have been making the drive to the Forks to get a bats-eye view of the haunts of Isabella Swan, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black. I don’t know if this is true, but I heard a rumor that Meyer’s picked Forks after goggling the city in the US with the highest rain totals. A trailer is now available for the first movie taken from the books, with a release date of 11/21/08. Here’s a gander:

Twilight HD Exclusive Trailer

‘I Am Legend’ prequel in the works

WB is working on a sequel to the movie I Am Legend, will Will Smith returning as Robert Neville (I can’t type that name without thinking of Neville’s pot-bellied neighbor Ben Cortman standing in the street, hungrily shouting out “Come out, Neville!” Don’t remember Cortman? Then go read Matheson’s 1954 classic novel so you too can squirm at the memory of Neville’s ex-coworker turned nightly vampire visitor. Great character.).

Back to point, Variety is reporting that D.B Weiss is writing the first version of the script, from a story created by Smith, producers Akiva Goldsman and James Lassiter, and director Francis Lawrence. As Variety says:

“The prequel will chronicle the final days of humanity in New York before a man-made virus caused a plague that left Smith’s character the lone survivor among a mutated mob in the city.”

According to Variety, I Am Legend grossed $584 million worldwide for Warner Bros. Weiss, you may remember, was one of the screenwriters for Peter Jackson’s Halo movie, adapted from the superb Bungie video game.

‘The Devil’s Chair’ DVD release

Need a good scare with that homemade popcorn? The UK’s 2006 horror flick The Devil’s Chair is finally coming to DVD in the US on October 7th (from Simon Boyes and Adam Mason, Broken). Be warned, the trailer is gruesome.

The storyline? Four years after a murder involving a killer chair in the abandoned Blackwater asylum, a psychology prof and his students return to the scene with the accused killer searching for the truth (key words: occult mystery, blood-drenched, supernatural thriller). On the onset, it sounds like Matheson’s Hell House (and for that reason all the more worth renting).

The UK has been churning out some great horror movies over the last decade (Dog Soldiers, 28 Days Later). The movie’s official website is here.