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- 06/07/13--14:00: _Scream Factory Reve...
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- 06/12/13--12:00: _Audiobook Review: S...
- 06/12/13--12:30: _E3 2013: ‘The Walki...
- 06/12/13--13:00: _Get the Scoop on Mo...
- 06/12/13--13:30: _E3 2013: ‘Ray’s the...
- 06/12/13--14:00: _Our 20 Favorite Hor...
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- 06/07/13--13:00: 'Celldweller' 10 Year Anniversary Edition – CD Review
- 06/07/13--13:40: News from the Dead Zone: Stephen King’s Enhanced eBooks
- 06/07/13--14:00: Scream Factory Reveal Blu-ray Details for 'Q,''X-Ray' and More!
- 06/07/13--14:30: The Cast of 'Holliston' Goes Back to School
- 06/07/13--15:00: Design Your Own Monster for Halloween Horror Nights!
- 06/07/13--16:00: Monster Fish Delivers the Kiss of Death!
- 06/07/13--17:00: TV Autopsy: 'Grimm' Season Two
- 06/12/13--11:00: Spiderbaby's Terror Tapes: 'Night of the Comet' With Kelli Maroney
- 06/12/13--12:00: Audiobook Review: Stephen King’s 'Joyland' Read by Michael Kelly
- 06/12/13--12:30: E3 2013: ‘The Walking Dead: The Video Game’ DLC Coming in July
- 06/12/13--13:00: Get the Scoop on More Horror Ice Cream Flavor Ideas!
- 06/12/13--13:30: E3 2013: ‘Ray’s the Dead’ Coming to Playstation 4
- 06/12/13--14:00: Our 20 Favorite Horror Movie Taglines
- 06/12/13--14:30: E3 2013: ‘Bayonetta 2’ Brings a New ‘Do to the Wii U
- 06/12/13--15:00: Exclusive Video Interview with DJ & Producer Audrey Napoleon
- 06/12/13--16:00: Aliens and Predators Learn to Make Love, Not War
- 06/12/13--17:00: 'Halloween' 35th Anniversary Blu-ray Release News!
If you are in the Los Angeles area, you may want to check out a special screening and panel for Holliston at the University of Southern California. Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Laura Ortiz, and director Sean Becker will be on hand to take questions after screening of three episodes from the new season. The panel is part of USC's School of Cinematic Arts' Outside the Box (Office) series, which presents independent, documentary, and world cinema with the goal of introducing greater diversity into entertainment.
The event takes place on June 12th at 7pm on the USC campus. It is free and open to the public. Visit the USC Cinema page for more details and to RSVP for the event.
First, I have to say congrats to Grimm for making it into a successful second season, and getting me totally hooked in the process. When the show first premiered, I was underwhelmed by cheap FX, a flimsy premise, and a cast that hadn’t jelled yet. But I have gotten slowly hooked on the show, and when the second season wrapped up, I actually yelled at the “To be continued” card that ended the season.
Season two had it’s share of frustrations; namely that Juliette had turned into a whiney, needy, stereotypical girl for most of this season. Sure, there was a reason behind it: the whole coma / curse / amnesia thing. But that whole storyline really felt dragged out. Similarly, the mythology of the keys and Renard’s involvement with his family was sparsely spread throughout the season. Luckily in the last four or five episodes of the season, I feel like we finally started to go somewhere. Plus, you know, zombies. Any show that can introduce zombies in an organic way gets respect from me.
So.... season three. Where are we going to go? When we ended the second season, Nick has been zombified and locked in a coffin. This could go one of two ways: it could be quickly resolved in the season three premiere and the focus returned to the Eric-Adalind-Royals axis of evil; or Nick could be shipped off to Europe and the mythology could continue in that direction.
I like option #2 better. I don’t believe that the zombification is incurable like Rosalee says. Surely the Baron can cure it at any point if he wants. But Nick, being our hero, has not really faced any true danger. He is the almost annoyingly-perfect leading man, who can best any attacker, be the perfect boyfriend, and never leave a case unsolved. I want to see him get a little un-perfect, even if it is while he is in an altered state.
Now I suppose the other main questions are: what is so valuable about Adalind’s baby, and what is so valuable about the keys? I suppose the royal baby could be good as blackmail or as a way into the royal family. I think there have been various “rumors” in the show about where the keys lead: immeasurable wealth, eternal youth, etc. So it can’t be anything like that. I’m going to go with... it is something that would grant the finder uncontested rule over the land or something along those lines. Power is usually the one thing that people will do anything to protect.
When I was growing up, horror movies and popcorn happened every weekend. I have three brothers – two older half brothers and one younger brother. Naturally, I usually lost the battle over what movie we rented to three boys – they wanted all horror, all the time. I gradually became a horror fan myself (and now I’m obsessed), and I attribute my early horror love to my brothers, but also to Thom E. Eberhardt’s Night of the Comet (1984). Finally, a horror movie that was made for young girls – I had been lost, and Night of the Comet found me and made me a diehard fan of the genre. Not only that, but the film showed several more times on cable television, so I got to watch it over, and over, and over again. Released the same year that I was born, my brothers and I rented Night of the Comet on VHS when I was about nine years old; CBS/FOX released the first VHS and CED videodisk copy in 1985. In 1990, Goodtimes Video released a second VHS printing. You can get a copy of the CBS FOX version for $30.00 on Amazon.com, but there is only one copy left!
A burning and flaming comet turns almost everyone in Los Angeles into a pile of red dust – the world is officially over. The only signs of life are two surviving cheerleaders and a whole lot of zombies (another comet-related effect). A combination of Valley Girl and end-of-the-world zombie takeover films, Night of the Comet opens with Regina “Reggie” Belmont (Catherine Mary Stewart), 18 years old, working at the local movie theater while everyone else in town is in the streets awaiting the giant comet that will wipe out humanity and turn them into flesh eating monsters. Meanwhile, Reggie’s 15-year-old sister, Samantha (Kelli Maroney) fights with her stepmother at home, taking a slap to the face.
The next morning, the girls and Reggie’s boyfriend, Larry, wake up to discover a reddish haze over the town – and everyone is gone. Larry encounters a zombie and is instantly killed. We’re not in Kansas, anymore! At first, the girls are excited – they hit the shopping mall, free from all of the rules that constrained their teenaged lives. Then, reality hits them and they realize that they need to fight for their lives. Both Samantha and Reggie step up to the challenge: they save the lives of a few other survivors, and they fight the zombies to the death. Mary Woronov appears as Audrey, one of the survivors.
Thom E. Eberhardt does a great job directing with an equal balance of suspense and comic levity. He also did a great job interjecting several dark and hard horror elements for a PG-13 movie. One of the funniest scenes in the film involve a shopping montage which turns into a fighting zombies scene at a nearby mall, scored with a version of Cyndi Lauper’s biggest hit, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Beyond that, there are plenty of funny lines, and the most memorable for me, even as a child, is when the girls are doing some defensive target practice. Samantha’s Mac-10 gun jams up on her and she turns to Reggie with a sour face and says, “Daddy would have gotten us Uzis.”
Recently, FEARnet spent some time with the lovely Kelli Maroney, discussing Night of the Comet.
How did you get involved with Night of the Comet? Do you remember your first audition for the film and meeting director Thom E. Eberhardt? What was it like working with him as a director?
I had come to Los Angeles for pilot season. I was in New York, and I was working on a soap opera and I had already done Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but I didn’t know how to drive a car at the time and Los Angeles scared me. I went back to New York, which my agent discouraged. I didn’t want to do Broadway – I couldn’t do Broadway, I couldn’t sing or dance, and I didn’t really want to do daytime TV anymore because I had done it for three years already. I wanted to be in movies, so my agent suggested that I be in California. I remember being very happy hearing about the audition for Night of the Comet, and I thought I did a good job, but I went back to New York shortly after. I got a call from my agent a few days later, and he wanted to know where I was, because I had landed the role! I jumped on a plane and got back to LA as fast as I could. I was trying to grow up, and I wanted originally to audition for the part of Regina, Catherine Mary Stewart’s role. The producer simply said, “No”. They already had Cathy in mind for that, but Thom E. Eberhardt had said specifically that he wanted “someone like that girl who played the cheerleader in Fast Times.” So, of course, I was hired for the role of Samantha. The producers told the director, “Well, we got her!”
Working with Thom as a director was really wonderful. He was very fatherly toward us. In the living room, there is actually a picture of Cathy and I as younger kids, and the picture of our “father” in the green beret is Thom! He was very nurturing and a worrier, and he had a dark sense of humor. That’s one of his trademarks, actually. He’s not wacky; he always has a social commentary going on in his work.
There weren’t a lot of great roles for women in the 80s, especially in horror – and you weren’t a typical “scream queen” in this role, either. Why was this role unique for you, personally, being a woman in a mainstream horror film?
I really didn’t think of it that way at the time. Vincent Canby, in his review, said that Cathy and I had a future in action comedy. We didn’t think of Night of the Comet as a horror movie, and at the time zombies were not a distinct and popular genre like they were now… we just didn’t think of it in that sense. Actually, Cathy and I, as time went on during that film, we thought we’d maybe have to wear bags over our heads when the movie came out [laughs] because it was just so low budget for us. I wasn’t focused on being a horror or sci-fi actress; I was focused on getting work, being the best actress that I could, and working on my craft. That’s what it was all about for me.
Was there a lot of improvising with the script on your part – because your performance makes the film feel so natural – I’m wondering if you changed parts of the script so it would feel more genuine to the youthful, female audience?
Not at all, there was no ad-libbing on my or Cathy’s part. We would get our pages the day before or whatever, and we would read our lines exactly as they were written. Although, there is one example of some ad-libbing; the guns we were using on set would often jam, which was really frustrating for Thom. They jammed all the time, and it was a huge issue on the set. Why did we have guns that jam? Every time they jammed, we’d have to do another take, but we couldn’t keep stopping for that issue, so he told us, “Okay, if the gun jams again, just make a comment about the guns jamming, improve that.” So, when I look over at Cathy and I say, “Daddy would have gotten us Uzis”, and Thom gave me that line. When I said that, I was referring to Thom when I was talking about “Daddy” in the film. That’s about the only thing that wasn’t written in the original script that I said.
What was your preparation for the role like and were you inspired by any other actresses, performers or even characters you had played in the past?
With Comet, I just thought to myself, “The whole world is gone, what would that really feel like?” Looking at the bodies on the ground – that’s a person – that person had a life and a family. I made it very real for myself, and that’s really how I got into character.
Carole Lombard in My Man Godfrey (1957) was a big inspiration, and her relationship with Alice Brady in that film, the two Bullock sisters. Thom suggested that film to Cathy and I. Also, there was someone in my family that I used for inspiration. I tried putting myself in her shoes and what it was like growing up with her. You know, there was very little time to prepare for the film itself, so I didn’t have much time to stress about the preparation of the role. My whole life has been like that, I find out that I’ve gotten a role – and then I’m on set the next day. I would learn as I worked. On Fast Times, I didn’t even know what “valley girl” speak was at all, I had to learn it while I was on set.
Night of the Comet had a very tight budget. Could you feel the constraints of that budget in terms of shooting time, schedules and/or how the production was run?
Ohhh yeah. That being said, it was nothing like it was today. I thought Comet was low budget then, but today, some films are made on such a shoestring budget. I had no idea! The last film that I did, I was in the middle of nowhere, it was super cold and they had one trailer for wardrobe and makeup and the trailer didn’t have a toilet. That’s low budget. We’d be shooting downtown at night, and standing outside of the catering station, and homeless people would get in line with the actors because they thought it was a soup kitchen! It actually was kind of funny. But here’s the tip off: I’m standing there in hair rollers and a bathrobe – so actually, I probably fit right in! [Laughs.]
You know, and to add to that last point, some people think that Comet is a cheesy eighties flick, but it wasn’t at all – we had a theatrical release, it got two thumbs up from Siskel and Ebert, we were reviewed by Vincent Canby – it was a real movie. It wasn’t a direct-to-video kind of thing. Chopping Mall also had a theatrical release.
What is your favorite memory working on Night of the Comet? Any behind-the-scenes secrets or stories you can share?
Well, I remember the first day, and remember we were all moving so fast, we were all having such a great time. We were all very serious about what we were doing. We were like an intimate family. The first time I met Cathy we were instant friends. The first day we were shooting, we shot in order for the most part. Cathy comes home and I’m going to pep squad practice. So, when she goes, “Look! Here’s Chuck!” I started laughing SO hard that I had to shut the door. Thom wanted me to shut the door, but I had to do it because I was on the floor. Even thinking about it now, I’m laughing! I’m not sure why, but it cracked me up.
You know, it all blends together, we were shooting so quickly… fans ask me about outtakes from the film, and I always tell them the same thing: we just didn’t really have any. We would do one take a comedic way, and then another in a more serious way, and then we were moving on. That was it! There are also a lot of rumors that I’ve read online about Comet, like apparently there is a nude scene! That is crazy, there is no nude scene, and we never shot anything like that. There was no nude scene; there isn’t anything that didn’t make it into the movie.
Comet was actually funnier on paper; I thought the screenplay was really funny. The one producer on the set though, he wanted us to do one take that was more serious each time. So, between our comedic takes and our serious takes, there wasn’t much of a difference. We needed the film to feel real, to be grounded in reality. The situation that we are in is funny, but that’s it.
Were you and Cathy the best of friends during the production? And I have to say, as a girl myself, I watched horror movies with my older brothers every weekend, so when I saw Comet, I really felt like – finally – a horror movie made for me! I really connected with Comet because of you two girls.
Aw, thank you, that’s such a sweet compliment! I’m so happy to hear that! I think people, especially women, can relate to my character because I play a regular girl – but something bad happens, and I am able to take care of business. People want to find that out about themselves, young girls want to think, “Hey, if I had to, I could do that, when push comes to shove!”
Cathy and I had to be close friends, didn’t we? [Laughs.] At the very end of the movie, we were really close. It’s not like we speak every day, but we’re still friends. She’s a wonderful person. Toward the end of the film, we got really squirrely because we knew it was almost the end. We had a lot of fun!
You know, there was one scene where we are sitting on the cop car, where the stores are open. I worked on that a little bit and I thought, “What does it mean when no one else on Earth is left?” And it brought tears to my eyes, it made me cry, I really tapped into that feeling. The producers were thinking, “Why is she crying? This is a comedy,” but it wasn’t cut from the film. One of the producers really liked it, and he thought it fit. Sure enough, when the film was tested with some teenagers, that scene that the producers thought was so stupid really brought tears to the eyes of the kids watching it. The audience really responded to my character, and that’s why that scene is left in. Watch it again; it’s not really a finished scene, because they thought they were going to take it out. It’s my favorite scene in the movie.
Night of the Comet came out in 1984 and years later, it’s still such a fan favorite, a cult hit in the horror genre. Why do you think this film has stood the test of time so well? In your opinion, why do you think fan still fall in love with it and cherish it?
Yeah, it’s heavy how much people love it. I hear great stories all the time from fans of the film. For example, one man told me about how he felt Cathy and I raised him because Comet was on cable television so often at night, and he would watch the film over and over. People expected the film to be a B-movie, but we all have so much heart in the film, that Comet is really a surprise. I think people connected with that. The film really speaks to loneliness in our culture, as well, and I think that’s even more prevalent now. I think we tapped into that, and that’s why people like it. I’m not consulted on matters of remakes, but I do hear about ideas tossed around about a Comet remake, and I just don’t think the film needs that. I would be happy if that never happens. I don’t think Comet needs to be remade.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m working with a friend of mine and we are doing a series called Space Cowgirl, and it’s a paranormal dramedy about falling through the cracks.
I just want to express my gratitude that Comet means so much to people – please don’t be shy about coming up and speaking with me at a convention, because it really means a lot to me. This is why I went into acting; this is why I put my everything into Comet. It’s so wonderful that years later, people still appreciate the film and resonate with it. I never thought at the time that, years later, I’d be getting chased down to do interviews about this film, honestly. Originally it was called Teenage Comet Zombies, so I thought for sure it would come and go. The name was changed to Night of the Comet, of course. Before the internet though, you could do a film and maybe no one would see it – and it would be a thing of the past. Of course now, because of the internet, everything I’ve ever done is readily available! But I’m so happy that Comet is available to a new generation of fans.
Sony announced that Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: The Video Game was coming to the Playstation Vita with an additional episode titled “400 Days.” Thankfully, this additional content is coming to the games’ other platforms as early as next month.
The DLC will be released in July for $5 on iOS, Android, PC, Mac, XBLA, and PSN, and will launch one month later for the Playstation Vita. According to Joystiq, choices made in the original game will have an impact on “400 Days,” and these additional choices will carry over to the second season of the game. Telltale Games’ Richard Iggo says that players can play the “400 Days” content without having played the main game, but Iggo advises against doing so for the full effect.
Sony’s Playstation 4 reveal has been filled with a shocking amount of indie titles (most of which don’t really fall under the FEARnet umbrella), including the pun-derfully titled Ray’s the Dead.
Billed as a spiritual successor to Wideload’s cult classic Stubbs the Zombie, Ray’s the Dead was originally running a Kickstarter campaign, which was quickly cancelled due to Sony apparently funding the project for console exclusivity. The art direction looks like a delight, and the zombie-herding gameplay looks both accessible and fun. Check out the trailer below!
Bayonetta was a hell of a lot of fun, taking the Devil May Cry formula and stirring in a sizable dose of steroids and psychedelics as player controlled the titular witch with an arsenal of acrobatics and follicular fatalities.
Platinum Games is revisiting Bayonetta in the Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2, and the trailer looks like the same sort of wholesale insanity that made the first game such a deranged delight. There’s wholesale slaughter of angels and massive monsters, physics are looser than a post-palak paneer bowel movement, and Bayonetta’s trademark hair-based executions are back in full flesh-flaying effect. Don’t ask me how they work, as Bayonetta’s once-flowing locks are now replaced by a close-cropped pixie cut. Between that, the glasses, and all the impossible physical gyrations…I’ll be in my bunk.