By Tim Murr
What’s creepier than creepy kids? Children Of The Damned, Children Of The Corn, The Brood, Pet Semetary—these are unsettling movies, because the epitome of innocence becomes the epitome of terror. Those cute little creatures that say silly things, making funny observations about a world that’s all new…to have them murderously turn against you is still one of the most fertile concepts in horror. It is not only the idea of killer kids, but also the idea of fighting them, or God forbid, killing them. It’s such dark and taboo territory.
By Tim Murr
We’re lumbering ever closer to the launch date of Eibon Press’s Fulci Comics! Preorders begin at midnight on June 10. The legacy of the Italian godfather of gore lives on in a new ongoing series based on the 1979 classic Zombie and 1980’s City Of The Living Dead as well as an original series called Bottomfeeder.
This is one of the most unique approaches to comic publishing I’ve ever seen and there is clearly a lot of hard work and love being poured into the production. These comics will be produced in full color, distributed in sturdy sleeves (like records), and are limited to 1,000 copies, with the first 250 being accompanied by signed art plates.
And if that wasn’t juicy enough, just wait until you see all the grindhouse legends “starring” in Bottomfeeder, like Zoe Lund from Ms .45 and Joe Spinell from Maniac (for starters)!
For more background on this production, check out this interview I conducted with writer and creator Stephen Romano on the Stranger With Friction blog.
By Christine Makepeace
It’s looming on the horizon. Civil War is hanging in the distance–hovering and swollen with promise. But potential disenchantment floats beside it like flotsam skimming the waves. The last time Marvel assembled its mightiest, it wasn’t so, well, mighty.
By Tim Murr
I’d love to meet Mary Shelley’s spirit and find out what she thinks of how far her creation has come in the two hundred plus years since she released it into the world. Doctor Frankenstein and his monster are two of the most enduring characters in the history of literature and fit any number of genre interpretations. Not unlike much of Shakespeare’s work, Shelley’s Frankenstein can easily be adapted to any time period and any given version can emphasize the dramatic, the horrific, or the comedic.
By Tim Murr
One week after its release and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is still creating controversy and dividing fans. It’s also doing something I don’t recall ever seeing before: the critics have made themselves and their personal experiences the story, rather than the movie. For a film that is so successful at the box office, there’s a high level of blind vitriol being leveled at it by so many critics from the blog-o-sphere to mainstream outlets. And yet fans are loving it and it made $500 million its opening weekend. BvS is rated at 29% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.3/10 on IMDB. How can there be that wide of a disparity? And how can fans and critics be so divided?
You can’t kill us; we’re already undead.
At Popshifter, sometimes shit happens. And when it does, we soldier on.
We’re sad to lose one of our favorite writers, Laury Scarbro, this week. She’s just got too much going on in her non-Internet life and must take a hiatus.
We’re also sad to see another one of our fave writers take a hiatus: Jeffery X Martin has a new writing job (Yay! Congratulations!) that’s taking up most of his time these days and so he won’t be around as much as he used to.
These two departures mean that some of our content will be disappearing: the daily Today In Pop Culture column and our weekly recaps of Outsiders. I thought it best to let you know what was going on in case you wondered why they suddenly disappeared.
That said, if anyone would like to pick up the mantle of Today In Pop Culture or finish the rest of the season of Outsiders (four more episodes), I would gladly welcome your contributions.
And now, to the news!
Brad Henderson went to SXSW and all he got was a case of food poisoning. OK, he also saw some good movies, too, one of them being the Hicksploitation throwback My Father, Die. Not so good was recent home video release Intruders, which was a missed opportunity that I wish I had missed. You can always go back to 1977 and watch Count Dracula, the BBC production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula starring Louis Jourdan, though, which I revisted in this month’s Frightful Flashback on Rue Morgue. You can also read my examination of the nature of evil as told through three different interpretations of witches on Everything Is Scary, those being Penny Dreadful, The Witch, and The Devils. By the way, happy one-year anniversary to Everything Is Scary where we do the responsible thing and contemplate the void every week.
The small screen is exploding these days! Besides new episodes of The Walking Dead, Broad City, and WGN’s Outsiders, Netflix has just premiered the second season of Daredevil, which Tim gives high marks, and Trailer Park Boys’ tenth season, which Tyler will be covering over the next week or so.
Whenever someone complains that there isn’t any good music these days, you just send them over to Popshifter, OK?
Besides the latest (and hopefully not the last) Iggy Pop album Post Pop Depression (which is awesome); there’s also Robbie Fulks’s Upland Stories, which Melissa describes as “exquisite;” West Of Here, the sophomore release from The Currys; and a trio of excellent—and very different—albums from women-fronted bands: Davina and the Vagabonds, Margo Price, and Bleached.
HHBTM has been putting out some quality music lately, including the punky Versus album from Eureka California and the retro yet timeless Crystal Café from Witching Waves. But if you enjoy “kick-ass, groove-heavy, instrumental synth-rock unit inspired by 1970s and ’80s horror movie soundtracks,” you might enjoy Wolfmen of Mars’ latest, DANGER! PERIL! THREAT!
Tim takes a look back at Sepultura’s Roots album, while I take a look forward at a couple of new videos: “Phantom Freighter” from the sci-fi, industrial-influenced Pop. 1280 and “Hey Girl (I Wanna Be Your Man)” from shoegazers Dirty Sidewalks.
Finally, Brian Baker chatted with actress Karen Allen at the recent Toronto ComiCon and she had some things to say about that upcoming Indiana Jones movie.
Until next week, Popshifter fans!
By Tim Murr
As a fan of Daredevil since 1987, I’ve been a very happy boy this week watching Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2 on Netflix. While Season 1 was a solid show that honored the source material, this season uses the momentum of the first (as well as, in a roundabout way, the momentum of Jessica Jones and the Marvel Cinematic Universe) to propel our protagonists’ stories into a deeper, more dangerous, and ultimately weirder world.
Iggy Pop has a new album out March 18, along with Northless, Lust For Youth, and Soft Fangs. There’s also the Wayfaring Strangers compilation and a reissue of Haircut 100’s Pelican West.
It’s time to spring forward with pop culture news.
Tyler Hodg has finished watching all 13 episodes of Fuller House on Netflix and we’ve got the reviews to prove it. What’s the verdict? Is the show good, bad, or somewhere in between? You’ll have to read to find out.
Sean S. Baker’s film Tangerine, filmed on an iPhone and focusing on the life and struggles of a transgender sex worker, is currently on Netflix, but you should also check out his short film Snowbird.
Divorced Dad may not be on Netflix (yet), but it’s something you should see. Here’s the problem: it’s not available yet! The new webseries from the Astron-6 collective (Manborg, Father’s Day, The Editor) is still seeking funding to finish the series, but for now, here’s a teaser trailer. (P.S. I’ve seen the rough cuts of a couple of episodes and I laughed until I thought I was going to throw up. It’s that weird and funny.)
At Popshifter, we watch TV so that we can talk about it, then you can read about it, and you can then feel better about all those thoughts you’re having and feelings you’re feeling. This week, we’ve got two episodes of Broad City, and while “Rat Pack” may not be as tight as “Game Over,” the show continues to be one of the funniest on TV. Outsiders finally gives us the character development we’ve been waiting for, while The Walking Dead gives us welding, crying, but still no sign of Negan.
New music reviews this week include the deep freeze of Northless’s Cold Migration EP, the emotionally raw yet gorgeous Let A Lover Drown You from Penny & Sparrow, a preview of Soft Fangs’ The Light (out on March 18), and one you might have missed: Voivod’s Post Society EP.
There were lots of movies to think about this week. Ron Howard’s tribute to Jaws and Moby Dick, In The Heart Of The Sea, hit home video this week and while Jeffery thought it was a beautiful waste of time, I had more positive thoughts on the film. Arrow Video’s American Horror Project Volume One, however, left no doubts in Tim’s mind: it’s a must-see, must-own box set.
We all have that one friend who hasn’t seen those iconic classic films that everyone else has already seen. At Unicorn Booty, that person is Matt Baume. Witness his reaction to his first viewing of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. You might also enjoy his liveblog of the first time he watched Hackers.
It’s OK to admit that you are a fan of Archie Comics. If you haven’t been keeping up with the students at Riverdale High out of a lack of time or fear of public shaming, there has been some news. Did you know that Jughead came out? He’s not gay, but… well, you should read about the full details for yourself. Also on the Archie news front is this fascinating podcast called Radio Free Riverdale hosted by Torontonians Lucy Cappiello and Evan Munday. This week’s episode features the podcast’s first ever special guest, comedian Adam Wilson.
In other comics news, Marvel seems to be making greater strides towards gender inclusion. Here’s our own Laury Scarbro with some thoughts on what this might mean for the future of comics.
What happened this week on Today In Pop Culture? Frankenstein, The Incredible Hulk, Barbie movies, The Fillmore, and songs about telephones.
Although actor Mark Ruffalo is the one many now associate with The Incredible Hulk, thanks to the Avengers series of movies directed by JJ Abrams, it’s not the first time the green rage monster has appeared onscreen.
Eric Bana portrayed Dr. Bruce Banner and The Incredible Hulk in Ang Lee’s much-derided 2003 Hulk movie (remember the Hulked-out poodles?). When that film didn’t thrill audiences like they hoped, Marvel tried again, this time in 2008 with Edward Norton as the titular character and Louis Leterrier (The Transporter) behind the camera. Although both films doubled their budget in ticket sales, and received about the same amount of critical acclaim, the latter film was much more popular with audiences, at least according to Rotten Tomatoes.
On March 3, Marvel Games launched its “Women of Power” event. This includes 25 new comic covers for some of Marvel’s more popular characters, as well as merchandise celebrating those characters, and will extend into various gaming platforms.
I really see no downside to their plan here. I suspect this is, at least in part, in recognition of the ever-growing female audience in the previously male-dominated worlds of gaming, comics, and all things geek related. It could be said that females, girls and women alike, are more openly taking an interest in these sorts of things than ever before, but the truth of the matter is, we’ve always been here. We might not have been so outward about it, but we’ve been here.