Hard Candy is Good


The movie Hard Candy is getting some nice reviews. Roger Ebert gives it three-and-a-half stars, citing concerns about “how some audience members may react to it” as his only misgiving (and acknowledging that that’s not really fair). Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 63% fresh rating with critics torn between praising it’s boldness and criticising it for being either too bold or not bold enough.

Looking at the subject matter, it’s easy to see how people are having such diverse reactions to it. As Ebert describes it, “it’s a revenge picture about a 14-year-old girl who entraps a 32-year-old pedophile on the Internet, gets herself invited to his home, and quickly has him strapped down and helpless.” You’re gonna get some mixed responses to that.

I’m interested in seeing it, partially because its subject matter is similar to the short story The Devil Inside that I just so happen to be debuting at MicroCon this weekend, but mostly because it was directed by David Slade, the guy who’s directing the upcoming 30 Days of Night movie, based on Steve Niles’s graphic novel. (And a little bit because Sandra Oh is in it and she’s awesome.)

To Buy: Men, Women, and Chainsaws

After I posted a link to that article from Wired that quoted Carol Clover, my friend Joe (who is infinitely better read than I) recommended that I check out Clover’s book, Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. I didn’t realize that the writer of the Wired article was referencing an entire book until Joe pointed it out to me, but now that I know, I’m itching to read it.

Like I said in the other post, I’m fascinated by gender issues, but as I write a lot of horror, I’m also curious to see how Clover’s theories apply to horror literature, if they do at all.

The Devil Inside and Other Stories

I’ll have a couple of new things to show at MicroCon on Sunday. One is a couple of issues I wrote for Adam Yeater’s Rob and Doc mini-comic about a couple of slacker aliens. I managed to work in the Cownt.

The other is a mini-comic I did with Paul (Proof of Concept) Tucker called The Devil Inside. It’s a five-page horror story plus some previews of other stuff I’ve got coming out.

You can get all three mini-comics for one buckarooni.

They Have a Plan

The Sci Fi Channel has announced a Battlestar Galactica spin-off show. It’s called Caprica and it’s a prequel to the regular series. It takes place about 50 years before the regular show during the time when the Twelve Colonies are at peace and just developing the first Cylon.

They’re taking kind of a Dallas/Dynasty approach to the show and focusing on two families: the Adamas and the Graystones. If we’ve heard of the Graystones before, I don’t remember it, but I’m assuming that they’ll be rivals of the Adamas. Anyway, Sci Fi is promising “corporate intrigue, techno-action, and sexual politics.”

Current Galactica executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick are working on Caprica along with Remi (24) Aubuchon.

The Final Girl Theory

I debated about whether or not to post about this because even though it’s about an adventure game and makes reference to horror movies, those aren’t the aspects of it that grabbed my attention.

I’m fascinated by gender issues and this article in Wired about the way that young males identify with female characters (whether in video games or horror movies) is intriguing as hell. Especially since the theory was developed by a woman.

The Final Girl theory emerged in 1985, when Carol Clover — a medievalist and feminist film critic — was dared by a friend to see The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Back then, most feminist theorists loathed slasher films, and regarded them as classic examples of male misogyny. It wasn’t hard to figure out why: Thousands of young men were trooping into theaters to cheer wildly as masked psychos hacked apart screaming young women. That really didn’t look good.

But as Clover sat in the theaters, she noticed something curious. Sure, the young men would laugh and cheer as the villain hunted down his female prey. But eventually the movie would whittle down the victims to one last terrified woman — the Final Girl, as Clover called her. Suddenly, the young men in the audience would switch their allegiance — and begin cheering just as madly for the Final Girl as she attacked and killed the psycho.

This, Clover argued, was not mere garden-variety sexism. On the contrary, it was a generation of young guys who apparently identified strongly with the situation of a woman who faced agonizing peril yet came out victorious. The slasher dynamic was unprecedented in film history: “The idea of a female who outsmarts, much less outfights — or outgazes — her assailant (was) unthinkable,” Clover wrote. With this new crop of slasher movies, the young men in the audience essentially became the Final Girl: exhausted, freaked out and ultimately triumphant. They weren’t just ogling the sexual violence. They were submitting to it.

The Wired columnist goes on to suggest that this identification with female characters also may explain the popularity behind Lara Croft and the desire that many young men have to play female characters in online role-playing games.

How this could influence my writing is tough to say except that this fascination with how men and women view and treat each other is bound to make it into a book someday. If nothing else, it’ll help inform the way I write female characters.

Abrams Backpedals on Star Trek News

The Trek Today article I mentioned the other day was premature in its reporting that J.J. Abrams is going to direct the next Star Trek movie. According to an interview Abrams gave Empire magazine, “The whole thing was reported entirely without our cooperation… People learned that I was producing a Star Trek film, that I had an option to direct it, they hear rumours of what the thing was going to be and ran with a story that is not entirely accurate.”

So, producing: yes. Directing: maybe.

In reference to those “rumours of what the thing was going to be,” Abrams said, “We’ve made a pact not to discuss any specifics.” So all that stuff about Kirk and Spock: The Early Years? Not confirmed. Apparently, Abrams is a big fan of the original series, but that’s really all anyone has to go on.

Awww, HELL naw!

I’ve only read the comics adaptation of I Am Legend, but it was a scary piece of work and deserves to be made into a genuinely scary film. That’s why I’m concerned about the news that Will Smith has been tapped to star in it.

I like Will Smith movies, but in the same way I like, say, Pepsi. I enjoy it while I’m drinking it, but I don’t really think a lot about it afterwards. A good horror movie should stick with you for a while. If this is going to be a standard Will Smith action movie, I’m disappointed in the same way I was when I learned he was attached to I, Robot.

Although, friends I trust tell me that there actually was some substance to I, Robot, so I should be careful about judging.