Miskatonic West, The Lovecraftian Web Series is Fully Funded
Another Kickstarter that flew under my weird radar has been fully backed. Miskatonic West is going to be an all new web series created by Harry Kakatsakis. The synopsis of the series is as follows:
In the world of HP Lovecraft; the creaking of a door, a shadow passing in your periphery or a bizarre siting at sea could mean any number of things, natural or supernatural. The massive sea god, Dagon, may have really existed in a primordial age. Whole civilizations of alien beings may have coursed across the Earth hundreds of millions of years ago. The ability to reanimate the dead may actually be possible. Lovecraft wrote about these possibilities at the turn of the 20th century. They thought he was a fiction writer. He wasn’t. Everything he wrote about exists, and now Lovecraft’s distinguished Miskatonic University has a Southern California location.
Miskatonic West follows the exploits of Sousaku Kaos, the head of Miskatonic’s biology department, and his band of intrepid students as they pull the curtain back on a world of monsters, magic and mystery inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Helping the LAPD with “cases of interest,” Kaos and his students must uncover a plot to awaken Dagon, the ancient ocean god, by the Esoteric Cult of Dagon, before it and an army of deep ones invade the West Coast.
In making Miskatonic West, the creators hope to bring the same verisimilitude and realism that Lovecraft brought to his writings of close encounters with the monstrous and supernatural. With an eye towards cinematic integrity, we want to bring the world of Lovecraft into an emotionally honest light and capture what it would be like to encounter things that should not be and the toll it might take on one’s sanity.
If you are a Lovecraft fan, a fan of monsters, mystery, suspense and human drama join us in making this web series a reality. Thank you.
I am personally looking forward to viewing this when some episodes are off the ground. Though it was narrowly fully funded, I believe this series could contain some quality Lovecraftian goodness. But i’ll let you be the judge of that. Below is the teaser/trailer for the series. Let me know what you think, or drop by their Facebook page and give them some feedback.
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Monster Review: Pacific Rim
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Length: 131 Minutes
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars aligned
A door has been opened beneath the waves of the Pacific ocean allowing creatures to pass into our world and wreak havoc on our planet. Through years of terrifying battles and countless tragedies, the governments from around the world pull together and form a new line of defense. Jaegers, designed to combat the alien Kaiju, become earths last and only hope for freedom and safety from what waits beyond the portal.
Remember when you were a child and everything was big? As adults, at some point, we look back on something from our childhood and say, “I remember it being a lot bigger.” That scale of things decreases as we get older due to both our increase in size and our ability to process things as accurately as we can while we mature. As we grow we understand things better. We can quantify life and put things in perspective that lets us rationalize the world and process it in a way that allows us to keep our sanity. That is why I love giant monster movies. It takes something big, whether it be a thought or an object, to put us in our place and feel small in this world and or universe. Guillermo del Toro achieves this effect with his newest action/science fiction phenomenon, Pacific Rim.
The grandeur of del Toro’s Pacific Rim is nothing to balk at. It is indeed the size of everything in this movie that brings us back to our childhood. The Godzilla-like destruction, scale of combat (literally), and the inter-dimensional concept that make us feel small again and loose ourselves in wonder and awe. But then again this is Guillermo del Toro we’re talking about. The imagination of this creature feature master is astounding, and it makes me sad, yet hopeful, that someday he will indeed adapt H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. The sheer otherworldliness of the whole plot, and the brief yet mind blowing glimpses into the Kaiju’s own home are clear winks and nudges to Lovecraft’s style and possibly del Toro flexing those muscles to show he’s got what it takes to dive into At the Mountains of Madness.
That said, in the gaps between all the action, the acting fell flat at times, even though I humored the idea that the character subplot seemed a bit satirical to the old kaiju films. I enjoyed Ron Perlman (Hellboy) as the seedy black-market dealer, and thought Idris Elba’s role was a good anchor for the plot. However I was left cold with Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) as Raleigh Becket, the lead role. This unfortunately seems to be the complaint I’ve seen amongst other reviews. There are also a lot of haters who write like they were expecting an Oscar nominated film. Some even go as far to describe how childish the film is and how del Toro could have done better. Personally I enjoy the fact that it brought me back to my younger days when I watched massive monster movies. I laughed out loud when one article in particular called out that, “‘Rim’ will be as gripping as seeing a Transformer battle a toy dinosaur in a bathtub.” It was funny to me because in my bathtub days the soapy battles my toys played out were imagined into giant leviathans fighting G.I. Joe’s.
All in all Pacific Rim was great fun and the perfect summer movie to take my 13 year old nephew to. Like I said the character arcs are a little strange, but no one should be showing up to a monster vs. robot showdown expecting get a Titanic, no pun intended, performance. Is this Guillermo’s new masterpiece? I think not. But I do think it is a film he will be known for, and fanboys will remember for a while. Pacific Rim doesn’t carry a heavy franchise like Marvel, but will develop into a cult classic, and open up the road for more giant monster movies like the upcoming Godzilla. This movie made my summer and solidified its place as a favorite in my book. I would rank this beast, 3.5 out of 5 stars in alignment
Monster Review: Monsters ~ Alien Invasion Film That Conquers Nothing
So, let me start by saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover, like you can’t judge a film by its posters, teasers, trailers etc… What I mean by the later is when you see an upcoming flick with a name like, oh well say MONSTERS, accompanied by a poster that reflects a semi-apocalyptic world, you think you’re going to get some monsters. Right?
The premise: Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon reentry over Central America. Soon after, new life forms began to appear and half of Mexico was quarantined as an INFECTED ZONE. Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain “the creatures” … The story begins when a U.S. journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through the infected zone to the safety of the U.S. border.
Ok now that were all on track let’s get into this thing. Written and directed by Gareth Edwards, Monsters, is more of a soft apocalyptic romance than the thriller it’s advertised to be. I was very captivated by the beautiful cinematography, and how Edwards was able to pepper in signs of destruction so naturally. I figured the story between Andrew (Scoot McNairy) and Sam (Whitney Able) would turn into a romantic one, because people seem to come together in times of survival. But I found it hard to sympathize with two people who had to cross “dangerous” territory to get back to America for no particular reason.
After a half-hour in of character building, the only thing that kept me watching was the hope of some serious “monster” action, since the title seemed to imply I might see some. I can’t even remember the word “monster” even being used in the film. The aliens seem to come in two sizes, big spidery Octopuses, which I thought were Cthulhu Spawns, and the larva that grow on the trees of the Mexican jungle that make up the “Infected Zone”. Through the whole movie we get glimpses of dead tentacles and eerie sounds from the shadowed jungle, but we never get a clear shot of them because they come out at night. Nothing about them seems scary, and they only do violent things when provoked or attacked, leaving us to believe they are a docile species and we’re the ones over reacting.
I don’t want to give away the ending in case there is anyone who wants to check it out for themselves, but I wasn’t impressed at all. For those who have heard, or think this is the next District 9 your sadly mistaken, and it’s a crime to compare Monsters to the likes of it. Im giving this feature a single shining star. Bing
Monster Review: Troll Hunter ~ Norwegian Mockumentary Exposes Existence of Trolls
I came across this flick on YouTube about a year ago when I saw a new trailer for a foreign movie called, Troll Hunter, directed by André Øvredal. The effect of the teaser being the shaky camera, the quick movements, people screaming, and line “The most important film of our time is Norwegian.” left me thirsting for more. So when I saw it appear on Netflix’s instant watch list, I jumped at the chance to view it. Shot with the same jerky camera appeal that made The Blair Witch Project, or Cloverfield shine, Troll Hunter brings back the old myths and legends of the Norse trolls, only to prove they’re not myths.
Something is happening in the hills and mountains of Norway. It seems bears are to blame for a lot of problems, including killing people, which galvanizes a group of university film students to follow the accounts and document their findings. But as they begin to follow a supposed bear poacher, they discover bears aren’t what’s behind the recent problems, and the poacher’s not hunting normal game. Hans (played by Otto Jespersen), they find, is a troll hunter, dispatched by a sect of the Norwegian government to dispel trolls that wander from their territory and to close to human occupied areas.
After being convinced of the existence of trolls, the students agree with Hans to follow the troll hunter and film his work. Knowing the government will not like this idea, Hans describes how the job sucks and he’s ready for people to know just how dangerous it is to go wandering in the wrong neck of the woods. He then goes on throughout the movie telling tiny stories, and giving very convincing explanations as to how these creatures have been covered up for years.
“People want natural explanations. But if you know what to look for, you’ll see what’s caused by trolls.” says Hans as he explains how a bridge collapse was caused by a troll standing up and hitting the bridge with its head.
To me this film covers all its tracks. From why some trolls explode instead of turning to stone from exposure to light, to why some have three heads. Even the very Jurassic Park explanation as to why there are so many high voltage powerlines crossing the beautiful mountains. After all you need something to keep the big guys contained. Right? The running joke about how the trolls can sniff out Christian blood was also a nice laughable touch. All the little details that made my skin itch with the question, could this be real? Well could it?
A film like this deserves attention, and it’s getting it, im just not sure how I feel about it. From what I hear, a remake is already in the works. Yep, it seems Chris Columbus, of Gremlins and The Goonies fame, has taken the reigns over on the U.S. rights to the film, and a script is being written. It might not be true, but I read that a lot of the dialect in the original was improvised. It does seem to have that feel to it, with the casual flow, and the dry comical delivery that Otto Jespersen brings to the table. And if that’s true, I really hope that the new film would be the same. For the most part I can’t believe America has to take a NEW perfectly amazing foreign film and desensitize it so quickly.
Ah, but I digress. The bottom line is see this film! Through all of the reviews and comments I have seen for this movie I haven’t come across many bad ones. For the most part people believe that this how “found films” should be and I agree. Like I said before it left me wanting more, movie wise, and also knowledge wise. After I finished watching I jumped onto my computer to read up as much as I could about trolls, and even Norway. So it should be no surprised that since I like this movie that I give it 4 out of 5 stars in alignment. If I haven’t convinced you, well then just check out the trailer below, or the actual movie on Netflix. Enjoy!