Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Honestly Don’t Know What To Think About The New Fright Night

It’s funny, though I do a lot of bitching and whining about movie remakes/franchise revivals on this blog; in most cases I tend to sensationalize my reactions to increase their entertainment value.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m always honest with my opinions, whatever they may be; but pretty much every post I make here has some degree of exaggeration to it.

Truth of the matter is, while I let on that all sorts of shit is sacred to me and what not, deep down I’m rarely ever more than miffed by the antics of the Hollywood bullshit factory.

Well, unless you drag Transformers into it.

You bring up Transformers 2 or 3 around me, and not only will I go on a 2 hour rant; I’ll probably end up causing a few million dollars in property damage.

That being said, I really don’t know what to think when it comes to the upcoming Fright Night remake coming out this Friday.

I want to throw a hissy hit over it, but for the life I just can’t figure out how I feel about it.

I really liked the original Fright Night.

I saw it when I was about 13, (nearly the perfect age for “that” kind of movie) and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since.

In my mind, Fright Night stands as perhaps the quintessential teen horror flick of the mid-80’s.

The “Rear Window with a Vampire” premise was solid.

The cast was impeccable.

The soundtrack was memorable and almost sinfully hum-able.

Most of all though, the makeup and effects work were surprisingly over-the-top and incredibly effective.

Fright Night was a great example of the familiar horror trope of a dumb story, told exceptionally well.

Despite it’s cast of name actors, and high-quality effects, Fright Night was, at it’s core; a stupid date night horror movie.

Fright Night thrived on this, reveling in every opportunity to play up the shlocky-ness of it’s premise, while at the same time wow-ing the audience with it’s undeniable special effects charms.

Pictured: The unforgettable reverse wolf transformation sequence.

As mentioned earlier, Fright Night is a film that means a lot to me.

I rarely get attached to films to the point in which I would openly defend their integrity, however in all honesty; I’m pretty sure I’d go to bat for Fright Night should the situation ever arise.

That being said, my greatest hope is that the upcoming remake does it’s predecessor proud.

Based on the (rather excessive) ad campaign for the new Fright Night, I think it’ll be okay, though probably not on par with the original.

The new one has a pretty impressive cast going for it, as well as the benefit (or “curse” if you’re a practical effects nut like myself) of modern special effects, however I think the one big strike against it is one that it really can’t help.

I hate to say it, as I myself am not quite of the original Fright Night generation; but it feels like times have changed a bit too much for a straight Fright Night remake to succeed.

The mid-80’s were a breeding ground for “fun” blockbuster horror flicks designed to entertain audiences and get teenage boys laid.

The soundtracks were dance-pop fun.

The scripts included words like “radical” and “tubular.”

The special effects budgets were bloated to the point in which rookie directors and actors were commonplace on most projects.

It was a different time, and the youth culture was in a very different place.

Thanks to Twilight, and other such dreadfully over-the-top horror teen drama fests, popcorn horror movies seem to be caught in tough spot wherein they must either be totally serious, or totally tongue-in-cheek stupid.

LOOK WHAT THEY DID TO TEEN WOLF!!!!! WAHT DAH' FAWK!!!?

The original Fright Night, like An American Werewolf in London, towed this line with exceptional grace.

While I’m on the topic, if you want an horror franchise revival being ruined by the culture of it’s time, take a look at An American Werewolf in Paris.

The movie tried to take the humor and inventiveness of the original and transpose it into 90’s youth culture, resulting in sub-par, and poorly conceived film with inferior special effects work despite the 20 year gap between the 2 movies.

What is that? A shaved monkey or some shit?

Maybe it’s the ad campaign’s fault, but something about the trailers for the new Fright Night makes it seem a little “dark” for my tastes, both visually and thematically.

Then again, given that the man that shall forever be known as McLovin is in the film, it’s hard for me to picture it being totally serious.

Oddly enough he’s cast as Evil Ed, which, if they follow the original (don’t bet on it) will mean we’ll get to see him die on-screen!

Arrrgh!  I’m rambling now, and it’s all because I honestly don’t know how to feel about this movie!

Oh well, maybe I’ll just have to go see it and finally sort this shit out…

 

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Crappy Book Covers Are Crappy!

Say what you will, it's still THE BEST COVER EVER.

Yesterday’s post was an example of intentionally bad cover art for a book.

Today I figured I would take a moment to show you a few examples of published book covers that are potentially worse from a design standpoint than the juggernaut that was “Dr. Vladimir’s Space Virus.”

Shitty book covers aren’t hard to find, one has only to venture down to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of any book store or library to find them.

Or don't. That would be my suggestion anyway.

All of the images that follow were taken at the University of Washington Book Store.

It should be noted that most of these covers were far from the worst I’ve seen.

I blame myself for this, as Barnes & Noble seems to stock a larger quantity of rubbish books with shitty covers.

Good job UW, way to keep the crappy book cover population to a minimum.

Anyway, let’s begin our journey through the world of shitty cover art with the book that prompted me to start this whole day of adventure in the first place:

Werewolf Smackdown by Mario Acevedo.

The moment I saw this on the shelf, I found myself stupefied, gawking in horror at the masterpiece of ass-itude that lay before me.

Now, first thing’s first, Werewolf Smackdown is a truly awful title.

Unless of course THIS was the subject of the story.

In my opinion, the most frustrating part of this cover isn’t the horrendous graphic of the werewolf character, but rather the typography of the title.

The “Down” part of the word “Smackdown” is on a slightly lower plane than the “Smack” resulting in a rather confusing appearance.

I guess one could theorize that this was done intentionally as a visual metaphor to put emphasis on the fact that werewolves are in fact smacked down in this book, but I seriously doubt most would come to that conclusion on first glance.

Hell, it took me like 20 minutes to even come up with that half-assed explanation.

Werewolf Smackdown, definitely playing second fiddle to Werewolf RAW is WAR.

Next up is Eric Flint Time Spike by Marilyn Kosmatka… Or is it Time Spike by Eric Flint and Marilyn Kosmatka?

Here we have our basic Tyrannosaur eating a Spanish Conquistador cover.

Other than my confusion over what’s the title and who’s the author (thank you very much, shitty typography), this is a pretty crazy-awesome/retardly-awesome/shitty cover that I honestly don’t have problem with.

That doesn’t make anything more than a shitty cover though.

Just ask any of my friends, I have a tendency to find reasons to like truly awful things.

Pretty sure I'm the person I know that actually liked this movie...

Moving right along, next we have Pyramid Power by our homeboy Eric Flint, or wait maybe it’s by that son of a bitch Dave Freer, I honestly can’t tell:

Like the previous cover, this one isn’t overtly bad, it’s just really fucking stupid.

I mean come on, it’s a fuckin’ dragon holding a viking with it’s tail.

On paper that sounds pretty cool, but I would’ve preferred to see a less static representation of this most epic of encounters, you know, something a little more action oriented or dynamic.

Goddamn you Monster Hunter, lookin' all cool n'shit...

Conceptually speaking, this is like looking at a heavy metal album cover.

You aren’t allowed to ask “why,” you just sort of accept it in all it’s insanity and excess and get on with your life.

Either that, or you briefly question the band's sexuality for a moment, then rock until you just don't care.

Pyramid Power loses points for it’s shitty title, however, like the previous cover; the cover isn’t all that bad, just uninspired.

Finally, I’d like to take a minute to look over a couple of covers from an author that seems to have a knack for generating crappy novels deserving of crappy covers, Mr. John Ringo.

Holy shit! He looks like Muldoon!

First up is The Road to Damascus:

In case you couldn’t tell, that is in fact a child in red pajamas, holding a teddy bear in one hand while holding a laser gun in the other.

Oh yeah, he also appears to be facing down a tank.

Based on the color palette and (shitty) fonts, my first instinct upon viewing this cover was to compare it to one of those choose-your-own-adventure novels.

I know they look nothing alike, but I just felt like using this image 'cause I acutally own this one.

Though silly in nature, The Road to Damascus, once again, doesn’t have all that bad a cover.

The image is provocative, with some definite time and effort put into the illustration, with some very straightforward and easily distinguished focal points to the layout.

The fonts are pretty boring, but not clip art bad.

I will say this though, the cover seems a little too busy in places, particularly at the top, where the tag line is inappropriately large given it’s close proximity to the author’s name/names.

Our last cover is another John Ringo book, called Gust Front; and this time it actually is shitty, not just bad like most of the others.

I apologize about my leniency towards these shitty book covers.

Many of them probably deserve harsher words than I’ve given them, but I guess it’s just not in my nature to gripe about and be unnecessarily or overly critical of things, no matter how shitty they may be.

Oh well, here’s Gust Front:

Holy fucking shit that’s bad.

Pretty much everything bad that can be said about cover art can be applied to Gust Front.

The title is ass.

The fonts are ridiculously over-the-top, oversized, and horrendously colored.

Oh yeah, and the composition is off-balance, somehow managing to be both cluttered and sparse, with truly awful original Starcraft quality CG renderings for all the figures present in the image.

Hmm, I don't remember the old Starcraft looking like this. Sadly, no trace remains of it ever since the announcement of #2.

It’s kind of funny actually, the dude in the power armor reminds me of the Starship Troopers CG cartoon, Roughnecks.

Yup, these guys and the Extreme Ghostbusters were my best buddies after school...

Man, that was a good show…

Hang on, now that I think of it, the title font seems to bear a certain resemblance to the Starship Troopers one, at least in terms of it’s alignment.

I'm proud to say that the DVD I own of this film has a MUCH better cover.

I see, so we’re to buy this no doubt shitty novel based on the associations it brings on in our minds in relation to Starship Troopers?

Clever girl Mr. Ringo… Clever girl indeed…

I feel it is worth noting that John Ringo’s section at the UW bookstore was pretty much a shelf unto itself.

That’s a lot of shit novels.

Huh, guess I really can be an asshole when I put my mind to it.

Go figure.

Anyway, this has been a truly half-assed post.

Things will pick up a little bit more tomorrow, promise.

Praise be to Space Bobcat.

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