Monday, August 23, 2010

Hollywood Witches's First Two Reviews

Hollywood Witches has begun to rack up reviews.

Steven Martinovich of Enter Stage Right says:

"Though the inner machinations of Hollywood have been well explored by both writers and filmmakers for decades, Hollywood Witches is still an entertaining read if only because of its unique premise. It obviously targets the liberal pretensions of Hollywood and one could argue that its villain, Däagen, has a point when she argues that diversity in Hollywood is a myth – though her agenda promises to do little to rectify the problem.

"It has genuinely humorous moments and although the witchcraft angle leads to some rather incredulous plot twists, overall it serves its subject matter well."


And Lars Walker of The American Culture writes:

"The chief eponymous witch of the story is Diana Däagen, a figure of satire, gargantuan in her vices and terrifying in her lack of self-awareness. A failed actress, she now works as 'development executive' in a movie studio. She believes herself intensely spiritual and full of love for all humankind, but that doesn’t prevent her from treating her underlings like dirt, using black magic to thwart or kill her enemies, and planning to murder thousands of people at once -- all for enlightened, politically correct purposes, of course...

"Author Sipos has a gift for dialogue (promising in one who -- one assumes -- is a screenwriter), and can be very funny... Hollywood Witches is a commendable effort, which will entertain readers with strong stomachs."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

First Halloween Sighting in 2010 -- August 13th

Halloween being my favorite season of the year, I like for it to begin early and last a long time. By Halloween season, I mean all the decorations, store items, lawn displays, haunted houses, etc.

In 2007, I made my first Halloween sighting on August 7th. That was my earliest sighting to date.

This year, my first Halloween sighting was on August 13th. I was at Wilshire West Car Wash in Santa Monica, CA. They sell greeting cards there, among other items, in the waiting area. Halloween cards were already on display, despite it being over 2 1/2 months away.

BTW, if you want to watch a horror film on Halloween, the best Halloween horror film remains Halloween III: Season of the Witch. This was supposed to be the Halloween series's new direction. From this film onwards, no more Michael Myers. Instead, a new film installment every year, with an entirely different story and cast of characters.

It didn't work out. Halloween III: Season of the Witch was a critical and box office bomb. The fans wanted more Michael Myers. But I disagree. The first Halloween film was great, but it should have been the last Michael Myers film. The series went progressively downhill after the first film, with the notable exception of Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which told a most Halloween appropriate tale, returning the holiday to its dark Celtic roots.

Halloween H20 is the only Halloween/Michael Myers sequel worthy of the first film, taking the story arc full circle, with a darkly innovative performance by Jamie Lee Curtis.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Amber Benson at the Viscera Film Festival

On July, 17, 2010, I attended the Viscera Film Festival, which I covered for the Hollywood Investigator.

Founded by Shannon Lark and Heidi Martinuzzi, the Viscera is a horror film festival devoted to "horror by women." To win a Viscera Award, a film must be created entirely by women, in front of and behind the camera.

Lark also founded the Chainsaw Mafia film collective, while Martinuzzi runs FanGirltastic.


One nice thing about horror film festivals, apart from seeing horror films, is the chance to meet horror celebrities. Among the people I met was Amber Benson, perhaps best known for her role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though she's appeared in many other horror films (e.g.Intermedio and One Eyed Monster). Benson is also an author.


An old cliché is how "nice" celebrities are in person, but Benson's affability seemed sincerely. Asked to pose for a photo, she behaved as though she were the one receiving the favor.

Every year I run the Tabloid Witch Awards horror film contest and festival. I follow the screenings with panel discussions with the actors and filmmakers. I want every film represented, but since there are so many short films, a constant concern of mine is that the panel may end up crowded.

I like small, intimate panels, so we can have a discussion. I thus have a rule: only one representative from each film can sit on the panel. I worry when I have over four people on a panel, and have (luckily) never had more than eight.

Time constraints often prevent breaking up a panel into two smaller panels.

I guess Viscera was also constrained by time. They had only one panel -- with over 20 people participating! Even so, everyone seemed to have a good time, audience and filmmakers alike.