The HP Lovecraft Film Fest 2019

This is going to be a fairly short post, compared to my usual trip postmortems. I'm low on word foo lately, and it's harder to put my thoughts into text worth a darn. But it's been 2 weeks, and if I don't do it now, I'll probably not. So here we go.

This trip was shorter than my usual, I flew in Thursday evening, and flew out Sunday morning. So I only had Friday night and Saturday for fest fun and games. But I did manage to cram a lot into then. The Fest started for me with an Innsmouth Art Show by a local art collective called Dark Arbor Lodge. Sculpture, set pieces, masks and other art, all based around Innsmouth. Needless to say, I was in heaven (or Y'ha-nthlei). Have some great ideas for Ch√Ęteau Innsmouth 2.0 decoration. If I'd been local, I'd have tried to bring one of the pieces home with me. *grin*

After the show, and some dinner, I got in line for the fest. My plan was simple, get in, get a seat in the big theater for the Opening, the first block of shorts, then the big thing...Richard Stanley's 'Color Out of Space'. The shorts were good, a couple I'd seen at 'Necronomicon', but there were other goods ones, and the final one was 'The Last Incantation', which I'd helped back on Kickstarter, and this was my first time to see it. Probably the best Clark Ashton Smith adaptation yet. Then it was time for the Colour.

Not going to go into detail, or spoilers, but if anyone had their doubts about the combo of Richard Stanley and Nicolas Cage adapting a Lovecraft story, don't. Cage doing Cage fits in the story, given that things go crazy when a Colour from space infects your farm. It's glorious and nuts and very very Lovecraftian. And if you play 'spot the reference' you'll have a field day. Per the director, it should have a wide release in Jan 2020. Go see it, I know I will again.

Saturday was much more laid back. Hung out with authors in the morning, went to see a Russian feature flick, but it honestly bored me out of my mind, gorgeous visuals, but it just...dragged. So I left early. Then the fest turned into more of an M.R. James fest. Saw a couple of British BBC adaptations, talked British ghost stories, listened to Robert Parry and Richard Stanley read M.R. James stories. Yeah, I know it's a HPL Film Fest, but I've been on a huge Jamesian and related authors kick this last year, so it was a nice fix to get. Back to the Lovecraft, the Saturday night feature was 'The Haunted Palace', the first Lovecraft adaptation, starring Vincent Price and directed by Roger Corman (Mr. Corman was at the fest, along with Price's daughter Victoria). I've seen it a number of times, but it was great seeing it on the big screen at the Hollywood Theatre. And I've been on a Price kick since I got home.

Besides the fest, I did my usual Powell's Books raids, this time visiting some of the other locations. I ate some really good food as usual. Just wish I'd had more time in Portland. It's one of my favorite cities. And the festival is...my home away from home. There isn't anywhere quite like being in that beautiful theatre, surrounded by a horde of your fellow cultists that you may not know, but you all share a love for this weirdness. (and it's amazing how many friends I do know there now). It truly is 'The only convention that understands.' (Not to knock Necronomicon, but this is my fave)

So that's my trip. Already got the 2020 one on the calendar (Oct 2-4th, 2020) and on a countdown. It's the 25th anniversary, so there's no way I'm going to miss it.

Vulpine at the Movies: Bliss and Prey

Ok, Friday night horror movie night has been quality new scares.

Bliss - I'd make a joke about the anti-twilight, but this is more 3- Days of Night + punk art and more drugs then three hair metal bands reduced down to their essential saltes. Exceedingly gory, mondo demented, good soundtrack if you like punk/metal, and it's got surprises for you. FYI, lots of strobe effects, take into account when viewing. 5 out of 5 bloody snacks.

Prey - Troubled teen on a 'deserted' island tries to learn about himself, finds cute fellow teen, and a monster in the jungle. Kind of predictable, but the lead teen plays it well, just enough awkward to see, yes I'm a teen, but still sympathetic and interesting. The fact he goes from well, me in the woods to Rambo/The Guy in Predator in 2 lessons and about 40 hours in the jungle is a bit over the top, but history is full of people doing amazing things to impress someone they find cute. 3.5 out of 5 bad travel decisions.

And on that note, I'm off to read. Found a 'new' (to me) author "In the vein of M.R. James" so I'm off to creepy stuff found by antiquarians. Night all.

The Vulpine Visits the Black Lagoon

Well I got to have a long weekend and a road trip. Took half of Thursday and Friday off to jaunt on down to Austin to see a screening of 'Creature From the Black Lagoon' and meet Mallory O'Meara/ who wrote a book on the creator of the Creature's costume, Milicent Patrick. And while I was down there, I'd do so book hunting. So I rented a car (I have horrible luck with driving between DFW and Austin), and headed down. Drive was fine, the voice in my phone took me on a long loop to avoid I-35 downtown traffic (which is forever a nightmare.) Stayed in my first AirBnB, one of a little cluster of cabins. Nice, cozy, with an attached kitchenette and bathroom. Got settled in, then went out to find some dinner, then to the Alamo Drafthouse for the screening.

First time I've seen 'Creature' on the big screen, and in 3D. I had a less than perfect seat, but that's what I get for waiting til the last minute. Got a bit of a headache from the angle, but it was still a lot of fun to watch. Then Mallory and the guy from 'Birth, Movies, Death' talked about to book, the creature, and Milicent. Along with more general movie making stuff, and women in filmmaking. Then Q&A, including my question about dream remake casting/directing. Then it was time for book signing. Mallory recognized me, nothing like having someone you're a fan of yell out 'Chris, you made it!' Talked about the screening for a few minutes, got my book signed, and walked off grinning. I highly recommend supporting your fellow fanpeople when they're writing a book. It's good karma all around.

Went back to the AirBnB, read for a bit and crashed. Woke up Friday, got stuff organized and myself ready for a day of bookhunting. Raided a bunch of used bookstores, along with visiting Book People. It's been almost 15 years since I visited it, but nothing had really changed. All my usually sections were in the same places, and the 2nd floor smelled like incense. Did some major damage to the bank account, but boy I came home with some goodies. Finally left the Austin area around 1500, drove back up to DFW. No really bad traffic, a few spots of slowdown, but I timed it well. Was home a little after 1900.

So a quick, but fun trip to meet a fellow monster/horror geek, see a classic movie, and add to my book addiction. If that's not a good way to spend a couple of days, I don't know what is.

The HP Lovecraft Film Festival

It's taken a while to write this, I think this is rewrite #3. Going for the short form this time. Had a really good time at the Film Festival. Portland as usual is the kind of city I enjoy. Good food, interesting buildings, a metro system that works, and a distinct lack of mountain cedar. Did my usual wandering, raided Powell's City of Books (Oh, my credit card bill). I also went over to the Oregon Maritime Museum and Movie Madness Video. Then, Friday night was time for the Fest...

As usual it was mostly feature films for me. So after saying hi to people I know, I found a seat for 'Necronomicon: The Book of Hell'. A flick from Argentina, that I've been wanting to see since I first heard about it. Movie about one of the copies of the Necronomicon that HPL said was kept at the Biblioteca Nacional in Buenos Aires. Creepy book tale (which themed to be a theme for me this year). Lots of fun, low budget but it worked well for me. Then again, crazed book folks hit a special note with me. Hoping it gets an international release. Next flick was 'The Rules of Ruin', another forbidden tome book, this one from Mexico. Also creepy, it didn't hang together quite as well as Necronomicon, but it was enjoyable. Again, hoping for a wider release (and a physical copy for me).

Saturday started with 'Carbload for Cthulhu' a signing event, with bagels and Voodoo donuts. (I had a quarter of 1 donut due to the evil diabetes, was good but not worth sugar coma). Met some more friends, met a number of new authors and bought a bunch of books. Then was the HPLHS presentation of 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth' as a radio play. As a card carrying member, I had to get a front row seat. Then was dinner, sushi with pals, then back to see 'Hammer of the Gods', a Canadian wilderness horror flick. The same people did 'Black Mountain Side' a few years ago, which blew me away. This was different, jarring spikes of horror, mixed with general 'oh crap this will end badly'. Really enjoyed it, will be staying out of the Canadian wilderness. Last flick for Saturday was a Japanese adaptation of 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth'. Was enjoyable, if a little slow. But it's one of those things I'd probably never get to see again, so glad I went.

Sunday started with more wandering and talking. Some folks had their wedding at the HPLFF, and they opened it to anyone who wanted to attend. Cody Goodfellow presided, I highly recommend getting married by a crazy Cthulhu cultist if you are of the inclination.

Movies were Clark Ashton Smith adaptations, one from 'Night Gallery' and two by Richard Stanley, 'Mother of Toads' (which I've seen a few times) and 'The Sea of Perdition', which isn't a direct adaptation, just using some themes and going off a really cool landscape he found in Iceland. Richard Stanley did a Q/A which was really interesting, he's a very quirky dude. I then hit my one shorts block, the NSFW set. Definitely was not safe for work, or sanity. Will never look at lobsters or mirrors the same way again. *wink* Final flick was 'Corpse' based on the King in Yellow mythos of Robert Chambers. Very psychedelic, multiple timelines that were kind of hard to keep up with, and IMHO needed a bit of editing, but it really got the creeping insanity of Carcosa (not Carcosa Corp). And with that, my fest came to a close.

*looks up* Yeah, this is the short form. I can get wordy really bloody easily. As I said, I had a blast. Saw a number of friends, made a bunch of new ones. Was already wishing it was time for the next fest before I got to the airport the next day. Many Thanks to Gwen and Brian Callahan, along with their eldritch minions for putting on one hell of a fest.

Back from Innsmouth West

Flew back in today. My brain has been reduced to something akin to tapioca, early wake up, flying, having my bag searched because of eldritch objects, and a screaming child two seats away. But that's just the return journey, the rest of the trip was gloriously fun. Movies, books, friends, good food, things with tentacles. Friends with tentacles. I'll write up a more detailed post probably this weekend. For now though, I'll try to regrow some tentacles for returning to Carcosa Corp tomorrow, and probably go to bad way early.

Pilgrimage to Innsmouth West

Heading out to Portland in a few hours, for the HP Lovecraft Film Festival. Very much looking forward to it, hoping for an easy trip (I have a sinus infection, and that's making me a tad nervous about flying). Lovecraftian movies and people, book raid on Powell's City of Books, and some rather good food. So wish me luck, and I'll post again after I get back, and fill you all in on the eldritch details.

Random microblog posts from the weekend

Saturday 21:45
'Black Panther' was simply amazing. The heroes are heroic (with the female leads stealing the show), the antagonists aren't just bad, for the most part you can see how their views conflict with T'challa, so better than most bad guys in comic movies. Lots of good fight scenes, lots of great one liners and character interaction. Plus, the depiction of Wakanda is just amazing. One foot in traditional cultures, one foot in the future and just plain nifty. My one complaint, I wanted more of a tour of Wakanda vs superfights. But I can hope for special features on the bluray.
5 out of 5 Vibranium Claws.

Sunday 16:29
Going to the store today took my last bits of ability to cope with humanity. The urge to scream 'Move your ass' at the people ahead of me in check out was almost uncontrollable. Possibly in Koine Greek because life should be interesting like that. (note to self, learn to say 'move your ass' in Koine Greek before going to the airport next week). At home now, doing laundry. Cthulhu bless my gillslits, I'm tired.

Sunday 16:55
Well last night's dreams were weird. From historical churches with ancient cults and exorcism schools (convenient placement there), to fighting against a zombie horde invading random suburbia with one of those magic movie katanas that is more lightsaber than steel in it's ability to remove limbs. I'll take zombies apocalypse and horrors from beyond space time over my usual anxiety dreams.

Sunday 17:19
Last night after 'Black Panther' we stopped by the nearby Half Price Books. I didn't get anything, nothing I couldn't live without, and I have plenty of book shopping plans for the trip to Providence. But I did find, in the rare/nostalgia section, volumes one and two of "The Encyclopaedia of Russian Crime Tattoos." Not something you find in bookstores every day. Almost got them for the oddness factor, I think they were $30 each. (If anyone is interested in them, I can send you the info of the store, I'm sure they'd be willing to ship for a reasonable fee, or I could pick them up and you could pay me back. I'm sure one of my author or game designer friends could make good use of them)

Sunday: 19:32
Self quote of the day.

"Must try to stop reading the Latin aloud, just frickin' Google it!"

Sick fox is recovering

Not been doing good healthwise. Thought I had a bad sinus infection, but I woke up yesterday in major pain centered around a tooth. So yay, dentist. I'm very phobic about dentists. They ended up extracting the tooth, which was a royal pain in the jaw because I'm a mutant, and I have extra roots that extend deep into the jaw. So it took forever to extract, I had to repeatedly remind myself that clenching up every muscle wasn't going to help things. Still I came out of it in more pain in my joints and neck than in my jaw. My hands were shaking and I felt light headed most of last night, and I barely slept. Took today off as comp time (working on President's day, a Carcosa Corp holiday). I'm mostly spending today eating soft food and watching 80's horror movies. I'm hoping I'm back to normal enough to spend some time with friends tomorrow.

Providence trip is a week from tomorrow. I'm kind of a basket case about it at the moment, the trip, the state of me, etc. To be honest, I've thought about canceling it...will decide later on. 'Try to avoid major decisions when depressed, in pain, or stressed'. So we'll see. *sigh*

On the bright side I've read a lot of good books in the last week. I highly recommend 'Widow's Point' by Richard and Billy Chizmar, a classic ghost story that grabs you and doesn't let go. If you like military sci-fiesque, 'The Void' by Greig Beck won't let you down. Super-soldiers vs space monsters. If you rather have movies, 'The Ritual', an adaptation of Adam Nevill's novel will convince you to never go hiking again. Or if you want horror comedy gore, see 'Victor Crowley', the 4th 'Hatchet' movie. So that's my random one line reviews.

That's about it. Hoping I can make til bedtime tonight, and get some real sleep. I'll also like it when my body stops being in full flake mode. Have a good night boys and ghouls.

The Thanks Giveth, The Thanks Taketh Away

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US. But I can't say the last week and a half has made me terribly grateful. Carcosa Corp had a reduction in force. My manager and his manager are gone, and much worse, one of my best friends (and coworker) also got cut. There's also a major reorg in the works. But not much in the way of details, other than I still have a spot on the org chart for next year. To say I'm unhappy is a major understatement. People got decent severance packages from what I heard, and I don't see any of the people I know being out of work long. But I've got a case of survivor's guilt, plus not knowing what I'll be really doing in 2 months, plus trying to keep up with everything going on, and I'm a bundle of nerves. Spent most of this week dealing with Sybase database issues that I really don't know, though I'm learning a bunch on the fly. Working on Black Friday, where I'll be doing a crash course in database migration.

On top of that, I've been feeling lousy, not so much allergies as I think my BP meds are starting to have less affect on me. I'm going to the doctor next week for a med check/blood work. So I'll ask about things. My BP cuff says I'm about the same as always, but for all I know I'm using it wrong. Pshrink visit showed my bp as higher than usual. Speaking of physical foo, I sat wrong on my chair, and it slid out from under me and I hit the floor. No damage. other than it ratcheted my anxiety up (and gave my elbow a good whack). Depression is way up there too, I really need to stop looking at the news.

So, that's all the bad...or at least all the bad I can stomach writing about right now. So what's good? Well I invested in some blurays, 2 collections of Paul Naschy flicks (king of Spanish horror films). Most of which I've never seen, so I'm currently having a binge of his flicks. Definitely better than watching Sybase databases. Also lots of good books out, including a few signed books *waves at Pete Rawlik and Sam Gafford*. My friends, as always, are awesome, and I've gotten a lot of critter time recently. And I'm at least having less anxiety dreams. Oh yeah, and in joining the 21st century, I had my first grocery delivery. Not sure if I'll do this on a regular basis, there's a lack of some of my staples. But compared to going to the store 2 days before turkey day, it was amazing.

Long weekend plans? Tomorrow is sleeping in, then afternoon meal with Amythest and clan, staying as long as my cope lasts. Friday is another day at the office, with the above mentioned database migrations. Friday night will probably be more Naschy flicks. Saturday is the annual Soup and Movie fest, also at Amythest's place. Sunday will be chores and recovery and trying to find the tentacles to deal with the upcoming work week. Since I'm working on Black Friday, I'm off work the next Friday. Probably will be mostly a down weekend, vegging and such.

So that's the state of the fox. Feeling a little better getting some stuff down on virtual paper. Going to watch some more Eurohorror then head to bed. Night everyone.

As it was written in the Scrolls of Sutekh…

Well it's the weekend again, so it means I should throw some words on virtual paper. Get the brainmeats out of the way quick, being back on seroquel means I'm sleeping more/better, but my anxiety is still way out there. (not expecting immediate fix, I know better). Depression lurks in a ninja kind of way, I see good things, I feel good things, but it leaps out every now and again in a nihilistic kind of way that reminds me that I'm still rather broken. But I've been broken before, and I've put myself together, repeatedly. I am a New Yorker after all, we're survivors.

So enough strum und drang. What is best in life Vulpine? Well, I'm not Conan, so lets start with books. Been reading a bunch of old school Mythos still. Got a pile of other stuff to read, but other than a little history it's all tentaclular horrors. Listened/ing to a few books by Charlie Stross to get in the mood for his latest Laundry File book next month. Not the whole series, just enough to get back in the series. So many books, so little time.

Went to see 'The Mummy' today. A solid bit of cheese, with a side of ham from Russell Crowe. Yes it could have been much better, but it still was fun and Sofia Boutella was a nice mix of creepy, evil, and lovely. Plus, she was literally covered in hieratic script, so a walking book. Sign me up for the cult please. *grin* Also, for any Lovecraftians who've seen it, did anyone look at the red jewel McGuffin and think 'Shining Trapezohedron' ? Or was that just me trying to make everything into a Mythos reference

What will I do tomorrow? Probably just chores and stuff. Been meaning to clean up the bedroom for months now, may just pop an audiobook or podcast in and spend a while in there trying to get things organized. This is alongside a store run, laundry and similar stuff, so I may set reasonable goals instead. Assuming I don't just hide in bed with a book, or within a movie marathon of cheese and gore. We'll see. For now though, going to call this a post before it's technically Sunday. Laters cultists.