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Famous Monsters Convention Dallas (Event Report)

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I don’t know about you cats, but I love me some Uncle Forry.  Forrest J Ackerman and his magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland were a big part of my youth.  Thankfully, I got out to LA 20 years ago when he was still giving tours of his Ackermansion and got experience the mansion and the man first-hand.

Uncle Forry is gone, but Famous Monsters continues, and they’ve launched this new convention in Dallas starting May of this year.  They’ve done Famous Monsters cons in other states prior to this, but it was the first this side of the Rocky Mountains.

Set only three weeks after the juggernaut that is Texas Frightmare Weekend, this one confused me a bit when it popped up on my radar. Sporting a mix of sci-fi and horror guests and an interesting but scattered mix of events (laser tag? D&D tournament? Lego building?), it seemed to come together quickly.

After speaking to main man Phil Kim, I came to understand there’s a very long story behind the circumstances, and that while the con will be back in Dallas next year, it’ll be closer to Halloween to kick off that season and remain well clear of Texas Frightmare in May.

The great news is this was a fantastic little con.  It was very lightly attended for a number of reasons, but it was extremely well organized and very different from TFW.  Other cons have attempted to compete directly with TFW, and those didn’t last past their first year.  Famous Monsters fills an entirely different niche, sporting a lineup and design that meet the criteria of what Uncle Forry would have wanted.  Forry loved his monsters, but he was also the man who literally coined the term “sci-fi” (it was the license plate on his car, no joke) and had a love for genre films across specific niches like horror, fantasy, or science fiction.

This show had guests as widely ranging as cast members of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” anime voiceover actors, and horror luminaries like Felissa Rose and Sean Cunningham.  Vendors were similarly spread out, with cosplayers seated next to comic artists next to anime posters. Droid makers and Mandalorian cosplay groups mingled with Godzilla costume makers.  An ECTO-1 sat parked next to the hot rods from The Munsters.

The goal seemed to be to bring together fans of ALL genres, which is something Uncle Forry was passionate about.  In his Ackermansion you had a screen-used Cylon from “Battlestar Galactica,” but you also had one of Lugosi’s screen-worn capes and rings from Dracula.  Forry was King Geek, God bless him, and that was the feel of this con.

Some of Famous Monsters’ famous covers

Everyone I spoke to had nothing but positive things to say about the show.  The light attendance was a drag, but that should change next year with a better time frame, different location, and more lead-up time to promote.  Guests told me they were very well taken care of, vendors were pleased with how things were managed, the events were handled very well, and the volunteers were plentiful and well-trained.

I think this will be an excellent addition to the already-busy con schedule in Dallas. Right now it’s Texas Frightmare Weekend and a bunch of general comic cons, with a random corporate con oriented around one fandom or another thrown in.  This should give horror and monster nerds another party every year on the opposite end of the summer from TFW and give sci-fi and fantasy fans a brand new place to mix and mingle.

See you next year!

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Even Sarah Connor Hated TERMINATOR: GENISYS

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I think it’s safe to say there aren’t many people out there that were fans of Terminator: Genisys. The film was kind of a major mess and it looks like life on the set was as well.

That film’s new Sarah Connor, Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) was recently speaking with Vanity Fair about some other crap and then the conversation swung around to the failed reboot of the Terminator series. And Clarke had some interesting things to say…

First, she told the magazine how she was “relieved” when the film bombed at the box-office so she didn’t have to sign up for further sequels. And then Clarke says she watched frequent Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor “get eaten and chewed up on Terminator. He was not the director I remembered. He didn’t have a good time. No one had a good time.”

Damn girl, tell it like it is! Got to respect the woman for not holding back and sugarcoating things under the blanket of “creative differences.” Hell, maybe Clarke will be able to do the same regarding all the drama surrounding that new Lando: A Star Wars Story movie one day.

What did you think of the film? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Synopsis:

When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator assassin, an unexpected turn of events creates an altered timeline. Instead of a scared waitress, Sarah is a skilled fighter and has a Terminator guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) by her side. Faced with unlikely allies and dangerous new enemies, Reese sets out on an unexpected new mission: reset the future.

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Idris Elba Directs and Stars in Netflix’s HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

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Like many of you out there, Idris Elba is one of my favorite actors working today. And it is with this in mind that I’m excited by today’s news that says Elba will be tackling The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Netflix.

THR reports that Elba will not only star in the film, but he will be directing and producing the music described as a “sonic and musical experience” as well. That’s a lot of hats there, Gunslinger.

For those who might be unaware, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is an 1831 novel by Victor Hugo that follows Quasimodo, a hunchback, who falls in love with the Gypsy Esmeralda. Michael Mitnick (The Current War, The Giver) will write the modern-day retelling with Fred Berger (La La Land) and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (Midnight Special) producing along with Elba and Ana Garanito.

Are you excited by this news? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

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Amy Adams and HBO’s SHARP OBJECTS Poster Welcomes You Home

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A few weeks back I asked the question Is HBO’s Sharp Objects Mini-Series With Amy Adams Horror?” I got some interesting responses but needless to say, at the end of the day, the question is still up the air. But regardless of all that, I still plan on checking out the series one it begins airing this summer.

And if you’re on this boat with me, then you’ll be interested to check out the new poster for the series, which you can see in high-res by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.

Are you looking forward to this series as much as I am? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on FacebookTwitter, and/or Instagram!

The eight-episode series is directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, scripted by Marti Noxon from the book by Gillian Flynn, and stars Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina, Eliza Scanlon, Elizabeth Perkins and Matt Craven. It hits HBO in July 2018.

Synopsis:

Based on the book by The New York Times bestselling author Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Dark Places), this eight-episode series tells the story of reporter Camille Preaker (Adams) who returns to her small hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. Trying to put together a psychological puzzle from her past, she finds herself identifying with the young victims a bit too closely.

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