This past weekend I had the chance to attend the first ever M. Night Shyamalanthon, presented by Universal Pictures in partnership with Beyond Fest and American Cinematheque. This event was a back-to-back-to-back screening of M. Night’s “Eastrail 177 Trilogy” which included 2000’s Unbreakable, 2016’s Split, and the first American public screening of the third chapter, Glass. Along with the screening I attended, the Alamo Drafthouse was also participating in this marathon of film in 25 theaters across the country, which included an exclusive conversation with M. Night Shyamalan that was broadcasted live from Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn into all participating Alamo Drafthouse theaters.
Overall, Saved by the Max was a unique experience that offered more than just your average pop-up would. Though the price may seem steep, it’s important to remember that it does include some of the food offerings as well as the incredibly detailed atmosphere. If you are a fan of Saved by the Bell, this is definitely going to be an event you won’t want to miss. Even those who aren’t a fan of the show, or who aren’t overly familiar with it, will find a lot to enjoy. As of now, Saved by the Max has reservations up until March, so schedule your time now before it’s gone for good! For more information visit www.savedbythemax.com.
When it comes to Tim Burton films, I’ve always been a much bigger fan of his earlier work as I credit those for introducing me to a world that ultimately accepted those of us who were strange and unusual. The film that really drove that idea home for me was Burton’s 1990 film, Edward Scissorhands, which centered around a man equipped with scissors for hands who is brought out of isolation into a new world filled with people who try to understand him. What I loved so much about this movie was that it taught people about acceptance and understanding in a world that is so heavily focused on judging those who are different.
He may be a mean one, but the holiday season wouldn’t be what it is without the appearance of the infamous green one. Back for another year is Universal Studios Hollywood annual Grinchmas, a Who-lebration of fun featuring The Grinch, his faithful dog Max, and a slew of Who-ville Whos! It has been over two years since I had the chance to attend Grinchmas, so I was looking forward to seeing what holiday excitement the event had to offer.
2018 is proving to be another fantastic year for fans of the Wizarding World as we not only got another Fantastic Beasts film, but Universal Studios Hollywood once again brought back their Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Similar in vein to last year’s experience, this year offered an array of holiday treats ranging from a spectacular light projection show on the Hogwart’s castle to the newest addition of nightly snowfall.
A few weeks ago I arrived at a nondescript building in Glendale on a Friday evening. As I push the door aside, I wondered what type of debauchery awaited me only to be surprised to find a row of mannequins dressed in superhero costumes staring back at me. Confused, and slightly startled, I walked around the space to find other mannequins dressed in costumes ranging from Pennywise to Western themed, and it’s at this point where the nervousness started to set in. Luckily this review isn’t going to be about how I was scared shitless by a troupe of soulless mannequins, instead, this was just the beginning stages of what has become one of my favorite events of the Halloween season: SHAPESHIFTER CIRCUS.
This past Wednesday saw the start of my San Diego Comic-Con coverage with Preview Night. As this was my first time ever attending Comic-Con, I made sure my schedule touched upon everything from activations to panels to interviews, so that I could experience all the different elements that Comic-Con was known for.
Harry Potter has been an integral part of my life since the first book came out in 1997. I grew up with the stories and adventures that Harry Potter and his friends experienced within the Wizarding World, and although I am much older now, I still cherish the magical world that J.K. Rowling has created. Since the book's original inception, fans have now been graced with everything from movie adaptations to the creation of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at both Universal Studios Orlando and Hollywood.
This past weekend I had the chance to attend the 30th Anniversary Event of the cult horror/sci-fi film, KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (1988). This film holds a very special place in my heart and having never had the chance to see it on the big screen, I was looking forward to finally being able to have that experience.
The Queen Mary has become one of my favorite places to explore in Southern California. Whether it's during the Halloween season with Dark Harbor, or the many events that are sprinkled throughout the year that promise tales of paranormal activity, The Queen Mary has become my home away from home. In celebration of this past Friday, the 13th, which landed on April 13th, I had the chance to once again return to The Queen Mary to get a sneak peek into their infamous B340 Stateroom which would be opening to the public for the first time in three decades and let me tell you, it was one hell of an experience.
Two weekends ago I had the chance to attend Wondercon, the sister convention to San Diego Comic Con, in Anaheim, CA. Filled with thousands of cosplayers, unique panels, interactive experiences, exciting vendors, and more, Wondercon appeals to all fandoms from Disney to horror. My first year attending I had found myself incredibly overwhelmed, but this year, I was able to navigate the exhibitors floor with ease while also attending some really exceptional panels.
On Tuesday night, I had the absolute pleasure of stepping into The Further for the home video release of the latest chapter in the INSIDIOUS franchise, INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY. While there, I had the chance to check out some of the actual props used in the film while also attending a special Q&A session with the cast and crew. Having been a fan of the series since it first debuted in 2010, the opportunity to sit in and listen to the cast speak about their experiences filming THE LAST KEY, is something that I will treasure for a long time.
Imagine, if you will, that it’s 1846 and you have set out with your family to California on a wagon trail. However, due to a series of mishaps and misfortunes, you end up stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains during the winter. As supplies become scarce, you realize that your options have dwindled, and in order to survive, you must resort to cannibalism. Does this story sound familiar? It should, as it’s the true account of The Donner Party, and the story has been told over and over again, in one form of another, for the past 150 years.
One of my favorite events of the Halloween season is without a doubt Unbound Productions Wicked Lit. From the moment I first attended two years ago, till now, I am continuously impressed with the passion and dedication of those involved in this production. This year, they tackled three new world premieres with Thoth’s Labyrinth, The Open Door, and The Damned Thing, as well as a brand new narrative frame, titled Liliom.
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the second year of Warner Bros Studios “Horror Made Here: Festival of Frights” event. Last year, guests had the chance to go on a tour of the studio specifically tailored to horror films and it ended up being an event that I absolutely loved, so you can imagine how excited I was when it was announced that Warner Bros would be continuing the event once again, only this time expanded so that it would be bigger, badder, and more frightful for us die-hard horror fans.
With Halloween just around the corner, what better time then to gear up for haunt season. Halloween convention extraordinaire, Midsummer Scream, is known for their superb panels, special guests, as well as a deep love for the horror/haunt community. With that said, one of the best experiences during Midsummer Scream is their Hall of Shadows which features 11 mini-haunts that give guests a preview of what's to come during the best season of the year. The following is my review of each one (except for Dead Zone 805 as it wasn't open when I went through the haunts) with a brief description of what the haunt entails, courtesy of the Midsummer Scream website, and pictures to help get you in the mood for the Halloween season!
Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be recapping the Midsummer Scream panel SUBMITTED FOR APPROVAL: "ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?" To best describe the conceit, I will turn to the official summary:
"We turn off the lights to reminisce about the series that terrified Nickelodeon viewers in the 90s."
As I have mentioned numerous times in the past, I'm a huge fan of anything New Orleans related: whether it be in music or film, or food and history, New Orleans holds a special place in my heart. When Drunken Devil Productions announced that their latest show, BLOODY GRAS, was going to be a dark homage to the wild festivities surrounding Mardi Gras, I was 1000%o on board. This celebration of life and debauchery included magicians, sideshow antics, burlesque performances, an immersive theatrical piece centering around the infamous Axeman of New Orleans, and disco tunes to dance the night away... if you survived the Axeman's wrath...
When it comes to horror event productions, there are only a handful that can put on a show that has true heart and passion behind it. One of those companies is Drunken Devil Productions which has been putting on nightlife events, with a horror twist, since October 2015. Their newest show, "Bloody Gras", is sure to be one for the books, and to get everyone jazzed (pun intended) about the event, I decided to take us back to their last event, their Halloween spectacular, The Witches’ Ball: A Halloween Bacchanal.
The Witches’ Ball was a beautiful homage to the horror films of the 60’s and 70’s combined with the inspiration from histories black mass gatherings and secretive ceremonies of arcane pagan culture. Throughout the evening, guests were entertained by burlesque performances from Scarlett Fox, who wow’d the audiences with her incredibly tantalizing acts (one which included being soaked in a blood-like substance) and aerial feats. Along with Scarlett Fox was the vivacious Go-Go Amy, of the Pretty Things Peepshow, who seduced the crowd with her vaudevillian acts, which included her fitting her body through a tennis racket! When it comes to Drunken Devil events, you best believe they bring the talent and The Witches’ Ball was no exception.