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Category: Horrorthon Posts

2012-01-29 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
The Zone

Okay, let’s get into it. Here are my top ten (links are to Wikipedia pages, which have spoilers): “The Four of Us Are Dying” Not especially scary (as the Zone goes) but this one has incredible mood and atmosphere (in a heavily abstracted film noir kind of style) and, like all first season episodes, has […]

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Minor cinematic observation: some of the best directors have used this really great counterintuitve technique at extremely dramatic moments in their movies. The protagonist is at an absolutely critical juncture in his/her story, and (usually) is having a conversation; maybe it’s on the phone, or maybe it’s with somebody else in the room. (Or maybe […]

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2012-01-17 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
2012 predictions

I’m just curious what everyone thinks. Here’s my take: Sherlock (Season 2)Already seen it (all three episodes): it’s fantastic!Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace 3DI’m more partial to the prequel trilogy than probably anyone else here on Horrorthon. I’d even go so far as to say that The Phantom Menace is kind of comparable […]

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2012-01-13 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Oscar Goldman’s desk?

After years of fruitless searching I think I’ve found images of Oscar Goldman’s desk (from The Six Million Dollar Man). When I was a kid, I considered this to be the El Dorado of desks. The only better desk was maybe Commander John Koenig’s desk from Space: 1999, but that was impossible to reproduce since […]

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2012-01-11 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
3D

Continuing my trend of going in the opposite direction from the prevailing Horrorthon opinion, I have totally got the 3D bug. What happened? Yesterday I saw The Adventures of Tintin (which, unfortunately, I could not see on an IMAX screen without going to Rochester; I missed my shot at the four Manhattan IMAX theaters) in […]

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Sherlock (Season 2) January 1stStar Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace 3D February 10thMad Men (Season 5) March 25thTitanic 3D April 6thThe Avengers May 4thPrometheus June 8thThe Amazing Spider-Man July 3rdThe Dark Knight Rises July 20thSkyfall November 9thThe Hobbit December 14th Not bad, huh? A lot of long bets pay off this year. (Yes, Sherlock […]

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This isn’t specifically directed at anyone on Horrorthon, but the topic does come up here, so I figured it’s an appropriate place for this rant. I just finished watching the Coen brothers’ True Grit (which had me bawling like a baby) and thought it was maybe the most perfect Western I’ve ever seen. While watching […]

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2011-12-29 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Two fantastic websites

The above images (a chart of Michael Meyers kills, a Muppet version of the Sistine Chapel’s “Creation of Adam” ceiling fresco, and “Aliens vs. Predator Babies”) are from an excellent website I just discovered called Popped Culture, which specializes in clever crossover-fusion imagery collected from various sources. I warn you that it’s possible to spend […]

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I’ve been a big fan of this movie since my first viewing (on the IMAX screen eight blocks from my house — yes, it’s good to live in NYC) and I’ve defended it endlessly against the strangely lukewarm reaction it got from geeks (despite its overwhelming box-office success). People say things like, “Well, it was […]

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2011-12-08 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Coulrophobia

Yes, JPX, it has a name: Coulrophobia, the “irrational” fear of clowns. I came across this definition following some links. So the medical/scientific community is right on top of this one, rest assured. (more art here)

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2011-12-02 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
The Walking Dead

I’ve been MIA all through the festivities this year because I’ve been very busy with a couple of things, but also because I’m just not really in the horror movie vibe right now (Sacrilege!). I’ve lurked and read a lot of the (great) reviews and I’ve been impressed with the quality and quantity of everybody’s […]

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Calling on the Oscar Goldman Phone

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[from Ars Technica] NBC viewers were introduced to an innovative new television show called Star Trek on September 8, 1966—exactly 45 years ago today. The original groundbreaking series ran for only three years, but it left a lasting mark both on television and the science fiction genre. After the cancellation of the original series, Star […]

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Little Cat (pictured above, chilling on my couch about two months ago), my beloved companion of 16 years, is going to meet his maker very soon. I was caught by surprise by his sudden medical crisis which began last week (just a few days before I left for my annual family trip to Auburn, Indiana […]

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2011-08-31 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
The Amazing Spider-Man

So here’s the thing. There are differences of opinion about origin stories; about silver age comic books; about certain comic book artists and movie directors; about cynical franchise trends. These differences of opinion occasionally surface here on Horrorthon. But I submit to you: Amazing Fantasy # 15, August 1962, 12 cents. The Amazing Spider-Man. It’s […]

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[I wrote most of this as a comment on the caption contest results below (“Bitter? Oh, a tad…”) but I wanted to elaborate even more.] This material is not funny. Worse, it’s what you might call “aggressively un-funny” because it works by means of a perversion of the basic mechanics of humor and sympathy and […]

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2011-08-09 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
New Tintin poster!

How do you like those apples? There’s a big version over here. To all you actual Tintin fans: What do you think, huh? This kind of confirms what we already knew about how “The Secret of the Unicorn” has been somehow combined with “Cigars of the Pharaoh.” Or rather, the brief sequence on the trawler […]

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“Or, some interesting ways to get some variety into those boring panels where some dumb writer has a bunch of lame characters sitting around and talking for page after page!” Legendary EC Comics/MAD magazine artist Wally Wood (one of the “holy” triumverate of Wood, Elder and Davis working under Kurtzman and Gaines in the 1950s) […]

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2011-07-26 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
ASSEMBLE

Okay, I know that the clues and teaser scenes in all those Marvel movies over the past few years have been intrusive and irritating, but nevertheless I admit that I’m totally sold on this Avengers scheme, now that the Joss Whedon (!) payoff movie is actually in production. (It had seemed like one of those […]

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Barney Miller’s and my supernatural teen thriller 7 Souls was just published in Germany, so I awoke to a big thick bubbly envelope containing two German hardcover first editions of Seven Souls (They kept the English title). Wow! I have never in my life been in a situation like this: I’m flipping through a book […]

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2011-07-04 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Tex Avery’s cityscapes

Tex Avery’s cartoons combine high-speed slapstick and vaudevillian characterization with existential surrealism, which called for extreme technical and stylistic precision. In particular, the cartoons feature richly-detailed background paintings (until the style was deliberately streamlined in the 1950s) that belie the ridiculous story-lines and somehow make everything even funnier. You won’t see anything like this in […]

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2011-07-01 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Tex Avery

Fred “Tex” Avery (1908-1980) is probably my favorite animator of all time. He created Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck before leaving Warner Brothers (after a Jack-Kirby/Stan-Lee-style dispute with Leon Schlesinger) to set up his own shop at MGM, where he made 63 cartoon shorts between 1942 and 1955. The 63 MGM Tex Avery cartoons (which […]

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2011-05-02 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Didn’t win

My esteemed co-writer Barney Miller (right) and myself at the reception for the 2011 Mystery Writers’ Association of America Edgar Awards Banquet last Thursday. Our book was nominated for the Young Adult category but didn’t win. Who cares! The whole thing was such a total blast (and the guy who DID win our category started […]

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2011-02-17 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Signs

No, not the odious M. Night Shyamalan movie (“My son leaves half-empty glasses of water around! And these mimes in leotards are harmed by water — that must be why they came to Earth, a planet that’s 80% water! It’s a miracle that restores my faith!” ) but my own photographs of signs I like. […]

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2011-02-03 :: Jordan // Cartoons + Horrorthon Posts
Soggo

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2011-02-01 :: Jordan // Cartoons + Horrorthon Posts
Soggo

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Working with my friend Arthur Roses, I made this one-minute viral ad for a Chicago-based diversity-initiative website called AMightyRiver.com. Apparently Raham Emmanuel has already seen it and it was going to be shown to Obama’s staff in the White House today (although I’m not sure if that’s actually happening). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO1cbGdW-tQ Anyway all you Horrorthonners can […]

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2011-01-21 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts

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2011-01-19 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Nominated for an Edgar!

We just found out that 7 Souls, the supernatural teen thriller I wrote with my genius friend Barnabas Miller, has been nominated for a (frigging) Edgar Award! What are the Edgars? Glad you asked: “Each Spring, Mystery Writers of America present the Edgar® Awards, widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the genre. […]

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2011-01-19 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Best critic dis ever?

Good critic disses come from many sources (and include famous one-liners by the likes of George Bernard Shaw) but this one is my current favorite. Who wrote it? Who knows — just another anonymous sad sack halfway down a long comment thread on The Onion AV Club, following one of their “Staff Inventory” features, in […]

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This is unbelievably cool! An Apple Software Engineer (big surprise) named Andrew Carol has successfully recreated “the famous Antikythera Mechanism, created by ancient Greeks in 100 B.C. as a way of predicting astronomical events like eclipses” out of LEGO (as documented in a stop-motion film, no less). The interview is very interesting; it’s a discussion […]

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2010-12-11 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Koko’s Earth Control

This is one of those rare artifacts that shows off the particular ideosyncracies of two decades: a sublime 1927 Max Fleischer cartoon called “Koko’s Earth Control” (starring Fleischer’s ubiquitous Koko, who, along with his dog, routinely climbs out of the animator’s inkwell)…and, 65 years later, a Liquid Television segment that featured a re-cut version of […]

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(1990) ***** Once again I’m going back into previous decades and watching material that, as much as any other reaction, astonishes me with how much time has passed—not just as evidenced by the old cars and clothes and haircuts and cell phones on the movie screen (that looked totally modern and up-to-date at the time; […]

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(1999) ***** From the moment the “Haxan Films” logo comes onto the screen, I’m hooked—I’m plunged back into an utterly unique cinematic mood; a blend of mundanity and dread, of ugly visual noise and fleeting, nearly transcendental beauty that can only mean one movie: The Blair Witch Project (1999). The “haxan” logo gets me because […]

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(2010) ** I don’t know what can be done about movies like Shutter Island, because there’s no getting rid of them — they occupy one corner of the horror movie game board as permanently as low-budget splatterfests occupy another. As long as people get involved in the intellectual implications of scare stories (like, on blogs […]

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2010-07-27 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
What is 7 Souls?

We’ve just finished our new web campaign for 7 Souls, which you can see here. We’ve found a spoiler-free way to extend the actual book’s story into a different presentational medium. I’d be very interested to hear any horrorthon comments/critiques as we begin implementing and attempting to publicize the campaign and the book, were any […]

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2010-07-18 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
God of War Indie Film

These people made a trailer for a movie based on God of War if it were a Wes Anderson movie. As Cal at Cal’s Canadian Cave of Cool opines, “The guys who made this totally nailed Wes Anderson’s annoying style of filmmaking. It shows how everything great can be ruined by a spin through the […]

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After he gets off the phone, Anthony Edwards checks the time on the nearby outdoor clock (above). See the billboard?

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After the lively discussion the other day I’ve decided to start writing like Arthur C. Clarke; herewith the

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If you kids are done syllable-counting, I want to mention that I uploaded clips of some of the aforementioned great bass-coming-in moments I posted about early this morning. Click here to watch clips from Silent Hill, The Queen and Miracle Mile. Boost your speakers and get ready for goosebumps! http://www.jordanorlando.com/ns/bass 50PageMcgee UPDATE: sorry to keep […]

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I mention 50 because, until Octopunk’s Tron Legacy post a week ago, I had no idea that anyone on Horrorthon geeked out on movie music even more than me (since I’ve been known to get into discussing flattened fifths myself). (I’ve made a few special modifications myself. But, we’re a little rushed…) Anyway, off the […]

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2010-06-29 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
The Next Generation

Pretty much every time I bring up Star Trek The Next Generation I’m saying something bad about it (unless you catch me on those rare occasions when I’m referring to the super-binge-marathon where I watched all seven seasons, back in 2006 or thereabouts, and came to really appreciate and admire the whole project). Just a […]

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This occurred to me recently and I wanted to ask what other Horrorthonners thought. Obviously you could say “the Force” or “the Jedi” but I guess I’m asking in a more abstract, elemental “pure cinema” sense. What were the basic visual/auditory innovations that gave the thing its fundamental punch, up on the big screen for […]

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2010-06-25 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Toy Story 3

***** (2010) GUARANTEED 100% SPOILER-FREE I’m not going to say much beyond insisting that all of you just go see this, and marvel at the unparalleled artistry of Pixar. I’ll just make a couple of quick points: 1) It’s the best 3D I’ve ever seen, bar none. They really know how to do it. My […]

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These two guys have been either turning out peerless entertainment or assaulting the eyes and ears of the moviegoing public (depending on your point of view) for a few decades now. We see these logos and these names all the time, and, without getting into the specifics of their personalities or their histories or whatever, […]

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2010-06-20 :: Jordan // Cartoons + Horrorthon Posts
Are You Happie™?

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Big version here. Merchandise (t-shirts, mugs etc. with the cover) here. From that site: The Nation’s celebrated cover — already a classic — features original artwork by Brian Stauffer. The image of George W. Bush-as-Alfred E. Newman graced our cover on November 13, 2000 just as George W.’s reign began. Were we right or what?

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2010-06-02 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
What if I don’t?

(New checks from the bank.)

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2010-05-23 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
7 Souls

This is probably as a good a time to get into this as any, so here goes. I certainly can’t tell you how to spend your own money. And this isn’t like recommending movies; it’s craftier and more underhanded. Nevertheless: I co-wrote a teen supernatural thriller called 7 Souls (along with friend/writing partner Barney Miller, […]

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2010-05-20 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
No spoilers; one comment

Last night, ABCTV broadcast #120 of a total of 121 episodes of J. J. Abrams/Bad Robot’s sci-fi/fantasy saga LOST. That’s right, non-fans; we addicts, we strangers amongst you who watch LOST, are living in a perishable world that will come to an end next week, when the show completes its story. And my comment (having […]

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From a Huffington Post slideshow of the “most awesome Star Wars products of all time.” Great stuff. P.S. You guys are done with your stone cold rhymin,’ correct? It’s okay for me to post without besmirching the sacred Hump Day rituals? (Kidding)

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2010-05-10 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Big Lego

Shout out to Octopunk: furniture based on Lego building brick designs.

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From Nasa: May 4, 2010: “Standard orbit, Mr. Sulu.” Captain Kirk barks out the order with such confidence. He knows the USS Enterprise can slip in and out of planetary orbits with ease. But it’s only easy in the realm of science fiction. In the real world, such maneuvers have been impossible –until now. Enter […]

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1) Yeoman Rand 2) duplicate Kirk 3) brig force field 4) argument with computer 5) Vulcan lyre

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2010-04-26 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
More Bill Elder!

Here are seven more Bill Elder classics from the “older, darker” Mad. Mole! (December 1952)Shadow! (April/May 1953)Shermlock Shomes! (October 1953)Shermlock Shomes in The Hound of the Basketballs! (October 1954)Restaurant! (October 1954)Howdy Dooit! (December 1954)Mickey Rodent! (January 1955)

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2010-04-26 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Favorite panel

There are so many candidates…but this is probably my favorite panel from “Starchie.” Mainly because you get to work your way through the whole “Betty and Veronica look alike” joke in all its elaborate detail, and think you’re done with the panel…and then Bottleneck punches that kid in the face as they walk past.

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2010-04-25 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Starchie

Since you guys are going bananas over Archie, you should read the June 1954 Mad parody “Starchie” (drawn by legendary crazy genius Bill Elder). If you’re not familiar with the history of Mad, all you need to know is that it started out as a much more insane and evil comic book (from EC Comics, […]

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2010-04-19 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Horrorthon blues

1) I want everyone who hasn’t already to go pay lots of attention to my two posts from over the weekend, about the maze in The Shining (and my Avatar post with the two and a half minute clip from the movie, showing That Big Thing Back There). 2) I really don’t want to not […]

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2010-04-17 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
More Avatar

Everybody liked the most recent Big Thing Back There (#7) from Avatar, but I was the only one of us who could actually watch it move. So, to fix that, here’s the entire 2 minute 45 second sequence of Sully’s troop landing. http://www.jordanorlando.com/ns/avatar

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2010-04-17 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Mazes 2

Above, a shot from the Vivian Kubrick documentary about the making of The Shining that’s on the movie disc, showing the production team’s working map of the “real” maze set — the one Jack chases Danny around inside of. (Note that this is yet another construction, indoors, and is not connected to the “maze exterior” […]

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2010-04-16 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Mazes

Taking a closer look at the “famous hedge maze” in The Shining. http://www.jordanorlando.com/ns/mazes

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“Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due” DEPT: That Big Thing Back There, courtesy of James Cameron, who displays a triumphant mastery of the concept in the above images from Avatar. (Click for larger versions.) This stuff is so good that I was frame-advancing through the sequence just to watch the Michael Whelan painting move three-dimensionally, […]

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I’m working at cross-purposes to myself here, because I love Space: 1999 and I want everyone to watch it (Look at that incredible production design!), but I also dislike nepotism and I kind of wish a better actress had played the important role of Dr. Helena Russell besides the odious Barbara Bain, whom I’ve described […]

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2010-04-08 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Okay, okay…

No, it’s not actually Angelina Jolie starring in Space: 1999 as Dr. Helena Russell (below); it’s the one and only Barbara Bain, Martin Landau’s then-wife, whom I described in my “Bringers of Wonder” review as “the most dreadful actress ever to step before the cameras or audience in any medium ever including industrial training films […]

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Recently JPX mentioned that he’d rented the first DVD of the 1975 British sci-fi television series Space: 1999, starring Martin Landau and Angelina Jolie, which is one of my favorite television shows (and one of Octopunk’s, too). You may recall my review of the Season Two Space: 1999 episode “The Bringers of Wonder” for Horrorthon […]

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2010-04-02 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
The Internet in 1969

This is pretty amazing!

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2010-04-01 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Undercover Boss

Any other H’thonners into this show? I never watch reality television but I’ve eagerly devoured all eight episodes of this excellent, Dickensian CBS series. It’s uplifting and troubling at the same time; I think it’s, like, the essential chronicle of these our times. Anyway I’m curious if anyone else from our little corner of the […]

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Exactly in line with Handsome Stan’s comments about old trailers, here’s my modern trailer for Stanley Kubrick’ 1968 sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. I did this a couple of years ago and added it to my reel; all the typography is new, including some CGI text (see above). Take a look. ttp://www.jordanorlando.com/2001

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J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek movie gets its own TBTBT post for honoring this fundamental sci-fi schtick so marvelously. Here’s 23rd-Century Iowa, still clean and untouched, with enormous arcologies on the horizon in every direction (presumably standing on or near the sites of the original population centers). What better way to teach contemporary, disaster-weary Star […]

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Current view out my living room window. Consolidated Edison is, like, really getting down into my street. They make a lot of noise. (Click to see larger version, for whatever un-Godly reason)

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Scanned from one of my “Space Books.” (Click for much larger images.) Two by Angus McKee (top). (See Octopunk’s TBTBT2 post for two more by the same artist.) Sometimes That Big Thing Back There is leaving you alone, and sometimes it’s really not. Note also that one man’s Big Thing Back There is another man’s […]

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Here’s the aforementioned Michael Whelan, just fucking going for it in the TBTBT annals with these pictures for Stephen King’s first The Dark Tower volume, called The Gunslinger. (That’s the man himself moping on the beach. Cheer up, pal — you’ve only got 5,600 pages of King to slog through before you get where you’re […]

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Another old paperback, sandwiched between some other sci-fi on a difficult-to-reach bookshelf. Check this out! (You really have to click to see the large version.) When I was ten or eleven years old (as near as I can remember), this book was the coolest thing in the world. What I did not realize at that […]

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2010-02-25 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
James Blish

See? See? This is who I was dealing with while reading those Star Trek paperbacks I discussed below. Look at the picture! Exactly the guy you want relating Kirk & Co.’s adventures, right? (It was not easy, being a sci-fi fan back then.)

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About a week ago I posted photographs of the contents of a box of old paperbacks I’d retrieved from my parents’ house. Of course you all immediately noticed the glaring omission in that post: I display the ostensibly-complete sequence of James Blish books (called Star Trek 1 through Star Trek 12) with two volumes missing. […]

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I dropped by my parents’ house today on unrelated business (my Mom’s computer…don’t ask) and finally decided to deal with this specific box of old paperbacks that has been sitting in the corner of my old bedroom for about twenty years. It’s not like my parents even live very far away — it’s like a […]

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“Oh, no!”Five years ago, Keith Martin, a Star Wars fan (whose other characteristics are unknown to me), thought very hard about the implications of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy and how it integrates with and changes the plot of the original movies. Specifically, Martin tried to reconcile the events of the final ten minutes of […]

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Here are the original 1991 versions of the Expando Machine cartoons, made back when I actually lived on Columbus Avenue and had a cat named Mugsy. I used a Macintosh SE (the computer that’s actually in the story) to make these original low-res, 1-bit versions with no color and no sound. It’s an interesting comparison […]

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After a long development process I’m finally done with my epic animated trilogy The Expando Machine (which is only about five minutes long in total). This weekend I made HD versions; I strongly recommend them (the 720p HD links) over the smaller movie files. Anyway more “cartoon Jordan” (as discussed). http://www.jordanorlando.com/ns/expando

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On the subject of mastering trivial tasks, here is my cat “Little Cat” (illustration above) who demonstrates a profound mastery of the fabled feline “Sideways Hand Technique” (see fig. 1 above). (Note that Little Cat has vestigial “Hemingway thumbs” as many cats do.)

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I’m pretty sure this is the first thing (or the main thing) Octopunk is referring to here. Birthday card from slightly more than ten years ago. How about that. Click for larger image.

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2010-01-21 :: Jordan // Cartoons + Horrorthon Posts
Cartoon Jordan

I didn’t comment on Johnny Sweatpants’ sublime post from Monday only because the whole thing was so perfect that I didn’t want to risk messing it up. But not only am I delighted that “Cartoon Jordan” is well-liked around here (after my fairly-subtle insinuation of the image etc.), it’s especially good timing because I’m feverishly […]

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2010-01-11 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Avatar

A whole bunch of stupefied guys who just saw Avatar (2009) ** [UPDATED BELOW] 1) I didn’t like AvatarI didn’t like Avatar. However I am not here to start a fight. I’m not indignant or resentful or marginalized or offended or anything like that. I just didn’t like it…I found it dull. My posting here […]

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[UPDATE: I added “behind the scenes” images from Digital Domain; scroll down.] I haven’t seen Avatar yet, so I can’t comment, but I’ve noticed that everyone’s giving James Cameron’s team credit for “finally” solving the problem of creating expressive digital faces that look photorealistic and genuine, without being creepy…since nobody else has done this. Really? […]

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From Defamer: “I’m laying down some ground rules about movie theater seat saving, because I’m sick of having the film ruined by you assholes…If you can not follow them, then you have to sit in the aisle or wait for everything to come out on DVD and leave the theater for civilized folk.” The rules […]

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2009-12-22 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Silent Hill

(2006) **** If you drew a straight line from The Matrix to Dark City and then extended the line along the same axis, you’d eventually hit Silent Hill, French director Christophe Ganz’ feverishly obsessive cinematic rendering of the acclaimed computer game series of the same name. This odd, grisly, beautiful movie was a box-office disappointment […]

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2009-12-19 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
The man gets around

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This is so amazing and wonderful! You just have to watch it. From the Associated Press (via Huffinton Post): AP– SYDNEY — Australian scientists have discovered an octopus in Indonesia that collects coconut shells for shelter – unusually sophisticated behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal. […]

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When even those grouchy depressed snotty hipsters on Gawker publicly apologize for attacking Avatar (and sing its praises), it starts to look like ol’ James Cameron pulled it out. Apparently he aimed for the impossible sci-fi bullsye and hit it: For months, the evidence mounted and mounted that James Cameron’s long awaited Titanic follow-up was […]

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2009-12-13 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Near Dark

(1987) ** Horrorthon ’09 is “officially” over (and I’ve already done my summation), so I don’t feel compelled to do a particularly circumspect job on this flick. I wasn’t even going to review it, except I’m a little bit irritated because I feel like every time I turn around these days I’m dealing with James […]

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2009-12-12 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
New Post

“You should do what I do and write a whole new post,” Octopunk said (in response to my response to his voluminous post below). So I figured he had a point. Here’s my response again: 1) I wish my Patton Oswald post had “dominated the blog over the weekend.” It only got three comments (and […]

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2009-12-09 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Dr. X

This is just some random excellence I came across the other day. I’ve been moving through the fantastic (and extremely overdue) DVD sets of SCTV episodes from the early 1980s. SCTV was arguably the greatest sketch comedy/variety show ever. It was one of my favorite TV shows at the time (and I had a small […]

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After seeing the excellent Ratatouille last month, I realized I recognized the name of the dude who did the voice of the main character (you know, the rat who can cook), and after sitting there frowning for a moment trying to place him, I remembered that he’d been a guest on a couple of episodes […]

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FavoriteHidden GemMost DisturbingScream QueenWorstSo Bad It’s GoodGoriestMost Memorable DeathBest Looking MonsterScariest

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2009-11-30 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
The Ring

(2002) ***** “Ninety percent of science fiction is crap,” legendary sci-fi author Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985) once admitted, “but then, ninety percent of everything is crap.” The observation (now known as “Sturgeon’s Law” or “Sturgeon’s Revelation”) is justifiably famous; his implicit point applies not just to sci-fi but to other ghettoized genres as well. In the […]

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2009-11-26 :: Jordan // Cartoons + Horrorthon Posts
Genius I tell you!

Octopunk and I were talking about this on the phone last night. There’s a growing bilious reaction to James Cameron’s upcoming Avatar. My favorite new stuff is on Gawker, here: The Mounting Evidence That Avatar Will Suck, Part 1 The Mounting Evidence That Avatar Will Suck, Part 2: An Eyewitness Account Anyway, are we not […]

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Jordan loves digital modelsOf course everybody remembers that glorious moment when I, Jordan, posted frames from Alien selected for the purpose of showcasing the superb production design of that movie, and, specifically, the excellence of Ron Cobb’s and Martin Bower’s work in creating the U.S.C.S.S. Nostromo, interior and exterior. Anyway, In my capacity as sci-fi/design/font/sfx/vehicle/movie […]

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2009-10-31 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
The Jacket

(2005) ** Let’s get one thing absolutely straight from the outset: I watched this movie for one reason and one reason only (and the more alert amongst Horrorthon readers have probably already figured out what that reason is). In one of his commentary tracks, writer-director Nicholas Meyer (who had nothing to do with this movie) […]

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Before MTV commissioned the full-length Aeon Flux series (in which the characters speak out loud) there were six dialogue-free “Aeon Flux” short films which appeared on MTV’s excellent Liquid Television animation anthology show in 1991-2. Peter Chung, the visionary creator/director/writer/designer of “Aeon Flux,” provided commentary on the recent compilation DVD box set, compiling all the […]

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Michael Small’s music for the 1976 John Schlessinger classic Marathon Man, one of my favorite movies of all time, has never been put out on a record. (Judging by Google searches I’ve run, I’m not the only person looking for Michael Small’s music, both from “Marathon Man” and from “Parallax View,” but there’s never been […]

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(1978) * This is really just shooting fish in a barrel, since this movie is such complete garbage, but I have to do it anyway because I’m puzzled and troubled by a surrounding set of phenomena that seem to have some bearing on the broader questions concerning literary vs. cinematic horror, adaptations, suspense plotting, and […]

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(1988) **** This was a problematic movie for me, because of exactly the “remake” issues that have been discussed elsewhere on Horrorthon. There are two versions of The Vanishing: the acclaimed 1988 Dutch original and a not-particularly-well-regarded American 1993 remake. Two decades later, the consensus about today’s Hollywood remakes of foreign horror movies is that […]

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(2007) ** This movie diminished in my estimation with each passing scene, so that my prediction of the rating I would give slipped from four-star to three-star to two-star over the course of its (brief) running length. It’s too bad, because writer/director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and the other filmmakers clearly wanted to follow respectfully in […]

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(1997) ** [NOTE: The following was written in 1997, after my first viewing of Alien Resurrection, and sent by email to several of my friends. Since it’s twelve years old, it hardly counts as a Horrorthon review; still, it might have some relevance.] I suppose this is as good an opportunity as any to discuss […]

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(2008) *** When in Rome… This isn’t really my cup of tea, but it definitely delivers the goods, and I have to give the movie full credit for achieving exactly what it sets out to do, and then some. I had a great time, and I admire the intentions and the technique, but I can’t […]

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2009-10-13 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
Catfreeek Movie

(2005) *** In between watching two of the seven horror movies I watched since waking up this morning, I decided to take a look at this little-known but awesome film from Czechoslovakia, in which zombie mutant vampire zombie killers ravage a deserted WWII asylum filled with vampire-blood-infected Nazi-victim werewolves who are out for revenge against […]

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(2007) **** I’m told that the box-office failure of Hostel Part II was the main reason that the “gore-nograpy” sub-genre failed (except for the endlessly-lucrative Saw franchise). This is both a shame and a mystery, because Part II is as surprisingly innovative and remarkable as Hostel (2005) (which I liked), perfectly extending and repeating its […]

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2009-10-12 :: Jordan // Cartoons + Horrorthon Posts
Teenage Boys

Not a movie review; just another recent cartoon (prompted by a discussion with my friend about his teenage step-son). Click image for larger view. I’ll be back on the clock soon, boss.

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I’ll get back to reviewing when I return to the city this evening. In the meantime I’ve just got one thing to say (in the spirit of the “best of Horrorthon” awards discussed earlier): Scariest Movie to Think About While Trying to Fall Asleep In a Small Cottage in the Woods: The Strangers

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2009-10-10 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Quarantine

(2008) **** At what point does a trend in the arts become a full-fledged sub-genre or even a “movement”? Manifestos can be written (the Bauhaus; Dada; Dogma) or critics can invent names for what they see (like Clement Greenberg coining “Abstract Expressionism” in the ‘Fifties). I’m not sure whether I’m looking at a trend, or […]

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2009-10-08 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
The Omen

(1976) ** In 2006, when the remake of The Omen was released on June 6th (and titled The Omen 666, just in case anybody missed the point), the reviews argued that there was no reason to remake the “classic” Omen beyond the 6/6/6 date gimmick; the consensus seemed to be that the original was a […]

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(2008) **** The Strangers is on the opposite end of the horror spectrum from Hostel. It’s pure atmosphere, pure style. As I wrote below, a movie like Hostel works on multiple levels, employing complex storytelling techniques to convey political and philosophical overtones (in the great tradition of Halloween and Dawn of the Dead). The Strangers […]

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2009-10-07 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Hostel

(2005) **** This is a very impressive and very interesting movie. It’s quite different from what I had anticipated; it’s cleverer and more sophisticated than its plain, flat presentation suggests. I had certain expectations because of the controversial “gorenography”/”gore porn” labels that got attached to the Hostel and Saw franchises; since I’ve seen three of […]

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These villains constantly pursue me!

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2009-09-25 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts
October’s coming

…and that means Horrorthon, obviously. If Horrorthon were a slightly bigger deal, there could be a series of Horrorthon t-shirts with evocative horror-movie quotations on them (on the opposite side from the logo), like this: “THEY’RE COMING TO GET YOU, BARBARA” “SEVEN DAYS” “WE ALL GO A LITTLE MAD SOMETIMES” “HERE’S JOHHNY” These are pretty […]

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The world’s most famous romantic triangle, in their high school yearbooks. More yearbook photos here.

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