FILM by Shane “Creepy Packaging” Hnetka

It’s an interesting couple of months for lovers of comic book culture. Regina has its second fan convention, Orphan Black returns for its third season starting April 18, Jayden Pfeifer’s April 28 Talkies event features the abominable Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, Marvel’s latest TV series, Daredevil, has just debuted on Netflix and of course Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1. That last one is tracking for a massive box office opening, possibly the biggest ever. It’s a good time to be a comic book nerd.

What else? Hmm, how about an evil force in a box?

Better Babadooks

The Australian Indie horror hit The Babadook hasn’t played here yet and sadly there might not be any point going to a theatre if it ever does, since you can now watch it at home. On the bright side, The Babadook will be released on Blu-ray and DVD  in the States by standout U.S. label Short Factory, under the banner of Shout Factory’s horror line, called, fittingly, Scream Factory. Besides basic blu-rays and DVD sets, there will also be a Babadook special edition with creepy packaging made to look like the film’s evil pop-up book. It’s pretty freaking sweet and I want it.

Alas, we don’t get any of the cool toys here. EOne has the Canadian rights and it’s just publishing plain, boring Blu-rays.

Don’t distributors get it? If studios and companies want people to buy physical copies of movies in the online age they need to offer something special. Shout Factory grasps that concept and runs with it. If the physical product isn’t interesting, why bother?

I guess I’m ordering my cool copy of The Babadook from the States.

Nerd-Style Star Power

Like I said up above, another Fan Expo descends upon Regina next week (April 25-26). It’s our second comic con here in the Queen City and this year’s guests aren’t too shabby. Jonathan Frakes (Riker from Star Trek Next Generation), Margot Kidder (Lois Lane from the 1978 Superman), Shannon Doherty (Charmed), Lawrence Gilliard (The Walking Dead) and Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett himself) will all appear. Personally, I’m always more interested in the comic book guests (Bill Sienkiewicz!) but the celebrity guests bring name recognition and have become the big draw for these conventions — and for a small city like Regina that needs to grow its con, guests that draw more people in are a good thing.

Shane Hnetka is a Regina film and comic book nerd. He also writes Dog Blog’s weekly “Sunday Matinee” column at