31 Days Of Horror: The Plague Of Zombies

A small town in England in 1800s is beset by a plague that devastating the residents of the town.

Local doctor Peter Tompson (Brook Williams) writes to his mentor Sir James Forbes (André Morell) for help. Forbes arrives with his daughter Sylvia (Diane Clare). Tompson and Forbes go to exhume some of the recently deceased to find out more about the disease only to find the coffins empty.

Soon zombies are discovered around an old mine near the estate of Squire Clive Hamilton (John Carson). The squire it turns out has spent time in Haiti.

This Hammer Horror from director John Gilling is a really good chiller.

31 Days Of Horror: [Rec]

A television crew are following an emergency fire department for their show. The department gets a call to an apartment complex.

Reporter Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) and her film crew follow the fire fighters to the apartment where an old woman has been reported to be in distress. When they arrive the woman attacks the fire fighters.

They try to take the injured man outside only to find that the building has been sealed and everyone inside has been quarantined.

Soon a man from the health department comes in to look at the apartment residents. He says that a strain of rabies has infected the residents. Soon more people are infected and attacking everyone.

This Spanish horror film is very scary and intense. It spawned three sequels and an American remake but this is the best one.

31 Days Of Horror: The Last Man On Earth

A virus has broken out across the Earth. People infected with it die and a turned into undead vampire like creatures.

Dr. Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) is the last human alive. He lives alone in a fortifed house and spends his days killing vampires and burning their bodies.

Morgan is immune against the virus but he is incredibly lonely. One day a dog appears but runs away from him. Later it appears wounded, infected by the virus. Morgan kills the dog with a stake and buries it.

Morgan sees a woman and convinces her to return to his place with him. She informs him that she belongs to a group of people who use a vaccine to control the virus. Morgan doesn’t trust her.

Based on Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend this first adaptation is the most faithful and Matheson himself wrote the screenplay but he removed his name from the film when he became dissatisfied with the movie.

31 Days Of Horror: The Howling

It’s pretty clear zombies have a viral disease that spreads through bites. Yesterday’s Dawn of the Dead demonstrated that. Depending on what vampire movie you are watching, vampire bites are either infectious or part of a process that also includes drinking a vampire’s blood. Either way, again, a viral infection. But what about werewolves?

Everyone knows that being bitten by a werewolf creates new werewolves but there are some films, like An American Werewolf in London, were the attack is more about transferring a curse than spreading an infection. In the 1981 Joe Dante-directed The Howling, it’s clear werewolfism is a viral infection caused by bites.

Reporter Karen White (Dee Wallace) has been receiving phone calls from serial killer Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo) and has agreed to meet him. The police have Karen wired and have officers trying to track her. They lose her and the transmitter signal keeps cutting out. Karen meets Eddie in a porno shop where he terrifies her. The police save her by shooting Eddie.

Karen has amnesia from the event as well as severe trauma. Her doctor, Dr. George Waggner (Patrick Macnee) suggests Karen and her husband Bill (Christopher Stone) spend a couple of weeks at his country retreat that he calls the Colony. There they meet many odd characters.

Meanwhile, Karen’s co-worker Terri (Belinda Balaski) continues investigating Eddie. She finds that he was obsessed with werewolves which leads her to investigate the legends of werewolves.

Back at the Colony Karen keeps hearing wolves at night and things seem off. Bill is attacked by a wolf and bitten. Without revealing the ending, Karen and Terri soon find out the Colony’s terrifying secret and source of Karen’s trauma.

I love this movie. It’s fun and the effects still hold up well. There was a lot of potential for the many sequels that followed but sadly they are all pretty bad.

31 Days Of Horror: The Satanic Rites Of Dracula

The last of the Hammer Horror Dracula films features a very interesting plot. Picking up where the last movie, Dracula A.D. 1972, which brought Dracula into the modern times.

British secret service have been monitoring a house out in the country. A Satanic Cult has set shop there and even more disturbing several prominent members of society appear to be members. A member of parliament, a secret service officer, a general and a famous scientist.

A secret agent escapes from the house but dies of his wounds. The agent manges to tell his superiors about the members.

To avoid trouble with the suspected members, the secret service enlist Scotland Yard’s Inspector Murray (Michael Coles).

Murray brings Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) and his granddaughter Jessica Van Helsing (Joanna Lumley) onto the case. Meanwhile the cult kidnap a secret service secretary revealing that the cult is run by Dracula (Christopher Lee). Dracula bites the secretary turning her into a vampire.

The Van Helsings and Murray break into the house and find the vampire secretary who they kill. Vam Helsing meets with the scientist and discover that he has been working on a new bubonic plague. This leads him to a businessman named D.D. Denham who is really Dracula.

Dracula plans to release the plague and wipe out humanity.

Hammer films had been huge for a decade but the series was getting pretty weak. Lee hated the deviations from the original source material and this was his last Dracula Hammer film.

31 Days Of Horror: Seoul Station

A prequel to the 2016 Korean horror movie Train to Busan, this animated movie takes place a couple of days befoee Train to Busan.

Director Yeon Sang-ho was an animation director and Train to Busan (2016) was his first live action movie. He also directed Seoul Station which was also released in 2016.

Hye-sun is a former prostitute whose current boyfriend is trying to get to go back to hooking. Hye-sun has fight and runs away.

Meanwhile a homeless person has been bitten and slowly dies on the street as everyone ignores him. The homeless person becomes a zombie and starts infecting the other homeless that live in Seoul Station.

A man claiming to be Hye-sun’s arrives and forced her boyfriend to help look for her. Hye-sun finds herself running from the growing zombie outbreak.

This is a really good prequel to Train to Busan and animation is excellent.

COVID-19: Safety Tips

Four rabbits demonstrating the proper technique for social distancing

A person can be infected with COVID-19 for up to 14 days before showing any symptoms. While pre-symptom transmission of the virus is possible, medical experts currently think it is less common than post-symptom transmission. Symptoms of infection include runny nose, fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

COVID-19 is commonly spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Transmission can occur through close personal contact, or by touching something that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Scientists studying the virus have determined that it can remain detectable for up to three hours in the air, four hours on copper, a  day on cardboard and 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel.

If you have cold or flu-like symptoms you are asked to self-isolate to limit your contact with other people unless you have been directed to seek medical attention. To reduce the possibility of transmission, practice proper cough/sneeze etiquette by coughing/sneezing into your elbow. Practice social distancing, too, by keeping two metres between yourself and other people. And you should also wash your hands frequently (and thoroughly) with soap and water.

For more information visit Health Canada.

John Waters: The Full Interview

John Waters and Gary Varro at a dinner held during Camp, Trash, Filth

Our June 8-21 issue featured a cover story on legendary American filmmaker, author, artist and provocateur John Waters. It was in advance of a June 24 appearance he made in Regina as part of Camp, Trash, Filth organized by Queer City Cinema artistic director Gary Varro.

Waters’ contract stipulated no media while he was in town. He did agree to two pre-appearance phone interviews from his home in Baltimore. I snagged one, and wrote the above mentioned cover story, along with a second story using recycled and new material for the CARFAC SASK newsletter.

Now that both articles have been published, I thought I’d stitch together a fuller picture of my 25-minute interview with John Waters.

Could you offer a snapshot of what it was like growing up in Baltimore?

Well, the ’50s were horrible. You might know them from watching television and hearing doo-wop music and seeing cool cars, but it was a time of terrible conformity. That’s why rock ’n’ roll went crazy. That’s why Elvis Pressley was a Martian who scared the whole world. Then beatniks started, and hippies, then punks, grunge, gangstas, and now hackers. So there’s my history.   

Your family may not have understood what you were doing, you’ve said, but they were still supportive. What about life outside your home in Baltimore? Did you ever feel repressed?

I felt repressed, certainly, by people I went to school with. Most of the teachers I had too, especially in high school, would never encourage what I ended up doing for a living. I didn’t care that much, though. I wasn’t bullied because the bullies thought I was crazy, so they left me alone. And I created a lot of friends in my mind and even a character for myself. And I had a career as a puppeteer when I was 12 for children’s birthday parties. I also wrote stories that would horrify people at summer camp, and the counselors would call my parents. So that was always my comfort. Continue reading “John Waters: The Full Interview”

DA: 100 People Party Planet

Daily AggregationHellooooooo Regina! You’re probably just finishing your sardine sandwiches and lunch pickles. Yum! Looking for a noon-hour news link round-up? I have just the thing.

1. THIS WEATHER! Did I mention? Wind! Snow! Grounded planes! Eeek!

2. SASKATCHEWAN IS BACK IN SESSION The Legislature is sitting again and yesterday was the first day of spring session. And what a day it was! Brad Wall won’t sell SaskTel! Don Morgan has fresh ideas* to stop impaired driving! New MLA Ryan Meili is the NDP shadow critic for poverty! Out of province political donations are destroying democracy! As for today? Brad Wall wants to cut MLAs’ pay by 3.5 per cent. May I counter-propose five per cent, and 10 per cent for ministers and Premiers? I think I may! CONSIDER IT PROPOSED.

3. DEALS WITH DRAGONS Can Canada have closer economic ties to China when China is a human rights shitshow? First step: consultations!

4. DEPORTING CANADIANS You might be a fuck-up, but if you’ve lived in Canada all six decades of your life you’re OUR fuck-up. Meanies disagree.

5. TRUMPCARE The diabolical dummies release their dumb anti-Planned Parenthood Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan. Douchebags. I like Tom Tomorrow’s take.

6. WAIT, THE CIA HAS THE ABILITY TO GET INTO CELL PHONES? No way.

7. INCRIMINATING USE OF A FOUR-POUND HAMMER After two sleeping homeless people had their heads bashed in, Las Vegas police arrested a fellow who beat the shit out of a mannequin’s head. The mannequin was posing as a sleeping homeless person. “I knew it was a mannequin,” says hammer guy. Uh huh.

8. GEORGE MICHAEL IS STILL DEAD But now we know he died of natural causes. Continue resting in peace, good sir. You are  missed.

WORLD OF 100 What would it look like if the planet’s population was represented by only 100 people? Video swiped from the always excellent Kottke.

Requiem For An American Dream

This 2015 documentary by Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks and Jared Scott is probably not for the faint of heart — at least as far as the willingness and ability of the viewer to grapple with complex ideas about the state of democracy in the Western World in the 21st century.

Filmed over a four-year period Requiem For An American Dream focusses on American intellectual Noam Chomsky, and sees him break down the steady march of our society toward neoliberal nirvana where wealth and power, over the last number of decades, have been concentrated into fewer and fewer hands — leaving massive numbers of Americans on the outside looking in as far as the so-called American Dream goes.

The documentary screens at the RPL Film Theatre Friday May 27 at 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday May 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. Here’s the trailer:

Daniel Cross

Canadian documentary filmmaker Daniel Cross is in Regina later this week. On Tuesday, May 24 the Saskatchewan Filmpool is hosting a session at the Regina Public Library where Cross will be in conversation with Regina filmmaker Mark Wihak about his 20-year career in film. That goes at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and more information can be found on the Sask. Filmpool website.

The following night, Wednesday May 25, there will be a free screening of Cross’s latest documentary I Am The Blues at the RPL Film Theatre at 7 p.m. The documentary sees Cross journey to the American South to visit with some of the original innovators of southern blues who are now in their senior years.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Cross. Here’s the trailer for I Am The Blues

Five Alive

Tonight the arts hub Creative City Centre is hosting a fifth anniversary party. Located on the second and third floor above what used to be Loggie’s Shoes (now the Capitol Jazz Club) at 1843 Hamilton, CCC was the brainchild of Marian Donnelly and various partners in the arts community.

Since opening five years ago, CCC has hosted scores of concerts, spoken word nights, art exhibits and other events, as well as serving as home base for Articulate Ink print collective and a handful of other arts organizations. It’s been a welcome addition to the downtown, so congratulations are very much are in order.

To find out more about what’s in store tonight, visit the CCC website. The fun starts at 5 p.m., and will include a reception for a textile exhibition by Melanie Monique Rose, live music and open houses at various artist studios.

To give you one example of what the CCC has accomplished, here’s a 2015 video from its Empty Room series featuring Saskatoon singer-songwriter Kirby Criddle performing her song “You Are A Cyclone”

Behind The Songs & Trifecta Concert Series

There’s a couple of multi-musician showcases happening in Regina tonight.

At Creative City Centre (1843 Hamilton), there’s another instalment in the popular Behind the Songs series where local singer-songwriters sit down with each other to talk about their craft and perform songs for the audience. Stepping up tonight are Megan Nash, Grey Gritt and the Stillhouse Poets. As always, there will be an open mike afterwards.

Doors at Creative City Centre are at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $20. You can find out more information on the CCC website.

Just down the street at Ragged Ass Barbers (1965 Hamilton, above Victoria’s Tavern) there’s the second instalment in the Trifecta Concert Series. The performers tonight are Keiffer McLean, Nick Faye, Acadence, Madison Nichol and Nolan Grand. Doors are at 7 p.m., and admission is $8 before 9 p.m., and $10 after.

To close, here’s a 2015 video for Nick Faye’s song “Head In Your Hands”:

Weekly Reckoning: Checkon Yourself Before You Reckon Yourself Edition

weekly-reckoningIt’s a reckon every second around here.

WENCHES WELCOME HERE Local vanity project owner Jason Hall is in hot water this week after an ad for event staff at Kitschbomb Stonehall Castle asked for applicants’ measurements. Hall seems to be under the impression that his reputation as a landlord is making him a target for ire, rather than the fact that he asked for women’s exact measurements.

FINALLY, SOMEONE WITH THE RIGHT IDEA Slate’s Daniel Engber takes a look at the state of the world and decides that the best solution is to eradicate all of the mosquitoes. What a great idea! Even if they’re not showing up to the party with Zika and malaria and chikungunya and that old dengue fever, they’re still making off with our blood and leaving nothing but itchy bumps behind. Let’s whip these welters.

I’M STARTING TO THINK THAT FLINT IS JUST DYSTOPIA’S TEST LAB You think that lead content in Flint’s water is a disgrace? It’s so much worse than that.

Y IN THE SKY January 28 marked the 30th anniversary of the Challenger shuttle explosion. Jason Kottke has a round-up of stories on the disaster.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU: CETAPHILE? I’m aware of how tortured and ridiculous that pun is, but these are ridiculous, torturous times. Especially when you discover that Justin Trudeau wants to ratify the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, or CETA.

Dressler & Chick Released

Rider LogoThe changes keep on coming for the Green & White, as the team announced today that it had parted ways with two fan favourites: receiver Weston Dressler and defensive lineman John Chick.

Both are veteran players in their 30s with relatively large salaries, and in the team’s announcement GM/Head Coach Chris Jones said efforts to renegotiate their contracts had not been successful and the team had reached the difficult decision to release them.

Jones has said that he wants to get bigger at the receiver position, and with both Dressler and impressive 25-year old rookie Ryan Smith on the small side, it seemed unlikely that both would remain on the roster. Smith is a free agent, so jettisoning Dressler could clear the way to signing him. Or the team may decide to not pursue him either.

As for Chick, he enjoyed some dominant years with the Riders, and celebrated Grey Cups in 2007 and 2013. But again, he’s in the twilight of his career, and carries a hefty contract, and in a salary cap environment finances inevitably play a role in player personnel decisions.

We’ll be running our first Rider Fan Forum of the 2016 CFL season in the Feb. 18 issue, by the way. In November, Ron Mexico forecast that both Dressler and Chick could be on their way out. So it’ll be interesting to see what he and Earl Camembert, Cal Corduroy and John’s Chick have to say about the team.

Christmas Bird Count

Each year between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5, naturalists in different locations in North America and elsewhere make a point of getting out and doing a bird count to get the lay of the avian landscape during the depths of winter. This year’s count in Regina and area goes on Sunday Dec. 27 between 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

You can find out more information on the bird count, along with details on how to participate, by visiting the Nature Regina website. If you check the event calendar, you’ll see that a second bird count is being held in the Balgonie area during daylight hours on Saturday, Jan. 2.

As a side note, we did an article on citizen science a few issues back, and one of the projects we highlighted was an online data base called eBird where people who are interested in bird-watching can register and then record birds they see both in their home region and any other areas of the world they might happen to visit.

You can find out more about eBird here.

Digestible Budget Nuggets! They’re Easy To Digest!

Council met last night for a special, marathon meeting on the 2016 city budgets. Here are all my tweets so you can live every minute of a six hour council session.

But since you’ve probably got better stuff to do with your day, I’ll spoil the highlights: Council was able to reduce the proposed 3.9% property tax increase to 3.3%. And they dropped the proposed utility rate increase from 6% to 5%.

You can follow all my live-tweeting of city stuff at @PDCityHall.

There will be a summary of the council meeting in the next issue of Prairie Dog (out Thursday). And I think it’s a safe bet that we’ll be discussing the budget on Thursday’s Queen City Improvement Bureau — that’s the radio show I do with Aidan Morgan every Thursday evening at 7pm on 91.3 CJTR (episode archive here).

Advance Polls

Earth_Eastern_HemisphereSo I guess advance polls are open over the Thanksgiving weekend. If you’ve received a voter information card, and assuming the information on it is correct (which apparently it always hasn’t been), your advance poll location will be listed on it.

Unlike with previous federal elections, advance polls are open on Sunday as well as Friday, Saturday and Monday. That was a change the Harper Conservatives made in the Fair Election Act. It’s been speculated that was done for political advantage. Since polling stations are often located in churches, the idea is that the faithful will go to church on Sunday and then troop downstairs to vote. Find out more in this Ottawa Sun report.

There’s also some arrangement going on at the University of Regina where students who are in town to study can vote in their home riding by doing some write-in thing. Find out more in this CBC report.

So if you’ve got your mind made up, and want to cast your ballot before Judgement Day on Oct. 19, have at it.

Election 2015: Where In The World Is Trent Fraser? (And, For That Matter, All The Other CPC Candidates)

BLAHBLAHBLAHIHATEWORDPRESScbcontrentfraser

cdnelxncircleUPDATE: Surprise. According to the L-P’s Emma Graney, Trent Fraser will be at tomorrow night’s televised Access debate.

Last week, Trent Fraser, Conservative candidate for Regina–Lewvan, informed the CBC that skipping public debates and forums is part of his party’s election strategy.

Personally, his confession strikes me as a pretty serious gaffe but it hasn’t received much attention. Not even locally. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this would get overshadowed by that other cornerstone of the Conservative’s election strategy:

Stoking fears of terrorist fifth-columnists!

I guess we’ll find out tonight if Fraser is sticking to the Conservative playbook as there’s another forum for candidates in Regina–Lewvan. It’s being put on by the Cathedral Community Association board at the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre. (That’s across the street from the 13th Ave Safeway at 2900 13th Ave. Show starts at 7pm Show up earlier if you want a seat.)

Continue reading “Election 2015: Where In The World Is Trent Fraser? (And, For That Matter, All The Other CPC Candidates)”

Election 2015: Random, Folksy, Stephen Harper-Themed Sayings

cdnelxncircleI’m writing this thing about the election and I get to this point where I think I need a folksy saying. And I say to myself, “I want something like ‘Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings,’ except it’d be about Harper.”

That line about bells and angels is from Zuzu Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life and it has this great Mad Libs structure: “Every time [blank] a [blank happens]“. It’s been used by comedians for-basically-ever. My personal favourite is from Dylan Moran: “Berlusconi, in Italy, right… He’s so fucking crooked he sleeps on a spiral staircase! So thoroughly corrupt, every time he smiles an angel gets gonorrhoea!”

Anyway, I wanted something like that. Except I’m no Dylan Moran so I was thinking, shit, wouldn’t it be great if there was a random generator for this sort of thing? Then my job would be done. And I googled and googled and there was nothing quite right so I thought, great, I’ll just have to do it myself. And that means I could put my actual work aside for a while and take on this utterly useless exercise.

Here it is for your amusement and/or use in your next article about the election. All you need is a ten-sided die (because everybody has ten-sided dice lying around their house, right? RIGHT?!). Roll it twice, once for each column, and you can make your own folksy sayings like “You know what they say, every time Harper goes up a point in the polls somewhere an oil executive gets a hard-on.”

Farper-randomizer