When I think of what is absolutely horrible about modern-day television, two things come to mind right away – the SyFy channel and reality television. That being said, I have surprised myself by actually being kinda, sorta, maybe a little bit excited about the new SyFy special effects reality competition, Face Off. Face Off debuts January 26th and looks to (hopefully) suck a lot less than most of SyFy‘s other programming. With judges Ve Neill (who has worked on everything from The Lost Boys to A.I. Artificial Intelligence to Pirates Of The Caribbean), Glenn Hetrick (TV’s Heroes, Legion) and Patrick Tatopoulos (who worked on Trick r’ Treat and whose name makes me think of Greek potatoes…) and host McKenzie Westmore in place, the show definitely holds promise.
“Twelve of the Country’s Brightest Special Effects Make-Up Artists Face Off for a $100,000 Prize and to be Named the Next Great SFX Artist”
More promising still is the list of guest judges that will be making appearances. Sean Cunningham (Friday the 13th), Greg Nicotero (KNB, The Walking Dead) and Michael Westmore (Star Trek: The Next Generation) will all be lending their expertise to the judging throughout the series.
For their first spotlight elimination challenge, the contestants are tasked to imagine an entirely new species, a human/animal hybrid, based on one of three exotic animals that are brought into their workspace lab — a beetle, an ostrich or an elephant. The contestants must work in teams of two to execute their creative visions, utilizing specialized skills including molding, sculpting, prosthetics and an involved application process on live models. Future elimination challenges include application of full body make-up to nude subjects, conceptualizing a creature that would inhabit a newly discovered planet, creating an original horror villain and transforming a “bride” into a “groom” and a “groom” into a “bride.”
Face Off debuts Wednesday January 26th at 10 pm ET/PT. For further information and to meet the cast of Face Off check out syfy.com/faceoff. There is also a ton of audition footage and try out tapes that people made when they were casting the show up on YouTube. I haven’t had the chance to check any of them out yet but you can do so here.
In 1663 France, a space meteor/pod hurls down to Earth and chases a young maiden to her death. Three hundred and thirty-eight years later, late at night on their way home from a barbecue, a group of thirtysomething friends pick up a killer escaped convict. They get run off the road by a mysterious woman in white and crash into the forest below. They must put their differences aside or perish to an extra terrestrial enemy which is bigger than all of them.
First of all, horror and sci-fi fans have to be able to suspend disbelief in order to accept the dramatic situations in which our characters are confronted with. Personally, I am not a big fan of computer generated effects. They just don’t work! On the other hand, it is a fine tool for enhancing practical effects. I suspect that there is an audience who enjoys these kinds of digital driven movies. I prefer old school Willis O’Brien (King Kong) and Ray Harryhausen stop motion animation any day of the week.
Resonnances is more science fiction than horror. For those that enjoy gratuitous nudity and gore, you will be disappointed. There is none. Nor is there any attempt to add any atmosphere to the proceedings. There are some story and plot problems that just do not make sense. For instance, why has this Tremors style creature waited some three hundred odd years to awake again and wreak havoc on the countryside? If it wasn’t in hibernation wouldn’t the landscape of France be all torn up? Also, why do we see an Evil Dead style shaky zoom P.O.V. shot from the creature when it’s supposed to be moving underground? Lastly, what the Hell is the relation between the creature and the lady in white? I think writer/director Philippe Robert spread himself a little thin.
In conclusion, Resonnances is a schlocky sci-fi CGI infested flick with a what the fuck? plot and wooden acting to boot. Personally, I would rather watch Roger Corman’s 1950’s A.P.I. releases or Ed Wood’s sci-fi shenanigans than this masticated new millennium schlock. It’s no wonder this film took almost four years to find distribution!
Check out this video for The Streets‘ song He’s Behind You, He’s Got Swine Flu. It’s entirely made up of clips from various zombie movies. The video is about a year old, coming out at the height of the swine flu scare. The song, however, will be on the upcoming album Computers and Blues, which comes out February 7th, and will supposedly be the last album Mike Skinner makes under The Streets moniker.