Is it just me, or does it seem like there’s an indie alien abduction movie coming out seemingly as often as the moon does. While I was writing that sentence, two more picked up distribution. The one we’re talking about now is Ejecta, the latest film from Septic Man director Tony Burgess. It probably won’t be a genre gamechanger or anything, but I’m down with anything Julian Richings gets involved with. Well, except for real aliens.
You might recall a few years ago when we talked about a beyond genius idea that the organization Singularity & Co. had where they started up a Kickstarter campaign to help save science fiction, in a sense, by bringing out-of-print books back into circulation, among other things. The success that campaign brought has inspired Singularity (not that one) to try it all over again. So if you missed out the first time, you have no excuses now.
While I can’t say I’ve been a huge fan of Adam Green’s career over the years, I’ve liked his psychological thrillers Frozen and Spiral more than the Hatchet films and his TV series Holliston. Why immediately start off with a weird compliment/insult combination? Because Digging Up the Marrow looks like it might be an amazingly creepy trip through a creature-filled underground, but I want to keep my expectations tethered. Check out the first trailer below.
Green stars as himself in Digging Up the Marrow, and his life changes forever when he gets a mysterious letter from a potential psycho played by genre maestro Ray Wise (Twin Peaks). Wise’s character claims that monsters are real and that he knows where to find them, deep underground, where darkness covers all.
Two issues into a planned 30-issue run, Image’s Bitch Planet is already begging to be turned into a super grimy TV series from someone who thinks Grindhouse is the greatest movie ever. To clarify: it’s a funny and violently intense look at a shattered society, with surprises slowly making themselves known. It would become my favorite show instantly.
Created by the Eisner-nominated writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Valentine de Landro, Bitch Planet comes off kind of like a feminist version of The Running Man, as a large part of the story takes place in a space prison called the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost, where non-compliant female criminals are sent to live out their days. Earning the titular nickname, the prison is a place that no prisoners leave, so the incarcerated would be wise to keep things as peaceful as possible. Which, of course, doesn’t happen.
Ah, January is finally over, which means all of the movies headed to theaters will be at least 8% more likely to be engaging, with the possible exception of Jupiter Ascending, which had a predictably horrible debut at Sundance. Critics, right? Thankfully, NetflixNetflix is filling February with a bunch of new-to-streaming features, and they’re adding five solid 2014 sci-fi releases. As well as the first season of Richie Rich, which isn’t sci-fi, but I feel like I’m living in a weird alternate reality where people like Richie Rich again. Anyway, set your My Lists.
Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead (February 7)
One of my favorite sci-fi/horrors of last year, Tommy Wirkola’s splatstick-filled sequel Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead is a non-stop slip-n-slide through some of the most insanely imaginative gore out there. An advancement on its predecessor in every way, this flick pits the surviving Martin (Vegar Hoel) against that Nazi zombie bastard Herzog (Ørjan Gamst), who is stopping at nothing to raise all the dead German soldiers he can to take over the world. But Martin has two secret weapons: a zombie arm that also has dead-raising powers, and a trio of American zombie killers (including Martin Starr) who are fully invested in putting these bodies back into the ground no matter what it takes. And what it takes is a lot of blood-soaked special effects.
As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s new in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!
“Castaway Planet” by Eric Flint & Ryk E. Spoor
NEW ENTRY IN THE BEST-SELLING BOUNDARY SERIES. Stranded humans must adapt alien technology to survive on a dangerous planet.
Lost in the dark, half a year into their journey to the colony world of Tantalus, Sakura Kimei, her family, and her best friend, the alien ‘Bemmie’ nicknamed Whips, are torn from the safety of their colony ship. In a crippled lifeboat, they had one chance to find a habitable world. But even then, they would find that their apparent salvation was a world of a thousand secrets.