Tag Archives: The Black Hole

Event Horizon #30DaysOfFright

event2It is the year 2047, the rescue ship Lewis and Clark is sent to intercept the Event Horizon, a spaceship that mysteriously vanished some seven years earlier but has reappeared. Where has it been, where is the crew and who what is the sinister presence on board? Now the rescue crew, including the creator of the Event Horizon, must rescue themselves before it is too late.

Poor Paul (WS – as he is now known) Anderson has had something of a rough ride on the science-fiction slipstream, with numerous Resident Evils, Death Race and Alien Vs Predator – the latter which I rather liked in a Big Daddy Vs Giant Haystacks kind of way – all drawing buckets of scorn.

For me though his finest hour (or hour and thirty five minutes) has always been the 1997 movie, Event Horizon, and seeing as it part-inspired the uber-atmospheric PS3 smash, Dead Space, I’m not the only one.

event1Essentially the movie is Hellraiser meets The Shining in space…but then the Jaws in space tag never did Alien, which it has a nod to production design and creepiness wise, any harm. And for me that is what makes the movie so much fun, that it is essentially a haunted house movie in space, which is certainly more fun and original than The House on Haunted Hill remake or GhostShip (essentially the same tale as Event but…gasp…set at sea) and certainly better than Jason X which was also set among the stars.

Featuring a stellar (or should that be interstellar) cast comprising of Sam Neill (quite literally exorcising some demons he had left over from In The Mouth of Madness) and Laurence Fishburne, Joely Richardson, a pre-Harry Potter Jason Isaacs and the always dependable Sean Pertwee.

event7Sam Neill, as the designer of the Event Horizon, Dr Weir, is quality as ever, exuding authority and charm at first, with a disturbing back story that haunts him and us for much of the film. At first he is essentially like Ripley in Aliens, has knowledge but not acceptance of the crew. But if he’s good at being good, he’s great at being evil and devilish, see the third part on The Omen trilogy, The Final Conflict, and the aforementioned In the Mouth of Madness for further proof.

Fishburne as Captain Miller, in charge of the Lewis and Clark, is a great no nonsense turn and proves quite the foil to Neill and he really convinces in his leading role.

event4The film is as beautiful as it is deadly and is filled with intrigue, jumps and gore aplenty Event Horizon raises itself above the usual fair due to some wonderful set design and visual imagery – including the mother of all zoom outs from a space station – and a fantastic gate room that is a meld of Stargate meets Hellraiser box via Contact.

Zero gravity has never been so eerie with all manner of objects floating around the titular ship…which is a star of the show in its self, with its great design inside and out, taking its design cue from Notre Dame Cathedral.

event9With elements of The Shining, Alien, The Black Hole, Hellraiser, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Flatliners this isn’t just a mishmash of what we have seen before simply set in space, it is far more intelligent than that. As a psychological space horror Event Horizon has plenty of the crimson stuff and gore, but it is that slowly building sense of dread and pulsating paranoia that gets us as much as the crew.

Adding to the general feeling of unease throughout is the score that is simply something else. Being essentially a science-fiction/horror movie the music is something else, a fantastic fusion of the work of the late Michael Kamen (who worked with Queen on Highlander and scored both the Lethal Weapon series and Die Hards) and the techno sound of Orbital, creating something that is raw and visceral and perfect for the mood of the movie. If you loved Tron Legacy’s score then this is the horror equivalent.

event6Having experienced it on the big screen when it was first released it’s a real surprise that it was something of a misfire at the box office as it really grabs you from the off and engages throughout, delivering both in the science –fiction and horror stakes in buckets (of blood).

I found it a disturbingly thrilling cinematic experience that lingers long after it has been seen, if you haven’t explored the Event Horizon then you are in for one hell of a nerve-jangling ride.

This lean and mean film more than deserves its place with such sci-fi horror classics as Alien and The Thing and certainly packs a mightier punch and more jumps than both Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection, the latter released the same year.

event10It’s not so much in space no one can hear you scream and more if no one is on board the Event Horizon then when you scream will anyone hear it? The answer to that one is an emphatic yes. Go see it!

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Beard to the Bone – Top Ten Movie Beards

Dean Newman ditches the razors and shaving gel as he takes up some method writing as he investigates cinema and television’s love of bearded bad guys and why no discerning villain should leave home without one.

Hans Gruber
As seen in Die Hard (1988). Altogether now, “shoot the glass.” Perhaps the sharpest dressed movie villain ever, this was Rickman’s film debut and he was handpicked for the masterful role after being spotted playing the thoroughly nasty Valmont in Dangerous Liaison on Broadway. Chill at the way he offs the Nakatomi plaza boss with aplomb and cheer as he falls to his death in slow mo, the greatest such fall moment in cinematic history folks, from x amount stories high.

Mr Dark
As seen in Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983). Perhaps most shocking in this film, which deals with many dark aspects and is an effective and sometimes shocking, especially for younger viewers, thriller, is that it is from cuddly wuddly studio, Disney.

Based on a Ray Bradbury novel we see the evil Mr Dark and his circus arrive in town and promise to make everyone’s dream come true, but only at the great price of giving up their souls. A deal with the devil. And in that role is a devilishly good Jonathan Pryce, a character he haunts forever once you have seen it, especially as a child.

The Sheriff of Nottingham
Panto is perhaps the best way in which to describe Rickman’s version of Robin Hood’s foe, stealing not just his scenes but the whole darn movie. Put that in your outlaw pipe and smoke it Hooded man! Had great fun ‘cancelling Christmas’ and demanding to have people’s hearts ‘cut out with a spoon…because it will hurt more.’

Dr Hans Reinhardt
As seen in The Black Hole (1979). Essentially he’s the Captain Nemo of the piece (important not to mix the Nemo influence and Captain Birdseye up, as he’s more likely to turn children into fish fingers than feed them to them). Like all good captains he goes down with his ship. In fact he is that evil that he even has Norman Bates himself offed!

Hugo Drax
As seen in Moonraker (1979). For me this is a real guilty pleasure and Drax, a superb Michael Lonsdale, delivers some of the finest Bond villain lines such as: “Mr Bond, see that some harm comes to him.” Takes a giant leap for mankind in a classic Bond death as he is jettisoned into space.

The Master
As seen in Doctor Who (1963 – Present). Not the latest incarnation, as (over) played by John Simm or the diabolical TV movie, as (over over) played by Eric Roberts, but as masterfully portrayed by both Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley. At this time The Master was very much the Moriarty to The Doctor’s Sherlock Holmes and this will forever be The Master’s most iconic appearance. In fact he also had a beard as portrayed by Jonathan Pryce in the Comic Relief spoof “The Curse of Fatal Death.”

General Zod
As seen in Superman 2 (1980). Kneel before Zod! His Geography might not be up to much (planet Houston anyone) but his boo hissness and delivery makes the General, as portrayed by Terrence Stamp, the greatest comic book big screen villain ever, yes even better than Ledger’s Joker.

Stamp is clearly having fun playing it oh so straight and camp at the same time and who doesn’t wince at that hand crunching scene. The only shame is that they never found a way of bringing him back. I mean, Richard Pryor and Nuclear Man, c’mon! Stamp’s Zod is also just so iconic.

Ming
As featured in Flash Gordon (1980). He’s supreme Emperor of planet Mungo and merciless don’t you know. Sporting more than a passing resemblance in beard to Fu Man Chu the 1980 experience was a veritable clash of the beards, Ming’s to the left and the beard of the leader of the Hawkmen, as wrapped around the bombastic chops of one Brian Blessed, to the right.

He amuses himself by destroying other planets in the solar system, has numerous concubines, kills anyone who gets in his way and seems to have a thing for S&M with all those outfits about. All good clean family fun then. Go Flash, go!

Evil Twin Beards
As seen in Star Trek and Knight Rider. The mirror universe of Star Trek more or less gave us the cliché of the Evil Twin with a Beard of Evil, as evil Mr. Spock has a goatee, how illogical!

Also enter, driving K.A.T.T., Michael Knight’s Evil Twin, Garthe Knight, sporting a beard of evil. It has to be noted that the car didn’t sport an LED beard of evil. Personally, I think every TV show should have an episode with a goatee wearing Evil Twin, even the female characters! I’m not sure what that says about those episodes of Friends with a goatee wearing Chandler though. Hmmm.

I could do with a beard myself, to stroke, as I ponder that very thought.