In the afterglow of our Star Trek: the Next Generation panel, Mike and Casey continue their chat with Ryan Chaddock and Greg Hatcher for some off-topic conversation.
We dig into why Mike totally doesn’t have pink eye, the use (or non-use) of secondary Star Trek characters, our hopes and fears for Star Wars: the Force Awakens, the Blade Runner and Mad Max sequels, inter-fandom schadenfreude, and 1980s slasher movies.
And we ponder: why don’t we get any hate mail?
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You’ve mentioned 80’s Slasher Films so now I have to recommend ‘Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon’ as the best metacommentary on the slasher genre.
I have a weird love/hate relationship with Slashers, because I like the idea of slashers, more than I like the films themselves. They have an odd, folkloric element which I love (a cursed holiday camp, for instance). I love the idea that Freddy Krueger has a skipping rhyme. They’ve got that weird, urban myth quality.
But the execution is pretty awful.
Mike’s comparison of Star Wars and snow is so perfect – that’s pretty much the way I feel about it. Although for me, the luster wore off well before the prequel films; I sort of grew out (for lack of a better term) of my SW enthusiasm somewhere in my college years. But yes, again like Mike, I find myself excited about The Force Awakens – I think something that’s so key is that we’re seeing Han, Leia and Chewie in the trailers, and we know Luke is going to figure into the story as well.
And kind of in counterpoint to the earlier version of Casey, what with his now discarded Schadenfreude about how Abrams will ruin SW like he did Trek, my own (which I may have mentioned here before) is that it seems he’s going to be as good for former as he was/is bad for the latter (that is, provided that all of rumors about Luke going over to the Dark Side prove unfounded).
My Star Wars enthusiasm kind of waned when Jedi cemented the idea that Vader was Luke’s father (it could have been a ploy, until that point) and the kind of creative wall that came with it. before that, i read the comics, the books and had my own ideas of the past and the future, how the Empire would be brought down, and such. I also tended to enjoy the adventures of Han far more than Luke (I was 11 when Star wars came out and the Han type of hero was becoming more interesting than the Luke type); and, Empire took him off the table, until Jedi’s release (in the Marvel comics). That took a lot of wind out of the Marvel sails. My enthusiasm was restored, with the thought of seeing the originals again, in theaters, for the anniversary. That is, until I saw the edits. We didn’t get the deleted footage (well, much of it); but, we got a lot of pointless changes and many distracting ones. Also, the books immediately after the Zahn trilogy really underwhelmed me, so I just stopped reading them. I enjoyed Dark Horse’s beginnings, with Dark Empire; but, the subsequent stuff, set way in the past, didn’t do much. It was only when they got to start exploring side stuff that I got interested, especially when Kevin Rubio started poking fun at it, in a fan kind of way. The prequels killed all enthusiasm for anything other than the originals (mostly the first two).
Like Greg, I enjoyed Star Wars as an adventure film, as I pretty much looked on Star Trek or 2001 as sci-fi. I liked the adventure elements of space opera, so that is why I enjoyed the original film. Empire upped the stakes and gave me something like the really good Archie Goodwin comic book stories, which is where I really enjoyed the Star Wars characters. Goodwin knew how to put them into interesting situations and play within the world that Lucas built. I wish he had been consulted more on things like Empire and Jedi, let alone the prequels. he could have taught George Lucas a thing or two about storytelling.
Blade Runner I just think isn’t going to work, no matter how talented the director. As long as Ridley Scott, as he is now, is running the thing and as long as the studio expects it to be big box office, I think we are going to end up with a Prometheus, at the high end, or a Phantom Menace at the low end. I really hope to be proven wrong.
Meanwhile, as with Greg, I just don’t get slasher films. I can’t watch them ironically. Part of it is staying away from horror, as a child, because it induced nightmares (active imagination), part was just because I didn’t enjoy that kind of cinematic violence. Like Greg says, it seemed unearned. I have also read some of Harlan Ellison’s criticisms of the genre (from the period) ad I tend to agree with a lot of his points about the conservative worldview in them, and the mindless nature of the violence, not to mention the misogyny (again, more of the early to mid 80s period of those films).
I can’t say that I’m watching them ironically, at least not totally. A lot of the “I can’t believe they did that!” absurdity is entirely intentional. So I think I enjoy them for exactly the reason they were made. I put it under the same umbrella as my love for movies like Commando. They’re hilarious and bizarre and totally ludicrous.
Slasher movies tend to follow the same pattern as the Rocky movies, where the first one is a series attempt that becomes more formulaic, goofy and cartoony as they go along.