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All posts for the month October, 2013

I Survived the Horrors of Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2013!

Published October 28, 2013 by vfdpixie

Well, it’s been a crazy 9 days, but I made it (barely!).  Toronto After Dark Film Festival brought fans all kinds of crazy, from cannibals to creatures and off world terror.  And I made it out to most of the screenings due to the lucky fact that part of my vacation coincided with the first 4 days of the festival.  The ones I missed were due to work or fatigue, so I hope they will be coming out on demand or DVD soon.

I had a great time seeing the films.  There is nothing I like better than watching back to back horror, and it was always a treat when the director and cast attended Q & A sessions after the screenings.  Twitter and Facebook were great tools to get fans reactions to the films, and to see what the cast and crew had to say, as well as their candid pics. The Pub After Dark at The Office Pub was a great idea for fans, cast and crew to mingle, discuss films and just kick back.  I was only able to attend the first pub night as I had to deal with getting home at a decent time due to my work schedule.  I am also a little sad that I was unable to attend the final pub night.  I was a bit under the weather and had to be at work when people were probably staggering home. I heard they had cake!  Oh well, there’s always next year!

Highlights for me were meeting director Jim Mickle and writer/actor Nick Damici, the great team behind Stake Land and Mulberry Street, and the minds that reworked We Are What We Are, one of my top picks of the festival.  The size of the venue, the Scotiabank Theatre was also great.  I did miss the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema for nostalgic reasons, but I have to admit the comfort of a larger theatre did make things better, as well as not having to lining up outside in the chilly weather.

After taking this past weekend to catch up on sleep and recuperate (I can’t imagine how the hard-working TADFF staff and volunteers feel after it all!), I will be posting reviews of my picks for the festival.  Stay tuned for my insights on some pretty cool films!

Rosemary’s Pixie’s First Anniversary!

Published October 17, 2013 by vfdpixie

It’s hard to believe, but Rosemary’s Pixie is one year old!  But before we raise a glass, I have a confession to make…

I started this blog because I was in distress.  Last year, life handed me a giant shit pie.  For a little over eight months, it was difficult to leave my apartment because I was consumed by either anxiety or crushing grief.  As I tried to regroup a la Howard Hughes,  I was comforted by the knowledge that I could always throw in a cheesy horror DVD from my vast collection, order a slasher movie on cable, or crack open a horror novel and lose myself for a couple of hours.  You see, horror was always my first love.  I know, it sounds counter-intuitive.  Heavens to Murgatroyd!  Horror as a therapeutic outlet for someone who was haunted by death and anxiety?! You’d be surprised…

Watching film after film got me thinking.  I  felt the writer I used to be wake up and started to see things that I wanted to comment on and point out.  Many of my wonderfully supportive friends didn’t shared my enthusiasm for the genre, so I started writing about my opinions and observations right here, on good ol’ WordPress.  It didn’t bother me that I didn’t have an audience.  I just liked writing.  A lot.  I would reward myself by watching a movie and writing a post after several hours of job searching.  I started to venture out to Suspect Video to get a couple of cheap rentals here and there, and to chat with the knowledgeable staff.  Typing away on my laptop, with my cats snuggled close by, I started to feel better.  I was able to focus on something other than my troubles, and I only now realize how much that helped me regain confidence in many areas of my life.

I was shocked when I got my first follower and called my friend, Laina D., a seasoned journalist/published author/blogger, who applauded my tiny triumph.  Someone liked what I had to say!  This fueled me to carry on, and here I am today.  I am in a much better place, and I am very glad I took the chance to do something creative again.  I am also very, very grateful for the support of my fabulous friends and sisters, and for all the followers, visitors, retweets, favourites, and likers I have gained through Twitter, Facebook and WordPress.  I thank every single one of you from the bottom of my twisted heart!  Who knew something I started as a distraction would bring me such joy, just by adding my voice to the internet throngs.

Some highlights from the past year:

My lovely friend L.F. (who wants to remain pretty much nameless), designed the gorgeous pixie logo for me.  I was thrilled with her talent and will love that pixie forever!

After writing my first book review on The Demonologist, author Andrew Pyper found and retweeted the link to the post.  I was floored, since I was too chicken to tag him in my tweet.

The indie film Hate Crime disturbed me so much that I reached out to the director, James Cullen Bressack, to answer some questions about his film.  He did so within a day, and became my first interview.  Still very grateful for his time, retweets and all the traffic that he brought to my blog.

The dashing Neville Page, Face Off judge and Hollywood creature and concept designer extraordinaire, started following me on Twitter. A judge from my favourite reality show!  Imagine that?!!  And he is super lovely too!

Interviewing The House of Haunt band members Fang and Skull.  Really fun guys who are passionate about their music and horror.

Meeting writer Steve Niles!!!  This was a big deal for me.  I totally nerded out, and you can read about that here.  I am not ashamed of my er, coffee fueled spaz attack, and he is the nicest man!

I love this blog, I write about what interests me, and I’m glad to be a part of the blogging community as I grow as a writer/reviewer.  I think it’s only fitting that I celebrate this anniversary today with my one true love.  I plan to start with something from my collection (maybe Horror Express), and end with a big finish.  Tonight is the opening night of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, and since I missed the entire festival last year, I wouldn’t be anywhere else!   So now we can raise a glass, toast to pixie’s first anniversary and hope for many more here in the blogosphere!

102

Um, o.k….so I’m raising two glasses…yeah, one’s for you…er,yeah…that’s it…

Face Off: Season 5 Episode 10: Ghostly Giggles!

Published October 16, 2013 by vfdpixie

This week,  the artists realized how much they needed to keep their game going.  Roy decided to be true to himself and do him.  In other words, go big!

The six remaining artists got to the lab where they were met by McKenzie and Patrick Tatopolous, former Face Off judge (2011-2012).  How I missed his chocolate, caramel fondue accent!  Sigh!  He was there to judge a pretty cool Foundation Challenge.  They had to create their own version of the Grim Reaper.  His advice to them was to stay universal with the looks and make sure their designs were relatable.  The winner would be granted immunity.  This was one of my favourite challenges and the artists really went for it with their designs.  I really loved Eddie’s tree inspired face, Laura’s mouth-less, creepy Grim Reaper, and Tate’s Hades inspired bearded character.  Laura won because she used prosthetics pieces in a unique way that made them look like a full sculpt.

For the Spotlight Challenge, they headed to the legendary Laugh Factory on the Sunset Strip.  Founded in 1979, it was home to comedic greats like Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor.  It is also one of the most haunted locations in Los Angeles, and some have reported seeing Groucho Marx’s ghost in the offices.  Ve was there to advise them on how to create an original ghost character that was funny and scary at the same time.  She was the mastermind behind Michael Keaton’s Beetlejuice makeup, and was the perfect go to for input.  Her suggestion?  To create makeups that looked creepy and scary, but “bitchin'” and fun.

Laura created a nerdy scientist that got blown up in his lab, but wasn’t aware of it yet.  She did a great job with his green sickly colour and goofy face.  The judges though it was “superb”, and acknowledged all the work she put into the design.  They thought the edges were beautiful, and that it could be part of the Beetlejuice world.  Neville thought, however, that it could have been funnier.  Due to her immunity win, she was safe.

Roy really went for it and created a little person Vaudevillian brother team where one brother carried the other.  They were alcoholics and got run over by a streetcar.  His design was clever, using the model’s legs for the bottom brother, and her hidden arms to operate both sets of the characters’ arms.  The judges laughed out loud, and Glenn though it was genius.  He really loved the arm gag, and the face on the lower half looked realistic and funny.

Tate created a ghost called Bone Cap Bill, a wild west character that got scalped and hosted a children’s show in the underworld.  He did a huge amount of work, and I loved the design.  He ended up being safe.  The detail on his sculpting was amazing and I thought he should have won.

Laney came up with a guitarist called Electro-cute.  She was electrocuted during a rain storm at an outdoor festival.  I liked it but it didn’t seem funny to me.  The face sculpt confused Glenn, in fact he “loathed” it, and Ve though she looked like a punk rock alien.  Neville though Laney needed to stop putting herself into all her designs.  He did point out that she is ambitious even though they all thought she didn’t satisfy the challenge.

Miranda’s ghost was an 18th century duchess who cut off her husband’s head and still scolded it.  It was well done, but I didn’t think it was funny or scary.  The judges didn’t like that the paint job was monotone.  At least she made it to the next round.

Finally, Eddie came up with an angry baseball player who threw his bat and it lodged itself in his head.  Eddie struggled with his concept, and changed it midway.  He was intimidated with Roy’s over the top makeup, and I think he kind of lost steam.  The judges referred to his sculpt as an “artichoke head” and thought the concept was just weird.  To them, it didn’t tell a story and didn’t feel like a ghost.  He and Laney ended up with the bottom looks.  Roy and Laura took the top looks, with Roy winning this time around.  I was so happy for him!  He said he was going to do Roy, and he did.  The judges loved that the look showed his unique style and that it worked so well.

Eddie was the one to go home.  Neville pointed out that he was young and had a long way ahead of him.  They thought he had a bold aesthetic.  I loved that he showed his skill as a true artist, and he should be proud that he lasted this long against some awesome competitors.

Face Off: Season 5 Episode 9: So Sinful!

Published October 12, 2013 by vfdpixie

The artist count is down to 5 veterans and 2 newbies on the show.  Laney was really “bummed out” about how everything went down last episode.  She acknowledged the fact that she and Alana couldn’t pull their concepts together, and was heartbroken about Alana’s elimination.  Roy wanted to stake his claim and make the next win instead of being safe.

I, for one, cannot stand being in churches due to my strict Catholic upbringing, so I found this episode really interesting.  Their introduction for the next challenge took place in St Brendan’s Catholic Church.  It was built in 1927, and has been the filming location for films like Fight Club and Spider Man 3.  With its creepy, gothic, and architectural features, it was also the inspiration for their Spotlight Challenge:  The Seven Deadly Sins.  The gang had to created a forbidding character that embodied not only one of the sins, but the colour associated with that sin.  Resident judge Glenn Hetrick was there to advise the artists this time around.  He wanted them to understand the essence of the word (sin) without being too obvious.  Their guest judge for Elimination Day was Bryan Fuller, writer and producer of shows such as Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, and Hannibal.  He was really excited to see what they had created since he has been a fan of the show since the beginning.

Frank took on Gluttony and the colour orange.  He decided to go big with a full body fat suit.  He felt that this makeup would push him, but Roy thought it was going the obvious route, which is what Glenn asked them not to do.  The finished product to me looked like a melting man, and Ve really disliked the neck area, which to her looked like a goiter instead of fat.  Glenn liked the paint job, but thought he was too far off with the out of the box approach.  He also cheaped out and just added the coloured apple they got at the beginning of the challenge to represent orange.

Miranda got Lust and the colour blue.  Her concept was a demon who had the lust for eternal youth and seduced and drank the blood of men to stay young.  She really had some moments of panic, and frustrated the others in the process.  Tate ended up helping her out during her crisis, but Roy gave him a talking to, advising him to be able to say no, and to er, grow some balls.  This is a competition, and it is also the first time I’ve heard someone having to try not to help other contestants!  Her design came out beautifully, with the judges loving the intricate sculpt, symmetry and paint job.  Bryan Fuller pointed out that she could have shown more “T and A” to  look more lustful.  I think she needs to be more confident in her work, because she is just killing the competition with her designs.

Tate got Sloth and light blue.  He was a fan of Dante’s Inferno, so he was really up for the challenge.  He created a person tortured in a pit of snakes, with a spiral staircase to a crown that the tortured soul would never reach.  The judges really liked the story the concept told, and acknowledged that he did a huge amount of work with limited time.

Laura chose the colour red and Wrath.  Her design was of a woman so angry that she tore her own face off.  I loved this look.  It was gruesome and looked so terrifying.  the judges weren’t too critical, and she ended up being safe.

Laney got Greed and yellow.  She interpreted greed as ugly, and created an aging woman with boils and a dress made of money.  This one worked for me as well.  The judges liked how the neck looked, and she too was safe.

Eddie worked on Envy and green.  He created a design that I wasn’t too clear on, but it involved some stained glass eyes and a great architectural sculpt.  He was a little worried that the design wouldn’t translate the sin of Envy, especially when Mr. Westmore warned him, but he made it to next week.

Finally, Roy worked on the colour violet and Pride.  He created a woman who was so vain and took so much pride in her appearance that she kept getting plastic surgery to the point where her skin was bruised purple.  I liked it, but I agreed with the judges because he could have taken it a bit further.  They all agreed that it looked rough, and that he made some bad decisions, like painting on stitches due to lack of time.  Glenn thought it looked like a zombie makeup, and Bryan thought it was a bit abstracted from the sin.  This ended Roy up in the bottom along with Frank which sucked, since Roy was going for a win this time.

Miranda and Tate made it to the top looks.  Tate won because he listened to what Glenn asked for with the challenge.  Roy and Frank ended up at the bottom.  Frank’s “go big” concept got him going home.  The judges thought the look lacked in concept and he was tempted with the “low hanging fruit”.  Ve did think he would go on to do great things though.  Unfortunately, his elimination coincided with the anniversary of his father’s death.  Very sad, but I think Frank will do well in the crazy world of makeup and special fx!

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