Thursday, February 28, 2008

Childe Roland... the Dark Tower came.

So a few weeks ago I mentioned that Stephen King finally signed off on a Dark Tower movie adaptation. I love that they’re finally doing this, King’s greatest work; but I’m also a little hesitant. I love the Dark Tower. It is – in my opinion – probably the greatest piece of epic literature published in the latter part of the twentieth century. In years to come, we’ll speak of it like we speak of Homer’s Odyssey, Beowulf, Elliot’s Wasteland, or Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The biggest thing I’m afraid of – though - is how badly they’re going to screw up the casting of Roland himself.

King has said that Roland IS Clint Eastwood circa A Fistful of Dollars and the rest of his early Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns. Even Eddie remarks at one point in The Drawing of the Three that it’s like he’s actually looking at Clint Eastwood when he first sees Roland Deschaine.

The problem is - Clint is waaaaay too long in the tooth. Hell he was too long in the tooth back in the 80’s when he did Heartbreak Ridge. So I asked the question in my prior blog post, “who the hell should take up the slack for Clint since he’s gone and actually gotten old”?!?

I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve come up with a few possible actors to pick up Sir Roland’s smooth handled guns and I thought I’d throw them up here…

First on our list is one of this year’s Oscar’s best actor nominees... Viggo Mortenson. I think Viggo is probably my number one choice for the role of Roland. I thought so when I saw him in A History of Violence, and it was confirmed when I saw him in Eastern Promises. He has the right look in that he’s got the craggy features, the tall and thin appearance, and he can convey a whole world of hurt with only his eyes. And that’s the most important part about Roland. He’s a man who’s lost everything and everyone he cares about. He’s a man who’s been beaten and knocked low. And yet, there’s still a quiet nobility to him as he mercilessly pursues his quarry across time and space. My only problem with Viggo is a problem I’ve had with him since his speech at the end of LOTR: The Return of the King. He’s got a squeaky, weak sounding voice. I imagined Roland as having a deeper, raspier voice than Viggo’s got. Roland is a man accustomed to long silences, harsh desert air, and years of smoking. In everything I’ve seen Viggo in I can’t help but think he’s too fey sounding. Too bad…

Next we have a personal favorite of mine just because he’s a god. I submit...Clancy Brown. That’s right, bitches – I’m nominating The Kurgan from Highlander as Roland. Suck it - this is my list, not yours! Bear with me on this as I explain… That voice thing I said about Viggo? Yeah, well unlike Mrs. Wispy Mortenson, Clancy sounds like a fucking MAN! He’s got the perfect voice, but he’s also got an intensity about him that would do Roland, son of Stephen Deschaine, true justice. What’s more - Clancy has actually, as he’s aged, gotten even better looking and his look seems oddly appropriate to me. The only thing is that Clancy’s a big guy. He always has been. And it’s big in a way that doesn’t speak to Roland’s years of wandering and years of few and far between meals. It’s an odd choice, but it feels good to me. Besides, how cool would it be to have the voice of Eugene Krabbs from Spongebob Squarepants in The Dark Tower. That’d be awesome!

I’m at a cross roads with this one. This is Timothy Oliphant. He was in the latest Die Hard movie and played in the adaptation of the video game Hitman. More importantly, he played Sheriff Seth Bullock on Deadwood. I loved Deadwood. Deadwood was one of the best, most realistic westerns ever put to film. Thist show raised the idea of calling someone a cocksucker to almost Shakesperean heights. And Timothy Oliphant was a standout, although he was overshadowed by the ever incredible Brad Dourif and Ian McShane. Oliphant had a constant, simmering, percolating barely contained rage that reminded me of that psychotic, six-seconds-from-snapping-and-beating-some-skell-with-a-phonebook hostility that Dennis Franz brought to his character, Andy Sipowicz, on NYPD Blue. He’s got the intensity, he’s got the western chops, he’s got the tall, skinny body, and he’s got the look – but I’m hesitant to cast him for a few reasons… mainly because he’s TOO pretty. Roland should be worn and battered. I think Timothy’s just a little too smooth.

Next we have of my favorite actors of all time - Jason Stratham. Jason Stratham is one of the baddest, most magnificent bastards out there. He’s the sort of bloke I’d like to sit down and have a few pints with in an out of the way London pub. Said pints would then be followed by picking a drunken fight with, and subsequently cracking the skulls of, various soccer hooligans. Again, he’s got the looks, and he’s got the big league action star credentials to pull it off. His only problem is that I get the sense that he absolutely refuses to (or may be unable to) lose the British accent. Sorry – The Gunslinger Roland does not sound like he’s an extra on Doctor Who.

Daniel Craig is an interesting choice. He’s got the look, and he’s a good enough actor to lose the British accent. And he’s got the tight, corded frame that Roland would have (at least he did in Munich). And he knows his way around a gun – he IS James Bond for chrissakes. And he’s surprised us before in his ability to become a character. And he’s got that requisite coldness that Roland must have. That same coldness that would let him callously allow Jake fall to his death rather than interrupt his pursuit of Randall Flagg. The more I think of it, the more I like Daniel Craig…

This will seem a whacky pick, and he is wrong for a whole host of reasons. He’s too young, he’s too babyfaced, and he’s got a really thick fucking Scottish accent – but I think Gerard Butler has a weird chance here. The thing is, he really impressed me in 300 and totally transformed himself into King Leonidas. It’s amazing what a beard and psychopathic adherence to a weight lifting regime can do. And he brings so much passion to his roles that I think he might possibly have a pony in this Ka-tet. You may disagree, and I think I might even disagree with myself… but I can’t help but think he might have an outside shot here…

Finally – we have The Punisher himself, Thomas Jane. Unfortunately, I’ve heard that the guy who played Titus Pullo on Rome (Ulster actor Ray Stevenson) is taking Jane’s role in The Punisher sequel, so Thomas Jane’s going to be free. Also, he had a role in Stephen King’s Mist, so it’s Ka that he would be involved in the Dark Tower (Stephen King has said that the Mist is a Thinny and that the creatures that come through the mist are a) similar to the crabs that take Roland’s fingers and b) the spider’s that attack Jake at the Way Station). Jane’s kind of a long shot but, again, he’s got the intensity and dark visage of Roland.

So there’s Doctor Zombie’s picks for Roland. Love ‘em, hate ‘em, whatever. What do you think? Any other suggestions for Roland, short of sending a 1983 Delorean back through time to grab a young Clint Eastwood to take the role?!?

Of course it goes without saying that Clint should have a part. It wouldn't be right if he didn't. It'd be a fucking tragedy if he didn't. In fact, he'd be damn near perfect as Roland's father, Stephen. That's a given.

And – since I’m making my casting dream list – I can see NO OTHER ACTOR in the role of Eddie except for Ryan Reynolds. He’s the smartass guy from Blade III and Van Wilder . He’s also the guy that dated and then broke up with Alanis Morisette. That also means he became the source of rage and feminine angst for her latest album. I’m sure she gave him royalties...

That’s all I have for now, dear readers. I look forward to YOUR suggestions for the casting of The Dark Tower.

So - for now - thankee, Sai, for sharing Khef with me!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Snowy Day Musings

Well, as I write this, we're in the grips of a huge snow storm. They're saying 8-12 inches before tomorrow morning, so I've nothing to do tonight except watch Barack Obama pull down Hillary Clinton's granny panties and spank her naughty bottom on TV. The debate, by the way, is being held where I matriculate - - Cleveland State University. Kind of cool ,I guess.

For my part, it’s been a busy few weeks for the Doctor. I’ve been working on rewrites of my novel, working at my real job, and I even managed to squeeze in a winter campout with Zombie Boy and his Cub Scout troop. (I’ve seen horrors that would make a normal person lose precious bits of their sanity – but none of those horrors compares to the sheer brain melting terror that is a weekend in a snowed in cabin with 15-20 hyper active 8 and 9 year olds. It’s somewhere along the order of the 8th or 9th ring of hell. Believe me…).

So – at work we’re exploring ways of networking with new electronic mediums. So I had to create a Facebook profile. Dear dark Pagan gods! What sort of crack is this?!? I’ve been blogging for a few years, but I’ve assiduously avoided any sort of social network sites because of the simple idea that it wasn’t something I’d be all that interested in. Holy crap was I wrong. Like I said, it’s like crack…it’s like a needle of smack in the veins. It’s taking everything I’ve got to not log into it and just click and play all day. At the risk of impacting my productivity, I need to consciously avoid it. That being said – feel free to come visit my Facebook page and say, “Hi.”

Got some zombie news – some good and some bad. I found a great interview with Our holy father George Romero on his latest flesh eating undead opus – The Diary of the Dead. Also – if you haven’t seen it yet – there’s a few trailers over on the film’s Myspace page. This movie makes me hard. The bad news is that there’s no Cleveland – or Ohio, for that matter – showings of it. Sons of bitches. I am absolutely going to die (again!) if I can’t see this in a theater. However, I’m going for a couple days of vacation with the family in a few weeks. As we’ll be in the Pittsburgh area, I may try to sneak out from the hotel and catch a showing of it. I’ll need to tread carefully, because Mrs. Zombie’s already threatened me with a painful death if I don’t stop bugging her about visiting the Evansville Cemetery and Monroeville Mall while we’re there. Hey! If I’m going to make a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the modern zombie film - - I’ll be damned if I don’t go to the holy sites as well!!!

On a similar note, I’ve been thinking about the blog quite a bit and have come to a decision of sorts. The problem is that I love doing my movie reviews. And that was the initial purpose of this blog, beyond being an exercise in just writing more in general. Unfortunately, I’ve been lax about posting entries on a regular basis – let alone writing movie reviews like I should. And add to the fact that I have – in fact - seen an assload of movies that I’ve never even bothered to write reviews about. So what’s a brilliant, undead, insane, evil zombie genius to do?!? Well – that’s where the decision I’ve made comes in. As I see so many horror films, I need to restrict the content. Well, maybe restrict is too strong a word. Let me say instead that I will be limiting the scope and genre of my movie reviews. Going forward – I will just be reviewing movies about the undead. That means primarily zombies, and peripherally, vampires and ghosts. I think this is a good choice. It means I don’t have to write reviews for the 7 or 8 horror movies I watch in an average week, nor do I have to choke down the bitter taste all of those pg-13 shitbag pseudo-horror movies I feel I need to watch. For instance, a week or so ago I saw AVP: Requiem (Good movie, by the way. Lots of gore, lots of scares, and it made up for the crap-fest that was the original AVP), and this gives me room to focus on and stress about writing a review for I Am Legend; which, by the way, I saw a few weeks before AVP. (Another great movie, but less because it was horror and more because it was about survivalism, that stretched the idea of vampires to weird CGI limits. But I digress…) Anyway, Doctor Zombie’s Midnight Theater of Terror will become more streamlined and low drag. Hopefully it’ll also give me room to write more often. So we’ll be talking about more focused, undead related movie reviews, general updates about all manner of cool, and the occasional personal fart joke on my part. And – if I see a movie that doesn’t fit the genre – I still reserve the right to write about it. Let’s hope this plan works. Fingers crossed…

So – some other links…

First I saw this and – although I loves me some Guitar Hero – this is so much cooler. I imagine there’s a whole generation of kids out there saying, “I can totally play guitar. I rock on the last level of Guitar Hero III on Expert. I’ll totally pwn you!” Thank the dark gods someone decided that, instead of further ruining our kids with video games, they’d come up with a way to learn a new skill besides smacking whores ala GTA, or learning how to bowling with a Wii nunchuck. I mean, seriously, what’s bowling without real bowling balls, an inhuman amount of $1 beers, and the local color of the people you meet at the bowling alley?!?

Let me post this up here….

There you go. This is a picture that’s caused some trouble on Wikipedia. There’s been tons of uproar because Muslims consider it offensive and blasphemous to display pictures of the prophet Muhammed. So there! Thhhbbbt! Go ahead and call a Jihad on me, I dare you! Bring it, fuckers!

Trailer for the new Hellboy. Sweeet! I can’t begin to tell you how excited this makes me! Guillermo Del Toro and Ron Perlman rock at a subatomic level!

Of course it’s nowhere near as excited as this!!! Indiana Jones is back and he’s got a new trailer. Jumping Jesus on a mother fucking pogo stick does this look like it’s going to rock. This is a movie I’ll need to take work off for. There are so few of tose these days!!!

And - because I've got a thing for redheads... here's a link to the Lindsay Lohan nudes with the New Yorker magazine. I link to them for a few reasons. the first being that I'm lecherous, I like naked women, and I have always kind of had a thing for Lindsay Lohan. It's that dirty girl thing... and she's dirty in the good way. (For an idea of how I classify Dirty... Good Dirty is Lindsay Lohan or Dita Von Teese; basically girls who you'd never take home to mom - but they'd teach YOU new tricks and hot damn wouldn't they be fun! Bad dirty girls, on the other hand, are like Brittany Spears, Angelina Jolie, Tara Reid, or Tonya Harding. They're damaged goods, they're train wrecks, and you'll most likely catch something. Yikes!) Unfortunately, Lindsay's on her way to her own train wreck - sadly. The other reason I link to them is because I think they're actually interesting in a few ways. Lindsay's pretty, and the pictures are very tastefully done, but whereas Marilyn Monroe's have a flirty, fun sexuality to them - - Lindsay's have a harder edge. Lindsay has a really haunted look in her eyes, a look I suspect is part desperation and part a recognition that her life may be going in the wrong direction. It reminds me of the look of those pictures Dana Plato took right before she OD'ed on a speedball. Not sure where I'm going with that, but either way, Lindsay's still hot, in her freckle-y, redheaded way.

Finally – one of my new favorite shows is the Sarah Connor Chronicles. And – although it plays with the mythology some - it’s still really, really cool. And Summer Glau is sooooo hot. This show is made perfect by the addition of the beautiful young woman who played Summer Tam in Serenity and Firefly. And, like I said, it’s a bit fast and loose with some of the stuff that happened in the first two movies, but it’s trying really hard to be faithful. That being said, I found this thoroughly geeky breakdown of the Terminator models absolutely fascinating. This is just the sort of nerdy stuff that makes the internet so awesome, and the authors of this are my kind of sci-fi geek. Ahhh… the smell of geeks in the morning!!!

That is all for now, dear readers. Unpleasant dreams and, remember, Dungeon Masters don’t HAVE levels. Dork. < snort!>

Friday, February 08, 2008

Where's My Tardis?

Shamelessly stolen from because we're geeks of a similar vein!

It's kind of creepy. Like Les says, "It's like they know me or something..."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Howl of the Geek

Got a few links…

First off, we have a return to a site that I pimped a while back. The Dead Gentleman are some crazy guys out of Oregon who make low budget flicks that, if they weren’t low budget, would be at home with anything Kevin Smith does. I wrote a review of their first production, The Gamers back in December of 2006. Anyway, I periodically check their site for updates on their sequel - The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (which stars an old friend of mine – the immeasurably talented and beautiful Carol Roscoe). Unfortunately, it is STILL in post-production with no word on when it will be available for purchase. But, despite continuing to make me very sad, they do have a trailer on the site for the film; which makes me marginally less sad. That said, I continue to hope and pray that there will be some movement on the release of the film. So; go to the site, watch the trailer, and join me in my agony of perpetual waiting!

Dear Dead Gentlemen,

Please move it along as I grow impatient.

Doctor Zombie

p.s. – Don’t make me pull out my d20 of Certain Doom. None of us want that!

In other movie news…

In Hollywood’s ever continuing quest to totally rape all that I consider sacred, New Line is resurrecting the Nightmare on Elm Street series. “Cool!” you might say. I might say so also, except for the fact that they’ve decided, for reasons known only to the retards working at New Line Cinema, to have somebody BESIDES Robert Englund play Freddy Krueger. That’s right, you read that correctly. They’re recasting Freddy Krueger. At least that’s the rumor out there. They’re “re-imagining the series”. And this really, really pisses me off. That’s not to say that the series couldn’t use some help. The franchise declined pretty steadily as the 80’s and early 90’s marched on, sucking the very life out of the series. Freddy, like Jason Voorhees, became a parody of himself. He was redeemed somewhat in Freddy vs. Jason as they returned him to his badass, evil, roots; but the films that immediately preceded that were mediocre at best. The thing is, in Wes Craven’s original, Freddy was one of the greatest horror icons of all time. I remember watching the original at a girl’s house back in high school and feeling an unfamiliar, but exhilarating tingle. And it wasn’t because of the girl. It was a feeling of fear. From a horror movie. And, although that’s common for many people, it is, even at that point in Doctor Z’s life, sadly uncommon. I’ve seen so many horror movies that I am rarely unable to suspend my disbelief enough to get scared. And there’ve been few movies that do that. Nightmare was one of them, and Hollywood is going to fuck with that. Bastards.

Pop this bad boy into your favorites and keep an eye on it! It’s the official blog for Peter Jackson’s Hobbit. This will, as production starts to roll up, become a daily stop for the good Doctor. Damn, I can’t wait for this film!

Other Links:

Is there any way I can talk somebody into trying this with me? I’m going to call my brother Richie and try to convince him that this is something we need to do. This looks so awesome! I actually have been intrigued by the idea of rallies since I first heard about the Gumball 3000. There’s something about the excitement, adventure, and challenge of racing great distances through exotic, foreign lands. If anybody is interested in trying to do this (of course, Mrs. Zombie may have some decidedly negative thoughts on the idea of my flying to England, buying a cheap car, and driving it from England to Africa – but she’ll come around to my way of thinking. She understands my unreasonable need for fame and adventure), contact me at my email up by my profile. Tell me this wouldn’t be a fucking blast!

Look at this utter insanity!!! I was doing a vanity Google search (Quit looking at me like that! Like you’ve never Google’d yourself!?!) Anyway, I found someone trying to sell a used copy of my book, North Coast Gothic: A Grim Fairy Tale for… get this… $199.44. That’s right – some stooge is trying to sell my book for $200 shekels! Now, I’m more vain and egotistical than most when it comes to my writing. In fact, I’m vain and egotistical about practically nothing save my writing ability. Others may argue that my writing is not good… but they can bite me. I’m fucking brilliant. But I am – without a doubt, and even considering my swollen headed self absorption – most definitely not worth $200. This shit cracks me up! Good luck with the sale, buddy. And, by the way, if you, dear reader, are interested in a copy of my book - I always recommend you check it out over at The link’s on the right, up above, under “My Writing”. Besides being only $12.95 (as opposed to $200!!) they have a great review of it. And yes, I did just shamelessly plug my book. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a self-promoting douchebag. What are you gonna do about it?

I’ve two new blogs that I’m going to be adding to my blogroll just because they’re really, really cool.

The first is the Zombie Workout blog. The author is an out of work TV writer who’s decided she needs to get in shape to pass the time until the writer’s strike is over. But, instead of joining a gym and spending a few hours a week on an elliptical, she’s decided to look at it in terms of usefulness. And, when looking at practicality, nothing tests one’s fitness as surely as a post apocalyptic world overrun by ravenous, rotting zombies. She explains it much better than I do, so check out the site. Funny thing is she popped in at Zombie Squad last week. I’m not sure what that says, other than the fact that the zombie preparedness world is much smaller than one thinks…

The second blog is The Daily Coyote. This one wins just because of the photography. But besides that, and for those who don’t know, Doctor Z. is a dog person. I love dogs and, much to Mrs. Zombie’s eternal frustration, I sometimes care more for dogs than I do human life. Few things are capable of melting Doctor Zombie’s cold, unfeeling, undead heart – but dogs are the definite exception. And that love for dogs extends to coyotes. Often, when camping here in Ohio, one finds themselves awakened by the eerie howls and yips and ululation of coyotes at night. At first, there’s a twinge of primal fear at the sound, but then it transforms into wonder. I hope to, someday soon, go camping somewhere where there’re wolves. How cool would that sound?!? Anyway, check out this site for the cutest damn coyote on the internet!

And to round out today’s linking goodness… I have this funny piece about biological diversity. It’s about the wonderful insect world, of which I want absolutely nothing to do. Dear dark Pagan Gods - I hate bugs! If you suffer any entomophobia… don’t click the link. I’m serious. Don’t do it. If you think I’m fucking around, and click it, you’ll be sorry. Seriously. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

That’s all for now dear readers. I’ve actually been remiss in updating like I should. I’ll try to be better, but no promises – I’m working on my newest novel. That’s taking up a lot of my creative writing time. We’ll see about my being less of a slacker…