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Interview: Legendary Horror Scream Queen Felissa Rose of ‘Sleepaway Camp’ Fame
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Felissa Rose

Felissa Rose has endeared herself to horror fans for nearly 40 years. The New York-born star was just 13 when she got her first role as a shy teen, turned killer in the now iconic Sleepaway Camp (1983). That role, as well as the film’s infamous ending (no spoilers), has stayed with her, launching a career in horror that has garnered nearly 120 roles on IMDb as well as recurring role as “Mangled Dick Expert” on Shudder’s The Last Drive In starring Joe Bob Briggs. Rose makes countless appearances at horror conventions throughout the country, and speaking from experience, there is no one more genuine and pleasant with guests. It was my pleasure to speak with her via telephone last week to discuss her career, current films, and the uncertainty of life in a true horror landscape.

Check out the full interview below.

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What The ‘Star Wars’ Legacy Means To The Cast and Crew Of ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’
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Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Crew

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is the final chapter of the epic nine-film story arc that took over 40 years to complete. Though each generation has its trilogy, the entire Skywalker Saga belongs to everyone who has been a part of the Star Wars pantheon in any sort of capacity, whether it is through the films, TV series, video games, books, etc. Of course, fans will be interested in seeing how it will all come to an end and if it will meet or exceed their high expectations.

While Geeks of Doom and a group of selected journalists were able attend a press conference for Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, where the cast and crew talked about the film’s legacy and what they would like to leave behind knowing that they are the ones to close the book on the Skywalker saga. Check out what they had to say here below.

Star Wars The Rise Of Skywalker

Director J.J. Abrams immediately recognized the pressures that Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker had as it would bring an epic conclusion to over 40 years’ worth of storytelling. Though it has only been four years since he directed The Force Awakens, he says the difference between now and then is that the pressure has shifted, because he, Disney, and Lucasfilm did not know what kind of film they would have when they started this endeavor with Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac.

“This is wrapping up not one film, not three films, but nine,” Abrams said. “The responsibility was significant and the movie. The scale of the movie is pretty enormous, and we knew none of that would matter and none of that would work if we didn’t care deeply about the people. So the most important thing, the people, we were good with. We knew we had this incredible cast who I think has gone above and beyond anyone’s expectations and are truly spectacular in the film.”

And if there is anything a Star Wars film has, it is a combination of action, drama, heart, and humor. Finding someone who can balance that throughout the entirety of one film is difficult, and it is one of the reasons why Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy wanted Abrams to return because she believed he was one of those who could find that balance and bring the saga to a satisfying conclusion.

“The one thing I know about Star Wars and the one thing I know about these kinds of tentpole movies is this unique combination of needing dramatic storytelling, gravitas, and a great sense of humor,” Kennedy said. “I think there are a few filmmakers that really embody all of those things and also have the capability to manage something this huge, and J.J. was my first choice.”

Abrams then talked about how Star Wars, as a whole, was something more than just another blockbuster tentpole popcorn flick. It was something that represented hope in a time of despair when the underdog had their backs against the wall, and it was about bringing people together.

“I like to think that when you are working on something, especially something, and I say something like this as if these kinds of things come along all the time, and they never do, and I am still grateful for that call from Kathy, the truth is that there is the movie that you know you’re presenting to the world, and then there is the thing that you are doing not necessarily secretly but meaningfully,” Abrams said. “We live in a crazy world. We live in a crazy time. Star Wars for me was about hope, it was about community, it was about the underdog, and it was about bringing people together.”

Star Wars: TROS

While Star Wars has been a huge part of everyone’s lives, there is no doubt the franchise wouldn’t be where it is today without its core characters from the Original Trilogy. One of those characters is Princess Leia, who was played by the late Carrie Fisher. Though she may not have been alive to see her character’s story completed, Kelly Marie Tran, who plays Rose Tico, spoke about what Fisher meant to the franchise, the new trilogy, and how they felt it was their duty to make sure they do it right.

“I can only speak for myself, there is sort of this idea that J.J. has talked about ending this in nine films, and Carrie was such a big part of all that,” Tran said. “So, I think for me, personally, there was a lot of wanting to honor this thing and do right by this thing. And I think she is pretty effing incredible in this movie.”

Star Wars: TROS

And Leia was always going to be an intricate part to the new trilogy, with her role increasing with every film. Though she passed before production for The Rise Of Skywalker could start, Abrams had another plan to have her be a part of the film. One that would not involve cheap gimmicks like holograms or superimpose.

“Like everyone here who knew her, loved Carrie, and I knew her for a long time but not very well, but for a while before The Force Awakens,” Abrams said. “Obviously, as we discussed continuing the story without Leia was an impossibility, and there was no way we were going to do a digital Leia, there was no way we were going to of course recast her, but we couldn’t do it without her. So when we looked back the scenes we didn’t use in The Force Awakens, what we realized is that we had an opportunity and we could use that footage and the lines that she was saying and the lighting…”

He added,

“We knew we had the opportunity to use the footage to create scenes that Leia would be in. Of course, had Carrie been around, and it is still impossible for me to believe she isn’t because we have been editing with her for about a year, and she has been very much alive with us in every scene. If we had Carrie around, would we have done things differently here and there? Of course, we would have. But we had an opportunity to have Carrie in the movie. Working with all the actors, including Billie Lourd, her daughter, who’s in scenes with her, we were able to, I think, do something Carrie herself would be happy with. She’s great in the movie, of course. It’s emotional and moving to think of her and how sad we all are that she’s not sitting here with us today.”

For Anthony Daniels, who has plays C-3PO, being a part of all three trilogies has given him a very unique perspective on the iconic cinematic franchise.

“I just realized, in the last few months, something that I haven’t gotten before because I have been in all the movies. The questions I really don’t like is ‘what was it like?’ or ‘how does it feel to be in Star Wars?’ Well, I only just realized because I have been in all of them and all of the spinoffs and stuff, I am so close to it it’s like having your nose up against the planet. You can’t see how big the planet is. And gradually I am beginning to get a perspective on it and that comes from talking to fans and people who say what Star Wars meant to them. It has meant something completely different to me. It’s a job, it’s kind of fun, awkward sometimes, as well all know, it’s not a smooth ride, but finally, I get to see it from the other perspective and that is the perspective of the audience who have been there all this time and I am really glad to have survived all of this long enough to get this perspective.”

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Rey and Kylo battle

Even though Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is the end of an incredible nine-film story arc, it will remain one of the greatest stories told in a cinematic form. But the films themselves are representative of something that is greater than that, which is something Ridley is proud to be a part of.

“I think, in itself, to be part of something, like a lot of people in cinema are talking about representation and change and aren’t doing it,” Ridley said. “So I think, in itself, being part of a team of people that look a little different, that are from different places, like in whatever form that is – gender, race, whatever it is – I think that, in itself, is a legacy to be proud of.”

She added,

“Like J.J. was saying, this is a film of hope. And I think we are reflective of the world at large. There are a lot of people up against magnificent forces that are fighting the good fight. And, you know, the characters aren’t real, but what they’re doing is perilous in cinema. So to be able to portray even a tiny part of that in this crazy world is very special.”

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker opened in theaters on December 20, 2019.

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‘Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil’: Angelina Jolie Talks Redefining The Power Of Women
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Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil #5

Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil is the sequel to the 2014 alternative fantasy which gave audiences a new perspective on everyone’s favorite sorceress. Set five years after the first film, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) finds herself having to give Aurora (Elle Fanning), her besty and queen of the moors, away to Prince Phillip (Harrison Dickinson), who has just proposed to her. Although the two are deeply in love, Maleficent isn’t so convinced given her past history with humans. Her disdain only deepens when she is invited to meet Prince Phillip’s parents at a cordial dinner, where Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), his mother, subtly disrespects the all-powerful sorceress and plans to use the wedding as a means for the humans to go to war against the fairies.

Geeks Of Doom was invited so sit down with their fellow journalists at the official Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil press conference, where Jolie, Pfeiffer, and Fanning all talked about their characters, making a fairy tale feel modern, and more.

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NYCC 2019 Interview: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Photographer Helen Sloan, Author Of ‘The Photography Of Game Of Thrones’
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Game Of Thrones Photographer, Helen Sloan

At this year’s New York Comic-Con earlier this month, I got a chance to meet some incredible women who helped shape and capture the world of one of TV’s biggest shows of all time, Game of Thrones. The HBO series just finished its 8-season run earlier this year and the fantastical series based on The Song of Ice & Fire books by George R.R. Martin is probably the largest endeavor in television history. One of the key women behind the scenes was Helen Sloan, principal unit photographer on the series since day one. At the Insight Editions booth on the NYCC show floor, Sloan was signing exclusive copies of her forthcoming book, The Photography of Game of Thrones, co-written by Michael Kogge and licensed by HBO, and available now for pre-order. I got a chance to speak to Sloan about her time working on the show and her upcoming book.

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NYCC 2019 Interview: ‘Game of Thrones’ Production Designer Deborah Riley, Author Of ‘The Art of Game of Thrones’
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Game of Thrones Production Designer, Deborah Riley

At this year’s New York Comic-Con earlier this month, I got a chance to meet some incredible women who helped shape and capture the world of one of TV’s biggest shows of all time, Game of Thrones. The HBO series finished its 8-season run earlier this year and the fantastical series based on The Song of Ice & Fire books by George R.R. Martin set new standards for production. At the Insight Editions booth on the NYCC show floor, I met with Deborah Riley, production designer on the epic series to discuss what it takes to make Game of Thrones look the way it did, as well as her new book, The Art of Game of Thrones, which is available for pre-order now.

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NYCC 2019 Interview: Richard P. Clark of Storm King Comics
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Interview Richard P. Clark of Storm King Comics

Storm King Comics was formed in 2012 by Sandy King Carpenter and husband, Horror Master John Carpenter. They’ve been behind majorly successful titles like Asylum 1 – 2 and the annual Tales for a HalloweeNight anthologies. In the last few years they started a new series of monthly anthologies called John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction. Twitch was one of the latest stories in the series and is now available in a paperback trade. Telling the story of an alien signal from outer space that is turning humankind into a collective hive-minded bunch of zombies, Twitch was written by Duane Swierczynski with art by Richard P. Clark and lettering by Janice Chiang. This past weekend at New York Comic-Com at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in midtown Manhattan, I got a chance to sit down with artist Richard P. Clark to talk about Twitch, his creative process, and working for Storm King.

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NYCC 2019 Interview: Cast Of The TNT Series ‘Snowpiercer’
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Snowpiercer Roundtable Interview

New York Comic-Con welcomed the cast and creator of TNT’s new Snowpiercer series to the Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday afternoon. Back in 2013, revolutionary South Korean director Joon-ho Bong (Okja, Parasite) translated acclaimed French graphic novel Le Transperceneige into a groundbreaking post-apocalyptic adventure film starring Chris Evans. From that, Graeme Manson (Cube, Orphan Black) created the new TV series, which will debut on TNT in the Spring of 2020. The story of a globe-spanning train with 1001 cars carrying the remainder of humanity after a climate-change disaster is rife with socio-political and class commentary and deals with many issues facing the world of today.

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NYCC 2019 Interview: TNT’s All Elite Wrestling With Chris Jericho & More!
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AEW Panel Interview

New York Comic-Con just wrapped on another successful year at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in midtown Manhattan this weekend. All Elite Wrestling invaded NYCC fresh off giving TNT their biggest debut for a new show in five years with All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite on Wednesday, October 2nd. On Friday, the wrestlers and stars of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) came to discuss their new Wednesday night show and describe what sets them apart from other wrestling companies in the world. Current AEW World Heavyweight Champion and Fozzy lead singer Chris Jericho was there along with stars Jon Moxley, Nyla Rose, “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry, Kia Stevens — who wrestles as Awesome Kong and appears on Netflix’s Glow — and last but not least AEW’s Chief Branding Officer Brandi Rhodes. I guess packing wrestlers into tight spaces was not a great idea, as later in the day at their AEW on TNT panel, all hell broke loose!

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Interview: David Weiner, Writer/Director Of ’80s Horror Doc ‘In Search Of Darkness’
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In Search Of Darkness 80s Horror

In one of the best displays of the power of horror movie fandom, a project that started with a crowdfunding campaign lives to see the light a year later in the most special month of the year for horror fans. Last year, a Kickstarter campaign was started for ’80s horror documentary In Search of Darkness, written and directed by David Weiner. After meeting their goal in just two days, the campaign moved to Indiegogo in early 2019 and now right in time for Halloween, the epic horror documentary about the genre’s craziest decade will make its grand premiere this weekend at Beyond Fest in LA.

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‘Frozen 2’: Creating A Beautiful Disney Animated Ballad
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Frozen 2

“Into The Unknown” is just one of seven songs that will be featured in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming Frozen 2. Sung by Idina Menzel, it is an extraordinary ballad that is paired with a stunning sequence that is perfectly choreographed and staged. We got a small one-look sample of the sequence during the D23 Expo, where it was met with a huge amount of applause.

During our recent sneak preview of Frozen 2, Geeks of Doom and a select group of journalists learned about what goes into making a visually stunning musical sequence, including the costumes, hair design, effects, and more.

Check out how visual development artists, the story team, music producers, the animation team, and what the effects artists had to say about what it takes to put a musical sequence together below.

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