No one ever involved with the Star Trek franchise has benefited from its enduring popularity and cultural legacy as much as William Shatner. And why shouldn’t he? This is Captain James Tiberius Kirk we’re talking about here, one of the most popular and recognizable heroic figures ever created. Shatner saw his own fortunes as a struggling young actor with great talent and promise rise considerably in the 1960’s when he signed on to play Kirk after the original pilot episode of Trek with Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike was poorly received. The show may have only lasted three seasons in the first place, the third of which was made possible by one of the most effective fan letter-writing campaigns in the history of civilization, but its countless television and feature film spin-offs helped the franchise become the cornerstone of a geek nation that stretches to every corner of the planet and one day possibly to worlds yet unexplored. Shatner is one of the show’s greatest champions, its most iconic character and star, and to this day continues on as a tireless promoter for Star Trek‘s undying themes and the power of its fans and alumni to inspire greatness in themselves and others. Plus, those residual checks must be pretty nice.
Most recently Shatner wrote and directed The Captains Close Up, a 5-part series for the cable channel Epix that expanded on the intentions of his 2011 documentary feature The Captains. Each of the five episodes were devoted to interviewing and profiling the actors who played Starfleet captains in the original Trek and its four television spin-offs and multitude of big screen sci-fi adventures. The entire series has been released on DVD courtesy of Entertainment One, and with a combined running time of two-and-a-half hours on one disc makes binge watching essential and well worth the time of any Trek devotee.
The promotional machine for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is up and preparing to crush the competition in the run-up to its theatrical bow next week and Entertainment Tonight, the show that once gave Cosmo Kramer seizures, has a preview of the forthcoming film. You can watch it here below.
There’s a bit of footage from the David Fincher-directed film along with interviews with stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in the two-minute preview. If you’ve seen the various regular and extended trailers you won’t find anything new here. Mara discusses how she approached the character of Lisbeth Salander and Craig talks about shooting in the frigid climate of Sweden.
Originally a game designer behind such titles as Realms of Arkania and Das Schwarze Auge, Guido Henkel was born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany and now calls Southern California home.
In recent years he has turned his attention to writing speculative fiction. Rather than creating full-length novels, he wanted to create a series of horror pulp fiction novellas in the style of Sherlock Holmes and the John Sinclair series, and to make each volume short enough that readers could finish one in a day. Inspired by the gothic horror dime novels he read in his youth, he created the Jason Dark: Ghost Hunter series, which follows the exploits of the eponymous detective who investigates supernatural matters in Victorian London. There are nine volumes in the series to date, with many more planned, and each involves a different paranormal menace, whether it’s a ghost, a vampire, a demon, or a crooked doctor.
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Henkel about the Jason Dark series, how he came up with the concept, and the design behind his new book covers. Continue reading to check out the interview!
The original I Spit On Your Grave was easily one of the most controversial films of the 1970s. The plot was simple: a young woman is raped by a group of men and she takes revenge on said rapists. It’s a story that has been told over and over, but this particular version of the story was one of the most visceral and disturbing tellings of that story ever. In 2010, the movie was remade and it hit festivals garnering a similar reaction to the first film. The unrated version of the 2010’s I Spit on Your Grave comes to DVD and Blu-ray on February 8.
I sat down for a one-on-one chat with one of the stars, Chad Lindberg, to discuss his experiences making this film and watching it.