The Scream Awards go down the rabbit hole (updated)

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There was a time in this world when young people were frequently slightly ashamed of being bigger than average fans of horror, science fiction, fantasy, and especially comic books. I, personally, wasn’t embarrassed …and I paid a price. Those days may be over. In any case, the capacity crowd that showed up for Spike TV’s Scream awards, largely in costume and largely dramatically over- or under-dressed for a nighttime outdoor show after a very warm day, seemed more like club kids and less like the kind of uber geeks who become entertainment bloggers and film critics and stuff like that.

The Scream Awards are, in their fun/silly way, a big deal. Big enough to attract a good number of stars and even a few superstars like Tobey Maguire, Jessica Alba, Morgan Freeman, Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp and his living legend “Pirates of the Caribbean” muse, Rolling Stone Keith Richard.

I, however, am not such a big deal and was reminded of that fact when, prior to the show I found myself with the less fashionable members of the not-quite paparazzi on the “red carpet” (actually a checkered walkway) with my little digital camera and even smaller digital recorder device, wondering whether I’d really get a chance to ask a question of one of the super-famed folks, knowing that the only question I could think of at the time would be something in the nature of “What’s it like be the most notorious rock and roll star in the world, having your blood changed, and snorting your late father’s ashes?” That probably would have been inappropriate, especially if I asked it of Jessica Alba.

What actually seems to happen at events like this is that, if you’re a small-timer especially, most of the big stars either go through another entrance or walk right by you at warp speed. Meanwhile, folks who are a bit more anxious to meet the press find their way to you with the help of PR types. As an example, for about half a second, I was almost able to talk with actor Karl Urban, who did such a great job homaging DeForest Kelly while putting his own hilarious stamp on “Bones” McCoy in “Star Trek.” However, within a nanosecond he remembered he was in a big hurry and politely scurried off.

After a few odd reality show people I didn’t recognize, and the pretty young actress who assays the part of “Female Addict” in “Saw VI,” our first actual notable was statuesque model turned actress Tricia Helfer. Helfer is, make no mistake, a true superstar to TV sci-fi fans and is best known as Number Six, aka “the hot blonde cylon” on “Battlestar Galactica.” The actress appeared with her significant other, the owner of a British accent and a Giaus Baltar-style beard, but I’m sure that’s a total coincidence. I had a not terribly consequential discussion with her — lost because I apparently forgot to press the “on” button on my digital recorder. One would expect no less an effect from Number Six. UPDATE: Yeesh! As pointed out by my PH compatriot John Paulsen, the actress was actually Kate Vernon, who played the lady-MacBeth-like Ellen Tigh. It is true, all statueseque blonde women in shiny dresses look alike to me! My apologies to all concerned or unconcerned.

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Good wolf, bad wolf

Or rather there is good film effects werewolves  — and what looks to be good, old school filmmaking — and bad sfx lycanthropes. Both have been making the rounds today as chronicled by Christopher Campbell. First the very good computer-aided vision of “The Wolfman,” as shown off in the second trailer from the apparently fairly loose new Joe Johnston remake of the 1941 Universal monster classic and with old wolf hand Rick Baker masterminding the monster make-up work. The effects here have some real weight and detail to them and remind me of the great work of the WETA crew for the “Lord of the Rings” cycle. I’m not crazy about the Marilyn Manson music, but otherwise I’m more or less sold. I can be a baby about horror movies, but this look like my kind of monster flick. Strong on atmosphere and, if we’re a lucky, a bit of thought behind it as well as some first-rate actors in front of the camera.

And this clip I actually saw over the weekend at the Spike TV Scream awards, which I’ll discussing here next week. Let’s just say it didn’t make me feel that I’ve missed the boat on this whole “Twilight” business having skipped the first, hugely lucrative, film in the series.

Aside from the fact that these werewolves lack any sense of weight or heft or look about as menacing as Alaskan sled dogs, what’s with their human forms? I know it’s all about the romantic fantasies and preferences of contemporary teenage girls, but if you’re going to have perpetually shirtless lycanthropes running around — and it looks kind of cold wherever they are — a bit of token chest hair might be appropriate. They’re supposed to be a tribe of beast men, not a collective of pampered Tiger Beat pin-ups. Except, obviously, that’s exactly what they’re supposed to be. Of well, it’s not like adolescent boys don’t get their proclivities catered to enough.

If you missed the first, also very good, trailer for “The Wolfman,” you may click here. And if monster soap is your thing — and, as a “Buffy” fan it’s not as if I’m innately opposed — here’s the trailer for “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

  

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