April 3, 2008

Scary/Not Scary



Carnivorous Plants

With gory new stills and clips from The Ruins spoiling everyone's appetites (and spoiling the movie as well -- shame on you folks who can't wait!) it's worth mentioning how bizarre they are in real life. As a former Venus Flytrap owner, I can vouch for the fact that you never really get over the mental nausea of seeing a plant move suddenly, nor does picking disgorged fly-carcasses out of its teeth ever stop being offensively gross. In anticipation of The Ruins opening this week, why not take a stroll through the Galleria Carnivora, a stunning gallery packed with photos of ravenous weeds doing what they do best. Predatory plant life gets the short end of the stick when it comes to horror -- and even then Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Little Shop of Horrors want us to think that the threat will come from space. A field full of Sarracenia Alata with their hungry mouths gaping will more than convince you that Earth is plenty inhospitable on its own.

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Sean Connery

The original 007 has been many things to many people--father, lover, ghetto mentor, dragon-- but the one thing he has never been is scary. Announcements that Connery is negotiating to become the new villain Bond faces in Quantum of Solace have me thinking that a fan campaign might be in order to pull him back from the ledge. Has he already forgotten the fiasco of Sir August de Wynter, a name that so chilling I only dare whisper it? As the arch-villain in the agonizing The Avengers he surely intended to riff on his Bond career, but instead merely roared all the weather-related puns that Batman and Robin forgot to use. If Bond filmmakers are trying exorcise their franchise of its legacy of high camp, they'd be wise to lowball Connery and claim they can't afford him. Or perhaps schedule all shooting late in the evenings, when he'd rather be snoozing in the solace of his recliner?

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