Eklund Editorials: Roland – West of Hell (2018)

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about it along the way. There will be spoilers.

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A gunslinger, a vengeful ex-slave, and a runaway discover their train is haunted by a sinister force.

When a movie is classified as a “supernatural horror western hybrid” it gets my attention. I like all those things! I also adore movies that take horror and wrap it up in another genre, taking the tropes from both and intertwining them. If this film wasn’t already on my list thanks to the spreadsheet I think I would watch it just for the genre.

WEST OF HELL is set in Georgia, 1872 on a train bound for Atlanta (or so we’re led to believe) with a small cast of cliche characters. The players read like a silly joke: A priest, a gunslinger, a runaway and an ex-slave seeking revenge walk onto a train… It would be less grievous if the characters had a broader background or even darker personalities, but it’s variations on a theme. Clue has more interesting characters. All of the characters have sins and a dark past which they’re running from, with the exception of Jericho (Lance Henriksen) an ex-slave who is seeking revenge for his daughter who was scalped by his former master. The man who scalped his daughter happens to have his own daughter on the train and Jericho has his eye on exacting revenge eye for an eye style by scalping her. Roland (Michael Eklund) is being paid $500 to protect her and deliver her safely to Atlanta.

Image from: http://www.clingerdigital.com

Roland and the woman he’s supposed to protect Annie Hargraves

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Eklund Editorials: Ed Brewer – Supernatural

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about as much of it as I can along the way. There will be spoilers.

Season 4, episode 5: It’s Halloween time and the Winchesters face-off against a shapeshifter with a penchant for impersonating classic movie monsters like Dracula, the Wolfman, and the Mummy.

This one was a rewatch! I adore Supernatural, and this episode from season 4 with its classic monster movie storyline, shot entirely in black and white stands out in my mind. It’s pretty stereotypical Supernatural fare with Dean hitting on women, Sam complaining about it and a mistaken enemy. I remember liking Ed too, I just didn’t realize that Ed Brewer was Michael Eklund. This is an interesting episode since up until this point I’ve been reviewing shows where he plays strong characters, resolute in their goals, whether that’s getting the girl, achieving motion in pictures or taking control of the local drug game.

Ed Brewer is none of those things, hell he doesn’t even have a goatee! He’s nervous (and overcompensating because of it), twitchy, dorky sounding Ed who drinks huge steins of beer and plays a pipe organ in his underwear… well, it’s a Casio keyboard built into a pipe organ… he plays in his underwear.

He’s having none of that fake bravado nonsense when Sam tries to pull his ear off thinking he’s a shapeshifter and Michael does a great job acting terrified.

Thanks to his display at the Oktoberfest the Winchesters don’t even take him seriously at first because, let’s be honest, would you? Part of the character is the fact that he’s become the town joke and that Sheriff doesn’t take him serious when he says he saw a movie-style Bella Lugosi type Dracula kill a girl.

Sam: Can you describe her assailant?
Ed Brewer: Oh, he was a vampire.
Dean: Okay, right. And by that you mean…
Ed:
A vampire.
Dean: So…he looked like–
Ed: He looked like a vampire. You know with the fangs and the slicked back hair and the fancy cape and the little medallion thing on the ribbon.
Dean: You mean like a Dracula?

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Let’s Talk about Strong Female Characters: My Top 10 Kickass Ladies

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There’s been a lot of talk lately (and rightly so) about feminism, fandom and the lack of “strong” (3-dimensional, interesting, complex, REAL) female characters in mainstream media. The above quote has been going around for a long, long time and I encourage you to find similar quotes from female writers. I just adore that quote, so I put it there.

There was a very interesting post about female protagonists here that I encourage you to read. The author talks about looking at the books she was reading to her child and her attempts to balance male and female protagonists, but they fall very short of a 50/50 split. (It ends up being more like 60/30)

When I saw that my spreadsheet project featured exactly zero actresses I realized I needed to do something. As an exercise I decided to put down my top 10 favourite female characters. Surely there were ten lady characters that kicked ass from TV shows and movies I love. Ten fictional ladies that I’d want to have a drink with, or at the very least were played by actresses I really enjoyed?

The first five were a breeze, and then suddenly I was struggling to come up with female characters that I liked, let alone strong female characters I admired or that I could take traits from to help me in my everyday life. I looked. Leading ladies didn’t suddenly come out from the woodwork, but there were strong, awesome characters that I was over-looking because I was too busy watching the leading men on the show. (Leading men talk a lot and the camera likes to spend lots of time pointed at them.)

A lot of these characters are supporting characters, in fact they all are except Rey* and an argument can be made for Clara and Sara Lance who are both part of an ensemble of sorts. Yet they are kick ass in their own way, furthering the plot and embodying traits that I want to emulate in my everyday life.

So here’s my list, I know I’m forgetting lots and I’d love to see your lists in the comments.

(In no particular order)…

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These Are a Few of My Happy Things…

Disclaimer: I get that now maybe isn’t a good time to come out and say, “look at all these happy things!” but there never will be a good time. I hope they bring a little joy to others.

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One of the things I love about being on Verity! Podcast is the inclusion of our “happy things” section we start each full episode with. I may moan about finding a happy thing some weeks, but it is nice to see what is going on in the world of Doctor Who that has my co-hosts excited.

Of course, Doctor Who isn’t my only love and as a proud multi-fandom lovin’ person I thought it might be nice to devote a blog post here and there to talk about things I’m excited about in different fandoms. Read on for Supernatural, Walking Dead, superheroes (SPIDEYPOOL!), music, young Peter Capaldi, and more.

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The Five Stages of Fandom

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I love the fandoms I take part in. They’ve brought me happiness, frustrated me, helped me through bad times and made me cry all while introducing me to friends and ideas I would have never met otherwise. While Doctor Who is my family fandom; the one I will always come back to, I also have Supernatural, Firefly, South Park, Kids in the Hall, and the Walking Dead. Each of them have shown me something and helped me discover a bit more about myself.

Recently, I fell head over heels with the TV show Chuck, and like the other shows I fell hard. So hard in fact that I took a step back to look at the process, how I went from scoffing a show I knew little about (telling my partner Chris that no, I didn’t want to watch it and that it wouldn’t interest me) to watching five seasons in less than a week. As I stared, I noticed that the process for me was the same for every single show*. It also bore a similarity to the five stages of grief if I tipped my head the right way.

*Although I wrote this from a TV show point of view, you can easily replace TV show with book, movie or anime. If it exists there’s a fandom for it.

When a death occurs, it is believed a person goes through five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Some people will skip a step entirely, and each step may take a different amount of time for different people. With fandoms we begin with an event or a series of mini-events. Continue reading

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Being a Fangirl

Hi, I’m Katrina and I’m a fangirl.

That’s a loaded word isn’t it? Fangirl.

I’m here to make the statement that more of us fangirl than we realize and more of us should fangirl than currently do. Don’t worry, it’s not an illness and even if it were we wouldn’t want to cure it.
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