Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Freezing Temperatures and Fibromyalgia - Are More Layers Better or Worse?

At this present moment in time Scotland and indeed a large part of the UK is in a total white out.  So what does this mean for those of us who suffer from chronic pain conditions?  It is a well known fact that the cold weather increases the symptomatology of conditions such as Fibromyalgia, as does damp weather.  So what do us as individuals do to cope with these freezing temperatures? 

When going outside in this weather my motto has always been ‘the more layers, the better’, however I am starting to question this logic.  I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find that the more layers I put on, no matter how thin or thick they are, my pain seems to increase.  Is this multitude of layers constricting my blood flow and henceforth increasing the level of pain that I feel?  It’s like having a hair bobble tieing up my hair that is pulled too tight.

Increased skin sensitivity is the number one culprit of this pain.  It feels as though my body is covered in bruises.  My muscles feel taught and sore, both to touch and to move.  The more layers of tops and cardigans I put on, the more my muscles tense up and my skin aches.  It’s like my body can’t handle the weight of the clothes on my skin.   Similarily, this pain seems to decrease, not inordinantly but at least a little upon removal of layers.  When I get in the house and change into a comfy pair of pyjamas, grab my hot water bottle and snuggle up on the couch, the pain does start to subside.

With this in mind I decided to see what I could find out online.  Surprisingly there is a total lack of information on this subject.  There is lots of information out there advising people with fibromyalgia about the differences between hot and cold, different barometric pressures and humidity yet nothing about wearing too many layers.

With increasingly long and cold winter nights, it’s quite easy to see why an individual would opt to crack open a bottle of wine as a way of numbing the pain.  This is not a long term solution though and the rammifications far outweigh the temporary relief that this provides when done on a regular basis.  So what other options are there out there to relieve pain and increase circulation that doesn’t cause the body so much damage?

One of my favourite remedies I got from Sue Ingebretson’s superb book FibroWHYalgia, it’s so simple, and it almost seems silly that something that is so much fun could be so effective.   With a sports bra of course.  

One piece of home gym equipment I couldn’t do without is a mini-trampoline or “rebounder.” I purchased one for about $30 at a discount store several years ago and still use it almost daily. Who can’t find 15 minutes here or there to bounce around? It jostles stiffened muscles and gets the blood flowing. 

Improved circulation helps reduce muscle spasms as well as overall pain. In only minutes of bouncing, I benefit from stress relief, too.

She's a wise woman and this book is superb, a must for anyone who either suffers or knows someone who suffers from Fibromyalgia or any other chronic condition.  Hell, even if you just want some enlightenment on the subject, Sue is a wonderful writer and so natural at it as well.  Reading FibroWHYalgia is almost like sitting down having a conversation over peppermint tea with her.  I Love her!!!  You can check out her website and blog here where there's also links to her Facebook and Twitter.  :)  

When our bodies are cold, our circulation is reduced.  A well known plant that is excellent for circulation, and indeed memory problems, is Gingko Biloba.  It is a circulatory stimulant that is known to increase flow in blood vessels, henceforth is excellent for Fibromyalgia sufferers. 
Devil’s Claw Root is another excellent remedy for Fibromyalgia as it not only works as an anti-inflammatory, but is excellent for improving circulation.  It may also aid better digestion, yet another symptom of Fibromyalgia. 

Bearing all of this in mind, I have since been wearing fewer layers.  Obviously enough to keep me warm, but not so much that I am stopping in essence, my body’s ability to breathe.  I’m hoping that by doing this, as well as following the rest of the advice I’ve laid out here, getting through this freezing cold winter might just be that little bit easier.  And obviously I'll still have some wine.  ;)

*NOTE - When I started writing this we were indeed in the middle of snowsville, thankfully now it's mostly all melted away and now all we have is rain, at least in Arbroath.  Let's see how my body reacts to this sudden change in weather.*

FibroWHYalgia: Why Rebuilding the Ten Root Causes of Chronic Illness Restores Chronic Wellness

Jeremy Bamber - Injustice of the Most Shocking Kind!!!

How would you like to be convicted of a crime that you didn’t commit?  A crime that police have known that you are innocent of since 1992, however are still incarcerated in 2010!?!  This is exactly the case with Jeremy Bamber.  Right from the start there has been complete inconsistencies with this case yet Jeremy has still never been granted his freedom.  A grosse violation of human rights if ever I heard one.  I mean what the hell, the guy was only 24 when all this shit happened!?!  

Twenty six years this man has been behind bars, convicted of murders he never committed; murders that were in fact committed by his adopted older sister who after killing their parents June and Neville Bamber, killed her 6 year old twin boys Nicholas and Daniel before shooting herself. 

I remember when he passed the lie detector test, once and for all proving his innocence, I was working in a pub at the time and remember reading it and doing a big “oh my god, Jeremy Bamber is like TOTALLY innocent, HA!” spiel to everyone who was in the pub.  What amazed me was how little people knew who he even was, or anything about the case.  Yes this happened in 1985 but come on, we still remember The Goonies and we most certainly still love Dominos Pizza, so why aren’t we still shouting out about the injustice done here!?!  Why has this man been buried by the system?

For those of you unaware of the case, on 7th August 1985 Jeremy Bamber called the local police station stating: "My father's just phoned me - he said, 'Please come over, your sister has gone crazy and has got a gun'." 

The sister in question is the adopted older sister Sheila, or ‘Bambi’ as she was known.  28 year old Bambi was a model in London with a history of serious psychiatric problems.  She was diagnosed a paranoid schizoprenic in 1983 and in the Easter of 1986 she was being treated in a psyciatric ward.  This was mere months before the White House Farm Murders in Tolleshunt d’Arcy, Essex, England.    

When the police arrived at the house after Jeremy’s call, they found the bodies of Bamber’s parents, along with Bambi’s twin boys and Bambi herself.  Inititally it was Bambi whom police suspected of the killings before killing herself.  It wasn’t until a month later, after an argument that Jeremy’s girlfriend Julie Mugford went to the police and did what I guess is the ultimate fuck you; she basically made him out to sound like a spoilt brat Essex Boy who wanted what his parents and sister had, despite having plenty of his own.  She told how he apparently had spoken to her of his desire to kill his family and inherit their wealth and that how he’d boasted he could comit the perfect crime.  This was of course the vindictive lies of a jilted lover and that combined with the bungled police investigation, it has cost Jeremy 26 years of his life. 

Jeremy has been described as “warped and evil beyond belief” and during his time in Full Sutton Prison, has been the victim of a knife attack that required him receiving 28 stitches in his neck.  Full Sutton is home to my second favourite serial killer of all time, Mr Dennis Nielsen.  As much as Dennis completely fascinates me though, I know that he is actually guilty.  Jeremy isn’t!!!  Can you even begin to imagine how awful it must be to know that you have served a life sentence for brutal slayings that you didn’t comit.  Knowing that the police screwed up big time and that because of this, you have been buried by the system, despite having passed a lie detector test proving your innocence in April 2007.  Most people would have given up or killed themselves, I mean what’s the point right?  The fact that Jeremy is still here, fighting his cause is testament to what a true spirit he is and I really admire him for that. 

There is so much information and proof of his innocence; I urge you to go check it out.  If you visit the Jeremy Bamber website there are links to numeous articles and videos, as well as links to his own Blogger and the Facebook group set up in his name.  I find it highly commendable the work done by these guys in their tireless efforts to clear his name.  Join me in spreading the word and hopefully together we can finally right this terrible wrong!!!

Jeremy BamberMurder at White House Farm: The Story of Jeremy Bamber

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Sheldonator – An Unstoppable Force of Insane, Narcissistic but Usually Compelling Hilarity!!!

Awards season is upon us and today, one of the biggies; the Golden Globe nominees were announced.  As in my humble opinion bloody downright should be, both The Big Bang Theory and Jim Parsons have been nominated for Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy respectively. 

The Big Bang Theory is one of those shows that week after week has me in fits of laughter.  Its comedic timing is always spot on and the general madness that surrounds these four super geeks is absolutely brilliant.  Generally always in the middle of this, or more like sat in “his” spot on the sofa, is the one and only Dr Sheldon Cooper.  Apparently not insane (his mother had him tested!!!), Sheldon is the epithany of MAD SCIENTIST!!!  From his love of his MeMaw (Grandmother) to his eternal hatred of geek favourite Wil Wheaton, Sheldon is the ultimate geek and what he says goes.  His lack of understanding of basic human interaction is brilliant and brings around a real sweet, yet naïve sense about him.  Plus it adds to the entertainment value when he is put in situations when he has to try and act umm, normal.  Haha.  Something which is nay on impossible for him to accomplish.  All this said, Jim Parsons who plays Sheldon is an absolute star…he is also one of those people whom I would love to meet in real life, just to see how much Sheldon there is in the Jim.  Some of my favourite Sheldon moments are when he is with Kaley Cuoco's character Penny, the ditzy waitress/wannabe actress.  The two of them together are an absolute riot!!!

In the Golden Globes category that both the show and Jim Parsons are in, they're the ones I want to win, without a shadow of a doubt, there's no contest in my eyes.  

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First SeasonThe Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second SeasonThe Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third SeasonThe Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season

Idris Elba's BBC Serial Killer Drama - Luther

To say that I’m partial to a good bit of murder is an understatement.  Add to that an obsessive detective/FBI agent storyline, one who shall stop at nothing to stop a serial killer or mass murderer; I’m all ears and eyes.  Obviously still attached to my own body, those story lines can be saved for another time, mwah!  This being the case, whilst checking out what Idris Elba had been up to lately, I came across the BBC show Luther.  Luther is the story of DCI John Luther, a detective working in the serious crimes unit. 

He is dazzling, obsessive, possessed - and sometimes dangerous in the violence of his fixations. But Luther has paid a heavy price for his dedication; he has recently suffered a mental breakdown following the traumatic investigation into child serial killer Henry Madsen. On his return to duty, Luther struggles to balance the psychological demands of his work at the same time as trying to save his marriage to his wife, Zoe.

This description alone leaves me wanting for more, I mean what’s not to love!?!  The added bonus comes with the fact that Luther is played by the wonderful and downright gorgeous Idris Elba.  Now I had seen him in loads of stuff before and really liked him but it wasn’t until The Wire that I became rather fixated with him.

Playing Stringer Bell, the drug lord who used his intelligence and perception to realise that after some time, property was the way forward in a game that was constantly changing.  Despite all of his flaws there was something incredibly charming about him.  I loved Detective McNulty’s obsession with catching him out and sending him down for life, both Elba and Dominic West played off each other brilliantly.  The same could be said for Stringer Bell’s interaction with Michael K. Williams character Omar Little.  Absolutely cracking TV writing, some of the best ever, without a doubt!!!

Anyhoo, in the time that I have sat writing this it has just come to my attention that the great man has actually been nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in Luther!!!  He's up against Al Pacino which is no mean feat, so hells yeah to Idris for being part of Team Awesome UK in this years Globes!!!

This has made me even more excited about seeing Luther, I've asked my sister for the DVD for my Christmas so here's looking forward to some obsessive Elba killer action, mwahahahahahaha.  And you can be sure that I shall let y'all know what I think once I've seen it.  Expect lots of potential gushing, haha. 

LutherThe Wire: The Complete SeriesThe Wire: The Complete First SeasonThe Wire: The Complete Second SeasonThe Wire: The Complete Third SeasonThe Losers

Friday, 10 December 2010

Most Beautiful Film Endings of All Time - Dahmer

So I have decided to compose a series of what I consider to be the most beautiful film endings of all time.  Now me being me, obviously they are not going to be to everyone's taste however, hi di ho, they're mine!!!  So here I start with one of my ultimate most favourite EVER, the surreal, gorgeous and stupidly underrated Dahmer!!!

Dahmer - The scene where we see him walking through the woods at the end - having given up on help before he'd even really started to receive it.  What made this such a perfect place to end the movie was that where this should have been a time in his life where like any young man, he was looking forward.  But knowing what was to come, and cutting out at that moment...it left you with such a feeling of empty hopelessness.  Of haunting melancholy and great sadness, the kind that I love so dearly in my movies.  I can honestly say I have seen this film pretty much more than most other films ever...not sure what that says about me but what the hey, I love Jeff!!!  Dahmer is proof that Jeremy Renner is without a shadow of a doubt one of the single greatest actors of all time.  It just took the rest of the world a little bit longer to realise this. 

To complete the perfection of this ending you add the music….one of the most gorgeous songs of all time.  It’s perfect; it’s haunting and so beautiful that I can’t imagine any other song replacing it.  On so many occasions I can remember watching the movie and then afterwards when it went back to the title screen, I would just sit and listen to Blue Theme, the song from the end credits.  By Siren Music Productions who did the whole score, it’s perfect.  I was so in love with it I went out of my way trying to get hold of it.  I finally came across the girl’s website through a link on the Dahmer movie page.  I emailed them and soon heard back from Willow Williamson who told me that you couldn’t actually buy the CD but if I purchased one of the bands albums, she would send me a copy of it.  Instantly I purchased not one, but two copies of the self-titled This Side of North album.  One for myself, and one for my dear friend Nia.  I can honestly say that this is one of the best things I ever did.  The album is flawless and I love it dearly.  I swear that when I die, I want this album in my coffin.   It’s that good.  And it pains me to say how seriously underrated the band are, and indeed each member individually.  I have spoken to Christina Agamanolis on a number of occasions and she is adorable.  I hope that somewhere our paths shall cross as she is a true inspiration to me, plus I’d LOVE to see her play live!!!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Devon Sawa and Nick Stahl WORKING TOGETHER!?! Woot woot!!!

So it came to my attention the other week that two of my most favourite of actors are making a new movie together!!!  Both are actors I’ve been following since the early 1990’s and both I admit, unashameably to have had major crushes on, but not just that, they have both proven from an incredibly young age that they are bloody good actors.  I am indeed speaking of Devon Sawa and Nick Stahl.  They are both totally awesome actors, have played some downright superb characters and when it comes to both mainstream and indie credibility, they’re equally sound on both counts!!! 

I grew up watching these guys and both made a significant impression from my early teens onwards.  Devon Sawa is the eldest of the two, being just over a year older.  (Sawa is roughly half a year older than me with Stahl being about the same younger so yay, PERFECET ages!!!)  Now both actors receive super geek love from me due to involvement in super fucking cool movies all made by my X Files peeps…plus both starring the lovely Chad E. Donella.  But more about that in a bit.  ;)

Early career wise, I’ve liked Devon Sawa since movies like Little Giants and Now and Then (nice coming of age drama with a fucking awesome cast, including a young Thora Birch).  Plus he was Caspar the friendly ghost…in boy form (a personal favourite of my sister Susan’s, who likewise, has major crushes on both).  <3   Love of him in these movies got me renting films like The Boys Club (which is criminally underrated and really annoying that you can’t buy it on DVD in the UK!!!) and Wild America. 

(Above: Devon Sawa going all Evil Dead on us in Idle Hands)

Idle Hands, released in 1999 is easily one of my most favourite of his movies to date, it is also in my top 3 favourite zombie movies and probably top 5 most quoted movies of all time too.  Can you guess how much I love it!?!  ;)  Plus it’s perfect zombie comedy, years before Shaun of the Dead!!!  It’s ridiculously funny, fantastically gory, has a superb cast including Seth Green, Elden Henson and Jessica Alba, plus an Offspring cameo that doesn’t end well for Dexter Holland.  Amongst all the weed smoking, there is definitely a tip on what NOT to smoke as well haha.  Something that always makes me giggle when I’m in the supermarket purchasing either nutmeg or oregano.  ;)  It also has a banging soundtrack as well, what more could you want for in a movie!?!  Hell I even named this awesome pumpkin man Halloween decoration Anton after his character in the movie.  Muchos dorko’s much??? (And no I’m not talking about a whales peepee!!!)

“As usual, marajuana saves an otherwise disatrous day!” (Above: Jessica Alba in turmoil; saved by getting high, haha.)

Thinking it impossible for him to follow up on the genius of Idle Hands, he does it with the one and only Final Destination.  Now I’ve have major love for Final Destination right from the start…I mean how could I not love a movie that started as an episode of The X Files.  Written and directed by James Wong and Glen Morgan, two guys responsible for some of the most amazing episodes of The X Files, including Home which was basically Wrong Turn before Wrong Turn.  Oh yesss, the lovely Peacock family!! 

Ans speaking of favourite X Files episodes brings me to a co-star of Sawa and Stahl, Mr Chad Donella, or Rob Roberts from the episode Hungry (“What is this, good cop…insane cop!?!”).  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do a major squeee when his name came up in the opening credits.  Anyhoooo…funny story, when I went to see Final Destination, I convinced my flatmate Chris to come along (yes, Chris is a boy before I get to the amusing part).  Our flatmate Becky had come along with her boyfriend (who freakishly looked like Heath Ledger) but they went to see Three to Tango and the plan was to meet them out in the foyer afterwards.  So anyway, you know the part in the film when Death is at Miss Lewton’s house; just before all the knives fall…Chris gets up and leaves because he can’t take it anymore as he’s too scared, ahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  True story!!!  Becky, her boyfriend and I went back to the house and continued to freak Chris out by throwing stones at his window etc.  Totally childish but so worth it, lol. 

Getting off track though, Final Destination proved yet again that Devon Sawa had what it took to lead an all star young cast.  I have to admit I was a bit pissed off that he wasn’t in Final Destination 2 and my reaction to them killing off the Alex character was “They killed Devon Sawa off with a fucking brick!!!”  Can’t say I was a very happy bunny with that one.  I basically sat and grrrr’ed throughout the whole movie totally hating it.  I’ve still never actually given it a chance so if you think I should, let me know prescisely why and I might give it another bash!

Following Final Destination he was the lead Eminem obsessed character in Eminem’s superb video for ‘Stan’.  He didn’t even need to speak to put across a wonderfully powerful performance that perfectly encompassed the lyrics of the song. 

With the movie Slackers with Jason Schwartzman and a few others afterwards, he then went quiet for a number of years however has recently been making an incredibly welcome comeback starring in geek love shows NCIS: Los Angeles and also a recurring role in Nikita.  More exciting however, and what led me these ramblings is discovering that he has indeed just started filming a new movie 388 Arletta Avenue with Nick Stahl. 

Now Nick Stahl I’ve adored ever since The Man Without a Face.  Starring opposite Mel Gibson, he must have been about 12 or 13 when he filmed this and he held his own without a doubt.  I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of Mel Gibson however this is a brilliant film and both performances from Nick Stahl and Mel Gibson are ace. 

Now the next movie from Nick Stahl that I totally love and that follows The X Files theme is Disturbing Behaviour (see right with Chad Donnela and James Marsden).  “paranoid, paranoid, everybody’s coming to get you!!!” plays over in my head when I think about this movie.  Like Final Destination this movie is all full of X Phile’ness, from being directed by David Nutter, music by Mark Snow, a cast filled with lots of ex-Files cast members as well as future X Files “monster”, Chad E. Donella who plays Stahl’s best friend, albino stoner UV who sums up him and Gavin (Stahl) as being “freaks ALLLLL week!!!”.  A term to which I can most definitely relate too haha.  Disturbing Behaviour is great in that it still retains that early 90’s feeling of claustrophobic paranoia, combine that with a great cast, brilliant director, eerie score and great soundtrack, you’re in for a winner.  Plus if you’re an X Files fan then you’re gonna enjoy playing ‘who’s the character and what episode are they from?’ throughout the movie. 

Throughout the noughties Nick Stahl, in my humble opinion, kept a pretty darned good balance of both indie and studio films and a bloody good TV show, Carnivále under his belt. 

Indie crackers such as Larry Clark’s Bully, starring the late Brad Renfro (whom alongside Stahl, Sawa and Edward Furlong, was one of the four young actors around my age who I absolutely adored), Sunset Strip, In the Bedroom and Wasted kick off the decade before acting chops turn to action chops with Terminator 3.  Now when it was announced that Edward Furlong would not be reprising his role as John Connor in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines I was inititally disappointed, but as soon as I read that Stahl was to take over, I was more than happy with this news.  Replacing one of my favourite young actors with another of my favourite young actors, can’t argue with that.  And yes, Terminator 3 has got nothing on the downright awesomeness of Terminator 2, but doh, how many movies do!?!  I still like the movie though and the addition of Claire Danes is definitely an added bonus. 

The next couple of years were followed with the wonderfully quirky yet, big surprise, not commercially popular show Carnivále.  A weekly tale of freaks (all week, teehee) and superbly kooky characters in a travelling carnivále, this was a superb show and it was great seeing Nick on the small screen as well.  Although it was cancelled after just two seasons, Carnivále had a cult following that was gutted by its cancellation.  I guess it was just too quirky for mainstream America.

Post Carnivále, Nick played Roark Jr./Yellow Bastard in Frank Miller’s Sin City, a role in which he got all twisted and torturous with Sawa’s Idle Hands obsession, Miss Jessica Alba (pictured below with Stahl as Yellow Bastard).  Both played characters obsessed with her and both ended up a bit worse for wear afterwards, I think Sawa won in the end though, haha.    

Stahl slowed down the workload after this, special nod goes out to indie depressive drama Sleepwalking with Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelyson and the late Dennis Hopper. 

He has picked back up again at a major pace however with ten listed films on IMDb for 2010 alone.  The one I’m most looking forward to is Dead Awake with Rose McGowan and Amy Smart which has just been released in the States last week.  It sounds depressing as hell, but at the end of the day it has a great cast and I’m a sucker for all things depressive!!!

So anyhoo, getting back to why I started writing this in the first place, and the reason for my excitement…the Vincenzo Natalia (Splice) produced 388 Arletta Avenue.  The synopsis for this film is as follows:  
“Shot from the point of view of hidden cameras, the film follows a thirty-something couple, James and Amy Deakin, as they are secretly videotaped 24/7 by a mysterious stalker in their home, on the streets, and at their workplace. The stalker uses information gleaned from the footage to subtly manipulate the unsuspecting couple, and cracks in their relationship surface. When Amy suddenly vanishes, James is not sure whether she has been abducted or has simply left him. As the acts of the tormentor become more twisted and violent, James desperately tries to figure out who is behind the terror in order to save his wife. But it seems the stalker is always one move ahead…

388 Arletta Avenue is being billed as a Hitchcockian thriller and I can definitely see why.  And being the hardcore Hitchcock fan that I am, I’m more than excited to see such a vast array of talent in this type of film.  Stalker movies are always fun and I have high hopes for this one.  BloodyDisgusting.com posted this teaser poster last week.  I love the creepiness of the emoticon as well  

So yes, to end this.  Devon Sawa and Nick Stahl ROCK and I'm pretty sure that my sister and I won't just be the only ones routing for this movie.  Now if only Chad Donella was in it, mwahahaha. 

Saturday, 4 December 2010

WiHM - Amy Steel Interview

Here's an interview I did with the lovely Amy Steel (now Pulitzer) for this past February's Women in Horror month for your reading pleasure. :)

So Amy Steel, widely regarded within the horror community, and in the humble opinion of the Jeniverse, to be one of the most kick ass women in not only the world of Mr Voorhees, yet the world of horror overall.  I mean how many characters since have taken that Ginny ethic and basically kicked some serious fucking ass!?!  This lady is a legend and as soon as the whole Woman in Horror thing was posed to me, she was the first person I thought of and I am proud to present to you her wonderful answers to my geektastic questions.  Please note awesomeness to Chris Carter question.  Sooo, without further adu……

Alfred Hitchcock and Tobe Hooper are the directors who provided me with some of my earliest horror memories with The Birds and Poltergeist.  What are your first movie memories within the genre and do you have any particular favourites?

The Blob scared me to death at a 10 year old sleepover. From there, it was The Exorcist that still haunts me. 

It has been some 19 years since you kicked Jason’s ass, what does it feel like to be one of the original kick ass slasher chicks?

Amazing. I love the character of Ginny. Funny I had no idea of who she wasn't until many years later. Hindsight 20-20 kind of thing. Now I look to her for inspiration when I am afraid- just in facing challenges. Not lie there as some monster chasing me....

Would you ever like the chance to reprise the role?

Yes! Why not? Ginny grows up...funny, you know I'm a therapist now, and that's what Ginny was studying. I didn't remember that until a fan reminded me. I know I for one would be psyched to see Ginny again!!!

Do you still keep in contact with any of your old co-stars?

I do a convention every now and then. I saw John Fuery a couple of times. And Steve Dash. We all went to the Ali museum in Loisville. 

Friday the 13th Part 2 was your first movie.  What was it like going into this setting as a 20/21 year old female?  What were the attitudes towards women in the genre back then? 

I think it was time to see women get revenge. Jamie Lee Curtis was no bookend. Women started wearing real clothes and not just halter tops. But then they always have to have that scantily clad femme fatale, don't they. Still do I guess. Honestly, I think I got luck w/ the role of Ginny, on a couple of fronts. She's pretty much who I am, wasn't really a stretch. We have the same energy so you could say I was type cast. But the hard part is really owning who we are as women, all the strength, faith, and calm...at the same time

You know something, being typecast in that sort of role is no bad thing if you ask me!  You are portraying the ultimate in female geekery, you’re both beautiful, covered in blood AND killing the bad guy!!!

It seems that there are increasingly more women working behind the scenes in horror.  Did you find that it was male dominated when you were working on Friday the 13th and April Fools Day or was there more of an even balance?

There was one female producer, but other than that it was all men. Truthfully, other than Jason, the men's roles sucked. Don't you think? Behind the camera, the men were pretty strong. Frank Mancuso, Steve Miner. They appeared to know what they wanted

As the creator of one of the strongest female characters in the sci-fi/horror world with Scully in The X Files, Chris Carter likes his women to be strong.  What was it like to work with both him and his wonderful partner in crime, Frank Spotnitz on Millenium?  The same goes for Terry O’Quinn and Lance Henriksen, both genre legends in TV and film.

I've worked with Lance a couple of times. He was cool. Low key in an intense way if that makes sense. I didn't have much interaction with Chris Carter. I think he was in LA- we were in Vancouver. But I thought he was pretty hot. He was quiet, attractive and smart. What more do you want :)

Are there any women in particular that you admire within the horror industry?  Who is you personal favourite female horror icon?

I don't follow horror films.  Just not into seeing people sliced and diced. But I enjoy the fans who do though. They fascinate me. 

You left behind an academic career to pursue modelling and acting, do you feel that there are things that you missed out on because of this?

No. Those were amazing times I had. Ah, the places I saw and the things I did....so many opportunities. Now I'm back into the academia. It all happens when it’s supposed to I guess. 

If you could do it all again, would you do anything differently and are there any roles that you wish you’d gotten or at least went for?

Yes, I'm still heartbroken I didn't get Northern Exposure. As for doing things differently, I wish I had more confidence to kick more Hollywood ass, but honestly, I don't think it’s in my cards. My priorities are very different and the connections I want to make with people are based on different values. I don't think I could compartmentalize as well as others. 

What has been the most enjoyable part of your career to date and is there anyone you’d still love to work with?

I did a commercial for a gas company about 10 years ago in Monument Valley, Utah. I was riding a Palomino horse at sunrise and full speed through the sage. The only direction I received was to, "gallop faster." Doesn't get much better than that, now does it? 


To find out more about what Amy's been up to recently check out her site In Balance With Horses.  I think it's awesome!!! <3

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Prescription Medication: Does Less Cost More?

Hey guys, check out my first article for Suite 101 on the stupid methods of prescribing meds that are very tree people friendly, nope nope nope!!!

Love Undying for the Gorgeous Movie That is Paul Solet's Grace!!!

So there hasn't been a really decent evil baby movie for a while, that was until Grace.  Now what to say about Grace…well first of all, putting my cards out on the table to start with, I find babies creepy in general!!!  There is nothing cute about freaky little monkey hands and feet and squashed heads…in my humble opinion of course.  My idea of a cute baby is the lizard baby in the original series of V (the remake has yet to do this sequence however I doubt it’ll be as cute!!!)  And not the girl with the little forked tongue…the proper lizard baby.  See left.  Isn’t that such a cuteeee?  ;)

Anyhoo, now that you know where I stand with babies and their supposed cuteness I shall tell you about little baby Grace and her absolutely adorable awesome fab mommy, (can you guess I like her!?!) Madeline Matheson played by the gorgeous and seriously underrated Jordan Ladd.  Tired of traditional medicine, Madeline convinces her husband that she wants to go with the companionship of a trusted midwife.  Although reluctant her husband agrees, all he wants is the best for his wife and unborn child. 

His mother on the other hand…holy crabby pattolas, she is a horrific woman!!!  Now I don’t mean that in the manner of she’s a bad person (much), she just has serious mother/son issues.  I think the other reason I instantly wanted to hit her over the head with a spade was that she is one of these red blooded, ‘araagh, meat…blood’ kind of people.  Okay that is maybe a slight exaggeration however her sarky remarks about the Vegan meal that Madeline has cooked for them, (and the rest) seriously had me wanting to do a Norman Bates on her.  Anyway, his mother is mortified that Madeline would even dare take her future grandchild to a midwife and is constantly butting her nose referring her to a Doctor that she is close with that is oh so amazing and prestigious and what not. 

Everything changes though when a tragic accident happens and Madeline is left with her unborn child lifeless inside her.  Determined to carry her dead child to term and deliver naturally, Madeline gives birth.  In a little wicked turn that is done in both a stunning yet harrowing manner, the power of Madeline’s love brings the child back to life.  Overjoyed to have been graced with this miracle Madeline names the little girl Grace. 

Now obviously miracles don’t happen without consequences and soon Madeline realises that little baby Grace is a bit different to other babies.  Understandably overtly protective of Grace, Madeline becomes increasingly isolated from everyone, finding herself resorting to horrific measures to keep her child alive. 

What I love about this film is its simplicity, it’s a wonderfully disturbing movie, and one that really gets under your skin without being at all in your face.  It’s beautifully shot and the acting is top notch!!!  Especially from the three main female cast members.  Jordan Ladd gives her best performance to date and major kudos goes out to Samantha Ferris who plays Madeline’s midwife Patricia.  I am officially in love with that woman!!! <3 She is a wonderful actress.  The same can be said for Gabrielle Rose who plays Madeline’s mother in-law, she is superbly freaky and scarily frightening at some points...you’ll see what I mean.  She is so amazing she made me seriously dislike her.  And that’s being nice about it. 

This movie had a lot going on in the background that wasn't really spoken, only really suggested, I think.  This included that of a previous relationship between Madeline and Patricia.  Definitely got my little mind wandering and filling in a whole back-story.  I also loved Vegan theme that ran throughout, one that had an ever so amusing encounter with *some random shop dude*, selling meat in the store.  Made me giggle so much and it was a nice little addition for you fellow horror geeks out there.

And just throwing this out there...when the director who brings us something this fucking beautifully brilliant and Vegan feminist awesome...is also a seriously hot tattooed guy with a wicked sense of promoting and humour....you really can't help but fall for him and add him to your dungeon list!! *cough* Nia...Jen and Sylvia... *cough* ;)

So yay, love the supreme awesomeness of this movie.  And the special features, compliments of The Barnipede, are pretty damn awesome too.  :)

Oh yes, and last but not least, I’d like to give a big shout out to the distribution people for putting the DVD in boxes with recycling signs carved out.  I’d be lying if I didn't do a big squeeeee, when I opened the case.  Laugh at me all you want but hey, it’s horror and environmentalism…it’s Jen in a box!!!  ;)