Genre film lost one of its most influential forces last week when author and screenwriter Richard Matheson passed away. Whether writing originally for the screen, as with the STAR TREK episode, “The Enemy Within,” adapting his own work, which he did for such classic TWILIGHT ZONE episodes as “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and the archetypal 50’s horror film THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, or adapting others, including bringing Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife to the screen as BURN WITCH BURN (a.k.a. NIGHT OF THE EAGLE), Matheson was able to embue his scripts with a contemporary outlook and an incisive inquest into the human condition that helped define genre film for the latter half of the twentieth century, and on into the twenty-first.
Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons sit down to discuss Matheson’s contribution to the world of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, weigh his overall influence on popular cinema, and discuss favorite examples of his work. Also in this show: Steve and Dan discuss the recent limited releases BYZANTIUM and 100 BLOODY ACRES. Plus: What’s coming to theaters next week.
In this week’s episode of Cinefantastique’s Spotlight Podcast, Dan Persons and Lawrence Frenc focus on HANNA, the action-thriller about a pint-sized female assassin whose lethal skills seem a bit beyond the normal human capacity. It’s KICK-ASS by way of THE BOURNE IDENTITY by way of… well, we can’t say more without giving away too much. Listen in for the mysterious details.
It’s Sunday, March 7, and everyone is wondering what the winners will be. Well, wonder no more, because here are the official winners of this year’s Cinefantastique Wonder Awards. Oh sure, other people are tuning into the Oscar telecast to see whether Sandra Bullock takes home an Academy Award, but for aficionados of horror, fantasy, and science fiction cinema, the Wonders are the awards that really matter, because they offer a chance to recognize great films that are often denied Academy Award nominations because of their genre affiliation.
Of course, this year is a bit of an exception, because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated two science fiction films for Best Picture, AVATAR and DISTRICT 9, along with one animated fantasy, UP. With several other Oscar nominations in technical categories, the genre has at least a fighting chance of winning some recognition from Academy voters.
Nevertheless, the Wonders are the true measure of achievement in the genre, voted on by experts with a life-long love of horror, fantasy, and science fiction – and more important, voted on by those imbued with that all-important Sense of Wonder.
BEST HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
BEST DIRECTION IN A HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
- James Cameron for AVATAR
BEST SCREENPLAY FOR A HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
- Neil Blomkamp & Terri Tatchll for DISTRICT 9
- Pete Docter, Bob Peterson (story by Docter, Peterson & Thomas McCarthy) for UP
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
- Saoirse Ronan in THE LOVELY BONES
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
- Robert Downey Jr in SHERLOCK HOLMES
- Sam Rockwell in MOON
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
- Vera Farmiga in ORPHAN
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
- Jackie Earle Haley in WATCHMEN
BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS IN A HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
BEST MAKEUP IN A HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
- MY BLOODY VALENTINE
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN IN A HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
- Henry Selick for CORALINE
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN A HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
- Mauro Fiore for AVATAR
BEST EDITING IN A HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
- James Cameron, John Refoua, Stephen E. Rivki for AVATAR
BEST MUSIC IN HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM
- Michael Giacchino for STAR TREK
EDGAR G. ULMER AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT BY A HORROR, FANTASY, OR SCIENCE FILM