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Month of the Werewolf…Day 1: Werewolf: The Beast Among Us, Ward’s Island, Game of Werewolves

My plans for Month of the Werewolf 2012 have been delayed due to a death in the family, but for now, have some werewolf-inspired links.

Werewolf film Ward’s Island, about an outbreak of werewolves in NYC, was shooting in Buffalo. I’m a little intrigued at Buffalo being used as NYC.

Toronto After Dark 2012 final films announced, including Game of Werewolves (Spain).

When a struggling young writer returns to his remote village home after years away in the city, he’s shocked to discover it’s become cursed by werewolves and also that he might just be the only one who can stop them. Fantastic old school effects, great werewolf fight scenes and kills, and an endearing misfit hero makes multiple Audience Award winner GAME OF WEREWOLVES an absolute delight for fans at every festival it plays!

Werewolf Wednesday…All Hallows Evil (Lord of the Harvest) trailer, Skittles + werewolves, Carrie Vaughn interview, werewolves and mental illness

From DreadCentral.com, a new trailer for All Hallows Evil (Lord of the Harvest).

Synopsis: The sleepy town of Hallowed Hill is known by many as the Halloween capitol of the world because of its history and its pagan origins. People from all around come to visit the town on the night of All Hallows Eve. Two hundred years ago, on Halloween, a great evil was unleashed on the town by a witch who dabbled in the black arts. After a long night of mayhem brought on by this terrible evil, a select group of townsfolk were able to stop the witch and dispatch the evil back into the darkness from whence it came. Now, 200 years later, a young girl finds an ancient pagan book archived deep in the old cellar of the local library, and with the help of her wicked foster mother, the two again release the evil Sam Hain from his hell-bound prison to once again wreak havoc on Halloween night. The question is, can the town join together to stop the evil, or will Hallowed Hill be completely devoured by the Lord of the Harvest.

That trailer looks incredibly, horribly cheesy. Terribly cheesy. Unbelievably cheesy. I really want to like this movie (a town banding together to save itself, a werewolf, full moon, monsters everywhere), but oh my god, the acting and the effects in that trailer, no. Maybe itw ill end up being so cheesy it is awesome. I hope.

Speaking of werewolves and cheesy things that are also delightful, this Skittles commercial is something else.

Weird! Hilarious! There are a ton of commercials in this set, and I’m having way too much fun watching them. Oh, Skittles.

91.5 KUNC has an interesting interview with Carrie Vaugh, author of the Kitty Norville series. In particular, I was interested in what she had to say about the appeal of werewolf stories.

Excerpt:

Ensuing Chapters: What is the fascination with the werewolf? Maybe a theory on what, culturally, the fascination is, and personally, why you chose a werewolf?

Carrie Vaughn: I can tell you what traditionally the werewolf is, and the werewolf is interesting because for about the last 130 years it’s been pretty much the same thing. It hasn’t changed. The vampire has changed a lot. It’s become this other creature representing sin and decay coming from outside the community, and now it’s a symbol of power and immortality and forbidden pleasures and all of these highly sexualized, highly powerful metaphors. So the vampire has changed a lot.

Werewolf stories just have never gotten their time in the light. There have always been werewolves, but culturally, they’ve kind of been stuck in this ‘beast within’ type story. I’ve been calling it the Jekyll and Hyde story. With a few exceptions, every werewolf story—that has focused on werewolves specifically—has been the Jekyll and Hyde: Somebody who’s been overwhelmed by their base instincts and the beast within bursts out and destroys everything and then it dies. The end.

There’s just not a whole lot you can do with that. If that’s the story you’re focusing on, it always has the same trajectory and the same end. You can tell really good stories with that. I think An American Werewolf in London is brilliant, but it’s the same. You get infected, you struggle with the beast within, which bursts free and does horrible things, and then you die. Ginger Snaps, which is another great, recent werewolf movie, the same kind of thing. Even though it kind of turns it on its head. I feel like culturally, people haven’t gotten past the idea that werewolves represent the struggle with base nature, and it’s always the struggle with the beast within. And the beast within always has to lose.

One of the reasons I decided to make the main character a werewolf was to try to get past that metaphor. We can have good stories about werewolves if we’d just get past the idea that werewolves are always doomed to fall victim to this beast within dichotomy. Let’s pretend that you can actually be a well-balanced, functional werewolf who is in control of the beast within and you can actually function in society. What happens then? That just opens it up. Werewolves can then become characters rather than these metaphors, which is what they end up seeming to be in most of the stories that you see them in.

While I think she’s said some interesting things here, I do think there are stories to be told using the monster within metaphor. In particular, I often tell stories where werewolves and mental illness are entwined, and I think those are important stories to tell. In my experience, dealing with a mental illness often feels like dealing with the monster within, and I want to see stories that explore having functional lives while at the same time having that monster within that never goes away. Because you can have a beast within and have a life where you function in society.

Werewolf Wednesday…Werewolf family from Sims 3 Supernatural, Silver Bullet celebration, sales art for Wolves, Newcastle Werewolf review

Tech Guru just described Supernatural as this: Two guys driving around in a muscle car doing stupid shit. I can’t stop laughing.

GamerSyndrome.com has screenshots of Sims 3 Supernatural, and one of them is of the most adorable werewolf family EVER! Even the little teddy bear appears to have become a werewolf. It’s definitely time to get a copy of it. WEREWOLF FAMILIES FOR THE WIN!

Fascination with Fear did a Friday Flashback about Silver Bullet to celebrate the blue moon. It has an awesome image of the one sheet that I’ve never seen before and want a copy of for my office, and discusses some of the most fun parts of a movie I love.

Dread Central.com is not impressed with the first sales art for Wolves. I really like it, though. It is simple, but has two of my favorite werewolf story visuals, thick fog and pine trees. (I don’t think I realized that Jason Momoa is one of the actors, and I’m thrilled. Wicked hot.)

Bigger synopsis than I remember seeing, too: Cayden Richards, 18, has it all: captain of the high school football team, straight-A student, gorgeous girlfriend. But when he wakes one dark night to find his parents brutally murdered, he is horrified to realize that he is turning into an animal… a wild, savage wolf. Panicked, Cayden runs, determined to find out what is happening to him. His quest leads him to the strange, isolated town of Lupine Ridge, where two clans of wolves are on the brink of war. The opposing clans are lead by Connor, the powerful, pure-blood alpha of a savage pack, and John Tollerman, an old farmer, committed to protecting the human citizens of Lupine Ridge. But when Cayden falls for Angelina, the beautiful, young mate promised to Connor, a battle to the death is inevitable. And as the past begins to reveal itself, Cayden’s place in the world becomes clearer, as does his power to put an end to the savage violence building up around and within him.

Bangstyle.com has a review of Newcastle Werewolf. (Which I still have been unable to find, get with it, Tech Guru and other sources!)

Excerpt: After two 12 oz attempts at it, I’ve come to the firm conclusion that Newcastle has actually found a recipe for one of the better season blends. While many breweries go for the pumpkin-spiced route of the fall season, Newcastle has gone the Red Ale route. Always a brewery that doesn’t go with the trend (especially for a major brewer), their Werewolf sets itself apart in its ability to taste just like Newcastle classic (brown ale) with an added kick that’s subtler than most. You’ll find that the aftertaste is barely there and that the beer’s taste, while not complex, is full-bodied and distinguishable from the majority of breweries that are far too liberal with pumpkin-themed beer.

Werewolf Wednesday…Wolf Lake dvds, Werewolf: The Beast Among Us photos, Hotel Transylvania’s Wayne the Werewolf

Wolf Lake The Complete Series comes to dvd in November. I have so much love for this delightfully cheesy show, I can’t wait to finally own it!

Fangoria has exclusive photos from Werewolf: The Beast Among Us. The more I see of this movie, the more excited I am to watch it. October can’t come soon enough!

(Hopefully October will also include a visit to the Werewolf Forest at The Beast, one of Kansas City’s haunted houses. Rumor has it (or at least website has it) that The Beast is America’s largest haunted house. I’m looking forward to giving it a shot.)

Werewolf News.com has some adorable artwork of Wayne the Werewolf and his family from Hotel Transylvania. I’ve been kind of meh about Hotel Transylvania so far, but this definitely helps. (Baaaaaaby werewolves, basically.)

Werewolf Wednesday…Essays on Werewolves, Gender, Sexuality, and Race at Fangs for the Fantasy

Recently I’ve read some really interesting essays on werewolves, gender, sexuality, and race at Fangs for the Fantasy.

The Problem with Female Werewolves.

Excerpt: In many ways a werewolf is the utter opposite of how we view womanhood, especially white womanhood. In many European traditions (and, we have to remember, the shapeshifter tradition is a broad one) the werewolf is an uncontrolled, hairy, animalistic creature. Something utterly unrestrained, something that is unleashed, something aggressive and violent. In short – everything a woman “should not be”. A woman should be restrained, delicate, gentle, always in control and most certainly not hairy! This unrestrained, unrefined, uncontrolled aggressiveness (and hairiness) is the very antithesis of pedestal womanhood. When we do see female werewolves they usually have difficulties above and beyond what is experienced by other werewolves. They have extra angst, or extra problems or some other issue dealing with their werewolfdom.

Anita Blake: Faux Champion of Sexual Agency at Fangs for the Fantasy.

Excerpt: And in response to the criticism, the straw man was raised that the critics were prudes who were against a sexually pro-active, powerful woman and there’d be no problem if the protagonist was a man. Which is a shame because it misses the actual complaint – that the books were a really well written, fascinating series of books that had all the plot and development cast aside. I don’t actually mind Meredith Gentry – because Meredith Gentry has been squeezing plot in between the endless sex scenes and occasionally humping to a new level of magic since book 1. But let us examine this straw man a little closer – Anita is a sexually pro-active woman. Is she? Because I question this a lot. Now, I very much like a book that includes a woman who is in charge of her own sexuality, has sex as and when she wants to, with whom she wishes, without pressure and without shame. I love that and praise that. But Anita Blake is not that woman, primarily because Anita Blake did not choose her sex life, did not seek it out – and most dramatically, did not consent to it.

Mixed Race Characters in Urban Fantasy don’t Necessarily Constitute Inclusion.

Excerpt: The second reason is, of course, the woo-woo. There is a prevailing believe that magic has to come in a brown skin – and it’s glaring that so many of these characters get their magic from their (absent) parent of colour. Mercy Thomas is a skinwalker, because of her Native American father. Anita Blake is a necromancer, because of her Hispanic, voudoun grandmother. Jeremy of the Patricia Brigs Mercy Thompson series, has abilities above and beyond normal werewolves, because of his Japanese kogitsune mother. For some reason, woo-woo and white skin don’t go together well (which we already see by the the inordinate number of magical mentors, advisers, helpers and servants, who constantly come to the aid of white protagonists) – but by having a mixed race character with some “exotic” features we get the explosion of magical forces. This is very reminiscent of white people being “civilised” – people of science and technology – while people of colour are more “mystical” “close to nature” and primitive. In the current prevalent model, authors are able to operationalize the civilised white character, with just dash of “mystical” person of colour to give them woo-woo. The mixed heritage is used as an excuse to give the protagonists magic, without going to the effort of writing a person of colour who is different than White characters based in specific cultural differences that would be natural in a fully fleshed out character of colour.

Werewolf Wednesday…Catherine Lundoff’s Save the Wolves Giveaway

Bonus Werewolf Wednesday post this week, to get this out before the August 7, 2012 donation of prizes.

Catherine Lundoff (author of the lesbians + werewolves novel Silver Moon I recommended back in May [here is a link to my review]) is currently hosting a giveaway to raise money for the Defenders of Wildlife’s Campaign to Save America’s Wolves and the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota.

Here is a link to more information about the giveaway, including links to three pages worth of prizes. There are some seriously awesome prizes in this great giveaway for a good cause. (I personally plan to use the prize list as a list of wolfy things to check out, as well.)

Werewolf Wednesday…Lesbian Werewolves for the Win! (Rachel Deering’s Anathema, GCLS Conference, and Catherine Lundoff’s Silver Moon)

Just under the wire for Werewolf Wednesday.

Rachel Deering has a Kickstarter to fund the artists for issues #2 through #6 for Anathema, a lesbian werewolf comic, and it ends April 30. Anathema’s Kickstarter page. I haven’t read the first issue, but the preview to the first issue looks awesome, and she’s almost fully funded. I’m looking forward to reading the entire story. Lesbian werewolves for the win!

Speaking of lesbian werewolves for the win, there’s a panel at this year’s Golden Crown Literary Society Conference (a lesbian literature conference) on “Lesbian Shapeshifters and Werecritters.” The conference is June 13-17 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and if you go, I’d love to see your notes on it. (I can’t, that’s right after this year’s wedding season extravaganza [not my wedding, weddings I am attending], and I can already tell I’ll be playing catch-up at work. However, I’m keeping this in mind when scheduling things for 2013.)

To round out today’s Werewolf Wednesday, until April 30, you can enter to win a copy of Silver Moon by Catherine Lundoff. If you follow me on Twitter, you may know I received an arc to read. I’ve finished it, and am working on the review to come (and hope to schedule some sort of book release event with Catherine, which reminds me, I need to email her), but in short, I really loved it and can’t wait to read more in this world.

Seriously, lesbian werewolves for the win!

Links…Bits and Pieces (Saturday Link Round Up)

If You’re a Bigot When You’re Angry, You’re a Bigot All the Time by Tami from What Tami Said, Guest Blogging at Transgriot

Tami addresses Kelly Osbourne’s nasty, transphobic comments during her recent breakup and how making an excuse for bigotry because of anger does not work.

Quote: When you believe that a group of people intrinsically have value equal to your own, you believe it all the time and deep in your heart. This belief is not contingent on your being in a good mood. The belief doesn’t go away when a marginalized person makes you angry or annoys you. If you have it in you to use epithets when hurt, then you have it in you all the time.

Beauty Myths: Terrible Things Await Women Who Use Men’s Razors, Gillette Says

Apparently, Gillette has a new ad campaign out trying to get women to buy razors and blades for “women’s razors,” not the ones for “men’s razors.” I don’t have cable television and haven’t for awhile now (I am well pleased with a mix of Hulu, Amazon on Demand, and Netflix on Demand, though I’m considering dropping the Netflix at some point), and I don’t read Cosmo and similar magazines (actually, I don’t really read any magazines anymore, and I don’t actually know when that changed. Huh), so I haven’t seen any of the ads, if they exist, but Jezebel addresses an article in Cosmo about it. One of the things that was said is that women mistakenly believe men’s razors are sharper than women’s razors. Jezebel talks about how women’s razors cost more than men’s razors, at least generally.

I prefer men’s razors to women’s, especially electric razors, because I have found they do work better. I have very thick, coarse hair, and when I decide to shave, the men’s razor handles the hair so much better. So I side-eye the claim that women’s razor blades are just the same as men’s, at least from my personal experience.

Kardashian in Trouble with Native American Group for ‘Indian Giver’ Comment at Colorlines

Quote: The phrase “Indian giving” is wrong and hurtful,” she added. “The cultural values of Native Americans are based on giving unconditionally and empowering those around them. Instead this cultural value is forgotten when negative stereotyping of Native people occurs.

Thandie Newton Takes ‘Vogue’ to Task for Lack of Black Women on Cover at Transgriot

Quote: I personally don’t read Vogue, because I am not interested in fashion, and I certainly would not support a magazine that cannot be arsed to have someone who looks like me appear on even a semi-regular schedule; however, I recognize what this lack of exposure is doing to young Black women. There is a reason why even today despite all the gains of the Black community, that Black children continue to prefer the White doll. Everywhere they look, everything that is constructed as good, pure and beautiful is White. From the television shows that they watch, to billboard and magazine covers they are shown, to be White is to be worthy of attention and adoration. No matter how hard a parent tries to invest a child with racial pride, they are fighting the institution of White supremacy, which is determined to enforce the exact opposite. We need Black women on the covers of magazines like Vogue, if our children are ever to see themselves as valuable. We need these covers to dispel the idea that Black women are just born unattractive. There is absolutely nothing neutral about erasure and until we address the fact that it essentially amounts to a value judgment based in racist ideals, we are going to continue to have a divided society in which some people are privileged over others, simply based in the Whiteness of their skin.

‘A Year Straight: Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Lesbian Beauty Queen’ Will Piss You Off at AfterEllen

Quote: The second problem: Bisexuality is not once mentioned. The idea of either being a lesbian or being straight is the perpetuation of a terrible stereotype. Elena doesn’t even consider the fact that her attraction to men could mean she’s interested in exploring her sexual fluidity instead of a quarter-life crisis indicating she’s meant to be with a guy. In fact, the whole reason she starts dating guys is because she felt a connection with her yoga instructor. And when she shares her crush with a coworker and gets a Brazilian wax, she decides to keep trying to date men because she didn’t want to let all that go to waste.

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Link…Apocalyptathon 2011 (Month of Thanksgiving Day 5)

(Month of Thanksgiving is exactly what it sounds like: a [hopefully] daily dose of the things for which I give thanks during the month of November.)

Today I am thankful for the Apocalyptathon 2011 celebration over at Moira Rogers’ blog. There are all sorts of prize giveaways, and every day for thirty days, authors and bloggers will talk about their apocalypse books, their favorite apocalypse stories, and on. I love apocalyptic fiction, and I am thrilled at the idea of a month of apocalyptic blog posts.

My favorites so far are: This post about Freeze Line, a post-apocalyptic werewolf and witch novel. (Ice age! Lone werewolf! Witch whose powers are lessened by the ice! It sounds delightful!) This post where E from the Book Pushers talks about great apocalyptic fiction.

Film Friday…Riddick 3, Resident Evil, and Fangland

1) Vin Diesel and Riddick 3

From a few different places, but most recently Boomtron, Vin Diesel reveals new Riddick 3 art. I sort of love that Vin Diesel shares concept art via his Facebook. I’m also thrilled with a new Riddick movie. Pitch Black is amazing. The Chronicles of Riddick, not so great, but I do have a certain fondness for it, too. And I am always a fan of Vin Diesel. (Less than a year until the next Fast and the Furious movie, and I could not be more excited about it!)

Speaking of actors I love who have been in the Fast and the Furious series, check this out!

2) Michelle Rodriguez and Resident Evil

From Bloody-Disgusting.com, Michelle Rodriguez to reprise her role as Rain in Resident Evil. I freaking love Michelle Rodriguez (I was just telling someone today about why I stopped watching Lost), and I found her so intriguing as Rain. I’m excited to see what will happen now that she’s back. (Downside of being a Michelle Rodriguez fan: she tends to die in her roles. Or at least appear to be dead and then return later, which I would be frustrated with, except it means we get more Michelle Rodriguez and that is a good thing. I’m not just looking at Resident Evil here, either.)

I really have no segue into the next movie. Sorry.

3) Stake Land (The most dangerous thing is to be alive.)

Via From Midnight, With Love, a vampire movie released in 2010 that I had no idea existed, and it looks incredible.

I’ll say right off the bat that I wish the main character, who appears to be Martin, was a girl. I am tired of all the stories being about the boys, and then the girls are the victims, the villains, the love interests, or all of the above. (Oh, Supernatural, why must you hate women and characters of color?) That being said, however, I need to purchase this movie immediately, because the trailer is full of things I love. Traveling to survive, banding together to survive, road trips, horror in the corn fields (god, corn, so freaking creepy and yet so delicious), characters fighting for their lives, guns, stakes, monsters that actually eat people — I could go on and on.

I think I’m going to start doing mini movie reviews for Film Friday, as well as talking about movies I can’t wait to see. I tend to write long reviews, which I simply don’t have time to do right now, but maybe if I try hard, I can keep it to a few hundred words and check some things off my To Do list. (For example, I still have “review Fast Five and heist movie + characters of color” on my To Do list. I watched Fast Five awhile ago now. (Though it feels like it was just the other day. This year is getting away from me.) I’m focusing my writing time on fiction mostly, but a few hundred words about the movies I enjoy would be fun.)

What movie news has you excited right now?