Friday, August 21, 2009

Erika Jayne Album Release Party @ Coco De Mer, West Hollywood -- August 20th, 2009

Went to a sexy and elegant little soirée last night at luxury erotic boutique Coco de Mer. The party was thrown to celebrate the release of dance diva Erika Jayne's new album Pretty Mess (her singles "Give You Everything," "Rollercoaster" and "Stars" all reached number one on Billboard's Dance charts and are featured on the album).

Yellow Label Veuve Clicquot was flowing liberally as Erika's buddy Michael Des Barres read some erotic poetry in the store's garden, which set the tone for the intimate evening. Afterwards we chatted with boutique owner Justine Roddick (a like-minded soul when it comes to universal healthcare) and Michael, who's a big fan of SuicideGirls (expect to see him on SG Radio soon!).

Since Melrose Place is coming back to the small screen next month, I took the opportunity to ask Michael if we're likely to see him reprising his role as über villain Arthur Field. Apparently he had a somewhat mixed experience on the show first time around -- he told me he found out about his character's demise when he showed up to his own (fictitious) funeral on set. He holds no grudges though, and is open to a return to the show should the producers come a calling. And death has never been that much of an inconvenience when it comes to bringing soap characters back. "I could come back as a twin brother," said Michael with a glint in his eye.

Middle image: Jody Watley. Bottom image l-r: Erika Jayne, Michael Des Barres, Justine Roddick.

Click HERE to view image gallery from the night.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Scientists Conclude That Zombie Attack Would Lead To End of Civilization

A group of Canadian scientists have just published a paper detailing research on the likely outcome of a zombie attack -- and things are looking rather bleak for humankind. The team built complex mathematical models to forecast the spread of the zombie virus, and have concluded that an invasion by the walking dead would lead to "a collapse of civilization, with every human infected, or dead."

They predict that in a city of 500,000 people, zombies would outnumber the susceptible population in about three days.

"An outbreak of zombies infecting humans is likely to be disastrous, unless extremely aggressive tactics are employed against the undead," stated the researchers from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University in their thesis entitled "When Zombies Attack."

Since decapitation is generally considered the best way to deal with this specific type of undead plague, the team consider humanity's best hope to be a swift counter attack. "The most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often."

“Only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the doomsday scenario,” the team warns.

Are you prepared?

Image: Mike L. Taylor (based on a photo I took at Fangoria)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Jeremy Piven: The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

Jeremy Piven is Don Ready, a rock star amongst used car salesman. With the economy and the national psyche in the doldrums, America is in need of a fast-talking, inspirational hero like Ready. We're a nation that needs to live hard, sell hard -- and laugh hard. In The Goods, a comedy from the folks that brought us Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, Ready delivers on all fronts.

Like Piven's Entourage character Ari Gold, Ready is a man who believes that business is war. He is the fearless leader of a crack team of mercenary car salesmen hired to save Temecula, CA dealership Selleck Motors. Ready has just three days over July 4th weekend to sell all the cars on the lot -- and walk away with the girl.

James Brolin plays Ben Selleck, the owner of Selleck Motors, which is under threat of invasion by luxury car dealer Stu Harding (Alan Thicke). Harding plans to turn Selleck’s used car lot into a studio and rehearsal space for Big Ups!, a less-than-talented man-band fronted by his too-old-to-be-in-a-boy-band son Paxton (Ed Helms) who just happens to be engaged to Ben's daughter Ivy (Jordana Spiro). Ready is off his game however, after losing a man (Will Farrell) in a tragic incident involving a parachute and a bag of dildos at a President's Day sale in Albuquerque.

Going in you know that Ready will ultimately prevail and save Selleck's American dream, the fun lies in watching how he does it. But Piven is waging a less certain war of his own against two big budget movies that open on the same day. He's proud of The Goods (and rightly so), and is going the extra mile to rally the troops and make sure people see it. Thus, with less than 72 hours to go before D-Day, Piven is working the phones talking to the likes of SuicideGirls. "It's been a long, long, strange trip this promotion," says the exhausted actor. "I feel like I've been literally promoting this movie for fourteen years. And I would do it willingly for another fourteen years."

Click HERE to read my interview with Piven at

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Neill Blomkamp: District 9

In Neill Blomkamp's sci-fi world aliens landed in South Africa's largest city, Johannesburg, in 1989. While international governments argued about what to do with the unwanted guests, unable to return home in their disabled ship, the gigantic exo-skeletoned, shrimp-like creatures were confined to a makeshift refugee camp known as District 9. Wanting to maintain the status quo for their human residents, Johannesburg's officials adopted a strict -- and brutally enforced -- policy of segregation. Public transport and road crossings are reserved for the use of humans only, and those who spot aliens outside of their designated zone are encouraged to call a hotline (1-866-666-6001) manned by a private security firm called Multi-National United (you should keep their digits on speed dial -- just in case).

Blomkamp's nightmarish District 9 is a fictionalized reflection of the real horrors of District 6, a Cape Town municipality that was designated for "whites only" by South Africa's apartheid government in 1966. Removal of the non-white population began two years later. A total of 60,000 people were forcibly relocated to the Cape Flats, apartheid's dusty and bleak dumping ground 16 miles away. Similarly, as Blomkamp's faux documentary-style film begins, Multi-National United is charged with the task of clearing District 9 and relocating the area's resident aliens to a new government-mandated camp.

In his debut feature, Blomkamp skillfully portrays the human/alien apartheid society of Johannesburg in a hyper-real way, which sets this film apart from the bulk of sci-fi canon. With District 9, the South African born writer, director and visual effects artist takes the aliens of his beloved fantasy genre out of their usual star wars environment and has them do battle with the mundane pencil-pushers responsible for compliance in a segregated society similar to that of Blomkamp's youth. However, District 9 may never have happened if it wasn't for a more traditional space-based sci-fi project that Blomkamp was slated to helm.

At one point a film version of the first person shooter Halo was set to be Blomkamp's first feature, but the project got shot down while still in development. Microsoft and 20th Century Fox had charged Peter "Lord of the Rings" Jackson with the task of bringing the computer game to the big screen. Jackson in turn called on Blomkamp, an award winning commercial director who was creating quite a stir in the advertising world thanks to his award-winning visual effects. Though a series of three shorts were released in 2007 (collectively known as Landfall), the film version of Halo ultimately imploded. Jackson and Blomkamp forged a bond thanks to the project however, and when their work on Halo came to an end they turned to a six minute movie Blomkamp had produced back in 2005 as inspiration for their next project.

Click HERE to read my interview with Blomkamp at in which he talks about the harsh realities behind District 9.