The Batman Test Audience Reactions: "A Horror Movie," "Very Scary" – The Mary Sue

The Batmanis the highly anticipated foray into the world of Gotham from director Matt Reeves, starring none other than Robert Pattinson as Batman. Picking quite a few of Batmans infamous foes from the Rogues Gallery, the movie is set to put Bruce Wayne face to face with everyone from Catwoman to the Riddler and beyond. (The only major one we seem to be free of is the Joker, which thank you, Matt. If you want to add Poison Ivy, though, Id be happy with that.)

Now, we may have our first real reaction to the Reeves flick, and it gives me such hope that this might be the best live-action look into the world of Batman yet! We dont have full confirmation that this is real, just the word of The GOAT Movie Podcast cohost Angel (blurayangel on Twitter). But if this is a first reaction to The Batman, were in for quite a ride and one that I, personally, cant wait for.

A horror movie honestly makes sense for Bruce Wayne. When you stop and think about him, hes born in the darknesssomething that has been made clear time and time again with these movies and even, to some extent, the 1960s television show. Hes our Dark Knight, the prince of Gotham, and giving him a horror twist makes Bruce Wayne interesting in a way that he hasnt been, to me at least, in a long while.

And the movie is apparently long.

What Im excited about most is Catwoman. I love Selina Kyle, I love Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, and I love the idea of Zo Kravitz as Catwoman. Apparently, Im right to be excited about her, too.

Now, the Batman voice has been a topic of conversation since Christian Bales trilogymainly because it was hilariously gruff and different and then became a thing between Batmen. Robert Pattinsons? Apparently perfect.

The Batmobile is an important aspect of this franchise. Everyone has their favorite. Im partial to Christian Bales tank-like car, but we all like what we like, and apparently, the reaction to the Batmobile was Holy f*cking sh*t.

But if that wasnt enough, the ending will seemingly shock us all enough that we end up screaming?! Over Batman!? In 2022?!

Honestly, Im very excited about The Batman. Bruce Wayne is the Worlds Greatest Detective, something I personally feel like we havent seen in the live-action format yet, and from what Ive heard from Matt Reeves, he understands that part of Batmans story. Making this a horror movie? Turning Gotham into the terrifying world we learned about in the comics? I cant wait.

(image: Warner Bros.)

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5 horror movies have topped the box office this year and it shows why the genre is well-suited for the current market – Yahoo News

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in "Candyman." Universal Pictures

"Candyman," which cost $25 million to make, earned $22 million at the US box office over the weekend.

It suggests that the struggling theatrical market can still sustain low-to-mid-budget horror movies.

The horror genre has generated 20% of the overall theatrical revenue in North America during the pandemic.

See more stories on Insider's business page.

Universal's "Candyman" is the latest horror movie to debut with solid numbers at the box office during the pandemic as the theatrical industry looks to recover.

The sequel to the 1992 original "Candyman," directed by Nia DaCosta, opened over the weekend with $22 million domestically, making it the fifth horror movie of the summer to debut at No. 1 at the North American box office.

David A. Gross, the head of the Hollywood consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, called it "an excellent opening over a normally quiet late-August weekend."

With a $25 million production budget, it's another example of why horror movies are capitalizing on a theatrical market in flux: they were already audience favorites, along with superhero movies, before the pandemic. Now, as Hollywood's big-budget tentpoles struggle to thrive in the damaged marketplace, low-to-mid-budget horror movies are still doing solid business.

The genre has generated nearly $500 million during the pandemic in North America, which accounts for 20% of the overall theatrical revenue during that time (from March 20, 2020 to August 29, 2021), according to Comscore.

"Filmmakers like Jordan Peele [who produced 'Candyman'], the Blumhouse roster of talent, and others have helped the horror genre gain a new level of respect, box-office revenue potential, and enduring audience appeal," said Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore senior media analyst.

Here's how the other four No. 1 horror movies since May have performed:

Paramount's "A Quiet Place Part 2" opened in May with $47.5 million, and has earned $160 million domestically and nearly $300 million worldwide. It cost $60 million to make.

Warner Bros.' "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do it" debuted in June with $24 million domestically. It ultimately grossed $65.5 million in North America and $201 million globally while also streaming on HBO Max. It had a budget of $40 million.

Universal's "Old" cost $18 million to make and the director M. Night Shyamalan financed it himself. It made $16.8 million in its opening weekend last month, and has grossed $46.5 million domestically and $84 million globally since.

Lionsgate's "Saw" spinoff, "Spiral," grossed a disappointing $8 million in its May opening weekend, going on to earn $23 million domestically and $34 million globally. With a $40 million budget, it's the only movie on the list that can be considered a true flop, but it did get the "Saw" franchise over the $1 billion mark at the global box office.

"Candyman" received positive reviews and has an 85% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score is a less enthusiastic 74% and it received a B grade from CinemaScore, which surveys audiences on a movie's opening night. It suggests that the movie could struggle after its debut weekend, especially as Marvel's "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" opens this weekend. But Dergarabedian argued that the movie being exclusive to theaters could help its long-term potential at the box office.

Story continues

And with a solid debut and a low budget, "Candyman" has already suggested that the struggling theatrical market can at least sustain low-to-mid-budget horror movies.

Big-budget tentpoles "Black Widow" and "F9" are the top two domestic films of the year, but they haven't grossed nearly as much as they would in a normal marketplace, which is troubling for the industry as they cost $200 million to produce.

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The best new books to read in September as selected by avid readers and critics – ABC News

Welcome to ABC Arts' monthly book column. Each month, we'll present a shortlist of new releases read and recommended by The Bookshelf's Kate Evans and The Book Show's Claire Nichols and Sarah L'Estrange alongside freelance writers and book reviewers. This month, we're thrilled to present recommendations from Declan Fry and Khalid Warsame.

All five read voraciously and widely, and the only guidelines we gave them were: make it a new release; make it something you think is great.

The result includes a Pulitzer Prize winner's rollicking Harlem crime saga, a fun take on the vampire chronicle, more-than-meets-the-eye young adult fiction, a daring homage to Lady Chatterley's Lover, and a playful and incisive (and definitely NSFW) celebration of writer and "all-round badass" Kathy Acker.

With top local and international writers including Pip Williams,Sebastian Faulks, Holly Ringland, Colm Toibin, Alice Pung, Douglas Stuart, Lisa Taddeo, Andrew O'Hagan, Marina Warner, Craig Silvey, David Mitchell, Imran Mahmood, Brendan Cowell and more.

Fleet (Hachette)

Supplied: Penguin Random House

Colson Whitehead is having a moment he's won a Pulitzer Prize apiece for his last two books (The Underground Railroad, The Nickel Boys) and the TV adaptation of The Underground Railroad, sumptuously directed by Oscar winner Barry Jenkins, is winning critical acclaim.

Now, Whitehead adds a new novel to the mix. Harlem Shuffle is a rollicking crime caper, set in 60s Harlem, New York. The book introduces us to Ray, a furniture salesman who is "only slightly bent when it comes to being crooked".

Ray's dad was a criminal, but Ray likes to think he's risen above that, running a reputable business in Harlem, and raising a young family. But he's not all that clean. He turns a blind eye when his cousin Freddie shows up at the shop with stolen rings and necklaces, and it's not long before Freddie ropes Ray in to plans for a heist at the Hotel Theresa, a real-life hotel known as the "Waldorf of Harlem".

The fallout of the heist lands Ray deeper in the criminal world. In a series of three "novellas", we follow him as that slide continues and he embraces his darker side. Along the way we meet a host of memorable characters petty criminals, killers-for-hire, a vengeful sex worker, and a self-serving banker whose duplicity sends Ray on a crusade for revenge.

If you're expecting the heart-rending power of The Nickel Boys or The Underground Railroad, prepare for disappointment. Whitehead has always been a genre-switcher, and in this book he seems determined to have a good time. Whitehead's Harlem is a place where every door hides a secret mobsters do deals in the back of laundromats, and cops collect envelopes full of cash from dusty cake shops. It's a vivid depiction of a hidden world, and I loved the ride. CN

Harper Voyager (HarperCollins)

Supplied: HarperCollins

This review comes with a language warning. And a violence warning. Maybe an impiety warning, I guess. And a this-whole-thing-does-not-take-anything-too-seriously warning.

The first line of the book, after all, is: "Ask me not if God exists, but why he's such a prick."

What follows is 700 pages of riotous, convoluted, playful, violent, sweary, clever fantasy.

Jay Kristoff knows exactly what he's doing. He's one of Australia's most successful fantasy writers, with an international following and a knowing wink that he directs at both his readers and the genre itself. He writes young adult novels (many with Amie Kaufman) as well as adult fantasy and sci-fi. This one: adult. Definitely.

He's the sort of writer who inspires cosplayers, and fan art and tattoos. He loves creating vivid characters adored by readers, then shocking everyone by killing them off.

It's difficult to kill a silversaint, however. And Gabriel de Len is the "last of the Silversaints", a collective of highly trained warrior priests who aren't entirely human. Their mission is to fight the coldbloods, the traditional vampires with whom they share certain characteristics. They're both attracted to blood, for one thing, although the vampires are lured by the old warm-beating-heart version, and the high-minded silversaints prefer to smoke the specially prepared dried blood of their foes. Junkie priests on a mission, then: got that?

The novel is structured as a prison confession. This heroic, beautiful, long-haired, tattooed warrior has been captured, and interrogated by a vampire chronicler. A hilariously unconventional oral history interview.

There's a childhood, then exile, training in the silversaint ways, monsters and battles, heroic women warrior nuns, secret libraries, friendships and betrayals, surprising twists, a great and tragic love story, more surprising twists, backstories and histories, even more twists, and a sense that this prisoner is scanning his cell, working out how to escape. After all, this is the first in a new series.

I read this 700-page ripsnorter in a weekend. KE

Duke University Press

Supplied: Duke University Press

"Once that cock had been in my ass," writes McKenzie Wark, "I felt like I knew who I could be around Kathy. I was her girl." Philosophy for Spiders, Wark's bold study of novelist, playwright, essayist, and all-round badass Kathy Acker, paints a portrait of the writer and her work that's part memoir, part encyclopedia, and part reflection on writing.

Over the course of her almost 30-year career, Acker was known for experimental and subversive work like Blood and Guts in High School; her writing has been variously called "transgressive, postmodern, cyberpunk, feminist, conceptual, revolutionary, new narrative, queer", as Wark puts it.

Wark, an Australian author who has lived in New York since 2000, is an amusing historian and commentator. There are reflections here on tabs of acid nearly being included in Acker's archives, along with countless wry observations (of Acker's collection of strap-ons, Wark notes that the array would "be one of the harder endowments for her literary executor to grant onward").

Reflecting on the writer as body, the body as writer, and the bodies of work we compose as artists, Wark offers a kind of encyclopedia of concepts central to Acker's work, under chapter headings including "Imagination", "Capitalism", "Hand-jobbing", "Masochism", "Revolution", "Art-work", "Fame-work", and "Sex-work".

This is a formally generous book that avoids classificatory boundaries, happily reflecting many of Acker's iterations including the author who interviewed the Spice Girls in May 1997, just months before she died, aged only 50, in Tijuana.

A thought-provoking afterword considers trans writing; like the rest of the book, it is both playful and incisive about gender.

Part of what drives Wark is the urge to remember; as she writes toward the end, quoting British writer Roz Kaveney: "I dreamed I was at a party and Kathy was there [] 'Kathy, you're dead,' I said. 'Sure,' she said, 'but you didn't think that was going to stop me, did you?'" DF

Bloomsbury

Supplied: Bloomsbury Publishing

Tenderness was the alternative title D.H. Lawrence wanted for his 1928 novel Lady Chatterley's Lover, the story of the married upper-class Constance, who discovers the pleasures of sex with her gamekeeper, Mellors. As Lawrence writes in the novel (per Mellors): "I stand for the touch of bodily awareness between human beings, and the touch of tenderness."

Today, Lawrence's writing appears dated in some ways (Connie and Mellors refer to their genitals as John Thomas and Lady Jane), but in other ways it feels ahead of its time; it's still rare to read literary fiction that exults in the pleasures of the body and emotional connection.

At the time, the novel's treatment of sex and adultery proved incendiary, and it was swiftly banned in England and the US. Until the obscenity trials in those countries (in 1960 and 1959 respectively) only heavily expurgated versions were available in English.

This legacy of censorship is animated in Alison MacLeod's fiction homage to Lawrence's novel, which captures the romanticism of the author and his heroine.

But it also does something else: Tenderness is daring and innovative. For instance, MacLeod places a lonely Jacqueline Kennedy at the US obscenity trial (even though she was not present). A photograph taken of her there without her knowledge makes its way to the director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover. For Hoover, this print becomes a possible bargaining chip to bring down John F. Kennedy, whom Hoover despises.

The story then skips across the Atlantic to follow the obscenity trial against Penguin Books in England, in response to co-founder Allen Lane's plans to publish an uncensored and unexpurgated version of Lady Chatterley. MacLeod presents a blow by blow account of that trial and you witness the hubris of the prosecution, who couldn't find a single writer to speak against Lawrence's novel.

MacLeod's Tenderness has many tendrils, but throughout is a constant incantation about the power of fiction. The structure is unexpected and the story is epic and bold, and to quote from the book, it is also big-spirited and alive. SL

Pantera Press

Supplied: Pantera Press

In her latest novel, journalist, author and screenwriter Amal Awad returns with a tender, nuanced story of heartbreak and rebuilding set in Sydney's inner west. The novel is the third and most accomplished in a loosely connected series which follows the lives of a group of three childhood friends. This Is How You Get Better and Courting Samira focused on the lives of her best friends Lara and Samira; in The Things We See in the Light, we spend time with the deeply reflective and thoughtful Sahar.

After eight years in a loveless marriage in Jordan, Sahar returns to Sydney at the precipice of a period of remarkable change. She arrives at the doorstep of her childhood friend Lara, holding her story close to her chest, telling her friend only the barest details of what happened. But inside she is aching.

Her estranged husband, Khaled, is a man as different from her as it's possible to be. His frequent refrain during their marriage was to shrug and say, "you're free", which is the worst thing possible to say to Sahar, who wonders if anything could ever possibly free her from herself. Sahar is, at times, devastatingly self-perceptive, describing herself as feeling like she's "trying to inflate a balloon with holes in it". As she slowly rebuilds her life in Sydney, she rediscovers the possibilities of who she could be. She takes a job at a small cake shop, where the bulk of the novel is set, and falls in with its tight-knit crew, who take it upon themselves to facilitate her journey.

Awad's characters are warm and lived-in, and their kindness is the balm Sahar needs; we learn just as much about Sahar from what Kat, Inez, Samira, and Lara notice about her, as we do from Sahar, who is still learning how to be kind to herself.

The Things We See in the Light is presented as a coming-of-age novel, and Awad leverages the familiar beats of the genre into a generous and compelling story that rewards close reading and plays subtly with reader expectations. It's a novel that gets a lot of small details right, most of all in its narrator Sahar, a rare character with a finely observed voice made to be underlined on the page. KW

Tune in to RN at 10:00amMondays forThe Book Showand midday Fridays forThe Bookshelf.

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Best Zombie Movies Streaming on Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime – IndieWire

All products and services featured by IndieWire are independently selected by IndieWire editors. However, IndieWire may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

You dont have to wait until Halloween to catch up on your favorite zombie content. From The Walking Dead toArmy of the Dead, and even the popular Resident Evil gaming franchise, zombies are huge right now, and were not just talking about popular movies and TV shows.

The Center for Disease Control created an online campaign to make sure that youre prepared in the event of a zombie apocalypse (as if a global pandemic wasnt scary enough). Elsewhere on the internet, anti-vaxxers have been using films like I Am Legend (which you can stream on HBO Max) to spread false conspiracy theories about the covid vaccine.

And fun fact: the term zombie was born from Haitian folklore, but Hollywood has turned the seemingly scary concept into a bankable genre feeding our fascinations with gory depictions of the undead. But Netflix isnt the only destination to binge your favorite zombie movies on demand. You can watch them, and thousands of other films and TV shows, on HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime.

If youre not already subscribed to one of the aforementioned platforms, heres a quick breakdown: With plans starting at $9.99 a month, HBO Max lets you access tens of thousands of films and movies as well as exclusive releases, including a slate of Warner Bros. films that will debut in theaters and stream simultaneously on HBO Max for the first month after release. Amazon Prime is $12.99 a month ($1.99 for the first week) for access to the massive Prime Video library, and free two-day shipping on select items. Hulu is currently offering a free trial for new customers, and subscriptions start at $5.99 a month for ad-free streaming or $59.99 a year (you can also add HBO Max to your Hulu subscription). The streaming platform offers ad-free streaming options starting at $11.99 a month.

But back to zombies. For those interested in the gory, spooky, and sometimes funny stories on mindless flesh-eaters, we put together a list of the best zombie movies now streaming on Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime. And be sure to check out these yummy snack boxes for a perfect movie night. See below for 10 zombie flicks to stream right now.

Paramount Pictures/Shutterstock

Brad Pitt stars in this post-apocalyptic zombie thriller directed by Marc Forster. The plot begins with a former United Nations employee, Gerry Lane (Pitt), and his family getting caught in a New York City traffic jam that turns out to be more than your average gridlock. Lane heads on a global trek in an effort to stop the zombie pandemic threatening to end humanity. Despite the original raking in over $500 million at the box office, the sequel for World War Z was eventually shelved. You can stream World War Z on Amazon Prime. You can also catch it on Paramount+.

Everett Collection / Everett Collection

Train to Busan is set to receive an American remake, but theres nothing like the original. Most of the 2016 South Korean action thriller from Yeon Sang-ho goes down on a train, which somehow makes the story that much spookier. Starring Gong Yoo Jung, Jung Yu-mi, and Ma Dong-seok, Train to Busan follows a zombie apocalypse that breaks out after a chemical leak at a biotech plant. You can rent or buy Train to Busan on Amazon Prime.

20th Century Fox/Everett Collection

A list of best zombie movies doesnt feel complete without 28 Days Later. Released in 2003, this Danny Boyle horror drama still terrifies fans nearly two decades later. Like any good zombie plot, 28 Days Later unfolds in a post-apocalyptic setting thats ripe with gore and suspense. The story centers around a small group of survivors seeking refuge while an incurable virus spreads through London. Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Noah Huntley, Brendan Gleeson, and Megan Burns, are among the cast. You can stream 28 Days Later on Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Everett Collection

Directed by Colm McCarthy, this 2016 sci-fi horror film centers around a gifted little girl named Melanie (Sennia Nanua) and a small group of survivors of a parasitic fungal infection that turned most of humanity into flesh-eating zombies (a.k.a hungries). The survival of humanity hinges on a small group of half-zombie, half-human children. The Girl With All the Gifts is based on a 2013 short story and features Glenn Close, Fisayo Akinade, Dominique Tipper, Paddy Considine, and Gemma Arterton. The Girl With All the Gifts is streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Rogue Pictures/Everett Collection

Written and directed by Edgar White, Shaun of the Dead is the lighthearted zombie comedy that amassed a cult following. The films protagonist Sean (Simon Pegg) works a dead-end job while his relationship is on life-support mainly because his girlfriend wants him to grow up and do something more productive with his life. Little does everyone know, an impending zombie apocalypse descends on London, which could give Sean a chance to finally prove himself. Shaun of the Dead is streaming on Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime.

Image Ten/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

After more than 50 years, Night of the Living Dead remains one of the most influential zombie films in movie history, and certainly the most successful of its time. The 1968 indie horror flick, directed by George A. Romero, is considered pivotal to the development of the zombie horror film genre that we know today. The classic, which stars Judith ODea, Duane Jones, Marilyn Eastman, Karl Hardman, Judith Ridley, and Keith Wayne, spawned an entire film franchise that includes Day of the Dead and Diary of the Dead. You can stream Night of the Living Dead on HBO Max, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

United Film Distribution/Everett Collection

Speaking of its predecessor, this 1985 film was the third installment in Romeros Night of the Living Dead series. The plot takes the franchise into the Day of the Dead, a pretty dark day considering that zombies outnumber human 400,000 to one. The plot centers around a group of post-apocalyptic survivors hunkering down at a shelter while battling to save whats left of the human race. Day of the Dead has been remade a couple times over, but you can catch the original on HBO Max.

Columbia Pictures/Relativity Media

Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin star in the 2009 comedy Zombieland. The film is about four people in a battle for survival after a global virus turns just about everybody into a zombie. Eisenberg plays Columbus, a shy and lonely college student hoping to get to his family in Ohio to make sure theyre safe, and hopefully alive. Along the way, he meets the gun-toting Tallahassee (Harrelson), whos on a mission to find the last Twinkie. Meanwhile, Stone and Breslin play sisters Little Rock and Wichita who end up conning the guys. Zombieland is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Universal Pictures

Zack Snyders Dawn of the Dead is about a gaggle of Milwaukee residents who seek refuge in a local mall as a swarm of zombies close in on them. Sarah Polley stars as Anna, a nurse whose husband gets attacked by their young zombie neighbor. Naturally, Anna has to get away from her husband, and any other zombiefied beings around town, but shes not the only one looking for a safe hiding place. The cast of Dawn of the Dead includes Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, and Tyler Bates. You rent the 2004 movie on Amazon Prime.

Everett Collection

If youre in the mood for an 80s zombie film, try out Night of the Comet. After a comet triggers a zombie apocalypse that wipes out a large portion of the population, teenage sisters Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart), and Samantha (Kelli Maroney) team up with fellow survivors on an end-of-the-world adventure that finds them trying to avoid zombies, but also the doctors who want to use them as human test dummies for a potential antidote. Night of the Comet is available for rent on Amazon Prime.

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"What We Do in the Shadows" revels in the fecklessness of vampires who fail upward – Salon

Feckless is a word that became popular sometime in 2018, when we were trapped in the dark heart of the previous administration. It's a simple word that could be applicable to anyone in the 45th Oval Office occupant's inner circle because it can mean weak and ineffective, or worthless and irresponsible.

Every member of the "What We Do In the Shadows" vampire brood wears the term accurately too, as they've demonstrated over the course of two seasons of stacking up a body count, human and vampire. Most of those deaths countas dinner, but the vampire mortalities werenot entirely their fault. Not that it matters.

Since Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo (Matt Berry), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) andenergy vampireColin Robinson (Mark Proksch) have managed to hang on to their wealth andstick around for at least 100 years, it was only a matter of time until they failed upward. As it is America, so goesthe vampire underworld.

The third season would seem to escalate the stakes for the Staten Island vampires by giving them power and responsibility, except for the fact that the world of vampire governance is virtually toothless. Neither are there any laws that can never be broken, despite previous claims to the contrary. In the second season finale Nandor's familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guilln), now a fully realized slayer, slaughters a room full of rival bloodsuckers to protect his allies and roommates.

Under vampire law this should result in termination with the most extreme prejudice. The number one rule is that vampires do not kill vampires, you see. In fact, the crew was on the verge of being beheaded for allegedly violating that most sacred of laws.

Instead, the Supreme Worldwide Vampiric Council promotes all four of them to lead the Vampiric Council of the Eastern Seaboard of the new world. Their reasoning? According to the representative, delivering his message via a wobbly VHS recording, is that yes, killing other vampires is bad. But a foursome that can take out 70% of the most powerful vampires in the tri-state area in one fell swoop? "Well, these are vampires who know how to get things done!"

The gothic, randy humor bouncing through "What We Do In the Shadows" makes it one of TV's most reliable wellsprings of giddiness because its main players are a flawless combination of lazy, self-centered, out-of-touch, entitled and, yes, feckless. Each new season offers a kind of coincidental catharsis.

This latest arc enables us to drink some joy out of watching dumb government in action an odd proposition, given the massive injustices the Texas legislature has inflicted upon its people within the space of a couple of weeks. Somehow, though, watching our favorite pack of undead knuckleheads suddenly have power and responsibility thrust upon them for entirely illegitimate reasons feels different because the stakes are non-existent.

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The Supreme Worldwide Vampire Council itself basically exists to flex its celebrity vampire membership, as it does in the first season, when a tribunal gathers and Tilda Swinton, Danny Trejo, Evan Rachel Wood, Paul Reubens and Jemaine Clement reveal their fangs. They sentence Nandor, Nadja and Laszlo to death on that occasion too, but the roommates escape easily and continue with their afterlives, ignorant of Guillermo's efforts to protect them.

Without him, they'd be lost. Permanently dead, too, but entirely rudderless for however long they're able to survive, since Nandor, Laszlo and Nadja's collective inability to interface with the modern world is a running joke. (Colin, being an energy vampire, thrives in our disaffected age.)

Take all that haplessness, strap it with power and responsibility, and you have the makings of a darkly comic season.

Within the first two episodes the gang is introduced to the secret basement headquarters of all vampires in the local New York area, a place that includes powerful artifacts and historic documents enshrined in a massive magical library.

Nandor immediately uses his new position to purloin a magical cloak to help him hit on the front desk clerk at his gym. Laszlo settles into the library's massive collection of pornography, diving into titles such as "The Knobnomicon," "Egypt's Longest Penises" and "Roy Cohn, Esquire's 169 Sex Positions." ("Bet you didn't know that existed!" he crows.)

They achieve absolutely nothing to benefit anyone besides themselves, aside from Nandor and Nadja's entering into a tenuous power sharing agreement that each of them plans to break to achieve their own glory. "The plan is that I, Nandor the Relentless," he declares, "will sit on my throne and make a number two!"

Through this discombobulated coven the "What We Do in the Shadows" writers build a case that the reasons government isn't working are quite simple. It may be because the people who have the duty of rule thrust upon them often have no clue of what to do with it or, because the people trusted with the power enforce the law are too timid to do so.

Then again, nobody wants the opposite of that either, as demonstrated in Nadja's excitement to, in her words, "escalate matters to crazy levels."

She makes this announcement when she joins Nandor on a visit to an upstart Brooklyn flock that's refusing to pay its membership dues. It's their first official act of leadership, and the first time their leadership is questioned, since the young vampires refuse to acknowledge their authority or listen to anything they have to say. "You really do not seem qualified to be running s**t!" their smug leader crows, quickly following that by announcing he has a master's degree in urban planning

So instead employing reason, Nadja gets them to comply by using brute force, correcting the kid in a way angry liberals wish their senators would treat the filibuster.

No one can be faulted for wanting to slump into bed for all eternity at the realization of what a mess we're in along with the sobering fact that our avenues to fight back are limited. The people tasked to write laws to counteract these injustices are still committed to being fair and polite, believing or claiming to believe that they can appeal to the opposition's better nature, which simply doesn't exist.

It's natural to seek out the salve "What We Do in the Shadows" offers after a series of punishing reminders of how monstrous and diabolical politicians can be to the people they're supposed to represent.In its realm, fecklessness is bliss. It informs the vampires' bumbling through a political landscape where the only entity taking any real damage is pride.

More than anything, it thrills inserving up wisdom wrapped injokes from the likes of Nandor, a centuries-old vampire who believes in leading from the darkness with Nadja at his side: "There's nothing wrong with a firm number two."

The first two episodes of "What We Do in the Shadows" Season 3 are streaming on Hulu. New episodes premiere Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX and stream the next day on FX on Hulu.

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Tony Lindsay Returns to Speculative Fiction With ‘Melody Knight a Vampire’s Tale’ – PRNewswire

CHICAGO, Sept. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --'Melody Knight a Vampire's Tale' is unique in being a spy thriller and a vampire novel. Melody's involvement in a CIA assignment exposes a $51 billion human organ market, andthe storyline climaxes when a weapon is developed that returns a vampire to being human.The reader experiences both: the life of a CIA operative and life within a vampire family.TheKnightsare presented as a blended family with all the peculiarities that accompany those unions, and it is through her experiences with her vampire family thatMelodydevelops an acceptance and respect for humanity. The novel deals with the origin of American vampires, and a mystery/thriller edge develops when murdered children, human organ farming, and CIA corporate gains are uncovered. Melody's growth from a depressed human bride (her fianc was gunned down on her wedding day) to a vampire that cares about humanity is shocking. The thriller edge of the novel keeps the reader turning pages; don't miss this one.

Atmosphere Press is dedicated to being the premier service for authors who want not just any publisher, but one who will be a true partner through the book-making process. https://atmospherepress.com

Tony Lindsayis the author of nine novels;One Dead Preacher, Street Possession, Chasin' It,Urban Affair,One Dead Lawyer,More Boy than Girl, One Dead Doctor, The Killing Breeze, Chess Not Checker - and five short story collections titledPieces of the Hole - Fat from Papa's Head Emotional Drippings stories of Love, Lust, and Addiction - Almost Grown and Acorns in a Skillet stories of Racecraft in America.https://www.pen-4-hire.com

Release date: August 31, 2021, 200 pages

Title: 'Melody Knight a Vampire's Tale' / trade paperback

ISBN: 978-1-63988-053-9.

BISAC CODES: FIC049020 FIC024000 FIC006000 FIC031070

Media contact; Tony Lindsay[emailprotected]219-229-4410

Publisher: Atmosphere Press [emailprotected]

SOURCE Tony Lindsay

http://www.pen-4-hire.com

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LA By Night, the best damn vampire show around, is returning for its final season – The Next Web

The World of Darkness is a terrifying place where monsters roam the streets, and fans of the LA By Night streaming series wait for well over a dang year for the final season to premiere.

Well, joy of joys: its finally here! The last season of the current LA By Night chronicle airs on Friday, 3 September at 8PM PST (thats today if youre reading this hot off the press).

LA By Night, for those unfamiliar, is a streaming show set in the World of Darkness. Specifically, its a group of actors and a designated Storyteller, playing the game Vampire: The Masqueradeon camera.

They roll dice, improvise, and act out their characters actions just like regular tabletop RPG groups do, but their performance is geared more towards telling an entertaining and compelling story to watch than it is towards winning at a game.

The formats long been popular with RPG gamers and streaming fans, but LA By Nights subject matter and stellar cast make it one of the most compelling versions there is.

Watching humans pretending to be monsters is what got me through 2020.

I interviewed fan-favorite cast members Erika Ishii and B Dave Walters, who play Annabelle and Baron Victor Temple respectively, to find out how they felt about the upcoming season five debut.

First off, the excitement was so thick you could feel it despite the fact we were on a video chat.

Both actors asserted that they were looking forward to being as surprised by the events of the season as the rest of us.

Ishii warned me that, after such a long absence, a very different Anabelle comes back, and Walters boomed out a prophecy in Victors deep voice that things happen.

As for whats changed, the actors promise big shockers throughout the season, but there are also subtle things that eventhey dont know about yet.

This season was pre-taped, so the actors are done with their part, but as Walters told me:

This season, more than any other, there was a concerted effort to keep us in the dark.

Vampire puns aside, the big idea here was a combination of COVID safety Ishii said they were very, very COVID conscious and storytelling ambition.

When I asked if this season would have more gravitas than previous seasons, Walters laughed and said you could describe it as weighty. Ishii just said one word: intensity!

If youre looking to get caught up, the first three seasons are available on YouTube via Geek and Sundry and the fourth season is on the World of Darkness channel.

Tonights season premiere debuts on Twitch, but will be made available on YouTube sometime after.

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When Will Vampire Diaries Co-Creator Julie Plec Acknowledge the Horrible Treatment of Bonnie Bennett? – The Mary Sue

Julie Plec is an American television producer, writer, and director known for The Vampire Diaries and its spinoff shows, The OriginalsandLegacies. Plec is working on on a new vampire product, an adaptation of the book seriesVampire Academy by Richelle Mead (a series I absolutely read as a teenager) for NBCs Peacock streaming service. Playing the shows lead, Rose Hathaway, is Sisi Stringer (Mortal Kombat). With a Black woman leading her upcoming series, it is as good a time as any to discuss Julie Plecs track record on Black characters, especially Bonnie Bennett.

Kat Graham played Bonnie Bennett onThe Vampire Diaries, a character that was a descendent of powerful Black witches. The Vampire Diaries took place in the South, in the fictional Mystic Falls, Virginiaa change from the book which made Damon Salvatore, one of our male vampire leads, a soldier who fought for the Confederacy, something that is never really dealt with on the show.

Katherine Pierce is introduced in the series during flashbacks, and her servant, Emily Bennett, is Bonnies ancestor. They call Emily a servant, but it is very clear that is their way of avoiding the issue of slaveryan issue they created.

Emily would be the first of many Black witches forced into Magical Negro positions for the majority of the white cast. Bonnie would constantly be gone for episodes, show up to help the white characters, and then be gone again.

Her relationships, familial and romantic, would be the least explored through the course of the series, save for her enemies-to-friends relationship with Damon.

On The Originals, the spinoff series that focused on the ancient vampire family the Mikaelsons, it is established that Klaus Mikaelson adopted a Black son named Marcel, who was born enslaved to a Black mother and white slave-owning father.

While this is part of his backstory, the racial dynamics of that and his relationship as the upstart to his adoptive father is never understood. The fact that his adoptive family never fully accepts him, except when he bends the knee, is treated as vampire politics as usualignoring the racial discrimination that is very much the glaring subtext of this dynamic.

It is a level of incompetent racial writing that I wouldnt expect of someone who has been creating for so many shows. Yet, it has been something that Plec did so blatantly and without correction, despite fans of color discussing this.

But then again, Black fans were never really appreciated in the fandom.

Do I think Julie Plec is racist? I have no idea. What I can say is that her work has contained a bias that Black fans have loudly and consistently called out for years. Her treatment of Bonnie onThe Vampire Diaries and the writing around Marcel inThe Originals were gross.

WhileLegacies has a diverse cast, the fact that she is behind it at all stopped me from watching it for years. Even when I gave in and started watching it during a flight, the whole time I was on edge because of my relationship with her series and its treatment of Black people.

I dont see her casting a Black lead and think wow, shes changed because I have yet to see her actually address the issues that Black fandom has brought up. Even recently, when she brought up why Bonnie and Damon even ended up together, she said, Bonnie and Damon had a thing in the books. We had sort of always said, We dont buy a romantic connection between Bonnie and Damon because Damons just done too many terrible things and Bonnie just has more integrity than that, but we wanted to service that relationship in the canon a little bit.

Beyond the fact that this explanation essentially says that Elena Gilbert is a bad person of low moral character for marrying (and having children with) Damon, it ignores whypeople were interested in Bamon. Not only was it in the books and the actors/characters had great chemistry, but Bonnie was also never given a top-tier love interest in the series that she deserved.

Meanwhile, Caroline could date every lead man in the cast. It reeked of bias, and on a CW show where having a love interest of merit impacts your relationship to the plot, it relegated Bonnie to a second-stringer. Her biggest relationship happened offscreen during a three-year time skip!

Before anyone starts, I dont want to cancel Julie Plec, but these complaints of racism about her writing, especially for Bonnie, are frankly not new and have been a part of her legacy for over a decade of working in this franchise. It is something that needs to be addressed, especially since shes been called out enough times to speak on it.

(via Deadline, image: Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for The Environmental Media Association)

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Sharkmob Explains Where ‘Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt’ Fits in the Series Canon – Newsweek

The latest video game entry in the Vampire: The Masquerade franchise, titled Bloodhunt, has received a great deal of backlash from fans. Specifically, many are critical of how Sharkmob's offering is turning the tabletop RPG into an action-oriented multiplayer shooter, akin to Call of Duty: Warzone.

Newsweek recently spoke to the developers about this controversial decision, with the team explaining why they chose to make a battle royale in the first place. Over the course of the interview, they also assured fans that Bloodhunt will fit neatly into the established canon of Vampire: The Masquerade. Here is what they revealed.

For a bit of context, Vampire: The Masquerade began its life as a tabletop RPG (in the vein of Dungeons and Dragons), before eventually spawning a number of video game spinoffs.

The whole franchise is set in an alternative universe where vampires (known as "Kindred") are hiding in plain sight amongst human civilization. The titular "Masquerade" is a conspiracy that all the undead clans are meant to adhere to, so that their existence is never revealed to society at large.

Having been revised multiple times since its debut in 1991, there is plenty of complex lore in the Vampire world for new players to wrap their heads around. There are several rivaling factions, elaborate political structures and various rules that kindred are not allowed to break.

In short, it is a very deep and intricate universe that focuses mainly on intrigue and subterfuge, with only intermittent bursts of violence. As such, it does not immediately lend itself to the multiplayer shooter genre, which is why so many fans are skeptical about Bloodhunt.

Like Apex Legends or PUBG, the newer game is a battle royale in which you must fight against others to emerge as the last player standing in a constantly shrinking map. While you do have access to a few supernatural abilities and melee weapons, the emphasis is largely on gunplay, which is a source of contention.

Despite initially feeling incongruous with the rest of the Vampire universe, Sharkmob believe that Bloodhunt is in line with the established lore.

Although diplomacy is at the heart of Vampire: The Masquerade, violence is also a key factor and conflict does happen. Yet for most fans, the problem is not so much that the kindred are fighting but rather that they are violating the masquerade by doing so out in the open. The whole idea behind this universe is that vampires are supposed to operate in the shadows and remain undetected, but in Bloodhunt they are brazenly running amok in the streets firing AK-47s.

Martin Hultberg, IP director and co-founder of Sharkmob, stressed that this aspect has been factored into the battle royale matches. "We have systems that mimic the core experience of the original tabletop game. We took what we could from the RPG and moulded it into a form that fits."

Namely, if a player is spotted by a human civilian, or otherwise exposes themselves to unwarranted attention during a match, then they will be penalized. A bloodhunt will be declared on the rulebreaker, giving away their position on the map to everybody else and effectively painting a big target on their back. As such, there is still an incentive to keep a low profile.

In general, Hultberg seems to be quite well versed in the fiction of the masquerade, as he gave us a rundown on the history of the universe and where Bloodhunt specifically fits into the canon.

Hultberg continued: "We were fortunate enough to come in as [Paradox Interactive] was finalizing version 5 of the tabletop RPG's core rulebook. So, they gave us a spot in the lore and said 'This specific point in time is yours. We want you to portray this event here'".

The incident in question is an outbreak of civil war between the Camarilla and Anarch factions. "They are meeting in Prague, where our game is set, to find a diplomatic solution to their falling-out", explains Hultberg. "When they gather for this meeting; something goes wrong and the second inquisition [vampire hunters] attacks."

Following the botched negotiations, the Camarilla blame the Anarchs for exposing their race to human eyes and subsequently issue a bloodhunt order. Soldiers are then sent into the city of Prague to eradicate any remaining Anarchs, which forms the background for why everyone is trying to kill each other in the multiplayer sessions.

Much like in Fortnite, this storyline will unfold gradually through content updates. David Sirland, Bloodhunt's producer, teased a little more information about this, explaining: "We have several environmental storytelling parts that we will be using to constantly bring the narrative forward. This will be especially prominent in our social hub, the Elysium neutral zone, which is where you will be dropped right before matches. There will be things added periodically here to drive the narrative."

Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt will be released on Steam, where it will be free to play, in 2021.

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Psychology of friendship: the rise of the social vampire – Stylist Magazine

Essentially, then, social vampires are those people who are forever waiting to talk about themselves. Who derail entire conversations with unrelated anecdotes, who dont listen to anything anyone else is saying, and who talk and talk and talk without drawing breath. And they are, too, those people who tend to overstay their welcome which can be as literal as, yes, being the last one to leave the party.

So, setting all talk of Buffy and pointy wooden stakes aside, what can we do about the social vampires in our life?

Well, heres what weve learned

Social vampirism can take a toll on our relationships and wellbeing, says McMahon. Feeling socially or emotionally drained after hanging out with someone doesnt exactly leave us feeling eager for the next time so it can push people away.

It can also be quite tricky to manage how we feel after such meetups. We can become exhausted after just a couple of hours, and, when our social capacity is filled to the brim, we might start to withdraw from company and this, in the long term, can leave us feeling lonely and potentially quite low.

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