Sleep of the just

What smegging sadist decided to hold National Sleep Week at the same time as the bloody clocks went forward for British Summer Time and we all lost an hour in bed? That’s just sick! Well, I have a week off and I will do my national duty and have nice, long snoozes until the cats insist that I get up to feed them and pay attention to them (before they go back to sleep of course).

Went off this afternoon to watch the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Enjoyable enough bit of old-fashioned horror, but added nothing new whatsoever to the original story or the genre – in other words a remake for the sake of a remake. Sure there is an implied criticism of capitalism and of suburbia as another form of voluntary zombie-ism, but not as much as the original contained. The only new thing is the zombies being speeded up – fast, ferocious and dangerous. But Danny Boyle already did this a few years back with 28 Days, so… Still, the rapid – and unxeplained, like the original – collapse of normal life into utter chaos is well done. Being a horror purist I obviously prefer the original Romero version, but this was diverting enough for a couple of hours and will kill some time for me until Shaun of the Dead comes out. Coming from the team behind the fantastic Spaced series it promises much more than this remake offered. A trailer for it this afternoon was fun – Simon Pegg arguing over which of his vinyl albums could be used as a deadly frisby to slice through zombie heads. No, not that one! Oh, it looks great!

The trailer for Van Helsing looked good too – very silly but enjoyable stuff by the sound of it. Big feature in Empire this month although I think Hugh Jackman’s Van Helsing looks far more like Quincey Morris than Van Helsing. But it has Dracula, the WolfMan and the Frankenstein monster plus Kate Beckinsale in tight corsets (killing rather than playing vampires this time round after the limp Underworld). The pictures of Dracula showed Frears using someof his imagery from The Mummy in respect of the jaw opening the mouth far wider than a human should be able to. Since his Dracula has a whole row of big, sharp teeth and not just fangs this makes him look like a shark. Or, pretty much like the vampires in the stonkingly good 30 Days of Night graphic novel.

Anyway, midly entertained by the chainsawing of appendages, shooting of skulls and general cannibalism I toddled off for a long, slow couple of pints (guest ale: Rocketeer – how could a geek resist and ale with that kind of name?), feet up, watching the world go by and reading (or re-reading actually, but it was 20 years ago) Alfred Bester’s classic Stars my Destination (published under the name Tiger! Tiger! years back) for this month’s SF Book Group tomorrow night at work.