Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Brian Morvant was the stunt coordinator (and the hapless drug dealer, Sully) of THE BIG BAD. He doesn't dig too much on horror, but he thinks sci-fi is groovy ... and he absolutely LOVES director Paul W.S. Anderson's sci-fi horror opus, EVENT HORIZON. Join Brian as he boards the ship that went to hell and back.

"You can't leave. She won't let you."

It's the turning point of the film. Two-thirds of the way through where you get that thrilling, suffocating, familiar horror-movie feeling that everybody's gonna die.

After having been missing for seven years, the starship Event Horizon is discovered in deep space. The crew of the search and rescue vessel Lewis & Clark boards it only to find strange video diaries filled with horrific shrieks and screams, the previous crew most likely savagely killed and a seemingly sentient ship that manifests each crew member's deepest fears and that appears to have literally returned from a trip to hell!

Laurence Fishburne's badass Captain Miller races through the sprawling main corridor after having given the order to abort the mission.

MILLER: We will take the Lewis & Clark to a safe distance and then launch TAC missiles at the Event Horizon until I am satisfied that she has been destroyed. Fuck this ship.

But he's followed close behind by Sam Neill's Dr. Peter Weir, the creator of the ship. Sam Neill, who, let's not forget, we had seen a few years earlier playing Dr. Alan Grant in JURASSIC PARK. So he's got a face that you trust. But here, he seems agitated, concerned, hinting at covetous.

DR.WEIR: You ... you can't do that! You can't kill her! I won't let you. I lost her once, I will not lose her again ...

Dr. Weir grabs Miller by the sleeve, turning him around in an attempt to stop him, but Miller responds instantly, slamming Weir back. Boom, the ship comes alive! Lights shut down across the corridor, emergency sirens blare in every room. Miller turns back to a console to see what the hell is going on, communicating with the rest of the crew.

But behind him, something's changed in Dr. Weir's eyes. He slinks into the shadows.

DR. WEIR: You can't leave ... She won't let you.

Then Weir is gone and we dive deep down into the dirty dirge that is the bleak-ass finale. Naturally, brutal deaths ensue.

This is my favorite sci-fi horror movie of all time.

And I don't do horror.


Too receptive an audience member.

(Big crier.)

After watching a horror movie, once the lights are off in my bedroom and there's silence in the air ... anything goes. Tink of rain on the window and I'm convinced it bounced off Jason's machete who's just waiting for me to fall asleep so he can kill me. Creek of wood in the wall behind my headboard and I'm certain the crazy little ghosty girl from the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY trailers is watching me in the doorway. Candyman's in the mirror. That goddamn Jeepers Creepers is gonna get me, no doubt.

But that's slasher horror, supernatural horror, urban myth horror (and, sure, JEEPERS CREEPERS is "sissy horror").

For me, though, none of those horrors linger.

Gimme sci-fi, man.

Horrors that are so hugely imaginative that the characters in their midst resonate. Circumstances that are so wildly, thrillingly imaginative it's easy to divorce the characters from the spectacle to see the roots of their actions.

Dr. Weir isn't just crazy when he decides to sacrifice everyone in his path to preserve his creation, his Event Horizon. He's more Walter White of BREAKING BAD than Alan Grant of JURASSIC PARK. He's a man choosing to resentfully feed his ego no matter the cost. In casual everyday life, eh, he'd just be a jerk. But in happy Sci-Fi land, the logical conclusion of his journey is: He emerges from a literal portal to hell, naked, set ablaze, covered in gaping wounds all over his body with two hollow eye sockets he gouged out himself.

Come on!

Weir faces off with Captain Miller, who we previously saw reveal that his greatest fear is a time Captaining another ship where he had to sacrifice a crew member to save the rest and watched him burn alive in zero gravity with flames "like liquid ... like a wave breaking over him." Here, to stop Weir, he summons the badassery, bravery and tenacity to save his remaining crew members by separating them from his portion of the ship and sending himself, Dr. Weir and the Event Horizon back to the literal hell from whence it came, where he most likely awaits an eternity covered in flames, living out his own worst fears.

I can't help but remember great moments in Sci-Fi like that. That's Major Dutch cloaking himself in mud while he hunts the Predator. That's Shane plotting to kill his own best friend in a world overrun by Walking Dead. That's Ellen fucking Ripley exerting the will to stand still as an Alien zoots its second mouth an inch away from her cheek, hissing and dripping acid spit.

That's horror I'll never forget.

Those are characters I'll never forget.

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