Jaws 3-D–a movie that most people will tell you is a flaming piece of crap–was the film I fell in love with when I was 12 that basically made me the aquarium volunteer I am today. It inspired me to want to be around fish, and it inspired me to dream big and live in Florida (well, I’m getting to that part, still). So…on July 22, 1983, the film was released in theaters. In celebration of its 35th anniversary, I’m re-running an article I wrote for Jennifer Allis Provost’s MARCH MOVIE MADNESS blog series last year. Enjoy!
1983’s Jaws 3-D—one in a brief spate of super-hyped early ’80s 3D films—is considered the joke of the franchise, even though it was #1 at the box office and got its own prop exhibit at SeaWorld Orlando (then called Sea World of Florida), where it was filmed. There are still, however, some neat things that make 3-D eligible for at least a one-time watch.
At the time, underwater attractions were novel, dangerous things.
In 1964, the founders of SeaWorld San Diego (then called just Sea World) abandoned plans for an underwater restaurant because it “wasn’t feasible.” In 1980, the Shark Encounter, an under-the-surface walk-through, was on Sea World of Florida’s maps; in October of 1983—four months after Jaws 3-D’s theatrical release–Epcot’s Living Seas, which featured the aquarium-facing Coral Reef Restaurant, broke ground. While this new technology “wowed,” it also terrified: what happens if you’re in that tunnel and something fails? 3-D not only illustrates this scenario, it illustrates the solution. So while it’s clear that 3-D’s submerged multiplex was inspired by and publicized the real park’s exhibit, it heralded a new age: today, so many major aquariums have time-tested underwater attractions we take them for granted. Read the rest of this entry
A House at the Bottom of a Lake, Josh Malerman
Technically, this isn’t a short story—although I’m uncertain of its word count, I’m sure it’d be considered either a novella or a short novel. Still, this chiller—about two teens in a burgeoning relationship who get a little more than they bargained for when they discover a secret lake on their first date—is peppered with twisted, disturbing imagery that’s so unique it isn’t easily forgotten. At its core, this a romance with a heavy-handed conceit—but I can guarantee you won’t even notice or care. This is definitely one you’ll be leaving your lights on after finishing. You can pick it up here: http://a.co/1OBK6tR
Dark Discussions recently delved into a couple of this summer’s hits–Hereditary and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
While Hereditary, as is typical of just about every new horror film that comes out, was touted as “the scariest film ever”–and the trailer makes it look like another “scary little girl movie”–it Read the rest of this entry
Recently, I was in Rhode Island with my college friends and fellow writers, Heather Sullivan and Kaitlyn Downing. Late in the night and deep into a few glasses of wine, the conversation turned toward disappointments in life, or more specifically, the disappointments in this thrill ride we call The Writing Life—you are up up up one day, and down down down the next.
In the past couple of years, my productivity has crashed, largely due to personal issues—there have been some publishing triumphs, but in terms of feeling the joy of writing, the joy of creating, since 2015, it’s been down down down. Every piece has been a struggle. Heather and Kaitlyn assured me that I’m one of the most prolific writers they know, and that the ease of engagement was bound to return at some point.
What they don’t know is Read the rest of this entry
Jurassic Park celebrates 25 this year. Where were you? I saw it at the Opera House on Washington Square in Newport, RI, with a couple of friends, and I’ll never forget it.
I’d never seen such realistic, majestic, terrifying dinosaurs—I burst into tears of joy when the Brachiosaurus lumbered onto the scene, and the raptors scared me so badly I slept with the lights on. I’ve been a dinosaur lover since I was a little girl, but nothing…I mean nothing…has blown my mind like that since.
Until the opportunity to visit Jurassic World: The Exhibition presented itself last year. Everyone in the whole world thinks that all the cool stuff comes to the Northeast, but the reality is, it’s rare when limited engagements show up within reasonable driving distance from my home. When we found out it was going to be in Philadelphia—just under four hours from me—we were in (with the full VIP ticket package, which included souvenir photos and books and all kinds of extra perks) and we were taking our friend Bruce Shillinglaw—a thirty-year volunteer at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk—with us. We knew there was going to be nothing quite like visiting Jurassic World with a dinosaur expert (he’s a really humble guy and would probably argue that statement, but I’m sorry, no one I know knows more about dinosaurs than he does)…and we were right! In honor of this weekend’s release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, you can tag along on our super-science field trip to the Franklin Institute in the video below.
Ahhh, if there were only another exhibition to go to! But there isn’t this year, so the three of us (along with a few friends) will be seeing Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in IMAX 3D tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. (and yes, I’m wearing my official Jurassic Park: 25th Anniversary Jurassic World dress I just picked up at Torrid).
Want a more full experience of what the exhibit was like? Below my video, there is a link to a FABULOUS, clear, high-def complete walk-through put together by the guys at the Jurassic Park Podcast.
In a special episode of Dark Discussions, the crew talks with lead actor Dan Lench (“Sariel”) about inner demons, angels of death and 2017’s dark morality tale The Lurking Man.
The Lurking Man, based on one in a series of novels by Keith Rommel, played the 2017 festival circuit and won many awards. It was an Official Selection at the Austin Revolution Film Festival, Long Island International Film Expo, Miami Epic Festival, Love International Film Festival and GenCon Film Festival. It was a finalist at the Los Angeles Cinefest, won four awards at the Indie Fest Film Awards, and took home 13 awards, including Best Leading Actor (our friend Dan Lench) and Best Original Song.
You can listen to our review on Stitcher, Itunes and here: Dark Discussions – Episode 339 – The Lurking Man (2018)
I’m pleased to announce that my short story, “All Dolled Up,” has been accepted for publication in a future issue of Jitter Press.
“All Dolled Up” was inspired by an article I’d read in The New Yorker about the “haunted” dolls that can be purchased on Ebay, and the culture that surrounds them (you can read that article here: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/rabbit-holes/ebay-fantastical-earnest-world-haunted-dolls .“All Dolled Up” accepted for publication in JITTER PRESS. Nathan has a “haunted” doll—Jessica—although I’ve seen little evidence, nor do I get the sense, that she really is haunted.
I’ll keep you posted on when the issue of Jitter Press will be available.
*I was working on this post when a tornado hit my house. So here it is, about a month later than expected, but just in case anyone was wondering…
The results of our Global Big Day–when we try to see as many species of birds in one day as we can as part of an international effort–are in!
We started the day (May 5, 2018) in our yard at 6 a.m. Our neighbor, Steve, joined us for coffee and birdwatching until 8:30. We got 23 species, so it was a great kick-off to the day.
I’d jokingly set my goal at 50, and really didn’t think we’d come anywhere near that. But we headed out to a preserve in Newtown, where in under 40 minutes we bagged seven species–the most exciting for me Read the rest of this entry
Four deadlines, a trip to Austin (and a trip to Disney after that). How did I get any writing done? Watch and find out in This Writing Life Episode 13: How to Write on Vacation.