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This Weekend @ Confluence:
The Best Recent Horror & 50’s SF

This weekend some of the top names in science fiction, fantasy, and horror will gather at the Pittsburgh Airport Sheraton for the latest installment of Confluence, the region’s long-running sf convention, sponsored by Parsec, Pittsburgh’s premier science fiction and fantasy organization.

The convention will run three days, July 26-28, and I’m looking forward to being there Saturday to take part in panel discussions on two of my favorite subjects: mid-20th-century science fiction and 21st-century horror.

First up will be “Beyond Campbell: The SF Explosion of the 1950s” (2:00 PM). The panel will be moderated by Eric Leif Davin, past president of Parsec and current Pitt lecturer. Joining us will be writer-editor Darrell Schweitzer and poet Herb Kauderer.

Here’s a summary … [read more at The 21st-Century Scop].

Nightmare Cinema in Japan

Nightmare Cinema’s release schedule continues this month with its Japanese debut on July 19, complete with promotional art that incorporates elements of the US poster with striking details of its own.

In place of the demon from Ryuhei Kitamura’s “Mashit” segment, the Japanese poster features the face of a sleeping woman, head cleaved above the eyes to serve as a bowl of cinematic nightmares. Spiraling up and out of her skull is a length of film displaying many of the images included in the US poster. Look closely, and you’ll see Fred the welder from “The Thing in the Woods,” Ron the janitor from “This Way to Egress,” and Mr. Stitches from “Dead.” Look to the right of the movie marquee, and you’ll see the demon from “Mashit” that … [read more at The 21st-Century Scop].

Screenshots: The Spider from “Egress”

Last week’s post about the “Egress” spider generated some terrific responses, with a number of readers asking about plans to include the scene on Nightmare Cinema‘s upcoming Blu-ray release. Although I have no information on that possibility, I do have a few more images from David Slade that offer a glimpse of what we might see if the scene is ever made available.

The sequence opens with an extreme closeup of the spider’s staring eyes, then pulls back to reveal its fangs and shifting legs, and finally its web. Here’s the description from the shooting script:

Close up on a spider — long fangs — macro close.

It sits, adjusts itself  in stops and starts.

Wider — the spider sits in a web strung across a ceiling corner. 

At this point … [read more and see additional spider-sequence images at The 21st-Century Scop].

Q&A at The Parkway Theater (Part 2):
Nightmare Cinema’s Lost Spider Scene

We concluded our previous post with reference to King Kong’s lost spider scene  — a sequence so horrifying that producer-director Merian C. Cooper insisted that it be removed from the final cut. His reasoning: “It stopped the show.”

A victim of judicious editing, that scene now joins other lost segments of film history, such as the pie fight deleted from Doctor Strangelove and the jitterbug number edited out of The Wizard of Oz — removed because they detracted from the central story.

And now we have one more item to add to the list of lost scenes: the “Egress” spider from … [read more at The 21st-Century Scop].