Well, Epiphany is here and the holiday season is officially over now, so it’s time to clear out those visions of sugar plums and get caught up on some blog reading. I’m way behind, so let’s get going and see what’s been on everyone’s minds out there.
ZOMBIES for one thing! On his blog, Cahiers Péguy contemplates the shambling undead and wonders why they should interest us as Catholic Christians? Matt Swaim, over at The Integrated Catholic Life, already has his answer. “The undead should intrigue us, not because we want to emulate them, but because we want to eliminate them.”
Speaking of getting rid of evil, EXORCISMS also seem to be a bit of a hot topic lately. You’ve probably already heard by now that the Vatican and The Discovery Channel are producing a new series, The Exorcist Files, which will recreate stories of real-life hauntings and demonic possession. Hopefully, the show will be respectful, but considering the potential exploitative nature of the subject matter, we’re going to be a bit reserved in our optimism until more details emerge. Now obviously, we’re not against a little exploitation, at least not when it comes to fictional movies. And neither is Enbrethiliel over at Shredded Cheddar. She indulged in a viewing of Night Of The Demons 2 and managed to have her interest piqued by the displays of various forms of religious clothing and a conspicuous photo of Pope Paul VI. Still, Eli Roth, director of Hostel and producer of The Last Exorcism, isn’t quite sure what to make of the resurgence of the devil as an antagonist in films. In a recent interview with the Den of Geek, he notes, “You can see that the Vatican did open an exorcism academy. They are training new exorcists and that either means that the devil's on the rise, or fake exorcisms are on the rise…” Still he’s not hedging his bets, as the new release of The Last Exorcism contains a prayer of protection against dark forces on it, just in case.
But we Christians already know that prayers and stuff can come in pretty handy don’t we, even in FANTASY WORLDS. “Readers are going to find a lot of adventures where the heroes are overcoming some terrific odds with the help of their faith.” says Karina Fabian, editor of the short story anthology Infinite Space, Infinite God II, in an interview with the Sci-Fi Catholic. “We really didn't have a theme per se” she explains, “we just wanted exciting, fun-to-read stories that put Catholic characters and situations in science fiction settings.” Sounds like a book worth checking out. And if you’re still in the mood for some Catholic-tinged fantasy after you’ve read all those stories, then The Curt Jester recommends revisiting the old R.A. Salvatore D&D novels featuring everyone’s favorite dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden. “While the author probably did not intend to write a character with so many Catholic sensibilities and moral sense, nevertheless he did so…” relates Jeff. One person I’m sure who would agree with the Curt Jester’s take is J. B. Toner from Korrectiv who, after some contemplation, has decided that life itself is an RPG.
Yes, the line between fantasy and reality can be a thin one. For example, in an article for the National Catholic Register, Matthew Archbold notices striking similarities between being a parent and being a character from a monster movie. But it’s okay if life imitates art sometimes, especially if, as Joshua Mercer at CatholicVote points out, it’s imitating the new V series in which we finally, FINALLY, get to see a catholic priest portrayed on television as a hero. Of course, there are other times, as Belinda’s Brain (and I’m assuming the rest of Belinda as well) informs us, where some movies such as Clint Eastwood’s latest flick Here After, in which “as usual the Christians were depicted as idiots”, are better left onscreen. Oh well, you can’t win them all. I suppose it’s been a long time since “the Church Saved the Movies.”
You know, that’s a lot of reading. So if you get thirsty while sifting through all that data, feel free to stop by Catholic Drinkie where Sarah has assembled an assortment of Halloween themed mostly adult beverages. I’m sure you’ll find something to your taste. I couldn’t help but notice, however, that one thing was missing from her cocktail collection. ZOMBIES!
Of course, given the effects of drinking those things, maybe it’s for the best they didn’t make the cut.