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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Game of Thrones scavenger hunt finds its way to North Beach

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM

The Ultimate Game of Thrones Experience on April 19 is meant to tide GoT super fans over till the show's premiere on April 24. - HBO
  • HBO
  • The Ultimate Game of Thrones Experience on April 19 is meant to tide GoT super fans over till the show's premiere on April 24.

If you're a Game of Thrones superfan, good luck teasing out season six storylines or spoilers before the popular cable show's April 24th premiere. HBO may have intimated that Jon Snow is dead, but everything else about the program's first season to depart from author George RR Martin's wildly popular A Song of Ice and Fire series is being kept tightly under wraps. Anyway, there is no point in fixating on what's to come, when your existing show knowledge can win you coveted prizes at the Ultimate Game of Thrones Experience, in San Francisco on April 19. 

The Go Game, a local company that designs team-building exercises, has created this special Game of Thrones-themed scavenger hunt for fans who want to get in on the action. North Beach will transform into Westeros and dozens of competing teams of four to six will morph into warring houses, like the Lannisters, Starks or Targaryen, in a battle for great riches. Instead of swords and blades, contestants will war with wits and trivia knowledge.  After completing the hunt, winners will be chosen and swag, such as highly coveted Game of Thrones helmets, will be handed out. Teams will also be handsomely rewarded for best names and top costumes. 

A few lucky winners will take home sought-after Game of Thrones helmets. - HBO
  • HBO
  • A few lucky winners will take home sought-after Game of Thrones helmets.

At the very least, participants may be able to network their way into a lucrative tech job, since employees from Twitter, Munchery, Google, Salesforce and Apple are all slated to participate.  Break the ice over sips from the open bar and bites from Tacolicious.

Here is the official itinerary:

6 p.m. – Doors Open, Cocktails & Appetizers
7 p.m. – Games Begin
8:30 p.m. – Top Teams Awarded
9 p.m. – Cocktails & Grub Celebration 

You must be 21 or over to participate and must email to register.  Finally, whether you're on the scavenger hunt or job hunt, motivate yourself with this memorable GoT quote:  "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die." It's probably a good idea to know who said it, too.

Ultimate Game of Thrones Experience, April 19, at Bimbo's 365 Club, (Free), 1025 Columbus Ave,
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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bay of the Living Dead: Kathleen Cody Steps Back Into the Shadows

Posted By on Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 12:00 PM

  • Big Finish Productions
Welcome to Bay of the Living Dead, a twice-a-month column about the horror genre.

When viewers of Dark Shadows last saw Hallie Stokes, she was lying dead in the tower room of the great house of Collinwood, one of many who fell victim to the malevolent ghost of Gerard Stiles—the ghost was himself possessed by the soul of the evil 17th century warlock Judah Zachary. Barnabas Collins and Julia Hoffman were about to travel back to the year 1840, where they hoped to prevent Gerard's death. which would in turn prevent the deaths of Hallie and all of the others who lived in the grand old mansion. It was the summer of 1970, and viewers were watching the horror-themed soap opera's final major storyline before it's cancellation in April 1971.

Hallie was played by Kathleen Cody, a stunningly beautiful young actress who had been working since she was a little girl. Soap operas, TV commercials, prime-time TV, theater, and modeling. Cody had done it all by the time she was cast as Hallie at age 15. The best was yet to come—Cody went on to become a contract player at the Walt Disney Company, starring in hit family films like Snowball Express and SuperdadThen, she disappeared.

Kathleen Cody gave it all up in the mid-1980s in order to play her greatest role: mom.

Now, Cody and Hallie are back. Kathleen Cody is the top billed star of Dark Shadows: Tainted Lovean audio drama produced on CD by UK based Big Finish Productions. It's the second such CD that Cody has starred in. She first revisited the Dark Shadows universe, and her character, in last year's Dark Shadows: Carriage of the Damnedan eerie chiller in which the now adult Hallie recalls having lived two lives—the life in which she died at the hands of Gerard Stiles, and the whole new life she leads after her friends Barnabas and Julia successfully changed the course of history during their sojourn to 1840. As I reported in Fangoria Magazine, Carriage of the Damned, served to tie up some pesky "loose ends", unresolved plot points from that 1840 journey. 

  • Big Finish Productions
In Tainted Love, Hallie is now evil. Determined to win the love of her childhood friend David Collins, she has turned to the Dark Arts, using witchcraft to lure her man into her spider's web. The relationship between the adult Hallie and David is not unlike that of the iconic Dark Shadows characters of Barnabas and Angelique, she being the witch who turned Barnabas into a vampire out of revenge for scorning her love back in 1795.

"It's fun playing the role of Hallie again after 45 years," Cody told SF Weekly, speaking from her home in Florida. "It's more fun than playing Hallie in the original role back in 1970 actually, and the reason for that is multi-layered. Number one: I'm older and my approach to Hallie is to try and understand why she acts the way she does, why she says what she says. Hallie is older too, although time goes slower in Hallie's world then mine!  Hallie at the time of Tainted Love is about 29 yrs old, so it was time to understand how life affected her. And that's where creating a backstory and character development summary came in handy. It gave me a chance to analyze the character of Hallie, who was virtually characterless in 1970 at 15 yrs old. It was time to create a character and a backstory to understand her. She's a troubled soul and with good reason."

Kathleen Cody, with David Henesy, on Dark Shadows in 1970. - DAN CURTIS PRODUCTIONS
  • Dan Curtis Productions
  • Kathleen Cody, with David Henesy, on Dark Shadows in 1970.
Some of the backstory which Cody refers to is revealed in Carriage of the Damned and Tainted Love. Cody worked closely with Big Finish writers and producers David Darlington and Joseph Lidster in developing Hallie's grown up persona—Cody was kind enough to share some of her own thoughts on how the character might develop over the years:

"Hallie Stokes had been a totally vulnerable, unprepared and powerless young girl going up against the paranormal forces that were waiting for her since she first stepped foot into Collinwood in 1970. What she went through back in 1970-1971 had changed her life forever and Hallie was determined never to be vulnerable, helpless or powerless again.

In her struggle to learn how to deal with the psychological trauma (PTSD?) she experienced all those years ago, Hallie Stokes took her first step over the line into the dark side. She was determined that no one would know what she was doing developing her skills in witchcraft and her understanding of the paranormal world. She would still act the sweet, innocent, responsible, dutiful and (in her eyes) boring young lady everyone had always viewed her as.

But Hallie knew she was so much more than that. As she delved deeper, her knowledge grew... and so did her passion and power. She hides her anger well, but inside she keeps track of each person, known or unknown, alive or dead, who has taken something from her, betrayed her or abandoned her. Determined to keep her power a secret until the right time comes, there is only one person Hallie feels she must make understand. Although David turned away from her as she tried to explain the path she was on once before, the man she fell in love with years ago would not betray her! She was sure of this. They would be together as they always had been, once he really understood.

The time had come. Hallie vowed she would never be helpless again. And with that vow, Hallie Stokes unwittingly began following in the footsteps of Angelique."

In a plot twist that my surprise original Dark Shadows viewers, Tainted Love includes a sexual liaison between Hallie and David Collins. It was a natural progression for the two characters, according to Cody.

"I've heard it said by so many Dark Shadows  fans that David and Hallie would have married," she said. "So, it's not a surprise that in Tainted Love we see a romantic attraction between the both of them! What might be a little bit shocking to the older generation of Dark Shadows fans is that they actually do consummate their attraction for each other, but without the ritual of marriage, as probably would have been done on the soap back in the 70's. And the dialogue between the two of them is a little more explicit to the act than what you would have heard on the original series also, but after all... It is 2015 now!"

These days, Kathleen Cody lives a life of quiet, happy retirement. Though she's enjoying her return to the house of Dark Shadows, she has no plans to resume a full time acting career. But she's certainly open to doing more audio dramas for Big 
Kathleen Cody today. - KATHLEEN CODY
  • Kathleen Cody
  • Kathleen Cody today.
Finish Productions, and now has a Facebook page where she connects with fans.

"I enjoy talking to all my fans on Facebook and Twitter, not just Dark Shadows fans but fans from all the work I did during my professional career," Cody said. "By now I have settled into a comfortable and friendly exchange with all, and I think my fans know that I care about them and that mostly I want my Facebook profile page and my fan group, Kathleen Cody Fan Groupto be a safe place for anyone to come and feel welcome and comfortable."

As we previously reported in this column, the Dark Shadows fan world has been invaded by a number of unsavory types, bullies who consider the show their personal property. Cody will have none of it in her corner of the Dark Shadows universe.

"Unfortunately, everyone must deal with bullies," she points out. "Words hurt, and sometimes those words are intentionally meant to hurt. Adult cyberbullying by small groups within Dark Shadows fandom is unacceptable and says more about the person or persons doing the bullying then the hurtful words being thrown out at their targets."

Cody hopes that Dark Shadows fans who want to enjoy the show in a relaxed, respectful and fun environment will seek membership in her fan group. "I've been fortunate to have met many wonderful people through my association with Dark Shadows over the years," she said. "I find it easier to focus on healthy personal and professional relationships. So many of the  Dark Shadows  fans have given a wonderful response to Tainted Love, and for that I am most grateful."     

Happy New Year!                                            

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bay of the Living Dead: Classic Horror Stars Join Forces

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Blu Ray box cover - KINO LORBER
  • Kino Lorber
  • Blu Ray box cover

Welcome to Bay of the Living Dead, a twice-monthly column about the horror genre. 

Once upon a time we had horror stars — versatile, classically trained actors who built entire careers on their appearances in scary movies. Actors like Boris Karloff (1887-1969), Christopher Lee (1922-2015), and others mesmerized generations with their iconic performances in dozens of films which were often based on, or inspired by, works of classic literature or ancient legends. Legendary creatures like Count Dracula (portrayed by Lee in an impressive nine films), Frankenstein's Monster (played by Karloff three times during the 1930s) , and the works of Edgar Allan Poe were among the many tales which could always be counted upon to fill a cinema.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

In Defense of Kim Kardashian West

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Judge LaDoris Cordell interviews Kim Kardashian West at The Castro Theatre on June 30. - PHOTO BY SONYA ABRAMS
  • Photo by Sonya Abrams
  • Judge LaDoris Cordell interviews Kim Kardashian West at The Castro Theatre on June 30.

When InForum members first learned that the Commonwealth Club's Innovation Lab would host Kim Kardashian West Live! this month, they booed, hissed and headed to the organization’s Facebook page to protest.

True, on the surface, the reality star seems to share little with the career women who've graced the speaker series' stage before her: stuffy corporate leaders such as Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington, and Marissa Mayer. But Kardashian West is a successful businesswoman in her own right, heading her own formidable empire, which earned a respectable $28 million in 2014, according to Forbes

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Tourism for Locals: Church of 8 Wheels Provides Heavenly Fun

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 1:25 PM


We have already mentioned that the closest thing to heaven on Earth is located at the corner of Fillmore and Fell streets — and the best things in life, often, come on wheels. By day, the abandoned Sacred Heart Parish looks like any other religious building: solitary and somber. But at night, that is when everything shifts to heavenly heights and the choir of angels is guided by the voices of Gloria Gaynor, Mariah Carey and the holy trinity: Earth, Wind, and Fire.

Prepare yourself for a rolligious experience because we are now crossing the San Francisco Pearly Gates and entering the Church of 8 Wheels. 

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Don't Shoot the Messenger (Bag): S.F. is Home of the Man Bag

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 3:31 PM

S.F. is the National Capital of Man Bags! - IMAGE COURTESY OF MAFIA BAGS
  • Image Courtesy of Mafia Bags
  • S.F. is the National Capital of Man Bags!

We know full well that the typical San Francisco man knows how to dress.

Why, we have even stated that the urban San Francisco male is aptly described as a metrosexual, someone who is confident with their sexuality and adopts fashions and lifestyles that are traditionally associated with women and homosexuals; in short, they flex, wax, Spanx, and accessorize.

While this may not be news for anyone, it's this type of this male that has inadvertently made the fashion retail market shift toward a wider variety of clothing options. The newest of these trends to bite is the man bag (judging from the crop of new retailers popping up).

We're declaring San Francisco the murse capital of the America and we've set out to find the best of the best (thus far).

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meet Cheryl Shuman, the Martha Stewart of Marijuana

Posted By on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM


She doesn't make pot-leaf doilies or anything (yet), but Cheryl Shuman, the self-proclaimed "Martha Stewart of Marijuana," is definitely bringing a more suburban mom image to our favorite herb. Shuman was recently on The Ricki Lake Show (which is still on?) talking about her struggles with ovarian cancer and her quest to make weed more adorable.

See Also: Pipe Dreams: Art Goes to Pot (Literally)
Campaign Against Video Game Sexism Met with -- Surprise! -- More Sexism

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Video of the Day: The Onion Mocks Jodie Foster's Quazi-Coming Out Speech

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 8:30 AM


If you missed Jodie Foster's rambly, kinda coming out speech at the Golden Globes the other night, we suggest you skip it and just watch The Onion parody instead, which reports that Foster's speech is inspiring LGBT youth to come out to their parents in vague, confusing riddles, such as, "I just want to let you know that I'm here and I love who I love, and I'm not who you never thought I wasn't going to be."

See also:

10 Reasons You Should Come Out of the Closet

S.F. Voted Best "Pride City" by Gay Travelers

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Meet the Man Who Had Sex with a Dolphin (and Wrote a Book About It)

Posted By on Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Malcolm J. Brenner, with his book, Wet Goddess - MATT SAINCOME
  • Matt Saincome
  • Malcolm J. Brenner, with his book, Wet Goddess

Malcolm J. Brenner, the controversial author of Wet Goddess, the autobiographical novel of a young man's love affair with a dolphin, relaxes on a computer chair inside a San Francisco apartment, gently stroking one of the two cats occupying the room with us. His red sweater is wiry and frayed, like the hairs on his balding head. He's 40 years older than he was when he drove to a near-abandoned Florida amusement park with the intent to "make love" with a dolphin he had been photographing for nine months.

See also: You can have sex with a horse in more states than you can get gay married

The Sweet Spot: The Truth Behind Puppy Play

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Keep It Classy This New Year's Eve With These Hot Events

Posted By on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM

You can only Peter Pan your way through the most festive night of the year so many times before you realize there might be perks to actually making plans -- free champagne, for instance, or a place to finally wear that designer gown you scored at the thrift store. If one of your resolutions for 2013 is to start acting like a grown-up, there's no better place to start than NYE.

See also:

Our calendar section for more events

Trends that need to die in 2013

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"