Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stay Tuned

I will be doing some reviewing pretty soon, so no, I'm not letting this die again.

I went out on a limb and ordered a copy of Trick 'r Treat, which from what I hear, is a really respectable new spooky flick that has all the earmarks of a "classic". I sure hope so. I hate buying DVD's that end up sucking, and I'm pretty picky about modern stuff. More on this soon.

I will be watching The Fog shortly, which I usually do once or twice a year. Great and underappreciated movie. May put up some thoughts on that as well.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

oh, the shame...

So I really dropped the ball yesterday. I didn't go to the Rock n Shock horror convention, which a bunch of my friends did. I missed out on a few horror stars I've yet to meet. I also missed out on getting to see Saint Vitus live and hang out with them and my friends afterwards. What a buffoon I am.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Combat Shock/American Nightmares




This one will be brief because my good friend Phil over at Grim Horror already reviewed this flick a while back, and his review was my reason for seeking this film out.

This movie packs a punch. Buddy G's Combat Shock is one of the most relentlessly bleak, disturbing, and depressing films I've ever seen. Because of these qualities it succeeds. Even though it's one of the most uncomfortable movies to watch I can say that I "like" it, because it brings you to the place it intends to take you and doesn't let go. It is very hard to find cinema this intense and disturbing, yet this honest at the same time.
Combat Shock is a film detailing a Vietnam War veterans' life of poverty, dementia, and depression as he struggles to cope with continuing visions of his life in combat and as a POW. Frankie's entire life is an abysmal mess. No job, no money, no food, shitty delapitated apartment (of which he is being evicted), a nagging wife (can you blame her?), and a baby with deformities blamed on Frankie's agent orange exposure in Vietnam. He has seemingly no friends or family who can help him, and has criminals he is in debt to. Things are not looking good for Frankie.

As Phil and many others have said before me, Combat Shock shares themes and has a similar tone to films such as The Driller Killer, Eraserhead, Maniac, and Taxi Driver. A definite must-see if you're into this type of thing. Troma recently released a beautiful 2-Disc DVD, so grab it while it's available and prepare to have your mind mangled. The comparison to The Driller Killer is mostly in it's gritty, raw New York atmosphere, as well as having a similar look to the cinematography, at least as far as the film is concerned. I wouldn't be surprised if both were originally 16mm, but I don't know a lot about that sort of thing. Combat Shock was blown up to 35mm by Troma when they purchased the film, it was shot in 16mm and originally titled American Nightmares. The other films I brought up for comparison are mostly only tied thematically. David Lynch's Eraserhead baby is very obviously referenced here and the way the child is represented as part of the story definitely shows the influence that film had on Mr. G's Combat Shock. While they share obvious similarities, Combat Shock makes (Scorsese's masterpiece) Taxi Driver look like an episode of Sesame Street. No joke. I'm going to try to avoid ruining the film for you, but if you've seen any of the films I've made reference to, I'm sure you have an idea of what happens as Frankie's fragile psyche receives continuous bludgeoning as the film plays out.
If you're depressed, this movie can have two effects one you (maybe both?):
A) It can make you feel little better about your own life situation because hey, at least you're not in the same shitty situation Frankie is in. However, this soon wears off because this movie is so raw and realistic that obviously it draws from real life shit that many people have gone through, and that's also pretty damn depressing; knowing how many unhappy and seemingly helpless people there are out there.
or
B) It can spin your depression in an even further developing downward spiral of paranoia and hopelessness.
Either way, you still lose. Enjoy the movie, manics. Don't worry, I'll be back to something a little more fun next time around.
Well, so much for being brief.

16 more days 'til Halloween?

Can you believe it, folks? We're almost there, and that means 2009 is also drawing to a close. Where'd the time go?

For a horror junkie I'm admittedly not very into dressing up. A few Halloweens ago when a friend of mine was dressed a zombie and grunted the all too familiar call of "brains!" I felt the need to speak up and explain him and my girlfriend at the time which film series this originated in (as they had not seen it). The aforementioned (now ex) girlfriend was confused and said "for someone as insane about horror as you, how can you not like dressing up for Halloween?". I really don't know.

I'll tell you what I really like about Halloween though: Horror DVD sales. This is the time of year when I scarf up all the leftover goodies I had been contemplating purchasing but for nearly half the normal price. It often times pays to wait a while after a DVD is released before purchasing, especially if Halloween is on the way, as not only do DVD's go down in price months after release, but Halloween causes the prices to plummet. I purchased like four movies the other day for like 6 dollars a piece. When you're considering that two of them were special editions that actually boasted special features, that's a bargain, and that makes me pretty giddy.

I always get excited about watching horror movies in October. Watching Suspiria (or Halloween for that matter) always feels all the more fitting when the air is chilly and dry, and you can hear the leaves blowing around outside. July just doesn't create the same mood. Though that doesn't stop me.

Every year, often times on Halloween, I choose to watch the immortal film taking it's name from this joyous holiday. Something about the season just doesn't feel complete until I screen this gore-less classic and marvel yet again at it's effectiveness. A true masterpiece. We all know how I feel about (most of) the sequels though.

Readers (?), have any of you unearthed any treasures this Halloween season?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Drag Me to Heck!

This is how you do a PG-13 horror film folks. I was really skeptical when I heard Drag Me to Hell wasn't R rated, but I was wrong, and now wish I hadn't waited until DVD to check it out.

Though a self professed gore fiend, this movie is pretty bold with it's use of body fluids and other nastyness and pushes the boundaries of the rating. A number of things work for it regarding it's use of horror and mild comedy. While it is a serious story, it plays very much like an old episode of The Twilight Zone or an EC Comics/Creepshow tale (in that it's a morality tale with a semi-humorous twist ending). While it doesn't get into any full blown slapstick comedy scenes, it uses humor to it's benefit in that it lightens the mood a little at times. Highly recommended.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Holy crap, guess what? I haven't died.

What have I been doing? You probably don't want to know. Or rather, I don't want to tell you. My recent activities make posting pros and cons of 1980's slasher films sound hip by comparison, and I don't think I can deal with the ridicule.

Zombieland? Nope haven't seen it. Will I? It's possible. I am a bit of a snob though, and wonder how good this thing can possibly be. Woody Harrelson is awesome, but being that zombies are "cool" right now (and not in a Fulci kind of way) I have to question the merits of this one. Call me jaded of call me elitist, I don't care. People at work who know I'm into horror crap have attempted to crawl into my little world by talking about this movie with me and these are people who've only seen 28 Days Later and the new Dawn of the Dead. That said, I'll probably end up seeing it this week while I'm on vacation.

You know what's really awesome though? The Creepy and Eerie Magazine reprints I've been reading.

No one even reads this! After 6 months, can I blame them?

Monday, July 6, 2009

So what have I been up to? Since Monster Mania I've probably watched just as many horror flicks as ever (maybe more), but have been damn busy and haven't been thinking about writing blog entries. I've been watching a lot more older films lately, namely delving into a few of the immortal Vincent Price's filmography. I recently watched the original classics House of Wax and House on Haunted Hill, both of which I admittedly had never seen. I also revisited Witchfinder General and it's notorious copycat Mark of the Devil, both of which are classics in their own twisted ways.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Monster Mania bub!

So now I'm finally getting around to writing this entry. I've been sick with some crappy throat infection the last couple days and I'm starting to feel a bit better now that I'm on antibiotics, so sitting down and writing this post is finally feasible.

About a week ago at this time I was wrapping up my festivities at Monster Mania in Cromwell, CT. I got the notion to check this thing out when I saw all the footage of conventions on the new Friday the 13th Part 2 DVD and got really excited to check one out. A short time later I read Matt's review of Monster Mania in Cherry Hill, NJ (check it out here). Read it and come back to me because how could you not want to check this thing out after reading his article? Or don't, because he's a much better writer than I am.

I went to the Monster Mania website and saw that in just a few months yet another one was coming up, but it was a hell of a lot closer than New Jersey. After taking a look at the list of guests who were scheduled to be there to sign autographs and do Q&A panels, I knew I couldn't miss it.

I arrived on Friday afternoon not completely knowing what to expect. I've been to conventions before, but never one with this much cool shit happening. I pulled into The Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday afternoon wondering how many people were going to be around.

entry

It looked unnassuming enough. After all, it was just the first day. Though sooner rather than later, I saw this happen:

betsypalmer1

Betsy Palmer had arrived, and then I knew it was the real deal.

Before too long, the outside started to look like this:

outside

The convention existed on almost the entire first floor of this hotel. On one side were the autograph rooms and the room where the films were screened and Q&A's were held, and on the other side was the massive dealer room and of course the hotel bar.

There were a ton of dealers at this thing, and while I'm not much for collecting toys (especially considering I have little to no room to put them), there is a lot of really cool stuff out there. The only stuff I was really interested in were hard to find DVD's, books, and T-Shirts. I managed to pick up some of each. My recent screening of Nekromantik, as well as the resulting entry in this blog is thanks to the dealer room.

dealerroom1

dealerroom2

One of the coolest things about the dealer room is that a met a dude named Tad Leger who does a lot of graphic design work for Grindhouse Releasing's DVD covers. He had a table in the dealer room where I purchased a cool and informative book detailing Italian Cannibal and Zombie films titled Eaten Alive. Click here and check out his website.

After letting a good deal of money burn a hole in my pocket and depositing my treasures in my car, I knew I could use a drink.

thebar1

There were tables set up all around the place selling Coors Light out of overly foamy kegs for $4 per cup, and you could only purchase these beers with tickets you purchased in the lobby. I purchased one such beer before coming across the hotel lounge. It was comparable to discovering a lush oasis after shuffling aimlessly through a desolate desert wasteland crying for reprieve. Only the desert sands were shit and annoyance and the oasis was free flowing, cold booze. It turned out to be a great place to chill and fuck with your phone and delete blurry pictures you took, but primarily it turned out to be a place to goof off with other horror nuts and get shitty.

joe

This man, Joe the Bartender, kicks ass. Completely professional and with a sharp wit. He reminded me of a real life version of what a movie bartender would be like. After downing a few cocktails I decided I should venture into the autograph rooms. The images that follow include me making retarded faces with my half in the bag glaze being an obvious element.

stevedashandI

Steve Dash himself. He was Jason in my favorite F13 movie and I had no problem telling him so. His girlfriend/wife was also extremely nice and seemed to be having a great time. I had him sign a photo for me, which I will proudly frame and place on my wall.

stevedashphoto

Moving on...

johnsaxonandI

Above is me with the great John Saxon. Getting the chance to shake this man's hand was a major highlight for me, as he is a true legend. I really enjoyed hearing his memories of Dario Argento when I asked him about Tenebre, but thanks to the beers and the shots of Makers Mark I had enjoyed with Cassie a short time earlier, I only remember bits and pieces of the story. Damn.

I walked around and got signatures from everyone there who was in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street and then decided it was time yet again to get back to the bar.

thebar1

After a couple more drinks I headed into the screening room where The Ladies of The Evil Dead were going to be doing commentary for the classic film. It was great to see them riffing and making fun of eachother.

thebar3

It's been said before (such as in Matt's article at X-Entertainment.com) but the bar really is a great place to meet the stars. It's also a great place to meet your fellow horror goofballs, drink a bunch of beer, and take dumb pictures where my face is cut off.

usweirdos

Cut to Day 2. I arrived on Saturday and instantly got into the line to meet Robert Englund. He was the only present cast member of the original NOES who hadn't signed my poster and I couldn't wait to meet him. Check out the line/waiting room:

robertsline

This was after I'd been in line for over an hour. In all seriousness though it wasn't really that bad. It was great to see Robert interacting with the people he was signing for, and not only did it break the monotony by providing some entertainment on occassion, it showed he really does care for his fans. Check out the photo:

robertandI

Too bad it turned out blurry and was taken too far away, but you get the idea. I actually just recently cut my hair, so these photos are not an accurate representation of me anymore. Robert is the man. I was very happy to meet him. Now, my poster was signed by all the cast members who were accounted for. Jsu Garcia (credited in the film as Nick Corry) was scheduled to be there but couldn't make it for some reason. Disapointing, but oh well.

NOESposter

As for a Johnny Depp signature getting on this thing, I'm not holding my breath.

This kind of confused me:

whymewes

So that's Jason Mewes. Why the hell was he a guest at this thing? I really can't figure it out. I'm betting it wasn't because of his cameo in Scream 3. I'm guessing it's because a lot of horror nerds probably also like Kevin Smith movies.

I decided to jump in line to meet Bruce Campbell, which surprisingly took no time at all, because I got in on it at the very end when almost everyone had already waited for like 3 hours and gotten their autograph already.

brucecampbell

After getting Bruce's signature I went back to the autograph room:

EvilDead

I'm sure you guys have seen this DVD before. Well, I got it signed by the entire cast.

evildeadsigs

Sarah York, Hal Delrich, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, and of course, Bruce himself all blessed this evil tome.

The coolest things were yet to come though. The Q&A panels I was really interested in were coming right up, but before they started I popped into the bar yet again for a bit of the hair of the dog, and who was hanging out having a little vodka but Robert Englund. I didn't want to be annoying, so I waited until he was done having his conversation and then asked him about Dead and Buried. He talked a bit about it and how cool the poster was, etc. It made my day as when I actually met him in the autograph room I didn't want to take up too much of his time, and I'm sure the people behind me didn't want that either. Also at some point in the day Derek Mears (Jason in the newest F13 film) bought me a beer. I made my way to the Q&A hall for a marathon of The Ladies of the Evil Dead, Bruce Campbell, a Friday the 13th reunion, and then finally the cast reunion of A Nightmare on Elm Street. These were all great, with Bruce Campbell in particular being absolutely hilarious.

Blurry Photos.

The Ladies of The Evil Dead:

ladiesevildead

A Nightmare on Elm Street cast reunion:

NOESpanel

From left to right: Charles Fleischer (doctor), Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Ronee Blakley, Leslie Hoffman (creepy hall monitor), and Amanda Wyss.

My props go out the Monster Mania staff for making this thing happen, as it was easily one of the coolest things I've ever participated in. I met a lot of cool people and had some great times and I'll definitely remember it for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An exercise in depravity

I'm still stalling on my monumental Monster Mania recap. Primarily because I have to get ready for work in a little while and I don't want to finally get rolling on a long entry and have to stop.

I will however like to post a quick entry about a film I finally got around to seeing last night...

Nekromantik

Nekromantik.

Have any of you seen this one? It raises some interesting taboos, but I found it was most effective as a test of how far I've desensitized myself. Funny enough, there's a scene where our main character (our hero?) watches a TV show where a psychiatrist talks about exposure to our phobias in order to desensitize ourselves and better deal with them. Of course while he's watching this his girlfriend is in the bathroom bathing in blood laden water.

I don't want to go into it, but this film is gross. I found one scene particularly gruesome and honestly, I was glad for it. There isn't much out there that I haven't seen that can make me feel a little uneasy. Nekromantik delivers. That's saying a lot. I think part of it is the at times documentary style cinematography. It feels very raw, though the gore effects are quite realistic. The music is also very effective at making you feel uneasy, mostly because a lot of it is so damn cheerful. I heard this was the directors intention.

Some really weird shit comes out of Germany. I definitely wouldn't say I liked this film, but it sure did succeed on one level, weirding me out. That's becoming a harder feat everyday, and I'm sure Nekromantik will help contribute to this.

This is some seriously sick stuff. If there's one thing I've learned though, it's that creating or watching gory, shocking, and offensive cinema does not mean that one harbors homicidal fantasies. Far from it. I can't pinpoint why I like it so much myself. I don't wish for violence upon anyone. However, watching these scenarios on film and seeing how fictional characters get out of them (or how they don't) is fascinating. The idea that there are still some films out there (like this one) that can still get under my skin is proof that there's still effective terror cinema left for me to check out. I just really doubt I'll be screening this one again anytime soon.

On an interesting side note, there is a scene in the film where the main character, Rob, goes to the cinema to watch a violent horror movie. The movie (with scenes filmed specifically for this movie) features sound effects, music and screams from various horror films. The first music I noticed came from The Burning, next I heard screams from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, followed by music and screaming from Night of the Living Dead.




Monday, June 15, 2009

I piss on "Twilight".

Monster Mania Con was friggin' amazing. A full recap will take place very soon.

The real reason for this post is to briefly bring up a conversation I had with my father yesterday. I stayed with him for the weekend while I went to Monster Mania and he was bringing up movie titles to see what I thought of them. My stepmother had read through the Twilight books and my dad decided to ask me what I thought of them. I said I can't stand them, at which point he rightfully asked if I'd seen the movie or read the books. Of course, I said I hadn't. At which point I am pointed out as being closed minded and judgemental. This is when I flipped out. I don't have to see or read these pieces of sludge to know there is ZERO appeal for a person like me. As someone who doesn't even really care for vampire movies in general (I think the original Dracula and Near Dark are the only ones I really like), I don't need to see much more than the trailer for Twilight to know it wouldn't interest me. Just based on what I've heard and the trailer, it sounds like a cross between an episode of Degrassi and Interview with the Vampire. William Broadbent said it best, "High School Musical for goth kids."

I don't inherently hate Twilight. It never did anything to me. I do not however like that it is at all associated with horror. The two have nothing in common. Vampires do not a horror film make. Especially not vampires with teased hair.

I'm pretty open minded when it comes to film in general. I also like some really SHITTY movies. Movies that appear that they were crafted by people with almost no knowledge of where to place a camera or light a shot. However, many of these movies have some real nuggets of greatness, especially in that many of them also feature some of the most startling and offensive gore scenes of all time. I won't try to tell you Anthropophagus is a good film, because I know it isn't. I do love it though. If you've seen it, you know why a gore fiend like me places this one up pretty high. If you haven't seen it, you probably shouldn't. The thing about films like this is that they don't try to present themselves as good films. Upon telling my father I had no interest in Twilight and don't like it almost just based on principle, he brought up that when I was a young lad, probably thirteen years old, I absolutely hated Halloween III and made it barely halfway through. Now that I'm older and have seen it all the way through multiple times, I think it's great and highly underrated, with Tom Atkins turning in a classic performance. Now my father has no dedication to Twilight, he was really just trying to get me worked up, at which he succeeded. My biggest argument to this point is that maybe when I was twelve I might have liked Twilight. It's a juvenile movie and concept. Him arguing that maybe I'd like a vapid film like Twilight and should give it a chance because I hated H3 at first when I was only into the original Halloween, the first A Nightmare on Elm Street, and stupid modern slashers like "Who gives a fuck what you did last summer" isn't a valid argument, at least not in my eyes. Granted at least the former two of those three movies are a step in the right direction (and I still love them dearly to this day), it's obvious that my horror palette wasn't particularly refined yet. If at this point I've decided that H3 is actually a cool movie and that Scream and I Know What You did Last Summer are lame and too teenagery (in a 90's way), why on Earth would I now like Twilight? My tastes don't regress.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

oh, dweller of the twilight void...

so what's been going on? I guess a lot.

The dudes I've been working on starting a doom metal band with and I have worked out a song based on Lucio Fulci's City of the Living Dead aka The Gates of Hell. It's called (you guessed it...) The Gates of Hell. It's heavy as hell and about 10 minutes long. Troo Doom.

I finally got around to seeing E. Elias Merhige's Begotten. The film is currently out of print on DVD and I had to download it. Pretty damn cool movie. I like movies without traditional narrative with a story that is revealed almost entirely through symbolism and allegory. If you weren't thinking, this movie could be seen as just one disturbing and gory mess. That's what I like about it. The method by which it was filmed just makes it more creepy. If you haven't seen it, it's in black and white, features no dialogue, and was filmed over twice giving it this ghostly bizarre quality. You have to see it to know what I'm talking about.

So Thursday I'm heading down to Connecticut for the Monster Mania Convention, which begins Friday. I can't even begin to express how psyched I am for this thing. I will be chronicling my adventure upon my return, complete with pictures.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Don't breathe...you're dead!

The Burning


I really love The Burning. I think it's the best slasher movie that isn't Friday the 13th Part 2, and I know I'm not alone in that assessment. Slasher fanatics and overall gorehounds recognize this as a real unsung horror classic, with some of the best make up effects scenes of all time. I've been stalling on doing a post about this film for quite a while now, mostly because it's mostly just got to sound like some fanboy gushing. That's because it is.


I think the coolest thing about this movie is the overall tone of it. It just feels so grim. Sure, it has it's lighter moments here and there, but those are quickly overshadowed by the general dark mood that the film enjoys. Even the funny scenes have something off kilter about them. One perfect example is the scene in the boys' cabin where Dave (played by a young Jason Alexander) returns from god knows where with porno mags for his buddies, who are smoking and playing Go Fish or something. Glaser gives them shit for looking at "girly magazines" when they should try the "real thing". Dave proceeds to refer to his buddy Woodstock as a "jerk off champion" and then gets into an argument with Glaser about non-lubricated rubbers. It's way cooler than I'm making it sound. They just didn't have conversations like this in the F13 series. Nah, The Burning was raw and real! I always talked to my friends about getting a stiff wrist when I was 17...



Going along perfectly with the general mood of dread that permeates the film are the over the top and spectacular kill scenes. This was Tom Savini really turning into the legend that he is today. The murder scenes in The Burning are everything that we know a Friday the 13th wanted to deliver, before they got raped by the ratings board. And oh, so much more. I don't want to spoil anything if you haven't had the privalege of watching this gem, so I won't. I respect it that much. Which reminds me...

GET INTO IT!

The Burning is like F13 without it's training wheels. It's notorious reputation is well deserved, though in the end, it is still designed to be a teen horror slasher film. I have a few friends who are horror snobs and really only like Italian stuff and think slashers are mindless and dumb. Fair enough, they certainly aren't Citizen Kane (though neither is The Cat O' Nine Tails, but don't tell them that), but this flick is the one I show them to illustrate what a really good slasher looks like. In the end, they usually come around to my side. Good job, Cropsy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just a quick thought on

The Midnight Meat Train.

I really have to wonder if the creators of this movie read the story more than once before making it. Aside from that, I can't imagine trying to turn a story that's less than 30 pages long into a feature film. I know it's been done effectively before (the classic From Beyond immediately comes to mind), but if you've read the story you'll know why it's a fairly big stretch to embellish a story that takes place entirely in a train car and abandoned subway terminal. The presentation of the violence and gore just didn't do it for me. I love gore, but this just played like a horror version of The Matrix. I've heard a lot of praise for this movie. I didn't find it completely god awful but I certainly wouldn't bother watching it again. As a Clive Barker fan I had higher hopes for this one. Oh well.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Frightful Fives?

When it comes to the two big heavyweight franchises of horror's bastard son that is "The Slasher", of course some of their own offspring are better than others. For Friday the 13 part V: A New Beginning and A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5: The Dream Child, the obvious couldn't be more apparent. Oft maligned and criticised by both critics and fans alike, it's easy to see why these two flicks could be considered the worst in the whole lot for both franchises.

I'm here to say, I don't hate either of these movies. Are they my favorite in their respectives series? Far from it, but the point is that these flicks maybe aren't as totally bad as many make them out to be. I'm going to go over a few pros and cons from each of these horror black sheep. I wish I could include an image for each of the pros and cons, but that would take forever, and I'm just not that dedicated. Sorry. Anyway, let's start with what is in my opinion the crappier of the two:








That's right. There are multiple images associated with this movie, and while this one (the VHS cover) isn't the best one, it's the first one I saw and it creeped me out as a kid. The movie however, did not.

The Pros

1. Dan's Death. Friggin' gross and fucked up. Very original and well conceived, and pretty damn gag inducing if you ask me.

2. Some awesome soundtrack songs. If we could go back to the days when including Bruce Dickinson and W.A.S.P. on your movie soundtrack was something a major studio would back 100% I'd be a happy camper. One happy Crystal Lake Camper.

3. Demon Gremlin Freddy Baby. The "Son of a Thousand Maniacs" flashback is retarded but awesome. I especially like that the baby crawls into Freddy's clothes on the ground and grows into his adult self.

4. Greta and her death. This girl was really hot. I liked looking at her a lot. However, her death is completely gross. In a really stupid "I can't believe this is what Freddy is doing now, whatever happened to sucking kids into the bathtub?" kind of way. I guess you could call it a con, but it's so ridiculous I have to kind of like it.

The Cons

1. Comic book kid and his dream. Dumbest thing ever, and not in an awesome way. I have no idea why they would possibly think this was a good idea. The set was pretty cool in how it real but looked like it was drawn, I'll give them that, but all in all, friggin' dumb. Massive failure.

2. An even jokier Freddy. I think Freddy was a lot more entertaining when he wasn't so "funny" (if you want to call it that). This persona of his really hits the peak of shittyness in this flick, and continues along the path in Freddy's Dead. Call me crazy, but in this regard part 2 was better than part 5 says this observer.

3. Greta didn't get naked. Yeah I said it, shoot me.

There are plenty of other crappy things in this movie, but I haven't seen it in a while, so I can't think of them right now.

And next...



Sorry for the small image. I couldn't find a larger one of the original VHS box. The newer DVD cover is boring and stock.

The Pros

1. The annoying chocolate munching kid dies VERY early on. If I had to suffer through 90 minutes of this dude I sure as hell wouldn't consider this one the better of these two films. It's only a shame the true gory shots of his death didn't make it into the film. I've seen stills and they are glorious.

2. Reggie the Reckless. I'm sorry, but this kid rules. He also has an awesomely high shrieking scream. On the new retrospective documentary His Name was Jason we get to hear some comments from him (Shavar Ross) and he says something to the effect of "I would come back, Reggie the Reckless would come back and kick Jason's butt. I will put the red suit on...". Love the red sweatsuit, Reggie.

3. Tommy Jarvis can kick some ass. The scene where he comes down to breakfast, flips out, and almost wrecks that kid. Damn right, Tommy.

4. The deaths of the lovers in the woods. I think I'd go so far as to say Eddie and Tina have the best deaths in the movie. Mention of Tina brings me to my next point...

5. Tina's topless scene. There are quite a few bare breasts in this movie, but the only ones that matter are Tina's. Nuff said. If only Violet took her shirt off shit would have been perfect. But then again, I'm all for dated 80's flicks with your stereotypical tortured soul goth/punk chick.

The Cons

1. The VHS box. Scroll back up and look at that shit again...
What a waste.

Check out the previous film's poster:


Can you get more iconic than that? This is probably my favorite slasher poster of all time. Ask any 10 people between the ages of 25 and 50 which poster image comes to mind when they think of these movies and I am willing to bet over half them will say "the one with the knife going into Jason's mask". The other ones will probably mention the one for the first movie. How could they go from something this awesome to the boring uninspired image they came up with? That's not even what Jason's mask has looked like in any of the movies. Remember how I said I couldn't find a decent sized image? That's because it's lame. It took me two seconds to find a pretty good copy of the one for The Final Chapter, and that's because it's fuckin' bad ass.


2. Jason's look. I know it's not really him, so maybe he's supposed to look like shit, but come on. The way he moves, his mask, etc. All crap.

3. Major hold backs on the gore. I know all these movies were really pillaged as far as the blood and guts were concerned, but I get the feeling this movie had some major trims and if the footage were found and reinserted it would elevate it from "eh...it's ok" status to "pretty damn decent" status.

4. The ending chase sequence is a too drawn out. Once you've seen the movie and you know it's not Jason the last 20 minutes of the movie are extremely grueling and nearly diminish any rewatchability for me.

So there you have it. Jason's Forest Cabin back in full swing. I had fun writing this entry, so please drop me a line if you have any comments. In fact, feel free to submit some of your own pros and cons.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I'm at it again

http://www.monstermania.net/MMC_Guests_Hartford.html

Look at that guest star list. I thought it couldn't get any better.

Coming soon, my thoughts on two notorious Part 5's
Friday the 13th part V: A New Beginning
and
A Nightmare on Elm Street part 5: The Dream Child

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Inside", torture porn, and new school horror

I have returned. Rejoice...

So I just watched Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury's Inside. While I don't consider it the total masterpiece a lot of people are proclaiming it to be, it was pretty decent. The gore was top notch, the acting was decent, and it was pretty suspenseful. As someone who's not a huge fan of many current horror movies I've admittedly only seen a couple of the French films that are being heralded as the saving grace of the modern horror film; High Tension and this one. I can see what all the fuss is about I suppose. No holds barred violence, suspenseful action, and effective plotlines, though that's not to say the plots are without their holes. To find a horror film without any plotholes is pretty rare, though obviously that doesn't stop me from loving them anyway.

The French films do what the so-called "torture porn" films fail to do, and that is to have a plotline which actually delivers and puts it in the confines of a film which harbors some suspense. I think the Saw and Hostel films are some of most boring and annoying horror films I've ever seen, and I'm not the only one who thinks so. I'm a complete gore hound. There's no question about it. Even if a movie is relatively bad, if it has well executed (no pun intended), clever kills and gore effects, it deserves some praise. Some could argue that some of the films I'm slamming, particularly the first Saw film, are clever. I won't argue that Saw, the first one, is pretty decent. They should have stopped there. Rather than having the gore and clever traps and plot twists work together as a way of engrossing the audience in the proceedings, they become the entire bulk of the film. The torture porn films are like the Hollywood equivalent of mall metal. A watered down, boring, passionless, tasteless, facsimile of something far greater than it's portrayed to be by the mainstream. However, like shitty nu/mall metal, these pieces of celluloid regurgitation disguised as real deal horror flicks (I include shitty remakes in this category too, namely TCSM, Black X-Mas, Prom Night, etc) do have two positive after effects I can think of.

1. In the case of the torture porn and other crap films, they expose people to horror, and may thus interest them enough to check out some good ones.

2. In the case of the shitty remake, not only do some people let their curiousity lead them to the original film, but it also means home video companies usually release a special edition of the original film. This happened with My Bloody Valentine, which is awesome, because that movie begged for a DVD with missing scenes.

I feel like an old man sometimes, even at the age of 25. I complain about modern films and music all the time. At least in the case of horror films, making a completely authentic 1970's horror film in this day in age would come off as more sarcastic or ironic than genuine, so I suppose we really do have to adapt to the modern age. At this point, I think the French filmmakers are going to be the ones to keep my eye on. I've seen two movies they've done that aren't terrible, and I might even go so far as to say they're "good". Anyone reading, clue me in to some other ones that are good. I read Irreversible is one to check out. Until the second coming of Lucio Fulci, or until Dario Argento really makes a true return to form, A fellow such as myself may have to rely on the new batch of Frenchmen (and women) to keep my faith in the modern horror film alive.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Monster fucking Mania

It just keeps getting better and better. Some new guests have been announced that are going to bring this con to a level that I don't know if I'm prepared to handle. Betsy Palmer will be making an appearance, and since she's getting quite up there in age, I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't have many cons left in her. I'll also be pleased to meet Steve "the REAL fuckin Jason from Friday Part 2" Dash, and CJ Graham (Jason from Part 6). Definitely two of my favorite Jasons. Jason from Part 3 (Richard Brooker), the dude who played Michael Myers in Halloween 1 and 2, and Sid Haig are also scheduled to attend. Robert Englund and Bruce Campbell basically headlining is really the icing on the cake for this still developing epic event.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Halloween

This isn't really a review per se, but out of all the big horror franchises, I think Halloween is the weakest one. I know I'm not alone in my opinion, but there are some fans who just go completely bananas over these movies. Don't get me wrong, the first Halloween is a total classic and a great archetypal slasher, but the sequels? Give me a break. Crucify me, but in my twisted little horror movie world I envision the Halloween films as the retarded cousin in an otherwise "normal" family of goofy slasher franchises.

As a film, the first Halloween is a landmark. So many things that are now stereotypes of the slasher genre were either borrowed from earlier films like Black Christmas, or legitimately invented here; you know, back when John Carpenter still had a soul.

The sequels on the other hand are totally bland. Halloween II had it's charm, picking up directly where the original left off, but it's still pretty boring (despite having that really cute short blonde haired nurse), and doesn't have any of the drive of the original film. The aspects of plot that were introduced in this film are iconic of the franchise, but I think they ruined it. Michael Myers became a hell of a lot less scary when he started to have even slightest semblance of motive.

Now Halloween III: Season of the Witch is pretty cool. To start with, it has Tom Atkins, who as we all know is friggin' awesome. Along with that, the storyline is pretty damn interesting and bizarre and makes for a relatively entertaining film, with the final few minutes giving some obvious nods to the original classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The absence of Michael Myers was obviously the reason for it's failure, but I think it works. It's no masterpiece, but I enjoy watching it once in a while.

Now every other movie in this franchise completely sucks in my opinion. Starting with part 4, I get the obvious impression they were trying to turn this into a franchise to rival the likes of Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm St. The stories are boring, the characters are annoying, and the movies just aren't scary, but it's obvious they really are trying to be. For me, the appeal of Friday the 13th is that the movies aren't scary (with the exception of some creepy moments here and there). Though they are trying to be scary, they fail miserably but in the most glorious way possible. The characters, particularly in the first four movies have real color and are fun to watch get murdered, especially with the glorious death scenes the franchise used to provide. From the get go, Halloween was too psychological and moody to try and be a slasher franchise and it just doesn't work for me. Admittedly, part 4 is the most watchable of the sequels (other than part 3), but nearly unwatchable compared to pretty much every Jason and Freddy flick.

I'd rather watch Friday the 13th part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan than most any Halloween besides the original anyday. You feel what I'm sayin? This may sound like complete Jason fanboy nonsense, but I know many people who share this opinion so I know I'm not alone. I guess I just don't understand the love Halloween fans have for the franchise when I see so many boring inconsistent films. Seriously, Parts 5 and 6 are awful. Then again, those fans are really die hard and probably don't get why my boy Jason is so much more popular. Maybe they like it that way, loving the underdog of the slasher franchises; maybe it makes them feel more connected to it. That's saying something I suppose. But seriously, does anyone REALLY think H20 or especially Halloween: Resurrection are good films? I mean even in a charmingly stupid slasher way...

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Defenders of the Faith

A far cry from a post about horror films, but I really felt like compiling my list of the 10 greatest Judas Priest songs of the 1980's. There must be plenty of horror fans out there who love Judas Priest as much as I do, so hopefully someone will enjoy this.

Photobucket

10) You've Got Another Thing Coming
Yeah it's on here...
Some fans really don't like this song all that much, probably because it still seemingly defines Priest for the casual mainstream rock radio listener. Despite this, it's a great song. Great lyrics that work for the same reason many of their anthems of independence work so well. What's so effective about the song for me is how especially in the pre-chorus Ian Hill thunders on his open notes with Tipton and Downing playing a different chord progression entirely; but of course any chrod progression is different from Ian Hill's playing, since you know, he's only playing one note and all. It adds tension and really builds the song. This song isn't really that heavy, certainly not fast, and is relatively tame, but it always pumps me up.

9) Desert Plains
This is a track that took me a while to appreciate. Point of Entry seems to be one of the most hated records in the whole Priest canon, but it does have a few good songs, this being one of my favorites.

8) Grinder
Absolutely ferocious. Lyrics that spoke to those of us who strive for independence, and it has an air of rebellion that really resonates with fans. I can't even imagine how heavy the "breakdown" in this song was in 1980. Groundbreaking.

7)Rock Hard, Ride Free
By the time Defenders of the Faith was released it must have been clear that Dave Holland was a complete slouch behind the drum kit. This song is a true example of this. I wouldn't be surprised if I found out it was a drum machine on many of the tracks on the record, as they have some of the most mechanical and uninspired beats in rock history. Despite this, many of these songs have become undeniable Judas Priest classics, and some of the best material of their career. This track has some insanely memorable riffs, and is a runner up for my favorite Tipton and Downing solos of all time. Tight, emotional, and classic. One of Halford's best vocal performances in my opinion. This is an anthem.

6) The Rage
Relatively under appreciated gem of a song and one of my personal favorites. Absolutely crushing lead riff, with some lyrics that make nearly no sense. Based on the odd reggae-esque opening and middle section, possibly the most interesting song on British Steel.

5) Heading Out to the Highway
This is probably one of the greatest road songs of all time. It's not particularly "metal", as it really just sounds like a straight ahead mid paced rocker; but it's incredibly catchy and some amazing vocals by Halford. Best song on the Point of Entry album by far, but few would argue that.

4)Freewheel Burning
How could we forget. This is the real deal; Judas Priest completely pure and unleashed. What can I say about this song that hasn't been said already? It's unbridled aggression and energy, but it's fun and catchy at the same time. Essential.

3) Devil's Child
It's getting really hard to place these songs in order now. This track just can't be denied. The vocal climax before the final verse is easily one of the finest performances of Rob Halford's career. When I saw these guys last summer their performance of this song was undoubtedly the highlight for me. It is classic Priest, pure and simple.

2) The Sentinel
Despite once again displaying some relatively bland drumming from Dave Holland, this song absolutely shreds. From the heavy as hell opening guitar riff, to the driving verse and menacing chorus, this song bleeds Judas Priest. The dueling twin guitar solos are Tipton and Downing at the top of their game. When I want someone to really understand why I love Judas Priest, I play Sinner from Unleashed in the East, and this track. It's an absolute scorcher and exhibits a peak in songwriting craft.

1) The Hellion/Electric Eye
Some of the greatest most driving riffs in heavy metal history right here. Priest hit it big with British Steel, induced quite a few yawns with the understandably disappointing Point of Entry, and returned to top form with Screaming for Vengeance. The perfect opener to one of Priest's most perfect records. From the snarling and menacing opening, The Hellion, to the classic solo of Electric Eye, this was the perfect way for Priest to show us that the style of Point of Entry was not here to stay and they were back, literally Screaming for Vengeance.

So there you have it. While my favorite era of the Priest is the 70's, they were not to be fucked with in the 1980's either. You'll notice there were no songs from 1986's Turbo or 1988's Ram it Down. While I don't outright hate these albums and enjoy some songs from them, I limited my list to 10 and those songs just don't hold up to the ones I've chosen, in my opinion. If this were a to 15 I may have also included Out in the Cold from Turbo and the title track from Ram it Down. Soon enough I'll be posting another horror entry, but until then, keep rocking.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Whilst looking through other horror blogs I started to realize that most of them reflect the writers' particularly taste in horror, be it mostly obscure Z-Grade flicks, 70's exploitation, slasher films, etc. It's pretty great to be able to keep my eye on a number of different writers having an idea of what to expect a review of. Maybe once this thing gets a little more established with a few more weeks of entries, someone might notice some genre consistencies, but I really don't see it happening that way. Mostly because my love of horror is fairly all encompassing and as such may appear erratic. Sure I'm a huge fan of Italian gorefests, but I'm also a big American slasher fan. You'll also find me contemplating the morbid genius of David Cronenberg's films a lot of times.

That said, I'd like to know what your favorite sub genre of horror is, if you have one.

A "real" post to follow tomorrow.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

...

I have almost no "followers" (yet?), but for those who read this, excuse the lack of posts as of late. Either tonight or tomorrow there will be something for me to yell about.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Last House on the Left "remake"

Yeah the very concept of this one really confused me. The original is a film that is classic and so completely impossible to repeat. It's amateurish, sleazy, graphic, and actually is truly shocking and scary. Pretty much the embodiment of everything today's mainstream horror, and ESPECIALLY remakes, is/are not. It's atmosphere and mood can not be repeated, nor should it be attempted. Just like most of the other recent (last 10 years or so) remakes, this movie was created to cash in on the name. It's a legendary film with a notorious reputation, so it's easy to exploit. Hollywood has created a new non-underground kind of exploitation film for the new millenium: the "remake". I can picture a bunch of dickmouths sitting around an office discussing how to make a shit ton of money, making stupid movies exploiting the titles of great landmark movies that actually had artistic vision, or at least actually were shocking and sleazy.

It makes so little sense it's almost genius...

This is how I see it:
Exploitation films were very often horror films and followed on the heels of a film or group of films that were extremely successful because it expanded the boundaries of film by introducing a subject or concept that hadn't been touched upon, and presented them in way that was shocking, as well as sometimes offensive and unsettling. Obviously there's tons of subgenres, some insanely specific (nunsploitation anyone?), but now there's a whole genre of exploitation dedicated to remaking old exploitation? What the hell? These guys seriously have no interesting ideas, otherwise they'd at least be coming up with NEW film titles, writing midly original plotlines, and making films that were just new school exploitation ripoffs.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a fan of the so called "torture porn" films, but at least the "Saw" and "Hostel" films are their own entities and don't require the name of a classic flick to supposedly sell tickets. I don't know many young horror fans, but I bet plenty of them have never even heard much about "Last House on the Left", let alone seen it, so what's the point in using the name?

I'm baffled.

Note: I originally started this post as a comment in response to Phil's review of the new film, but it got fairly drawn out as one can see. Check out his blog for the full monty. It's on my reading list to the right there, but here's the link http://grimhorror.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Big Monster Mania Connecticut News

Bruce Campbell has been added to the list of confirmed guests for the show in June. Freddy and Ash. Joining him will be the three ladies from the original "The Evil Dead"; Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, and Sarah York. Life is good.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Daria Nicolodi Appreciation Post



Seriously, have you ever seen a more major babe than Daria Nicolodi? I sure as hell haven't. In her day I would have to count her among the most beautiful women I've ever seen. Sadly, she hasn't aged as well as one might hope, and while not quite 60, she certainly looks a bit older. Ever seen "The Third Mother"? What she saw in a gremlin like Argento is beyond me. Well, you know, besides his incredible artistic sense and absolute genius that is...

I chose two images from Bava's final film "Shock" to display her beauty. I really don't think she's ever looked better on screen than in that movie.



Her magnificent appearance aside, she was a pretty damn decent actress and was also co-writer on "Suspiria", which gives her a lot of credibility in my book. Even if Argento's movies don't always have the most coherent storylines, those storylines are usually what allow him to present us with the amazing setpieces, atmospherics and brilliant music he uses. Regardless of how much sense the stories make, they sure turn out to be incredible films in the end. If Nicolodi had something to do with what is in my opinion Argento's most visually accomplished film, she gets a thumbs up from me.

Note: While I consider "Suspiria" the most visually stunning of all Argento's films (meaning that it certainly leaves the most lasting impression) I don't think I'd go so far as to call it my absolute favorite. Though I don't think I could pick a personal favorite at all, as he is probably my favorite director. If you have one, what is your favorite Argento film and why? I'd like to know.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

in the mood for pork...



Damn does this movie suck. However, it is comical enough to sit through once, maybe even twice.

Here's about all I have to say:

This movie has some of the worst acting I've ever seen. Most shitty horror movies I've seen have actors that seem like they are really trying to succeed, but just fail miserably. There's a couple actors in this thing who don't even appear to look like they're trying. Check out Sal (I think?). The most amazingly phony Italian accent ever, but he's one of the ones who appears to be trying. I think that's saying a lot.

There's a lot of swearing in this movie, and most of it, particularly in the earlier part of the movie, is directed towards women. Pretty weird. The fat dude with the mullet wearing the pig nose is a complete douche bag and I can't believe any of these people are friends with him. Even if I was total asshole, which I try not to be, I wouldn't call a girl "bitch" ALL THE DAMN TIME for no reason whatsoever. It's one thing when this type of behavior is meant to generate audience hatred for a character; in turn causing us hope for their quick and brutal murder (see every F13), but in this movie it doesn't seem like that's the intent of his personality. I don't get it.

Being released in 1988, I'm going to assume this was an Evil Dead ripoff. Some other elements, especially the demon make-up design, seem to be inspired (or directly lifted) from Lamberto Bava's "Demons" and it's first sequel as well. I could go on and on about "Demons" but it'll have to wait.

Easily the best part about this movie is Linnea Quigley. I don't know who else could have made a scene where their character sat topless in an empty room putting lipstick all over their face and have it be this entertaining. If you do, by all means let me know.

At one point the only black actor in the film returns from a darkened room looking terrified. One of his friends says "You're as white as a ghost!". I was really pleased that no racially related joke was made here. Even in a newer movie there would be something. Hell, in the new Friday the 13th film there's a light-hearted, yet retarded exchange between two of the characters regarding race.

I really don't have anything else to say. It's late, I'm tired, and this movie hardly inspires creativity. I'll come up with something with a tad more substance next time. Once again, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the movie, so feel free to comment.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

5 of my favorite things about "Silent Night, Deadly Night"

If you haven't seen this movie, there's either something really wrong with you, or you're really lucky. I can't decide which, and I doubt I ever will...












1) Grandpa
Need I say more? The picture says it all. Easily one of the most bizarre characters I've ever seen, I can imagine his scene giving kids nightmares, nevermind Santa Claus chopping people up with an axe.
















2) Abusive Mother Superior
Yet again, the picture tells you all that I could possibly express in words. Using this angle for the shot and giving us an up close and personal looks on the boys face just makes it seem wrong, like it was supposed to have been used in a bondage film. If I hadn't seen this movie, I might be inclined to think the nun was supposed to be doing something other than smacking the kids' ass with a belt, at least based on this photo. I don't think I dare state what the act might be, as it may seek to further accelerate my already destined journey into Hell; if such a place existed.

3) The "New Job" at the Toy Store Montage
I unfortunately don't have a photo to go with this one, nor would any still photo do it justice. I can't even explain it, just watch the movie. The music is amazing, as is the facial expressions of Billy's boss as he recognizes his new employee's great work ethic. What acting! One of my favorite things about this scene is looking at all the X-Mas 1984 toys on display. Perhaps a testament to this movies' reputation as being anti-Christmas and anti-Christian, I found myself strangely attracted to the veritable wall of Star Wars toys in this scene. I almost felt as though the film makers were corrupting my mind by replacing the Golden Calf of Bible lore and implanting my mind with a new, better, plastic idol. I don't believe in the Lord, I believe in Jabba. Damn, how do I dream up this shit?

4) The Carolers
Just before Linnea Quigley gets her topless bod impaled on a mounted deer head, we're treated to a scene featuring some carolers outside the house. There's one girl in particular who makes some of the weirdest facial expressions I've ever seen. Look, we know you're not really singing, and the harder you try to make it look like you are, the more it looks like you have Bell's Palsy.


















5) Linnea Quigley

Before she took off her clothes for us and danced on gravestones (then turned into a Zombie), Ms. Quigley took of her clothes for us and got impaled on mounted reindeer heads. Isn't it odd that this is the only murder related inclusion to the list? Besides the obvious, what makes me love this scene even more is that the new Friday the 13th film blatantly ripped it off, as I already stated in an earlier post. It's better here though. And not just because it's Linnea fuckin' Quigley.

And there you have it, 5 of my favorite things about "Silent Night, Deadly Night". Definitely check this movie out if you haven't already, because I really haven't ruined any of the plot and reading this will probably confuse the hell out of you.


Note: Despite multiple edits, I couldn't seem to get the placement and spacing for the pictures and their captions quite right. I'm still getting the hang of this.em>

Friday, February 27, 2009

It was little and brown and low to the ground!


I'm going to talk about one of the greatest, yet misunderstood horror films of all time.

PHANTASM.
This one has a special place in my heart. The complaints I often hear are that the special effects are bad and that the acting is terrible. In all actuality, neither of these statements are true. The special effects, while amateurish, are an impressive feat due to the budget constraints of the picture, and besides that, they have a charm which also goes for the acting. Some people just don't understand what makes this movie special, and I'll try to explain it as well as I possibly can.
This is not only a story about mutant dwarfs, flying silver drill spheres, and tall alien undertakers, it's a story about fear of loss. Not just loss through death, but also due to abandonment. This themes of the movie make it something you can relate to and a little more multi-faceted than a typical late 70's early 80's American horror film. While true, none of the actors were going to give Dustin Hoffman a run for his money and attempt to the 1979 Academy Award from him, they aren't terrible, and they play their roles convincingly. Particularly an actor like Reggie Banister, who portrays the role of (you said it) Reggie, there's a genuine quality to the acting that can't be matched, regardless of acting ability. I care about these characters.
Ever seen the sequels? I really don't care about those. Some people scorn me, telling me that "Part 3 is far superior", or "Hell, Part 2 is the greatest of them all". I've seen some of them (not sure how many there are), and frankly, I'm just not overly excited by them. They definitely advance the storyline and expand upon the mythology, but the emotional thrust of the first film just isn't there. Part 3 had some moments that come close, but then Jody turns into a sphere and it distracts me.
What makes Phantasm work is it's lack of explanation. So many things are left to the imagination. Some might say this is because the writing was half finished and Coscarelli didn't know how to tie up loose ends and/or explain some of the things he put on screen, but I say it's because things are creepier when left for your mind to ponder (having the faces of the dwarf's constantly revealed in sequels was a bad decision says this observer). Really though, this is a strange movie. It's completely off the wall. It takes you completely out of your comfort zone in the realm of fantasy/horror because nothing in this movie exists anywhere else. Check this movie out if you haven't already. Even if you don't like it, you won't be able to deny that it is an absolute original.
I'm not sure if anyone is reading this thing (yet?), but I'd love to hear your thoughts on Phantasm, particularly the original, but the sequels as well. Leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monster Mania 2009

http://www.monstermania.net/MMC_Guests_Hartford.html

This convention is going to be damn awesome and I'm really excited about it. Especially since I'll be meeting John fuckin' Saxon. I've liked every movie I've seen him in, from the obvious Nightmare on Elm Street, to Tenebre (one of my favorites), to Enter the Dragon, and Black Christmas. Legendary actor. Pretty psyched for the other as of now announced guests. Looking forward to meeting some new people as well. Drop a comment if you're planning on going to this event.

Friday the 13th Redux? hmmm

These are two posts I made on myspace. Both are regarding the Friday the 13th "remake". No shit right? Well as made obvious by it's date, the first one was made upon seeing it's trailer, and the second speaks for itself. Behold...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"This is a god damned abomination. I just watched the trailer on youtube, which I'd been delaying doing for quite a while, as I knew I was not going to be happy. Eventually, everyone online mentioning this movie wore me down, and I had to watch the trailer, despite knowing how much it would piss me off.

To start things off (and in fact to end all hopes of this being a halfway decent movie), it was produced by Michael fuckin' Bay and directed by the douchebag who made the Texas Chainsaw remake. What a bunch of shit. I'm not going to lie, there were maybe 3 memorable scenes in the prequel to the Texas Chainsaw remake (yeah, what the fuck?) "The Beginning", though that was only because R. Lee Ermey is fucking awesome and made that movie worth sitting through, if only to fast forward to his scenes and puke on the rest. But for Michael Bay to do this again makes my blood boil. As if the guy wasn't a big enough hack to begin with (can anyone say Armageddon? How about Pearl Harbor?) why does he have to start ruining horror as well? He already ruined popcorn munching explosion toting action flicks. And to add insult to injury the assface is in preproduction on YET ANOTHER remake, this time of "A Nightmare on Elm Street". Are you kidding me? What are these people thinking? (edit 2/24/09: I've heard that Robert Englund will not be playing Freddy Krueger, and that they want to cast an unknown. However, I have heard rumours saying Billy Bob Thornton will be playing Freddy, which is hilarious.)

Now I hate remakes, though I will admit that there a couple good ones out there (The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers come to mind). Some horror films originally had a decent idea but the end product is a piece of shit, and these films might benefit from a remake. However, these films should be handled by producers and directors who actually UNDERSTAND THE GENRE and will treat it with the care it deserves. What would possess someone to think "Okay, we have one of the most established and popular horror franchises of all time, instead of making a new sequel let's just do a remake. Oh excuse me, I mean reimagining...". I smell bullshit. This goes for all the Bay helmed remakes, which includes to aforemention Friday, Chainsaw, and Nightmare "reimaginings", as well as the god forsaken "Amityville Horror" film.

Seriously, is this a joke?

Now honestly, I probably will see this Friday the 13th remake at some point. I just have to. If it were free to see it in the theatre I would go, but I couldn't morally respect myself if I paid to see it. So I'll wait a couple months and download it and piss myself off all over again, likely with a new blog entry. I really don't feel like there's a way I can avoid seeing it. I know this comparison has been drawn a million times about a million things, but it's like a car wreck, you can't help but want to see it. These remakes remove EVERYTHING that made the originals great and we are left with a pale comparison that just vaguely resembles the original. In Texas Chainsaw, the only similarity was the fact that the murderers name was Leatherface. That's it. From what I could gather, Friday isn't even about camp counselors, it's about some kids heading to someone's house on the lake, and it ends up being next to Camp Crystal Lake. Hmmm sounds like Friday the 13th part 3. Is this a remake of that? I hope not, because unless it has Larry Zerner reprising the thankless but legendary and timeless role of Shelly, we're in for a big dissapointment."

Things get a little bit hairy here. And by hairy, I mean whiny. But please, read on...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"I saw it last night. Yeah, I know. I got a free ticket coupon when I bought the 2 disc DVD set "His Name was Jason", which puts the special features on the Paramount "Crystal Lake to Manhattan" 8 movie box set to shame. To top it off the DVD was 10 bucks, and it came with essentially a free movie ticket. I'm sucker for this type of shit. I love horror movies, and I've seen a lot of horrible ones. Not very many of the new remakes though, as I hate them based on principle. After I saw the Texas Chainsaw one I turned my back on that shit, though R. Lee Ermey's scenes in "The Beginning", the prequel to the remake (uhh WTF?), are worth watching. It took me a lot of coaxing from a respected fellow horror fan to watch "The Hills Have Eyes" remake so I finally borrowed his DVD. It wasn't horrible. The gore was good, the pace was good and it was actually sort of like a remake, rather than purely using the name. However, I definitely caught a similar vibe to the current mainstream horror trend of the "Saw" series, the "Hostel" films, Wolf Creek, etc, and those types of movies bore the shit out of me.The thing about these movies is that horror fans "real" or not, go to see them. And that generates money, which is what the film makers are after. Fans can make as many web petitions as the want demanding that film makers stop doing remakes, but the only thing that will truly stop it is when the filmgoing public stop putting millions upon millions of dollars into their hands and hand them the petition instead. ha!
anyway...

I posted this review-esque thing on IMDB.com, and thought maybe some of my friends might want to hear my thoughts on this new flick.Due to all my complaints you might have to wonder why I put myself through watching this film. Well, like I said, I'm a sucker for these movies and I just had to see it. I normally would have waited until it was out of the theatre and downloaded it, but I had a free ticket. come on...go easy on me.First things first, Michael Bay is a hack. Have you seen "Pearl Harbor"? nuff said. The man has no shame.However, this move wasn't as crappy as I feared it might be. I wouldn't say I liked it, and I had negative thoughts going into it attached to the aforementioned douchebag Bay, and the fact that it's another "remake", but I've seen worse (TCM 2003). The actors, while not the worst in the series, were definitely too pretty, and the boys looked straight out of an Abercrombie ad. Boring. The multiple sets of fake tits (the actress who played Bree, I think hers were real) definitely ruined any idea of this film having realistic characters. I've never met one girl who had fake tits, let alone seen 3 on the same vacation.

Jason.
He looked and moved better on screen than I've seen in a while. The look in particular hasn't been this good since part 8, and even that paled in comparison to part 7. Hail Buechler. Definitely improved from Freddy vs. Jason, as well as the god awful Jason X, which I admittedly have seen less than half of due to how retarded it is. My opinion is that Jason's looks in Jason X and Freddy vs. Jason are the worst in the whole series. The kills in this new movie were relatively okay, at least compared to those films. However, they weren't especially memorable, and therefore they certainly weren't great. A very back-to-basics approach though. Screwdriver or whatever the hell through the neck of the annoying Asian kid, fireplace poker through the cops head, not bad. The fact that the girl who is pretty much the lead dies is quite awesome. One annoying kill was the deer antlers to the back. I groaned when I saw this scene. Go watch "Silent Night, Deadly Night". You'll see why. It's been done before and it made a lot more sense in the context of that movie. SNDN sucks too, but in a different way. You like it because it sucks.The scenes that didn't involve Jason murdering people were not interesting to me and I actually considered walking out more than once. Scenes that come to mind were when the fuckface pretty boy teens are wandering around rich boy's lake house getting high and drinking budweiser, and even more during the retarded topless wakeboarding scene. But then Jason put an arrow through a guys head and I calmed down a bit. However, the wakeboarding girls' actual death was extremely predictable easily the worst of the movie, despite some of the others being a little more simple in their initial set up.

The plot about the kid looking for his missing sister was ANNOYING. I know Jason loves his mom, but him keeping her alive because she had a locket around her neck and reminded him of her was ludicrous. Yes I have seen part 2, but even though Ginny briefly fooled him by putting on Mrs. Voorhees' sweater, he didn't capture her and chain her up in his underground lair (yeah, what?).

This movie should have dropped Michael Bay (the remake machine), dropped all concept of it being a "reimagining", dropped the origin elements such as finding the mask, and called itself "Friday the 13th part fuckin' 11" (yeah not counting F vs J as a sequel) and we would have a halfway decent new entry into the series, going back to the classic simple way the films were from parts 1 through 4. This movie feels sort of like a Friday the 13th movie, but it's obviously not a remake, so why not give it a title that fits it? It's too much like the horrid "Texas Chainsaw" Bay produced and this guy directed a number of years ago. A movie that has almost nothing to do with the original except for some characters (in TCM's case, one friggin' character). Too many non Jason related jump scares, Two dimensional uninspired music that doesn't harken back to classic F13 themes at all (most of it sounds like reused TCM remake music), and annoyingly pretty actors.

There was enough original stuff in this movie, other than the massive flaws, and the guy who played Jason did a good job that they really could have billed this as a sequel and it would be just as successful. At the theatre last night both the 9:30 and the 9:40 shows were sold out. and I bet the show before that was too. The lines went outside, and it was damn cold. a lot of different age groups were showing up for this movie and even the younger ones were asking if this was going to be a remake, since they didn't know a lot about it. So obviously they could have made a sequel and it I think it would have been far more satisfying. I had to see it, but I won't sit through it again. oh yeah. Spoiler alert.
remakes suck.

3/10"

Welcome

After enjoying myself posting a few blog entries on myspace (mostly related to horror, and mostly related to how shitty the concept of horror remakes are), I've decided to start a "real" blog. Whatever that means. I'll try to keep my complaining to a minimum, and when it comes to reviews I won't spoil the whole movie, I'll try to only spoil the best parts. Yeah I know, you're welcome.
I'll be starting by reposting a blog or two from myspace that I think will fit well here, and go from there.

Anyone reading this blog should already know the meaning of it's title. Easily the coolest thing in Friday the 13th Part 2, Jason's "house" is unbelievably awesome, and makes Part 2 a true standout of the series, and my personal favorite. Seriously, how cute is it that Jason made a little window, and seriously, is the door/curtain for the bathroom neccessary? Did Jason like to entertain guests? Well, guests he wasn't planning on murdering and who he didn't want seeing his mutant ass? I wish they'd made a movie all about the place.

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21st century rocker with a multi-track mind.

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