Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cins Favorite Movies of the Decade - Part 5: The Final Six!

Okay! The final installment!
So Hang onto your seats folks! Here we go with the last six movies for the decade that I didn't think sucked!


No particular order than Chronological:

Repo: The Genetic Opera

This movie combined two of my all time favorite things in the world, horror films and show tunes. And they said it couldn't be done! Okay, the horror musical is not something one would consider original but Repo took the idea, bumped it up a notch into edgy rock, and added a great post apocalyptic story. While I wouldn't consider the music to be Tony award winning it IS catchy and fun. Also, Sarah Brightman shoots hologram lasers out of her eyes....every movie should have that.


Would you consider this a horror film? I'm not sure really. But the gore is definitely on horror film level. Doomsday is a extremely over the top end of the world tale that dares to ask "What would happen if Soccer hooligans took over the world?" If does get a smidge slow when they get to the medieval castle but it makes up for it with the AWESOME car chase afterwards. Also, Eden Sinclair is one of the biggest bad ass women since Ripley from Aliens.

Zombie Strippers

Holy Shit...HOLY SHIT! Boobs and Clown Gore. That's really all this movie is about. But really, you don't need much else when a movie is called Zombie Strippers. That's all I have to say about that.

Drag Me To Hell

Sam Raimi shows that he STILL has it! Has Spiderman softened him? Naaaah. Drag me to Hell is vintage Raimi using comedy and horror to create a truly unique story, endearing characters, and the best Customer Service Nightmare Scenario ever. I equally laughed and screamed at this movie. This one is definitely going into the DVD collection.

30 Days of Night

Yes, I know what you're all thinking.."Cins, You wrote an article about how you were disappointed in this movie. WHY the Hell did you put it on your list?"
Well I have a very good reason..well in my mind a very good reason. I believe that if I didn't read the books first, I would have loved it! Alas, my main problem with this movie was the adaptation between the book and film. The film itself though its very well done. So if you venture towards this film, watch it first, then read the book later . Also, you have to admit, despite the failings of the adaptation story wise, the vampires were spot on and wonderful. Next to Near Dark, they are my favorite interpretation of vampires in a film. That alone earns this movie a spot on my list.


And to cap off my list of the decade...A ZOMBIE FILM! A fantastic zombie film at that! Zombieland may not be as good as Shaun of the Dead in my eyes but if definitely comes in a close second. This movie isn't so much about the zombies, but about the journey and growing each character takes. Not to mention, Woody Harrelson steals the show as Tallahassee. His performance is worth the ticket price alone.

So that's it! The list is done! Huzzah!

Of course, while researching my list I came to the crashing conclusion that I have missed out on a lot of great films out there. So I've made yet ANOTHER list so I can attempt to catch up on the great films that came out. I still need to see Grace, Dead Girl, The Orphanage, My Name is Bruce and TONS of other films.

Until then, folks, happy New Year! We'll see you in 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cins Favorite Movies of the Decade -Part 4: The New Blood

I am BACK from the holidays! And much fun was had by all!...I really have nothing more to say than that simply because my brain is still a little too fried to be witty.

Do have a quick shout out to the winners of the art work and prints for the Saw contest. Sorry I've been dragging my ass on getting your prizes to you! The holidays have been hectic. But I promise I will be sending them out VERY soon! I will contact you privately via email as soon as its in the mail!
I suck, I know. Thanks for being so patient guys!

Since I'm determined to get this damn list finished BEFORE 2010, here's part four of my overview of shit I liked in the last 10 years.

As usual, no real order than Chronological...very loose chronological:

AvP Requiem

If you've been reading this list from the begining, you can probably tell that I have a weakness for schlock. And the AvP movies don't get much schlockier. The first AvP was okay but that whole trying to make it pg-13 and make the Predator's heroic really didn't do it any favors. So when AvP returned and was rated R, I was very Gung Ho. No real plot, just lots of awesome carnage that the original films gave us. Yes, it did cheapen the profound awesomeness of the original Alien and Aliens but I'm willing to forgive that simply because this movie let an Alien lose in a nursery. It was like watching a fat tourist with a free pass to a Vegas buffet.


Not only one of my favorite horror movies of the decade but one of my favorite movies of ALL TIME. Seriously. I think this was due to the awesome theatrical experience I had seeing this movie. Its a fun double feature with zombies, hot chicks, guns, gore, great fake trailers, and some kick ass women characters. I usually get chastised for this but I actually liked Death Proof more than Planet Terror. No self respecting zombie lover would admit that, I know. I can't help it. Those chicks just KICK ASS.


This was recommended by Johnny over at Freddy In Space. Its a fun homage film to the great 80's slasher films. Not only a great homage but it has enough originality for it to stand on its own. Victor Crowley has a great mythical back story and Kane Hodder, as usual, performs fantastically. So even if you know jack about 80's slasher films, this one will still be a great ride. It also has cameos from many horror film legends. Can you spot them all?

Paranormal Activity

...GOD I love this movie! It takes a lot, and I mean A LOT for a film to get to me. And this movie GOT TO ME. It preys off some of my biggest fears; Demon possession, helplessness, and your loved one not being who you think they are. This combined with the realism of the shakey camcorder style and very real characters creates a formula that will keep Cins awake for three nights. I am going out TODAY to pick this up on DVD. LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!


Another shakey cam movie. And what I believe to be the BEST in the sub genre. Shakey cam and zombies. A perfect combo! I was lucky to stumble upon [REC] when Johnny tossed this to me as a recommendation. The man KNOWS my style! [REC] is relentless in its terror and uses the camera and the setting to its advantage in every way possible. It also has one of the best closing sequences in the horror film ever. The only movie ever to make my husband jump. This one you HAVE to see.


And the third shakey cam film on my list. Both Paranormal Activity and [REC] are superior to this but you really can't knock that its just a fun movie. What I liked was how J.J. Abrams took the monster movie and made it revolve around the poor suckers who were stuck in the path rather than focus on the government or scientists we usually see. I also loved the weird and wacky design of the monster...and I finally got my plushie of it! Oh Happy Christmas indeed!

Dance of the Dead

It seems like a good chunk of this list is dedicated to zombie films. What can I say? I'm a zombie lovin' freakazoid. Dance of the Dead takes the awkwardness of a high school prom and adds zombies. And this made it awesome. I enjoyed my prom but I think zombies would have probably made it more interesting. It has some really great characters including a survivalist gym teacher and a zombie sex scene in a restroom stall. I There's a lot to like about this movie.

Let The Right One In

This is a beautiful and poetic film. Everything about this movie from the dialog to the cinematography was carefully used to invoke a feeling of melancholy that was both sad and lovely. They also casted children in this film that looked like real children which made the story hit you even harder. Less of a horror film and more of a drama with supernatural elements, this movie really changes the way you looks at vampires.

The Midnight Meat Train

Blood, Demons, and Clive Barker. Awwwwww Yeah baby! Okay, well I'm not sure if they were demons but still! This movie was a pleasant surprise for me. The CGI did go a little overboard but it seemed to work for the style. It also created quite an iconic horror villain with Mahogany (Vinnie Jones can convey more with an eye twitch then most actors can with their whole body). Not Clive's best but its signature Barker and has the same intimate feel that Hellraiser had.


I stumbled upon Otis by accident. I still have no idea how this ended up in my Netfix cue. This films is a fantastic satire of the torture porn genre. Even if you're not into torture porn comedy...which I think this is the only film that falls into the it for Illeana Douglas's performance. She's amazing hilarious in this movie.

And there's part 4!

Part five will be short, I promise. Six more movies to go!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cins' Favorite Movies of the Decade - Part 3 The Reconning

Aaaand We're back with our third installment of shit Cindy liked during the decade!

This will also be my last post until after Christmas. I'll be jumping on a plane tonight and spending the week with my family. And since my parents' computer is older than God, I probably won't have much access to the interwebs.
Just FYI-ing case you're eager to read the rest of this insanity.

So on we go.

Once again, no real order than chronologically:

Land of the Dead

I know a lot of people didn't really like this one but I think it has a certain charm. That and I like John Leguizamo. Romero made the zombies more sympathetic than the humans in this movie and frankly, that's the reason I liked it so much. I was definitely rooting for Big Daddy and his crew to go in and eat some of those asshats in Fiddler's Green.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

This is a great tongue in Cheek mockumetary on Slashers that I really enjoyed. It never got too full of itself and it never outright said "Oh look how clever we are!". It was a fun, sometimes funny, sometimes scary, and very endearing movie about a guy rising to slasher fame. Its worth seeing for Nathan Baesel's performance as Leslie. He's both frighting and adorable.

Black Sheep

I really don't have a lot to say about this movie other than there are killer zombie sheep and a lot of sheep fucking jokes. Yes, I'm juvenile but its fucking funny, Okay?!


Probably the most heart warming zombie film ever created. Its as if Lassie, and the '...of the Dead' films had an adorable love child. This paired with a witty script and an amazing design makes Fido one of my most beloved zombie movies. Not scary, but freakin' adorable!

The Host

I considered this a movie grenade. I wasn't sure if I liked it much when I first saw it. But after some repeat viewings, it has grown on me a lot. I loved the monster in this and the monster attack sequences are brilliant! But the best part of the film is the battle royal at the end between the monster and its kidnap victim's family. Archery is badass.

Silent Hill

I go on and on about this one. I was a big fan of the game back in the day when Nojh and I had time to visit each other and play it. Not only is it a pretty darn good depiction of the game, it stays true to its freaky horror nature. Silent Hill is beautifully grotesque and atmospheric. The music and sound design gives me chills. And the lead characters are four bad ass (or Batshit crazy) women. I absolutely love this horror film.


Jack MacReady: It's obvious the bastard's got lyme disease!

Bill Pardy: What?

Jack MacReady: Lyme disease. You touch some deer feces, and then you... eat a sandwich without washin' your hands. You got your lyme disease!

Bill Pardy: And that makes you look like a squid?

Furthering my love of Nathan Fillion beyond Firefly. Is he this generations Bruce Campbell? Perhaps SO! Rednecks in peril is always a fun time. Slither has a great cast, hilarious dialog, and some fantastic creatures...oh and a woman explodes before eating a possum. GOOD TIMES!

The Wicker Man

...Okay...Here me out...Seriously. I mean it! Seriously! This movie sucked ass. It sucked SO much ass that I'm surprised it doesn't make an appearance in gay porn. Having said that, I have never had more fun watching a movie drunk off my ass than this one. Seriously folks, have you SEEN this movie lit like a roman candle!? Everything Nicolas Cage does in this from karate kicking Leelee Sobieski in the face to punching a woman whilst wearing a bear suit, to screaming "Don't Put Tha Bees In Mah Helmet!!" is COMEDY GOLD! Here's the thing, you need to get drunk and I mean REALLY drunk to see this film. Then invite some friends over and get them really drunk as well. There is NO way in Hell I could sit through this autopsy alone and sober. And don't use beer. We're talking HARD LIQUOR here folks! I recommend doing this ONLY for the brave, the masochistic, and those with a liver of steel.
Or you can just find the best parts of this movie on Youtube. Same thing.


I did an article on this film when we first started the blog, and my opinion still stands. 1408 is a wonderful ghost story with a less is more approach about it. Its pretty much The Shinning's younger, more bitchy brother. A writer, played wonderfully by John Cusack dares to stay a night in the haunted room and bad shit, VERY bad shit happens. I love its simplicity.

28 Weeks Later

While I don't think its as good as 28 Days Later, this one is still pretty damn awesome. 28 Weeks Later takes out most of the optimism that the first film had and presents us with a "Yup, we're fucked" attitude. Its action/horror sequences are amazing. Even if you're not a fan of zombie films this one is worth watching for the opening sequence and the scene in the tube station. HOLY CRAP!

And that's Part three! Part four and five will be joining us after Christmas week. Until then, I hope all you folks have an excellent Holiday!

And Stac, don't play too rough with them.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cins' Favorite Movies of the Decade - Part 2 Eletric Booglaoo

AAAAND we're back! And the list continues! As you can see, my taste runs the gamut here. But then I'm not a very picky person at times...Okay I'm picky enough to know that Diary of the Dead and The Unborn sucked ass and will not be making an appearance on this list.
So on we go!

Once again, no particular order than somewhat chronological:

A controversial film, yes! Controversial depending on which side of the remake debate you are on. I tend to be mildly indifferent about most remakes which is why this one was a pleasant surprise. In my mind, there was absolutely no way this movie was going to live up to the original. And you know what? It didn't. But going in with that thought I managed to watch the movie with a clean slate and enjoy it. As a stand alone horror film its extremely entertaining and I did enjoy watching our heroine run over then back up and run over again one of our villains.

ANOTHER remake! And I will say this one is one of the more superior remakes out there. What Dawn of lacks in the social commentary the original one had, it MORE than makes up for it in the zombie action sense. They took fast zombies and made them meaner and scarier than 28 Days Later. It also has one of the best opening sequences ever in a horror film. I featured it on 10 minutes of terror. MIGHT be able to consider this a remake. But I have to admit, if you do consider it a remake, its a remake that was FAR superior to the original. Exorcist the Beginning is afterbirth. Plain and simple. Dominion, while not as brilliant as The Exorcist, does a wonderful job keeping with the themes of the original as well as showing us what Father Merrin was before Regan was possessed. But if you look for this look for DOMINION not Exorcist the Beginning...because if you watch the later your face will melt off. Seriously. I've seen it happen.

TOTAL guilty pleasure movie brought to you by Stac! She brought over The Hazing two convergences ago to show me its campy awesomeness. And thats what it is CAMPY AWESOMENESS. The amount of camel toe alone in this film is breath taking. If you're looking for a fun drunken horror movie night film, this is it!

Nasty Gorey Asian Fun! That's really the best way to describe Infection. While its not the best Asian extreme out there, the gore is well done and the visuals are creepy and insane! Worth the rent!

Not a fan of the franchise. I'll admit that. And that is because the other Saw films lack what the original had. The first Saw was a sophisticated, gritty thriller. It more about the situation and less about the traps and THAT was where the terror was. There was gore but not as much as you would be lead to believe looking at the sequels. Jigsaw was an incredible villain, the twist at the end was jaw dropping and countless films after it are STILL trying to imitate it.

Best zombie comedy ever? I do believe so! And every zombie comedy pales in comparison. Shaun of the Dead is a masterpiece with great characters, tons of homages to classic Romero films, and a love story at its core. This is the film I think about whenever there is talk of a real zombie Apocalypse.

This movie really doesn't get enough credit. But then Dark Water is less about spooky ghosts and more about a mother on the edge of a breakdown. Jennifer Connelly's performance is so beautiful and strained as her character struggles with a bitter divorce, having no income, and struggling with her daughter's troubles. The ghost story creates a foil for her breakdown and we're treated to an amazing character study of a woman haunted not only physically, but psychologically as well. Do NOT expect The Ring or The Grudge when going into this. This is something on a whole other level.

Words cannot express my love for this movie. Cramped places, crazy bitches, and creepy ass monsters! And that's just the TIP of the iceberg. The Descent is the only move I've seen that truly captures that horrible sense of claustrophobia and uses it through out the film. The acting is top notch and is one of the few horror films out there that features an all female cast...except maybe those cave lemurs..not sure if they have genitalia.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

I'm a sucker for a good exorcism. I'm sure its because I was brought up Catholic. Part horror film, part court room drama, all engrossing. I found the entire film really intriguing and thought Jennifer Carpenter's performance was outstanding. While it did have some slow parts, it more thank makes up for it with the botched exorcism scene.

So there is Part TWO of my favorites of the decade! And I would guess about two more posts to go. Hang on tight folks!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cins' Favorite Movies of the Decade - Part 1

So the holiday slump has set in I assure you. Life has been crazy busy...and full of booze.

...lots of booze.

But in an attempt to keep things as active as possible, I'll be posting yet another series on the blog. I realized that I have seen some pretty dang good horror in the last decade so why not do a quick "In Review" post? Well that quick in review turned into a list that consists of over 40

And keep in mind this only consists of movies I've seen. I still have movies like "Grace" and "Dead Girl" waiting in my cue. I've never claimed to be on the pulse of the horror movie community. My timing is always off by 6 months to a year, I'll admit it. But I like to think what I lack in variety I make up with good intentions and a mighty fine ass.

...Too much information?

So without further are 10 of my favorites for Part 1.

These are in no particular order other than chronological:

Final Destination
Yes, its total schlock. Yes, it has no point. Yes, its TONS of fun. I really love this movie simply for the creative improbable death scenes. There, I said it. There's really not much more to the film than that and it delivers! And while the sequels get more and more creative with the death scenes, I still feel the first one is the best in the series simply because it was the only one that wasn't a rehash of the same damn story.

Ginger Snaps
So my friend sat me down and told me "Boy, do I have the best pubescent girl werewolf movie for YOU!". And after I shook of the initial WTFery of that statement, I watched Ginger Snaps. I was kinda skeptical at first thinking this was going to be a movie about angsty teens and dramatic werewolves...and it is but its pulled off masterfully. Ginger Snaps delivers a perfect parallel between a girl growing into woman hood and a woman turning into a werewolf. Trust me guys, for some of us chicks, this is what puberty felt like.

Ju-On/The Grudge
Yeah, lumping the two in together simply because they're the same movie overall. And yes, I'm sure I'll get some flack for that but I really loved both Ju-On and The Grudge. Both are delightfully creepy and have some great sounds. That may seem ridiculous but the sound design is a big factor in its scares. Its also one of the few films where not even the sanctuary of your bed is safe from angry little Japanese women in need of a hot oil treatment.

The Devil's Backbone
This is more of a drama than a horror film but it has some frightening moments and one of the most grotesquely beautiful ghosts ever put on film. Guillermo del Toro showed what a masterful film maker he is with this wonderful book end to Pan's Labyrinth. And while Pan's Labyrinth is a better film, The Devil's Backbone is far more raw and frightening. If you haven't seen this movie, DO EEEEET!

The Others
I'm a sucker for ghost stories and British people. The Others wins simply for the amazing tension it creates. Nicole Kidman puts on one of the best performances of her career as the over protective, over zealous mother in a haunted house. The scares in this are all done in a less is more manner using sound, lighting, story, and simple effects. Its a wonderful film full of dread and anxiety.

Session 9
Did a review on this a while back. Stac introduced me to this mind fuck of a movie. Its definitely more of a supernatural thriller than a out and out horror film. Session 9 is a beautiful, creepy, and atmospheric film that never outright tells you what is going on. There are so many theories on what the film's ending really is and each one is valid! Total Mind Fuck!

Thir13en Ghosts
Okay, okay yes. This movie is NOT SCARY. I am fully aware of that. But its just so damn fun I just don't care. Everything from Mathew Lillard's smart ass psychic (who I adore in this movie) to the sassy black nanny is extremely cliche and ridiculous. But the ghosts are fantastic and the glass house is charming in a "that is SO not possible!" way. If you have seen the DVD, the back story of each ghost is great. This one is great for drunken horror movie night.

28 Days Later
This movie is brilliant. Hands down. Danny Boyle took a simple scenario seen before and turned it into a beautiful philosophical film about human companionship and humanity itself. Not to mention he took zombies and made them FUCKING FAST! I don't care who you are, if you saw one of those infected bastards coming at you, you'd shit your pants. It also sparked the debate of if the infected in 28 Days Later are really zombies or not which is always a fun fight to watch at parties.

Bubba Ho-Tep
Bruce Campbell at his finest. This movie only makes me love him more. Bruce steps into a roll that proves to the world that yes, he is more than just a gorgeous chin. The man can act. An ancient mummy comes to a old folks home to feed off the souls of the elderly...and only Elvis and JFK can stop them. Best movie premise ever. But don't let that synopsis fool you, Bubba Ho-Tep is more than just some goofy horror film, it tackles some serious subjects. This movie has a lot of layers.

This movie is the reason I fear people with social problems. Its equal parts heart breaking and FUBAR'd. May's greatness owes a lot to its lead actress Angela Bettis who played the title character so vulnerable you just want to sob. And when she does go on her little rampage at the end, you can't help but feel yourself rooting for her.

Freddy vs Jason
I don't care if you're a hater, I love this movie and I have no problem admitting it. Does that mean I have taste for shit? Perhaps. But come on, we ALL wanted to see these two either fight to the death or make out with each other....okay maybe Stac and I only wanted to see the later. This movie was so lovingly created by people who adore both the Nightmare and Friday franchises that you just can't help but be swept up in their enthusiasm. FvJ was good old fashion fun.

So there are the first 10 on my long list of insanity. And at least forty more to go. So strap in kiddies, its gonna be a long trip!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Animated Christmas Horror


I have been out of commission temporarily due to end of the quarter itis. I finally declared my major (history), and this is the first quarter I've taken as declared; I wrote a lot. A LOT. I think probably around fifty pages, just for the end of the quarter? I like to write, but damn, you guys. DAMN. To add to that, it's (gloriously) butt-wheemingly cold; I went to my final final today (a glorious pairing of words!), and it was, no kidding, two degrees out. Not twenty two, not forty two, TWO. I walk to class. I never get cold, but holy shit, I was cold. It's so frigid here that the steam grates, while still steaming away, have actually grown a healthy beard of hoarfrost. I had no idea that steam and frost could co-exist, but in central Washington it's currently happening. I felt the way Jack Nicholson looked at the end of The Shining by the time I got inside and in front of my space heater.

Before we get into the title of this article, I must give big, wet, lickory kisses to Cins, who did a marvelous job of holding down the blog whilst I was off reflecting on why Bonnie Prince Charlie was actually a douche nozzle. She also observed our first anniversary with a LOVELY drawing, and I just wanna say: Cins, you're awesome. An awesome writer, an awesome artist, and best of all, an awesome friend. Thank you for not only letting me get my shenanigans all over you, but for also actively participating in them!

Now, on to the thrust of this post! I love Christmas horror almost as much as I love Halloween horror. I think it's the juxtaposition between the imagery and then what's going on; in particular I love Christmas set ghost stories. Now I love Christmas, I really do; in fact I'm sitting next to my tree as I type this. But Halloween wasn't that long ago, and I feel like everything is still thin; what is a hazy thought laying in a hammock in July seems so much more real when huddled next to a heater or fireplace in December. Is it a recollection of some kind of shared, genetic recall that winter frequently meant death? Fuck if I know, I just know it's creepy.

There are some really great gems hidden, if you know where to look, and I'm not talking about the obvious choices like Silent Night, Deadly Night or any of its ilk. I'm talking about cartoons.

Specifically this time 'round, I'm talking about two of my favorite animated Christmas specials: the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Billy and Mandy Save Christmas. We've all seen the Grinch, so I'll keep mention of it here minimal: angry, green, fuzzy man decides that he hates Christmas, so no one gets it. This guy is the original creeper, too boot, and steals everything, then learns a valuable lesson about where Christmas is truly housed: in the heart, rendering it accessible to anyone who wants it. It's wonderful, and if you haven't seen it then you're either a cultureless tit or you don't have TBS.

Watch, lest I fuck you up in some fashion.

What I really want to pimp out is Billy and Mandy. This is the Christmas special for the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, and it's sick and hilarious all at once. Ever thought your Christmas special needed more vampires? More Malcolm McDowell? More Malcolm McDowell as a vampire? More Malcolm McDowell as a vampire singing Singing in the Rain, one of the most disturbing nods to pop culture ever seen in what is ostensibly a show for children?

I wanted to show pictures of the amazingly fucked up character design for Baron von Ghoulish, but apparently I'm the only person on our glorious water planet that wants to look at screen captures and giggle at the memory of the terrible American accent Mr. McDowell does at one point. Seriously. It's my favorite part of the whole show.

The gist is this: somehow Santa Claus has been turned into a vampire, and it turns out that Grim (the grim reaper and unwilling slave to the tiny blond tyrant that is Mandy) went to college with Santa. Mrs. Clause calls Grim for help, and the denouement is hilarious and wrong. I'll give you two small tastes: for the first and only time Gilbert Godfry was tapped to voice Santa, and this isn't the first time this has happened to Saint Nick!

It's a great show, and the holiday specials tend to be aces in my book. Cartoon Network tends to show this a lot, so if it's on give it a watch! You'll never look at dustbusters the same way again.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

10 Minutes of Terror: The Exorcist III

Hey Folks!
This one is a short and sweet scene that I feel the need to include in 10 Minutes of Terror. Its actually not even close to being 10 minutes...more like a 58 seconds.
I make it no secret that I absolutely love The Exorcist III. Is it as good as the original? Nope. And yes it DOES have Fabio in an angel costume which is just fucking weird.
But I really feel that the Exorcist III tried its best to keep the feel of the original Exorcist and for the most part, it succeeded.
But I digress. This post is about my favorite scene in the film. The Nurse Station Scene aka., The White Sheet Scene.

Lets take a look.

This moment happens right after the nurse in the red sweater goes to check on a patient and ends up getting a little jump scare from something harmless. Is it a cheap ploy to lure you into something bigger? Oh yeah. But it works. And it works well.
Now when I hunted this scene down on youtube I was surprised to see the entire sequence was less than a minute. The first time I saw it, it fell like eternity. But that just goes to show you how well they were able to build up the tension in this short scene. The stationary long shot is so far away that you can't make out anyone's features. It also has the qualities of a security camera which gives a very voyeuristic feel. The colors in the scene were drab and cold, even the background people were in colors that disappeared. This made the nurse's sweater stand out and you can't help but watch that sweater the entire moment. The entire scene is very mundane. No score, nothing urgent happening, and you can't even see expressions on people's faces to get any clue of what could be happening with them. It creates a blank canvas that lures you into a false sense of security.
Then BAM! Money shot! That weird shrill horn and a fast zoom in to...what the hell IS that anyways?!...Yes I know its an old lady in a sheet but the first time I saw that it went so fast that I jumped and thought maybe it was a creature instead of a person. I'd also like to point out the horrific device the sheeted person is carrying. We do find out that its a device used in Autopsies...charming.

I really do love this scene. The Exorcist III does have its faults yes. And The movie itself is more creepy and atmospheric than truly scary. But its extremely interesting and has some great acting involved. I highly recommend tossing this up on the Netflix if you haven't seen it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

So...a new holiday horror film? I think so!

Okay hear me out.

I think most Holiday horror movies are pretty awesome. I mean we got killer snowmen, killer santas, and killer...well you get the idea. Yet no one has YET tackled the scariest holiday day ever.
That's right folks. No one to my knowledge has tackled this day. And why not? Come on, have you SEEN some of the people out there on Black Friday?! I went once in my life...ONCE... and never again. The pushing, the screaming, the trampling. OYE! almost makes someone want to cut lose with a machete, don't it?

So I think there needs to be a Black Friday horror film. And it must involve the following:

  • Disgruntled Retail employees.
  • Midnight Madness.
  • Tickle Me Elmo.
  • Somewhere, somehow, a Walmart.
  • A Muzak version of "The Little Drummer Boy".
  • A Machete.
  • Shoppers being trampled.
  • A cleverly dressed completely decked out in shopping bags and livers or something.
  • Fat lady in a stained Christmas Sweater.

I mean the kills practically write themselves, here. Okay heard my case...get crackin'!!

These Holiday horror thoughts brought to you by crack!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Creepy Kitch is 1 Year Old!

Mmmm....zombie head cheese.

Well Technically it will be Creepy Kitch's Birthday tomorrow. But since tomorrow's Thanksgiving, both Stac and I will probably be stuffing our bellies full with Turkey and the blood of young virgin men. Still one year of blogging is nothing to sneeze at, especially since Stac and I have the attention spans of kittens on cocaine. It seems like just yesterday I IMed Stac with "Hey..I got an idea."

I wanted to give some quick shout outs to a few people in particular:

Nojh: He's our die hard regular in the comments section. Thanks for always giving us a read, sticking with us from the begining. and striking up some wonderful conversations around here!

Johnny from Freddy In Space: Johnny has been busy as heck lately but he still has found the time to always promote us or give us blogger advice. Without him or Freddy In Space there would probably be no Creepy Kitch. So thanks Johnny, for all the inspiration! You set the bar for us and hopefully we'll rise to it!

Mike and Sam from Cadaver Lab: You guys rule. You've been our cheerleaders and you always give us shout outs on your podcast whenever you can. And we REALLY appreciate it. Stac and I always get warm fuzzies when you mention our blog in glowing terms...hell we get warm fuzzies even when you talk about our perversions. Thank you for all of that!

To ALL our Readers: I wanted to give a shout out thanks to all you folks who have been reading us for this long or have just popped in and decided to stay. You guys make this blog fun for us! We have a small group of readers but all of you guys have been awesome. Thank You!

And a special shout out from Cins to her partner in crime, Stac: Stac, you're the best writer on here and I could not have been able to keep this thing going a whole year without you. Thanks for going along with my wack-a-doodle ideas. Here's to one more year of blogging insanity!

So thanks again all! And have a happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Creepy Kitch's Saw Contest WINNERS!!


Stac and I finally were able to sit down and go over the entries for the Saw contest!

So without further ado...

In 3rd Place: The winner of a print of Cins two wacky sketches "Zombie in a Hamster Wheel" and "Jason Makes a Compost Heap" ...both which will look FAR better quality than those scans.

We Have A TIE!


for this twisted entry:

The victim would be in strapped down, except their arms. The person would have to unlock a 6 number lock right in front of them...that's all. BUT while trying to find out the lock, this machine is pulling off parts of their body. Starting with small parts like the toe nails and hair, to big parts like the nose, ears and so on, until they die of either blood loss,or just horrible horrible pain! If they do unlock the lock, they have to live the rest of their life without the limbs and parts they have lost.F-ed up... I know :]

Yup, we will agree with you...F-ed UP!

and Alex!

for making us laugh hard just for sending this short and sweet one:

You have to put on wet socks without complaining. Nobody likes wet socks.:)

I have put on wet socks...and its gross.

In Second Place: The winner of a piece of art work drawn by either Cins or Stac (your choice!) of a subject your choosing!


For sending in this great artistic rendering of his trap!

In case any explanation is needed... if she doesn't reach for that key and lose an ear or eye before the timer hits 0, then she might just regret that decision :)

Thanks for going the extra mile Mathew! We loved it! Contact us with which one of us Kitch Bitches you want for your art work!

And our First Place winner, winner of Your Choice of SAW movie on DVD. Is...


Melissa really gave this some thought, set up a great motive, and put in a little sense of irony in there that we admired.

My original SAW trap would be for a pharmacist who had replaced liquid medicine with sugar water in five bottles. He did this to sell the drug on the street, and his actions caused five children to die. My trap would have the man in a sealed room, with his foot inside a box containing a rattlesnake. After being bitten, the man would have to walk across a floor covered in broken glass, over to shelves holding hundreds of medicine bottles. Each bottle would have a number written on its label. The man would be told to find the bottle that had the number on it that equaled the amount of people he had harmed. That bottle would contain rattlesnake venom antidote. The pharmacist would hunt for the bottle with the number "5" on it. However, since each child who had died had many, many people around them who were also harmed by what he had done (suffering from their loss), the pharmacist would ultimately choose the wrong bottle. He would taste the sweet sugar water, and then die from the snake bite.

Melissa, you are a twisted woman. And the girls of Creepy Kitch SALUTE YOU!

So there you have it! The winners of the first official Creepy Kitch contest! Thanks to everyone who participated and to all who helped get the word out about our first contest.
All winners please contact me at edengarg (at) hotmail (dot) com with your mailing address. We'll get your prizes out after Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

So I FINALLY saw Paranormal Activity

...and I do believe I will never sleep again.

No fooling.

An old friend of mine texted me yesterday morning asking if I'd like to catch a showing of Paranormal Activity that night. I was really interested in the film after I saw the commercial for it on TV so I was up for it. Besides, its hard for me to actually see movies like this in the theater simply because my beloved husband, creep though be may be, refuses to watch movies about ghosts and spirits that look even remotely scary. Its his preference. I don't bug him about it since I have an aversion to watching documentaries on how one puts together an AK-47 or the history of cheese. Luckily our friend has my back in the world of haunting movies.

I was pretty skeptical going into it too. usually when a film gets hyped so much as "The scariest movie of the year!" or "Not since The Exorcist!" or what have you I snort and think "Yeah, right." Well this time I will have to agree with the reviewers. This movie is a pitch perfect example on how to build tension and terror.

In a nutshell, Paranormal Activity centers around a couple in San Diego who video tape the strange happenings in their house. And as the nights go on things get worse and worse and worse. Terror ensues. That's really all I want to mention about the plot because I found going into the film spoiler free makes the journey through the film all the better.

...but I will bring up some spoilers at the end of this.

I remember hearing a documentary on horror films defining the difference between horror and terror. Horror is the aftermath of something bad. Terror is the waiting for it. This movie is not a horror film. It is a terror film. The approach is simple and yes we have seen this all before. But its less about the subject matter and more about the execution that makes Paranormal Activity as frightening as it is. The film effects are simple. Noises here, movement there, and hints of very bad things along the way. That's really all you need for your imagination to fill in the rest. The film makers slowly gave you teaspoons of information as the film goes on. Things that you'd probably not think much of at first. But that information sits in the back of your mind and while the film unravels, that information comes back to haunt pun intended.

I also loved how our two lead characters, Katie and Micah looked like ordinary folk. neither of them were stick skinny, or super buff or hyper good looking. They both looked like someone you would bump into at the supermarket. For me, that normalcy took the protective fourth wall away and made the film feel real.

And at this moment that is all I can say about the movie without giving away any spoilers. I will discuss spoilers below because I have the undying need to do so! But if you have not seen Paranormal Activity yet I highly recommend going into it spoiler free.

So wait for the spoilers if you've seen the movie....

Until then enjoy this picture of zombies in a shopping mall.




All set now?

Okie Dokie then.

Things I noticed and loved about Paranormal Activity was how the film set you up for a pattern. you got you back ground information and character development in the day time shots, then you have your terror in the evening shots in the bedroom. Every time that camera was on the tripod and you saw that time counter in the corner you knew something bad was going to happen. When that pattern was broken, you knew the haunting/possession was getting worse.

I have to give a lot of credit to the actors (both who used their real names in this movie). Katie Featherson's wide eyed expressions and her bone chilling scream were amazing. Not to mention her motionless hovering over the bed and those devilish grins she'd give the camera when she became fully possessed by the demon sent chills down my back. I also have to say Micah Sloat did an excellent job coming across as the douchiest boyfriend ever.

I noticed people complaining that Micah was too much of a douche. But without him this film wouldn't have worked. This movie isn't just about a wacky demon coming to get'cha. This movie is about a very flawed relationship between a controlling man and a codependent woman. And you begin to see the cracks in their "perfect" relationship as the possession gets worse.

Micah drove the bus in this relationship. He wants to so desperately to be in control that he ultimately puts himself and Katie in danger all for the sake of his stubbornness. Yes Micah did everything wrong in this situation.Check Spelling He mocked, threatened, and tried to communicate with the demon despite everyone who told him not to. Why? Because he refused to give up control of the situation. In Micah's mind, he was right and not even the threat of losing his girlfriend could detour that. Did I want to beat him? Yes. If I was in that relationship I probably would have punched Micah in the face before seeking the nearest priest after the first door slam. But I am a different woman from Katie. Katie was so very codependent on Micah that she just couldn't muster up the courage to either leave or seek help on her own. They hinted at it in the beginning with how uncomfortable she was with the camera but grinning and bearing it because its what Micah wanted. Then it becomes the most obvious when, despite her anger with him for unapologetically bringing a Ouija board into the house, she still needs to curl up with him in bed. It made you want to shake her and it made the idea of the film progress in a believable manner without asking the age old question "why don't you get out and get help!?".

I'd say if there was one major flaw in the film, it would have to be the very quick flash of CGI at the end. While it didn't ruin the movie, I felt it wasn't necessary at all to make the movie any more scary. I would have preferred it if it went to black on Katie smiling at the screen as she hovered over Micah's body. But that is just a minor complaint. The movie was a fantastic nerve wracking watch that I am dying to see again.

I will definitely be picking this one up on DVD.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Filler Fun: Podcasts...I haz them.

Note: The Saw Contest winners announcement IS running a bit late due to the fact that Stac is in finals and I'm up to my neck in nerd activities (I was recently put on baronial court in the SCA.). So we will be announcing the winners hopefully by Friday. Thanks so much everyone for being such great sports and so patient!

But yeah, it looks like the Creepy Kitch Holiday Slump is about to set in for us. So we will be posting a bit slower (if that is possible) than usual.

But on a brighter note. Out first year Anniversary is ALSO coming up! WOO HOO! I can't believe our attention spans lasted this long!

A quick filler post from me...yet again. I was planning on posting my top ten Stephan King movies list today but then I realized I really should watch Needful Things one more time to make sure it was as interesting as I thought it was the first time....yeah its been a while.

So instead I'm posting links to the three following Podcasts I've been addicted to lately. Actually I'm sure one postcast most of you know of because I'm positive most of our readers were sent here from there.

You can find all of these awesome podcasts on iTunes.

1-Cadaver Lab Podcast

These guys are my favorite.

So I started listening to this Podcast after Stac sent me a txt saying "I sent an email to Cadaver Lab about my cooter and they read it!". So how could I POSSIBLY resist listening? After one episode? Oh yeah. Hooked. Cadaver Lab is a great movie review podcast by two guys, Mike and Sam, who obviously love the genre and are extremely knowledgeable in it. They do great themed shows like Giallo, Hellraiser, Lucci Films, and other fantastic topics. Many of the films they touch on are ones I've never heard of. Thanks to those fantastic fellas I have discovered some wonderful gems that otherwise would have flown under my radar. Plus they are hilarious. Many a time I have almost driven my car into a lamp post from laughing too hard from their antics...thanks guys.
Mike and Sam are the reason that I wish Creepy Kitch was a Podcast simply because both Stac and I came to the crashing conclusion that we are the female equivalents of Mike and Sam.

I bet you money that a cold chill has just run down the spines of those poor poor boys.

2-Night of the Living Podcast

Yet another one Stac threw at me I had to listen to. This is due to the fact that I had to know where the term "cunt vibe" came from....okay I'll admit its disturbing that two of the Podcasts I'm addicted to started with me wanting to know more about Stac's genitalia....Yeah.
Anyways, Night of the Living Podcast is a group of people who talk horror films and horror books. The reason I love it so much is the conversational tone reminds me of how my friends and I talk..
NOTLP has fantastic features such as the latest horror news, movie and book reviews, and my favorite Straight to Video Russian Roulette. They also occasionally review horror porn which is probably the most hilarious thing I have ever listen to. Their shows are constantly entertaining, and even if the subject gets boring, they never do (especially when someone starts pretending their finger is Queen Elizabeth).

3-Anything Ghost

FINALLY! A podcast that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Stac's Vag! But Stac did point this one out to me as well so she is 3 for 3 on the good Podcast streak and 2 for 3 on the relating her vagina to said Podcast.

Moving on.

Anything Ghost is a completely different turn from the first two podcasts simply because its not movie related at all. The Podcast is hosted by Lex (who I found out is based in So Cal. Rock on!) who opens his podcast up as a forum for people to share their own personal ghost stories. Some are emailed to him and he reads them, some are recorded and sent in, and ALL of them are creepy. Lex's soothing voice makes the stories all the more chilling as he reads each one in a bedtime story manner. People from around the world send in their stories. And while some are just short and interesting, there are many that are truly terrifying. Lex also composed all the music provided on the Podcast which adds a lot to the atmosphere. If you're a ghost story junkie like me, Anything Ghost is a gold mine.

And those are my top favorite Podcasts! I highly recommend that you listen to all of them. Every one of these are fantastic and a ton of fun. They also invite participation, with Cadaver Lab and NOTLP having voice mail and Anything Ghost inviting you to share stories via email or MP3.

Definitely give them a whirl!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Insomniac Ramblings

I have three papers, two of them eight to twelve pages long, due by next week. A third is due tomorrow, but I think I must prostrate myself before my professor and plead for a stay of execution from my professor. As a result, I am stressed out to the point of skin destruction and sleep has become a fond, bleached-out memory.

So I figured I'd write a blog post! Priorities: I have them. I'm a member of, which is one of the best things on the internet, and as a result I am addicted to audio books. I got all of the Twilight books, a bunch of Christopher Moore, I'm working on Terry Pratchett now, and have been dabbling with a variety of other titles that have caught my eyes here and there. For example, The Exorcist as the original novel is waaaay scarier than the movie. Seriously.

Another title I got on a whim is Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, by M.R James. The M.R stands for what may be the most perfect name for an author ever: Montague Rhodes. Not shockingly, he was British. I am so doing that to my kids. He was a prominent literary figure, and regarded as very influential for popularizing the concept of a more realistic type of ghost story, dispensing with the high gothic tone that had previously been adopted.

He even looks like a Montague. Admit it, I'm right.

In terms of an audio book, this is a short one at only four hours and twenty two minutes. Hey, the Twilight books average out at around twenty hours each, and the Terry Pratchett novels average around ten hours. It's also not an interconnected novel, instead basically an anthology of ghost stories. On the whole, I really recommend this, especially if you like your ghost stories more subtle. These reminded me a lot of H.P Lovecraft though not as dense, not a total coincidence I'm sure since James and Lovecraft were contemporaries, sort of.

Like Lovecraft, James has noticeable themes, at least in this compilation. Most of the protagonists are ivory tower academic types who frequently have no idea what they've stumbled into, and strangely, there seemed to be a lot of disdain from strongly Protestant secondary characters aimed at Catholicism. Since the Reformation was about three hundred years prior to the setting of many of the stories, this is a touch weird.

Edward Gorey art work!! Delicious!

Over all I really recommend these stories, and am impressed with what he comes up with to use as representatives of the story's horror. It's usually something innocuous that takes on a decidedly sinister tone, like all good Victorian ghost stories should be. His works are way in the public domain, so I'm sure you can find websites with stories listed; give it a listen, and share what you think. NOW.

This is a bad way to wake up, I admit.

As for me, I'm off to drink my self to sleep.

My drink of choice in this instance is NyQuil.

I'll be chasing the Green Faery tonight!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

10 Minutes of Terror - Scream

Aaaand Its BACK.

I recently saw Scream again on cable and I felt it REALLY needed to be included in 10 Minutes of Terror. I stayed away from Scream for a while considering the sequels were eh and its been so copied and over done that I got sick of it. Watching it again after keeping away for so many years made me realize that this film is really damn good. I remembered how much I liked it when I first saw it.

Granted, Scream has now become extremely cliche like just about any horror franchise (Nightmare, Friday the 13th, Saw, etc. etc.) But believe me when I say that when the movie came out, it was fresh and fantastic. Back in the oh so cynical 90's (ah, my generation!) the whole slasher in the woods scenario was tired out after countless sequels. The whole rise of the sexy "intellectual" thriller chiller genre was at its peak and was becoming REALLY over done (if I see Sharon Stone's ass ONE more time...). So when Scream came along my friends and I let out a collective "Hooray!" at the arrival.
Okay yeah, the concept of Scream wasn't what you'd call different but the execution of the film was. Here we had a horror film where the characters were smart and savvy about their situation. To me, this made the movie even more frightening. Even equipped with the knowledge of horror film lore these kids were still getting picked off one by one by one. Would us die hards stand a chance?...well...probably against Skeet Ulrich yes but thats not really the point I'm making. It was a slasher film made for a generation who grew up on slasher films.

And while it is now the most cliche part of all in the film, the opening sequence is still a pitch perfect delivery of a teenager in terror. Wes Craven created a masterwork scene of slasher heaven!

Here's the scene. Not embeddable though. DOH!

Go watch.
I shall wait here and enjoy my cookie.
Done? Okay. On we go.

When I first experienced this opening scene I was scared out of my gourd. I was scared enough to chew on my own knee. THAT is scared, people! To have a wet spot on one's knee from your own mouth is to know fear.
But lets take a closer look at the scene shall we?
Keep in mind this movie was made during the rise of the cellphone. Having a killer stalk someone using a cellphone was completely unheard of due to the fact that...well...there were no cell phones before then. Using this unexplored technology at the time was not only unique but added an extra note of terror. Something used for convenience could also be used to conveniently dispose of you. Many films after that has used this device since. Also, notice how the loudest sound during this scene is the phone ringing. The ringing goes from mundane to almost an alarm, jolting you every time the killer calls back. We also have a subtle use of color going on here. Our victim is in white or light tones with light blond hair painting us a picture of innocence. Meanwhile she is being stalked by a hooded figure all in black. Its costuming 101 but it works.

But I think what I loved so much was the use of setting for this scene. Putting lil Drew in a house that was mostly windows was a great idea. I'm a pretty paranoid woman. I tend to put shades on all my windows for fear that some lazy eyes psycho is going to be peering in on me while I watch TV. So before anything happened in this scene I was already paranoid. Windows EVERYWHERE and not a shade pulled down over one of them. One can't help but feel watched with all those windows looking out into the darkness. A good sturdy chair can break your barier and you are knife fodder.

Trust me when I say that this movie was something special when it came out. Was it the best horror film ever? Not compared to some. But it is extremely well made, it jump started the genre back into the mainstream, and its just plain fun to watch. Despite the cliches it harbors now, it really is worth checking out again.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Saw Contest Winners Will be Announced This Week!

I Promise this to yooooooou!

Stac and I are currently going over the entries and we will announce our winners but the end of this week. Just in time for my paycheck so I can go get the DVD!
I promise not to buy a previously viewed one...but I cannot promise I won't be picking it up from Walmart...just sayin'...I'm cheap. Thats what I'm just sayin'.

Anyways, We have not forgotten so stay tuned!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's Still Orange and Purple and Black..

.. but red and green are starting to creep into the mix, I have to admit. A few of my Halloween votive holders (out all year) have Christmassy scents emanating from them. I have Christmas candy in my Halloween candy bowl-- I can't help it! Candy Cane Kisses are in stores! The best kind of kisses! It's all presided over by a witch, however. And two turkeys. We're into mixing the holidays at Chez Spooky.

One awesome thing about after Halloween is the sales (which crop up before the holiday is even dead, let alone cold-- at the local Fred Meyer's all the Halloween stuff had been booted out of the season aisles and basically parked in the middle of the walk way to the exit doors and marked down to 50% off. This was Halloween DAY. Holy crap, people! Stop getting your brotherhood all over my blood and cobwebs!). I got a great bat votive holder from Target for pennies, and a heavy, beaded spiderweb table runner that was originally $12.99 (and the reason I didn't buy it when I originally saw it) I got for $2.50 this weekend. HA! MINE!

Anyone else get any awesome deals whilst feasting on Halloween's corpse?

Of course, the joke's on everyone-- Halloween was ALWAYS a corpse, so when it lurches back to life to make nonbelievers scream, we'll all be ready for more orange and black!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Recap from Chez Spooky

Welcome to Chez Spooky! All I ask is.. YOUR SOUL! And that you use a fucking coaster on my coffee table.

Here's a quickie recap of Halloween from the Washington half of this devilish duo: I went trick or treating. And it was AWESOME!

Here are my pumpkins:

My loosely based on Jill Thompson's art work jack.

Cannibal pumpkin! He has acquired a taste for delicious, pumpkiny flesh! Incidentally that little guy was so damn hard I had to use my Dremel to carve him, seriously.

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!" Cthulu. He took many hours to carve, and my fngers have not yet forgiven me for that one.

A boy witch, a skull faced jazz zombie, and a werewolf, out questing for trouble! Our only appeasement: CANDY!

Unfortunately, you can't see how cool my top hat looked. I got a lot of compliments on it, and Cins got a great "how the fuck do I attach the lining?!" text from me.

Boy, nothing scarier than a digital camera and a mirror, huh? SPOOOOKY. Hey Cins, that ring look familiar?

It was cold and windy, with the leaves skittering down the walk, keeping time with us. The moon was full with whispy clouds, and flickering pumpkins everywhere. We kept an eye peeled for monsters, and saw some GREAT decorations-- my favorite was the ghoul-bedecked house that was covered in corpses, webs, and cheese clothe. The person who opened the door was a tiny old woman, who looked about 80. She LOVED our costumes, and we loved her house: a meeting of minds occurred!

Post pics and share stories of your Halloween!

Quicky Post: New Link!

Take a look over at our side board there on the right.

No, your OTHER right.

You'll see a new link, for the awesome Halloween/ Creepy blog site like l'il ol' us, called My Ghoul Friday. She's posted pictures from her Halloween theme used in decorating this year; I am SO using some of these ideas for next year!

My Ghoul Friday

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I've Lit My Black Candle..

.. to ward of any evil spirits roaming tonight, while reality is thin. My broom is over my door, and my pumpkin is full of candy. We trick-or-treated, we saw monsters, and we howled at the full moon.

Happy Halloween to you all, kiddies.

Image ganked from

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Convergence: Take Two

El Campo Santo Cemetery in Old Town, San Diego.

Cins knows how to read minds.

It's true, and vaguely hilarious, especially when I'm thinking about wang and she does it.

I had actually planned to post the same thing she did below, and then what do I see? Her post! I'm gonna start thinking filthy thought about Pinhead at her.

After we laughed over this bit of mental acuity I was encouraged to post my remembrances of the cemetery we went to this past July.

As mentioned below, Cins and I have been trying to go on the Ghosts and Graveyards tour through Old Town in San Diego. Every time we fail because someone on the other end fails to give us complete information; I think this is God's way of pointing out that we have more fun in a small numbers than the large groups could ever hope for. It's true, too: we almost got spanked once at Disneyland, and I'm not even kidding a little. (Please be patient; I'm typing this with a small black cat roaming my cleavage and purring. He is not like a window, despite what he may believe.)

So first we decided to go to the Creole Cafe, an AWESOME and authentic Creole restaurant that is literally in the backyard of the Whaley House, another of San Diego's haunted hot spot. It was a group of five: me, Tanya, Cins, Max, and Cap'n. After eating in a haunted dining room (which was awesome, by the way) Max and Cap'n held back whilst the fearless threesome headed off to this tiny Spanish cemetery Cins told us about, which my Google-fu tells me is named "El Campo Santo Cemetery", though we didn't know that at the time.

The New Orleans Creole Cafe in the Whaley House's backyard in Old Town, San Diego. Seriously some of the best food in California. Get the crawdad etouffee, and tell 'em we sent you!

It was a short walk, and we were all happy and joking as we proceeded, weaving to avoid the drunk tourists and giggling at some of Cins' stories of working in Old Town (for starters, you're apparently required by city ordinance to dress in period costume to work in Old Town. I love antique costuming, but I'd be pretty pissed off if I had to put on a bustle and crinoline to work at an ice cream parlor.) Then we walked into the cemetery, separated from the loud streets and packed sidewalks by nothing more than a low brick wall, not much more than waist high. By the time we entered the cemetery the sun had gone down completely.

Entering the cemetery was a whole different world, like a bubble of silence in the middle of the bustle and noise of Old Town, which is a very, very touristy area. I noticed several large bushes with glossy leaves, and I have a witch's nose and pull for herbs; to my delight I discovered it was rosemary, growing in the biggest bushes I had ever seen. This was exciting because my home is much further to the north; I have to bring in my rosemary in the autumn or it will die in the cold of winter. But in southern California it's frequently used as decorative planting because it thrives very nicely in the even, warm climate. As I was sniffing the plant (rosemary smells so good!) a thought popped into my head: "Rosemary is for remembrance.". They had planted rosemary in the cemetery to remember the dead here. For some reason I really, really felt that I needed a sprig of this rosemary to take with me; rosemary growing in a cemetery seems to me like an important thing, though I can't tell you why. So I asked permission to those who lingered, waited a moment and felt no negative emotions, and pulled off a small branch. I would absently smell it as we roamed the graveyard.

This graveyard was, for me, a very solemn place. It was fine at the front of the cemetery, next to the dividing wall, but the further back you went, the angrier I became; this graveyard was not maintained. It's a historic site, and it's falling apart. I was angry that no one cared that people slept here.

We all kind of wandered alone, but the graveyard is so small that no one was ever out of eyesight. I was excited to find the grave of Yankee Jim, a man convicted in a kangaroo court and hung in the yard that would in a few years become the Whaley House; Yankee Jim is said to be one of the house's many specters. Not only was he falsely convicted and murdered by a court of law, the person responsible for tying his noose fucked it up; instead of breaking his neck as it was intended to do, the noose was too long, and he was forced to choke to death with his toes brushing the ground. This man has several very legitimate reasons to haunt, in my opinion.
Yankee Jim's head marker.

It's an interesting cemetery as well because several of the area's founders are buried there; I'm a history major, so reading about the exploits and accomplishments of people who died a long time ago is interesting to me.

Then the tourists started to pour in, identified by colored glow in the dark bracelet to which haunted tour group they were with. I could have cheerfully slapped several of them. They were loud, they were rude, several were drunk, they proceeded to run around the tiny cemetery like someone had let all the damn spider monkeys out of the zoo and dropped them off here. Several of the grave sites have tall picket fences around them; I don't know why some have them and others are completely accessible, but apparently some of the assholes took that as a personal affront and tried to climb them. Let me repeat that for you: grown adults who presumably were raised with other humans and not in a fucking CAVE tried to climb over the fences surrounding actual graves. There are no words.
Does this even remotely resemble a jungle gym? I don't see it, personally.

To add to the stupidity, the cemetery is comprised of very fine, dusty earth; not a lot of grass in here, it's mostly bare dirt, like silt. It kicks up dust all over the place just by walking across it; race across it like you're on fire and it raises in clouds. People started to take pictures and excitedly claim that they had orbs in their pictures! Well no shit? It's called "dirt reflecting the flash", morons. If I sneeze and then immediately take a picture afterward I can see orbs; that means there's something in the air (in this case moisture), not that my nose is haunted.
Still not the playground at McDonald's. You can because there are fewer primary colors and more dead people. Plenty of clowns, though!

Around this time Cins stared to have camera troubles; she tried to snap a photo of a flower arrangement she liked on one of the exposed grave (not sure, but it might have been the little girl's grave? You remember, Cins?) and her camera failed. It actually turned itself off, despite the fact that it had fresh batteries, and was not a buggy camera. When she stepped away it would turn on obediently, but as soon as she approached that same grave it again shut down. She apologized and walked away, and had no further problems. She didn't try and photo that grave again; obviously someone didn't like it.

By now Max (or Mr. Cins, if you will), had joined us, which surprised me as Max isn't into the ghost thing like me, Tanya, and Cins. He wandered with us, and we all felt when the mood began to change in the cemetery. It got very despondent; Tanya came over and rejoined us; she had been off doing her own thing. The tourists thankfully shut the hell up, and shortly there after left in their groups. Several appeared nervous, and they all poured out of the graveyard in one amorphous rush. I was happy to see them go, their bracelets glowing like they were off to their Old Town rave by way of the dead.

Cins and I are an interesting inversion of each other; she attracts freaks but only when alive; I tend to experience the dead while I frighten the living. Works for me; the dead are usually quieter. I'm not saying I'm psychic or anything, but a friend of mine described me as a ghost magnet. All I know is that I pay attention to things, and I tend to listen hard to people I feel are upset. Max is aware of the restless dead, and was commenting to Cins about things. All I could feel was an increasing anger; anger that people thought it was okay to treat a cemetery with such disrespect, angry that no one was taking care of these graves, angry that people would use the popularity of the site to make money, but couldn't be assed to try and maintain the graves, many of which had no name on them anymore. Even more graves, especially to the back, were literally falling apart and being consumed; the wooden crosses have fallen over, and several of the grave sites are being swallowed by wild rose bushes.

We all of us began to feel a sense of despair, emanating from the back of the graveyard. I felt heart broken, and we all realized that the sensation seemed to be coming from one blank grave, almost completely engulfed by the rose bushes. I strongly felt like this sense of desolation, of hopelessness, like everything was horrible and I no longer had the strength to even rage at it. All I could do, I felt, was grieve.

I started to cry. Honest to God above, I have never had a reaction like that before. I tried to reign it in, because it felt like if I didn't control it, it would quickly turn into outright sobbing. We all stood around that grave, me, Tanya, Cins, Max, and just.. felt. All I can tell you is that to me it seemed to be a young Spanish woman, and she was heart broken over the same things that had been making me angry. Her grief was like the emotional equivalent of a wail, and we all felt it.

The rosemary in my hand felt heavy, and the hypocrisy of it was wrong. Rosemary is for remembrance. No one remembered or cared about these people. It was just a place that lured in the tourist dollar; who gave a fuck that people were sleeping here? Who gave a fuck if no one remembered their names? Who gave a fuck that some of them were heart-shatteringly young when they died, or were murdered, or died ill, or buried loved ones here and wept and wept and wept? No one. No one but us.

I did it because that was all I really could do at that time. I tore off part of the rosemary. I had a ribbon scrap in my pocket that I had stuffed there absently before I even left Washington. I wrapped it around the sprig and carefully teased a bow out of the snippet. I kissed the greenery, and balanced it carefully on the left side of the blank marker, no name to say who this had been. Rosemary is for remembrance. I would remember her, and I would ache for her. She was nameless to me, but not forgotten. Never, ever forgotten.

The mood lifted.

We walked once more around the cemetery, and the sadness had receded abruptly; it was a little melancholy, but on the whole peaceful. It's a beautiful, heart breaking place if you just hold still for a little bit and listen. There are children buried here, there are pioneers. There are wives and husbands, and loved ones and the murdered. But it is people, and I will always see it as such.

It was a wonderful experience, and one I'm grateful to have experienced. We walked back to the car, and just before we left I asked for permission to take a little more rosemary. No one seemed to mind, and it's hanging on the wall in my bedroom right now, tied with a red ribbon.