Friday, April 24, 2009

Why the Unborn Sucked

This WILL contain spoilers.

Obviously I'm not hiding my opinion of the film in the title here.
I saw the movie in the theater a while back. It was matinee priced and I had to kill time while I waited for my car to get serviced....and a showing of My Bloody Valentine 3D wasn't for another hour or so.
Now don't get me wrong, The Unborn wasn't on par with The Forsaken or Exorcist: The Beginning with it's suckery. It really hasn't earned that rant. The Unborn actually had a LOT of potential to be great. But it pissed it down the toilet and was just a boring film about Odette Yustman's butt cheeks in white panties. I'm sure that appeals to a demographic and that's cool. I just don't happen to be in that demographic.

To bring you up to speed, The Unborn is a film about a young woman named Casey (Yustman) who we find out was supposed to have a twin brother. He never made it out of the womb. Well the unborn twin was possessed by an evil spirit and that evil spirit is ready to be born and is planning on using Casey. Many bizarre plot twists and pantie shots follow.

There were two things about The Unborn that were promising . 1- a great back story 2-A different approach to movie exorcism. Otherwise, the movie is what you'd expect it to be. A series of cheep scares, Somewhat interesting imagery but nothing you haven't seen in The Ring, mediocre acting, and a lead actress with a fabulous hiney.
The back story actually goes all the way to WWII where this spirit has been pursuing twin siblings for a way out into the world. There is a flashback from one of the characters, Sofi, who happens to be Jewish. She speaks about how in WWII her twin brother and her were taken by the Nazi's and experimented on. During the experiments, the brother died then mysteriously came back. Its implied he killed all the Nazi soldiers in the camp they were held in. Sofi comes to the realization that her brother has been possessed. This demon pops up again with Casey's mom, then finally with Casey. Now see, if the movie was just about that back story I would have ate it up. But unfortunately we are only exposed to this interesting story in one flashback scene.
I also liked that they approached exorcism from the Jewish viewpoint. Ever since The Exorcist, we've only seen the Catholic side of things. Diving into Jewish mysticism and the Jewish religion in a horror film was refreshing. And it could have once again been awesome if it was more focused. But it felt tacked on in an attempt to be different and give Gary Oldman something to do. Why was Gary Oldman even IN this movie? They barely used him and didn't even use him in a good way. I mean come on...Gary Freakin' Oldman should have something to do other than play a mildly shocked rabbi who pops in during the last 20 minutes.

I really do wonder if the writer of The Unborn had a completely different screenplay written then was pushed around by the studio to make it into the next teen thing. Because it did have moments of creativity. Unfortunately The Unborn's greatest crime was it was boring. I don't even have more to write about because it was so dang boring and unmemorable.
And not even Odette Yusman's supple ass could save that.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Things in the Night.

I currently have the plague. I slept until about 2:30 this afternoon, finally driven out of bed by my aching hips and the need for food as well as a few errands that simply didn't care that I am currently on death's door. Cins has been charged with avenging my untimely death, so wherever Typhoid Mary is, she's going down. I've seen Cins mad-- it's scary.

In order to distract myself from, you know, death, I decided to make a pointless list of things that scare me. I would love it if youse guys reading this would contribute, too! This also saves me from reading The Analects of Confucius, which I have to write a paper on. I wonder if I could get an extension if I died?

Now, I'm not talking the obvious scares here-- you know, loss of loved ones, that kind of thing. I'm talking the heart-clenching, bolt up-right in the bed kind of irrational terror that we all carry around. The kinda stuff you should have shucked before puberty and just never got around to doing.

In no particular order:

Basking sharks. I don't know why, other than that some part of my brain screams in a tiny, high voice that NOTHING should be able to open its mouth that wide. I have a recurring daymare where I envision getting accidentally sucked into its maw, and I can't get out. I'm trapped in a slippery, horrible pink hell that touches me all over. Urgh.

Public toilets. Another one I have no explanation for, other than vulnerability issues, I guess? I hate hate hate the bathroom at the local Red Lobster and refuse to go in there alone, no matter how full my bladder, because I am firmly, irrationally convinced that something unkind is watching me. Makes it hard to pee. I also have these horrible fantasies that come to me when I'm trying to pee in an unknown public bathroom-- what would I do if these dirty, bare feet staggered up to my stall door and just stood there? Maybe there is horrible, ragged, pained breathing as well? What do I do? Do I hope it goes away? Do I make a sound? Why am I convinced that it'll be upon me if I make a single noise?

The abandoned (?) camper trailer on the other side of my fence. There is a horrible, beat up old camper that someone dumped, just on the other side of the privacy fence that encircles my backyard. I have dubbed it "the rape trailer", and have never been able to get a straight answer from my landlady about ownership of said assault mobile. I have a hard time checking the mail at night as a result of that damn thing.

Something lurking either in my closet or under my bed. I am almost 32 years old, for fuck's sake, and I'm still convinced half the time that scaly, cold claws are going to clamp around my ankles and drag me under the bed some night when I have my guard down. I'm also convinced that if I go to sleep with my closet door open, I will awake to find something malevolent watching me sleep. I'm afraid something like Narnia will happen, only it'll be to the dimension that the Event Horizon jumped to in the movie of the same name. No prancing fauns for me; no, instead I get barbed wire piercings.

I have also learned that a quiet, metallic click in the middle of a sleep-muffled night will wake me up better than my alarm clock. It's even worse if the cats wake up, too.

Scissors, opening and closing in the dark. I think my heart would actually fail if I had to go into a blackened room with no sounds other than those emerging. There is nothing good that can come from that noise, in that setting.

I shall close this now, before more of my psychoses makes themselves known to the world. Also, I need to go barf up a lung. Please share what scares you so that I can feel better and we can all cruelly laugh at one another.

Monday, April 20, 2009

And now for something COMPLETELY different!

So the other day at work someone mentioned to me about our offices going green.
You know, getting environmentally sound.
Reuse, reduce, recycle.
What could we do to make our offices more environmentally efficient?

...All I could think of was this.

....and this.

I really don't understand how my brain works.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Twilight Rant.

I'll warn those of you looking for a good laugh at this title's expense: you're not going to find it here.

I love Twilight. I absolutely fell in love with the books; I only started reading them because my friend Malinda was nagging me to. I expected to not get much out of them as I'm really not all that into the vampire thing, but figured I'd make it up in trade by having something I could make fun of Malinda for liking, as we have a mutually abusive friendship. She's never forgiven me for making her watch Vamp, and I still find it endlessly hilarious that Ghosts of Mars scared her. We both hated Skeleton Key, I've never forgiven her for making me see Cabin Fever in the theater. She loves making fun of me because I love reading romance novels.

To my shock, I enjoyed the book, immensely, and the next day had to go get the next two, which I read in two days. I read all four books and the unfinished fifth in a week; it would have been shorter but I spent a day in Seattle seeing The Phantom of the Opera at the Paramount. I was stunned; I had expected something irritating, and instead lucked into a story that I had absolutely no problem being consumed by. I read them again and again, and since school is in session, I got the audio books so I could listen to them on the way to class when I wanted to. (As as aside, audio books are GREAT for a college student; I can listen to a book on the way to class and not feel guilty for not doing my school reading.)

I know not everyone got the same reaction to Twilight that I did; I specifically told my roommate not to try to read them, because I knew they were not to her taste, and this story was something special to me. She totally understood; she feels the same way about the Jack Fleming Vampire Files books by P. N Elrod, a great series. Bevin's not a romantic; I am. I'm friends with several people who tried the first Twilight book, and found it not to their liking, and that's cool. They tried it, didn't like it, and got the fuck on with their lives.

Then the horror community became aware of the series.

Holy shit people, really? I'm a moron because I quietly enjoyed a story? I'm not a true horror fan because I like Edward Cullen and Bella Swan? It's stupid, poorly written story, simply because you decreed it? What's that? You never actually read it, you just heard some people make fun of it and decided you wanted to be like the cool kids, so maybe if you made fun of the quiet kid you'd be cool too?

Fuck you. Fuck you hard, long, and painfully. I'm not a screaming fan girl. I only talk about the books to people of a like mind. I don't want anything to do with the rabid fan base because guess what? I don't want anything to do with ANY rabid fan base. I also loved reading Heart Shaped Box, House of Leaves, Carmilla, Ghost Story, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harry Potter, Hellboy, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice as well as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Coraline and about a million other titles. See how I'm not just one thing?

I'm trying really hard to remain concise and cool, and it's hard, really really hard. I'm a volatile person by nature, so when my feelings get hurt, as they have been repeatedly, by people I don't even KNOW, I tend to want to lash out and hurt back. My inner middle school girl is occasionally dangerously close to the surface of my emotional well. But do you get that it's complete and utter bullshit to pigeon hole a person based solely on the fact that they liked some books?

If you tried these books and hated them, fine. That's fair, because at least you gave it a try. But do not, DO NOT imply that I am mentally deficient simply because I enjoyed something you did not. Do not imply that I am in anyway lacking because I read a story and found it to my liking. Do not insult me because I am different than you. Haven't you ever been treated with condescension simply because you mentioned that you liked some form of horror movie? Did you like it when someone implied that you didn't have a true grasp on cinema because you liked A Nightmare on Elm Street, or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or whatever title of choice you gravitate to? Then don't do it to someone else.

A lot of horror fans decry Twilight because the vampire myth was changed. Guess what: it's been changed before. It'll be changed again. And honestly, the original idea was, for me, getting stale. Don't give me that "she's a cheeseburger to him, that's all!" crap. Guess what: I'd have a hard fucking time eating a steak if a cow asked me not to. I can't eat octopus anymore because I found out they're so much smarter than I thought they were! It pisses me off, too; I really liked octopus. It's not outside the realms of believability that a vampire somewhere, somehow, would like to not eat a person, would still have a conscious. I'm a romantic; it's not hard for me to believe that somehow a vampire could fall in love, if still in possession of all of his emotions.

Don't agree? That's fine; this is myth. Make up your own version and run with it. Do I think all vampire stories should be emotionally driven? Not at all. I haven't seen 30 Days of Night, but I want to, because I've heard the monsters in it are absolutely terrifying in their lack of humanity, and complete absence of mercy. That's why I want to see it. I love to be scared, and I love the grotesque beauty that you can find in horror films. But just because something has a fucking vampire in it does not mean it must be cover to cover with ripped out throats, blood smeared faces, and obligatory lipstick lesbian tendencies the minute you're bit.

If I hear one more smug, self-righteous asshole start in on the "Hurr! Sparkly vampires! Huuurrr!!" bit yet again, I will be moved to violence. If you read the fucking story you would learn there is a reason behind that, other than "it's pretty". I love that people who have absolutely no problem enjoying stories about a roller skating mutant who can take sound and make it into light have all decided collectively that a story about two lonely people meeting is JUST TOO MUCH! How dare she?? HOW DARE STEPHANIE MEYER TELL HER OWN STORY THAT SHE CAME UP WITH ALONE?! DO you see how fucking STUPID this attitude is?

Don't read the story if it's not your speed. Don't read it if you think you're going to hate it. That's great, not everything is for you. I personally get virtually nothing out of science fiction or fantasy books, with the exception of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's stuff. But I don't assume that everyone who likes Lord of the Rings is somehow less of a person than I am. I don't sneer at my friend because he likes the Dune series.

I'm really stressed out lately. I'm a full time, non-traditional student, I work a LOT, I've had a friendship apparently end very abruptly with someone that I assumed I was probably going to name one of my kids after, and with no word from her on why. None of my close friends read these books, with the exception of Malinda, and she's both pregnant and far away. You will, I'm sure, pardon me if I've about had it with everyone around me shitting on one of the few things that can help me relax, and makes me happy.

EDIT:These are my feelings, not Cins.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

News FLASH! Thanksgiving a Full Movie?!

Eli Roth to film a full length version of Thanksgiving?!

"Roth said that after he shoots his untitled sci-fi blockbuster, he’ll get back to his roots by filming “the sickest, bloodiest, most violent slasher movie,” he said of the “Thanksgiving” flick inspired by the holiday-themed horror classics of the ‘80s. “I want to make the highest body count slasher film I can.” "

Well that's what the article on MTV Movies Blog says.

I do hope my little pocket gore hound does film it and that this isn't some crazy rumor. I think it would be a hilarious film as long as it stays tongue in cheek. Its a fine line to walk when trying to make a good horror comedy. Knowing Roth it will be more horror and less comedy but I am curious if he plans to stick with the original spirit of the GrindHouse trailer. He strikes me as the type who likes to have fun with his films so I really believe this one could be a winner...or at least a really fun train wreck.

And according to that article, he's also working on a top secret big budget monster film. I'm not usually a fan of Eli Roth movies (though I do love his personality, his fast knowledge of the horror genre, and the fact that he appears to be pocket sized) but I really like the idea of him slipping out of his little gore niche and trying a monster film.
I am EXTREMELY curious.
Intrigue me further Mr. Roth. You have my attention.

And even though we've all seen it...its always worth a second look because its awesome.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Today's good movies are brought to you by the letter D!

Yeah, its been quite here.
Between Stac finishing up finals and me in the middle of house hunting its been a touch busy in the world outside the interwebs. But as usual, this too shall pass!

But until then, here's a couple of recommendations to sling at you from the movie world!


Its technically not a horror film but it does have lots of gore and zombies. That has to count for something, right? I saw this a while back and I've been wanting to mention it but kept getting sidetracked. Doomsday is an awesome film about the post Apocalypse. A deadly virus has swept most of Scotland turning it into a zombie wasteland. So they quarantined it. About 15 years later the virus is popping up in England. So they have to send in a special team back into Scotland in an attempt to find some form of cure. We quickly find out that during this time in isolation, Scotland has been taken over by soccer hooligans and a local chapter of the SCA. Car chases, encounters with a guy in the gimp suit, and lots of shit blowing up ensues.
The team is headed by the incredibly awesome and bad ass Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra). She is going on my list of angry bitches. Probably somewhere in the top ten. How can you not love a woman who takes out her fake eye to use as a spy camera? And a big scene stealer is Craig Conway as Sol, the head of the cannibalistic hooligans who are ruling the urban dwellings of Scotland. His entrance alone is enough to make you want to bounce in your seat in cheesy glee.
The movie is extremely over the top. People don't just chew the scenery. They chew it, spit it out, then attempt to hump its half masticated leg. But that is what makes Doomsday so much fun. It does get a bit slow when our heroes end up in a medieval castle. Luckily the sequence is quick and its back to the insanity. There are some wonderful action sequences including an intense car chase that puts Death Proof to shame and a very unconventional Barbecue/Rave/Riot moment that pretty much sets the tone for the film. Definitely worth a look.

The Devil's Backbone
This is what Guilermo del Toro said was the "prequel" to Pan's Labyrinth. While its not a direct prequel and the stories are not directly related you can definitely see the similarities. I would consider the two movies to be book ends. Pan's Labyrinth is for girls while The Devil's Backbone is for boys...roughly speaking.
The movie follows the story of Carlos who is taken to a boy's home during the Spanish Civil war after his father was killed. There he encounters the ghost of a boy named Santi who was killed by someone at the boys home. Carlos gets wrapped up in the mystery of who killed Santi as well as a lot of other things that happen to him and the boys in the orphanage.
While I don't think its as tight a story as Pan's Labyrinth its still a fantastic film full of great characters, creepy ghosts, and some wonderful acting. It really book ends Pan's Labyrinth well with the theme of growing up during the Spanish Civil War. But where Pan's Labyrinth was more fantasy based, The Devil's Backbone has its roots more in horror. Plus the ghost imagry is amongst some of the creepiest and beautiful I have ever seen in film. This film is definitely worth a look at.

Dance of the Dead
Stac already did a write up of this and everything she said I completely second! So this will be short.
If her review hasn't convinced you to see it, perhaps BOTH of us screaming "WATCH THIS MOVIE, DAMNIT!" will light a fire under your hinder. This is one of the best horror comedies since Shaun of the Dead. If only my prom was as awesome. Prombies rule.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cin's Top 10 Horror Comedy Faves

Horror comedies. I love em....correction. I love not lame ones. Horror comedies were what eased me into a the horror movie genre when I first began to show interest aka, the chickenshit years. I figured that if I could laugh while I was watching a horror movie, I wouldn't feel so scared. Granted, that not always the case but the illusion of not feeling the need to wee my pants in fright did introduce me to a genre I love.
So I have my little list here. I love lists. They just make article writing so easy for me. Its ten because I could only think of ten at the time. But I'm sure some of you will say "But what about this!?" and remind me of some awesome gem out there I have completely forgotten. In fact, I had to change this list from five to ten BECAUSE I thought of awesome gems while writing this article.
As my usual disclaimer, this isn't the end all be all list of all lists. This is just my personal opinion...which will probably change after the "but what about this!?" comments start rolling in. I'm a fickle mistress.
Yes Stac, I still have to see Dance of the Dead. Its on the cue!!!
Poltrygiest is on the list too.
So, on with the show.

"WANNA DATE?!?!" I love her voice. I don't know why, but I crack up laughing at the sound of her WAY too loud Jersey accented voice. Honestly, the movie could have sucked but still had the scene of her walking stiff knee-ed down the street screaming "WANNA DATE!?!" and I still would have enjoyed it. Frankenhooker is fantastically low budget, weird, and so completely over the top you can't believe where it goes. Two words. Super Crack.

9-Black Sheep
Ware-sheep. Need I say more? Black Sheep is more comedy than horror but its grotesque gore and strange mutations of sheeple do push it over into the horror realm. Its the only movie I've seen that could make a still shot of a sheep look menacing. I don't know how they do it. The music? The angle? Who knows but that sheep looked pissed! Not to mention the countless amount of sheep fucker jokes that kept me giggling. I'm easily amused.

8- House
I'm sure I'm one of the few that actually remember this movie. I saw it WAY back in the day when I was in sixth grade. My friends were horror fans and I was a big chicken. But I LOVED House. It was that great combination of goofy/scary that attracted me as a kid. Yes, the house was haunted but it was haunted in an almost infantile way. I think my favorite part of the film was when our hero was chasing around an undead hand that decided to go rogue and hitch a ride on the back of the little toddler he was watching over. It pretty much ended in a flush down the toilet. It was so hilariously grotesque. And thus, the fascination with the morbid began in me. Funny how it always starts in the weirdest ways.

7- Undead
Undead was a film I randomly picked up at Blockbuster. I was actually expecting a serious zombie film. Boy was I wrong. Undead is an extremely silly film full of bizarre sight gags and some absurd humor. From the undead fish, to the aliens saying "oh sorry, my bad" about the zombie uprising, to the kung-fu fisherman, the movie just goes where ever it pleases and really doesn't give a damn about where it takes its audience. Its completely unapologetic in is wackiness. You have to love that in a movie.

6-Dead Alive
Peter Jackson is a sick son of a bitch. I think that's why I love the man. I do wonder if Academy voters saw Dead Alive and Meet the Feebles before giving him that Oscar. I wonder if they plan to take it back after they see them. This movie has some of my all time favorite clown gore ever. The old lady slowly decaying into her soup, the lawn mower massacre, and these are just TWO of the many countless gags in the film. Jackson really paces himself with this one. It starts out slow, almost serious. For a while there he has you going. Then as the movie goes on, weirder moments are introduced, then more...then more. And before you know it you're in the middle of a circus of terror and laughing your ass off as the ring master spanks you. Also, Dead Alive has one of the best movie lines ever written. Seriously. I use "I Kick Ass For The Lord!" often in real life. Try it sometime. If you work customer service, just tell it to that annoying jerk who is demanding a discount he is not entitled to. It will change your life...really.

What I like about Tremors is that it came out during a rather dry horror period. At the time it was all slasher flicks and chiller thrillers. Tremors gave us a fun old fashioned monster movie. Not just a monster movie, but a monster movie where our two heroes just weren't that bright. Well okay, I take that back. They were morons but they're not the usual monster fair of scientists and soldiers. Nope. Just two redneck bastards that like to blow things up. What was so fun about Tremors was not only a fantastic monster but some really fun characters. I always feel that's a good key to a horror film, having characters you actually LIKE in there. The chemistry between Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward is what made it so charming. You couldn't help but love those two bastards. Also, Tremors probably had the best Monster Exploding scene ever. I mean wow. We're talking orange goo and guts EVERYWHERE and not in a cool way but in a "AAH! ITS IN MY SHOES!!" sort of way.

4-Army of Darkness
No horror comedy list is complete without Army of Darkness. Granted, its another one that leans more toward comedy than horror but who cares? This movie gave us the Ash we know and love! Army of Darkness combines the undead with a iconic character in a fantastic setting. Sometimes it gets a little slapsticky but watching Ash get so outraged and frustrated is part of his charm. Not to mention what better villain to fight Ash than evil Ash? Am I right? huh?!
Yes, I love Ash.

So, aliens have invaded right? They 're little wormy things that take over the minds of humans. But do they go to a major city? Nah..they're going to start in some shitty Redneck, back water, town were the people have a raging kegger when deer hunting season opens. This is the awesomeness of Slither. I'm usually in the minority but I absolutely love Slither. I suppose you can chalk it up to Nathan Fillion being in the movie. I'm a Firefly fan so it comes with the territory. But the deadpan delivery of his lines in the face of doom and chaos is hysterical. What I find so funny about Slither are people's reactions. There is no dramatic screaming, crying terror, or dramatic revelations. Nope, There is massive swearing and shooting which is probably how I'd react if I knew how to handle a firearm (a problem my husband plans on rectifying this year.).

2-Evil Dead II
Evil Dead was pure horror. Army of Darkness was pure comedy. In the middle was Evil Dead II. The more I watch the trilogy, the more I'm feeling like this one is my favorite. Bruce Campbell was just starting to get into the swing of Ash, As you watch the movie, you see him develop into the one liner spouting, swaggering, boom stick toting, bad ass we've all grown to adore. And I love watching that transition. Evil Dead II not only has great comedy like Ash fighting his own hand, and awesome sequences like the birth of the chainsaw arm, but truly creepy moments that get under your skin. Sam Rami is a master at that. Evil Dead II has a pitch perfect blend of comedy and horror that really set the bar for future horror comedies. And its pretty hard to beat. I'm sure many of you are getting the fresh tar and feathers ready for me for not making this one #1.

1- Shaun of the Dead
THIS is my all time favorite Horror Comedy. Hands down. I still have yet to find a movie to surpass it. I caught Shaun of the Dead in the theaters. I was expecting a parody of a zombie film; all laughs and silliness and not much else. I was dead wrong. Shaun of the Dead was actually intense! It was not a parody but a loving homage to the zombie genre. Shaun of the Dead was more than just a horror film, it was a character driven comedy. The characters were so appealing and so real that you felt for them the entire movie. It made the absurd moments funnier and the scary moments more frightening. Simon Pegg was perfect as our average Joe lead. His stupid decisions as a man made his triumphs as a zombie killer/leader fulfilling to the viewer. You wanted Shaun to survive, save his friends, and get the girl. Not to mention the fantastic gags in the beginning mimicking the daily rat race as zombie like. God, I've been there. Shaun of the Dead is one of those movies I can watch over and over and I never get bored with it. The script is tight, the jokes are fresh, the characters are appealing, and the zombies are all full of zom! This is my #1 pick.

Runner Up!- Fido
The reason this isn't in the list is because I think of it as a pure comedy that happens to be about zombies as opposed to a horror comedy. Its not a scary film but it IS a brilliant film! Fido turns the typical zombie genre on it ear, making it akin to a Lassie movie. I love the picture perfect 1950's world it paints and Billy Conelly is brilliant as Fido. This movie is in a class all its own.

So there be my picks! Have any recommendations to lay on me? Lay em on me! I'm always in the mood for a good Horror Comedy. And I'm sure there are a ton out there I never even seen yet.

New Book Bliss

I just got my copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in the mail yesterday. I am five chapters in, and I think I scared the people walking past me in the Safeway parking lot; my roommate was buying breakfast and I was reading about how narrowly Mr. Darcy avoided getting his throat cut for slighting Elizabeth Bennet. And laughing. Loudly.

This book was written by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith, and is available from Amazon; based on what I've read (and the pictures I've seen, yes it's ILLUSTRATED!), you're going to want this.

Hilariously, I also own and have read the original Pride and Prejudice. And I love it; I'm a sucker for romances, particularly of the regency period. I think the story is alternately sweet and sad, and I like to imagine Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy hardcore getting their collective freaks on. In my version of events, bondage is involved. I would never have dreamed that adding zombies could make it even better.

I must go. I have reading to do.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The SPOOOOOOKY Adventures of Stac and Cins

Yet Another True Life Adventure.

So I'm sure most of you have figured out that Stac and I live is separate states. She resides in the creeptacular Washington and I live in the utterly weird California. Once a year Stac braves the horror known as Southwest Airlines to visit me. Usually in the summer time. We bond, we have all day horror marathons, and we end with a trip to Disneyland that only one time almost ended in a fight between us and a boat full of drunken frat boys on Pirates of the Caribbean....
...only once.
... They started it and they were asking for it
...just sayin'.

Don't Screw with me in the Happiest Place on Earth.

When not at D-land, heavy drinking is usually involved which results in Stac showing her panties to as many people as possible.
That is neither here nor there.

An Actual Reenactment.

Between the binge drinking, and horror film marathons, Stac and I venture out into San Diego and visit some haunted tourists spots. We bring out cameras and attempt to catch things like orbs or shadows. Keep in mind that neither of us are professional paranormal investigators. I think the closest we've ever come to it is watching Ghost Hunters on Sci-Fi channel. In fact, we're both big chickens. If we ever encountered something out of the ordinary we'd more than likely scream like little girls and run like our asses were on fire. Seriously. We're not bad asses though we like to pretend we are on the interwebs.

Stac and started this tradition when she, our friend Bevin, and I visited the Hotel Del in Coronado.
The Hotel Del

This was mainly for the beach experience since it was a gorgeous day for a swim. The Hotel Del of course was a big draw for us. Its an amazing Victorian hotel that of course is rumored to be haunted. Stac has the full story of why its haunted but I do believe the gist is that a young woman killed herself (or was found dead under mysterious circumstances) in one of the rooms. She apparently haunts the hotel to this day. While we took many photos of the hotel, we really never captured an image. This wasn't surprising. Though we did have an odd experience.
The three of us were wandering the massive lobby and the ballrooms. We stopped to peek into what was the presidential ballroom. It was an amazing wood panneled room that could easily fit my apartment seven times over into it. Well while we were snooping (did I mentioned we really weren't supposed to be there? Oh yeah. Forgot about that.) Stac perked up and asked "What did you say?" Bevin and I replied "I didn't say anything." That was when a very odd chilled wind swept past the three of us out of the ballroom then just stopped instantly. Did I mention there were no windows in the ballroom? We also didn't hear any air conditioner kick on or see any place that breeze could have come from.
Yeah...we high tailed it out of there pretty quick....because we're total chickens.

"Please say somebody just farted."

That was really the most exciting thing that happened to Stac and I up until recently. The last place Stac and I visited was The Whaley House in Old Town San Diego, a historical home that used to be a court house back in the olden days before San Diego was San Diego. This visit was a couple years ago, I believe in 2007.

The Whaley House

The Whaley House has a vast history of hauntings and considers its self the most haunted place in the U.S. With the massive amount of hangings that happened in its court yard to the multiple death/suicides that the Whaley family suffered through, I'm not surprised that it has that reputation. I'm not sure how true those terms are to be honest but the claim was enough to shake Stac and I out of our Disneyland hangover and head on over, cameras in tow. We paid a small fee and went inside to look about. It was a lot smaller than I thought. Not to mention that most of the rooms are blocked off by large glass walls so I'm sure most of the people claiming they took a picture of a ghost caught their own reflection in the glass. What can I say, I'm skeptical when it comes to ghost photography since I can usually recreate most images with a little smear on the camera lens. We trekked though the house taking pictures of just about everything and every room. Maybe this time we'd get lucky.
Eh..not really.
Actually, we had a more interresting time in the bookstore.
But it wasn't that big of a deal to us. We had a good time then had margaritas, because everything is better with Margaritas.
Fast forward to this year, a couple months ago.
My hard drive suffered a major wipe and I lost a lot of photos, music and other goodies. Luckily most of my pictures were uploaded on the net so I was taking the time to dig up the photos I've lost. This included a good chunk of the photos from Stac's and my adventure at the Whaley house.
I pulled out this picture in particular.
Click to Enlarge

And I took a good look at it for some reason.
Now this is a pic of me and Stac I've had around for a while. In fact I even had it in a frame for a bit...because we're so sexy.
I mean look at that awesome hangover we're both obviously shaking off. I know I know, contain yourselves, fellas. Nothing is sexier than a hung over woman on a ghost hunt.

This is a photo I saw every day and never thought twice about...until now.
Take a look.

Once again, Click to Enlarge.

See that?!


What the Hell, man?!
Now I remember the Whaley House lobby pretty well. The area we're standing in front of doesn't contain any of the glass walls I mentioned. There is a stairway but its got a carpet runner so I'm pretty sure its not a glare from the stair way wood.
There were no mirrors, we were the only tourists in there since it was a weekday morning, and the one guide who was in the lobby was the one taking our picture.
I think our conversation over IM went like this:

Me:Hey, Remember when we went to the Whaley House last time you were visiting?
Stac: Yeah.
Me: Remember that photo we took outside the House?
Me:Yeah...look at this *sends photo*
Stac: HOLY GOD! SADAKO IS AFTER US!?! WTF?!?!!!!?!?!?1!!!
Stac: SEVEN DAYS!!!!!!!

We stayed awake for a while trying to calm each other down.
...because we're big fucking chickens.
But honestly, we were both more excited than scared about the whole thing. Probably because we FINALLY managed to capture something on film. Granted, we're not sure what that something is but its not anything I can explain or recreate on my own. Even if its just a Shadow its a weird freakin' shadow. Like I said, I'm a skeptical person when it comes to ghost photography, but this is just plain weird.

This summer we're planning on taking the Ghosts and Gravestones tour of San Diego. Maybe we'll have another one of these things to show you all.
Stay Tuned for more Spoooooooky adventures.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

This Should be the Premise of the Next JAWS Movie..

I drew this yesterday, mostly in response to a Myth Busters episode. Poor Cins has seen this like three times now, but what can I say? I'm an attention whore. Segmented, mechanical shark.


She is TOTALLY gonna eat you. ALL of you!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Creepy Reads

I spend my lunch break trying to catch up on my reading. Its only half an hour but eh, I still get some good time in. Of course, lately most of my reads have been zombie related. When I get on a kick I get on a KICK!
But then, I've been on this zombie kick for about 10 years now....

Since I tend to focus on films most of the time I thought it would be nice to shake things up a bit an recommend some of my favorite creepy reads to ya'll.
So without further ado...

World War Z - Max Brooks
This is amongst my favorite books of all time. In fact, I rate it number 3 on my list of favorite books (right under Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mocking Bird). World War Z is a fascinating oral history telling of the Great Zombie War. Max Brooks writes in several different voices telling the story of when the dead took over the earth. You hear from the soldiers on the front lines, the civilians who barely got out with their lives, and the people who rebuilt the world after the Apocalypse. Brooks is fantastic writing many unique characters. Each one comes across as a real interview and by the end of book I found myself completely drained and totally invested in every character. What I liked best was how Brooks told the story of the zombie Apocalypse on a global scale. And I found myself asking what was more terrifying, the zombies or the way humans reacted to them. Its frightening, fascinating and extremely touching. I have never read a book quite like it.

Patient Zero - Johnathan Maberry
Another zombie Book. BIG SHOCKER! I'm not quite finished with this one but I've enjoyed it enough to put it on my "check this shit out!" list. Patient Zero is cross between Dawn of the Dead and The Bourne Identity. In other words, super spy zombie hunters! Its a VERY different book from World War Z. Much faster and slicker. While its not the most realistic scenario (but then what IS when dealing with zombies?) its extremely intense and very fun. The book deals with Joe, a specially trained cop who is recruited into a secret government department that deal with things that the general public should not know about. He and his team of bad ass MoFo's have to stop a terrorist group from letting lose a virus into the US. You can all guess what this virus does I'm sure. Maberry does an excellent job showing us the scientific side of zombies and going for a very well researched virus scenario instead of supernatural. Definitely not the easiest path to take but he writes it effortlessly. This one is a lot of fun for people who love a good action scene.

House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski
Blame Stacy on this one. She recommended it to me. House of Leaves is a one big pile of WTF. Seriously. The book reads like a fever dream which only adds to its creepiness. The whole book is about a house. A creepy house that may or may not eat people. Is it haunted? Is it alive? Is it just some sort of metaphor for the dissolving marriage and family living inside it? I have no fucking idea. And that is part of its scariness. The book is written in three voices; a tattoo artist who has picked up this manuscript about this house, the professor who is writing about this house, and the publishers who picked up the manuscript. There are tons of wacky foot notes, side notes, references, and other things that make it feel like a used text book. As the story goes on you start to realize that the authors are going insane. The printing becomes erratic, the language unreadable, until it just....ends. And then you start to feel insane and wonder if things are watching you. But all in a good way. House of Leaves is NOT a light read. Its extremely dense and very wordy. But its also an experience more than a read. its definitely worth a look if you have some time and patience. But be warned, this is NOT a straight forward book!

Weird Hauntings -Joanne Austin
This is great for some light summer reading. Weird Hauntings is a collection of true or allegedly true ghost stories collected through out the U.S. Some are funny, some are creepy, and some make you want to sleep with the light on for a night or two. Its a perfect read for days when you're slightly distracted since its easy to put down then pick right back up and continue. While I wouldn't call it a legitimate reference book on hauntings, it contains some wonderfully spooky stories that you can later no research on your own to see if there are any other cases reported. Lots of fun!

So that's all I can think of off the top of my head. I'm always up to reading some fun spooky stuff so if anyone has any recommendations, lay em on me!