Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dark Fields, or An Interesting Failure.

Hulu.com is really proving to be an excellent site; they have episodes of television shows as well as plenty of movies to chose from, all available to view for free! I was bored a few nights ago and went trolling; Troll 2 was a miss (that is a rare horror movie that I simply can not rewatch. I've tried repeatedly, end up screaming, windows break, then BAM! My damage deposit? Gone.

So I took a gamble on a movie I'd never heard of: Dark Fields, or Farmer Brown, as is its alternate title. It was.. interesting. I have no desire to watch it again, but I'm glad I did, because it's interesting to see an experiment like this, even if it was ultimately, in my opinion, a failure. It's your basic slasher formula, nothing new there. But this was the first movie for what appears to be the whole cast and crew, and I think that inexperience was their main problem.

It's not a new story, teenagers in peril. Pretty basic. But there was one thing that this movie had that the majority of other, forgettable would-be horror movies lack, and that's the age of the principle cast. All of these kids look and act like teenagers because I think they all were teenagers. A good actor can play a teenager when older, but if you want authenticity then there is nothing like the real thing; all of these kids had that sort of rawness to them; all are physically mature but you can tell it's still "new"; hard angles to bodies and the occasional betraying roundness to faces show that these kids aren't long in adult form.

They also have that special brand of obnoxious that only teens can accomplish; the eye rolling and snorting that seemed so mature when you're that age and so fucking infuriating when you're not is perfected here. A lot of the dialogue is clunky and awkward, but the scenes where the teens are jeering at each other came across as very sincere and believable. The opening scenes are shot in an actual school and what appeared to be actual classes, that was also a very intriguing choice. I'd like to see more movies try to copy this approach. I can understand why it's not going to happen that often, but it's still cool to see actual angst-ridden brats slamming their lockers shut and twirling their locks with ease of practice. The extras were all teens, and again, more movies need to do this. No more young-looking twenty-six year olds, movie industry! NO ONE IS FOOLED! When your cast's mannerisms and body language say they're more likely to be there for their ten year than their diploma it destroys the mood juuuuuust a scooch.

The plot is, as I said, basic: five high schoolers run out of gas on their way to a concert, try to get help at a dilapidated farm, slaughter ensues. This is where the movie REALLY runs into problems; first of all if anyone was trash talking me in my own car their asses are officially walking home. The next is that the kids frequently engage in the predictably stupid behavior, the kind that no sane person is going to do. For example: after wandering through a creepy farm in search of your missing friend you simply DO NOT stick your hand in a combine and taunt the person on the other end of the room to turn it on, whether you think it's your friends or not. You just.. don't. You'd be too rattled over the locale/your missing friend/no cell service. And if you're at all like I am, you think about shit like short circuits and malice; hands are kept firmly away from spinning blades of blood-spewing death, thanks.

The next problem is the killer. He makes no sense at all; he's got a BAD case of Vorhees syndrome, but at least Jason's come back from the dead enough times to pull off the getting up after being stabbed/smacked/danced with/milked/whatever. Farmer Brown (played by Al Randall the writer, director and producer) just looks like Samara's hill-billy cousin who wears his hair in his face to hide his jacked up teeth. Why is he unkillable? Is he a ghost? If so, how did he die? Is he just a crazed weirdo, lashing out over the murder of his family when he was a child? If so, then how the fuck does he keep getting back up?! As a slasher killer goes, he's not really doing much for me. His look was pretty good, especially the wellington boots; some kind of cohesive back story would be really helpful. I know that the slasher genre as a whole is pretty incomprehensible, especially when you start to add in the various sequels, etc, but there's no need to fuck up your own story straight out of the gate.

Locale was awesome; according to the imdb.com page the creepy farm was found pretty much as is and no set dressing was done to it. If so then I hope they had the police on speed dial, because that is definitely a place that's got some hidden bodies that need to be unearthed, now. The rotting old farm house was really good, and the weird lighting that apparently comes with the property was a great touch.

The cast was pretty tolerable over all; the character of Justine, played by Lindsay Dell was frequently annoying; she screamed a lot and her scream is shrill. At first I found her totally unsympathetic, but then I remembered some of the shrill noises I made as a teenaged girl, and realized she was a bit truer to the source material than I was initially giving credit for. She was often unlikeable, but I think that added to her realism. All of these characters needed to be developed a lot more, but they at least felt like the shades of actual people instead of broad archetypes. I really liked Brian Austin, Jr, who played Zach. He was also frequently obnoxious, but again, most people had a friend like him in high school. He's also got really good comedic timing, and I could see him branching into comedy pretty easily, especially with a lot of the hamming it up he did in the blooper reel.

Taylor was our final girl character, played very competently by Jenna Scott, a very pretty girl. In researching for this though, I think I found every filthy old man who sits in his basement and touches himself to little girls; she was underaged when she played this role, but that sure didn't stop total strangers on the internet from talking about what they'd like to do to her backside. Seriously, you guys, you're freaking everyone out, please stop lusting after illegal tail! Take a shower, make a friend, get off the internet; you're creeping out the porn bots!

The other two cast members were Drew (played by Ryan Hulshaf), a kid who takes WAY more abuse than he should have, and Eric Phillion as Josh, Taylor's potential love interest. Both played their parts very well; they were alternately relatable and giant pigs, as most boys that age tend to be. Neither was just one noted, however, and that was addressed in the movie, which I liked.

On occasion the movie actually broke out of the usual tired movie cliches: at one point it looks like two characters are seriously contemplating fucking on this nasty mattress in the middle of one of the rooms. Just as I'm thinking that if you're that stupid you deserve death via pointy implement, the girl snorts, pulls her shirt down, and essentially says "Did you really think we were going to have sex here in Creepsville?" Her boyfriend gapes at her and then gets a bit pouty, a very nice touch I thought. I'd rather have a touch of humor over another wooden, completely out of place sex scene.

I wanted to post more pictures, but well, other than the dvd case I couldn't really find any. If you're curious then head over to hulu.com. Over all I don't recommend this, but I am curious to see what else this group puts out, because I think with the right idea and effort they could make something interesting.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pinhead Pinhead He's Our Man!

First off, I just wanted to say ACK for being so scarce. The summer months are pretty busy for me being a huge nerd and all.
And just for some added pimpage, I will be peddling my art work at Anime Expo at the LA convention center CA the weekend of the fourth (I'll be at table B14 with some friends) and at The Gathering of the Gargoyles at the Hilton Universal in Universal City CA (I'll be working the art room). So if anyone is interested in shootin' the shit with me in person, I'm totally up for it! But I talk....a LOT. Consider that your warning.
...please do not bring body parts. I assure you I have no room for them anymore.

Also, Voting is still open for Monsters Vs Madmen. And the "What the FUCK IS THAT!?" contest happening as well.
Enough pimping. On to the blog.

So in my house we apparently have a cook books for Horror DVD exchange happening between me and the husband. Max is a foodie, and I am a blood thirsty bitch. This works out well between us. The shop at where I work has an occasional employee appreciation sale so I peek in on my breaks and pick up some wacky cook books for the Mister. He in turn will buy me a horror DVD of my choice. This week I was torn between the two El Cheap-o Nightmare on Elm Street compilation DVDs for $10 a pop (one disk had 1 through 4, the other had 5 through Freddy vs Jason) or the BlueRay Anchor Bay edition of Hellraiser. But as much as I love the Freddy, Pinhead won out for me.

The Anchor Bay Edition of Hellraiser really isn't that bad at all. While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the collectors edition does, it does have some great featurettes including interviews with actors Andrew Robinson (Larry) and Ashley Laurence (Kirsty), the later being insanely hilarious, especially when she ends her interview with "...I think my rash is coming back". Long story. Just watch the interview to understand it. It also has some great interviews on the featurette Hellraiser: Resurrection with Clive "You're my awesomesauce" Barker, the composer Christopher Young, and costume designer Joanna Johnston to name a few. Plus a featurette all about Doug Bradley, Sir Pinhead himself, and his thoughts and feelings on making the film. Its quite sweet to see how happy he is to have played the role as well as how appreciative he is towards the horror genre in general. After watching this movie again It lead to a bunch of random unfocused thoughts...which I am about to barf all over the blog right now.

The film itself is still magnificent especially in BlueRay. And after this last viewing I came to the realization that Hellraiser is my favorite horror film of all time. I have never seen a movie that equally repulses and allures me at once. The elegance of the visuals, the beauty of the language, and the over the top grotesque characters made Hellraiser the best Gothic horror movie to date. I can watch the movie over and over and it still gives me chills. How bad? I won't buy a replica of of Hellraiser puzzle box no matter how much I'd like to have one because I have the irrational fear that it WILL call up the Cenobites and suddenly is hamburger central in my living room. Many people have tried to replicate Hellraiser but it always pales in comparison. For me, no movie is quite like Hellraiser. And there is no horror film icon quite like Pinhead.
Scariest memoralbila EVER.

Pinhead. Wow. What a guy. I think the only other horror film icon who scares me as much as him is possibly Freddy Kruger. But its hard to top Pinhead for me. Granted, in the original Hellraiser the main villain is Frank but you cannot deny that Pinhead steals the show. First off, his appearance is extremely grotesque yet never turns the viewer off like many other horror icons. The cross sections of his head, the nails in his face, the exposed flesh on his torso that is pierced and bleeding, the black eyes, the fact that he is the only male horror icon that can look menacing in a skirt... despite all this he still keeps a very human and almost handsome visage which attracts you to him. Maybe it doesn't attract you sexually (unless you're Stac) but he has an allure to him because despite his deformities he still appears human and almost relateable especially the more you find out about him in the sequels.
Pinhead is also a very "less is more" style of icon. While Freddy is over the top with his one liners and Jason and Micheal Myers are silent yet horrifically violent, Pinhead views the world as an indifferent observer. He is cold. And while he can still perform acts of terror upon people with his chains and his back up Cenobites, he conducts it all with the coolness of a British general and a flick of his wrist. Ever notice that Pinhead really doesn't move much? Even when thwarted by the hero he never is prone to chewing the scenery other than a really chilling scream. The very dead and determined delivery of the line "We Will Tear Your Soul Apart!" gives me a large case of the heebies. He's not being threatening He is not trying to scare you. He is merely stating a fact. Pinhead will indeed tear your soul apart because that is what he does. Nothing more nothing less. Pinhead's tortures walk that fine fine line between pain and pleasure which makes one fear what he can do yet keeps you curious as to exactly where the pleasure part fits in. That curiosity I get in the back of my head while watching the film is what really makes my stomach drop out from under me. Why and I wondering?! Why is this man making me wonder this in the first place!? Get out of my head, Pinhead!!
Also, he makes a name like "Pinhead" scary. Pinhead. AHHH!

Pinhead is watching you Masterbate

I would also like to point out that the special effects in the first Hellraiser are still amazing by today's standards. This is why I'm extremely skeptical of how the remake of Hellraiser will be. The reverse filming, the amazing goo, and the makeup/puppet effects were so very real and disarming (especially the resurrection of Frank scene when those two arms come shooting up through the floor) that I really think it will completely cheapen the entire movie when they move to CGI. Of course I'm not %100 it will be all CGI but I seriously doubt they will go many other routes. The only hope for this remake is Clive Barker overseeing the project. I'm a person who usually is pretty open minded about most remakes but with Hellraiser being my favorite and all...well...lets say I'm not really holding my breath for it to be brilliant. But if it is, I promise I will eat my words....But I'm still not holding my breath.
Come on...Doing this in CGI won't be half as creepy.

I'm sure most of you have seen Hellraiser. But if any of you have not please do yourself a favor and rent this movie asap. Its a beautiful, tragic, unique, and bizarre horror film that gives you both the chills of a horror movie like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street but has the depth and elegance of a Shakespearean play.

...And you gotta love the Pinhead. WOO PINHEAD!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Songs in the Key of Creepy

I like music. Most people do, I'd imagine, but I personally prefer to wander into weird territory to find it. For awhile, myspace.com was an awesome place to find music as many new bands and self-promoted artists used myspace's players as a way to get a lot of their stuff heard and would often offer songs for free download. But then the embedded mp3 players changed; if you can still download I haven't figured out how to do it, and as a result my last vestige of interest in that site was lost.

I did find a lot of great, spooky music, though, and figured that I should repay free downloads with free pimpage, so here goes. All of these albums or groups get a firm endorsement from yours truly; Cins would, but it turns out that music makes her grow scales so she lives in a sensory deprivation chamber most of the year. Some of that may be untrue.

First up is Zombina and the Skeletones, a UK-based band that I think is what the 1950's would have sounded like had the Addams Family been the norm.They sing about everything from zombies with one of my personal favorites, Nobody Likes You When You're Dead, to atomic paranaoi with songs like Staci Stasis (I'm sure you can guess why I like that one) and I Was a Human Bomb for the FBI. A lot of their stuff is up on iTunes so you can go sample it, and you can order their albums on their site. I don't have any of their physical albums but I have a ton of their music that I've gotten piecemeal by snapping up an mp3 here and there. My recommended favorites are:
Nobody Likes You When You're Dead Springheel Jack
Their cover of The Monster Mash
Zombie Crush Dracula's Tango

They also have t-shirts and such, and when I can I definitely plan on getting one to adorn my cleavage with. Give them a listen, they're awesome!

Awesomely, I also just found out that they have a series of videos on youtube!

Next up is a very popular independent musician, Voltaire. This man is prolific and if you haven't heard of him at least in passing then I am very surprised. His music is catchy, clever, and frequently filthy. If you've ever listened to his album Ooky Spooky then like me, you will never think of the cantina on Mos Eisley the same way ever again. I really love the musical styles he sets a lot of his music too-- Ooky Spooky was mariachi flavored (and that's awesome for a song like Day of the Dead), To the Bottom of the Sea is sortof steam punk styled, and past albums have worked in a Romanian/Gypsy vibe. His music is alternately upsetting, thought provoking, filthy, or hilarious, and I really dig it all. He also did music a few times for The Grim Adventures of Billy Mandy on Cartoon Network, a show I want on DVD already, dammit.

The first song of Voltaire's that I ever heard was featured on the Projekt Goth labels (I had a friend with a serious taste for hard goth music). The songs in question were Brains (featured as previously mentioned for a Billy and Mandy episode and about a brain eating monster from outer space) and Goodnight, Demon slayer, Goodnight, one of the most wonderful lullabies I've ever heard. encouraging the child its sung for to rise up against the monsters that terrorize him in sleep and defeat them. I have sung it to my nieces and nephews, and will sing it to my own children when I get around to procreating.

Recommended listening is:
Brains Goodnight Demonslayer, Goodnight
Land of the Dead
Day of the Dead
Zombie Prostitute
Three Heavy Stones

Kill the Man Upstairs

Almost Human

Ex Lover's Lover

all of Banned on Vulcan, a series of Star Trek based songs, all of them profain and tons of fun
The Vampire Club
When You're Evil

Graveyard Picnic, a particular favorite because it talks about Edgar Allen Poe, an oft-read poet by moi, and not always when I'm drinking.
Alchemy Monday
Pretty much anything else by Voltaire you can find. A few of the above titles are used in the comic book he wrote and drew called Oh My Goth!, another recommend from each of my bitter inches.

Voltaire's awesome, give him a listen if you haven't yet. He's also on iTunes so you can sample, and I'd be stunned if you couldn't find his stuff on youtube. He also has a website, voltaire.net, and is on myspace. Go! Go! I'll wait for you to come back!

Back? Excellent! On to the next contenders!

And the next contenders in question would be The Gothic Archies. As with most of my musical aquisitions I have a series of mp3s from various albums; this is no different. I found these guys through Penny Arcade; they were one of Tycho's lyric snippets in one of his news posts. The lead singer, Stephin Merrit, has a lovely, smooth deep baritone/ light bass voice, a particular weakness of mine. Deep voiced men kinda make my toes curl, and I'm not sure I could even tell you why. Huh. Weird.

The Gothic Archies are sort of gleefully morbid, and happily without hope. They did an album that's a companion piece to Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events books, called The Tragic Treasury, and are an excellent companion indeed.
From this album I recommend:
Scream and Run Away
The World is a Very Scary Place
When You Play the Violin
Things are Not What They Appear

From The New Despair I recommend:
Ever Falls the Twilight
Your Long White Fingers, which seems like it was written for the other mother in Coraline, though that might just be coincidence on my part.
I'm sure I'll eventually have more from these albums to recommend, but at the moment these are all I have heard (bought off of iTunes and worth every bit spent). Really good stuff.

I have a few more, but I'm going to save them for the next post on music; this is turning into a book. I love all of these artists, so please give them some much deserved love!

Who do you recommend in terms of spooky music? Please share; I'm always looking for more!

Now please excuse me; I have to go scrape Cins off; she's getting water-logged. Some of that might also be untrue.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pop Quiz, Hotshots!!!

I think I totally dated myself with that quote....

Anyways, What is more scary.
A Werewolf or a Vampire?

Personally I go for Werewolf. They're big, unpredictable, and really have no qualms with knocking your head off with a swipe of the claw. You also can't kill them with anything by a silver bullet.

And because vampires can sometimes be pussies *cough* Anne Rice *cough*. Sorry...not a big fan of the Anne Rice vamps. I can't get scared of a puffy faced whiny Brad Pitt who has better hair than me....that bitch.



I watched Night of the Living Dead 3D.

It wasn't very good.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Grim Grinning Ghosts Come Out to Socialiiiiize..!

This is my love letter to Disney's The Haunted Mansion.

I love that ride. It is my favorite in the park; there are several other rides I enjoy just as well, but the Haunted Mansion is the closest to my heart, I think, and when I die I fully intend to be the 1000th ghost that Little Leota currently advertises for at the end of the ride. I'm not even kidding.
Little Leota's holding a space for me; she and I have talked all ready.

The first time I got to set foot in the cursed Gracey mansion I was eleven years old. We lived in Tacoma, Washington, and the year before we left cool, wet Washington for soaked, hotter-than-hell Louisiana we went to California for the summer. My family is originally from So Cal (in fact it's funny when I go visit Cins in San Diego because I was born there and lived there as a kid. Most of the city is a stranger to me, but the occasional thing reminds me of childhood, and the over all feel of the place is familiar). So we used this month long trip as an excuse to see members of our huge family that's scattered all over the area. We went to the Hollywood Wax Museum (where my father used the Alien figure to SCARE THE HELL OUT OF ME, but that's a post for another time), as well as Universal Studios. But the highlight, of course, was the House of Mouse.

Actually, our timing was superb; Star Tours had just opened a few months before, so everyone was in line for that. I am not exaggerating when I say that we would ride Pirates of the Caribbean, get off, then run around and be the next people on board. It was aces. We approached the looming manor house that Mr. Gracey built, and in we went. I remember throwing my arms around my father and screaming when the doorless chamber went black; it was so scary but so good, and I think that's honestly where my love for the creepy and misunderstood started.

I love the portrait hall, which they have bettered in recent years; it used to just change slowly from benign image to frightening true image, but now the scary side only comes out when the lightening flashes. For a great telling of the origins of each person in the portraits go here: CLEEOCK, BEEOTCH! Great reads, and it sounds like the, heh, Deaditor of the site has an in with actual cast members, etc. It's going in my bookmarks, for certain!

This man is having a bad career.

Then we climbed in the Doom Buggies and I determinedly ignored Uncle Caesar's grim leer as we went past him. My father made fun of me for feeling bad for the grave digger, and the grave digger's poor, hungry hound dog. I like animals and don't like to see their ribs, okay? Someone get that puppy an animatronic steak!

Then there was the bride, her poor, broken heart keeping time waiting for her lost groom. I still remember how bloody red her heart was, through her wedding dress. Interestingly, a few years back the Haunted Mansion got a bit of a face lift. Nothing too serious, more like tightening up and improving some trouble areas. The bride was one of these, and she is now an axe-wielding black widow named Crazy Constance. She goes from holding a bouquet to holding a hatchet, and her dialogue chances from a litany of "I do"'s to "I did!". All of the grooms in her various wedding portraits are suddenly sans cabesa, it's pretty sweet. I certainly liked the forlorn bride, but Constance is also a welcomed addition; too bad we can't have both, huh? The previous incarnation of the bride is animatronic, but now she's back-projected and much more mobile, like Madam Leota and the singing busts.

Then it's to the graveyard, and our ghostly friends start singing "Grim Grinning Ghosts" in earnest. Wonderfully detailed scenes are everywhere, from ghosts playing teeter totter on a head stone to the mummy to the man walling himself in, it's all wonderfully macabre, just the way I like it!

Can someone tell me why the fuck I always get Phineas? It's NEVER Ezra or Gus. That fat spook is stalking me!

Then the hitch hiking ghosts come-- the first time I saw Phineas pop up in my Doom Buggy, I clawed my father's arm open on accident. Whoops! I was trying to have long nails for the first time in my life, and Dad's skin paid the price for that one.Finally, you meet little Leota who extends an invitation to join the mansion's crew after death, and then you're out in the blinding sun light of Anaheim again. If you're anything like me you have an immediate urge to loop right back around and get back into line, but I know my park compatriots would kill me if I did, so I resist, wait a few hours, and then drag them back for another go around!

Ghosts are my favorites of the spooky world, and I think that love was nurtured here as a pre-teen. The seeds were already there (I was occasionally a pretty weird kid), but this place made sure that frightening fruit was born! As a result I now collect ghosts-- figurines, I mean. I have a blown glass ghost from Disneyland (affectionately dubbed "Frenchie" because of his extended tongue), and try to get a ghost as a souvenir wherever I go. I even have a Haunted Mansion snow globe, the same as shown here:

It plays Grim Grinning Ghosts when you activate the button on the bottom. Currently mine just plays a horrible loud squeal of awful when you hit the button; I need a new watch battery for it. I also have both versions of the ride through on CD, as well as an AWESOME book on Gracey Manor.

From Halloween to Christmas the Haunted Mansion gets a Nightmare Before Christmas make over, and the denizens of Halloween Town try to make Christmas their own. While I have the ride through memorized, I sadly have not yet been able to go on the ride its self during this time of year. I'm hoping to change that, and soon.

There are two other versions of the Haunted Mansion-- it's slightly different (and in a different building design) in Florida, and it's completely different in Paris Disney. I someday hope to go on both!

So remember, make final arrangements now, if you should decide to join us. I already have, personally.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What the Blazes?! CONTEST!!!

So my friend Roy pointed out that Fangora just posted a couple pics from Rob Zombie's H2:Halloween 2. And this image?
Yeah..this is hurting my brain...

Umm...what the Hell IS that?
It appears to be some sort of weeping vagina goat pumpkin prince.

Now I still have yet to see the first Rob Zombie Halloween so for all I know this may tie in somewhere. I doubt it but it may! Does it? Anyone have answers for this ignorant girl?

Since this picture confuses and amuses me so I'm going to open up a wacky contest.

Give me an explanation of what the hell could POSSIBLY be happening in this picture within the movie boundaries. Stac and my favorite will win a print of my Zombie in a Hamster Wheel sketch or Jason makes a Compost Heap Sketch.

Just post it in the comments here. Please enlighten me!

Stac's edit: What the FUCK?! Someone better explain this, NOW!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Guilty Pleasure Movies

Note to Readers - If you have not, Go vote in the Monsters vs Madmen first playoff game! The Tall Man vs Samara! We only have two votes...and we're tied..AGAIN. So please help this be a Battle Royal with cheese and scream your choice loud to the heavens!

Guilty Pleasures.
Face it...we all have em. I have many. Too many. I dip my McDonald's french fries into my milkshake, I love the album "Kilroy Was Here" by Styx, and I cry at the end of All Dogs Go to Heaven. DON'T JUDGE ME!!
Johnny from Freddy in Space blogged on this subject a while ago and honestly, its probably one of my all time favorite subjects to tackle. And Johnny of course opened a can of worms and made me want to post about it. It makes one feel a little less guilty about liking something that is a bit silly, goofy, or just down right stupid when you can share them with others. So I'm taking a page out of his book and hopefully opening a discussion about this.
Sharing is Caring, folks!

So my guilty pleasure horror films.

Seriously, this film is lame. Everything about this movie screams lame. Low budget, bad acting, and a set that kind of looks like plastic wrap back lit with flashlights. The kill scenes are pretty ridiculous including Tony Todd stuck in a Houdini water tank in the middle of the street....you'd think someone would have helped the guy. The Djinn has tentacles and sounds like he smokes two packs a day after gargling a refreshing glass of rusty nails. Do I find him threatening? Not really. He's kinda a passive monster since he can't do anything without someone wishing it. They do imply that he has seduction powers but they don't really come across well. But despite all that I CANNOT resist watching this movie every time its on! There is something so deliciously cheesy about this film! Granted, the Djinn is more of a douche bag than a really scary villain but Andrew Divoff is quite handsome with is mugging to the camera and eyebrow acting. And despite its execution, the plot is creative...weird, but creative. I also find myself becoming so charmed that it wants to be Hellraiser SO BADLY. Its like watching someone's baby sister put on heels , apply lipstick lopsided on their face, then announce "I just like big sis!" you really can't fault it because its trying so hard. Its almost adorable.

Leprechaun in Vegas
Yeah, the real title is Leprechaun 3 but it will always be known to me as Leprechaun in Vegas. Leprechaun in Space? Leprechaun in da Hood? Nothing compares to Leprechaun in Vegas. Why? A stereotypical Vegas card dealer's ass and tits explode. That's ALL I need. Seriously. How many movies can deliver a simultaneous T and A explosion? I bet you can count them on one hand. And they explode like a beautiful ticker tape parade! The rest of the movie could suck (and trust me, it's pretty awful) but it reaches awesome sauce level because of the exploding hiney and fun bags. Watch for yourself!
That and I love Warwick Davis. Ever since his Willow years I liked that guy.

The Hazing
Stac made me and my old college roommate sit through this a few summers ago. Bad special effects, horrid acting, and a scream queen kicking ass in a tight silver vinyl catsuit. The trifecta of bad movie awesomeness. Sure it probably set the women's movement back about 10 years but she kicks ass in a silver vinyl catsuit! AND stiletto heels! You try it! I dare you!....and if you do please video it and put it on youtube for me to post on here. The movie really doesn't try to be anything more than what it is, cheap. Its a lot of mindless fun. Its also awesome to see the nerdy character go ballistic on the baddy and curse extremely creatively.

WHY do I love this movie!? I think because there's a slight romantic twist to it...and Julian Sands flying scenes. He's the only man that can make flying in super slow-mo on a clothes line look cool. And he's kinda sexy in that B-movie I couldn't attract the gorgeous guy at the bar but I did attract his best friend with the sense of humor sort of way....I go for those guys.

So off the top of my head, there they are....and I'm sure I have a ton more in the back of my head but Its best if I stop now.
Got any guilty pleasures? I wanna hear em!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monsters Vs Madmen- Round 5! FINALLY!!

Okay, thank you Johnny for breaking our tie!
Yeah he voted twice but so did Stac and frankly, its an Internet contest that wins us nothing. How serious could it be?

Pennywise has gone to that tiny clown car in the sky.

And let me tell you it was a brutal bitch fight. Seriously. These two were tied for-freakin-EVER.

But The Tall Man manages to squeak by and has moved onto the first playoff game.

This....is going to be weird...really weird.

The Tall Man from the Phantasam movies.


Samara from The Ring movies.

I really can't imagine weirder opponents except maybe putting my mom up against a walrus in a house dress.

Here they are in action
Samara's student film

And the Tall Man...this clip speaks for itself

The winner of this will go up to the final final rounds of insanity when we start bringing the big guns out!

So cast your vote! Next Monday the survivor will be announced!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Girlish Night of Horror

Finals are over, thanks be to God, and I am enjoying my well-earned respite from all things academic. I am doing so by painting my fingernails black and my toes nails orange-- it's always October in my mind-- and watching Kolcheck: The Night Stalker. I am so in live with this show. In fact, I think I'm in love with Carl Kolchak; I tend to think about him a lot when I'm not fantasizing about illicit sexual positions and situations. It's how I pass my day.

In his prime, Darrin McGavin was a fine specimen of man-meat, and even in his old age he was still very attractive. And he never lost that strange, endearing way he brought to every role I ever saw him in. He did baffled and cunning better than anyone else acting then and now, and that's a big part of the crush I have on Carl Kolchak. Actually, it's not just a crush-- I think that anyone who is a fan of this show in some level wants to be like Kolchak; you wanna poke into the dark crevices of the world and come away with some fantastic story. Sure, no one will believe you, but it'll get you a drink if you tell it to the right crowd. Plus I really really want a pork pie hat. The irritating part I do easily and with out really trying.

Part of the allure of Kolchak's personality is his conviction that he's one hundred percent correct, no matter how insane the story. It's refreshing to see someone who has inherent faith in his own senses as well as in his own abilities to get out of trouble once he's inevitably stumbled into it.

The show has a seedy charm, and while the show obviously didn't have a lot of money, what there was seemed to go into little details: Kolchak's black socks with his white tennis shoes for example. Normally that's a look that makes me bite my lips 'til they bleed, but on the unstoppable ginger reporter it's strangely charming. Then there's the supporting cast: Vincenzo, Kolchak's boss, and the two seem mutually loathe one another. Then there is Miss Emily, the older than dirt gossip columnist (the actress who played her actually played another one time role at the start of the show, before Miss Emily's character was introduced. I love how incestuous t.v was, especially t.v in the 70's and '80's.) ANd of course, there's Ron, the financial adviser at their paper, a sexually ambiguous kiss-up that Kolchak loves to torment.

The fembot in me would have loved to date Kolchak, send hm off on his missions, get in trouble with him, then tear up the bedroom. Ahh, good times. I think my blood sugar's low and I need to eat dinner. Man, that woman is wearing some UGLY glasses. But her gold lame wedges are pretty awesome! The turban has to go.

Kolchak is a fascinating (and sekSAY!) character; there is a lot of implied back story. He seems like he's seen a lot of history before the show's current time line, and like maybe he was once upon a time a respected reporter. But he's so committed to the truth, the actual truth as he sees it, that he has been forced to pursue it at the expense of his career. He has continued to swan along anyway, and manages to do it with humor and wise-crackery.

Now, of course, we must discuss the ill-fated attempt to reboot this series that came out a few years ago. It was a weird idea, and I have no idea why the creators even tried to link the two shows. The remake stared Stuart Townsend as Carl Kolchak; he is also referred to largely as Carl, which is weird, since he's mostly Kolchak in the original series. There was also NO humor in the remake, at all. Kolchak is a haunted man, his wife murdered, and he seeks to unravel the mystery of what happened to her. It wasn't a bad show, it was just nothing like Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and was far more like a, X-Files rehash, which is strangely ironic since Chris Carter has acknowledged that this show inspired X-Files. Suddenly Vincenzo is Kolchak's only defender, though in the original series I firmly believe that Vincenzo would have chewed his own arm off if it got Kolchak out of his hair. The new version also gave Carl sidekicks, which sucked because in the original series he is very firmly a lone wolf.

Well, my nail are drying, my blood sugar is all over the damn place (which means giggles over nothing are sadly imminent) and I find myself craving something phenomenally bad for me, so I'm gonna go hit Taco Bell and watch more Kolchak! If you've never seen it, then give it a watch: this show deserves more love, dammit!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Review-The Midnight Meat Train

An Open Letter:

Dear Clive Barker,
May I please have your creepy children? I know you're gay but I'm sure we can figure something out.
Yours in Fan-girliness,

The Midnight Meat Train was one of those movies that I've been wanting to see for ages. Every blog I read raved about it, my friends raved about, and every damn person seemed to have seen it except for me! This is because I appear to be on a 3 month delay with horror films. Seriously. I am usually the last to know about and see them. This does not bode well for Drag Me to Hell (Note to self, drag someone to Drag Me to Hell.). I'm so last season. I know.

Midnight Meat Train is an insane film based off the short story by Clive Barker and directed by Ryuhei Kitamura. This is where I give my general synopsis but I'm not sure if I can really sum up this film in a few words. Basically its about a young photographer, Leon played by Bradley Cooper who encounters and becomes obsessed with a mysterious and frightening man named Mahogany played brilliantly by Vinnie Jones. Many hard left turns, gore, and really fucked up shit follows. I make it sound so simple but trust me its not. I'm trying not to give any spoilers so this review will probably sound pretty vague.

This movie, like an onion, has many layers. And I do believe I will need to watch it again to really get the full impact of it all. I went in expecting a film on par with some of Barker's lesser works. What I got was a movie that was right up there with his greats like Candyman and Hellraiser. Midnight Meat Train is basic in its story but takes that and builds strange layers and situations making it a far more complex film than the usual horror fare. At the beginning of the film you truly believe that you know where it's going. Then things change and you realize that maybe you're just not sure if that IS the direction its going to go. Its hardly an M. Night Shyamalan twist film but it does throw a couple of curve balls at you that make you say "WHOA!" "GAH!" and "I Think I Wet 'Em!"...well maybe not the third one...depending on your bladder. The screenplay never talks down to its audience and it never spells out the information all at once. You get glimpses here and glimpses there of information until the pieces all come together at the end.

The film also holds the Barker trademark elegant gore that I so adore; bloody, gooey, poetic, and grotesque. We have buckets of dark sticky blood against beautiful stark colored images, bodies hanging upside down on the subway train like sides of beef, tumors in a jar, and countless other moments of nightmare fuel. Even though Barker didn't direct the movie, Ryuhei Kitamura was conscious enough to know that you needed to have that element of elegance to really pull off a Clive Barker story. I wouldn't call it the usual Gothic gore that Barker does. The look is far more slick and modern but it still has that feeling of art. Kudos, man. Sometimes its a bit heavy on the CGI (*cough* flying eyeball *cough*) but the director does use that to his advantage and tries to makes cheap CGI appear more like a comic panel or painting, going for more surrealistic visuals than full out realism. 9 times out of 10 it works beautifully.

But lets get to the "meat" of this review....horrid joke I know. I will slap myself later.
Vinnie Jones as Mahogany has created one Hell of a horror villain icon! This was a wonderful character. The character only says 3 or four words they entire movie but he conveys paragraphs with his eyes. A big hulking man in a beige suit, intense eyes, and a quiet way about him. The phrase "Its the quiet ones you have to watch" was created for him, I'm sure. Mahogany is a beautifully terrifying and sad horror film villain. Though I'm not sure if you can really call him a villain. You soon realize he's as much a victim as everyone else. Yet he never falls into the woe as me poor widdle bad guy trap which could lessen his impact. You are always terrified of him and his impeccably shiny and clean meat tenderizer...hopefully I didn't give too much away. I never was afraid of meat tenderizers, then I saw Midnight Meat Train.

If you have not seen The Midnight Meat Train (though I have the sneaky suspicion that I am the last to have seen it) its definitely worth the rental. Actually I think its worth buying the DVD full price! And trust me, I can be a cheapskate so that's saying a lot from me. Check this classic out!

On a different note, Monsters and Madmen tie breaking results will be posted tomorrow. Thank you Johnny for breaking the dang tie!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Monster Vs Madmen - A Tie?!

For the first time in Monsters vs Madmen history....which isn't that long since we've only had four rounds...We have a tie!
I knew this was going to be a good match up!

Three votes for Tall Man and Three Votes for Pennywise! (Stac was a brat and decided to vote for both)

So I'm leaving it up until Tuesday for the Tie Breaker.

Tall Man Vs Pennywise!

Vote for your favorite! Whoever has the most votes moves on to battle Samara!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Chalk up another one for a drunken horror movie night!

I'm currently watching this gem.

Mustang Sally's Horror House.

Or...whore-er house. Less horror more porn-er.
Its kinda a Hostel meets Debbie Does Dallas. Since I'm currently watching it on Chiller its lacking the nuances such as nipples and the F Bomb.

The hubby and I are currently watching this sucker and we really cannot stop laughing. Its not Zombie Strippers by any stretch but I really would love to watch this sucker with some really snarky gal pals after a bottle of wine.

I would also like to point out this movie has the best hooker names EVER. Tushalene, LikiLick (shes the Asian one), Caressa, Titi-ana (don't you call her titty!), Persuasion, and the not quite creative but you see where this is going name, Kitty.

Check it out for a good Stupid horror film with big jugs!

Check out the trailer:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

30 Days of Night. The Book vs the Movie

This is long winded folks..Get comfortable!

When 30 Days of Night was announced, I became really excited. This was because it looked like an honest to God SCARY vampire film. As some of you who have been following the blog, I have a general indifference towards the vampire genre. Vampires just don't do it for me really. While I find the concept intriguing, I never found the species that frightening at all. Angsty, poetic, and mysterious? Sure. Scary? Well you might as well dress my 8th grade poetry loving English teacher up in a cape and have her "lurk" at me. That would probably induce the same amount of fear that a vampire would.

But 30 Days of Night?

Aw yeah. Promising.

30 Days of Night looked on par with Near Dark (The only vampire movie to ever scare me.). So I researched the film like a good little nerd and found out that 30 Days was based on a graphic novel of the same name. Double geek score! And of course, the one thing I wanted to do was dig my meat hooks into the graphic novel before the film came out. Luckily one of our readers and good friend of mine, Nojh sent me the box set of the 30 Days of Night graphic novel trilogy. I promised him my first born son and since he didn't want that I promised to buy him some Anime he wanted...which I have yet to deliver on. Unfortunately these novels solidified my now tried and true rule. Never read the book before seeing the movie! Because about 99% percent of the time the movie is just a dim comparison of the material its based upon. For me 30 Days of Night the movie was in that 99%. Damn it all. Now don't get me wrong, 30 Days of Night isn't a crap film. It's actually pretty well done. The problem is, the graphic novel is better. And my expectations going in to see this film were a bit high.

For those of you who do not know the graphic novel or the film BEWARE! THAR BE SPOILERS AHEAD!!

The Graphic Novel of 30 Days of Night is virtually the exact same story as the film. A group of vampires descend on the small Alaskan town of Barrow during the winter when the sun is down for 30 days. Chaos and blood ensues. The interesting thing about 30 Days the graphic novel is that its written like a fable. The action is briefly described and the characters are a bit vague. Its less a fleshed out piece of literature and more of a cautionary tale told over a campfire. You can get through each book in a day. What carries the novel is the beautifully grotesque art and the story line. After reading this I felt it was perfect to put to film. With many other books to movie adaptations you lose a lot of the small details, subplots, and character quirks leaving the Cliff Notes addition to fill the screen. But with 30 Days of Night, you can easily transfer the fable like story to the screen without losing a thing. You even have room for additions too. The attack on the town was not very detailed in the novel and relied on the moody art to covey its terror. In a film version you have room to expand. And 30 Days, the film did do this its benefit. The attack sequences were wonderful. The first couple being mauled, the good friend hiding under the house after he's been turned, the old senile man constantly stepping out of hiding forgetting the situation, and my favorite and the one that really gets under my skin, the "human bait" scene. Each one of these scenes were perfectly orchestrated for suspense and terror. Also, the portrayal of the vampires were spot on. The shark eyed, mouth full of razors, animalistic blood suckers were perfect to give me the chills. Finally, a screen vampire (that wasn't Bill Paxton) to scare me! Danny Huston was perfect as the lead vampire Marlow. He was everything I'd want in a vampire leader; creepy, calculating, cold blooded...slightly attractive which really disturbs me about how I think. The addition of the vampires speaking their own language was also stellar and alienated the audience even more from them.

So what went wrong for me?

While the film did do a great job expanding the action and terror, it ignored some really great and even franchise building character moments that were in the book. The book was written fable style, but there were two great subplots that were completely ignored in the film; the vampire hunters and the other vampires. Also, the portrayal of our two heroes in the film, Eben and his wife Stella didn't sit well with me either.

The novel had two subplots that were pretty fantastic. And while I understand that in most book to movie adaptations subplots sometimes have to be removed for time and streamline factors, 30 Days the movie really didn't have to omit them. The movie had plenty of room to include both subplots but still keep the story streamlined and keep the running time under two and a half hours.The vampire hunter subplot was small but lead into a huge plot point in the second novel, which I heard was in the works for a movie. In 30 Days, the novel we're introduced to a woman and her son in New Orleans who are Hell bent on proving to the world that vampires exist. They find out about the attack on Barrow and the son heads off on a mission to not save the the down but only to document the attack and come back to report to the world. I felt this subplot gave the audience a larger scope of the vampires. They didn't just pop up in Alaska, they were everywhere. And from a commercial standpoint, this would give a great lead in to a movie sequel.

The other vampires was a subplot that I really felt was needed to give the vampires a bit more depth. While I loved how they were portrayed as pack animals, the idea that they had enough human in them to be organized and calculating was the scary part. We had glimpses of their intelligence in the film. The graphic novel expanded on this more. We found out that not only where there more vampires than Marlow's little band of misfits but that all the other vampires were really pissed off at Marlow's plan for an Alaskan feeding orgy feeling it will expose their species to humans. This ended in a creepy show down between Marlow and the head honcho of the vampire world right in the middle of Barrow which eventually lead to a good chunk of the town's destruction. This also lead to a rather large war between the humans and the vampires in the second book. While I can understand omitting the vampire hunter's subplot since it can be glazed over in the second movie, I felt the other vampires subplot really added to the overall mood of the piece and was pretty vital to the essence of the vampires. It also made a much better reason for the vampires to burn the town than Marlow's sudden change of heart about what they were doing.

I also wasn't too happy with the portrayal of Eben and Stella in the film. When reading 30 Days the graphic novel Eben and Stella were happily married. Not only happily married but I also had the feeling that they were much older possibly in their late thirties or early forties. The stars of our film Josh Hartnett and Melissa George appeared to be much younger. Not only younger but hyper good looking. I'm sure this sounds like a nit picky thing but I felt making the two main characters of the movie young and hot pushed 30 Days the film into typical horror movie cliche land. Who will save us? The beautiful people of course! They were fine in their rolls but I craved to have older more experienced actors as Eben and Stella. They were the sheriffs in the harsh Alaskan territory. I'm not saying all Alaskans are beaten and withered but I am saying is that you'd have a wee bit more experience in your eyes than your average beautiful movie star. Also, was it necessary to have them be separated? It seemed like just another typical movie cliche to have their marriage in turmoil only to be brought back together by crisis. We've seen it so many times in movies (Die Hard, Outbreak, Saw 3, etc etc.) Why not have the older married couple that was portrayed in the graphic novel? To me that seems more mundane and makes the crisis they encounter twice as terrifying.

I'm sure it sounds like I'm tearing this movie a new one. It really isn't a horrible film. And if I had never read the graphic novel first, chances are I'd have liked it a lot more than I do. I do recommend it to anyone who is curious about it. But unfortunately its not a classic like Near Dark is. It feels shallow. Fantastic creatures and great suspense but without the extra bits of character it needs to back it all up. If they only kept in most if not all the nuances of the novel I really believe it could have been a classic vampire film. Right now, I can only classify it as "Good and worth a rental".

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Monsters Vs Madmen- Round 4!

Well the vote was a bit closer this time!
And by closer I mean it wasn't a complete slaughter and one side got more than one vote.


But there was some interesting discussion from our Kane supporters. R.I.P Kane. We hardly knew ye.

I really believe I am not making these matches hard enough. So I'm skipping over some other lower teared madmen and jumping to one of the bigger guns.


The Tall Man from the Phantasam movies


Pennywise, the Clown from IT.

Yeah, this should be good. The Tall Man is a scary old bastard with undead midget minions and terrifying bloodthirsty spheres on his side. Also, he never dies!! He keeps coming back!
Pennywise is an ancient evil entity who decides to appear to children AS A GODDAMNED CLOWN that EATS PEOPLE!
Yikes on both ends.

It sounds like a sitcom. Like they should be renting an apartment somewhere in south Hollywood and doing things like opening a dog grooming salon or a juice bar. And shenanigans happen.

Regarding our new contender:
I never had a fear of clowns...but Pennywise can easily induce that fear in me.
I shudder when I walk past a circus now.
Did I ever mention my brother in law is a trained mime and clown? He likes to put on his clown suit and scare the piss out of me.
My sister now wants me to make my 1 year old nephew a little clown costume for Halloween.

Lets see them in action.

The Tall Man doesn't need make up or a red nose. He just needs to show up to freak me out.

Let this be a lesson to all of us. Never trust clowns that hang out in sewers.

The survivor of this round will go on to fight Samara, our current reigning champion. Choose wisely.

3-2-1 FIGHT!!!