Sunday, February 28, 2010
And THAT is a very long-winded way to say I'm supposed to be writing a paper and have decided to post this instead. I know we have female readers, and I wanted to give them a heads up-- or hey, even the guy readers! Sometimes boys need to feel pretty, too. I have discovered a TRULY awesome makeup line called Sweet Libertine. Not only is it made and sold by the same person, it's really great mineral stuff, frequently marvelously sparkly!
Until midnight tonight, there is TRULY offensive line called "XXX", and the titles are fabulously filthy! I myself have purchased "Sex in Chryslers", "Back Door Sluts v. 12", and as of a few minutes ago, "Sparklecunt". These colors go away COMPLETELY tonight, so snag them while you can!!
If you're not able to indulge your truly foul-mouthed self with that line, check out the other offerings at Sweet Libertine . I know that I personally like to indulge in harmless drama: imagine the fun of being able to tell a horror icon at a con that you're wearing Muff Diver on your lids? That fucker'll never ask a fan a question again! Come and join us-- scar the world with your BEAUTY!
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Happy birthday to the coolest, weirdest, best cohort a person could be gifted with-- If I ever need to hide a body, I have faith that you'll know the perfect place to plant it! Here's to graveyards, homoerotic subtext in horror sequels, scaring the piss out of each other, scaring fanboys and getting in a fight at Disneyland!
You're the best, oh sister-drag queen!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I believe Apt Pupil is one of the forgotten Stephen King movie gems. Probably because more people consider it a drama than a horror film. But personally I think this is a fantastic psychological horror film. Its not gory or scary in the traditional sense but it's extremely disturbing, intense, and really haunts you after you see it. I hold it more on par with the likes of Silence of the Lambs and Se7en.
In a nutshell, Apt Pupil is about a young troubled man named Todd who finds out that his elderly neighbor, Kurt, was a high ranking Nazi soldier in WWII. So Todd does what any young troubled man would do in a situation like this. He blackmails the shit out of him. The whole film becomes a battle of wills and wits between the two.
This scene is a bit different than the usual scenes I feature on 10 Minutes of Terror mainly because I'm not really analyzing the visual cues but just honoring the amazing acting of Ian McKellen...who I have a HUGE old gay man crush on. Seriously, I want to hang out with this guy for a weekend.
Lets take a look at the infamous (well infamous to me) marching scene.
What I love about this scene the most is the transformation of Ian McKellen's character during his march. It really is a beautiful acting moment that I don't think my words can even describe.
What we see before and through out most of the beginning of the film is a broken man who is desperately trying to hide his secret. In fact at some points in the film you're lead to believe he was just a soldier following orders and is now ashamed. Well this moment is the turning point for his character.
If you just watch his facial expressions, McKellen's transformation is so beautifully subtle. His eyes grow more intense and his jaw becomes more set and his marching grows. His body language is exaggerated yet his face is cold, cruel and almost dead except for that spark in his eyes. At this point you damn well know that this frail old man really is a monster and our dear Todd has just unleashed it again. In fact, this moment here is when the tables begin to turn and the battle of wills really gets intense. Todd is no longer in control, Kurt and his demons are.
I really do think Apt Pupil is worth checking out. Its a fascinating story and the acting is top notch all the way around. If you're into more psychological horror, rent this sucker.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
So let make this a cage match!
Monday, February 22, 2010
I love urban legends. They're so creepy and fascinating, and when you really stop and think about the life behind them-- and they really do seem to live on their own-- they're really bizarre. Really think about them, and the stories nine time out of ten really are ludicrous. A woman masturbating with a live lobster? Why the hell would she do that when you can get such a wide and frequently frightening variety of sex toys? Or why would someone steal a kidney in a motel bathroom? Pretty sure that kidney won't be reusable; bathrooms don't tend to be terrifically sterile. I really think that today's urban legends (and rural, for that matter) are an extension of the cautionary stories told by our peasant ancestors. Today's Mexican rat mistake for a chihuahua was the big bad wolf a thousand years ago.
That being said, sometimes they're closer to you than your cousin's friend's roommate. I have a friend from high school; we went to the same church and even went on mission together to Honduras the year I graduated. Miranda believed in urban legends; she'd experienced one herself.
A few years before, she and her father had driven across country, I'm not sure why. I think it was to visit family on the East Coast; it was winter when they were driving back. Somewhere in the Midwest the weather was getting meaner and meaner; fog was coming in patches, and it was that wet, freezing fog that clings to everything it touches. It wasn't snowing yet, but it the weather definitely looked like it was heading that way. The sun went down and it got really nasty; they were driving on a back road at a crawl, when they saw her. This poor young woman, huddled in a red hoodie and a skirt of all things, and she was hitchhiking.
Like most people with a soul would do, they stopped and picked her up; the weather was nasty enough that hypothermia was a real concern. She was very grateful and explained that her house was about a mile away and her car had broken down. This was juuuust before everyone and their dutch uncle had a cell phone, so the likelihood of this happening wasn't that outlandish. Miranda told her there was a blanket in the backseat, and other than the occasional directions given, conversation lapsed back into tense silence, stress over the weather. After some time, Miranda's father figured they must be getting close to the street her home was on, and asked her if they should be on the lookout for a street name.
You all know what comes next. No answer. Repeat, still no answer. When Miranda turned to look, there was no one there. Of course. The blanket was puddled on the seat, but that was the only sign anyone had been there. The car was driving slowly, but certainly not slow enough to allow a person to tuck and roll without harm, not to mention that in any car you'd hear the door and sure as hell notice that one of your passengers had decided to give low flight a try. She had simply disappeared.
Miranda's father doesn't believe in ghosts; he thinks she was an angel, there to ensure that they drove safely through the nasty weather. Miranda agrees. While I certainly believe in angels, well, you already know what I think she was, don't you?
Monday, February 15, 2010
While we're on the subject of psychedelic Vincent Price films, your challenge is one of my favorites from Roger Corman and Edgar Allen Poe.
Cins, you are challenged to watch: The Abominable Doctor Phibes, starring my true love, Vincent Price as the good doctor. You can watch with friends, get drunk, drop acid, stab a hooker, whatever you think will enhance the viewing. But you are charged to look at it from an artists eyes: the sets and costumes in this movie are gorgeous, and the composition is very masterfully done. So outside of the strange and delightfully silly deaths (death by rat in airplane, for example), you must also look at the aspects of the film that show that A. Vincent Price really was an effing GIFT to the horror community, and B. This really is a beautiful movie to watch.
I predict you shall enjoy!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
My asshole brother bought her back in September '57. That's when you got your new model year, in September. Brand-new, she was. She had the smell of a brand-new car. That's just about the finest smell in the world... 'cept maybe for pussy.
Does anyone else think that early Stephen King and John Carpenter is a film match made in Heaven? Just me? Carpenter lends his testosterone (and vaguely homoerotic) tones to this film and it works beautifully. Christine is underrated. There is just something really creepy and sleazy about this movie that I love...the car is pretty sweet too.
Is he...is he going to kill that kid?...Oh yeah he went there. Pet Cemetery is one of those "Oh he TOTALLY WENT THERE!" films what with child killing, pet killing, creepy devil child returning, and especially the heel slicing. OH GOD THE HEEL SLICING! Mary Lambert directed this one and really did a great job balancing the horror with the emotion of the story making this both frightening and touching.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Okay folks, THIS is awesome shit!
The hubby pointed this out to me. Apparently its a teaser trailer for a computer animated zombie flick that is looking for backing. This looks AWESOME!!!
I found a little more info on the film here at zombieinfo.com
And this follow up, too!
Anyone out there have further info perhaps? I must know!
Oh MAN I hope they make this movie!
I want to issue a BIG HUGE apology to our SAW contest winners who won prints and sketches. Because I have been dragging my ass HARD CORE about getting your prizes in the mail.
I totally suck, guys. No doubt about it and no other excuse.
The prints and sketches will be going out TOMORROW. SUPER PROMISE!! And some extra stuff too because I suck and I want to make it up to you guys for being readers and for also being SUPER patient and not even bugging me about it at all.
If it wasn't for Matthew's gentle poke I got this evening I'd still be not at the damn post office.
SO yes, I suck. You guys rule.
As a bonus..Matthew! This is your prize which is wining it way to you this weekend! I really hope you like it!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
This is a gorgeous poster; I plan on some day having a copy. Word of note, however: at no point does Candace Hilligoss dress up in what appears to be a Romanian peasant girl costume barely held over her nipples with double sided tape. And I'm pretty sure she wears a bra through the whole film; hope I didn't ruin anything for you.
This is a spooky little movie, unquestionably. I'd seen it once before, but it had been so long that I needed a refresher to realize this really is a quiet little gem, waiting to be watched. This movie was shot for 17,000$, and even in 1962 that's a pretty piddling amount. This movie used its resources wisely, and went for style and atmosphere over flash; ultimately a brilliant choice.
In its basic form, this movie it a ghost story. A woman, Mary (Candace Hilligoss, who is amazingly beautiful), is in a violent car accident that results in the whole car she's in being swept off of the bridge it's on, and into a flood-staged river below. For several hours a retrieval squad drags the river, trying to pull the car up, but the water is too wild and high; discouragement is setting in, rapidly. To the group's surprise, a figure is seen straggling out of the river: Mary has emerged, but is disoriented and uncommunicative. There is no sign of the other two young women.
Two images become iconic almost simultaneously: the Pale Man (played by the director, Herk Harvey, with frightening proficiency), and the ruined pavilion Saltair, next to the Great Salt Lake. At some point I am going to do a blog entry solely based around this ruin; this movie has one of the best uses of a pre-existing locale ever. This place was a marvelous husk (sadly the version in this movie was burned down in the 1970's. It's been abandoned, destroyed, and rebuilt so many times it seems like it's got its own ghosts to contend with). Apparently the existence of this quiet ruin is the whole purpose that this movie ever got made-- Herk Harvey, who did educational shorts for the extent of his career save for this diversion, was location scouting and found the place. Something about it drew at him, and he collaborated with another Centron employee, John Clifford, who wrote the screenplay.
There is no happy ending here: the Pale Man and the other dancers eventually do catch Mary, and sweep her away as she screams. The next morning officials are commenting that her car is abandoned there at the ruins, and you can see in the sand where she ran and fell, but no other footprints. Where she fell is where she disappeared. Then the final shot cuts back up to Kansas, where the strange, solitary woman was originally from. After all this the car has been found, and the recovery men are in the process of winching it out of the water. There are three women in the car; Mary is one of them. A ghost, haunting even herself.
I also want to take a moment, and appoint some form of award for what has got to be THE sleaziest character in the whole of cinema: Mary's neighbor, John Linden. Seriously, this guy is SO skeevy he seems to leave a palpable haze of scum on the film itself. The man peeps-- and gets all hot and bothered when he sees Mary, clad in a towel the size of a queen bed sheet, put on her old lady frumpy robe, and then drop the towel. You literally see no more of her than the back of her neck, but by gum, that lady's NEKKID under that robe that goes to her calves!
My final note is this: there was a loose remake of this made in 1998. While the actors were all solid, this movie is absolute CRAP and should be avoided at all costs. AT ALL COSTS. AVOID AVOID AVOID.
Over all, this is a beautiful, eerie movie, and you should do yourself a favor and see it if you've not had a chance before. It's in the public domain so I'm sure there are a million places online to see it, so seek it out.
See? That wasn't so bad! Started out with masturbation, ended with a recommend! We all win!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
So imagine my delight when I found out a fellow vagina, Kathryn Bigalow, has been nominated for best director this year for her work on The Hurt Locker. I'm sure you're all asking yourself "Umm Cins....yeah that's great but what the Hell does this have to do with Creepy Kitch?"
Well folks, turns out that Ms. Bigalow directed one of the BEST vampire films of all time (and my favorite) Near Dark! Awww yeah baby! She also directed the extremely weird and short lived series "Wild Palms" as well as the creepy Sci-Fi film Strange Days....and Point Break but I can forgive her for Point Break.
Anyways, Congrats to you Kathryn Bigalow! Not only are you a fellow vagina but you did a damn fine job on Near Dark!
No go kick James Cameron's ass!
Also want to give a shout out to some other horror/cult film Alumni who got Noms this year.
- Woody Harrelson, my favorite guy from Zombieland has been nominated for Best supporting Actor...not for Zombieland though (zombies are still being snubbed by the Oscars it seems).
- District 9 has been nominated for Best Picture and is the one I'm rooting for. It won't win but damn it it was good! Inglorious Basterds is my other choice because it rocked and Eli Roth was strangely hot in it. (I discovered he is not short like I always thought he was. I always thought he was pixie sized).
- Quentin Tarantino is nominated for best director for Inglorious Basterds, the crazy bastard who brought us Grindhouse, Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2, and various other movies involving blood and body parts.
- Christoph Waltz is nominated for best supporting actor and he freakin' deserves it. He was amazing in Inglorious Basterds.
It is a good Oscar year for geeks for sure!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Monsters Vs. Madmen! So far we have two votes and a shit ton of investment spam and Japanese porn. And its a tie..So go vote for your favorite vampire! Severen vs Marlow! Go On! Dooo EEEEET!!
And now back to your regularly scheduled post.
So last week I declared it Black and White week for our first movie challenge. Stac threw The Thing From Another World in my direction to review. The last time I saw that movie I believe I was a freshmen in high school. And I didn't remember much about it other than I enjoyed it so I was pretty happy with revisiting the film.
Now, a little word about black and white horror films. I really don't think they get enough credit out there in blogger land. And I'm sure a lot of it has to do with both the ages of bloggers out there as well as a whole aesthetic in old black and white films that sometimes can't translate to other generations. Way back in the day, you couldn't fall back on CGI or massive Technicolor gore to get your point across so a lot of these older films relied on atmosphere, acting, and set up. In other words, there was a whole lot of less is more going on. The acting also is a bigger and broader. This is because film was still considered a new media and actors were still trained for the stage. I love old black and white horror films because of those reasons. Unfortunately they can also be viewed as campy, dated, and dull as shit. And while there are some shitty black and whites out there that are all three, I don't think all black and whites should be written off. Many of those films are creepy as Hell. The best way to view an old B&W is to simply put yourself into the shoes of the viewer back in the day and try to watch the film with unjaded eyes. And that's how I watched, The Thing From Another World. And that's also why I did enjoy it. So to all you young whipper snappers out there who read this blog; if you have not given old black and white horror a chance, I highly recommend you do. Stac and I will be happy to give you some recommendations if you want! I just don't think its a genre that should be skipped over.
And I'm off my soap box.
The Thing from Another World is the original 1951 film that John Carpenter's The Thing was a remake of. Its basically the same plot of some scientists and army folk are up in the Antarctica and encounter an alien force that wants to destroy them and more than likely the human race as well. The differences of course, are in the details. Where as Carpenter's remake was an awesome action gore fest, the original was more of a tense chamber drama. That's where the big difference is. Does it make it a bad film? Oh Hells no! Just VERY different.
Like I said, the movie is very much a chamber drama. Instead of seeing wacky gore effects, spaceships crashing, and an alien killing everything it sees, we get descriptions of it from our characters. The film has a few exterior shots in the beginning but overall it takes place in small cramped places on the military base, giving it a sense of claustrophobia. We don't really see the alien a whole lot other than hints here at there like a dead dog hidden in a crate, an arm left behind, noises, broken windows..etc etc. Its a really fantastic way to keep the tension up. And I will admit, the alien was a bit on the lame side when you see it so the less I saw it, the more into the film I was. Its not horrible rubber suit territory but it always looked better when you got glimpses or if it was lit from behind. Keep in mind that is my modern day aesthetic talking.
The whole film feels a lot like a play. In fact I think it would have made an AWESOME stage play. The dialog is sharp and smart and is really the star of the film. Its fast paced in that wonderful late 40's/early 5o's film noir/girl Friday films that were popular back in the day. There are also a lot of great jokes in there that slip by so fast in the rapid fire pace. Keep your ears open and listen to the lines. Its the best part of the movie.
I found the movie had more in common with Aliens than I did with its own remake. While you watch it, you can see a lot of things James Cameron borrowed. The use of the Geiger counter tracking how close the alien was, the sharp humor and camaraderie amongst the military folk, the feeling of being trapped inside while something outside wants to get to you. A lot of that you see in The Thing From Another World and its really surprising. I'm almost tempted to watch this and Aliens back to back to see how many parallels there are.
But my favorite part of the film?
Nikki, played by Margaret Sheriden.
She is our heroine and that bitch was AWESOME. For a woman in a horror/sci-fi film in the 50's, Nikki had a ton of guts and brains. Never once did she shriek and recoil in terror. She not only saved a lot of our military folks butts by being the smart collected one, I am sure given the chance she'd go after that alien herself using just a nail file and a hair pin. MOXY. Nikki has it!
So overall? Fantastic classic black and white film. While I tend to like my old movies a bit more visually atmospheric like Night of the Living Dead, Psycho, and Carnival of Souls, this one still won me over with its dialog and theater presentation. I now remember why I enjoyed it so much when I first saw it.
Oh and for Stac, The Ghost Host from The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland is in this movie. Its hard NOT to spot that voice. He plays one of the douchey scientists.
So there you go!
Your Turn Stac! ;D