Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Let's scare Jennifer to Death!!

A few thoughts about "Jessica." #1: She has the coolest hobby: Gravestone rubbing! I have to take this up. Then I can hang my gravestone rubbings all around the house! I am sure my husband would love that. #2: She drives around in a Hearse. With a peace sign on the door. Cool. #3: Her husband is an asshole, as evidenced by the fact that he wears a turtleneck through half the film. #4: She is completely out of her mind! In a nutshell you have 1971's Let's Scare Jessica to Death. Great title, great film. I have heard about this film here and there, most notably in "The Book of Lists: Horror" collection in an entry entitled "Richard Harland Smith's Ten Horror Movies that suggest life is unlivable." Considering the fact that I must like this particular genre, as two of my favorite films are on the list (Night of the Living Dead and Carnival of Souls,) I decided to check Jessica out.
Jessica is a messed up hippie girl with a jerk of a hippie husband. She just got out of a sanitarium, having been put there because of a nervous breakdown. The film never really goes into detail about what her trip was, but it suggests that she "saw" things. Jerky-hippie husband with the turtleneck spends their savings to buy a farm in upstate New York, hoping the change of scenery will help Jessica recover. Word of advice: Haunted farmhouses never help people recover. They move into the house with their porn-star looking hippie friend (who apparently knows something about farming because the other two don't.) Wouldn't you know there is some hot hippie chick squatting in the house and they ask her to stay (porn star has the hots for her.) Anyway, it is not long before Jessica starts "seeing" things again. A young girl in white with a bandage around her neck. A lady in the lake. Voices in her head telling her to "stay, stay with me Jessica..." No one believes her of course, because she just had a breakdown and isn't fully recovered.

Let's Scare Jessica to Death is a strange ghost/vampire/losing one's mind hybrid that works on every level. The lead actress, Zohra Lampet, is fantastic as the put-upon Jessica. We feel for her as she struggles with the "visions" she is seeing. She is not sure whether or not to tell anyone, knowing they won't believe her. To top it off as she is losing her mind she fears that she is also losing her husband (to another woman.) She is experiencing extreme psychological and emotional terror, and neither she nor the audience know if any of it is real or not.
The film is a little dated (hippies,) but it is worth seeing. There is no nude dancing (but there is a jam session) and Les Baxter does not do the score (that would have been awesome though.)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tales of the Black Freighter..

Whether you saw/read-hated/loved Watchmen or not, you owe it to yourself to see Tales of the Black Freighter, the animated companion piece that was just released on DVD.
The comic within the comic was actually my favorite part of the Watchmen series, for obvious reasons. It is Scary as Shit!! This short animated film does not disapoint. It is only about 15 minutes long (if that) and I wanted to watch it again right away! Gerard Butler does the voice of the Captain, and he is perfect! And it is old-school animation (aided by computers but still hand-drawn) which is really cool. It is like Edgar Allen Poe wrote a pirate story. See it!
This is the song that inspired The Black Freighter. I couldn't find the Nina Simone version, but that is also worth checking out.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Watch at your own risk...

Much like the Korean film "Thirst," everyone is in a tizzy about this new French film "Martyrs." Both Fangoria and Rue Morgue ran cover stories about it. People have fainted and thrown up at screenings (always a good sign.) I don't know if I will see it. The film has been called "Torture Porn" taken to the extreme. Not a huge fan of gore, not a huge fan of torture. WARNING: The trailer is gory, and very French.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spoiler Ahead

For those of you who have never bored your way through "Robinson Crusoe" and think that you one day might, don't read the next post because it is a spoiler. If you have already read it and know how it ends, feel free to spoil it for me. Really, go ahead so I can move on with my life.

He is already off the Island!

I am exactly half way through "Robinson Crusoe" (believe me, I know. I am counting pages) and that cat-killing bastard is already off the island! What the hell is he going to do for the rest of the 199 pages? Is this going to become some kind of weird "Lost" time travel thing? Is he going to go on a speaking tour while his Man Friday carries his luggage? Will there be Zombies? (One can only hope.) I tell you if it wasn't for all the cannibalism in this book I'd be right bored.

So now I am really hauling ass to finish this because the most anticipated book of the year comes out in 2 weeks:
It actually got a "A" from Entertainment Weekly, the final word in all things literary. As some of you may know, I am reading Robbie Crusoe as an atonement for reading all of those crappy vampire novels. Once this is over I can go back to my steady diet of zombies, ghosts, and other nasties.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Creepy KOFY Movie Time

The Bay Area finally has it's own Hosted Horror Show again! It's called "CREEPY KOFY MOVIE TIME" and it's hosted by this dude and some other guy.

It is on Saturdays at Midnight. Although I don't think much of the hosts (yet, I've only seen one episode) you bet I am going to be watching! You gotta support your local Horror Hosts, no matter what. The first film was "Night of the Living Dead" (a very good start) and some of the people they interviewed about the film were very interesting. The only part I laughed during was when a "Surfer" band was playing and the host, "Balrok," started dancing around. That was funny. By the way, the logo above is from November Fire, a really cool local t-shirt company that I got my HP Lovecraft tombstone baby doll T from. http://www.novemberfire.com/mainhub.html

They also sell DVD's of the best Horror Host EVER: Bob Wilkins. Check it out.

That's just awful

Word is that the subtitles for "Let the Right One In" are a travesty. Check out the article: http://iconsoffright.com/news/2009/03/let_the_wrong_subtitles_in_to.html
I just wish I knew someone who spoke Swedish. That person, who would probably be a girl who lives somewhere cold like Wisconsin, could then "Netflix" the film and watch it and then let me know what I am missing. If I knew someone like that...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bat Fight..

Try not to have this stuck in your head all day.

Helpful Hints


Everyone is going crazy for this trailer right now. The newest international Vampire film comes from Korea, by the director of "Oldboy." It will be a nice counterbalance to "New Moon." or "Eclipse" or whatever the hell is the next movie.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A film to restore your faith in humanity..

What a delightful film. What a charming delightful film. A film that makes you ask yourself while you watch it: "Am I an OK person for watching stuff like this?" "I mean, I paid actual money to watch an hour of violence and torture." "Me and the other 3 people in this theatre on a Monday night." "And what are we doing here on a Monday night?" "What is wrong with us?" (This is usually what is going on in my internal monologue.)
OK, I paid money to see "Last House on the Left" because I feel an obligation to support Horror films by actually PAYING to go see them. And while I could not drag my ass to the "Friday the 13th" remake (shitty then and shitty now) I was looking forward to "Last House." I always make the joke that "Last House on the Left" was the first film I ever saw, and that may not be far from the truth. My folks, you see, were big fans of drive-ins. Instead of getting me a babysitter (or god forbid leaving me with my sisters) they would put me in my jammies, throw a blanket and pillow in the backseat, and hope for the best. Of course I NEVER fell asleep, especially when they went to see a Horror film, which they often did (what 7 year old girl knows about a film like "I Spit on your Grave"? I did!)
So I remember seeing this film at a very young age. If you have seen the original you know how fucked up this is (but my parents are the greatest people in the world really. They just had no filter.) "Last House on the Left" is a very dirty, grimy, creepy film. Its like the original "Chainsaw." You just feel dirty after watching it (my kind of film.) Well, the remake looses much of the charm of the original. It is just too pretty. I mean the killers all look like super models and I did not for one minute believe that Monica Potter would go all "Jason" on some one's ass. Having said that, watching the first 1/2 hour of this film is extremely difficult. It involves horrible people doing horrible things to not so horrible people. That is when I had that "What kind of person am I?" dark moment of the soul. And them Monica Potter starts killing people and I felt all better. The best part of "Last House on the Left" is now that I have seen it, I don't have to see it again. Now I just have to move the original to number One on my Netflix Que.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Why do you ask?

A customer came into the store today and asked me "Do you think you'll survive?" (meaning the store in this economy.) I answered "No, I think the Zombies will eat me pretty quick."

Giving me Nightmares tonight..

This guy.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lead (Plumb) by George Bacovia

The coffins of lead were lying sound asleep,

And the lead flowers and the funeral clothes -

I stood alone in the vault... and there was wind...

And the wreaths of lead creaked.

Upturned my lead beloved lay asleep

On the lead flower... and I began to call -

I stood alone by the corpse... and it was cold...

And the wings of lead drooped.


Friday, March 20, 2009

American Scary!

I really have to Netflix this one. I am glad there are still Horror Hosts and shows out there. Apparently there is a new local one on KOFY TV 20 on Saturday nights. I will have to check it out. Of course it is on at Midnight so I will need some JOLT and Ring a Dings..

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grey Gardens

This is one of my favorite documentaries of all time! I am sure this HBO movie can't hold a candle to the real thing, but I would still like to see it! Long live little Edie.

Dead is Better

Thank you AMC and Scott Sigler.

Florence Foster Jenkins

My husband, yes the same one that found "My Redneck Wedding" on TV, last night introduced me to the greatness that is Florence Foster Jenkins. Mrs Jenkins was a wealthy society woman in the 30s and 40s who became known as the "World's worst professional Opera Singer." Her complete lack of pitch and tone are legendary.
Nevertheless she became the toast of high society. Her "rare" performances were almost always sold out, including her last performance at Carnegie Hall. Accompanied by pianist "Cosme McMoon" (who would later run a Gay Escort Service,) Mrs. Jenkins often performed original compositions (as well as well-known compositions which she butchered to the point of being unrecognizable) in home made gowns accessorized by wings and tinsel.

It is really no wonder her shows were sold out. The audience, often made up of society people, would mask their laughter by applause, so that the worst notes got the biggest reaction. Now Jenkins played the deluded diva routine till the end, saying that her critics were just jealous of her "talent." Whether she was really in on the joke or not will never be known, but without a doubt good old Cosme was. You can still buy her recordings today, and a recent play about her life "Souvenir," just played in San Francisco (hence Mrs. Jenkins coming into our lives.) The horror, the horror...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I hear you knockin, komma in

I forgot to mention that the film is funny as hell! My cat loved it, and if you see it you will know why!

Let den ratte komma in

I know I didn't "spell" that right, I don't have all the cool little shit on my keyboard, but essentially it is "Let The Right One In" in Swedish.
Based on the book of the same name which I must now read, because I hear that quite a bit was cut out of the film version. After I am done with "Robinson Crusoe," the longest book ever! I swear if he talks about God one more time I am going to throw him into the ocean.

SPOILER AHEAD. This film is absolutely amazing and I would rank it up there with my favorite films about childhood including: Spirit of the Beehive, To Kill a Mockingbird, Pan's Labyrinth, and The Devil's Backbone. All of these films are about the magic of childhood, coming of age, and loss of innocence. This film is a beautiful and tragic love story, where one of the children is not really a child at all, and one is going to grow up to be something very, very terrible.

Or maybe not. It is a film that demands a second viewing. It is very subtle, both in it's Horror/gore elements and in its moral standpoint. You are not quite sure how you feel about it when it is over. Like I said, I was up all night thinking about the film, and when I did sleep, I dreamed of the characters, and what will happen in their lives. The same thing happened to me with Spirit of the Beehive, the film this reminds me most of. See it! The acting, score, cinematography are all incredible. This, and My Name is Bruce have made this a very good Netflix month.
Maybe I should get out of the house once in a while?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Words can't express how awesome it is...

This is why we watch Horror movies. Hundreds and hundreds of Horror movies in the hope the one of them will transcend the genre. Let the right One In is that movie. It is so amazing, I was up all night thinking about it. In this short time I am not ready to write about it yet. I am still processing it. But if you haven't seen it: SEE IT! It's that good..
What I can write about is the other thing I watched yesterday. An episode of "X-Files" from season four entitled "Home." This has been popping up on my radar for years. I was never a huge "X-Files" fan. I know, shocking isn't it? If I could go back in time yadda, yadda, yadda. I think it is my natural aversion to "Sci-Fi" that kept me from the "X-Files." Stupid, I know, specially since I love "Star Trek" and "V" and all that shit (this is post dinner and I have had three glasses of wine so expect the swearing to go up while the "making sense" factor goes down.) The thing is, "X-Files" had alot of "horror" themed stand-alone episodes and "Home" is one of them.

Some boys find a corpse which happens to be a mutated baby. Major, in-bred mutation, as it turns out. Mulder and Scully encounter the "Peacock" family, a "Father/Brother-son/brother-son/brother" trio that keep their limbless mother tied up under the bed for "procreation." Yes, this aired on Network Television and yes, it is as disturbing as it sounds. Anyway, I ran across references to this episode in "The Book of Lists: Horror" and "Rue Morgue" magazine. And they was right! This is some fucked up shit. I didn't bother to watch any of the other episodes because they all looked "mythology" based and I am to old to get involved with another mythology. I am already invested in "Lost" and "Gossip Girl."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Jennifer Parnell on Google Images

Stealing an idea from the Mindless Minion, I googled my name and this is what popped up on "Images." Who are these people? Which one is Jennifer Parnell? What if they start to haunt me? That would be awesome.

No Orphans for you

Blogger did not like that "Orphans" trailer so I had to remove it. What if Blogger is like the Siskel and Ebert of the computer age? If a movie is going to suck, Blogger kicks it off your page! I am not going to see it now. All hail mighty blogger!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

RIP HP Lovecraft

What do you say? Happy Death Day? Happy Death Day HP Lovecraft! Had you not died at the ripe old age of 46 you would have been 118 years old right now, and probably quite senile.

Is my math right?

Happy Ides of March Everybody!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Les Baxter!

Happy Birthday Les Baxter! You would have been 87 today! And still groovy!!!

The Magical World of my Parents House!!

We went to my parent's house this weekend and had a great time! Not only did we have SOUL food at this new resturant in Santa Rosa called "The Red Rose Cafe" (with a lifesize cardboard cutout of Obama,) but we got to see our friend Howard!
Hope he doesn't mind I posted his picture! Look at my hair! I look like a desperate housewife. Of course, this was at the end of the day, after SOUL food and a day at the doggie park. I smelled like 20 different dogs. Lucky Howard!

This is my first ever successful attempt at spirit photography. Please notice the white sphere in the lower left hand corner. I think it is Glinda the Good Witch. The next few pictures really need no captions. Except maybe the last one.

You are now under my spell. Come into my lair....

This is some messed up shit right here!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Weekend..

I am going to my parents house this weekend! Yeah! Enjoy this video in the meantime! I love a Zombie Jamboree!

Drag me to Hell..

Great title, but we will have to see if it is the return of "True" Horror. Having Rami direct it doesn't hurt!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My new table setting..

I am now a Bio Hazard! Yeah! I thought that was only the Orange Menace's litter box! But it's me! All me!

And this is how I spend my free time

Watching crap! Sometimes I have to stop and ask myself: "What the hell are you doing wasting 2 hours of your life (which feels like 4) watching crap like Mother of Tears?" I can answer that. It is because I am filled with hope that for every 5 crappy movies I watch (Mother of Tears) I will get one good one (My Name is Bruce) and all will be right with the world. Where to begin with Mother of Tears? First, a little back story...
Mother of Tears is the third and final chapter of Dario Argento's "Three Mothers" trilogy that began with Suspiria back in 1977. The mother's are Black Witches, unleashed upon the world to cause chaos and suffering. The first film, Suspiria, is without a doubt a classic. The set design, the soundtack, the gore, the sense of dread, all combine to create a very creepy film.

The second film, Inferno, was only notable for the set design. The rest of the film sucked. And before I go any further let me state that I have TRIED to like the work of Dario Argento. I really have. With the exception of Suspiria and Opera I just don't see the attraction. Yes, his movies look groovy and the soundtrack's are always kick-ass, but they are so DULL! Mother of Tears is no exception. The plot DRAAAAAGS on and the acting is atrocious (and I actually love Asia Argento, but she should re-think working with her Father. And it is a little creepy that she has a nude scene in it.) It might be a treat for gore-hounds (if you like seeing women disemboweled and strangled with their own large intestines) but not for me. In better news, Netflix delivered Let the Right one In to my humble abode yesterday. This might be the 1 in 5!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rudyard Kipling's "The Vampire"

A fool there was and he made his prayer

(Even as you or I!)

To a rag and a bone and a hank of hair,

(We called her the woman who did not care),

But the fool he called her his lady fair--

(Even as you or I!)

Oh, the years we waste and the tears we waste,

And the work of our head and hand

Belong to the woman who did not know

(And now we know that she never could know)

And did not understand!

A fool there was and his goods he spent,

(Even as you or I!)

Honour and faith and a sure intent

(And it wasn't the least what the lady meant),

But a fool must follow his natural bent

(Even as you or I!)

Oh, the toil we lost and the spoil we lost

And the excellent things we planned

Belong to the woman who didn't know why

(And now we know that she never knew why)

And did not understand!

The fool was stripped to his foolish hide,

(Even as you or I!)

Which she might have seen when she threw him aside--

(But it isn't on record the lady tried)

So some of him lived but the most of him died--

(Even as you or I!)

``And it isn't the shame and it isn't the blame

That stings like a white-hot brand--

It's coming to know that she never knew why

(Seeing, at last, she could never know why)

And never could understand!''

I just read this poem while waiting for the computer to wake up. Its from a new book that I got: "Rudyard Kipling's Tales of Horror & Fantasy." I really liked the introduction by Neil Gaiman, where he talks about the "need" to "defend" his admiration for Kipling. I, in a sense, feel the same sort of inclination about HP Lovecraft (not the most accepting individual on the block.) At the end of his essay Gaiman quotes Stephen King: "Trust the tale, not the teller."

More Bruce..

So good I even watched all the extras.

Best. Movie. Ever.

As many of you know I am a huge, borderline obsessive Bruce Campbell fan ( I have even read both his books.) I am not alone in believing the man can do not wrong, even when he is doing very wrong (see Alien Apocalypse.) Last night we watched what is, in my opinion, the best film of 2009, made in 2007 and sent straight to DVD 2 years later: " My Name is Bruce," starring, produced, and directed by the man himself.
So the plot is a rip-off of "Three Amigos" but starring Bruce Campbell as Bruce Campbell, the down on his luck, boozing B-movie actor whose life is in the shitter until he is kidnapped by an obsessive fan from a small hick town to fight an evil Chinese Demon of War.

The Chinese Demon of War is also the protector of Bean Curd, but I don't want to give away major plot points so I will leave it at that.

I just have to say that this film is freaking hysterical and cements, in my mind, Bruce Campbell as one of the great comedic actors of our time. To bad he can't say no to every crappy Sci-fi film being made out there. Gotta pay the rent.
You don't have to be a Campbell fan to enjoy this film, but it helps. Here is a recommended list of films to watch in order to understand alot of the jokes in "My Name is Bruce." Essential films are in italics, since I can't figure out how to underline them.
I don't recommend the following films AT ALL, but at least IMBD them, as they are referenced in the movie:
McHales Navy
Serving Sara
You can thank me later.

Monday, March 9, 2009


A group of us went out to watch "The Watchmen" last night. I know, I waited 2 days to see it, making me a very bad geek.

I read the graphic novel of course and although I love it, I don't hold it as some sacred text that many do. Probably because I don't have such a strong comic book tradition myself. But I certainly understand holding a piece of work so near and dear to your heart that you would look upon any adaptation with trepidation..

The film, for the most part, stays very true to the graphic novel. The parts you would expect to be cut out are cut out. Visually, the film is very beautiful. Although there are no "holy shit" moments to speak of, it is quite the visual treat.

And I am not talking about the repeated full-frontal nudity of Dr. Manhattan. The characterizations are well done, especially..

Jeffery Dean Morgan and the Comedian and Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach. In fact, Haley is so damn good as Rorschach I wouldn't doubt he gets nominated for some awards down the line.
All in all I was neither thrilled nor disappointed with "Watchmen." In my opinion, those two performances were the best thing about the film, along with some of the visuals. But I am not going to rush out to see it again. Hopefully Terminator or Star Trek will turn out to be my "geek out" film of the year.