Friday, April 30, 2010

Halloween III: Season of the Witch-remake THIS Rob Zombie

So everyone is writing like crazy about the original Nightmare on Elm Street series in anticipation of the remake that is coming out this weekend. I recommend you check out excellent articles by The Film Connoiseur and Kindertrauma , both of which present interesting takes on the Krueger mythos.  Because I am lazy and behind on the times, I watched Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which has nothing to do with N.O.E.S.  Halloween III: Season of the Witch really has nothing to do with the other Halloween films either.  It was a bizarro "stand-alone" experiment meant to make the Halloween series into an anthology franchise.  Didn't work, partly because it didn't have that sexy beast Michael Myers in it, and also because it's a pretty shitty movie-even taken on its own.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch was released in 1982.  I remember seeing the poster when I was a little girl and thinking "That looks shitty."  I was right! 

H3 (I am not typing the whole damn thing out every time) begins with an hysterical man running for his life from some men in suits.  He escapes and ends up in the local hospital where he is treated by Dr. Dan Challis, played by the great Tom Atkins. Dr. Challis is an alcoholic who ignores his of course he is the hero of our story!  The men in suits finds the hysterical man in the hospital and proceed to kill him employing major head trauma. Dr. Challis chases the man in the suit outside only to witness him set himself on fire!  Soon, the man's hot daughter, Ellie, shows up and Dr. Challis decides to blow off work and his family to follow her out to this little town where Ellie's father was before getting killed.

God, even writing that paragraph bored the shit out of me!  It gets better.  The town is the home of "Silver Shamrock," a factory that makes Halloween masks.  Turns out Ellie's father found out something awful about these masks and was about to blow the whistle.  Will Ellie and the Doc uncover the mystery?  Will they get it on? Will this movie make any sense?  Yes on the first two, NO on the second.

There are a couple of great things about this flick.  One is Tom Atkins, although watching him seduce a woman gave me the creeps, I don't know why.  Number Two are the great masks designed by Don Post, which are very integral to the story.  There is no number three.  So much about this movie made no sense.  For instance, what was the point of stealing part of Stonehenge and bringing it to this factory?  And why do you want to kill all the children in the world?  And isn't there an easier way to do it? 

The original Halloween is seen playing on a TV in one scene.  It made me want to turn this movie off and turn on the original.  A lot of people hate H3, and I can see why.  Honestly, I was hoping I would like it, like it was some undiscovered gem unfairly judged by it's association with such a venerated horror cannon.  I was wrong.  Now, if you are brave, watch the commercial for "Silver Shamrock" novelty masks.  Warning: you may wish you were wearing an exploding mask.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hangin' with my Peeps in the City

San Francisco is the BEST city in the world (I may be biased.)  Look at the things you see and the people you meet...

"Why are we hanging out?"

Such a cool day hanging out with some of my best fiends.  I kept hoping one of them would talk to me but no such luck.

The Streets of San Francisco

Loves it!

The Apple

I have no idea what the "apple" is (it looks suspiciously like an apple) but I don't want any part of it. I don't remember 1994 being like this. Then again, I don't remember much of 1994.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The face on MY wall....

So this is the door to my bedroom and the only known "face" I have in my home.

I think it kind of looks like Gandalf the Grey with horns.  Or Jimmy Durante with horns.  So I know it is not as scary as this...........

But it's a start. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Keeping me up all night....

Kindertrauma is one of the best horror blogs out there, without a doubt.  They recently did this awesome post about one of my favorite horror movies of all time: Alien.  Check it out at

Reason I bring it up is that one of the images from this post is going to come back to haunt me, say around 2am........

Inanimate objects that look like faces scare the S-H-I-T out of me!!!  This scene in The Haunting has always bothered me.  Of course, I saw this film as a little girl, and ever after I saw faces in walls and doors.  Still do!  Now I have to watch Alien again to spot this scene.   I was going to clean the house today and do some grocery shopping.  Now, I must curl up and watch Alien

Thanks Kindertrauma.  Really, thank you!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Collector: Unnecessary Kitty Trauma....

The good news is that I loved Kick-Ass.  Do yourself a favor and go see it!  The bad news is that I did watch The Collector, and while watching it I kept staring at the Netflix envelope and thinking "when will this 1 hour and 28 minutes be over?"

The Collector is a low rent Saw brought to you by the makers of........Saw.  The Director, Marcus Dunston, wrote Saw IV, V, and VI, also known as the "lesser" Saws. 

Josh Stewart, who looks like a young Sean Penn and who was awesome in the short lived TV show "Dirt" plays Arkin, an ex-con who decides to rob a house to help out his insanely hot ex-wife pay off some loan sharks.  I know, already this is boring the shit out of me.  Anyway, he gets to the house, gets in, and just as he is about to open the safe, he hears a noise.  Someone else is in the house.  Arkin hides, and then begins to hear screaming.  It is the family who lives in the house, locked up in the basement.  Seems a serious asshole in a mask is torturing the family.  Arkin picks up the phone to call the police and in an instant he gets a nail through the ear.  This is one of the many elaborate traps the masked asshole, by now known as "the Collector," has set up throughout the house.  Since he has the family tied up, he must of set the traps just in case some ex-con decided to break in at the same time he was playing happy fun torture. 

The traps are pretty nasty.  I kept thinking the whole time that I hoped the "Collector" had drawn some kind of map or diagram to remind himself of everything he had done, because it would suck for him to be killed by his own knife chandelier.  The "Collector" is like the Macgyver of serial killers.  This seems like a lot of work just to kidnap one person (see the Collector only keeps one person, the rest he kills.)  Arkin keeps trying to rescue the family, but since the family are also a bunch of assholes, they keep getting killed.  Even the family cat gets killed.  Well, first the cat gets stuck in some acid, and then kitty guillotined.  My cat Yao was not in the room while this scene took place.  Thank God. 

The Collector does have it's good qualities.  It is beautifully shot, some of the traps are quite interesting, and Cujo makes a guest appearance.  If you really love the Saw films, you will probably love The Collector.  I only mildly like the Saw films so I watched this flick.  What can I say?  I'm a sucker.

As a side note.  I am noticing a weird trend of former child stars (of the girl variety) showing up in horror flicks, usually playing a quasi-slutty girl who more likely than not is going to get killed.  And they also show their boobs.  Saw this with  Zombie's Halloween, saw it with Hatchet, and now The Collector.

Apparently the little girl from The Hand that Rocks the Cradle is hot shit.  All I know is that it was driving me crazy trying to figure out who she was!


Despite all my talk I am pretty sure that when the Zombie Apocalypse happens, I will be turned pretty quickly.  And here is what I will look like! (Beer in hand of course.)  Thanks to iZombie for turning me- -I look pretty happy for a Zombie.

I am now off to see Kick-Ass.  Check back later and you might see a review for The Collector.  The only note I wrote down for this film was : "Fuck this Movie."  So if I can stretch that out to a paragraph you are all in for a literary treat.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Clown for hire..

See, reading trashy gossip can be educational!  Check out this post from DListed:

He certainly is the Hot Slut of the Day.  If I only had kids so I could hire him...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Hatchet, directed by Adam Green, promises to be a return to "Old school American horror."  I am not even sure what that means.  Universal era monsters?  60's and 70's genre films like Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist?  Slashers from the 80's?  I think Director Adam Green is going for the later.  And although his heart is clearly in the right place, Hatchet is a little too jokey to be "Old School."  It's more like a "homage" that is a little more scary and authentic than the Scream films.

Here's the set-up.  Two friends (Joel Moore as Ben and Deon Richmond as Marcus) decided to take a "Haunted Swamp Tour" while they are visiting New Orleans during Mardi Gras.  On the tour they meet Marybeth, a local who is taking the tour to find her lost Brother and Father.  Also on the tour is a guy shooting a "Girls Gone Wild" type porno with two ditsy actresses, one of whom is played by Mercedes McNab, who was the bitchy little girl scout in the Addams Family films.  I had to throw that in there because it was driving me crazy trying to figure out where I had seen her before. 

Marybeth tells everyone the legend of Victor Crowley, the deformed, demented man-child that haunts the swamp.  Crowley doesn't take too kindly to strangers invading his space, and wouldn't you know it he has a taste for killing.

Crowley is played by the AWESOME Kane Hodder.  Hodder also has a rare, non make-up role as Crowley's father. 

Long story short, there is a lot "death by hatchet" scenes and running around the swamp while the unstoppable monster keeps on coming.  The best part of this film is the humor.  It is hysterical at times.  The gore is also totally over the top--always a good thing.  I was more in the mood for a "true" old school horror flick, so I was a bit disappointed.  But it really did like this flick and I am looking forward to seeing Adam Green's next, much more serious looking film, Frozen.  I will probably see that in about two years, f-ing On Demand and Blockbuster Exclusives and theaters that won't play horror.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Never trust a corpse...

I have been looking forward to Glen McQuaid's I Sell The Dead for quite a while.  Yes, I know it was on IFC on Demand but stupid AT&T doesn't offer it.  If it did my life would be so, so happy because IFC is releasing quite a lot of horror at the moment.  So I wait.  And wait.  And finally!  It arrives (thanks Netflix) and then sits on the coffee table for two weeks because I am too tired to watch it.  Or, there is a new Gossip Girl on.  Heaven help me when Glee starts next week because I will never see anything.  Really, when I get home from work now-a-days I have one good hour before I am passed out like frat boy on St. Patrick's day.

I Sell the Dead, besides having an awesome title, is a pretty enjoyable little yarn about two Victorian Grave Robbers.  Dominic Monaghan (my second favorite Hobbit) plays Arthur Blake, a young man who grew up in the grave-robbin trade.  His mentor and BFF is Willie Grimes, played by Larry Fessenden.  I have no idea who Larry Fessenden is but I want him in every movie STAT.  The two eke out a pretty miserable existence, virtual slaves to the evil Dr. Quint, played by the Tall Man himself, Angus Scrimm, who I kind of want as my Grandpa.  When they stumble upon a corpse wrapped in garlic with a stake through it's heart, they find the means to get out from under Quint's thumb and make a pretty penny themselves.

All of this is told to Father Duffy (Ron Perlman) by Blake, who is about to be executed for his crimes.  Father Duffy has a particular interest in Blake and Grime's dealings with the Murphy Gang, a rival clan of body snatchers.  The Murphy gang also deals with "unusual" corpses, and a final showdown with them leads Blake and Grimes to their ruin. 
I Sell the Dead is beautifully shot and the acting is impeccable.  It is also, at times, laugh out loud funny.  The pacing is a bit uneven, and the ending left me thinking "is that all?"   The episodic nature of the story suggests it would have made a kick ass TV show, which would have gotten canceled after one season as all good TV shows do.  Nevertheless, I Sell the Dead is a pretty good time.  It has zombies, vampires, ghouls, lots of fog, grave-robbin, and gore.  What more could you ask for?

And yes, I do watch Gossip Girl and Glee.  Alongside horror I love trash and showtunes.  Got a problem with that?

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Devil Commands...featuring Karl.

Devastated by the loss of his wife, a scientist goes mad and tries to communicate with the dead in The Devil Commands, the Boris Karloff thriller from 1941.  Directed by Edward Dmytryk, The Devil Commands is the type of film that you expect to see spoofed on MST3K.  It is a strange, disjointed picture which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, yet has a certain charm.

The poster above showcases one of the creepiest scenes in the film.  Karloff, as Dr. Julian Blair, was working on a project to map human brainwaves.  Shortly after making a breakthrough his beloved wife is killed in car accident.  Dr. Blair then receives, though his brain wave machine, a message that he believes is from his dead wife.  No one, including his devoted daughter Anne, believes him.  Quick aside--this is what the brain wave machine looks like....

Awesome, I know.  What is better is that while wearing this Iron Maiden, you have to hold on to these two sticks that look just like the thing Scientologists use to "audit" people.

So now we know where L.Ron got THAT idea.  Anyway, Dr. Julian hooks up with a shady Medium named Mrs. Walters, played by the incredible Anne Revere.

I was so impressed with her performance I did a little investigating (which is a lot for me because I am really lazy.)  Anne Revere was not only a descendant of Paul Revere, she was also an Academy Award Winner (for National Velvet) and she was blacklisted due to her refusal to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.  She didn't act again for 20 years.  When she returned to acting it was on soaps such as "The Edge of Night" and "Ryan's Hope," two of my personal favorites.  Anywho Mrs. Walter's does have some psychic ability, and she gets sucked into Dr. Blair's madness.  They move to a crumbling estate with manservant Karl, who is the best character in this flick.  I couldn't find a picture of him but trust me, you will wish you had your own Karl to do your bidding.  Karl was Dr. Blair's driver who, after being "audited," was never quite the same. 

The villagers in the tiny village they move to get quite upset when bodies go missing from the morgue.  Turns out Dr. Blair needs bodies to perform his experiments, leading to the creep-o scene depicted above.  Rioting, murder, and mayhem lead to the shocking finale. 

I was laughing throughout this whole film.  It is just so ridiculous.  But the acting, as you would expect, is top notch.  Karloff never phones it in and Revere is a revelation.  I am still not quite sure what the Devil has to do with any of this, but it is a great title. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Phantom of the Opera 1962

Hammer's 1962 version of The Phantom of the Opera was in interesting take on the Gaston Leroux story.  By interesting I mean pretty much the only thing it shares with the source material is the name.  Oh, and Christine is still Christine.  But in this version, the Phantom is one Professor Petrie, a down on his luck composer who sells his life work to a shady Aristocrat for 50 Pounds.  That shady Aristocrat, Lord Ambrose d'Arcy, played by the AWESOME Michael Gough, claims the work as his own, driving Petrie to madness. 

After a fire, Petrie is thought dead, and d'Arcy is able to go on and live a life fulfillment and contentment.  Until shit starts to go down at the Opera House where his new Opera (actually Petrie's) is about to premiere.  Seems a ghost be haunting the place, a ghost who has taken an interest in the young inguene, Christine.

In this particular version, the Phantom is kind of an asshole.  I mean, much more of an asshole than Chaney's phantom or any of the scores of others (can you believe Gerard Butler played the Phantom?)  But he is still a sympathetic character of sorts who earns the trust of both Christine and her lover, Harry.  Gough as d'Arcy is the real villain here.  Unfortunately, I either got my hands on a chopped up version of the film or they just ran out of money, because d'Arcy never really gets his.  

The only thing scary about this film is how bad the Opera they are producing is, and the strange editing.  It feels like about 20 minutes is missing, which knowing how chopped Hammer films could get once they reached the states wouldn't surprise me.  Still, it has that certain Hammer charm.  This came on the same disk as Paranoiac.  If you had to choose between the two, go with Paranoiac.  You won't be sorry. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

For Zombie Jesus Day: A Zombie Trailer

Confession: I love the Resident Evil movies. I mean stop everything and sit down to watch if one is on TV. I own them as well. And if I were a gamer I am sure I would play as well, but since my gaming knowledge begins and ends with Free Cell, I will stick with the flicks. This preview had me guilty pleasure horror geeking out.

Yeah, it looks like The Matrix. With Zombies. I think I saw some Zombies.

Happy Zombie Jesus Day!!

Many thanks to Zombies and Toys for the ultra cool images.  Thanks to whoever designed them as well.  You kick ass whoever you are.  I am so glad to be part of a group that understands the true meaning of Easter: the rising of the first Zombie, our favorite Messiah, Jesus H.F. Christ.  Now go forth and eat some bunny ears and watch a Zombie movie.