Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Mary W. Shelley!

Thank you for creating my favorite Monster!  Do yourself a favor and watch or read Frankenstein today!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Piranha -3D

If you like boobs and gore, and who doesn't, this is the film for you!  Piranha 3D is go-for-broke, over the top ridiculous.  And I mean that in a good way.

An earthquake creates a fissure under "Lake Victoria" in Arizona.  Turns out there is a "lake beneath the lake" and the inhabitants of that lake, prehistoric Piranha, are happy to have something besides themselves to eat.  Lucky for the Piranha, it is Spring Break.  Lots of tasty young flesh.  Eli Roth plays the host of a "wet t-shirt" contest.  There is a three minute underwater nude ballet sequence.  A guy gets his penis bit off.  What more do you need to know?  It is exactly what you think it is going to be and I laughed more than I have at the movies in a long, long time. 

The Walking Dead trailer


Life is good!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dexter Teaser: Spoiler alert

I usually don't give a you know what about spoiler alerts, but this is such a whopper I don't wan't to deprive anyone of the experience. I love Dex- watching Season 4 on Netflix now (to cheap to get HBO and Showtime: True Blood love won over Dexter). So watch the teaser at your own risk! Love you Dex!

Happy Birthday HPL!

When I read your stories my waking hours feel like a fever dream.  HP Lovecraft would have been 120  years old today, and still a cranky a-hole.  One of the most difficult writers to "like" but one that once you have read him, you will never forget him. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Horror Scholarship


Click for more info!

Breaking Dawn: Where Edward eats the baby out of Bella

Yes, that really happens and more in Breaking Dawn, the highly anticipated (and split in two ala Harry Potter) final installment of the Twilight Saga.  Here is an exclusive preview of what goes down in this film.  All of this really happens in the book.





Kind makes me want to see it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Soul to Take trailer


Officially mediocre.

Black Swan trailer


Officially awesome.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (not)


I have been all over the place with my movie watching lately, from classy things like The Innocents to not so classy things like Friday the 13th: Part 4, The Final Chapter.  I love them both equally.  I cannot remember why I put The Final Chapter in my Netflix Queue.  Most likely another blogger mentioned it, and I thought: YES!  I want to see this slice of 1984 again!!  Thank you blogger!



Do I really need to recap?  This is the one with Crispin Glover and Corey Feldman.  Glover dances, gets laid, and gets a machete to the face.  It is probably one of his most "normal" roles.  Like many, I have a not so secret bizarro movie star crush on Crispin Glover.  I especially love him in the Charlie's Angels movies. He is the only reason to see those movies.  I would love to see him in a serious role sometime, you know, one where he is not shoving cockroaches down his pants.

Back to the film.  Glover is part of a group of friends who have rented a house near Crystal Lake.  Their neighbors are the Jarvis family.  Mom, hot older sister, and Tommy, played by Corey Feldman.

 

The Tommy Jarvis character would show up in two more Fridays.  I guess they couldn't afford Feldman because he only plays the character once.  Tommy is a typical monster kid who loves creating masks in his spare time (Tom Savini did the makeup effects: I bet he loved this character).

Jason, now with signature hockey mask (thanks Part 3) returns to wreak havoc!  And you know the rest.  No spectacular kills here, only a child being stalked and terrorized and then doing one of the all time classic freak outs on film!!  The ending is actually quite disturbing, and I think explains why Feldman kind of went off the rails.  Or at least I like to think that.


The best part of this film, and all the Friday films from this era, is the awesome 80's fashion!!  It is all shoulder pads, high waisted pants, pastels, and shirt/dresses!  I rocked so many of these looks that I must have taken the Friday films as my major fashion inspiration.  No wonder I went off the rails.  Just like Feldman.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Lio Book

There is a new Lio book: "There's Corpses Everywhere".  If you haven't, please check out Lio: he is the ultimate Monster Kid.  I wished I had named my blog this.

Coming Soon: Friday the 13th: the one that ruined Corey Feldman

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Trailer: The M.Night Elevator movie


It looks better than The Last Airbender.

Trailer: Don't be afraid of the Dark


Lord, help me get over the Katie Holmes ick factor and approach this film with an open (black) heart. Thank you, Love Jen.

It does look better than the M.Night elevator movie....

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Innocents 1961


I had seen Jack Clayton's The Innocents when I was a kid and honestly I didn't understand it. It was creepy but boring!  I felt the same way about The Haunting, which I also saw for the first time when I was too young to understand it.  Revisiting these films as an adult has been quite a revelation.  At 10 I couldn't understand the concept of psychological horror. I wanted my ghost stories like Poltergeist- Indian Burial Grounds and people being sucked into TVs.  Now I realize that films like The Innocents, The Haunting, and even The Others can be even more horrifying.  Strange sounds, bumps in the night, a shadowy figure glimpsed out of the corner of your eye.  These are the things that make you question your sanity.  These three films ask the same question: Are ghosts responsible for all of these things, or are you really going mad?  The Innocents never really answers that question.  It leaves it up to you to decide.



Based on "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James, The Innocents tells the story of a rather naive and sheltered Governess (Deborah Kerr) who accepts a position from a wealthy Businessman to watch over his two charges, Miles and Flora.  The Businessman, the children's Uncle, wants nothing to do with them, and he gives the Governess, named Miss Giddens, complete control over the whole household.  She cares for them on a sprawling Gothic estate in the English Countryside, with only a few other servants to keep her company.  When young Miles is expelled from his boarding school, Miss Giddens is worried, but so charmed by him she lets the matter go.  Thing are wonderful for a while until she learns about the previous Governess and her lover, the Businessman's Valet.  Both died under mysterious circumstances.  The children were very close to the doomed pair, and Miss Giddens begins to suspect that they may be possessed by the lover's spirits.


Miss Giddens begins to see the spirits of the lovers, although no one else can.  The children start to act strange.  Flora stares into space, humming a mysterious tune, and Miles, creepy Miles, acts way too grown up for his age.  Convinced that there is evil afoot, Miss Giddens desperately tries to "free" the children. 

What is amazing about this beautiful film (Freddie Francis was the cinematographer) is that it leaves you constantly questioning the heroine.  We see what she sees, feel what she feels, but we cannot trust it.  Are the children possessed, or just precocious?  Is Miss Giddens so caught up in this story of a doomed love affair that she cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality?  And finally, is she responsible for the tragic death that comes at the end?  No answers are given.  While I was researching this film I saw that people have been arguing over the meaning of it for years.  Is it really a ghost story or a Freudian psychological terror?  I have to go with the later. 

Deborah Kerr is sensational in this film, but it is really the performances of the children that are so impressive.  Martin Stephens, who plays Miles, was also in Village of the Damned.  He retired from acting and is now an architect.  Pamela Franklin, who plays Flora, went on to have quite a career in the genre, starring in films such as Satan's School for Girls and a personal favorite, The Legend of Hell House. 


The Innocents is a perfect film for a dark and stormy night.  See it on a double bill with The Haunting and you won't sleep all night. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Coming Soon: The Innocents

What shall I sing to my lord from my window?
What shall I sing, for my lord will not stay?
What shall I sing, for my lord will not listen?
Where shall I go, for my lord is away?
Whom shall I love when the moon is arisen?
Gone is my lord, and the grave is his prison.
What shall I say when my lord comes a-calling?
What shall I say when he knocks on my door?
What shall I say when his feet enter softly,
Leaving the marks of his grave on my floor?
Enter my lord, come from your prison.
Come from your grave, for the moon is arisen
Welcome, my lord.



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Scorsese Scary Movies...

God- I haven't seen half of these.  Adding to the Netflix right now:
The Uninvited
The Entity
Dead of Night
Night of the Demon

Watching The Innocents tonight.  Review to come soon.  Check out Marty's picks at:
 http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-10-28/martin-scorseses-top-11-horror-films-of-all-time/
Yes, I love Val Lewton too.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wolf Creek


Wolf Creek, the Australian horror film that was released in 2005, is as brutal and disturbing as you may have heard.  No, I am not going all Roger Ebert on this -- I thought it was brilliant and scary.  After seeing a series of "fun" horror films (you know what I am talking about) and documentaries I was ready for a hard and dirty pic.  I got what I wished for with Wolf Creek.


"Based" on true events (the Backpacker murders from the 1990s and the murder of Peter Falconio in 2001), Wolf Creek, on the surface, is a typical slasher film.  Three backpackers get lost and are soon being hunted by a maniac killer.  The difference here is the setting, the Australian outback, the victims, three likable people that I wanted to see live, and the killer, who doesn't let his sense of humor overshadow the fact that he is a menacing, scary son of a bitch.  Director Greg Mclean gives us a slow build, allowing the audience time to get to know the backpackers.  Two Brits, Kristy and Liz, hook up with Australian stud Ben.  They decide to travel together to Wolf Creek, the site of a meteorite impact.  Returning from the site they find that their car won't start.  As they prepare to spend the night hunkered down, a man approaches with a tow truck.  He offers to help the trio fix their car, but first he must tow it back to his ranch.  As you can imagine, bad things happen.


Really bad things, like spines being severed and fingers cut off.  The backpacker that we are led to believe will be the "Final Girl" does the typical "investigating" to establish the fact that the kindly tow truck driver has done this sort of thing before.  Before you can say "They are Fucked" the blood starts to flow.  This film is more brutal than gory, if that makes any kind of sense.  We like the victims, and we "think" we like the tow truck driver as well, even though we know all along he is up to no good.  He is funny and has some great one liners.  But when the killing starts it is almost like he turns on us, the audience.  His is sadistic and relentless.  It is not funny at all.

The ending is quite interesting. There is one survivor, and what happens to the survivor directly relates to the Falconio case.  Also, the exact fate of one of the victims is not clear, although it can't be good.  It is set up for a sequel, but I really hope there isn't one.  As much as I enjoyed (?) this film, I really don't want to spend anymore time with this particular bad guy.  He is too real and scary, just like this film.  Highly recommended.

NYC: Jekyll and Hyde Club

I didn't have a whole lot of free time while I was in New York, but I did make time to visit the Jekyll and Hyde Club.  They seriously need an outpost in San Francisco.








If they had skee ball it would be just perfect.

Coming Soon: Wolf Creek

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy


If you have an afternoon to kill, and I mean a whole afternoon because this thing felt like it was 7 hours long, you could do worse than watching Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy.  This 4 (!) hour long documentary was put together by the same guys that did His Name was Jason, the Friday the 13th documentary that actually had me re-watching all the original films.  Never Sleep Again will have you busting out your old VHS tapes as well.  The filmmakers painstakingly revisit every film in the Elm Street series, including Freddy vs. Jason.  They wisely ignore the craptastic recent remake.

Narrated and produced by the original Nancy, Heather Langenkamp, Never Sleep Again was a trip down memory lane, not only for those involved in making the films, but for myself as well.  Freddy films were a staple at the slumber parties of my youth, with The Dream Warriors being a particular favorite.  I was too young to realize that A Nightmare on Elm Street Part II: Freddy's Revenge was as gay as a Liza Minnelli concert.  The screenwriter of this particular gem did, and although the rest of the participants claim to have had no idea about the subtext, it is glaringly obvious when you watch it!  This was perhaps my favorite revelation of the documentary. 

Thanks to this documentary I have an excuse to buy this collection!  Now I need to go back to bed.  I am still jet-lagged from my trip to New York, but soon I will be posting pics from the Jekyll and Hyde Club in NYC.  It's like Chuck E. Cheese for horror fanatics.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

ZAM on Hiatus

I am headed to the Big City this week!  For work.  A full week of "Team Building" exercises and "Coaching Tips."  That is truly a week of horror.  Will return with an insightful review of Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy.  I was hoping to get it done before I left, but I am still watching the damn thing.  It's like 6 hours long!

May


True confession: I have been putting off seeing May for a couple of years.  I have heard so much about the film and there is so much hype surrounding it, that I was worried that it would be a disappointment, much like Grace and Ginger Snaps. See, I had heard about those films quite frequently as well, and they were highly recommended to me. I don't know if they were recommended because I am woman and a horror addict, but it was almost expected that I would like them.  I didn't.  I could barely sit through Grace and I only have vague memories of Ginger Snaps.  I just knew I never wanted to see them, or in the case of Ginger Snaps, any of their sequels again. Grace was just too serious and self-important for me, and I think Ginger Snaps was just trying too hard.

I thought May would be the same way.  I was wrong (what I don't know could fill a stadium, I freely admit that).  May is all at once a sensitive, serious portrayal of one woman's alienation/descent into madness AND a dark, creepy horror film.  It works primarily because of Angela Bettis.  Her performance as May deserves a "Horror Academy Award."  May was a lonely child with a lazy eye.  Her mother, convinced that she would never have friends, gave her a doll encased in glass.  This doll became her best friend and a symbol of her growing madness.  As an adult May works as a veterinary assistant.  She is odd and awkward, but strangely beautiful.  She attracts the attention of two people.  Adam, a local mechanic played by Jeremy Sisto, and Polly, the ditsy lesbian receptionist at the veterinary clinic.  May finally has "friends".  Or at least real human connections. The film is told from May's perspective, and when these two "friends" reject her, we feel her pain.  Taking her Mother's advice, "If you can't find a friend, make one", May embarks on a project that would make Dr. Frankenstein proud.


Maybe I loved May so much because I could relate to her.  Not that I have a lazy eye or an obsession with people's body parts, but because everyone has felt rejected or awkward at some point in their lives.  Angela Bettis brings this pain so fully to life onscreen I couldn't help but be moved.  I cried at the end.  I can't remember the last time I cried during a horror film (I cried a bit during the Nightmare on Elm Street remake, but that was because it was so awful and I had paid $8 to see it).

So no, I have nothing against horror films told from a woman's point of view, or films with a feminist perspective.  They just have to be good.  Like May. 

P.S: May follows the growing trend in horror films to feature "cat trauma."  The Orange Menace, who finally agreed to watch another horror film with me, was not amused.  His parting "meow" sounded much like "Fuck this shit."