Monday, April 30, 2012

Zombie Month Day 30

My sweet Father, Gerald Golden, as a horrible, horrible Zombie.  I love you anyway Dad!!  This concludes Zombie Month.  Back to infrequent, usually incoherent, drunken ramblings from your truly. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Zombie month day 24 & 25

Oops.  Forgot yesterday!  See, this is why I don't plan things!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods

On another level it's a serious critique of what we love and what we don't about horror movies. I love being scared. I love that mixture of thrill, of horror, that objectification/identification thing of wanting definitely for the people to be alright but at the same time hoping they’ll go somewhere dark and face something awful. The things that I don't like are kids acting like idiots, the devolution of the horror movie into torture porn and into a long series of sadistic comeuppances. Drew and I both felt that the pendulum had swung a little too far in that direction- Joss Whedon on The Cabin in the Woods (thanks Wikipedia!)

It's really hard to talk about The Cabin in the Woods without giving too much away.  I avoided reading any reviews before going to see this film, and I am glad I did.  Part of the fun is taking this ride which takes you to a really unexpected place.

So I will stick with just a few basic facts.  Five college kids go to spend a weekend in the woods.  Bad shit happens.  Directed by Drew Goddard and co-written by Goddard and Joss Whedon (Buffy nerds), The Cabin in the Woods was filmed in 2009 but not released until this year due to studio shenanigans.  One of the stars, Chris Hemsworth, has since become better known as Thor, also known as my number two crush in The Avengers, right after Jeremy Renner and slightly before Tom Hiddleston (Loki).  I swear The Avengers is woman porn. 

One could call The Cabin in the Woods "horror fan porn".  It is made for horror fans.  Not just film: it helps if you are familiar with the work of Mr. H.P. Lovecraft.  It pays homage to horror without being fucking annoying about it (I am looking at you Scream). 

I can't tell you what it is, but trust me: there is one long sequence that will have horror fans squealing with delight!  I could tell who the horror fans in the theatre were because they all sat upright and got rather jumpy.  I know I did. 

The Cabin in the Woods is a rare film that makes you actually "think" about the genre.  What is the purpose?  What is the point?  Why do we love it?  Have we become de-sensitized?

One more thing about this film: it is the funniest film I have seen all year, thanks in large part to Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford as the "technicians."  This will be a definite buy, as I could see myself visiting this cabin over and over and over.

ZAM Book Review: Psycho II

My current Psycho obsession started with a podcast I listened to celebrating Hitchcock's legendary film.  The commentators talked a lot about the excellent documentary The Psycho Legacy.  If you haven't seen it I recommend you check out.  It will make you want to sit down and watch all the Psycho films.  I have enjoyed all of them.  None of the sequels reach the heights of Hitch's original, but they are enjoyable in their own way. 

A few months ago I read Robert Bloch's Psycho for the first time.  You can read my review here.  It was recommended to me (by Jonny Metro over at the excellent Midnite Media) that I read the sequel, Psycho II.  Written in 1982, a year before the film sequel was released, Psycho II is one dark, twisted little tale with more in common with such films a The Player than Richard Franklin's sequel.  Rumor has it that Bloch was pissed the studio was moving forward with a Psycho sequel without him.  Bloch decided to write his own sequel, which Universal hated and allegedly tried to squash.  Bloch got the last laugh when his novel became a big success. 

It is no surprise that Psycho II is actually a satire of the film industry.  It starts out as a traditional horror.  We meet up with Norman Bates many years after the original murders.  He is in an institution, and supposedly functioning as a normal human being.  Hollywood producers are planning on making a film about the original murders entitled Crazy Lady.  They have contacted the institution where Norman lives in the name of "research."

When the opportunity presents itself, Norman makes his escape from the asylum with the intention of getting revenge on Lila Crane and Sam Loomis, now married and trying to move on with their lives.  A bloodbath ensues (with the added bonus of nun rape) before we finally make it out to Hollywood and the set of Crazy Lady.  Convinced that Norman is behind this new rash of murders and that he is on his way to kill everyone in Hollywood (is that really such a bad idea?) Dr. Claiborne, Norman's chief Doctor, hits the road to try to stop him. 

This is the point where the novel turns into a "Playeresque" type satire.  With the exception of a cat murder, there is not much carnage until the final, shocking end.  And the end was shocking because I did not see it coming.

I can see why Universal didn't want to use Bloch's story.  Our hero, Norman, is really hardly in it.  I don't think Anothony Perkins would have appreciated a cameo role in his own franchise.  I did like the book, although not as much as I liked the film sequel.  I felt the film story was better, and better served Norman.  Plus, I love Tony Perkins.  How could you not?  And I am so glad at some point a "good wife turned his life around" (snicker, snicker). 

I am really looking forward to seeing the upcoming film Alfred Hitchcock and the making of Psycho.  The cast is sick!  Ralph Macchio is in it!!  Yeah Karate Kid!!  Enjoy Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock.

Zombie month day 23

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Slumber Party Massacre!!!!

Sometimes you see a film that is so awe inspiring it takes your brains a few weeks to process it.  And I wish I could use that excuse as to why I haven't really written anything in awhile  but I can't.  Slumber Party Massacre is not that film, although I did love it.  Truth is that I think my brain is actually shutting down, or at least going on an extended vacation.  All it can really process now a days is Toddlers and Tiaras and Gossip Girl, and I am beginning to think Gossip Girl is too intellectual.  Maybe I have spring fever.  Maybe I am just getting really, really lazy!

In an effort to jump start my brain I watched an arty film Martha Marcy May Marlene.  The film is about a young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) who escapes a cult.  It is subtle and creepy and features a terrific performance by one of my favorite actors, John Hawkes.  Rather than ponder the psychological ramifications of cult membership, I instead spent most of the film wondering if Elizabeth Olsen had a nose job.  Her nose is really weird. 

My second attempt at waking up my intellect was to read Just Kids by Patti Smith, about her life with Robert Mapplethorpe.  It won a National Book Award!  It is really amazing but it gave me the notion that moving to New York to become a starving artist might actually be a good idea.  Obviously, I am not in my right mind.  I finally decided to give in and watch something totally stupid.  I choose Slumber Party Massacre.

Gawd wrong choice!  One could write a dissertation on this film, hailed as the first "Feminist Slasher."  I wouldn't get into all of that even if I wasn't on an intellectual siesta, but if you are interested, check out this fine article at  I will say that Slumber Party Massacre was directed by a woman (Amy Holden Jones) and written by the amazing, legendary, Rita Mae Brown.  Yes, Rita Mae Brown wrote a slasher.  Now, there is a bit of controversy about the "intent" of  the film.  Rita Mae Brown claims she wrote it as a parody/commentary of slasher films, but the studio and Jones changed it to be a more conventional slasher.  Amy Holden Jones claims (in Rue Morgue magazine) that Brown wrote a serious slasher, and it was her that added in the humorous elements.  Whatevers.  Both women should be proud because Slumber Party Massacre is one weird, funny, kind of scary film. 

High school girls decide to have one last slumber party before graduation.  Main girl Trish, who is hosting, wants the party to be like old times: meaning NO BOYS!!  Trish is a great final girl but not a traditional one.  She smokes, drinks, and definitely has had sex.  In fact, every girl in this film does all these "bad" things.  Two of them even read Playgirl magazine!  Yuck gross.

Wouldn't you know it a crazed killer has escaped the VERY NIGHT of the slumber party.  The killers weapon of choice is a power drill.  Yes, it's a metaphor..

Our driller killer wastes no time getting to work and it is up to Trish's neighbors, new girls who were not invited to the party, to save the day.  The kills are pretty inventive, and there are surprising touches of absurd humor.  If it's your sort of thing, there is also plenty of T&A.  Now, I was a girl who had slumber parties, and I can tell you we never got naked this much.  Maybe I just had the wrong kind of parties, I am not sure.  I can tell you if a driller killer showed up at my slumber party, we would have all at least put on pants as we were trying to escape!!  Seriously!  Running around in a nightie is not going to help your chances for survival!


None of these characters are cookie cutter slasher women.  They are all pretty unique.  Even the supplementary female characters are interesting: an electrician, a carpenter, a coach. You get the feeling that our girls at the slumber party might have gone on to have interesting careers and lives as
 well, and that is truly rare for a slasher.  So BRAVO Amy Holden Jones and Rita Mae Brown! 

I am off to see Cabin in the Woods which I hear is kind of a mind trip.  If my brain doesn't explode expect a review here soon!

Zombie Month: 4/20

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Zombie month day 18


Most anticipated summer film for moi: Prometheus.  If you add an exclamation mark at the end it looks the title for a musical.  Prometheus!  Really, I am nerding out on things like this clip...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Zombie month day 16

I am running out of these.  I will have to write an actual post soon god damn it!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Zombie month Day 8: Happy Easter!

Easter is quickly becoming my favorite holiday!  Bunnies are really, really scary! 

Frightened Zombie baby wants your brains!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Zombie Month Day 7

Totally not how I started. Really.  But let me tell you what I do during a zombie apocalypse....

Get turned into a zombie like right away because I have no practical survival skills.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Zombie Month Day 6

Happy good Friday y'all! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Trailer: The Moth Diaries

I just read about The Moth Diaries in "Fangoria".  It looks really good and gothic!  Mary Harron (American Psycho) directs.  Those girls are luck to have Scott Speedman as a teacher!

Zombie Month Day 4

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Zombie Month Day 3

I seriously had one the worst Zombie nightmares of my life last night.  It was a combo Zombie/Hellraiser siege nightmare set at my high school.  I am obviously having anxiety about my 20 year reunion coming up, which I am obviously, now, not attending.

Monday, April 2, 2012

ZAM Book Review: The Shining

Now in Day Glow: The Shining!!  Welcome to the Eighties!!!

I am really not going to talk about the movie.  You, know, the 1980 film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson in one of his most iconic roles ever.  Nor am I going to talk about the 1997 mini-series (do they still do those?) directed by Mick Garris, written by King himself, and starring the guy from Wings in on of his most iconic roles ever.  Nor am I going to talk about this...

Nor this...

And finally, nor this..

OK, that last one was pretty bad, but who doesn't love the Three's Company song?  I love The Shining, both versions.  Of course, Wings guy is no Jack Nicholson, but he does a decent job.  I am ashamed, downright ashamed, that I have never read The Shining.  Published in 1977, The Shining was Stephen King's third published novel and first hardcover bestseller.  Inspired in part by Stephen and Tabitha King's stay at the Stanley Hotel, The Shining tells the story of the Torrance family, caretakers for the "Overlook" Hotel during the rough Colorado winter.  The Overlook, like all great hotels, has a bad case of the haunts.  This might not be a problem for most people, but for the Torrance family, it will prove fatal.  Jack Torrance (Dad) is a recovering alcoholic and a struggling writer.  Thank god he didn't try to give up cigarettes as well otherwise he would be a real asshole.  Wendy Torrance (Mom), seems alright, but she has trouble getting over a little incident a few years ago when Jack broke her child's arm.  Danny (Danny) is five and has "The Shining."  He can see things.  Things that have happened, and things people may do.  Danny's invisible friend, "Tony", is his guide, showing him the evil thoughts that sometimes lurk in Daddy's mind.  Also along for the fun is Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers, there is just no other way to picture him), the Overlook's cook and fellow "Shiner."  Hallorann knows that the Overlook may be dangerous for Danny and his family, but he has now idea how lost Jack Torrance will become. 

 My favorite Shining cover.  Jack looks like Charles Grodin, who actually could have played the hell out of the role.  Wendy looks like Donna Dixon.  Danny is all fucked up...

I don't want to talk about the differences between the novel and the film, but I am going to talk about the differences between the novel and the film.  Just a couple, I promise.  First, let's start with Wendy.  The novel's Wendy is no Shelley Duvall.  She is smart, strong, and she gets the ever loving shit beat of her near the end.  Jack, still a struggling writer, is easily seduced by the hotel.  He becomes obsessed with it's history, and convinced that it wants him for a senior management position (cookoo!)  He is also a serious alcoholic with the slightest of holds to the wagon.  He is racked with guilt over hurting Danny, fucking up his job, and nearly destroying his marriage.  Danny is pretty much the same except Tony doesn't live in his mouth.  Tony is a pretty scary dude that only reveals his true self at the end.   Finally, spoiler alert..............

Dick lives. 

Plus, there is some scary topiary (those who saw the 1997 version will be familiar). 
The spookiest Shining cover. 

I loved the novel.  It was still terrifying to me, familiar as I am with the story.  Where the novel beats both film versions (in my humble opinion) is the final confrontation between Wendy and Jack (much more violent in the novel), the relationship between Hallorann and Wendy and Danny Torrance, and the emphasis on Jack's alcoholism.  Reading the novel you realize how Jack became a prisoner of the hotel.  He was always a prisoner of some demon or another.

You are one crazy wicked bastard and I love you. 

Part of the reason I wanted to read The Shining now is the fact that King is working on a sequel.  Doctor Sleep will introduce us to the grown up Danny Torrance, and, apparently, some vampires.  King is crazy.  I am also a bit obsessed with Shining theory, and it relates to Kubrick's film.  I was almost late to work one day because I got caught up watching a documentary on how Kubrick's film is a call to return to the gold standard.  Really.  Look it up. 

IFC just purchased a documentary entitled Room 237, a film about the various theories involving The Shining.  Read about it here.

Believe it or not my next book is Psycho II by Robert Bloch.  So gory and horrible they decided NOT to base the film sequel on it.  I could be reading great works of literature, but instead I read Psycho II. 

Zombie Month Day 2

Best way to kill a Zombie................Kindness.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy Zombie Month!!

Let's just make it a whole month instead of day.  Coming back from the dead is a pretty big freakin' deal!