"I am Legend" was the first book I read by Richard Matheson. I have read many since then, novels and short stories, but none have had such a profound influence on me as "I am Legend." Thank you for all of the nightmares...
Seriously: you have to see This is the End. I mean, if you are fan of dick jokes (and who isn't?), GO! The scene where James Franco and Danny McBride argue over jizz is worth the price of admission alone! Oh, and there are monsters and gore, so it belongs here.
Finally got around to watching Dead & Buried. This Netflix has been sitting around so long that the company sent my husband a condolence card. I really only got this because as a kid I was always obsessed with the VHS cover art. That head rising out of the ground scared the shit out of me! I never rented it because I couldn't tear myself away from the Nightmare on Elm Streets or Friday the 13ths. I kind of wish I had watched one of those instead.
Not that Dead & Buried is bad. It actually has a pretty original storyline and the set-up and setting remind me of a cross between The Twilight Zone and The Fog. Not a bad combo. In the little town of Potter's Bluff, the new Sheriff, Dan (James Farentino) is quite frustrated that strangers keep dying in his town. It doesn't help that he is the worlds WORST detective. I mean he is the WORST. In his defense, he has got a lot of weird shit going on. Robert Englund is his Deputy (so young here!), The Man from Chico and the Man is the oddball town Mortician, and his wife, Janet, not only looks like a porn star but seems to be keeping secrets from him. Life is tough for James Farentino.
It doesn't take long to figure out who the killers are: it's the entire town! They go around killing people and taking pictures of the death. Its like a small town 8MM. Soon we learn that the dead are not really dead at all: they rise again and join the amateur filmmakers club.
Of course, James Farentino doesn't figure this out. He is too busy yelling at his wife and looking constipated to solve the crime. I have nothing against James Farentino, really (rest his soul) but the overacting here is enough to make Donald Pleasance go "take it down a notch James".
It you can't tell by the stills Stan Winston does the special effects and they are awesome. Jack Albertson (the Man) is great as Dobbs, the Mortician, and the ending has a nice little twist that, again, reminded me of The Twilight Zone.
Ronald Shusett and Dan O'Bannon get the screenwriting credit, although O'Bannon later said he didn't do anything to the script and they added his name to get some play from the success of Alien. As I said, the idea is original but the action moves very slow. It's worth a look, but I won't be adding it to the collection. Might buy the poster though. Still freaks me out.
Thirteen Ghosts, or "Thiren Ghosts" because I refuse to say it with that stupid number in the middle, is one of my guilty pleasures. A bad movie I really like, own, and watch about once a year. Maybe I do this because it had such potential to be a good movie. A remake (in name only) of William Castle's film from 1960 (starring Vincent Price), Thirteen Ghosts has great production design, good make-up and gore, and a kick-ass ghost back story.
But the main fucking story is so complicated and stupid I don't even feel like recapping. Here is the short version. F.Murray Abraham (still slumming) is an eccentric wealthy douchbag whose hobbies include overly complicated interior design and collecting ghosts. Helping him do this is Matthew Lillard, who spazes out about every 5 minutes but that is what you would expect from a Matthew Lillard performance. Abraham dies, and leaves his beautiful glass house to his nephew, Tony Shalhoub. Tony has two kids, one of whom is played by Shannon Elizabeth. Yeah, I don't know how that happened either.
Tony is a widower. His wife dies in a horrific fire. Yes, in a movie about ghosts you know she is going to make a guest appearance. Bring on the healing!
The glass house is home to 12 ghosts. All of them are pissed off and scary as fuck. They can also kill the living. I have never liked this complication in ghost stories. Ghosts shouldn't be able to kill the living. They should scare them to death, but not outright kill them. And why are ghost murders always so gory? I am thinking Owen Wilson in that atrocity from a few years ago, and this film. A Lawyer gets sliced in half (he deserved it), a guy gets bent in half, another person gets squished between two glass walls (not technically a ghost killing, but still gross). You know who doesn't get killed? Spoiler Alert:
Shannon Elizabeth! For the love of God would one of these ghosts kill her character?? She disappears for half the film (a favor from the Director to all of us), and has a really stupid smile on her face for the other half. Yes Shannon, it is great that you found work, but at least try to act like you are in a horror film!
A bunch of ridiculous stuff about a portal to hell happens, every one grows and learns, the end. Now to what I love about the film. Number one is the production design. The house is really cool. It was Steam punk before Steam punk was a thing (I think, not looking it up). The gore and make-up effects are old school. Very little CGI that I could tell. Greg Nicotero was involved, so it is top notch. Finally, I just really like the ghosts. They are all given back stories (you can watch the DVD extras for details) and are really creepy. I particularly like the "Angry Princess", who botched plastic surgery on herself (!) and really, really wants to kill Shannon Elizabeth. I also like the "The Great Child & The Dire Mother", a ghostly duo from the freak show. They are all pissed off ghosties, and I would be too if F.Murray Abraham trapped me in a glass cage. What an asshole.
So that's a bad movie I love. Whenever I am feeling sick or a little sad, I pop in shit like Thirteen Ghosts. Did I mention it was funny too? And Rah Digga is in it? Surprisingly she does NOT play Tony Shalhoub's other daughter, cause that would make about as much sense as Shannon Elizabeth.