Saturday, January 30, 2010

Legion: An Artistic Interpretation

Courtesy of my husband and the Old Port Lobster Shack. This is the Angel Gabriel (in lesser known lobster form) coming to bring the smack down on humankind. Legion is a dumb, fun movie probably best enjoyed while stoned.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Saw VI- better than the last two...

There are two things that I like about the Saw films. One is the posters. Always very inventive. Two is the fact that Shawnee Smith stars in the films. I love Shawnee Smith. I can't explain why, but I think she it great. She was in the Blob remake, which is a guilty pleasure.
I stopped actually going to see the Saw films in the theaters after the 4th one. The 4th one sucked. I don't even remember it. The 5th sucked as well, but it was saved by the fact that Julie Benz was in it (4 and 5 are Shawnee lite films.) Now we come around to the 6th, and honestly because I can barely remember 4 and 5 I was more than a little lost here. Jigsaw is well dead, his wife and her boob job are trying to preserve his legacy, and Costas Mandylor, as Agent Hoffman, is continuing his work.
There are the requisite flashbacks (yeah Amanda!), gory traps (or games, whatever you want to call them) and the famous Saw twist ending. I may just be feeling generous but this Saw was pretty good. The traps/games and characters were interesting. The plot was a little less confusing (beginning with Saw III, the plot becomes very dense. You need a cliff notes book just to keep up), and the mystery of an envelope way back from Saw III is revealed. It even has a political message (a big fuck you to the health care industry!). Now, here is my ranking of the Saw films....
  1. Saw (still a favorite for me. I own it and watch it if I see it on TV.)
  2. Saw II (best twist ending.)
  3. Saw VI (again, feeling generous.)
  4. Saw III
  5. Saw V
  6. Saw IV (I really don't even remember this one. I know I saw it, but don't ask me to tell you about it.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

To the Devil....Nastassja Kinski!

Poster Disclaimer: The above scene does not appear in the movie. She is actually naked. I didn't want anyone to be disappointed while waiting for the lingerie scene only to find that she is totally naked. I know that would be such a disappointment...

To the Devil a Daughter is famous for being the last Hammer film. Made in 1976, it was Hammer's last stand, so to speak. Based on the novel of the same name by famed Brit Author Dennis Wheatley, To the Devil is an obvious response to The Exorcist. To the Devil is no Exorcist. But it is a pretty freaky deaky movie that stars the spawn of Kinski...Nastassia!
The film begins strongly. A nervous man approaches a famous author at a book signing. Turns out this author, John Verney (played by the awesome Richard Widmark) specializes in the occult. The nervous man (played by Denholm Elliot-good cast!) asks Verney to retrieve his daughter from the airport. The daughter, Catherine (Kinski) is a nun, and is in London to make her annual birthday visit to her father. Turns out she is not a nun for a regular church. She is a nun for the "Children on God," a group that happens to worship Astaroth (better known as the Prince of Darkness or Old Scratch.) The head of the church, Christopher Lee, has chosen Catherine to be the AVATAR for Astaroth. What this means I am not completely sure. See, Catherine's mother died during childbirth, and Catherine was baptised in her blood. Then, Catherine simulated sex with a statue of Astaroth while Christopher Lee raped a real woman. Then the real woman gave birth to a demon baby, who then rapes/enters/conjoins with Catherine in one of the most disturbing dream sequences I have ever seen. Then, Christopher Lee kills the demon baby for no good reason, Kinski takes off all of her clothes, Widmark kills Lee by throwing a rock at him and the movie ends. I shit you not, this is the whole movie. Oh, and Honor Blackman gets killed by a letter opener.
This film has one of the worst tacked on endings in all of film history. In the "special features" section of the DVD the filmmakers try to explain it, but they fail miserably. Christopher Lee is disgusted by the whole thing. Also in the special features, everyone talks about what an asshole Widmark was.
Obviously I loved this movie. I think everyone should see To the Devil a Daughter. Just be prepared to be totally confused and freaked out. Also: watch the special features. The documentary on making the film is better than the film itself!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Carriers: A damn fine movie....

Here's the deal: The film Carriers, written and directed by Alex and David Pastor, made me cry within the first 30 minutes. No, not the same kind of tears I was crying while watching Death Tunnel. Real honest to goodness emotional tears. The year is unknown. The setting is an United States decimated by a mysterious plague. Those affected are usually dead within a week. It is highly contagious. There is no cure. It is an Apocalypse. Four friends (2 brothers and 2 gals) who are not infected are making their way to the ocean. They know of an old abandoned hotel there where they can hole up until a cure is found. The journey is a constant battle. They are always running out of and looking for gas. They are trying to avoid the infected. They are trying to avoid other survivors like themselves. They are trying to keep their sanity and process all of the horror around them....
Pretty heavy stuff. Much like The Road. But, as much as I loved the novel "The Road," the film left me cold. This film, Carriers, carries the emotional weight that should have been present in The Road. Plus it is scary! My only complaint is that the ending felt a little tacked on, but in no way did that detract from the film. I can't recommend this enough. It's like the Horror Gods are smiling down on me after the shittiness of Death Tunnel. First Nosferatu and now this.

By the way, the scene that had me crying like a baby involved the great Christopher Meloni. Meloni plays a father whose young daughter is infected. The 4 friends have to make a choice about what to do with him and the girl. It is heart wrenching. I was not prepared--I love it when a movie surprises you!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Edge of Horror: Moon

I had a mini Sam Rockwell film festival recently. I watched Moon, Directed by Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie) and starring Rockwell as Sam Bell, an engineer stationed on a lunar base nearing the end of his 3 year contract. Bell is the solitary employee on the base, with only a HAL like computer voiced by Kevin Spacey to keep him company. Bell is already a little stir crazy, but he has his job and recorded messages from his wife and little daughter to keep him sane. Out of the blue he starts to have hallucinations of a teenage girl on the base. This leads to an accident involving a lunar rover.
From this point on the films becomes a psychological science fiction thriller. Sam realizes he is not alone. There is someone else on the base- and the identity of this person will change the course of Sam's life. That's all I will say. If you have seen the trailer you know who the other person is, but you don't know "why" he is. Neither did I until just before the big reveal. I love it when a movie can still surprise me. Moon is not a horror film, but it does have some creepy elements to it. Sam is isolated, alone, fearing for his sanity, and becoming aware that great forces are at work against him. Highly recommended.
The other Rockwell film I saw was Choke, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk. It is a really funny movie which stays pretty close to the book.
I also watched The Pregnancy Pact on the Lifetime channel last night, only because I was too lazy to get up and go to bed. The acting was on par with Death Tunnel. I have only myself to blame....(this film did not star Sam Rockwell.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Nosferatu: AKA-Most awesome Kinski movie EVER..

Just when my faith was shattered due to the extreme crappiness of Death Tunnel, along comes Werner Herzog and the late, great Klaus Kinski to restore my faith in the horror film (I didn't REALLY lose it, but I was a bitter old cow for a couple of days.) I had been searching for Herzog's 1979 film for a while. I could only find it as part of a Herzog DVD set, and as much as I would love to own that, funds were not available. Low and behold the SAME day I made the fatal decision to buy Death Tunnel (my friend actually bought it, and I made him take it home. It is his shame now) I found a copy of Nosferatu for 20 bucks!!

Happy day! Nosferatu is all that I hoped it would be. It is a loving tribute by Herzog to F. W. Murnau's silent film, as well as an update of Bram Stoker's masterpiece. The beautiful Isabelle Adjani plays Lucy Harker, wife of Jonathan and object of Count Dracula's lust. Jonathan (Bruno Ganz) comes under Dracula's spell after visiting Transylvania to have him sign papers. He is bitten, but manages to escape Dracula's castle. He races home to save Lucy, but instead begins to lose his mind. Meanwhile, a ship has arrived at port with the whole crew dead. It is overrun with rats, and the townsfolk fear that it carries the plague. As you can imagine it carries something far worse than the plague. It carries Klaus Kinski!!!

It falls on Lucy's shoulders to defeat the Count. This Lucy (Mina in the novel) is well aware of Dracula's intentions and she uses them to ultimately defeat him. This being a Herzog film the ending is kind of a downer.
I loved it!! It is classic Herzog, from the nature shots to the amazing score. Kinski is in top form- scary, funny, and sympathetic as the monster who is doomed to live forever. The set design is amazing, the acting is top notch all around. Piece of advice-- if you get the version I bought, watch the German version. I watched both and found the German just creepier....
Thank you once again Werner Herzog. Now read me some more bedtime stories so I can fall asleep.....

Lovecraft movies make me happy

I probably won't get to see this for 3-4 years, but I am just happy knowing it exists. Thanks to Bloody Disgusting and Dread Central. And Dwido. Thanks Dwido.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Werner Herzog erased Death Tunnel from my memory

I am so happy! I just finished watching Werner Herzog's Nosferatu. I bought it the same day I bought Death Tunnel. Review coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy Herzog read the children's classic "Curious George."

It's not really Herzog but wouldn't it be awesome? I would pay to hear him read anything.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Death Tunnel: So's just bad.

Yuck. I have been putting off writing about this for days. This blog was supposed to be fun ya know? Not torturous. But I have seen it and I feel I owe it to people who might be in the video store or online staring at their Queue and wondering "I wonder if Death Tunnel is any good?" It is for you that I am about to revisit one of the most painful recent experiences I have had. I am ready. I have had a (8) beer(s), and I am ready to face: Death Tunnel!!!

Let me first say that if you rent/buy/steal this movie because you want to see a Death Tunnel, you are going to be very disappointed. They don't make it into the actual Death Tunnel till the last 5 minutes of the film and at that point you have really given up all hope. Next bit of advice: if you see this movie at your local used record/dvd store for $3.95 and think "Let's buy that! It will be fun." Don't. Just don't. Because it will become part of your collection, a bigger embarrassment than Breakin or The Phantom Menace.

This was the look on my face while watching Death Tunnel
Death Tunnel was filmed at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Before the opening credits there is a little scroll explaining that in the 20's and 30's thousands of people died there during the "white plague." The amount of corpses was so great that the administrators built a "death tunnel" underneath the sanatorium to cart out the corpses. So far, so good. Unfortunately the film falls apart during the opening credits. I was already getting a headache from the editing and music. It just gets worse when we meet the actors, who although I am sure they are wonderful people look like they just finished shooting a low-rent porno. And although I am sure the actors have good hearts and are kind to animals they can't "act" worth a shit. And although I am sure the Director/Writers donate to charity and call their Mothers once a week they actually can't Direct/write either. And don't get me started on the editing. Death Tunnel is a weird hybrid/rip-off of the following films: Seven, Saw, The Shining, Session 9, Ferngully, Dances With Wolves, and Sorority Row.
I really hate to write such a negative review--but this film pissed me off. I was hoping for "so bad it's good." Nope. So bad it's just bad. Now, if you do find yourself watching Death Tunnel, may I suggest the following drinking games:
Take a shot everytime a disembodied voice does the girl/floor/hour count. Example: "5 Girls, 5 Floors, 5 Hours."
Take a shot everytime a blond screams or cries. You will be passed out in about 10 minutes.
Take a shot everytime you find yourself totally confused about what is going on. Again, passed out in 10 minutes.

Did Bloody Disgusting really call it "just damn scary?" Did I see the same movie?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Birthday EAP......

Happy Birthday Edgar Allan Poe! To celebrate your birthday the powers that be have uncovered this little known portrait of you, where you look quite chipper. Check out the story Here.
Click Here to read about the no-show at his Grave this morning. I hope this tradition is not dying. The world could use more magical and mysterious things, even small things like this.
Now, enjoy one of my favorite Poe poems read by a monster:


Sorry for the serious lack of posting lately. I haven't been feeling well. But, I am back on the bandwagon and look for an insightful review of the film "Death Tunnel" on these pages soon...

WARNING: Do not go attempt to watch "Death Tunnel" in anticipation of my review. Trust me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Hills Run Red

Having a sick day today and thought I would catch up on some films I have been wanting to see. I was intrigued by The Hills Run Red and I had been looking forward to seeing it for some time. The film starts with a good premise: a horror obsessive (whats that?) is on the trail of a legendary "lost" film called The Hills Run Red. All he has to go on is a grainy trailer, a couple of stills from the film, and the name and whereabouts of the Director's daughter, who starred in the film as a little girl and is now a strung-out stripper. As Tyler (the horror geek), his crew, and the daughter (played by Sophie Monk) visit locations from the film it becomes apparent they are being watched and followed.....

Turns out, the Director is still making his film, and the geek, daughter, and the rest of the Scooby gang are the new stars (couldn't see this coming...)

At this point the movie just becomes totally ridiculous. Sophie Monk, although she is quite pretty and I am sure has many fine qualities, cannot act. And in order to believe the whole premise you really have to believe her performance. She can't even sell a lap dance. The film features some nice gore scenes (death by tree and face removal being the best) and the always great William Sadler as the Director. But that is it. Oh, Sophie Monk is naked quite a few times, so if that is your thing by all means....see The Hills Run Red... As for myself, I am regretting the $4 I spent on this today! Damn you VOD!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Inside: A New Holiday Classic...

Boy, I wish I had seen Inside last month during the Holiday Season. Surrounded by friends and family, curled up next the the fireplace drinking some Eggnog. Instead we watched A Christmas Story and It's a Wonderful Life. Our old traditional Holiday films. Little did we know that a new Christmas film was out. A tale about family, love, loss, and the power of faith to overcome any obstacle. A heartwarming film that had it not been for the copious amounts of gore would have been a perfect fit for Lifetime or ABC Family Channel. That film is 2007's Inside.

Inside tells the story of Sarah (Alysson Paradis), a recently widowed woman who is about to give birth to her first child. It is Christmas Eve and Sarah is a little depressed. Her husband is dead after all, and her mom is a nag. She might also be having an affair with her boss but I couldn't figure that part out. Anyway, it is Christmas Eve and Sarah is alone in her big French House (this film is set in contemporary France. There are class and immigration riots going on in the streets, meaning the cops are all tied up. This will be important to our story.) Just as she is settling in for her long winters nap, there is a knock on the door.

It is a mystery woman (Beatrice Dalle) looking to use Sarah's phone. Sarah lies to the woman and tells her she can't come in to use the phone because her Husband is asleep. The mystery woman informs Sarah that she knows that her Husband is dead and that she must be let in. It's almost like A Christmas Carol! But this woman is no Ghost of Christmas Past. She is a CRAZY BITCH who wants to cut Sarah's baby out of her tummy. So begins a good hour of non-stop gore, head trauma, scissor trauma, would be rescuers dying in extremely horrible ways, faces getting set on fire, and lots of blood, blood, blood, blood, blood. Santa is going to have a hellva time when he gets to this house.
Seriously, this is one f'd-up movie. The first 30 minutes or so are really scary. It begins as a classic stalker type thriller. Beatrice Dalle is like a really scary, crazy Angelina Jolie. The way she stalks her prey is terrifying. Of course I was watching this film alone at night and I kept saying "why the hell am I watching this by myself? If there is a knock on the door I am going to faint."
The best part of this film is the interaction between Sarah and her baby's would be mama. When everyone and their brother come to the house to try to rescue her the film lapses into a standard (but over the top) gore-fest. The ending is as over the top as the rest of the film- but it worked.
This is the 4th film I have seen that qualifies as "French New Wave Horror." I like the title "New French Extremity." Like Martyrs and High Tension this film pushes the envelope. What struck me about Inside was the fact that things like this really happen. Not to this extreme, but it happens.

Now if I can get my family to make this our new Christmas movie........

Awards Season Continues...

Thank you to The Film Connoisseur for nominating me for the Kreativ Blogger award!! I think Horror Bloggers award season is just about wrapping up and it has been awesome discovering all of these great new blogs. I don't mean to get sentimental and weepy but this is a great community!
There are some obligations to accepting this award: Rules:
They go as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 Kreative Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.
1-3 done. Can't wait to see Cannabis Cannibal Exodus! I will tell you right now I am skipping steps 5-7. Every Horror Blog I love has already been nominated- check them all out on my "Monkey Fighters" list. (And check out the edited for TV version of Snakes on a Plane to get the Monkey Fighters reference.)
So that leaves #4--
1: I have Master's Degree in Art History
2: My area of "expertise" Left Wing Mural Art of the 30's and 40's
3: I lived in England for a year
4: I love the show "Glee"
5: My favorite non-Horror film is Casablanca
6: I can recite "The Raven" by heart (it only took me a year to memorize!)
7: My Husband is Buddhist and we were married by a Tibetan Priest.
We now return to regularly scheduled Horror programming.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Black Sunday- "Calm yourself Princess..."

I had never seen Black Sunday before. I know, I am ashamed to admit it (Bad Horror Fiend!- I did see Black Sabbath so don't kick me out of the cool kids club.) But what a great way to start the New Year! Black Sunday was Mario Bava's first "official" film and all I have to say is "what a beginning!" Bava and Micheal Reeves are like the Orson Welles "wunderkinds" of the Horror world. Now that I know I am about to embark on an obsessive Bava streak (which will last much longer than the obsessive Reeves streak, for obvious reasons) let me just say goodbye to Klaus Kinski- it was nice obsessing about you- but since I can't find Nosferatu on DVD I bid you adieu.

Black Sunday is all about atmosphere, howling winds, decrepit castles, and the beautiful Barbara Steele. Barbara Steele plays Princess Asa Vajda (the name of my next cat,) a powerful witch who is put to death by her brother sometime in the 17th century. Asa and her boyfriend, Javuto (henceforth known as Prince Valiant) are forced to wear "The Mask of Satan" before meeting their end. "The Mask of Satan" is a mini Iron Maiden, the perfect gift for the hard to shop for person on your Holiday list....

This is going to hurt.........
Cut to the 19th century. Major dumb ass of the year, Dr. Thomas Kruvajan, is traveling through Moldavia (where all this action takes place) with his hot assistant Dr. Andre Gorobec. While waiting for their coach to be repaired they stumble upon Princess Asa's tomb. Kruvajan, who is well versed in Witch lore, proceeds to desecrate the tomb. Not only does he break the cross that holds the corpse of Asa in a spell, he also kills a bat, removes the Satan mask, and bleeds on Asa. Everyone knows that if you kill a bat, break a cross, remove a Satan mask, and bleed on a corpse bad things are going to happen. Kruvajan, well versed in Witch lore, takes a "what the fuck" attitude and goes about his way. As they leave the crypt, they run into the beautiful Princess Katia, Princess Asa's doppelganger. Gorobec falls in love, Kruvajan gets drunk, Asa awakens, and all hell breaks loose.

I am ready for my close-up....

The pockmarked Asa, unable to rise from her tomb, summons Prince Valiant from his resting place. The general idea is to kill everyone in the family, take over Katia's body, and rule the world. Plus they are Vampires. There is a lot going on here.....

I love you Prince Valiant....
I don't want to give away the end so I will stop here. Let me just say that this film is surprisingly gory (1960!), wonderfully creepy, and downright frightening. The scene where the Dr. is locked in the tomb with the Witch is "keep you up at night" scary and the Asa/Katia transformation scene is amazing. This is the kind of film you want to watch on a dark and stormy night. Alone. If you are into that kind of thing...which I am.

Zombie President...

Zombie Reagan Raised From Grave To Lead GOP
Real post soon- I swear!!! In the meantime- enjoy! Thanks to Dwido for the heads up.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My new Horror Calendar

I bought myself this KICK ASS calender for 2010 from a mega website that specializes in world domination. This calendar, as is advertised, features a different horror film every month!! Not only do you get a beautiful color reproduction of the film's poster, but you also get the film itself!!! 12 public domain movies!!! Here is a breakdown:
  • January: The Brain that Wouldn't Die
  • February: Night of the Living Dead
  • March: Teenage Zombies
  • April: Dementia 13
  • May: House on Haunted Hill
  • June: The Terror
  • July: The Devil Bat
  • August: Nosferatu
  • September: The Phantom of the Opera
  • October: Frankenstein's Daughter (really- that is the best they could do for the holiest of horror holys?)
  • November: Revolt of the Zombies
  • December: White Zombie

Of course, I already own most of these movies, but can you ever really have too many versions of Night of the Living Dead? So here is the kicker- there is no January in the calendar! They sent the January movie: The Brain that Wouldn't Die, but they skip the month all together on the calendar. I am pretty OK with this but it makes me wonder: do they know something we don't know? Spooky huh?

By the way, I must have seen The Brain that Wouldn't Die 100 times, but if I get really desperate or come down with the flu, I will watch it again and give my usual detailed analysis. Or, I can just tell you it is a groovy movie about a douche bag and a head in a pan and leave it at that. On to February!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Short film by Neil Gaiman

by trentisthenewpink

Thanks to Trent from Pink is the New Blog for bringing this to my attention. This short, entitled Statuesque, premiered on UK Television a short while ago. Not only was it created by Neil Gaiman (this blog is very close to becoming a Gaiman obsessive blog) but it also stars Bill Nighy, one of my favorites. You might remember him from a little film called Shaun of the Dead. Enjoy!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010! Lio for your viewing pleasure......

Happy New Year everyone!!! If you haven't already, please, please check out the best comic out there: Lio!!! My local paper doesn't carry it, so I get my fix here:

Lio is a monster kid we can all look up to.......