Thursday, December 23, 2010
I recently had the distinct pleasure to see a midnight showing of Christmas Evil at the Bridge Theatre in San Francisco. The night, which was hosted by the amazing Peaches Christ, not only featured a living nativity scene made up mostly of Drag Queens, but also a "Scary Santa" contest and Christmas Evil Director Lewis Jackson live in person!! But you know what the most awesome part of the night was? John Waters was sitting behind us. Yes, that John Waters. See, Christmas Evil is John Waters' favorite seasonal film. And if you know what kind of taste John Waters has, then you have a pretty good idea of what kind of film Christmas Evil is.
I had never seen this film, also known as You Better Watch Out, before this magical night. Yes, a few beers at the English pub down the street increased my enjoyment, as did the contact high. On its own, Christmas Evil is a bizarre little horror film that is actually kind of melancholy. Brandon Maggart (Fiona Apple's Daddy) stars as Harry Stadling, a man-child who is obsessed with Christmas. See, as a little boy, he caught Santa fondling Mommy (actually Harry's dad dressed up.) This so disturbed Harry that he developed an obsession with Santa. Not just Santa, but the idea of BECOMING Santa (this film is as psychologically disturbing as Black Swan.) He has what must be the most awesome job in history, supervisor at a toy factory. He keeps a list of naughty and nice girls (this sounds really gross and perverted, but the way it is played out on the screen it is actually kind of sweet). His grasp on reality is very thin however, and one bad day pushes him over the edge.
Disappointed with the company he works for and his coworkers, Harry decides to steal a bunch of toys and give them to needy children. So far so good. I can totally get behind this. He dresses as Santa and delivers the toys in his van, which he has painted to look like a sled. While passing a church he is mocked by a bunch of yuppies leaving Mass. Thus begins what is perhaps the greatest church step/yuppie/Santa slaughter scene in all of history. He kills those yuppies and he kills them good. I can totally get behind this. Are there even yuppies anymore? I don't know. Not where I live. I am surrounded by a bunch of socially awkward geniuses and Hoover institute fellows. At least they are not yuppies.
Anyway, Santa begins a killing spree which for the most part is totally justifiable. He also has some fun along the way, crashing a holiday party and dancing his jolly red ass off. Harry's uptight but sexually active Brother, Phillip (played by Jeffrey DeMunn, Dale from The Walking Dead. It is bizarre to see him all skinny and getting it on. It was really strange.) figures out that Harry is the killer Santa. What does he do? He kills him of course!!! What a fucked up family.
The film goes on and has a very strange ending. Well, actually, it is the exact type of ending you would expect from a (non-horror) Christmas film. There is magic and wonderment.
This film is worth seeing for the church step slaughter scene alone. Brandon Maggart does an excellent job as Harry. You really identify with him and feel sorry for him, even though it is clear that he is bat shit crazy. Now, as my holiday gift to you, please enjoy this picture of John Waters with this pretty little girl.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Four more days. Four more days.
Four more days. Four more days.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
I had high hopes for Frozen. Not only because it was Adam Green's follow up to Hatchet (a film that didn't live up to the hype but was quite fun) but also because the scenario (I am using a thesaurus!) seemed quite original. Here's the lowdown: three friends are at a ski resort for the weekend. Dan and Joe have been friends since grammar school. Along for the ride is Dan's newish girlfriend, Parker. She seems like a nice enough girl, a good sport, but Joe resents the fact that Dan has dragged her along on the boys weekend. Don't start thinking "repressed homosexual feelings" like I did. This movie isn't really that deep. Parker is just kind of a buzz kill.
The trio bribe the lift operator to let them ride all day. This becomes important to the story because the gang are not accounted for by the ski resort. When they convince the operator to let them go up one last time for a night run, he agrees, and then gets distracted, asking another operator to take over for him. This becomes important to the story because a miscommunication between the operators leaves Dan, Joe, and Parker stranded mid-air with the ski resort closed for the week. They are screwed. After a few hours they realize no one is coming for them and that they won't survive a week in the lift. Dan decides to jump. Dan, not being to smart, jumps feet first and breaks (in half) both of his legs. This becomes important to the story because Dan cannot move, cannot get help, and is going to die from blood loss. It is now up to Parker and Joe to figure out what to do. While they are bickering they hear a howl from the woods. A wolf had shown up and is eying Dan. This becomes important to the story because eventually wolves are going to eat Dan and Joe.
And this is where the movie lost me. I had an idea of what might happen. I was looking forward to a man against the elements survival/horror hybrid. Would I have thought that two of the three people stuck in the chair lift would get eaten by wolves? No. Would I have thought that Parker would end up getting away so easily? No. Usually I like when a film throws a curve ball at me, but not in this case. The movie in my head turned out to be better than the movie on the screen. Great set-up, some decent acting, and beautiful cinematography: that is what is good about Frozen. Man eating wolves? I can't believe I am saying this but it just didn't do it for me. Bears would have been awesome.
The Walking Dead final aired on AMC last night. The season was six episodes long- way to short! AMC is such a tease. I believe we will have to wait until October for season two.
The Walking Dead was quite simply amazing- all I could have hoped for and more. I am not super familiar with the comics: I have only read a few of them, but I know enough about the general storyline to have me very excited about season two. I understand that the show is not following the comics exactly: certain characters who should be dead are not, but as long as they make it to the prison and the Governor shows up I will be happy.
The show was a perfect mix of gore, horror, and good old fashioned storytelling. It was the characters and their relationships that had me turning in week after week. I can't wait to see what happens to them as their situation goes from bad to worse. Thanks to AMC, Frank Darabont, Gale Ann Hurd, Greg Nicotero, Robert Kirkman, and everyone involved bringing this awesome show to life.
Now- the top five reasons I still love TV:
- The Walking Dead
- True Blood
- Toddlers & Tiaras
Yes, Glee ranks above True Blood just because it is slightly less ridiculous. True Blood is only a little more horrifying than Toddlers & Tiaras.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Sorry for the complete lack of posting lately. I have exactly two days off before we celebrate the original hippies birthday. I promise I will find time to bring you insightful, profanity laden reviews of films such as Frozen, Poltergeist, and that new holiday favorite, Anti-Christ. In the meantime, enjoy this commercial...
This is the world I want to live in.
This is the world I want to live in.