Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Raven:The Simpsons Version

The Raven:The Simpsons Version I have been looking for this forever! Check out this link to see the full animated version. Enjoy!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bay of Blood

 A.K.A Twitch of the Death Nerve, a much cooler title in my opinion.  Bay of Blood, directed by Mario Bava, is considered by some the first "slasher film."  It certainly inspired a lot of slasher films.  Does this scene look familiar?

Nothing like two horny teenagers getting staked during sex.  Unlike Friday the 13th, these horny teenagers are euro trash.  Also unlike Friday, there are multiple killers in this bay of blood.

The film starts on a high note: a silent sequence where an old woman in a wheelchair gets murdered.  Her killer, her husband, is quickly dispatched by a knife wielding man in black gloves.  Oh yes, we are in Italian horror territory here.

I just don't think I have ever seen an Italian horror film so gory!  I mean, there is stabbing, beheading, spearing, knifing, strangling, throat slashing, machetes to the face!  13 gruesome murders in all. Trust me: everyone deserves it.

There is a plot of sorts.  Everyone is trying to get their hands on the old lady's will: family, neighbors, euro trash Real Estate Agents.  You think there is only one killer but......... SPOILER ALERT!!

Everyone is a killer.  Everyone is a sleazy asshole and everyone is a killer.  The end.  The bay isn't even that pretty.  I couldn't figure out what the big deal is.  And so many men wearing turtlenecks!  Yuck, I hate men in turtlenecks!!

Honestly I almost feel asleep during this film.  Parts are very, very slow.  So many characters are introduced and then quickly dispatched I had a hard time caring about any of them.  I actually had to go to the Internet to see who one of the last killers was.  Some dude drenched in baking soda showed up at the last minute to do some killing.  Turns out it was the euro trash Real Estate Agent.  Isn't it always?

For Bava fans only.  Apparently this was one of the most controversial films of his career.  It is very gory and dark and nihilistic.  Normally I love that shit but this was a little slow for me.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rue Morgue Magazine's 200 Alternative Horror Films You Need To See

This is good.  Really.  Find it and buy it.  Although I don't agree with every choice (I hate, and will continue to hate, Red State) a lot of it is spot on!  I was happy to see that I had seen a lot of the films, but not all of them.  So I compiled my own list and spent 20 minutes on Netflix working it out.  (What do you have against A Serbian Film Netflix?  I heard it's lovely.)   Here is my list of Rue Morgue films that I am going to watch this year.  I will tag them Rue Morgue 200.  I like having a project.  Some purpose, you know? 

Some of these films I HAVE seen before, just not in a long time.  Those I will "star".  I mean, how awesome is Event Horizon?  Of course that goes on the list!!

  • The Bad Seed*
  • A Bay of Blood
  • Behind the Mask-The rise of Leslie Vernon
  • The Blob 1988*
  • Blood Creek
  • Bloody Birthday
  • TCM 2*
  • Calvaire
  • Communion
  • Cube
  • Curse of the Demon
  • Curse of the Werewolf
  • Dead & Buried
  • Dagon
  • Demons 1985
  • Deranged
  • Diabolique 1955*
  • Enter the Void
  • The Entity
  • Event Horizon*
  • Father's Day
  • Frailty
  • Hardware*
  • The Haunting of Julia
  • Humanoids from the Deep
  • House 1977
  • I saw the Devil
  • Incubus 1965
  • The Legend of Boggy Creek
  • Lady in a Cage
  • Lair of the White Worm
  • Let Sleeping Corpses Lie
  • Lifeforce
  • Lord of Illusions
  • The Loved Ones
  • The House on Sorority Row*
  • Just Before Dawn
  • The Prowler
  • Stagefright
  • The Mothman Prophecies (even though it has Richard Gere in it)
  • The New Daughter (I actually own this and have never watched it.)
  • Phantasm II
  • Raw Meat
  • S&Man
  • The Sentinel
  • Sheitan
  • Something Wicked this way comes
  • The Spiral Staircase
  • The Stendhal Syndrome
  • Suicide Club
  • Targets
  • Toolbox Murder 2004
  • The Hunger*
  • Dracula (spanish version/also own)
  • Vinyan
  • Wakewood
  • Who can kill a child?
God, have I ever watched a horror movie?  This list is huge! 

American Horror Story: Asylum

When I first started watching American Horror Story last year I wasn't very complimentary.  Check that review out here.  After the season ended I had to write a mea culpa.  You can read that here.  By the end of the season Ryan Murphy and crew had completely won me over.  I thought, and still think, it was brilliant.  Now, we come to American Horror Story: Asylum, which just wrapped up it's season

How history repeats itself.  I was very excited because many of the same cast of season one were returning, including the amazing Jessica Lange.  Set in 1964 (but really jumping all over space and time), Asylum concerns itself with "horrors of the mind."  Set in Briarcliff, a Catholic-run insane asylum, AHS: Asylum covered all sorts of horrors: Nazi experiments, discrimination, rape, torture, alien abduction, serial killers, face ripping (yes, more fucking skinning.  I am tired of this trend.  It grosses me out.), demon possession, electro-shock therapy: shit, there is even a killer Santa Claus.  A little over the top?  Yes.

There was so much going on in this season, and so much that was totally repulsive, that, again, I really disliked it.  I stuck with it, although I felt that once again Murphy had gone off the deep end and was just throwing as much "scary" shit on screen that he could think of to see what sticks.  I was pretty annoyed for about half the season.

Then, just like last time, something happened.  I got it: I saw where he was going, I saw the bigger picture, and I saw the humanity of the work.  After all is said and done, I loved it.  Not as much as season one, but pretty close.  I still could have done without the aliens however.  I loved Kit's story, but felt it could have been told without the alien element.  I did love the demon possessed Nun however.  More of that please.

Now enjoy the best scene from the whole season.  You are welcome.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Rare Novella Review: Cabal

I am currently obsessed with Grumpy Cat (see earlier post) and Clive Barker.  Grumpy Cat doesn't quite give me the nightmares that Clive Barker does, so Barker wins this round.  Delving into Barker's world is a bit like having a fever dream.  I know I should wake up and get out but I can't, and really don't want to.  Inspired by Rue Morgue's excellent recent cover story on Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut, I finally read the $1.99 paperback I had picked up a few years ago at a used book store. I had been meaning to read it for years, but you know how that goes. 

I saw Nightbreed a few years ago, well aware of the troubles surrounding it and Barker's well justified unhappiness with the finished product.  I have to say I love this movie: flaws and all.  For one thing, it stars David Cronenberg, one of my number one horror boyfriends.  Cronenberg and Barker together.  Yes, I just died and went to heaven.  The Berg plays Decker, the all too human villain of this story. 

The Rue Morgue article is about the restored Cabal Cut that is making it's way around the festival circuit.  The studio needs to release this.  I mean really.  Or, they need to finally stop playing Life of Pi at Palo Alto Square and book this movie!  Seriously.  A movie theatre within walking distance to my apartment and they play the same movie for 3 months.  Before Pi is was the Marigold Hotel thing.  For like a year. 

Click on the picture to "Occupy Midian" and sign a petition to get this film released!  Finally, on to the novella!  The main difference between the film and the novella is Lori.  She is really the hero, so to speak, in Barker's story.  I felt that in the film she was a little annoying, but now I love the character.  She chases after Boone when he accused of terrible crimes.  She becomes obsessed, wants answers, and even she doesn't know why.  In the novel she is propelled more by curiosity than love, and she falls in love with the world she discovers in Midian, even as she is repulsed by it.  I love this passage:
All that she'd coveted or envied in others of her species now seemed valueless.  Dreams of the prefect anatomy- the soap opera face, the centerfold body- had distracted her with promises of true happiness.  Empty promises.  Flesh could not keep its glamour, or eyes their sheen.  They would go to nothing soon. 
But the monsters were forever.  Part of her forbidden self.  her dark, transforming midnight self.  She longed to be numbered among them.
No other work by Barker has reminded me so much of Guillermo del Toro.  The celebration of monsters: the idea that monsters can be loved, can be admired.  This idea is on full display in Cabal.  Midian is a refuge for monsters. A sanctuary.  Some want to be part Midian, like Narcisse, the human who goes to extremes to prove he is a monster down deep.  (Quick aside: I seem to be reading or watching a lot of horror where people get their faces torn off.  Can we stop this please?  This grosses me out more than most other forms of head trauma. Thank you.)  Some, like Boone, join Midian because they have no choice.
Of course, the real monster in Cabal is Decker.  Decker is so black inside that even the residents of Midian would reject him.  Decker uses Lori to get to Boone, which has unfortunate consequences for Midian. 
This story is SO GOOD!  Read it, really, if you haven't.  Warning: nightmares will probably follow.  And try to catch Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut if it plays near you.  I am off to see Life of Pi for the twentieth time.  God, I hate Pi and that damn Tiger.

I'm too excited to sleep....

I'm not dead.  Posts coming soon.  I was going to write a review of  Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D but every time I try I get sleepy....

Anyway, I am working on a lot of stuff so don't give up on me yet!  As soon as I can break my Grumpy Cat addiction I will write!!

Seriously, this cat is so damn cute.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Phantom of the Opera 1943

Monsieur, you are skeptical, but I don't like ghosts. I'm a busy man.
-Vereheres from Phantom of the Opera 1943.

Happy New Year Everyone!!  For Christmas this year my wonderful Hubby bought me the Universal Classic Monsters Blu-Ray collection.  It is as awesome as you have heard.  The only film I had not seen in the collection was Phantom of the Opera from 1943 starring on of my favorites: Claude Rains.

I love this guy.  Isn't he perfect?  Directed by Arthur Lubin, Phantom was filmed on the same Paris Opera House set built for Chaney's 1925 version.  A set that still stands today!  Check out more info here.

Rains stars as Erique Claudin, a Violinist whose career is cut short due to Arthritis.  A bit of an "Odd Duck," Claudin has been "sponsoring" a young singer by the name of Christine (Susanna Foster).  Christine has no idea that Claudin is her benefactor.  She is a rising star in the Paris Opera world and she has two men fighting over her: Nelson Eddy as Baritone Anatole Garron, and Edgar Barrier as Raoul, a Detective.  Anatole and Raoul act as a sort of comic relief in this otherwise tragic tale.

After losing his job, Claudin attempts to sell his music to continue Christine's education.  A horrific accident involving a vat of acid sends Claudin on a killing spree and then into hiding under the Paris Opera House.

Rain's Phantom is a sympathetic character yet his is very brutal.  Quite a few people lose their lives due to his obsession.  Young Christine, once kidnapped by the Phantom, reacts with sympathy rather than horror.  Perhaps because she once knew him as the kind, odd Claudin rather than the monster he has become.

The Big Reveal.  They obviously toned down the make-up here.  Part of the reason is because Rain's didn't want to wear the make-up (revealed in the documentary.)  Part of the reason is, I am sure, that you can't beat this:

Also revealed in the documentary is that Claudin and Christine were related: they were father and daughter.  The studio wisely dropped this story line due to the incestuous implications.  

This version of the Phantom is in glorious technicolor and the Opera House set has never looked more beautiful.  If you are a fan of Opera, you will enjoy this film: there is a whole lot of singing.  I mean A LOT.  But that was OK with me.  I am now a huge Nelson Eddy fan.  Who knew?  As for Rains, he is wonderful and sympathetic and very, very mad.  The version lacks the terror of the 1925 version, but it has it's own charms.