Thursday, December 26, 2013

Suck (2009)

Tis the holiday season still! Time to say thanks and give.

I'd like to say thank you, personal music collection, for being so bad ass. In honor of being so bad ass, I'm going to make a mixed CD and give it as gifts to all my loved ones. Sharing my bad ass music collection makes me feel good because my loved ones love the CDs and I enjoy knowing I have such a bad ass collection.

Which brings me to tonight's movie.

If you love music - and I mean good music not crap - the really sexy cool music, like everything in my collection, then you'll love this movie.

Netflix has been yelling at me to watch this film for a long time and for some reason it has taken me a very long time to warm up to it. It takes me a while to warm up to vampire flicks period. Perhaps I'm a little burned out, or perhaps they are a little over played, but ultimately I feel vampire movies seem a fang too easy to make for me to find instantly intriguing.

NOT SUCK, as it turns out.


Partly because the music is awesome. If you enjoy music by Catherine Wheel, Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, and Swervedriver then you know what I'm talking about here.

I almost threw this one into the Happy Horror category but decided against it because the undertone of the film is no laughing matter. Sure sure, this comedy vampire movie is about a band trying to make it and ultimately do because they become cool: with their addiction. 

It's their addiction that grabbed me pretty hard. Although it's about blood in the film, the undertones parallel anyone, especially band members who, as they become more popular, are increasingly exposed to a dark and seedy world of drugs, etc. That stuff is not funny, but Suck sure made a fine dark comedy about it.

Which makes the music stars that appear in the film all that more intriguing. For instance, Iggy Pop (my birthday buddy), who is surprising alright after his decades of abuse is actually the words of wisdom for the band and tries to get them to kick their habit. While Alice Cooper, a staunch anti drug and alcohol advocate in real life, is the pusher man in this film.

This is a fun film and a good one for those that don't like Ultimate Horror films. It's smart, pretty, sexy, and fun. A great Saturday night flick. I'm adding to the favorites list because of the music and creativity.

Suggested pairing. Red wine and your favorite play list.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa Sangre (1989)

Happy Holidays everyone! In honor of this festive season I've decided to watch a horror movie with the word 'Santa' in the title!

Actually - it's taken me about three years to get through Santa Sangre.


I'd start it and then six to eight months later I'd watch a little more but have to stop because all of the crazy - brain could not take all of the crazy - then pick it up again only to be defeated by the crazy for another six to eight months.

Santa Sangre is completely and totally insane. 

Like, if Carrie's mother and Norman's mother got together for a three month binge on PCP all the while their children were their disguised dealers insane.

This film is very disturbing, but it takes a while to realize how disturbing it is because the film moves so erratically and over-the-top. There is blood and feathers everywhere,  including an elephant with blood shooting out of it's trunk. Circus performers EVERYWHERE (note, there are many clowns....many many clowns). I'm going to just give you a moment to soak up this visual so far.

....

Okay, moving on. Religions, sex, prostitution, child abuse, and infidelity play a huge role too. And it gets worse! Once you realize what's going on, for instance when you realize how connected the son is to his neurotic mother, your skin crawls and you just want the ride to stop. This is why it took me so long to get through this epic film. It was too dark, insane, and disturbing for me to watch in one seating.

That said, I'm glad I finally got through it. This is an incredible film and deserves the praise it has received. I don't think I'll watch it again though. Once is enough.

Now, to top this whole experience off, read this IMDB Message Board post titled: "NOT A FILM ABOUT SANTA!!". To quote the user:

 "I took my kids to see this film last night as they are still young enough to believe in Santa Claus. I didn't get it though; this film has got nothing to do with Santa? I demanded my money back but didn't get it because we had sat there for too long (waiting). My kids were really upset. I can't believe someone would want to mislead us like that! It makes me really angry."

 Ohhhhh hooo hoo, ahhh HA HAHAHAHA. Ah. Thank you, erlendsp. Thank you for that, I really needed some dark comic relief after watching and writing about Santa Sangre. Going to cry as I laugh now.

Off to watch happy things for a while. Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 25, 2013

She-Wolf Of London (1946)

Nothing says a classic 1940's film better than crazy ladies. It doesn't matter if the characters are actually crazy or not, they are ladies and therefore, likely crazy (or fickle, or jealous, or stupid, or money hungry - but ultimately need a man to sort things out).


At least that's what I thought this whole movie was about at the beginning - and it is for a quite a bit of this one hour film - but the end surprised me, just a bit. She-Wolf of London actually took a rather quick, sudden and very short-lived turn into the dark and sinister.

This is a good film for those who love the not-so-creepy black and white classics, with their quirky story lines and smirk-inducing dated material. This is also a great film to wined the night down with, or take a little break in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. A fine fine film to talk to (at) with a group of your best fellow 1940's 'horror' movie fans.

Check out the movie here, compliments of the Internet Archive, and see the delight for yourself:



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Are You Afraid Of The Dark? (Television Show, 1990)

Back, once but long ago, my two youngest brothers and I would pop some popcorn, stop our fighting, and be sure to gather around the large television set  peaceably by 9:00 PM every Saturday night.


The reason? Nickelodeon's: Are You Afraid Of The Dark? A marvel of teen story telling and entertainment genius for the whole family. We had so much fun building the anticipation for the show as we did watching the show. If you were lucky enough to grow up in the early 1990s, with the parachute pants and hyper color shirts, then you'll likely know what I'm talking about here.

I'm pretty sure the three of us watched each 30 minute show mouth breathing in anticipation of how the story would actually end. Looking back that might just have been me, but I wouldn't be surprised if my bros were right there with me.

The wonderful little stories told during each episode have continued to haunt my memories. So much so that I tracked the first season down (finally found it for a reasonable price) and rejoiced like a delightful, spoiled, little child during Christmas, when the package arrived. Oh, how the memories came right back - and this time they were better than ever.

This is a great television show for the whole family or anyone who enjoys a good, cheeky, spooky tale. Highly recommend paring with popcorn, favorite soda, and some of your best people.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween! Rebecca (1940) and Donnie Darko (2001)

Say what you say? What do these two movies have in common to account for them both being in one post, you ask? Nothing, besides the fact that I couldn't decide which movie should be the last October Challenge Happy Halloween! post. So there you go. It's my blog, I do what I want.

So now that midnight is approaching, Halloween is reaching its creepiest time, and you're sitting at home wondering what to watch next. Well, I'm sure you want to watch something good, right? Something much admired and respected? Something that will spook you - but not too much because you still have to get some sleep before work in the morning? Well then I have two picks for you!

The first: Donnie Darko.


What a film! When I first watched it, I was still neck deep in my David Lynch movie marathon phase and I STILL just about jumped from my seat a couple times, cried a little, and finally about fell out of my chair by the end. I would like to call this one a philosophical horror movie. It could also be a drama buuuuut, no, I think it's more of a horror movie. The bunny costume alone will git ya good. Your mind will get a little twisted, your heart will break a bit, and you'll sit for a good long while afterwards wondering what in the world just happened.

I love this film. Love it. It's my feel good food. My warm bath with Epsom salts. My banned book from the high school library. It's my Donnie Darko. I've not seen anything quite like this film, and I don't expect to for a good long while.

The second: Rebecca.


Oh! Rebecca! The book is wonderful, I gobbled it up like ice cream - until it hurt my head and had to breath through my nose for a while. For those of you not exactly in the mood for horror or ghosts but desire something like that then this is the movie for you! It's a 1940s classic and Hitchcock directed it. That's all you really need to know.

This dark and spooky tale will take you down sordid paths and introduce you to some very spooky people. But I don't think it will give you nightmares, just the good old fashioned chills. And because I love you all so much - here is the entire movie. I present to you, Rebecca:


Happy Halloween, folks! See you all soon and sleep tight!


Happy Halloween! The Uninvited (1944)

The candy bowls are running empty and the streets are getting a little more eerie...

Time for another Happy Halloween movie! And once again, this is another classic tale sure to chill your bones or memory (or both).


My Mother introduced me to this film during my teens. She recorded it just for me one night, since she noticed that I was becoming more interested in ghost stories and haunted houses. I quickly popped the tape into the VCR, yelled at my brothers to Be Quiet!, and proceeded to watch it in plump, greasy faced awe.

I'd never seen anything like it, and there have been very few that meet its caliber still. The 1944 classic, The Uninvited has been called one of the best ghost story movies ever made. There is little question as to why. It's smart, it's quick, it's dark, and mysterious. In fact, it took me several viewings before I caught up with the sassy 1940's banter and through all the levels of social detail.

What I think makes this movie so scary is that it's so casual. There is something so, dare I say, mundane and everyday about it. You find yourself happily watching a good movie without a care in the world and then Bam! Suddenly there's a ghost under your skin... and it crawls out...slowly - making this experience all the more horrific.

This is a great movie to snuggle up on the couch to. Get yourself a glass of wine or brandy or popcorn, or all of the above, chill out, and watch a beautiful story unfold.

Sadly, this movie is a little hard to find. But I have a really great trailer for ya! Enjoy:


Happy Halloween! The Red Room Riddle (1983)

The trick-or-treaters are out and about, knocking at the houses all covered in spooky, and while candy bags are being filled the moon is coming out. Time for another Happy Halloween movie!

This one is another treasure for me. I'm willing to bet it's also a treasure for you if you too were an After School Special watcher. Perhaps you only remember the dog bone in the yard, or the the howling cackle of the kid in the mansion. If you do, I know you remember the red room and that it scared you half out of your wits at the time.

I'm not sure if this little gem can be found in video format, but at least the internets have kept it safe! Granted, although the quality is not that great, please sit back and enjoy a childhood spook that quite possibly has haunted the dark corners of your memory for a long time. I present The Red Room Riddle:




Enjoy!

Happy Halloween! The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1955)

It's here it's here! Happy Halloween!

Today I'll be posting not one, not two, but three movie reviews (to make up for the three days I didn't get a chance to watch a movie this month). In the mean time, please enjoy a little classic that I've always cherished.


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow cartoon:

Update!

Folks, unfortunately this little video is no longer available online. But! You can still rent it from your local video store - or if you'r lucky (like me) you still have a version on VHS :)

Stay tuned for more and again, Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ghost Story (1981)

I'm in a book club with some of my best ladies. In this book club we fart, burp, drink, eat, swear, smoke, fall down, and read books. The whole neighborhood is fully aware of our book club meeting days. Best. Book. Club. Ever.

Coincidentally, October is my book club meeting month this year which means I got to pick the book to read.  And since October IS THE BEST for ghost stories and the like, naturally Peter Straub's Ghost Story was chosen. I'm on the last 5 pages right now! Which means I think it's okay to watch the movie now. I even talked my husband into joining me. This is big folks.

So let me get back to this book so I can get on watching this movie. See you after the show!

Update:

Oh folks, I'm sorry! As Halloween approaches I'm finding it more and more difficult to get to a movie on time and finish it before the witching hour. Good news, I should have plenty of time to catch up on these movie reviews, very shortly...

Update Update:

The book and the movie are doing their own things here. They share the same characters names but that's about it. If you start the film expecting it to be similar to the book then you will be disappointed, and vice versa.

The book was quite good, albeit a little bit overall of the place and far stranger than I expected. Whereas the movie was succinct and more self explanatory, or how shall I say - more of a routine ghost story.

I was asked by some book club ladies to inform them if this movie would be scary. My answer is yes, at parts. There is a brief but poignant image right at the end that shocked me so good I was pretty sure I was going to have nightmares. I ended up not sleep very well at all.

I appreciate this movie for what it is: a good ghost tale that is tied up nicely at the end. If that is what you are looking for then this will be a good one for you. Also, Fred Astaire is simply delightful. If you are looking for some explanations to help clarify the book, you will not find it here. This movie is it's own thing and should be appreciated as such.

Suggested pairing: brandy, with a roaring fire in the background.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Resident Evil (2002)

Tonight I'm watching Resident Evil. That's right folks - this is happening.


Haters gonna hate.

See you after the show!


Update:

Oh, what a carnival ride. I thought I'd seen this before - perhaps in the movie theater, but all I remembered was that there were some creepy creepy dogs. But once I officially saw the dogs this evening, my attention waned.

Sure sure, this is a entertaining film, but I found the editing a little strange and the main character's magical disappearing dress a little silly.

This is quite obviously a video game movie. It's fun, it's silly, it's full of action but ... it was made for video games. I'm not a fan of many video games. You'll have to pry the original Nintendo game controllers from my Tetris and Dr. Mario addicted hands, but otherwise I play very little video games. (Yes, I still play with my working-quite-well-thank-you-very-much original Nintendo. It sits right next to my working-quite-well-thank-you-very-much-stop-making-fun-of-me VCR).

This is a great movie to check-out to. In fact, this one was chosen specifically because I didn't want to think but just veg out. Mission. Accomplished.

Suggested pairing: pizza, beer, chips, candy bars, leave a mess everywhere.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

I have a feeling I've seen this movie before. Although I could be mixing it up with all the other campy "...quartet of terrifying tales!" I've seen - none of which I can name yet only remember bits and pieces of, so this should be a delight.

I'm being serious, I'm looking forward to The House That Dripped Blood. It looks awesome. 1971 horror, not one not two not three but four terrifying tales, and it involves Scotland Yard - how can a girl not be looking forward to this.


AND AND AND

IMDB tells me that people who liked this film also liked Carnival of Souls, The Howling, The Omen, and the Night Of The Living Dead.  I can not see where this can go wrong.

It's Sunday, I just took my Mom out for her birthday dinner, and I'm ready to snuggle up into some awesome. Let's get this show started. See you after the show!

Update:

Turns out I was a little too snuggled up in awesome. I fell asleep at a rather early hour and missed most of the film. What I have seen already I like, but apparently my sleep activator thought otherwise. I'll watch the rest of the film this evening and provide another update!

Update Update!

Okay okay, finally! Finished the entire film. I wasn't able to finish it in a timely manner because life, not because suck. This is a fun fun fun movie. Campy meets clever. This is a nice collection of tales all told to a Scotland Yard inspector who you completely forget about until he occasionally pops back into the picture again. Although he's the reason the tales are being told, he is not a focus on the film and that's part of the fun.

Each tale is so strange, unusual, and different that it seems as if you're watching several compact movies and not one long tale. Which makes this one a great film for those of you not able to finish a movie in one night or have several distractions while attempting to watch it in one setting.

The costumes and settings are fetching, the dialog menacing, the plots (seem to be) Poe-inspired, and the Toodaloo! at the end has a nice smarty-pants touch.

This is a film for classic horror and spooky tale loving fans. Perfect for a Friday or Saturday night late-night horror fest. Get your heavily buttered popcorn ready, a handful of candy, curl up in your favorite seat and then sip on some of this. Savor in segments or gulp it right down. Either way, you'll be sure to enjoy the fun.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Blob (1988)

"Far more deadly than before!" This one says.

Although I've not seen the original 1950's Blob, I have a suspicion that this one might just be scarier than the original. Not saying that I'm certain this one will knock my socks off, but it seemed pretty fitting for a quiet, lazy, snuggly Saturday afternoon - and it might just be a smudge scary.

So without further ado, I'll get The Blob started because I have a lot of make-up work to do for my costume tonight (Amelia Earhart, post-crash).


See you after the show!

Update:

Oh what fun what fun what fun!

This monster is cheeky, gross, fast, and full entertainment. I was quite surprised by the film, actually. I was surprised by the turn-of-events, the destruction, and the dynamics of everyone involved.

It's a hair scary, but more startling and a little tongue-in-cheek (just enough) to make the effects that much more shocking. This is a great film for the whole (teen-years and up, especially) horror loving family.

Corrie, I think you'd like this one. Happy Birthday!

Suggested pairing: taffy, lots of it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gravity (2013)

Took my Husband on a date today - a belated birthday date.

We both wanted to see Gravity (he for the Sci-Fi aspect, me for the YAY-sounds-like-fun-what's-it-about-again-I-think-it's-scary-right-I-like-going-to-movies?! aspect)


There is most certainly science fiction, but there is also drama, suspense, action, adventure, some romance (love), even a little comedy and:

IT WAS ONE OF THE SCARIEST FILMS I'VE EVER SEEN

At the movie's conclusion we barely made it out of the theater before crumbling under the intensity of what we had just experienced. We were crying, shaking, and not able to speak coherently. After a walk and some time, Indian food, listening to some Tool, we began to feel more composed and reflective.

This is a remarkable film. It is maddening, beautiful, poetic, psychotic, detailed, simple, and a nightmare beyond compare. It is a work of art and a Must See on the big screen.

Do not watch if you get dizzy and sick to your stomach easily. This one will twist you around until you no longer care which way is up.You will be propelled into space and stay there for two solid hours. Strap on your seat belt and hold tight for christsakes. Do not eat anything for at least three hours before the film.

I cannot stress enough what a brilliant and intense ride this is. I asked my Husband if he wanted to contribute anything to tonight's post. All he wanted to relay was: "Holy [BLEEP]." Ultimately, this one will make you speechless.

A particularly haunting aspect of the film is the hope you'll scramble for. In fact, you'll experience every single emotion the characters experience in the film, but the hope will haunt you. My Husband and I have recently experienced real-life horrors beyond our imagination and the only thing that has kept us sane (at periods), is hope. Perhaps that is why this movie resonated with us so intensely. That said, I can't help but think that even the most rose-colored glasses sporting viewer will be shaken to their core by this marvelous piece of work.

Highly recommend for those who think they've lost everything.

In all, this movie is a wonderful adventure and a beautiful love note to the viewer that even with insurmountable odds, there is still hope. With courage in yourself, there is still hope. Or in the words of the movie tag line: "Don't Let Go".

PS: I am never going into space. Ever. Frack that.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lisa and the Devil (1973)

You know what folks, sometimes life just likes to bend you over and give you a few smacks on the rear for being born in the wrong time, in the wrong place, to the wrong family, etc., etc. Why? I have no idea. If I did I would probably not be writing horror movie reviews right now. Or maybe I do know I can't tell you because it's up to you to discover your own purpose here...

A magician never reveals their secrets.


Which brings me to tonight's film, Lisa and the Devil, a 1973 Italian film where the dialog is dubbed and the what-in-the-world-is-going on! looks pretty good. Lisa is lost in Spain and is mysteriously drawn into a hell previously unknown but it is slowly revealed just what role she has to play in the nightmare.

Here we go folks, see you after the show!

Update:

I had just started the show when something more intriguing interrupted movie watching time. To be continued....!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wolfen (1981)

I'm still sick!

Man, it sucks. Getting eaten by a werewolf sucks too - more, even. So I really shouldn't complain. But still, I feel the need to.

I didn't end up renting enough films from Rain City Video this last week so I'm watching a Netflix disk that has been sitting next to the TV for over a month now. Wolfen. I've been told I should really like it, that means a lot since it takes a lot for me to like werewolf films (with so many bad ones out there...).


Fluids are piled high in front of me, sick bed is covered in blankets - let's get this wolf ride going. See you after the show.

Update:

I do love me a good political horror movie. Especially when you can ask yourself questions during the show, such as:

"Who or what is the real monster here?"
"What's worse, killing for survival or killing for power - and where is the line or who decides?"
"Is it wrong to live in luxury when the luxury is acquired through the very hard work of taking advantage of disadvantage people under the guise of helping them, and why?"
"Scare tactics - why so many?"
"Bulldozing down a run-down community in order to build luxury condos - why does that piss me off so much?"

I currently live in what was once a very blue-collar neighborhood but is quickly being torn down to make way for condos and luxury apartments. Friends and neighbors are being pushed out of their affordable (and long lived in) homes. Turn-of-the-century farm and craftsman houses are being demolished to make away for tiny, crappy multiplex living spaces. It's really just a matter of time before I'm out too. Would I cry my eyes out if a pack of werewolves began taking out property executives? [taps chin]. Maaaaaaayyyybbeee.

But I think that's the real horror of this movie. The continual fight for property, living space, power, retention of ways (in and for nature, communities, nations, and city dwellers) - in essence, survival. Nasty business.

This is a great story and a very neat movie. I peed my pants a little seeing all the beautiful buildings - even if they were run-down. I have a soft, delicate spot for abandoned buildings. The Twin Towers were seen throughout the film, making it unintentionally that much more haunting.

Highly recommend this film, especially if you are interested in ethics, property management, cultural assimilation, and abandoned old buildings.

Monday, October 21, 2013

They (2002)

They hide under your bed, in your closet, behind the shower curtain, in the basement, and in the attic. They are dust bunnies. Very real, can get very big, and are very all over the place. Especially evil are the ones in the shower because they get wet and look all nasty.

But dust bunnies are not the reason I still have to be completely burrowed under a heavy layer of blankets at night. Feet can not be sticking out. I repeat, FEET CAN NOT BE STICKING OUT. Neither can my arms, sides, fingers, chin, or forehead.

Because... you never know...right?


They is a Wes Craven movie about that very thing. Dust bunnies. I mean, monsters. Unfortunately, even though ABC, New York Daily News, and Wireless Magazine tells me that this is a stellar movie, the description advertises that it has a "...hip young cast...". Leads me to believe that a bit more energy was invested in obtaining the right looks rather than a good story line.

But but but! I want check it out and have it prove me wrong. Soup is on. See you after the show!

Update:

Well, my big take-away from this film is that if you happened to have been unlucky enough to experience psychological trauma as a child and through the strength of your own will and want for survival, made it through with counseling, love and perseverance - then you'll likely just realize it was all a big waste of time because dumb luck.

Yes, the film was mighty frighty and well made. But I had issues with the logic behind the story line and couldn't get past how well mid-20 somethings lived with little to no job/a college student. Again, first world problems.

Yes, this movie was a chiller and spooky, and the monsters were pretty good. Better than the Boogeyman, fo sur. I just couldn't buy it though - just...couldn't get past wondering what the point was. I think that's what is supposed to be so scary about the film: There Is No Reason why these people were targeted by monsters in the closet. Just lucky I guess.

Suggested pairing: Coffee (with whiskey) OR warm milk with cookies.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Children (2008)

You know, sometimes, one of the worse things ever is when someone you love, cherish, and admire suddenly turns into a complete and total lunatic. In fact at the moment, I can't really think of a worse thing.

At first you are dumbfounded - in complete disbelief. Then things get worse and you are pretty certain you are living a waking nightmare ooooooorrrrr in a horror movie.


Which brings me to tonight's movie choice: The Children. Here they are one moment the loves of your life, the fruit of your loins, the future - and then they turn on you.

Yup. I'd call that pretty bad.

The tag line sums it up frighteningly well: "You brought them into this world. They'll take you out."

Happy Sunday night everyone - let's get this little adventure started!

Update:

Oh, I couldn't do it folks. I couldn't finish this movie last night. I was simply not in the right head space. I began watching some Mystery Science Theater 3000 instead but fell asleep and stayed that way for over 12 hours.

It would appear that the cold I've been trying to beat off has finally got me. I am sick.

So, when I finally woke up today, I finished watching this movie about children who suddenly become sick and kill people off.

This movie is very disturbing, and I think the most frightening parts are when the children begin to get sick, not when they have full blown lost it. The abortion topic cropped up now and again throughout the film - which I found unnecessary, tacky, cheep and gross. It seemed to me as if the story line was trying to use it as a guilt tactic. I do not care for that, I found it to be (here we go - here we go!) childish.

Otherwise I found the movie to be well done. Truly chilling and nightmarish. Watch during the holiday season with family members. Suggested pairing: popcorn balls and champagne in little no-tippy-sippy cups.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Killer Shrews (Again!) (1959)

Today I shared a very special secret with some friends, and now I'd like to share it with you:

I like smoking in the bathtub. 

Not just sitting in a tub and smoking away like a dirty secret. I like drawing a hot bath, putting a good horror movie on in the laptop (placing said laptop on the toilet seat) and soaking the world away with a cigarette and a nice bottle of wine.

It's one of my most favorite things.

Another one of my most favorite things is watching The Killer Shrews. I think it's the fantastic shrew costumes, or maybe - like smoking in the tub - it's so wrong it's right.


So I suggest drawing yourself a nice bath, get your portable movie ready, and hop on into one of the best things ever. Happy Friday everyone:


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tales of Terror From Tokyo And All Over Japan The Movie (2007)

What am I watching?

Probably a bad idea, that's what. Or then again...

I'm watching my pennies, so the rent-one-get-one-free day at the video store is my favorite. And when I found a DVD case with FIVE disks in it (advertised as containing over 500 minutes of Japanese ghost story terror), I just about pooped my pants. Instead I cried a little and rented it.

The problem with such good deals is that they are such 'good' deals. I might get about 75 minutes of terror, but 500? Ahhhhh, mmkay we'll see.

Either way, I'm not watching the full 500 minutes tonight. I'll space it out like pulling off a really large scab: slowly and with calculated grace so people think you are just deep in wise thought which has your smarty-mcsmarts-a-lot-fingers distracted absentmindedly and not actually picking at something that is, truthfully, distracting all your attention. Tonight I'm just watching the first tale of Japanese terror: The Night Watchman.

See you after the show!

Update:

Oooooooh what delightful little nibblets of ghost tales these are! And I lied, I was able to watch two of the films - I also watched Wisps of Smoke (which wasn't as delightful as The Night Watchman, but still, delightful).

These two are movie shorts about Japanese ghosts - which are some of the scariest ghosts around, if you ask me - and are fairly modern stories with an ancient feeling twist to them. I like them. I like them a lot. They are like devilish cupcakes with fancy freaky frosting. More on these cupcakes later. More movie movies tomorrow.

So far, suggested pairing: snacks and warm sake.

UPDATE: Hold the presses, hold the presses. Apparently I can not read or understand DVDs. Actually, I'll just blame it on these so far awesome 500 minutes of Japanese ghost stories. The wide assortment of disks confused me. Apparently I've been watching Tales of Terror From Tokyo And All Japan: The Movie these last couple of days. Not just a random collection of ghost stories compiled onto a disk, it actually has been The Movie part of this wide assortment of disks.

The movie was great! Very fun, very spooky, very jolting and What Just Happened?! Weeeee, let's do it again!

I like short stories - I especially like these short stories. Nearly all of them on The Movie disk are excellent. I have yet to watch Tales of Terror From Tokyo And All Over Japan Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 part 1, and Vol. 3 part 2.

If you love ghost stories, this is a must for your collection.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dead Ringers (1998)

I was drawn to Dead Ringers because of Stewart and Cyril Marcus, a saga from which this movie is based upon. These are two successful gynecologists, there is an addiction to drugs, and both found dead in their shared home.


Terribly sad story.

For anyone who has a loved one with a life-threatening addiction, this story is even more chilling and haunting. And that is why I choose to watch it today. I have a loved one with a life-threatening addiction, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. So I've decided to throw in a towel for the evening, order some pizza, and watch someone else suffer for a little while.

I'm sure there's a German psychological term for what I'm doing, and I'm pretty sure it goes well with roasted garlic and sun dried tomatoes.

So, here we go. I may actually not like this award winning film, will probably will cry, and I'm pretty sure I won't find any answers. But at least there is this moment of escape and I think it will be a mighty fine horror film.

See you after the show:

This was an incredibly difficult movie for me to watch. See also: knowing first-hand what it's like to watch someone kill themselves with an addition.

This is a horror movie particularly for those who have watched their loved ones suffer, more so than the sufferer. For anyone who has not loved an addict or was an addict themselves, this movie might just make you kinda sad (shrug and move on). For anyone with a similar experience to mine, you'll likely ball your eyes out and suffer from some post-traumatic stress from the images, dialog, and knowledge of how this story (and so many others like it) end.

This is a terribly sad, real-life horror story that so many people experience - Hollywoodized or not. Peace to all those that suffer out there. Peace and love.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nite Owl (1993)

Vampires!

Can't live with them. Can't trust them not to kill you when making love or war. Amiright?

I watched this movie fairly recently, and although I was quite taken with the film at the time, it haunts me still. More so than before, if that makes sense. I can only assume it will be all consuming before too long.

Not sure who thought to film the entire movie in grainy black and white but Awesome. I mean makes total sense. I don't always watch moody art student films but when I do, I watch Nite Owl. They did this one right. Personally, I think vampires look best in black and white and covered in their own existential horror.


This is a rather sad horror film, but horror all the same. My only complaint is that they tried to place the movie in the early 80s but it was pretty obvious to me that it was the early 90s. First world problems.

That said, I wondered if perhaps this film was also a door into New York's changing social  and financial structure during the 80s...

The loneliness, isolation, addiction, and the attempts of non-vampires to make the vampires' world a better place (or  make them pay for making everything worse) surprised me - how well it was done surprised me - how much I'm still thinking about what it all means surprised me.

I highly recommend this film if you are a vampire fan, art movie fan, or  a fan of movies that tilts your head just a bit - and then keeps it there for a while - just because.


Recommend pairing: sad pizza and dusty wine. Surround yourself in either an uncomfortable setting or stay up later than you want to. Best watched alone.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Night Of The Demons (1988)

Today was strange.

Weird. Awkward. Good. Bad. Ugly. Useful. Productive. Not productive. Strange.

Seems like a perfect fit for Night Of The Demons. I'm not exactly sure why at the moment, but I'm sure it will all make sense in the end. Did this movie turn into a remake? I'm not sure yet - in fact, I don't care. At this point, I'm looking for straight up entertainment and I think this movie promises to be just that.


I've passed by this movie cover for nearly 15 years (and it scared me every time), it's about time I check it (and research some of it's history) out.

See you spooks all after the show!

Update:

I'm not sure if I'm halfway through the movie or not yet - I sense that I am but it's difficult to say because so far it's a beautiful mess and I had to get some sleep. It seems to follow some similar characteristics as The Evil Dead movies...just throwing that out there.

And I have three favorite quotes so far:

  • "I found it in my mother's closet. She used to be an acid head"
  • "Eat a bowl of f***"
  • "I live  in a nice place, you know, with slip covers on the furniture"

The background/mood music sounds like it belongs with the ABC after school special soundtrack collection.

Oh my oh my. I'll try to finish this lovely up as soon as I can! In the meantime, I enjoyed the beautiful mess and I'm not sure what to do with it but pat it's head and say "So pretty."

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Jaws (1975)

I tooled around today kicking ass and taking names, like you do. All the while I was trying to figure out what movie I should watch for tonight's October Challenge.

Now, I need you to sit down for this because it may come as a complete shock:

I have never seen Jaws.


[dishes crash, record needle slides off track, someone says something awkward and completely off topic right when the room is silent].

It's true. It's taken me a long time to admit it, but now is the time. Actually, I decided it was time while I was making snicker-doodle cookies and crock-potting cauliflower and cheese chowder. Oh fall, I love you.

I know what Jaws is about, but I've never experienced it. I've seen clips of it all my life, but never had proper context for what I was seeing. This. Is. Big.

The popcorn is ready - the juices are flowing (seriously, I just made some fruit juice) - time to get this much over-due party started! See you after the show!

Update:

Ahhhh. Yeeeaaeah.

This is a really great movie. It jumps right into the horror, connects you with the characters quickly, builds momentum while you are trying simply trying to get a grasp on any sense of stability and safety, and concludes with a heart grasping, fingernail biting end. Bravo, Jaws. You've earned another Will Never Go Swimming In The Waters Again fan.

Suggested pairing: Surf and Turf, and lots of water (with rum). 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Twixt (2011)

Not feeling so well this morning. So I thought making some eggs and turkey sausage would be a good idea (for some reason).

It was not. 

Now I'm really not feeling well and most of the movies I've picked out from Rain City Video appear grotesque. Except Twixt. A Francis Ford Coppola film that stars Val Kilmer and looks - well, safe for most stomachs.


Otherwise I'm not so sure about this one. I didn't have much luck with my last Val Kilmer horror movie escapade during last year's October Challenge. And although this is a Francis Ford Coppola film, I have a sneaky suspicion this was a Francis Ford Coppola experiment gone wrong. 

The movie description tells me this story is about a writer who investigates a murder, only to find that he's more involved in the murder than he thinks. Sure, sure. Okay - what ever you say typical story line. 

So, back to the couch to curl up and wait this ick out, and see what Twixt has to show me. See you after the show!

Update:


It took me an entire day to watch this film because about half way through the film I kept finding other things to do. Such as paying bills, doing the dishes, trying to figure what the cat was looking at, making chocolate chip walnut cookies, feeling better, going to the library, researching gigantic wasps in China and so forth.

I did not like this film.

I found it comical, absurd, disorienting, and a bit insulting. I'm not sure if this is considered a vampire film because there are goth kids in it, or a murder mystery because there is a bumbling sheriff in it, or a ghost tale because the main character's daughter is haunting his memories.

Edgar Allen Poe plays a rather significant role in this film. Well, an Edgar Allen Poe that apparently was being played by a very young Inigo Montoya.

Nothing made sense to me in this movie, and the parts that tried still failed miserably. It was neither scary or chilling. After the film mercilessly ended, I laughed manically at the tag line: "Once the Nightmares Begin, the Terror Never Ends". This is a true statement, and the only entertainment I found in Twixt.

Suggested pairing: you know what, just - just drink the day away. Or make cookies.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Doctor and the Devils (1985)

I've got a birthday dinner to attend to shortly, so I'm not sure I'll be able to get a movie in today. Instead I'll discuss a bit about a movie I saw fairly recently: The Doctor and the Devils.


This is a little thriller nugget was tucked away, hidden from obvious view, at my local movie store.

And when I saw that The Doctor and the Devils was about an 1820's medical doctor paying thieves for fresh bodies (to demonstrate upon during lectures), I thought to myself: haven't I heard this story before?

In fact, poet Dylan Thomas wrote the screenplay for this story AND it is apparently based on the true story of Burke and Hare. Or, more likely, several different true stories all following a similar age-old story line: Medical specialists paying for dead people.

What I found so chilling about this film is how the thieves were able to make such a profitable business by simply hanging out in their environment. In addition to the consensus that it's quite alright to experiment on people killed by a law officials but not okay to experiment on people who were not killed by law officials.

I found this movie to be a chilling view on a STILL epic battle between the death penalty, poverty, and how education plays such a pivotal role in both. I'm not not exactly sure who all the devils are in this story - there are two many to count. That, I believe, is what makes this a horror film...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Audrey Rose (1977)

Well, nothing combats the brisk, cool October air when you're feeling sicky like curling up with a nice cup of tea to a good old fashioned tale of possession.

Audrey Rose has been tempting me for quite some time now. I've been hesitant to watch it in fear that it will be something like a pale Rosemary's Baby knock-off or tag-along. I quite frankly don't have the energy to be disappointed like that - not when I could be watching something awesome like Rosemary's Baby. Or sleeping.


But ultimately, I feel it's time to get a move on watching this one as I finally suspect I might be pleasantly surprised, and it seems like a good one to watch for this year's October Challenge. 

So without further ado, let's get started on Audrey Rose. See you after the show!

Update:

What a profoundly sad movie, and not at all related to Rosemary's Baby. I was wrong!

That said, when you think of possession - in a movie or otherwise sense - you often think of a 'bad' possession, something intending to do harm to the host. That is not the case with Audrey Rose. This is a moving, scary film that is hard to watch because people's hearts are profoundly hurting, not because of evil spirits. This is also a movie about healing after the loss of a child. If you choose to watch it, prepare to be a little sad by the end.

I highly recommend adding this film to your 1960s-1970s Movies Based On Books About Possessed Children marathon you've always wanted to do. With Audrey Rose, I suggest the following:

The Other
The Innocents
The Exorcist

...I'm sure I have more, but I can't think of them at the moment. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

I'll be completely honest with you folks.

This year has been nothing short of an incredible challenge for me. So much so that I've become convinced that many of those near and far to me have had their bodies invaded by aliens hell-bent on ruining everything.

That's the only logical explanation. Obviously.

Which is why I've chosen tonight's film to be Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 version). I've heard nothing but great news about this movie, which is good. Because if the world as we know it is going down in a giant Bed Bath and Beyond hand-basket then I'm at least going to enjoy the movie parts.


So, seeing as I have a couch ready to go - let's get this movie started!

Update:

Well, this movie is awesome. But of course you already knew that - everybody knew that but me! I had somehow managed not to get caught by the pod people bug for all this time. [in monotone:] But I agree with everyone. This is an excellent movie. Why had I avoided it for so long? It's excellent. It's so much better than I expected.

I found it peculiar, however, that the very things I've wanted - so many people want all the time (in real life, now) - is peace, love, security, happiness, SLEEP, and a stress-free life. Well, according to this movie, if you really get that type of life then you are just a living shell of a person.

Great.

Awesome.

[slow clap]

Fantastic.

The movie moved like a live Carmina Burana performance. It's intense, emotional, fast, slow, O Fortuna! We're all screwed! Rejoce! Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! Ride is going too fast!

Oh life. [punches shoulder...hard] You just keep spinning that wheel, don't ya?

Suggested pairings: Vegetable smoothie, salad (extra dressing).

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Alone In The Dark (1982)

My brother and I had an impromptu movie night, complete with beer and pizza, at his place. He brought out a gem he had just picked up from Scarecrow Video. Alone In The Dark (1982 film), and man, it was something special.


Want psychopaths? Got it.
Want power outages? Got it.
Want an insane asylum where the patients take over - and then take over The Town!? Got it. 
Want strange editing skills where parts of the film just doesn't make sense? Got it. 

This film has got that and so much more! Although I asked Matt to write up a review for this one, I thought I might get it started just to pique your interests. 

Take it away, Matt!:


[several hours later]


Matt?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Martyrs (2008)

I was pretty sure Jolie had already reviewed this one, I can't seem to find it anywhere so I thought I'd just throw my thoughts out there because truthfully, I just watched Martyrs and I desperately need to cleanse my soul of the horrors that it inflicted on me.  This movie has got to be the most terrifying movies I have ever seen.  I has shaken me to my very core.
Doesn't this look fun?

The movie begins like your average movie, with a young girl escaping a torture dungeon, but after that, things start to get a little disturbing.  I won't go into too much detail as to not spoil it for anyone, but let's just say, the funnest part of this movie is when Lucie, the young girl now grown up, breaks into a house and shotguns an entire family to death.  Lucie believes the family were the ones responsible for her imprisonment, and that by killing them, she can rid herself the the creepy, skinny, razor wielding, person-thing that torments her.  She calls her childhood friend, Anna to help her clean up, and things get really messed up from there.

There was parts towards the end where I just wasn't sure if I could finish it.  The reality of the movie was almost too much to bear, and the prospects a incredibly bleak, but I stuck with it, because I guess that's what martyrs do, go through with terrible pain and suffering for the good of mankind.  Hope everyone is happy!


I read that they are planning an American remake, by the producers of Twilight for christsakes, which is actually the most disturbing thing about this whole thing.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Wendigo (2001)

Today I decorate the home for Halloween! I especially go all out on the front door - complete with a bowl full of candy for everyone everyday until Nov. 1st. I take pride in giving out the good candy too, not the crap candy everyone dreads getting on Halloween. That is my gift to you, fine neighbors, for putting up with all our patio parties year 'round. It's the least I can do.

But before I decorate, I have a movie to watch. A movie that cropped up in conversation during last year's October Challenge: Wendigo. There are simply not enough wendigo creature features out there and this is one scary beast! If you have no idea what a wendigo is then I'll let Wikipedia tell you. And what's this? Animal Planet has a shown some interest in them too?


In any case, werewolves and wendigos, man, they can scare the wits right out of me.

Let's hope this one does too, although I'm a little more fearful that the movie will be a bust. Although the New York Times calls it "...a genuinely bone-chilling tale.", I've not always trusted that paper so I'm just going to have to see for myself. See you after the show!

Update:

You know what folks, I'm going to have to agree with the New York Times. As well as the L.A. Weekly in that this is "A darkly beautiful, genuinely scary movie."

A line from this movie sums up the experience pretty well, "Nothing between the earth and sky is bad, but there are spirits that should be feared."

Wendigo is built on tension, of which builds very nicely. It builds so nicely, even with some of the cheese factor, that one gets the heart-sinking feeling that something bad is just...about...to...happen...

I'd like to talk about the cheese factor for a moment. If one gets fixated on the very awful sweater the father wears at the beginning of the film then the movie will be lost to you. Because that sweater, and several other well played cheesy moments, will easily drag down the horror element of the movie unless you are paying attention. This movie is for serious horror movie fans.

In other news, why are small town pharmacies so scary...?

Okay, enough of that, back to Wendigo. This movie also revolves around the different elements of childhood horror - real and imagined. Although this movie captured (very well, I might add) the madness supposedly associated with the Wendigo creature, it also captured the fear and imagination commonly associated with childhood. Monsters under the bed, in the closet, outside, made of nature, human monsters, etc. This movie did such a good job of that that I remembered a particularly scary moment from my childhood.

I grew up on the prairie, left to my own imagination and devices. One cold day I came across a half-eaten deer carcass, seemed like a pretty fresh kill as well. I poked at it, examined it - because I was 9 years old and it was the first time I saw this element of nature in action, if you will. Suddenly I was struck with the idea that I was disrupting something. That I was interrupting order and disrespecting something far older than I could imagine.

I ran home. Afraid.

Never saw (nor looked for) that deer carcass again, but I feared that if I glanced out the chicken coop window - toward the part of the vast open prairie where I found the deer, that the deer's head - decomposed eyeballs, tongue hanging out and all - would suddenly pop up in the window and scream at me.

Yes, I've always had a wild imagination, but this movie brought that memory back to me. I found this to be a frightening film, a sad film (cried even!), and a genuinely good horror film.

Suggested pairing: Wine if you live in the city, beer if you live in a town. Popcorn and venison jerky.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tomie (1999)

It's 11:00 AM on a sunny Saturday morning, do you know where your horror movie is?

Mine is right here in my hand and I'm going to spend this lovely late morning/early afternoon watching it. And then I'll do some stuff like cleaning, decorating for Halloween, physically talking to people. But in the mean time I'm watching this film.

Tomie has been staring down at me from the Asian horror shelf at the local video store for quite some time now. Taunting me with it's "Tomie will not die" tag line for little over a year. I finally decided to pick it up and have it show me what it's got.


What I know so far about this film is that there is a girl named Tomie and she will not die, I'm leaving it up to the movie to tell me the rest.

Seeing as I have no more time waste, I'm just going to get started with it so I can then get started with the rest of the day. See you all after the show!

Update:

Oh...my. This is a nerve rattling movie. It's creepy, as in little things crawling around under your finger nails creepy. Or, as in a demon wanting to be your bestie and won't let you say no to the idea creepy. Tomie, the focus of the film, is quite frankly one of the scariest women in horror.

With a significant focus on broken trust and relationships, this movie slithered around topics just enough to keep you on the edge of your seat and continue to be shocked at every outcome. The subtle sound effects in the film got me good too. What is it with Asian horror films and water? Why do they make water so frightening?! And the music: nightmarish.

There is a surprising amount of smoking in the film, as in everywhere, by the way...

For full effect, watch on a dark stormy night with high school enemies. This film will require your full attention though, so keep booze to a minimum. Food pairing: take-out from an Italian restaurant. Prepare to be chilled to the bone.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Diary of the Dead (2007)

I couldn't decided what to watch tonight so I took all the movies I had rented (which is an ample supply, I might add - rent one get one free deals at Rain City Video are the best), shuffled them around on the floor and picked one with my eyes closed.

From this little game I drew out George Romero's Diary of the Dead (Dimension EXTREME version, I'm not sure what that means...).

This was me today:

18 Extremely Sleepy Animals

So I'm glad I pulled this one out as I think it might be a good one to keep me awake, ooooorrr maybe I'll just dream of zombies.


Either way, this appears as if it will be a first-person video version of a zombie attack. Sometimes that type of film will get me good. Cloverfield got me good, for instance. Blair Witch did not get me good - didn't mind it all that much, it just didn't scare me. I was confused most of the time. I walked out of the theater with a headache and wanting to know why someone would video tape their every movement through the woods. Later I was introduced to the internet and it began to make sense. Ah... the '90s, my eyes were so innocent then.

But enough about those films, onto what fangora.com calls "one of the most daring, hypnotic and absolutely vital horror films of the past decade".

See you after the show!

Update:

Um...ah - well. I feel asleep. Actually, I willingly - very very willing - accepted the sleep. I'm sorry Mr. Romero but I did not like this movie one bit. I'd have rather continued to watch my sleepy bunny gif for a couple hours.

Why so mad, Horror Habit? Well, I'll tell ya based on the first hour that I saw:

First - the movie is narrated by Herni the Existential Cat's sister (I'm pretty sure). I just couldn't take her or the narration seriously.

Second - this is not a movie it's a so-so video game.

Third - I didn't like the editing, characters, or theme.

Fourth - the zombies, quite frankly, were not scary. I found them a little silly.

Meh.

I tried to give this movie some sort of credit, even went so far as to think, "well, it was made in 2007..." But let's face it, good movies are timeless and 2007 was not THAT long ago.

I can see where some might like this film, but I don't know any of those people. Recommended pairing: sleep.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Some Guy Who Kills People (2011)

Thought a lot about anger today. So much so that I got angry about it.

So I took a walk (to the movie store) and ended up thinking more about anger, frustration, and down-right rage. Then I looked up an realized that I was so engrossed in thought and pace that it took some time to reorient myself and get back on track. Like anger does to people.

I didn't really find many answers to my thoughts, but I did find some forgiveness. Aaaannnd a few visions of myself growing to a monstrous size and height, storming about the world, stomping down ridiculousness with a laugh and shaving absurdity in two with my horrifyingly dangerous leg hairs. But then I saw myself hurting my left  foot on a mountain... and I just had to laugh. Twas the end of my SMASH thoughts and back to my more-or-less, Dance Party! - holla!, self.

BUT THEN

I found a fellow female horror movie blogger. The Girl Who Loves Horror. She had me at Nigel Andrew's quote "It needs to be insisted on that horror films are not for the morbid, they're for the life-lovers."  Exactly! Dance Party - holla! I highly recommend you check her out! She's smart, loves horror films, writes great reviews, wears glasses too, and is my new imaginary best blogger friend.

Which brings me to today's movie pick: Some Guy Who Kills People. This man is pissed as hell. And sadly, rather than go for a walk and think about stubbing his toe on a mountain, he decides to go after the people that got him so worked up in the first place. Or at least that's what the movie description tells me.


This movie has won Best Feature Film awards, as well as Best Screen play, and Best actor awards at film festivals around North America. I'm excited to see it. I think this funny rage machine will be quite the "treat" for my day.

Did you see what I did there? "Treat"? The main character works in an ice cream parlor. [two drums and a cymbal fall off a cliff] Yee gads! I'm on a roll and ready to go. Let's watch this! See you after the show.

Update:

Ooh my, this is one very good movie! It's excellent, in fact - a new favorite of mine. I want to hug it and hold and squeeze it so tight!

I had so much fun watching this film that I was clapping with glee and had a big fat cheesy grin on my face the whole way through. This is a very fun, funny (hilarious, actually), lovable movie. A perfect choice for horror movie fans and those who don't like truly scary flicks.

I was hesitant to throw this one into the Blood and Guts category, because there is very little of it in my opinion, but there was enough to make a few faces grimace.

Some Guy Who Kills People is clean cut and straight to the point. There is zero dilly-dallying going on here. The dialog is AWESOME - I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard AND sat on the edge of my seat for a horror movie. It's also smart, funny, heart-tugging, and a bit of a mind twister. Shaun of the Dead comes to mind... at least it's the closest to this experience that I've come across.

You'll fall in love with all the characters, well most of them anyway. The female characters are superb and side-splittingly funny. The police force is a riot act. Most everyone else is simply delightful.

Highly highly highly recommend this film.

It was a perfect and yet accidental choice for my day. It was a most excellent way to end the day. I suggest watching it when you're feeling down, angry, confused, or just need a good laugh. This movie focuses on anger, disappointment, fear, bullying, self-esteem and ultimately how one can address those aspects of life, move on, and be a better person for it.

Recommended pairing: Ice-cream - in any and all forms, with sprinkles, caramel, cherries, and gummy bears (if you're into that sort of thing).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)

Rushed home from work today, slapped on some PJs, and decided today's story time would be Alfred Sole's Alice, Sweet Alice. Although this could be a mistake, seeing as the tagline is: "If you survive this night...nothing will scare you again." Could certainly make for a very boring remainder of October/life. But, I'm a risk taker.

I'm not sure what's going on with the cover of this movie. There's a bag, scary mask, butcher knife, doll, and some drugstore Halloween blood coming from the doll. I appreciate the efficiency in using the remainder of the blood to spell out the title, however. Not much of a waster myself...


In any case, I think this movie will be a promising adventure. I might laugh, I might cry, and suspect I'll see misogyny all over the place, which can sometimes be more frightening/disturbing than the actual movie premise.

What I'm expecting to see is a story about Alice, a reclusive young girl who is the prime suspect in her younger sister's death at first communion. What I might actually find is another story altogether, and I'm quite excited to find out. See you all after the show!

Update:

Wow, was I ever wrong about this one, on multiple levels. First of all, it's a superb film! A film that makes you go "...oh...my...gawd...". Round of applause for you Alice, Sweet Alice. Bravo.

Now, what struck me most about the movie was the astoundingly realistic and heartbreaking portrayal of a family - a family disrupted, and the dynamics between the family worlds they live in. There is also a startling true-to-life view on the insensitivity of all parties involved and how it is accepted. How sisters communicate, spouses, religious figures with their congregation - all of it.  What makes this whole set-up really scary, in my opinion, is how much we all don't want to believe it's true. I'm sure some could easily recognize their own life in this film. For some parts of the film at least... What I'm really getting at is that all of us can see someone in this film that we know in real life. It's sad, spooky stuff.

Moving on.

The landlord/neighbor is something to behold. Holy mother of monkey brains, this character is Some.Thing.Else. I tell you what. A character that mirrors something found in the back of a refrigerator that was lost for years ...then it formed into the stuff of legends, passed down through the ages until it grew into an entirely new beast. He's one of my new favorite horror figures.

Additional favorites:

The New England accents
Dialog. Dialog. Dialog.
The surprising amount of magazines...and what do they insinuate...
Editing
Cinematography
Sound

I dare say this movie is a work of art.

Watch either in small, intimate company or alone. This movie will require your full attention. Suggested pairing: Body and Blood of Christ.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lair of the White Worm (1988)

I'm going to start this year's October fest with a film I watched recently. No time to watch it today because life. But I wanted to talk about Lair of the White Worm - it needs to be talked about.


I'm not sure what happened in this film but I liked it. I don't even know if this film is really about a white worm, a dragon, a witch, a vampire, or a snake. Best part: I don't care! I'm not even sure if this film is supposed to take place in Scotland or England - and I watched this film several times (pieces of it, anyway) over a one month period (pieces finally all seen).


The dream sequence makes the film. One of the best parts of the film, in fact. Most notably, I'd like to give the ink pen in this scene some sort of award. Don't worry - you'll know it when you see it.

I found the movie confusing but fun, in the I Don't Give A Crap Anymore, fun. It felt like someone wrote it when they were, officially, all out of sh*ts to give. It was beautiful and dare I say, relaxing.

Not exactly a movie for the brain, but it will tug at it. Not an emotional piece but quite silly at moments. It has disturbing moments too, however! Such as: the male genitalia plays a rather significant role, especially at the end, but not in the way you think. Tuck that knowledge away somewhere safe ... know that it might not be able to be unseen. No, you will not be able to guess.

Good luck watching this film in one seating. Just know it is worth seeing - preferably while un-showered for days, living on your couch, pouring the milk right into the cereal box, and letting the machine answer all your calls. Everyone should do this at least once in their life, anyway.

But, as suggested, best in small doses.

Monday, September 30, 2013

October Challenge vol. 2 Movie Madness Begins Tomorrow!

It's that time of year again! Where I, for absolutely no good reason what-so-ever, will watch and review a horror movie everyday in the month of October. It's also the second anniversary of Horror Habit [back pat].

I've got help this year, however. My brother will watch and a review a movie on the dates that I'll be blacksmithing. That's right folks, I blog and forge steel. Why? Because awesome.

I stopped into my favorite local movie store again today, to get my movie watching madness and mayhem started (and to pay some late fees).

The gems picked out already:

  • Wendigo (simply not enough wendigo horror movies out there...)
  • Alice, Sweet Alice (because I've always wanted to see Brook Shields in a horror movie)
  • Some Guy Who Kills People (picked this one up based on the title alone)

I'M SO EXCITED

But I've learned a lot since last year's challenge. Namely:

  1. Typing is hard after a bottle (2?) of wine.
  2. Some foods just don't sit well with gore.
  3. My husband is really, no, I'm serious - please don't make me watch this movie sweet pea, not a horror movie fan.
  4. Horror movies can not answer all of life's questions - just most of them.
  5. Watching a horror movie every day is a sweet, sweet challenge.

I look forward to spending another year sharing stories with you!

Happy October!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Demons (1985)

When I first began the film I thought it might be a slightly hilarious movie about little puppet/claymation demons that terrorized a family. I was actually looking forward to that type of story.

Obviously, I didn't do my research first and I was very, very wrong.


Demons is about people who turn into demons while at a movie theater. Did not see that coming, good on you writer, Dario Argento.

This is one of the grossest films I've seen in a long time. Side-splittingly-funny-cringe-face gross. This is not a film for the brain, however. Leave your brain at the door and just sit back and let your eyes do all the work.

I kept thinking this would be a good movie to have playing on an old television set in the background of another horror movie. Preferably during a late night scene when a character is suffering a bought of insomnia following a nasty break-up, and doesn't notice the menace creeping up behind them. Demons would be a good movie for that.

Demons would also be a very excellent film for late night movie gathering with friends. Preferably rowdy, drunk friends who like to throw crinkled beer cans, popcorn, and random pieces of paper at television sets.

The ending surprised me quite a bit, and it's perfect for this epic gore fest.

I really don't have much else to say about this piece. It's pretty painful to watch for multiple reasons, but that's also what makes it fun. I ask that you don't make the mistake I did by anticipating anything from this film. It's a mess all over place, just the way it was intended.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

You're Next (2011)

So I decided to take myself out to see this movie at a ehhh, getting run-down theater in a famously sketchy neighborhood. Why? I DON'T KNOW.

I simply decided it would be a good idea. And my middle name is Danger. And it was a Sunday.


You're Next turned out to be an excellent movie choice for this particular random decision. When I got out of the theater I was ready for hand-to-hand combat (especially since the sun was going down and I had to wait for the bus home for 40 minutes). That said, I decided to call my Husband instead and stay on the phone with him until the bus arrived. But Still - I was ready for anything. [roundhouse kick]

This is a fun movie. Really fun, really gross, surprisingly dark-humored, and well written.

I suspected things early on in the film so the ending - for me - was not super duper surprising, but it was still very entertaining and quite the adrenaline rush. I glanced over a Seattle Times review that said the movie got better as the characters died off. I have to agree. Although I thought the movie was good from the beginning, it became, dare I say, better as people died. What a really terrible thing to say, I know. I think the format and development of You're Next, the characters, and the release the audience experiences as the (initial) killers are killed speaks a lot about ourselves as a nation, community, culture, and as individuals. Primarily: why is this entertainment?

I suppose you can take this film in two hands. In one hand you have a self defense blood bath story, while in the other you have an underdog who never quite fit in but kicks ass when the pressure is on. You're cheering while blood is getting on everything. Do with that what you will.

...and suddenly I'm thinking of gladiators, lions, Christians...

In any case, ultimately, I'd say this movie is a story as old as time: It satisfies the vengeful blood-lust in all of us, calls out the underdog cheer from the not-so-evil side of our nature, and makes every socially awkward family situation you've ever been in look good.

Recommended pairing: well, I ate an entire large bag of popcorn. Not sure how that happened but there you go.

PS: This entertaining dance-around-the-living room-in-just-your-socks song will never be the same for you:




Friday, September 6, 2013

The Woman (2011)

Oh dear or my. Where do I begin?


I suppose I'll start with the bad:

#1: There is very little bad in this film. There is no cheese or humor, none. There is a teacher that I think was poorly cast. Otherwise - well done.

The good - no wait, questions:

How did this movie idea come about? Was it prompted by the 6:00 news? Personal experiences? Research data? If so, the human race get's an F-. Because we, as people, suck. If this movie idea was not initiated by any other means except absurd imagination, then good for you human brain. You can create the most inhuman brain things. [slow clap]

I'm disturbed because this movie is about an 'ideal' family that hoards secrets and people. SECRETS and PEOPLE, like a disturbing amount of families do - which makes this an everyday horror film. And that makes me a little bit sad inside.

Thankfully, I think very few families hoard feral people. No doubt it might feel like it at times, but statically and scientifically, the people holed up in homes are not feral. Just pissed as hell.

Which leads me to my next point: #1 Rule to Life: Don't be an asshole.  Follow this rule and you're golden. That goes for both people who feel their abilities are restrained and those imposing the restraints. Don't be an asshole. Be an asshole and you're sure to die terribly (fact).

Almost everyone in The Woman earned a great big fat gold star in assholery. The saddest thing is - they all earned it because that was all they knew. And that makes this film truly chilling. People acted out in the only ways they knew how to:

#1: stay alive
#2: understand their surroundings
#3: cooperate

Although these basic concepts were relayed, they were understood in the most catastrophic atmospheres.

This movie covered the characters in an everyday horror so subtly, yet so much, that it burst in flame and then doused with a whole lot of feral woman. They didn't need a feral woman to make this a horror movie. The feral woman turned this horror movie into a nice, clean horror package.

The actual long lasting horror element is that people  may not have to go home to a woman in the basement, instead they have to go home to actual horror in their kitchen/livingroom/bedroom/etc., you get the point.

Sure, the woman tied up in the basement made the movie, and made it mighty gross/terrible/wrong, but the actual monster in the film was running the household. THAT is what made this film truly horrifying - because it still happens, again, and again, and again.

This movie is hard to watch. Consider your company when approaching it. Would not recommend eating while watching it. Also would not recommend watching with domestic abuse survivors. Watch with assholes who need to know they are assholes.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Burl-X-Files

Just a quick shout-out to a live performance I saw recently.

My ladies, they are so good to me, heard that an X-Files themed burlesque show was performing in the area. They immediately thought of me and treated me to a show. LOVE THEM.

This is one of the best burlesque shows ever I've seen. It was, of course, all burlesque, but also a complete theatrical performance where every act worked together so that it was a mini X-Files marathon on my couch/itty bitty coliseum seating in a basement theater in Chinatown.

The venue was perfect, the performers magnificent, the acts wonderful, and the company perfect. More claps and feet stomping for you, fine performers and theatrical staff.

And dear readers, if you are in the Seattle area and can attend The Burl-X-Files by the end of August, then please please do so.

Note, there is a chance that you'll go home with this song in your head. It's alright, it can stay there for a while, it's happy there: