Thursday, July 29, 2010

That Billy Loves Stu thing...

Guess I'll play along, too! My other posts I have planned are taking a while to write so I gotta have some kind of filler.

1: In Ten Words or Less, Describe Your Blog:

Random horror thoughts in a girl's mind.

2: During What Cinematic Era Where you Born?
                                            A: The Classic Horror Era (late 30's to 40's)
                                            B: The Atomic Monster/Nuclear Angst Era (the late 40's through 50's)
                                            C: The Psycho Era ( Early 60's)
                                            D: The Rosemary's Baby Era (Mid to Late 60's)
                                            E: The Exorcism Era (Early to mid 70's)
                                            F: The Halloween Era (Late 70's to Early 80's)
                                            G: The Slasher Era (Mid to late 80's)
                                            H: The Self Referential/Post Modern Era (1990 to 1999)

1985, so I'm on the cusp of the Halloween and Slasher eras, although I guess I grew up more on slashers.
3: The Carrie Compatibility Question:
                                           (gay men and straight women - make your choice from section A)
                                           A: Billy Nolan or Tommy Ross, who would you take to the prom?
                                           (straight guys and lesbians - make your choice from section B)
                                           B: Sue Snell or Chris Hargensen, who would you take to the prom?

Ugh, I have to choose between those two dorks? I'm gonna go gay for this one and say Sue Snell.

4: You have been given an ungodly amount of money, and total control of a major motion picture studio - what would your dream Horror project be?

Right now my dream is to see all of the Meg books made into movies! It's this kind of badly written but at the same time hella entertaining series of books about the giant prehistoric megalodon shark returning from the oceans depths and wreaking havoc! Four books out right now, but a fifth is on the way. I guess it's not really horror, probably more action, I'd say the shark eats enough people to get a special spot in that "animals run amok" group of horror films.

OR... I might take one of the ideas I've had and see what a real screenwriter can make of them. But I'm not going to share. Not yet.

5: What horror film "franchise" that others have embraced, left you cold?

Although I love the Freddy Krueger character, his whole franchise is kind of a joke, with the exception of the first one and New Nightmare. He's a not a scary killer in the others, he's a freaking comedian.

6:  Is Michael Bay the Antichrist?

You know what? No, he's not. Every movie that he's involved in has the exact same style no matter who is directing, but he's put out some enjoyable flicks - The Rock, Bad Boys, Transformers. I got to give him his cred.

7: Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Frankenstein Monster - which one of these classic villains scares you, and why?

The Wolf Man, because I would rather not be ripped apart and eaten, thank you.

8: Tell me about a scene from a NON HORROR Film that scares the crap out of you:

Raiders of the Lost Ark! The opening scene and the final scene with the MELTING FUCKING FACES absolutely traumatized me as a kid. I used to stop the movie at the scene right before they opened the ark and call it a happy ending.

9: Baby Jane Hudson invites you over to her house for lunch.  What do you bring?

A plastic surgeon, copious amounts of Scotch, and a singing coach.

10: So, between you and me, do you have any ulterior motives for blogging?  Come, on you can tell me, it will be our little secret, I won't tell a soul.

Besides the entire Blogosphere? Well, I like to write and I love horror movies and since making them seems to be out of the question for now, I guess I'll have to write about them. Plus, I love seeing my stuff get "published" per se and seeing what other people think of it. I don't have anybody in my real life that I can talk about horror movies with anyway.

11: What would you have brought to Rosemary Woodhouse's baby shower?

A video camera so she can actually show me what the fucking baby looks like.

12: Godzilla vs The Cloverfield Monster, who wins?

I admit: I don't know jack about Godzilla. But I hear he's pretty bad ass.

13: If you found out that Rob Zombie was reading your blog, what would you post in hopes that he read it?

I'd say, buddy, you've got the original style and it worked the first two times around. Now let's get back to that. Oh, and H2 royally sucked and you should flog yourself for 37 days for making us watch it.

14: What is your favorite NON HORROR FILM, and why?

Oh god, it changes. Right now I'm really into hardcore dramas like Revolutionary Road, but I also still love the Scorsese gangster movies, especially Casino. But then I love classics like Gone with the Wind.

15: If blogging technology did not exist, what would you be doing?

Trying a little harder to get my career as a videographer off the ground.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Yea! Somebody likes me!

A million thank yous to Porkhead's Horror Review Hole for awarding my site as a Versatile Blog. I love reading Joel's reviews, always insightful and wickedly funny. I think he has my same kind of snarky and sarcastic attitude, which I love. Too bad he lives in England ; ).

So there are some things I have to do to properly accept my award:
1) Thank the blogger who gave you the award (Thanks again, Joel! Is it cool to call you Joel?)
2) Share 7 things about yourself
3) Give the award to 15 other bloggers who you believe deserve it
4) Contact the blogs you picked and tell them about the award

Alrighty, so I have to reveal seven things about myself.
1) I am a yellow belt in taekwondo. It's only the third level and I'm not currently in training, but I hope to go back soon.
2) I have a cat named Lucifer.
3) Here's my Alfred Hitchcock tattoo:

4) My ultimate vacation fantasy is a tour of the best roller coasters in the country.
5) I don't care if she's a felon, I love Lindsey Lohan and I love her movies (except I Know Who Killed Me).
6) My dream is to have my own movie theatre and library in my house.
7) Chocolate makes me insanely thirsty.

I definitely plan to make more time to read lots of other blogs but here are some that I loved as soon as I saw them:
Behind The Couch
Black Hole Reviews
Fear of Fiction
From Midnight, With Love
Day of the Woman
The Korova Theatre
Maynard Morrissey's Horror Movie Diary
The Spooky Vegan
Unflinching Eye
Made for TV Mayhem
This girl digs horror
80s Horror Movies
Little Miss Zombie
The Horror Digest
My Undead Brain

Keep up the bloody good work, horror bloggers! We are all awesome.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Movie Review: Dead Snow

Nazi zombies. In the snow. I feel like I should have been more weary of a film with this premise, but strangely, I was not. I had faith. I heard about it a long time ago, and thanks to my new membership with Netflix (I know, right? How much of a procrastinator am I?), I was able to finally see it. Who doesn't want to see some Nazi zombies in the snow?

See, I should have learned this by now. Most of the movies that I get really excited about and think are just going to be awesome, are in fact, usually NOT. The ones that I often pick up on a whim end up being totally great. Like Dead Snow. Loooooved it.

The plot sounds familiar - group of pretty people go to a remote cabin in the mountains to have fun and are instead attacked by Nazi zombies from WWII. How they became zombies is never explained, but honestly, do you really care? I'm more curious now about the life expectancy of a zombie. I mean, these dudes looked pretty good for zombies, and even better for 70 year old zombies. I wonder what their secret is...

Back to the show. So the group starts to split up one by one, as they so often do in these movies, and are therefore one by one attacked by the zombies. It's a likable group of characters who all actually seem like they are friends. I hate those movies where there are all these different types of people that are always mean to each other, and we're supposed to believe that they are friends? No wonder they usually turn on each other when things get rough. But the group in Dead Snow is believable, with no cliche characters or over-sexed couples hooking up every five minutes. Although there is one hook up in an outhouse. An outhouse? Really? In the snow? Mmmm, sure sounds sexy to me.

Question: Why do they always have to make fun of the movie nerd for being a movie nerd? I'm slightly offended.

The weird thing about this movie is that there is no real main character to follow. It jumps all over the place, which is sort of a good thing because it makes the film more unpredictable. I thought Vegard, the one most knowledgeable about the area would be the sole survivor, then oops! Not so much. The chick with the dreds? She seems tough. Oh, wait. I guess not. But as likable as the characters are, that doesn't mean I don't want to see them chopped into tiny pieces by Nazi zombies. In the snow. I'm sorry! I can't get over that! They should have just called the movie Nazi Zombies in the Snow. Hey, it worked for Snakes on a Plane.

There are some good kills in this flick - a lot of them intestine-related, too. At one point, one of the men is hanging off a mountain using one zombie's intestines as rope while another zombie clings to him. That's the kind of ingenuity I like to see in these indy films.

More gore highlights:
1) the always wonderful "all appendages getting ripped off at the same time" gag
2) fingers in the eyes and then head ripped apart
3) various decapitations and amputations of zombies
4) self-mutilation via chainsaw
5) a rather strange death where a dude turns around and sees his intestine attached to a tree

My vote for favorite kill goes to number 2.

So first impression is that Dead Snow is a nicely paced and well-shot take on the zombie movie. It uses a different setting and quite odd foes (NAZI ZOMBIES IN THE SNOW!) to create a deliciously gory and at times very funny flick. As a warning for those who need it, the film is in Norwegian and there are subtitles. If you feel like you can't watch a movie with subtitles, then you can just go fuck yourself because you're an idiot.

One other thing: Not that I have any trips to Norway planned in the near future, but where exactly is this mountain filled with NAZI ZOMBIES IN THE SNOW? Because I really want to go there.


There. It's out of my system.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Childhood Horror Memories: Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 and Sleepaway Camp 2

My parents, as far as I recall, never put any real restrictions on my movie or TV watching. My mother was, oddly, vehemently against Ren and Stimpy, but as for horror movies, they seemed to trust that I could handle it. I wasn't as into horror movies then, just an occasional one here and there. Most kids I knew weren't allowed to watch any Rated R movies for the longest time - whereas I have a clear memory of watching Basic Instinct with my parents in the room and them making fun of me for getting uncomfortable at the "sexy parts."

My best friend for most of my childhood was Erin. Her mom was one of those strict parents that wouldn't let her watch R movies, so naturally, whenever she spent the night at my house, we would rent the goriest movies we could find. And soon, we found some real winners - two movies that we rented literally every time she came over. Little did I know what good taste we had in movies back then!

The two horror movies that we absolutely loved were Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 and Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers (SPOILERS are ahead for both films). I know these movies now under the category of "campy cult classics" (still love them both, and they are proudly in my DVD collection) but back then these were our rebellion against strict parents - okay, not MY rebellion, it was more hers, but I totally enjoyed being a part of that rebellion! We would go to the video store and quickly grab these two movies without ever looking around. Strangely, neither of them ever seemed to be rented out.

Hello Mary Lou synopsis: Mid 1950's, it is prom night and the prom queen shoo-in and requisite popular bitch, Mary Lou Maloney, shows up at the prom with one dude, but bangs another dude at the prom. The first dude is pissed and inadvertently sets Mary Lou on fire when she's on stage about to be crowned prom queen. Everyone just stares at her  and doesn't try to help and she dies. Flash-forward to the present (well, 1987) and Vicki something-or-other is the new shoo-in for prom queen. She finds some old dress in the school's costume shop and releases the angry spirit of Mary Lou. Eventually Mary Lou takes over Vicki's body and everybody wears bad 80's clothes and too much AquaNet.

I don't know how exactly Hello Mary Lou is a sequel to Prom Night because the two movies couldn't be any more different, besides the prom thing. HML is gory as hell, much more than you would think. Of the one time I sat through the original Prom Night, all I remember is it being very dark (and I don't mean metaphorically) and hella boring. HML has some killer special effects sequences. Highlights include:

1) LOCKER SMOOSHING. Naked, possessed Vicki first tries to make out with her friend in the shower then chases her around the locker room. When she finds out what locker she's hiding in, Vicki sings "A-whomp bomp-a loo bomp, a-whomp bam BOOM" and smooshes her friend with the lockers on either side of her, telekinetically. Some pinkish sludgey stuff squishes out. Ewwwwwwww.

2) SWIMMING IN THE CHALKBOARD. Just a cool-looking scene. It's where Vicki becomes "officially" possessed by Mary Lou.

3) PERVERTED ROCKING HORSE. Likes to lick the fingers of teenage girls. Perv. But Mary Lou was kind of a slut in her day, so I don't think she minded. She made Vicki's body make out with her own father, for pity's sake.

4) THE GROSSEST FINALE EVER. Possessed Vicki is on stage at the prom waiting to accept the beloved flowers and crown. Yea! But oh no, there's Michael Ironside, the dude from 30 years ago that killed Mary Lou! So he knows Vicki is possessed by Mary Lou and he shoots her. As Vicki's lame bf rushes to her side, a hideously burnt-up (and kind of juicy) Mary Lou-ghost literally PUNCHES her way out of Vicki's body, via the gunshot holes. Even as I picture the scene now, it's really grossing me out. Surprisingly good special FX for a movie like this.

5) MICHAEL IRONSIDE. Scanners is the shizz-it. But he's awesome in this movie, too.

Question: How exactly was Vicki the front-runner for prom queen? She wore drabby clothes and no make-up. Where I come from, the rich and pretty are the prom queen contenders, not someone who would dare let her face be shiny. Horror movies are all about suspension of disbelief, though, so I'll let that one slide for now.

There are a lot of rip-offs of other films in here, but to be honest, I don't give a shit. You can tell me about all the references to Carrie (duh!), The Exorcist, and A Nightmare on Elm Street you want, and I'll say, hey! If you're gonna steal, steal from the best! Hello Mary Lou is actually a pretty good horror movie, that despite the plot and nudity and gore and whatnot, really takes itself seriously. Therefore, IT WORKS. At least for me.

Sleepaway Camp 2. Ahhhh, good times. It's so good, you don't even have to care about an original because you could watch this gem 400 times and still think it's the greatest thing since square watermelons. Kids at a camp get killed in a variety of ways by the smiling happy camper, Angela Baker! Angela is THE single greatest killer in the history of all movies. I'm not exaggerating. Just watch the scene in Unhappy Campers where she's walking around the cabin looking for the right murder weapon (Radio on the head? No... Wire hanger? Nah... Oooh! Guitar string!) while her intended victim jabbers on for 5 minutes in the bathroom. Sly, cunning and a comedic genius all at the same time.

All you need to know about the first Sleepaway Camp is that there was a crazy aunt who raised a boy, Peter, as a girl, Angela, which obviously screwed Peter/Angela up in the head so that when Peter/Angela went to camp with his/her cousin, he/she killed a bunch of people. Oh, and Sleepaway Camp has probably the most disturbing few seconds of any movie ever in the world when, in the finale, Angela is sitting naked on the beach with her boyfriend's head in her lap. She stands up, gives a really creepy facial expression and makes a weird sound, all the while showing us that she has a PENIS! I may have forgotten most of the rest of the movie, but anybody who sees that will, unfortunately, have the image burned into their brain forever. Maybe longer than forever.

So in this sequel, it's many years later and Angela's been in the nuthouse, had a sex change, and gotten out. But she's still crazy as a shithouse rat. She's a counselor at camp, and does her best to "weed out the bad kids." Smoking pot and drinking while having premarital sex? You get burned up on a bbq grill. Show your titties to the boys and then give Angela lip? It's a power drill death for you, girly! Slutty bitch who tries to fuck all the guys at camp and uses bad language? Oh, you're gonna pay for that one. You get drowned in an old outhouse filled with poop and leeches! Other highlights include a bit of throat slashing, battery acid to the face, the standard decapitation, and as mentioned earlier, strangling with a guitar string.

The other "characters" really don't even matter in this movie, or any of the other Sleepaway Camp sequels. You watch these movies to see Angela kill all the cliche characters and laugh your ass off while doing it. The humor is actually genuine, too. There's not any of that awkward, badly delivered comedy, at least not in Unhappy Campers. If you're looking for the King of Cheese and bad actors giving the worst line readings ever, go watch Return to Sleepaway Camp.

Pamela Springsteen is absolutely brilliant as Angela, the upbeat killer who gives you the sweetest smile while she's watching you BURN TO DEATH! Fantastic. Felissa Rose, who played Angela in the first Sleepaway Camp and then again in Return, is also pretty awesome. Perhaps that's because she can open her mouth really wide and look so g-darn freaky. Ooh! Idea! A movie with the two Angelas, Springsteen vs. Rose, who comes out on top?! Okay, I guess that wouldn't work in reality. But I'll bet the Sleepaway Camp fans would fucking love it.

A face to give you nightmares:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Movie/DVD Review: The Crazies

Me a bad Romero fan. *Hangs head in shame.* Never saw The Crazies from 1973 and actually didn't know about that movie until talks of the remake came out. Slap my hand all you want, but you can't expect me to know everything! Now that that's out of the way, I can comment on said remake.

I didn't hate it. A backhanded compliment, I know. But only because there are some elements here that I am sort of sick of seeing in movies in general.

Now, I was expecting something along the lines of "small town folks go crazy and kill each other and a small group of people fight them off and survive." And I'm not sure I wanted to see that. It sounds kind of boring. Instead, we get a weird sickness turning people into "crazies" and the military who caused the problem showing up and killing everybody.

You know what? I actually want there to be some weird viral outbreak that only affects a small population, because I want to see what the government would ACTUALLY do. In movies like The Crazies and Dreamcatcher, for instance, we see the military swooping in and hauling off the sick people kicking and screaming to plastic tents so doctors in space suits can strap them down and do weird shit to them. And people that try to go after their loved ones are mercilessly shot down by soldiers. No one knows what's going on, which makes everybody do crazy things and get shot down by soldiers. I actually have enough faith in the government and the men and women that make it up to believe that this shit would NOT happen.

But whatever. That's what George Romero apparently thinks would happen. And who am I to argue with George Romero?

On the flip side, it was nice to see in a movie that when something epidemic happens, that someone actually does show up to help. Even if it is to herd everyone into their quickly erected military compound and make the problem worse by not telling anybody what is going on. That happened in Dreamcatcher, too, and The Stand. I'm just saying, military, obviously that plan doesn't work out so well. Maybe time to go back to the drawing board.

One problem I had with this movie was too many f-ing deus ex machinas. Every time it looked we were going to get a really cool kill or have one of our main characters at least slightly wounded (as anybody in this situation would probably be), the attacking crazies are shot dead at just the right moment. So I have a bloodlust - I'm a horror fan, get over it.

Scenes that definitely stood out include:
1) THE TOTALLY AWESOME BONE SAW FIGHT. I don't know about y'all, but those bone saw machines have always freaked me out. Just the sound and the fact that they are BONE SAWS, by definition their only purpose is CUT THROUGH YOUR BONES, makes them very scary little instruments. And I know I'm not a dude, but I wouldn't want a wayward bone saw to come after my crotch, either.
2) The car wash fight. This was kind of a lame fight, but it stood out because it was so funny. I mean, I knew the crazies were outside the car and the people in the car knew they were there too, but all we can see them being scared at are the car washing mechanisms. For a good part of the beginning of the fight, I could barely see the shadows, so the people inside the car are all screaming and scared, and it looks to me like they're just scared of those spinny things that wash the side of the car or really scary soap being sprayed onto their windows, oh my! Even when the crazies attacked, they were disposed of a little too easily, so again, lame fight but it stands out because it was so funny.
3) Crazy coming at me with a pitchfork while I am strapped to a bed. Ah yes, the scene that inspired the poster and most of the trailer. Loved it. That scene had me going because of course you put yourself in the position of the victim. Strapped to a bed with no way to fight a farm implement being shoved into your stomach? Yeah, that's not a good situation in which to be. The scene was shot very well and I loved  when the pitchfork went all the way through the bed. Gross? You bet. Bad ass? Even more because of the fact that it was the school principal!

I mused at the hunters who couldn't hunt animals in normal life hunting humans after they caught the crazy virus. It was a nice touch and gave our heroes a more menacing threat to deal with than the pansy military dudes who run away at the first sign of a breach. The scene at the truck stop was genius, because after that initial scene of the main characters hiding from the hunters behind the truck, the audience has totally forgotten about them. Then when they get to the truck stop, which is supposed to be their safe haven, we find out that the hunters have already been here and are probably going to come back - and probably at a time when our main characters are separated from each other, alone and vulnerable. "It's okay, my pregnant wife, I'll go inside to look for keys to the truck while you stay out here alone with the murdering psychos who could be at every corner." Great idea! It makes for a great suspenseful scene, however, especially when Judy has to hide in the freezer of dead bodies.

All in all, a pretty good movie but nothing to go "crazy" over.  *Waits for laugh...*