Monday, August 31, 2009
Shrooms is by most standards a pretty bad movie. The twist has been done, the scares have been done. Pretty much everything is borrowed and the only good thing is that the girl from the Disney original movie The Color of Friendship is the lead. Oh and there's a fart joke.
Some kids take a trip to Ireland to meet up with their "irish" friend who is obviously british all in the hopes that they will trip on shrooms. They come to a nice deserted dark and green looking woods where they hunt for the shrooms. The british guy warns them not to pick the ones with the big black spot but the color of friendship girl isn't around to hear that bit of advice. When she does come across one she eats it right away and has a massive seizure.
That night around the campfire, british boy tells a scary story. Blah blah there's an abandoned school where some massacre happened and this guy beat people with a belt and razor blade attached then killed everyone. Pretty standard stuff.
Soon people start dropping like flies. They have bad trips involving talking cows and blowjobs that end in bitten off penis' and irish hill billies that ooze drool from their chins and scary cloaked men who make Samara noises. It's all very common and boring.
Nothing was really scary at all in this, save for the black cloaked figure which like scary asian girls with long hair will always be somewhat scary. But the main problem is that the twist is pretty easy to figure out. Color of friendship girl claims she has dreams where she knows what happens? Yeah sure. AKA you've been killing all your friends and not realizing it. A lame twist and a terrible exaggeration of what actually happens when you take shrooms plus characters that no one really cares about makes for a pretty lame movie.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Oh zombies zombies. Personally I'm a little bored of the zombie mania that seems to never die... just like a zombie...ha ha. But watching these old zombie movies makes me understand why it is such a craze now.
The film opens when an apparently abandoned yacht drifts into the harbor. Two patrolmen investigate and one is killed by a fat and nauseating zombie man. The other patrolman fires off some shots and the zombie falls in the ocean. The police call upon a woman named Anne for questioning as it was her father's boat involved. She knows nothing but yearns to find out the truth about her missing father and what has become of him. She soon unites with a hunky newspaper reporter where they find a note tracing Anne's father to a remote island.
The island has a little epidemic. The dead come back alive and kill people turning them into zombies and so forth and so on. Nothing new to report there. Those pesky zombies can never take a hint. So Anne and the reporter plus some naked scuba diver lady and a less hunky man soon become under attack by pretty much the whole island. Will they survive? Puh-lease the zombies always win, unless of course there is a shark involved.
The scene in which I refer to may possibly be the greatest scene of all time. An underwater zombie fighting with a real live tiger shark! Crazy I know. I didn't believe it either at first but it is very true. The zombie bites a chunk out of the shark but in the end the shark wins of course. Although I wonder if the shark became a zombie after that...zombie sharks? Yikes. Now that would be a real problem.
The other great scene is the wood splinter in the eye scene. In fact all of the gore in this movie is incredibly realistic and more convincing than some horror movies today. Not to mention that no horror film today would dare create a zombie fighting with a shark scene...man I just can't get over it.
So the eye scene is pretty nuts. This movie definitely uses the slow is more painful strategy. It takes about 5 minutes for that splinter to finally puncture her eye and by the end you are just wishing it would come faster-anticipation is the worst part. The scene where the zombies are eating that very woman and one takes like a liver or something and starts eating it-whoa. Serious whoa there.
One thing that kind of irked me about this movie though is the slowness of the people's reactions to the zombies. Well-maybe it was just the women, which now that I think about it, is horribly offensive, but say a zombie was coming for the nurse woman. She would stand there and scream for 20 minutes while the zombies were still on the other side of the room. And mind you- zombies aren't exactly the fastest kids in gym class. She could have easily run away but no no she has to stand and scream. The only thing I can compare it to is in Austin Powers when the guy is screaming about steam roller coming for him and we soon see that it's incredibly far away and moving at the pace of an injured snail.
Other than that the movie definitely impressed me. The music was great the special effects were great and those pictures of all the dead people in the sheets with the gunshot wounds to the head in the mass grave? So creepy. Oh and the zombie skeletons rising from the ground and the hoard of zombies coming for them at the end. This movie really relies on the slow scare and I think it's an interesting tactic. Nothing really jumps out and no music cues us into the horror. It can drag a little but for the most part I was wildly entertained- although I'm pretty sure the shark scene just won me over entirely. And also why does that woman have to scuba dive topless? Unnecessary.
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OH and of course the zombie shark fight!
OH and of course the zombie shark fight!
I will be the first to admit that this is not one of my favorites. I'm just not that excited about it and kind of sort of prefer to watch Sleepaway Camp? Yeah I'm sure I'm the only one and I don't know what it is about this movie but it just never really tickled my fancy.
Slasher movies about camps are almost in the their own category all together. Well let's not say camps let's say the woods. The woods are an evil place, but when there is a crazed old woman mourning the loss of her son on the loose, the woods become kind of like hell.
If you don't know by now I'm just going to tell you that Jason's mother Mrs. Voorhees is the killer in Friday the 13th. This may be one of the problems of the series- for me at least. So many people equate Friday the 13th with Jason that I feel like Mrs. Voorhees gets the complete shaft. Jason for me is probably one of the lamer horror movie killers. He's got no personality- he looks like the scary guitar playing hill billy from Deliverance and he's just a lame mamma's boy. But this is about Mrs. Voorhees who actually is a pretty decent killer and villain. She is decent because she is unexpected. When you see a harmless old lady prowling the woods you don't run away in fear- and that's where her golden opportunities lay. A lot of people are so thrown off that this nice old lady ends up being the killer that they refuse to believe it, until she actually pulls out the machete.
I also enjoy Mrs. Voorhees because she detests dirty camp counselors who have sex, as she should because camps are nasty anyways without rampant sperm and secretions on the loose. And now that I think about it, I do actually enjoy the scenes where counselors are killed while doing the nasty. It's pretty funny and when you think about not a terribly bad way to go. You are enjoying yourself beforehand anyways.
While I know this movie is a classic and many will despise me for not liking it, I just have to be honest here and say something is missing for me. Oh wait I know what it is...after all is said and done and Alice beheads Mrs. Voorhees she escapes to safety in a canoe? Ummm yeah I know I like to run for the first canoe I see after I dispose of the killer. And then that famous last scare at the end. OK pretty fucking scary because A. I hate things that jump out of the water with no warning and B. Jason looks like the moldy old lady in the bathtub in the Shining. Nauseating.
Buy Friday the 13th on Bluray at Horror Movie Empire
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Ok, so this Korean horror movie faired a bit better than Arang did-for me at least. It was definietly not as confusing but I could have done without the twist and it probably could have ended about 30 minutes earlier.
The film opens with a schoolgirl in a subway station waiting for her friend to arrive. She soon notices a pair of "red" shoes. I say "red" because they were clearly pink and before you judge I don't think it was my screen because another time someone was wearing a red dress and the shoes next to that dress were most definitely pink so I'm renaming this movie the Pink Shoes.
Ummm where was I....oh yes so she finds these pink shoes and puts them on and then her friend surprises her, notices the shoes and gets this crazy look in her eye. They fight over the shoes with the friend winning and she goes on her way. Then there's some noise or something and the girl screams and we find that her feet have been cut off.
The movie then follows Sun-jae who has a daughter and a husband. One day after losing her daughter, Sun-jae runs home to look for her there. She find her husband in bed with another woman and we assume she soon divorces him and moves into a new apartment with her daughter. One night on the subway Sun-jae finds the pink shoes. Her daughter becomes insanely jealous of the shoes and fights over them with her mother. Sun-Jae's friend comes over one night and takes the shoes from the daughter and then is soon killed on the street. In both this case and the girl from the beginning the shoes were taken from the scene of the murder.
So periodically we get this flashback of a ballet dancer wearing the same pink shoes. Another girl often looks on in utter jealously. By the end we find that the jealous girl had killed the girl with the pink shoes and taken the shoes. So we assume these shoes are like a sort of ghost that contain jealously that is capable to kill. Anyone who takes the shoes from the owner soon dies.
There are a lot of good scares in this and for the most part they are pretty stereotypical asian horror scares i.e. scary girls with young hair popping up. But I mean I'm pretty sure those will never stop being scary so whatever I'm all for it. I'm also not ashamed to say I screamed out loud one time albeit quietly-but I totally screamed. I just really hate those creepy girls OH and creepy old ladies...gah fuck them.
So the twist. Ooooh twists. I think the movie would have been fine had the horror stopped after Sun-Jae buried the shoes with the dead body of the ballet dancer girl. But no no everything has to have a twist these days. It's the kind of twist I tend not to like because it completely ruins any hope that there was an actual ghost killing people. When it turns out to be a real person murdering people-I mean where is the fun in that? Yes it was more of a psychological horror movie but I'm sick of these people being on your good side and then they suddenly remember they killed all those people. We were there for these people when scary long haired ghost girls were after them and they repay us by being the murderer? Frickin Lame.
It was still pretty entertaining but I think it put too much reliance into the whole twist thing. I did enjoy the little nod to the fairy-tale which also reminds me of The Rite of Spring- you know the dance till you die thing. Very very cool. And there was also some really great music choices, cinematography and imagery scattered throughout that I whole heartedly enjoyed. For instance the last flashback scene was incredibly beautiful in a grotesque way (my favorite kind of way!) On IMDB some people over analyze this movie and talk about every character being some kind of alternate personality of Sun-jae and there's like some molestation involved and whatever but I don't buy it. You'll just have to see it and figure out what you think- but it is a very layered film with endless possibilities of what it could mean and what it does mean.
Buy The Red Shoes at Horror Movie Empire
One of my favorite pastimes as a wee one, was to look at the covers and back covers of horror movies at the video store. This was nothing short of an S&M relationship because most of these movies scared the crap out of me, but I would always look at them anyways. The Serpent and the Rainbow cover is one of the ones that stuck out to me the most. This fear continued until I became aware that the scary ghost person on the front was actually Bill Pullman and not some terrifying white ghost person coming to eat me in my sleep.
Anywho, all childish fears aside this movie at times can be embarrassing but there are several moments that equal some real honest fear. First of all Bill Pullman maybe not the best in this movie. Independence Day? Believeable as the president? Not really. But did it work for the movie? Sure. This movie however needed someone with a little more suave intelligence and a lot less I'm so cool and hot even though I wear tighty whities. Besides that however, this movie carries with it many of the trademarks of a Wes Craven post Nightmare on Elm Street flick.
For one- the barrier between dreams and reality is extremely thin. Also there are some scenes with abnormally long and creepy arms. Then there's the excess of blood and someone being burned fact. Product of recycled fears or not this movie still generally creeped me out.
Bill Pullman is in Haiti researching some form of drug that literally makes people into zombies. The drug makes it seem as though the person is dead when in reality the person is still very aware of what is happening only they are paralyzed. So Billy goes in search of this drug and often bumps heads with this scary voodoo, also sometimes a government official guy with scary teeth. This man is just no good. He's got people's souls in decorated jars with little nick knacks tied around them, and he can make some scary shit happen like a giant snake leap out of a skeleton midget bride's mouth. He's just bad news.
The scariest scenes to me were that very scene, mostly because the midget bride is a terrible and horrible thing for anyone to see-awake or dreaming. She makes this high pitched screaming thing and you can't see her face and she's all short and stuff- it's just ehhh creepy. Then there was the numerous being buried alive moments especially the one where copious amounts of blood filled up the casket. The dead and gross looking hand that comes out of Bill Pullman's soup, and of course the ending burial scene.
That ending burial scene is especially torturous because there is so much build up to it. If after all that buried alive imagery happened and Bill Pullman never actually got buried alive it would be lame. I think it's pretty safe to say that most people have a huge fear of being buried alive. I know it's on my list of worst ways to die (right behind being eaten by a shark and being raped by Burt Reynolds) and anyone who isn't scared of that scene is just pretending.
Although I will say that that whole situation could have easily been avoided had Bill Pullman listened to Alfred from Batman and not returned to Haiti. But he had to rescue his woman blah blah yeah I guess that's OK. So all in and all there are a lot of pretty decent scares in this movie. Frolicking with a jaguar however is not one of those moments.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The Game: I'd Say It's Pretty Safe To Assume That When Sean Penn Is Your Brother, Nothing Good Will Ever Come Of It.
So I've been intrigued by this movie since first seeing it on Bravo's list. That scene with clown really made me excited- and not just because I'm obsessed with Killer Klowns from Outer Space but because finding a clown statue faced down in your driveway in the same position as your father's post suicidal jump may possibly be the scariest and most upsetting thing in the world. Turns out everything you need to know about this movie and end up caring about it, is in the title.
It's called the game. Because well- it's a game. Sean Penn, uber creepy brother prototype, gives his more attractive and sucessful brother a strange present for his birthday. A card from CRS which stands for Consumer Recreational Services. Michael Douglas is beside himself. Why would he accept a weird birthday gift from his permanently cracked out looking brother? Michael forgets about it for a while until he one day happens to come upon the building where CRS is located. He takes a little trip up, takes some extensive psychological tests and fills out a hundred forms and then is sent home. He is soon notified that his application has been rejected. Rejected? In your dreams Mikey. The game has only just begun.
Upon returning home he finds a "person" in front of his house in the same position his father was after committing suicide after jumping from the roof. When Michael Douglas turns it over it's a scary clown faced doll-which he takes promptly into his house and sits it on a chair in the living room. OK first of all if that was me that clown would be in the trash or at least with a Chewbacca blanket over his head. Although I suppose that solution doesn't really accomplish anything...
Oh well. Fuck creepy clown dolls. But Michael is ruthless apparently. Soon the man on the news starts talking directly to him and he finds out there is a camera in the clowns eye. He also finds a key from CRS. So now the game is officially underway.
So pretty much, Michael Douglas is endlessly chased and tormented by this so called "recreation" experience. His house is robbed and vandalized apparently by the same black light gang in Batman Forever.....who were also kind of scary skeleton clowns...hmm.... coincidence? Michael Douglas is also drugged, put into a burial chamber in Mexico and all of his money is taken. What a fun game!!
Skip to the end where a stressed out and hopeless Michael Douglas has a gun on the roof and is threatening to kill someone. The door opens and in walks the CRS gang with birthday hats! Those animals. Sean Penn is in the front and Michael Douglas shoots without looking. Blood seeps out from Sean's lovely white tuxedo and Michael is so ashamed he jumps off the roof, crashes into a beautiful glass ceiling and lands on a gigantic black mat. Some men help him up and then Sean Penn walks into the room with a new bottle of champagne and everyone starts applauding. The game is over and apparently it has been the most exciting game ever. Michael Douglas smiles and all is forgotten.
So my main problem with this movie was that I wish it wasn't actually a game. I think Sean Penn really should have died and Michael Douglas should have thrown himself from the roof. When everyone started clapping and Michael Douglas was all happy all of a sudden and shaking everyones hands and what not, it was just kind of stupid. It was quite alarming how good these people were at ruining other people's lives though, and it definitely made me paranoid.
One thing is for sure though, Bravo was right about this scariest moment-it sure is creepy but I wasn't creeped out by anything else. The paranoia stuff is a bit scary I guess but the ending completely erases any feelings of insecurity and just makes you laugh. Michael Douglas is like haha the part where you drove me in a taxi into the San Francisco Bay and I had to escape before drowning?- what a rush! I just don't buy it. Watching Michael Douglas attack psycho women who love him too much is far more interesting.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Now The Others has a twist that I can definitely live with. And even though it came along after the Sixth Sense I think it was still just as a surprising if not more. The atmosphere of that huge house and the kids not being allowed to be in the sun, the photographs of the dead people and of course all the old lady scenes really make this movie very chilling and creepy.
For the most part, The Others is your classic ghost story...with a definite twist of course. Nicole Kidman lives alone with her two children and we meet them on the day three new servants report for duty. It is after this that strange things begin to happen. The children claim they hear voices, and they even drew a picture of them. That part in particular really freaked me out because the drawing of the old lady was just...eeeks. A child's drawing is kind of creepy to begin with because it's all you know...squiggly but this old lady was just like some kind of beast. And the little numbers over the figures showing how many times the girl had seen them and the old lady had way more than the others!! Ahhhhh!
Nicole Kidman is of course a non believer. The scene where she is in the parlor or someplace and everything is covered with a white sheet and she starts hearing things and possibly seeing things. And then of course the ultimate creepy scene when Nicole Kidman sees the old lady instead of her daughter but she still talks in her daughters voice. It's just gah, terrifying.
Then when Nicole suspects something is out to get her and her family and runs out into the grounds and finds the three servants' gravestones AND the picture of them all dead. But nothing NOTHING compares to the end and finding out the real twist. I think it's a well done twist because it's not improbable and it's not so far out there. Looking back on the entire movie everything does make sense and like the Sixth Sense, there are all these clues that we ignore when watching for the first time. And the ending does carry with it this sad somber emotion but all isn't completely lost. I just love how the perspective changes in that last seance scene. It's so crazy.
Overall I think this movie is in many ways overlooked. But it's really an unexpected and creepy movie that deserves to be held in higher esteem. At least Bravo agrees with me.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I love love love this movie. From the very first sound of that awfully creepy and innocent song at the beginning something just makes you feel on edge. The creepy next door neighbors, unscrambling the clue from her friend, and the feeling of never knowing who is really in on the plan is quite disturbing and extremely effective.
Rosemary has moved into a new apartment with her actor husband Guy. Guy clearly sucks at acting because he can't land a role to save his life. They soon meet their strange next door neighbors the Castevet's who seem just a little too kooky for their own good. But how can you really suspect a crazy old lady who is just a little too heavy handed on her makeup? It's okay, Rosemary didn't suspect her either because she pounded those shakes like nobody's business.
So one day Guy magically gets a role because the original actor went blind. He then suggests they try to have a baby. Here we have dream sequence. Filmed in such a way that it is a dream and that we have no real idea what is going on. Although it's pretty easy to understand that Rosemary's getting pounded by the devil. The images of the devil however switch back and forth between the devil's face and Guy's face. And the shots of the claws scratching Rosemary's body and the blood is really superb. The next morning Rosemary does in fact think she was dreaming but then finds claw marks on her body. Guy apologizes for being too rough last night. OK. Number 1. Rosemary you had a dizzy spell and pretty much fainted last night. Number 2. Why are you okay with the fact that your husband got "rough" with you after you fainted? The girl means well but really she can be just too oblivious and naive sometimes.
So what do you know, Rosemary is pregnant. The Castevet's recommend a doctor, and Mrs. Castevet blends up some shakes. Rosemary constantly feels abdominal pain and craves raw meat, but nothing to worry, the doctor says. OK number 3 Rosemary pick up a friggen pregnancy book and see if it says you should be craving and eating raw meat...yeah I don't think so. Nice try doctor.
Rosemary soon, although not soon enough in my opinion, catches on to some things. She no longer drinks the shakes, and soon learns that Roman Castevet is the grandson of a known devil worshipper. Things only get worse from there and it's sad to say they never do get better.
So what I love about this movie is that there is no happy ending. Sorry to spoil it but in case you haven't figured it out, Rosemary eventually gives birth to the devil's son. That ending scene when she looks into the bassinet and screams about his eyes is pretty sad, and we never really get to see what the little devil (haha) looks like. Then all the devil worshippers tell her she must be his mother and I think it's pretty safe to say she has to give in. It's that special bond and attachment thing I guess. Poor Rosemary.
Guy is for lack of a better word, a complete asshole. You agree to have your wife raped by the devil so you can get an acting role? What a douche bag. And those Castevet's....man who knew old people could be so terrifying. When Rosemary is in her apartment putting together scrabble tiles I think, to unscramble the name Roman Castevet, it's so thrilling and terrifying. Get out of the house Rosemary you are living amongst devil worshippers! And how Mrs. Castevet is always ringing the doorbell and always coming over and forcing Rosemary to drink or eat something. And then when she goes to her old doctor and pleads for help he goes and calls Guy and the devil worshipping doctor to come get her. Oh yes pregnant women are pretty crazy indeed. Bah the whole not anyone believing her thing and no one being on her side is so heartbreaking and extremely frustrating. Those moments of complete control by the devil worshippers are so suffocating and scary.
It truly is a fantastic movie as it extremely well done and never over the top. There is little blood and it really can stand alone as a great movie and not just a great horror movie. Definitely see this one if you haven't.
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For some reason a lot of people do not like this movie. I think for the most part they expected something better and bloodier and more outrageous from Rob Zombie which of course they soon got with the Devil's Rejects. I for one, do not have any problem with this movie, although it does get a bit dodgy there at the end-but I think there are some really great scenes and an overall nightmarish quality that resonates throughout.
Dwight Schrute and his semi fat girlfriend plus his other friend and his better looking girlfriend are into roadside attractions. They happen upon one run by Captain Spaulding where he has a lovely death ride AND he sells fried chicken too. The death ride is creepy and once again utilizes one of the creepier scare tactics, for me at least-wax figures. Here on display are various scenes of murder and death. The scariest being Dr. Satan who the group takes an interest in and soon learn the tree where he was hung is not too far down the road. Perhaps what is most surprising is that Captain Spaulding doesn't kill them and only wants to sell them fried chicken. Granted he did lead them to Dr. Satan's hanging tree and later to their demise, it is very unique that he really just likes to get people to take the death ride.
While on the hunt they come across a hitchhiker who is just a little too hot, and little too annoying to be normal. This is Baby and when their car breaks down she leads them to her house. At first they are welcomed albeit a little creeped out but then things start getting too creepy for anyone to handle. Dwight Schrute gets mutilated and turned into a human fish sculpture and the family dresses the rest in bunny costumes and later belays them down into a pit full of zombie like creatures and apparently right into Dr. Satan's lair. It's all good fun.
And so we have of course the delightful Firefly family. A very very crazy and disturbing family. They like to sleep with dead bodies, eat dead bodies, drink their blood, skin off people's skin and wear it as masks, and stab the shit out of people dressed as bunnies. One of the most unsettling things is how in the beginning it takes kind of a long time for the real terror to begin. Sure there are warning signs with the scary deformed brother and the fetus jar on the table at dinner time but for the most part it seems like these people have just stumbled upon a couple of off beat weirdos.
I say the end is a little dodgy because I don't really buy into the whole Dr. Satan thing. I guess he could still be alive and hung on wires like that but it was kind of too extreme or something. There also aren't really 1000 corpses anywhere, as we find in the Devil's Rejects the real number of dead bodies doesn't get that high. But other than that I find that this movie reminds me of a terrible terrible nightmare. It's like I can smell the house or something, and there is that constant feeling of never really being able to escape. This is further realized at the end when the OK looking girlfriend flags down a car only to find that it belongs to Captain Spaulding. Yeah. As a general rule-never flag down the first car you see because it's always who you don't want it to be.
All in all I think this movie is disturbing and although a little scattered brained here and there it still comes up with some great moments and visually is a terrifying atmosphere. The Firefly family ranks right up there with the Hills Clan and makes us all hope and pray that we never encounter them.
The House of Wax is a very interesting movie. There is not much explanation or logic to it (although what horror movie really has logic) but there are still a few moments that stuck out to me as fear worthy.
Vincent Price is a man obsessed with creating wax sculptures. And let me just say that wax figures have always freaked me out. This probably began when I took to a trip to the Salem Witch Museum. Wax figures are sometimes too realistic and other times too dirty or old so the creepiness manifests in many forms. I am always positive that when looking at a wax sculpture it will actually be a real person pretending to be wax and then scare the crap out of me. The wax figures in the beginning are no exception as they are extremely well done and life like. I was half expecting them to come alive but of course this isn't Waxwork. The Marie Antoinette one in particular was so real that I combed the trivia section of IMDB several times to check if maybe that was a real actress after all. So far I have found no evidence. So Vincent Price is in love with his creations or his friends as he calls them but his partner wants to burn the place down and reap the benefits of the insurance policy. Now of course that may be the worst idea imaginable to Vincent- killing his friends?! You crazy! So a fight ensues but the partner burns the place down anyways.
It was this scene that I found to be the creepiest because the way that the wax figures melt is very surreal and very creepy. it reminds me of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory or even the Raiders of the Lost Ark. A face that completely melts away, and eyeballs that pop out from the head is an unexplainable horror. But just the way the camera focused on each and every wax sculpture burning and melting and thinking of the possibility that there could be a real person in there somewhere was very unsettling.
When we next see Vincent he is very badly burned and finds his old partner and kills him then takes his money. With it he reopens his museum and makes it better. And now since he can't use his hands he has to find other ways to create the sculptures of his dreams. So what better way to do that then steal dead bodies and make them into wax figures? I can't think of any other ideas so dead bodies it is. Oh another creepy scene was in the morgue where there were just all these bodies under sheets and one just bolts upright suddenly. The mortician says not to worry the embalming sometimes causes their bodies to seize up and move? Is that for real? That's the most disturbing thing I've ever heard.
So anyways a lady's friend gets killed and she happens into the house of wax and realizes that the Joan of Arc figure looks exactly like her friend. The cops get involved they realize a lot of recent dead people look like the exhibits. And well you know fights ensue, naked ladies almost get turned into wax, and someone falls into the giant vat of hot bubbling wax. It's pretty much a given when there's wax involved someone will face a most terrible death as a result of it.
All and all I was pleasantly surprised at some of the chills in this one. The ending scene with Vincent Price's mask is classic and the one Bravo chooses to talk about. I am still a bit confused about whether or not Vincent Price had always used dead people or if he only just started to when he couldn't use his hands. It just seems a little extreme to just wake up one day and decide that that's the next option on the list. That's all I'm saying. And no I will never see the House of Wax with Paris Hilton in it.
Buy House of Wax at Horror Movie Empire
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Halloween is another one of those movies that is constantly regarded as an ultimate slasher movie. Popular to contrary belief there is practically if not no blood throughout the movie. Like Texas Chainsaw Massacre it remains one of the least bloody horror movies and yet it still scares the jesus juice out of people.
What I find to be the most bone chilling in this movie, is Michael Myers' silent killer attitude. Those scenes where the kids look out the window and see him just standing on the other side of the road, and then the next minute he disappears are so creepy. Michael Myers acts like a ghost which is pretty hard to do for such a big guy who breathes heavily under his plaster mask. Which reminds me...how can serial killers that wear masks see anything? If you have ever put a mask on and tried to run it's pretty much impossible. No Peripheral and no real idea what is underneath you. How these killers can ever be so smooth and quick on their feet is beyond me.
Michael Myers is especially interesting because of his backstory. He isn't supernatural- although he survives that fall at the end but he still wasn't burned or drowned in a lake. He obviously has some issues and issues that started at a very young age at that. An escape from an insane asylum is also one of the things that makes him even scarier. Lunatics that you don't know are crazy until getting to know them understandable....but lunatics that have always been lunatics and are now on the run.... yeah you better watch out.
The story line is classic. A murdering lunatic killing people on Halloween. Halloween is a scary time of the year anyways and now letting this guy run around during Halloween forget it. By the way does anyone trick or treat in this town? What a lame Halloween.
So of course the key scene for many people is when Hoey McHoster is in bed and thinks her boyfriend is being silly wearing a sheet. That Michael Myers he is just so silly! I think it's funny that he puts the glasses over the sheet, because let's face it you can't see anything under a sheet in the first place so I really don't think glasses would be a huge help there. Anyways that girl is annoying and has lame boobs so no one really misses her that much.
Then the part with Jamie Lee Curtis in the closet and when she stabs him in the eye. Then everyone thinks it's okay the babysitter stabbed the murderer in the eye, he's dead when DUN DUN DUN Michael Myers slowly rises behind! Of course he isn't dead. He doesn't need his eyes! And then the music gah. On Bravo, John Carpenter says that he thinks the music is more terrifying than the movie. This may be very true as that little tune makes many people throw up their arms and quit from pretending they aren't scared. But the other good thing about this movie is the lack of conventional scare tactics. There aren't a whole lot of let me bend over the assumed dead killer and BAM OMG HE'S NOT DEAD SCARY MUSIC moments. Which as I've said before allows for true and genuine terror and fear.
The movie is groundbreaking and other than being a perennial Halloween night favorite movie rental, survives as one of the most well known and iconic horror films to date. I have yet to see the Rob Zombie remake but when I do I will enlighten you on my opinions.
Friday, August 21, 2009
For years as a child I had always confused Misery and Deliverance. I'm assuming this is because I had no idea what either of the words meant so therefore any comprehension of the movies was completely lost. I did know two things that differentiated them...a typewriter and some hillbillies and boy was I right.
Burt Reynolds is basically a crazy bowhunting maniac. Jon Voight is a gentler soul who shies away from killing things...at first. 4 Men take a trip white water canoeing in Georgia's wilderness. On the way to the river they stop at a quaint little hilly billy gas station or maybe it was a town I'm not sure. There was however an extremely creepy looking kid who played a banjo. That kid alone made me feel very uneasy. Maybe because I read that to save costs, the filmmakers used real citizens of the hillbilly town, so I knew that somewhere in America was a scary looking banjo playing hillbilly. Or maybe I'm just discovering a hidden fear for banjo playing hillbillies that look like Jason Voorhees when he comes out of the lake. Regardless...this kid creeps me out and that, is that.
So the men take off, Burt Reynolds shouting commands to poor portly Ned Beatty and the men get a real adrenaline rush. The next morning Jon Voight tries to shoot a deer with his bow, but his hand starts shaking uncontrollably and he misses and hits the tree. Foreshadowing? Perhaps perhaps. The men set off again this time switching partners. Jon and Ned stop for awhile and are met by two hillbillies one with a gun. This is where things get so outrageous and terrifyingly real and gross. The men make Ned Beatty strip and then rape him in the buttocks. Jon Voight is tied to a tree with a belt. After finishing with Ned they head on over to Jon and are about to make him perform what I can only imagine as being the worst blow job experience of all time when Jon sees Burt Reynolds behind the men with his bow pointed at the men. THANK JESUS I never thought I'd be so happy to see Burt Reynolds. Burt hits the hillbilly dead on in the chest and the other runs away. The men are now faced with the decision to either go to the police or bury the hillbilly and pretend it never happened.
In the end they decide to bury the hillbilly..with their hands nonetheless. Drew- the guitar loving friend is enraged and appalled by this decision and acts strange once they get back into the boats. Drew soon falls/ jumps into an upcoming rapid causes mass hysteria and all hell breaks loose. Burt topples down some rocks and one of the canoes breaks. Drew is not found and Burt keeps shouting that Drew was shot by the other hillbilly. But was he really? Doubtful. Jon Voight scales a mountain with his bow and waits for the hillbilly to return. The next morning a hillbilly is at the top of the mountain with a gun and once again Jon suffers his bow fright. Man, I'll tell you, when his hand was shaking and that hillbilly sees him and starts walking with his gun you are just like SUCK IT UP JOHNNY AND FUCKING SHOOT HIM. It's a great scene but I won't go into too much detail because it was pretty surprising.
The movie is an enormous and exhausting adventure. Even just as a viewer by the end I was emotionally a mess. The conflict that Jon Voight faces throughout and what happens by the end of the movie is just draining. The rape scene in the woods is obviously what everyone talks about when they mention this film and it's pretty easy to understand why. Making Ned Beatty strip and squeal like a pig on all fours is maybe just about the most humiliating thing ever. These crazy hillbillies are probably the 2nd most terrifying concept in horror movie history maybe slightly behind the hills clan but not by much. Maybe it's truly terrifying because there are some crazy people like this out there. Or maybe it's just so shocking to see such a manly man like Burt Reynolds become so vulnerable. There are endless things at work in this film and it is certainly a film that will stick embedded in your mind for a long, long time.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
So believe it or not I had never seen the original Hills Have Eyes. I caught the remake on TV one night in my dorm and thought it was fairly decent until the last bit. Watching the original, I am surprised at how true that remake is (except for the end) to the original and it kind of makes me delighted that there are still people out there who wish to preserve what is sacred.
The Hills Have Eyes reinforces the idea that you should never go driving around nuclear testing sites. One thing I do enjoy a little more in the remake is that they play up on that old nuclear testing wasteland thing. The creepy houses with the mannequins, and the hills clan looking more deformed I think works wonders. That is not to say of course that the original hills clan isn't terrifying-because I have never seen a more naturally terrifying person than Pluto. But Ruby pretty much looked like a model except with a bad tooth or two and the mom just looked like that fat lady who dances in Jabba the Hut's palace.
I can only find a picture of her action figure which is strangely kinder in appearance than the real thing.
No comparison picture of the hills clan mother exists so use your imagination. Why can I always find star wars look alikes within horror movies?
Anyways, I found the original to be very unsettling. The scene with Pluto and Mars stealing the baby and the women fighting for the baby is so shocking and really disheartening, Mars biting the head off the bird and eating that raw meat...yowzas. Ok ok and the death of the first dog was terrible as well but I was prepared for it and still no animal death compares to the puppy in SWF. There's really such a primal fear going on in this movie and that constant worry about being watched and stranded in the desert. The hills clan is one terrifying family and there savageness is nothing short of what I would expect from the offspring of a dirty hooker and a 50 foot tall grizzly man. The revenge sequences are incredibly satisfying and even though I don't particularly enjoy the company of german shepherds, Beast completely won my heart.
The ending, like the remake kind of gets a little boring for me. It's like the most climatic and the most startling part is in the camper with the women and then after that it's like let's watch Doug chase clan people- it's gets a little old. But that suspense of leading up to the first time we actually see the clan people and when they first attack the camper is crazy. Oh and when they set the Dad on fire...crazy man just crazy.
The remakes second part is much worse than this and I would guess they were trying to spice up the original. But it just made it even more exhausting. Is it possible that the audience is already so exhausted after the camper scene that anything after it will just be boring and too lengthy of a pursuit? Very possible I would say.
So in short, Wes Craven will continue to have my heart as this movie is truly memorable and very disturbing. The gore is there, but it's not excessive. Oh and I almost my forgot my favorite part. The gymnast Bobby does a superb flip routine in the desert! Skip to about 52 second into the clip if you want a good laugh.
Buy The Hills Have Eyes at Horror Movie Empire!
What an athlete!
Here is Bravo's say.
What an athlete!
Here is Bravo's say.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
What a mind trip this one is. The first time I saw it I think I caught it somewhere near the end and afterwards, I was on a mission to see the rest of it. This is pre-netflix membership F.Y.I so I struggled for a long time before finding it streamed somewhere online. Finally seeing it was like a sigh of relief and it kept me thinking about it long after I saw it.
During a stint in Vietnam, Jacob's unit becomes under attack and his fellow soliders start exhibiting crazy unexplained behavior. Somewhere along the line Jacob is bayonetted and our story begins to switch time frames. We are now what is assumed to be Jacob's present. He has been married, possibly divorced and his son has been killed. Jacob then starts hallucinating various terrifying images throughout his day. He soon learns about an undercover drug administered to soliders to heighten their aggression. Apparently the drug was given to Jacob's unit who instead of acting out their aggression on the offensive, turned to killing their fellow soliders instead. At the end we discover Jacob has been in Vietnam the entire time. We look down on him just as he is dying on the operating table. Everything we have seen thus far has been sort of Jacob's "life flashing before his eyes moment" or simliar to An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. In other words- it is the definition of a mind fuck.
There are so many startling images and effects in this. For starters the crazy shaking head motion that occurs is so unnatural and inhuman that it is nothing short of terrifying. All of Jacob's hallucinations are equally terrifying perhaps the most terrifying being the party scene where some crazy demon thing is flapping it's wings somewhere and then a giant horn rips through his lover's mouth with no warning whatsoever. It. Is. Crazy. Then being wheeled on that terrible and creepy gurney with that scary faceless doctor with the needle. It really is just incredible.
I love how this movie isn't some throw away ending either. Yes techincally none of this has happened-but what Jacob experiences through these hallucinations are vital to understanding his character. His chiropractor tells him exactly what he is experiencing earlier on in the film and we barely even think about what he has said until the ending...
"Eckhart saw Hell too; he said: 'the only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you,' he said. 'They're freeing your soul. So, if you're frightened of dying and... and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.'
This quote reminds me so much of Cole's quote from the Sixth Sense in which he is basically, unbeknownst to Bruce Willis, telling him exactly what we will soon find out at the end of the movie. It's really genius and it really makes you think. Jacob was afraid of death and couldn't bring himself to let go of those memories and his past that kept him locked down. This is why the hallucinations are so terrifying because he is fearful and instead of angels-he sees devils. Once the fear is lifted the angels return and he is guided up the stairs with his son waiting for him and bright light ahead.
I feel it's truly a masterpiece of a movie that keeps you entranced from the very beginning and doesn't let you go until the credits. Do not miss this one.
The only clip allowed to be embedded is the trailer, but look on youtube for the gurney and the party scene!
I'll be honest. The only asian horror movie I've ever really seen is Audition. But not to worry-I have an extensive list on my Netflix queue. Today it notified me that the South Korean movie Arang was available to watch instantly on my computer...woohoo! So in I settled only to be confused until the very last reel.
It could be a matter of translation and important plot points being overlooked, or because I just didn't get it, but the movie was very confusing and I still don't get it.
A woman dectective returns to the force after a suspension and find she is paired with a klutz of a young partner. They begin investigating murders where all the victims lead back to a woman that had been missing for 10 years. They soon find a tape inside a dogs stomach and watch it to reveal the victims raping the lost woman. A cigarette, a twist and a few strange sequences later we find that the klutz partner is responsible for the murders and that he used to be in love with the missing girl. The boys forced him to video tape the rape so he killed them.....And then some police officer covers it up for some reason and leads the girl to the salt storage place and buries her in the salt killing her and apparently her unborn child. I don't get it at all. There is more to the plot but it just sounds stupid when I try to explain it.
There is the standard dead looking long dark haired killer in this movie who has scary eyes and appears to her victims before their deaths. That much I picked up from the IMDB message boards where everyone complained that it was a rip off of Shutter. I still found the images of the ghosts to be scary but not that scary. There was one part where one of the victims was in a car wash and you just knew the ghost would pop up under one of those giant car washing things and that was pretty scary and another part where just these white hands with bloody nails with scaling the desk and that kind of freaked me out-but other than that it was mostly like Where's Waldo except...where's creepy long haired asian ghost killer...woman. And while I think about it car washes are VERY scary. It's so quiet inside the car it's extremely eerie..
I just don't understand why the cop killed the woman or why he decided smothering her in a giant pile of salt was the way to do it. I don't understand the partners real motive or why the victim at the end didn't recognize him when he was being interrogated, there just seem to be a lot of plot holes.
Oh another creepy part is when the emails pop up and the salt shack comes up and the creepy song....it's pretty chilling. But also reminded me too much of the ring and I half expected water to come drizzling out of the computer. Which makes me wonder if Samara's video could be transfered to play on computers....hmm......The Ring 3? Here is a clip. The car wash scene is about 5 mins in. Anyone seen this movie and care to enlighten me?
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I just finished watching this and I'm amazed at how creepy and even scary this movie is. I wasn't expecting it at all! But I was honestly cowering in my bed. There are so many disturbingly creepy things going on in this movie that it boggles my mind.
Deborah Kerr's character has recently become the governess for two parent-less children named Flora and Miles. Upon arriving all seems well until Kerr gets a letter from Miles' boarding school saying that he was expelled due to certain unmentionable circumstances. Miles makes his entrance and he is alarmingly kind and proper. He talks like he is 50 years old and it's really really scary. Kerr soon starts seeing two ghosts whom she soon finds out were lovers that used to do improper things in broad daylight. One can only guess what those improper things may be, but Kerr is convinced the two ghosts are somehow possessing the children and that only she can save them.
The plot may seem confusing and you may be wondering why I found this scary at all but I'm telling you. Something is going on in this movie that I can't explain. It may start with the very beginning of the film. Against a black screen a child sings the creepiest song I've ever heard and it goes on for about 30 seconds. THEN the fox logo comes on....AFTER 30 SECONDS! In some theater's they thought this was a mistake and started the film only when the logo appeared. But this is no mistake. So then the creepy song continues and Deborah Kerr's voice is heard babbling something about it has to be done to protect the children...the children she says over and over again. The trivia section on IMDB confirms may assertion that this song is extraordinarily creepy because IT'S THE SONG FROM THE RING. You know the part when we see Samara standing by the well? You hear a bit of song right in the beginning and this is that song!!!
So anyways the children sing, and play this song throughout the whole movie and it really only gets creepier. Other really frightening things are the presences of the ghosts. And let me be clear there are no giant crescendo's when ghosts appear like in the Sixth Sense. My fear in seeing the ghosts was real because it wasn't influenced by anything. The creepiest by far is the woman in the black dress sitting across from the lake. It was just so unexpected and so terrifying to see that woman there I just can't explain it.
The list of creepies only gets bigger; the children in general are just creepers, the little girl smiling to her doll, the kiss that Miles delivers to Kerr, the dead pigeon under Miles' pillow, the bobbing clown head in the attic, it really seemed that there was never a point where the creepiness ended, and that is extremely impressive to me.
Then there are the dark undertones of the film. What is implicated by the end of the movie is very, very unsettling. It has been hotly debated by critics and I can honestly say I have no idea what to think. It's one of those did she or didn't she things where there is no real right answer. My minds was going nuts after watching this and I'm sure it will probably take me days to really figure out what I think is the truth.
Hands down this is a truly powerful movie. It's an adaption of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James and the same concepts are debated with the book. If you are an avid horror movie fan and adore classic movies please watch this and tell me what you think. I'm dying to know if I am just being vulnerable or if this is really as creepy as it seems.
I'm posting the beginning of the movie so you can understand what I mean by this is the creepiest beginning to any horror movie I have ever seen.
Buy The Innocents at Horror Movie Empire!
Don't tell me that isn't creepy.
Ok here is where we see the lady across from the lake.
What do you think?
Don't tell me that isn't creepy.
Ok here is where we see the lady across from the lake.
What do you think?
As I said before the Evil Dead was really the first case of "cabin fever" and now Eli Roth has served up another dose with a movie actually called Cabin Fever...tricky little devil. Some rebellious kids take a little vacation in the woods only to each succumb to a deadly flesh eating virus. No one really has a chance because the disease is spreading through contaminated water and everyone loves water, except the douche bag who vowed only to drink beer- turns out that was a good plan.
The disease sneaks up on the main characters by first making it's appearance on the face of a wandering man who the douche bag encounters in the wood. The guy coughs up blood all over the place and they accidentally set fire to him. The man falls into the water source dying, spreading his filth and the disease too into the water. Rider Strong's little girlfriend gets it first when he tries to seduce her the next morning. Blue balls occur in the worst possible manner, as he finds the flesh on her inner leg have begun to deteriorate or maybe she just got her period who knows.
Everyone's favorite scene seems to be the leg shaving scene which is sort of funny because seriously who cares that your legs are hairy when there is a flesh eating disease going around? AND what is also funny is that she keeps on shaving through the scabs and flesh eating and the razor makes the most terrible noise.....yikes it is pretty rough to watch.
I also enjoyed when Rider Strong killed his girlfriend with the shovel. It evokes the same pain that Ash felt when he had to dismember his woman with a chainsaw...of course Ash wasn't man enough but whatever. It's all the same kind of helplessness and hopelessness that makes the fear in these kinds of movies believable. Especially now with Swine Flu going around- we can really see that disease makes people go nuts. The movie isn't terrible and there are some great scenes but for the most part is sort of falls flat. I'm not entirely sure why but I think it takes too long for some of the characters to die- and maybe because there are some poor usages of racial slurs. It's entertaining but can sometimes cause me to shout, "get to the point!". Perhaps Eli Roth was testing the waters with this one before setting off into the worldwide web of Hostel and serious gross outs. Perhaps perhaps.
Here is a quick clip of the leg shaving scene.
Buy Cabin Fever at Horror Movie Empire
Oooh Saw....the horror movie franchise that will never die. I suppose I see the appeal for those gore obsessed blood loving horror fans- but this movie was really less upsetting than I thought it would be.
Ok so there's a saw. We know this much. We know the saw will probably have to be used at some point. But the question remains...for what exactly? Westley wakes up chained by the foot in some derelict standard creepy basement place. There's also some other guy chained and what appears to be a dead guy on the floor. Blah blah blah after an hour of hopelessness and failed attempts to break free plus some flashbacks about the sick bastard responsible- Westley has to cut his foot off in order to save his family's life or some lame crap.
Maybe I'm being unfair but I was really disappointed in this one. Of course disappointment is not a strong enough word after I found out there will be like 20+ sequels...ugh. But really what is the whole movie based on? It's all about how far can the special effects and make up go to gross us out. There's nothing artistic, nothing special about it, just an excuse to gain Exorcist barf bag fame- which it will never do. The gore? Not as much of it as I thought there would be. The shots are too quick there isn't anything torturing the viewer in the same way that the person being tortured is. And I guess the real horror of these movies is putting yourself in the same situation. Would you really cut open your eye to get a key out to unlock some crazy death device? And what do you really have to gain if you win one of Jigsaws games? Oh right you get to come back in the sequel as his woman slave. Sweet.
I don't know I just wasn't really affected by this at all. I was much much more scarred after watching Hostel. And let's get serious if Westley was really handed a saw and told to cut off his foot he would obviously say "As You Wish" and suck it up and just friggin do it.
Jigsaw is an okay villain I guess. But I don't buy his whole making people grateful for their lives crap. Yeah let's strap you to a death mask and see how you handle the situation. I Guess I'm just over the whole how far can we go to gross someone out deal. Gore doesn't make a good horror movie-it's how the movie affects you after you see it and what kind of "horror" it truly leaves you with and Saw left me feeling whomp whomp... LAME. Anyone agree? The ultimate overrated horror movie in my opinion.
Buy Saw on Bluray at Horror Movie Empire
Monday, August 17, 2009
While many people dub Signs as a flop, I find it to be Shyamalan's 2nd best horror film. It is one of the few horror movies I've seen in the movie theater and I was petrified. What was I doing in that dark theater may you ask? Why covering both my ears and my eyes for the whole world to see of course. Yes it was embarrassing...but do I regret it?-absolutely not. There are moments in this movie where I swear I had a heart attack- but with most of Shyamalan's movies, the scariness stops being scary after awhile and all is resolved, so the fear doesn't really stay with you. Although I did lay awake freaking out about what I would do if aliens landed in my backyard.
Signs is about the sudden appearance of crop circles around the world. We focus on one family's crop circle in particular, Mel Gibson's family and we soon find out that the crop circles are like a landing pad for aliens. When aliens start popping up around the world, it is not long before they make their invasion on Mel's family too. The family barricades themselves in their home ala The Birds and Night of the Living Dead style and try to outlast the aliens.
So for the most part people talk about the alien's first appearance in the newscast that Joaquin Phoenix watches in the closet. Like all of Shyamalan's movies the scariness is probably due in large part to the jolt of music that accompanies the alien-but I also think it's the unexpectedness that is most surprising. Watch the clip at the end to see.
What I found to be scary is just the idea of the impending doom of aliens invading your house. Knowing that yes there are aliens and they are not nice and have surrounded your house is pretty darn scary. Then there's of course the scene with the alien in the pantry, and the alien grabbing the little boy in the basement. All really surprising moments. Looking back I'm sure that what scared me most was the anticipation of things to come, and knowing that something was surely going to grab a character so I guess watching the movie again doesn't create the same kind of horror. It is nowhere near affective as the Sixth Sense, and I do think it goes a little off the deep end with the whole theme of faith and blah blah God exists. Is there really a twist in this? Not really-well, other than the aliens being a bunch of morons. It's still pretty suspenseful and has a few really great and scary scenes. But don't go looking for a masterpiece with this one.
Tamara would be labeled as a "Teen" horror movie- probably because it takes place in a high school, has hot babes in it and lots of gore. What surprised me the most about this film however was the extent of the gore. I can honestly say that there were scenes in this movie that out did many or all of the scenes in any of the Saw movies.
Tamara is a nerdy girl who is into witchcraft and has a crush on her english teacher. When she writes a newspaper article talking about the high school sports team's affair with steroids; the jocks and popular kids take her on. A cruel prank goes horribly wrong, as Tamara ends up dead. After burying her, the students responsible are shocked when Tamara marches into class the next day looking like a hooker and model at the same time.
Tamara soon starts taking revenge- but not in the way you would think. I think that is what separates this film from just another crappy teen horror movie because Tamara's revenge goes much deeper and is more startling than most classic revenge cases. Tamara gets into peoples heads and makes them cause the damage that acts as her revenge. The first instance she controls the mind of the geeky AV guy who sits in front of the camera, broadcasting to the entire school while he cuts off his ear, tongue and stabs through his eye with a box cutter. And let me clear- nothing is hidden here. Even Reservoir Dogs, with it's famous ear cutting scene did not get as close as this scene does. It was pretty difficult to watch.
Then perhaps the most gruesome scene for me (although my fear of vomit probably had something to do with it) was when Tamara made the popular girl start puking her guts out so hard that she pukes up blood and intestines but then changes her mind and makes her eat everything insight-even going so far as to chew through her own fingers.
Then there's also the comedic aspect-making the two jock friends have sex together for instance was great. And then of course gore gore gore! The other notable gory scene includes making her father chew his beer bottles till the glass cuts through his neck ah yes it's pretty crazy.
So while the acting and the characters are sub-par I think the movie really took things to a completely different level. At times it was hard to watch so if you enjoy gore check this out.
Buy Tamara at Horror Movie Empire!
Freaks ranks among one of the most controversial films to date because of the usage of real circus "freaks" in the film. At the time, parading around people with deformities next to "normal" people and then subjecting the public to view it on film was a horrendous act-more horrendous than calling people with deformities freaks I guess. Sad though it is, the final scene in this movie landed it at #15 on Bravo's scariest movie moments list.
The film is short- just about an hour long and tells the story of a band of circus freaks, who unite to seek revenge on a woman who had plotted to kill the leader of the performers and take his money. Cleopatra is a trapeze artist, cleverly nicknamed the flying peacock. She is courted by a sideshow midget named Hans and soon learn he has a large fortune. Plotting with her lover Hercules, Cleo marries Hans then tries to poison him. When the other performers learn of her plans they confront her and chase after her one stormy and rainy night. We soon learn that the freaks have turned her into a human "chicken" and now she is on display as a sideshow exhibit, looking like this.
The scene that Bravo highlights is pretty creepy and so wrong. The array of sideshow exhibits in this movie is startling and just knowing that these aren't special effects is pretty amazing. Perhaps the most mind boggling is the human torso, a man with no arms or legs that can role his own cigarettes,
I guess what made this scary to most people were the freaks, but now nothing really can shock us anymore so the film is a bit dated. I still think the last scene is pretty darn good though, and call me crazy but seeing a bunch of legless and armless people, pinheads, and human torsos runing after you with knives is a bit scary.
Buy Freaks at Horror Movie Empire
Sunday, August 16, 2009
OK so maybe this movie kind of reminded me of Twilight and I HATE Twilight so that got me a little angry, but when all was said and done it wasn't so bad. Yes yes it's another spanish horror movie- but this one isn't an artistic masterpiece like the others, it's really just a regular good old fashioned horror movie.
Santi is what you would call a modern day or real life vampire. He has photophobia and cannot go into the sunlight. He also has unfortunately long canine teeth which are definitely a nuisance once people turn up in the woods with their throats slashed and blood drank. So he and his mother move to a small town in the mountains where there is very little sunlight. And like I said people and a sheep are getting killed by some strange creature in the woods. Santi is always around when the murders happen and it is not long before Santi catches a glimpse of the beast itself. It looks like a child in dreadlocks covered in poop. Oh- and it has scary teeth. Soon Santi realizes he has seen this poop covered beast and tells everyone that she is the little girl who lived in his house before him. After some research Santi discovers that Erika was a "wild child" lost in the jungle and raised by animals. Now Santi must prove to everyone else that he isn't crazy before the wild child can get her hands on him.
So there are a few pretty decent thrills in this one. The part when Santi hears his door open and you think it's his Mom but it's the wild child is pretty scary. Not to mention the first glimpse we get of the wild child, and all the end sequences with the flashbacks. The last scene however was a little anticlimactic. I'm also not sure I really follow her whole deal though. For instance, why do her eyes glaze over sometimes and sometimes not? Is this in relation to the gecko's eyes? But what does she have in common with the gecko? Some of it is just a little strange and unexplained and I find that hinders a good horror movie.
So besides this movie looking like Twilight it wasn't so bad. It kept me entertained which is good enough for me, but it also wasn't anything special. I guess the only reason I stayed watching till the end was so I could get answers about this wild child- and of course the answers were a little fuzzy.
Another movie that is a bit out if place- but Bravo thinks it has a scary moment so I must write about it. This movie is most people's favorite movie about chocolate and midgets because it obviously beats out the creepy lollipop guild in the Wizard of OZ...of course there isn't a suspected hanging munchkin in Willy Wonka but minor details, minor details.
The scary moment Bravo talks about is the tunnel scene, which I will admit did scare me as a young pup. The scary pictures that are displayed on the walls showed bugs crawling on people and chickens getting their heads cut off. Also, Gene Wilder goes nutty and there are flashing lights and shapes, it's a pretty serious acid trip.
While it's not entirely scary and beats out a few of my favorites.....ahem CANDYMAN?! I guess it is on there because of it's impact and how it always stands out as what people remember when they think back to watching it as a child. I still think it's a little far reaching but whatever Bravo. Hmmmm now that I think about it, the Oompa Loompas are very scary. Oh well.
People always talk about Phantasm, and so I decided to re-watch it and understand the hype. There's always talk about the tall man, the flying silver ball thing, and the zombie dwarves- and after watching it for the second time I realized that that is what it's all about.
Michael's parents have recently died, leaving him with his brother Jody-yes a man named Jody. The citizen's of their town start dying including one of Jody and his creepy friend with a huge ponytail Reggie's friend named Tommy. We saw Tommy at the begining doing some blonde chick in a graveyard after which she promptly stabbed him and turned into an old man...weird. So Michael spies on Tommy's funeral through the bushes and once everyone leaves the tall man picks up the casket by himself and puts it back into the truck. Michael mouths, "What. the. Fuck." and then makes a quick getaway on his motor bike.
Soon Michael starts having strange encounters with weird midget people wearing black cloaks. He takes a trip to the mausoleum where the caretaker tries to catch him and ends up impaled in the face with one of those flying silver balls. It's probably one of the greatest usages of fake blood I've ever seen and what a great contraption too. Then the tall man comes and Michael chops off his fingers which spew yellow liquid and he takes a finger home.
One night Jody hits on a girl in a bar and then one second later they leave. She sure is an easy one...but wait! It's the blonde woman from the beginning! Michael spies on them from the bushes but soon gets scared by the presence of one of the cloaked midgies. He runs screaming and Jody chases after him. Michael tells his brother his suspicions and shows him the weird finger which soon turns into a giant fly with fangs. Confused? You just have to see it to understand. Soon Michael, Jody and Reggie find they must conquer the tall man or more citizens of the town will be turned into evil dwarves with cloaks.
This movie has some truly delightfully funny scenes. My favorite is when Michael mouths what the fuck and then they show it again in a flashback. I also love when he decides to take one of the squirming fingers home as a souvenir. There are also great creepy scenes too, like when Michael watches the tall man walking down the sidewalk, the tall man in general, and of course the silver balls.
The only problem I have with the movie is the ending. Why even give the possibility of it all being a dream? I still don't really get the ending actually because the dwarves end up being some kind of slaves for the tall man and there's this portal to another dimension that reminds Reggie of a tuning fork and the tall man falls in a mine shaft? It's a little weird at the end and any explanation seems to be absent from the film. Maybe I'll have to check out the sequel and figure out some answers, but I'm probably just not thinking about it hard enough.
It's still a great movie with so many good scenes and the tall man is a wonderful horror movie villain. There are many things about it that make it seem like a nightmare which justifies the ending but still keeps you affected from it's creepy nature. I still think the dwarves are a little weird though.
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The Evil Dead may be the first actual case of "Cabin Fever". Nothing says fear like being trapped in a cabin with all your friends who one by one get turned into evil gross milk spitting demon things AND nothing will ever say fear like being raped by a tree. Everyone loves the Evil Dead trilogy- at least I think they do. It is a pretty wild ride filled with lots of blood and guts and great moments so I suppose it's understandable. I still enjoy Suspiria way more but who can really top that?
So Ash and his pals, and his ugly sister take a nice little trip to the mountains and stay in an old cabin. When they arrive they find a basement that contains a gross looking book filled with some pictures of demons and skeleton things and a recording. When listening to it the man talks about finding the so called book of the dead, and how when after he read the incantation evil beings came and took his wife. He says the only way to get rid of them is by dismemberment and says that soon he too will be taken. So they have a good laugh and listen to the recording of the incantation- bad idea. And Ash's sister Cheryl gets freaked. After hearing something in the woods she goes to investigate. I'm not sure why you would ever want to investigate a strange noise in the woods- especially after get freaked out by listening to old creepy records of spells but oh well. So she goes and then the trees come alive and rape her.
After she runs hysterically back into the cabin everyone tries to calm her down, she tries to leave, it doesn't work out. Then she suddenly becomes an even uglier version of herself and stabs a pencil into Ash's girlfriend's ankle. They lock Cheryl in the basement and try to figure out how best to proceed. Then one by one they start turning and trying to make the others "join them" Ash soon is the only one left and he must defeat the milk spewers for good.
So I think that in the moment when Cheryl first becomes a zombie thing is probably the scariest. It's pretty unexpected. She's just looking at the window while the two other girls are playing some mind-reading game, and she just starts calling out the real answers with her head turned away from them. Her voice is shrill and when she turns her face around it's pretty terrifying. I mean lets be honest she was pretty ugly before but now it's just.....ugh.
In fact the demons' faces are so gross you barely need all the blood and guts to gross you out. They have these sick mitt like hands that look like they are constantly decaying and uggh. And when they get stabbed they spew out blood and milk. Yuck.
the other best moment is when Ash's girlfriend turns into a demon. She has this terrific evil little girl type laughter that just really makes you feel uncomfortable. And the fact that Ash doesn't have the courage to dismember his friends after he stabs them really makes you angry. THE GUY ON THE RECORD SAID TO DO IT ASH STOP BEING A GIRL. That's what I scream every time anyways.
So all in all it's a classic movie. So much blood so much gore it's a feast for the gore lovers. There are some parts when I get a little bored and when you just get a little annoyed that these demon creatures just won't go away but for the most part it's a great movie and extremely entertaining. It's definitely a staple in any horror movie fan's repertoire so check it out if you haven't seen it.
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Friday, August 14, 2009
Now, I don't really mind this movie that much. Maybe it's not a great movie, but some of the images in it I think are really great. Maybe if the whole movie was J Lo inside of Vincent D'Onofrio's serial killer mind it would have been better. Who knows.
So J Lo volunteers herself to go inside the mind of this serial killer. It is important they do this so that they can figure out where his latest vicitim is being held. The procedure works for people in coma's and is sort of a virtual reality thing that really isn't very possible but we'll just have to believe it is for the sake of the movie.
Once inside the killer's mind it's like we are immediately transported into some crazy Dali-esque painting. There are these scary broken doll women, and woman in a row with their mouths agape staring at the sky. Then the really scary he-man woman who comes out of the doll scene and takes J Lo to the master of the killer's mind. This is an extra scary version of Vincent's character. He has some kind of alternate personality which is responsible for his angry and violent side and he is quite a scary chap.
Little by little J Lo becomes attached to Vincent, learning things about his hard family life, why he does the things he does to his victims, and why he likes to suspend himself from hooks in his back. If you ask me she becomes just a little too attached and at one point she gets captured by the bad side and Vince Vaughn has to go in and save her.
I think that may be one of the scarier scenes, when Vince Vaughn is hooked up to that thing and his intestine is wrapped around that spiky turny thing....yuck. But it is kind of cheesy when J Lo takes Vincent's character into her mind at the end and she is the virgin Mary pffffffffffffffffft.
So yeah I think this movie's strength is in the artistic pictures that are put on the screen and maybe not so much the story line or the thrills. I find it pleasing to look at, but it falls short of anything truly groundbreaking.You do feel like you are trapped in a serial killer's head though, because everything is so nightmarish. Also I can't really take Vince Vaughn in a serious role it creeps me out almost as much as the giant he-man woman. Here is the first time J Lo goes inside the killer's head. I love the dog shaking off blood and the scary doll girl contraptions.