Monday, December 20, 2010

The Year in Review


Well, well, well. Looks like we made it to another year. It seems like just yesterday I was writing about the 5 Things I Learned and crying over the collapse of Eli and I's relationship (which has since been patched thank you for asking). Yes, another year and another batch of exciting things. To spice things up this time I will not only be bringing you a new list of 5 things I learned (coming soon) but in the here and now I will be presenting the year in review. A whole GIANT list of fun things that I loved, hated and needed more of. So have a seat, and relax your mind; the Horror Digest is about to poop.


POSTERS I NEED


I did a lot of talking this year about putting up posters in my bedroom of things I decided I was madly in love with. Since Christmas is almost here I figured I would put these on my list. Here is that list.


1. The Donald

I never miss an opportunity to post this picture of The Donald. From our first night together when I first saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer the movie, to hearing his majestic voice rolling over the whale slide show at the 2010 Winter Olympics--to his final few moments before becoming a pod person--sorry SPOILER--the Donald and I have had a pretty extensive history. What is it about him that I enjoy so much? Everything obviously. Who could argue?


This one will go on my ceiling.


2. Earl & Valentine


Everyone loves a good bromance but not everyone gets to enjoy the amazingness that is Tremors until they are 24 years old. Luckily for me-- I did. After avoiding the film for many years because I was afraid of sharks--and by default large sand worm graboids, I finally found my courage and watched it. Thank goodness I did because Earl and Valentine quickly became my two most favorite people in the world. This poster captures the essence of their relationship; relaxed, funny and possibly a little gay.

3. Soylent Green



Soylent Green and I had a whirlwind romance. We're getting married in a month and I hope you can all attend. Naturally I would need a poster of this movie in my bedroom if soon I will be joined in holy matrimony with it. There's really nothing bad to say about it...Soylent Green is a fantastic film that I loved almost from the moment I set my eyes on it. It makes me want to jump off really high buildings to prove my allegiance. I would even quit eating delicious sandwiches if I had to in order to prove myself. Wow, it really is true love.



4. Naked Nuns


The Devils was a delight in my pants. I knew it would be from the moment I first saw this screen grab of naked nuns acting all crazy and inappropriately. I could have just as easily selected a poster of the Devils to put in my bedroom-- but I feel that this poster of the naked nuns better represents my personality. Sunday is not Sunday until you take off your clothes and rape a crucifix.


5. Ralph



Believe me, I fought with myself over this one because I despise Friday the 13th. But as hard as I fought, this screen grab kept coming back to me. I may not enjoy Friday the 13th as a whole--but I do kind of enjoy Ralph. And enjoy Ralph or not--this screen grab is one of the most beautiful shots I've ever seen in a horror film. It looks out of place and pristine. It looks like it's from a real movie and not from Friday the 13th Part II. I love it and it deserves a spot in my bedroom.



THE BEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN...EVER

1. The Silver Oven Mitt

I never dreamed that while watching The Tombs of the Blind Dead that I would stumble upon what is perhaps the greatest goof of all time. Feast your eyes on the Silver Oven Mitt (It's capitalized because it's important).



Yes, the blind knights that rise to kill those that intrude upon their land, never leave their tomb without taking an oven mitt along just in case. You never know when your pizza will be ready.

In other yet, related news, this is the best thing to ever happen to my life. The hilarity is incomparable, even to that time I googled "I Love John Landis" and found this man.



It really is the best thing ever.



NEW FAVORITES

As you know, I am somewhat of a newbie in my horror fandom. Due to this I have not seen a lot of films that people love. This year especially was filled with fixing that unfortunate problem and here are the ones that I am inducting into my favorites list for the year 2010.


1. Tremors

For the reasons outlined above and also because it's awesome, Tremors is now one of my favorite movies. Who knew that a film I would be so terrified of would one day become my favorite? The film is hilarious, exciting and never brings a dull moment. Even stuck with the same locals in the same part of town for an entire movie is new and exciting with every single scene. Tremors is like a less scary and more fun version of Jaws. Sign me up.


2. Hausu

It's pretty obvious that anyone who has seen the Japanese mind explosion from the 70s that is Hausu, will immediately want to rub it on their face. My thoughts about the film can be found here but for an abbreviated version you can read this phrase---- YES. The joy and wonder of Hausu is not something easily explained, which is why you must see it for yourself as quickly as you can.


3. Curtains

After years of believing that Curtains was about a home decorator gone crazy, I finally was given the information necessary to understand what exactly Curtains is about--an actress gone crazy. I knew I needed to see this movie after seeing this scary lady wielding a scythe



and when I finally did I couldn't contain my excitement. I was blown away by the existence of the best scene in the world. I was obsessed with Samantha Eggar's opening monologue and with the rest of her eccentricities. Words cannot describe how delightfully cheesy, and awesome Curtains is. It just is--delightful.


4. Day of the Dead

I never would have guessed that the Romero film I would feel the closest to was Day of the Dead. I was shocked. I for one had never really heard people praise the film to the high extent that Dawn gets. Also--I kind of hate zombies. BUT I love this movie.


5. Suicide Club


Suicide Club was just the movie I needed to save my love for Asian film. Previous to this I really came to despise most Asian films. They just weren't affecting me the way I needed them to. There was no big realization or life changing metaphor. There were just creepy girls with long black hair and pale faces. Then along came Suicide Club--officially the most mind numbingly awesome and intelligent film I've ever witnessed. There was so much to love, so much to think about, so much to love about. And BONUS: it contains two of the best musical numbers known to man-kind.



BEST SCARES


These days I don't get scared easily, which is surprising seeing as how I used to be afraid of June bugs and puppets with small hands. Since I watch so many horror movies, I've begun a strange form of desensitization which no longer requires me to stay up until the wee hours of the night after watching something scary. Every now and again however, I do get scared and these scares are the most powerful, because they happen so infrequently.

1. XTRO


I've watched this scene over and over again and cannot believe that it sends chills down my spine every single time. It's the timing, it's the sudden appearance of the creature and it's how the creature crab walks back into the woods. It's so unnatural looking and it's so surprising. Even though I know it's coming it still surprises me.


2. The Drop of Water


This experience really brought me back to the days of old. Nights when I would close my eyes and see whatever scary thing was tormenting me. After finishing the Drop of Water segment from Black Sabbath, I had a really hard time entering my bedroom with the lights off--heck even with the lights on. I was positive that the scary dead old lady would be lying on my bed and staring back at me with that face.


OH GOD the face. It truly was one of the scariest movie watching experiences I've ever had.


3. Salem's Lot

I had been prepared for the obligatory little kid floating outside the window scene. What I had not been prepared for however, was the first appearance of Mr. Barlow. He comes without warning, without the slightest hint of worry. One minute you're sitting there thinking about a delicious sandwich and the next--you're peeing your pants and grabbing onto the nearest cat. Not that I'm speaking from person experience.... This scene isn't all about the jump scare. It's about the terrifying face of Mr. Barlow being shoved without warning into your face. It's upsetting.



Having just watched this recently and being so embarrassed that it did scare me--I'm still somewhat ashamed to be including this. But if there's one thing I am not, it is a liar and so I'll be straight with you. Several moments in this movie made me very nervous. I even had to turn it off halfway through so that I could go to sleep peacefully. What is wrong with me? Stereotypical ghost Asian women with long black hair don't scare me! Ugh.


5. REC

Although I had seen Quarantine and was well prepared for the arrival of that skinny thing in that attic, I was not prepared for the simple fact that the original film would somehow be worse. This is surprising seeing as how they are almost the same exact movie. REC however is much scarier and a much better film to be honest. The skinny thing ultimately becomes the demon of my dreams, taunting me each and every single night that I can't fall asleep. That bastard.


BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS


1. The Human Centipede


I was not impressed with the Human Centipede in the slightest. I found it to be dull, not gross, and poorly executed. It's organization was a major setback for me, as I felt like all the anticipation was thrown out the window the moment we realize that the human centipede is completed well before the film ends. Instead of eagerly awaiting the transformation and becoming steadily introduced to the doctor's character-- we were met early on with the creation and forced to watch the daily routines for what felt like a life time. Although many cite Dieter Laser as being the best part about the film--I found his performance just to be another mad scientist shrug. Playing a crazy scientist isn't that big of an achievement-- playing a normal person who steadily gets crazier--may be a better one.




I constantly receive flack for not liking this as much as I am suppose to. I stand by my disappointment though. My expectations were such that I anticipated the presence of several scary funhouse things. The entire opening in fact is compromised of all these wonderfully creepy animatronic dolls--exactly the kind of thing that I used to hate when I was little. The movie however never regains these moments of creepiness. Instead we are taken to a land of mutant people, and a strange slasher hybrid. I simply expected to feel a lot more unsettled by the presence of the funhouse and instead I just get some dumb mask shoved in my face and some awkward sex and rape scenes.



I receive flack for this too but you know what? Oh well. People don't like me because I often state how although Stephen King is a fantastic storyteller--I think he is a sub-par writer. This causes people to yell at me but I'm done tip-toeing around my beliefs. Anywho. I did enjoy The Mist when I read it, and I made a grave mistake by seeing the movie so close to my finishing of the book. I have spectactular reasons by the way and reasons that I will defend to the death. The director made certain statements that do not stand up to his decision regarding the ending of the film--and this bothered me. I don't mind a divergence from the book, but I do mind when that divergence is so completely unncessary that it destroys the actual tone of the book--and there is my problem. Take it up with my lawyer if you still have problems with my assessment.


4. The Crow

I guess this entire section will just cause a lot of flack won't it? Look. I liked the Crow alright, but overall it was just a big disappointment to me. It was nowhere as awesome as it was suppose to be, as predicted by the 100,000 people that love it. Brandon Lee was laughable and I'm sorry that he died-- but you guys...he was just not a good actor. Or maybe he was and the writing was just too atrocious to make it sound good. Who knows. All I know is that I did not love this.


5. The Black Cat


This one is more of a technicality but it was still one of the more intense feelings of disappointment that I ever had. I was excited to see the Black Cat because I had heard such wonderful things about it. When I finally got it, I watched it and got about an hour and 20 minutes into it before I realized that this was NOT the Black Cat that kept being recommended to me. This was a movie by my arch nemesis Lucio Fulci. My disappointment was hardly as big as my embarrassment. And now I hate this movie. But on the flipside I LOVED the Black Cat I was meant to see.


FUNNEST MEMORIES


1. Poltergeist Month

Poltergeist Month was probably the peak of my creative mind. I had so much fun crafting Poltergeist related posts, that I never wanted it to end. Sadly, few of us bloggers can ever talk about Poltergeist because of a pedophile that roams the Internet seeking out anyone who utters the name of Carol Anne, the actress who played her (Whose name I cannot speak because of it) or the year that she was born or died. It's a travesty that he has ruined such a remarkable film. That was when I decided something must be done. POLTERGEIST MUST BE TALKED ABOUT. I picked up my courage and dedicated an entire month to the film people were afraid to talk about it. I still have not heard from the pedophile-- and all is well.


2. Top 10 Willies


The Top 10 Willie Inducing Moments is a landmark in my short blogging career. I figured a few bloggers would post their list and we could all have a fun time and dance or something--but unbelivable as though it may seem....the Top 10 Willy Inducing Moments began to spread like wild fire. I had so much fun reading about what scared other people, and being introduced to so many new bloggers. It was exciting, people loved doing it and I got to post a picture of Will Smith. How much better does it really get?


3. The Comedy Experiment

At some point in May I decided my life was overrun with the dark and depressing. It was springtime and there I was watching people's throats being slashed and people getting rape. I felt like I was stuck in a rut and so something had to be done. I decided to spend my weekend doing something different. Every day I watched 2 or 3 comedies that I had miraculously never seen before. What I found was pretty remarkable. With virtually every single movie that I watched, something in that movie was an allusion to a horror movie. It's proof that horror is everywhere. Also, it's proof that Carrie Fisher is stalking me. It also just felt really good to laugh and enjoy a movie that didn't make you want to gouge your eyes out. Read parts one AND two.


4. The Halloween Marathon at The Coolidge Corner Theater

In September I was met with some of the best news I had ever received. My blog had begun to reach people locally. One of the programmers at the Coolidge Corner Theater, Mark Anastasio, had messaged me to tell me that he enjoyed my blog and wondered if I would like to help promote the October line up for the midnight shows and marathon. I was overjoyed. As sucessful as my blog is with other bloggers and people that search for hardcore sex (of which there is none on this blog) I still felt like my blog was failing in the Boston readers department. This news was just what I needed to keep my head up. Working with Mark and the Coolidge Corner Theater was fun and new. I got to run a contest for Boston horror fans to win tickets to the marathon. I even got to go to the marathon and take part in the awesomeness. I got to see Hausu and Re-Animator on the big screen, witness an amazing costume contest, turn red at the appearance of some very large boobs on the stage, and feel sorry for the psyhic that no one really wanted to see. It was one of the funnest nights I've ever had. So thank you Mark and The Coolidge Corner Theater--you guys rock.





I never thought about the idea of sharing horror related field trips with my blog readers but then one day it hit me. For my birthday I had planned to take a trip to Salem, and what better way to share the fun than feature the trip on my blog? Even though Emmy Doomas and I did not plan the trip as well as we could have, and even though the entire town was packed--we still had a great time. It was one of the most memorable ways to celebrate my birthday AND I had ice cream for lunch. YES!


A CHANGE TO MY TOP 5 FAVORITE ARGENTO FILMS


In September I finally found an Argento film to upset my order of favorite Argento movies. Four Flies on Grey Velvet infatuated me. I loved everything about it and wanted to talk about it for hours. I liked it so much that it took over the #2 slot on the list!! For those of you keeping track my top 5 Argento films are now...


1. Suspiria

2. Four Flies on Grey Velvet

3. Deep Red

4. Phenomena

5. Inferno


I only have a few more left to see, but I'm pretty confident it will stay like this...


Still Just Sayin'

Here are some things that I just want to reiterate about. And naturally I'm right about all of them.


1. The Nightmare on Elm Street Remake Was Not THAT Bad


There was such violence spewed at the remake of NOES that I often felt the need to cleanse myself. I saw the film the day before it came out and wrote this review. In it I said that while the film is not great, it is not the worst thing I have ever seen and it certaintly wasn't the worst remake I had ever seen. The remake attempted a very valiant effort at going a step further than the original. People's complaints all have to do with how the remakes treats the original. Personally I thought it treated it rather well, updating iconic scenes and giving the fans some nods. Sure it was riddled with jump scares, a few instances of bad CGI and a rather tasteless depiction of Freddy's true infatuation with Nancy--but what do you expect from a remake geared towards mall obsessed teens? I'm mostly just annoyed with the term worst film ever, or worst remake ever. Think about some other remakes that were horrible and then get back to me.


2. Paranormal Activity STILL Sucks


I re-watched Paranormal Activity recently was still met with some intense disatisfaction. It is not a good movie, it is not re-watchable and it relies solely on the existence of amplified noises. I don't want to talk about it anymore so I am hereby enstating an end of discussion clause in regards to Paranormal Activity. That is all.

MOST VISITED PAGES

At some point during the year Blogger added a tab called "Stats". Here was a simple and easy to use tool that told bloggers exactly what people were reading, and what they were searching for. I check this almost everyday and the totals never change. In regard to all time page views--here are the five most visited page views at the Horror Digest.


This was a post my buddy Chris and I did after we did some thinking about this so called Hellraiser remake. For awhile this article was the 3rd thing on the page when you searched "Hellraiser Remake". Crazy huh? Imagine all those people who maybe thought our selections were valid choices. Ha. You wish Cate Blanchett was in the Hellraiser remake....you wish. In other news, this is the best casting in the world.


I'm still not sure why this post is so popular. It's not very well written and it's about a really, really shitty movie. I'm guessing it has to do with all those people that search "What is wrong with Rumer Willis' Face?" Luckily I was able to provide them with the correct answer--it causes DEATH.


I did this one on a whim one day after taking note of Google's neato tribute to the film's 71st anniversary. Apparently I'm not the only one to notice that The Wizard of Oz had some pretty fucked up moments none of which contain an actual hanging munchkin, so don't get your hopes up.


This is embarrassing because pssst it's not really the most disturbing thing I've seen. It was still disturbing mind you, but now all those people think I'm a super wimp for dubbing this as the most disturbing thing I've ever seen. Ugh.


I am still immensely proud of this tribute to what is probably my favorite movie in the whole world. Yes I made some mistakes, like not including the best lines from the basement meeting but oh well. Pee Wee is the best, and if you disagree---I hate you.

TOTAL HORROR MOVIES WATCHED: 145

Well that's the end of that year. What a great year if I do say so myself. My final thoughts will come with the new 5 things I've learned post which will happen closer to December 31st. But just know that I thought this year in terms of my blog, and expanding its horizons...fucking rocked. That is all.


10 comments:

The Mike said...

It's been an honor to read your stuff, ma'am. There are a select few sites that I occasionally wish I could write like, and this is one of 'em.

And may you and Soylent Green's first child be a masculine one.

Chris Hallock said...

haha, I can't believe there are so many views for the Hellraiser remake casting! Hollywood better be paying attention!

I have had a great time reading your blog this past year, Andre. Without the 'gest, life wouldn't be worth living. I guess that means you have to keep writing forever.

Dave Becker said...

Excellent year in review! Just a few comments:

1. I'm also a big fan of TREMORS, and have been for years. I was glad it was released on Blu-Ray this year.

2. I was also terrified by that scene in BLACK SABBATH, and SALEM'S LOT is still one of the most frightening vampire films ever made.

Again, great write-up!

Dod said...

I love this article. When I get my own late-night comedy talk show, you are definitely writing it. We've shared some laughs and some tears (the LOST finale).

Now that you have a new #2 in your Argento list, I am now inspired to see Four Flies On Grey Velvet. This is especially considering you have not steered me wrong once over the past year.

Here's to another year - actually, let me say years, plural - of fun on The Horror Digest.

*raises glass of something wine-ish*

Andre said...

Hahah I can't stop giggling about that statement The Mike...I'm not sure why.

Buddy! We are famous for our casting fo shizzle. If only Hollywood would listen to us..And don't worry I will write forever ; ) I can't let you die!

Thanks Dave! I'm glad I'm not alone in my love and fears..!

Dod- Yes you will love 4 Flies. I like it so much because it's vastly different from Suspiria. I don't know I just had such a nice time writing about it...I love it I love it! Cheers, my friend : )

TheGirlWhoLovesHorror said...

I want to give you HUGE props for all the amazing Poltergeist related posts. It's my fave horror film, and all of those topics, especially the one about using eccentric Poltergeist quotes in every day life, were pretty much super-duper fantastical and I was laughing my big booty off reading them. I salute you and your awesomeness.

B.STANK said...

"It's pretty obvious that anyone who has seen the Japanese mind explosion from the 70s that is Hausu, will immediately want to rub it on their face." - genius!

Heather O'Rourke said...

Merry Christmas Andre. By the way, please dont refer to Jervaise Brooke Hamster as a "pedophile", i intend to spend all eternity with him in paradise. By the way, have you read the com-girl-ts section over on "Soiled Sinemas" reveiw of "Godzilla Vs Megaguirus?, its all about me and its a scream, happy reading. Once again have a great Christmas. P.S. the com-girl-ts sections on "Soiled sinemas" reveiws of "Poltergist 3" and the 1975 version of "Rollerball" are hilarious as well and also revolve around yours truly.

Emily said...

I should've been taking notes throughout this post. So much to say! And I can't remember any of it! Except for this:

-I agree that the NOES remake was not at all awful and offered some interesting ideas.
-Tremors is an insanely lovable lil film
-your Willies post made me happy, as did reading everybody else's, writing mine, and having no idea where I put that notebook
-I COMPLETELY agree that Stephen King is not a great fiction writer. I LOVE his nonfiction (can't recommend On Writing or Danse Macabre high enough) but yeah...not a fantastic wordsmith. I actually love Darabont's The Mist, but I agree with you on that other point!
-Hausu=win

Andre said...

Thanks GirlWhoLovesHorror! I owe my nomination to you of course. I'm so glad you enjoyed them and am relieved that someone loves Poltergeist as much as I do!

I am so honored that Heather O'Rourke dropped by even though she is dead. I guess I'm cooler than I thought.

Emily-- this is PROOF that we were separated at birth. I know we have discussed our non-hate for the NOES remake before...perhaps we should one day write a giant editorial in defense of NOES the remake.
and oh...my....goodness...you are the first horror fan that has agreed with me on that sentiment!!!! I can't believe it, I'm so happy I could cry!
Yeah the Mist I did actually come away enjoying save for the last scene. It totally and completely goes against what he originally said he was doing which was relating it to how people came together during Hurricane Katrina to make HOPE.
And funnily enough as you know the last thing the guy hears on the radio is the word hope. So hmmmmph!