Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Creepy Ballets

If there's one thing Christmas always reminds me of, it's seeing my dear sister perform in the Academy of Performing Arts rendition of The Nutcracker. And not just seeing it once mind you, seeing it about 5 times. We were a devoted family okay? Few people know that Emmy Doomas was a bit of a ballet prodigy in her day and that I lived vicariously through her by tagging along to all performances and after parties. As such, I am an expert in everything that involves ballet. Okay maybe not, but my mind doesn't have to know the truth.

When Black Swan came out I was completely blown away and secretly having brain orgasms because of how awesomely it portrayed the darker side of ballet. Not just the actual darker side of eating disorders, bad blisters and broken toe nails but in general--how it so deliciously portrayed the somewhat dark story of Swan Lake.

For many, ballet is a very frilly pink and girly thing. And to those many people I shake my head in annoyance. Ballets are often much more dark than people realize. Most likely due to the fact that a great deal were based on fairy tales, where the original versions were of course extremely dark. Cautionary tales that teach us lessons by scaring the crap out of us is how the original fairy tales usually worked. So it makes sense that ballets would also follow suite. Plus, ballets are performances on par with something like an Opera. A spectacle of drama only instead of voice the instrument is dancing.

So let us talk about a few ballets that are extremely dark. And that would make FANTASTIC horror movies, shall we?

The Red Shoes

When Black Swan came out many people were quick to draw similarities to Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's 1948 film The Red Shoes. Itself based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, the film is another cautionary tale about how ballet often has the potential to control and take over one's life.

Although the ballet based on the fairy tale is rare to find performed these days, it still falls into the category of insanely creepy/awesome in my book. The story is about a peasant girl who gets adopted into a rich family. After lying to obtain fancy red shoes and becoming all vain and lame, the girl gets cursed by a mysterious soldier who condemns her to dance for the rest of her life (and beyond it as well).

The story is riddled with violent imagery, like the girl being forced to dance through thorns that rip at her skin and body. The girl even tries to cut off her feet hoping to destroy the curse. Plus, I just love the common theme of "dancing to death"...isn't it just the greatest!? Also, let's not forget the ill-fated Asian horror film The Red Shoes. Where the red shoes were really just pink shoes. But who's keeping track?


Giselle is the tale of a young woman who goes crazy and dies from a broken heart after learning that her love is actually a Duke and not a peasant like she thought. After Giselle's death, the second act of the ballet takes place by her grave where Hilarion the gamekeeper who was also in love with Giselle, grieves. It is here, that Hilarion encounters the Wilis, vengeful female spirits who rise from their graves at night and seek revenge against men by dancing them to death.

Giselle is then summoned out of her grave and invited to partake in the festivities. But when the Duke arrives he begs for forgiveness, which Giselle accepts. Hilarion however, is not so lucky as he chased by the Wilis and then thrown to his death in a nearby lake. Ultimately, Giselle's kind heart allows her to separate from the Wilis and sleep peacefully in her grave. But still, poor Hilarion huh?

Naturally this ballet has awesome written all over it. Vengeful spirits that take revenge on men by making them dance to their death? YES. Not to mention that Giselle rising from the grave invites gentle whispers of ZOMBIE. Well, ghost zombie I guess.

The Rite of Spring

Many recognize Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring as being the music for the dinosaur segment in Fantasia but it was actually first a ballet that filled the audience with horror because of how unconventional it was. Taking place in Pagan Russia, the Rite of Spring is something of a fertility ritual where a young virginal girl is sacrificed by being forced to dance to her death.

Clearly a central punishment in many ballets is this idea of dancing to your death. Which really is kind of the ultimate definition of my favorite kind of horror--something that is terrifyingly beautiful. It also speaks largely to that whole idea of being far too consumed by something you truly love. What if one day someone condemns me to eat sandwiches or play Zelda FOREVER? Well, I guess there could be worse things.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Internet Is DEAD To Me (No Really, It Is)

Ugggh my Internet is gone! Missing! Dead! Lost! Really, it's just Comcast being a bunch of whores and giving me a modem that decided to crap out. Also who had a fun time last night listening to their own breathing on the phone while waiting for the modem to restart for 20 minutes? THIS GIRL. (Me).

I told the guy about 12 times that it wasn't rebooting properly and that only one light was coming on and he kept being like, "That's okay ma'am just give it some time" 20 minutes later... Yup. Still nothing buddy.

Just face it Comcast, you messed up, now give me something free. Preferably something called DVR and CABLE. By the way, don't be fooled by promotions offering 70 dollars for cable and internet. What they mean is, internet and basic cable, which you can get by plugging in a cable cord to your TV. What a rip!

Anyways the point of all this is to tell you that I can't do anything now except play video games and pick my nose. Oh and READ I guess. Not that this is such a bad thing, but I thought I'd inform the few of you who still read this blog despite my less than stellar performance as of late. In the meantime, enjoy this post about nothing. At some point between 11-1 on Saturday, my internet will be returned to its original form and the world can sleep soundly knowing that I can once more watch movies and talk about them and then write stuff that is important only to me. Yay!

Here are some awesome pictures I found by searching, "Dead Internet"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Scream 4: Give Ghostface His Dignity Back

There was an extended period in my life where I wanted to have Scream's baby. I was smitten with Matthew Lillard's annoyingly stupid presence. I got hot flashes when Rose McGowan thought she was thin enough to go through the cat door in the garage. Most importantly however, it scared the crap out of me. So much so, that my first viewing of the film resulted in an all night awake fest courtesy of the metal screw in my ceiling light that suspiciously resembled Ghostface. I was convinced that some lunatic was going to bust through my window at any point during the night and kill me.

Some may say that this is not a healthy reaction to a horror movie. To them I say, yes probably true, although to be fair almost everything in life scares me so I'm really not a good indicator of something going too far.

What I do know is that Scream is a powerful film and certainly one of, if not the best slasher movie of the past decade or so. Because let's be honest---I still want to have Scream's baby okay? Who doesn't?

Due to my blazing love affair with the film, I did my civic duty by watching the sequels and did my best to love them. While I quite enjoyed Scream 2, I felt Scream 3 was leaning a little too dangerously close to the edge of "annoyingly self aware". Now with Scream 4, I'm pretty confident that Scream has completely fallen off that edge and ventured into face slap territory. Which isn't to say Scream 4 is a bad film it's just..............depressing because it reminds me how sad our culture has become.

Ghostface in 2011 is like that point in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise where Freddy picks up his first dirty slang dictionary and runs wild with it. Ghostface has become too whimsy or something. He's too HILARIOUS and witty to really be scared of anymore. Before he had such a menacing and dark quality about him. There was something truly sinister behind that voice and we dreaded hearing it come out the other end of that line. Now? Now we giggle in anticipation of what Ghostface will come up with next. He's basically turned into this.

Now, we become less scared of Ghostface and more bored with him. Now he just seems like an annoying person on Facebook who thinks that yes, the world does want to know about his loneliness.

In fact, that's the whole problem with Scream 4. It's not scary. And I'm not just saying that because I am no longer a child who easily spooks. Scream 4 is just an exercise in trying to appeal to the new generation of horror fans and being annoying about it. Not that most horror movies don't do that, but there's something so infuriating about implementing Facebook and Youtube as valid plot developments in a movie. Sorry, I mean in any movie that is not called The Social Network.

I know we need to update things and make them cool and current, but didn't anyone else feel like they were trapped in a mall throughout the duration of Scream 4? Why does everyone seem SO LITTLE? It's like when you go back and visit your high school after you consider yourself an adult. The kids look about 10 years younger than you did and to top it all off....the cafeteria tables are smaller. Okay, okay I know it's all in your head but that's what I felt like while watching this. It felt weird. And creepy. Like grown men watching the little league championship on ESPN.

None of this however compares to the fact that the ending reveal of the killer is so outrageously stupid and....stupid. I'm not joking, it's the worst! I was so appalled and annoyed when it happened that I actually did an eye roll at my cat so that I could share with someone how annoyed I was. I really just don't know what to say about it.

Scream 4 isn't even that bad of a movie but that reveal really just killed it for me. There are even some decent and well done things happening throughout here. Creepy parking garage scenes, sad and brutal moments of killings, up close and personal shots of intestines. Plus Sydney Prescott will never fail as a likable and believable final girl for me.

But that ending? MAN! Terrible. Just terrible. Ridiculous. Not believable and worst of all it completely annihilates any shred of respectability that Ghostface had left. I know, I know it's supposed to be a commentary on how much importance we put on Youtube and that whole phenomena of 5 minute famers but come on. COME ON. This is embarrassing Wes.

So in closing. Damn it Scream 4. Damn you. You ruined everything and now we can't be friends or lovers.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

That's Some Bad Idea Harry

Guess what? There is a God, Universal Studios is finally closing the JAWS ride. I can sleep safely at night knowing that my friends won't one day drug me, kidnap me and make me go on this ride. Just kidding, I know that most of you are all weeping like children and pouring one out for the old mechanical shark in its disproportional glory.

It is rather sad when I think about it and rather telling of the state of movies in general. Replacing old classics with newer, more current and less scary (?) films. Remakes, updates, new ideas that are secretly just remakes, whatever you want to call it, times they are a changing. And if Universal Studios' recent decision tells us anything other than the fact that it will never be as popular and magical as Disney World, it tells us that the park is evolving.

While personally I have had nightmares in my past---like legitimate nightmares about being on the JAWS ride, (Usually the boat explodes and I fly into the shark's mouth--which has spontaneously turned into a real shark, and I may or may not be naked. It depends on whether or not I had a glass of red wine before bed and if I'm wearing socks or not), I know must of you have delicately placed the ride into that sweet little box that glorifies your childhood. Luckily, the one and only time I went to Universal Studios, the JAWS ride was out of order.

Which makes me wonder: was the JAWS ride often put out of order? Is it possible that the mechanical shark like Bruce, had the grave misfortune of just not working? OR is Universal Studios, truly clearing out rides to make way for more current films to be showcased?

Think of it this way. When most of us went to Universal Studios, we knew most of the films that the rides were based on and we wanted to go on them because of it. Let's take Back to the Future as the best example of this.

Most kids today? Do they hold that same esteem for Back to the Future? Do they want nothing more than to ride in a Delorean and travel back in time with crazy Doc Brown shouting things at us? Probably not. They probably want to ride on a motorcycle with Shia LeBouf and join the Transformers in an epic battle. Did he ride on a motorcycle in that? I think I'm confusing it with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. No matter, the POINT, my friends is this: remakes are made because studios need to make things relevant for the new generation of kids. Rides at Universal will undoubtedly be following this same trend and the JAWS ride closing is probably one of the first of many.

Don't go looking at Disney World to comfort you either. They do this all the time--like when they replaced the Alien Encounter ride with Stitch's great escape, or Mr. Toad's Wild Ride with a Winnie the Pooh ride. They have to keep updating things, or kids will not want to go on them.

Putting aside all of our anger and depression about this, I thought it would be fun to envision what Universal Studios will be putting in place of the JAWS ride. They claim it's something new and exciting. But what could it possibly be? Will the space be kept as a marina style, with some form of water? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm let's discuss.

I can't think of any recent Universal pictures that partially take place on or around water. Unless, you count Couples Retreat as a feasible option. OH wait I have two ideas.

Nim's Island

Ugh. This would make sense because I think......that kids like this movie. Plus it would be easy to convert the JAWs space into an island, where the patrons get ferried to it by boat. Also at some point pirates would probably attack the boat. Are there pirates in Nim's Island? Who knows.


This trailer makes people laugh. And rightfully so. Who would make a senseless movie about a board game that becomes un-fun in less than 5 minutes? This ride would work in the place of JAWs though. Visitors ride on boats and their boat gets hit by bombs and stuff. Also, pirates will probably attack the boat. Just kidding, I just think pirates should be inserted anywhere there is water. Curse Disney World for taking ownership of the Pirates movies!

Hmmmm I'm stumped.

Other scary and depressing possibilities NOT involving water?
The Fast and the Furious: Gross. Picture converting the water into a sort of street/racetrack, where kids get to experience street racing for themselves. Probably people would love this.

Pokemon: Because kids always need more Pokemon themed things.

Cowboys and Aliens: I would be down for this if it involved being able to have sex with Daniel Craig. Wait! I mean........................this might be a cool ride, if we got to ride in a spaceship.

Rides that SHOULD be replacing JAWs?

Open Water
The Reef
Lake Placid
The Raft a la Creepshow 2

Oooh the possibilities!

That's all I've got for now. What do YOU think they are turning the JAWs ride into?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Scary Face Club: December Inductees (Old Lady Edition)

I don't love the idea of themes but honestly this month, I was a little stumped when thinking of new members to induct into the Scary Face Club! Suddenly I remembered that it was the holiday season. The holidays, like them or not, always open to the door to a plethora of possibilities. For instance, I could have done the Scary Face Club--Little People edition, or the Scary Face Club: Reindeer edition (Just kidding there aren't really any scary Reindeer out there)--instead, I settled on one of my more latent fears--old women. Which is a nod to Mrs. Claus, who never seems to get any credit, besides I'm pretty sure she doesn't actually exist. (In the MYTH you guys. I don't actually believe in Santa Claus...jeesh)

It's not that I find all old women to be scary. Puh-lease, my grandmother is the sweetest of the bunch. It's just that in horror movies, old women always sneak up on you in the most unfair ways. They seem like regular old women but then something always happens that FREAKS you out. So therefore here are 5 scary old women that deserve some Scary Face Club lovin'.

Old Lady


As I said in my review of Insidious, this woman (who is actually played by a man) is nobody's friend. Sure, she is mostly just a re-done Mary Shaw from Dead Silence, but for some reason her scariness gets turned up by 5,000 here. Is it because she's wearing a weird veil? Is it the backstory of her being in the background of all the Dad's pictures, and getting closer and closer in each one? Is it because she seems to hide in closets and only come out when we are at our most vulnerable? Is it because she probably smells like moth balls and old cheese? YES. All of the above.

Sylvia Ganush

(Drag Me to Hell)

Sylvia Ganush is kind of like an olio of everything scary and gross about old women. Glass eye, bad teeth, terrible breath, regurgitates bugs, is a witch/gypsy. She performs really outrageous curses on you when you're just doing your job and she breaks into your car and tries to kill you. She is kind of the worst.

She's also kind of extremely scary when you are trying to get a good night's sleep, then roll over to your other side and suddenly come face to face with her scariness. Sure, there are scarier looking old women out there. But is anyone really comparable to Sylvia in terms of grossness? I'm sorry, but an old woman vomiting bugs and mud into my mouth IS the scariest thing in the world. No contest.

Old Lady


Naturally when I forget a scary old lady's name, I just call them old lady. Here we have that old lady neighbor of Beverly in IT who is sweet and kind one minute, and then scary and face melty and gross the next. Oh did I mention she isn't really an old lady, she's actually PENNYWISE just up to his usual shenanigans? Well now you know. And P.S. that makes her much scarier.

But honestly, that melting face, red, sores......face probably falling off in clumps. Bleck! She is one old lady I never want to see in my dreams.

Old Lady in Tub

(The Shining)

What would a list of scary old ladies be without the naked old lady in the tub? When I first saw the Shining, hiding behind a pillow in my basement, I was so unbelievably disgusted and terrified when this part happened. First of all nakedness scares me. But old lady nakedness? Old lady nakedness that involves a rotting old lady naked body? WHY GOD WHY. Plus she cackles while being naked and rotting. Ooooh the humanity.

Old Lady

(The House on Haunted Hill)

Although this lady isn't really the scariest old lady I've ever seen, she makes it on the list because of how unusually and unexpectedly scary this little scene is. It's so surprising, and creepy. Especially because of how she just rolls away on a skateboard at the end. She also has that crazy look in her eye and her hair is all wispy and gross. She's scary okay?!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Video Dead and Other Not As Amazing Stuff

I'M ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know, I know I have some explaining to do. The truth is, things have been pretty crazy as of late. And by "pretty crazy" I mean that I've been extremely lazy and also possessed by the new Zelda game. Dude, you can GO TO THE BATHROOM in the new Zelda game. The toilet flushes. IT FLUSHES! Best. Thing. Ever. Of course the down side is that all I want to do is play Zelda and sleep. Which doesn't leave room for much else--like blogging, watching movies and personal hygiene. Which sadly is the whole purpose of this blog. So for that I apologize.

I mean, it's not like I haven't been watching movies. I've been watching parts of movies and then getting restless and giving up.

For example: I watched Chillerama and then wanted to kill myself. I also watched the first two segments of Creepshow 2 and LOVED IT, but then I got lazy and forgot to watch the rest. I also watched Heathers and the beginning of The Cat O Nine Tails. None of these films however inspired me or should I say...motivated me to actually write anything.

That is until I started watching The Video Dead. Just so you know, The Video Dead gives a whole new meaning to the word amazing. This is mainly because it contains the kind of zombies I love.

The skeletal, ghoulish looking zombies who laugh at blenders and stick people in washing machines.

They also favor strangulation over eating people--but most importantly they have a sense of humor. Which is insanely meaningful considering that The Video Dead has an amazing sense of humor as well.

I kid you not, this movie may have officially unseated Slugs as my favorite so bad it's good horror movie. It's just too incredible for words. Oh right the plot. Well, it's about zombies that come out of the TV and kill you!

It's pretty much where Samara got her humble beginnings from. It also makes no sense because apparently the TV zombies come out of the TV and kill the guy who lives in the house and then.........

....They kill more people. What did the zombies do during that three month period? Apparently they just walked around in the woods and waited for fresh poodles to come wandering in? It's very confusing but also---it's what makes The Video Dead so amazing. No explanation necessary. Zombies. TV. Awesome.

It's also some of the best writing that I've ever come across. For instance:

Guy: I love animals!
Girl: Me too...only I don't count poodles as animals.
Guy: I'm glad you said that...because I really hate poodles.

Later, poodle gets killed by a TV zombie.

Girl: You don't understand. He likes to chase skunks in the woods, and if he finds them he tries to mate with them. Only skunks don't like to mate with poodles, and then they spray him and he really gets turned on.

Oh, it's almost too perfect for words.

I can't really say much else because The Video Dead is the kind of movie you'll need to experience for yourself. I even tried to take a bunch of hilarious screenshots, but it just wasn't translating...I guess you'd have to be there. Which means that you should watch The Video Dead and then come and laugh with me, like a zombie laughing at a blender.

Also, don't forget that The Video Dead also teaches us many lessons. But the most important lesson of all is that you should always keep your picture of Jesus sitting thoughtfully during a sunset, next to your iron and your knitting needles.

I'd also like to take this moment to tell you that there are some fantastic movies currently streaming on Netflix Instant Watch.

House, C.H.U.D, SLUGS, Vampires, Children of the Corn---get your butt over there and watch some movies. Not that I should be talking because now I'm going to go play Zelda. If you don't hear from me, you'll know what happened. Unless I died, which would be unfortunate.

Oh wait I forgot to say:

What is this poster?

And more importantly: Where can I get one? What does it say? Let's get back to books? Why are there dinosaurs? And why is this hanging up in this old lady's kitchen? I'm obsessed with it. Okay bye.