Thursday, December 31, 2009

5 Things I've Learned This Year.

Yay we made it through another year! Every year we experience new things, new people and new places yadda yadda yadda. This year was an interesting one- I graduated from college, moved to Boston, became unemployed and then found a job- and most importantly I began a little project called The Horror Digest. After starting a blog sometime last year (Sunny's Delight if you're feeling saucy) I realized my true passion was Horror- and plus always having to look at my dog who died in March was too much for my little heart to handle. Thus began the formation of what you are reading now. SO before we began another year full of blogging I will tell you 5 things that I've learned since starting my blog.

1. I love John Landis.

This should come as no surprise to any of you- actually this whole list should come as no surprise. But for real...with every new person I meet in life- I find that I am constantly asking them if they know about John Landis. Sure they may "know" about him but do they KNOW ABOUT HIM? And by that I mean how awesome he is. I was trying to explain his genius to Emmy Doomas yesterday and I decided that it's because he has the perfect blend of comedy and horror that just feels so incredibly natural. His horror movies are just the right amount of funny to not be considered a "horror comedy". He maintains an equal hold of both- kind of similar to Tom Hanks who can be an amazing actor yet has the most perfect comedic timing I've ever witnessed. An American Werewolf in London has quickly come one of my favorite movies and it's becoming equally possible that John Landis may replace Dario Argento as my favorite director of all time. Mind blowing I know. So in closing, John Landis, if you're out there...I love you.

2. Eli Roth Really IS a Bastard. (But Still Attractive)

The inside of the horror world is a gross and disgusting place- actually I don't know that but what I do know is that some people have huge heads and egos and my experiences these past few months have shown me this in full force. I promise this will be the last time I go into this story- and with the new year comes new obsessions and new people to block me (wink wink John Landis). Ahem. At some point these last few months I noticed someone had retweeted one of Mr. Roth's tweets. That's funny I thought...that tweet of his never showed up on my timeline...let me check out OH WHAT what is this shit? Eli Roth had had months of tweets that I had never seen how could this be?! I went to follow him again thinking that Twitter had become wacky at some point and deleted those I was following but instead I got this message "This user has blocked you from following them" Yeah what the shit is that about? I've gone over and over the past few months in my head and the only logical explanation is that A. he was scared of the love I had for him and B. he was mad that I said I don't like Hostel or Cabin Fever but LOVED emphasis on loved, Hostel 2 and that I still had faith in him. Apparently that warrants a block? Shade city. After a little research I've found that people have had similar experiences, namely writing him nice comments on his Myspace about how they didn't love a certain part of his movie but loved many many other things- which in turn lead to Eli completely deleting the entire comment. In the immortal words of Stephanie Tanner, How rude! But for real, grow some skin and realize that not everyone is going to love you.

3. French is the New Asian.

Alright I've beaten around the bush long enough so I'm just going to say it- I don't like Asian horror. Well I like it but I don't love it as much as everyone else seems to. But it seems to me like French Horror has really picked up the pace this past few years. With movies like Martyrs, Inside, Ils, Frontiers, High Tension, title after title of complete and utter masterpieces I cannot help but notice that foreign horror has a new Daddy. Move over Asian Horror, the French are here to claim your throne. I am so excited to see what the French will come up with next that I can hardly contain my excitement. On a side note French children are also the new Asian baby. I always see this little French boy talking French to his mother on his way to school and it overloads me with cuteness. It sounds to me like the French are just taking over the whole world...I wonder if French game shows are superior as well...

4. Children are Terrifying.

I used to think sharks and spiders were terrifying but I honestly think I'm ready to amend my list of worst fears and add crazy, creepy, murderous children to it. The Children, Orphan (debatable) The Village of the Damned, The Brood, It's Alive!, Grace, The Innocents - the list can go on for ages! I had never before realized just how scary children can really be and with the latest additions of Grace and The Children it's pretty obvious that filmmakers are ready to seize the issue as violently and brutally as possible. Children are no longer safe from on screen deaths or violence - basically nothing is taboo any longer and with the promise of the new year brings the promise of more vile and terrifying children....ooh I shudder at the thought!

5. Blogging is the Tits.

The Horror Digest has been in business since July and I can't believe how far it's really come. I used sit and watch the counter on my blog and cheer for joy when one new person came to read each day. My first comment? Forget it- I was celebrating for weeks. And now I average about 100 something views a day- plus on average about 8 comments per post. I still can't believe it and it makes me swell with pride and gratitude for all of you that read and seem to enjoy what I write. The fellow bloggers and horror fans I have interacted with these past months are some of the greatest people I've ever met. And with the creation of this blog and the success I've gained, I've come to realize that this is my true passion in life. Thank you to all, you know who you are and I love each and every one of you. Happy New Year and may the next year bring us luck and excitement in the horror world!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Notable Animal Deaths (and Almost Deaths) That Hit Me the Hardest.

In light of reviewing the notable animal deaths of 2009 (Bill Clinton's cat Socks and the Taco Bell dog to name a few) I decided that I am a horrible person and get much more sad when animals die rather than humans. This has been true when watching movies my whole life. When a person dies yeah sure it's sad but if a puppy dies forget it- waterworks city. So I now bring the animal deaths and the almost deaths that hit me the hardest. Grab a box of tissues while we remember those we have lost (or almost lost).

The Beast (Hercules)
The Beast's almost death was especially sad because once we found out that he wasn't actually a giant demon beast (thanks a lot Squints) we realize that he was just an energetic St. Bernard who wanted to have some fun. The sound he makes when the fence falls on him is one of the saddest noises my ears have ever heard. Thank goodness for Smalls and Benny the Jet Rodriguez- or else the sandlot would have been responsible for killing a poor blind man's dog. And how awful would that have been to knock on your scary neighbors door- who just happens to be a blind James Earl Jones and tell him that his dog died? As sad as this one was I really just blame it all on Squints for creating false legends and stories about a harmless dog who likes baseballs and slobbers a lot.


This almost death lives in infamy as the saddest moment in any movie period. And yes I'm counting when Julia Roberts dies in Steel Magnolias. Shadow was only the coolest, nicest, oldest dog on the block and after that strenous journey- that practically killed all of them- we find Shadow in the bottom of a muddy ditch, unable to escape. In his final moment of heroism he tells the others to leave him there and just to go on- and those bastard filmmakers made us think that they did. At the end the kids see Sassy and Chance return but poor Michael is still left without a pet. And then when all hope seems lost... a faraway bark sounds- Michael slowly turns around and the music kicks in- SHADOW LIVES, he's limping to get to Michael and.....and......oh Jesus I'm tearing up thinking about it right now. It's too much!


One night my freshman year of college, I ordered a burrito. This is important trust me. After an agonizing 20 minutes of deciding between steak or chicken I opted for bbq chicken and was terribly excited when it arrived. As I unwrapped the foil and held the chubby burrito in my hand a horrible and depressing thought came to mind. This burrito...looks exactly like the puppy that almost dies in 101 Dalmatians! You know when John is stroking the puppy back to life? Well the puppy looks like a burrito and if you don't believe me go get one for yourself (even if you have to drive really far away BJ-C!) Anyways. This part when the maid brings it out and says one didn't make it is so awful, and so heartbreaking- and the puppy's miraculuos recovery is more stunning than Baby Grace's. Plus now whenever I get burrito's I stroke them...stop looking at me like that- I'm just trying to save a life!

The Puppy (Single White Female)

When I saw this puppy get introduced into the movie I thought, oh it's OK they wouldn't kill a puppy. But of course as we all know that concept gets thrown right out the window...literally. Who throws a puppy out a window?! And who shows the dead puppy on the sidewalk afterwards?! Poor choices by all and I'm still not fully over it yet.

Cat (Drag Me to Hell)

I don't remember this cat's name because I blocked out this entire scene due to sadness- but if some curse was put on me and the only way to maybe stop it was to make an animal sacrifice I would have jumped out of a window. My sister once asked me, if there was a fire and I had the choice to save either her or my cat what would I do? I thought about it for like 2 minutes and she got really mad-but the truth is I wouldn't have saved either of them. I would have jumped out the window so that we could all live together in Heaven... so there. Seriously when she made that decision I was so taken aback. I can't even fathom doing that- plus that was really more of a "suggestion" it wasn't even a proven method for ridding the soul of a curse- so...yeah something aint right with her and I'm glad she got dragged to Hell.....bitch.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Magic: Corky and Fats Forever.

If you are like most warm blooded creatures, then you find yourself to be creeped out by dolls, dummies, and puppets- namely ventriloquist dummies which are all of the above. Personally, I despise puppets. They have these awful little plastic hands, and those lifeless eyes and it's just all kinds of nasty. Horror movies seem to understand this fear as the number of doll centered movies seems to be very high-and for those of you also scared of cannibals named Hannibal Lecter, then I have the movie for you.

Magic- said best by the Netflix envelope in which my movie came in, is a creepy and psychological role for Tony Hopkins decades before he was raving about liver, fava beans and Chianti. He plays Corky, an amateur magician/ventriloquist who is about to make it the magician/ventriloquist circuit. Before his career really starts taking off however Corky decides to reconnect with an old flame from his school days- and it is there we find that his dummy, Fats- may be more powerful than we thought.

Now first off this movie is not about a possessed doll as much as the synopsis and trailer might make you think. Rather, Corky is plagued by a severe psychological complex probably related in some way to his first show and how badly he bombed. Fats takes the personality of everything Corky aspires to be, and without Fats, Corky often feels that his career would be over. And unfortunately that's pretty much true- because magician's have to have some kind of extra something you know? What good would those boring card tricks be without a funny dummy making everything all better? So poor Corky- his mind is very complicated. Turns out the "Fats" personality is pretty violent- and although he is extremely hilarious he is still creepy and he still likes to kill people who want to complicate things.

I enjoyed Fat's great sense of humor- which for the most part made him slightly less creepy. I also just loved witnessing the degradation of Corky and all those great shots of him and Fats looking out a window, or just hanging out. Their similarities are amazing and I just really loved having such an obvious double personality right there in front of me. There was no twist about who was doing the killings or if Fats was really alive- everything is straight forward which is certainly something seen less and less of these days.

Sure the movie looses some steam somewhere along the way- but seeing Tony Hopkins lose his cool over a magic trick gone wrong is still enough to make you pull back in fear that he will bite your face off. The other strange thing however is that Corky is so innocent and cute at times. Those moments of innocence, "What's a Pilot?" etc, are so telling about his character and I found that I just loved how things developed from that point on. The ending is as heartbreaking as ever, and while the kills aren't anything to exclaim about it's really all about Corky and Fats so who really cares?

Here is a lovely photo journal detailing my favorite pictures of Corky and Fats together.

Corky and Fats Forever.

Buy Magic at Horror Movie Empire!

And to answer your questions-yes. I sang this song all day yesterday.

My Girl: A Tribute to Thomas J.

Nicholas Caged Approved

Monday, December 28, 2009

Eden Lake: I Hate the Youth.

Sometimes I cry when I watch a movie, and sometimes I yell furiously. By the time the ending of Eden Lake rolled around however I was doing a wild combination of both. Eden Lake has a power similarly evoked from The Strangers and Them- fucked up people doing fucked up things for no fucking reason. With Eden Lake however, the idea resonates a bit harder, taking gang members and putting them in the place of psychopathic murderers- since gang violence is a harsh reality and although scary, psychopathic murderers are less frequently found. The ways in which this movie chooses to tackle the subject is pretty damn astounding, and I must say my head is swimming with emotion.

Steve and Jenny are taking a weekend over at Eden Lake- a remote and mostly closed off quarry. While trying to relax on the beach, a group of local hoodlums plop down next to them and start causing one ruckus after another. Their dog shits on the beach and threatens Jenny, the leader Brett, flashes his penis to Jenny, and when Steve asks them to quiet down and turn down the music they berate him with all kinds of douche baggery. After a while the gang leaves, and Jenny and Steve spend a quiet night alone. The next day offers up trouble however as after a swim Jenny and Steve find their bag missing and the car stolen. One guess as to who is responsible for that! Yup it's those meddling kids again- and this time things get a little more serious. After a confrontation gets out of hand, and Brett's dog ends up stabbed the group stake out Jenny and Steve to get their revenge. What happens next is so brutal and realistically terrifying you will hardly believe your eyes.

What I found to be the most unsettling is just the gang's disregard for anything or anyone other than themselves. Let's see.. ummmm you stole a fucking car and all of their belongings and then your dog gets stabbed by accident and you lash out full force? The lack of thinking on the gang's part just baffles me- as it usually does when I read about gang violence. That's probably what makes the entire film so scary- is that this isn't some unrealistic thing that could never happen in a million years. Kids are scary. Period. Brett is so fucking aggravating that I can't even talk about it properly. Seriously what was he even thinking? Yes yes I know he wasn't thinking and that's the point but it just drives me completely nuts!

The way things escalate in this movie is another thing that makes me scratch my head and once again shows the true power of authority. It's pretty obvious that none of the other kids wanted to do anything to Steve- but a few snide remarks from Brett has them grabbing knives and box cutters like it's no ones business! And don't even get me started on Paige....what a major- excuse my French, CUNT. If it's possible I think I may have hated her more than Brett and to anyone that has seen the movie can I get a Hallelujah for what happens to Paige?

Ok so it's brutal, it's violent and terrifying but it's also extremely thought provoking as are most movies of this nature. I thought one of the less obvious things examined, was the way that gang and hoodlum violence tends to affect anyone it comes in contact with. The chain of events that happen and who ends up with guilt, and being distraught was quite startling. The best example of this being when Jenny flags down the help of a passing car. That moment of realization was so heart breaking to me- I could feel Jenny's absolute fear and distress- and then the thought of the brother and what he will think- it was really quite an astounding look at the two sides of violence. We have two sides- both believing they are in the right and both in some way shape or form being majorly affected by the outcome. It's the vicious and cruel cycle of violence and more importantly gang violence. It's like an evil disease that will never be able to be stopped and that on it's own terms is wildly depressing.

And then we have the ending. Holy cow. I have to be honest with everyone...I cried like a baby. It was truly one of the saddest and most frustrating things that I have ever witnessed. I had my own ending cooked up in my head while reading other reviews but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think it would amount to what it did, and I'm still reeling from it as we speak. Just the complete and utter unbelievability and the thoughts that must have been going on inside Jenny's It was maybe the most horrible nightmarish type of situation that I could imagine. Just. Awful.

All in all there was so much honest emotion bubbling out of this movie that it was almost too much for my heart to handle. While a lot of people feel that Jenny's actions were downright stupid and frustrating- I have to disagree and say that when placed in that kind of situation all logical thinking goes straight out the window. Well actually if some stupid hoodlum flashed me his dick I would tell my boyfriend to pack it up and to go somewhere else- but whatever. The point is, this movie is traumatizing. To me it was one of those fetal position, hands clenching your cheeks, hysterically convulsing kinds of watches- but maybe that's just me? Anyways- truly disturbing and a must see for those willing to have their hearts torn out and then pieced back to together slowly.

Eyes of Laura Mars: Well It's Official. Tommy Lee Jones Was Never a Stud Muffin.

My interest in watching this movie stems from trying to decipher the lyrics of one of my favorite Tori Amos songs, Gold Dust. There was the line, "Through the eyes of Laura Mars, how did it go so fast?" and I never frickin knew who or what Laura Mars was. Naturally I pretended to hear something else so that the lyrics were more fitting to my melodramatic teenage life at that time but I always wondered, who is Laura Mars? Why she is Faye Dunaway of course!

Eyes of Laura Mars is about the fashion photographer Laura Mars and her ability to see murders happen. She has visions both awake and asleep of brutal murders- but as of late every murder has in some way been attached to her and every one involves the stabbing of an eye with an ice pick.

The movie for the most part is melodramatic and a strange love shrine to Tommy Lee Jones, which, as a warm blooded mammal I have never been able to understand.

Even with his long flowing locks I wouldn't classify him as a Studdly McStuddlyson. So I'm not sure why he got casted in such a heroic, dreamy role but hey maybe it's just me. Despite that strange choice in casting (which is more than made up for with the casting of Raul Julia) I happen to enjoy the movie. It does seem to drag at a few parts but it is a pretty decent showing of a crime drama/murder mystery. Laura's visions are strange and I love how the police connected her photographs to actual unsolved murder photographs from 2 years previous- proof that her visions were not always concerned with the deaths of those closest to her. Of course having clairvoyent visions of murders happening isn't a new thing so that may have been why my snooze button was pressed a few times.

Things I loved; Laura Mars' photography. Can I get a poster of some of these? Half naked fashion models killing someone AND looking like models? Tyra Banks would be astounded- and why hasn't that been a challenge on America's Next Top Model yet? It is also very telling of the movie's subject matter that Laura Mars photographs brutal killings in order to sensitize the masses to violence when in actuality she is the one always experiencing brutal killings and becoming more and more sensitive to their nature. I also loved all the eye imagery. Camera lenses, ice picks through the eyes, the constant use of mirrors, seeing the truth and not seeing the truth- how even Laura's images are disadvantaged in that aspect- it's all very interesting and something I feel a lot of people miss when watching this movie.

Sure it's not a groundbreaking film by any means and Faye Dunaway seems to always be channeling a future role as Joan Crawford, screaming about no more somethings...

But I still enjoyed myself and I'm overjoyed that I can finally understand Tori's lyrics and take a whole new meaning from them.

One major major hate of this film though...having to look at limo driver's Tommy's face...

Wait a minute...I know him....Oh no! It's notorious murderer Charles Lee Ray from Child's Play! Ahhhh. Ugh. This man's face has always made me want to eat a baby. How ugly can one person be fo realz? As soon as I saw his face I knew he was responsible for something...even if it wasn't for the killings he just had to have done something. And I was partially right. Partially.

Overall a decent little film filled with deep themes and even a few tense moments. While it may be classified as a thriller, the addition of Charles Lee Ray turns it into an immediate horror film...har har. But seriously he is terrifying. Oh and is it wrong to love the theme song sung by Barbara Streisand? I'm putting it on my Itunes as we speak.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hatchet: So That's What Happened to That Bitch Girl From The Addams Family!

Hatchet has been met both with disdain and excitement across the board. While I can appreciate campy slasher movies (obviously since I rate Sleepaway Camp on my top 10 list) Hatchet just did not make me love my life as a horror fan. It bore so much resemblance to 2001 Maniacs and yet I loved 2001 Maniacs- so don't try to tell me it's because I don't enjoy those kinds of movies.

Hatchet centers around a haunted swap tour who's boat capsizes and leaves the occupants stranded in the Louisiana Bayou, supposedly in the area of a unearthly and urban legend inducing killer, Victor Crowley. Victor who is deformed and died a horrible death hunts and brutally kills anyone he comes in contact with. The tour group finds their numbers diminishing as Victor Crowley unleashes his deformed, nasty overall angst on everyone.

I guess my main problem stems from the fact that I found the entire movie to be pretty useless. There was nothing new and exciting here to me and my mind wandered...all the way to my Ipod touch where I played Yahtzee (on a side note I fucking rule at Yahtzee). Let's see.. an urban legend is actually true, people are idiots, killer kills blah blah blah. The gore was pretty gruesome but still nothing stuck out to me. Even in 2001 Maniacs where I would say the gore was on the same level more or less- I found myself actually loving it. The part where the blood splatters the women's umbrellas for instance was great! But in Hatchet I found close to zero of those kinds of moments.

Even the jokes were sub par for a campy slasher film. Sweaty ball jokes and calling someone some funny name for a dick are funny maybe one time. The two porn star girls were awful and not in a oh they are being bad actors on purpose kind of way it was just one big eye roll after another. Despite the fact that Amanda from Addams Family Values (and I think the first one where she plays the girl scout)

shows her boobs every 5 seconds, I just really did not love it.

I guess what I'm trying to voice is that Hatchet wasn't very fun for me. It's not that I'm trying to find meaning or "beautiful blood" moments it just comes down to the fact that I wasn't entertained.- even with a double cameo of Robert Englund and Tony Todd! I hated everyone- especially the main guy who I'm pretty sure was the annoying robot voice guy from Grandma's Boy who was also a giant pain in my ass. I just found there to be no redeeming factors. It was just- boring. The movie ended up becoming a giant game of Where's Victor Crowley now? And what is up with that ending? It was like the ultimate blue balls horror moment.

Bah. So in closing I guess this puts me on the "hated it" side of the Hatchet debate and I just can't understand where all the hype is coming from. I've heard that I must watch Spiral so I will do that and hopefully feel better. Ha I also love that Hatchet poster- Victor Crowley is the next icon of horror??! Yeah right.

Buy Hatchet at Horror Movie Empire!

The Host: It's true! An Asian Horror Movie That I Love.

Well I've done it. I've found an Asian horror movie that I can really get behind and support. And the best part is- I've been avoiding this movie for months! This isn't because I didn't think it was going to be good but rather I have a terrible fear of monster movies involving monsters in the water. Jaws obviously is the cause of this fear- so due to this I cannot watch "water" movies (Yes I even closed my eyes during the The Water Horse preview) OR go on whale watches. I just really hate that surprise moment of something popping out of the water, it sets me into all kinds of epileptic shocks and it's just no fun for me. But after hearing endless amounts of praise for The Host and because I felt so badly after not loving Ringu I decided to give Asian horror one last shot!

After gallons and gallons of formaldehyde are poured down the sink, a fish mutates into a gigantic beast in the Han River. On a sunny day down by the river, Park Gang-du's daughter, Hyun-seo gets taken by the monster- and he and the rest of his family make it their goal to seek their revenge on the monster and if possible, save Hyun-seo.

The opening scene of the movie is perhaps one of the greatest I have ever seen. I know I've said that about movies like Ice Cream Man but this time, I really and truly believe it. Just seeing the monster swinging under the bridge like that was insane. Then the unexpected happens- after a few harmless beer cans and food throwings into the river the monster disappears and people begin to wonder just what it was. Then our hero, Park Gang-du stares wide eyed down the river and we see the monster- charging down the cement path and knocking and grabbing humans at it's will. It was very unexpected for me. Here I am closing my eyes thinking that this great beast is going to fly out of the water and attack the people when it just defies everything I thought and proves that it is one amphibious and fearless monster. Every thing that happened in that scene made my jaw drop- from the attack on the trailer with all the kids trapped inside to the ultimate most fantastic shot and moment that ever happened...

God I really fucking love this. That scene in particular was like life changing to me. Perhaps I'm over reacting but everything in those few minutes was so perfectly done, it truly was.

Actually, the movie is just filled with those kinds of unexpected and fantastic images and scenes. I loved all the dusty bottles of the formaldehyde in the beginning, foreshadowing a terrible and costly mistake. The scenes of understated comedy- the hazard suit guy tripping and pretending like nothing happened, Park Gang-du scratching his balls, Hyun-seo saying she craves an ice cold beer when seconds later a fizzing can falls out of the creature's mouth. All of these moments were fantastic- and they were in turn coupled with moments of really powerful and startling fear. The monster's regurgitation of all the human bones- proving that yes he does actually eat humans and the look of fear and revulsion on Hyun-seo's face. The relentless searching for Hyun-seo through the miles and miles of the sewer and the ultimate sadness that happens with Hee-bong's death as well as the ending scene. There were just too many great moments!

The film is extremely long however at 2 hours and that of course is one of my biggest pet peeves about horror movies- but I can't really complain because I did find myself enjoying almost everything that happened. I loved Nam-joo's character and was just yelling and yelling at her to use that damn bow and arrow- and use it she did!

That was possibly my favorite moment....although every scene that that little boy was in was also my favorite so I just can't decide!

Ok and one embarrassing thing that I really don't want to admit but I guess I'll just do it is- I totally thought Gang-du was Hyun-seo's older brother for probably the first hour. Yes I know Gang-du refers to her as his daughter and so and so as her Aunt and what not- but I honestly thought some translation or culture thing was happening and I guess I'm just an idiot. But really, they couldn't have done a better job making Gang-du look immature and lazy I guess. Which actually brings up another startling part- at the end when Gang-du has normal hair and is wearing normal clothes- it's like you can see everything that has happened to him just read on his face and throughout his body. I was blown away by that transformation and just found it so fitting and so perfect.

All in all, a really spectacular movie- from beginning to end. I'm not a huge lover of monster disaster movies or Asian films obviously- but I really found myself absolutely loving this. There is an endless supply of great things happening throughout the course of the movie and I couldn't have thought of a better way to spend my Boxing Day. God Bless The Host!

Ice Cream Man: Clint Howard's 2nd Greatest Role, Right Behind Beethoven's 5th.

Ice Cream Man is one hell of a gem. Directed by porno movie director Paul Norman, Clint Howard plays a creepy, deep voiced ice cream man who has had his fair share of psychological problems. While it isn't 100% clear, it seems as though the ice cream man's troubles began after his beloved ice cream man was shot in a shoot out outside of his house. Not sure why there was a shoot out in that little town, why they shot the ice cream man, or why no one else thought it was odd- but sure enough it happened and somewhere along the line, Clint Howard went nuts. So begins the epic saga of Ice Cream Man.

On Wikipedia it claims this movie only received it's cult following fairly recently as many began to love it due to the "unintentional comedy". I'm sorry but if anyone was making this movie in 1995 they had to have known it was funny. Was Clint Howard really sitting in his trailer during filming reaching down to the depths of his soul to try the play the intricate character of the ice cream man? Or was he like.. ummm this shit is ridiculous. If this movie wasn't meant to be a comedy than we should all just stop living right now. Wake up and smell the farce.

So if you haven't figured it out already- this shit is ridiculous. Sleepaway Camp is still better but Ice Cream Man is about one point behind. Which of course means- that it's an amazing movie in my book. Everything is ridiculous- right down to the eyeballs in the rocky road, and the motives of Clint Howard. Logic isn't really an important thing to have when viewing Ice Cream Man- but in all actuality it makes no sense at all. Which is fine because that only makes it better.

Anyways here are some shining moments.

The main little girl comes home to find her Mother speaking in tongues again, rolls her eyes and runs upstairs. Some people's Mom's are alcoholics, some people's parents fight- but luckily for her, The Archangel Gabriel is watching over her house- and possessing her mother every now and then. Also, why is that lamp so big?

The Ice Cream man makes a special delivery to the town slut. Her lover's head shoved in a giant waffle cone. Clint Howard's face is priceless and let's not forget the poor man's face. Looks like Clint whacked off his head while he was trying to expel an enormous dump.

The Ice Cream Man using some human puppets thanks to those generous and completely useless cops. Another classic Clint Howard face, although I'm not sure what's going on with that belt of his...

So yeah, pretty much everything that happens in this movie is worthy of a screen shot but these were my favorites. The movie also has about a thousand spectacular lines. My favorite however is, "Whose the pied piper now, Ice Cream DICK" ...Classic!

This movie is insanely stupid, hilarious, amazing and even a little bit creepy. I haven't decided if it's creepy because Clint Howard is the ultimate creep or because there are just some genuine creepy things happening- I'd wager a guess it's a combination of both. If you ever need a good laugh just pop this one in and keep a look out for- the amazing opening scene, creepy notes of child molestation and suggestive lines that probably have double meanings, the bad padding used on Tuna to make him look fat, and the mere fact that Clint Howard is horrible at looking for people hiding in grocery stores. This movie is truly one of a kind and if anyone tries to tell you otherwise I suggest you find a new person to talk to.

This is a nice compilation of moments, although I question the usage of the word "worst" when describing them. I think they meant to say BEST.

Buy Ice Cream Man at Horror Movie Empire!

I hope someone alerted Chris Columbus to the fact that Ice Cream Man totally ripped off Home Alone right down to the theme song and the MacCauly Culkin look-alike.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Non-Christmas Youtube Videos Plus a Picture of My Cat. Happy Christmas!

Well I'm off to an exotic trip to Hingham MA to visit with my cousins so I leave you with a few of my very favorite Youtube videos. Enjoy!

Charlie Bit Me Autotuned. I seriously want this song on my itunes.

It's Always St. Patty's Day in Alabama.

Quiet Library Japanese Game Show. I much prefer Japanese game shows to horror movies.

Opening of The Innocents. Still the most frightening and awesome opening of a movie. Ever.

Sexual Chocolate. Sexual Chocolate!

Grandma walks dog. Or Dog Walks Grandma?

And the ULTIMATE. Cutest kid that ever lived.

Merry Christmas!! From me and Monkey.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pigs: Turns Out Is NOT About Killer Pigs. Disappointing.

The cover of this movie says it all as clear as day. A hungry and vicious looking horde of pigs attack a woman, their pig teeth (?) snarling, the tag line reading, "Once the pigs tasted one could control their hunger!" So immediately one would think- Yes! Pigs that kill people. Yes! But sadly no- Pigs is really just about some fucked up woman and an old man who covers up her crimes by feeding the bodies to pigs. Not as cool as it sounds believe it or not.

Lynn was sexually abused by her father- until one night she brutally murdered him with a knife and was sent to a psychiatric hospital where she under went shock therapy. One night a nurse and the doctor get frisky- giving Lynn the chance to don nurse clothes and get the hell out of there. She steals a car and makes her way into some backwoods town where she takes a job as a waitress at a shady looking place. Mr. Zambrini runs the place and is rumored to kill people, and/or pillage cemeteries and feed the bodies to his pigs. One night, Lynn gets almost raped by a customer which sets her off. She feigns sexual attraction the next night and then brutally kills him. Zambrini helps her by cleaning up the scene and feeding the body to the pigs. Unfortunately the town, which seems to have a growing population of 5 people- starts catching on- and the only cop tries to put a stop to it.

So I won't pretend I wasn't sorely mislead by this movie's poster, title and tag line. I also won't pretend that I was positive this move was going to turn into a 70s low budget porn movie. I suppose the title could be used in a kind of Cannibal Holocaust way- who are the true pigs? The men who try to rape Lynn? Or is Lynn a pig in disguise? It's a strange idea that is in no way shape or form backed up by any part of this movie. Even the whole pig situation is the dodgiest thing in the world. Apparently the pigs become dead bodies because they eat the dead people? Or the pigs are actually people?

Basically pigs have nothing to do with anything. Lynn is a psychopath who is dealing with some PTSD and kills every living man imaginable. I actually kind of came to resent that fact that they represented Lynn in such a psychopathic way- because you aren't allowed to kill your father who has been raping you for years? What? You're not allowed to do that? Are you? Anyways- I guess getting raped elicits psychopathic tendencies and makes you lose any hope of recovering your true self again. I guess that's kind of an over the top analysis but I did think it was a strange choice.

The movie isn't great in case you haven't caught on by now. It's really dark. And I don't mean dark in a depressing meaningful tonal way- it's just dark as shit. Half the time I was squinting at the screen and trying to turn my brightness up more until I realize the movie was just fucking dark. Also the pig's squeals were probably the worst sound in the world. I'm talking a heard of elephants being run over by Optimus Prime with Miley Cyrus playing in the background-awful. I wanted to saw my face in half.

It was interesting to see this sort of spin on a back woods tale- where the supposed psycho hill billy is actually normal and the visitor is the psycho. Although- Zambrini really did feed dead bodies to pigs so.... yeah. I don't know anymore. This movie was all kinds of bad. Perhaps it was wrongly placed in the "Classics" section of Netflix or maybe I ate too many snowman cookies today and cannot appreciate classic cult film because of it. All I know is- I wanted to see some pigs fuck some people up and I got nothing. Instead I got an hour and 19 minute look into Lynn's therapy session.

So basically- I'd rather just watch this pig.

Way to Go Moments: Max Dennison

Way To Go Max Dennison

The seasons come and go and every single year that I get older I always have one thought pushing away at my annoyance button. Why on earth did you have to light the black flame candle Max? I get that you're the new kid in town and everything- and you want to impress the hottest girl in town- but why oh why did you have to go and bring the Sanderson sister's back to life? Oooh look out, the new kid in town is sarcastic and doesn't believe in creepy witch legends! Where can I sign up to get me a piece of that? Yeah I'm sure that's exactly what Allison was thinking- because let's not forget she totally dissed you by giving you your number back.

It's not like there weren't any clues that might defer Max from lighting the candle or even believing that something could happen. As far as I know, no supposed witch house in Salem carried a book bound in human skin- so that should have been his first clue. Also it's frickin Halloween, you have your little sister in tow, and you just told and proved that you're a virgin. You may as well just give up on life and become a cat like Thackery Binx. Except oh wait- Thackery Binx is intelligent, speaks in an "olden days" accent (if that even exists) and is cool without trying. So way to go Max Dennison- you've been officially owned by a talking cat.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lady In White: Creepy Due To Nostalgia or Genuinely Creepy?

Movies like Lady in White truly make me wish that I had seen them as a young pup. Even I, at 23 years old find the images in the movie creepy- but I can only imagine what I would have thought of them if I was younger. It is nice to see however that nostalgia isn't this films main draw- and that what it achieves through it's atmosphere and startling images can still be regarded as creepy today- at least to my standards.

At it's heart, Lady in White is a perfectly creepy and classic ghost story. We meet Frankie- who after being locked in his school's cloak closet by two bullies- sees the ghost of a young girl get killed. Soon after the attacker returns to the closet and begins looking for something in a grate ignorant of Frankie's presence. Once a rat crawls into Frankie's pants however it's all over- and the murderer tries to kill Frankie. During his time in limbo, Frankie speaks with the ghost of the girl who begs him to find her mother. Frankie is revived seconds later, and the school janitor is blamed for the incident as well as string of child murders from the past. After frequent visits from the ghost girl, Frankie decides he must figure out the true identity of the killer and find a way to reunite the ghost with her mother.

I thought the movie did a swell job of doing a nice whodunit/ ghost story thing- but what I really gravitated to were all the images of the lady in white. An all too creepy and ominous presence that always seemed to send chills down my spine. Here are two of the most startling scenes.
The lady in white hovering outside of Frankie's window at night- very Salem's Lot and very very scary.


The scene where the lady in white floats down the stairs after Frankie during the lizard hunt.

Both of these scenes had me doing that awesome thing where I went "ahhhhh" in feigned fear- but in all actuality I was pissing my pants. It's just a well done combination of overall creepiness and classic scare moments. When you are walking around in a creepy apparently abandoned house you don't want to meet her walking around right? Right! There are of course plenty of other scary moments- when Frankie is trapped in the coat closet and sees the ghost's murder, the realization of who the killer actually is towards the end, and of course the very very creepy and uncomfortable archery scene...bleck.

The other great thing about this movie was how it seemed to be a combination of all of my favorite movies. We have; A Nightmare on Elm Street- a child rapist/murderer, To Kill a Mockingbird-a scapegoated black man wrongly accused and wrongly killed for his crimes and a father trying to right the wrong, and then of course, the greatest movie ever made, That Thing You Do- because well, Sol Siler plays Frankie's dad. I don't know I guess the movie just took me back to the days of good old fashioned ghost stories. Whether the movie scares you or not- you can't deny that it has something inherently creepy about it.

The movie isn't fantastic by any means- personally I think the Lady in White side plot was kind of non existent which is strange because it is the movie's title after all. Maybe not her presence but how she fit into the overall story was kind of misleading and not as cool and important as I thought it would be. Also, there were just way too many seasons and holidays represented for my head to process! I was going nuts trying to figure out if this was more of a Halloween movie, a Christmas movie or just an ugly sweater pub crawl movie. Too many choices!! Oh that and the older brother kind of weirded me out because he was always tackling and pinning his brother down and making some strange remark about how beautiful his eyes were or something I don't know.

Other scenes and moments I loved- the very shocking moment of the mother "apologizing" to the janitor after he had been released from jail. When the killer does that special Scream like move of disappearing under the car and popping up somewhere unexpected- like the Trunk! It's always the trunk! and of course- the numerous scenes of the ghost girl being eerily lifted away and carried by an invisible force. Something about that just made me feel so creeped out...

So- a wonderful little gem from the 80s that I had never heard of but many of you probably have. I'd imagine this movie still is mostly praised due to it's nostalgia factor- but I can very much say that it's still something to appreciate as we move further and further into the era of cheap thrills and remakes.

Buy Lady in White at Horror Movie Empire!

Paranormal Entity: The Feel Good Comedy of the Year.

Paranormal Entity is the latest creation from the production company we all know and love- The Asylum. Most popular for their capitilizing on a blockbuster technique (perhaps you've heard of Snakes on a Train) Paranormal Entity is an attempt to mooch off Paranormal Activity and ends up being the same exact movie except with richer main characters.

The best part about Paranormal Entity is that everything that happened in Paranormal Activity is attempted and one upped. Although Micah and Katie had an abnormally nice apartment for one working person- they still could only afford one camera. The family in Paranormal Entity however, is able to put a camera in every single room! A camera on a tripod nonetheless. This makes it much easier for the demon to make his presence known. Which is a relief because I heard that during Paranormal Activity, the demon was constantly frustrated because his disturbances in the living room were never recorded- thank god he moved onto a richer and more annoying family. This family also has two ovens- which doesn't have anything to do with the movie but it's just more proof that they are rich and begs the question- why does anyone need two ovens? Seriously, I hate the concept of two ovens more than I hate that annoying commercial with those twin girls advertising two ovens.

The other hilarious part is that there is a horrid undertone of incest. The brother's first words to his scantily clad sister are something along the lines of blah blah here is my sister "isn't she pretty?" what brother says that? And then if that wasn't worse he later video tapes her "by mistake" coming out of the bathroom in her bra and underwear. And then of course in the last frame we get her naked body. Lovely. Which actually begs another very important question. Although the constant camera work of Micah was annoying in Paranormal Activity- most of the things that happened are caught at night while the camera is on the tripod. In Paranormal Entity, when the sister is screaming bloody murder and being raped by the devil- the brother freaks out and grabs the camera immediately. Really? Is that really your first impulse? I guess all beliveability goes out the window with these kinds of films.

The final hilarious thing that happened in relation to Paranormal Activity was instead of demon footprints in baby powder on the floor- this demon breaks open the father's urn- and uses his ashes to walk ON THE CEILING. He's so resourceful.

So pretty much- if you want a really good laugh and view this movie as more of a spoof rather than an actual attempt at a movie you will be OK- otherwise this one is best left alone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Vanishing: Well Rex Was Obviously Not a Student of Pai Mei's.

Well I've thought it over and over in my head and I've decided that the only way to talk about this movie is just to reveal well- everything about it. If you've seen Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments then you may remember that they too decided to reveal the ending so, fuck it I'm doing it. Other than being eaten by sharks- being buried alive is one of those things that sends me into an immediate panic attack. On a class field trip to New York City my junior year of high school, I almost had died while watching the end of Aida. During one of the CSI finales- where Nick Stokes was buried alive- I started crying (Yes maybe partially because I was in LOVE with Nick Stokes but whatever, still traumatizing), and during Kill Bill Vol. 2 well yeah...even though that one did allay my fears a bit by proving that there IS sort of a way out, but never mind never mind. It just may be the ultimate worst way to die. How can you not immediately put yourself in that situation and imagine what it would be like to just lay there until you die. I'm having trouble breathing now just thinking about it! So without further ado, I present to you the very traumatic albeit slightly boring but extremely meaningful movie The Vanishing.

On a trip through France, Rex and Saskia stop at a rest area. After a trip to buy sodas however, Saskia does not return and after a tiring search Rex is desperate for answers. Now 3 years have passed and Saskia still has not returned. But after being contacted by a seemingly normal man named Raymond- Rex finds that he will very soon know and understand what happened to Saskia those 3 years ago, as Raymond promises to show him. What Rex finds however is an agonizing and downright awful truth.

First off I found myself liking this movie more and more as it progressed onward. At first I was wary of it's pace and found it a little too slow for comfort. But because of the way it's framed- the story of Rex and Saskia then the same timeline goes back and is told from the point of view of Raymond - it all becomes rather interesting. I love movies where pieces start fitting together and moments just have you exclaiming "Oooh!" over and over again. The constant foreshadowing employed in the beginning is also quite nice to see, Saskia's "golden egg" dream, Saskia being abandoned by Rex, Saskia and Rex burying coins under the tree- it's all so symbolic and just completely comes full circle by the end.

I do find my interest waning somewhat during the parts 3 years into the future where Rex is just wandering around the country still looking for Saskia. He even had a girlfriend at that point- and it's a wonder that he ever considered dating with his fiery obsession. Things do get back on track when Raymond's story is told and we come to realize that this man is very very strange and complex. When he is in the car with Rex and telling him his story he calls himself a Sociopath- and we get a few instances of this from his childhood and his adult life. We still wonder during this entire time however- just how much of a sociopath he really is. What has he done to Saskia? As the story progresses on and if you've never seen Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments I can imagine that question is with you right until the final reveal. That last scene of Rex in his underground coffin and how the shot pans back up to Raymond enjoying a nice afternoon with his family presumably right where Rex and Saskia are buried is pretty amazing.

I guess knowing the ending isn't really all that important now that I think of it- because what is truly remarkable about this film is the way that the story is told- and how we get to the ending and how we understand just how we got there in the first place. I still don't really understand Raymond's sociopathic tendencies or why he chooses that way to kill his victims but I suppose that makes him all the more scarier. The creepiest and most terrifying kind of killers are the ones you don't expect, the ones that have families, and the ones that appear to be normal.

So basically I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. The ending is the scariest part yes- and the most traumatizing but stylistically there is definitely something to be treasured here. The story is told very well and I loved getting the two different point of views. The movie is also based on the story by Tim Krabbe called the Golden Egg which is a reference to Saskia's dream where she dreams that she is alone and abandoned, trapped inside a golden egg. Of course it is not until that final reel that we are presented with the literal golden egg- and what the true meaning of being abandoned, alone and terrified really means.

So yes I am recommending this one as it has possibly one of the most torturous scenes in film history at the end- that even movies like Hostel and Saw wish they could pull off. It just proves that you don't need sharp implements of pain, buckets of blood and brains to accomplish pure and insane torture of the mind. The Vanishing also just became available on Netflix instant watch so get on it!

Ringu: The Post That Launched 1,000 Debates.

Believe it or not this is the first time that I have seen Ringu and as many of you know I have a strange dislike for Asian horror movies that I can never quite understand. It's not that I don't find them terrifying and scary- or even that they lack a simple, beautiful kind of terror - because it is quite certain that they do contain all those things. But try as I might, I can just never appreciate them as much as I feel I should and it really really bothers me! So far in voicing my opinions I've been pretty much alone so with this review I'm going to try to both review Ringu and talk about why The Ring ended up fairing better for me- I know I know but put your guns down until I speak my peace.

The Ring and Ringu are pretty much the same movie plot-wise, only The Ring relies more on the mystery of the tape and on Samara while Ringu relies more on the suspense, and the atmosphere. The strengths in Ringu do lie within the fact that it doesn't rely entirely on scary distorted dead faces, and jump out of your pants moments. Rather, it builds up a tension and creates fear from something more genuine and unnerving than special effects. Sadako ends up being more sinister than Samara, because we know less about her and only her monstrous, unexplainable side is shown. Plus she is tall and older looking than Samara so...yeah.

So this is my thinking. Ringu has it's faults and so does The Ring. My problem is that people immediately equate The Ring with being a horrible movie because it's a remake of an Asian horror movie. Asian horror movies are supposedly the Messiah of all horror- but I still just don't see it. Yes they are beautifully done- but I loved The Ring and did not love Ringu as much as I thought I would. Does this have something to do with the fact that I saw The Ring before Ringu? Probably. But I will still maintain until my dying day- that The Ring carries more of a lasting impact than Ringu does.

My problems with Ringu have to do with the reliance on the ESP second sight, thing and how it plays into the plot. A lot of what the two main characters find out about the tape is solely found out by this apparent power they have to see things. This is perhaps where personal taste steps in- but I found the actual hunting and discovery of what The Ring actually is to be much more exciting and thoughtful than in Ringu. I also did not like Reiko very much at all. She had this awful habit of going into hysterics one minute- and then being fine and dandy the next. A perfect example of this- is after she shows Ryuji the tape and the next day she bounces over to his house and asks him "What's wrong" ... Oh I don't know just that you made me watch a killer video tape and now I'm going to die??? Her hysterics were also just pushed off the chart one too many times and it really got under my skin.

But the main thing that I have trouble with is just the overall effect of the film. For years I've been hearing Ringu Ringu Ringu- Ringu is the best, Ringu is the ultimate Asian horror movie and it's so much better than the crappy Ring- but I'm honestly finding it really hard to figure out why. Yes the American version souped it up with special effects, a scarier and more corpsey looking Samara, and a blonde and famous actress in the lead role- but do those choices really warrant the flack that it gets? I just felt so much more life and terror from The Ring and it didn't have to do with the fact that there were jump scares or anything like that. The realization of the true power of the ring was more disturbing to me- because we were there on Rachel's journey and we were a part of the discovery. It wasn't just something shown to us in psychic flashbacks. The backstory was more fleshed out and more believable and understandable and I think the majority of my favor towards The Ring comes from this.

I did love the Ringu videotape however and I felt it's images were far creepier than in The Ring. I also liked how Reiko's son was younger and less creepy and annoying than Aidan was. The presence of the ex-boyfriend/lover was more intruding in Ringu and I didn't love how Ryuji seems to take the reins. So here I am again disputing in my mind. Oh lordy. This is honestly the most frustrating blog post I've ever written. But I guess I'm just trying to say that The Ring did affect me more and scared me more than Ringu. I may very well be alone on my side but I'm going to stick with my gut. I'm not a sucker for special effects or movies that are in English. As most of you know I'm a lover of foreign horror movies and a hater of unnecessary special effects and gore- but yet I still prefer this American remake to the original. I'll probably never be able to fully digest why that is- but I feel better knowing that I spoke the truth today.

I guess I'm just sick of people immediately vetoing an American remake of something or even just an American horror movie and claiming that American movies will always be more interested in gore and boobs and other things that do not provide depth and discovery. It upsets me : ( and while I feel that yes American horror movies as of late are nowhere near as impressive as they once were- it is unfair to classify all of American horror based on the latest movies to be born.

Oh and I just have to say this- did anyone else have a serious laugh out loud moment when Sadako's father ran in and bopped her on the head? What was that sound effect about??! Someone better agree with me on that or I'm going to jump out of the window.

So that's it. I'm still as confused and boggled as ever and I hope I haven't lost too many readers because of it, but thanks for listening and don't be too harsh in your comments against my thoughts!