Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sheitan: Nothing Says Wednesday Like a Man-Gina

See? I told you.

Man you guys, Sheitan is pretty wacky. For a movie that is outwardly as insane as this, I expected more people to talk about it to me on a daily basis. It's one of those things that should just come up as people are going through the daily motions. Like, "Gee...remember how completely bat shit crazy Vincent Cassel was in Sheitan?" or "Gee...I hope I never meet someone as ugly as Vincent Cassel wearing a wig!" You know, stuff like that. Since I'm of the mind set that French horror films are fantastic, I'm still surprised that Sheitan doesn't get brought up more. Sure it has its faults but hellooo so does Haute Tension. I mean really what's the deal? See this and you will get nightmares on more than one account, I guarantee it.

Sheitan is about a group of real little assholes, who think they run whatever part of France they are in by bombing around in their squat Volkswagen, and listening to French rap music really, really loudly. They also shoplift, go to clubs where someone like this is the DJ,

and get in fights on a daily basis. After bringing resident hottie Eve to her countryside home, the group meets Joseph, the extremely wacky, ambiguously gay (?) house keeper. After awhile it becomes very apparent that something much more sinister is in store for the group.

I wasn't surprised to see that Vincent Cassel was in this. He is in every French movie ever made, and plays a French man in any movies that the US needs him in--like Oceans Twelve. I was however quite shocked to find that he looked like this.

I hardly recognized him! To think that only a few months previous to this I saw him playing a sexy, hot-headed ladies man in Irreversible. I don't know how to feel about Vincent Cassel. Many have asserted that he "over acts" in this but honestly I don't know what to think. I don't think the film would have as much impact if we didn't see him acting like a complete and utter nut job and someone that can get cars unstuck from the mud by using their....legs!?

I mean he is a crazy mother fucker in this! He wears sweater vests with no shirt underneath! He drinks goat milk straight from the udder! He has a wacky and hilarious crush on Bart! He's an animal lover! He is pervy! Man! He's so crazy, I love it.

And further more--how cool is France that one of their most famous actors can act in movies as disturbing as Irreversible and Sheitan AND also star in romantic comedies and what not? Can you imagine what would happen to Brad Pitt's career if he was in a movie like Irreversible? Man, the United States stinks!!!

Perhaps most surprising about Sheitan is that nothing really serious happens until about the last half hour or so. Don't get me wrong random creepy things happen leading up to that, but for the most part it feels like there is a lot of waiting around. I would compare it to the same sort of anticipation that we receive in The House of the Devil. We know something is going to happen and we want to know what that is--but getting there just takes a bit longer is all. Luckily everything that happens in Sheitan is enough to hold our attention. There is just simply too much mystery surrounding the character of Joseph, that turning our back on the story and the film is out of the question.

I would also like it to be known that I almost puked three times during this movie. But listen to this---there is very little gore in this. The first instance was a horrible hair pulling incident. As stated several times, hair being pulled is not my strong suit. It makes me queasy just thinking about that scene right now. The second instance was when the group was eating the goat--what horrifying noises! And lastly the infamous birth scene at the film's end....wow. It has inspired me to write a post about how to convince people to never have a baby, look for it soon.

Sheitan has a lot going for it. The more I think about it, the more I am tickled by how involved the theme of the devil and sinning is. At first glance (and to many of those dummies on the IMDB forums) the film is your typical, annoying young people getting into trouble with some woodsy creepers story. Upon further examination though, it becomes very apparent that every character in the film is in someway connected to this bigger picture of the devil. People complain about most of the characters being unlikeable--but they're supposed to be. With the exception of Yasmine, all of our main characters are as I said earlier--assholes. They aren't supposed to be liked because they are in essence devils themselves. Some are worse than others (I can think of no one else I want to kill more than Bart for instance) but for the most part, these kids suck and they have to. The religious themes run deep--from the character of Eve our resident temptress, to the locusts in the bed, to the goats and the snake. There are many, many layers involved and I must say it makes me appreciate the film quite a bit.

The flaws are pretty standard, a lot of what feels like unnecessary showcasing of the boobies, a random dream sequence that unfairly tries to make a false twist, gets in the way of coherentness, and a few characters that have confusing motives and backgrounds. Most of the flaws however luckily do not interfere with the true bat shit craziness of the film, so rest assured. One of my favorite things about the film actually IS the unlikeable factor of the characters. Because we don't really give a crap what happens to any of them--the last scene or so causes something very curious to happen. Since Vincent Cassel is so crazy, and the revelation of his deal is so crazy--we are not worried about the fate of the characters---we are worried for ourselves! We are literally terrified that Vincent Cassel will come out of the screen and want to play chicken with us in the hot springs. THAT is how effective the film truly is--or at least I see it that way.

If you haven't caught on by now, let me explain something to you. This movie is bat shit crazy. Not in a Hausu way (although I'd be lying if I said Sheitan didn't need a man eating piano to make things better), but more in a you just can't believe your eyes kind of thing. I'm telling you, the last few minutes of this film will make you feel very, very upset in more than one way. I definitely did not expect things to unfold quite like they did but wow....that's really all I have to say. I could tell you what makes it so crazy but it's really something you need to experience for yourself. Luckily Sheitan just became available to watch instantly on Netflix. I highly recommend it and believe it is a shame that it doesn't get more credit when held up against the other French powerhouses. Let's fix this!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dario Argento: Cat Racist?

As we progress further and further into the lifespan of our dear planet Earth, we find that one of the greatest questions known to mankind is often sparked by the utmost controversy. I speak of course of the most important question this world has seen: Are you a cat person or a dog person? Dog people will continue to be offended by cat people and cat people will continue to be offended by dog people. There are also people who claim they enjoy both cats and dogs and then evil people who say that they like neither (also referred to as terrorists).

But what about the people that have a real grudge against cats? What about people that insist on putting terrifying depictions of mutilated cats into almost every single movie?

I like cats. I like dogs. I can't tell you which one I like more but if I did like for instance cats better than dogs, I wouldn't go around killing dogs in all my movies. That is why after careful research, I have come to the conclusion that Dario Argento is a cat racist. Clearly he had a bad experience with a cat once and now he thinks that all cats are inherently evil. Why else do cats suffer the terribleness of being eaten, drowned, or stuffed into plastic bags?

Okay, okay so maybe he's not a cat racist, I take it back. Dario Argento is just clearly a dog person. Let's examine the evidence.

Dogs Rule in Argento Land

There aren't too many dogs used in Argento's movies, but the dogs that are used are commonly given superhuman characteristics that make them, really fucking cool.

Take for instance the dog in Tenebre, that can scale really high walls and do some really cool shit. Or the seeing eye dog in Suspiria that rips apart his owners neck by the command of some bad ass witches.

Yes, dogs are consistently shown as being the more dominant animal in Argento films. They are seldom seen as weak, they are seldom killed and they are seldom seen as anything less than awesome.

Cats Die A Lot

As stated earlier, cats are always getting killed in Argento films. An entire bag of cats is drowned in Inferno. A cat is mutilated and then stuffed in a bag in Four Flies on Grey Velvet. A man eats cats in The Bird With the Crystal Plumage....HE EATS THEM. Cats are clearly getting the short end of the stick here. Even insects--the whores of the animal world get push to the highest plateau where Jennifer Connelly is able to communicate with them and solve murders in Phenomena. And let's not forget about monkeys. Monkeys get it all. Something is clearly strange about all of this.

A Cat That Does Not Die

Oh look a cat that doesn't die in Inferno... except some evil curse inducing wench is holding it! More proof that only that Dario Argento believes that only evil people like cats...

Well, after all this careful research it is pretty obvious that my original hypothesis was correct. Dario Argento IS a cat racist. My work here is done.

NOTE: This post is mostly kidding. I love Dario Argento a lot.

But still, it's a little suspicious.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Soylent Green: I Think I Love You

It all happened so fast. No, not Charlton Heston and that girl's relationship...I'm talking about me and Soylent Green. One minute I'm putting in the Soylent Green DVD and the next, I'm picking out places I want to go for my destination wedding. It was a whirlwind romance and certainly one that took me by surprise. I know what you're thinking--and the answer is yes, there will be a cheese buffet.

The fact of the matter is, the person that introduced me to Soylent Green deserves some recognition. Sporcle--it's you! A few weeks ago, I played the "Movie Spoilers" quiz on Sporcle. After guessing the spoiler to Soylent Green (I know, I am that good) I decided I needed to check out the movie for myself. Thank god too because all this time, I thought that Soylent Green was the guy who directed Grace (I blame his Twitter name which USED to be Paul Solet Green or SOMETHING confusing).

Soylent Green takes place in the year 2022, where the population of New York City has risen to 40 million. Homeless people clog up the streets and stairways, and food is outrageously expensive and really only for the rich people. The rest of the world survives on processed rations made by the Soylent Corporation, (Soylent Red, Soylent Yellow and the new and super "nutritious" Soylent Green, respectively). Charlton Heston plays Thorn, a detective who is investigating the murder of William Morris Simonson, one of the Soylent Corporation's board of directors. After believing that Simonson's death was really an assassination, Thorn starts uncovering some terrifying truths about the state of our world and the secret behind the Soylent Corporation.

Of all the Sci-Fi movies set in the future, Soylent Green carries quite a terrifying hypothesis. The images of the streets of New York lined with broken down cars and clogged with people--it's like a really un-fun zombie apocalypse. To think that one day, if we keep letting people like Octomom reproduce---we will all be reduced to eating colored blocks of chalk for our meals! Yikes, I'd take living in a pool of goo and being used as a battery over that any day. Just seeing that touching scene of Thorn presenting Sol with a piece of beef that he stole from Simonson's apartment, and Sol trying to tell Thorn that once--food was plentiful, is kind of heartbreaking. It makes me want to kiss the chicken thighs I just bought on sale for 3 dollars and 22 cents. But I won't because I don't want to get Salmonella.

I'm still confused about how that whole sex thing happened between Thorn and that woman..but I guess in the future, men can sleep with whoever they want and when they want it. Also, the woman Shirl is referred to as a piece of "furniture", meaning that she comes with the apartment. That scene of the new tenant asking her about herself, and asking if she is "fun" was almost too creepy to handle. Who knew that even in the year 2022, women would still be wearing 70s style clothing and are still treated like shit? Oh well, at least the lucky ones get to take laughing showers with Charlton Heston!

There's such a great world created within Soylent Green, that it almost seems too unbelievable. Yes, it's New York--but the environment created in this is unrecognizable as such. It so perfectly translates into the idea that sooner or later we won't even be able to recognize ourselves. Either in an advanced way, or in a terrifying way like Soylent Green--the world changes with every passing day. Soon we'll wake up and realize that hey you know what? Scooping people up using bulldozers IS really a more effective way to disperse a riot--and then we'll know that we've made it.

But for serious, Soylent Green is amazing. There's just so much to love about this I'm having trouble condensing it all into a coherent write up. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've already failed at doing that but who cares? Of course, it is not a horror movie--but if you think about it, it could be considered one. I can think of few more terrifying things than seeing all those bodies being stacked into garbage trucks and then spilling out at the waste disposal plant like piles and piles of trash. I mean--those are fricking bodies man, BODIES!

It's not trash it's us! That freaks me out. Thorn's entire discovery of the waste disposal plant was just turn after turn of yuck. Granted, I knew the big spoiler thanks to Sporcle up there--but still.....it was STILL horrifying.

Perhaps the best scene that I've witnessed in recent times however is Sol's trip home. Right away things look....creepy. People get asked their favorite color, favorite music--it's one of those moments when a little farm girl gets to pick out the new pig. You smile but then realize that picking out the new pig means she's picking out her future serving of bacon. SPOILER: Sol isn't going "home" he's going to die! Willingly!

The assisted suicide clinic was one of the most unsettling things I've ever seen. But then at the same time--it was beautiful. I mean come on, that is some wild stuff. Sol is having this beautiful moment--he's seeing visions of the grass blowing, of animals frolicking, of the ocean flowing. It really is a lovely way to die if your life has been reduced to colored blocks of chalk and one bedroom bromance apartments. The fact that Thorn too gets to see the images is almost too powerful to handle. The sweet last moments the two share together are so sad and also--it made me laugh a little (sue me). But it was so great. Yes, Soylent Green is amazing.

Clearly I do not need to further state how much I love Soylent Green. It's one of those movies where I just say YES. It's nothing complex, it's nothing outwardly pretentious--it's just a very simple idea of what exactly will happen if one day we run out of food. It's such a strangely shot film where everything looks so beautiful and well done. The breathtaking camera work is juxtaposed against the vile and dilapidated landscape of New York City and it reminds us that even though we've changed--we're still just humans after all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dead End

I forget where I first heard about Dead End...but I remember reading about it and saying YES that looks good. Maybe it was the cover art that sold me, or perhaps I just love how many horror movies have the title Dead End in it... regardless--I wanted to see this. And see it I did.

A family is off to celebrate the holidays, but when the father decides to take a short cut off the interstate things start to get spooky. After picking up a strange woman in white holding a baby, the family soon finds that they are trapped in a ghostly, creepy stretch of road that just doesn't seem to have an end to it.

Dead End is one of those highly aggravating movies like Triangle where you too must endure the plight of being trapped in a nightmare. We never get to see what's happening "out there" outside of where are characters are, and it fills us with a very uneasy sort of vibe. Unlike Triangle though, Dead End's ultimate end--is somewhat predictable. At least I could see it coming a mile away, and so should anyone who is used to these types of movies. Dead End however accomplishes a lot on its apparently small budget. There isn't a lot shown in terms of graphic gore and the like and I must say, I found it oddly refreshing. Here is a great example of a film that uses its budget to its advantage.

The film is filled with a lot of understated creepiness that really does wonders.

The lone baby carriage in the road for instance, the whispers caught on the air, the consistent arrival of the black hearse--the elements of scare were quite well done. And none of them I should add, required any kind of smoke and lights magic. It literally was just a baby carriage, but its random appearance makes it creepy. And also--I find that I'm oddly creeped out by those old fashioned baby carriages. Dolls, Ghostbusters II, man I hate those bastard carriages.

Dead End also has a highly comedic air to it however. It was at times a bit annoying--although only when it was the son doing the jokes, but for the most part I found the comedic aspect to be quite unusual. There was a very good timing about it that made it seem absurd, yet strangely fitting. The important thing of course though is that the movie retains its creep factor while still being quite funny. It's the sort of balance that I greatly appreciate as I find so many schlocky comedic horrors to be fully centered on the dumb humor as opposed to the scares.

The ending seems to have a lot of people torn. I think it opens the door for a lot of questions. Clearly there isn't just one way to interpret the film and yet people think they have it all down. I've got news for you though--no matter what you think, none of the pieces will all fit together. Some find this to be a major problem with the film as a whole, but I kind of like it. I like trying to put the pieces together and not finding them all isn't necessarily a deal breaker for me. The subject matter in fact is something that is not really explored--meaning it's kind of impossible to explore as far as real life goes. In my opinion, the clouded ending fits in nicely in the overall scheme of things. Sure I may have seen most of it coming, but I didn't necessarily see everything and that to me was nice.

Give Dead End a shot. It's a nice creepy little movie that has some classic comedic moments and some truly unsettling moments. It freaked me out a few times and that's good enough for me. It's impressive for what it accomplishes without showing very much although I am still questioning the urgency for masturbating in the woods--but whatevs.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Exploration: Disturbia

I've been talking a lot lately about my quest for disturbing movies. The truth is that I am not on the hunt to find the most disturbing movie out there --well not entirely anyways. One of my ongoing experiments as I write this blog is uncovering what it is about certain horror movies that makes us seek them out. Entertainment and the exhilarating feeling of being scared comes to mind but what about those movies that really push the envelope? The movies that have been banned, that have been partially responsible for the demise of a director's career. Why do we want to see a film that has made people physically ill?

Unfortunately, I do not know the answer to that question--not yet. In my journey to uncover the most disturbing films out there, I am slowly compiling my very own list. Somewhere in my beginning quest to seek out horror films, I became interested in those banned and controversial films. Reading about them filled me with a strange sense of cockiness. It was like reading about someone's magnificent feat of eating 24 donuts in 10 minutes and shaking it off as no big deal. "So what? I could do that....probably", is what you say, unless you're diabetic, in which case cockiness doesn't quite fit your persona (only cocky people can eat sugar). So there I was reading about how someone was SO disturbed by Cannibal Holocaust that they shut themselves in a closet for 3 days and all I could think was, "So what? I could probably watch that movie no big deal".

And so that's in a way the immediate cause for seeking out these disturbing films. But what about the underlying cause? What are we really hoping to achieve from watching a film like that?

Every "Most Disturbing" list that I have sought out has been responsible for building up my disturbing movies queue. Some movies I can agree with, others I find myself scratching my head about. In the long run, I hope to compile an ultimate list of what I think can actually be given the name "most disturbing". Of course, we all know after the Top 10 Willies experiment and Bravos 100 Scariest Movie Moments, that lists are very individualized. And to that I say---Oh well. I will make a most disturbing list because I want to.

Do you know what one of my most popular keyword searches is?

"Most Disturbing"

Of course, that keyword search always brings them to this post, which makes me a little ashamed. Maybe that's the real reason I'm doing this, to give those people who search for disturbing moments, really something to be disturbed by. Granted, a puppet puking up leeches IS still quite disturbing in my mind--but ah well.

So join me in my quest in exploring the bottom trenches of the film world. The movies that no one wanted to see twice and the films that made people want to gouge their eyes out. Exploration Disturbia begins now.

....well actually it's been happening for awhile, but now that we're all in the "know" it's kind of starting now.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Other Animals That Should Run Amok

One of many horror fan's favorite genres is the classic "Animals Run Amok" variety. Here we see animals, big or small, often large in quantity and unsuspecting in damage--take over an entire town. We've seen the typical shark, spiders, alligators, giant octopus, monkeys, birds--pretty much every animal that could be potentially dangerous. We have also however seen some animals that are not very dangerous get the animals run amok treatment like frogs and slugs. It is these perhaps unsuspecting, yet ultimately surprisingly dangerous beasts that make for the greatest entertainment. And so I propose a most excellent idea. Instead of more movies about zombies and vampires--let's bring the less threatening animals run amok back into the mix.

Because I know so many screenwriters and big studio heads read blogs, and by default, my blog....here are some ideas to get you all started.

I am one of the normal people in this world that does not enjoy the sweet, tantalizing smell of a passing by skunk. To all those weirdos I ask you--have you ever really smelt a skunk's spray up close and personal? It's decidedly the worst smell in the world. There's honestly nothing like it. I can't even explain it but alright I'll try...it's like....burnt eraser mixed with rotting....butt? Yes, I think that's it.

A long time ago both of my family's dogs got sprayed by a skunk. One straight in the mouth. Thanks to them, my entire house smelled like that putrid smell of skunk butt. My clothes and everything I took to school with me reeked. So naturally this would make an excellent film. Think of the smell of a skunk being deadly--the second the stench hits you, you immediately pass out, only to be awakened moments after, mutated into a smelly, rotting, skunk butt person. NOT a zombie mind you. Just someone who smells really bad, and may or may not eat people. It's not a zombie I swear. You're still alive....and the only way to cure it is by dousing the world with tomato juice (Which by the way does not work, but for the purposes of this movie...it has to). Also the skunks are all rabid and bite people which also gives people rabies. I cannot believe no one has thought of this yet.

This one is great. The last remaining red-cockaded woodpeckers have been behaving mysteriously. They are eating babies. The only problem is--no one wants to kill them because the red-cockaded woodpecker is on the endangered species list. Moral dilemma indeed!

Harmless household pets huh? Think again! After a mad scientist goes back in time to insert evil fancy scientific chips into the first species of gerbils, he programs the chips to detonate in the year 2012. That's right, the world was foreseen according to the Mayan calendar as being destroyed by...gerbils! As soon as 2012 rolls around, every house with a gerbil gets a nasty surprise. The gerbils mutate into vicious creatures with only one thing on their minds, the taste of human flesh. Will our world ever be the same with man-eating gerbils on the loose? Probably not. But we may as well try to save it anyway.

I'm sure this one is in the process of being made but I'll mention it anyways. After the outbreak in New York, bed bugs have been getting quite a lot of press. The thought of them makes my skin crawl immediately, and forces me to go check my bed just in case. So what happens when this outbreak goes global? Imagine, sleeping soundly only to awaken to your entire body being riddled with these disgusting creatures? In the bed bugs movie however, the bed bugs can tear through human flesh. So lets re imagine that........imagine you are sleeping soundly only to awaken to a funny feeling down by your foot. You go to scratch your foot and find something mushy. You try to pull yourself up but your left hand doesn't seem to be working. Confused and suddenly in pain you turn on the light, to find that your legs and hand have been chewed off and your bed is swarming with bed bugs!!!!!!!

Wow that was almost too terrifying to even type. I take it back no one make this movie, I'll never sleep again.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chopping Mall:No One Kills Dick Miller With Sqiggly Lights and Gets Away With It!

I seem to have a lot of trouble judging a book by its cover--or in Chopping Mall's case, a movie by its title. Is it so wrong that I thought Chopping Mall was about some maniac serial killer set loose in a mall--chopping people up? How would I ever make the connection that killer robots are set loose in the mall--laser beaming peoples heads off? Jeesh. I will however say that I love a punny title. So does Jim Wynorski evidently as the title was originally Killbots--which is of course easier to understand but not as charming and delightful as Chopping Mall. So my anger is averted.

Jim Wynorski's Chopping Mall is a barrel of fun. Nothing was more exciting to me than opening my Netflix envelope and reading the words, "Running Time: 1 hr. 17 mins." It was like a choir of angels was singing Stevie Wonder jams into my ear. Short movies are the best. Not only that but I had forgotten that the venerable Dick Miller appeared, alongside Ms. Kelli Maroney who stars AND Barbara Crampton plays a slut who doesn't get raped by a severed reanimated head. What a glorious surprise to find in my Netflix envelope.

Like I said earlier, Chopping Mall is about killer robots. Killbots if you must. These Killbots run amok after a lightning storm causes the computer switchboard to short circuit--resulting in some very warped security Killbots. When a gang of couples fornicating in the bedding store gets locked in the mall, the Killbots are sure to never let them get away.

I'll be straight with you. Out of all the robots in the world, I would say that the Killbots are probaby the 2nd least imposing robots in the world, surpassed only by those homemade robot costumes made out of boxes. Even Screech Powers is capable of building a more threatening robot than these Killbots.

I mean they're pretty clunky right? Not only that but they are loud as fuck. They sound like army tanks. I expected them to have some sick robot gadgets that would possibly allow them to chop someone up. However much to my surprise these sick robot gadgets magically became frickin' sweet ass lasers that blow people's HEADS OFF!

Best. Thing. Ever.

Yes, Chopping Mall truly exceeded my expectations as far as having a movie about robots in the mall be extremely entertaining goes. Sure, I was never really terrified of the robots, or anxious about their assault on our main characters, but that's fine with me. Entertainment is necessary these days, and Chopping Mall is really all about that simple principle.

Aside from the neato robot action, Chopping Mall also does many exciting things. Perhaps the biggest was reminding us all of a much simpler time in our lives. A time when the mall was a wonderful kind of place to be.

A time when it was okay to leave your child alone in an elevator eating a gigantic chocolate ice cream cone.

A time when Coke was served in cups that actually said Coke.

A time when skateboarding in malls was encouraged.

And a time when beautiful women, wearing bikinis could walk around freely.

Yes, the mall was a magical place indeed. Heck, Chopping Mall even made me miss getting together with my friends and having a sex party in the furniture store. Ah, the good old days.

I enjoyed Chopping Mall, I really did. I love these movies that put a refreshing spin on the age old Slasher movie formula. Yes, it could have just been about some guy chopping up teenagers at the mall--but it's not, and that's extremely vital to its success. The robots spice things up, and further more they were put in that mall to protect people. Their malfunction was put there by nature....which obviously means that god was using his lightning bolt to wipe out humanity. Open shut case, really.

Chopping Mall is cheesy, entertaining, hilarious and pure joy. Sure, some things were questionable, like observing how much time they had to save Barbara Crampton after she fell down, or how the robots could ever sneak up on someone with their extremely loud motor. The world is full of questions. These of course, never prevent the film from being great. Kelli Maroney as our hero is extremely resourceful, smart and tough as nails. She once again shows off her brilliant ability to aim and shoot a gun, while still looking adorable at the same time. Oh and she did all her own stunts!

Yes, Chopping Mall is not to be missed and also the film gets huge kudos for having Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel reprise their roles as Paul and Mary Bland from Eating Raoul.

An afternoon delight indeed.

So please, this Thanksgiving--get yourself to the nearest Chopping Mall and have some fun. Also, stop in at Licorice Pizza while you're at it and pick up some records, don't forget to bring your skateboard.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Crow: We'll See How Much Of a Badass You Are When That Bullet Comes Back Out.

Who's ready for embarrassing story time?

The Tale of That Time I Thought Brandon Lee Was Asian.
Wait Just Kidding He is.
But He Still Looks White.

Once upon a time, a not so long time ago, I envisioned Brandon Lee looking really Asian. I had it in my head that since he was the son of Bruce Lee, he must look exactly like him. Well, one day, I was surfing the Internet and doing research on the tragedy behind The Crow. I saw some pictures of Brandon Lee without his crow make up and was confused. "Wait a minute", I said to myself, only out loud because sometimes I talk out loud to myself, "He doesn't look Asian". From that moment on, I devised a tricky explanation in my head that may or may not have caused me to draw the conclusion that Bruce Lee was actually Jean-Claude Van Damme. Yes, in that silly place called my head, I decided that Bruce Lee was that white guy that did Kung Fu. As it turns out tonight, I had to double check my hypothesis by Googling Bruce Lee. I mean duh he's clearly very Asian. Which of course means that Brandon Lee is also Asian. Since I'm terrible at math, I failed to realize that Brandon Lee is half Asian and half white. Still though, he looks nothing like his father. And for a minute I thought he was Buffy the Vampire Slayer's boyfriend, in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie.

The End

Well that was kind of racist, I admit it. But come on, you can't fault me for being confused about a few things. Also it was a Wednesday.

Alright The Crow! People get really excited about The Crow. It's like this super badass movie that everyone brings up when they want to be high fived. I figured it may include the following adjectives; awesome, cool, sweet, dark, Gothic, industrial, grimy, sad clown makeup (shit that's a noun!), ummm.... bad-assness. And you know something--it does include those things. BUT I didn't like it and I thought it was a pretty horrible movie. BUT BUT I understand it's fandom...kind of.

One year after some real assholes kill a rock guitarist and his fiancee, the rock guitarist, Eric rises from the grave to exact his revenge. Led by the superpowers of a mysterious crow that bridges the gap between the living and the dead, Eric must kill those assholes, and ease his pain and suffering. Or something like that.

The Crow was a comic book before being turned into a "Gothic action thriller", which is probably a big piece of why I don't like it. Look, I'm going to be upfront with you all because I like you--I don't like comic books very much. Well alright, I've never given them the chance. Comic book movies and I however--we just don't get along. Even more so---action films and I seldom get along. I know, I know I'm a terrible sort of person. It is due to both of these distastes I believe, that keeps me from fully embracing The Crow. It prevents me from grasping the concept that hey--Brandon Lee is a terrible actor, but he's suppose to be and stuff.

In fact, that was actually my number one complaint with the film as a whole. Loved the visual aspects, loved the darkness, and the idea of the revenge and how everything ties into love and what not. But I could not for the life of me get past Brandon Lee's performance. I know he's an action star, and I know that action stars are sort of notorious in that Chuck Norris way, of delivering lines with the highest amount of cheese possible but I'm sorry--it was horrible. It was causing me to laugh out loud and hit my head on my table. He of course isn't the only guilty one, but at least Ernie Hudson is capable of embracing the cheese and making it a part of him. I just cannot buy that such a hard, dark, strong dead crow man would say those one liners while killing all these people. On top of that--if revenging his fiance's death is so important to him and something that he takes so seriously, what is with all the joking?!

I need you to do something for me all you Crow fans. I need to just admit this is both a poorly acted and poorly written film. It can still be a fine movie, I just need to make sure we are all on the same page there. Okay? Phew.

Aside from those two things, The Crow is very entertaining. It has the good fortune of keeping us alert and interested from the moment the movie begins. We are immediately presented with the story- and with the tragedy. The only thing that is hindered really gets in the way of all this is that Eric's suffering once he gets out of the grave is not very strong. He's screaming yes, but I don't feel like he's being continually tortured. I thiiiink and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that was a similar complaint that many of the fans of the comic book had. Eric in the comic book was SO dark and SO tortured that it felt in many ways like Brandon Lee just could not pull it off well enough.

A little birdie told me that The Crow is one of the best comic book adaptions out there. I cannot disagree or agree with that of course. Whether or not it is a good adaption however is I suppose irrelevant to how I feel about it. I'm not judging the comic book, I'm judging it based on how I think it compares to every movie that I've ever seen. And that my friends is why my opinion of this film is not a very strong one.

Now from a technical standpoint this is true. But due to all the real life tragedy surrounding the film and Brandon's death I can't help but be entirely intrigued by it all. Movies like this receive an added dose of uneasiness. We feel a little funny thinking that Brandon Lee died during the filming of this. It's the same way we feel when we watch The Twilight Zone Movie, or even The Dark Knight. It's creepy. And by the way it does not help that The Joker's make up looks oddly similar to The Crow's. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Fucking. Creepy.

Overall, The Crow was a bit of a let down. I guess I didn't realize how action flicky it would be. Again, I am stupid and do not know how to correctly associate the name Brandon Lee with the kind of film it will be. It was still of course entertaining, but I probably won't be high fiving anyone over it anytime soon. I'm sorry if this means we can't hang out anymore.

The film does however receive bonus points for having Ernie Hudson, Tony Todd and Luther from The Warriors all in one film. And let's be serious, it's quite obvious that David Patrick Kelly was really burning his tongue with his cigarettes in that scene, because that's just the kind of man he is.

Alright now, who wants to swallow some bullets with me? Hate to see what that looks like on the way out...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Exciting Things In No Particular Order

There has been way too many exciting things lately. This is odd seeing as how I typically spend my days doing nothing. Let this be a lesson to you all---do nothing....reap rewards. However exciting things aren't just happening to me mind you...exciting things are happening everywhere and it's not even springtime. I know.

Stuff about other people!

Kristy Jett To Bring the Popcorn

Kristy Jett is a superwoman. You can find her writing pretty much anywhere (The Bloodsprayer, Fangoria, Dread Central to name a few...) and she's also one of the hottest Fright Rags employees to grace the planet. You've probably seen her at horror conventions, making out with Jeffrey Combs, or if you were lucky enough--she was making out with YOU*. In any case, Kristy Jett frickin loves Popcorn--the movie. She loves it so much that she's using her superpowers to one day bring us a Popcorn documentary. Check out the production diary and start getting excited. This is one project you don't want to miss unfold.

**NOTE Kristy Jett only makes out with really, really, cool people and/or nerds, so don't get your hopes up.

Chuck Norris Ate a Baby and Wants to Get Married (To the Baby)

My good friend and all around awesome guy Matt, of Chuck Norris Ate My Baby is in the finals to win a $150,000 dream wedding. Before you say anything let me explain something. Out of all the people in the world--other than me and John Landis, Matt and his fiance Liz deserve to get married the most. Read the incredible story behind their love and life.... and try not to cry all over the computer please.

Liz and myself have been together for nearly ten years (!), but due to an unfortunate health issue - which led to money issues - our special day has been harder to obtain than we deserve. I had been suffering with end-stage renal failure for a good (well, bad) two years, when Liz took it upon herself to save my life by donating her kidney to me.

That was two years ago this month, and even after having such a great thing happen for us, especially for me, that illness would plague us financially for the following years since our surgery. Our finances are null as we are happy just to have each other, but to have even the most basic of wedding has proven to be difficult to afford,

Our connection is beyond that of most couples yet we still have found many road blocks keeping us from becoming man and wife, and if Liz deserved anything after her selfless act, it is to have the wedding of her dreams, which in turn would be my dream

Please help these two out and vote in this contest. You can vote once a day, and it only takes a little bit of registering to help make their dreams come true. Voting continues through November 29th so get on that! Also I will scream if one of those less deserving annoying couples win. Was I suppose to say that? Oh well I just did.

Day 30 and No Sign of John

About a month ago I wrote a letter to John Landis. In this letter I asked John where he was, and if he wasn't too busy could he please make another horror movie. I have yet to receive a reply, but John if you are out there, the John Landis Project still stands strong. 1 woman strong. If you would like a John Landis Project ribbon please see me for details.

Stacie Ponder Making Another Movie

Final Girl's Stacie Ponder is at it again! This time she brings her love of the slasher genre for us to feast on. Diet! Diet! My Darling! Supermodels getting hacked to pieces? Supermodels being played by barbies? YES. Stacie is one hell of a filmmaker, especially for someone who didn't go to one of those stuck up film schools and smells funny. Do the world a favor and donate a little cash to get this movie on its feet. You won't be disappointed I guarantee it. Don't worry I'm not just saying that because I'm cyber friends with Stacie. I'm saying it cause I donated money. Uh! What? Just kidding, I'm saying it because I frickin mean it, you ass.

Stuff about ME time.

I Read a Book Again

Uh huh that's right, I'm getting back on the book train. After doing some soul searching, I realized that while I read Watership Down in 7th grade--I took NOTHING away from it. This is a shame because A. I love bunnies and B. People are always like "dude Watership Down is awesome" and I have no idea what they mean.

So naturally I remedied this situation and read the book in record time. It may be too early to say this, but I'm just about positive that Watership Down is now on my all time favorite books list. I cannot tell you how excited I was to settle in and open up the book every single day. I love these bunnies to pieces, I really do. Finishing the book was comparable to finishing Are You There God It's Me Margaret. I didn't want it to end, because I wanted to see how Margaret continued to deal with her menstrual cramps. I mean... I just uhh I just got so darn close to those bunnies that I didn't want our friendship to end.

After reading the book I watched the movie, which has been cited by many as being quite traumatizing to them in their youth. I couldn't agree more, seeing bunnies rip each other to shreds is horrifying. And also--bunnies with English accents? YES. You may also have noticed I have included a little picture of a book on my sidebar. This is where you can find out what I am currently reading. Let's get smart together!

On a side note I'm a little peeved that people continue to bash Watership Down for being misogynistic. They are bunnies people. In the bunny society, male bunnies rule the roost. Richard Adams is not sexist for telling the truth. Suck it up.

I am a Cinema-Geek

A few weeks ago I was met with a most pleasant surprise. Nate Yapp--Editor in Creep of the extraordinary Classic-Horror.com was inviting me to become an author of Cinema-Geek. A spin off blog if you will, that Nate was opening up to other horror bloggers as a way to talk about non horror movies. I was thrilled. I cannot tell you the amount of times that I would watch a non horror movie and be consumed with a burning desire to talk about it. Thanks to Nate, my dreams have come true. Visit Cinema-Geek and read my ramblings on neato films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

Cinema-Geek is also the home of some other horror bloggers you may be familiar with. Brian Solomon of the Vault of Horror, Pax Romano of Billy Loves Stu, Dod March of the WGON Helicopter and Ryne Barber of The Moon is a Dead World

Join us and our geekery.

Still Spraying Blood

The Bloodsprayer is everything that is right in this world. I've been writing for the site for quite some time now, but due to my reluctance to pimp myself out I've been strangely avoiding bringing it up. That all changed today when I ate an apple with some peanut butter, and realized that it's okay to talk about yourself.

The Bloodsprayer is home to multitudes of fantastic writers that I can't possibly all name because my link button might die. But to name a few there is... Christine Hadden of Fascination With Fear, Brian Solomon (AGAIN!), Kristy Jett, Zach Shildwachter of Z for Zombies, and Morgan Rankin of The Kid In the Hall. Plus they've just added a ton of other awesome writers...good god my head is going to explode. It's a site filled with the sort of stuff you WANT to read. It's not just a compilation of tired old news stories, or reviews that are evident of bribery. It's good, it's honest, and it is staffed with the most talented writers in the Blogosphere.

Frickin Fangirltastic

Fangirltastic, formerly known as Pretty Scary was created by the one and only Heidi Martinuzzi. It's become a giant site of awesome that compiles the latest from Action, Fantasy Horror AND Science Fiction with a female centered focus. But sometimes we still talk about boys. That's right I said we. Heidi asked me to write for Fangirltastic not too long ago. And since then I've spewing out reviews left and right.

A little more recently, Heidi asked me to jump on board as the Assistant Editor of the website. This news tantalized my face. I readily accepted and have now been officially an "assistant editor" for a few weeks. It's already been an amazing experience and I hope to do my best to bring some more excitement to the site. Now I can spew about anything I want there. Give the site a look see, and breathe in the awesome. Don't worry I still secretly talk about my cat when Heidi isn't looking.

Well, I think that's all. Man, am I out of breath. What an exciting post. Hope you had fun, and don't worry I won't talk about myself again for at least 8 months.