Monday, October 29, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Year 5 - Part 4

Movie 29

There really isn't much I can say about this movie without giving anything away. Since it's new in theaters, spoilers are a no-no.
I still need to watch PA 2 & 3, but I doubt I'll be able to fit them in.
I will say, that if you like the other films in the series, you'll also love PA4.
One More Thing: Apparently they are filming a Latino version of Paranormal Activity, which will likely be titled Paranormos Activityos. Wakka?

Movie 30

(from last year's blog)
Who the hell doesn't like Creepshow? While it's far from scary, it's probably the most fun a movie can be. I really enjoy how it takes many actors not normally used in the horror genre and made the best of them. Leslie Nielsen was never meaner in any movie that I've seen him in, but supposedly Ted Danson does not look back at his experience filming this very fondly, which is a shame.
Body Count: 12
Best Death: The art of dance. Ed Harris murders it dead during Father's Day.
One More Thing: After rewatching Creepshow this year, I think the reason why Danson hated it was because during most of his story, he is buried up to neck in the sand. Probably for hours at a time. I guess I don't blame his hate.

Movie 31

I made the mistake of watching this at 3 in the morning. Because of this, I had a bit of a hard time paying attention(not dozing off), but I took most of the story in.
An alien from another dimension comes to Earth to steal our dead, re-animate them as mutant dwarves and eventually take over the world. The infamous killer sphere only makes a quick appearance here, but is used more in the sequels.
Body Count: 3
Best Death: Silver sphere imbeds itself into a guy's head, then proceeds to squirt his blood all over the place. Awesome/disgusting stuff.
One More Thing: The hero of the Phantasm series, Reggie Banister, is very likable. It's a shame I haven't seen him in many things.

Movie 32

(from last year's blog)
Here's a novel idea: Take a smart, scary horror film, have a major motion picture company buy the rights to it, release a sequel that's not scary, proceed to drop the license after the movie bombs. Shame. Phantasm 2 is goofy, nonsensical fun.
Body Count: 9
Best Death: A gold, killer sphere digging it's way into a dude's back, and then getting stuck trying to saw it's way out of the same guy's mouth.
One More Thing: I NEED a replica of Reggie Banister's duel-barreled, beveled shotgun.

Movie 33

This 1999 Japanese horror film is about as disturbing a film as I've ever seen. I watched it alone, but I'm sure the final 30 minutes was watched with a "about to get sick" look on my face.
Worth watching once, but you'll more than likely never want to again.
Body Count: 3
Best Death: There's a sweet beheading with a steel wire, but this movie is more known from it's slow-paced torture scene at the ending.
One More Thing: My DVD copy had horrid subtitles issues, which made Audition hard to take seriously half of the time. I spent more time laughing than anything else, and I doubt that was the film's intentions.

My next blog will be the review of the 2012 Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon, which took place this past weekend. Those movies will not be included in the 31 Days of Horror list, as I consider them to be a different entity.
Look for that post tonight.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon Survival Guide: 2012 Edition

It's that time of year again! We are a little more than 24 hours away from this year's Horror-thon, so that means it's also time for me to release my yearly, revised "DOs & DON'Ts" list. This guide can help with any marathon(I know the Coolidge Corner Marathon is also going on this weekend), so hopefully this will help someone, somewhere.

1. Get there early, or get there surly-
Do you want a particular seat, or want to make sure that you and your group sit together? Then goddamnitt, you'd better crawl your crusty ass outta bed and get to the International House BEFORE 10AM. I myself will be taking the 8 o'clock train to 30th Street Station to meet my friend Tiffs, so we can get there by 9, when the i-House let's us all start lining up.
If you get there late, don't spread any hate. Just sit your gnarly butt where you can and enjoy the show.

2. Clothes make the man, so dress comfortably-
This one's pretty easy: Dress as comfortable as you see fit for sitting in a movie theater for 24 hours plus.
And I guess nothng more needs to be said about how I feel about having a spiked mohawk at this event. Don't make me behead you...

3. Bring a pillow for your head-
Sleep might creep-up on you during one or two movies, so having something soft to lay your head on could help a great deal, as well as a blanket, if you're a tiny thing and are prone to the cold.
Slankets are also welcome, but not snuggies. Wear a snuggy and you will be thrown out.

4. Bring a Fleshlight(AND a flashlight, to help you see while using the fleshlight)
This is one that not many people think of, but a small pocket flashlight can be a lifesaver when trying to find items you've brought, or just making sure not to step on anyone's feet when you get up to use the bathroom...or use your fleshlight. Pervert.

5. FOOD. Bring money to buy some...
Lots of yummy eats will be supplies by:
Spot Burger
Dapper Dog
Black Orchid Foods
Grindcore House
Blowfish Bakery

6. STUFF. Bring money to buy lots...
DiabolikDVD will be set up selling movies through the end of the first film, and Justin Miller from HauntLove will be set up throughout the show, selling various prints of his fantastic posters. Also Lunchmeat, the VHS 'zine will be there. Also(again), there will be a limited-edition Exhumed Films shirt for sale, from size medium to infinite XL.

7. Cleanliness is next to Globliness-
Deodorant. It's your friend. Also, breath strips, a toothbrush and handy-wipes can't hurt. The person sitting behind you who has to smell you, WILL hurt.

8. Clean up after yourself!-
Every year we bring a ton of food with us and every year some people do not take their trash with them. Boo on you(and me, as I always seem to leave behind half-drank half gallon of iced tea accidently).
This year, I myself will be bringing my own trashbag, just to make sure I something large enough to throw mine and my friends garbage away at the end of the event. If we all try and do this, it will make the end of the event less of a headache for the EF crew.

9. Parking yo' car-
Discount parking for the entirety of the Horror-thon is available at the Science Center Parking Garage, 3711 Market Street(one block from IHP). Parking is $8.00 for the 24 hours. You must get your ticket validated at the front desk at the International House.

Ok, that is all. I'll see everyone Saturday morning at the International House!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Year 5 - Part 3

Movie 20

The prequel to the 2003 remake, l remember strongly disliking this when l saw it in theaters. This time around l liked it a smidge more. 
ln what is no surprise, R. Lee Ermey is the best part of the whole film. Seeing how Eremy becomes the scuzzy Sheriff is a treat, and the ending is anything but fairy-tale, otherwise this is almost a blow-by-blow rehash of the remake. Ugh, just the thought of that gives me a headache.
Bonus points for bringing back John Larroquette for the narration, even if it is only at the end.
Body Count: 11
Best Death: Nothing too great, although Leatherface starting up the chainsaw while a biker dude laid across it was pretty sweet.
One More Thing: Jordana Brewster is hot, but it's a "rough around the edges" type of hot, if you know what l mean.

Movie 21

Here is the film that kicked-off the remake revolution of the 2000s. The whole problem with the remake boom isn't the remakes themselves(hell they were remaking moves from the 1920s in the 1940s), but the ferocity that they've been released over the years. So many have been released in such a short amount of time, it just makes a horrorhound's head spin. And each and everytime a remake is announced, l have to hear the same goddamn "song and dance" from people on the internet: stop raping my youth! Hollywood has run out of ideas! This remake is gonna suck just because it's a remake! YADDA YADDA YADDA! Ugh, l'm fucking sick of it.
Look, if you're main argument is that Hollywood has run out of ideas, then that's your fault. There are plenty of good movies released each year, and if you're only watching whatever is in the mainstream, then you deserve what you get.
As we speak we have Carrie, Evil Dead and yet another Texas Chainsaw remake on the way, some of which in puke-inducing 3D. So as far as remakes go, take them on a case by case basis, because they will keep on churning them out, and then 10 years later they'll churn 'em out again. {puts loaded gun in mouth}
Body Count: 6
Best Death: Some poor fop gets a chainsaw right to the ignatz, all while he's dangling from a chandelier.
One More Thing: This movie does feature one of the coolest scenes in horror history: a woman blows her own brains out with a gun, and the camera pans through the head-wound and out the other side, right as her head drops. Ghoulishly original.

Movie 22

Ths one was a nice surprse. l threw lt on, figuring lt would be a throw-away, cop-buddy-film-meets-zombe-movie, and luckily that's exactly what l got! lf you have Netflix, this s on instant, so watch it ASAP.
Body Count: 31(Holy Christ! l doubt this will be beat!)
Best Death: Joe Piscopo, being drowned in a fishtank(all other deaths were gunshot wounds)
One More Thing: This would be a perfect "midnight movie" for the Horror-thon. l hope they show it at some point.

Movie 23
Both my brother and mother have been telling me for years that I need to see this movie. Thanks to Turner Classic Movies, I can finally get them off of my back.
This is a pretty standard ghost story, with a few scenes of pure dread, which is rare for a movie from the late '40s. What really shines are the characters, though, as they are very well written and you actually care for their well being. This is a perfect "siting alone with the lights out" kinda movie.
Body Count: A great big goose-egg.
Best Death: Didn't you hear me?? NOBODY DIED. Asshole.
One More Thing: Apparently this movie directly inspired Poltergiest, a film that still scares the shit out of me.

Movie 24

One of the only Academy Award winning horror films in existance.  There isn't one moment of this film I don't love: from the scary-ass pub in the beginning, to the wolf massacre at Piccadilly Circus at the end, and everything in between.
Body Count: 16
Best Death: They don't count in my Body Count numbers, but the Nazi Werewolf dream sequence is brutal and fantastic.
One More Thing: An un-used, alternate title of this film was Griffin Dunn of the Dead. Wakka.

Movie 25

If you were to remove 90% of the silliness from Evil Dead 2, you'd be left with Re-Animator. This Lovecraft story turned into a big-screen romp is the goriest film I've watched so far. My favorite bit is how the zombies are constantly either drooling or vomiting blood.
Body Count: 5
Best Death: The dean-of-students being pummeled to death by a butt-naked zombie is great, esspecially when the zombie bites off two of the dean's fingers.
One More Thing: You'll never think of the term "giving head" the same ever again.

Movies 26, 27, 28

This was originally supposed to be Saw-Fest, which was a 7 day viewing of all the Saw movies, ending with the final film, which I have yet to ever see. Problem is, I lost all interest in finsihing the series while in the middle of the 3rd chapter. I enjoyed 1, loved 2, but had zero fun watching part 3, so I decided to bail on the rest of the series.
I think the reason why this happened is because l had become totally burned out on movies. Considering I(at this point) had watched 28 movies in 20 days, it's no surprise.
Saw-Fest is dead. Sorry, America.
Body Count: Saw- 8, Saw 2- 8, Saw 3- 12
Best Death: Saw- Man beaten to death with the lid to a toilet's tank warms the heart of this old plumber.
Saw 2- None of the deaths are that great, but the hyperdyrmic needle pit gives me the heebie jeebies.
Saw 3- None. All the deaths(while creative) stink. I fast forwarded through most of them. The brain-surgery scene is fantastic, though.
One More Thing: I'll attempt to finish the rest of the series when Halloween is over, but probably not for the blog. Your loss! *saunters away*

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Year 5 - Part 2

Movie #11

ln all honesty, l only chose this Hammer Horror film because lt had an R rating; kinda lame, l know.
lt has a decent enough story: 3 upper-class men, with a taste for the bizarre, decide they want to dabble in some "black magic" and sell their souls to Satan. They end up scoring some of Dracula's blood from an antique store, which l guess is supposed to solidify yourself with the Lord of Hell after digestion. Sadly, this isn't the case, as the devil-worshipper who gave them the idea dies immediately after taking a drink. They leave him for dead, and his dead body ends up resurrecting Count Dracula(Christopher Lee). Ol' Drac is not happy that they let his minion die(???), and decided it's time for a good old-fashioned Death Wish-style revenge plot on the three men, even though if the Satanist hadn't died, Dracula would never of come back. lt's a slapped together plot, but an enjoyable one.
Body Count: 5
Best Death: The movie opens with a man stumbling across Dracula right after someone had impaled him on a gigantic cross. We watch him die and turn into red powder.
One More Thing: The last time I talked about Christopher Lee on this blog, I would only jokingly refer to him as Count Dooku, and nothing else, which in turn had an anonymous commentor call me "not a true horror fan." Well, l never!

Movie #12

This is less of a horror movie, and more of an Aussie, cat and mouse thriller. Stacy Keach and his pet dingo follow who he believes to be a "Jack the Ripper" style serial killer. Jaime Lee Curtis plays a hitchhiker that gets kidnapped and Keach needs to save.
This movie would've been a dud if not for Keach's performance, plus I'm a fan of the locale(Australia). This is worth a watch, but it's nothing special.
Body Count: 1
Best Death: This movie has one death, and it's off-screen, and it's only a strangling. So I'll make something up: Stacy Keach is face-fucked to death by his pet dingo.
One More Thing: A much better slow-burn Aussie horror is Wolf Creek, which I'll watch later this month.

Movie #13

I find the Hatchet films to be fun, but largely forgetable. It would seem that the writer spends more time trying to come up with insanely violent deaths, rather than an engaging story. But despite how elaborate and crazy the deaths are, I wasn't all that impressed.
Body Count: 12(one less than Scream 4, nice try)
Best Death: Taking as ax directly to the ass, then to the head gives new meaning to the term "ass to mouth." HIYO!
One More Thing: I feel that this movie is part of a new breed of horror filmmakers who wanna be rockstars, and I find it pretty obnoxious. They care more about being loud than scary. Thankfully for every Adam Green and Eli Roth, we have a Ti West(whome I'll get to later this month).

Movie #14

One of the rare horror sequels that is a huge improvment over the original. It's also Jason Voorhees' first outing as a soon-to-be horror legend. The second member of the Mouth Rushmore of horror(with the first member being Michael Myers.)
Jason wears a bag over his head in this instalment, but soon he would change that to the iconic hockey mask he wears to this very day. I guess I could do some actual research on this, but who's idea was it to change Jason's mask? And why? No matter, it was a move in the right direction, because I seriously doubt that Jason would've been the icon he's become had he kept the Acme bag as a mask.
Body Count: 10
Best Death: Wheelchair guy taking a stiff machete shot square to the face, and proceeds to roll backwards down a flight of cement stairs. Pretty awesome.
One More Thing: 1980's nudity continues to be awful.

Movie #15

James Gunn's return to horror after spending time with the Scooby gang was well worth the wait. This love-letter to '80s goo-fests is one of the best horror movies of the 2000s so far(although at times it seems to be a little too much like Night of the Creeps).
Body Count: 8
Best Death: Officer gets half of his head shot off, and you can see one of the slugs wiggling around the exposed area.
One More Thing: While a lot of fun, this movie is slimy and disgusting. Not to be watched while eating.

Movie #16

I picked this movie at random on Netflix because it had a good rating and I liked the description. I ended up with an Irish rip-off of Pet Cemetery(sort of).
A little girl gets mauled to death by a dog and after suffering through the grief stages, her parents decide to use an old Celtic ritual to bring her back for only 3 days, as she was before her death. She's not aloud to leave the town of Wake Wood during the 3 days, and she has to have been dead for less than a year.
As it turned out, the parents lied about how long she'd been dead, and the little girl brought back some evil with her. A good flick that's worth a view.
Body Count: 6
Best Death: Evil little girl violently rips out a woman's heart, with her bare hands.
One More Thing: My favorite scene has to be when the little girl tries running away, the moment she leaves the town limits, her wounds reopen, and she drops dead. Taking her back into the town fixes her up, right as rain.

Movie #17 & 18


This double feature I came up with on the spot and shared the idea with friends on Facebook & Twitter, and it got a very positive response.
I'll admit, sitting through Nosferatu was a chore, but I enjoyed most of what I payed attention to. I have a healthy respect for this movie, because you know it scared the snot out of people back when it was brand new and folks actually dressed-up to go to the movies.
Watching Nosferatu, and then following it up with Shadow is a rewarding experience, and I recomend other horror fans to try it out sometime.
Body Count: Nosferatu- N/A(I don't think anyone died in this movie, my lack of paying attention in the middle may have kept my death toll from being accurate. Sorry.)
Shadow of the Vampire- 6
Best Death: Nosferatu dies of a drug overdose in one of the Olsen Twin's apartments. Tragic.
One More Thing: Possibly Willem Dafoe's best performance.

Movie #19

This movie did not get the love that it deserves until recently. The studio decided that they wanted to turn the Halloween franchise into an anthology series, so people cried foul when H3 lacked Michael Myers in 1982. And because of this, H3 was unceremoniously shit on by fans and movie-goers. It would be nice if history could be changed and this movie would just be released under the title Season of the Witch. Ah well, at least it's getting some much deserved recognition now, and just received an awesome home video release from Scream Factory.
Body Count: 8(not counting robot death)
Best Death: It's a little hard to choose, since every death here is great, but what the Silver Shamrock masks actually do is very disturbing, so that scene wins with little trouble.
One More Thing: The exasperation that my friend Laura and I kept feeling everytime the lab tech had to make a rush phone-call using a rotary telephone was deafening.

Look for part 3 next week, or possibly earlier.

Monday, October 8, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Year 5 - Part One

We are one week into October, and the 31 Days Of Horror are well underway. While I do have a few things planned for this year, the event will be random for the most part. With each movie, I'll be keeping track of all deaths, and I will have a definite number of people killed on-screen(or close enough) at the end of the month. Why am I doing this? Who are you, a detective or something?

Movie #1
I have a very special relationship with this movie, as it was the first film that was screened at the first Horror-thon I attended back in 2008. The cold open with John Houseman telling a ghost story around a campfire is very well done(despite the fact that the supposed "5 minutes till midnight" was only 2 minutes and 29 seconds-- I timed it). The movie is pretty spooky, despite the antagonists being silly in retrospect(leper ghost pirates), it's a nice change of pace that they politely knock before killing you with swords and ice picks.
Body Count: 6
Best Death: *TIE* A ghostly ice-pick to both eyes, and the sudden beheading of Hal Holbrook.
One More Thing: It takes A LOT of make up and imagination to make Adrian Barbeu look attractive after her drunken bitch performance in Creepshow, or as the creature in Swamp Thing.

Movie #2

Ah Scream, the film the reinvigorated the horror genre for the 1990s. Whether or not it's reinvigoration was for the better is up for serious debate. On one hand, R-rated horror would make a huge comeback to cinemas coast to coast, but most of it was unmemorable teen garbage. I mean, other than the Scream trilogy and the first I know What You Did Last Summer, how many other movies from that time period can you name that had left a lasting impression on horror fans? Maybe The Faculty. Until Blair Witch came out in '99, late 90's horror was pretty wishy-washy.
Scream is a good movie and still holds up pretty well, and it's fun picking up on little nuances that you don't catch at first, like Billy(Skeet Ulrich aka Not Johnny Depp) getting mad at Stuwart(Matthew Lillard) for what you think is him talking about the murders in front of Sydney(Neve Campbell), but really Billy's afraid that nut-bag Stuwart is gonna accidently spill the beans that they are the killers, which is brillient touches that you won't find in the later installments.
Body Count: 7
Best Death: Tatum's(Rose McGowan) large breasts getting her neck snapped because she can't fit them through the doggy-door on the garage door.
One More Thing: Wes Craven was totally brilliant for pulling a Psycho by putting(at the time) megastar Drew Barrymore in the movie, making it look like that she was the heroine, and then killing her off in a violent fashion right as the film starts. I can honestly say that it freaked me out when I originally saw this back in '96.

Movie #3
Freddy's Revenge
I just realized that the title of this movie is kinda redundant, because the whole premise of the first film was that Freddy was extracting his revenge on the parents of Elm Street by taking their children. So that means NOEM 2 is Freddy's double revenge? For his humiliation and defeat in the first film? He doesn't get that revenge until Dream Warriors when he goes after both Nancy and her father.
I will say that this movie shows Freddy at his most evil, and features the most kills using his glove in one film.
Body Count: 9
Best Death: Freddy invading the pool party and slashing a kid right in the face, to me, is Freddy at his meanest and most bad-ass.
One More Thing: This HAS to be the sweatiest film in the whole series.

Movie #4

This film is the other end of the "teen horror genre" that began with Scream in the 90s. Pretty much the ONLY reason to watch these films is for the spectacular death scenes. I feel this movie is the most fun of the series, although the lead actress(A.J. Cook) somehow found a way to combine being both hot and dull.
Body Count: 11(highest so far)
Best Death: Part of me wants to go with the 15 year old being smushed by the pane of glass, but because of my love of head-crushings(despite my fear of head trauma), I award the best death to the "day dream sequence" in the opening with the cop losing his head to a gigantic CGl log.
One more thing: Devon Sawa was supposed to reprise his role from the first movie, but contract disputes prevented that from happening, which I feel hurt the story.

Movie #5

Part two of the Scream series is an improvement over the first film in style, but not substance. While the film has a new setting(Greendale Community College, or something), and has some great gags & dialogue, it's a bit of the same as the first film. Sydney has a stalker. Gale saves the day. Doofy gets brutalized. Everyone else dies.
Liev Schreiber's Cotton Weary is fantastic, but needed more screentime, which he sadly won't get in the 3rd film.
For a horror movie, it's a great part 2, but as far as movies on a whole, it leaves plenty to be desired.
Also, Scream 2 kills off all the interesting characters, leaving us with the boring main-cast. That's why I started the Twitter hashtag #ShouldaBeenDoofy. This will carry over the next few installments.
Body Count: 9
Best Death: Randy getting turned into a Cobb Salad in the mini van was nice and nasty. See also: Saddest Death in Series.
One More Thing: Scream 2 gave the world a sneak preview at how awesome Tim Olyphant was going to be.

Movie # 6
aka The Creepers
Jennifer Connelly can talk to insects with her mind? Donald Pleasance doing his best Professor X impression? An all-girls school with a killer on the loose? All from the mind of Dario Argento? Yes and please!
Body Count: 7
Best Death: Despite a sweet beheading, l'd have to say that "death by chimp with a straight razor" trumps anything and everything.
One More Thing: Is there a man alive who does not love Jennifer Connelly?

Movie #7

I remember hating Scream 3 when I saw it in theaters. Time has done wonders for this movie, because today I like it much better than the 2nd one. The best cast so far for a Scream film(spoiler alert: everyone dies...AGAIN) and an out-of-left-field killer made this a fun rewatch.
Body Count: 9
Best Death: Eh, they're all pretty standard knife deaths. No "garage doors crushing heads because your tits are too delicious" going on here.
One More Thing: AH FUCK! #ShouldaBeenDoofy! Stop killing all the interesting characters! This time they did it in the first scene! The writers of these films went to the Joss Whedon School for Character Death.

Movie #8

There's sadly not a whole lot to say about The Boogens. It's a pretty standard, POV-"monsters that you don't see till the end" kind of movie. It's not a bad film, and the cast is likable(which includes a guy who is the splitting image of Dana Carvey), but it's probably better if you watched this as a kid and can be all nostalgic about it now, so gear-up those time machines.
It's watchable, but at the same time forgettable.
Body Count: 5
Best Death: The girl that gets killed in her bath-towel, because fuck you, she's in a bath-towel.
One More Thing: This movie(along with My Bloody Valentine) has made me realize that I love small mining towns, and I'd love to live in one when I get older.

Movie #9

For me, this film has become a despicable classic. This particular viewing was done at the Forum Theater in Metuchen, NJ on 35mm. The event was so much fun that I'll be covering it in a separate blog. Look for that this week.
Body Count: 5
Best Death: Nothing, and I mean nothing beats the infamous burning scene. It has to be seen to be believed. Or maybe it should never be seen.
One More Thing: Despite how much I love this movie, I'd never recommend it to anyone except for the most hardcore of Gorehounds.

Movie #10

11 years later, we return to Woodsboro, the scene of the original Scream film, for it's 4th installment. It was a risky move, but they ended up with a pretty decent story, and the best cast in the series. Much like the 3rd film, they did a great job of keeping you guessing of who the killer(s) are until the revelation.
I still dislike the ending, and I think they should've gone in a different direction, which would've set up Scream 5 beautifully. But no, they had to go with a "message," which I understood. Doesn't mean I liked it. Fuck the message, Scream 5 could've been awesome.
Body Count: 13(highest so far, sorry Final Destination 2)
Best Death: The hot girl who was slaughtered in her bedroom is well done, especially because you actually see her guts hanging out of her belly post-mortem. Also, her head going through the bedroom window seemed like a nod to Dario Argento.
One More Thing: [SPOlLER ALERT] #ShouldaBeenDoofy! FUCK THIS! Stop killing off all the interesting characters and letting this dope live! ln fact, not killing off any of the original cast was a huge cop-out.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for my review of the DGlTH screening this week, and the next installment of the 31 Days Of Horror next Sunday.