Thursday, December 11, 2008

he'll conjure your undoing.

As a horror fan I have made my peace with the fact that I am too young to have experienced a lot of the "classics" when they were first released (just call me a late bloomer. Hell, I am only now working my way through the Friday The 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street franchises). This said, it still leaves me more than a little sad when I only really start to appreciate something due to the death of who created it.

I knew the name Stan Winston, but I never really knew the extent of the man's work until I read that he had passed away earlier this year. I started looking into just what he had been involved with, and my jaw dropped. I have a relatively new fascination with make up and special effects, work but it's a fascination all the same and MY GOD was Winston talented. Particularly considering that we have now entered an age where it is cheaper (I presume?) and easier to make an effect using wholly CGI work. It is fine and everything... but just like vinyl versus CD, something is lost. A little bit of heart gets left behind when prosthetics, latex and hard graft are replaced with a shiny computer composite. It just ends up seeming colder.

All this is basically just a lead up to saying that I rented Pumpkinhead (1989) the other day.

Keep away from Pumpkinhead,
Unless you're tired of living,
His enemies are mostly dead,
He's mean and unforgiving,
Laugh at him and you're undone,
But in some dreadful fashion,
Vengeance, he considers fun,
And plans it with a passion,
Time will not erase or blot,
A plot that he has brewing,
It's when you think that he's forgot,
He'll conjure your undoing,
Bolted doors and windows barred,
Guard dogs prowling in the yard,
Won't protect you in your bed,
Nothing will, from Pumpkinhead.

I am pretty sure I always assumed the demon actually had a pumpkin for a head, so it was a bit of a shock to see that the thing was pretty scary looking in an Alien kind of way. The fact we often see it in a full length shot of its body is also very cool. Yes, it goes against "first rule of monster films: never show the monster", but this one was directed by a special effects genius, so we can allow him some showcasing, by all means - at least we know that what we are going to see is going to impress.

The plot concerns a countryside-dwelling single father, Ed (Lance Henriksen) seeking vengeance for the killing of his son. The little boy gets mown down and left for dead by a dirt bike riding utter arsehole by the name of Joel (as he's speeding along in his sports car in his establishing scene, he tells his accompanying girlfriend to hand him a beer. Oh yeah). I had to look up who played this guy: his name is John D'Aquino and I used to have a crush on him in my teens when he was in seaQuest DSV! As well as Jonathan Brandis - but I digress.

Wracked with pain at his son's death, Ed seeks out an old hag in some spooky woods. She lives in a cabin full of animals and sits in front of the fire all day. She's my hero. Anyway, she brings about the rising of a vengeance demon who goes by the name of Pumpkinhead.

From here.

Ed soon regrets his decision however, when the demon starts slaying this Joel fellow and his assorted city folk friends - one of whom was so the Final Girl she practically wore a T-shirt with it printed on (hmm, I want one of those).
Due to the nature of the ritual which brought about its rising, Ed is connected to the demon and its exploits, and finds himself unable to go about grieving for his son in peace - instead deciding to help the teens to stop the bloody rampage...

One of the things that struck me about this film was the lighting, as it is often amazingly effective. It is seen rather unnaturally pouring in great shards from windows and doorways, but it works. Outside is cold and tinged blue; inside is lit by flickering candlelight and is almost cosy - even though the characters are rarely doing anything other than cowering in fear. There is a lot of dry ice, a lot of back-lighting and a lot of shadow, but this just serves to make the already freaky tale seem even more surreal and otherworldly.
From here.

Pumpkinhead himself? There are no words really. That creation is truly a thing of beauty. The way it moves (the ease at which it seems to be able to, more specifically), the detail and the imagination behind it are all simply wonderful. I kind of ended up feeling a bit sorry for old 'head to be honest. I mean, he was just trying to do his job. We aren't given long enough with the annoying city kids to bother caring about them, so to be honest you find yourself rooting for the demon who simply wants to put in his hours before heading back to the pumpkin patch (a GREAT set by the way) for another snooze before he's needed again. Joel and his friends did, in essence, kill the little boy. They bloody well deserve to be held aloft by a great big demon with a fantastically creepy gait.

The ending suits the nature of the film extremely well, playing more like the continuation of the fable rather than a groan inducing set up for a sequel.

Good on you Stan. Please accept my apologies for the posthumous appreciation, however heartfelt!

Stan Winston R.I.P.

I look forward to watching and re-watching all of your incredible work.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I am English. I want to see À l'intérieur. Is this possible, I wonder...? Cannot find it anywhere and it's driving me mad.

My writing cogs are all rusted up again, and I am panicking. All I need is some time to watch a horror movie that leaves me wanting to write about it! You wouldn't think that would be too much to ask, would you?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Zombie Strippers.

Saturday night I went and saw Zombie Strippers which I LOVED.

Yes, the acting is pretty crappy, only serves to take you to the next set piece and therefore the film feels a lot like a porno. The most you get are tits though, but you get a lot of them! Women's bodies really are great aren't they.

It's the perfect (straight) fanboy film really, there are several extended scenes of various flavours of girl pole-dancing... and then the the gore starts. The horror aspect is usually spot on, with a few disappointing CGI moments thrown in. This really irritated me because there is a lot of great special effects work here, with proper latex and goo and real-looking materials, so they knew what they were doing. However, CGI is obviously so inexpensive now that to make a head explode is far quicker and easier on a computer than on set. I understand it, but it's a shame.

The film was ace anyway, I might be going to see it again this week, in fact.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Day of the Dead (2008).

I think the best way to write about this film would be to write as I watch. So, here we go...
  • Er, don't remember horny teens starting off the original?! Hey, I know this is only "loosely based" but for christ's sake keep the best bits of the 1985 version! Where's the phenomenal desolate town, the "IS ANYBODY THERE...?", the alligator and the very very slow very very cool jawless zombie? Oh man. This doesn't bode well.
  • Ving Rhames! Ahh, suddenly things are looking up.
  • "Our child is sick." Cut to pale looking little boy. Where could this possibly be leading?
  • False scares are so often really lamely done.
  • Jesus, Ian McNeice has got really fat.
  • Colorado looks pretty. I'd like to visit it someday.
  • Good first instance of gore. Okay, I'm sticking with this.
  • That "punk" extra looked like Spike from Buffy.
  • I like the premise of freezing in place while the turning happens, that is actually quite creepy and well done. The crappy CGI "showing" the biological side of the turning was pointless and jarring, however.
  • Aaaand once turned you are immediately rotting and incredibly fucking agile all of a sudden? Seriously, these things are continually leaping like fleas.
  • Right, so fast zombies I don't mind so much - they have their place and are more adrenaline-pumping scary than their slow counterparts. They aren't "canon" but I do have time for them when I'm in the right mood. This said, I have a bit of a growing hatred for the modern zombie that fucking screams and hisses and roars all of the time. That really takes the edge off of the whole undead corpse thing for me. Oh SHUT UP. If you're so rotten that your face is falling off then how have you the ability to yell so loudly? Shhhh!
  • The frenetic MTV editing is giving me a headache by 30mins in.
  • I wonder if a cough has ever been used as a scare tactic before?
  • Obligatory ventilation shaft scene.
  • Oh fuck, legless zombie Ving Rhames ******* *** *** ****** *** *** ***! (censored because it's so great I don't want to spoil it). Worth the DVD price alone.
  • "I put bleach on it." = LAME.
  • How does it work that a character knows to refer to them as "zombies", but doesn't know about only headshots taking them down?
  • That blade was way too flimsy and serrated to cut like that.
  • The wave of second floor window jumping zombies was pretty cool, I'll admit.
  • Dodgy, shit-looking CGI blood spurts.
  • One of the younger characters reminds me of a very very poor man's Shia Labeouf.
  • He-Man reference, hehe.
  • Oh no. No no no no. The Bub equivalent is a pouting, morose, vegetarian zombie called Bud. Who has sexual desires. I... I have no words.
  • More dodgy CGI...
  • If you were born in America, do you just instinctively know how to fire a gun?
  • Claustrophobic and dirty underground bunkers. That's more like it.
  • Oh god STOP ROARING.
And then it ended.

The extras on the DVD suck. Don't even bother with the "soundbites" section. It's just the actors uncomfortably answering boring questions, and extremely poorly edited.

I think the above may come across as rather more negative than I actually view this film, hmm. It was definitely watchable and I don't regret buying it. It is silly (wall and ceiling climbing zombies! Er...) and entertaining enough, unfortunately though without ever lurching into the realms of the Dawn remake of genuine scares and tension.

It's Day of the Dead very much in the loosest sense. I don't know why film makers can't just come up with their own titles and strong enough stories, so they didn't need to piggyback the classics and gain instant credibility through their name. I suppose when I put it like that, why would they put the extra work in when it's that easy? I am playing along here, so Im to blame too. Put Romero's name on something, somewhere, and I'm standing in line like a chump, money in hand. Why waste time on decent, original stories when you have a bank of ready-made fans in the wings?
Oh okay, I've stepped down from the soapbox now. I'm hardly saying anything new anyway.

Want a rating for this? Two and a half irrationally exploding zombie heads out of five. It's not so shit that you feel dirty after, but it's not so great that you feel the need to recommend it.

Cool poster though.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Skeleton arm serving forks. From here.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

choked chickens and drowned rats.

With Food Of The Gods (1976) I was expecting schlocky camp, and I got it. Unfortunately, the albeit mild animal cruelty ultimately put me right off it, boo! I feel like a right spoilsport, because the other Final Girl Film Clubbers seemed really excited by this pick... but I just cannot get excited about something that treated innocent little creatures in the way this film appeared to.

I'll do my best to review this without coming across all tree-hugging animal activist. I did like many parts of it, I'll admit.

As the film opened I was happy to see the credits play over freeze frames of action - something I had admired and found very effective in the recently watched The Devil's Rejects. However it did feel a little as though the director had access to a(n American) football field and decided to make use of it no matter what, regardless of whether it really fitted into the theme or plot of the film.

In any case, while on a hunting trip holiday on a picturesque island, our football playing hero Morgan (Marjoe Gortner) captures a deer, but being the nice fellow he is, he lets it go. His friend is angered by this and follows the deer into the woods to finish it off. He will PAY for being so disrespectful to nature, oh yes he will.

By the almighty power of rotoscoping (at least, that's what it looked like) he is attacked and horribly stung by giant wasps. The special effects on his bloated face are great, and macabre. Pity they couldn't exert such expertise on the frankly dire wasp models.

This was the only decent cap I could get. Clearly director Bert I. Gordon realised that shaky camera work was the only way to go here, and it continues throughout the film during all of the man and beast hand-to-paw combat scenes. Keep moving around and they'll never know!

The surprising thing is, at times the effects do fall outside of being just plain shit (the wasps) and so shit you kinda love them (the rat heads). Sometimes the composites really do work, as does some of the model work. The cockerel Morgan encounters and kills in the barn is actually pretty cool.

Hilarious, but cool. You have to concede that the detail in that giant reproduction of a rooster head is impressive.

I loved the way Morgan just deals with the thing and totally takes it in his stride. There's a shed full of wildfowl taller than him and he barely reacts! I'm not expecting Oscar-worthy performances here of course, I realise that acting a convincing fight scene with a giant rubber rooster head is neither easy nor dignified, but how the devil did the scene not end with him walking away uttering the words: "WHAT THE FUCKING HELL WAS THAT?!"?.

We learn that these over sized terrors are the product of some gooey looking stuff an old married couple found in their rock garden. Nice. The "food of the gods" is bubbling, thin-looking porridge which they feed to their livestock and unfortunately for everyone here on in, the local vermin also get a hold of.

The big fat maggots are RANK and made me feel sick. Crazy farmer lady (Ida Lupino) calls them worms, but they are clearly maggots. Please quickly pass the sick bag.

Sorry. So, back to the plot such as it is: The friend dies from his injuries as Morgan was too busy choking cocks in barns and nattering with lady farmers. On the ferry home, the two friends discuss his death in a disconcertingly calm manner. They decide not to tell anyone about the over sized animals they encountered. Withholding information from the authorities = always a smart move.

They find themselves returning to the island soon enough though, having been informed that their dead friend's blood was full of poison from wasp stings. At least 250 of the buggers apparently. I think the writers could have perhaps picked a larger, more shocking number than that, but then that's just me.

We are thrown a few more people we are meant to care about: a caravaning couple including a heavily pregnant lady, the "love interest" bacteriologist Lorna (Pamela Franklin) and a complete arsehole named Jack (Ralph Meeker) who is from the off the token "I can't wait for his inevitable face-chewed-off death" character.

What follows is a series of set pieces where miniature reproductions of locations are used with varying success, as are big fake rat heads. It's interesting to note that the shots of the real rats climbing over the miniature sets are just that; the rats are harmlessly sniffing and going about their business on top of toy cars and doll houses.

Cut to the close up fake furry head however, and suddenly the things are hell-bent on destruction.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh, I don't know. Normally I would revel in the bad effects and suspend my disbelief as much as necessary, but the thing is the moment I got a whiff of animal cruelty, I didn't have very much patience or time for this film.
I don't know what they used to show the rats getting shot, it looked like paint fired at them which then splatted as it hit and caused the rat to recoil or be thrown backwards. This I may have forgiven... maybe. The scenes at the end with what look like genuinely drowning rats? No effing way.

So by this point I am rooting for the critters. I know I am going to be disappointed, but I can't help it: I want the animals to win. Especially when Lorna turns to Morgan in the middle of a siege of giant homicidal rodents, and in all seriousness utters the words: "I want you to make love to me"...! I laughed, sure, but then came the realisation that I would probably rather be slowly disemboweled by vermin than have to subject myself to any more of this tosh.

The humans win, of course. Something to do with the rats being so heavy they cannot swim, so Morgan breaks open a dam and they all stand on the roof and watch the poor things drown. Oh and the "leader" albino rat makes one last valiant effort before getting his head bashed in by Morgan's shotgun. Blah blah.

The film sets itself up nicely for a sequel, with some of the porridge finding its way into the local water supply, which cows are shown drinking from and then schoolchildren are given the mutant milk. A quick look on IMDb tells me a sequel was indeed made in 1989 (it is known as Gnaw), but from what I can make out it doesn't feature giant 70s kids.

Shame, that would have been way creepy.

So in conclusion, my pesky morals and slightly overenthusiastic love of animals prohibits me from liking this film very much. That's how I roll, I'm afraid. I will willingly, gleefully witness all kinds of murder, torture and dismemberment of humans, but hurt the animals - specifically really hurt them, as I am pretty sure is in evidence here - and you've lost me. I rate my love of movies above many other things in life, but is any film worth actually hurting a living thing for? Not this one, that's for certain.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Strangers.

No, I haven't seen it, and no this isn't a review.

I purely wanted to document the fact that I have now witnessed three separate groups of my co-workers getting their knickers in a twist over the trailer for this.

It is that line: "Because you were home" that has freaked all my colleagues out. They aren't horror fans as a rule, and apparently that line strikes fear into their hearts, because of its frighteningly simple, rational approach and 'it could happen to you!' connotations. It is interesting to observe their reactions to a film that is barely on my radar. Spooky sack masks aside, The Strangers barely creates a ripple in my own personal terror pool.

As much as I am a fan of home invasion based horror, it all looks a bit too much like a poor man's Funny Games to me. This is an unfortunate side-effect of exposure to that film very early on in my film watching career; will anything ever match up to it?

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I won [Rec] in a FrightFest competition! First the Cloverfield advance preview tickets, and now this. I need to start entering more competitions if this is how my luck treats me these days.

So excited to watch it. I have heard so many good things. Might have to have someone with me though... I have witnessed hardened horror fans saying how scary it is.

The Midnight Meat Train.

I went into the screening of this, not really thinking about it more than looking forward to seeing something with a little production value, after having just sat through Bubba's Chili Parlor. Bubba's was fine - fun even, and I am not the kind of person to badmouth a low budget zombie flick... However, I'm glad The Midnight Meat Train was the film we ended the night with - even if we did have to catch a mostly empty train home, afterwards. Gulp.

God bless someone finding Vinnie Jones a role where he can pull it off. The man had one word to say in the whole film, which worked - because I don't imagine Mr. Jones being shit-hot at accents, bless him - and all he had to do was look menacing and wield a huge fucking meat tenderising hammer. He did it, and he did it well. His presence and his strength are perfectly suited here.

Why strength, you ask? Because his character is beating people to death! It's so cool. He sits on a late night train and when a lone person is left, he gets his hammer out, walks up to them and just bashes the living shit out of them.

His character ('The Butcher') is so strong, and the film is so into giving the gorehounds some fodder, that the hammer scenes are some of the best in the film. Eyes pop out from the force of the blow, heads roll. It is really excellent stuff. I think I counted just one moment of shoddy CGI and that was it. The rest of the time I was squirming with glee and/or disgust.

You can tell the plot is from a short story, but the film doesn't suffer for that. Having the story be of a shorter length probably helped with writing the screenplay; as there would have been fewer distracting details, plotlines and characters to slim down into a nice sizeable chunk.

This is tight - there are only eight characters in it, and only a maximum of four of those would be considered main - and well paced, and most importantly of all: downright sick and enjoyably twisted in places.

I've never got into Clive Barker's writing, for some reason. Maybe it's about time I started?

Monday, August 04, 2008

"We've got a crazy on our hands!"

My first Final Girl Film Club attempt. I’ve tried to avoid car-related puns as much as possible. It was hard!

The DVD of The Car (1977) that I rented was very impatient for me to get watching. It started itself up without my say-so... Spooky eh? No? Okay then. So, just as a warning: the film itself doesn't get a whole lot spookier than that anecdote. This does not mean it isn't enjoyable, however!

As an opening sequence we have the first murder, in this town at least, that the vehicle commits. Two youthfully exuberant young cyclists are laughing and panting their way up a mountain road, when they have the misfortune to be caught in the orangey-red POV of the car in question. As the Jaws-esque "Duh duh DUH-DUH!" music builds… er, for quite some time... the car looms behind them menacingly. And soon enough, a pleasing smear of blood, a crumpled bike wheel and the triumphant honk of that damned car is all that is left of them.

This establishes what we are going to get over the next 96 minutes: the sometimes eerie, sometimes downright ridiculous plot of a huge black car menacing the population of a small Utah town. Prepare yourself for a lot of speeded up car footage.

James Brolin plays Wade Parent, a cop with two kids (Kim Richards I recognised from my Disney "thriller" days; Escape To Witch Mountain anyone?) and an incredibly annoying girlfriend. From the very first scene involving this woman, I was hoping to see her become a hood ornament at some point in the film.

Despite this poor choice of partner, Wade is cool. The evidence of this is thus: He has a great moustache, he likes gin, he has respect and admiration for his deceased cop father, he dotes on his daughters, he doesn't bother to wear a crash helmet on the motorbike he takes his children to school on - although does demand they both wear one. Cool!

After a confusing segment involving a French horn playing hitchhiker, where I was certain some kind of fatal "French horn or car horn?" confusion may take place (It didn't. What a random and completely wasteful use of a brass instrument), the demon car begins to cause so much bloody havoc that it drives formally on-the-wagon policemen to drink...

In case we haven't caught on to just how evil this car is yet, we have an old Native American lady witness one of the murders, and later explain that there is no driver in this car. Quite how she saw this with any certainty, as its windows were extremely heavily tinted and it was nighttime, is never fully explained. Still, we the viewer are now several shades more creeped out than before. What the hell is going on here, and how are they going to stop it?

Yelling won't help, stupid Wade's girlfriend! Nor will cussing in front of schoolchildren. You're just lucky there was a cemetery nearby in which you could all hide, when it drove through your band practice.
What with the ground being holy, the evil car cannot follow them, you see. And it is here the threat of the car kind of falls flat for a moment or two. Unable to enter the cemetery, it loiters around outside for a while, revving its engine threateningly and... doing donuts. I think I may have chuckled a little at this point. Finally, bored, frustrated and with no one to play with, the car speeds off, leaving the kiddies safe and Wade's daughters finally accepting of his girlfriend, aww. Must have been all that cussing.

Next comes the winner of the "You've just sealed your fate with that line, you idiot" award. An expendable cop - for a small sleepy town, their police department is huge - leads the possessed vehicle up a mountain... do you see where this is going? Oh yes. Shortly after cheerily radioing back to the guys with: "No way down but straight down!" he's, yes you guessed it, toppled over the edge in his squad car. This sequence, and others that follow it, illustrate the common theory that the very moment a car falls anywhere, or is touched in an aggressive way, it immediately explodes. I've played Xbox games with more robust cars than the ones in this flick.

Before the climax, Wade manages to get up close with the car. What starts out as sinister, in that no bullets seem to mark or harm the thing at all (Wade: "Two rounds in the tyres. One straight into the windshield. Not a scratch on him..."), soon becomes a little chucklesome again. As Wade is peering at it wondering what to do, the car pops open one of its doors. The cop walks quietly over, and he and the viewer get a teasing glimpse into the interior of the vehicle. At this point things are still tense as we strain to see if the drivers seat really is empty. Then, the door opens fully and quickly, pushing Wade over into a ditch. So the car basically shoves him over into the dirt, like a bully in the playground. He then passes out and wakes up in the hospital.

Understandably, Wade has had it with this shit. It's a little embarrassing for a town cop with an impressive moustache to get hospitalised by a push from a car door, so he starts planning a way to destroy this hunk of murderous metal. Although, not before the car catches up with his girlfriend at home! In one glorious moment of car meets annoying character's face, I rejoiced.

The climax then: in an overly complicated plan I didn't entirely follow, the remaining cops and the town wife-beater (no, really, they bring him out of jail to help them!) rig a batch of dynamite in a nearby canyon and lead the car to it. In the emerging flames and smoke of the – this time justifiably – exploded car, an hilarious representation of the evil spirit inside the vehicle is shown.

The car is no more. OR IS IT?! You decide if the pre and post credit honking hints at an eternal evil... or just an over enthusiastic use of the same sound clip.

This film was definitely watchable, despite my initial reservations. Moments of it were genuinely creepy; with the car lurking and silently emerging from the shadows, and the "open pipes" revving of the engine was threatening purely because it was such a loud, intense noise.

Depending on your mood, the fact that we are told the car is without a driver adds another level of menace or absurdity to the proceedings. It's either a case of "OMG no driver? *shudder*" or "No driver? Okay you've lost me, I'm out."

Hey, I like lists. Have one of the few aspects which prevented me from getting really into this flick:
  • The segments of speeded up footage - was it really necessary to do that?
  • Dropping the car POV shots after the first third of the film. I know there was only so much that could be done with such a thing, but I liked them.

  • The sky-continuity during the climax. Is it night, sunrise, or daytime? Not a hard question!
It was a fun movie though, and I'm glad I made time to watch it. I'm thinking of making the laughable/scary "Honk… honkhonkHONNNK!" sound my new text alert noise...

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Still so busy... No time to envelope myself in horror. Therefore, only a mere handful of entries into this new blog, I am going to cheat.

Here's a post I did in April of this year, elsewhere online. I like it though, so it can rest here as well.

"I watched Switchblade Romance (or Haute Tension, if you'd prefer) last night. It was as good as its reputation suggested. It didn't give me nightmares - although I did dream of a deleted scene for it this morning. Geek.
Yes, perhaps I do now have a bit of a crush on Cécile De France; there's something very attractive about a beautiful woman who looks like she could completely kick your arse, I think.

As a horror fan I am always being asked what the scariest film I have ever seen is. I almost get embarrassed when I reply honestly by naming The Blair Witch Project. The thing is, I saw it at the cinema and got totally sucked in. By the end of the film I felt I was on the brink of cardiac arrest, I was so scared. Certain parts of 28 Days Later - why does it have ellipses in the title there? - produced similar results (again, at the cinema. I think that is a big factor).

I also had to turn off - as it was recorded off of the TV - The Shining at the point the rotting old lady in the bath appears. That film really got to me mainly because it was so cold. I can't remember how old I was when I watched it, but I suspect I wasn't yet fifteen, which was its rating in the UK. It just seemed so harsh, and was one of the first films I saw where I felt I couldn't trust the film maker. You weren't in safe hands anymore, he wouldn't protect you. Anything could happen. *shivers happily*
And, haha, speaking of TV: Ghostwatch on the BBC all those years ago also made me so scared I had to turn it off.

These aren't great answers, but having seen so many films now, and so very many horrors, it's hard to really scare me. To be honest I'm undecided as to whether I want to see something as scary as it'd have to be to really scare me, if that makes sense?

It's simple enough to make me nervous, and make my heart beat faster (Switchblade Romance did that last night) but to properly terrify me? I don't know what it would take. And once seen, I couldn't un-see it. Would it be like In the Mouth of Madness (or the less well known and slightly pants Cigarette Burns, god bless yer John Carpenter ♥), where I'd finally find the scariest film... but the price would be my SANITY?

I don't know where I'm going with this. I'm just musing. With my fella away I am taking the opportunity to watch films I know he wouldn't be interested in. Having a gander at the listings for the lovely Greenwich Picturehouse cinema, I'm told that The Orphanage is showing.

I suppose this post grew from the fact I was wondering if I felt in the right kind of mood to go and watch something in the cinema I know to be really chilling. I'll see how I feel come home time."

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I love Rue Morgue! I wish the whole internet worked in zombie terms. What's that? Do I really mean that? ... Would you judge me if I did?

Haven't had any time to myself to watch any horror films lately, and that fact makes me miserable. Hopefully tomorrow night I can squeeze at least one in. I have Fido and The Car in my 'To Watch' list at the moment.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

salute my ass.

I've spent the evening screen capping the 'holy trinity', for pictures to use down the right hand side there.

Love renewed again, for those films. In particular:

Gaylen Ross. How beautiful is she? I love this point in the film, where they've just cleaned the place up and all have expensive new coats on.

Bub. Wonderful wonderful Bub. "That's right, Bub! Say hello to your Aunt Alicia! Say, "Hello, Aunt Alicia!" "Hello!" ".

Will we see him in the next Romero flick? It's been suggested, remember. Pre-zombie Bub? I think my brain just melted a bit. Sherman Howard is probably in good enough nick to take up the role again, with the help of make-up. It should be Howard or not at all, though. If you're gonna bring him back, then bring him back, don't be half arsed about it and bring in some nobody, labelling him as the beloved Bub, is all I'm sayin'.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

tune in, turn on, drop dead.

Oh man, loving the Rue Morgue website makeover. They've added lots of brilliantly illustrated B-movie inspired touches, like eyeballs on stalks, disembodied Franken-hands and wolfmen... ♥!

I think my whole obsession with America and Americana is going to slowly hone itself into an obsession with 50s/60s America B-movie and drive-in theatre culture. I'm sure I have an unrealistic and ill-informed view of all this stuff, but nonetheless it fascinates me and I simply bloody adore the aesthetic of it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

the difficult first post.

Inspired by the wonderful Final Girl blog, I started this one to give me somewhere to write about films. Specifically ones of the horror genre. I'm kind of hoping that by making a pretty blog for myself, it may help with the movie-related writer's block I've been suffering from... Hell, dying from. There's little else as frustrating for me as wholly loving (or even hating) certain slices of cinema, and being unable to put down in words just why.

I watched two and a half horror movies last night, hoping that at least one would stir me into writing about it. This is the dubious result.

The first film I slipped into the DVD player last night was, as a small tribute to Stacie Ponder herself (perhaps this is only clear to me, but the first time I read anything of hers, it mentioned she was a fan of this particular flick): Friday the 13th Part 2.

Found here.

I settled down not expecting a whole lot, as the first film hadn't really done anything for me at all. As a huge fan of the genre, I wanted to love it as the classic most others seem to... but I just don't think I get on with "horny teen campsite stalk'n'slash" horror films...? I used to think it was the 'retro' look of them (I'm thinking of The Burning here as well, which was an '81 release too) which put me off, but I love other 1980s horrors, so it can't be that. Also, sometimes it's exactly the off kilter fashions and different, "old" look to a film that makes it if not scarier then certainly more unnerving (off the top of my head: Dawn of the Dead, Black Christmas, Basket Case...).

So anyway, why can't I muster more than a shrug toward the two Friday the 13th films I have seen so far? What's missing?

Well whatever it is, maybe as I watch more of this franchise, and re-watch, I might grow to love them, who knows.

The things I did enjoy about this film were thus:

1) The opening sequence. Despite the fact a large part of it is handy flashbacks to the first film, once these are over with the sense of peril and unexpected (of sorts, remember I'm not familiar with Jason yet) payoff is pretty gripping.

2) Jason wearing a sack/pillowcase on his head (see above artwork). Far scarier than the later hockey mask look. An eye peering through a gap is always creepy!

I still have nightmares featuring this moment from Black Christmas. Remember the homage to it in Saw, as well? I am shuddering as I write this.

3) The fact the dog survived. Hardly ever happens in horror, sadly. Vive le pooch!

The rest of the film is the ups and downs of a slasher film: kids frolic, monster watches from afar, kids fuck, monster come closer, kids don't notice the monster coming at them through the haze of their afterglow, and therefore meet a bloody FX-impressive death. That's simplified sure, but you get the idea.

I think writing this has warmed me to it, slightly. I shall endeavour to borrow the next installment from Gavin, my horror DVD dealer, and see where it heads next. How many films are there in the franchise again?!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Looking for something in particular?

30 Days of Night


Amityville II: The Possession - Final Girl Film Club
As Above, So Below


The Babadook
Before I Wake
Better Watch Out
The Beyond / L'aldila - Final Girl Film Club
Beyond The Gates
Bird Box
Black Christmas (2006)
Black Sheep
Blair Witch
The Blair Witch Project
The Blob (1988)
The Blood Lands / White Settlers
The Borderlands / Final Prayer
Bound To Vengeance


Cabin Fever (2002)
The Car - Final Girl Film Club
Cherry Tree Lane
The Children
Children of the Corn
Children of the Corn (2009) - Final Girl Film Club
The Collection (2012)
The Collector (2009)
Creep 2


The Dark Tapes
Dawn of the Living Dead / Evil Grave: Curse of the Maya
Day of the Dead (2008)
Dead and Buried
Dead End
Dead Silence
Dead Snow / Død snø
Def By Temptation
The Devil's Candy
Digging Up the Marrow
Donkey Punch


Eden Lake
Evil Aliens
Evil Dead (2013)


The Facility
The Final Girls
Five Across The Eyes
Food of the Gods - Final Girl Film Club
Friday the 13th Part 2
The Funhouse - Final Girl Film Club


Gerald's Game


Halloween II
The Haunting In Connecticut
The Hamiltons
A Horrible Way To Die
Hounds of Love
House / Hausu
The House of the Devil
House of Wax (2005)
The Houses October Built


I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part VI


Killing Ground


Lake Nowhere
The Last Exorcism
Last House On The Left (2009)
Last Shift
Let The Right One In
Let Us Prey
Little Deaths
The Loved Ones
Lumberjack Man


The Midnight Meat Train (and additional)
Mom and Dad
Mr. Jones
Mum & Dad
Murder Party
The Mutilator / Fall Break


The Neon Demon
The Nights of Terror - Final Girl Film Club
No One Lives


The Open House


Paradise Lost / Turistas
Pet Sematary (1989)
Pieces / Mil gritos tiene la noche
The Poughkeepsie Tapes
The Prowler


Ravenous / Les Affamés
Return of the Living Dead III
The Ritual
The Ruins


See No Evil
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Sorority Row
Starry Eyes
The Stuff


They Came Back / The Returned / Les Revenants
They're Watching
Tourist Trap


The Void


Wasting Away
We Are Still Here
The Wicker Man (1973) - Final Girl Film Club


Zoltan... Hound of Dracula