Entries Tagged 'face rocked off' ↓

Masterpiece Theatre…of, Like, Blood and Whatever

So listen, to be honest with you guys I have not watched a lot of horror lately. The things I am anxious to see have not made their way to my orbit yet (hey The Witch will you hurry up and get in my face, please please??) and everything that is currently in my orbit seems dull. Thus, I have been indulging hardcore in my other lifelong cinematic obsession, actresses acting the shit out of stuff. I could talk about these movies here–you know, write a million words about every frame and moment of Carol, or maybe a piece praising Marion Cotillard's posture throughout Two Days, One Night–but horror is Final Girl's wheelhouse and so I simply bother everyone around me with these other thoughts. The world is either richer or poorer for it, I am sure.

Anyway, this all got me thinking–what are some of the great performances in horror? What actors and actresses fucking kill it and make you grateful that cinema exists? It doesn't have to be a lead character, or any performer you've ever heard of. It can just be a single, small moment that rings perfectly true and leaves you breathless. Some of my favorites:

- Sissy Spacek in Carrie, obviously, heartbreaking even when she's terrifying
- Donald Sutherland wailing as he holds the lifeless body of his young daughter in Don't Look Now
- Essie Davis in The Babadook, a performance which would have been nominated for an Academy Award if the world were just. The movie isn't "the scariest thing you've ever seen" as the marketing promised, but it is an astonishingly honest depiction of depression and grief with some horror thrown in.


- Veronica Cartwright losing her shit in Alien
- All of Martyrs, of course, but the moment where Lucie stands on the bed and fires her shotgun at the daughter hiding underneath...it's such a fleeting moment, but Juliette Gosselin's reaction is pure, unadulterated fear–something that horror calls for so often and is so hard for actors to truly deliver.

I have some more in mind but I want to hear from you! What and who are your faves? And don't everybody say Lynda Day George in Pieces, we all know that flawless performance can't be touched.


Masterpiece Theatre…of, Like, Blood and Whatever

So listen, to be honest with you guys I have not watched a lot of horror lately. The things I am anxious to see have not made their way to my orbit yet (hey The Witch will you hurry up and get in my face, please please??) and everything that is currently in my orbit seems dull. Thus, I have been indulging hardcore in my other lifelong cinematic obsession, actresses acting the shit out of stuff. I could talk about these movies here–you know, write a million words about every frame and moment of Carol, or maybe a piece praising Marion Cotillard's posture throughout Two Days, One Night–but horror is Final Girl's wheelhouse and so I simply bother everyone around me with these other thoughts. The world is either richer or poorer for it, I am sure.

Anyway, this all got me thinking–what are some of the great performances in horror? What actors and actresses fucking kill it and make you grateful that cinema exists? It doesn't have to be a lead character, or any performer you've ever heard of. It can just be a single, small moment that rings perfectly true and leaves you breathless. Some of my favorites:

- Sissy Spacek in Carrie, obviously, heartbreaking even when she's terrifying
- Donald Sutherland wailing as he holds the lifeless body of his young daughter in Don't Look Now
- Essie Davis in The Babadook, a performance which would have been nominated for an Academy Award if the world were just. The movie isn't "the scariest thing you've ever seen" as the marketing promised, but it is an astonishingly honest depiction of depression and grief with some horror thrown in.


- Veronica Cartwright losing her shit in Alien
- All of Martyrs, of course, but the moment where Lucie stands on the bed and fires her shotgun at the daughter hiding underneath...it's such a fleeting moment, but Juliette Gosselin's reaction is pure, unadulterated fear–something that horror calls for so often and is so hard for actors to truly deliver.

I have some more in mind but I want to hear from you! What and who are your faves? And don't everybody say Lynda Day George in Pieces, we all know that flawless performance can't be touched.


Day 5: “I’ve never felt like this before.”

It's a wonder to me that Mausoleum and I have both been walking this planet since 1983, yet last night marked the first time we'd crossed paths. Approximately three minutes after I started playing the DVD, I realized that I'd found my one true soulmate. It doesn't matter where Mausoleum has been all my life- the important thing is that we've found each other at last, and we're now destined to walk the earth together!

Whilst visiting her mother's grave, li'l Susan decides she no longer wants to live with her Aunt Cora. She takes off running through the graveyard, stopping only when she hears someone whisper-singing her name. She peeks inside one mausoleum, but then spots another one across the way that's far more interesting in that it features its own weather system.

She enters the crypt, which is all lit up in greens and purples like the finest Spencer's Gifts. We learn that this is the tomb of the Nomed family...yes, NOMED. That's some seriously Nilbog shit, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, a clawed hand rises from the sarcophagus, things that defy explanation happen, and Susan's eyes light up all green and make a laser noise. The girl done went and got herself possessed!

Fast forward! Susan is now all grown up- she's portrayed by ex-Playboy Bunny Bobbie Bresee and she's married to Marjoe fucking Gortner. A charmed life, you say? It's easy to assume so, but there's a dark side to this fairytale existence! See, a woman of Susan's...err, attributes finds herself constantly subjected to the lechy gaze of creepy weirdo peeping tom gardeners and creepy weirdo Dan Haggerty-esque disco patrons.


All Susan wanted to do was go dancing with her husband (yes, Marjoe fucking Gortner disco dances!), but that Dan Haggerty-esque jerk made it so difficult that she was left with no choice but to use her magic green gaze to set his car on fire while he was locked inside.


The next day, the creepy gardener makes a bold pass at Susan while her husband is at work- her eyes get their green on and we know it's time for some demonic justice! But not before we bear witness to an eerily silent montage that clues us in as to just what, in fact, a gardener does with his day after making a pass at his employer:

He puts down fertilizer!


He mows the lawn!


He reads whilst eating lunch!


He takes a nap on the dock!


He sharpens his axe...


...and uses it!

Finally, Susan gets around to launching Operation: Get Back At The Grope-y Gardener: she strolls out onto her balcony wearing only a towel, then sips Riunite as if she's straight from a Jackie Collins novel.

Okay, in reality that's only Phase One of her plan. She continues the seduction approximately 9 hours later, when it's pitch black outside...insert helpful moon shot!

Susan's plan includes actually sleeping with the gardener- boy, this really teaches him a lesson! He suggests they partake in another round, but instead, Susan does her green-eyed thing, turns into some sort of a monster, and kills him with a garden implement. Okay, I guess that really teaches him a lesson.

Soon enough, Susan's victims don't actually have to trespass against her in order for her to unleash the NOMED lurking inside. Poor Aunt Cora, for example, shows up for a visit only to find herself floating around and killed dead thanks to her monsteriffic niece.



One person spared Susan's wrath is Elsie the maid (LaWanda Page...yes, Aunt Esther from Sanford & Son!). Intended as comic relief, Elsie is, in fact, a whopping slice of politically incorrect pie. Yet while she's given to saying things like "Great googily moogily!", Elsie is a rarity in that she's a black character who makes it 'til the end of the picture. When faced with a green fog emanating from Susan's bedroom, Elsie admits there's "Some strange shit goin' on in this house!", yells "No more grievin', I'm leavin'!", and splits.

There's so much more to Mausoleum, but I don't want to give away the whole package, as everyone should be allowed to discover it for him- or herself. Director Michael Dugan has truly given the world a gift! However, a few highlights:

- Susan undergoes hypnosis where she reveals her NOMED nature and corn teeth!

- There's the use of the term "facial fantasy"
- Dialogue includes "Yes...there's a history of possession."
- When possessed, Susan's depravity has no limits- she steals art from the mall!
- Something happens- I cannot reveal what it is, for you must witness it with your own eyes, but suffice it to say, it causes Marjoe fucking Gortner to pull what can only be called a Ridiculous Face of Pre-Death:

- While Mausoleum makes no sense as a whole, the very last shot of the film is so illogical that it actually defies the laws of science and mathematics. Even if you've never seen the film, your guess as to what the fuck is going on here is as good as mine:

- Then we get the end credits, which feature a tender song called "Free Again", written and sung by Frank Primato. It boasts lyrics like "Let's blow the fire dead...that's burning in my head..." and it's every bit as dreadful as you think it would be.

In case you haven't guessed, Mausoleum is a terrible, terrible film. The acting is horrendous, the dialogue atrocious, and the timing between the players is so off that every scene comes across like rejected audition tapes. There's a charm to Bobbie Bresee, but it's one borne of a performance that feels bathed in quaaludes. The sound is awful, as if there's a muted coffee pot percolating somewhere just off camera for the duration of the film. The direction is all but incompetent at times with dull compositions, pointless zooms and pans, and bizarre insert shots. The end of the film, featuring the "exorcism" (I use that term wicked loosely), takes 20 minutes but should only take seven. The creature effects, by genre vet John Carl Buechler, are '80s-style cheesy.

All of that is true, but oh how I loved this movie! I never wanted it to end, ever. On a scale of 1-10, I'd honestly rate it infinity. Lawd help me, it's true- the depths of deliciousness achieved are face-rockingly limitless. Forgive me, Shark Attack 3: Megalodon...step aside, Pieces...there's a new love of my life, and its name is Mausoleum!

you guys, Tom Petty was SO right…

...the waiting really IS the hardest part! Everybody's posting it, so why don't I? The trailer for The Final Destination (or, FINAL DESTINATION OH MY GAHD 3-D!), that is...

The Final Destination trailer


I'd be excited even the film was in a mere two dimensions...but three? Please. California needs to legalize gay marriage NOW so that the expected marriage bedlam will ensue and people can then marry whom- or whatever they want, so I can marry this fucking movie.

Come on, August, what the frig is taking you so long to get here??!

and now for a musical interlude…

...courtesy of the sensational 1976 film Track of the Moonbeast.



By "sensational", of course, I mean "craptacular". But it's borne of a craptacular ilk of which everyone should partake once in his or her lifetime- I really only recommend once, as this movie is really, really bad. But still.

I also recommend traveling back in time so you can watch it when you're about 8 years old; when I was about 8 years old and I saw Track of the Moonbeast, I was oblivious to its atrociousness. As such, the scene where the dude hears a noise outside and he goes to check it out and the dude's wife is all "Noooo!" because duh, the noise is coming from the Moonbeast, but the dude goes anyway and he totally gets killed outside and we know because his blood comes oozing in under the door totally scared the mental pants right off of me. I still think about that scene and how it moonrocked my face off like a lunar Mount Rushmore.

Now I like to pretend that "California Lady" was written just for ME!

eat it, chucky

From the oh so horrifying yet oh so megacool department:

Dolls. Dolls based on random movies like The Innocents...

...dolls representing the finest in Hag Horror...


Seriously, does it get better than this? THERE EXISTS A DOLL OF JOAN CRAWFORD IN A WHEELCHAIR. And that Bette Davis is totally about to bust out some "Butcha AH, Blanche..."

And here's Carrie, a doll featuring "a removable veil of gore".

I'm sorry, but "removable veil of gore" is undoubtedly the best phrase ever committed to pixelization.

When I'm rich and famous or infamous (totally any day now), I'm SO plunking down the fundage to make all of my Mrs Kobritz dolls come true. And then I'll plunk down more and get a sailor leper ghost doll to face off against my Mrs Kobritz doll. I'll have to work a removable veil of gore in there somehow.

Check out these and more at Celebrity Dolls.

Joan Crawford...wheelchair.....ahhhhhhhhhhh.

lawd love a list 2: the listing

Remember when I recently posted the Top Ten Horror Movies of All Time According to Me? And how I said that B-Sol over at The Vault of Horror was going to tally up a bunch of Top Tens and make a Top Fifty? Well he did it, and you can read all about it right here! For those of you too lazy to click your mouse, I present...le top fifty, in eye-popping RED:

1. Halloween (1978) dir: John Carpenter
2. The Exorcist (1973) dir: William Friedkin
3. Psycho (1960) dir: Alfred Hitchcock
4. Night of the Living Dead (1968) dir: George Romero
5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) dir: Tobe Hooper
6. Frankenstein (1931) dir: James Whale
7. The Shining (1980) dir: Stanley Kubrick
8. The Thing (1982) dir: John Carpenter
9. Alien (1979) dir: Ridley Scott
10. Nosferatu (1922) dir: F.W. Murnau
11. Dawn of the Dead (1978) dir: George Romero
12. Bride of Frankenstein (1935) dir: James Whale
13. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) dir: Wes Craven
14. Jaws (1975) dir: Steven Spielberg
15. The Blair Witch Project (1999) dir: Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez
16. The Haunting (1963) dir: Robert Wise
17. King Kong (1933) dir: Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack
18. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) dir: Roman Polanski
19. Dracula (1931) dir: Todd Browning
20. The Evil Dead (1981) dir: Sam Raimi
21. Poltergeist (1982) dir: Tobe Hooper
22. Black Sunday (La Maschera del Demonio) (1960) dir: Mario Bava
23. The Phantom of the Opera (1925) dir: Rupert Julian
24. An American Werewolf in London (1980) dir: John Landis
25. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) dir: Jack Arnold
26. Friday the 13th (1980) dir: Sean Cunningham
27. Evil Dead II (1988) dir: Sam Raimi
28. Alucarda (1978) dir: Juan Lopez Moctezuma
29. Carrie (1976) dir: Brian DePalma
30. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) dir: Francis Ford Coppola
31. The Fly (1986) dir: David Cronenberg
32. The Fog (1980) dir: John Carpenter
33. The Wolf Man (1941) dir: George Waggner
34. House on Haunted Hill (1959) dir: William Castle
35. Night of the Demon (1957) dir: Jacques Tourneur
36. Frankenstein (1910) dir: J. Searle Dawley
37. Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery Man) (1994) dir: Michele Soavi
38. Thriller (1983) dir: John Landis
39. The Addiction (1995) dir: Abel Ferrara
40. Aliens (1986) dir: James Cameron
41. Phantasm (1979) dir: Don Coscarelli
42. The Thing from Another World (1951) dir: Christian Nyby
43. Zombi 2 (1979) dir: Lucio Fulci
44. The Mist (2007) dir: Frank Darabont
45. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) dir: Jack Clayton
46. The Living Dead Girl (1982) dir: Jean Rollin
47. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962) dir: Joseph Green
48. The Return of the Living Dead (1985) dir: Dan O’Bannon
49. Suspiria (1976) dir: Dario Argento
50. Salem’s Lot (1979) dir: Tobe Hooper

All but one of my choices made the list, meaning I have very few original opinions.

I don't know...I think I'm getting tired of the same old movies. Sure, sure, Halloween is amazing and all, but...enough already! I need something fresh and exciting to keep up with the break-neck pace of my active lifestyle, you know? Something that's as cutting-edge as I am.

It all makes me wonder about the criteria I apply in a "best of all time" situation like this, and why I'm reluctant to choose recent films. Is it because they've yet to stand the test of time? Does something have to hold up for 10, 15, 30 years before I think it's "worthy"? Maybe. I mean, if I were to make the list right this minute, I might very well include Inside, which rocked my face off wicked hard just the other day. Will I still feel that way about it in five years, or am I just harboring a crush? Where's Miss Cleo when you need her?

So, comment here, comment at the Vault of Horror, make your voices heard: "Where's THIS? What, no one included THAT? What a bunch of jerks!" Take a cue from anonymous:
None of the participants are qualified to judge these films. Only the general public who pay to go to the cinema should be allowed to vote. Critics should be outlawed!
I know..."anonymous". Shocking, right? I love how lists angry up the blood.

umm…

So...err...I saw this...movie and...I don't...know...it...there was...

I think Inside (2007) broke my brain. It's another one of those movies that I can't really say I "enjoyed", but then again I kind of loved it....or should I say, I suppose, that I was completely riveted and completely horrified. Kind of literally like this, for a good sixty minutes:

I was surprised, when it was over, when I realized that I'd only closed my eyes and looked away once.

It's a simple film- Sarah (Alysson Paradis) is home alone and very pregnant. A woman (Beatrice Dalle) breaks into Sarah's house because she really wants that baby. It's not perfect, but the small problems don't undermine Inside's power even a smidge- there are a couple of logic quibbles, but technically the film is exquisite and near flawless.

I don't really want to say anything about it, except that yes...it's every bit as brutal, violent, bloody, and hardcore as you've heard it is. It's outrageous, but it never feels exploitative or...lawd love a tired phrase..."torture porn"-y. In the end, it's an experience you don't get at the movies very often- something that really hits you on a gut level...something that grabs you by the ya-ya sisterhood and won't let go.

I heartily recommend this film, unless you're extremely squeamish or...you know...you have an aversion to overly explicit violence. It's odd, because usually I'd throw myself into those camps, but here I am. I loved it. I think.

How 'bout that Beatrice Dalle, huh? Damn.

Film Club: Strait-Jacket

Holy crapping crap, did I pick a good one with Strait-Jacket, folks! William Castle + Joan Crawford + axe murders + wigs = I AM IN HEAVEN without my face, for my face has been rocked way, way off.

The story is oh so simple in its simplicity: Lucy Harbin (Joan effing Crawford) came home early from an out of town trip to find her younger husband (Lee Majors!) post-flagrante and sound asleep in bed with his chosen floozy. Lucy doesn't scream and yell, oh no; rather, she grabs the nearest axe and makes with the axing, giving the lovers a number of whacks that seems to exceed the Lizzie Borden-recommended forty.

Her young daughter Carol witnesses the slaughter; earlier she witnessed her dad and the floozy floozing out- I guess you could say that Carol had an exceptionally great night.

Lucy is shipped off to the nuthouse ("Extra! Extra! Love slayer insane!") and now it's twenty years on. After moving in with her aunt and uncle, Carol (Diane Baker) has grown up to become a sculptress, a superfox, and the fiancee of the small town's wealthiest, handsomest bachelor, dairy farm heir Michael (John Anthony Hayes). Lucy returns, much plainer and, we hope, much more sane. At Carol's urging, Lucy gets a wig, some jangly bracelets, and a new dress in a bid to pretend that, you know, the last twenty years never happened. Will it work? I mean, wigs can do anything, can't they?

Lucy and Carol work on mending their relationship and getting to know each other, but before long Lucy seems to be slipping back into Cuckoo Town. She hears voices (or does she?) and wakes up to find her victim's heads in her bed (or does she?); she can't keep her eyes off of pointy objects or her daughter's fiance.

Before you know it, Lucy has flipped her new wig and people start losing their heads (like, totally literally), including my man George Kennedy who makes a sweaty appearance as a farm hand.


There's so much awesomeness in this movie, I don't know how they managed to pack it all in to a mere 93 minutes. There are countless touches that make this film a true delight- Joan Crawford trapped in a stripey weirdo bathroom, Joan Crawford knitting like...well, knitting like a madwoman, Joan Crawford lurking, Joan Crawford chopping, Joan Crawford lighting a match by striking it on a spinning jazz record, and OH GOD the film's climax...the list goes on and on.

As you've probably gathered, a great deal of the fun in Strait-Jacket comes courtesy of Joan Crawford. Yeah sure, on the one hand this film is pure William Castle-flavored schlockiness; however, Crawford treats this like it's a much better film and somehow you almost- almost- forget that she's a woman of sixty playing a woman in her forties- and her twenties. Her performance is amped up to eleven but somehow manages to remain largely just shy of pure camp. She's all over the map in the best way possible: she's frail, she's tough, she's brash, she's shy, she's sane, she's psycho. It's obvious she opted to portray Lucy Harbin as if she were Mildred Pierce, Crystal Allen, or any other of the venerable characters Crawford brought to life throughout her rocky career. As such, you find yourself both rooting for and afraid of Lucy- both reactions completely unexpected in a B-trash flick like Strait-Jacket.

Anyone who knows anything about Crawford's personal life will find plenty of parallels to think about with this film, from the Pepsi product placement to that ending (which I just can't give away- it's a treat that needs to be witnessed, not read about), Strait-Jacket is quite the metaphor for the aging starlet's career path.

It cashes in on Psycho (after all, this was also penned by Robert Bloch), it cashes in on Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (and every other middle-aged woman as kookadook flick from the '60s); it's lurid and cheesy and it's not so good and it's fucking great...and lord love a movie that ends with this:


Big props and many thanks to the Film Club Coolies, y'all!
_________________

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the wednesday bee bee dairy

Bee Bee Dairy was a small chain of those coffee shop type restaurants that was one of my haunting grounds when I was in junior high and high school. It was the kind of place where old people sit at the counter all day nursing a corn muffin and a cuppa, so obviously it would appeal to me. I couldn't find any pictures of it online, and it seems that it might not even exist anymore. Despite the fact that I (unfortunately) don't get home all that often and when I do Bee Bee's never figures into my plans, the fact that it might be gone still made me a bit sad. I'm getting old. Where's my corn muffin?

I love corn muffins.

In other news, Wednesday is AMC day! This week I talk about horror comedies I didn't know were horror comedies. Slap my face and call me Myrtle!

Whatever that means.

This week in Ghostella's Haunted Tomb news, I give you...outtakes. Who doesn't love an outtake? Jerks don't. Don't be a jerk.

Over at his rad blog*, author Vince Liaguno talks about and links to his enlightening interview with Todd Farmer, the screenwriter for the upcoming My Bloody Valentine remake...and The Messengers...and Jason X. Go read it- Farmer divulges some info on the reality of horror by committee. The genre has had that antiseptic boardroom feel for years now, but it doesn't make the notion of it any less depressing. We need a horror revolution NOW!

Attention mall shoppers Film Club Folks: I'm changing the due date on this month's pick, The Car. I'll be in San Diego for Comic-Con the weekend before the original due date and I'm freaking out about everything I have to get done. Freaking out, I say! So, let's talk about The Car on Monday, August 4, shall we? I know lots of you are excited about this one, and so am I. By Brolin's beard, it will rock our faces off- so say we all!

In lieu of a photograph of Bee Bee Dairy, here's a photograph of a big bee that accompanied my review of The Swarm. That's probably better than a picture of Bee Bee Dairy, anyway.



*"rad blog" makes me sound young and hip, don't you think?