Entries Tagged 'I’m so fucking old' ↓

Bad Girls Club

Don't let that title scare you: I'm not going to talk about Bad Girls Club the reality show...although I could. I could because I watch it, which is something I'm perhaps a little bit ashamed of, but on the other hand I don't care. The show, which throws seven generally horrible women in a house together for...well, I guess no good reason, really, is pretty much a display of womanhood (or perhaps humanity) at its worst. It's also a prime example of the poor state of television today, how creative, thought-provoking shows are tossed by the wayside to make way for "real life" programs where people act like jerks.

Then again, Bad Girls Club is thought-provoking in a Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom sort of way. I watch and I wonder what I would do if I were suddenly thrust into their den of debauchery. They'd all put on their...things that can't possibly qualify as dresses and go out to get tanked for the 14th night in a row, while I'd decline to stay home and watch Cathy's Curse, followed up by a few hours of playing Dragon Age (hurr hurr I'm an elf mage!), followed up by an issue or two of old Uncanny X-Men. They'd yell at me and threaten to beat me up, and I'd remind them that I'm old and I'm a nerd, and then I'd cry. I can't relate to these women on any level whatsoever, and thus Bad Girls Club is one of the 4 or 5 shows I watch. Judge me if you will!

Holy crap, I said I wasn't going to talk about the reality show, and then I totally did. I lied! Gasssssp, maybe I am a Bad Girl after all!

What I really meant to talk about, though, is this week's column at AMC by moi truly, wherein I offer up a list of ten of my favorite She-Creatures and Bad Girls and Villainessesssess of Horror. I tried to think a little bit outside the box and throw some different names around, but not TOO outside the box because that's scary. Enjoy!

Watch Bad Girls Club, only on Oxygen!

talkin’ ’bout mah generation

There are a number of horror films that I watched when I was a very impressionable age, and they helped mold me into the fan I am. I list a bunch of them over at AMC today...so read and weigh in what what made you YOU. Bad movies are just as valid as good ones!



Ah, my youth. Believe me, I love living in an age of instant access. A zillion channels on the TV, a DVR, DVD player, streaming movies, blah blah blah. I do miss the charm of something like Creature Double Feature, though...it helped make movies that much more special. Movie Loft, the Sunday Movie at Noon, and the like were events to look forward to- and there weren't many other choices available, so you'd watch whatever flick came on. It was definitely an education. And really, how awesome is this?



If there was any mystery as to why I am the way I am, I'm sure that 30 seconds would solve it!

the thursday bee

Part five of my riveting "So I Made A Movie" series is on the way- a big thanks to everyone who's been reading and commenting and all that. Sharing is the latest craze! In the meantime, however, here are some kibbles and bits so you don't get bored waiting around.

From the Siiiiiiiigh Department: Via Variety and the rest of the internet comes news that Katie Holmes has been cast in the remake of the 1973 made-for-TV flick Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. It's co-written by Guillermo Del Toro, so my hopes are still a bit high, but...Katie Holmes? That's a sigh of resignation up there, not of dreaminess. If they really wanted a Dawson's Creek alum, why not Michelle Williams? She's fairly interesting. Or even the lady who played Gram. Or what about Leann Hunley? She was on a couple of episodes, but she's perhaps more famous for her portrayal of Anna DiMera on Days of Our Lives...or maybe her brief appearance on the dead WAY before its time Models Inc, wherein she was married to William "Greatest American Hero" Katt, who was having an affair with Carrie-Anne "The Matrix" Moss. Of course, she was only having an affair with him to get closer to the son she'd given up many moons before who'd been adopted by Leann Hunley and William Katt; as you can imagine, things didn't turn out well as eventually William Katt found out about the whole ruse and broke things off despite the fact that Carrie-Anne Moss had actually fallen in love with him. Losing William Katt and her son really drove Carrie-Anne Moss over the edge and she started, like, impersonating Linda Gray and stuff, and things spiral out of control until she's institutionalized. Her shrink was a total wackadoo, though, and he kept her drugged up all the time as he enjoyed raping and molesting her, and let's face it, those sorts of things are easier when there's lots of diazepam involved. Finally Linda Gray helped her catch the doctor's dirty deeds on tape and Carrie-Anne Moss was free. Then, somehow, she ended up kidnapped and was forced to work in a Mexican brothel- she was still there when the series was abruptly cancelled. Every character on the show had a 30-second wrap-up in the last episode except Carrie-Anne Moss, who one can only assume must still be rotting and humping her days away in that brothel.

Anyway.

From the I Told You I Want To See This Department: Remember a while back when I mentioned Walking Distance and how I was totally looking forward to it? Well, I still am. I love how they're keeping info largely under wraps- it's a refreshing change from the constant barrage of images and info the internet barfs up regarding most films. There is a bit more of a Walking Distance tease at Icons of Fright, however: they've posted up a short behind the scenes video. Yarrr, Adrienne King! Reggie Bannister! And Shannon Lark, who I may have mentioned around here recently.

From the Don't Effing Forget Department: Don't effing forget, Monday is Film Club day! Get your Amityville II on!

From the Well How the Fuck Old Does That Make ME Then? Department: Today Breckin Meyer turns 35, Traci Lords turns 41, and Amy Heckerling turns 55.

From the Me Me Look At Me Department: If you scroll alllllllllll the way to the bottom of the page, you'll see that I finally added the "followers" gadget. I don't really know what it does, but it's there anyway. Does it make it easier to get updates or something?

From the You're Soaking In It! Department:

Film Club: F13 and MBV uncut

I couldn't "run" a "blog" that's "supposedly" about "slasher movies" for almost four "years" and not have reviewed Friday the 13th (1980) and My Bloody Valentine (1981) before today. Well, I could, of course, but that would be silly. The point is, you can click those links to read my original reviews; I love these movies, always have, probably always will. In the wake of the new remakes of each film, uncut special editions of the originals have hit the market- if you're a veteran like moi, are they worth your time and dollars? In the interests of answering that very question, I watched 'em back-to-back: a good old-fashioned early '80s slasher double feature. In further efforts to recreate the early '80s, I put a friendship ribbon in my hair, squeezed into a training bra, and chugged about half a gallon of Sunny D. No, it wasn't pretty at all, but thank you for asking.

In related news, holy crap, almost four years I've been doing this.

My Bloody Valentine

I'm still struck by how well this film fits the slasher paradigm while it also sets itself apart from its contemporaries. Director George Mihalka really captured the feel of a small mining town (perhaps because...umm...it was filmed in one)- far better than the remake did. The mine is still unbelievably creepy, the miner is still one of the great killers in all of slasherdom, and nearly thirty years on (!!!) the film still works.

Is it worth a double dip? Absolutely effing YES. Prior to My Bloody Valentine's release, the MPAA notoriously excised virtually all the gore; now we can all see what we were missing all those years ago and...wow. MBV doesn't fuck around! Every single kill has been amped up here and there are body parts and eyeballs galore. It's a completely sick thrill to see poor Mabel (excuse me...Madame Mabel) flop around in that dryer like never before.






In addition to the lost footage, there are documentaries, interviews, and everything else you could hope for on a Special Edition release. This DVD is probably the greatest thing to come from the release of a remake- if it weren't for MBV 3D, who knows when or if this would have seen the light of day? Hooray remakes!

Whoa, sorry, I take that back. Don't wanna get carried away, there.

Friday the 13th

Upon watching Friday the 13th, I was struck with some primo "Get off my lawn but bring me an icepack first because my bursitis is acting up!" I just couldn't help but think, "Golly, remember when the characters in horror movies were likable? And they weren't all douchebags? And even though they weren't necessarily deep or particularly well-drawn, they were still interesting? And they would even do things like read?"


Then I got really sad that Laurie Bartram is no longer with us and that she didn't make more movies while she was.

You know what? This movie still holds up, dammit. It's written off as a pile of crap all the time, even by horror enthusiasts, something I'll never understand. There's a bit of mystery, there are plenty of frights, and the explicit violence is still shocking and is still some of Tom Savini's best work. And Crazy Ralph is just so cool in this I can't even take it. So there.


Is it worth a double dip? Absolutely effing NO. If you're a Friday/slasher wackadoo like myself, that word "uncut" which adorns the DVD case may prove irresistible, and if you've never owned Friday the 13th, I'd probably still recommend you drop $10-20 more and get the box set containing films 1-8. The "extra footage", however, amounts to mere seconds- a few kills are a wee bit longer, and in one case (the famous Jack gets a spear through the neck scene), the additional angle actually gives away a bit of the fakery. Move along, kids, there's not much to see here.

There are a couple of documentaries- who wants to be the one to tell Robbi Morgan that Annie isn't the first one killed in Friday the 13th?- that are alright but not particularly groudbreaking. The sick thrill here is watching Betsy Palmer call the script a "piece of shit" as she sits next to writer Victor Miller. The short film Lost Tales from Camp Blood is, to be honest, a complete waste of time. A couple of morons in a plywood house get killed by...is it supposed to be Jason? I don't know. You can't really see him and in the credits he's just called "killer". If you want some no-budget horror, look elsewhere; Lost Tales is 8 minutes of your life you won't get back.


The early 80s have still got it, baby...Sunny D, on the other hand, is pretty damn nasty.

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Film Club Coolies, y'all!
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Evil on Two Legs
From the Depths of DVD Hell
Hudson Lee: Friday the 13th / My Bloody Valentine
Gorillanaut
Goremania: My Bloody Valentine
Invasion of the B Movies: Friday the 13th
Sam Hawken
Movie Moxie: My Bloody Valentine

Film Club: Grindhouse

Grindhouse, the brainchild of writers/directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, didn't exactly perform up to expectations at the box office. In fact, it was a bit of a flop- sort of like that scene in Pee Wee's Big Adventure where Pee Wee goes over to Francis's house in search of his bike and Francis is "having his bath" in, essentially, a pool. The two man-children tussle, and at one point Francis does a big belly flop and slides along the floor; it's not only disturbing (he squeaks), but it looks painful. Yeah, Grindhouse was kinda like that. Or not. Look, all I know is that I saw my tape (yeah, tape) of Pee Wee's Big Adventure on the shelf when I fetched Planet Terror last night, so I've got Pee Wee on the brain. I really love that movie, but I usually forget about it until I start thinking about it (I know, that's, like, the way the brain works)- then I think "Aw, man, I love the Alamo scene...oooh, Morgan Fairchild...Mr Buxton's jumpsuit!" and the fever builds until I have to watch it. So, excuse me for using a clunky Pee Wee simile, but, you know, they can't all be gold.

PLANET TERROR

First up on the Grindhouse double bill is Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, an ooey-gooey zombie flick that's 105 minutes of pure, unadulterated fun.

As can be expected, the Army's tinkering with biological and chemical weapons results in green gas filling the skies over the Texas countryside, which in turn transforms the populace into hideously deformed, pus-oozing, flesh-eating monsters. A band of plucky survivors, featuring world-renowned badass Wray (Freddy Rodriguez), one-legged go-go dancer Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan), BBQ maverick J.T. (Jeff Fahey), and lesbo-style doctor adulteress Dakota (Marley Shelton), fights its way through the body parts and goop as they try to last the night.

As I said, there's no denying the fun of this movie. The colors are luscious, the action is over-the-top, and the gore flies freely- it's as if rather than trying to recreate a true Grindhouse -style movie (which would have about 1/1000 of Planet Terror's budget), Rodriguez created a pastiche of everything he loves about those films. With its perfect synth score and liberal use of lights and smoke, this flick is akin to an American reinterpretation of an Italian interpretation of a John Carpenter movie. It's truly an outrageous sight to behold, and if you're not wearing a big, goofy grin when Cherry Darling flies through the air in front of an explosion and launches rockets out of her rocket launcher leg, then I have to wonder what kind of movie would give you a big goofy grin.


My biggest complaint with Planet Terror is Rose McGowan, who...well, I'm not sure exactly if her performance is so stilted purposefully (this is, after all a Z-grade movie on a big budget), or if the countless Restylane injections have not only frozen up her face but also her acting abilities. With that machine gun leg, Cherry Darling has the potential to become a real action/horror movie icon; with McGowan's flat performance, however, she's just a girl with a machine gun leg. Which, I'll admit, is still pretty fucking awesome. I just wish she'd been a little less self-conscious and a bit more fun, like the rest of the cast.

If I never see "The Crazy Babysitter Twins" or Quentin Tarantino in a movie again, though, it won't be too soon. Or it will be too soon, or however the saying goes when I mean that they were all fairly irritating.

Scenes to watch out for: "You'll blow your own head off!" and The Death of Fergie, which oddly enough got me thinking about Lamberto Bava's Demons...definite 80s Italian vibe.



DEATH PROOF

On to the much-maligned Tarantino-helmed half of the proceedings, Death Proof. A bunch of obnoxious girls spouting obvious Tarantino dialogue* head off for a weekend at a lake house, stopping several times along the way to drink margaritas, pound shots of Wild Turkey, talk about sexy times, and smoke up. Enter the nacho-loving Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), a man who likes to use his "death proof" stunt car to terrorize and/or kill obnoxious girls.

A big complaint about this film is that all that dialogue and yammering gets in the way of the action, and sure, it does. Tarantino isn't simply paying homage to the Grindhouse movie here, he's making one. Check out Unhinged, or hell, even Halloween: horror movies of yore were largely dialogue and yammering. Girls talk...and talk...and talk, and then 40 or 50 minutes in, something happens. Keeping this in mind, I was totally on board with the first half of Death Proof. Tarantino lays out all the hallmarks of the slasher film (weekend getaway, etc), epitomized in the scenes where Arlene (Vanessa Ferlito) keeps noticing this creepy black car that seems to keep noticing her. That shit is straight outta Halloween y'all.


In related news, Vanessa Ferlito is pretty fucking terrific in this movie.

When everyone decides it's finally time to head out to the lake house for reals, things get cooking. Pam (McGowan again, just as horribly one-not as she was in Planet Terror) makes the mistake of getting into Stuntman Mike's car and suddenly he transforms from sorta-weird has-been to totally-weird homicidal has-been and it all goes to hell.

Exhilarating hell. Once Stuntman Mike gets his death proof on, the car crash is phenomenal and, as pointing out in the script for the film, decidedly not CGI. At this point, Death Proof absolutely lives up to its tagline: "A white-hot juggernaut at 200 miles per hour!"

Sadly, though, all that promise comes to a grinding halt in the second half of the film when the action shifts from Texas to Tennessee. As all of our protagonists died in Mike's assault, we're introduced to a new group of girls, even more obnoxious than the first. As they're all involved in the film industry, they sit around once again spouting obvious Tarantino dialogue about their lives and their jobs and sexy times and how rad Zoe Bell is.


In the parking lot of a convenience store, they catch Stuntman Mike's eye. The girls take a Dodge Challenger for a test spin, which not only allows for Zoe Bell to act like Zoe Bell, but also for Tarantino to list off some muscle-car films we should all seek out immediately. Stuntman Mike catches up to them and engages the girls in some vehicular terrorizin', then the girls turn the tables. Mike wimps out, the girls beat the shit out of him, the end. Literally.

The car chase is fantastic and again, CGI-less. It's filmmaking of a type you don't really see on screen anymore- there are no frenetic edits. Tarantino goes for lengthy shots that up the tension, and again, it's exhilarating. It's too bad, however, that this fantastic sequence is mired in so much bullshit.

It's obvious that Quentin became enamoured with Zoe Bell on the set of Kill Bill, so he decided to build a movie around her and her abilities. That's fine, I suppose, she's great and all, but someone already built a movie around her: the 2004 documentary Double Dare. When Death Proof should have been riding the momentum gained from that magnificent wreck that concluded the first half, it became mired in too-long stories about Zoe Bell's exploits, and that's a real missed opportunity.

Death Proof would have worked better, I think, as a type of rape-revenge film. It is, of a sort, but there's no "rape"- for the ass-kicking/potential murder of Stuntman Mike to pack the wallop it needed to, the stakes needed to be much higher than a game of chicken where no one got hurt. If Tarantino had spent less time at the shrine of Our Lady Zoe of the Bell and more time, say, offing one of the second half's protagonists, the end would have been far more cathartic than it turned out to be. Why not have Mike, I don't know, run over Lee (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) or something? She was completely inessential to the story anyway, and it would have provided a believable impetus for revenge.

All of that said, damn, Tarantino really knows how to shoot a movie. The first half, wherein he kept up the Grindhouse conceits (scratched "film stock", etc), was spot fucking on. I'm not sure why he chose to present the second half in pristine DV, but it was a disappointment regardless.

All of that said, the Grindhouse conceits in both Death Proof and Planet Terror are a bit maddening, for all their "authenticity". They're made to look like films from the '70s, but both also feature modern conveniences like cell phones. It simply doesn't jive or make sense: if these are meant to be "lost films" of a bygone era (I wish this was the intent, but I doubt it), then get rid of the cell phones. If they're modern films in the style of the bygone era (more like it), then why is the "stock" so beat up? It's akin to a CD player made to look like a record player: essentially pointless. Get a GD record player and spin vinyl, or play your CDs on an appropriate device.

Still, I admire the obvious love and nostalgia going on here, and if nothing else, the work of Rodriguez and Tarantino has brought about a revival of Grindhouse flicks- for better or for worse. Anything that brings Pieces to the masses, after all, is fine by me. Unfortunately, I think the ultimate failure (relatively speaking, natch) of the project indicates that the days where audiences would gladly sit on questionably-stained seats for two features and trailers galore are pretty much over. The geeks will still sit for hours on end, sure, but attention spans and "movie culture" have changed, no matter how much some of us may wish otherwise.

Really, though, where were the tits?



*Let it be noted that I don't necessarily mind Tarantino dialogue, unless it simply becomes a list of what QT likes. I mind that all of his characters, male or female, sound alike. The onus is on the actors to make them individuals, and only some of them succeed.

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Film Club Coolies, y'all!
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The Dark Side Critic
The Agitation of the Mind
Gorillanaut
Fade In
Video Updates
Margarita Salt
It's Dark in the Dark
Movie Chunks
Exiled from Contentment
Movie Moxie
Acheter et entretenir sa tronconneuse: Planet Terror / Death Proof

so…many…sequels

There were gobs of trailers on the Resident Evil: Degeneration DVD, including those for Vacancy 2 and Boogeyman 3. Here's but a few forthcoming sequels that I can think of without having to think:
  • Vacancy 2
  • Boogeyman 3
  • The Grudge 3
  • Feast 3
  • Pulse 3
  • Underworld 3
  • The Strangers 2
  • The Descent 2
This clearly begs the question: does every horror film these days have to sprout a friggin' franchise? Sure, horror movies are famous for setting up the inevitable sequel, but geez...at least a "Part 3" indicated there was some sort of iconic character or villain that made a film worthy of a franchise: Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Jaws. "Worthy", of course, is...you know, relatively speaking. I'm not saying that these sequels are necessarily any good, or that any of these forthcoming ventures won't be- it's just that the advent of the direct-to-DVD market has given virtually every film "series" potential.

What happened to the stand alone horror movie? Why, back in MY day, there wasn't a Happy Birthday to Me Part 2: Over the Hill and we LIKED it like that!

Let me state for the record, however, that I wouldn't be opposed to The Ju-On Five.

i love the 80s, even though sometimes they sucked.

Let's get this out of the way: Sorority House Massacre (1986) blows with a capital BLOWS. Last night, however, I was in the mood for a big fat slice of 80s slasher, and in the end, SHM delivered. Mind you, it only delivered in that it fulfilled my wispy nostalgia-fueled desires; even as cheesy 80s slashers go, this one is bad.

Bad bad.

As in really not good.

Still, I was okay with that because popping in the DVD immediately took me back to sleepovers at Elena's house, when we'd walk down the hill to Nick's Video and rent crappy horror movies even though we were underage, and then we'd walk next door to Nick's Pizza and pick up a pizza to go with the movie.

Apparently Nick had a real stranglehold on that section of the town.

Anyway, we'd pretty much bring home anything- the more lurid the better. Titles featuring the words "massacre", "blood", "death", "slaughter", "evil", or "the" were sure to be mind-melting winners. Of course, our hopes for mental scarring were rarely realized, but who cares? Even when the movies stunk, they were still fun- and that's why, every once in a while, I get the urge to watch some 80s crap. Sometimes they stink, but they're usually still a bit fun.

Sweet mama, I'm old.

Sorority House Massacre really effs with your head, man, as Beth (Angela O'Neill) keeps dreaming these, like, totally creepy dreams involving the horror movie dream staples: children, bloody ceilings, mannequins, and boring dinner parties.



Meanwhile, at The Old Mental Asylum Place, some dude who may or may not be seen in Beth's dreams is thrashing about and displaying an overabundance of beta waves, meaning: he's a good 9.5 on the crazy scale.

Are you scared yet? If not, then pull up your pants and hold on tight, kiddies, for things are about to get all ten kinds of terrifying up in here: Sorority House Massacre is an endless parade of some of the worst 80s fashions you will ever, ever see. EVER. EVARRRRRR.



They just. Kept. Coming. I realize that, you know, every era has its own style. I realize that I myself was certainly a fashion victim in the 80s- we all were, and we all thought we were cool. It's pointless to get all wrapped up in outdated hair and clothes when watching a movie, but... JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

Even the background players are an affront to my delicate eyes! Yes, I'm talking about you back there, Banana Orbison. We see you, and we see that your outfit is atrocious.

I know those outfits are causing you to think "Oh, horror movies. Those sorority girls are such degenerate sluts!" and boy, are you right! In fact, when the whole entire campus except them and their boyfriends goes away for the weekend, our Fashionable Foursome gets up to some dirty, dirty no-good! All alone in the big Kappa Kappa They Never Named The Sorority In This Movie house, the girls immediately decide to "eat Melanie's ice cream" and "try on Cindy's clothes"...and then they do. Those crazy college kids! What shenanigans.

The girls try on Cindy's clothes in a montage set to music that sounds like the theme of an 80s morning show, and it's all just the lamest excuse in the history of ever to get some tits on the screen.

It does, however, provide us with an inkling as to exactly how deep Cindy's love of the jumpsuit is.

And yes, THEY'RE DOO-WOPPING.

So the brainwavey kookadook busts out of the asylum and further gets his Michael Myers on by breaking into a hardware store to steal a knife and then speeding off in a battle wagon.

Beth's dreams continue, and it seems that she and the brainwavey kookadook are connected somehow. Could it have anything to do with that story about the guy who, years before, killed everyone in his family except his one little sister? Could Beth's dreams be not dreams at all, but rather...dun dun dunnnnn...repressed memories? Gee, I wonder.

It plays out how you would expect: the cuckoo nutso shows up at the sorority house and he kills everybody. Beth finally remembers her sordid past and kills the killer...or does she? Dun dun dunnn...cue the reappearance of the bad guy at the end when Beth is in the hospital! Is it all a dream? Or is there really a boy in the lake?


Who can say? All I know for sure is that Beth really needs to learn how to scream with her eyes. I wonder if Tyra and Company could teach her that?

Sorority House Massacre is the gift that keeps on giving, though, and the most perplexing mystery of all is saved for the end credits.

The biggest problem with this film isn't the plot, which is standard 80s slasher stuff- in fact, while watching this I thought, "I'd love to remake the shit out of this movie"...or maybe it was "remake the fuck" out of it, I don't remember exactly. The point is, there's a little glimmer of an alright slasher plot in there, but it dies due to poor execution all the way around.

The acting is some of the most lifeless I've ever seen; really, a box of crayons would have done as good a job. People die and no one reacts. Lines are read in a monotone. In the big end battle between Beth and the wackadoo, he repeatedly stabs her in the legs as she tries to crawl away, or so, at least, I thought: I couldn't be sure if that's what I was seeing, because she didn't acknowledge it at all, not even with an "Ow, cut it out!" There's no sense of urgency or terror or...or anything, really. The guy shows up, stabs people in the gut, and that's that. There's nary a scream echoing the halls of Ye Olde Sorority House.

Of course, the action itself is as lackluster as the performances. Survivors run upstairs, then downstairs, then upstairs, then downstairs, and that's about it. This film does make me wonder, however, it it really IS possible to dive INTO a second story window from the ground.

As I said when I started this post, Sorority House Massacre is a pretty terrible movie, but it scratched my 80s itch, and for that I'm thankful. Perhaps, though, I should stop scratching before it gets infected.

childhood nightmares: MEDUSA

Medusa, Clash of the Titans (1981)

Stop-motion or not, this Gorgon broad absolutely scared the bejesus out of me when I was a wee bonny lass. With all those writhing snakes atop her head, Medusa was a nightmare brought to life courtesy of animation guru Ray Harryhausen. Frightening to behold (aduh- so much so that she'd turn you to stone), she was also a crackshot archer- if only she were prettier, she might've been Olympics bound- and she'd kill you before you even knew you were dead.

That doesn't make any sense.

Or does it?

No, it doesn't. The point is, she's all ten kinds of stealthy ninja, as she slithers around her underground temple, only the occasional soft rattle of her tail giving her away.

Director Desmond Davis plays it smart, building tension by introducing her via a shadow on the wall- and man, is it effective. Medusa was the Universal Monster of my childhood...she gave me nightmares, but not so much that I couldn't watch Clash of the Titans over and over and over...

Sure, Perseus defeats Medusa, as heroes are wont to do. She may have even deserved that beheading...and to a nine year old, the animated blood oozing out of her neck stump was beyond grody in the most awesome way.

Still, I've always had sympathy for Ol' Gorgie. I mean, it's not her fault she's so hideous- in fact, she wasn't even born that way. Rather, being transformed from a beautiful maiden into terrifying, scaly, snake-haired beast was her punishment for...for...well, for being raped, essentially. I bet she was wearing a low-cut blouse!

Medusa just wants to be left alone, just wants to hang out all by her lonesome in the dark, when along comes the handsome young hero to take her head to us as a weapon in his bid to save a beautiful young maiden. Ain't that always the way?

It's best not to think about it too much. The important thing here is that she's scary.

Watch her battle with Perseus via YouTube!

I haven’t been doing nothing, I swear

Man, I went to a midnight show of Alexandre Aja's Mirrors last night so I could get my review to AMC first thing this morning, and now I feel like I've been run over by The Car. Seriously. I know all my Crystal Pepsi and Mountain Dew drinking gives me a fine patina of youthful vigor, but I'm wiped out today from my almost all-nighter. I wring my hands in shame! The question is, was Mirrors worth the now when I'm dealing with a honk...honkhonkhonnnnnnnk-style hangover?

Well, I guess you'll just have to read the review to find out, lazypants! Nyah!

I've been such a lame that I've neglected to mention my last two columns at AMC, so if you wanna read all about Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer, or Bette Davis's work in the horror genre, then knock yourself out whilst you're over there.

So basically, I've been writing for another site and neglecting FG, which makes me feel like a cheater. I swear, baby, I'll never do it again! Too woo you back, I've just this very minute decided to have an EVENT WEEK next week, huzzah! In fact, I'm going to put up a little poll so you can help me decide what kind of movies to watch & review next week. The choices would include "crap on my DVR", but once again Dish Network went all ten kinds of nutcake and all my recordings were wiped clean. Once again, I say: FUCK YOU, DISH NETWORK. Sadly, Crap On My DVR Week will have to wait. Fuck technology.

edit: the poll is up! Vote, bitches!

the wednesday wipeout

Jabba works his bitches hard, y'all!

That's the last picture I took at Comic-Con- I only took about 15 altogether, despite going into it thinking I'd get all Jimmy Olsen up in that shit. Instead, I took about 3 pictures of my friends, 3 pictures of myself with friends, and 10 pictures of Star Wars statues because I am a NERD.

As if you didn't know that already.

It's weird, though- there's something about digital photography that makes me less likely to actually take pictures. I'm a luddite crone.

As if you didn't know that already.

(edited to add a decidedly NERDish photo of life-size BSG Centurion that had a red eye light that went back and forth)


The Powers That Be decided to run the newest Ghostella episode until Monday; sorry about that- I know you've all been wringing your hands and peeing your pants in anticipation!

The AMC train is running right on schedule, though, and they've posted my column lamenting the loss of the drive-in and coming up with some double features I'd like to see.

Omigod, I am a crone!

Shock Till You Drop has got a gallery of photos from Resident Evil: Degeneration, the forthcoming CGI feature based on the Konami video games. You know, the movie I'm salivating over (because I am a NERD) but learned nothing about at Comic-Con because I got shut out of the panel because of all the effing peoplekdjkdjdkjhkja;sASD;fCXCDJK...............

In other wow, I missed the panel but I'm not at all bitter about it- okay, who am I kidding, I'm totally fucking bitter about it news, SciFi.com has the whole hour long shebang up at their website. No, I have not watched it yet because I am a big lame currently embroiled in a...in a...err, something something danger and intrigue.

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?

monsters in the morning

My mentioning monster cereals and Count Chocula over at AMC* (me me me! pay attention to me!) prompted a bit of a conversation with a MySpace (me me me! add me!) fake cyber-friend about the monster cereal mascots. He asked who I thought Boo Berry was before he died, which got me thinking...who created Frankenberry, and to what end? Who bit Count Chocula and Fruit Brute and turned them into monsters? Who was Fruity Yummy Mummy before he died and who mummified him? Were they all cereal fanatics before they turned and/or shuffled off this mortal coil? They're all just sad, lost souls, really, but that never seems to get them down. I'm totally going to remember that the next time I'm feeling sorry for myself because I hate all of my clothes.

I feel a bit like a hack stand-up comedian saying it ("Remember having toys? What was up with that?"), but come on...how fucking awesome were the monster cereals? They combine three of the greatest things in the world (monsters, sugar, and the 1970s), they leave you with flavored milk when you're done, and even if they made you poop red**, the monster cereals were completely essential breakfast time chow. Aaannnnnd they had the coolest toy prizes inside.


Would I like a free monster disguise kit? Umm...holy crap, YES. I don't know that giving yourself a fang moustache is going to fool anyone into thinking that you're actually a vampire, but it's worth a shot. Undoubtedly, the chances of successful deception would rise exponentially if the fang moustache were coupled with the glow-in-the-dark vampire t-shirt, don't you think?

I was always most partial to Boo Berry, that strange poltergeist who sounded an awful lot like Peter Lorre. Again, who was he before he died? My fake MySpace friend posited that he was a car salesman. The hat and tie really speak volumes, and I'm inclined to agree he was indeed a seller of something or other. He cuts quite a Willy Loman-esque figure, doesn't he? Looking at him with the eyes of an adult (as opposed to those of a kid all cracked out on sugar), it seems obvious to me that Mr Berry was simply overwhelmed by life: he was depressed, tired, done with it all, and most likely addicted to quaaludes.


In later years (the monster cereals all debuted in the early 1970s), parent company General Mills tried to revamp Boo Berry's sad sack image with disastrous results. The late '80s/early '90s incarnation, with the ridiculous Freddy Krueger-esque arms and decidedly "doy doy" expression, left Mr Berry looking a little...well, shall we say a little simple-minded?


And, quite frankly, the less said about the subsequent Casperization of Boo Berry, the better***.


Thankfully this wussy version of Boo Berry didn't last and General Mills issued an order to his troops to return the ghost to his former luuded-out glory, and once again he gazes at us from the box with that classic vacant stare we all love and remember so well.


Frankenberry, that monstrous creation (no, really, which mad scientist wanted to play Notorious G.O.D. and created Frankenberry? And why for the love of Charles Nelson Reilly give him strawberries for fingernails?), was my second love despite his foppish voice. Count Chocula, though undoubtedly the scariest-looking cereal mascot, never did it for me, pitch-perfect Transylvanian accent or no.



My memories of Fruit Brute are vague at best: the cereal was discontinued in 1983, only to be resurrected (HA HA HA) a few years later with the name Fruity Yummy Mummy.


Look at the Fruit Brute box: a coupon for 7 lousy cents off Lucky Charms! Why, 7 cents wouldn't buy you a single yellow moon with today's prices, never mind a blue diamond. Back in my day...gripe gripe gripe my back hurts and why is it so cold in here?

By the late '80s I think the monster cereal craze was pretty much over. F.Y. Mummy was pushing up daisies again by the early '90s, and today it's getting more and more difficult to find the remaining monster mascot triumvirate in stores. Just as TV stations trot out scary movies during October, though, Boo Berry, Frankenberry, and Count Chocula are easier to find come Halloween time.

What gives? Why are the monster cereals, in all their awesomeness, so scarce? Has it been decided that downing a giant heaping bowl of sugar and marshmallows maybe isn't the best way to start the day? I certainly hope the scarcity of monsters in the morning isn't because kids like monsters any less than they did back in my day. I'd like to think that the children are our future, not that they're a bunch of jerks.











* I would just like to point out that even though I said "...except Count Chocula" in the interview, I have nothing against the Count personally. He's rad. I'm simply not a fan of chocolate cereals: I have never, in fact, gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, Fruity trumps Cocoa in the Pebbles department, and Cap'n Crunch can take his Chocoberries or whatever they're called and shove 'em right back where they came from. Regular Crunchberries and the Cap'n's Peanut Butter varieties are, however, the shit.

** Yes, the dye originally used in Frankenberry made kids poop red. You didn't think Stephen King came up with that idea on his own, did you?

*** Everyone knows that Casper is better when Casper is a scary ghost, anyway. Friendly, shmendly.


In totally unrelated I'm feeling all nostalgic now and so I'm looking up stupid shit I remember on YouTube news, you don't even know how much I loved this song when I was a kid. Seriously, if it had ever come out on vinyl, I would have bought 9248675 copies and made it number one with 10 bullets.