Entries Tagged 'jerks' ↓

don’t forget!

Tonight at 8pm PST / 11pm EST join me and Heidi Martinuzzi for The Scare-ening! We'll be chatting with actress/writer Brea Grant of Heroes and Halloween 2. You can totally call in and, like, talk to her and stuff. Only a jerk wouldn't want to do that!

The Scare-ening, with guest Brea Grant

This may be Photoshopped.

Bloggenaire: Nate Yapp, Classic Horror

Man, Classic Horror has been around since before I was born (not true)! Over there, Mr. Yapp and Company- yes, there's "and Company"- celebrates the history of horror...in style. Seriously, it's one of those prettified sites that makes me want to punch a kitten in a rage- such is my design envy. Lucky for them (and kittens everywhere) that their content, from reviews to interviews and everything in between, is so good I can't not read it. Still...jerks.

1) What's the key moment that led you to click that "Start Your Blog" button?

Gather roun', children. Let me tell you about the days before the blog. A long time ago but sometime after lunch, I was a 16-year-old boy at a critical nexus in my life. I wrote a research paper on horror films for my sophomore writing class which awoke my hibernating passion for the horror film. At the same time, I learned this magic computer writing called HTML and I needed a project with which to develop the skill. The first iteration of the site that would become Classic-Horror.com was coded by hand in Textpad and then uploaded to an Angelfire free hosting account. I didn't have a button for starting a so-called blog for another seven or eight years. Now get off my porch.

2) Please describe your blog in no more than 3 sentences. You must include the words / phrases "morbid", "aesthetic", and "electromagnetic".



Classic-Horror.com concerns itself largely with scary movie entertainment of yesteryear, when it was actually put on celluloid and not susceptible to being wiped out by an electromagnetic pulse from space. We are especially appreciative of films that hold to a macabre or morbid aesthetic, rather than one of sadism.

3) Bearing in mind that opinions are subjective (except mine because I'm always right), do you enjoy movies that are generally considered "bad"? Why or why not?



I love a bad movie that had good intentions behind it – filmmakers like Edward D. Wood Jr. and whatnot who were really trying to add something to the landscape of cinema. Yes, I'll mock and make jokes, but I feel it's in the spirit of the production. They attempted to make a contribution, so I will give them my full attention and respond to their work as comes naturally to me.



On the flipside, there are those calculating direct-to-video sequels and rip-offs, the cynical corporate projects where its clear that nobody involved gives a damn. I'm thinking of horsedung like The Cell 2, which has a random car chase stuck in the middle simply to have an action sequence. I hate those things and I usually won't review them.

4) Did you know that there exists one variety of carnivorous parrot? It's true. They live in the mountains of New Zealand, and they eat the fat surrounding the kidneys of sheep- WHILE THE SHEEP ARE ALIVE. It's horrible.

Horrible... or awesome?

5) What's the one- ONE- horror movie you love so much you want to stick it down your pants?



That's between me and James Whale's Frankenstein.

6) Adrienne Barbeau. Discuss.



Every time I think of Adrienne Barbeau, I think of this moment in The Fog where she sort of grips a cigarette between her teeth as she lights it. I don't know why, but I find it incredibly sexy, even though smoking is gross.

7) Why should people bother to read your blog?



Because I MADE IT for YOU! *ahem* Sorry about that. Seriously, though, I've put ten years of my life into this website because I firmly believe that horror is an important part of our cultural landscape and that it deserves to be treated with critical respect. All of the reviews I post go through a strenuous editorial process because when I read a critical piece on a film I love (or even one I hate), I want it to be organized, coherent, and to make a larger point beyond simple opinion.

8) Where does Jigsaw get all the money he needs to build all those traps and buy all that warehouse space? Better yet, does he have some sort of engineering background? He must, right, if he designs all that crap?



Jigsaw is secretly one-quarter Gallifreyan, which is why his warehouses are all bigger on the inside, feature complex machinery outside the realm of human reason, and also why he keeps showing up in the Saw films despite having died.

9) Several theories regarding the reasons why people would subject themselves to watching horror films (when they're so, you know, traumatic) exist. Which is closest in line with your feelings on and reactions to the genre? Feel free to elaborate. Or don't, see if I care.

a) RELIEF THEORY: The unpleasant feelings of distress cause more stimulating feelings of relief when the unpleasantness passes- the stressed arousal caused by fear becomes pleasurable arousal later on.
b) CONTINUOUS REWARD: The excitement felt during the film is the appeal in and of itself.
c) SOCIAL THEORIES:
1) Stereotypical gender roles are reinforced: men act as protectors, women need protection.
2) Violating social norms- watching "deviant" entertainment- is exciting.
3) Experiencing heightened emotions with others makes us feel like we "belong" and we're truly part of a group.


I watch horror films, I think, because I have always watched horror films and I could not imagine being a person who does not watch horror films. I guess there's usually a new “current” reason for watching. Right now it's my fascination with genre theory. In a way, I guess you could say I'm in it now because this question exists. I'm keen to understand what we consider a horror film, where those definitions come from, what exceptions exist to the rules we create and where the boundaries are pliable.

10) Which year produced better horror movies: 1977 or 1981? Why?


This is impossible for me. 1977 definitely gave us greater films than 1981 (Eraserhead, The Hills Have Eyes, Martin, and Suspiria versus An American Werewolf in London, The Beyond, Dead & Buried, and The Howling). However, I have more emotional investment tied into The Howling and An American Werewolf in London – each contains a scene that was part of my development as a horror fan. I just can't make this call.

11) What the eff is up with those French and their crazy horror flicks?


Have you seen Don't Deliver Us from Evil? That is some messed up stuff there. Think Heavenly Creatures but French and Satanic (it was based on the same true crime case). I'm still not sure what I think of the damn movie.

12) What's your favorite Animals Run Amok movie?



If we're talking animal apocalypse, you cannot go wrong with Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. I'll bat at my hair randomly after watching that. For nature's ongoing vengeance against man, I have a special place in my heart for Grizzly, the gorier woodland cousin of Jaws. You know the one – your dad's sister's kid who keeps trying to be just like you, but is more adorable for the effort rather than the effect?

13) If Jason Voorhees is on a train heading east at 80mph and Leatherface is on a train heading west at 65mph…why the hell would anyone ever watch Rob Zombie's Halloween?



Because God hates you, that's why.

14) What are your funereal wishes?



I want “This Monkey's Gone to Heaven” to play and I want it to be open casket and open bar. Maybe an open casket bar. You have to fetch the little umbrellas from my dead lips.

15) Why do I have such a fondness for Shelley Hack? It's not like she's really done much to deserve it, but there it is.



I have no idea who that is.

16) You're on a sinking ghost ship that's being piloted by a witch. What are your last words?



“Mahna-mahna.”

17) Asking about your funereal wishes and your last words means nothing, I swear.



Uh-huh. I'm watchin' you, Ponder. But not like Sting. That would be creepy.

18) Do you know where I can get some lye?



Why, do I look like a lye guy, small fry?

19) Weren't you glad when THAT JERK in THAT HORROR MOVIE got what was coming to him?



You mean every single person in the Friday the 13th reboot? No. It meant watching the movie.

20) Overall, what’s your favorite era of horror films?



I will always be a Universal fanboy.

21) Would you rather be:

1) a vampire
2) a witch/warlock
3) a werewolf
4) a Frankenstein (and yes, I know technically it’s “Frankenstein’s monster” but “a Frankenstein” sounds better)
5) a Jaws

I would be a werewolf if I could be a Howling werewolf and not, say, An American Werewolf in London werewolf. Otherwise, I've always wanted vast cosmic power. Warlock me.

22) If you could turn back time- if you could find a way- would you take back those words that hurt me, so I’d stay?



That would create a causality loop and I'm so not insured for that.

23) What's something you want people to know about you or your blog that I didn't ask?



Yes, no, possibly, only on Mondays, Howard Vernon, get the hell away from me, only if you ask nicely, and “Have a potato.”

-------------------------------
Big thanks to Nate Yapp! Stay tuned for another exciting episode of...THE BLOGGENAIRES!

Cloverfield

I've been sitting here with this page open all freaking day- ALL DAY- trying to figure out what I want to say about Cloverfield (2008), which I finally saw approximately 7000 years after everyone else did. Why is this so difficult? Maybe because I'm terribly distracted today. Maybe it's because I simply don't feel like writing a review for it because I just kind of thought it was okay.

That's the point in this venture, by the way, where you chime in with "Well, if you don't feel like writing a review then why are you posting? Get bent!" or something similar.

And that's the point where I say, I can do whatever I want to here, and if I want to type up three sentences about Cloverfield, then that's what I'll do. However, typing up three sentences is not what I want to do. Even that seems like too much effort today. I've got a huge case of the ADDs. So...this is how I will do it.

Characters? Holy crap, I hated them all. That party at the the beginning...ugh. I wouldn't want to spend more than 30 seconds with any of them. It really didn't get me excited to spend the next 80 minutes with them. Part of this was due to the...

...acting. I don't know how much of this was improvised and how much was scripted, but for a "found footage" film, it came off as fake. I've seen P.O.V. flicks and mockumentaries done well. This was not.

The CGI, however, was done quite well, I thought. While the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty seemed way too small to be real, the rest of the rampant destruction was realistic enough.


I love the idea behind Cloverfield, a giant monster movie from the perspective of the man on the street. The echoes of 9/11/01 were, I'd imagine, intentional. The sense of panic, the confusion and flight amidst unanswered questions were perfectly captured. The moments after the initial attack were eerily accurate. But then...

...the whole "going back for the girl" plot was fairly insufferable. I found it so unrealistic that it irreparably knocked the train off the rails. It didn't help that I hated the characters.

It's too bad this:

was touched on only briefly- far too short a segment. I wanted to spend more time with this exploding face development.

Overall it was pretty fun- I mean, sometimes you just want to see big monsters beat the crap out of buildings and stuff. In that regard, Cloverfield was a success. As I said, I thought the "man on the street" angle was a bit ingenious. It's just too bad that the man on the street was such a shallow, smarmy jerk.

Phew! Got that out of the way. Oooh, what's over there?

killer tracks

One of my favorite things about horror movies is the all-too-rare "completely effing incongruous song". Now, I'm not talking about a misguided soundtrack, or the awful generic heavy metal that is constantly droning throughout most indie horror flicks.

Tangent: what's up with that, anyway? Are directors afraid of silence and/or ambient noise? TURN OFF THE MUSIC, IT WILL BE OKAY.

Sorry, had to get that off my chest. Now, what I am talking about, Willis, is the random song that doesn't much fit with the mood or atmosphere of the film whatsoever. This song may have you scratching your head. This song may pull you out of the moment- but the rarest of the rare pulls you out of the moment with straight-up awesomeness. Such is the case with these, my five favorite WTF? horror movie songs. I listen to them on my iPod because I am that hip (tell me I'm hip!). Here they are, in total countdown to YESSSS! order.


Listen: Kingdom of the Spiders

Before we get to The Cow Who Can Act, we're treated to some truly bizarre music during the opening credits: "Peaceful Verde Valley" by Dorsey Burnette. I'm not sure what kind of mood this song is supposed to establish, exactly: perhaps the peace of our verde valleys is meant to be ironi-tastic. Who cares? You know you want to sing along.



Listen: Killer Party

WHY ISN'T KILLER PARTY ON DVD?

Phew, had to get that out. This 1986 movie might suffer from a case of the "What the Fuck Am I?"s- is it a slasher? a possession movie? a musical?- but what it doesn't suffer is a lack of I love it-ness. It's such a product of its time...and if you love 80s horror as much as I do, you'd be a jerk not to love Killer Party.

Oh my God, this song is so good! It accompanies both the opening and closing credits...and best of all, it's sung by the actresses who play the three leads (Vivia, Jennifer, and Phoebe).

WHY ISN'T KILLER PARTY ON DVD? I feel like starting an internet petition.

Listen: Creepshow

Short and oh so sweet is this little interlude in the opening story, "Father's Day", which finds Cass and Hank getting down. Thoughts:

1) I should have included this in my AMC column about horror movie dance scenes
2) Cass was total 80s white hotness
3) I love that this is recorded right from the movie and you can hear Cass's bangles...bangling
4) What the fuck kind of dance was Ed Harris doing, anyway?

Listen: House on the Edge of the Park

I know plenty of people who dig this David Hess-flavored rape-fest of a movie, but it's not really to my taste. What is to my taste, however, is this amazing track that accompanies a rapist-rapee dance sequence during a party at said house on said edge of said park. How can such a great song come from such a terrible film? How??

Listen: Maniac

One of these days I've got to write up some sort of review of Maniac, a film frequently slapped with the "misogynist" label- erroneously slapped, in my opinion. It's a fine line between being misogynist and being about misogyny, and I find Maniac to be in the latter category. It's not an easy movie to watch, and it's certainly not an overall pleasant experience- though it does contain some of the best stalking scenes in all of horrordom.

Whatever Maniac may be, however, it does clearly feature the MACK DADDY of fucking great incongruous horror movie songs with "Showdown". Amidst all the graphic violence, there's a scene that features sweaty creepster Joe Spinell breathing heavily while the object of his affection, Caroline Munro, photographs fashion models (that's her spouting direction and encouragement in the song). So so so sooooo good. Yippee...ki yo...ki YAAAAAAAAY!

Bonus track!

Listen: mystery song

Can you name the horror movie that features this track? I cannot, so if you know, set my mind at ease, won't you? It's the least you could do.

EDITED TO ADD: You guys rule! Mystery solved: It's the opening track for Cannibal Ferox, which I've never seen. That's some serious what-the-fuckery.

Hereticalosity

I am of the mind that The Exorcist is one of the best horror films ever made. Yes, it scares me and it always has. I know there are people who find it laughable and dull and not scary at all. I cannot concern myself with these people, because they're jerks. JERKS I SAY. The fact is, William Friedkin's 1973 film is an absolute classic- take away all the horror elements and it's still a fascinating study of religion, faith, medicine, and female sexuality. I will say as I've always said, however: if Regan's post-possession behavior is any indication, Pazuzu is pretty lazy.

Maybe my feelings on that will change after this viewing of the follow-up, Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), directed by John Boorman. That's right, my friends, somehow I've never seen this, one of the most reviled films in the history of...film. Oh, I've seen teeny bits here and there: Regan in some weird headgear acting all tranced out, Richard Burton yelling about something, Louise Fletcher being NOT Ellen Burstyn. I imagine this movie will be as terrible as it's said to be, although I may be pleasantly surprised. Either way, however, you're coming along with me. That's right, it's time for another one of my famous* live blog reviews, so let's dig in and get our Pazuzu on!

*not at all famous

  • Man, these opening titles make me think about how much I love The Exorcist. It's so damn unsettling...wait, Ned Beatty is in this?!
  • Okay, so we start with a Spanish-speaking girl who's apparently possessed...Father Richard Burton stands around doing nothing and the girl sets herself on fire. Way to go, Father Richard Burton!
  • Aw, Regan's all grown up and tying her shirts to show her tummy! And she's tap dancing in short shorts to "Lullaby of Broadway". She's so normal now!
  • Regan only remembers being sick and having nightmares when she was in D.C...apparently she doesn't remember all the cussing and the crucifix up the hoo-ha. I don't blame her for blocking it all out. Still, Dr. Louise Fletcher wants to hypnotize Regan to MAKE her remember. Is that a good idea? My zero training in psychiatry says NO.
  • Alright, Father Richard Burton is supposed to investigate the death of Father Merrin. Apparently the church doesn't like all the "devil talk" that Merrin was throwing around. Wouldn't they use it to draw more people to the church's teachings, rather than cover it all up? I'd think it would drum up some good business for 'em.
  • Ooh, Regan's got her hypnotic headband on. Strobe light time! She's literally going cross-eyed as she gets all tranced out. Awesome.
  • I miss the Linda Blair years.
  • This hypnosis machine is sweet. People can link their minds and, like, go places and stuff. The cross-eyed thing is embarrassing, but still.
  • Flashback! Oh my...oh my God. Can't they just use footage from the original movie, rather than re-enacting it? It's so bad. So bad. And tap-dancing Regan is dueling with possessed Regan over...well, they're both grabbing Louise Fletcher's breast. It's all very uncomfortable. That's REALLY not Mercedes McCambridge doing the voice. Bleeearggh.
  • Okay, I guess they're supposed to be battling over her heart. But really, they're copping a lot of feels here.
  • Actually, lady, Regan does NOT draw well. Sorry to be harsh, Regan, but it had to be said.
  • Father Richard Burton is trying to beat a flaming cardboard box to death with a crutch. It's really not helping. But Regan's drawing was so prescient! Except for the crutch part.
  • In Regan's dreams, Pazuzu takes her to...Africa? Tatooine? Aw, I guess it's Africa. Or, you know, a soundstage.
  • LOCUSTS!
  • Regan, noooo! Don't fall off the roof! Although killing Regan would be a rather Scream thing to do, if you know what I mean.
  • Alright, Father Richard Burton has gone back to the Georgetown house to investigate. As you might expect, there's a locust hanging out in Regan's old bedroom. Well, that was anticlimactic.
  • Back to Africa. Father Merrin is battling Pazuzu, who's possessed a boy, and swarms of locusts, which...is how Pazuzu gets about, I'd imagine. I wish he'd also battle this fucking Kmart Ladysmith Black Mambazo soundtrack that's happening right now...
  • LOCUSTS TERRORIZE SOUNDSTAGE VILLAGE, NEWS AT ELEVEN
  • James Earl Jones has magical leopard breath.
  • IS THAT DANA PLATO???
  • I looked it up. That is indeed an uncredited Dana fucking Plato as the shy, stuttering girl.
  • "What's the matter with you?" "Oh, I was possessed by a demon." "..." "It's okay, he's gone."
  • Regan's kind of annoying in a "golly gee!" sort of way, isn't she?
  • Ugh, this extended Africa sequence where Father Richard Burton goes off in search of James Earl Magical Leopard Breath Jones is pretty boring.
  • But now it's all better: The Sparkly Top Hat Tap Dance Revue is GO! What a strange interlude.
  • Is Sharon in love with Regan or what? She so is.
  • Regan says "Please don't drug me, Jean..." while sounding completely fucking drugged.
  • Oh God, I want to fast forward all the Africa scenes. Can I do that? Or will I miss too much?
  • While I think a sequel to The Exorcist is rather unnecessary, there maybe COULD have been a decent sequel that dealt with Regan's post-traumatic life. Maybe some sort of abuse or rape allegory. Or maybe Regan's dealings with religion in the wake of her ordeal. The Exorcist II is not that movie.
  • James Earl Magical Leopard Breath Jones has a locust hat! It looks like something you'd get at Disneyland, or perhaps the Orkin Bug Zoo.
  • "If Pazuzu comes for you, I will spit a leopard." That's comforting. I need to incorporate that into my life. "If this traffic doesn't let up, I will spit a leopard."- that sort of thing.
  • Father Richard Burton is kind of possessed by Pazuzu...or maybe Actor Richard Burton is drunk and trying to go to his happy place...
  • Oooh, everyone's heading to Georgetown for the big Showcase Pazuzu Showdown!
  • Locusssstssss! Crashing cabs! Exorcist II: The Heretic is a white-knuckle thrill ride I'll never forget!
  • Regan doesn't seem too bothered to come face to face with her possessed self...
  • Okay, Sharon just set herself on fire, Father Richard Burton wants to get it on with a sexified Pazuzued-out Regan, and Louise Fletcher is running around a soundstage.
  • The house is coming apart! The Mirror Has There are two Regans! It's all a weeeeee bit over-the-top. It makes the head-spinning, pea soup-spewing finale of the first look subtle.
  • Regan is spinning against the the locusts! She's winning!
  • When did the Kitty Genovese incident happen in New York? Did Georgetown learn nothing from it? For fuck's sake, a car crashed through a fence, a house came down, there was a fire, people died...AND NOT ONE PERSON ON THIS STREET HAS COME OUTSIDE.
  • Oh wait, they're all there at once. I guess time was standing still while the Regans duked it out.
  • Okay, that wrapped up REALLY FUCKING QUICKLY. Guess everyone's gonna be fine! Except Sharon, who ended up Extra Crispy Recipe.
Well, that wasn't very good. It wasn't near the debacle I thought it was going to be (or it's been made out to be), but it didn't come close to achieving its lofty goals about the nature of good and evil and the duality within mankind. It's a bit of a mess, though the blinking hypnosis machine is quite the product of the late 1970s, as it was the dawning of the age of New Age. And, of course, let's not forget The Sparkly Top Hat Tap Dance Revue. Or Dana Plato, R.I.P.

PAZUZU!

A wee bit about…

...Daybreakers!


As I've mentioned before, I'm not one to get all goo goo over vampires- particularly the ones that are more "sexy" than "monstrous". I mean, I have zippo interest in True Blood. I'm not one to get all goo goo over Ethan Hawke, either, so why did I actually pay to see Daybreakers in a theatre?

Well, I didn't- my mom did, as she treated me during an afternoon out whilst I was home on vacation. Maybe it's because I wasn't expecting much from the film, maybe it's because I like ruminating on the "what about...?"s of horror (what about when zombies run out of people to eat? what about when vampires run out of blood? what about NOT bringing Jason back to life, so he'll stay the fuck dead?), but I was surprised to find I enjoyed it.

Yes, this is a future world in which vampirism has taken over- it spread throughout the populace like the Black Plague or Pac-Man Fever- and the world's blood supply is almost dried up. Hawke stars as Edward Dalton, a scientist charged with finding a solution to this food shortage problem; if the vampires go too long without feeding, they'll devolve from pale-but-pretty to leathery-and-scary. Quelle horreur!

Actually, the animalistic vampires featured are pretty damn scary and I wish there'd been lots more of them. I suppose, however, this isn't a people vs. scary vampires movie; rather, it's more non-jerk vampires vs. jerk vampires with a dash of scary vampires thrown in.

Overall, Daybreakers stylish and violent- and it probably takes itself a bit too seriously, but it's rather nice to see a horror movie in the multiplex that takes itself seriously at all, so I can't complain. Why, I would've been happy even if I had to pay for my own ticket!


wud up, category #8 in Operation: 101010?

Pizza, Pipes, and Pandorum

FYI: The title of this post alludes to Pizza, Pipes, & Pandemonium, a sort of Chuck E. Cheese-type place that was local to my hometown when I was a youngling. Imagine, if you will: pizza, arcade games, and a PIPE ORGAN all under one roof! It was a child's dream come true- or mine, anyway. It lasted but a couple of years, then the building became a hardware store, then a gym, and finally, it was torn down and replaced with a shiny new CVS...but my memories of gulping down crappy pizza while listening to a pipe organ rendition of the Star Wars theme before running off to play some Galaga remain strong. For the other three people in the world who remember that bizarre place, this post title is for you.

In other FYI news, there have been rather torrential rains falling in southern California over the last week or so. Tornadoes were spotted! Mud is sliding! Burbank Blvd is closed west of the 405! It's...why, it's pandemonium, it is. These wet, grey days have left me feeling like a wet, grey lump, desiring little more than some quality couch-n-movies time. A few days ago, however, I did manage to leave my house- to partake in some quality couch-n-movies time at a friend's abode. I brought over some DVDs, while she went to the video store to see what was what. She came home with, amongst other titles, Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses. I frowned. She said the dude at the store recommended it to her because she said she loves The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I frowned some more. She asked what my problem was. I relayed that I'd gone to see House when it was playing in theaters, and I'd almost walked out because I hated it so much. My friend frowned. Then I asked if she'd seen The Devil's Rejects- while I didn't like that film either, I found it more tolerable than House. She said she fucking hated The Devil's Rejects and then she frowned a whole lot more.

No, we didn't watch Pandorum. We watched Michael Haneke's Cache, and in the end neither of us got what all the hype was around it. Oh, and the "e" in Cache totally needs an accent aigu, but I don't know how to make one.

I tell you all of this to make a point, and that point is...I do not like House of 1000 Corpses, but plenty of people do. This phenomenon (for which the Germans have a word: Eierschalensollbruchstellenverursacherkleinfreude) (I made that up) (mostly) is called "varying opinions". Some people enjoy things that others do not! I know this is a hard concept for The Internet to grasp, but it's true. Sometimes it leaves one scratching one's head- "What kind of crack are these people smoking that they actually like that movie, and where can I get some?" At other times, one is left scratching one's head and pondering the inverse- "What kind of crack am I smoking that I actually like that movie, and where did I get it?" Such is the case with Pandorum.

When trailers for the film popped up, its seeming Event Horizon had a baby with The Descent premise intrigued me; in a not-at-all surprising twist, I never made it to the theater to check it out. Reports from those who did were unenthusiastic at best. Pandorum has recently been released on DVD, and once again, unenthusiasm abounds. Why, then, did I enjoy it, and why do I seem to be the only person who did? Again, what kind of crack am I smoking?

Payton (Dennis Quaid) and Bower (Ben Foster) wake up on a space ship- in the middle of space, people- with no idea who they are, where they are, or how long they were in hypersleep (or cryosleep...you know, one of those super-long space sleeps). They split up; Payton stays in the CIC while Bower heads off into the darkness to make repairs. Their memories slowly return, which is good; there are hundreds of bloodythirsty (and totally mean) mutant creatures on board with them which is bad. Scant few other survivors are encountered! Secrets are revealed! Pandorum (which is, like, space mania) sweeps through the remaining crew! Thank goodness the one chick who is left is a hot scienceologist!

The entire affair is just about as derivative as the trailers led everyone to believe it would be. It really is Event Horizon meets The Descent, with a little Alien thrown in for good measure- familiar, perhaps, to the point of staleness. The science (for lack of a better term) spouted is confusing at best, the script is fairly weak, the camerawork is at times too frenetic, and the middle of the film is bloated like A Certain Someone (okay, me) after too much Diet Coke and salsa con queso, but...dammit, I had a good time. I'm not denying that maybe I have a soft spot for "gritty" sci fi/horror- there's not much of it around and I've never met one of these films that I didn't like. Chances are, this is why I liked Pandorum while everyone else finds it...well, familiar to the point of staleness. Simply put, I get where the criticisms are coming from, and I don't really care. Gimme some dark metal hallways, some dirty crew members, some monsters and some blood and I'm happy. Yes, it's shocking but true: sometimes I have low standards...and that's okay. Everyone has his or her cinematic Achilles heel. Why, I've even heard that some people like Rob Zombie movies!

That said, your mileage regarding Pandorum will most likely vary. If you want a pretty, bloody picture that's all spacetastic, you may feel as I do about it. Or, you may be a jerk. Who am I to judge? After all, I know of Eierschalensollbruchstellenverursacherkleinfreude.

awesome movie poster friday – the MORE CRAP I BOUGHT ON VHS edition!

Man, I tells ya. My friend Eric runs Spudic's Movie Empire and it's a VHS lovers paradise! I can't resist his $1 sales- I walk out with a boxful everytime. If you live in the Los Angeles area and you love BROWSING- and let's face it, only jerks don't love browsing- you owe yourself a trip. He does mail order too, so you have no excuses. NONE I SAY.

AnyIhavetoomanymovies, you can see that on my last trip I got a fucking great haul. Monsters ahoy! My favorite poster is the first one, the Deep Rising poster that calls the special effects team the "Special Effects Team". Why the quotes? Does that mean the FX were done by, like, the director's mom and her quilting club? 'Cause if that's the case, now I wanna see it even more!

Related reviews: He Knows You're Alone, Dead & Buried





























risk accepted

Today marks the opening of the Lifetime floodgates, people, and you only have yourselves to blame! That's right, horror-related Lifetime movies are officially on the Final Girl docket, and I say it's about durn time. First up: Acceptable Risk (2001), a film that finally unites the Salem witch trials and mold spores together in one positively scintillating tale of medical research gone awry. See, this is Robin Cook's Acceptable Risk- that's Doctor Robin Cook of Coma, Terminal, Virus, and a bunch of other medical thrillers that I want to like more than I actually do.

Now, that syringe filled with You Can't Do That On Television!- style goo may lead you to believe that there will be some Re-Animator shenanigans to come...well, I hate to burst your bubble, friendo, but the green goo does not make an appearance in the film, nor does an oversized novelty needle. I think I'm going to sue.

All is not lost, however, for Kelly Rutherford does indeed make an appearance in Acceptable Risk- in this, the cover does not lie. Yes, Kelly Rutherford, who stole the hearts of all the world over as prostitute-turned-receptionist Megan on Melrose Place.

Here Rutherford stars as Kim Welles, a...student of some sort who inherits a creaky old house in Massachusetts from relatives she never knew she had. Isn't that always the way? I'm hoping I have some weirdo relatives out there (ones I don't know about, at least) who will leave me a haunted house in their will when they shuffle off to the afterlife. Kim and her medical researcher husband Edward (Chad Lowe) move in, excited to start a new life in their mortgage-free home.

Yes, I said haunted! Or, at least, Acceptable Risk wants you to think the house is haunted. New neighbor Lois (Patty McCormack, the Bad fucking Seed!) talks about all the mysterious deaths that have occurred there, while the Welles experience mild Amityville-ish phenomena, such as mysterious water stains, power fluctuations, red foamy bathwater and the like. They find a secret walled-up room in the basement, and after that any supernatural explanations are quickly discarded. You see, it's not ghosts that are the problem in this house: it's a crystalline mold!

The weird stuff is growing all over the walls in the hidden room, and before you can say "health hazard", Edward gets some of it all over an open wound on his arm. His arm goes immediately numb, which immediately leads him to believe the mold may have analgesic properties, which immediately leads him to bringing some spores to his lab to inject into rats suffering from brain disorders, which immediately leads to the rats showing restored brain function, which immediately leads to Edward thinking he may have found a cure for Alzheimer's, which immediately leads to Edward ingesting the spores himself, which immediately leads to Edward becoming a super genius, which immediately leads to Edward calling his new drug discovery ULTRA, which immediately leads to...hmm, maybe I should have made a flow chart.

In the great Jekyll and Hyde tradition of such films as The Fly and Hollow Man, Edward's discovery seems like a miracle, causing him to gain IQ points and run really fast (which is implied, of course, but showing him running in slow motion)...but, inevitably, he soon begins acting like a real jerk. He yells at his wife, he eats without silverware, and before you know it he's bare-chested and wrestling wolves like Leslie Nielsen lite. Mother of God, he's coming apart!

Kim notices that Edward is venturing into Cuckoo Town, but what she doesn't know is that he's not the only one! Edward has set up a lab on their property so his controversial research can thrive without the eyes of more...conservative scientists watching. He goads his assistants- a small group which includes Sean Patrick Flanery- into taking ULTRA as well, telling them it's an acceptable risk. Soon the sleepy town has four drug-addicted loonies on the loose- it's like Intervention meets Amityville meets Lifetime...in other words, it's a this isn't good by any means but I can't help enjoying it dream come true for me.

Edward begins to regain a bit of clarity, and realizes that ULTRA may not be all its cracked up to be, and that an increased IQ isn't worth it when one is suddenly eating meals sans silverware. He decides to stop the trials- but not before Sean Patrick Flanery runs Patty McCormack off the road in raging fit of road rage!

Edward puts the ULTRA formula on a 3.5 inch floppy disk (???) and locks it in safe, which seems to be the only way to ensure that this dangerous research is never found...well, the only way that doesn't involve not putting the research on a disk, or destroying the research altogether, or at the least destroying the disk.

Anyway, another assistant experiences her own moment of clarity and decides to call the police- but not before Sean Patrick Flanery bashes her head in!

Edward decides to call the police himself- but not before Sean Patrick Flanery drives off with the drug samples that Edward locked away instead of destroying!

Kim decides to call the police- but not before the remaining rogue assistant ties her up in the storage room!

Car chase, gun shots, fire, unearthed coffins, and death...proving once and for all what your mother told you: if you find some crystalline mold growing in the root cellar, do not eat it.

Oh, and if you're wondering how the Salem witch trials ties into this whole thing, well, it turns out that Kim's ancestor and her friends were exposed to the mold, which means that they started hallucinating and acting violently, which means that people thought they were witches, which means they were witches, which means they were hanged.

So there you go. Unfortunately, the supernatural shenanigans early on in the film were all just a red herring. Still, watching Acceptable Risk was an acceptable risk that panned out for the best- by which I mean it's not a good movie whatsoever, but I don't care*. When I've got Chad Lowe wrestling wolves and Megan, the hooker with a heart of gold, I need nothing else!

*I have a feeling that's how a lot of these Lifetime reviews are going to work out.

a dull boy by any other name…

Idioms and idiomatic expressions are neat. From the Serbian "He's ripping clouds with his nose!" to the Sweathoggian "Up your nose with a rubber hose!", quips and quotes and sayings vary from nations and people to people and nations. What causes outrage to a native speaker of a language may cause only puzzlement in a foreigner or Foreigner.

The most famous idiom found in a horror movie- well, except perhaps "You scared the shit outta me!"- is "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.", the sentence typed over and over by the sneaky Jack Torrance in The Shining. He was supposed to be working on his novel! That's why he refused sandwiches from Wendy, so he could concentrate! Gawd, what a jerk. First he sets up his special "must have quiet" writing area in the main hall, in the middle of everything, then it comes out that he's just been fooling around with typography the whole time.

Anyway. "All work..." may not be a familiar expression outside the shores of the ol' USA- so what was the phrase translated to in non-domestic releases of the film? Check it out!

FRANCE

ITALY

GERMANY

SPAIN

SWEATHOG

Mind you, I got all of these from The Internet, and as we all know The Internet has been known to lie (I'm looking at YOU, Nigerian widow who promised me millions of dollars)...but there you go.

A Field Guide to Horror Movie Jerks

I've talked alot about jerks here at Final Girl. Usually I'm referring to people who disagree with my opinions or don't like the things I like or something- you know, Paul Reiser fans and the such. After all, this is The Internet, and therefore anyone who doesn't think exactly as I do is a jerk.

Today, however, I want to focus on horror movie jerks. I've talked about those in the past as well, but never have I written...

A Field Guide to Horror Movie Jerks!

Yes, my friends, there are many varieties. I'd like to get a few guidelines out of the way first: first and foremost, I'm talking about the jerks who are essentially a part of the protagonist's posse. It goes without saying that the bad guys are jerks- I mean, they kill people; and sometimes the villains have lackeys who definitely cross from expected bad guy jerkiness into wicked bad guy jerkiness- Mr. Straker, I'm looking at you. In the interests of this guide, however, the discussion is relegated to secondary characters who are purportedly on the side of "good". There, glad that's settled.

#1: The Jerk You Can't Help But Like


I love Annie from John Carpenter's Halloween. Perhaps it was a steady diet of "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions" when I was young, I don't know...but whatever the reason, I generally love a smart and/or sassy mouth, especially when the person wielding said mouth is cranky (see also: Barbeau, Adrienne - Ed.). Mayhaps it's all rebellion against my 5th grade Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Nickerson, who told me that "Nobody likes sarcasm!" as I was getting in trouble for...well, for having a smart mouth borne of a steady diet of "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions". I beg to differ, Mrs. Nickerson! I love sarcasm and I love Annie Brackett, even though she's kind of a jerk to her friends and the children she babysits...although I Lindsay kind of deserved it. Wait, what was I talking about again? Ah yes, the jerk you're smiling at despite the jerkiness, and you're kind of bummed when they die.

#2: The Jerk Who Turns Out Not To Be A Jerk

Friends, this variety of jerk is perhaps the most rare. Moments within their walking onscreen, you can generally tell into which category a horror movie character will fall: The Joker, The Slut, The Final Girl, etc (this is doubly true for slasher flicks). Unless there's a total a-hole making an appearance, The Joker is usually The Jerk. You'd think this was the case with Ted in Friday the 13th, Part 2...but then somehow, the goofy guy ends up not as goofy as you thought he'd be, you realize he's not a jerk at all, and guess what? He lives until the end of the movie. Coincidence? You decide! (the answer is no. - Ed.)

#3: The Jerk Who May Have A Point

Oh lawd, how I loathe that Harry Cooper! He and Ben bicker throughout Night of the Living Dead- each trying to be Alpha Dog, each has wildly diverging ideas on how the group of survivors should deal with the oncoming zombies. Thing is, Ben is all cool and level-headed while Harry is all sweaty and yell-y and mean to his wife....in other words, he's a jerk. However, his plan- that they barricade themselves in the basement and wait for help- wasn't so bad. In fact, the group's numbers whittle down until it's just Ben left alive, at which time he implements Harry's plan and survives the night (and then the posse of jerks kills him anyway, so who are the monsters? - Ed.). Maybe if Mr. Cooper had been a bit nicer about expressing his ideas, none of them would have become zombie chow. That wouldn't have solved The Problem With Karen, but still.

#4: The Jerks Who Are Extremely Irritating


Like the white trash gross family in Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, this variety of jerk is incessantly annoying. They're loud, or they look like they smell, or they're stupid (or they're some combination of all three), and from the moment they appear you simply cannot wait for them to die so they will just shut the eff up and you will no longer have to look at them. (I like how the teeth of the F13-5 family are only rotten at the gumline. - Ed.)

#5: The Jerk You Feel Bad For Disliking

I think it would probably be misery to hang around with Shelly from Friday the 13th Part 3. Come on- those "practical jokes" would be old before they even start. He's dull and kind of whiny and he's awkward, but I feel bad labeling him a jerk (even though truly, he is one) because he doesn't fit in and he just wants some friends and who's never felt that way at some point in his or her life? (not me, certainly...how dare you insinuate, madame! - Ed.) However, as I start to feel sorry for Shelly, he goes and calls Vera a bitch because she doesn't want to sleep with him, but she was really nice about it and didn't deserve it. Jerk!

#6: The Jerk Who Is A Power-Mad Bully

Oh my, yes. These are the jerks with the guns, or the key to the truck, or something else that gives them the tiniest edge in the fight against whatever horror movie villain everyone's facing. (see also: the security guard in the Dawn of the Dead remake - Ed.) He uses his advantage as a last grasp at power in the face of the coming chaos, torturing and threatening everyone else along the way...sometimes even calling them names! Obsessed with maintaining control, this jerk will often put himself and everyone else in jeopardy with foolhardy actions just because they all said he shouldn't and HE'S THE BOSS. Captain Rhodes of Day of the Dead is such a power-mad jerk that he even tries bossing the zombies around, commanding them to choke on his legs as they eat him.

#7: The Cowardly Jerk Who Dicks Everyone Over

This douchebag jerk will do anything for a promotion or money. When push comes to shove, they'll push and/or shove you out of the way to get to the lifeboat. Resorting to inhumane behavior to save their own skin, they use allies as human shields (see also: Dr. Crews in Friday the 13th Part VII - Ed.), shut doors in people's faces, refuse to open doors no matter how much the person on the other side screams...they'll do anything to survive. They're the slimy snakes of the world of the horror movie jerk, and I CAN'T BELIEVE I PUT A PICTURE OF PAUL REISER ON FINAL GIRL but Burke is a shining example of Jerk #7, so there you go. (I can't believe you put a picture of Paul Reiser on Final Girl. - Ed.) I hate him with the white-hot intensity of a thousand sunburns like the one I got when I went to volleyball camp in 10th grade. (You went to volleyball camp? - Ed.)

#8: Franklin

Franklin, Franklin, Franklin. The king of all horror movie jerks- he certainly qualifies as several varieties, no? He's extremely irritating, yet for a few moments here and there you feel bad for hating him: the dude is in a wheelchair, clearly envious of the bipedariffic frolicking of his sister and her friends. ("bipedariffic" is a scientific term. - Ed.) He has a miserable life, but then he chooses to make the lives of everyone else around him- including the audience- miserable as well. Plus, he's sweaty and he clearly smells like sausage.

There you go, a little primer on Horror Movie Jerks. What did we learn today, friendos?
  • If you have need of a good horror movie jerk, watch any George Romero or Friday the 13th movie. Jerks abound!
  • Jerks always get what's coming to them. So much time is spent making the viewer side against this person that they're practically filled with bloodlust by the time the jerk gets killed. Seriously, when people are rooting for the mass murderer instead of you, you may want to rethink how you interact with your fellow human beings.
  • Don't be a jerk!

honk honk, vroom vroom!

I just realized that this post title might be a wee bit misleading. After all, the hearse in The Hearse (1980) doesn't honk- no, my friends, the hearse from The Hearse is no the car from The Car- and to be honest, it barely vrooms. Alas, I've already written the title, though, and there's no turning back now- it's not as if I can just change it.

Jane Hardy (Trish Van Devere) is a recently-divorced schoolteacher who's barely coping with the also-recent death of her mother. Once summer vacation hits, Jane gets all "You know, I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me!" and decides to spend the summer out in the country in the house she's inherited from her long-dead aunt.

The driving montage that shows Jane leaving her San Francisco-flavored worries behind as she heads to "hick town" is accompanied by some sweet-ass quality dreamy music. I was so hoping that The Hearse would continue the legacy of The Legacy and vocals would kick in- maybe by Charlene or Melanie or even, if the budget allowed, Phoebe Snow- and I'd be treated to "Getaway (theme from The Hearse)" or some shit, but it wasn't meant to be.

As the sun sets, things go from creamy and dreamy to downright sinister! The music becomes grating, Jane starts- oh God!- yawning, and she has a fender bender with...dun dun dunnnnn...the hearse! Before they can exchange insurance information, the hearse speeds off into the night. This lets the audience know one thing right off the bat: whoever's driving that hearse is a scofflaw! This does not bode well for Jane.

Things don't get much better once she finally moves into "The Old Martin Place": doors close on their own! Music boxes won't stay put! Jane sees the ghost of her aunt in the window! Teenagers catcall as she takes her early morning jog!

Also, the townspeople are acting like real jerks. We're left to wonder what the deal is- does the town have a cuckoo secret? Are they gearing up for some sort of macabre lottery? Does Jane have embarrassing foot odor? Well, horror fans, it's all of that...and more!

Wait, sorry, I mean it's none of that.

Jane unearths her aunt's diary only to discover that she was a devil worshipper, lured to the Satanic side by her sessy boyfriend. What are the odds? Cranky, boozy attorney Walter Pritchard (Joseph Cotten) explains the deal behind the hearse and its scar-faced driver that keep terrorizing poor Jane: decades ago, the hearse carrying her aunt's coffin exploded while crossing a bridge. The coffin and the driver disappeared, and no one knows what happened to them.

And no one ever will, because The Hearse doesn't explain a GD thing. Jane suffers nightmares and run-ins with the car, but why, exactly? Is she actually her aunt, reincarnated? Has she been a ghost all this time? Does her aunt hate Jane and want her to die? Feel free to make up your own theory, because the film just kind of stops with no resolution whatsoever, as if everyone involved got fed up with shooting, threw their hands up, and said "Let's just end this fucking thing!"

The Hearse is not an altogether unenjoyable...ahem...ride, but I can't claim it's exactly satisfying, either. Although not much happens whatsoever, there are some creepy sequences and Van Devere commits to the material. It's fun in that sort of nostalgic way; in the late 70s and early 80s, supernatural thrillers like this were the bloodless antithesis to the omnipresent slasher flicks. There are far better entries in the subgenre out there, though- why, you can even check out Trish Van Devere in a film I mentioned just the other day: The Changeling. Come to think of it, though, that movie doesn't have a theme song either...

A poll for you—-eh, never mind

In the interests of synergy, I was about to create a poll in order to determine the most annoying secondary character in horror. I began listing out the jerks who are so jerky you just sit there hoping they'll die soon: you know, guys like Shelly from Friday the 13th Part 3, the rednecks from Friday the 13th Part 5, Steel and Rickles from Day of the Dead...but then I ran into a problem. A sweaty, sausage-chewing, spit-spitting, wheelchair-bound, pee pee in a can problem...a problem named Franklin. Yes, Frankin from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. More specifically, the problem is that no one in the history of horror or, indeed, ever is more annoying than Franklin. It's just not possible, and I mean that in a most scientific sense. I've done the math, people, and he's the annoyingestest. EST. Evarrrr.

As I sat dealing with my sads over not being able to create a poll for you to click, an idea came to me. Why not create a diff'rent poll? I mean, if being diff'rent is good enough for strokes, then it's good enough for polls.

Okay, that barely makes sense. Regardless, click and say your say!

WHICH IS THE MOST ANNOYING:

Franklin



or

This



Personally, I'm going for Franklin. Yes, the noise is annoying, but at least it doesn't smell like sausage.

a few of my favorite zombies


The recent passing of Clayton Hill ("Sweater Zombie" from George Romero's Dawn of the Dead) has got me thinking about all those undead folk who've made an impression over the years. They (usually) don't speak and they're often one of a thousand walking corpses trying to eat the ragtag group of survivors, but we remember them regardless. Actually, horror fans don't simply remember these zombies, we celebrate them. Be honest, horror nerds- if a woman were to come up to you on the street and say "I was Majorette Zombie!" you'd know exactly who she was, right? And you'd be psyched to meet her, you know it...although you'd wonder why she felt the need to approach you and boast of her claim to fame a propos of nothing.

Here are a few of my favorite American Rotties.

1. Nameless Zombie (Dawn of the Dead '04)

She died without a name, which is sad. Then she came back to life and hauled ass trying to put the bite on Sarah Polley, which is understandable but not very nice. I like to pretend it's actually Dame Edith Massey as a zombie, which is a dream of mine that sadly will never be- at least never in the fictional sense. I suppose if there should ever be a zombie apocalypse, then the late Massey will rise from the grave. I won't know how to feel.

2. Softball Zombie (Land of the Dead)

She seems kind of depressed and sort of nice, but in the end I doubt if she'd want to be friends.

3. Cirque du Zombay (Night of the Living Dead '90)

I wonder how that happened. To be frank, he's probably better off undead.

4. Graveyard Zombie (Night of the Living Dead '68)

The one that started it all, and one of my absolute most favoritest. The fact that he really was coming to get Barbra is what's known as ironicalosity.

5. Ghetto Zombie (Dawn of the Dead '78)

If only for the hair and laid-back attitude.

6. Dr. Tongue (Day of the Dead '85)

Total gross-out icon. Great title sequence. I love Day of the Dead.

7. Nurse Zombie & Sweater Zombie (Dawn of the Dead)

If you watch Dawn of the Dead and pay close attention, you'll see that Sweater Zombie really gets around- he's outside doing his thing, then he's taking a ride on the escalator, then he's back outside with his partner-in-crime (and off-screen wife) Nurse Zombie (Sharon Ceccatti). You have to admire his moxie and his sweater vest.

8. Toothy Zombie (Day of the Dead)

Toothy is one of the zombies corralled by the evil Army dudes so Dr. Logan can get his experimentation on- in other words, she's one of those zombies that gets the audience asking "OMG, who are the real monsters here? Is it us? I'm not sure. I mean, we're not trying to eat anybody, but on the other hand, we're jerks..." Her "every other chomper" look totally influenced the zombie designs in my comic They Won't Stay Dead!- those janky teefs are how you know they're zombies!

9. Bug Eating Zombie (Night of the Living Dead)

Proving that zombies are grosser than we'd initially realized, Bug Eating Zombie plucks a bug off a tree and gulps it down- as...you know...her name suggests. Did you know that Bug Eating Zombie is portrayed by hot piece Marilyn "Mrs. Cooper" Eastman? It's true. Dazzle your friends with trivia!

10. Bub (Day of the Dead)

Duh.

11. Silent Movie Zombie (Night of the Living Dead)

I. Love. Him. I love how he totally overacts when the fire is waved in his face...but what I love even more is that after he overcomes his fear of the flames, Silent Movie Zombie gets irritated by them. He RULES.

12. Nathan Grantham (Creepshow)

Nathan Grantham is an anomaly in the zombie world- he can talk! He has a motivation for killin' beyond simple hunger! Best of all, he rises from the grave- I really wish we'd see more of that in zombie cinema.

Something just occurred to me. Let's think about what Grantham did after he decapitated poor old Aunt Sylvia, shall we, because he did a lot: he put her head on a tray. He found the frosting, then went in the silverware drawer for a knife. He frosted her head very carefully, then went searching for candles. After cramming them into her head, somehow (let's be honest, it probably took a while to get them to stay standing), he got matches or a lighter and lit them all. And he had to time all of this very carefully in order to surprise Cass and Richard as they approached the door! What a go-getter.

So, who's the most memorable zombie to you? Machete Zombie? Naked Zombie? Your mom?

Ha ha, I made that last one up.

Or did I?

so i made a movie, part six

I'm, like, totally in "post-production" on Ludlow. Since I went way overboard with the info sharing regarding the shoot, I figured, you know, why not indulge myself and share way too much info during the entire process of putting this movie together? It's what The Internet is for. Well, it's for sharing too much information and it's for LOLcats.

So, WARNING: this is all about me and my big ideas for Ludlow and seriously, it’s so boring, I’m falling asleep whilst typing ittttttttttwiooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Oh, if you have no idea what the fuck a "Ludlow" is, click here and catch up. Or don't and remain clueless. Whatever, man, that's totes your beeswax.

During filming, Shannon Lark looked far into the future and yawned upon reading this boring post.

If you’ve watched any of my previous…uh, let’s call them “films” for lack of a better term, shall we?…then you may or may not be surprised to find out that they’re all edited on l’il ol’ iMovie5. See, I’m always about 6 or 8 steps behind the curve when it comes to computers due to the fact that I’m not a millionaire. It’s true! Though I exude exquisite class and glamour all over The Internet, I am little more than a humble pauper.

Another example of exquisite class and glamour.

As such, I plod along all humble pauper-style working with programs from 5 years ago and everything’s generally cool; I’m a big proponent of the idea that your equipment doesn’t entirely matter, but rather it’s all about what you can do with it. *sexual innuendo, wakka wakka* The point is, geez… the first three episodes of Ghostella’s Haunted Tomb were shot on VHS, and they’re…largely coherent, at least.
SHANNON LARK: Stacie never gives herself enough credit. "Lack of a better term?" Her movies are wonderful! And they actually make sense. Especially her latest with that wedding dress-thing.
In related news, did you know that NOBODY uses VHS anymore? Weird, right? I just don’t understand this modern world! VHS is so cool. Why I remember the day I stepped up to VHS from using this thing. Oh, what a day that was. Electric Youth!

I’ll readily admit that top of the line equipment would be swell to own- after all, there’s no arguing that stuff shot on the Red One (fancy, expensive) looks better than stuff shot on VHS (not fancy, obsolete). But again, I’m not a millionaire and thus I make do. Sometimes, though, you just gotta bite the bullet and upgrade your crap to crap plus.

Sorry, VHS. I mean, you don't look THAT bad and I still love you and all...

Sometimes, upgrading is all about ease. After those first three episodes of Ghostella, I dumped my VHS camera for a cheap (but kick ASS) mini-DV camera. In addition to superior picture quality, this meant I could simply import footage directly from the camera into iMovie rather than burning a DVD from the VHS tapes, extracting the footage from the DVDs, converting the file types, and THEN importing to iMovie. I still make out with my little camera every night as my perverted way of thanking it for saving me so much time and hassle. The making out is also my way of letting it know that I think it’s pretty.

...but this is a little sharper...and widescreenier...and insanier.
SHANNON LARK: I agree that you should make out with your equipment. It makes it function better (as long as no saliva hits the mother board) as the good vibes permeate its mechanical consciousness.
I’m trying to make a…well, a GOOD MOVIE here with Ludlow. Relatively speaking, natch. I want it to look beautiful, and I want as much as possible to avoid the deadliest of pitfalls that frequently lay waste to no-budget movies: shitty audio. Whether or not I’ll achieve these goals remains to be seen, but to give myself a leg up I used Shannon’s fancy-pants camera to shoot the film (although not wanting to neglect my own beloved camera, I brought it with me to capture behind the scenes shenanigans and, you know, to make out with). The second part of this mathemagical equation involves post-production and my decision to…dun dun dunnnnn…upgrade from iMovie 5 to Final Cut Express 4. This is roughly the equivalent of upgrading from sitting on your ass all day to going all nutcake and doing the Ironman Triathlon in under an hour.

I don’t know if that makes any sense, or whether doing the Triathlon in under an hour would indeed indicate a level of nutcakedness, but perhaps you get the point.

What? No, I’ve never done the Ironman Triathlon. BIG DEAL. It’s not like I’ve never done ANYTHING. I mean, this one time I stayed up for two days straight and lemme tell ya, it broke my fucking brain! It was during a road trip with my friend Jim, and the highlight of the trip was probably the moment when my mind completely melted and I couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant where we’d had breakfast. The restaurant was called Country Pride (gross, awesome), but the closest I could get to calling it that was to blurt out “Purity Face”.
SHANNON LARK: Hahaha! I went to a place like that recently. It had a giant pig in front of it, which I rode.
"Purity Face" is clearly not even close.

Anyway.

Look, I’m not trying to knock iMovie Version From 5 Years Ago, believe me. I’ve done some cool stuff with it, if I do say so myself (and clearly I do say so myself). However, the program is largely aimed at people who want to make a “movie” of their kids pooping at the beach and Ken Burns-style photo montages set to the tune of Jim Croce’s “Time In A Bottle” to give as a gift to Nana and Pap Pap for their 60th wedding anniversary- and that’s…you know, mega-cool. But for Ludlow, I want more control than iMovie can provide; I want to filter audio and correct colors and all that deluxe good-time jazz. Lo, I say unto thee, this is a story about control. Control of what I say, control of what I do- and this time, I’m gonna do it MY way. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Are we ready? I am- ‘cause it’s all about control…and I’ve got lots of it.

NnnngaaaahhhhhJANET JACKSON GET OUT OF MY HEAD.

"I will fuck up your dreams!"

Sorry, wait…mmm. Err, where the fuck am I going with this?

Oh yeah- so I upgraded my computer and now my stupid big fat scanner is no longer compatible with my system (it sits, useless and mocking) which means I can no longer scan in…you know…STUFF FOR MY LIFE which includes COMICS and I’ve got Final Cut Express but it’s super complicated and I don’t know what I’m doing and I hate not knowing what I’m doing and I feel my self-imposed deadline looming and I’m totally freaking out.

SHANNON LARK: Girl, you are gonna get the freakin' stupid editing system BLAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Just keep working at it. You are super smart and you do things and you have the BESTEST blog on the intarweb where people send you fanmail and some of them even try to look up pictures of me naked just because you have let me go blablabla on your blog about masturbation and Ludlow. This is just Ludlow trying to bring you down, man. Fuck Ludlow. Fuck it with an iron fist and conquer this program till you hit yourself in the face cause your fist goes right through it, all transparency-like.
SWEET MERCIFUL CRAP did I really write all this just to bitch about how my new editing program is OH SO HARD and WAH WAH WAHH and IT’S GOING TO TAKE ME SO LONG TO LEARRRRRRRRNNNN? Hmm. I guess I did.

Well, I SAID it was boring…and YOU read it anyway! SUCKER!

Sorry, that’s not very nice at all. I’m going to go make an iMovie video featuring a Ken Burns-style montage of all our favorite Final Girl pictures from over the years, and I’ll set it to the tune of Icy Spicy Leoncie’s “Man! Let’s Have Fun” as my way of apologizing.

Actually, that video sounds pretty cool. Wow, I should be a jerk more often!

And please don’t remind me that I’m bitching about editing movies on my computer while the world is riddled with people who have no homes or clothes or perhaps not even eyes, because I feel guilty enough about my meager entitlements already. I BID YOU GOOD DAY.