Entries Tagged 'melrose place' ↓

like sisters

From David DeCoteau, director of The Brotherhood comes...dun dun dunnnnn...The Sisterhood, a tale of stuff that totally happens.

The stuff totally starts to happen right away as some girl and some guy are making out on some bed, when all of a sudden some other person comes in and the make out girl is all "I'm so sorry! Don't do anything to me or I'll tell all your secrets!" and she splits, but the robed figure chases the girl up to some rooftop and then the girl falls off onto some sidewalk and dies. The Sisterhood means business!

Some time later, Christine (Jennifer Holland) arrives at College University (or some shit), a place of higher learning that suspiciously resembles a chain hotel.

But no matter! It's what's inside College University that counts- and what's inside is Barbara Crampton, professor of Abnormal Psychology! Surely Barbara Crampton has a wizened old painting or two tucked away in her attic, because she apparently hasn't aged at all since her Re-Animator days.

...you are getting sleeeeepyyyyy...

During class- which is held in a room that suspiciously resembles a hotel conference room- a magic marker floats up and writes CHRISTINE on a dry erase board (that's right- no chalkboards at College University!). Christine freaks out and runs away- what's going on here? Was it a truly magic magic marker?

Christine runs back to her dorm room (which suspiciously resembles a hotel room) and promptly uses her brain power to light a candle. Christine, you see, has eerie powers! Did she write her own name on the dry erase board? Don't worry: the movie never tells you, but in the end, that's the only logical explanation. However, if that's true, then it's not logical that Christine would flip out over it. Don't worry: nothing in The Sisterhood makes sense.

Meanwhile, there's a sexy sorority on campus called BAT (Beta Alpha Tau or some shit) and they're interested in recruiting Christine. This turns out to be a fortuitous development, for Professor Barbara Crampton asked Christine to pledge- there's something hinky going on at the BAT house, and apparently only Chsitine and her eerie powers can stop it. What's the evil secret of the BAT house? You may want to sit down for this:

They sit around drinking wine and making out!

Yes, girls making out with other girls, even though they're girls. I mean...that's the evil that Professor Barbara Crampton is talking about, yes? And the "temptation" that Christine must avoid while she's in the company of BATs? It must be, because there's nothing else going on at the sorority whatsoever. I mean, when Professor Barbara Crampton says "You can't allow them to entice you into doing anything you've never done before, or you'll be one of them!" and it coincides with this shot:

...well, what are we supposed to think? Duh, it's all about catching The Gay. Not surprising, as this is a David DeCoteau film, and his films tend to be totally gay without being at all gay because gay doesn't sell but David DeCoteau is gay and makes gay stuff. Pick up The Brotherhood or any of the zillion sequels, put on some gay glasses, get out your homo decoder ring and see what you think. It's fun to spot veiled messages!

The messages at the BAT house don't stay veiled for long, however, and as a new pledge Christine is forced to stand by awkwardly and watch HBIC (Head BAT in Charge) Devin (Michelle Borth) make out with some other chick as techno music plays.

Then some wind appears out of nowhere, and the scene is still awkward and not at all erotic.

Devin tells Christine that they have to wait a week to perform the real initiation ceremony, because the ceremony requires a full moon. Of course, the moon has been shown in the film about 86945 times by this point, and it's already full.

And thus begins a cycle: Christine goes to the BAT house, there's making out, techno music plays, Professor Barbara Crampton reminds Christine to resist temptation, we wonder why Professor Barbara Crampton is so uptight, blah blah blah.

Devin has somehow gotten wind of Christine's eerie powers and asks for a display. Christine obliges, literally, turning into a display from Spencer's Gifts:

What are these eerie mind powers, I wonder. She sparkles and can light candles, but they're just called "mind powers"- not telekinesis, not telepathy...then I remember that The Sisterhood doesn't make any sense and I stop wondering.

It seems that Devin is truly evil- she sleeps with Christine's goody goody "I'm waiting for marriage" not quite boyfriend Josh, and she totally corrupts him! He goes from being a studious nerd:

...to walking around the hotel campus dressed all in all black. He keeps his shirt open, he stops caring about school, and he...and he...wears sunglasses!

This humiliation only strengthens Christine's resolve to fight against the temptation of wine-drinking and bisexuality, much to the relief of Professor Barbara Crampton. They have a meeting in which everything and nothing is explained: apparently Devin is immortal and has been corrupting innocents for 400 years, while the ancestors of both the teacher and the student have battled her throughout the centuries. Christine is all, "Oh."

Hooray, the moon is finally full(er) and it's time for the initiation ceremony. It looks like every other evil college initiation ceremony you've seen: there's the requisite robes, coffin, candles, and "belonging to the darkness"es.

But oh no for Devin! Somehow she didn't notice that one of the four robed figures is actually Professor Barbara Crampton, who reveals herself to be...Professor Barbara Crampton, Vampire Slayer. Yes, it seems that the BAT girls are all vampires. I would have noticed this earlier, except it wasn't even vaguely alluded to whatsoever for the first 80 minutes of the film.

The final showdown the world has been waiting hundreds of years to be is a real nail-biter. Christine uses her eerie mental powers!

This causes an Adobe lens flare.

This weakens Devin long enough to allow Professor Barbara Crampton, Vampire Slayer to plunge a stake into the vampire's heart. This causes Devin to turn into the opening title sequence from The Thing...

...and then she explodes. SHE EXPLODES.

Just when you thought the world was safe, however, things poop on your neck: the world is not safe! Christine makes a mad grab for power and becomes head of the BATs! She and her sisters head off into the sunset to presumably make out and drink wine, because that's all they ever do.

Just when you thought the world was unsafe, however, things poop on the poop on your neck: the world is totally unsafer! Apparently it takes more than exploding to stop the mighty Devin, who is still alive. Or undead. Or whatever the fuck she is.

What's odder than the fact that she survived being blown up, however, is that a girl was buried all bloody and fanged with a stake sticking out of her chest and nobody seemed to care. I guess the coroner and funeral home of College University Town are really phoning it in at this point.

Wait, I forgot- The Sisterhood doesn't make any sense! I know I've made it seem as if it might make a little sense, but it doesn't. It really doesn't. In fact, it feels as if there are large pieces of the script missing- huge leaps of logic in conversations that are cobbled together out of nothing.

Though there's lots of making out and wind machines and techno music and underwear-clad boys and girls, none of it is a turn on at all. No one ever has sex or really does much more than awkwardly kiss and sway back and forth while almost-hugging; it's odd, because you think that sex would be a big selling point of a movie like this. It's not even remotely the softcore movie you're pretty much expecting, but it acts like one. The Sisterhood is...I don't know, eunuchcore or something.

The biggest shock of all, however, is that this film was released in 2004. It feels so damn 1990s, from the music to the hair to the clothes (vests!) to that Melrose Place-esque arm-in-arm stroll out the gates of College University.

I really can't recommend The Sisterhood...or can I? I mean, I was entertained, just not in the way you want from a horror movie. Make of that what you will. The upside to all of this is that Barbara Crampton got a paycheck. Fuck yeah!

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.

Happy Birthday, Courtney Thorne-Smith!

I have an odd amount of affection for the 1987 comedy Summer School. I do not know why, but there it is, I've said it. I am immune to your judgments!

That's the earliest I recall seeing Courtney Thorne-Smith in anything...of course, a few years later she would go on to play Allison Parker, the exceedingly irritating small-town girl navigating life in the big city on a little something I like to call Melrose Place.

Okay, so that's actually the name of the show, not some little nickname I made up- but that's beside the point! The point is, I suppose I was meant to love and/or identify with Allison and her on-again off-again roommate/paramour Billy Campbell, but the truth is I couldn't stand either one of them. There it is, I've said it. I am immune to your judgments!

Now, if all of that wasn't enough reason to celebrate Courtney Thorne-Smith a-bustin' out of her mama some time ago, then let me remind you about her greatest performance of all: as Cheryl Ann Davis, Dairy Princess in Midwest Obsession, aka Beauty's Revenge.

One of these days I'll have a copy of Midwest Obsession to make out with at night...but during the day, I will review it here. I don't care if it's a Lifetime movie. I've reviewed them before, and I think I may start doing so again- slying incorporating them into the content here at Final Girl, for they bring me so much pleasure. Don't worry, I'll just tackle the murderiffic ones- nothing about lonely widows finding love with the handsome handyman, nothing about laughing your way through breast cancer, nothing about orphans finding families at Christmastime- well, unless the orphan's name is Esther.

Anyway, yes, Lifetime movies. I mean, I don't want to start a whole 'nother blog, you know? It's time to branch out a bit. There it is, I've said it. I am immune to your judgments!

In summation, happy birthday Courtney Thorne-Smith! May all your movies be flogging movies.

meanwhile, 1989 kinda stunk

1989 certainly has it high points in horror cinema- Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer, Bad Taste, and Pet Sematary to name a few. However, the closing of the decade saw the genre lapse into a crap coma. Despite the endless hand holdings and the whisperings of "Are you in there? Can you hear me? What's a coma like? Does my new haircut make my face look too boxy?" by fans, horror would lay fairly lifeless until Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson kicked it awake a few years later with Scream.

I don't know whether or not Pet Sematary is actually any good, but I swear I've seen it a zillion times. Much like Jingle Jugs, my Zelda impersonation ("Rachel! You'll never walk again!") is the life of any party. Somehow, every time I see the film I remain thoroughly convinced that Zelda is played by Amanda Plummer, even though that's never, ever the case.

Anyway, 1989 was truly the year of underwater horror and lousy sequels.

Deep Star Six

Greg Evigan and Sean Cunningham, yeah? I keep meaning to watch this one, I swear.

Wow, that was truly fucking insightful.

Oh yeah, this also stars Nia Peeples. When I was young, I used to think it was funny to call her "Pia Nipples".

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes A Boat Ride Manhattan

I can't believe I can find fault with a movie where someone gets his head punched off, but F13: VIII stinks. It's one of those films I keep thinking will get better with age, that maybe I misjudged it, that maybe I'll find some new appreciation for it the more I see it, but...no. Still, someone gets his head punched off.

The Fly II

I've only seen this once and I remember thinking, "Well, that certainly wasn't The Fly!", which is perhaps some of the most pointed film criticism ever thought. I know I'll see it again someday because it stars Daphne Zuniga and eventually I'll get pulled into her Jo Reynolds-flavored clutches.

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

I don't like thinking about Halloween 5 because thinking about Halloween 5 causes me to think about the "quirky" Tina and her zebra-striped pants and thinking about "quirky" Tina and her zebra-striped pants causes my heart to pound (in a bad way) and my blood to rage white-water-rafting-style. Therefore, I choose a life of willful ignorance where Halloween 5 doesn't exist. It's for the sake of my health!


I've had a VHS copy of this sitting on my shelf for a looooong time now, and I've never mustered the energy to watch it. I'm sure that says something or other about some kind of something.

Lords of the Deep

I wish Lords of the Deep was some sort of water-related dance extravaganza going on in Las Vegas starring Tony Danza and Debbie Reynolds. Alas, it's just Roger Corman's attempt at cashing in on '89's underwater horror craze.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

I don't think I've ever seen this; I gave up on Freddy after catching Part 4 in the theatre. Therefore, it could be amazing for all I know. My Spider Sense, however, indicates otherwise. Still, great poster.

Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland

Now, y'all know I loves me some Angela, big time. This love doesn't blind me to the fact that Sleepaway Camp III is really, truly awful. Except the first 15 minutes or so, where that trashy girl is yelling at her mom, all whiny-like: "Today's the day I'm going ta caaaaaamp. Ya heah me? I'm goin' ta that camp today!" and then she goes outside where a bewigged, stolen garbage truck-driving Angela runs her over. Those fifteen minutes are cinematic gold, my friends.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!

I've only seen the first two films in the Silent Night, Deadly Night saga- yes, even though I know one of the later sequels stars Mickey Rooney as some evil toymaker or some shit. Someday when I hate life in general, I'll marathon the series.

So...1989. Whatchoo tink?

so i made a movie, part two

I recently made a short horror film called Ludlow, starring Shannon Lark and Elissa Dowling. I thought I'd share all the boring details about how that came to be, because...you know...sharing is caring and if there's one I thing I do, it's care. Part one of the saga is here.

Before I’d even made it home from hanging out with Shannon on the Queen Mary, my brain was working full throttle to come up with some sort of idea for this movie we’d suddenly decided to make together. The first and foremost thought in my mind was that I didn’t simply want to make another episode of Ghostella’s Haunted Tomb; not that I don’t love Ghostella with every fiber of the fabric of my life, but because I thought it would be a good thing to stretch my repertoire a bit, as it were. If I have one…which I’m not entirely sure I do. At any rate, I wanted to use this opportunity to push myself outside of my Z-grade comfort zone and make something…well, different. Profound, I know- but as I’m sure I’ve mentioned once or twice or a million times, man…my rivers run so effing deep!
SHANNON LARK: While Stacie was pulling her hair out, I was going on some tirade about chronic masturbation, and wrote a beautiful script that deals with me...and my vagina! Yay! In a frenzy, I took off to Oklahoma during the recent snow storm and almost hit a jacknifed semi. Some guy in a funny hat came along and pulled me out of the ditch and I made it to a small town called Arnette. I was cared for by a very nice motel owner, who I think wanted to make me his wife and we hit up the local bar, where it was a "serve yourself" sort of thing. They also cooked chili but I declined. The next day, the mentally impaired brothers outside the gas station let me throw snow balls at them.
Alright, great, so I wanted to make a movie that’s a bit more serious than my usual fare. Truth be told, this simply added another layer of…well, not stress and anxiety, exactly, but another layer of lite concern to the process. Stepping outside my comfort zone (which, it just so happens, is across the street from Vanessa Williams’s Comfort Zone; I saw her once when I was getting my mail, but I don’t think she saw me)…oh my gawd, is this boring? I think this might all be boring. I’m not one to…you know, really share stuff beyond my love of Melrose Place and Icy Spicy Leoncie, so giving a peek behind my creative draperies feels self-indulgent, boring, boring, and self-indulgent. But I’ve started, and I told Shannon I would be doing this “production” “diary” thing, so I’ve got to continue. Now’s your chance to jump ship if you want.
SHANNON LARK: You are not boring! I love your brain! Sometimes I even wish I could sit on it.
So, uh…the anti-Ghostella movie. As you may have surmised, I didn’t start with any concrete ideas regarding plot; rather, it was a matter of not wanting to re-use any of the locations I’d used before. I’m so tired of the same backgrounds, the same spaces, the same Golden Girls couch lurking behind the action, I wanted to shoot anywhere else besides my house or my friends’ houses…and it grew from there. Find a new location, and keep the cast extremely small.

It sprang to mind almost immediately that I’d like to shoot somewhere in the desert. I fucking love the desert. It’s so strange and bizarre and harsh and deadly and beautiful, I can’t get enough of it. It’s the closest I’m ever gonna get to living on Mars, and the fact that it’s an hour’s drive from the comforts of my home means the world to me. The desert both attracts and births wackadoos, and it’ll kill you in a day if you're not careful. What better place to shoot a horror film? About a week after our napkin contract was signed- less than 3 weeks before we were set to start filming, all I had was a vague idea of a location. “How do you feel like holing up in the desert to shoot this thing?” I wrote to Shannon. “It's all coming together a bit in my head, and 'middle of nowhere' sounds fucking awesome to me.”
SHANNON LARK: I love the desert too! Born and raised, yes siree. I completely understood the feeling she was going for, simply because she mentioned the desert. It reminded me of tailgate parties and so much isolation that I would go through suicidal waves that left me crying in the closet.
I’m not one to share ideas, really, before I’ve got a completed project. I’d rather hand you something I’ve finished than talk about it before I’ve begun making it. This is largely due to the fact that I’m pretty terrible at articulating what’s going on inside my head- while it’s all crystal clear up there, when it comes out of my mouth it sounds like a bunch of crap. In general, I’d rather keep it all to myself during the “process”; this time, however, I tried to keep Shannon in the loop as much as possible. Of course, all that did was highlight the reasons why I keep shit to myself. What is someone supposed to think when I email her vague ideas and random sentences, and all I’ve got worked out plot-wise is “…and then something something something stab stab something the end"? Better just to hand off a finished script, which I finally did about 10 days before Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors. All that remained was naming it.
SHANNON LARK: The first time Stacie told me the plot she said something to the effect of, "Oh...I don't know...it would be in the desert...and you know, something would happen...and then...I don't know...stabstabstab the end." I thought it was cinematic genius, particularly the stabstabstab part. I believe in Stacie and what she can do. I would have done a Ghostella episode, for all I care. It didn't matter. What was important to me was getting to work with her. So when she sent over the script I fell for it like pecans and ice cream. I did my best to learn the insane amount of dialogue over the next few days, while preparing for Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors. I had lost my mind. The script went up into the air like falling snow. Every time I opened it something overwhelming would fall in my lap and my brain turned to goo. Stacie called to find out if I even liked the script and all I could muster was "yes...I do! I like it! Yes!"

What a douchebag.
I don’t want to give anything away, and I’m exceedingly terrible at loglines and short descriptions. If I were tasked with writing the copy on the back of DVD cases, the sleeve would be a four-page gatefold, you know? Let’s just say that in the end, this movie is, to an extent, kind of influenced a bit, maybe, perhaps, a little, by Repulsion and Bug. It’s a girl holed up in the desert- I’m really into exploring…I don’t know, isolation and madness, I suppose. Visually, I wanted it to be as pretty as a film I’ve been completely obsessed with lately called The Dead Girl. Ob. Sessed. Seriously, you should check it out, even though it’s not horror. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, and a little bit phenomenal.

With the script finished, all that remained before Shannon’s arrival was something...you know...totes minor: finding a place to shoot the damn thing. I needed an out-of-the-way, borderline-fleabag motel and a diner, the more isolated, the better. After the slightest bit of research (in a BOOK, of all places!), I decided to simply get in my car and drive east out into the Mojave. A couple of hours later, I exited in Ludlow, and lemme tell ya, it was as if that place was crapped out by my very own brain. There was a borderline-fleabag motel and a diner and a gas station, and that’s about it. Maybe 10 trailers out behind the motel, some train tracks, and a wide expanse of nothing. Ludlow’s story isn’t unfamiliar: a brief boom during the mining days, then nothing. Once Route 66 was surpassed by I-40, it was all over. It’s essentially a ghost town, although “town” is probably too generous a term.

In other words, it was perfect.

SHANNON LARK: It really reminded me of home: hittin' up the chili cook offs or the rattlesnake rallies. Yeehaw! Although I think this "town" was too small, even for a bat parade! It truly was perfect.
The motel office has been abandoned for quite some time, and to register for an overnight stay, one must go to the new-ish, shiny-ish Chevron station across the street.

I requested a couple of rooms for a couple of days; the girl behind the counter wrote down my info on a cash register receipt and shoved it in the drawer and that was that. Yeah, a receipt…and by “info” I mean she wrote STACEY 2 ROOMS APRIL 21-23. It was really a sign of things to come, but at the time I was just clueless and ecstatic and ready to go...as you can tell by this nail-bitingly, breathtakingly amazing update to my Twitter upon my triumphant return from Ludlow:

Are you following me on Twitter? I can't imagine why you wouldn't be. I mean, how else are you going to get such scintillating insights into the deep mysteries of my life, such as this, from April 7:
Roof of my mouth has been itching all day. Am I dying?
(answer: no)...or this, from March 27:
Man, I can fuck up some Pepperidge Farm Milanos.
Really, people, this is why the internet was invented.

Anyway, now we just had to shoot this damn thing, which suddenly had a name...yeah. Ludlow.

who likes to buy stuff?

The answer is: EVERYBODY except perhaps Ebenezer Scrooge. Yes, children, it's that time of the year when people spend money they don't have buying gifts for people they don't really like out of obligation. So, I say unto thee, BEHOLD, for today is a grand day for a Grand Opening, is it not? Boils and ghouls, I give you, my brand newAmazon shop!

Take a look around, why don'tcha? Mayhaps you'll find that special something for that special someone. There's a permanent link over yonder in mah sidebar, so anytime you've got the itch to buy something from Amazon- which happens to me all the time- just come on in. I'll be adding stuff all the time, so check back if you feel like it. Or don't, if you're not cool enough.

If this was a real Grand Opening and not just a cyber one, I'd have cupcakes and fruit punch for you, I swear. Maybe even a barbershop quartet or a small brass band! Certainly the Mayor would be in attendance, and he'd hand me those giant novelty scissors with which I'd cut the ribbon that'd be draped across the front door of my shop; then everyone in the town square would let out a cheer, and people would rush in and buy so many copies of Sssss that I'd be able to pay my rent! "Hooray!" they'd yell..."Hooray!" and the crowd would lift me up and I've feel even prettier and more popular than Courtney Thorne-Smith of television's Melrose Place did when she was crowned The Dairy Princess in the made-for-TV thriller Midwest Obsession. Later on the mayor would hand me a Proclamation on REAL PAPER stating that December 2nd is, in fact, Final Girl Day, and he'd also give me the key to the city, which I didn't even know was my life's dream until right this very second.

Uh, anyway.

You know what else people love to receive for ChristmaKwanzaKkah? REAL ART! Yes, it's true. Giving art to your nearest and dearest for the holidays makes you seem classy. Why not commission a painting from moi before time runs out? Why, these fine works adorn some of the finest walls in all the land; doesn't that make you want to yell "Me too!" or something?

I realize this is an awful lot of pimping and I feel a little gross about it, but then again I'm broke. Happy holidays!

the rig is up

It is a well-known fact that one of the sides comprising the equilateral triangle that represents the best television shows in the history of ever is the new Battlestar Galactica (the other two sides being, of course, Melrose Place and Dallas).

Wow, writing that sentence totally got me jonesing to do some alg/trig, what with all the letters and formulae and angles that are involved. Scalene triangles are the best triangles, don't you think?

Wait, I mean I hate math! Christ, I keep forgetting that I'm a girl. Damn this moustache!

The point is, when one loves Battlestar Galactica as if the show is one's own child and one is browsing at Video Hut and one spots a movie called Ghost Rig (2003) and one notices that the words "Jamie" and "Bamber" are emblazoned across the top of the box, one gets very excited and one brings Ghost Rig home. Jamie Bamber, see, plays Apollo on Battlestar Galactica, and Ghost Rig is ostensibly a horror movie. A squared + B squared = 2 great tastes tasting great together, my mathemagical friends!

In Ghost Rig, a bunch of environmental activists occupy an abandoned oil rig that's about to be demolished. Believing that the "artificial reef" formed by the rig debris will do more harm than good, the crazy kids of "Action Planet" intend to stay on the rig until...until...uh, I guess until the government promises not to destroy it. You know, they use the strategy of those folks who sit in trees to protest the chop-chop.

After what seems like 453968 minutes of activists walking around with flashlights, we learn that the rig is not, in fact, abandoned! There's someone on board, though whether corporeal or otherwise it's unclear. This someone's intentions are perfectly clear, however, and soon the someone makes with the Black Christmasing of an unlucky activist.

After the body is found, the group is divided into two factions: those who want to stay and those who want to split. The stayers outnumber the splitters so the activists decide to keep...activisting.

Captain Action Planet decides this is a good time to casually mention to the group that the rig was quarantined before their arrival. Nothing like a little exposure to unknown viruses and the such to liven things up a bit!

At this point, Ghost Rig becomes the rig-ified baby of John Carpenter's The Thing and that movie I've seen ten minutes of about seven times, Fallen. The virus ain't a virus per se, but rather it's a...demon of sorts, and the possession is passed from person to person and therefore no one can be trusted. The ragtag group of activists must overcome their differences (Captain Action Planet is an a-hole! Jamie Bamber is totally a double agent, which kind of doesn't make any sense!) as they fight for survival. Will they be able to?

People flip out and whale on each other with hammers, wounds heal via dodgy CGI, there's a 'demon voice' which proves that Mercedes McCambridge is the only person who could do a believable demon voice and she didn't need any fucking help from a computer thank you very much, there are corpses tucked away in the walls, and the activists piece together what happened on the rig before it got all possess-y, starting with the discovery of a giant devil's hopscotch.

By the way, the term "devil's hopscotch" reminds me of Devil's Hopyard, which is a state park near where I grew up. Obviously it's the best name for a state park EVARRRRRR. It also has the coolest legends of any state park I've ever encountered, which, as you can imagine, fueled wee Final Girl's imagination:
Another tale focuses on the potholes near the falls, which are some of the finest examples of pothole stone formations in this section of the country. Perfectly cylindrical, they range from inches to several feet in diameter and depth. These potholes were formed by stones moved downstream by the current and trapped in an eddy where the stone was spun around and around, wearing a depression in the rock. When the rock wore itself down, another would catch in the same hole and enlarge it. We know this now, but to the early settlers the potholes were a great mystery that they tried to explain with references to the supernatural. They thought that the Devil has passed by the falls, accidentally getting his tail wet. This made him so mad he burned holes in the stones with his hooves as he bounded away.
Stupid, awesome, superstitious settlers.

But! Now is not the time for southeastern Connecticut's geological history. Now is the time for mediocre horror movies, so back to Ghost Rig.

I must admit, just when I was thinking that this movie was a let down, Apollo or no Apollo, Ghost Rig surprised me with a twist ending that was interesting, satisfying, and undoubtedly the best part of the movie. I'm not going to give anything away here because not only was the ending completely unexpected, but it's also complicated and I'm too lazy to type all that shit out. Suffice it to say, when Ghost Rig ended I had to give it a begrudging "Not bad, kid...not bad at all." Then Ghost Rig gave me a Coke and I threw my shirt at it*.

So. Should you seek out Ghost Rig? Well, if you're anything like me, then perhaps yes. "Anything like me" means that you want to make out with Battlestar Galactica so badly that you even consider rewatching Halloween: Resurrection, a movie that opened with fifteen minutes that made you want to kill yourself and the entire world the first time you saw it, just because Starbuck is in it. "Anything like me" means that a movie about a haunted oil rig is something that makes you genuinely go "Ooh, hey, this could be good". "Anything like me" means you would buy an algebra workbook just for fun, but I suppose that's sort of beside the point.

*I realize that there are plenty of you out there who have absolutely no clue what I'm referencing here, so voila. Great Caesar's ghost, I've dated people who are younger than that commercial. How is this possible? In related news, does Coke really add life?