Entries Tagged 'remembering' ↓

be your own Romero

Hey, remember that time when my AMC column featured some tips for making your own low-budget horror movie? Yeah? Well, guess what- this week I'm giving out more totally unsolicited filmmaking advice! Hooray!

Speaking of unsolicited advice...I can't say I'm wild about what you've done with your hair.

Also, it's hard to believe that I'm not earning a living with my clearly AMAZING Photoshop skills.

a look back at the other day

Well, my friends...SHOCKTOBER is officially SHOCKOVER.

I know. I feel your pain. My jack-o-lanterns are already caving in on themselves as if they've each got a bad case of meth face...my local Target took down their display of horror movies...and -GASP- I watched 2 movies yesterday with no intent at all of reviewing them! It all feels so strange- although one of those movies I'm going to have to write about because...well, I just have to. But this post is not about looking ahead to the future, oh now- it's about remaining stuck in the past! I'm going to extend that Halloween feeling by doing a little post-game wrap-up of the month that was, using the same categories I did for my very first October wrap-up waaaay back in 2 thousand fucking FIVE! However, in the interests of being fresh and exciting, I'll use some new categories as well. Oh, SHOCKTOBER, I just can't let you go.

Movie that kicked my ass the hardest: Hmm. I don't know, did any movie actually kick my ass this month? I liked- even loved- quite a few flicks this month, but nothing really threw me for a loop like The Brood did that first year. Splinter was pretty effing righteous, but the movie I keep coming back to, the one I keep thinking about, is Voice. Yeah, that surprises me, too.

Person I saw the most onscreen during the month: Terry O'Quinn made two appearances: The Stepfather and Pin. Dina Meyer was also in two movies this month: Crazy Eights and Saw. Good thing I like them...you don't want to know what would happen if I despised them! Okay, nothing would happen...so sue me.

Person I saw the most OF onscreen during this month: Oh, boobs. Where would we be without you? Wrong Turn 3, Trick 'r Treat, Slaughter High...and plenty of other movie featured this month featured women in all their glory. Then again, Slaughter High featured Marty in all his glory, too...equal opportunity and all that. Whether "glory" should actually apply to any of it is up to you.

Best moments: Really, any moment from Mausoleum applies here as the entire affair constitutes one 90-minute long best moment.

Reaffirmed infinite love: Slaughter High is the only film I watched this month that I'd seen before and yes, my infinite love was, in fact, reaffirmed. "Let's par-deeeeeeee!" Ugh...SO GOOD.

Most disturbing visual: Disturbing...well, the shitty latex mask in Wrong Turn 3 certainly disturbed me, and hairy people copulating in Nail Gun Massacre was something I never wanted to see. As far as, you know, disturbing in a deliberate, horror movie way...I don't know. Nothing's really jumping out at me. That gives me the sads, seriously.

Best comment: First of all, thanks to everyone who took a moment to chime in with a comment throughout the month (or anytime, for that matter). But! The prize goes to both Nick for "'..and of course you know my good friends Dr. and Mrs. Nietsneknarf...'"on Dracula A.D. 1972, and Joel Henry Minkin for "I wish I could cause spontaneous embroidery via combustion" on The Spell. Incidentally, the films that brought about the most conversation (as of this writing) are Saw and Wrong Turn 3, with 18 comments a piece, while no one gives two shits about Hardware or Crazy Eights- they finished with a whopping zero comments each! Harrumph.

Most infuriating: Obviously The Toybox can go fuck itself as I couldn't even make it through a viewing of that thing, and Stan Helsing bit it hard, too...but Wrong Turn 3 was absolutely the most infuriating. It hurt my heart place to watch such a shitariffic sequel to a movie I love so much.
Theme of the month: Houses, buildings, more houses, and more buildings. From The House with Laughing Windows to Mausoleum to Catacombs to Black House to The Morgue to House of Seven Corpses to Slaughter High to Haunting of Winchester House, I certainly had my fill of plaaaaaaces of terrrrrror.

So there you go. I'm sad to see SHOCKTOBER come to an end, but it's also a relief not to review a movie every day. It takes it out of ya! Oh, yeah, I did cheat that one day where I talked about video games. But it's my site, I can do whatever I want! See? I can post a picture that doesn't have anything to do with anything if I want to, just because I can.

Oh, who am I kidding? Match Game (you want to click that link) has everything to do with everything.

I can't wait 'til next October!

of interest!

Boy oh boy, true believers, there's a lot of good horror stuff comin' down the pike. I say we all link pinks and spend the next couple of months gettin' our gorge on! Shocktober is so close I can smell it.

Wait, sorry...I think that's actually Wind Song by Prince Matchabelli.

Anyhoo, check out what's coming soon to a DVD near you! October 13th is gonna be a bank buster of a day.

Hardware (10/13)

This 1990 sci fi/horror cult classic (killer droid...'nuff said) is finally getting released in an unrated cut. Notice how every caca horror movie is "unrated" when the DVD hits, and it usually doesn't mean squat? Well, that's not the case with Hardware; those pesky Miramax folk chopped an X-rated flick up, but now it's restored to director Richard Stanley's totally cyber vision. Watch a preview right here.

Phantasm II (available now!)

Long out of print and hard to find...but no more! The Tall Man returns, wielding deadly flying silver balls in his quest to build a dwarf army that will do his bidding in a red-hued negative zone.

Wow, it sounds really dumb when I say it like that. We all know, however, that Phantasm rules! I've never seen this follow-up (or any of the sequels, for that matter). I'm psyched.

Happy Birthday to Me (10/13)

Ah, a decent edition of this decent 1981 slasher flick...most importantly, the original score has been restored- as has the cover art. Thanks, Anchor Bay! This one's worth a re-visit, I think.

The Stepfather (10/13)

Thanks to the TV show Lost, people everywhere are going all goo goo over Terry O'Quinn- we horror fans, however, say "Pfft!" to that. We knew he was awesome all the way back in 1987, when he got his psycho on in The Stepfather. Now that the film is finally going to be available on DVD, we can all feel even more superior when people are like, "Wow, have you seen The Stepfather? That dude from Lost is in it and he was acting all kill-y and ca-razy!", and we can be all, "Duh, old news. Now let's talk abut Jill Schoelen!"

Night of the Creeps (10/27)

Yup, I just talked about the shitty cover art on the DVD and Blu-Ray editions of this cult classic, but really, they're beside the point. The point is, Night of the Creeps is finally going to be out there! FINALLY! Tom Atkins! Yearrrrgh!

The House on Sorority Row (11/24)

Another one I've talked about recently, but it's worth noting again. I haven't watched this one since I reviewed it...lawd lawd, it's been years now! I can't wait to dig in. I know there are plenty of folks whose fancies aren't quite tickled by The House on Sorority Row, but I think it's a little gem. So there.

Look for reviews of these films- the one's I've yet to review here, anyway- in the coming weeks. It's a good time to be a horror fan!

Hey, remember that time I put my hat out for donations so I could complete filming Ludlow? Well, if you donated as a means to starting your career as a movie mogul (in addition to helping me out, of course), then I've got good news for you! Charred Oak Films is looking for backers for their comedy-horror short Always A Bridesmaid, and you- yes, you- can be a backer. Head over HERE to watch their pitch and learn how you can help make dreams become a reality.

And no, it has nothing to do with my trailer/short/whatever Deadly Dress 4: Never A Bride- I know you were dying to ask! me me me I'm sure their effort will be at least 66% less...well, less retarded.

this is not my movie

Think on back with me, child, to that magical long-ago time called "earlier this week" when I reviewed a little sumpin' sumpin' called Cathy's Curse. Wasn't that a great day? It sure was. Unless I'm thinking about last week, when I had some frozen yogurt...or was that yesterday? Eh, I have no clue. My days tend to mush all together to form a big blob of amorphous solid (not unlike silly putty), only broken up by occasional trips to my mailbox or, when I'm feeling particularly wicked, the local branch of the library. But! I am not here to blather on and on about my glamourous life, no- I'm here to talk about...wait, what am I here to talk about?

Oh yeah! So listen, Cathy's Curse was a selection from my awesome 50-pack of Chilling Classics (or, as the package is labeled, "CHILLLING CLASSICS"), right? And when I took it out of my DVD player, guess what I noticed! I noticed that the B-side to Cathy's Curse is a little sumpin' sumpin' called The Demons of Ludlow. Imagine my surprise! Go on, imagine it. IMAGINE IT I SAY.

Now, to those few of you who're all, "What's the big effing deal about a movie called The Demons of Ludlow?", well, if you'd been paying attention around here you'd know that I recently made a movie called Ludlow. So now you know what the big effing deal is...and you, too, can imagine my surprise!

Reading the synopsis of the 1983 film clued me in that it has nothing in common with my movie, save a bit of the title...but still, I had to size up my competition in my quest to claim the sweet, sweet Ludlow pie.

I'm sorry, that doesn't make much sense. I'm gonna tell you right now: none of this post will make much sense because boy oh boy, I'm in a mood. I've been really hyper today, and I've had an inordinate amount of cheese...so there's no telling what might happen. Bear with me...but don't worry, The Demons of Ludlow makes no sense either, so who the frig cares what I write about it?

As the helpful banner indicates, the town of Ludlow is celebrating its bicentennial. It's a right ol' hoe-down!

The Mayor...or whoever he is...gets up to give his little speech about how wonderful it is that Ludlow is one of the oldest settlements- one of the very first!- in the United States. Never mind that by 1783 the entire Eastern seaboard had long been settled already- Ludlow is 200 years old and one of the very first, dammit! When the Mayor claims they're all one big, happy family, it's clear that the crowd enthusiastically agrees. My heart shed a crystalline tear, for I was so very touched by their response.

Anyway, it seems that a descendant of Mr. Ludlow, the town founder, has sent a gift- all the way from England!- to commemorate this momentous occasion. It's a beautiful (not at all tacky) white piano...and when someone busts out a few tunes, the citizens of Ludlow are so fucking dazzled you could just puke.

It's worth noting that this magical white piano sounds an awful lot like a Casio keyboard set to "organ".

Now then, let's meet some of the town's finest, shall we? There's...
  • The Mayor, who we already know...
  • The Writer, who was raised in Ludlow until she was nine- but now she's back and she's nosy and she knows there's something hinky 'bout that piano...
  • The Reverend, who knows that Ludlow has a secret...
  • The Horny Teens, who sneak off to a barn to make out...and make out they do, until a green glowing hand rises out of the ground and...smears hay and chocolate sauce on the girl's stomach ...
  • The Weirdo, who is either mentally ill or mentally retarded (it's never really specified)- either way, she spends a lot of time talking to her POSITIVELY EERIE doll collection...

...which includes Smurfette.

Once the piano is played, bad things start happening in Ludlow- or, at least, bad things kinda happen every twelve minutes or so. Thank goodness the scares were so spaced out, 'cause I don't think my nerves could stand a full 90 minutes of such unrelenting terror! It was hard enough to make it through sequences such as...

The one where a poker floats in the air, takes a swing at The Reverend, and WHIFFS!

Or the one where the piano ekes out a teeny tiny amount of blood!

Or the one where The Weirdo's Mom gets pulled up into the ceiling after a couple of colonial chicks throw a noose around her neck!

Or the one where The Weirdo has a flashback to Ye Olde days, when people engaged in such debauched behavior as eating copious amounts of bread and engaging in powdered wiggery!

It seriously looks like someone from the FX or costume department took a trip to the Halloween Store and stocked up on blood, "witch nails", and "Billy Bob teeth". I am not saying this is a bad thing, I am just saying.

Now, I realize I've made The Demons of Ludlow look like it's jam-packed with action, thrills, and frights so frightening your eyeballs will pee their pants in fright...and while that may be true for the scintillating sequences I've relayed above, the truth of the matter is that this movie is boring with a capital DULL. The Writer tries to piece things together regarding the piano's history and Mr. Ludlow, but she never gets anywhere beyond "He did something and was exiled to England". Meanwhile, The Reverend is concerned that people are dying, but in typical jerk Mayor fashion, The Mayor doesn't want to cancel the parade piano festival just because there are a few dead bodies around. I'm gonna be honest: once this flick hit 59 minutes and I was bored outta my gourd, I hit the FF button, only stopping when it looked like something was happening. I was tired of all the blah blah blah- so sue me! This is the last half hour of The Demons of Ludlow, on speed:

A tree stump explodes- repeatedly- in a shower of fireworks.

The piano plays itself.

Some Three Musketeers-looking dudes show up and cut off The Mayor's head.

The piano loses a leg for no reason and starts to smoke.

This dude shows up.

The Writer is suddenly in Ye Olde Clothes...she runs about Ludlow, encountering colonials with poor dental work everywhere she turns.

The Writer cannot escape because there's some sort of force field around Ludlow...but then a car drives through it- and her- and she's back in her regular clothes.

She falls down, the driver of the car goes to her...freeze frame THE END.

You know that if this movie was so bad it was good, I'd tell you, right? I would, because I'm here to spread the love, friendos. I know you're looking at those pictures up there, thinking that exploding tree stumps are just what you need to cure what ails ya- but trust me, The Demons of Ludlow is only gonna ail ya even worse. For every second of magical sparkles and fireworks, there's ten minutes of nothing. It's a disjointed mess that's a chore to sit through, even on fast forward. Reading this post is all the time you need to spend with this one, I'm sorry to say. And I swear, I'm not just saying that because I want to hog that sweet, sweet Ludlow pie all to myself...

...although I do wish I'd worked an exploding tree stump into my movie somehow.

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.


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.


"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.


Thanks to everyone who entered the Fango ticket giveaway thingie. Winners have been chosen and notified! And to all those who didn't win or who don't live close enough to warrant an entry into said ticket giveaway thingie, behold the immortal words of Briefcase Woman...

"While those who weren't chosen or who don't live close enough to warrant an entry may feel low right now, let's remember that we're all winners of different flavors, each and every one of us, including me!"

I remember when she said that I should remember that when I didn't win Dancing With the Stars, the Home Edition. She's so inspirational.