Entries Tagged 'the history of ever' ↓

This week on The Scare-ening…

...we've got some amazing guests lined up: Heidi Martinuzzi of Pretty/Scary and Stacie Ponder of Final Girl! They want you (yes, YOU) (but not YOU) to call in and ask them questions and tell them what to talk about. It is destined to be the most glamourous episode of anything in the history of ever, no?

The Scare-ening III: In 3-D will really help you hone your calling in and asking stuff skills in preparation for our guest for The Scare-ening IV, an episode in which you will have a chance to interact with a true horror brainiac, hero, and luminary.

Tune in tomorrow (that's "Wednesday" in weekspeak) at 8pm PST/11pm EST and get yer ask on!

Day 3: “Death is not the end to life.”

Audrey Rose (1977) is a film that's long been in my brain. From the undeniably creepy poster art to that time in art school when I was talking horror movies with a classmate and she told me she that the most terrifying film she'd ever seen like, ever, was Audrey Rose...well, it was always a film I had to see. My art school days, however, were the days before The Internet (yes, there was a time before The Internet) and DVDs; this little movie was difficult to find and so I relegated it to "I'll get around to it" status and that was that. After I began Final Girl in earnest and started really diving into the world of horror movies, reading about them and researching them and really just enveloping myself in them, I never forgot about Audrey Rose. It was still a fairly rare film, despite the advent of DVD, and I found it odd that no one seemed to talk about it much, given that that one girl that one time assured me it was pee-your-pants terrifying. So it was glee- glee, I tells ya- that I was feeling when I found a megacheap VHS copy recently. What's the verdict after all these years of searching and waiting?

Umm, if Art School Girl found Audrey Rose to be the most horrifying film in the history of ever, then her head would surely explode within 10 seconds of watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. That's not to say it's a bad movie, but to my great disappointment, this isn't some lost classic unknown sleeper gem that everyone should see right this very second. If anything, it's more drama than horror- which is fine and all, but it's not what I was expecting...and everything should be exactly as I expect forever and ever!

Audrey Rose begins with a fiery car crash on a rain-slicked road in Pennsylvania, then quickly jumps to Manhattan eleven years later. A man in full-on weirdo beard mode (Anthony Hopkins) engages in some lite stalking of the Templeton family: he follows dad Bill (John Beck) to work, he waits outside the school where mom Janice (Marsha Mason) picks up daughter Ivy (Susan Swift)...he never engages the family, but he's always lurking in corners.

Weirdo Beardo isn't the only problem facing this happy little family, however: as Ivy's birthday approaches, she becomes increasingly plagued with nightmares she cannot remember upon waking.

Eventually Weirdo Beardo contacts the Templetons and explains why he's been passively harassing them: his name is Elliot Hoover, and eleven years prior he lost his wife and daughter Audrey Rose in that fiery car accident. After years of talking with psychics and delving into Indian mysticism, Hoover became convinced that his daughter was reincarnated; what's more, he believes that Audrey Rose's soul resides within Ivy, who was born two minutes after Audrey Rose died. Ivy's nightmares are the result of her soul wrestling with its dual nature. Bill and Janice are skeptical, but when Hoover calms Ivy's sleep-yelling by calling her "Audrey Rose", Janice begins to have her doubts.

Then begins a cycle:

- Ivy has a nightmare
- Bill is either absent (working late) or simply can't calm the girl down
- Hoover is present and can calm the girl
- Bill and Janice argue over what's happening and what should be done about it

...repeat, repeat. Oddly enough, Audrey Rose becomes a courtroom drama towards the end, wherein the possibilities of reincarnation are discussed- what rights does Hoover have if Ivy has a piece of Audrey Rose's soul lurking within her? There's a bit of science vs religion that ultimately results in an ending that's supposed to be uplifting, I suppose, but really isn't.

Don't get me wrong- Audrey Rose isn't a terrible film. It raises plenty of questions (though it falls squarely on the pro-reincarnation side of things) and provides lots of food for thought. The entire affair is helmed by the venerable Robert Wise (The Haunting), so to call it competent filmmaking is a bit of an understatement. It's bolstered by some fine performances, particularly from Marsha Mason (this is really her film, after all) and Susan Swift, who's largely given the thankless task of screaming and whining ad nauseum. Anthony Hopkins is serviceable, though he manages to be simultaneously dead-eyed and twitchy as a man fighting to save his dead daughter's soul. I even managed to overcome my deep and abiding loathing of John Beck, who appeared on Dallas as Mark Graison, a guy who I suppose was nice enough but totally came between Pam and Bobby solely due to creepy, wealthy persistence.

No, the problem with Audrey Rose is that it's been miscategorized for decades, largely in my head. The Exorcism of Emily Rose comes to mind as a descendant, though that film is far more flashy and horrifying than its predecessor. In short, it's worth a watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon, perhaps, but take it from me: don't let it haunt your brain!

Paranormal Activity

The entire world, it seems, is touting Paranormal Activity as the scariest movie in the history of ever, a film so frightening that your eyeballs will defy the laws of science as they up and die from terror-induced heart attacks. There's so much effing hype surrounding this movie that over 4,000 people lined up for a free midnight screening in Los Angeles. Trailers and teasers don't need to show much beyond audience members jumping out of their skin.

Is it worth all the hype? Well, everyone's going to have a different opinion on that, which is why I detest "hype". Movies get talked about and talked about to a point of total saturation; then people actually see the movie and instead of simply enjoying a film for what it is, the criticism becomes about expectations not met. In other words, "Yes it was scary, but my eyeballs didn't have heart attacks as I thought they would and therefore this movie sucks and why do I ever listen to hype?" Sure, we've all experienced movies that turn out to be not quite as good as we'd hoped, but what I'm talking about goes beyond that. I'm talking about people who buy into the hype and walk into a theater with their arms crossed and a "Scariest ever? Then prove it." attitude. How could a movie ever please an audience like that?

So...don't believe the hype. Or rather, don't pay attention to the hype, and don't get your cynical on- after all, everyone's "scariest movie ever" is going to be different. The Exorcist still freaks my shit out beyond belief, but plenty of folks laugh it off. Meanwhile, someone out there, I'm sure, can't sleep at night after a viewing of Child's Play. Diff'rent strokes and all that, you dig?

I went into Paranormal Activity without having read any official reviews and without so much as watching the aforementioned trailers. I didn't want to know anything or see anything: I simply wanted to believe that this movie was going to be really effing scary. Waiting in line last night, my friends and I were bundles of energy, SO READY for this movie, hoping it would be well and truly terrifying.

It is.

Paranormal Activity is a throwback to films such as Robert Wise's The Haunting: it proves that noises and dark corners are all you really need to make a horror movie...well, horrifying. It's amazing what can be accomplished with a well-placed sound effect- your imagination fills in the blanks and the next thing you know, you're holding your breath.

I held my breath a lot during this film. I had goosebumps for minutes on end. I could feel my eyes open as wide as they'd go...then I reverted to my ridiculous childhood defense of squinting, my philosophy being if my eyes were already closed halfway, when something scary happened I could close them all the way much faster. Yes, my eyeballs had heart attacks.

When I got home in the wee hours of the morning, I was glad that my roommate was sleeping soundly not far away, because yes, I would have psyched myself out of sleep. Paranormal Activity plays upon your fear of things that go bump in the night, that feeling in your stomach when you're awakened in the dead of night by a creak in the living room. Watching it alone at night with the lights off seems to me an insurmountable task- even after I've seen it once.

That said, it's certainly not a perfect movie- the end may be a bit problematic for some (though, to be honest, I have no clue what would make a stellar conclusion to it), and there's not a lot to dig into when it's over. However, Paranormal Activity absolutely accomplishes what it sets out to do, which is to scare the shit out of you. Horror movies these days seem to forget that scaring the audience should be, you know, a goal...but not this movie. It's incredibly effective on a primal level and as a fan, I simply could not have been more happy. It was everything I wanted it to be, and I can't wait to see it again...but no, I won't watch it alone.

I don't know, am I feeding into the hype I'm asking you to ignore? Eh. It was really fucking scary, and that's that. If you'd like to judge for yourself, then go to the Paranormal Activity website and demand that it plays in your town, dammit. Small horror movies screening in theaters is always a good thing, right?

she’s got a death curse…i think

Some people (you know who they are...I can't say anymore because they're watching me) claim that the 1977 thrilla from Manila Canada Cathy's Curse is a rip-off of The Exorcist. To compare the two films is like comparing a punch in the teeth to a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream; yes, they both have to do with the mouth, but that's where the comparisons end. Cathy's Curse and The Exorcist both deal with a child possessed, but other than that they've got precisely zip in common...and like a punch in the teeth squaring off against mint chocolate chip ice cream in a "What's awesome?" contest, only one option is enjoyable. Unless you're a masochist- which, considering the fact that on some level I did enjoy Cathy's Curse, I must be. This doesn't mean you should punch me if we ever meet, however- unless I ask you to. Which I won't. Unless I'm drunk...but even then, I won't ask you to hit me in the face, because that's my money-maker.

Here's the cockeyed set-up for the tale, which tells you...well, pretty much nothing:

Why we need a written intro for this, I have no clue- especially since we get the gist when the father speeds off into the night to find his wife, daughter Laura in tow: "Your mother's a bitch! She'll pay for what she did to you!" Before he can locate and, one assumes, beat the shit out of his estranged wife, dear ol' dad crashes the car. Flaming flames of fire engulf the car, killing dad and daughter.

In 1979 (yes, this 1977 film is set in the future!) George and family move into the house because...because...well, I have no idea why, as there was no narrative to explain that part of it. George is pleased because his daughter Cathy seems happy in their new digs, but his harridan of a wife finds his attitude...insulting, which gives way to some subtle, rich character development as she shrieks through gritted teeth (yes, that's possible):
Listen George, this is getting pretty ridiculous. You know and I know that I've had a nervous breakdown, right? Well, it's not hereditary and it isn't catching!
Some neighbors come to visit, and one of them just so happens to be a medium. She wastes no time getting her Madame Blavatsky on and going to town. She relives the fiery car crash, and it's none too pleasant of an experience. Still, when it's all over, she insists that they "must do it again sometime".

Meanwhile, Cathy has found a doll in the attic. Its eyes are sewn shut, and Cathy's mom keeps referring to it as a "dirty rag". No, it doesn't make sense...but don't worry! Nothing in Cathy's Curse makes sense.

The doll, it seems, once belonged to Laura. Apparently Laura has become eeeevil in her afterlife, for she possesses Cathy.

Now, on the surface, that's not so hard to digest; the devil, however, is in the details...and like Cathy's mom consistently calling a doll a "rag", the details in this movie defy all laws of everything in the history of ever, and none of it makes a lick of damn sense.

Infused with the mighty spirit of Laura, Cathy develops a bit of telekinesis. She stands there as objects fly around and crash into walls and a synthesizer makes a "peeeewwwwwwwww" sound. No one who witnesses these shenanigans seems to think this is unusual- least of all the housekeeper, who just cleans up the mess.

Cathy develops the ability to disappear and reappear at will, and her mother simply finds it annoying.

Like Regan in The Exorcist, Cathy begins using foul language once she's possessed, and boy oh boy...I curse like a sailor, but even I was taken aback when Cathy called someone a "filthy female cow"! The depths of depravity on display are astonishing- and to think, a child was forced to say these things!

I could go on and on with examples of head-scratchers. Sometimes, it's horrendous editing that leaves you wondering what the hell is going on, like when mom sits and zones out in the tub...but then the water turns to blood! Mom screams, and is somehow suddenly standing up, frantically slapping at what one can only assume are leeches.

Characters appear out of nowhere, only to vanish without an explanation, such as the scene where the medium shows up and stumbles into Cathy's Super Secret Possession Headquarters in the attic. Another old woman suddenly appears- she proceeds to insult the medium by calling her an "extra rare piece of shit", tries to make the medium swear she won't tell what she's seen in Cathy's Super Secret Possession Headquarters, and then...they scream together. WHAT?

Then, in perhaps the best moment of the film, the medium runs outside and promptly face-plants in the snow, never to be seen again. WHAT WHAT?

One wonders why Laura has decided to possess Cathy at all. Sure, she can make the requisite bugs, snakes, and rats appear at will, and a few people mysteriously die, but to what end? To what end, Laura's spirit? If she's trying to take revenge on mothers- those "dried up old whores"- everywhere for the slights of her childhood, then she doesn't do a very good job of it. One squandered opportunity, for example, comes when Cathy brings her mother lunch. As she waits outside the door, the food on the tray rots before our very eyeballs- surely that trick would freak out dear old mom! Instead, the food reverts back to normal and mom enjoys a lovely sandwich and apple.

Again I say: Cathy's Curse makes no sense. The big finale finds Cathy looking like a miniature extra crispy Lizzie Grubman, sitting on the bed clutching her dirty rag dolly. Mom walks in, grabs the doll, rips its eyelids open, Cathy is no longer possessed, the end. Seriously.

I find it hard to believe that this movie could get from the page to the screen without anyone noticing that it makes no GD sense. Cathy's Curse is a bit like having Mexican food as made by Chinese people, as I once did in Brooklyn (wud up, Happy Taco?). All of the elements were there: beans, tortilla, cheese, lettuce...but somehow it just wasn't right. It was missing that special something, whatever it is, that made me say, "Ah yes, I am having a bean burrito!" Cathy's Curse has actors, dialogue, and a semblance of a plot, but there's nothing there that makes me say, "Ah yes, I am watching a movie!"

And yet, as I noted earlier, I enjoyed myself in some way. Perhaps this is because on the surface of things, it felt like a real grindhouse flick: there was little violence, a mere few drops of blood, no stronger language than "shit"...but the cruddy film stock, all green-hued and scratchy, the jump-cuts, the horrendous acting, the supernatural 70s thang, and, of course, that cockeyed intro were like a comfy, stinky blanket I could wrap myself in. My very own dirty rag, if you will. I wouldn't say the film is so bad it's good...more like, it simply needs to be witnessed, like a two-headed baby in a jar.

Film Club: The Devil’s Rain

Obviously I opted to do something a little bit different this time around. Also obvious is the fact that I skimmed over a lot, and I didn't really "review" the movie much per se. Then again, I did draw an eyeless Ida Lupino, so that must be worth something!

I also just realized I forgot to use my "Private Club of The Satan's Helpers" joke. Dammit! Oh well. Next time...I'm sure there's plenty of Satanariffic flicks in Final Girl's future. Meanwhile, for more in depth talkin' and reviewin', check out the folks below. Big thanks to all who participated!

Film Club Coolies, y'all!
Video Updates
Tech Noir
Planet of Terror
Tim Kirk
Steph Is Dead
Slammed & Damned
Things That Don't Suck
Movie FanFare
Deadly Doll's House of Horror Nonsense
From the Depths of DVD Hell
Film Shuffle
Emma Blackwood
Orchestrated Horror

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!





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

won’t you help a sista out?

You will?! Oh, fabulous. It's so easy! All you have to do is:
  1. Head over to AMC and read my latest, all about stuff you should...you know, watch. If you left a comment over there, or clicked "recommend", that would make my editor happy. Trust me, it's horrible when she's NOT happy. I'm not going to say she hits me, but she totally does.
  2. Wish a happy birthday to Chainsaw Mafia honcho (honchette?), Fangoria Spooksmodel, Ludlow staaaah, and all around super lady Shannon Lark.
Shannon Lark: bloody and "with it", yet totally gluten-free

What oh what will you get in return, besides that thrilling feeling one only gets when doing a good cyber-deed? Here's what you'll get: a whopping almost ten minutes of awesomely horrible horribly awesome horriblawesomeness from that craptacular flick I recently reviewed, Don't Go in the Woods...Alone! Finally, after all these few days, you can witness for yourself some of the worst acting in the history of ever- and all for just a few clicks. Hooray for everything!

Alright, but can I go with someone else?

Oh. My. Crapping. Crap.

Once upon a recent time I bought a copy of the most perverse, most bestest Bigfoot movie ever, Night of the Demon, via yon Internette. The seller was so effing amazing that he/she/it included a free bonus DVD- the 1981 slasher Don't Go in the Woods...Alone!. Well, my friends, I watched that bonus DVD tonight and...again I say, oh my crapping crap. I think I'm in love.

Right away I had an inkling that I was gonna be in for a treat, as the film proclaimed itself "Spectacular Entertainment".

I don't want to keep you in suspense: they weren't lying.

As best as I could discern, the plot goes something like this: some tools go camping for some reason, a bunch of random people wander around the woods, most of them die, and then the killer gets killed. It sounds totally by the numbers, right? Well, fret not, friendos, for the true delights of Don't Go in the Woods are in the deets*.

Not only is DGitW entirely dubbed, it also boasts the worst acting in the history of ever. EVARRRR. I'm not kidding. Here's a simple math equation to help you grasp the depths of awfulness acheived: think of the worst acting you've ever seen in a movie. Now take out your science calculator and multiply that bad acting by a million. The result will still only be roughly two-thirds as atrocious as what you'll witness in DGitW. These actors defy all logic; I understand that acting is indeed an art and not everyone will excel at said art, but...it was as if these people had never spoken before. At all. Their inflections were off, they were stressing the wrong words, repeating words over and over...it's truly SPECTACULAR ENTERTAINMENT.

"Do you know? At this verrrrminnit. I am missing. As the World TURNS?"

"How do you tell. The rabid from the. UNRABID?"

Don't Go in the Woods is populated with countless random characters, most of whom don't have any lines, never mind a name or a reason for existing. Take, for example, this woman, who is hiking in the woods with her photographer son/friend/weirdo person, who is there to shoot photos of a train.

A train which makes a stop.

In the woods.

We don't see the train, but we hear a train whistle, so I'm sure it was really there.


Or this broad, who doesn't say a word but is clearly cooler than you or I will ever be.

See, she's out in the woods a-paintin'. Mind you, she's not exactly painting what she sees, but who am I to judge? Art is feeling, man, and it ain't safe.

Like most other hikers, Coolie Painter falls victim to...something. Or someone. Up until this point, the stalking sequences progressed like this:
  1. There is no ambient noise, but a character says "What was that??" and looks off-screen.
  2. Cut to a shot of a moving tree branch, while the character says "Aah!"
  3. Cut to a shot of the character, bloody and dead.
What was killing these poor nameless fools? Was it the branches themselves? Was it a bear? Suicide? The first real clue flashed before my eyeballs during Coolie Painter's death: as best as I could figure, it was a knife-wielding Sasquatch who was responsible for all the murdering!

I figured wrong. Much later, after many a sequence wherein we follow people walking through the woods and they're suddenly killed by something just out of frame, the culprit is revealed: it's a wackadoo mountain man, apparently the offspring of Captains Caveman and Lou Albano! He's a right filthy kookadook with a penchant for wearing Mardi Gras beads on his face and poking people- poking them TO DEATH- with sticks.

The music is as horrendous as the acting, a thunking and constantly repeating Casio soundtrack featuring swells that build to nothing and stings present for no reason. The less said about the end credits music (set to the tune of "The Teddy Bears Picnic", featuring lyrics such as "Don't go into the woods tonight, you probably will be killed..."), the better.

Were the last twenty minutes of Don't Go in the Woods...Alone! not so damn padded- and they really were- I'd probably be proclaiming this film to be the love of my life. It's gloriously, uproariously inept filmmaking at its finest...in other words, it's SPECTACULAR ENTERTAINMENT.

As further proof of my assertions, I'd like to provide you with some screencaps from the sequence where the cuckoo nutso cave dude decapitates the wheelchair-bound hiker, but my computer has had enough of this shitty movie and freezes up when I try to play it. My computer has such high standards, you see.

YES I SAID A WHEELCHAIR-BOUND HIKER. He made the mistake of wheeling into the woods...alone!

*That's young folk talk for "details"...once again, I strive to prove my youthful vigor, my "with it-ness", and my relevance.

i know it’s not horror…

...but I'm telling you all about it anyway. If you head over to the WB's website today, you'll see that they've launched a new show called Joni & Susanna.

You should watch it. It's hilarious, and I'm not just saying that because the Joni half of Joni & Susanna is my friend, I swear. I mean, if Charlie Sheen was my friend, I wouldn't be all "Go watch Two and a Half Men!", because that show fucking stinks. In other words, trust me. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for appearances Ghostella's Haunted Tomb regular Bridget McManus as well as her Top Friends co-star Julia Miranda. We all...like...support each other and shit. AWW.

Wait, I mean AWW.

That's better. Anyway, to relate this post to horror a little tiny bit, I'm going to trot out my tried-n-true photo of the football with a sword attached, aka the greatest horror movie weapon in the history of ever. And with that, I bid you good day. GOOD DAY.

eh, just do it yourself.

I wrote up a bit of an ode to the back yard filmmakers of the world over at AMC this week. Go read it. Or don't, see if I care. You just think you're so big, don't you?

I finally caught the finale of VH1's Scream Queens last night and...ridiculousness aside, I think it was the first time in the history of ever that my favorite contestant from the beginning actually won a reality competition.

And yet, I still feel empty inside.

And I still won't go see Saw VI.

What I will see, however, is My Bloody Valentine 3D, which opens on January 16th. The commercials are starting to air and dammit, I'm excited. The Harry Warden costume looks great and just as scary as the original, and I find myself not caring a whit- NOT A WHIT I SAY- that it's a remake. Perhaps that's owed to the fact that the words "three" and "dee" are tacked on to the title- as we all know, I fucking love 3D. So much so that I would probably go see The Runaway Bride if it were re-released in 3D. So much so that I would probably go see some romantic comedy/frat comedy/heartwarming Christmas movie with an all-star cast that features Paul Reiser, Julia Roberts, Charlie Sheen, Cameron Diaz (I just don't get her), Jack Black (I just don't get him), and the Welch's Grape Juice Children if it were in 3D...and that's saying A LOT because for some reason those Grape Juice commercials really angry up my blood, especially this one.

But today is not a day for angried-up blood! Let's all GET PUMPED to the strains of "Rock n' Rock" from the little1986 masterpiece called Killer Workout. So much rock, they don't have time to roll! Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go make out with my KW videocassette.

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

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

Bad bad.

As in really not good.

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

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

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

Sweet mama, I'm old.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

breaking up is hard to do

I was about to launch into a big ol' diatribe about my weird relationship with Halloween II, about how I loved it so very much when I was a kid but watching it now, I find it almost...unwatchable, but then I thought, "Hmm. Didn't I review this already?" and so I looked and so I did, and that review says everything I was going to say today and then some, and if this sentence goes on much longer it will surely be in contention for the title of "Longest Sentence in the History of Evvvvarrrrrr" so I'd best wrap it up.

This is all coming up because I popped the DVD in the other night and I just...I don't know, man, I think it's over between me and H2. I was bored, man, and that's a death knell for a horror movie. Also, I found Dr. Loomis extremely irritating with all of his unhelpful hyperbole...like, maybe he should try to help the police in some real way rather than yelling "You don't know what death is!" and scurrying off into the night. Also, Laurie's wig is atrocious.

Sigh. I'm at a loss here. Are things really over between us, or will I try again in a year and remember what is was that brought us together in the first place? That would be nice, since Little Final Girl loved this movie so much and I simply refuse to believe that Little Final Girl had terrible taste.

My ambivalence leaning towards dislike of the film doesn't mean, however, that the shot I posted above isn't 100% kick ass, because it is...and not just because it features Lucille "I fucking love the Poole Sisters" Benson.

Film Club: The Food of the Gods

Dear Diary,

I know, I know, I KNOW! Please don't get all "up in my grill", LOL, but I've done it again. I went and jumped in whole hog (does that make sense? LOL) before I knew what I was getting myself into and now I'm sitting here nursing a cup of coffee and a broken heart!!!1!! I should know better and you're probably rolling your eyes and being all "I told you so" because we can count the number of times this has happened to me on 24859 hands. But how does that saying go? Better to have loved and lost than something something something, right? Right! But let me tell you about my night and what happened. Oh, and I need to write down that "easy layered tomato dip" from the back of the Wheat Thins box before I forget! Note to self: right write it down, it looks deelish although I should stay away from so much cream cheese LOL.

Anyway. Okay, so, I remember the first time I heard about Food of the Gods (1976) and I got sooo excited! I think I was at a party or something, or maybe somebody said something? Anyway (again, LOL), but seriously, I was like "Giant animals running amok? Ida Lupino? Marjoe fucking Gortner?" I think I'm in love!", like I was crushing soooo hard. Then I saw FotG in the store and I read the DVD case and I was crushing even harder, so I was like, why don't we move in together?

See? I know what you're thinking. Why do I go so fast? Why not wait it out with a rental or a Netflix or something, why am I just, like, automatically pledging myself forever and making a move-in commitment right off the bat when it so rarely works out? Does nothing ever go right for me? I feel so Cathy, LOL!

So last night, things were going so boss that I was all, okay, yes! This movie is so definitely the one, because let me tell you, FotG was really turning on the charm.

See, there was this island where Mr and Mrs Skinner found this porridge-fall in the woods, right? And they were such stupid country folk that they thought it was oil, despite the fact that the stuff looks nothing like oil. Then they figured out it wasn't oil, and so they figured "Well, since it's not oil, we're not going to get rich off it. Might as well feed it to the chickens!" which is pretty dumb, right diary? I mean, there are lots of things in the world that aren't oil, but that doesn't make those things appropriate to feed to chickens, LOL!

This magic porridge is The Food of the Gods, yo. When youngsters eat it, it makes them big. And I do mean BIG! Like I said, at this point in the evening, FotG was pulling out all the stops to get me to fall in love. Marjoe fucking Gortner was this football player who visited the island and straight off he battles a giant rooster (he wins by the way).

His friend is attacked by a bunch of big wasps that are totally plastic models and I was all, "Yessssssss!"

Some big rats attack Mr Skinner when he's on his way home and the scene alternates between regular rats on a model VW and giant fake rats on a regular VW and I was all, "Rock on!"

Food of the Gods was all "Oh yeah, this is my friend Ida Lupino- watch her get bitten by some huge maggots" and I was, like, "Okay, I am SO GLAD we moved in together, FotG. You get a t-shirt with my picture on it, and I'll get a t-shirt with your picture on it, and then we'll wear them when we go on dates, and then we'll get married!"

I know it seems extra-fast to be talking marriage when I'd only known Food for about 25 minutes, but come on! It was totally sweet and it understood me like no one's ever understood me before. We really connected, you know? Like when there was another wasp attack, only this time it featured the worst special effects I've ever seen in any movie in the history of ever! Like, these were totally wasps made out of cellophane or something- they were totes see-through- , and then they disappeared in puffs of black smoke when they got shot. I was so happy I wanted to get a cellophane wasp tattooed on my face- that's how in love I was. And I meant it!

But then...I don't know, diary. Something changed. Food of the Gods was all "It's time for the humans to fight back!" which is okay, I mean, I'm a human and I don't want to get stung to death by giants wasps, even if they are see-through, LOL! But what happened was, rats started getting hurt...like, real rats, getting...I don't know, shot and drowned and stuff and it was REALLY UPSETTING. I couldn't even look! Seriously, I had to turn away during all the fight scenes, because I knew that when Marjoe fucking Gortner busted out a shotgun rats were really going to to get blasted and it just wasn't cool.

I swear, it was like Food of the Gods had turned into Ted Bundy or something! Like, how can someone so charming and attractive turn out to be so eeeevil? I felt duped, and I was like, "I don't even know who you are anymore, FotG," and I mean I really said that. You should be proud of me, diary! I said, why not shoot fake rats? And Food was like "I dunno", like it couldn't even come up with an excuse. So I said, maybe we shouldn't live together anymore, and then Food was like "Wait wait wait, what about this?" and then Ida Lupino had a fight to the death with a giant fake rat and they die together like this:

I swear, I almost caved in! But I held strong and I said no! You can't just do one little (admittedly awesome) thing and expect me to forget all the bad things you did, I think you should go now. Diary, it was like I was living in that Whitney Houston song that goes "It's not right, but it's okay, I'm gonna make it anyway" it was so cool. I felt great about it, even though I felt bad about it because I really wanted things to work between me and Food of the Gods and I'm trying not to be depressed about it because I really felt like we were a perfect match- and most of the time, we were. If FotG hadn't turned out to be a homicidal maniac, I'd totally be getting that cellophane wasp tattoo right this second. But alas, alack, it is not to be. I know in the end it's not my fault, but right now that's a small comfort. Next time, I won't jump in so fast! I know, you're all, like, "Yeah, right!" LOL. Oh, and before I forget:

8 oz cream cheese spread
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup green onions (*note: maybe substitute regular onions?)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

MIX cream cheese and garlic
SPREAD onto plate
TOP with onions, tomatoes, cheese
SERVE as dip with CRACKERS




Film Club Coolies, y'all!

Comedy Double Standards
Freddy in Space
Full Moon Reviews
Evil on Two Legs
Zombie Cupcake
Acheter et entretenir sa tronconneuse (c'est French, ca!)
Club Silencio
Bloody Good Horror
Horror Film Magazine
Friend Mouse Speaks
Awesomeness For Awesome's Sake
I Am Spartickes
My New Plaid Pants (finally!)

greetings from Camp Arawak part 2

In the midst of all of the hullabaloo surrounding the upcoming Return to Sleepaway Camp, the fourth film in the series, I thought I'd take a moment to make a list I've decided to call

Some Things I Love About Sleepaway Camp

Christ, that's clever! And yes, I know there's no "hullabaloo" surrounding Return to Sleepaway Camp. First off, "hullabaloo" was today's highlighted word on my Word-A-Day desk calendar and I wanted to use it in a sentence- I mean, how else am I going to remember it? Secondly, I just wanted to pretend there's some hullabaloo going on to add a little spice to this boring Friday afternoon. Is that so wrong? To want some pizazz? To want to turn this post from the equivalent of dull, rote calisthenics to the equivalent of exciting, death-defying Jazzercise?

And no, I don't actually have a Word-A-Day desk calendar, but I don't really see how that makes any difference. Get off my fucking back already!

It goes without saying that there are bound to be spoilers on this list. It also goes without saying that if you've yet to see Sleepaway Camp, you should probably leave right now and not come back until you've seen it. We don't want your kind around these parts, unseer!

Some Things I Love About Sleepaway Camp

1) Ronnie (Paul DeAngelo), the jacked-up counselor who wears super-tight tops, super-short shorts that create disturbing crotch bulges, and matching tennies.

2) "You're just jealous!" Omifuckinggod, Judy, yes we are! I love Judy and her sour attitude, her massive side-ponytail, and the shirt she wears with her name on it. I want one...yeah, one that says "Judy".

3) Death by bees, death by hot water, death by boat, death by curling iron...despite the low-budget, there are some rather creative kills going on here- and the effects aren't half bad!

4) Gay, gay, gay. From the bizarre black box theatre performance of Men, Petting to the homoerotic baseball game to the homoerotic night swimming to the homoerotic water balloon fighting, there's just a lot of...homoeroticosity going on in this movie.

"Homoeroticosity" is totally a word- I saw it on my Word-A-Day desk calendar last Tuesday.

5) Ricky's foul mouth. As you may have noticed, I do so love a good swear word, and Ricky manages to bust out with some choice ones: dickface, asshole, prick, cocksucker, chickenshit, fuckin' pussies...it's almost enough to make my gramma blush.

6) "Hey, bob-a-ree-bob..."

7) The cop who shows up early on, then returns later sporting THE BEST WORST FAKE MOUSTACHE IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. You can tell I feel strongly about it because I used all those capital letters.

But really, is that shoe polish?

8) "Oh my god, we hit a boat!" This girl tries so hard at the acting thing, it's awesome. I love her, whoever she is. Also of note from the opening scene: the Noo Yawk accents. "Did not, you lie-uh!"

9) "The name is Meg. M-E-G." I totally want to cop Meg's attitude and spell my name out when meeting people from now on. I also totally want to know exactly what it is that the girl in the red shirt loves. Maybe Meg's headband! I mean, H-E-A-D-B-A-N-D.

10) Ricky's hat, which he wears unironically. Look at that strut! He totally pimps around in that thing like he's George Jefferson.

11) The many stares of Angela. Whether she's watching Judy unpack, getting pelted with water balloons, coming dangerously close to being raped by the sleazy cook, getting yelled at by Judy and/or M-E-G, or simply sitting on a bench, the girl is indeed a "nutcake". A stary, stary nutcake.

12) Umm...

No one saw that one coming. Anyone who says they did is a lying liar. Sure, maybe you guessed the killer's identity, but there's no way you guessed that the innie was actually an outie.

There you go, some things I love about Sleepaway Camp. Don't you feel that we've grown closer during this process? I do.

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?