Entries Tagged 'ye olde' ↓

Ye gvd of Masfachusets Bay Colanee and oyerwise

Think not on the Fear that lyes vpon yy head and heart. Trust Yyself, Trust The VVitch, vnburthen Yyself and seest svch Entertaynments for the bettering of thy mind.

Or something. Basically I am still unpacking my thoughts and feelings about The Witch too much to write anything resembling a proper (or even proper-ish) review, but I thought I would chime in here to say that I loved it. So there.

Ye gvd of Masfachusets Bay Colanee and oyerwise

Think not on the Fear that lyes vpon yy head and heart. Trust Yyself, Trust The VVitch, vnburthen Yyself and seest svch Entertaynments for the bettering of thy mind.

Or something. Basically I am still unpacking my thoughts and feelings about The Witch too much to write anything resembling a proper (or even proper-ish) review, but I thought I would chime in here to say that I loved it. So there.

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.

Fango contest! Film Club pick! Fridays rule!

Yes, you read that headline right! I've got all sorts of goodies for you today. So why don't I just shut up and get to 'em already?

First up: I've got 4 day passes to Fangoria's Chicago stop on their Weekend of Horror tour! 4 passes to give away! In a giveaway contest! The show is coming up fast (March 6-9) so enter now by dropping me a line:

Send an email to stacieponder at gmail dot com with "FANGO" in the subject line by...mmm, 2pm (PST) on Monday, March 2. I'll draw winner names that day- they'll be drawn randomly, so butt-kissing won't get you anywhere.

Of course, that doesn't mean that butt-kissing isn't welcome.

The guest list is SA-WEET- Lamberto Bava! Ruggero Deodato! Marilyn Burns! Alan Rowe Kelly! Don't be a jerk...enter NOW!

Nextly, this recent discussion of Ye Olde Timey Slasher Movies can mean only one thing: it's Film Club pickin' time! And I'm pickin'...

Fulci, baby, and his 1981 goresterpiece (I don't know what that means) The Beyond. Boing!

The film has been recently released in a super-fancy-pants edition but it's not on Netflix's current rotation, so you "everything has to come to me or I won't do it" types may have to rethink your strategy. Or not. I guess it depends how cool you want to be. Or not be. Whatevs.

Prepare to have your mind warped!

The film: The Beyond
The due date: Monday, March 30

Film Club 2: The Rechoosening

When I started Final Girl once upon a Ye Olde Time, my niche was covering slasher movies. I slowly began writing about other subgenres because let's face it, there's only so much you can write about slasher films on a regular basis...and besides, I love horror in all shapes and sizes and flavors. I don't discriminate!

For the next Film Club MEGAEVENT, however, I'm takin' it back to my slasher roots. A positively DREAMY early-80s double bill, folks:

Friday the 13th, UNCUT.

My Bloody Valentine, UNCUT.

I've written about both films before, but these forthcoming special editions feature footage never before seen by my very eyes, so they're definitely worth revisiting. Friday the 13th is rumored to have a...err...whopping 34 seconds of lost footage added, but My Bloody Valentine promises to be a real treat with upwards of a (for reals) whopping nine minutes of additional footage- largely, all the gore and effects (in)famously excised by the MPAA. Fans (me) have been wanting to see this footage forever, and now all of our (my) dreams have come true. Alright, so not ALL of my dreams. My cat is still unable to scoot around the house like a fat furry hovercraft. I have faith, however, that someday technology will catch up to my deepest desires!

MBV hits this week! THIS WEEK! This very week in which we are living! F13 should be out on February 3rd. I have no idea what the Netflix deal may or may not be- you may, in fact, have to leave your house to seek out a copy when the time comes. Write about one movie, write about both- just make sure you're writing about the new editions. Whatever you choose, this is a primo opportunity to check out some of the finest slasher flicks from the genre's heyday. As President and Supreme Ruler of Final Girl, I simply can't pass them up!

The films: My Bloody Valentine (uncut) and Friday the 13th (uncut)
The due date: Monday, February 23

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.

Film Club: The Antichrist

Ippolita (Carla Gravina) is a wheelchair-bound young woman whose paralysis is really the least of her problems after her copious daddy issues and sexual repression leave her with a nasty case of Satanitis.

Alberto De Martino's The Antichrist (1974; hacked up & released here as The Tempter in 1978) is undoubtedly inspired by William Friedkin's The Exorcist, which appeared in theatres just a year before. While the films' respective climaxes are similar, De Martino's effort delves much further into the sexual aspects and blasphemous nature of demonic possession than its predecessor.

After a visit to a wackadoo Catholic shrine fails to restore her ability to walk, Ippolita begins regressive hypnosis therapy with a psychiatrist. Through flashbacks, we learn that Ippolita's father (Mel Ferrer) drove the family car off the road, killing his wife and crippling his daughter when she was twelve.

Her spinal injury has since healed, however, which leads the shrink to conclude that 1) Ippi's trauma is mental, and 2) it must be some jerk of an ancestor who is...err, keeping Ippi in the wheelchair or something. Makes sense, right? I've decided to start blaming all of my bad luck and illnesses on my jerk ancestors. Obviously its their fault I've got commitment issues.

Anyway, it turns out that the jerk ancestor (also named Ippolita) pledged herself to Satan the night before she was due to enter the convent. As a result of this extreme lapse in judgment, she was burned at the stake as a witch.

Meanwhile, in modern day Rome...

Whilst in the grip of a jealous fit over her father's new girlfriend, Ippolita takes to her bed for a pout. She begins to remember the fateful night of the ritual hundreds of years before, and before you know it, our Ippi is naked and taking part in the ritual herself, even if only in her mind. For those of you who are curious, it seems that there are four steps you must take in order to pledge yourself to Satan:

1) lick some random blood, perhaps that of a toad
2) eat a toad's head
3) give a goat a rimjob
4) make sexy times with a dude in a goat mask

The entire sequence is disturbing and undeniably profane, despite the fact that De Martino keeps the action off screen. For example, there's a shot of the goat's anus as it's presented to Ye Olde Ippolita, then we cut to Ye Moderne Ippolita grotesquely licking air for a minute or so. The audience connects the dots, and the audience wants to barf.

Ippolita claims that no man as ever shown any interest in her; of course, now the Lord of Darkness has shown interest in her and she's more than satisfied, finally getting what she's been missing all these years. By "what she's been missing", of course, I mean sex.

Her ambulatory powers restored, Ippi heads out in search of more forbidden booty. In one of the film's best scenes, she wordlessly seduces a German teenager who's on a field trip; she breaks his neck after she gets what she wants. She then seduces her useless brother Filippo for a little good old fashioned afternoon incest.

If all this wasn't bad enough, Ippolita starts to act like a real jerk. She says horrible things to her father's girlfriend at dinner, she foams at the mouth, she stops washing her hair, and she makes furniture fly around the room. Her psychiatrist finally cries uncle, literally- Ippi's uncle is a priest, who pays a visit and determines she needs an exorcist.

Thanks to a ceremony we pretty much saw in The Exorcist, the demon is eventually cast of of Ippolita and the Antichrist bun in her oven disappears.

It's too bad that the exorcism itself was so familiar; ultimately, it's this third act that's the least interesting thing about The Antichrist. The blasphemy and profane sexuality witnessed early on really set this film apart from any other "possession" flick I've seen.

Though De Martino took great care in choosing his shots and creating color schemes, the film's dated matte effects are, unfortunately, pretty laughable. This shortcoming, however, is more than made up for by a riveting performance by Carla Gravina. She's run through the wringer in what must have been an exhausting shoot, and while Ippolita is anything but likable (even aside from, you know, that whole demon thing), Gravina lends the character enough sympathy that we're rooting for her anyway. I only wish that The Antichrist had been subtitled rather than dubbed.

Mel Ferrer, on the other hand, barely phoned in his performance.

The entire affair brings up the problem I have with most possession-based films: the powers granted to the possessee are inconsistent at best. Ippolita can crack the roof of the house and throw furniture around and the like, but she can't untie the ropes holding her to the wheelchair? What's the point of being possessed if you just hang out in your bedroom all the time? It sure seems like an inefficient way for Satan to get shit done.

Ah well. Overall, I really enjoyed The Antichrist despite the fact that I wasn't nearly as disturbed by it as I'd anticipated. Actually, not being wicked disturbed by a film that features goatilingus is almost more disturbing than the goatilingus itself.

Wait, what?

Film Club Coolies, y'all!

Acheter et entretenir ca tronconneuse (now with BILINGUAL action!)