Wednesday, November 30, 2005

busy killer bees

This is the busiest time of this year for me, but I will have some free time before the holidays, so expect frequent posts then.

I've shot all the footage for my next horror video and am beginning the editing. It will be shown on-line of course.

In news, the new Dario Argento movie will no be called Mother of Tears, not Third Mother.

Watched a couple of movies about college girls getting the ax. Recommended is The House on Sorority Row. Not recommended is Girl School Screamers.

Check out for horror news.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Argento news that I don't like!

From bloody-disgusting:

At the recent Turin Film Festival, director Dario Argento and his brother/producer Claudio revealed to Fangoria that busy genre screenwriters Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson (pictured, of 'Toolbox Murders', 'Crocodile' and the upcoming Mortuary, all for Tobe Hooper) will be writing the Third Mother script. Argento, who penned the classic first two parts of the trilogy—'Suspiria' and 'Inferno'—with former girlfriend Daria Nicolodi, reportedly wants a better chance at reaching the U.S. marketplace by using Stateside talent.

Problem: Toolbox Murders sucks and Crocodile (2000), I can't imagine anyone, anywhere, saying something good about that movie.

why I'm worried...

Here are my thoughts (one, two) on Toolbox Murders, which I found to be probably the most disappointing movie of the year.

Here is a
discussion on the subject of Third Mother, but you probably should not bother with it, people are mainly do nothing but expressing their excitement that the movie is being made at all. That's not good enough for me.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Spell (1977) no one loves a fat chick!

Though this TV movie was certainly made to cash in on the success of Carrie, it's not that similar plot wise. Rita is the fat girl in school. The opening scene, one of the best, shows the entire gym class laughing at her, calling names like 'Tub-O' and 'Moby Dick'. One of the chief name caller takes a big fall of a rope and we have our first casualty. It's pretty obvious that Rita willed this death with her psychic powers.

The Spell, directed by Lee Philips. I've got it on tape from Video Treasures, but my copy is missing the box. Apparently it looks like so.

For a while this movie focuses more on her folks and I got a little bit bored. I wanted more scenes of torment at the school. The mother, Lee Grant, is top billed in this movie. Her conversations with the husband, and pretty much all the dialogue in the movie, is way too clever and overwritten. Everybody talks in riddles and metaphors. It really got on my nerves.

The father is a real bastard. He does not have unconditional love for his difficult and less than ideal daughter. He is affectionate towards the pretty and thin daughter, played by a preteen Helen Hunt. I think it's pretty sick and bizarre when a parent prefers an attractive child over say, a fat one. We did not have this perverted dynamic in my home growing up.

On to the horror. Yup, for a while I forgot that we were watching a horror movie because we were deep in family drama territory. Then all a sudden (spoiler) a woman combusts on screen. It's pretty graphic for television, though it is unfortunately the only moment in this movie where special effects were used other than household objects flying around in the final psychic duel. No moment in the 2nd half of the movie tops this on screen death.

Other movies exist about tormented fatties and their outbursts. Criminally Insane and it's sequel, Crazy Fat Ethel 2 (a movie that I've been kicking myself for not buying the one time I saw it at a video store in Brookline) are two that come to mind.

Cub, I swear that the Dad had it coming in this movie. He was prejudiced against his own daughter. How is it that he did not die a bloody death?

I am surprised that he did not die a horrible bloody death, I must say. I was sure it was going to happen, but perhaps it's even better that it did not because at least it fooled me (oh and you) into thinking he could die at any moment. He was a jerk though, I agree.

Would you have liked to have seen more of the psychotic daughter, less of the concerned parents?

I actually liked it the way it was and seeing the girl anymore than we already did would have just made it cheesy. I liked the part where the mom was visiting her friend and she started burning up out of nowhere. That part was wicked.

"Wicked sick", you mean.

Is it really wrong for kids to torment those who are different? Don't you think it's for the best? You can't be different and make it in this world. As a psychologist, I'm sure you know where I'm coming from...

Now, cub know as a psychologist in training, I can not agree with you that one should get back at those who did him or her wrong. That would surely say that one is poorly differentiated and highly reactive to what is going on. Instead I would suggest they learn better coping skills, change their cognitive distortions, seek support from those they trust, and understand that we can not change what others do or say, we can only change in how we choose to react. (That was some good therapy in a nutshell--- only free this once!)

Even if you have sympathy for these people today, admit it, you used to gang up the unpopular kids at your school, didn't you?

Actually I did not gang up on unpopular kids at school, believe it or not cub. Sure, so you think I am exaggerating to the max, but I will not try to convince you otherwise. But know that it pissed me off to the max when kids would gang up on individuals, cause I saw it as cowardly (i mean why else would they have to do it when they are only in big groups?)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

super-shit projects!

If everyone I've got lined up to be in my video shoot next weekend shows up, I'm going to have some pretty fun shit on tape. It's the last, and perhaps only real, horror shoot of the semester. Others in my class are shooting horror too, predictably, at least one zombie movie. My movie is intended to be a killer bear/killer prowler/screaming girls type of work that I'm hoping people will get. My main worry is sound. Lights and editing don't have me very nervous at all. This video is in no way influenced by Asian horror.

Also this week, a TV production project that I'm in part producing. I'm in charge of props and secured one of the two talents, no big deal compared to my last production, a more complex project.. The set is gonna be on the shitty side, we are laying down some fabric or a table cloth for a red carpet and using some Christmas lights I bough at Target for aisle lights.

The script here is a pretty funny skit based on Siskel and Ebert type show, where two critics run down there top three movies of the year. We've got one smart critic and a bonehead critic, whose pics are Stealth, xXx: State of the Union, and Be Cool. I did not write the script, so I forget what the smart guys pics were, two indie movies I've never heard of, though the third is Oldboy which I reviewed sometime in the past year, but I can't find it in my own archives. I must have reviewed it alongside another title as sometimes I go over multiple movies in a post.

Well, snow fucking what? Right?

More tapes came in the mail today. The apartment is a sea of boxes again, well boxes and rabbit crap, thanks to Bun Bun. I get in large packages for my new job, which is interesting. It involves going out in the night and making Orange County a little bit uglier, one sign at a time. One dollar per sign, hundreds of fucking signs! Is this loser central?

I re-watched Hatchet for the Honeymoon the other night. Mario Bava is great with the hard-cut transitions, it's a beautiful movie and looked good on the mid-priced DVD from Madacy Entertainment Group. I had a really poor tape of this movie before. The DVD is a double-feature with the completely unrelated Anatomy for a Psycho, a dark black & white picture that deals with capitol punishment, revenge, and family. A much heavier movie than I expected.

Cub and I say Hatchet for the Honeymoon is one of the greatest and a must see, especially for fans of the 2000 movie, American Psycho.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

School's Out (1999) why the U.S. DVD release?

As for an explanation for the DVD release I certainly understand the economic reasons one might put it out. Buy low, sell high. That's why I want to get into horror production. As to why Fangoria would put their name on this movie, I kept wondering about that throughout the film. Fortunately as a DVD extra they provided an article on the merits of this movie, an article that kept me shaking my head in disbelief.

They compared this movie to the works of my favorite directors, Bava, Argento, and Michele Soavi, in particular of course bringing up Soavi's Stage Fright. The term, coined by the director of School's Out, 'teen giallo'. I have seen the Scream teen genre of horror combined with the giallo once before, in the French year 2000 film, Deep in the Woods. That movie actually works, and is very similar to Soavi's Stage Fright. My problem with School's Out being called a giallo. It's that I love giallos and I really hated School's Out.

directed by Robert Sigl - American and European (with sequel...) DVDs

Sure there are some 'stylish' elements to School's Out. The killers harlequin costume is undeniably interesting, the setting is good, and they try to go for some dramatic kills, but when I was watching this movie I was not thinking 'giallo influence', I was thinking 'stupid characters, stupid twist plot, boring shit'. This movie is not well written. I know the same can be said of some giallos where the resolutions sometimes don't add up, but at least they keep you entertained on the way there. The scissor killings in School's Out suck and I think the movie gets it's 'R' for dirty dialogue and not bloodshed. The language does not translate well either. At one pointed we here that the killer "rapes women with scissors" and I thought boy is this going to turn into a sicko movie, but actually scissor insertion was not what the dialogue was referring too and in fact there are no on-screen rape scenes in this movie.

In another instance a character refers to having diarrhea from drinking cheep bear, but when he gets to the shitter after a run, we see him lift the cover while facing forward and then here a puking sound. Bad translation from the German to English. The dubbing is horrendous as well, not something I mind in a 70's movie, but today, come on.

The top kill in School's Out is a kid being impaled on the nose of a stuffed sword fish. Stylish, or stupid as shit?

Apparently the director was worried when this was being made that it would bare similarities to the American movie Urban Legend that was in production at the same time. If that's not reason enough to skip this movie, I don't know what is.

I really wish I could find that Fangoria article on line for you guys, it really is funny. The good news is that this means I won't be linking to Fangoria two posts in a row. That would be a disgrace.

I'm sorry about this one honey, are you every gonna let me buy $2 DVDs at DVD Planet again?

It's ok dear I forgive you this time because you got other $2 dvds that were actually good, so I have not yet lost all hope!

Were you bored to death or what? I was not thinking Deep Red when I saw this movie, were you? Did it remind you of Urban Legend?

Although I must say I was bored to death, and it actually reminded me of a very bad version of Scream. With the killer being their friend in the end (I told you it would be a friend!).

Why do you have to knock the fashion of the German teens? They can't help it if they don't know how to dress American!

The fashion was terrible 90's style even though it was a 2000 movie. Come on, they could have done a lot better. I mean European fashion is great, and their fashion was SHIT. Very disappointed in the fashion department I must say!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I sold out twice...

You guys, this blog is supposed to tell it like it is and expose shit for shit cause I've got nothing to lose. I've got no wack adds, that's true, but I let two stories escape me. Shit talking stories on two of horror's major players. Why? Well, cause down the road I want to get a job and this blog is highly searchable through google, etc..., and I don't want to be blacklisted. I'm sorry. If you never read this blog again I understand.

Robert Englund has been talking up a Freddy fighting Michael Myers type of movie for some time now. I thought there was nothing to it and he was just telling stories, but now he reveals that Mirimax has actually commissioned two scripts, Freddy vs. Michael Myers and Freddy vs. Jason and Michael Myers. Interesting. Unfortunately a sequel to Strangeland is in the works.

I can't believe I putting up a link to Fangoria for the
article, but I do like Robert Englund.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Moustapha Akkad dies in terrorist bombing

You knows his name from the opening credits of every movie from the Halloween series. Beside producing every Halloween movie he produced and directed two movies about Islam, that I heard on the news, stressed that Islam is a religion the originates in Christianity and Judaism. Even on Fox News the commentator mentioned that this is unfortunately something most people refuse to learn.

The following text from this
AP article about Akkad's death in Jordan.

Moustapha Akkad, the Syrian-born producer of the "Halloween" horror films, died Friday from wounds sustained in the triple hotel bombings, a hospital official said.

Akkad's daughter, Rima Akkad Monla, 34, also died in one of Wednesday's three explosions, her mother Patricia Akkad, said Thursday.

Very grim news. Rest In Peace.

I was going to write a piece about how everyone from Democratic candidates, to Michael Moore, to Bush, to liberal Hollywood filmmakers, find opportunistic ways to demonize Arabs and Moslems, but that will wait.

Al Qaeda is responsible for the bombings. Shouldn't the U.S. have wiped them out a long time ago? I guess we were busy doing something else.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Zombie Brigade (1986) xenophobic hate

True horror fans explore the zombie genre while false horror fans go rent Halloween sequels and Children of the Corn. Well, I'm basing that on my own experiences as a once very uneducated horror fan. The reason educated horror fans traditionally love zombies is because of their appreciation of George Romero's thinking man's series and the Fulci Italian gore-fests. Funny or fun contributions to the genre, Return of the Living Dead and Dead Alive, also help, though I'm sick to death of these.

Personally I'm not too wild about everything in the recent wave of zombie features that hit the big screen. I'm keeping score and found two out of seven of them to be good. None the less, I too am a sucker for buying up obscure zombie titles, hoping to discover something, that for some reason has gone unnoticed by the thousands, and ought to be placed in the pantheon of the greatest horror fans. I gotta realize this is not gonna happen, though I do have hope for one movie I've not seen. It sometimes goes by the title Zombie 6 or Absurd or Monster Hunter or one of three other titles, and it's a Joe D'Amato movie, though I don't think it's got the swarms of zombies that typify the genre. Zombie Brigade, is for the most part, a zombie movie in the Romero tradition and it's gone unappreciated because it's not really worth appreciating. It pains me, but it may amuse you, that I'm going to have bring you another negative review.

I get the impression that Australia was going through a xenophobic period towards the Japanese when this here movie was made. The Japanese are coming to the outback to build a theme park. Too bad, we are gonna have to blow up the town's Vietnam memorial/mass grave in order to make room for it. How do we know the Japanese business man is bad? Well he acts all polite, bowing and smiling and shaking hands, and listening to his translator, but what do we discover when he is in the privacy of his hotel room? He speaks English fluently! It's all a charade! What a scum!

The movie's only big gore spot is the scene where the WWII vet zombies, who fought Japan in their day, get to have a go against this guy, who is then a zombie himself, a zombie with a sword and samurai suit/robot outfit. I heard, over on the, that some Australian crowds applauded at some moments in the movie and I'll bet you anything this that moment brought about the greatest response.

But I'm getting ahead of myself and confusing you all. WWII zombies? I though it was the Vietnam memorial that they blew up? Yes, there are zombie vets from Nam in this movie. They attack the town. The WWII zombies are the good guys brought back from the grave to rescue the living. Actually the Nam zombies are vampires who need to be staked. The WWII vets, in Aborigine warpaint of course, are the true zombies, but I'm getting into serious nerd territory with this explanation and I must shut up.

The production values? It's hard for me to judge what sort of film this movie was shot on due to the piss poor quality of the DVD. If it were a cheapo DVD, I'd say "so what", but this ordinarily retails for full price! I even in paid to much for it, and my copy had been price cut three times, to a quarter of the original price. Substance DVD is too blame. I've got a few of their releases on tape, Cannibal Holocaust, Pieces, and I Spit on Your Grave. What's that? You say they that those movies are available from other, more reputable, video labels? Yes, they are, which is why I've never bothered to watch any of my Substance tapes, to see what the hell is the story with those releases. Anyway, Zombie Brigade looks terrible on the disc, I've seen bundled DVD discs with four movies on a side that look sharper than this. What gives?

What the fuck is this shit? Fire the graphic design person.

This movie intends to be fairly liberal and it's even got anti-Christian elements. The ignorant priest's prayers have no effect and he dies in a scene shot for laughs.

We've got yahoo racist whites and a likable black protagonist. Hey, that's like the Romero movies! Anyway, what could unite two races better than a common enemy of a different race?! I call you my brother, now lets kick these bastards the hell out of Aussie!! Wait. That's not good. Oh shit.

Friday, November 04, 2005

slash or be slashed

The blog Corpse Eaters is calling it quits as the writer moves on to The House of Irony. Corpse Eaters will be missed by me.

In the last post over at Corpse Eaters I was pointed to the blog
Final Girl which is delivering a ton of content, all of which is horror, most of which is reviews. It looks pretty damn good from what I can tell.

So the
Vice Magazine Horror Issue has hit the internet. I assume it's the same material as the print magazine I used to pick up in LA. People would gladly drop money for this thick, glossy, not to mention, mean and nasty publication, but it's always been free. I'd been eagerly awaiting the horror issue, but it does disappoint me a little bit. Maybe if I didn't know it was coming I would not have set my hopes to high.

Horror fans get interviewed in two of the features. Usually Vice makes asses out of people by playing up to them, and getting them to let their guard down so that they say something really stupid, at least that's how it usually appears. Then the print and the picture shows up in the magazine and you pretty much laugh at these suckers. The horror crowd, definitely found at some convention somewhere, seems to get it pretty easy in that we don't look at these pages and say, "thank God Vice did not interview me". Either that, or the the things they are saying don't look dumb to me, because I'm so horror obsessed myself.

Here is a sample I picked because the guy in question is wearing an Earth Crisis t-shirt.

Here is his quote - - - Mike: Rue Morgue magazine is going to level out Fangoria soon. They are going to war, and Rue Morgue is winning. My favorite horror film is the original Village of the Damned. I obsess over it. I love all the classics. I’d even say that 80 percent of my collection is silent stuff from before 1925.

Then of course, since this is the online version of Vice, there are the user comments at the bottom of page. Words from readers who are beyond cynical and are borderline hateful.

Here is a quote about the guy above, which does not address what he said, but of course what he looks like, which is most important of all to many Vice readers. "i can't decide which dude's the bigger clown. is it the chump whose wife totes around his wings or the guy that has a fucking earth crisis shirt on?" Now I'm all for criticism, but hating Earth Crisis is sooo over. There were some reasons to hate them, sure, but it became cliché in 1997. To Vice commenters: say some things we have not heard before. Be cutting edge with your hate.

Interesting stuff there. An article about the experience of dying (sounds lame, but it's fascinating) and an article that questions how true-to-life horror gore is. Also, there is an infectious rock video, 'Do They Know it's Halloween', which will get stuck in your head after one listen. Beware of this, for the song is not that good.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Murdercycle (1999) F--- the 90's!

What do you get when you combine an agent with ESP, CIA need-to-know-basis guys, X-Files conspiracy theories, classic comic book references, and strange happenings in the woods? You know the results can't be good, especially filtered through the anti-90's bias that I show in many of my reviews.

Thanks, but no thanks, Charles Band...

For years, at least 2 or 3, I saw this movie in the video stores, thinking this one looked as stupid as they get and wondering what Full Moon was thinking. I was digging through the bargain bin at DVD Planet in Huntington Beach the other day and saw this new for $1.95. Curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to see how far Full Moon had strayed from their early 90's glory years. I'd seen a bunch of the stuff like The Killer Eye, Totem, and Deathbed, plus countless previews of awful, shot on digital video, shit. I guess it's just fascinating to see how the mighty, the once kings of the video store, had fallen.

Speaking of previews, there were a bunch on this DVD and Cyrptz and Delta Delta Die! looked like the kind of torture I tend to put myself through. After all, I do intend to put together some material like this shit in the near future. Can we get copies of these in the $1.95 bin please?

The movie has a conspiracy guy in it, similar to the one on X-Files who used to wear the Social Distortion t-shirts. He also bared too close of a resemblance to the quirky earthling bounty hunter from all four Critters movies. Hey, didn't they make a spin-off show about those counter culture conspiracy geeks from X-Files? Who can say? Who can remember?

As for movies with similarities to the X-Files, I never got it. For one, they were all lower budget, at least in appearance, than the show. Why throw down money to rent a product that is inferior to what is on the TV for free every week? Murdercycle can't even deliver the gore. Rated PG-13.

So the Murdercycle bleeds green. The agents and troops take a look at some small puddles of goo left behind. A conclusion is reached. That line that goes through every viewer's head, and is conspicuously absent on the screen, is an instant reminder that we've seen this scene before. "If it bleeds, we can kill it."

Check out the scene where the Murdercycle talks, that's the highlight. That scene and the one where the Murdercycle comes to be. A crashed meteor shoots out electricity from within, turning an unlucky off-roader and his bike into the Murdercycle. To be fair, the effect, done in post production, is pretty good, and works better than the rest of the movie where the Murdercycle is always shown in choppy slow motion, to add some style to what would other wise just be a guy driving a black motorcycle around the woods.

I don't want to sound like a little bitch who picks at movies that are far better than what I can produce, but during the scene where the Military Police man shows up to pick up The Sarge, it's pretty obvious that the "MP" on his helmet, was painted without a stencil.

You guys know
I hate MST3K, but maybe they should have a show where a little shit head in the corner rips on all the bad genre movies that look like the syndicated television shows of the last fifteen years. Instead of the mocking the movies, like he could deliver better than their writers and their producer, he could just tell it like it is, and chirp "fuck the 90's!"