Saturday, December 30, 2006

see... this here review says the same stuff as mine on the subject of the new Black Christmas

I just found this review, it mentions the problems I had with the remake in a much more eloquent way.

"There are so many artistic miscalculations in the new "Christmas" that it would take until the new year to list all of them in detail."

Yup, and continuity errors too.

"Because the focus is entirely on Billy, there's no room for sorority characterizations. These actresses are barely distinguishable from each other (a common trait of today's new wave of youthful talent), and the filmmakers don't help matters by adding more and more characters to the mix."

Yup, clones...

"The remake also turns up the dial on the bloodletting, again for reasons that scream incompetence. Eyes are gouged, heads are used as ornaments on Billy's tree, and icicles, candy canes, and glass unicorns (one of the few references to the Clark film) pierce the flesh like a hot knife through butter."

Told you, totally fake...

Black Christmas the remake - whatever - you already know it blows

Is it even worth getting into detail about how the Black Christmas remake is one of the worst movies of the year? I could cite examples forever. Forever... so I won't, I'll just touch on a few things.

It's complete crap. Bob Clark said he trusted the new filmmakers with his story and would wait until Christmas Day to see the film (my article). I cannot imagine him watching this movie and not being disappointed and extremely let down.

You know, this stuff really isn't funny to me. You can't use a cookie cutter to rip chunks of flesh out of someone's back. You can't stab someone in the neck with a candy cane. It's just goofy looking. Sure the movie does not skimp on gore, but when the violence is all so novel, it's not shocking, it's cheap comedy. Any group of high school horror fans sitting around a cafeteria table and brainstorming about "cool kills" could have written this.

There are no black people in this movie and no minorities. This sounds like I'm kidding, but I'm serious. The crowd was full of black people. Why are they not represented on screen? All of the white girls, the sorority girls, looked the same. Maybe that's the point, but when your audience can't tell one character from another, I swear I could not, then you get a frustrated, disinterested, audience.

This movie is very similar to See No Evil from earlier in the year, but Black Christmas falls flatter on it's own face. I really don't feel like writing about this movie anymore - there is enough stuff about it on the net already - I just wanted to throw in my own little "I hate it too" for the record.

The most interesting thing about this night at the theater was the crowd reaction to the Blood and Chocolate trailer- I just wrote about that in my last post.

I'd also like to say the Chinese Theater is selling movie posters in the lobby which I find extremely tacky. I can understand employees taking them home to sell on ebay, but the theater itself selling goods it got for free and previously used for display - I don't like it. No the posters are not sold in stores, but that does not mean they have any value, at least not at this point. There are thousands of them out there.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

audiences laughing their asses off when title "Blood and Chocolate" hits the screen during preview

"People were mostly silent during the trailer, but when the title was announced, EVERYBODY LAUGHED! In fact, they laughed so hard it lasted into the beginning of Rocky! Thirty minutes later people were still repeating the title with a giggle. I can smell a dud."

So reads one of about 1000 identical posts on the imdb message boards.

Blood and Chocolate fans are quick to retaliate.

"sonds like you need to read more... the title is meant to be poetic... the fact that aiden is her chocolate that simple pelasure and blood, her pack she must choose .. "

"The title is a METAPHOR!!!
Holy Christ. It's a GOOD title.
Uneducated monkey's."

"I must agree with Litwolf. Some people have no understanding of metaphors at all. Ah, such is the generation I am part of. . ."

"sonds like you need to read more... the title is meant to be poetic..."

"wow, you people are seriously immature if that made you laugh. read the book and get a clue the next time, kay?"

One B+C fanatic offers what attempts to be a face-saving theory, only jocks laugh at the Blood and Chocolate title:

"i saw black christmas and did not witness any laughter .. perhaps there was only mockery in the Rocky theatres for those viewers there might have more of a close minded view and not have a taste for literature or the science fiction plots... "

Not so my friend. I saw Black Christmas - a horror film - at the Chinese Theater on Christmas Day, the crowd reaction to the film during the action scenes was nonexistent. Then the title popped-up, tons of laughter just like described by Rocky-film goers in these imdb posts. For the record, I laughed myself...

Yet the battle between Rocky fans and B&C fans like WitchyWoman86 rages on - here is one of a million threads.

I'll quote from that particular bit of online dialogue - here is the Rocky supporter: "I love Rocky and I laughed at the title of this dumb movie. :-) Because Rocky is better and cooler then that series EVER will. He has lasted for decades and decades. I doubt your stupid movie will. Ivan Drago is more scary and cool then those "evil characters".

Rocky could also totally kick all those emo teen vampire, wolf people's asses...I can totally hear him saying this if ever confronted by those characters...

'Yo! I think you need to go back to Hot Topic or I'm gonna give ya somethin' to go cry on ya blog about later!'"

So what do I think. I think people should be laughing. It's not the title that sucks, it's everything else we see in the preview. I'm all for "poetic" shit, high concept junk, I love metaphors, but after watching a couple of minutes of teeny bopper garbage and then having that cerebral title drop on the screen, the absurdity is obvious. You can't give such a stupid looking production a brainy title like Blood & Chocolate. The fans imply that the detractors are stupid, that they need to "read more", but they should step back and look at what they are defending. The book may be sophisticated, it could be great "literature", but the movie is pure cheese that rips off an already crappy horror chick flick called Underworld. It's got bad effects. It is a PG-13 movie. It is aimed at children, and children are not gonna get this title so Blood and Chocolate is in trouble. Big mistake on the part of the movie-makers, the book is not famous enough for the title to carry over into the mainstream consciousness. The producers are up shit's creek. They should have done some research and may have a minor disaster on their hands.

Monday, December 25, 2006

the horror screening on Christmas Eve...

So we got out there and the guy at the theater was being cryptic. There would be a screening, but it would be later, much later. Damn, not sure if he was telling us to get lost or not. Are we not part of this underground free screening scene? The theater guy was the Movie Geek from Beat the Geeks, I mean he literally was that guy. So we left to kill time.

CVS was open on Christmas Eve. I browsed through SPIN to find that in Guantanamo Bay they torture detainees by playing rap metal music and an audio book of Ben Stiller and Jenine Gerafalo speaking, this stuff blasted at high volumes of course. I learned nothing from the article, except that an audio book of Ben Stiller and Jenine Gerafalo exists, unless the soldier was joking and the writer did not do his homework to find out if he was being taken for a ride.

Went back to the theater too soon. There is no where worse to be on Christmas Eve than hanging out in a closed video store (it's adjacent to the theater) with a bunch of other movie nerds. I was in hell. Then came the karaoke played over the stores video setup. "My Ding-a-Ling", some Journey song, man, it was like Guantanamo Bay. Is this shit funny to you?

About two hours later everyone entered the move theater, a nice theater. Beat the Geeks gave a lecture. Despite much controversy upon its release Silent Night, Deadly Night is not the first Santa-suit killer film. Before this there was Tales from the Crypt and Christmas Evil. "Wait, this is before Tales from the Crypt?" asked one extremely baffled audience member who should have kept his mouth shut. Beat the Geeks looked disgusted and other audience members were starting to grumble. It was not the HBO Tales from the Crypt being discussed. "I'm talking about the 1972 Tales from the Crypt", Beat the Geeks said, referring to a the Amicus Studios horror anthology. Ouch, this audience member had been brutally chastised in front of all. Good. You might think I'm not for such snobbish douchebagery, but in the case of a know-it-all getting embarrassed, well I was happy to see it happen. At least Beat the Geeks has the knowledge to back up his neediness. Others in the crowd, just ugly fucks with no real value.

Beat the Geeks had more to say. This was a Quentin Tarantino owned print of Silent Night, Deadly Night. Then came a story. The director of Silent Night, Deadly Night 3, a truly boring film by the way, used the money he made to be a producer on Reservoir Dogs. Without him, Tarantino would never have got his start. Without Silent Night, Deadly Night, there would have been no Silent Night, Deadly Night 3. What was Beat the Geeks was getting at? "Without Silent Night, Deadly Night, there would be no postmodern cinema".

The crowd cheered. Then one guy went "wait.... boooooooo!"

"You are just being post-post-modern" said Beat the Geeks.

A strange series of video montages played before the film. These were made up of clips from Christmas movies and cartoons, including two clips from Elves (1990), including the clip where a Santa doing cocaine is murder by the Elf. Boy did Elves look cheaper than I remembered it. Tagline: "They're not working for Santa... Anymore".

So I go to a lot of screenings including screenings with lots of drunks, but never have I heard less funny drunks yelling at the screen than last night. Dear nerds: I especially do not appreciate the use of a laser pointer to accentuate your commentary. A word on the only hot chick seen at the show that night. Why do you date the king of the nerds - the loudest fuckhead in the theater? Are you turned on by the proclamations of trolls? After the show, back home, when your nude bodies rubbed together, your sweat mixed to form a toxic vapor. Rudolph was on a roof. He took one wiff and that was it - he will be out of commission to next year. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A David Hess Christmas?

Well why not. One more Christmas link to an older post, a review of To All a Good Night, directed by David Hess. This post features a Cub Speaks, remember those? Well we have gone are separate ways as a couple, still managing to live together in order to pay the bills (fuck!), but whatever. She did get me a horror tape for Christmas this year, the 1981 slasher Night School.

free screening?

So I'm having a crap Christmas Eve. No minutes left for my phone. Lost my debit card. Obviously can't go to the bank. Los Angeles being empty for the holidays is nice is some ways, depressing in others. Well, I just learned of a free screening of Silent Night, Deadly Night tonight at ten. It's no Christmas Evil, but it should suffice.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

remember what happens when someone is lonely on Christmas

In the early days of the blog I wrote this Christmas short story, a must read for those of you who have forgotten what season it is.

remember the true spirit of Christmas

My review of Lewis Jackson's Christmas Evil that screened in Newport Beach last year with the director present. Perhaps the most passionate blog entry I have ever written. Perhaps the most passionate blog entry ever written about the true meaning of Christmas!

Black Christmas (1974) / Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974) screening recap - with special guests like Bob Clark and John Saxon

So last night was the big night, December's Grindhouse Film Festival at the New Beverly Cinema. I'll try not to make this recap too long as I want you guys to actually read it.

Bob Clark takes Black Christmas very seriously, as he should. It is an extremely well crafted film, not just technically (the use sound and camera movements are some of the best I've seen), but the plot is also very tight. When audience members asked storyline questions that other directors would shrug off, Bob Clark answered them seriously. He does have indeed have a backstory about the killer in his head (the movie reveals nothing), but he says he will never tell anyone about it. It is very important to him that elements of the movie be left up to the viewers interpretations. The remainder of this paragraph contains spoilers: Clark went to great lengths to include details on screen that prove that Peter is not the killer including having a different colored eye peek through the crack in the door, brown rather than blue. Jessica is not dead while the credits role and the phone rings, what happens next is up to interpretation. The Moaner's voices are done by three people, Clark included, but at no point do they overlap. It is intended that it is one person, the killer, speaking in all those tones. Clark did not tell us whether it is really the cat moaning in some scenes, or the killer imitating the cat. He did say that the killer does not kill the cat. I'll put this in this paragraph because it too includes spoilers - Black Christmas was most directly ripped off by When a Stranger Calls (1979) which really bases it's central premise around part of the Black Christmas climax. Clark is flattered by the all the imitations of his movie which is considered by many to be the first slasher movie.

On hand also were stars John Saxon and the female lead Olivia Hussey, both who like the film and enjoyed working on it. Stars from Clark's A Christmas Story were there as well. Zack Ward who played the villain and a person I believe is named Scott Schwartz who played the kid who got his tongue stuck to the flagpole. About Black Christmas, it was mentioned by Hussey that Steve Martin told her on the set of Roxanne that he had seen the movie 23 times and also she said that this was Elvis' favorite Christmas movie.

The Black Christmas remake will give more background information about the killer, as the studio demanded it. Clark has not seen it yet and will see it when it comes out on Christmas Day. He has faith in the new director.

Silent Night, Bloody Night. Pretty different then I remembered it, and I only saw it two years ago. No mention of it taking place in Arlington. Where did I get that idea? I also could swear there was a scene where the mute John Carradine reveals that he can talk, but no, must have been my imagination. Writer/Producer Jeffrey Konvitz, on hand, wrote The Sentinel in the attic at the house during the making of this movie. I should have brought my Sentinel novel for him to sign, my Sentinel tape, and my Sentinel poster, but I never prepare for these kind of things.

Grindhouse was beyond sold-out last night, the largest turn out ever, with people standing in the aisles. Free Black Dragons Bela Lugosi posters were given out. Next month is Switchblade Sisters and The Swinging Cheerleaders with special guest Jack Hill. Tuesday, January 23rd.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas horror tonight + Perez Hilton sticks up for bloggers...

We are just hours away from the Christmas horror event of the season! At Grindhouse Film Festival tonight in Hollywood, the original Black Christmas (1974) and Silent Night, Bloody Night (also 1974) double feature! Silent Night, Bloody Night, the less famous of the films, stars Mary Woronov and John Carradine. I've seen it and it is good. The movie is set in Arlington MA, just a town over from where I grew up! I believe that the writer/producer of Silent Night is expected to be on hand as is Black Christmas director Bob Clark and star John Saxon.

Perez Hilton, who blogs out of a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Sunset Strip, is being sued - read about it here.

Now I'm sure all of us bloggers use photos we did not take and we don't pay to use any of them, but I see both sides of the issue here. Perez's blog is all tabloid photos and he makes a lot of money posting these photos that other media outlets have to pay to post of publish. Of course one could argue, and I'm sure Perez does, that part of the draw to his site is the that he doodles on these pictures and writes words across them. He is defending his use of the photos as "satire", therefore all technically legal. Ok, but the real untouched photos are clearly visible underneath his crude drawings and I'm sure that Perez's site is the first place and really the only place most readers need to go to see these star pictures. I'm saying that once a picture has been posted by Perez, there really is no need for any of his readers to find the untouched version elsewhere.

If Perez were not extremely successful, I'd be in his corner 100%, but he has got to be pulling in tons of ad revenue here. Don't you guys feel sorry for the camera men out on the streets trying to make an honest dollar? I was walking home the other night, pretty late, and saw a batch of them outside of the Roosevelt waiting for Lindsay Lohan to make her exit. I stayed and watched, there was no one else around, just the photographers, professional autograph seekers, and me, and then Lohan who zipped from the door to the car in about three seconds - posing for about one second before getting into the passenger seat. About 5000 pictures were taken, but not of the photographers seemed happy. They dispersed, grumbling, in various directions. What a miserable bunch.

Speaking of misery. Tonight's horror event looks to be the height of my holiday season. I'm not enjoying this one.

Monday, December 18, 2006

so I met David Lynch...

David Lynch was doing his publicity stunt thing at La Brea and Hollywood on a lawn in front of the church there. I believe it was Wednesday afternoon. I was walking by to get some lunch. There was a big Laura Dern banner - "For your consideration - Inland Empire" and the banner you might have heard about, "without cheese there would be no Inland Empire". Lynch is not referring to dairy production being the back bone of the area known as the Inland Empire. He told me that he ate a lot of cheese during the making of Inland Empire the film. "Are there cows in the film?", I asked, as I was petting a dairy cow that stood next to Lynch, who was seated in a director's chair.

"No, no cows."

"Is this cow from the Inland Empire?" I was inquiring about whereabouts this cow lived.

"No... no.."

Mr. Lynch was very nice. I believe that this was the second time he spent an afternoon at this spot with a cow and his banners as my friend Kendra had mentioned seeing such a spectacle a few weeks ago - she had no idea what it was at the time.

On my way home from the vegan restaurant - no cheese for me - I saw Lynch rolling up his own signs.. All in all this event attracted a small crowd, he was packing up before rush hour, so I'm sure the fans that heard by word of mouth quickly enough and got a chance to stop by were extremely excited for this opportunity to meet this cult director.

There is
video footage of Lynch's antics at La Brea and Hollywood the first time around here. I've not heard the sound on this video, my soundcard is busted. I wonder what Lynch is saying to these guys? Maybe you can tell me.

Tomorrow Night: The original Black Christmas and Silent Night, Bloody Night at
Grindhouse in Hollywood. Black Christmas director Bob Clark, who also directed A Christmas Story, is expected to be there.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

the LA Weekly slams Christmas horror for all the wrong reasons

I just don't get it. Read about it here under the title "Where Harvey Goes, Shame Follows".

Sunday, December 10, 2006

the straight shit and horror on a budget - Fangs of the Living Dead (1969) $2 DVD

Ok, no more TV/video productions this semester or papers due. There are however, finals, but it is the last week. This weekend I had some free time and did not know what to do. I am not talking to one of my favorite friends, but others are being very nice to me or are being very hot/cold, so everything is very mixed up. I am open to talking to anyone right now, even the cracked out girl at the coffee shop who told me her mother was pursued sexual by Charles Manson and his big jar of pills, whatever those may have been. No, I did not give her my number, but I did talk to her for half an hour. Did you know that the Black Dahlia murder's most famous victim was found in the canyon next to my house? Well that was back when a freeway ran through the canyon. Actually I don't think there ever was a freeway there - the canyon is famous for being the only part of Hollywood that was never developed. To her credit, even this wacked out girl found the story to be full of holes.

Sitting at the cafe and starring at the wall for too long gives anyone license to talk to you.

Get yourself the $2 version of Amando de Ossorio's Fangs of the Living Dead. Sure it is fullscreen without even any pan + scan, but the picture is great and the price is just right. I think it can be found at K-Mart, I go a used, yet unopened copy, and it had a K-Mart sticker on it. Maybe you can find it at Rite Aid, though around here those are morphing into CVS's. I guess this movie is supposed to be a parody of gothic horror, but that was lost on me. Oh, I caught some intentional humor, but it did not seem much more goofy than say, Amando de Ossorio's Night of the Sorcerers from 1973, in fact it is far more impressive. It's no Fearless Vampire Killers, but Fangs of the Living Dead has got plenty of eye candy. Will it be the last movie me and my friend Kendra watch together? Time will tell, as the drama sorts itself out.

Over at The Horror Blog - the roundtable on everyone's worst horror moment of the year - which in almost every case seems to be a situation where the writers find themselves in the theater watching a movie that sucks dick. I missed the deadline so my moment is in the comments section - it was my embarrassment at taking Kendra to Night of the Living Dead 3D. I did not have a best horror moment of the year for last week's roundtable.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

it's the brawl for all over at Louis Fowler's blog: Live Feed director Ryan Nicholson vs. bloggers- also, I hype that suicidegirls.com short I edited

Here is the story of the Live Feed controversy that originally started with a negative review from Louis Fowler at his Damaged 2.0 blog. The director of Live Feed, Ryan Nicholson, submitted his rebuttal, but things did not get ugly until Night of the Living Podcast threw in their 2 cents. I can't listen to these podcasts right now, busted sound card, but I guess they call Live Feed the worst thing they have seen - worse that another recent direct-to-DVD release, Fear of Clowns. Nicholson fires back in the comments section of the at Damaged 2.0 post that prints that original Nicholson response and a nasty exchange follows. Sounds complicated, but not really, all you gotta know is the word "pigfuckers" is used a lot.

Soon it will be old news soon, but I'd still love for people to
watch the fashion video I edited for the suicidegirls website. I think the main problem with it is that we don't interview any girls. We get Zoe in the dark, which is awesome, but hard to see in the flash version. What this video really needed was my interview, well the one where I'm interviewed. It's pretty irrelevant, but kinda nasty and would have made a great climax to the movie instead of some clown going "what's up suicide girls". You know, you gotta end with something "wacky". Zoe wanted my part in the final version, but it certainly would not do much to hype the line - it's an off-topic tale of an older rockstar - and this video is legit so probably did not warrant random shit talking.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

video I edited for suicidegirls.com

The video went up Wednesday. It is not a porno, but a fashion video at an LA party. I was actually there at the shoot, in fact my camera was used. The video plays on the SG site in flash, so it's kinda dark. I'll admit that the three minute piece took me a long time to edit. You don't have to be a member to watch the video, so check it out. Hopefully I will be asked back to make another one next month. My friend Zoe, the suicidegirls' photoshop artist and host of the video, is really pushing for it. I know that SG hire-ups liked the video, but I'm still not optimistic.

Man, it has been a rough week. I hate my home life. Two new rabbits have shown up, found in a park in Silverlake. It is really too much for me to handle, but it is a responsibility I have to take on. Also, I can't get along with my ex and really wish she would move out.

The answer to the rabbit poster quiz: It's the MPAA ratings poster, see it here. I swear to God the poster used to have the ratings 'X' and 'XX' at the bottom before the creation of the more respectable 'NC-17'. Does anyone remember this or am I inventing it?