Monday, December 24, 2007

Of Maude and Midichlorian

Before I start, let me say that I promise this will be my last Christmas related post. This year.

Onward we go.

I've taken a break from my normal Christmas Eve routine of cleaning and watching cartoons to bring you a video. My intentions were to post the MST3k version of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, but they only had it on YouTube and it was broken up into a bunch of different parts. Piss on that.

I did some more searching and I came across something better (well, not better than MST3k-that's crazy talk), or possibly worse depending on your outlook. I'm not going to say much about it, mainly because I've never had the pleasure of watching it. However, if everything I've heard is true, I'm certain to like it, much like I like the films of one Edward D. Wood Jr.

Ladies and gentlemen, my gift to you (and to myself) this Christmas is the infamous "Star Wars Holiday Special", starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and...Bea Arthur. Come for the Force, stay for the Bea.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Crazy Christmas Redux

Before I switched gears on the mentally ill xmas carols post, I went hunting for an appropriate picture to go with it. I couldn't find one that suited me, but I did find a bunch of odd Christmas music album covers, enough that I thought it warranted it's own post. I'm probably wrong, and it DOESN'T warrant it's own post, but I've never let that stop me before.

Nothing very special about this one, but it's Liberace, therefore campy, therefore it's going in:

This one comes with a complimentary cheeseburger:

I don't know what's going on here:

"Mom! Call the cops, The Temptations are peeping in the windows again!"

This one isn't so strange on the surface (in fact, I quite like the Ronettes), but the words "A Christmas Gift For You, From Phil Spector" made me guffaw:

I just plain want this one:

And finally, Oooh you're gonna buy my Christmas album, ohhh:

Christmas CarLOLs

I read a Daily Mail article yesterday about a magazine that's edited by mental health patients that's caused a bit of a to-do. See, they published a list of Christmas carols with tweaked titles that take a little piss out of various psychological maladies. The problem is, some woman with a big ol' stick up her butt has pitched a fit and made them pull the list because she got all offended or something. Blogger won't let me link the article for some reason, but it's just your basic bloated, hokey Daily Mail story, so it's no big deal. The only good part of the story is the list of carols, and I'm a-put it here for your convenience, plus it makes me laugh, which is the important thing.

Monday, December 17, 2007

You're a Star-bellied Sneetch, You Suck Like a Leech

This week we're voting for best children's book over on Hispanic Time and it's made me a tad nostalgic. It took a fair amount of deliberation before I decided which one I was going to vote for-The Chronicles of Narnia. Even though once I decided I was 100% sure of my choice, my thoughts kept returning to another story-Dr. Seuss' 'The Sneetches'. I loved The Sneetches when I was a tot and I fell in love with it again when I got in the habit of reading it to Harper when SHE was a tot, or more tot-like than she is now (she's only 9; still a baby. To me.)

The Sneetches is a simple, humorous tale that highlights the pointlessness of conformity. It's also a neat little allegory about the idiocy of racism, kinda like that old Star Trek episode about the black and white cookie-lookin' people, only the Sneetches stop short of trying to kill each other, and there's no Shatner. It's a nice way to introduce young children to the ideas of tolerance and individuality, if you're into that kind of thing.

While The Sneetches is by no means obscure, it's not up there with your 'Green Eggs and Ham"s and your "One Fish, Two Fish..."s in terms of Dr. Seuss books, so I'm going to post the text here for the poor souls who are unfamiliar with it. It's the holidays, I'm feeling all generous and shit.

"The Sneetches"-By Dr. Seuss

Now, the Star-Bell Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars.
Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches
Would brag, “We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.”
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort
“We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!”
And, whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
They’d hike right on past them without even talking.

When the Star-Belly children went out to play ball,
Could a Plain Belly get in the game? Not at all.
You only could play if your bellies had stars
And the Plain-Belly children had none upon thars.

When the Star Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts
Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,
They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches
They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches.
They kept them away. Never let them come near.
And that’s how they treated them year after year.

Then ONE day, it seems while the Plain-Belly Sneetches
Were moping and doping alone on the beaches,
Just sitting there wishing their bellies had stars,
A stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars!

“My friends”, he announced in a voice clear and clean,
“My name is Sylvester McMonkey McBean.
And I’ve heard of Your troubles. I’ve heard you’re unhappy.
But I can fix that, I’m the Fix-It-Up Chappie.

I’ve come here to help you.
I have what you need.
And my prices are low. And I work with great speed.
And my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed!”

Then, quickly, Sylvester McMonkey McBean
Put together a very peculiar machine.
And he said, “You want stars like a Star-Belly Sneetch?
My friends, you can have them for three dollars each!”

“Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!”
So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared.
And it klonked. And it bonked. And it jerked. And it berked.
And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked!
When the Plain-Belly Sneetches popped out, they had stars!
They actually did. They had stars upon thars!

Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start,
“We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the worst.
But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned,
“If which kind is what, or the other way round?”

Then up came McBean with a very sly wink.
And he said, “Things are not quite as bad as you think.
So you don’t know who’s who. That is perfectly true.
But come with me, friends. Do you know what I’ll do?
I’ll make you, again, the best Sneetches on the beaches.
And all it will cost you is ten dollars eaches.”

“Belly stars are no longer in style”, said McBean.
“What you need is a trip through my Star-Off Machine.
This wondrous contraption will take OFF your stars
so you won’t look like Sneetches that have them on thars.”
And that handy machine working very precisely
Removed all the stars from their tummies quite nicely.

Then, with snoots in the air, they paraded about.
And they opened their beaks and they let out a shout,
“We know who is who! Now there Isn’t a doubt.
The best kind of Sneetches are Sneetches without!”

Then, of course, those with stars got all frightfully mad.
To be wearing a star was frightfully bad.
Then, of course, old Sylvester McMonkey McBean
invited THEM into his Star-Off Machine.

Then, of course from THEN on, as you probably guess,
Things really got into a horrible mess.

All the rest of that day, on those wild screaming beaches,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie kept fixing up Sneetches.
Off again! On again! In again! Out again!
Through the machines they raced round and about again,

Changing their stars every minute or two. They kept paying money.
They kept running through until the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
Whether this one was that one or that one was this one. Or which one
Was what one or what one was who.

Then, when every last cent of their money was spent,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie packed up. And he went.
And he laughed as he drove In his car up the beach,
“They never will learn. No. You can’t Teach a Sneetch!”

But McBean was quite wrong. I’m quite happy to say.
That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day.
The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches.
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether
They had one, or not, upon thars.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I Believe the Children Are Our Future...And it Scares Me

I was sorting through my computer files this weekend, and I came across a thingamabob that I'd saved with the intention of posting it at some point. What this thingamabob is, is a sampling of questions from Teen Health FX, which for the most part is a fairly straightforward site devoted to answering questions and promoting awareness on a variety of topics related to teenagers, with an emphasis on drug and sex issues.

Here's the deal, though. As has become apparent to anyone with a lick of sense and an internet connection, teenagers are getting dumber by the day and the questions that I've collected from THFX are glaring, painful proof of that. While most of the THFX questions are your run-of-the-mill Seventeen Magazine-style "I'm pregnant and I don't know what to do" or "It burns when I pee-HELP!" queries, the ones I'm posting make me fear for the future of humanity. Or they would if I wasn't so busy laughing my ass off.

Read and enjoy. Then go have a long talk with the nearest young person in your life.

Dear TeenHealthFX,
I think I'm pregnant! I'm only 17 and don't know what to do, I'm not sure because if I am pregnant I have drank and smoke since then would the baby be dead from this?

Dear TeenHealthFX,
Can you get pregnant by doing it up the butt?


Dear TeenHealthFX,
Me and my boyfriend (online) have cyberish phonish sex, I use a pool stick and he masturbates and we imagine its each other, and we talk on the mic while we do it, and he tells me in and out, is this a form of real sex? Am I still a virgin or not? I did pop my cherry when I first did it, also is this in anyway dangerous to my health?


Dear TeenHealthFX,
I am a 15-year-old girl and have never had sex. I masturbate by putting a teddy bear into me. Is this normal? Can I get pregnant or STD's? Please help me! I will stop if it is dangerous, but it feels so good.


Dear TeenHealthFX,
I have small PAINFULL lumps in my vagina. I have never had sex. The tops of the lumps are black and greenish. WHAT COULD THIS BE??? I am really scared.


Dear TeenHealthFX,
I'm a 19-year-old gay male. I've a gay partner and we often indulge into anal sex. My worry is that will my partner get pregnant? Please help me with this

And my personal favorite:

Dear TeenHealthFX,
I wanted to know what it was called if you tried to have sex with a tree?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Obligitory Thanksgiving Post

I watched a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving earlier this evening, much as I do every year, and as always I came away with more questions than answers. For instance: Snoopy prepares a lavish feast of pretzels, jellybeans, and enough toast and popcorn to nourish a small country. Why that food? I mean, how much more trouble would it have been to shove a turkey in the oven? Not that hard. And you already had all that toast-add some broth and celery and go ahead and make the damn dressing.

And what's up with those kids? Do they not have homes to go to? That butchy Peppermint Patty just straight-up invited herself and an arseload of other kids to Charlie Brown's house and expected him to feed them and then had the gall to complain when the meal wasn't up to her standards. Then Charlie Brown remembered that he and Sally had to go to his Grandmother's house to eat and got all worried about being a bad host so he invited those ungrateful shits to go with him-which I'm sure they didn't appreciate. Seriously man, no wonder he became a surly heroin addict.

You know what, though? Now that I think about it, Snoopy did make a turkey for himself and Woodstock there at the end, so perhaps he made the crappy meal as revenge for Patty's rudeness. Maybe ol' Snoop is smarter than I thought. 'Course, that brings up a new set of questions, not the least of which is why in the hell Woodstock would eat turkey, since he's also a bird, which would kinda make him a cannibal.


I'm going to be busy the next couple of days, so I figured I'd go ahead and get a holiday post up. I don't have much to say other than my scathing indictment of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and so I bring you This (and this, this, and this-sorry, it's in four parts), which is arguably the most classic Thanksgiving episode of any TV show, ever (and no, it's not a CB Thanksgiving.)

If I don't post anything between now and Thursday-and I don't know why I would-I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

That's 2 and a Half Hours I'll Never Get Back

For some inexplicable reason I rented Transformers from Netflix about a month ago, and I finally forced myself to watch it last night. I honestly don't know why I had the urge to check it out, other than the fact that I think Shia LaBeouf has turned into quite the handsome and somewhat talented young man. That doesn't completely explain it though, because it generally takes more than a crush to get me to watch something (case in point: Stephen Colbert had a role in the Bewitched remake, and to paraphrase Meatloaf, I would do anything for love, but I won't watch that.) So, why?

-I don't attach any kind of nostalgic signifigance to the Transformers; I never had any of the toys and I never watched the cartoon, so that wasn't a factor.

-The movie was directed by Michael Bay and as far as I'm concerned, the world would be a much better place if he never stepped behind a camera ever again, so lord knows I wasn't expecting some stellar film viewing experience.

-The rest of the cast was kind bleh, so that ain't it either (in all fairness, I did not know before watching the movie that Hugo Weaving was the voice of Megatron, so that was a nice bonus. And the Buffy nerd in me is always pleased to see Tom Lenk-aka Andrew-in anything, and that helped dull the pain a little as well.) But Jon Voight? Josh Duhammel? Megan Fox, who just may be the shittiest actress alive? No, no and NO.

I'll never know why I rented it, and I'll never know why I forced myself to sit through the WHOLE THING. 2 hours and 33 minutes I devoted to this movie, and that's not counting the days I actually had it in the house before watching it. 2 hours and 33 minutes of Michael Bay fellating the military industrial complex and slobbering over Megan Fox's stomach. 2 hours and 33 minutes of lame jokes (a dog pees on one of the Autobots-TEH FUNNY! No one in the movie can pronounce Shia's character's last name, Witwicky, correctly-OW! My sides!) and overdone explosions. 2 hours and 33 minutes of "Optimus Prime is kinda cool and Shia IS cute, but Jesus Harold Christ, this movie is STUPID!"


Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I went through an odd phase when I was about 15 or 16, which consisted of me reading every Ira Levin novel that I could get my hands on (I liked This one the bestest). Since then, I'd say I read at least one of his books a year and I enjoy them just as much now as I did all those many years ago. To say that I'm a fan would be a pretty fair assessment.

To say that I'm totally bummed out would also be a pretty fair assessment.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ira Levin, author of the best-selling horror and suspense novels "Rosemary's Baby," "The Stepford Wives" and "The Boys from Brazil," all later made into popular films, has died at age 78, according to media reports.

The New York Times reported that Levin died on Monday at his Manhattan home. It quoted his son Nicholas as saying the death was apparently of natural causes.

"Rosemary's Baby," about a woman who believes she has been impregnated by the devil, was published in 1967 and made into an Oscar-winning movie the following year starring Mia Farrow and directed by Roman Polanski.

Levin's 1972 novel "The Stepford Wives" involved husbands in a Connecticut town replacing their wives with submissive robots. It was twice adapted by Hollywood -- a 1975 film starring Katharine Ross, and a 2004 version with Nicole Kidman.

"The Boys From Brazil," published in 1976, featured the infamous Nazi doctor, Josef Mengele, seeking to clone a new Third Reich. The 1978 film version starred Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier. Levin's first novel, "A Kiss Before Dying," published in 1953, was twice made into movies.

Levin also wrote for the stage, including "No Time for Sergeants," starring a young Andy Griffith, and the long-running "Deathtrap." Both were later adapted to the screen.

Yahoo News

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It Was the Boogeyman

Our final movie for this month is:

1978's Halloween (You were expecting something else?)

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers and Kyle Richards. Directed by John Carpenter

Whazzit about?: Michael Myers has been in an institution since he was a young boy, after murdering his sister. Now he's escaped and is heading back home to terrorize the quiet community which still remembers him.

Type of horror: Slasher

How it is: I'm physically incapable of saying anything bad about Halloween-I think it's THAT good.

"It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare": I am watching the movie right this minute, and it just showed the part where Laurie Strode is cowering in the corner, and you see Michael Myers emerge from the darkness just a few feet away, ever so slowly (see the above photo for a reference point.) Even if you ignore everything else in the movie, that scene alone is enough to get Halloween stamped with the 'scary' tag.

Well, that, and the part where she's trying to get away from him, and she's trying to get into the house, but the door is LOCKED and stuff and she can't get IN, and he's like RIGHT BEHIND HER, and she's yelling for the kid to open the DOOR, and it's taking him FOREVER and it made me pee my PANTS a little. For serious, if they'd based the whole film around just those 2 scenes, they would have had a scary-albeit short and confusing-movie, but they didn't. They decided to be super-nice and they threw a whole bunch of other creepifying stuff in there to fill it out, making Halloween one of the greatest horror movies EV-AR.

Highlights: The music:

free music

When I checked Blog Music the other day to see if they had that song (which they did, obviously), I put my headphones on and checked to see if it worked, and swear to god, I kept looking over my shoulder the entire time it was playing to see if anyone was coming at me. It's a very, very effective little tune and it damn near made the movie.

Where it be?: There it be!

I Said "Strong Christian Overtones!"

Last year around Halloween, I posted "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and it made me happy. This year though, I've decided to move into the 21st century since apparently The young kids ain't 'down' with Snoopy no mo, and I live in abject horror of becoming irrelevant (actually I don't, but I've got a momentum going here.) So this Halloween I'm taking it to the next level and posting a SPOOF of "ITGPCB". Enjoy some Robot Chicken on this fine All Hallows Eve afternoon, and I'll be back later tonight with my final horror movie post.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Family's Always Been in Meat

Today's movie is:

1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Starring: Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn and Gunnar Hansen. Directed by Tobe Hooper

Plot: Five friends visiting their grandpa's old house are hunted down and terrorized by a chainsaw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.

Type of horror: Splatter

Any good?: I liked it, save for one itty bitty detail, which I'll elaborate on directly.

Is it scary?: I'm from Texas, and I grew up being told that TCM was based on a true story (the film claims as much at the beginning, but that's been long since debunked) and that messed with my head a great deal. If you're 8 years old and you have grown-ups whom you trust telling you that a grunting, chainsaw wielding madman once shared your state, and he liked to don a mask made out of man-flesh, chase young teens, carve them up and EAT THEM, it tends to make a young lass uneasy. Thankfully I didn't actually SEE the film until after I'd been disabused of that nonsense, but it's still pretty terrifying.

Highlights: It's a small thing, but I liked the fact that Marilyn Burns, the lead chick, was monkeyshit crazy by the end of the movie. They could have had her play it all calm and filmogenic (what, filmogenic is a word. It doesn't mean what I'm implying it means but who says words can't evolve?), but they decided to go the realistic route and show how a person actually would respond to being subjected to those kinds of shenanigans.

Lowlights: I think this is the first time I've done a lowlights section, but something in TCM begs for it to be created: The character of Franklin, the whiny, obnoxious, annoying wheelchair-bound brother of Burns' character. I hated Franklin so much that, the first time I watched it-sorry to be all spoilery-when he got killed, I actually stood up and pointed at the TV Nelson Muntz-style and went "HAW-HAW!" No one else was in the room to hear my outburst, which makes me look really pathetic, but that doesn't make it any less true...

Where?: Here

Monday, October 29, 2007

Host With the Most

I've had a super-busy weekend, I'm tired, and Harper's birthday is today, so I don't particularly feel like (nor have the time to devote to) posting about a movie today. Instead, you get NOTHING! Good day, sir!

I'm kidding of course.

I ran across this video the other day of a special that was on American Movie Classics back in 2004-"20: Entertainment Weekly's Scariest Movies" and I thought I'd get it up on the ol' blog, since it pertains to what I've been doing. Well, that, and it gives me a chance to foist Bruce Campbell onto the more unsuspecting of my readers (he's the host of the special.)

I can't tell you much about the special. I watched it when it first aired, but I don't remember much about it, except Bruce refers to Wilford Brimley as an "Unstoppable killing machine" and there's an interview with Michael Rooker of "Henry" fame and he doesn't slaughter the interviewer, so based on those 2 things alone, I'm putting "20" in the 'win' column.

You can watch it Here (Google won't let me embed the video. Bastards) and I will return tomorrow.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

TV Says You Gotta Shoot 'Em in the Head.

Today's movie is:

2004's Dawn of the Dead (As seen in my blog header thingy.)

Starring: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell and Matt Frewer. Directed by Zack Snyder (300)

Plot: A nurse, a policeman, a street gang member, his wife, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.

Type of horror: Braaaaaains

Sucky or sweet?: I really, really liked it, which is strange because I'm usually the one bitching the loudest whenever I hear that someone is filming a remake of something. I might even go so far as to say that I liked it better than the first one, which was draggy in parts. Heresy? Maybe, but if you've seen the original you know I'm right (and just for the record, I loved the original.)

I don't wanna get eated: I mentioned in a conversation earlier that zombie movies don't scare me as a rule, because I know it can't happen. If you're dead, you're dead and you ain't coming back. But even I will admit that there were a couple of things in here that made me jump, specifically the part at the beginning when Ana (Sarah Polley) tries to make her escape from her zombified husband and the neighbor kid. Zombies may not bother me, but being chased does. Oh and if you aren't down with gore, you might want to stick with something like This instead. Then again that might be scary too-it's a big machine! And it freezes things! OH NOES!

Highlights: Um, well, I can think of a lot of things, but if I listed all of them, the highlights section would end up looking like a recap, and I got things to do. Alright, I'll narrow it down to 3:

1) Sarah Polley. She was totally believable and totally bad-ass, plus I think she's neat in just about anything, so it stands to reason that I would like her in this as well. Biased? Why yes, yes I am.

2) The music, namely Johnny Cash's "The Man Comes Around" during the opening credits, and the mall-living montage set to Richard Cheese's "Down With the Sickness"-they're the perfect compliment to their respective sequences. At least I thought so, and it's my blog, so there.

3) The celebrity shooting gallery. Ving Rhames' character hangs out on the roof of the mall quite a bit, and he develops a friendship with the guy from the gun shop across the way. They communicate by way of those dry erase boards like they have in diners, using them to chat, play chess, whatnot. Towards the middle of the film, when all of the characters are going a little stir crazy, they come up with a new game: they point out various zombies on the streets below who share a passing resemblance to various famous people, while Ving and Gun-Shop dude pick them off with rifles. It was hilarious and realistic in a warped way (I could see myself playing a game like that, you know, if there was a zombie invasion, which there won't be because it's zombies, doy.)

Where it's at: Braaaaains

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Let's Me and You Go For a Ride, Otis

Quick one today, as I am cold and achy and in a hurry to crawl under the bed covers:

1986's Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Starring: Michael Rooker, Tom Towles and Tracy Arnold

Plot: Serial killer Henry serves as mentor to dim-witted fellow killer Otis and as the object of Otis' sister's affections. Loosely based on the confessions of Henry Lee Lucas.

Type of horror: It's not a slasher exactly, but it's the best descriptor that I can come up with right this minute.

How is it?: I would say that it is a good movie, but it would take-to borrow one of my father's pet phrases-an "act of congress" to get me to watch it again. There's a whole lotta ugly in this film.

Is it scary?: Yes. Henry and Otis have no redeeming qualities to speak of, and there's not a whole lot of character development, aside from making it very clear that these 2 just plain like killin' folks. There's no tension-breaking humor to make what you're seeing go down more smoothly, and there's nothing that happens that makes you think "That could never happen in real life". Henry and Otis aren't mask-wearing boogeymen, they aren't mad geniuses-they're the type of guys you see mugshots of on the news everyday. They're contemptible people, doing revolting, believable things and it makes for one bleak and disturbing movie.

Highlights: Michael Rooker was EXTREMELY believable as Henry. I don't know that that's a highlight (or even a compliment), but I didn't have anything else to put here, so there ya go.

You can find it Here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mother, What's Wrong With Me?

Today's movie is:

1973's The Exorcist (For the purposes of this post I am covering the re-release, aka "The Version You Haven't Seen")

Starring: Jason Miller, Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb and Linda Blair. Directed by William Friedkin

Plot: 2 priests attempt to exorcise a demon that has possessed the body of a young girl.

Type of horror: Supernatural/Psychological

Gooderbad?: I like it, I do, but I'd probably like it more if I hadn't heard all my life that it's the GREATEST HORROR MOVIE EVER. I hear that and my instinct is to rebel and say it sucks, which it does not, not by a long shot. Is it the greatest horror movie ever made? I can't say, but it's damn near perfect regardless of what genre it falls into. So if you haven't seen it, I recommend giving it a shot, even if you don't like horror movies.

Like, how scary is it?: You know something? I've seen this movie twice: once when I was 15 and once when I was 30. At 15 it didn't faze me in the slightest. At 30, it did. The difference (one of them) between me at 15 and me at 30? Motherhood. The idea of something hurting your child and you not being able to do anything about it is just about the worst thing in the world, and I felt a lot of empathy for Ellen Burstyn's character.

Second worst thing in the world? Guilt, and as such, the other thing about this movie that got under my skin was Father Karras' anguish over the death of his mother and the way the critter that possessed Regan taunted him with it. This movie fucked with my head and not in a fun way. As for the whole demon angle, I suppose that if pressed I can admit to finding This a teensy, weensy bit unsettling. That's not normal...

Highlights: I managed to get a chuckle during the movie, amazingly enough. Shortly after Regan begins to exhibit some slight changes in her behavior (long before she gets busy with a crucifix), her mother takes her to a doctor for testing, and the doctor comes up with a brilliant solution: Ritalin. Oh how I laughed and laughed. Then I think I cried a little bit.

Where?: Here

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cheryl, There's Nothing Out There, Trees do Not Attack People

Today's movie is:

1981's The Evil Dead (I'm gonna go overboard, I just know it.)

Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker and Theresa Tilly. Directed by Sam Raimi

Plot: Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Type of horror: Supernatural/Splatter

Didja like it?: "Like" is a gross understatement of how I feel about this movie. I want to marry and have little growly, foggy demon offspring with The Evil Dead. They'd be a bitch to clean up after, though. Seriously, I do love this movie, but in all fairness, it's not perfect. Some of it is really amatuerish, some of the dialogue is painfully corny, and the acting (not that I would EVER speak ill of Bruce, you understand) is perhaps not so good. I love it despite all that.

Or maybe it's BECAUSE of all that. This movie was made for practically no money, by a bunch of kids (Sam Raimi was around 20 years old during filming) who did it just because they liked making movies and they ended up crafting a horror classic. Some of the inexperience was bound to show up in the finished product, but you also see a lot of creativity and an arseload of innovation that money can't buy (but it can EARN it after years of hard work-hello, Spider-Man movies.) You can watch it and focus on the faults I suppose, but you'll be missing out if you do. It's a fun, violent, occasionally disgusting movie about demon possession-take the stick out of your butt and enjoy it.

I'm scared, hold me: This movie had a reputation when I was a youngster of being hella scary. So much so, that I couldn't even bring myself to watch it until I was 17. After I watched it, it hit me that I had been surrounded by weak-stomached weenies during my entire childhood. Alright, alright-some of it is pretty nasty: you've got blood spurting out of orifices that were not made to spurt blood; body parts alternately imploding and EXploding; PUS; putrified innards-it's a very...WET movie I guess you could say.

And then there's the tree rape. For those that are unaware, there's a scene in the movie where one of the female characters gets violently molested by a bunch of roots and branches. It was called misogynistic by some when the movie first came out, and Sam Raimi later said that he regretted including it in the film. I don't know. There's no way to make light of rape in any instance (unless someone is raping a clown, maybe), but I never got the fuss over it. It's a very creepy scene (shortly after I saw it for the first time, I flipped my shit during a walk in the woods when I snagged my foot on a tree root) and while I'm very much against rape (doy) in any form-real or fictional-I didn't think it was anything to get pissed over. It's foliage-what, a bunch of trees are gonna sit around watching E.D. and get it into their tree-heads to go out and rape someone? And now that I've put that thought in my mind, I'm never going to be able to look at Treebeard the same way ever again...

Highlights: Shit, I think I covered everything already. I guess I can show some love for Bruce Campbell's unibrow:

Where it's at: Here

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Mother Told Me to Never Do This

Today's movie is:

1986's The Hitcher

Starring: C. Thomas Howell, Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jeffrey DeMunn

Plot: A young man who escaped the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked, framed for the hitcher's crimes, and has his life made into hell by the same man he escaped.

Type of horror: Errr, slasher?

Like it or not?: I really, really, really like Rutger Hauer, and he's really, really good in this so I liked it for him. That's about it.

Fear Factor: On his own, my man Rutger was totally horrifying as John Ryder, one of the best villains ever. BUT! For a horror movie to work well, you have to give a rat's ass about the intended victim(s). If you feel nothing for the hero (or worse, you actively hate them), it's not scary because part of you is rooting for their grisly death and it puts you on the side of the villain by default. C. Thomas Howell's character in this movie was so damned annoying that I was PRAYING for him to buy it (same goes for Jennifer Jason Leigh, sadly) and thus I felt no fear on his behalf. So in summation: The Hitcher=not that scary. Or maybe I'm just a sociopath, I don't know.

Highlights: That's got to hurt (Spoiler)

Where?: Here

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Not-so-Different

I am not feeling my best, so I'm going to take a break from doing my little horror movie posts for a few days. However, I don't really want to NOT post something, so I'm harkening back to the semi-old days and posting a movie. In keeping with the current theme all things scary movies, it's a horror film-possibly THE horror film: Nosferatu (it scared me, it did, and I don't care what anyone thinks of me for admitting that, either.)

Enjoy (or not) and I will return on Monday (probably.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This is Your Wake-Up Call

Today's movie:

2004's Saw

Starring: Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, Dina Meyer, Shawnee Smith and Tobin Bell.

Plot: A sadistic serial killer known as 'Jigsaw' is kidnapping people to teach them the value of life by making them choose between losing a part of their body or hurting someone else to survive.

Type of horror: Splatter

Good or bad?: I liked it a lot, although I don't know that I think it warranted having a sequel released Every Single Year since it first came out.

Scary?: There's some extremely gory and cringe-inducing moments in here: if that's what sets your heart to racin', then sure, it's scary.

Highlights: I wouldn't call it a highlight, but the thing I liked most about Saw was the reasoning behind the kidnappings/tests. Most of the victims were chosen by Jigsaw because of something he perceived in them to be a flaw and he felt that they were throwing their lives away. The basic idea was that when faced with their own mortality the victims would see the error of their ways and change accordingly. His motives weren't completely altruistic (he was a sadistic monster to be sure), but that little glimmer of twisted good samaritanism helped raise Saw a few notches above being mere Torture Porn.

Where?: Here

You'd Think I'd Be Happy...

But when I heard him announce this on his show last night, it just made me uneasy. I'm sure he knows what he's doing though.

I hope.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Colbert has announced his candidacy for president on "The Colbert Report," tossing his satirical hat into the ring of an already crowded race.

"I shall seek the office of the president of the United States," Colbert said Tuesday on his Comedy Central show as red, white and blue balloons fell around him.

Colbert, 43, had recently satirized the coyness of would-be presidential candidates by refusing to disclose whether he would seek the country's highest office — a refusal that often came without any prompting.

Shortly before making the announcement, Colbert appeared on "The Daily Show" (the show that spawned Colbert's spin-off) and played cagey, claiming he was only ready to consider a White House bid. He entered the studio set pulled by a bicycle pedaled by Uncle Sam and quickly pulled out a bale of hay and a bottle of beer to show that he was "an Average Joe."

Colbert said his final decision would be announced on a "more prestigious show," which turned out to be his own.

"After nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching, I have heard the call," said Colbert...

The rest of the article: AP

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

He's Dead, Honey, Because Mommy Killed Him

Today's movie is:

1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street

Starring: Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Johnny Depp and Robert Englund. Directed by Wes Craven.

The dealie: The teenaged children of Elm Street start to die, one-by-one, apparently killed off by something in their dreams. Nancy Thompson determines to find out what it is before she too falls victim and comes to believe that the killer is child murderer Freddy Kreuger, who just happens to have been burned alive by the parents of said teenagers.

Type of horror: Supernatural

Likey?: Sure, I think it's a good movie. The acting isn't so great, the music is kind of lame, some of the dialogue is a bit stilted ("Screw your pass" indeed), but it's a very clever and effective movie despite all of that.

Is it scary?: I must confess, the first time I saw this movie, it freaked my 9-year-old shit OUT. I still remember it: I watched it one day after school with my mom, my aunt and 2 of my cousins, who were about 12 and 13 at the time. I was all brave while I watched it, mocking my cousins' fear and doing various things to scare the hell out of them during the viewing (this seems to be a running theme throughout my horror movie-watching life now that I think about it.) I was fine and everything was cool.

Until it was over. My cousins left, my mom went to make dinner and I was left alone with my thoughts, which were populated by a burned-up boogerman who was going to slice me open and wear my guts as a belt. I didn't sleep but maybe 3 hours that night, and in fact, it took about a month before I was back to my normal sleeping habits. I've seen it numerous times since then, and it doesn't frighten me at all now, but based on the effect it had on me at age 9, I still consider it a scary movie. So my short answer: yes.

Highlights: The bloody murder of one Johnny Depp. Not that I don't like Johnny, I just thought the whole sucked-into-the-bed thing was NEAT. I liked that, and when Freddy's arms went all Stretch Armstrong-y: I think that bothered me more than any of the murders.

1,2 Freddy's coming for you, 3,4 better lock your door, 5, 6 grab your crucifix copy of NoES: Here

Monday, October 15, 2007

They're All Gonna Laugh at You

My final Stephen King movie (unless I get a wild hair and decide to do another one) is:

1976's Carrie

Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen, John Travolta and P.J. Soles. Directed by Brian DePalma.

The dealio: A mousy and abused girl with telekinetic powers gets pushed too far on one special night.

Type of horror: Supernatural

Yes? No? Maybe? I don't know?: It's a good movie, but not one of my favorites.

Scary?: I have to say that the ending is one of the greatest "OMGWTF!?" moments in the history of horror films. I won't give it away for the 3 people on Earth who haven't seen it, but yes, it made me jump. Piper Laurie was pretty horrifying as Carrie's mother, too (I ain't down with crazy religious folks), but taken as a whole, the movie ended up depressing me more than it scared me.

Highlights: Damn near everything about this movie has covered ad nauseum in the past 31 years-the Prom scene, the bit in the locker room, the 'dirty pillows', etc.-and I have nothing to add to that. All I have left to say is that Sissy Spacek was rilly, rilly good in this movie. I'm probably biased, but I don't care: she was wicked awesome.

Where?: Here

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Music Dump

free music

I'm a Little Too Old to be Playing "Hardy Boys Meet Reverend Werewolf"

Quick one today:

1985's Silver Bullet

Starring: Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim, Megan Follows and Terry O'Quinn

Plotzakhstan: A young paraplegic boy, his sister and his uncle hunt down a werewolf that is terrorizing their small town.

Type of horror movie: Werewolf

Which is absolutely fascinating, BTW.

Love, hate, tolerate?: There's one thing about this movie that makes me completely love it (more on that in a second.) Aside from THAT, it's merely an okay movie, but the thing I'm gonna mention puts it over the top.

Skurry?: I say no, but werewolf movies don't bother me very much on the whole as it is. It's a big doggy-who cares?

Highlights: I remember seeing this movie as a kid and thinking how cool it would be to have a cranky, funny uncle like Gary Busey (his character in the movie, not the real one-even as a youngster I knew crazy when I saw it.) It's been over 20 years since I first saw this movie and I still feel that way. He builds a souped-up wheelchair for his crippled nephew (can we still call them crippled? I forget), helps him chase down a werewolf, and does it all through a major alcoholic haze. He's the shizznit, fo' real. Yo.

Do you want it?: Go fetch

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We're Sort of a Club

Today's movie is:

1990's It

Starring: Richard Thomas, John Ritter, Tim Reid, Annette O'Toole, Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Richard Masur and Tim Curry

About: Seven youths have to defeat a demonic creature named Pennywise which dresses in a clown suit and terrorizes a 1960's town in Maine.

Type of horror: Supernatural

Like it?: Yes'm. Mainly for sentimental reasons, not because I think it's a good movie. It's not bad, but it's not good enough to warrant me liking it as much as I do, which is a hell of a lot. It was originally a miniseries and if I'm being objective, I'd have to say that the first half-which deals with the characters as children-is substantially better than the second half-which deals with them as adults. Of course, if you watch it, you have to watch both parts, so it doesn't really matter if the first part is better than the second. Don't even know why I brought it up really...

Piss your pants-yes or no?: Did you not look at that picture I posted? It's a movie about a clown-a clown that kills people. A CLOWN. To answer the question: YES.


Highlights: Well, CLOWN. Tim Curry is totally freaky (and occasionally pretty damn funny) as Pennywise. A lot of people consider Pennywise to be up there with Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers on the list of great horror villains-pretty impressive for a TV movie character. Oh and the chirrens did a pretty good job too, even this little nerd:

Where can I find it?: CLOWN