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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 31: The Walking Dead comics

Okay, this is it.  For 31 days I watched a butt-load of horror-themed media.  I even saw more than I talked about, believe it or not, but today on All-hallow’s eve I am going to talk about my FAVORITE horror-themed work.

The Walking Dead comic book.

This is my last Halloween post, I’ll still have the podcast up and talk about my comedy and projects, but for horror it ends with Walking Dead.  You know all about the Walking Dead.  Kirkman et. al. have done their darnedest to make the world know about it.  I am NOT going to talk about the TV show, the toys, the merch, the video games, board games, collectable cards, and all the other crap that they are pushing on us.  You can get plenty of info about all of that, and you probably already know about it.  What concerns me is that some of you may not know about the comics, and that is my mission today.

I saved the best for last.  While The Shining is my favorite horror film, The Walking Dead is truly the most compelling horror property out there.  There are times when you actually get in on something at the beginning before it reaches the zenith of pop culture.  For me TWD was that, I got the comic at the beginning and I honestly couldn’t get enough.  Since 2005 I’ve been reading it and I’ve lent out my comics to about 5-6 people and each time someone else reads them, they become obessed.  It’s that good people.  Those of you that only know the tv show, seriously, if you think that it’s ‘good’ you don’t even know.  The book is THAT much better.

What makes Walking Dead so darn good?  Why would this be the one comic book to read, none-the-less own?  I can’t put my finger on one thing or a list, but I’ll say this, the zombies don’t make the story.  Hell, the story could be set on Mars with aliens, or a band of roaming Caribbean pirates, what makes it is the characters.  The horror comes from the characters.  The drama, anxiety and anguish comes from these imaginary people that Kirkman breathes to life.  After reading 4 issues, you are hooked.  After reading 20 issues you are invested, and this is a world where crap goes down.  People die and in horrible ways.  There are no heroes or villains in the Walking Dead, it’s just people trying to survive.

If you have been reading this blog since the marathon day 1, I implore you do yourself a favor and read the Walking Dead graphic novels, you can't go wrong.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 30: The Shining

This is my FAVORITE horror film.  It has one of the best directors and actors.  It is spooky and eerie and freaks me out to no end.   Can we talk about the music?  Dude, it starts out just scary as all crud. The opening shots of the beautiful mountains are terrifying with this low bass and high chant-like voice.  I seriously can’t watch this late at night.  I’ve seen it many, many times, I probably saw it at too young an age and that’s why it messes me up.  Thanks mom!
One of the things I really like is the subtle use of the supernatural.  In my own fiction that I write, I like that level of supernatural and magic, just enough to get us thinking, but no lightbolts and fireballs. (save that for D&D)

Like all of Kubrik’s films, it’s shot beautifully, I mean like REALLY nice.  Some of the shots are well-known by today's standard, but back then it really was innovative. 

The acting is the best, Jack and Shelly are great, and you gotta give it up to the little boy.

The whole idea of the boy with Red-Rum and what that means freaks me out!
(On a side-note I have a 3 year old niece that does that, and it’s adorable.)

so that's it.  Tomorrow, the big day, my last horror post and something special!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 29: Alien

We are at the home stretch, and you can’t get much better than Alien for a horror movie.  Now there are a lot of movies out there, I’ve seen many of them, but this movie has been a huge source of inspiration for geeks around the world for years.  Being a movie in the 80s, this still looks amazing!  I’m sure most if not all of you have seen this, but it’s been a while, I say, go re-watch it.  It has some of the best atmosphere and camera work in any horror, sci fi film.  I don’t know who did the production design, but everything from the ship to the flamethrower was awesome.  Of course the creature work, by HR Giger has completely become iconic, I wonder how many dollars he’s made off this one project.

Let’s get to the acting.  One word: Sigourney.  I don’t know if this was the birth of the female but-kicking hero, (Aliens 2, anyone?) but it sure is a big element to the film.  Ian Holms is great too.  The chest-busting scene at the dinner table is still one of the best scenes ever.  I’m telling you, this is a good movie! 

I saw this years ago, another one of those, my mom is a horror fan so she took her son to the theater to see it.  It scared the carp out of me, and it still packs a punch.

Only 2 more days in October.  I’m still looking for a job.  I’ve saved the best for last.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 28: Rosemary's Baby

Came back from the Areo theater in Santa Monica Horror Marathon.  Had a great time, saw 5 flicks that night and if you thought that would get me off my game for the daily movie review, check yourself son! 

This flick is on just about everyone’s top 10 horror films.

As someone who is going to have a baby, this movie freaks me out.  And I’m not even the mother!  These sadistic satanic old jerks that are completely manipulating her drive me crazy, and this was done back in 1968, so we don’t have the ‘hero femme’ that we have now-a-days where our protagonist gets revenge and kicks butt.  Oh no, not here.  In this movie, she just keeps taking it and suffering and we sit and watch!  I have to admit it is frustrating seeing someone we care for get jacked over and manipulated (in this case, straight up for the Devil, Satan himself) and them never getting out of the horrible situation.  It’s a great movie.  It is horror.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 26: Paranormal Activities

I am a sucker.  Sucker for lots of things, like Root Beer, cheesecake, suckers and found-footage films.  I loved Blair Witch Project back in the day, I remember seeing it with this cute chick from college.  At the time people talked about the camera movement making them sick, it never bothered me.  Some also prefer a more scripted and tight story, but then again you are talking to the guy who loved Real World, so the reality tv show element to these flicks I dig on.

So Paranormal Activity had a great marketing campaign, the shots of the audience freaking out at the film really sold this puppy, and man did they make-out huh?  Number 1 cost like under $40k right?  It made so much stinking money, you can’t blame them for making the next 3.  I’m only going to talk about 1-3 because I haven’t seen the last one… I’m poor man, don’t hate on me.  Plus, if you’ve seen one of these, I bet you have seen them all, the formula is the same, yes they do go into other elements of the mythology (like in the 3rd they go back to when the girls are children) but it’s basically one of those, watch the screen until you see something happen at night.  But to me, that anticipation of the unexpected is fun enough to engage me.

Clearly this isn’t for everyone, and I know plenty of people that hate these films, but hey, this is my blog so there.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 25: House of the Devil

This is why I do this!  It’s gems like this that get my excited.  I don’t do this marathon so that I can drone on about movies I’ve seen twenty times, it’s for me to find cool new movies.  It’s for me people!  It’s all about ME!!

So, when I discovered The House of the Devil, I knew nothing about it.  Right off the bat, I liked that it was a period film, 1980s…(is that considered period?)  it’s not too in your face, but it’s enough that I enjoyed the little details.  Ti West the writer and director made the film on 16mm so it has that 80s horror movie feel and title sequence, I love all those details.  IT's really a fun film, halfway through when everything heats up it's good, the effects are nice.  To be honest, I wanted to love this, but I only liked it.  There was something about the ending and what she does to the Satanic cult that I thought was okay, but it wasn't compelling enough, she just started whopping butt.  But still I liked it, I think it's something new and fun and it's stuff like this that I get stoked to find.

This weekend, I'm going to LA for a horror marathon filmfest thing and I'll tell you all about it.  Until then, watch this movie, it's on Netflix.

I'll give ya'll a clue on some of the other films that I will talk about, I must see The Shining and Alien I always see them as they are my favorites.  So see them too if you want to be ahead of the game.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 24: Slither

Sometimes in life things surprise you.  Case in point Slither. 
On the surface this looks like a cheesy 80s low-budget horror film ,like Tremors, but its not that.

It’s not terrifying, or torture.  It’s not shot dark and grimy or shakey-cam.  It’s very standard in most of those ways, and very different in others but for some reason it all works.

Nathan Fillion is great, as you’d expect, and James Gunn the writer/director does something here that is special.  It’s got the right amount of humor in it and some creepy stuff too. 

The film goes through a metamorphosis, it starts out a standard horror, monster from space-type of thing, the Special effects are good, a mix of CGI and practicals, but then the film amps up the gore and craziness and it turns into a zombie movie of sorts.  You clearly see Gunn’s Troma films roots here, the special effects and bizarre and twisted creature creations are all over this, in fact at times it feels like a well-done big budget Troma film, which isn’t completely a negative.  Be aware there is a mountain of foam and latex gore in this.  If you do not like nasty-gorey slimy monsters then this is NOT for you.  If you enjoy those effects and some quips at the perfect moment, so see this.  It's pretty good.

Oh and don't forget to listen to my podcasts on itunes: The Biscuit Show and Andres Salazar's Nappy Headed Podcast.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 23: Dexter season one

Yes, this is a horror show.  I don’t care if some of ya’ll agree or not, but you have a serial killer and that is horror.  I’m going to talk about Dexter, and specifically season 1.
The marathon continues and I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention this Showtime show.  For me, Season 1 is the best and it goes down from there.  Yeah it picks up with the Trinity killer, and there are some great performances from the guest stars in later seasons, but the magic of the premise which was so original in the beginning is all season 1. 

The Ice Truck killer, which was possibly the most interesting of the killers happened here and all the dynamics of the characters start here.  But to me the show isn’t about the killers that Dexter hunts or even the relationships, it’s all about Dexter and his “dark passenger”.  It’s his psychosis that is fascinating.  The flashbacks with his father are some of my favorite scenes and Michael C Hall (Dexter) is brilliant on the show.

It’s not a perfect show.  At times the writing-format is more of a super-hero show, with Dexter having his alter-ego and super-humanly able to fix everything in his life.  As I eluded to, the supporting cast has the potential to be interesting, but the show never goes there.  For me, season 2 and on create more complexity which at first is compelling, but again doesn’t go anywhere.  Even now with season 7 it’s somehow stayed the same even when everyone knows what Dexter is. 

My advice is, go watch season 1 and enjoy that.  If you love it, go to season 2, but you might want to just stop there and see it as a mini-series and have good memories.

Horror Marathon Day 22: Eerie volume 1

We are going back to the comics medium today.  I’m not a big horror comics guy, and really there aren’t that many options out there, you got Walking Dead, Steve Niles stuff and old comics.  The old comics I’m referring to are the EC books and Eerie and Creepy back from the 40s, 50s and 60s.  Today I am talking about Eerie, and specifically about the hardcover Eerie vol. 1.

Originally published back in 1947, you might think that the art would be out-dated, but you would be wrong.  The black and white looks amazing and the tones of the ink washes keep the atmosphere and tone of the stories.  In this first volume you have art from some of the greats in illustrations, like Gene Colan, (my mentor Howard Chaykin’s mentor) Frank Frazetta and Alex Toth.

  Eerie is an anthology book, and I am really growing more fond of anthologies, as these short 6-8 page stories are perfectly digestible, before bed or in little breaks.  The writing is great, still holds up, is creepy and have that twist that Twilight is known for.

So, I will say this, if you are someplace like a comic shop or convention and like horror stories, I recommend grabbing some old school Eerie.  Another option is to go on Ebay of Amazon and pick up volume 1.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 21: The Thing (2011)

First off, I hate re-makes, I can’t think of one right now that I like.  Comment on this if you have one.  So, when I heard about people re—making one of my favorite horror films, I was like, “Forget that big-nose, I aint watchin’ it.”  Then someone just told me to watch it a couple of days ago, and I obliged.  See, I listen!  Send in your requests/suggestions and I will watch it and add it to the marathon.  How interactive is that, people!

One thing I think they really did right was, make this a prequel.  So this happens all before the 1982 flick (still don’t know why they didn’t change the name).  So, while the story is very similar and in a way it’s a remake, it’s also canon with the older movie… now that is cool.

The sfx are good!  Bascially they look like those Necromorphs from Dead Space, and it’s well done.  Story is good, acting good, shot well.  I love that is dove-tails right into the original in the end.

Since I know you guys was the 1982 one, since I just spoke about it a few days ago, now that its fresh in the mind, go check out this movie.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 20: Millennium (tv show)

Once upon a time there was a creator, his name was Chris Carter.  He name a phenomenon called X-files.  Everyone loved it and him.  With his new-found powers he made another show that was not as loved but even better than X-files, it was called Millennium. 

I was one of those faithful followers of X-files, we were so into it that I bought the magazine, taped the show and went to a X-files convention!  When Millennium came out it was too dark, I couldn’t get into it, but a few years ago I bought the dvd set of the three seasons and man was it before it’s time.

When I say it’s before it’s time, I mean it.  This was pre-procedural shows like CSI and Cold Case, and it was DARK.  I’m telling you DARK people!  This came out back in 1996, and I seriously believe that if this were to come out recently it would have been a hit.  It’s that good.

First off the acting is great, you have Frank Black played by the amazing Lance Henriksen and you have Terry O’Quinn, both are great on screen.  This is a horror show, Frank is a supernatural expert with psychic abilities and he’s been employed by the Millennium Group, a clandestine organization that we know little about.  You gotta see this.  In season 2 things start racketing up and man it gets very good. 

Unfortunately it only lasted three seasons, but that makes it easy to watch completely.  If you like dark shows, great acting and writing and don’t mind the rain of Vancouver, I say go watch it!  One of my favorite shows.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 19: The Thing (1982)

Today I talk about one of my all-time favorites.  John Carpenter’s The Thing.  Back in 1982 this amazing movie came out, and I just watched it last night, and it’s still amazing.  Seriously guys the special effects in this are still great and if you think about this was 30 years ago and STILL it holds up.  Stan is the man Winston and his crew designed some crazy monsters in this and for that FX alone you gotta watch this. 

Now let’s get to the story, I LOVE the closed off environment, with the ticking clock and the suspense of who is the alien.  The story is creepy and it was shot really nice.  Did I mention that Kurt Russell is the lead?  To me this is one of his best roles, hands down. 

I’ve seen this movie tons of times and last night watching it again, it totally held up.  It’s a classic!  I know I’ve said this before but for me, Jaws, The Thing and Shining are all classics.  If you haven’t watched it go see it, if you have, I say see it again.

That’s it for now, I am packing up to go run from some zombies in SoCal.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 18: Insidious

Got a new one for ya’ll.
Before I get into this movie, let me say that the main actress in this is from Friday Night Lights, and if I can ever take a moment and talk about that brilliant TV show I will.  It’s not about football.  It’s not about Texas small town.  It’s about people.  And it’s compelling.  Perhaps the greatest show that was on tv.  I’m telling you it’s up there with West Wing, The Wire, The Shield all of that.  It’s on dvd, netflix and a bunch of other places, so do youself a favor and see it.

Okay, now that I’ve done my part let’s talk about this freaking flick. It’s part Omen, part Paranormal Activity, and actually well done.  I started it late at night around 11:45pm and I was getting that creeped out feeling, so I decided to watch the rest during the next day.  That shows you how much of a wuss I was on this movie.  There are some good scares in this which really is why you watch this kind of stuff. 

Then these two Mormon-missionary looking ghost busters come in…then the psychic rolls in, now we get to the meat of the story.  It’s good stuff.  I liked it.  It’s not gorey, it’s not torture, it’s not twisted and sick.  It’s a good ‘spooky’ movie.  Oh and the ending is GOOD!

Netflix streaming right now.   Go check it out!    

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 17: Silver Bullet

Zombies, Vampires…. Bah!  Werewolves are where it’s at son!

Let me tell you a little story, a woman named Colleen had 3 children.  She loved movies, especially science fiction and horror flicks.  She got that from her dad. So one day she bought a VCR and then bought another one that could record.  With 2 VCRs and the ability to copy from one to the other, she and her oldest son began to rent movies and using blank tapes and ELP setting put 3 movies on a VHS tape.  A few of those tapes were played over and over, to the point of memorization.  Pet Cemetery, Aliens and Silver Bullet were some of those movies.

Tonight I’m talking about Silver Bullet.  It’s got a get pedigree, Steven King wrote this story and you have Gary Busey and Cory Haim star in this.  For some of you, you haven’t seen it because it came out in the 80s.  Dudes and dudettes, I love this movie, not only because I am that older son of Colleen’s and I have seen this a million times, but because this film is GREAT.  The hero is a kid, but more than that, it’s a paraplegic and the villain is (I don’t want to spoil it).

This movie has great moments that are scary, some great great funny bits and did I mention it has Gary Busey?  Come on!  It's older, but still holds up.

If you haven't. or it's been a LONG time, go back and watch the Classic movie, Silver Bullet!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 16: From Hell (the book)

Now we are in my domain biscuits!  It's the second half of the month and I am stoked to talk about my FAVORITE comic book... well at least horror comic.  (Maus would be my all-time)  First off, some of you might be thinking, "what, comics?? Where's the movies?"  Look simpletons, comics are were it's at.  It's the one media that you can do things and tell stories that you can't anywhere else.  So today we are going to chat about From Hell.

Written by Alan Moore and art by Eddie Campbell, From Hell is a straight-up masterpiece, and I am not saying that lightly.  ANYONE who has spent the time and effort to read it will agree, this is where it's at.
It helps that Moore is my favorite modern writer and this is the book that earned his spot for me.  Sure Watchmen is great, and I love LOEG, but dang-gum From Hell is amazing.

It's the story of Jack the ripper, black and white, over-sized book, which means it looks like a phone book.  Yes it's scary to start reading something that big but the art and words envelop you into a story that to me is riveting.  It's NOT the movie.  It's not action-packed.  This aint the Avengers biscuit.  This is an indie comic in every sense of the word.  It's thoughtful, meaningful and deliberate and it's that level of detail that Moore puts into the scripts that I love. Moore uses some great research out there and some popular theories as to the identity of Jack the Ripper.  What is innovative is the package and how he puts this all together in a narrative.  Creating a story out of research material and being true to both the proposed timelines and murders is pretty amazing when you think of it.  Moore is doing some serious CSI-stuff 1800's style and to the reader if feels like this really happened, even though the proposed theory is still just a theory.  I must make a mention to the art, The line-work is really great, it's atmospheric and detailed, but also has the feeling of the line-work of the times.  He incorporates the lettering and narrative into the art and composes the page brilliantly.

It's around $35 I think retail, you can find it cheaper.  If you know me, I'll let you borrow it, many already have and it's one of those books I think everyone should read, you will have a blast and might even learn something.

Horror Marathon Day 15: The Kingdom miniseries

The Danes are jacked up man!

Okay boys and girls, I'm changing things up a little, we are half-way through the month, I still am unemployed and there's only so many risks I can take in watching horror movies that I have no idea if they are good or not.  So, every now and then I'm going to branch out into other horror media like books, tv and comics that I  KNOW are badass.  Hence we are here, with the Danish tv show The Kingdom.

I am going to say RIGHT NOW that the Kingdom is awesome and the best horror tv show ever made.  To support this argument I have one word for you... Lars von Trier.  That twisted mofo made this back in the day in 1994.  I saw this actually back then in 1996 when newly married we went to the video store and they had these VHS tapes of this foreign tv show that the guy at the counter said were freaky.  And indeed they are.  Let me break this down to you.

The Kingdom came out in 1994-1997.  Originally titled Riget, The Kingdom had 2 seasons of 4 hour episodes each, aptly named The Kingdom and The Kingdom II.  You can find them still on dvd online and it's worth the money. So that's around 8 hours of some good TV.  The story is about a hospital that was built on top of some spiritual sacred ground and now is haunted.  I'm not talking American poltergeist-haunted, I'm talking Danish-style women pregnant with demon babies, crazy Dutchman, a voodou janitor and these two creepy Down-syndrome dishwashers.  That's right I said it.  Whenever you use the Down-syndrome kid for scares that's jacked up.  It's creepy I tell ya! The acting is great, it's not all about the spooks, the 2 leads are brilliant and there's some great rivalry with the Danes and Dutch on this show.  It's honestly one of my favorites.

Now you might have recalled Steven King thought he was all tough and made an adaption here in the states of the Kingdom, but it tanked.  Ignore that, I laugh at his failure and go and rent, buy, steal the KINGDOM!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 11: Twitch of the Death Nerve

Wait, I don't get it Andres, how can we be on Day 10, when we were just reading Day 14... and it's Oct 14th too!  Well, I'm a Looper, so deal with it.  Actually you are in a time-warp and I was camping for 2 days, which due to rain and my crappy tent, we bailed out in the middle of the night.  Nothing is worse than having your sleeping bag, clothes and pack all wet in a tent that is filling up with water.  Then the flashlight breaks... You wanna talk horror, I got your horror!  So after that nightmare, I'm back to the internet and my marathon, so I made up for the missing days. That's how hardcore I am, when I say 31 days, I MEAN 31 days.

This is rated one of those films you have to see, back in 1971 this puppy has more names than you can shake a stick at: Bay of Blood, Twitch of the Death Nerve, Puddle of Mudd, all that stuff, each country region having it's own name.  (except Puddle of Mudd, I made that up)

First off, you must see this film for the special effects.  Some of the best practicals and make-up I have seen and this is back in 1971!  I'm serious here, forget Face-Off that show on Sci-Fi, this is a show for good death make-up for 1971.  

The story is interesting kinda, what I liked about this was that you never know who the killer is and the film constantly adds characters and herrings to keep you guessing.  

check it out, it's not bad.

Horror Marathon Day 10: Audition

Miike is one crazy mo-fo.  

What is amazing to me is that this movie was made in 1999.  Twelve years ago and to me it’s freakish.  The poop doesn't hit the fan until the later part of the film, and then there's these question to what is real and what is in our hero's head... not even sure if he's a hero to tell you the truth.  

Guy misses deceased wife and decides to set up a fake audition for a film to meet girls... then all hades breaks lose.  The girl in question is clearly adorable (I married an Asian so I can say that) but man when she 'breaks bad' WATCH OUT!  I'm serious, the ending is so traumatic that I still don't want to think about it.  And that's what you would expect from Director Miike, but I haven't seen his other stuff, and after this, I might not.  This makes Hostel look like Marry Poppins.

Bust it.  I dare you.

Horror Marathon Day 14: Peeping Tom

Despite what the title of this film may suggest, Peeping Tom is pretty tame, coming out the same year as Psycho, which clearly eclipsed this film.  It is unfortunate because Peeping Tom really is good, it is a disturbing look at voyeurism and a deranged mind.  Since it’s made in the 60’s it doesn’t have the salaciousness that a modern film would with this topic and I think that’s a benefit.  Everything happens off screen, so that makes it even creepier.

It’s a slasher, like Psycho, but it’s color (yah for some of you) and the lead is really creepy.  It’s a brilliant film with a interesting lead and look into this killer.  It’s unique and the film-making is innovative.  You might not have heard of this movie before, but you have been missing out.

I say go see it. 

Horror Marathon Day 13: Don’t look Now

Losing a kid will Jack your jaw.  Or at least I imagine it would.  This movie here will support that theory.

I get these movies from people’s suggestions or lists I find on the internet, and Don’t Look Now comes from one of these lists.  I’d say that by today’s standards this would not be considered a horror, but more a thriller/suspense, but I did think it has value.

Donald Sutherland does as great job and I do enjoy the location of Italy, but doesn’t have the scares or deaths that you would expect in a horror film.  It's eerie and poses questions with some supernatural stuff but in the end, I was like, "wait a tick, who was that old bird?".  

Not the best, but hey it's old-school, and Sutherland (he's got a Dr. Who scarf thing going on this)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Horror marathon Day 12: The Innocents.

First let me start off by saying that kids freak me out.  That's right, I am a parent and like all parents, we say that children are scary!  So right off the at you got kids in this flick you know it's going to be terrifying.

The Innocents, a old-timey film, 1961 black and white (you know i love it already) is a good ghost story.  We got the beautiful governess who comes to the large estate to take care of these sweet 2 kids.  You know something it going down soon, when the kids are like little angels.

I won't spoil it, but it's good, the music is good there's some nice eerie bits to it and what I liked about it was that it wasn't clear cut and dry, you never knew what was going on or if things were just being imagined.  I like that.

Go see this,  rent it and watch the Innocents.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 9: The Mist director's cut

The Mist: Director’s Cut

So, once again, if there is anything artsy or fartsy I seek after those things… so when I heard that Darabont came out with a Black and White version of The Mist, I was stoked.  Anything to make something a little more elitist and I’m there.

Mist is a one of my recent favorites, and this version makes it even better.  In some ways it’s the perfect little horror film, all one location practically, this is the type of small-budget film that a screenwriter would want to make.  It makes me want to go back to some of my scripts and make them smaller in scope and filmable.

The Black and White treatment works well here, the SFX still look great, the blood now is black but doesn’t lose it’s gritty and horrific feel to it.  It now feels more timeless and classic sans color… now if it only was subtitled, then it would be perfect!  (Okay that was a joke)

On a side-note I just realized how many of the Walking Dead cast are in this, man Tom Jane would have been such a better Rick Grimes.  Now that I am watching this for the 2nd time, I really am picking up the Walking Dead thesis in this film, that being that Humanity is the real threat, and the outbreak (zombies or monster in this case) is only the catalytic setting to what the story really is about, how we turn on ourselves.  I bet that’s what drove Darabont to Walking Dead, this basically is Walking Dead the movie.

I can’t end this without talking about the ending.  Let me get this on the record, I love depressing endings.  This fits the bill.  I think what happens in the end is brilliant and one of the best endings of a horror film.  The music is perfect and it’s haunting the pain that our hero goes through at the end.

This is one of my favorite horrors from the last 5 years, if you haven't seen it, go check it out!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 8: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.

Fine, fine, I’m breaking my rule and including a horror-comedy this month.  Normally I am strict about this month, but darn it, I just saw this and I gotta get ya’ll to see it.

Like others of it’s genre, Shaun of the Dead, Cabin in the Woods and Zombieland (which I didn’t care for) Tucker and Dale really does a great job of straddling the line of horror and comedy.  Let’s be clear, the writer/director KNOWS horror.  It’s really well written, great lines and great reads by the actors, who really sell the comedy. 

That’s why I’m talking about this film, the way the film incorporates the standard horror tropes and turns them around to comedic moments is brilliant.  I was seriously busting up watching this film.  It’s that good.  The only negative is that the end is a little weak, but I will look past it.

As for Horror/comedies go I say this film is BETTER than Shaun of the Dead and Cabin in the Woods as far as the comedy-side goes.  That’s right I said it…. BETTER.

Go see it.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Horror movie marathon Day 7: Double Feature

Prom Night.

Can I just start this off by saying I love me some Jamie Lee Curtis.  I mean it. I don’t care what she’s in, I’ll watch it. Scream queen or comedian, I dig the gal, so when I saw that she was in this, I was stoked.

One of the classics of the Slasher horror films, what I really like about this one is that the script constantly puts in characters that could be our villain, we never really know who it is, is it the skeevey janitor, the rapist dude, the disgruntled teen, we never really know, so that is fun to guess.

This is a classic slasher plot, of revenge, for the death of an innocent, years ago.  Now someone is back for payback.  We have seen this in things like Final Destination, or I know what you did Last Summer, Scream, but here it was one of the first.

The killing doesn’t start until later in the film (Prom Night after all) so there’s plenty of scenes to get us guessing who the baddie is.

The villain is visually unappealing, he’s literally a guy in black clothes with a ski-mask.  And he’s not as proficient as you would expect, he doesn’t make all his swings count and not always on target, which is completely different than the Mike Myers or Jason, who is part supernatural force that is highly skilled with the machete.

Okay, having just finished the ending, that makes sense why the killer isn’t that good.

Well, it’s not the best slasher, but I do think it’s better plot-wise than most of the other slashers out there, like Friday 13th.  Oh and it has Jamie Lee Curtis, so of course I saw, go see it!

Hell Night

The other scream-queen Linda Blair is in this film.

While it’s clearly missing the JLC factor (Jamie Lee Curtis for the uninitiated) I like the premise of Hell Night more than Prom Night.  College kids need to spend 1 night in a haunted mansion to get in the fraternity.  Note all of these plots sound old, because well, they are old, but remember this was 1981, this was what started it.

The killing starts earlier than Prom Night, while Hell night came out in 1981  and Prom Night 1980, it feels much more contemporary than Prom Night.

I think the setting is great, there are some nice locations and sets that it goes to and ultimately it’s a good 80s slasher.  Still think that JLC is better than Blair but this is a better flick.  So there you have it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Horror marathon Day 6: The Horde

People who know me know that I love foreign films, yes I’m snooty like that.  So, when I heard that on Netflix Streaming they had The Horde available I was stoked, as I’ve been wanting to see this for a while now.

Those of you that won’t see a foreign film because they don’t want to read… dudes, just deal with it, there are some AMAZING freakin’ movies out there that are foreign.  Are gosh-darn it The Horde is one of them!

That’s right boys and girls, one of these darn horror films that I’ve seen this month is actually pretty awesome.  (of course Jaws too)

The Horde is a French 28 Days Later.  If you like fast-speed zombies, this is your movie!  Sorry, no Thriller-action here, this is hardcore, blood, action running mayhem and The Horde really does a great job. 

One of the things I really like about this is that it’s not just about the zombies, but it’s the inter-personal character stuff that drives it, ala Walking Dead, so that’s another good sign.

So go to Netflix and watch this. Yeah it’s French. Yeah you will have to read (mostly in the beginning but once action starts, not much dialog) but it’s VERY good and I liked it a lot and I’m a fan of Zombie horror. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Horror film countdown Day 5: Galaxy of Terror

Okay, I’m not always going to pick winners here.  How could I, I’ve never seen most of these.  Case in point Galaxy of Terror.  Now as a kid of the 80s, I remember a like of space/sci fi horror films out there and so Galaxy of Terror looked like it would be one that I might like.  But really, I can’t recommend this, unless you are a true horror fan and want to watch something different.

The premise is great.  Crew gets stranded on a remote planet, and their nightmares come true… and kill them.   It comes across a little like a low-rent Aliens, but maybe some of that comes from Cameron who worked on this (I don’t know in what capacity) The physiological aspect to the story is cool, but it’s so freaking dated that it’s hard to get through.  I think there’s good stuff here, the effects are good for the time and budget, but man the sound effects drive me crazy. 

To be honest, I don’t even understand half of it, maybe it was because I’m watching it while looking on Craigslist for jobs, but still, what the heck is going on?

Anyway there you have it.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 4: The Blob

After last night, and yes I did have nightmares, I decided to change things up and watch a classic, the Blob.  I saw this years ago as a kid, but didn’t remember much of it.

This is pretty old-timey, but I like it.  The main characters are believable.  Don’t get me wrong, the visuals are practical effects, except for once there’s some rotoscoping of lighting, you will think it’s all dated, the acting and story, but I think it’s one of those movies to see just for its place in history.  (that was a long run-on sentence too!)

Oh, and the best thing about this is it’s STEVE McQUEEN!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 3: Lovely Molly

Okay, that was Freaking me out.  Why do I do this to myself anyways?  Yes I’m almost 40 and still these types of movies get to me.  Probably shouldn’t be watching it after midnight by myself in the dark, but still…

I like found-footage films, always have.  I’m probably one of the only guys who liked Blair Witch Project when it came out.  So, when I started Lovely Molly and found out it was a found-footage, I was stoked, but man does it start out rough… with the lead actress about to slice her throat.

Lovely Molly is part Paranormal Activity, part Omen and all jacked up!  It’s dark… I MEAN DARK Biscuit!  It’s scary and now I need to go cleanse my palette with something funny…

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 2: Witchfinder General

Vincent Price.  You gotta love him.  My first exposure to him was the Michael Jackson Thriller song, (yes I’m a huge Michael fan).  At the time of course I didn’t understand the significance of having Vincent on the record, but later on, I figured it out. 

I’ve seen most of the classic hammer films, which I definitely recommend to horror fans out there.  House of Usher, Pit and the Pendulum and The Abominable Dr. Phibes, are all classics, so I hoped that this unknown to me little treasure would be something that I really enjoy.

Right when his distinctive voice is heard you know you are in for a treat.  They just don’t make ‘em like that fella anymore.  While some might not consider horror, and by today’s standards you might be correct there are some good things to this film.  Namely Mr. Price.  He’s not in the film enough for my tastes, but even without him there really is some very good acting and terror in this film, particularly towards the end.  It reminds me of some of those old EC comics, and pretty horrific in what they depend mankind will do to themselves.  Let’s be straight, there’s no monsters, or supernatural elements to this, the horror comes from people and what they will do in the name of religion.  The scenes of torture and witch-finding are much more horrific than something like Hostel, mainly it’s because of the great acting, and the directing. 

If you like Vincent Price, the old Hammer films or just something different, take a watch!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Halloween rituals... 31 days of horror films!

Every year I go through my ritual of watching horror movies, 1 movie a night for 31 nights.  I've only done this religiously the last 3 years, so I have not exhausted the catalog of films, but it feels like I've seen just about all of the "best of" lists.

This year I continue the tradition, to get in the spirit of Halloween and watch a movie, I try to make them films I haven't seen but I will watch of my favorites here in there, and I'm going to start this year off right, with  one of my very favorites, JAWS.

That's right tigger, I said it.  JAWS mofo.
Some people might say that Jaws aint a horror film.... these people do not know what they are talking about.  JAWS is a freaking horror film.  I saw this film at the drive in when it first came out, I was VERY little, and don't remember much, but as I saw it more and more, man did this freak my crap.

As a guy who loves to surf, this is not a film that I like to spend too much time thinking about when I'm in the water, in fact there is a code among surfers that we don't even talk about the "landlord".

I'm not going to go into all the review-type of analysis of the film, you can read much more qualified people's opinion on that, but I will say that this is a great film, stuff holds up to our film sensibilities and is well acted, directed and shot.  Some of my favorite scenes and music in films are in this.  If you haven't seen it in a few years, pop it in and watch it.  It will remind you how good movies can be.

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