FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE...beware yon spoilers!

Oct 31, 2007

boo, and all that

Halloween is upon us once more kiddies, and as usual I have that weird sort of "I want to do something totally kick ass and amazing but I know I'll just end up watching scary movies with my friends which seems like a disappointment but really it isn't because that's all I want to do anyway" feeling that I get every year. I always want to devise some kind of spectacular costume that no one would ever think of, or would even think possible- I never want to settle for throwing on some mask and being...uh, you know, whatever. Of course, this means that I never dress up as anything. The same goes with the yard: I imagine creating this veritable house of horrors with fog and tombstones and bodies everywhere, you know, like they always did on Roseanne. But then I never want to spend the money on anything, and my "house of horrors" ends up being my regular house with maybe one of those "Halloween sound effects" CDs playing, which is...so lame I shouldn't have even mentioned it.

Likewise, I feel as if I should have some grand, important post in mind for you; one where somehow as you're reading this candy shoots out of your harddrive or something, and you start hearing rattling chains and ghostly moans coming from somewhere. But again, if I can't have it all, then I just have nothing, and what we have here today is a regular old post- which, in a way, might make sense as Halloween is a year-long event as far as I'm concerned. Or maybe that's just some excuse.

Anyway. Last night I checked out Halloween: The Happy Haunting of America, a lite-n-breezy little documentary about haunted house attractions across the country...but mostly in Ohio. This 10th Anniversary edition, hosted by Daniel "That Guy You've Seen A Million Times, But You Can't Name A Single Thing He's Done" Roebuck and Bob "That Guy Who Owns A Bunch Of Stuff" Burns, isn't quite as in-depth as I'd like it to be, but then that's not terribly surprising since the project originally began as a segment for Entertainment Tonight.

There's a brief segment on Don Post, the man behind all those rubber masks I drooled over in the pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland; for me, this was the highlight of the show- but again, it's a brief segment. Angus Scrimm, Robert Englund, Tom Savini, Alice Cooper, and a few other industry types appear as talking heads throughout, sharing their memories of Halloween and all it entails. As a fan, it's great to hear what Savini's costumes were like, but I have to admit that Angus Scrimm always made me a little sad...apparently he grew up poor and treats were always, you know, withered apples or something, and costumes were rarely more than a sheet- and that's if he was lucky.

"I was born a poor black child..."

The haunted house segments, ranging from Universal City's pre-Horror Nights efforts to the amazing displays put on by Bob Burns (seriously- they're the type of thing I dream of having in my yard), are fun but not overly informative. Personally, I love seeing all of 'em, from the extravagant recreations of horror films to the cheapo cotton-batting spider-web variety. This is a great documentary for the haunted house aficionado, however, so I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for some sort of travel guide or what have you.

There's a second disc featuring a new doc hosted again by Roebuck...honestly, it's a bit of a disappointment. It basically amounts to "Hey, let's visit Dr Horror's Scary Time Castle!" and then there's five minutes of footage from Dr Horror's Scary Time Castle accompanied by music; there are no interviews, no discussions, nothing. Ah well, at least it's only the bonus material.

All in all, I'd say this is worth a look if you're a big-time Halloween nut; even then, however, don't expect anything too substantial. It's a bit like going to someone's house hungry because they say they're going to feed you, but then all they bust out is a veggie plate. I mean, cucumber is yummy and all, but I'm still hungry, you know?

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Oct 29, 2007

I'm a big lame

I know I'm approximately 427561 reviews behind schedule. It pains me right to my very core, I tells ya! I've been busier than...err, something that's super busy lately- but when my grand nefarious plans are finally revealed, I promise promise promise you'll be all "Oooh!" and you'll forget that I didn't have time to review these movies we've all seen before.

In an approach I like to call "totally and completely fucking anti-climactic, I'm simply going to tell you what films comprise the remainder of My Willies List, and I'll make an attempt to give 'em the in-depth treatment at some point in the future. You might be wondering why I'm even bothering to list them, but it's just because I thought you might like to know, okay? Why you gotta be frontin'?

Jacob's Ladder
The Thing
The Birds
Carrie
Poltergeist
The Beyond
The Devil's Backbone
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
The Tenant
Suspiria
The Fly (Cronenberg)
Pet Sematary

There, see? Maybe you should just imagine what I'd say about each of them...like how much Jacob's Ladder influenced Silent Hill, or how effing great Bette Davis is in Baby Jane, or I how I always thought the grody sister in Pet Sematary was Amanda Plummer but she's totally not, or how they're remaking The Birds and I'm going to be torn because it's a remake of The friggin' Birds but I love Naomi Watts so I'll probably end up seeing it against my better judgment. Add lots of swearing and it's just like I wrote reviews, right?

Right? Isn't it?


Oct 26, 2007

awesome movie poster friday- the UWE BOLL edition!

Yes, you read that right. There's no resisting the heinous power of Michael Madsen's mullet! Bow before it!

And how 'bout that Seed poster, huh?









I saw Tootie!

Last night I went to the premiere of Somebody Help Me, a film that you- yes, you- can catch on BET on Halloween. Won't that be just like we're hanging out? Yes, it sure will! And if you miss it on Halloween, the DVD will be available on November 13th, and you can watch it anytime you want. Anytime, 24/7.

Now, would you want to watch Somebody Help Me 24/7? That, my friends, is another issue entirely.

While the film was enjoyable on some level- there was a bit of gore, it was shot well, and the acting was better than most straight-to-DVD fare, it was so riddled with cliches that it almost bordered on straight-faced satire. Group of friends heading off to a cabin in the woods? Check. Stabbing the killer, then dropping the knife and walking away? Check. And so on and so on.

Not that I necessarily have a problem with slasher tropes, as you should know by now. There's got to be something added to those tropes- something fresh- that makes the familiar seem a bit unfamiliar. I suppose that 'something fresh' might be the sort of "urban" approach; as you can see, the leads are all African-American (every one else in the film is white, however), and ...umm...some sort of hip-hop music plays during the obligatory "driving through the woods" scene. Beyond that, the film plays out like most every other 'weekend getaway' scary movie you've seen.

Of course, this being the post-Hostel era of horror filmmaking, writer/director Chris Stokes has included some torture scenes. Gone are the days when Jason Voorhees can simply make with the stab-stab; now he'll have to tie people up and slowly cut their ears off to compete.

If you're looking for a bit of competent same-old, same-old, then check it out. I'll just say that the highlight of the evening for me was seeing Tootie on the red carpet, and I'll leave it at that.

I'll add, however, that Somebody Help Me was 536987841205383 light years removed from being the worst film I saw last night. That honor, my friends, goes to BloodRayne II: Deliverance.

Now, we all know that the first BloodRayne kind of made me want to kill myself. Why oh why, then, would I go back for a second helping of cinematic punishment? Who knows? A bit of curiosity...a bit of "blogger obligation"...a bit of masochism...a bit of it was midnight and I wasn't completely aware of what I was putting in the DVD player...

Somehow...somehow...BloodRayne II is so bad (Natassia Malthe as Rayne or no Natassia Malthe as Rayne) SO BAD, I tells ya...that it has me changing my opinion of Uwe Boll's first attempt at bringing the character to the big screen. Yes, the first film was better.

I should have known BR II would be a travesty (well, I guess I knew before I pressed play, but dammit, I give everything a chance!) when the first character to appear onscreen utters something like "Ah, the 'wild west'!"- did people on the frontier refer to the west as "wild"? Maybe, but I doubt it. It was sort of like coming on screen and proclaiming "Ah, here I am in olden times!".

In my opinion, Uwe Boll's biggest crime is that his films are simply boring. He delivers on the gore, he occasionally has an interesting shot set up, but then there's way too much talk and not enough do. And when the talk is nonsensical and pointless, it's a deadly cocktail. I swear to you, 45 minutes in I said to my roomie "Something has to happen in this movie..."; then, at the 77 minute mark, I said "No, really- something has to happen in this movie, right?"

And it just never panned out. Vampires in the old west, meh. Okay, if you can make that interesting, I'll go with it. But it wasn't interesting. BloodRayne herself was so bland that the film could have been called...oh, I don't know...Judy II: Deliverance and it wouldn't have mattered. There are a few gunfights, and that's about it. I sighed the sigh of a world-weary viewer, the sigh heard 'round the world.

The good news is, Boll is already talking BloodRayne III. Yes, I'll see it.

Oct 25, 2007

links, yo.

Am I busting out a links post because I'm lazy today? Yes...yes, I am. Wait, that's not true. I'm not lazy...I just don't feel like reviewing a movie, particularly one I've seen before. There, I said it. I feel like making a link list. I can do whatever I want to do, you know...you're not the boss of me.

Put your pitchforks down, won't you, and take my hand as I embark on a tour of The Internet.

You think you're so big: AMC's Monsterfest blog is running The Ultimate Halloween Fan Quiz, wherein you can test your mettle against 13 questions of Halloween trivia. They're even giving away prizes, because they're cool like that. How many answers can you get without cheating? Are you a Halloween Master? Huh? Are you?

I think I'm so big: No, I don't. But the point is twofold: over at Reading in the Dark, blogger Kestrell was kind enough to throw some interview questions my way as part of her 13 Days of Halloween celebration. I've done some interviews in my capacity as a comic book inker, but I believe this is my first interview related solely to Final Girl. What's up with that? Why aren't more of you asking me questions? Don't you care what I think? Aren't you simply dying to know more about me, my opinions, my knick-knack collection? Hmm? Well, aren't you?

Hello?

Point two: in the current issue of Sirens of Cinema magazine (on newsstands now!) (hence the "current"!), you can read a super-deluxe expanded version of my interview with Marilyn Burns. Oh yes, we talked about much, much more than I revealed on Pretty/Scary. And you'll have to pay real, live money to read all about it, mua ha ha! The issue also features an interview with actress Melissa Bacelar conducted by my friend and yours Amanda By Night, so there's even more incentive for you.

Speaking of contests: The Retropolitan has been running all sorts of contests over at Tales to Astonish!, the most recent of which is a "Name the Terror TV Tune!" type of thing. I performed so miserably it wasn't even worth responding. I so hate myself.

There's still time: to get in on the Double-Bill-A-Thon happening over at Broken Projector. I'm gonna try to try to participate, but that's all I can do. Dis month is wack, yo!

Stupid Halloween: Last week at The Horror Blog, we folks of yon Roundtable disclosed some depressing tales of lousy Halloweens past. My memories are still vivid.

*tear*

Oct 24, 2007

ahhhhhh! part 2

Word to ALL of your mothers! The Final Girl/Amanda By Night/Pretty-Scary coverage of Spike TV's Scream Awards is now up for your viewing pleasure. Amanda and I tag-teamed the burning, hard-hitting questions just for you!

In other news, I watched Creepshow III over the course of two nights- it simply couldn't be done in one sitting- and I have to say, it's probably the worst movie I've ever seen. "Dreadful piece of shit" doesn't even begin to cover it...it's so bad. IT IS SO SO SO BAD. My only consolation is that I don't have to review it- because I couldn't possibly review it beyond intoning in an Amityville voice: GET OUUUUT. The most amazing thing, however, was during the bonus features; one of the actors said "I know that Stephen King wrote the first film and George Romero wrote the second, but I really think ours is the best." I know actors almost always talk about how much they just luuurrrrve the films they're in, but come on. I couldn't resist taking a swing at him- but I only ended up punching my TV, which hurt my hand.

Oct 21, 2007

ahhhhhh!

Mayhaps you're saying to yourself "Oh, that Final Girl. October draws to a close and she craps out on us. If I didn't love her so, surely I'd hate her so", to which I can only reply, "October still has days and days to go, and there's still time for me to catch up- I won't squelch on any reviews. Please, don't judge me so harshly; after all, you don't hear me complaining about your hair, do you?"

Besides, who wants movie reviews when you can get red...err, I mean black carpet action from the 2007 Spike TV Scream Awards? That's right, kids, last night I had the distinct privilege of asking burning and hard hitting questions of all sorts of horror and sci-fi types, as did my partner in crime Amanda By Night. Video is forthcoming, and you can watch the awards for yourself October 23rd at 10pm on Spike. I know you're all an impatient lot, however, so here are some video stills to wet your whistles.



When Lena Headey (300, The Cave) goes from this:

to this:

...you know I'm asking the burning, hard-hitting questions!


Yes, Paris Hilton. No, we didn't get to talk to her...but we did see her skipping, which is probably better anyway.

Oct 19, 2007

awesome movie poster friday- the CRONENBERG edition!








Day 18- "Why is he so different?"

In 1972, director Bob Clark and writer Alan Ormsby teamed up to make a largely goofy (but still scared the bejesus out of little Final Girl) zombie flick with one of the best titles ever: Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things. No one could have guessed that two years later they'd join forces again to create a subtle, spooky film with a distinct and serious message: Deathdream (aka Dead of Night). Both men went on to have wildly varied careers; before his untimely death earlier this year, Clark directed such disparate films as the groundbreaking slasher film Black Christmas, another holiday-themed classic (A Christmas Story), and seminal teen sex comedy Porky's. Ormsby, meanwhile, has continued to write horror films (Popcorn, Cat People), but he's also taken a shot at the Porky's saga (Porky's II: The Next Day) as well as the cult classic coming of age film My Bodyguard.

After a brief but harrowing opening sequence in which we watch a soldier die due to gunshot wounds, the scene moves from the battlefield to the dinner table as the Brooks family receives the late-night telegram no soldier's family wants: the one informing them that their son, Andy, has died. Andy's father Charles (John Marley) and sister Cathy (Anya Ormsby) are greif-stricken, but Andy's mother Christine (Lynn Carlin) simply refuses to believe the terrible news. She sits up night after night, praying and whispering "You'll come home, Andy..."

And she's right- Andy does come home, appearing unannounced in the Brooks home in the middle of the night. The family is overjoyed and assumes that the telegram must have been a mistake. It soon becomes apparent, however, that Andy is very, very different than he was before he enlisted in the Army. He doesn't want anyone to know he's home; he doesn't eat, he doesn't sleep; he sits in a rocking chair all day long staring off into space...oh, and he seems to have developed a bit of a temper- so much so that he single-handedly strangles the family dog in front of a gaggle of neighborhood kids.

Though Christine is gentle with Andy and thinks he simply needs some time to readjust to civilian life, Charles's patience wears thin quickly; he served in World War II, after all, but you don't see him acting like a homicidal weirdo. Family relations are strained as Andy grows increasingly cuckoo nutso, and eventually we learn his terrible secret- I'm not going to give it all away here, but I will say that it's safe to assume that it's not good.

Ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is horror film as metaphor. It's often said that the horror films with a "message"- Dawn of the Dead ('78), for example- are among the best. They're not just about slicing up horny teens, you see; rather, there's a little more substance to these films that make audiences feel all smart and decidedly not guilty about enjoying a horror film. Deathdream is no exception to that rule- it's an effectively creepy...well, zombie movie wrapped in an atmosphere of dread, but it's also an indictment of war, showing us how war changes everything- not just the lives of the soldiers, but also those of their loved ones as well. Veterans coming home are indeed different than they were before battle, and the readjustment to civilian life can be incredibly difficult, to put it mildly. Deathdream is every bit as heartbreaking as it is horrifying.

Trivia time! Dazzle your friends with knowledge!

Deathdream marks Tom Savini's first big-screen foray into the mysterious world of FX!

Oct 18, 2007

Day 17- "I am no one."


It's remarkable that 15+ years after the original- and 13 years after the horrendous sequel- Exorcist III burst onto screens and turned out to be a serious, well-made frightening film. Though the film is far from perfect (and it certainly has its detractors), writer/director William Peter Blatty crafted a film (based on his novel Legion) that stands well enough on its own but also answers the nagging question left behind by The Exorcist: what's the point of possessing someone if all they're gonna do is sit around in bed and get gross?

George C Scott stars as Lt Bill Kinderman, the kindly fella who investigated all the weird happenings at the McNeil house fifteen years ago. The Gemini Killer, a vicious serial killer executed...yes...fifteen years ago (omigod what a coinkydink), seems to be back and...err, viciouser than ever. There's been a rash of church-related killings- a young boy in the outreach program is found decapitated and crucified, a priest is murdered in a confessional- and it seems the common element in all of the deaths is Father Karras (Jason Miller), the priest who assisted in Regan's exorcism and who died at the bottom of that long flight of steps in Georgetown.

As Kinderman puts the pieces together, the killings begin to hit closer and closer to home: Kinderman's long-time friend Father Dyer (Ed Flanders), who also knew the McNeils, encounters the killer during a hospital stay, and eventually even Kinderman's family is in danger. Is the Gemini Killer really still alive? Who is Patient X, the man who bears a striking resemblance to the long-dead Father Karras?

Exorcist III is a slow (but never boring), cerebral film that unfolds like a murder mystery, but there are ample scares to satisfy horror fans: there are creepy voices, bleeding statues, old women who crawl around on the ceiling (seriously disturbing, y'all), and of course, the infamous nurse scene: a nearly wordless 5-minute sequence that's a brilliant exercise in tension. The audience knows that something is gonna happen, but what and when? It's the one scene people remember most after seeing this film, and it's the one that had everyone screaming and jumping when I saw it in the theatre.

There's not nearly as much 'razzle dazzle' here as there is in the original Exorcist- it's much more subtle than that. That's not to say nothing happens in the film- but when it does, Blatty tends to keep things dark and mysterious. The performances keep you riveted, particularly those of George C Scott (c'mon, man, it's George C Scott!) and Brad Dourif (James Venamun). It's a pleasure to watch Kinderman and Dyer interact- two friends who are unsentimental but deeply attached to one another. There's also a bevy of familiar faces in smaller roles: Zohra Lampert (Let's Scare Jessica to Death), Viveca Lindfors (Creepshow), Samuel L Jackson, and in the role of "Was that...what the eff is he doing in an Exorcist film?", Patrick Ewing.

Folks seem to be pretty divided on Exorcist III- either it's a great, scary sequel or it's a big fat mess. Can't we call it both? Then we're all right, and everyone is pretty. Especially me!

Oct 16, 2007

Day 16- "You don't know what pain is."


As we all know, horror comes in many flavors, from straight-up monster movies to slasher films to supernatural flicks to everything in between. Though many people classify The Silence of the Lambs (1991) as a "thriller", I myself do not. Though it's a bit of a crime procedural to be sure, Silence features a killer who keeps women in a pit in his basement, skin suits, flesh masks, heads in jars, and cannibalism (not to mention cameos from Roger Corman and George Romero); it's all splitting hairs, perhaps, but to me that adds up as horror. Everyone's got their own definitions, but as a friend of mine remarked the other day- why is it that when a horror film is smart and serious and successful, people start calling it a thriller?


Though I've never talked about the film here at FG, I'm not sure what I can say about it that's particularly groundbreaking, fresh, or new. Everyone knows the story, and it can be assumed that only the Amish have no idea who Hannibal Lecter is. It's amazing what a caricature he'd become in the sequels, but then that's what happens when audiences start rooting for the bad guy- just look at Freddy Krueger for further evidence.


In my humble opinion, the major players involved with this film- director Jonathan Demme and stars Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster- have never been better than they are here. Demme's direction, though nearly flawless, rewards multiple viewings: each time, the viewer catches another clue or hint and understands just how perfectly the puzzle all fits together. I mentioned Dr Lecter already, but in his first turn in the role Hopkins walks the line between horrifying and campy- never too over-the-top, but outrageous enough to grab your attention and hold it. Foster, meanwhile, turns in a remarkable, layered performance as Clarice Starling. She's smart but not perfect, she's both tough and vulnerable, she's ambitious but doesn't ever resort to being a 'superbitch' as so many women in film (and yes, I suppose in life) seem to as she makes her way through the FBI training program, undoubtedly a true 'boy's club'.


The real villain of the film, Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb, is a bit Ted Bundy and a bit Ed Gein- he's the guy next door who's living in a house of unspeakable horrors; there's the pit in the basement, the skin suits, and the rotting body in the bathtub, all nestled snugly in your average working-class town in middle America.


When the film was released, there was a huge outcry from the gay community, condemning Silence of the Lambs as being homophobic- Gumb is, after all, a transvestite and a killer. That's simply a knee-jerk reaction, however, and it seems that those who cry "homophobia" haven't been paying very close attention to the film at all. Lecter himself speaks of Gumb as being confused- as not being homosexual or a true transvestite, but "a thousand times more savage"- a killer with a disturbing personal history who feels out of place and will try anything to fit in. The skin suits are but a metaphor: Gumb wants to be anything but himself. Additionally, Starling mentions that Buffalo Bill is an anomaly even in the transvestite crowd; the filmmakers, if anything, go out of their way not to point fingers at the gay community. Jame Gumb is a mysogynist serial killer, fostering a brutal hatred of women. The character mocks both women and homosexuals, with the taunting of his captive Catherine (Brooke Smith) and his lisping whispers to his dog Precious...but a film about homophobia doesn't a homophobic film make.

The simple brilliance of this film- and it is nothing short of absolutely fucking brilliant, from Howard Shore's score right down to the visuals of each and every frame- has been overlooked, it seems, lost in the shadow of Hannibal the Cannibal. He's become a movie maniac, the subject of subpar sequels, sure to be oft-imitated like Austin Powers- come on, who hasn't heard someone try the "fava beans and a nice chianti" line? It's not a film one tends to trot out at Halloween- that night tends to be reserved for ghosts, vampires, zombies, and Michael Myers. Nevertheless, The Silence of the Lambs is indeed one of the greatest horror films ever produced, and it sure as hell earned a spot on my list.


Oct 15, 2007

Day 15- "Ann, mommy says you're not dead."

I'll be the first to admit that my knowledge of horror cinema beyond the shores of the US isn't that extensive. It's not that I have anything against foreign films, it's just that I haven't seen much; my track record with the Italians is depressingly depressing for someone who's supposed, I assume, to be "well-versed" in horror. But I'm trying, people, I'm trying! Get off my back already, geez. There are only so many hours in a day, you know? Mama does have other things to do.

One film I really dig comes to us courtesy of Lucio Fulci, the goremeister behind the infamous "We are going to eat you!" conquistador zombies (BTdubb, the grossest zombies evar)...House by the Cemetery (1981- that magical year).

I gotta tell ya right off the bat- overall, this movie makes very little sense; shocking, I know. On the surface, it's all good- a family moves from New York City into a large house in Boston...a house by the cemetery!...and all sorts of spooky things happen. People die bloody, Fulci-tastic deaths- it seems there's someone...or something in the basement that likes to kill!

Simple enough, right? Sure. Now wrap that simpleness in a tortilla of psychic abilities, ghosts, weirdo baby sitters, mad scientists, and a fake quote from Henry James that has nothing to do with anything and see how much sense it all makes. As I said, it makes very little sense, but that doesn't mean it's not one tasty burrito!

Okay, I realize that's a horrible analogy but I'm hungry. And the point is, House by the Cemetery doesn't have to make sense to give you the willies. As for me, sometimes I'm terribly easy to please: give me a haunted house with creaking doors, a sealed-off basement, and mysterious noises and I'm sold. There's plenty in the film to give you the creeps: weirdo little girls who appear and disappear from photographs, mannequins and floors that bleed, a large, dark basement, and the voices of crying children to name but a few willies-inducers.


As this is a Lucio Fulci film, there is plenty of gore on display- there's beaucoup de stab-stab, ample blood and body parts strewn about, and the longer it goes on, the grosser it gets. 'Tis a true hoot, my friends.

I'm not going to give away the secrets of Dr Freudstein (gotta love that name), the former owner of the house, but I will say I'd be surprised if Rob Zombie didn't draw at least a little inspiration from this film- House of 1000 Corpses by the Cemetery, anyone?

Sometimes, you just gotta go with it. Pop in the movie, turn off the lights- and your brain- and enjoy the ride. Kind of like when you get a bean burrito at Taco Bell; don't think about it- just let it be, man.

What? I'm still hungry.

Eyegore, yougore...

Earlier this month I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Eyegore Awards with my super duper pal Amanda By Night. What the eff are the Eyegore Awards, you ask? Good question. Basically, it was a celebtastic way for Universal Studios to kick off Halloween Horror Nights; there was a little ceremony- err, excuse me, a little (and I do mean little) scaremony where a handful of genre stars received a little statue for reasons that remain vague- their contributions to the genre, I suppose?

At any rate, we saw Michael Berryman, Corey Feldman, Don Mancini (creator of Child's Play), Shawnee Smith, Sheri Moon Zombie, David Arquette (on behalf of his sister Patricia), and Rob Zombie (on behalf of Roger Corman) all win awards in the 20-minute lightning-fast, oddly subdued cerescaremony. There was hobnobbing before and afterwards; there was free booze- in which I couldn't partake because I drove to the event (dammit), but Amanda tied one on; there was free food but none of it was vegetarian so I was screwed there, too. However, attending the award show also got us free entry into the theme park that night, so off we went to face off against Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface.

Each movie maniac had his own large "maze" house- you wander through, and Freddies and Jasons and the such jump out at you. Standard stuff, but always fun. The houses were really well done and there was lots more to see we simply didn't have time for. Speaking of time, why am I wasting it recapping the event here when you can read a full report from me and Amanda by clicking right here? Boy, I'm inefficient- someone's got a case of the Mondays!

Oct 14, 2007

Day 14- "I never saw such rotten crap in my life."

One of my most truly favoritest movies in the whole wide world ever is the 1982 anthology classic Creepshow. I've seen this film so many times I could probably annoy you with quotes and reenactments all day long- because I'm just that cool. It's merely a runner-up to my Willies List (though I did spot it on the official nominee list, so yay to whoever nominated it), but only because at this point in my life there are other films that scare me much much more than this one does. But when I was a kid? This movie was the shit- and throughout it there are several different types of scares...it's like a Willies Variety Pack, y'all, like one of those big packages comprising all those little cereal boxes.

It was always such a treat when mom brought one of those home from the grocery store, because I could act all independent and choose my own cereal and shit...I could cast off the shackles of having to eat out of the big box, you know? I could be like "Fuck this Kix shit- I want Fruity Pebbles!" and have my own little portion. Like, revolution wherever you can get it, man.

But seriously, I can't believe that the Kix slogan alludes to the fact that children might actually enjoy that stuff because it is ga-ross with a capital nasty. Really, it's vile...like, why don't I just eat the box it comes in, too?

What? They don't sponsor this site, so fuck them. That's right, you heard me- fuck them. Kix can take a flying leap for all I care, that shit sucks.

Wow, I'm feeling sassy and sweary today, what with the giving it to the breakfast cereals I don't like and the such. Don't push me today!

Okay, but seriously for reals this time, Creepshow. What doesn't it have? Get a load of some of the goodness in this film:

* a zombie clawing his way out of the grave- which, incidentally, you don't often see even in zombie-centric movies (Father's Day)


*killer moss from outer space (The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill)

*waterlogged zombies returning from the sea (Something to Tide You Over)

*hungry monsters with 438695 teeth (The Crate)

*more cockroaches than you can imagine (They're Creeping Up On You)

*pissed off little kids getting their voodoo on (the wraparound story)

I mean, come on. There's got to be something in this movie that gives you the willies. And if that's not all enough for you, Creepshow also boasts Ed Harris getting down to some disco, E.G. Marshall sporting some sweet hair, more foul language than you can shake a stick at (which absolutely thrilled young me), and plenty of blood, guts, and humor.

Creepshow is a love letter from writer Stephen King and director George Romero to both EC Comics and horror films of the past (note: the housekeeper in Father's Day is named Mrs. Danvers...)- any of these stories would easily have fit in any issue of Tales from the Crypt or The Haunt of Fear. Romero provides the visuals that make the film feel more like a comic book than most films actually based on comic books- he incorporates graphics, bright colors, and comic book imagery seamlessly into each story.

Even the sound is superior in Creepshow, particularly the voices of all the zombies. There's truly a difference between what a body sounds like with water in his throat, with dirt in his throat, or alien plant life- who knew? And the music, please. If the spooky, quirky score isn't good enough for you, there's always that disco track.

There are some great actors in this film, from Fritz Weaver to Tom Atkins to Hal Holbrook to Viveca Lindfors to the aforementioned E.G. Marshall and so on...even Stephen King himself puts in a fine comedic performance as poor old Jordy Verrill. Everyone is just shy of being too over-the-top to make the film campy; as it is, they all react with enough gusto, however, to let the audience in on the joke just a bit.

In addition to being one of my favorite films, Creepshow also boasts one of my favorite characters in any film, which just so happens to be my favorite performance by one of my favorite actors: Adrienne Barbeau as Wilma in The Crate (see all those "favorites"? variety pack!).

Ah, Wilma, that loud-mouthed, foul-mouthed boozehound shrew. Seriously, I could go on and on all day about Wilma. I love her! Not only does Barbeau, who obviously relished the role, deliver every line with a drunken sneer ("I know all the best stores."; "Oh, that was great Henry. That was just great."), she adds all these little touches that I adore; watch her extend her arms dramatically when the crate monster attacks her, or my favorite (there's that word again), when she's driving to Amberson Hall and a car driving behind her big battle wagon honks its horn. She eases from inebriated amusement to inebriated irritation flawlessly, and it's hilarious.

I know that my love of Creepshow led to my unadulterated love of anthology films, though none has surpassed this one, in my eyes. It also led to my unadulterated love of the word "fuckadiddle"- now that's a movie, folks!