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 17, 2008

that's why it's called THE PRESENT

As you may recall, I was overcome recently with Boneyard Fever. Well, the potential deliciousness of a film starring Phyllis Diller, Zombie Phyllis Diller, Norman Fell, and a Giant Zombie Poodle gnawed and gnawed at my brain until I finally broke down and sought out a copy to call my own and to clutch to my bosoms. I found one on Half.com for cheaper than the price of a rental, so I made my dream come true by ordering one. It arrived yesterday and the seller was kind enough to include a bonus gift, as if the very existence of The Boneyard isn't gift enough. Behold, the gift, labeled as such so I know exactly why it was included in the package:

All I can really say about it is ??

In related news, I now own The Boneyard. If I weren't so busy, I'm sure I would've watched it 50 times by now. Believe me, I'll be sharing the goodness with you the moment I finally see it.

Oct 14, 2008

remember me?

It's me, Stacie! You know...Final Girl. The one who sometimes updates this site. Speaking of which, I'm awfully sorry I've been a big lame. No really, I am. I know you're putting all the blame on yourself, thinking "What did I do to drive Final Girl away? Damn my penchant for appliqued sweaters! I was just trying to make a good impressionnnnnn........." and that's sweet. The truth of the matter is, however, that you've done nothing!

I'm hip deep in the big fat season finale of Ghostella's Haunted Tomb: writing, shooting, and now editing it has taken up most of my last couple of weeks. As such, this site is a little malnourished, which saddens me considering it's October and October is the most wonderful time of the year. Rest assured, however, that when all is revealed you'll be surprised, pleased, and positively wetting your pants with delight! You won't believe your eyes! Seriously, you'll be all "Oh eyes, why the eff are you lying to me?" and your eyes will be, like, "Dude, I'm just looking at what's really there!" and you'll be all "Huuuuunh?" like Scooby-Doo style. Won't that be fun? See, I've got a special guest star I still can't quite believe despite the fact that I'm watching the footage.

Is that tantalizing enough?

But! Let us stop talking about that future and start talking about another future- that is, the Final Girl Film Club and its next installment! Strait-Jacket was a rousing success last go-round, so I figure this time let's go for something at the opposite end of the spectrum! Let's go (metaphorical) balls out with the smut! Let's go for the 1974 Italian Exorcist knockoff...

The Antichrist!

Long story short: woman gets possessed. This being a 1970s Italian flick, though, that simple plot is wrapped in layer after layer of effects, gore, insanity, boobs, and gore...I assume. I mean, the poster claims it's The Supreme Shocker of All Time!, so...should be fun.

The DVD box boasts that this cut contains the fully restored "notorious goat orgy scene"...lemme tell you right now, right up front, that I have no idea what that entails. If we all hold hands, though, I'm sure we'll make it through The Antichrist together, and we'll be all the stronger for it! It's time to get sleazy up in here!

The movie: The Antichrist
The due date: Monday, November 17

Oct 6, 2008

Film Club: Strait-Jacket

Holy crapping crap, did I pick a good one with Strait-Jacket, folks! William Castle + Joan Crawford + axe murders + wigs = I AM IN HEAVEN without my face, for my face has been rocked way, way off.

The story is oh so simple in its simplicity: Lucy Harbin (Joan effing Crawford) came home early from an out of town trip to find her younger husband (Lee Majors!) post-flagrante and sound asleep in bed with his chosen floozy. Lucy doesn't scream and yell, oh no; rather, she grabs the nearest axe and makes with the axing, giving the lovers a number of whacks that seems to exceed the Lizzie Borden-recommended forty.

Her young daughter Carol witnesses the slaughter; earlier she witnessed her dad and the floozy floozing out- I guess you could say that Carol had an exceptionally great night.

Lucy is shipped off to the nuthouse ("Extra! Extra! Love slayer insane!") and now it's twenty years on. After moving in with her aunt and uncle, Carol (Diane Baker) has grown up to become a sculptress, a superfox, and the fiancee of the small town's wealthiest, handsomest bachelor, dairy farm heir Michael (John Anthony Hayes). Lucy returns, much plainer and, we hope, much more sane. At Carol's urging, Lucy gets a wig, some jangly bracelets, and a new dress in a bid to pretend that, you know, the last twenty years never happened. Will it work? I mean, wigs can do anything, can't they?

Lucy and Carol work on mending their relationship and getting to know each other, but before long Lucy seems to be slipping back into Cuckoo Town. She hears voices (or does she?) and wakes up to find her victim's heads in her bed (or does she?); she can't keep her eyes off of pointy objects or her daughter's fiance.

Before you know it, Lucy has flipped her new wig and people start losing their heads (like, totally literally), including my man George Kennedy who makes a sweaty appearance as a farm hand.


There's so much awesomeness in this movie, I don't know how they managed to pack it all in to a mere 93 minutes. There are countless touches that make this film a true delight- Joan Crawford trapped in a stripey weirdo bathroom, Joan Crawford knitting like...well, knitting like a madwoman, Joan Crawford lurking, Joan Crawford chopping, Joan Crawford lighting a match by striking it on a spinning jazz record, and OH GOD the film's climax...the list goes on and on.

As you've probably gathered, a great deal of the fun in Strait-Jacket comes courtesy of Joan Crawford. Yeah sure, on the one hand this film is pure William Castle-flavored schlockiness; however, Crawford treats this like it's a much better film and somehow you almost- almost- forget that she's a woman of sixty playing a woman in her forties- and her twenties. Her performance is amped up to eleven but somehow manages to remain largely just shy of pure camp. She's all over the map in the best way possible: she's frail, she's tough, she's brash, she's shy, she's sane, she's psycho. It's obvious she opted to portray Lucy Harbin as if she were Mildred Pierce, Crystal Allen, or any other of the venerable characters Crawford brought to life throughout her rocky career. As such, you find yourself both rooting for and afraid of Lucy- both reactions completely unexpected in a B-trash flick like Strait-Jacket.

Anyone who knows anything about Crawford's personal life will find plenty of parallels to think about with this film, from the Pepsi product placement to that ending (which I just can't give away- it's a treat that needs to be witnessed, not read about), Strait-Jacket is quite the metaphor for the aging starlet's career path.

It cashes in on Psycho (after all, this was also penned by Robert Bloch), it cashes in on Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (and every other middle-aged woman as kookadook flick from the '60s); it's lurid and cheesy and it's not so good and it's fucking great...and lord love a movie that ends with this:


Big props and many thanks to the Film Club Coolies, y'all!
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