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!

Nov 30, 2008

Sunday afternoon search terms

Once again, it's time for that ever-so-popular* feature, These Are Some Google Search Terms People Have Typed In And Subsequently Found Their Way To Final Girl.

Mind you, these aren't all from today, but that doesn't diminish their power! Feel free to hazard your guesses to the many, many questions in the comments.

sex goddess loses her wig

supernatural nudies

magic little nudies

- Clearly the two "nudies" searchers should meet and fall in love.

master of unlocking

- This one pleases me to no end.

horror movies good for the soul

- Why yes...yes, they are.

retro tits blog

- "retro tits" are almost as good as "worker boobs".

Naked Bea Arthur photos

- Really? REALLY?

what movie was it when a giant worm fucks a girl?

what it means if girl laughs at you at night club?

- Your fly is open?

if a girl uses a pen to masturbate what will happen?

- There's a Vagina Monologues joke in there somewhere...

girl with masturbating shoe

- A masturbating shoe? I'd pay real money to see that!

will you marry me with string?

- Sir, I wouldn't marry you with twine.

what does it mean when burning sunshine while been horny?

genie francis plastic surgery

- This has become my most frequent search hit, surpassing even "Shannon Tweed nude".

what if a car has a wig on that stink like a terd would I still love her.

- Car...has wig...that stinks? You know, putting a bunch of words in a row doesn't necessarily constitute a sentence.

I once knew a chick named annie may oooh

- Good for you! Celebrate this moment of your life with some International Coffee.

It amazes me that people sometimes click through to Final Girl when the search results come up. I'm also amazed by what people are searching for.

You said it, Charles Nelson Reilly!

Previous editions of These Are Some Google Search Terms People Have Typed In And Subsequently Found Their Way To Final Girl can be found HERE and HERE.




*it amuses me

Nov 27, 2008

holiday time!

Have a very jaunty Thanksgiving, y'all...and for those who don't celebrate it, have a very jaunty Thursday!

Nov 26, 2008

i love the 80s, even though sometimes they sucked.

Let's get this out of the way: Sorority House Massacre (1986) blows with a capital BLOWS. Last night, however, I was in the mood for a big fat slice of 80s slasher, and in the end, SHM delivered. Mind you, it only delivered in that it fulfilled my wispy nostalgia-fueled desires; even as cheesy 80s slashers go, this one is bad.

Bad bad.

As in really not good.

Still, I was okay with that because popping in the DVD immediately took me back to sleepovers at Elena's house, when we'd walk down the hill to Nick's Video and rent crappy horror movies even though we were underage, and then we'd walk next door to Nick's Pizza and pick up a pizza to go with the movie.

Apparently Nick had a real stranglehold on that section of the town.

Anyway, we'd pretty much bring home anything- the more lurid the better. Titles featuring the words "massacre", "blood", "death", "slaughter", "evil", or "the" were sure to be mind-melting winners. Of course, our hopes for mental scarring were rarely realized, but who cares? Even when the movies stunk, they were still fun- and that's why, every once in a while, I get the urge to watch some 80s crap. Sometimes they stink, but they're usually still a bit fun.

Sweet mama, I'm old.

Sorority House Massacre really effs with your head, man, as Beth (Angela O'Neill) keeps dreaming these, like, totally creepy dreams involving the horror movie dream staples: children, bloody ceilings, mannequins, and boring dinner parties.



Meanwhile, at The Old Mental Asylum Place, some dude who may or may not be seen in Beth's dreams is thrashing about and displaying an overabundance of beta waves, meaning: he's a good 9.5 on the crazy scale.

Are you scared yet? If not, then pull up your pants and hold on tight, kiddies, for things are about to get all ten kinds of terrifying up in here: Sorority House Massacre is an endless parade of some of the worst 80s fashions you will ever, ever see. EVER. EVARRRRRR.



They just. Kept. Coming. I realize that, you know, every era has its own style. I realize that I myself was certainly a fashion victim in the 80s- we all were, and we all thought we were cool. It's pointless to get all wrapped up in outdated hair and clothes when watching a movie, but... JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

Even the background players are an affront to my delicate eyes! Yes, I'm talking about you back there, Banana Orbison. We see you, and we see that your outfit is atrocious.

I know those outfits are causing you to think "Oh, horror movies. Those sorority girls are such degenerate sluts!" and boy, are you right! In fact, when the whole entire campus except them and their boyfriends goes away for the weekend, our Fashionable Foursome gets up to some dirty, dirty no-good! All alone in the big Kappa Kappa They Never Named The Sorority In This Movie house, the girls immediately decide to "eat Melanie's ice cream" and "try on Cindy's clothes"...and then they do. Those crazy college kids! What shenanigans.

The girls try on Cindy's clothes in a montage set to music that sounds like the theme of an 80s morning show, and it's all just the lamest excuse in the history of ever to get some tits on the screen.

It does, however, provide us with an inkling as to exactly how deep Cindy's love of the jumpsuit is.

And yes, THEY'RE DOO-WOPPING.

So the brainwavey kookadook busts out of the asylum and further gets his Michael Myers on by breaking into a hardware store to steal a knife and then speeding off in a battle wagon.

Beth's dreams continue, and it seems that she and the brainwavey kookadook are connected somehow. Could it have anything to do with that story about the guy who, years before, killed everyone in his family except his one little sister? Could Beth's dreams be not dreams at all, but rather...dun dun dunnnnn...repressed memories? Gee, I wonder.

It plays out how you would expect: the cuckoo nutso shows up at the sorority house and he kills everybody. Beth finally remembers her sordid past and kills the killer...or does she? Dun dun dunnn...cue the reappearance of the bad guy at the end when Beth is in the hospital! Is it all a dream? Or is there really a boy in the lake?


Who can say? All I know for sure is that Beth really needs to learn how to scream with her eyes. I wonder if Tyra and Company could teach her that?

Sorority House Massacre is the gift that keeps on giving, though, and the most perplexing mystery of all is saved for the end credits.

The biggest problem with this film isn't the plot, which is standard 80s slasher stuff- in fact, while watching this I thought, "I'd love to remake the shit out of this movie"...or maybe it was "remake the fuck" out of it, I don't remember exactly. The point is, there's a little glimmer of an alright slasher plot in there, but it dies due to poor execution all the way around.

The acting is some of the most lifeless I've ever seen; really, a box of crayons would have done as good a job. People die and no one reacts. Lines are read in a monotone. In the big end battle between Beth and the wackadoo, he repeatedly stabs her in the legs as she tries to crawl away, or so, at least, I thought: I couldn't be sure if that's what I was seeing, because she didn't acknowledge it at all, not even with an "Ow, cut it out!" There's no sense of urgency or terror or...or anything, really. The guy shows up, stabs people in the gut, and that's that. There's nary a scream echoing the halls of Ye Olde Sorority House.

Of course, the action itself is as lackluster as the performances. Survivors run upstairs, then downstairs, then upstairs, then downstairs, and that's about it. This film does make me wonder, however, if it really IS possible to dive INTO a second story window from the ground.

As I said when I started this post, Sorority House Massacre is a pretty terrible movie, but it scratched my 80s itch, and for that I'm thankful. Perhaps, though, I should stop scratching before it gets infected.

briefs

Not only is Wednesday Prince Spaghetti Day, it's also AMC Day! Go forth, friends, and read about Final Girls...vote in the little poll thingy that's been added, leave a comment, and let the world know exactly who your favorite Final Girl is. You don't have to say ME- I know I'm number one in the hearts and minds of everyone everywhere.

RIGHT??!

Nov 25, 2008

lawd love a list 2: the listing

Remember when I recently posted the Top Ten Horror Movies of All Time According to Me? And how I said that B-Sol over at The Vault of Horror was going to tally up a bunch of Top Tens and make a Top Fifty? Well he did it, and you can read all about it right here! For those of you too lazy to click your mouse, I present...le top fifty, in eye-popping RED:

1. Halloween (1978) dir: John Carpenter
2. The Exorcist (1973) dir: William Friedkin
3. Psycho (1960) dir: Alfred Hitchcock
4. Night of the Living Dead (1968) dir: George Romero
5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) dir: Tobe Hooper
6. Frankenstein (1931) dir: James Whale
7. The Shining (1980) dir: Stanley Kubrick
8. The Thing (1982) dir: John Carpenter
9. Alien (1979) dir: Ridley Scott
10. Nosferatu (1922) dir: F.W. Murnau
11. Dawn of the Dead (1978) dir: George Romero
12. Bride of Frankenstein (1935) dir: James Whale
13. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) dir: Wes Craven
14. Jaws (1975) dir: Steven Spielberg
15. The Blair Witch Project (1999) dir: Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez
16. The Haunting (1963) dir: Robert Wise
17. King Kong (1933) dir: Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack
18. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) dir: Roman Polanski
19. Dracula (1931) dir: Todd Browning
20. The Evil Dead (1981) dir: Sam Raimi
21. Poltergeist (1982) dir: Tobe Hooper
22. Black Sunday (La Maschera del Demonio) (1960) dir: Mario Bava
23. The Phantom of the Opera (1925) dir: Rupert Julian
24. An American Werewolf in London (1980) dir: John Landis
25. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) dir: Jack Arnold
26. Friday the 13th (1980) dir: Sean Cunningham
27. Evil Dead II (1988) dir: Sam Raimi
28. Alucarda (1978) dir: Juan Lopez Moctezuma
29. Carrie (1976) dir: Brian DePalma
30. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) dir: Francis Ford Coppola
31. The Fly (1986) dir: David Cronenberg
32. The Fog (1980) dir: John Carpenter
33. The Wolf Man (1941) dir: George Waggner
34. House on Haunted Hill (1959) dir: William Castle
35. Night of the Demon (1957) dir: Jacques Tourneur
36. Frankenstein (1910) dir: J. Searle Dawley
37. Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery Man) (1994) dir: Michele Soavi
38. Thriller (1983) dir: John Landis
39. The Addiction (1995) dir: Abel Ferrara
40. Aliens (1986) dir: James Cameron
41. Phantasm (1979) dir: Don Coscarelli
42. The Thing from Another World (1951) dir: Christian Nyby
43. Zombi 2 (1979) dir: Lucio Fulci
44. The Mist (2007) dir: Frank Darabont
45. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) dir: Jack Clayton
46. The Living Dead Girl (1982) dir: Jean Rollin
47. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962) dir: Joseph Green
48. The Return of the Living Dead (1985) dir: Dan O’Bannon
49. Suspiria (1976) dir: Dario Argento
50. Salem’s Lot (1979) dir: Tobe Hooper

All but one of my choices made the list, meaning I have very few original opinions.

I don't know...I think I'm getting tired of the same old movies. Sure, sure, Halloween is amazing and all, but...enough already! I need something fresh and exciting to keep up with the break-neck pace of my active lifestyle, you know? Something that's as cutting-edge as I am.

It all makes me wonder about the criteria I apply in a "best of all time" situation like this, and why I'm reluctant to choose recent films. Is it because they've yet to stand the test of time? Does something have to hold up for 10, 15, 30 years before I think it's "worthy"? Maybe. I mean, if I were to make the list right this minute, I might very well include Inside, which rocked my face off wicked hard just the other day. Will I still feel that way about it in five years, or am I just harboring a crush? Where's Miss Cleo when you need her?

So, comment here, comment at the Vault of Horror, make your voices heard: "Where's THIS? What, no one included THAT? What a bunch of jerks!" Take a cue from anonymous:
None of the participants are qualified to judge these films. Only the general public who pay to go to the cinema should be allowed to vote. Critics should be outlawed!
I know..."anonymous". Shocking, right? I love how lists angry up the blood.

y'alls've spoken

58% of you decided that the next Film Club choice will be Grindhouse, and so Grindhouse it is.

Check it, youse guys: you can instantly watch the whole shebang on Netflix by clicking HERE. You can watch or rent Planet Terror by clicking HERE; for Death Proof, click HERE.

As for me, I'm going to make it a true grindhouse experience by doing the following:

1) dumping soda and garbage on my floor
2) creating mysterious stains on my couch
3) inviting several shady people over to sit in my living room while I watch
4) starting the movies at midnight
5) watching both movies in a row

So there.

Hey, I've never seen Planet Terror- I can only assume that her gun shoots flame-colored lightning and words.

To the 42% of you who voted for Pete Walker's Schizo, don't worry. It'll have its day in the Film Club, I promise!

The film(s): Grindhouse
The due date: Monday, January 6

Thanks to everyone who voted!

Nov 23, 2008

umm...

So...err...I saw this...movie and...I don't...know...it...there was...

I think Inside (2007) broke my brain. It's another one of those movies that I can't really say I "enjoyed", but then again I kind of loved it....or should I say, I suppose, that I was completely riveted and completely horrified. Kind of literally like this, for a good sixty minutes:

I was surprised, when it was over, when I realized that I'd only closed my eyes and looked away once.

It's a simple film- Sarah (Alysson Paradis) is home alone and very pregnant. A woman (Beatrice Dalle) breaks into Sarah's house because she really wants that baby. It's not perfect, but the small problems don't undermine Inside's power even a smidge- there are a couple of logic quibbles, but technically the film is exquisite and near flawless.

I don't really want to say anything about it, except that yes...it's every bit as brutal, violent, bloody, and hardcore as you've heard it is. It's outrageous, but it never feels exploitative or...lawd love a tired phrase..."torture porn"-y. In the end, it's an experience you don't get at the movies very often- something that really hits you on a gut level...something that grabs you by the ya-ya sisterhood and won't let go.

I heartily recommend this film, unless you're extremely squeamish or...you know...you have an aversion to overly explicit violence. It's odd, because usually I'd throw myself into those camps, but here I am. I loved it. I think.

How 'bout that Beatrice Dalle, huh? Damn.

Nov 21, 2008

my new obsession

Though it may be old news to you, I was only recently turned on to David Lynch's contribution to the Lumiere and Company project, this extraordinary short:



The project involved handing the Cinematographe camera to 41 filmmakers, who then had to produce shorts following several rules:

1) The short could be no longer than 55 seconds
2) No synchronized sound
3) No more than three takes
4) Natural light only
5) No editing between scenes

I'm just so taken with Lynch's effort. The music and sound effects (wings?) are haunting, the subject matter is horrifying, and there's more of a wallop packed into 55 seconds than most filmmakers can manage in 90 minutes.

I would love to see Lynch tackle some straight-up horror. Sure, his work tends to have elements of the genre, but what could he do with something like The Shining? Or Silent Hill?

Lynch talks a bit about Lumiere and Company here.

Nov 19, 2008

briefs

As we continue on our slow, inexorable march toward death, there are a few things we can be sure of. Pizza will remain delicious, Paul Reiser will remain irritating, Demon of Paradise will always be a terrible movie, and on Wednesdays I'll have a new column up over at AMC. This week, I posit thusly: What Ever Happened to Hag Horror?. Now, more than ever, it's a question of extreme pertinence.

In a show of solidarity with my column, last night I watched What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? and I was wildly entertained. I must say, however, it's extremely difficult to watch someone beat the crap out of Ruth Gordon (my beloved Maude!) with a telephone, even if that someone happens to be Geraldine Page.

Onto other pressing matters! It's time to choose a Film Club Choosie! This time, it's up to you...sorta. I'm putting a poll up over yonder in the right hand column, and come Monday we'll have a winner. The nominees are...

A face from the past shatters a young figure skater's marital bliss in director Pete Walker's grisly shocker. Samantha Gray (Lynne Frederick) is ecstatic about her upcoming wedding … until an unwelcome guest shows up to begin a crusade of terror: her mother's ex-lover (Jack Watson), who killed Samantha's mom 15 years ago as she watched. With Samantha's friends getting picked off one by one, can she stop the madman before becoming the next victim?
Pete Walker! 1976! It was in the running the last time I had a Film Club poll and it didn't win, so it's in the running again. Schizo is totally like Joslyn, who was on America's Next Top Model this cycle after auditioning more than 30 times. I'm not sure if that's admirable or wackadoo, but it's worth mentioning.


Yes, folks, I mean a Final Girl Film Club twofer: both Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror:
El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) and his ex-girlfriend Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan) fight an army of zombies infected with a biochemical weapon unleashed by a psychotic Army lieutenant (Bruce Willis) and an opportunistic scientist (Naveen Andrews).
and Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof:
Popular cult filmmaker Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed this high-octane thriller that stars Kurt Russell as a serial murderer who uses his revved-up car as a killing machine. After transforming his Dodge Charger into an indestructible weapon, Stuntman Mike climbs behind the wheel to terrorize a group of women on the road. Rose McGowan, Rosario Dawson, Jordan Ladd and Vanessa Ferlito also star in the ultimate road rage film.
Yes, I realize that everyone except me has seen Grindhouse. Mayhaps this will influence your voting, or mayhaps not.

So what will we watch? The choice is in your hands!

The film: ??
The due date: Monday, January 6

Go get your vote on! If not for me or for yourselves, then do it for Briefcase Woman.

Nov 17, 2008

Film Club: The Antichrist

Ippolita (Carla Gravina) is a wheelchair-bound young woman whose paralysis is really the least of her problems after her copious daddy issues and sexual repression leave her with a nasty case of Satanitis.

Alberto De Martino's The Antichrist (1974; hacked up & released here as The Tempter in 1978) is undoubtedly inspired by William Friedkin's The Exorcist, which appeared in theatres just a year before. While the films' respective climaxes are similar, De Martino's effort delves much further into the sexual aspects and blasphemous nature of demonic possession than its predecessor.

After a visit to a wackadoo Catholic shrine fails to restore her ability to walk, Ippolita begins regressive hypnosis therapy with a psychiatrist. Through flashbacks, we learn that Ippolita's father (Mel Ferrer) drove the family car off the road, killing his wife and crippling his daughter when she was twelve.

Her spinal injury has since healed, however, which leads the shrink to conclude that 1) Ippi's trauma is mental, and 2) it must be some jerk of an ancestor who is...err, keeping Ippi in the wheelchair or something. Makes sense, right? I've decided to start blaming all of my bad luck and illnesses on my jerk ancestors. Obviously its their fault I've got commitment issues.

Anyway, it turns out that the jerk ancestor (also named Ippolita) pledged herself to Satan the night before she was due to enter the convent. As a result of this extreme lapse in judgment, she was burned at the stake as a witch.

Meanwhile, in modern day Rome...

Whilst in the grip of a jealous fit over her father's new girlfriend, Ippolita takes to her bed for a pout. She begins to remember the fateful night of the ritual hundreds of years before, and before you know it, our Ippi is naked and taking part in the ritual herself, even if only in her mind. For those of you who are curious, it seems that there are four steps you must take in order to pledge yourself to Satan:

1) lick some random blood, perhaps that of a toad
2) eat a toad's head
3) give a goat a rimjob
4) make sexy times with a dude in a goat mask

The entire sequence is disturbing and undeniably profane, despite the fact that De Martino keeps the action off screen. For example, there's a shot of the goat's anus as it's presented to Ye Olde Ippolita, then we cut to Ye Moderne Ippolita grotesquely licking air for a minute or so. The audience connects the dots, and the audience wants to barf.

Ippolita claims that no man as ever shown any interest in her; of course, now the Lord of Darkness has shown interest in her and she's more than satisfied, finally getting what she's been missing all these years. By "what she's been missing", of course, I mean sex.

Her ambulatory powers restored, Ippi heads out in search of more forbidden booty. In one of the film's best scenes, she wordlessly seduces a German teenager who's on a field trip; she breaks his neck after she gets what she wants. She then seduces her useless brother Filippo for a little good old fashioned afternoon incest.

If all this wasn't bad enough, Ippolita starts to act like a real jerk. She says horrible things to her father's girlfriend at dinner, she foams at the mouth, she stops washing her hair, and she makes furniture fly around the room. Her psychiatrist finally cries uncle, literally- Ippi's uncle is a priest, who pays a visit and determines she needs an exorcist.

Thanks to a ceremony we pretty much saw in The Exorcist, the demon is eventually cast of of Ippolita and the Antichrist bun in her oven disappears.

It's too bad that the exorcism itself was so familiar; ultimately, it's this third act that's the least interesting thing about The Antichrist. The blasphemy and profane sexuality witnessed early on really set this film apart from any other "possession" flick I've seen.

Though De Martino took great care in choosing his shots and creating color schemes, the film's dated matte effects are, unfortunately, pretty laughable. This shortcoming, however, is more than made up for by a riveting performance by Carla Gravina. She's run through the wringer in what must have been an exhausting shoot, and while Ippolita is anything but likable (even aside from, you know, that whole demon thing), Gravina lends the character enough sympathy that we're rooting for her anyway. I only wish that The Antichrist had been subtitled rather than dubbed.

Mel Ferrer, on the other hand, barely phoned in his performance.

The entire affair brings up the problem I have with most possession-based films: the powers granted to the possessee are inconsistent at best. Ippolita can crack the roof of the house and throw furniture around and the like, but she can't untie the ropes holding her to the wheelchair? What's the point of being possessed if you just hang out in your bedroom all the time? It sure seems like an inefficient way for Satan to get shit done.

Ah well. Overall, I really enjoyed The Antichrist despite the fact that I wasn't nearly as disturbed by it as I'd anticipated. Actually, not being wicked disturbed by a film that features goatilingus is almost more disturbing than the goatilingus itself.

Wait, what?
____________________

Film Club Coolies, y'all!

namtab
Acheter et entretenir ca tronconneuse (now with BILINGUAL action!)
StinkyLulu
Gorillanaut

Nov 14, 2008

your attention please...


Final Girl here with a helpful reminder: Monday is Film Club Day!!

I am soooooo psyched to dig into The Antichrist (aka The Tempter) this weekend. I hope you are, too.

I also hope that we emerge on the other side just a little bit...off-center. At least we'll be together!

awesome movie poster friday- the AMITYVILLE edition!








No remake poster because it's boring.

Wow, that's a REALLY bad drawing of Margot Kidder on that 3rd poster down. And I guess that's...Shelley Winters holding her ears in fear?

the continuing adventures of carl anne, part 1

First off, for those of you who have no idea who Carl Anne is, clicken ze click click and be enlightened.

So how 'bout that Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), huh? For a sequel to a movie that wasn't exactly crying out for a sequel, it's not that bad. This is, of course, discounting the Floating Family Power and Gramma's Mighty Angel Robes ending and the whole "They're all psychics?" angle. Other than that, though, I don't think the film completely deserves its rep as a total turkey.

Reverend Kane is undeniably creepy. When he shows up at the Freeling's house and demands repeatedly to be let in, it's downright scary, especially since we don't know yet what this kookadook's motivations are- he's just a weird looking dude who seems...off...and really wants to get into their house.

Dammit, I like the Freelings. It's not often when you find characters who are across the board likable, especially in the horror genre, but this family fits the bill. They're sweet without being sickening, they're good but not perfect, they're funny and kind and man...it seems like they even like each other. The relationship between Steven (Craig T Nelson) and Diane (JoBeth Williams) is simply a delight to watch.

The scene where Steven pukes up the 'roided out tequila worm is so fucking boss! When it turns into the slimy torso thing and slithers away? Please. That scene alone makes Poltergeist II worthwhile.

It certainly isn't on par with the original film and it's certainly not the greatest of shakes, but come on. Cut it some slack, folks.

Except the end. The end sucks, I'll give you that.

Nov 13, 2008

fer yer watchin'...pleasure?

The season finale of Ghostella's Haunted Tomb has been posted! Check out...dun dun dunnnn.....

TOP FRIENDS


As savvy horror buffs, I'm quite sure you'll pick up on my loving homage to Friday the 13th. If you're an extra-savvy horror buff, mayhaps you'll notice my homage to The Cave, which I put in there pretty much solely for the purpose of giving Lena Headey a hard time about it. That, my friends, is how I roll.

Thanks for watching, if you watch it. If you don't watch it, well...I guess you're just a jerk. What's your deal, anyway?

wastin' away again in Amityville

People, I have got a full onset of AMITYVILLE FEVER. Though far less socially conscious than Jungle Fever and far less painful than dengue fever, it's nothing to ignore! Please, try to treat me as you always have, for underneath it all I am still but a woman.

What brought on this affliction, you ask? Why, I'll tell you: last night I watched the 1989 made-for-TV movie Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes, and I just ain't been right since. Like I said, I gots da fever, and mama, I gots it bad.

My relationship with The Amityville Horror and its 10,000 sequels has, in the past, been all but non-existent. Sure, every once in a while I bust out the original flick and pop it in to relive my youth (when red-eyed purple pigs were scary and I slept with Jay Anson's book under my pillow) and also to relish my present (when Margot Kidder and I are best friends). I've seen a portion of Part 3 (sadly, not in 3-D), and a portion of Part 2; I don't know why I haven't seen all of 3, but I can sure as hell tell you why I haven't seen all of 2. Two words: Burt. Young. This may make me sound like a horrible person, but I don't care: I simply can't bear to watch him in anything. He's always greasy, he's always sweaty, he's always dirty, he's always wearing a dirty wife beater, and he looks like he smells like armpits and motor oil. I CANNOT STAND HIM.

There, I'm glad I finally got around to admitting that. I think it will really strengthen our relationship, don't you?

But anyway. The Evil Escapes is so fucking awesome that it's a new day for me and Amityville. There are so many more films in the series for me to check out, and I can't wait. There's a good chance none of them will live up to the glory and splendor of the fourth installment, but that's a chance I'm willing to take. As for you, my friends, I say unto thee: this movie is awesome and well worth your time. Behold:

In The Evil Escapes, the evil escapes by "transmigrating" into a hideous floor lamp after an exorcism. Someone buys the hideous floor lamp at a yard sale and packs it off to California where it makes with the havoc wreaking. Occasionally, a demon face appears in the floor lamp to remind us that it's not merely hideous- it's both hideous and hideously eeeevil.

Why would anyone want to buy items from the murderiffic-n-hellicious Amityville house? Whose belongings are they to begin with? Who gets the proceeds from the sale? These questions and many more go unanswered in Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes!

The eeeevil floor lamp causes all sorts of appliances to come on unexpectedly- a garbage disposal mangles someone's hand! An electric kettle burns someone's hand! And, in a scene that is sure to delight moviewatchers for generations to come, a chainsaw suddenly springs to life, causing hapless young David (who was oh-so-innocently holding it- sans power- and making "vroom vroom" noises) to lay waste to the basement, including gramma's beloved jelly jars.


Watch in delight as a sorta-possessed Jessica defends the eeeevil floorlamp from a priest! She levitates and giggles her way through the stabbings.

See, she thinks the floorlamp is...her dead dad. No, Jessica's not the brightest child. She is, however, played by Brandy Gold, which was shocking to me. I thought the Gold siblings stopped at Missy Gold of television's Benson and Tracey of television's Growing Pains (not to mention one of my favorite Lifetime movies, Midwest Obsession). It's true what they say: one lives, one learns.

As with all the greatest movies in the world, the action in Amityville 4 culminates with someone throwing a hideous floorlamp off a cliff where, upon impact with the rocky shore below, it explodes.


I know you're salivating over this film already, but allow me to add: the floorlamp can telepathically drive a van. Or is that telekinetically? Whichever it is, one thing's for sure: it's positively teletastic!

And then there's the ending, which is basically the feline version of the ending to Zoltan: Hound of Dracula. I'd post a screencap, but you should see it for yourself. I seriously, seriously hope part 5 picks up where this one left off.

Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes is fantastic made-for-TV junk, Patty Duke treats the material way too seriously, all the kids are tools, and it's as brainless as the premise promises. No wonder I'm in love!

Dr. Whimsy's patented Trick 'Em Toothpaste strikes again!

Nov 12, 2008

oh, Angela.

In the past, I've loudly proclaimed- many times, even- how much I love the Sleepaway Camp movies. With the DVD release of Return to Sleepaway Camp upon us recently, I decided to take a magical walk through Angela Land over at AMC Land this week. Join me, won't you?

The newest installment is...it's...dammit, it's not very good. I wanted it to be, and I still want it to be. I find myself making excuses for it- "Well, this one part was funny...this kill was kinda neat..." but really, I'm just in denial. Admitting I have a problem, I suppose, is the first step towards something or other.

Camp Arawak is now Camp Manabe, but the kids are just as cruel and nasty as ever. Alan (Michael Gibney) bears the brunt of everyone's teasing, and he, in turn, picks on the few kids lower on the social ladder than he is. Alan is repeatedly humiliated in front of the entire camp, but the counselors (including Ronnie (Paul DeAngelo), the shorts-wearin' 'roid case from the original film) and camp owner (Vincent Pastore, whose casting brings about the inevitable "Big Pussy" joke) refuse to take any real action. Soon enough, campers and counselors alike begin to get dead...is Alan behind the murders, or could it be...dun dun dunnnnn...Angela, who's purportedly been locked away in a mental hospital for the last 20 years?

Gee, I wonder.

Seriously. This ending is telegraphed...well, before you even put in the DVD. If you don't see the "twist" (yeah, it's supposed to be a surprise, I guess) coming, then you're blinder than blind. So blind, in fact, that you probably don't have eyes. Or a head. Actually, you probably don't even exist and you can't watch movies to begin with. It's really that obvious.

Is it supposed to be? I don't know. Return to Sleepaway Camp never takes itself seriously, but not in a way that's actually any fun, like...oh, say Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers. The acting is broad and generally awful. There's absolutely no tension or suspense or scares whatsoever. The kills and effects kinda get better as the film goes on, but by that time it's too late to really care. Yeah, it's cool that this is a "true" sequel in that cast members and characters return, but that's a novelty that provides .0003 seconds of entertainment.

Somehow, the black humor and cheekiness of the first film just works. Here, 20 years on, it doesn't. Is Return to Sleepaway Camp too knowing? That's the best I can come up with. Whatever the reason, it's a bummer just the same. It hurts me to say it, but this isn't good bad...it's just bad.

Man, even typing that, I still don't want to admit it! I'm already thinking "I'll watch it again and see...I must be wrong!" Such is the power Angela has over me.

Nov 11, 2008

breaking up is hard to do

I was about to launch into a big ol' diatribe about my weird relationship with Halloween II, about how I loved it so very much when I was a kid but watching it now, I find it almost...unwatchable, but then I thought, "Hmm. Didn't I review this already?" and so I looked and so I did, and that review says everything I was going to say today and then some, and if this sentence goes on much longer it will surely be in contention for the title of "Longest Sentence in the History of Evvvvarrrrrr" so I'd best wrap it up.

This is all coming up because I popped the DVD in the other night and I just...I don't know, man, I think it's over between me and H2. I was bored, man, and that's a death knell for a horror movie. Also, I found Dr. Loomis extremely irritating with all of his unhelpful hyperbole...like, maybe he should try to help the police in some real way rather than yelling "You don't know what death is!" and scurrying off into the night. Also, Laurie's wig is atrocious.

Sigh. I'm at a loss here. Are things really over between us, or will I try again in a year and remember what is was that brought us together in the first place? That would be nice, since Little Final Girl loved this movie so much and I simply refuse to believe that Little Final Girl had terrible taste.

My ambivalence leaning towards dislike of the film doesn't mean, however, that the shot I posted above isn't 100% kick ass, because it is...and not just because it features Lucille "I fucking love the Poole Sisters" Benson.