Thursday, December 31, 2009
11. 28 Days Later
I know not everyone likes fast zombies, but I like both. Slow zombies are creepy and classic, but fast zombies are freaky too. Imagine if a zombie was running full speed toward you... I would probably die because I can't run very fast. Anyway, this was an entertaining zombie flick.
I love slashers and I'm always looking for ones with an interesting twist. And Reeker has one: the killer is some sort of decaying monster and the characters can tell when its coming near by its horrible stench.
This film has three of my favourite actors: Angela Bettis (Toolbox Murders, Carrie remake), Anna Faris (Scary Movie franchise) and Jeremy Sisto (Wrong Turn, Dead & Breakfast). And they all give fantastic performances in this odd film. I love the ending, it is creepy and original.
8. House of 1000 Corpses
I know everyone thinks The Devil's Rejects is better, and while I enjoyed that film (but can't watch it anymore because my roommate lent it out to someone and I never got it back), I love this film even more. It just has so many creepy scenes and is so messed up.
7. Dead End
This is another DVD which my roommate lent out and I never got back, which is unfortunate because I love this film. The hitchhiking woman ghost urban legend gets a creepy film treatment in Dead End. This is another film with a great twist ending.
6. High Tension
As I previously mentioned in this post, I love slashers, especially ones with twists. And High Tension is a well done slasher with a surprising twist ending.
5. Cabin Fever
Eli Roth's first film was one of the first DVDs I ever bought (it was all about the VHS before that) and I really enjoyed it. I even watched all the special features on it. I love Eli Roth's Rotten Fruit animated shorts. Cabin Fever has tons of gore, a bit of humour and Rider Strong!
4. 2001 Maniacs
Backwoods/cannibal/inbred hick movies are my favourite horror subgenre, and this film was a great addition to it. Featuring inventive and gory deaths, horror cameos (Eli Roth and Robert Englund) and hilarious dialogue, this was a fun flick and I really enjoyed it.
3. Wrong Turn
The same goes for this film as with 2001 Maniacs. I just can't get enough inbred hicks. And these ones were deformed and looked like monsters; like Deliverance x 10. And it also features my favourite scream king, Jeremy Sisto. The sequel is every bit as good as the original, with even more gore. I have yet to see the third film.
2. Ginger Snaps
I love werewolf movies and this one is my favourite. Katherine Isabelle (Freddy vs. Jason, Carrie remake) and Emily Perkins (It, Supernatural) are great actresses and two of my favourite scream queens. I loved the outcast/goth main characters and how becoming a werewolf was linked to Ginger getting her period. This film makes me proud to be a Canadian.
1. The Descent
Having watched horror movies my whole life, I have become desensitized to them and rarely get scared. But this is one film that actually scared me. I had a hard time breathing while watching the claustrophobic scenes, jumped when I saw the monsters and had nightmares afterward. Neil Marshall's previous contribution to the horror genre, Dog Soldiers, was a great movie also.
5. Night of the Creeps
4. My Bloody Valentine 3D
I know that this film doesn't have many fans, but I really enjoyed it. It was the first movie I've ever seen in 3D and I had so much fun, even though I ducked when the pickaxes got thrown at me and felt like an idiot. I thought this remake was just as good as the original, especially since it had an interesting plot instead of the usual teens partying and getting killed.
3. The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations
I loved the first Butterfly Effect and thought this one was even better (you can skip the second one though, it sucked). It's similar to the first one, but it adds horror elements to the time travel plot. A young man uses his ability to time travel to solve gruesome murders, but ends up becoming implicated in the crimes. This film had one of the most original twist I've ever seen. My jaw literally dropped and I could not believe what I was seeing. The ending was depressing, but not as much as the alternate ending to the first film (strangling himself while in the womb so that he's never born? really?).
Killer kids is one of my favourite horror subgenres. So I set my expectations high when I watched it and Orphan exceeded them. It was a very creepy and atmospheric horror film and although it was slow at times, it gradually built to a great conclusion and had a shocking twist. This film reminded me of one of the best books I read last year, The Godsend by Bernard Taylor. At times I just wanted to shake the parents for being so oblivious, especially the father.
What a shocker, Drag me to Hell is at the top of my list. It's been near the top of all the lists I've read and although I wanted my list to be different from the others, Drag Me to Hell is just a damn good movie.
Monday, December 21, 2009
One of my favourite actresses passed away yesterday. Brittany Murphy, only 32, died from cardiac arrest. I'm shocked and upset. She no doubt would have gone on to make more great films and have an amazing career because she was such a terrific actress. But she will be remembered through the awesome movies and T.V. shows she has starred in including: Clueless, Girl, Interrupted, Cherry Falls, Spun, Riding in Cars With Boys and King of the Hill. And her fans will never forget her.
R.I.P. Brittany Murphy :(
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Ricky (little brother of Billy from the first film) is being interviewed by his new psychiatrist on Christmas Eve. He tells him the story of how his brother went crazy and how witnessing his parents being killed by Santa drove him mad as well, even though he was just a baby when it happened (when "Doc" questions how he remembers this, Ricky replies, "Because. I was there."). And of course Ricky escapes from the mental hospital to punish the naughty.
Everything about Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is horrible: the plot, the acting, the dialogue, etc. And that is what makes it one of the best horror films I have ever seen.
Eric Freeman (Ricky) is possibly the worst (therefore best) actor ever. He raises his eyebrows every time he utters a word and has the craziest, funniest facial expressions.
The dialogue is hilarious, just look at these gems:
"You tend to get paranoid when everyone around you gets dead."
"What do you dream about, Ricky?"
"I. Don't. Sleep."
"You are being very very naughty."
And of course there's the infamous "Garbage Day!" scene.
All the death scenes from the first film are featured, so you can pretty much just skip that one, unless you want to see the hilarious montage which I posted in yesterday's review. Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is hilarious and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves cheesy 80's horror movies. Sometimes the bad movies are better than the good movies.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
It's Christmas Eve and Billy and his family are visiting Billy's catatonic grandfather. When the two are left alone together, Grandpa snaps out of it to tell little Billy that if you were naughty Santa won't just skip the presents, he will punish you. This terrifies Billy and on the way home when they see a man on the side of the road dressed as Santa, he begs his parents not to pull over. But of course they don't listen and it results in their deaths while Billy watches. This, along with abuse from a sadistic nun at the orphanage, drives Billy crazy. At age 18, he reaches his breaking point on Christmas Eve when he has to dress as Santa at the toy store he works at and goes on a killing spree.
Like its sequel, most of this film falls under the "So bad it's good" category, with several scenes making me laugh out loud. Such as the montage with Billy working at the toy store; showing him punching his time card, his boss nodding in approval when he puts something back in its place and when being offered booze, shaking his head and holding up his carton of milk. But I found the opening scene to be genuinely disturbing. And although there wasn't much blood or gore, the deaths were unique and there were a lot of them.
The character development was good when it came to Billy, showing all the traumatic events he endured to gradually turn him into a psycho. But you never really get to know the other characters.
The only thing I didn't like about this movie was all the things the characters did that made absolutely no sense. Why did Billy rip off a guy's shirt before tossing him out the window? Why would a woman open the door topless and stand there for five minutes?
Even though sometimes the characters were stupid and irritating (what horror movie doesn't feature characters like that?), Silent Night, Deadly Night is funny and, in a few scenes, creepy with unique murders. Definitely one to watch this holiday season.
And now for your viewing pleasure, the hilarious montage:
Monday, December 14, 2009
A young boy, Harry, sees his mommy with Santa Claus - and they're not just kissing. Naturally, he is traumatized by this (who wouldn't be traumatized by seeing their parents...doing stuff together...except the only thing Santa does is run his hands up mommy's thighs...). I suppose he's just traumatized by finding out that Santa isn't real. Anyway, this scars him for life and years later he works in a toy factory and is gradually going crazy. And on Christmas Eve, he reaches his breaking point and transforms himself into Santa, delivering presents to good children and has something very special for the naughty adults.
The pace of this film was pretty slow. Nothing really happens until halfway through the movie, except for Harry's descent into madness, shown by lots of crazy laughter and other odd behaviour. And when the murders happen, there are only a few of them, shown in two brief scenes, with very little gore.
Harry is portrayed as a good guy for most of the movie (albeit a bit whacko), stealing toys from the toy factory where he works to give to sick kids in the hospital and always being nice to the neighbourhood kids (except the naughty ones), etc. And I ended up really liking him, even though he's a psycho, and feeling sorry for him. Brandon Maggart (father of Fiona Apple!) does an amazing job as Harry, making me feel empathy for him and playing a believable psycho at the same time.
Christmas Evil was Christmas-y in a different way than the previous Christmas movies I've reviewed. It's about the true spirit of Christmas - giving. Harry steals from the greedy toy factory to give to children who will be in the hospital for Christmas. Even the people he kills are selfish, greedy jerks.
Although it was slow and didn't have many kills or any gore, Christmas Evil gets you in the Christmas spirit and makes you want to give, which is pretty good for a horror movie.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
16-year-old Nick (Douglas Smith) hates Christmas because he has never had a good one. And this one isn't going to be any different because Santa (Bill Goldberg) is killing everyone in sight - not just the naughty. When Nick tries to figure out how to stop him, his crazy grandpa (Robert Culp) gives him The Book of Claus. The book explains that Santa is the son of Satan and was conceived through immaculate conception, just like Jesus. And that Christmas was known as "The Day of Slaying" until 1005 AD, when Santa lost a curling match to an angel and was sentenced to deliver presents for 1000 years. Now, in 2005, Santa is free to kill again and it's up to Nick, his friend/coworker/potential girlfriend Mary (Emilie de Ravin) and Nick's grandpa to stop him.
The plot was original compared to other killer Santa films. Instead of having some psycho dressed up as Santa killing people, we have the real Santa - who is Satan's son - slaughtering people.
Both the best and worst part of Santa's Slay was the humour. At times the dialogue was hilarious and at others the jokes just fell flat. But it was funny more often than not. My favourite scene was the opening featuring James Caan, Fran Drescher, Chris Kattan and Rebecca Gayheart, where Santa comes down the chimney and kills the whole family.
This film wasn't quite as Christmas-y as the last film I watched (Black X-mas), seeing as how the main character hated Christmas, but there were a lot of holiday-related objects used to kill including a candy cane, exploding presents, a menorah and Santa's "hell-deer". And it has a soundtrack filled with Christmas music.
Santa's Slay is a fun and unique take on a killer Santa that will have you laughing - most of the time.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Actually, Black X-mas isn't the worst remake I've ever seen. It's pretty entertaining.
It's Christmas Eve and many of the girls in the Delta Alpha Kappa sorority will be spending Christmas there. While exchanging Christmas gifts, they begin receiving prank phone calls and when Kelli's (Katie Cassidy) boyfriend, Kyle (Oliver Hudson), suddenly shows up, all the girls believe he's the one behind them. But when he tells them the story of Billy - the boy who used to live there and went crazy after his mother kept him locked up in the attic and killed his family - they start to believe that maybe he has come home for Christmas.
The plot is similar to the original Black Christmas, but has many differences. There is a lot of back story on the killer, Billy, whereas there was virtually none in the original. The problem between the main character and her boyfriend gets a 00's update with her watching an x-rated home movie of him and one of her sorority sisters on the internet.
Another major difference between the two films is the characters. The girl who is supposed to play Margot Kidder's part ends up being an irritating pukey drunk who isn't half as funny as Kidder was in the original. The main character, Kelli, is very bland compared to Olivia Hussey. And although it features Andrea Martin (Phyllis in the orignal) as the housemother, she doesn't compare to Mrs. Mac. All the girls in the sorority are uninteresting, cookie-cutter stereotypes.
But the acting is great and showcases a lot of young talent: Katie Cassidy (the new Melrose Place, When a Stranger Calls), Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Oliver Hudson (Rules of Engagement, The Breed), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Final Destination 3, The Ring Two), Lacey Chabert (Party of Five, Mean Girls), Crystal Lowe (Wrong Turn 2, Final Destiantion 3) and Kristin Cloke (Final Destination, Willard).
Although it doesn't live up to the original, it does have some creepy moments. My favourite scene is when Billy makes Christmas cookies from his mother's flesh.
And if you're looking for a very Christmas-y horror film you've found it. With the house decked out - tinsel everywhere, a wreath on every door, a huge Christmas tree and tons of lights on the outside of the house. Christmas-related objects are used for murder - a sharpened candy cane, an icicle, Christmas lights, etc. And lots of talk of Christmas traditions and a soundtrack with many Christmas songs.
The DVD has a lot of Special Features - an entire second DVD devoted to them. Including four alternate endings, deleted scenes and a featurette titled What Have You Done? The Remaking of Black Christmas, where I learned that the director of the original, Bob Clark, was a producer of this movie.
Overall, the Black Christmas remake has its moments and gets you in the Christmas spirit without resorting to watching something like It's a Wonderful Life.
Friday, December 11, 2009
After Audrey Lucas breaks up with her fiance, Saraub Ramesh, she needs to find a new place to live in Manhattan, but can't seem to find one she can afford. Then she comes across The Breviary, a gorgeous building with a dark history and cheap rent. Being an architect, Audrey jumps at the chance to live in a beautifully designed building, despite its sinister past. But once she moves in she suffers horrible nightmares, which include sleepwalking. And not just sleepwalking...building a door while sleeping....
The prose is amazing, with descriptions of The Breviary that make you feel like you are living there yourself. And Langan has written two of the most realistically flawed characters I have ever read with Audrey and Saraub. Although Audrey has a trailer trash background with a bipolar mother and has OCD herself, she has made something of herself and is well on her way to becoming a respected architect. Saraub is Indian and his mother doesn't approve of his and Audrey's relationship, but he wants to be with her despite this fact. Definitely some of the most interesting characters I've encountered lately.
The pace is fairly slow, with not much happening until halfway through the book, but it was still engrossing because of the characters and chilling atmosphere.
The plot isn't anything new - as I mentioned earlier it's an homage to several other haunted house novels - but Langan adds a few original twists. I was incredibly creeped out by the crazy other tenants living in the building.
The one aspect of the book I didn't like was Audrey's nightmares. I realize that her nightmares added to the creepy atmosphere, but I dislike dream sequences because they add nothing to the story. When someone wakes from a nightmare, nothing happens except for being mildly creeped out. And there are a lot of long, vividly described nightmares in the novel. I wish Langan focused more on Audrey's crazy neighbours instead.
Audrey's Door is an absorbing read, but may not be your thing if you value a fast-pace and gore over atmosphere, character development and descriptive writing in your horror novels.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Margot Johnson is the typical teenage outcast: a chubby brunette with a skinny blonde enemy and dreams of being popular. In middle school, along with her best friend Sybil, she devised a manifesto for high school, setting goals to become the most popular girl in school and to have a boyfriend. When the student body turns into zombies - with the exception of Margot, Sybil, the principal and the gym teacher- Margot uses it to her advantage, achieving her goals. With no other girls around, she becomes the "queen bee" of the high school and lures popular zombie jock Dirk into being her boyfriend. Coexisting with zombies goes great until Margot and Sybil realize that someone is trying to turn them into zombies.
From the first page of this novel, I was transported back to high school. Being an outcast myself, I too had a crush on a popular jock, hated (some of) the snooty popular girls, but still dreamed of being popular. I'm shocked that this book was written by a man because he gets into the head of a teenage girl so well.
The main character, Margo, was well-written and I could see myself (or at least me when I was in high school) in her. But her selfishness and her tendency to whine got on my nerves. And the book was told from her point of view, making some of the characters seem flat since we are only given her one-sided opinion.
The zombies didn't make an appearance until about 1/4 into the novel. Up until that point, the book is just about Margot trying to score a date with Dirk. But once you get through that part, the novel becomes hilarious with the zombie interactions and the principal's "Rules for Surviving a Zombie Uprising".
Overall, this was a pretty funny read, but probably more enjoyable if you're a teenage girl.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Number of movie reviews: 39
Number of book reviews: 13
Number of 5/5 ratings: 10
Number of 4/5 ratings: 19
Number of 3/5 ratings: 15
Number of 2/5 ratings: 1
Number of 1/5 ratings: 7
Number of movies purchased: 84
Judging by that I guess I should read more. And I'm lucky to watch more movies that I think are pretty good than movies that are awful. And I'm surprised that I only gave one movie a 2/5 rating. I guess I either think a movie is horrible or feel meh about it. I probably bought even more than 84 movies, but I only counted the ones I documented here.
Here are some random favourites of mine over the past 100 posts:
Best Death: Using someone's mouth to make a milkshake in The Toxic Avenger
Actually all the deaths in the kitchen scene in The Toxic Avenger are great. Deep fried hands and baked in a pizza oven!
Weirdest Thing I Learned: Freddy's 1-900 number
I had no idea that Freddy Krueger had a 1-900 number, or a number of other strange endorsements for that matter (including a Greatest Hits CD), which I learned from Charles Black's Five Favourite Nightmare on Elm Street Tie-In Products, a list featured in the book The Book of Lists: Horror. Check out the commercial:
Favourite Purchase(s): Clownhouse on DVD for $4 and Night of the Creeps on DVD
I was actually a bit disappointed by Clownhouse after all the hype, but at least if I decide I don't want it anymore I could sell it on eBay for $100. And one of my favourite horror movies of all time, Night of the Creeps, was released on DVD this past October.
Sexiest Psycho: Tom Hanniger a.k.a Jensen Ackles in My Bloody Valentine 3D
And this was in 3D so Jensen's face was only inches from mine!
Most Addictive T.V. Show: Scream Queens
In this reality show actresses competed for the chance to star in Saw VI, enduring horror movie themed acting challenges. My favourite won for once. I can't wait for the next season, which premieres in 2010.
Most Gruesome Passage in a Novel: "Under the intense light of the lamp, the inside of this chamber was still dark - mainly because every square inch of its walls were coated in blood so old and congealed it has long since turned to black. Covering the entire floor and creeping halfway up the walls in the sports directly below several disposal chutes, mounds of soggy red meat and pasty-yellow bones lay heaped in various stages of decay. Arms, legs, feet, hands, torsos and even a few bloated heads lay scattered around my feet. The level of carnage was astonishing, almost indescribable. It was as if someone detonated a bomb inside a room crowded with people, and then just walked away." From The Jigsaw Man by Gord Rollo.
Things to look forward to in the next 100 posts:
- Strange Magic by Gord Rollo
- New season of Scream Queens
- The Descent Part 2
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
When Katie and Micah experience supernatural happenings in their home, they decide to film everything.
And some of the events they film are creepy, but those things are few and far between. Weird things happen at night, and then the scenes filmed in the day just show them reacting to what happened the night before. It's incredibly slow, due to the fact that it barely has a plot.
The aspect of Paranormal Activity which grated on my nerves was its repetitiveness. Go to bed. Sheets move. Wake up. Freak out. Repeat. It was just the same thing over and over again, with an occasional change to the creepy thing happening at night, to mix it up a bit.
But the subject matter is scary. Having a presence in your home - that you can't see - terrorize you, is scary. And a few of the scenes creeped me out, but not enough for me to say that the movie scared me.
Don't fall for the hype surrounding Paranormal Activity. If you do, you'll probably end up disappointed like me. If you go into it thinking that it's not that great, you might end up enjoying it more than I did. But I seem to be part of the minority thinking that it's overrated. It's not bad, but it's boring at times, and not scary enough.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The documentary follows Emily Hagins over the two years it took - with the help of her mother - to make her full-length zombie film, Pathogen, which she wrote and directed. Zombie Girl shows more than just a zombie flick being made. It's also a mother-daughter story, showing how making Pathogen bonds Emily and her mother.
While I would have thought a documentary about the making of any zombie film would be interesting, this one was really fascinating because Emily is 12. She does practically everything by herself; she wrote the script, directed it, filmed it and edited it, with a little help from her mom. And she does all this while trying to balance school, homework and friends.
I loved the interviews with all the actors in the film and Emily herself. Some made me laugh (like the boy saying he liked his character because he's a dick) and some things they said I totally agreed with (like slow zombies vs. running zombies). Overall, most of the interviews are interesting, but there are a lot from filmmakers talking about making movies, which are a bit dull.
From the clips of Pathogen featured in Zombie Girl, it looks pretty spectacular. And you can buy a copy of the DVD on Emily's website for only $8! Check out the trailer and see for yourself:
Emily has already made her second film, The Retelling, which is a ghost story.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
When a teen obsessed with Bruce Campbell accidentally unleashes Guan-Di, the Chinese protector of the dead, upon his small community, Goldlick, he decides the only person who can stop it is Bruce Campbell. So he kidnaps Bruce and brings him to Goldlick to save the town. But Bruce isn't the hero he plays in his movies.... Ted Raimi plays a few different roles; one as Bruce's agent, one as the population sign maker and another as an asian stereotype.
You know you're in for a good time when within the first 10 minutes a boy gets his hand chopped off while groping a girl's boob and the hand stays there. This film was hilarious, with lots of references to Bruce Campbell's work. I loved the cheesy B-movie plot and there were enough kills to satisfy any horror fan.
People who aren't fans of Bruce Campbell probably won't find My Name Is Bruce funny because most of the jokes are references to Bruce's other films. But what horror fan isn't a fan of Bruce Campbell?
Monday, November 2, 2009
When Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) denies an old gypsy a third extension on her mortgage payment, resulting in her eviction, the gypsy puts a curse on her. It also features Justin Long as Christine's boyfriend.
Drag Me to Hell was a lot of fun. It was creepy and made me jump, but had a sense of humour at the same time, like Evil Dead 2. And it was so fast-paced. There was always something creepy onscreen, so I wasn't bored for a second.
I loved the characters, especially Christine. She had such an interesting back-story as a former chubby country girl. I liked how her character evolves from a sweet, quiet girl to an ass-kicking woman who will do anything to get rid of the curse by the end of the film. And I love Justin Long in anything he does.
There's a lot of gore in this film - well I wouldn't say gore exactly, creepy things that make you squirm. Like nosebleeds and cake eyeballs.
Drag Me to Hell was an amazing film, definitely the best film I've seen in awhile. I can't believe it took me so long to see it.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Unfortunately, when you arrive at the event , you draw a coloured chip and 250 people will get one with the colour that wins the chance to buy a signed copy of the book. If I go, I really hope that I win.
Tickets are $28 and $33. The event is on November 19 at 8:00 P.M at The Canon Theatre, located at 244 Victoria St., Toronto.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Al Sarrantonio wrote a series of books about Halloween, Samhain and a fictional town called Orangefield. The first was Halloweenland and the second was Hallows Eve. This is the third and is comprised of three novellas instead of being a full-length novel like the first two. The first two novellas are fairly short - about 100 pages each - and the third one is around 200 pages.
The first novella is about a children's author who has a hornet infestation in his house. There wasn't a lot of action but the ending made up for that. I liked the children's book he was writing about a character named Sam Hain. It reminded me of Sam from Trick 'r Treat.
The second novella is about Pumpkin Boy, a half-robot half-pumpkin creation. This was definitely the best of the three. It was creepy, fast-paced and had a conclusion I never saw coming. Sarrantonio should've made this story into a full-length novel and forgot about the other two novellas.
The third novella is about Samhain appearing to three citizens of Orangefield and telling them to do things in order for him to take over the world. There wasn't a lot of explanation in this one. I never fully understood how Samhain planned to take over the world through these people. It dragged along and had very little action (I think this is where I stopped reading last year). And the ending was so anticlimactic. Practically nothing happened at the end when I was expecting a big finish since the rest of the novella had so little action.
Overall, Sarrantonio is a good author, writing fantastic descriptions of Orangefield at Halloween. But his character development is lacking. I never cared about any of the characters in Horrorween.
It's an okay read for Halloween and definitely gets you in the spirit with all the pumpkin and jack-o-lantern descriptions. But if you're looking for something with lots of action and gore or something with interesting characters you might want to skip it.
This anthology is comprised of five segments. The first is about a woman who hates Halloween so she doesn't observe certain Halloween rituals. The second involves a man who seems like your average father, handing out candy and carving a pumpkin with his son, but he isn't. The third is about a group of kids who invite an outcast girl to visit the scene of a horrible accident that happened years ago. The fourth is about a young woman headed to a party to lose her virginity. The fifth is about a grouchy old man who refuses to give candy to trick or treaters.
The first segment isn't actually a segment, but more like an opener and closer to the film. I loved the second segment, but I thought it was too short. The third segment was definitely the best, being very creepy and atmospheric, although predictable. I didn't enjoy the fourth story at all. I thought it was dull and predictable. The fifth segment was pretty good, being all about Sam (the spirit of Halloween).
I didn't like how the film jumped around from character to character, especially when introducing them because it was a bit confusing. Although I liked how all the stories took place in the same town and were intertwined, I think it would've been easier to follow if each story was told all at once; instead of showing half of one, then another, and then back to the first.
Even though it's a bit confusing in the beginning and one of the segments isn't very good, it's still a great film to watch on Halloween. Especially since it encompasses everything Halloween is about: candy, jack-o-lanterns, costume parties and more.
I got "Count Bearon" at Sears for 99 cents. Isn't he adorable?
Friday, October 30, 2009
Dougie is a 9-year-old boy obsessed with a video game called Satan's Little Helper, in which he helps Satan send people to Hell. He's so obsessed with the game that he wants to find Satan for real so he can become his helper. Dougie is also in love with his older sister, Jenna, and is jealous when she brings a new boyfriend, Alex, home for Halloween. But when Dougie actually finds Satan he'll make sure that he sends Alex to Hell.
This is a really fun movie directed by Jeff Lieberman (Just Before Dawn). I burst out laughing quite a few times. I loved "Satan"; how he never said anything so instead he made elaborate hand gestures and his costume. And how Dougie thought that he was living out his video game was pretty funny (when he hits a pregnant woman with a shopping cart he yells "50 points!").
One thing I hated about Satan's Little Helper was the irritating kid. He's nine years old yet he believes that he is going to marry his sister. Why hasn't anyone told him that he can't? If he was my little brother I would teach him about incest.... If Satan's Little Helper was trying to show how desensitized kids are to violence it doesn't do a very good job because Dougie just comes across as a nutcase.
Annoying kid aside, this was an entertaining film. Definitely a must-see for Halloween.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
5. It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester - Supernatural
I love Supernatual. I had to include this episode because it's about Samhain. A witch is doing a ritual to summon the demon Samhain and Dean and Sam try to stop her. I love the opening scene. A woman puts away candy for Halloween. While she is taking care of their baby, her husband has a piece of candy and blood squirts out of his mouth. Then he removes a razorblade and falls to the floor, spitting up blood, and his wife finds him dead.
Classic Line(s): Sam: Once he's raised, Samhain can do some raising of his own.
Dean: Raising what, exactly?
Sam: Dark, evil crap and lots of it. They follow him around like a friggin' Pied Piper.
Dean: So we're talking ghosts.
Dean: Those little dudes are scary. Small hands.
4. Petergeist - Family Guy
Okay, I'm cheating here because this isn't really a Halloween episode. But it's one of the funniest spoofs of a horror film I've ever seen. Petergeist is a parody of Poltergeist. After Joe builds a home theatre, Peter decides to build a theatre in his backyard to outdo him. While he's digging, he finds a skull, which he brings into the house and defiles in various ways (peeing in it, using it as a jock). The Griffin house then becomes haunted and Stewie is sucked into the T.V. a la Carol Anne. This episode features a cameo by Carrot Top.
Classic Line(s): Tom: A local family is forced out of their home by ghosts. Who're they gonna call?
Diane: (Sighs) Ghostbusters, Tom?
Tom: No, Diane, their insurance company. That's just stupid what you said.
3. Spookyfish - South Park
This Halloween episode of South Park is shown in "Spooky Vision," which just means it has pictures of Barbara Streisand with "Spooky Vision" written along the edges of the screen. Stan's Aunt Flo gives him a fish as a present and the fish starts killing people. And there's an "evil" Cartman in town, which is actually a nice version of Cartman. The boys realize that they came from the Indian Burial Ground Pet Store and try to set things right.
Classic Line(s): Stan: Dude, my mom's having her monthly visitor.
Kyle: Aunt Flo?
Stan: Yeah, every time she shows up - my mom turns into a total bitch!
2. Slutty Pumpkin - How I Met Your Mother
If you haven't seen How I Met Your Mother, watch it immediately. It is the funniest sitcom I've ever seen. And Slutty Pumpkin is one of my favourite episodes. Ted attends an annual Halloween party on the roof of their apartment building in hopes of seeing the Slutty Pumpkin again. The Slutty Pumpkin is an amazing woman Ted met a few years ago at the same party. How is a pumpkin costume slutty? "It was carved in strategic places." But Barney wants to go to a Victoria Secret party being held on a boat and wastes the night trying to convince Ted to come. Meanwhile, Robin is dating a new guy, but she isn't into doing "couple things," to his dismay. And Marshall and Lily desperately try to win the couples' costume contest at McLaren's.
Classic Line(s): [Barney is dressed as a Devil]
Ted: I have to pee.
Barney: So go to the bathroom.
Ted: No, there's a huge line, and I don't wanna miss the Slutty Pumpkin.
Barney: So pee off the roof. Ooh! Ted. Pee off the roof.
[some guy dressed as an angel turns around]
Angel: Woah. I wouldn't do that if I were you, there's people walking down there.
Barney: Come on, Ted. Who you gonna listen to? Me or Mr. goodie-goodie over there?
Angel: Yeah, whatever, you guys got some weed?
1. Treehouse of Horror V - The Simpsons
It was so hard for me to pick just one Treehouse of Horror because there are a lot of gems, but this one definitely stood out. The first segment is The Shinning, a parody of The Shining. The Simpsons become the caketakers of Mr. Burns' mansion secluded in the mountains. But Mr. Burns cut off the cable and the beer supply, driving Homer insane. In the second segment, titled Time and Punishment, Homer attempts to fix a broken toaster, but inadvertently turns it into a time machine instead. In the third segment, Nightmare Cafeteria, Principal Skinner solves his overcrowding in detention problem by cooking students and serving them in the school cafeteria.
Classic Line(s): Homer: So what do you think, Marge? All I need is a title. I was thinking along the lines of "No T.V. and No Beer Make Homer Something Something".
Marge: "Go Crazy"?
Homer: Don't mind if I do!
Three Kings begins with Peter sitting in front of a fireplace with a book saying he is going to read three stories from "the greatest author of the last thousand years: Stephen King."
The first segment is a spoof of Stand by Me. It shows Peter, Joe, Quagmire and Cleveland as 12-year-old boys. Peter is Petey LaChance (a.k.a Wil Wheaton), Joe is Joey Duchamp (a.k.a Corey Feldman), Quagmire is Quag Chambers (a.k.a River Phoenix) and Cleveland is Cleve Brown (a.k.a Jerry O'Connell). It's 1955 and the group sets out to find a dead body. They find the body (which is Meg), but the town bully, Ace (Mayor West, a.k.a Kiefer Sutherland), wants to take credit. Even though Petey has a gun, he lets Ace have the body because since they live in the same neighbourhood he'll definitely see him again and he doesn't want to get beat up later. I wasn't impressed with this segment.
The second segment is a parody of Misery. Brian plays Paul Sheldon while Stewie plays Annie Wilkes. Paul recently finished the last installment of his children's book series, Snuggly Jeff, in which he kills off Jeff. Annie (a cross-dressing toddler) is Paul's number one fan and takes him hostage, making him rewrite the book so that Snuggly Jeff doesn't die. This segment was pretty funny. It gave me the biggest laugh of the episode, when Paul hits Stephen King with his car and while in mid-air King says, "This would make a great story," then proceeds to write it. When he falls to the ground he says "Done!"
The third segment spoofs The Shawshank Redemption. Peter stars as Andy Dufresne (a.k.a Tim Robbins) and Cleveland is Red (a.k.a Morgan Freeman). Andy is sent to Shawshank Prison, where none of the inmates like him. He doesn't say two words (literally) to anyone for a month (the two words were vagina boob). Andy asks Red to get him a rock hammer because he claims he likes to carve figurines, but he really wants it to tunnel out of prison. He actually does tunnel out of prison, breaking into a sewage pipe while the warden was watching Friends, hammering in time with the claps in the theme song. Red is released from jail and follows through on a promise he made to Andy to go to a field and dig under a volcanic rock. He finds a box filled with money and a postcard asking if he remembers the name of the Mexican village where Andy said he would be. But unfortunately, Red does not. This was a pretty funny segment as well. I especially liked the part where Andy played Hollaback Girl for the inmates and the song confused them more than anything else.
Overall, I was disappointed by this episode. Out of all the Stephen King works they could've picked they ended up with two that aren't even horror. Granted, those have been made into the two most popular films from his work, but still.... It would've been nice if they chose something by Stephen King that isn't parodied as much. If you want to watch a hilarious parody of a horror film from Family Guy, try Petergeist.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The opening was hilarious with classic monsters such as Frankenstein's monster, Wolfman, the Mummy and Dracula walking around Springfield and being teased by the bullies ("Turner Classic Movies called, they want their costumes back.") After changing into more modern costumes (Harry Potter, Jack Sparrow, Iron Man and Spongebob Squarepants) they show up at the Simpsons' Halloween party. When their wives show up, Homer says "It's not cheating if you're wearing a costume," resulting in his gory death.
The first segment was called Dial 'M' For Murder or Press '#' to Return to the Main Menu. It was a parody of Alfred Hitchcock films and shown in black and white. Lisa and Bart want revenge on their teachers Ms. Hoover and Mrs. Krabappel, so they come up with a crisscross plan where Bart will get Ms. Hoover and Lisa will get Mrs. Krabappel. They agree to ding-dong ditch their teachers. Lisa rings Mrs. Krabappel's doorbell and runs away, while Bart kills Ms. Hoover and throws her in the ditch, explaining that you kill the ding dong and then throw her in the ditch. This was a pretty funny episode, especially if you're a Hitchcock fan.
The second segment, Don't Have a Cow, Mankind, is about Krusty Burger introducing a new burger which turns the person who eats it into a "Muncher" (a zombie). But it turns out that Bart is immune to the virus, prompting the citizens of Springfield to find out a way to use his immunity to save everyone. This segment was a bit of a disappointment and wasn't as funny as the other two, but it had its moments.
The third segment was a spoof of Sweeney Todd titled There's No Business Like Moe Business, in which Homer is impaled by the pipes of Moe's microbrew machine. Moe uses Homer's blood as an ingredient in his secret microbrew and convinces Marge that Homer left her because he's gay. But Homer isn't dead.... This segment was great, being a musical with hilarious songs. It also cut away to the audience several times to see their reactions, with Kang and Kodos featured.
Overall Treehouse of Horror XX is a good addition to the Treehouse of Horror episodes and a huge improvement over last year's episode.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Night of the Creeps begins in black & white in 1959, with an alien expelling an experiment from its spaceship. It lands on Earth, near Corman University, where a couple is parking. The guy goes to investigate, ending up being infected by space slugs. Fast forward to full-colour 1986. Chris Romero has a crush on Cindy Cronenberg, and he thinks the only way he can get her is by joining a fraternity. So Chris and his best friend James Carpenter-Hooper (J.C.) are asked by the fraternity brothers to get a dead body from the morgue. They end up unfreezing the body of the man infected with the space slugs and inadvertently unleashing the space slugs upon the community.
I don't want to give too much of the film away if you haven't seen it yet (I probably already have). I love how the plot is a mixture of different B-movie plots (aliens, zombies, axe murderers). The dialogue is witty and hilarious ("The good news is your dates are here. The bad news is they're dead."). The characters are very likable and interesting (I had a huge crush on J.C.).
The Special Features on the DVD are amazing. There's an alternate ending, deleted scenes, a commentary with writer/director Fred Dekker and a commentary with the cast, an interview with Tom Atkins, and a lengthy feature on the making of the film titled Thrill Me: Making Night of the Creeps, featuring interviews with the cast, crew and fans. There's also a really cool feature called Trivia Track. When you turn it on, trivia facts will come up on the screen like subtitles while you watch the film.
If this review doesn't convince you to watch Night of the Creeps, check out Stacie Ponder's 10 Reasons Why Night of the Creeps Rules.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
This year I hit up a bunch of different stores to check out their horror DVD displays and spent way too much money. Here's what I got at each store and how much they cost:
Zellers has a bunch of DVDs for $2.99. They have that all year long, so it's not a big deal, but they have more horror movies than usual. But most of them are straight to DVD crap, like most of the ones I bought.
Twisted Sisters $2.99
Blood Trails $2.99
Cry Wolf $2.99
Return to House on Haunted Hill $5.99
Saw II $2.99
Walmart had an awesome display of DVDs (with the exception of the 100's of Twilight DVDs). But they just set it up about a week ago (I went there a few times in early October) and it's already pretty picked over. The shelves were practically empty, but I managed to pick up a few things....
Amityville II: The Possession $6
Amityville 3-D $6
Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh $6
Swamp Thing $6
Child's Play $6
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers $5
Graveyard Shift $5
Silver Bullet $5
I received a $50 HMV gift card for my birthday, so I will probably buy more DVDs before Halloween. Most of their horror display is comprised of the Saw series (which are $6 each) and The Horror Legacy Series and The Horror Society: Horror Film Series, which are repackaged classics for $10 each. Check out this article for the full list of films. They also have a few DVDs being sold at $6.66.
Happy Birthday to Me $9.99
The Stuff $6
Twilight Zone: The Movie $8
The Beat Goes On
I also received a $50 Beat Goes On gift card for my birthday. I usually just buy DVDs from the cheap bin because a lot of the movies there are pretty expensive considering they're used. All the DVDs I want the most are on my Beat Goes On wishlist, and their website e-mails you when it comes in stock. I just ordered 2001 Maniacs from their website.
Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes $3.99
The Breed $4.99
The Bargain Shop
My mom took me here to buy me a pair of jeans for my birthday and she also ended up buying me these two DVDs and a DVD shelf (which I have already filled). They have a bunch of 2 for $10 DVDs.
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare $5
The Dark Half $5
Since we have no Scream channel in Canada anymore, and virtually no horror movies playing this week, I've come up with my own movie schedule. I've created a theme for every day of the week related to Halloween. Since I have to work, I will probably only have time to watch two movies a day. Except today and Saturday, when I will watch at least five movies. I probably won't review all of them this week, but I will eventually. I left Wednesday blank because I haven't decided what to watch yet.
Haunted House Sunday
I just bought all of these DVDs and really want to see them, which is why I included them. I've seen bits and pieces of them when I was younger but I barely remember. I might watch the original and the remake if I have time, but I've seen both films quite a few times so it's not a big deal if I don't.
Amityville II: The Possession - I heard that this one is the best of the series.
Amityville 3-D - This one features Meg Ryan.
Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes - The ghosts from the Amityville house haunt a lamp!
Amityville: It's About Time - This time a clock!
Amityville: The Next Generation - And now a mirror!
I'm kind of cheating here because Candyman doesn't have anything to do with candy, I just like to watch Candyman every year for Halloween. But candy is the foundation of Halloween and I thought I should include it somehow. Trick 'r Treat had a creepy scene involving candy, if you're looking for one. I would've included Candyman 3: Day of the Dead, but I couldn't find it at any stores.
Candyman - One of my favourite horror movies.
Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh - From what I remember this was an okay follow-up. And it stars Kelly Rowan (from The O.C.)!
Creepy Crawly Tuesday
I'm buying Night of the Creeps when it's FINALLY released to DVD on Tuesday and I'm going to watch it immediately. So I came up with Creepy Crawly Tuesday to go with it.
Night of the Creeps - This is one of the best horror movies I've ever seen.
Creepshow - I chose this one for my favourite segment, They're Creeping Up On You! And the name is fitting too.
Creepers - Also known as Phenomena, this Dario Argento film stars Jennifer Connelly as a girl who loves bugs.
Nothing says Halloween more than a pumpkin. These films were the only ones I could think of that had anything to do with pumpkins.
Pumpkinhead - Pretty creepy film.
Halloween III - I chose this one for the jack-o'-lantern masks. I wanted to watch this Halloween film on a different day from the others because it has nothing to do with Michael Myers but is pretty creepy when you don't associate it with the Halloween series.
Devil's Night (Friday)
For Devil's Night, instead of egging houses, I'm going to stay at home and watch movies featuring the Devil (or demons).
Satan's Little Helper - Awesome film about a kid who helps Satan to kill people on Halloween.
Night of the Demons - Teens have a party at an abandoned funeral home on Halloween. Fun flick.
Instead of dressing up or going to a party, I'm just going to stay at home and watch horror movies while eating candy (I'm boring, I know).
Ernest Scared Stupid - This movie terrified me as a kid. Now it makes me laugh.
Halloween - I don't really need to explain this one.
Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers - This is the only Halloween film I haven't seen and I just bought the DVD. It stars Paul Rudd!
Halloween: H20 - I love this movie. It stars Josh Hartnett!
I will probably watch more movies than that on Halloween, but I'll just choose whatever I feel like watching that night.
Today I will begin Halloweek II. Everyday for the rest of the week I will do a Halloween-related post. Happy Early Halloween!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Over at Horror World, they posted Leisure Horror's 2010 publishing schedule. Here it is:
CREATURES OF THE POOL by Ramsey Campbell
DWELLER by Jeff Strand
SPARROW ROCK by Nate Kenyon
THE BRIDGE by John Skipp & Craig Spector
JOYRIDE by Jack Ketchum
NIGHT SOULS by L. H. Maynard & M. P. N. Sims
THE KILLING KIND by Bryan Smith
WOLF’S BLUFF by W. D. Gagliani
A GATHERING OF CROWS by Brian Keene
SIREN by John Everson
FUNLAND by Richard Laymon
VALLEY OF THE SCARECROW by Gord Rollo
WITCH WATER by Edward Lee
THE FLOATING STAIRCASE by Ronald Malfi
DESCENDANT by Graham Masterton
FRUITING BODY by John Skipp & Cody Goodfellow