On Tuesday I went to the Keady Market, which is a flea/farmer's market. They had tons of DVDs, but since I just bought a bunch I decided I shouldn't get any more (even though some of them were only $2!). I did buy The Stepfather (1987) on VHS for $1 though. So instead of buying DVDs I got 5 book for $1 each. Here's what I got:
Petunia Scareum created the "You Scare Me" Horror Blog Award for "Horror Bloggers who deserve their day in the sun" and I'm one of the first recipients! Thank you so much for the award, Petunia! And thanks for the kind words. Those are probably the nicest things anyone has ever said about my blog. So thanks again. Everyone needs to check out Petunia's awesome blog, Deadly Serious. Here are the award's rules:
1. You must thank the blogger who sent it to you.
2. You must choose two Horror Bloggers that you feel are outstanding and deserve to be recognized for their work and dedication to the Horror genre.
3. You must describe why you think each recipient deserves this award.
It was very tough for me to just choose two blogs -it was hard enough choosing 15 for the Versatile Blogger Award - so I'll pick two favourites that I didn't choose that time.
Since the title of the award is "You Scare Me" it would be appropriate to honor one of the creepiest blogs around. The music playlist on Christine's blog features eerie horror flick theme songs (the Suspiria and Candyman themes give me the chills) which are perfect to listen to while looking at the gory photos in her Sunday Bloody Sunday feature.
Speaking of Sunday Bloody Sunday, it is probably my favourite feature on any blog. I wish I had thought of it and never miss an installment - and neither should any other gore-hounds. I also adore all Christine's other features - especially Mindless Movie Monday.
It's obvious that Christine works very hard on her blog. Her posts are always well-written and knowledgeable.
I could go on and on about how incredible Fascination With Fear is, but I'll stop myself here and just say this: Fascination With Fear is a damn fine blog!
Sarah was the first person to tell me that she liked my blog. I had Little Miss Zombie for almost a year without anyone commenting on it. So her kind words were very encouraging. Not that I would've quit, since I write because I enjoy it, not for the accolades. :) Anyway, I started reading Sarah's reviews on her website, Fatally Yours, where I was impressed by her great writing skills and horror knowledge.
Just a few months ago, she started a more personal blog, The Spooky Vegan. In addition to the regular horror speak, Sarah also posts about her obsession with Halloween, vegan recipes and products that look delicious and anything else she can come up with. I love meat, but even I would like to try one of Sarah's vegan recipes - it would probably be much healthier than what I usually eat! For getting me psyched about Halloween, penning some well-written horror reviews and making a meat-eater's mouth water for vegan treats, Sarah, aka The Spooky Vegan, deserves this award.
Watching this movie made me realize how awful it will be to watch films without my mom. Her love of horror is the reason I got into it. Everyone I know is a chicken and refuses to watch them with me. Oh well, enough of the sob story, onto the review.
I've wanted to see this film for ages because I heard it's one of the better Horrorfest flicks and I love Rider Strong. It was released as a part of After Dark Horrorfest 2007, so it's only been out for three years.
The After Dark Horrorfest films always have intrigued me because they're "too graphic, too disturbing, and too shocking for general audiences". Or so they claim during the previews of the Horrorfest flicks. And it's exciting to have eight brand-new, never before seen horror films released all at once. Unfortunately, the few I've seen have been hit and miss. I still want to watch them all, though.
Borderland wasn't a complete miss, but I'm still disappointed after having sky-high expectations.
Based on true events which took place in 1989, Borderland tells the story of three college graduates who head to Mexico to party. But when one of them goes missing, the fun stops and their search for their friend leads them to a Satanic cult.
The plot isn't anything new, but the fact that it actually happened is chilling. And despite a few scenes of brutal violence, this film could be considered more of a drama or thriller.
But my biggest complaint is that Borderland takes awhile for something exciting to happen, and even then the pace is sporadic.
The performances are great, especially from Rider Strong, who I know as my crush on Boy Meets World, but most horror fans should know him from Cabin Fever. Apparently Sean Astin plays a bad guy in this film as well, but I didn't even notice until I looked up Borderland on Imdb later. If you're not familiar with Astin, I think he was Sam (?) in Lord of the Rings (not sure of his name because I'm not a big LOTR fan), but I know him best as Dave in Encino Man.
While it wasn't horrible, it wasn't great and I don't highly recommend it. It would make an okay rental, just don't set your expectations too high like I did.
Yay! I just bought a ton of movies again. Movie Gallery is going out of business and they're selling everything - even their shelves and TVs. The DVDs I bought were 10 for $35 (only $3.50 each!), so I got 20. Here's what I got:
But then, immediately after my visit to Movie Gallery, I went to Zellers. And they have 8-pack DVDs for only $6.99! That's less than $1.00 each! The packs even included some of the movies I just bought, unfortunately. But the DVDs aren't paired up very well, so a lot of them I would've bought just for one movie and got 7 crappy ones along with it. So I just bought one pack...for now.
First of all, I would like to thank everyone for your kind words and support at this difficult time. It means a lot to me.
Thanks so much to Jinx from Totally Jinxed and Petunia Scareum from Deadly Serious for awarding me with The Versatile Blogger Award. They have great blogs and you should check them out. EDIT: I have also been honored with this award by the Stoned Horror Critic. Be sure to check out this awesome blog too. EDIT#2: I have also been given this prestigious award by The Girl Who Loves Horror. Don't forget to stop by her blog! Thanks a lot everyone!
The rules attached to this award are:
• Thank the person who gave it to you. • Share 7 things about yourself. • Pass the award along to 15 who you have recently discovered and who you think fantastic for whatever reason. • Contact the blogs you picked and let them know about the award.
7 Things About Myself
1. I went to college for Print Journalism and graduated with honors. But I can't seem to find a job in that field and started this blog so my training wouldn't go to waste. In one class, I had to make an e-zine and chose to do mine on horror, which sort of kick-started this blog. I even used my Editor's Note for the "About Me" part of my blog.
2. I did a one-month internship at Horror-Web (as part of the Journalism program), where I got to attend the World Horror Convention 2007. While I was there I got to attend the Stoker Awards ceremony , a Brian Lumley reading, an interesting panel about women horror authors, and met a bunch of cool writers like Brian Keene and Michael Laimo.
3. Little Miss Zombie's name and logo is an homage to the Little Miss books, which I loved when I was younger. I have at least five t-shirts with a different Little Miss character on them (Little Miss Bossy, Little Miss Sunshine, etc.). And I thought a Little Miss Zombie would be neat (there actually is a Little Miss Scary).
4. I'm the Signing Specialist at a Sears store, which means I make those signs that say "50% off such and such a product".
5. I have a cat named Betty who survived a fall off a sixth story balcony.
6. I grew up on a farm in rural Ontario, outside of a small village with a population of 500, which no one has heard of, called Neustadt. If you're a Canadian you should know because it's the birthplace of John Diefenbaker. But no one does, so when I attempt to explain where I'm from I just say it's near Walkerton, you know, the E.Coli place.
7. A few years ago I cut my hand opening a can of soup and it required four stitches. Those cans of soup are death traps....
I had such a hard time choosing 15 blogs. I read so many that I could easily have chosen 50 (I'm glued to my computer whenever I'm at home). So I'm sorry if I didn't include your blog, but if I'm following your blog, that means I'm reading and enjoying it.
My mom passed away suddenly yesterday from a heart attack. She would've been 53 on July 31. I can't think of any words to describe how much I miss her, so I won't try. I just wanted to say I'll be taking a break from blogging. It could be a few weeks, a few months, or possibly forever, I haven't decided yet.
Remember that reality show Fear Factor where contestants would perform crazy stunts and eat disgusting things to win a whopping $50,000?
Well, 13: Game of Death is like that show crossed with a Saw film. But instead of getting a new lease on life after you've finished your gruesome challenges, you win one million dollars.
Chad just got fired from his job and is deeply in debt. When he gets a call from a stranger offering him one million dollars in exchange for completing 13 challenges, his money problems are solved. ...If he can push aside his morals to do horrible, difficult and disgusting things, that is.
But with the exception of a few challenges, the film isn't gory. There was a lot of potential for crazy gore scenes because essentially the story-line is about forcing Chad to do the most gruesome things imaginable (he is getting a million dollars out of it, after all), but the film doesn't deliver.
The film is more of a drama with a few gory scenes thrown in, making the pace sporadic. There would be an exciting challenge, then a dull one, then another exciting one. I found it hard to pay attention the whole time because it is very boring at times.
And the big "twist" ending is a big disappointment. It's not that I saw it coming, I just didn't think it was interesting because there was only three minutes of back-story to explain it.
13: Game of Death has an interesting concept, but I would've enjoyed it more if it had been 100% horror. This is a Thai film and the version I watched was badly dubbed, so if you decide to check this one out make sure you watch the subtitled version.
I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I realized I wanted to write scary stories at age 8 while reading Goosebumps books.
Unfortunately, I usually can only make it halfway through a story before I decide it's garbage and scrap it. So I've been reading some books about writing.
Edo van Belkom's book, Writing Horror, has an advantage over the other books I've read because it is specifically about the horror genre.
Within the 216 pages, the following topics are covered:
A definition of horror and its sub-genres
The elements of a story (plot, characters, setting, dialogue, etc.)
How horror works
Manuscript format and how to send it
The horror fiction marketplace
Contracts and agents
The book also features brief, three-question interviews with authors including Richard Laymon, Douglas Clegg and Kathryn Ptacek.
Writing Horror was helpful to me, as a beginner, but I'm unsure whether it would be beneficial to others who are more experienced. It covers the basics and not much else. And hopefully anyone who is interested in writing horror will already know the horror sub-genres and have read most of the authors listed. The book can also be repetitive at times (especially about being persistent), but it works to drill it into your head. But I found the exercises to be useful, and learned about things I never knew much about before, such as SASEs and manuscript format.
They shared her terrible secret - but could they get away with murder?
From the back cover:
"Nothing bad will happen," Della O'Connor assures her friends in the Outdoors Club. So what if their advisor can't go on the overnight to Fear Island - won't it be more fun with no adults around?
But it's no fun at all when Della gets lost in the woods, and the dangerous stranger appears, whispering threats, driving her to a violent act.
Suddenly all of her friends are involved, prisoners in a conspiracy of silence, trying to conceal the terrible truth. But someone saw what Della did. And he's threatening them all, forcing them back to Fear Island to find the evidence they forgot to bury...
This is one of the first Fear Street books - #3 to be exact. It was published in 1989, just two years after I was born.
If you've seen the movie, I Know What You Did Last Summer, you know the basic plot of this book. Teens share a horrible secret: one of them accidentally killed a man and they covered it up to not get in trouble. So if you've seen that film, the "surprise" at the end of The Overnight is predictable.
But the setting of the woods on Fear Island is eerie. Stories about camping trips and feature people getting lost in the woods always give me the creeps.
Although the setting was interesting and there were a few creepy scenes, the story was too predictable for me. And there were no deaths other than the initial one. Not even one of Stine's trademark animal deaths. I guess those start later on in the series....
PG-13 gore: She was right on top of him.
I'm going to be sick, she thought. A wave of nausea rolled up from her stomach. She took a deep breath and held it, waiting for the feeling to pass.
Dizzy. I'm so dizzy.
She tried to push herself up with her arms, but her hands slipped on the wet leaves.
I'm right on top of him, on top of his dead, decaying body.
She forced herself to her feet, still holding her breath, still feeling dizzy.
I was lying on top of a dead man.
Next week: Goosebumps: The Horror at Camp Jellyjam
A Rogers Plus near my apartment is going out of business and selling off all their DVDs. They have a huge sale: 50% off all regular priced DVDsand Buy 1, Get 2 Free on all previously viewed DVDs. I bought 25 DVDs for $120. I've seen less than half of them so I'm excited to watch those. Here's what I got:
Sleepaway Camp is one of my favourite horror films. So when I found out Robert Hiltzik, the writer/director of the first film, was making a sequel which would star Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten and Paul DeAngelo (Angela, Ricky and Ronnie, in the first film) I was thrilled. So thrilled that I waited two years until it came on TV so I could watch it for free.
I read several negative reviews of Return to Sleepaway Camp prior to watching it, which is one of the reasons I waited so long to see it. I ended up enjoying it a bit more than everyone else - probably because I lowered my expectations so much. But it's still not a great film or comparable to the first Sleepaway Camp.
It's summertime at Camp Manabe - formerly Camp Arawak - and a series of unfortunate "accidents" take place, causing co-owner Ronnie to suspect that Angela Baker is back to continue the gory murders she started 20 years ago.
The main character, Alan, was so irritating I just wanted him to die a slow and painful death the entire time he was onscreen. Alan was an immature asshole who was constantly whining about everybody picking on him. But everyone only teased Alan because he was a jerk, so it was impossible to emphasize with him. In the beginning of the film, I thought Alan was going to die first because he was so annoying and everyone hated him. Sadly, I was wrong.
The film doesn't focus on any of the other characters. When some of them were killed off I didn't even remember seeing them earlier. And all of the campers looked like they were 18, while all the counselors looked like they were 30.
The death scenes were pretty creative, but in order to happen the characters had to be unfathomably stupid (after seeing a sharp stick poke through a hole in the floor, one brilliant character decides to peer through the hole for five minutes), which took the fun out of them.
I already knew the "twist" ending because it is revealed on the Return to Sleepaway Camp IMDb page. But it's obvious, and I (hopefully) would've figured it out quickly, had I not already known what it was. I didn't expect this film to include a surprise ending though. The first film already had one of the most shocking endings I've ever seen and I don't know what other surprising secrets could be revealed about Angela.
The most exciting aspect of the film is also the biggest letdown. Felissa Rose reprises her role as Angela but she's only onscreen for a few minutes at the end of the film! Same with Jonathan Tiersten, who stars once again as Ricky, but is only in a few brief scenes. And the late Issac Hayes (voice of Chef in South Park) appears in his last role as Charlie the Chef. Which was awesome, except for the fact that he was barely in the film either.
Okay, all I've done in this review is bitch even though I've already stated that I didn't hate the film. And I didn't - it mildly entertained me, so I'm going to give it a 3/5. But I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else, unless you lower your expectations as far as they will go, like I did.
Robert Hiltzick is currently making a 3D follow-up to this film, Sleepaway Camp Reunion, which stars Alexis Bledel (Rory from Gilmore Girls!) and will be released in late 2010 or early 2011. It will show the return of Aunt Martha as well as Angela and Ricky Baker.
I just got Bell satellite and for the next two months I get the Super Channel package (consisting of four movie channels) for free! They show tons of horror movies and I also just got a PVR, so I'll have lots of reviews to come. The first horror film I watched is Zombie Strippers.
I don't know what I expected from a movie titled Zombie Strippers. I guess I hoped it would be funnier than it actually is. What you get is zombies and strippers. That's it. Not much humor, or interesting characters or passable dialogue. Just zombies and strippers - oh, and eventually you get zombie strippers.
When the American government develops a virus that brings the dead back to life, a soldier gets bitten by a zombie. Later, he checks out a strip club and ends up biting one of the strippers, Kat (Jenna Jameson). Instead of killing her, the owner of the strip club, Ian (Robert Englund), allows her to continue stripping and she becomes the most popular stripper in the club. Soon all the girls must become zombies to compete and the strip club is making loads of money. Even when the girls start eating/turning patrons into zombies, Ian looks the other way. But soon there are more zombies than humans in the club. Will they be able to kill the zombie strippers before they get eaten?
There isn't much of a plot. As I already mentioned it's about zombies and strippers, and strippers who eventually become zombies.
The characters are all stereotypes - the Mexican janitor, the Christian stripper who desperately needs money for her Nana's operation, etc. This wouldn't matter if they had been funny, but they weren't. And the acting is awful - except for Robert Englund as the sleazy owner of the strip club. At least he has a few funny lines.
There are so many other zombie comedies out there that are actually funny (Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, Dead Alive, Dance of the Dead, Attack of the Vegan Zombies, just to name a few), so I would skip Zombie Strippers and watch one of those instead.
Matt, his girlfriend April, and his best friend Todd look forward to a summer of sun and fun at the beach. But as dark shadows flutter over the sand, they soon find themselves plunged into a horrifying world of endless night.
"What's happening to April and Todd?" Matt wonders. "Why are they so pale, so weak, so...changed?"
The twin puncture wounds on their throats give Matt a clue. The menacing bats hovering over the beach offer another.
April has been lured away by the kisses of another boy - strange, intoxicating kisses that leave her weak, hungering for more. The kisses of a vampire.
Can Matt rescue April in time? Only he realizes that her next goodnight kiss may be her last.
I started reading this when I was 13 and never finished it, which wasn't very promising for my second try at age 22. This time it took me two weeks to read this 216 page book and I barely finished it again. I have never liked vampires, so maybe that's the reason I hate this book so much - or maybe it's just a really crappy book....
This is another summer Fear Street book so once again it takes place outside Shadyside. This time at the beach town Sandy Hollow where apparently everyone from Shadyside has a beach house there.
The premise of this book is ridiculous. What the back cover doesn't tell you is that there are two vampires: Gabri and Jessica. The plot is about a bet between the two to see who can turn a human into "an eternal one" first. Yes, vampires have nothing else better to do than make immature bets and waste all their time trying to foil each others' plans. Well I guess they do have all of eternity to kill....
There was no suspense or action other than Gabri and Jessica trying to win their lame bet by sloooowly trying to win over Todd and April, making the book drag on forever.
And why was April always ragging on Matt for his love of horror movies? A Living Dead festival or Friday the 13th triple feature sounds good to me.
PG-13 gore: Todd's face appeared in the light, green and swollen. His eyes were open but had sunk back in his head. Encircled by pus, the pupils were solid white.
A tear in the flesh of one cheek allowed the skin to sag like a pocket. When Todd finally opened his mouth to speak, his jaws grating as they opened like a squeaking, rusty door, Matt saw that several teeth were missing.
Happy Canada Day! In celebration of my nation's 143rd birthday, I have compiled a list of Canadian horror films. It's an eclectic bunch, featuring werewolves, ghosts and talking medical instruction dummies. Some are scary, some are funny, some are strange, but they're all great horror films and go to show that Canada has more to offer than hockey and maple syrup. Instead of ranking them, I listed them by their release date.
Arguably the best and most recognizable Canadian horror film, this is one of my favourite horror films and I watch it every Christmas. I'm sure everyone already knows the plot, but I'll recap it anyway. It's Christmas and a handful of girls in a sorority are staying put over the holidays/waiting for family to arrive. They start receiving obscene phone calls and soon some of the girls go missing. This film, directed by Bob Clark, is considered to be the first slasher.
2. Deranged (1974)
After watching Motel Hellon TV and becoming obsessed with it, I rushed out and bought it on DVD, and this film came with it. I had never heard of it before, but it turned out to be pretty disturbing - especially the fact that it happened in real life. Based on the life of Ed Gein, this film follows the true story closer than Psycho or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and features unsettling scenes such as digging up corpses and making things out of skin.
3. The Brood (1979)
David Cronenberg is probably the most well-known Canadian horror director. His films are always creepy and...unusual. I could've chosen any of his horror films to put on this list, they all include bizarre and interesting plots such as telepathic people who can will others' heads to explode or parasites that make you crave human blood. The Brood is about a woman who gives birth to mutated children, and they kill anyone their mother feels anger towards.
4. The Changeling (1980)
A creepy and atmospheric film about a widower moving into a haunted mansion and his attempt at solving the mystery behind who died there. Won the first ever Genie Award for Best Canadian Film, and an addition seven Genie Awards. Director Lamberto Bava made an unofficial made-for-TV sequel in 1987.
5. Terror Train (1980)
A college prank traumatizes a young man and he is sent to a mental hospital. Three years later, the six college kids responsible are throwing a New Year's Eve costume party on a moving train. But there is a killer aboard the train, stalking those kids. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis.
When the foreman of a mine leaves five workers to attend a Valentine's Day dance, there is an explosion and sole survivor Harry Warden remains alive by eating his fellow miners, driving him insane. One year later (on Valentine's Day) he escapes from the loony bin and murders the foreman. 20 years later, Harry Warden is old news and the town decides to have a Valentine's Day dance. But then the murders begin.... Is Harry back? A great slasher with lots of inventive kill scenes. I also enjoyed the 3D remake.
Happy Birthday to Me stars my namesake Melissa Sue Anderson (my parents liked Little House on the Prairie) as a young woman who finally fits in at her snotty school, Crawford Academy, gaining acceptance into the most exclusive clique the "Top 10." But being in the group isn't all it's cracked up to be since someone is offing them, one by one. I love this movie. Sure it's pretty cheesy at times, but so are most 80's slashers.
9. The Pit (1981)
Odd yet amusing film about a boy, Jamie, whose only friend is his teddy bear - oh, and the creatures who live in a pit in the middle of the forest. The film mostly focuses on Jamie's obsession with sex, but there are still plenty of scenes where he feeds people to the monsters.
10. Deadly Eyes (1982)
I have a phobia of rats. If I see one I don't just scream, I sob hysterically and shake uncontrollably. This film about giant rats is like my worst nightmare brought to life. Set in Toronto, these huge rats have a taste for human flesh. Based on James Herbert's novel, The Rats. Interestingly, the rats were actually dachshunds in costume.
11. Curtains (1983)
Six actresses are invited to a famous director's home to audition for a lead role in his latest project. How far would they go to get the part? Would they sleep with the director? Kill the competition? Well, the answer is both. The actresses are killed off one by one a la And Then There Were None. A great horror film with plenty of creepy scenes featuring a killer wearing a scary hag mask and carrying a scythe.
12. The Gate (1987)
When a boy (Stephen Dorff) digs a hole in his backyard with the help of his friend (Louis Tripp), they unleash small demons. Also starring Kelly Rowan (Kirsten Cohen on The O.C.)! Directed by Tibor Tackacs, who also directed the sequel and I, Madman...oh, and the made-for-TV movie,Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which spawned the TV series!
13. Pin (1989)
Pin, short for Pinocchio, is an anatomical dummy that Leon (David Hewlett) and Ursula's (Cynthia Preston) father (Terry O'Quinn) uses to teach life lessons. When their father dies, Leon develops an unusual relationship with Pin and an obsession with his sister, Ursula. Pin driving Leon to madness and murder is genuinely creepy. Pin is based on the novel of the same name by Andrew Neiderman.
I love werewolf movies and this one is my favourite - and my favourite film on the list. 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 is an excellent example of a Canadian horror film and makes me proud to be a Canadian. There is also a sequel, Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed and a prequel, Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning.
15. Fido (2006)
A unique and funny zombie comedy where in the 1950's radiation brings the dead back to life and a company develops collars which controls their taste for human flesh. People then use zombies as servants.
16. End of the Line (2007)
Members of a religious cult make their own Judgment Day and start murdering all the "sinners". The film focuses on a group of people trapped in a subway while this happens. An unsettling film that made me wary of Bible thumpers, with an opening scene that made me jump.
17. Wrong Turn 2 (2007)
I can't decide if I like this film more than the original. It's awesome and has loads of gore, but the first film has Kevin Zegers and Jeremy Sisto.... Although this film has an American director and most of the cast is American, it was filmed in Vancouver so I'm going to include it.
18. Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (2008)
A funny monster movie about a man (Trevor Matthews) who witnessed the murder of his family at the hands of a beast when he was a kid and flees. When his Professor (Robert Englund) is possessed by a demon, Jack uses his pent up anger about running away to fight this monster.
19. Gutterballs (2008)
This is an entertaining and extremely gory homage to 80's slashers. Set in a bowling alley, the killer uses various bowling-related items (pins, bowling balls, etc.) to murder his victims. There is tons of sex and buckets of blood and may be offensive to some (there is a fairly long and nasty rape scene), so viewer discretion is advised.
20. Pontypool (2009)
Definitely the most original zombie film I've ever seen. Instead of being infected by a bite, the virus is spread through the English language. Having the entire movie set inside a radio station with the characters not knowing what is going on outside makes this film even more terrifying than if the gore was shown. Based on the novel Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess.