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Monday, October 15, 2012

My rambling thoughts on The Walking Dead: Seed

  Walking Dead is back and better than ever. Months have passed since we last saw our zombie survivalists and they have improved with age. Sadly, Lori is still alive and sporting the fakest baby bump in the television history.

   Seriously, Walking Dead! You can afford zombie makeup and fake blood but not a realistic pregnancy pad. If money was an issue, you could have shoplifted one from a maternity store. Lindsay Lohan's fake pregnant belly was more realistic than Lori's supposed real one.

    It was a good idea to skip the show ahead a few months. It gives the show more story line opportunities and speeds up Lori's pregnancy. Having a baby on the show is just a bad idea all around and the sooner that storyline is resolved the better. It also helps to explain the actor who plays Carl's obvious growth spurt.

 Carl has turned into an effing bad ass and I suspect the words "Where's Carl?" will be a distant memory. I'm sure Carl's little crush on Beth is supposed to be cute but to me it's creepy. Beth is a very expendable character and I doubt she'll see the end of the season. Her musical number while pretty didn't really fit the flow of the series.

  Speaking of expendable. Is T Dog ever not going to be the token black guy? This character has survived while more major characters have died. Yet he still has no established personality or dialogue that lasts longer than two sentences.

  When did Maggie go from meek farm girl to Sarah Connor? In less than ten minutes she became my all time favorite character of the series. She and Glen are adorable and I hope there is a happy ending for this couple. Daryl and Carol, not so much. I was routing for a union between them but it doesn't seem to work. Partially the actors lack chemistry and partially it threatens Daryl's lone wolf persona that I love.

  I like this new and improved cast of characters. Without Shane gumming up the works, Rick has grown into an effective leader. The scenes where they infiltrate the prison were well done because the characters actually worked together and protected one another.

  I was disappointed in what little I saw of Andrea, she's finally evolved into a likable character and gets barely ten minutes of screen time.

   Dear Writers and Producers of Walking Dead,
    This is the show we all fell in love with. Do not stray from this formula. No sturm, no drang, no Lori. If you can knock this season out of the ballpark, I can finally forgive you for Season 2.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Viewers

 First I reviewed the cult classic Sleepaway Camp. And then I tackled the not so classic true sequel Return to Sleepaway Camp. Now it's time to delve into the franchises bastard half-sibling Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers.
How kind of this poster to remind us that there are better movies out there.

  I don't consider SC2 a true sequel to the original as it doesn't contain any original cast members and totally flanderizes the character of Angela, played by Felissa Rose in the original. The newest incarnation of Angela is played by Pamela Springsteen. I don't have any quibbles with the actress, she did well with the limited material that she had. The film's portrayal of Angela is a completely different story.

  A few years have passed since the original film and Angela is back at her favorite place in the whole wide world; summer camp. She loves camp so much, she wants to take it to Makeout Point and impregnate it. Camp is awesome. 

  Wait a minute Angela loves summer camp? Apparently she has fond memories of being bullied, nearly raped, having her boyfriend cheat on her with her worst enemy and of course those pesky little murders she committed. Realistically camp would be the last place she would go near. We are supposed to believe this quiet, intense, sexually confused killer would morph into a perky little chatterbox. Is that what years of shock therapy and gender reassignment surgery do to a person

   Angela is not like Jason returning simply to kill again, she's a counselor who it determined to make Camp I'm-Not-Going-To-Bother-Looking-It-Up the best camp ever. Oh wait I forgot 98% of the characters in the franchise are assholes. Sex crazed teenagers who aren't the least bit interested in camp songs and macrame. And it you are wondering how a convicted camp murderer scored a job like that, her therapists gave her great recommendations. That would be like Ted Bundy getting a job as sorority house mother, it does not make sense.

  So of course Angela has to dispose of these buzzkills or as she puts it "sending them home" I can't even appreciate the kill scenes, they are dull and some of them are really disgusting. To make it worse Angela comes equipped with puns that would make Freddy Krueger wince. 

 And of course there's the obligatory sex scenes and rampant nudity. The nudity is even written into the script as a minor plot point, showing you how desperate the filmmakers were to distract you from the mundane script and terrible acting.

   The actors are mostly unknown save for two and humorously both of them are celebrity spawn. Pamela Springsteen and Rene Estevez who you might remember also played Betty Finn in Heathers. I wished I had rented Heathers instead of this crapfest.

  Just like the poor campers of this movie, you can't go home again. Sleepaway Camp 2 has proved that fact ten times over. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

True Blood: A Season in Review (Spoilers! Consider yourself warned.

   Now that True Blood is on hiatus, let's take a look at the highs and lows of season 5.

    To start with I loved that the season did not completely focus on Sookie. I like Sookie but it was refreshing to have the character step back and give the other characters a chance to shine. For instance, the bromance between Eric and Bill. It was nice to see them do something other than brood and pine over our fairy waitress. Bill is still a douche though, it's not too late for that one way ticket to Peru.

   I wasn't too crazy about the Authority. I loved seeing Tina Marjorino on the show, it's a shame her part was so small. Salome was meh and didn't really come across as interesting. Her multiple sex scenes were just painful to watch since she had no chemistry with any of her male co-stars. I started out disliking Nora but grew to like her especially in the final episode. I look forward to seeing her character next season.

   Sookie's fairy/Warlow storyline I could take or leave. I felt the show dialed back her storyline due to the actress' recent pregnancy. It was nice to explore the fairy world even if the fairy elder was pointless and unnecessary.

   Pam and Tara were just phenomenal. Kristin Bauer van Straten and Rutina Wesley have great chemistry together. I liked how they did not rush them into a relationship and allowed the audience to bond with the characters. I am probably one of the few people who approved of the show turning Tara into a vampire. The last couple of seasons it seemed like the show had no idea what to do with her, besides torture her. Vampire Tara is the bad ass bitch. that the character was always meant to be.


  Speaking of bitches, Hi Jason. I just don't like the character. He's a boring man slut who occasionally angsts over the fact that he is a boring man slut. His new hatred for vampires wasn't interesting in Season 2 and is not interesting now. The only thing he had going for him was Jessica and the show messed that all up.

   And Jessica...can someone please give this character something interesting to do. Deborah Ann Woll is a great actress and she needs a great story line to prove that. Look at the goodbye scene between her and Hoyt for instance. I was also impressed with Hoyt's departure, he was a kind character who deserved a decent exit. Kudos to True Blood for not senselessly killing him off.

   And while we are on the subject of unappreciated characters, let's give Lafayette something to do. Having him run around in a dollar store demon mask was an insult to Nelsan's Ellis' talents.

  Steve Newlin's return was awesome and his relationship with Russell was just adorable. I wished he and Russell could have escaped somehow and moved to a villa in France. I love Russell and hope he survives his final death and makes his way back to us.

   The werewolf story line was all right. It's great to have Robert Patrick back on television and Dale Dickey is awesome as Martha. It was also nice to see Alcide not pining over Sookie and getting back to his werewolf roots.


  I could have done without Terry's past and the Obamas. Terry is a great background character but seriously a smoke monster? Have we resorted to ripping off Lost? Will Sam morph into Vincent and finally become interesting?

   The Obamas were ridiculous. It was a dumb plot that had no place in the season. I didn't care about the previous sheriff nor his square dancing paramour. If the show had really had some balls, Maxine would have been the leader of the anti-sup group. It would have made more sense.

   To quote Jane Bodehouse "When did Andy Bellefluer get so (bleeping) hot?" Out of nowhere he stopped Barney Fife and started being a likable character. His relationship with Holly is so adorable and his fairy mama drama was hysterical. I can't wait to see how he'll deal with the addition of four fairy babies to his already complicated life.

    Season 5 has definitely made up for the nightmare know as the previous season. I look forward to seeing how the next season will pan out.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Return to Sleepaway Camp


  I guess the old adage is true; you can't go home again. And nothing proves this theory more than Return to Sleepaway Camp.

   Return picks up where the original left off and ignores the previous installments of Sleepaway Camp 2 and 3. Unfortunately it also ignores a coherent script and likable characters. And topping off the list of unlikable characters is our "protagonist" Alan.

   Alan is supposed to the kid that everyone bullies similar to Angela from the first film. The difference between the two is that you actually could root for Angela. You felt bad for this quiet strange girl that the majority of the camp abused, you had sympathy.

   Alan on the other hand is obnoxious and violent. In fact, he is worse than the so-called bullies that torment him. He's like that kid in school who punches you for no reason then goes crying to the teacher when you hit back. He also has a catchphrase, "Your ass stinks." A pointless little sentence is that is used far too often in the films. The movie hand waves his bad behavior by giving him some kind of disorder but it still doesn't make him likable.

   It was good to see Paul DeAngelo, Jonathan Tiersten, and Felissa Rose return. It kept the movie from being a total waste of time. I do admit to feeling gypped about how little time Felissa got in the film. And that stupid post credits scene involving her did not make up for it. The film also features Vincent Pastore as the camp owner and Issac Hayes as the token black chef with minimal screen time. Hayes died soon after filming this movie, a sad end to an otherwise great career.

   If you loved the original Sleepaway Camp, you'll despise this one. This film is only worth viewing for the return of the original cast and some decent kill scenes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


  Hi readers, summer came and stole me away but I have returned. Today I attempt to deposit some interest into the movie, ATM.

  ATM is what I call a trapped in the closet movie. The usually unlikable characters (and the poor viewers) get trapped somewhere and spend the next hour or so boring people to death. Devil did it. P2 did it. And sadly, ATM is no exception.

  All mild-mannered David wants to do is ferry his longtime crush home from a Christmas party. Unfortunately, he is forced to take a drunken co-worker home as well. One pizza craving later and our dense little trio find themselves held hostage in an ATM booth by a parka wearing killer.

  ATM is claustrophobic and seriously lacking in suspense. It's a ludicrous premise where we are supposed to believe that an ATM can be easily shut down. We are supposed to believe that three able-bodied grownups cannot outrun or even beat the crap out of a lone killer.

  The characters are cowardly, neurotic, and obnoxious. You wouldn't hold an elevator door for these a-holes  let alone care whether they lived or died. The ending is the biggest insult to the viewers. It tries to portray this killer as some kind of evil genius on a mission. This is a guy who literally stood outside waiting for these fucktards to accidentally kill each other. It's like putting three scorpions in a jar and watching them duke it out, only the scorpions would be smarter.

   Don't deposit your time and energy in this piece of crap.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Underworld: Awakening

  I don't have the best relationship with the Underworld franchise. I liked the first one, cannot remember if I saw the second and have no desire to see the third. But something about Awakening intrigued me enough to rent it.

   Awakening changes the movies to more of a Resident Evil format minus the zombies of course. It's the future and humans have turned on vampires and Lycans wiping them out and sending the rest into hiding. Selene having been frozen for the last twelve years escapes and goes on a search for Michael who has gone missing.

  Kate Beckinsale returns to the franchise and she is simply awesome. She is also surrounded by a strong confident supporting cast consisting of Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, and India Eisley. Eisley best known for her work on Secret Life is a gem. This is her first big budget movie role and she knocks it right out of the park. Scott Speedman doesn't reprise his role as Michael so archive footage was used for his brief scenes.

   Without Michael the movie is allowed to focus more on action and story lines instead of tragic romance. The special effects are well done and there are some great kills. Introducing humans as the new threat gave the movie a fresh new feel and better story line options. How long could they have really milked the whole Lycan/vampire feud before it got old?

    I recommend this movie to horror fans, even the ones who are lukewarm about sequels.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Witchboard 2: The Devil's Doorway

 This movie never had a chance. When you are the Z grade sequel to a B grade film starring Tawny Kitaen, you are pretty much doomed to fail. Just when you thought it was safe to contact the spirits, I bring you Witchboard 2: The Devil's Doorway.

  It's the same old story, girl discovers Ouija board, girl contacts someone evil, girl gets possessed and I die a little inside. The story line is incoherent with underdeveloped red herrings and the most annoying main character I have ever encountered in a horror film.

 Ami Dolenz plays Paige, an aspiring artist who leaves her  completely supportive boyfriend to pursue her dreams. She manages to rent a sweet loft that comes with it's own evil Ouija board. She contacts Susan, a former tenant who claims to have been murdered. She becomes suspicious when everyone clams up and claims that she moved suddenly.

 You might remember Ami from that other horror movie, the Tony Danza vehicle known as She's Out of Control and other assorted teeny bopper flicks. It's almost like Witchboard was her failed attempt at having a grown up role. She even uses curse words. Of course, this is hand waved away as a symptom of her possession. She spends the film either whining or fluttering around in white mini dresses. She's about as grown up as a college freshman at her first kegger.

  The red herrings consist of Paige's supportive boyfriend, the least annoying character in the whole picture.  He's portrayed as a bad guy because he doesn't support her art. There's also the cute boy next door, the sleazy landlord and his dizzy hippie wife. Laraine Newman plays the dizzy hippie who is also the killer. This might have been an interesting twist if the motive or character had any actual development. Laraine Newman sure loves her terrible '90s sequels, she also appeared in Problem Child 2.

   The ending was complete mess. Paige lived which was a huge disappointment. The motives of both the evil spirit and her murderer are vague and confusing. And the ending was a lame comedic scene which would have been more at home in a Rom Com than a horror film.

   Avoid this movie. It's 98 minutes snatched cruelly from your life.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Elvira, we hardly knew ye.

   I was trolling around Youtube when I stumbled across this gem: The unaired pilot episode of The Elvira Show. It's a tragedy that this show never made it out of the pilot stage, it was genuinely good.

  The shows stars Cassandra Peterson as the iconic Elvira, a witch living in Kansas. Elvira sets up shop in town as a fortune teller who also sells love potions. When her customer falls ill, Elvira suddenly finds herself being investigated by the town police. Things are further complicated when Elvira's long lost niece moves in and discovers that she too is a witch.

  This show should have gotten a chance. It was genuinely funny and raunchy but in a non-sleazy way. It seemed like a grown up version of Sabrina The Teenage witch: complete with wacky aunts and talking cats. Cassandra Peterson has a knack for the comedic and it especially shows in the pilot episode. Her chemistry with Katherine Helmond, who played her aunt was off the charts. Those two ladies need to do another project together, they work too well together not to.

  Unfortunately this show was shopped around to CBS, which was obviously the wrong channel for this type of show. Too bad it wasn't shopped around when Fox was on the air. The show would have been perfect for the fledgling channel and might have gotten a proper shot. Unfortunately this show debuted a year before the network began.

   If you're an Elvira fan, go to Youtube and look up the pilot. It's a fun way to pass the time.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Unwelcome Child

  Terese Pampellone is one of the few female authors who writes true horror. No romances, no wacky mysteries, no love triangles with supernatural beings, just horror. It's tragic that she has only released one novel. But if The Unwelcome Child is the only thing Terese ever publishes, it's a great book to both begin and end your career on.

  The Unwelcome Child centers around Annie Wojtoko, a jaded New York actress. She goes to visit Jan, her pregnant best friend at a B&B which used to be an orphanage/abortion clinic. Annie tries to help Jan who is slowly becoming convinced that her baby is being possessed by a girl who had died tragically there.

  Terese's writing style is reminiscent to the early writings of John Saul, think Hellfire/Nathaniel era. It's dark, atmospheric and unpredictable. Terese uses flashbacks sparingly and slowly introduces you to the characters in the novel. She avoids the chapter long info dump that a lot of horror authors fall into. Slowly gleaning these details about the characters made them feel more real to me. This is a book for a true horror fan and highly recommended. There are a couple of uncomfortable scenes but the book manages to avoid too much gore or unnecessary violence. Warning the book does deal heavily with the pro life/pro choice debates. If that kind of thing deeply offends you, you should probably steer clear.

  The characters aren't perfect and make no apologies for it. You won't find a single Mary Sue or a traditional bad guy. These are flawed characters who don't always do the right thing and you love them for it. Annie in particular is a great character. Sometimes she's likable, sometimes she isn't. She can loyal one moment and completely selfish the next. She's an enigma which is something that you want in a lead character.

  Terese's novel is so well done that I don't mind the tacked on sequel hook that ends the novel. It stays true to the rest of the novel and comes off more like a logical continuation than a desperate attempt at more money.

  I can only hope that this author keeps writing. It would be a shame to see such talent vanish so quickly.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

  Tucker & Dale, in my opinion, is one of the best horror movie parodies I've ever seen. It's genuinely funny, smart and doesn't heavily rely on too much special effects.

   The movies stars Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyck who play a couple of kindhearted rednecks on vacation. They wind up saving the life of a college student and take her back to their cabin to recoup. Her prejudiced friends however mistakenly believe the duo are serial killers and attempt to rescue her.

   It's hard to find a really decent horror movie parody. It's either wall to wall juvenile humor or just completely clueless of the genre they are trying to spoof. Tucker & Dale has some great sight gags that are also subtle. The humor is actually intelligent and the main characters are likable.

   The twist ending was easy to guess but still fun to watch. The even manage to have a love story in the film that doesn't seem like it was shoehorned in. Even the sequel hook was a pleasant surprise, it occurs at the beginning of the film instead of the end. The only problem is that it also proves to be a mini spoiler. This doesn't detract from the film though.

   I have to say Alan Tudyck really is a man of many faces. As I do with any movie, I look up the actors on IMDB. Not only was Tudyck in one of my favorite movies (28 Days) he was also in the V remake which I also adored. And I never made the connection between the two nor did I when I saw Tucker & Dale. Now that is what I call a versatile actor. The film also stars Chelan Simmons, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss, and Jay Brandon McLaren.

    For anyone who's ever sat through Wrong Turn or The Hills Have Eyes, this is the perfect film for you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Phantom of The Opera: An All New Nightmare

Seriously worst movie poster ever

   I love Phantom of the Opera. I've seen it live, read the book and even own the soundtrack. I love Robert Englund and I thought that I had seen everything he had done. How a horror version of Phantom starring Englund managed to slip by me I will never know. I must be slipping in my old age.

 Phantom is a perfect blend. It respects the source material while giving it a dose of modern horror. It's more geared towards the novel than the popular musical. However subtle uses of the music are incorporated into the film.

 Englund is delightfully sinister as the Phantom. I love Freddy Krueger and he will always be my favorite horror villain. Sadly though he got downright cartoonish and it seemed an insult to the actor's talents. Robert is perfect for the lead role and is honestly terrifying.

 The film also stars Jill Schoelen who is one of the more underrated scream queens of the '80s. She plays Christine, the object of the Phantom's affection. She can play weak without seeming helpless and bad ass without turning into an action chick. She is the heart of the film and it's sad that the actress never got her proper due. The film also stars Molly Shannon as Christine's nerdy gal pal.

  My only quibble with the film was the ending. In the film, Christine is a wannabe singer in the '80s who travels back in time. After the Phantom is defeated, she wakes up to discover that it was "just a dream" This leads to a painfully long scene where she defeats the Phantom a second time or does she? Yes, there's a tacked on, unnecessary sequel hook.

  The main action took place in the past and already had a fine ending. It did not need a second ending, it seemed rather hastily placed in my opinion.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

10 Reasons Why The Walking Dead Should Just Kill Lori

  This inspired by the College Humor article "10 Reasons Why The Walking Dead Should Just Kill Carl." Granted, Carl is annoying but he's a kid he can still mature. Lori on the other hand...

1) She is fated to: In the comics Shane and Dale died and Lori is not too far behind story line wise.

2) She's a shitty mother: She's so obsessed with her daily drama that she virtually ignores her son's existence. It's amazing that he hasn't already joined the ranks of the undead. Let her die and let Carol raise Carl.

3) She treats Rick like shit: Her husband comes back from the dead and since then has been risking his life to protect her. She repays him by turning her back on him and almost getting him killed by his best friend.

4) She treated Shane like shit: This guy is the reason she still walks the Earth. He got her out of Atlanta, he protected her and her son. She certainly had no problem with him when she was lying face down in the woods getting impregnated by him. Since Rick's return she alternated between leading him on and putting him down.

5) She's the shows "moral center" despite not having any: She's quick to judge everyone but God forbid you mentions her screw ups. She stood on the porch smugly glaring at Andrea while Maggie kicked her out. Only when Andrea is out of earshot does she attempt to defend her.

6) She's June Cleaver on steroids: Her biggest concern this season was the laundry. She even goes so far to chastise Andrea for doing "men's work" while all the women were doing chores.

7) She's a liability: She leaves the safety of the farm on a fool's mission, crashes her car on a deserted road, and almost gets eaten by a zombie. All in the span of a few hours.

8) She's expendable: Unless the shows goal is to piss off the audience then she has no place there. She's whiny, doesn't fight or even protect herself, a perpetual damsel in distress. She contributes nothing to the show except headaches.

9) She's a waste of a good actress: Check out some of Sarah Wayne Callies' other works sometimes. She is talented but is completely wasted in such a one dimensional role.

10) She's better off undead: Let's see she loves doing monotonousness chores, hates thinking for herself, and is quick to attack her loved ones. Perfect zombie material.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Walking Dead: A Season In Review

  After a slow start, Walking Dead really stepped up to the plate and made us fall in love again. Here are just some random thoughts on this season.

   -Its about time Rick started showing some spine. This is a Rick that I want to see, not the angst ridden mess he was before

   -See this Andrea? This is the girl I want to see next season, not the suicidal butt monkey she was this season. They are wasting a great character and a talented actress. And if she bitch smacks Lori just once, she will be my hero.

  - Speaking of Lori, what a passive aggressive waste of space she has been. Half the time she was cock teasing Shane and the urging Rick to put him in his place. How can you like a character whose biggest concern is ring around the collar?
  - I was impressed by the deaths of some of the main characters. I was worried the show was going to wuss out and just kill secondary characters.

  - I must say I was shocked when one of the farmer's daughters and that other dude died. It was mostly because I forgot they even existed. No more random background characters please.

  - And speaking of random characters, can we get T-Dog a plot already? Something that doesn't involve him vanishing for episodes at a time.

  - How is it one lone gunshot can attract a forest full of zombies when a out and out gunfight didn't?

  - We finally learn what Jenner told Rick, and it was completely anti-climatic. To quote Buffy "Does the word Duh mean anything to you?"

  - Can we wrap up some old story lines next season? Like whatever happened to Morgan and his son or Darryl's brother for example.

  - We have the prison. We have Michonn. We better have the governor sooner rather than later.


  - Despite all the deaths, this particular scene was strangely heartbreaking. A subtle nod to when things were a little better for our band of survivors.

   All in all great season. I will definitely be tuning in next season.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Final Destination 5

  Let's only hope it's the final destination. I actually liked the first and second Final Destination movies. They had some creative deaths, adequate character development and subtle use of foreshadowing. That all changed in part 3 when guts and gore took precedence over story line.

   This new trend was further exasperated by the introduction of 3D. Then it all whittled down to how many body parts could be thrown at the screen. The deaths became drawn out with foreshadowing that had the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

  The plot is as the same as the others, man predicts death, man prevents death, Death gets mad and gory goriness ensues.

    What I liked about the film was the return of Tony Todd, my favorite Scream King. I also liked the introduction of trading fates. It's a great morality question, would you kill a person to save your life. This could have been a great plot addition if they had explored it more. Unfortunately it's shuttled off to the sidelines in order to focus on the gore factor.

   What I hated was the drawn out death scenes and nauseating special effects. An eye flying towards the screen is bad enough, we did not need to see it ran over by a car two seconds later. In Part 1, a painting in the background predicted one of the characters' demise. It was subtle, unnoticeable unless you were paying attention. Then the subtlety sledgehammer came along.

   Case in point: Jerk ass character goes to a massage parlor. The first thing he does is insult a Buddha statue on a shelf. We pretty much know what's going to happen but they keep going on. He falls off a table while covered in needles. Oh, and the room is on fire, how will he ever survive? And here comes the Buddha fatality just when you thought it was safe. If they were trying for suspense they failed. All the deaths are like this, long and drawn out with one too many red herrings.

   The ending was a little more creative, if predictable, and a good full circle of the movie. Please just end it there. There's no more new ground to be covered and you beat the horse to death.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Thank You Letter To Joe Bob Briggs.

    Hey guys, sorry for the lack of posts, my birthday was 3 days ago. I am now 34 please shoot me. Recently my mother sent me a shoe box full of things from my past. I was having a wonderful time looking at old cards and photos when I stumbled across this.

   I have been a horror fan since I was 7, when my father let me watch Nightmare on Elm Street. Granted, I slept with the lights on that night but a horror fan had been born. I lived and breathed horror much to my non horror loving mom's annoyance.

   In '95 I discovered the wonderful world of TNT Monstervision. It was a my favorite program, a combination of good and not so good horror films. I also developed quite the crush on the host, Joe Bob Briggs. Don't worry it wasn't a bunny boiling crush just an innocent teen aged one.

   One day on a whim I sent him a fan letter. I had sent many fan letters throughout my youth but had never received a response back. So naturally I didn't expect one. Imagine my delight when the response came, hand written with references that proved he actually read my letter.

    So on behalf of younger me, I thank Joe Bob Briggs. He is definitely a class act and a pretty awesome guy.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Friday The 13th: The Series-The Poison Pen

Dude looks like a lady

   Antique of the week: A quill pen that makes any word written down come true.

    Micki and Ryan pose as monks in order to infiltrate an ancient monastery. Brother Currie a.k.a The Oracle of Death is the pen's owner. He uses the pen to kill those on his path to greatness.


According to Jack, the quill pen is made from the tail feather of a giant Chilean condor. The worst kind of Chilean Condor.

There is a cloistered, private fortress of a monastery smack dab in the center of the city. Yeah, I am not buying it either.

I learned that it's always a good idea to keep 14th century parchment papers lying around, just in case.

Brother Currie uses the pen to kill Ryan and Micki. But sense he knows them as Simon and Matthew, the pen doesn't work.

Aren't Ryan and Micki supposed to be related? He spends the entire episode looking like he's about to go all V.C. Andrews on his cousin.

The whole point of the plot is for Micki not to be found out. Yet sleeps in a tiny t-shirt and silk panties. In a locked room. With her cousin.

Final Thoughts: This is one of the slower episodes with a ludicrous premise. It's almost like they got a hold of a rejected Bosom Buddies script and threw in some horror. I understand that Micki needed to be in this episode but did she need to be in drag? You have to really suspend belief when the monks don't automatically suspect the busty red headed monk of being an impostor.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle


I debated long and hard over posting this movie. Technically it's a thriller but it contains some horror elements and a terrific death scene. So I present The Hand That Rocks The Cradle an official Cinemania Horror Pass.

  The Hand That Rocks The Cradle is a 1992 thriller starring Annabella Sciorra and Rebecca De Mornay. The movie centers on Claire (Sciorra), a pregnant woman who learns that her obstetrician has been molesting her. She turns him in leading to his suicide and the miscarriage of his wife, Peyton (De Mornay). A vengeful Peyton takes a job as their nanny, intent on taking Claire's family from her.

  Rebecca De Mornay is perfect as Peyton. She's intense, genuinely scary, and can play a psycho without being over the top. She makes the simple task of eating an apple seem sinister.

  While De Mornay owns the film, I have to give props for Sciorra stuck with the usually thankless role as the protagonist. Sciorra brings a certain vulnerability and feistiness to her role that makes you genuinely root for her.

   Ernie Hudson plays Solomon, a special needs handyman who rooms with Claire's family. He's not saddled with the stereotypical and often insulting traits that generally shows up with special needs characters. He's actually portrayed as a person not a stock character. Julianne Moore also stars but her character is pretty boring and showcases none of Moore's talents. Trekkies take note, John de Lancie a.k.a Q plays Claire's rather handsy doctor.

   This film contains one of the most awesome deaths in cinema. Peyton rigs a greenhouse to crash in on Clare but is forced instead to use it to take out Moore whose character has learned Peyton's identity. It's wonderfully shot and actually comes off as realistic.

   The only thing really wrong with the film is the lighthearted family scenes. The movie constantly forces the point home on how perfect and happy the family is. Not only are they redundant, they really don't move the plot along.

  For instance we are treated to a scene where the father and daughter sing an off key rendition of HMS Pinafore. Cute, maybe necessary to the plot, hell no. This movie seems obsessed with the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, music from Pirates of Penzance also makes an appearance.

   If you haven't seen this film, I'd recommend doing so. It's well done with some great acting and a decent if rather schmaltzy ending.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Rage: Carrie 2

  Had they obliterated all references to Carrie, The Rage would have been a decent little B movie. Piggybacking off another more successful franchise only hurt the film in my humble opinion.

   The Rage focuses on Rachel, who like her predecessor is an unpopular outcast with telekinetic abilities. And why not? She's Carrie's long lost sister after. That just annoys me to no end. In both the book and movie, Carrie's father died when she was young. Yet somehow decades later, he existed long enough to father another child.

   Why not have her be Carrie's niece? That would have been more realistic or even a throw away line on he left Carrie's mom and she simply lied about him dying. The Rage is paint by numbers, Rachel is an outcast, Rachel gets harassed, Rachel gets revenge. And to add insult to injury, a love story featuring the most boring characters on earth is shoehorned in.

   Rachel is simply not likable or  even interesting. Emily Bergl plays Rachel, she is normally a good actress but you simply can't see it with the mediocre script. One of the London twins stars her love interest, the sober one  I think.

  Amy Irving reprises her role as Sue Snell from the previous film. She doesn't really do much accept perform as a greek chorus. We now know whatever happened to Sue, we just don't care. And her death is pointless and kind of insulting. The ending is anti-climatic and the tacked on scare ending was unnecessary.

  The film only seems to be an excuse to parade around popular television actors and show off their CGI. Avoid this one and watch the far better miniseries that came out in 2002. It stars Angela Bettis who in my opinion is the best Carrie to ever grace the silver screen.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Don't Go To Sleep

   I'll admit to being a snob when it comes to made-for-tv horror films. They tend to be bland films totally devoid of anything truly scary. Especially in the '80s where did not have the safe harbor that cable television would later provide.

    Don't Go To Sleep is a 1982 film starring Valerie Harper, Dennis Weaver, and Ruth Gordon. It concerns a  family dealing with the tragic death of their eldest daughter. After moving to a new house, the younger sister claims to hear the voice of the dead girl who seemingly wants revenge.

    This film is anything but bland, it is atmospheric, genuinely creepy, and keeps the viewers on their toes. The deaths are pretty well done and the acting is top notch. One shining star of the film is Valerie Harper. Harper is a great actress unfortunately the lion's share of her work were ensconced in sitcom hell. Very few realize that she can do more than quack wise to canned laughter.

   The movie however truly belongs to the kids, especially Robin Ignacio who plays the haunted younger sister, Mary. Ignacio is creepy as hell and it helps the film distinguish itself as a truer horror films. It's a shame that she quit acting so we never got to see how she fared as an adult.

  Kristen Cumming plays Jennifer and while her role is mostly off screen, she herself puts in a couple of scary scenes especially at the end. The ending in my opinion was top notch, it was unexpected and freaky. So freaky that this self-proclaimed horror nut actually slept with the light on after seeing this. This is a rare movie but can be found online. It's a must for any horror fan, young or old.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sleepaway Camp

   Sleepaway Camp was a B grade slasher flick that was saved by an original and unexpected ending. An ending which I won't reveal here. I recommend that any horror fan check it out.

   The movie centers around a typical '80s summer camp. You know the one where the counselors are sexed crazed morons who let the campers go wild. And like any '80s summer camp someone is intent on making it a summer to remember.

  The main characters are Angela, a strange mute girl and her overprotective cousin, Ricky. Felissa Rose plays Angela and I must say that she's a phenomenal actress. She can emote more with a single glance than most actresses can do with a whole monologue.

  Other actresses of note are Karen Fields who plays resident bitch, Judy and Desiree Goulds who plays Aunt Martha. Karen plays the bitch to a Tee, she's unlikable but in a really enjoyable way. I really wished the role of Aunt Martha was bigger. Desiree Goulds is just adorable as a perky Stepford wife on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I only hope the rumors about her renewing her role in a future sequel are true.

   For a slasher the kills are pretty top notch. Very inventive and different from anything Jason or Leatherface have done. Let's just say you'll never look at a curling iron in quite the same way. The film builds a perfect amount or suspense and throws in realistic red herrings to keep you from guessing the killer too early in the film.

   The only thing I didn't like were the filler camp scenes. I know they were there for atmosphere and mild character development but it does hinder the film some. There's a scene with a baseball game that runs way too long and too slow.

    This film is a must see for any horror fan. However watch these films in order as watching any of the sequels out of order will spoil the surprise.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friday the 13th: The Series-The Inheritance

  Friday the 13th: The Series was a horror television series spanning from 1987-1990. In my opinion, it was probably one of the finest horror television series created. Join me every Sunday, as we search for cursed antiques and bad '80s fashion. Just don't plan on seeing Jason Voorhees though.

   The show centers around an antique store owned by Lewis Vendredi. He sells cursed antiques to unsuspecting customers via a pact with Satan. He finally gets fed up with doing Satan's bidding and quits, dying soon after.

    The store falls into the hands of his two distant relatives, the prim and proper Micki and the increasingly annoying Ryan. The duo decide to sell the store and everything in it. An old bud of Lewis', Jack Marshak, discovers what Lewis has done. They decide to put their lives on hold and vow to locate all the cursed antiques.

   Antique of the week: Vida, a very creepy talking doll with a murderous streak. Mary (played by Sarah Polley) discovers the doll in the store prior to Lewis' death. It is in fact this girl who changes Lewis' mind and he refuses to sell the doll to her parents. Vida is innocently sold to the family six months later.

    Vida is a talking doll who tells Mary that they can do anything they want. Mary has a wicked stepmother who makes the mistake of trying to take Vida away as punishment. She winds up falling down the stairs but survives. Later, in the hospital, Mary allows Vida to kill her stepmother.
   Sarah is left with a neighbor who dares to deny this murderous moppet extra chocolate chip cookies. The neighbor almost dies but is rescued by Micki and Ryan. Micki tries to take the doll but almost dies in the process. Ryan rescues her and they get the doll back.

   No one seems really concerned on how messed up Mary is going to be after this incident.


  Robey who plays Micki is a fabulous actress and singer. Check out her cover of One Night In Bangkok here

  John D. Lemay who plays Ryan is one of the few links between the Friday the 13th Series and the Friday the 13th films. He starred in Jason Goes to Hell: The "Final" Friday.

  Lewis' death was pretty bad ass. The best part was when flaming hoof prints started walking down the stairs. Top notch special effects for it's time period.

  Jack is allegedly longtime childhood friends with Lewis but it takes him six months to learn of his death. Does not compute.

  Ryan wears a blazer and tie with cargo shorts. That is cheesy even by '80s standards.

  Micki's whiny fiancee used the word behoove. One day I intend to use that word in a sentence.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Crush

   In the early '90s, horror was mostly dormant. Slasher franchises vanished and horror seemed to primarily set in two categories Sci Fi and psychological. The Crush certainly wasn't original, it was part of the stalker girl oeuvre alongside such classics as The Temp and Poison Ivy.

    Struggling writer, Nick, moves into a pretty swank guest house owned by The Forresters. The house comes with electricity, gas, and an underage psycho who won't take no for an answer. The psycho is Adrian played by the '90s answer to Lolita, Alicia Silverstone.

   Since the character of Adrian is so much younger than her slutty counterparts, the film treads lightly on the film's sexuality. Sexuality is the base of most psycho films and removing that element turns The Crush into a rather tepid film with too much emphasis on overdrawn suspense scenes.

   Nick as the film's victim is just too stupid to live. Once he realizes just how unhinged Adrian is, rather than get the hell out of Dodge, he simply stays put antagonizing her even more. Would you really hook up with another chick in your apartment knowing there's a jealous psycho next door just waiting to destroy you?

    The cast is passable. Alicia Silverstone doesn't really come off as evil, more merely annoying as she emotes her scene in a bored monotone. Don't get me wrong, I love Alicia, just not in this film. Kurtwood Smith is underused as Adrian's beleaguered father. Screen Queen, Jennifer Rubin is probably the most interesting actor in the film and should have had a bigger part in the film's finale.

    Let's talk about Cary Elwes for a moment. He's a great actor and has played some great roles. Saw, The Princess Bride, and Kiss The Girls for example. Then, inexplicably, he will take roles where he is a second banana to CGI tornadoes and fodder for Jim Carrey. I don't get it.

    The ending really falls apart with epic badness. A girl psychotically chopping lemons is not scary. Neither is a grown man being chased around a merry go round by a knife wielding teenager. And after all this crap, it took one simple punch to take out this girl. At least go out in a hail of bullets like Glenn Close.

    Of course, due to the character's age, she doesn't die. She gets shipped off to a loony bin where she finds another handsome man to obsess over. Ho hum.

   Here's a fun fact: The film was allegedly based on a real event from the writer/director Alan Shapiro. He even went so far to name his character after the real life girl. The character was originally named Darian in the theatrical cut but it was changed to Adrian after a lawsuit.

    I think the real story behind this script would have been a hundred times for interesting than the movie it spawned.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Village of the Damned

  I'm just come out and say it, I love this movie. It's one of my favorite '90s horror films. Sure, it's not as good as the 1960 original, it's less creepy and more violent. Still, it can definitely stand on it's own merit.

  The movie concerns a small California town where ten women suddenly become pregnant by a supernatural force. They give birth to an eerie group of super smart kids with homicidal tendencies. As the deaths increase, the town debates whether to eliminate the kids or co exist with them.

   Let's start with the cast. Where else in movie history do you have Christopher Reeve and Mark Hamill in the same film? Christopher Reeve was a phenomenal actor and it really shows in this film. The movie also stars Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, and Meredith Salenger.

   The film really belongs to Salenger in her haunting role as Melanie, a virginal teen who loses her baby in childbirth. Salenger is a great albeit unappreciated actress in the film industry. I wish she would do more mainstream roles.

   Most of the actors playing the children haven't done anything major since Damned, save for two. Lindsay Haun who played the murderous leader Mara has recently appeared in True Blood as Hadley. And Thomas Dekker, who played protagonist, David, has starred in the abominable 2010 remake of Nightmare on Elm Street and The Sarah Connor Chronicles.


     As I said before Damned is violent, excessively so. A character eviscerates herself with a scalpel, a man gets cooked on a grill, another impales himself on a broom. This movie is not for the weak of heart or the easily squeamish.

    But there's also a sweeter side to the film concerning David whose "mate" dies in childbirth. Considered weaker than the rest, he is essentially written off by the others. This allows him to develop a conscience and empathy which gives this film a lot of heart.

    Like most remakes it pales in comparison to the original but is still good in it's own way.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Leprechaun: In the Hood

Leprechaun: In the Hood doesn't break any fresh ground for the Leprechaun franchise. It's the same old tale, someone steals gold, the Leprechaun kills people, wisecracks ensue.

 I don't know whether to like Hood or not. On the bright side, it is a little fresher than the previous installments, especially with the new and pimped out Leprechaun and his band of zombie fly girls. There are some genuinely funny moments. Unfortunately most of the humor is more suited for a family sitcom than an alleged horror spoof. The film does score points for not stooping to body humor which is par for the course in most comedic horrors.

  On the not so good side, the film is so stereotypical it borders on the offensive. It's not just the black people that get this shoddy treatment, Asians and Transgenders are targets too. I was especially offended by the rampant homophobia that accompanied some of these scenes.

   The cast of the films are mostly unknowns save for rapper, Ice T., who is seriously in danger of losing his ghetto pass if he keeps taking these shit roles. Coolio, who waved bye bye to his ghetto pass along time ago does a completely useless cameo.

   I was not crazy about the ending. It seemed like the script writer got bored towards the end and just gave up. It mad no sense and is just a blatant sequel hook disguised as an ending. Plus it has no correlation with the film's sequel Back to Da Hood. It's Leprechaun in the Hood, it doesn't need to be Citizen freaking Kane, but at least try to have continuity.

  The soundtrack however is bad ass, some of the better rap music I have heard in awhile. Even the Leprechaun gets his own rap number at the end of the film. Here's the link to the video since they won't allow it to be embedded.

 It's not so much as funny such as really sad. Oh and by the way, never watch this film on BET. Profanities were being muted every other second. It was borderline irritating.