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Showing posts from December, 2013

Requiem of a Vampire

I realized that I hadn’t written even one Jean Rollin review since Night of the Hunted back in November of 2012. This realization also comes in that my blog has sort of fallen into a rut of mainstream horror and I fail to establish my fondness for Euro-horror (or fantastique, considering Rollin’s French as are his films) and the like. I hope to change this as we head into 2014.
**½

Chernobyl Diaries

Let’s be honest, Chernobyl Diaries is about place more than anything else. Sure the characters on the screen perhaps provoke annoyance, aggravation, eye-rolling, sighs, grated-nerves, and even apathy, but where they find themselves under attack by “dark forces” is quite heavy in foreboding and Chernobyl’s unfortunate, tragic history allows the filmmakers to at the very least milk the reminder of what once was and now is.
***

Mama

After the market collapses in 2008, the senior partner of a troubled firm shoots a fellow senior partner and accountant, his wife, then takes off with his two daughters. His psyche warped seemingly beyond repair due to the economic bubble burst, this father of two plans to kill his daughters then himself, but “Mama” won’t let him. Accidentally going off the road, crashing near a river (this in winter), and finding an abandoned cabin deep into the wilderness, the father will use this location as an execution site. Before he can put a bullet into his first daughter, a “lady whose feet don’t touch the ground” interrupts, lifting off into the darkness, protecting the girls and destroying him. This Mama gurgles, growls, and even purrs when looking upon “her girls” and the three will find refuge within this cabin until the daughters are later found during a search.**

Shame

I think Shame puts a human face on a topic that often isn’t taken seriously: sex addiction. Sure most of us have sex on the mind at one point or another, but for some (many, even), it is an addiction that can overtake and even ruin us if we allow it to. It could lead to a path of self-destruction, as is established to us in the form of Fassbinder.****

Hitchcock (2012)

For a Psycho(1960) mark, a film about Hitchcock getting the itch to make a film that is “so unlike him”, a take on Robert Bloch’s novel revolving around Ed Gein is too good to be true. Anthony Hopkins may not be able to totally get down the voice but he damn sure gives it his all. Presenting Psycho to Paramount suits, he got the shaft. They were afraid. Supposedly, Hitch was “too old”. Yet he had just made a grand masterpiece, North by Northwest, so that nonsense was mere poppycock. Hitch had that itch, though, and he was undeterred by those who considered it a mistake. ****
Christmas Eve is the scariest damn time of the year!
You see Santa Claus, boy, you better run….you better run for your life!
Okay, so let’s see.
Billy is told by his senile grandpa in the senior care facility that Santa Claus will punish him and that Christmas Eve is scary.Billy sees this come to fruition when a hood dressed as Santa shoots his father, rapes and slits the throat of his mother, and threatens to kill him.Billy and younger brother Ricky are sent to a Catholic orphanage where the Mother Superior is unwilling to accept that either carries any emotional damage as a result of the incidents to their parents.The absurd stance by Mother Superior that Billy will be trained with strict discipline and is not susceptible to a trigger towards violence even against the correct advise of Sister Margaret, punished with belt beatings by her as punishment for leaving his room (even though he was told to by Sister Margaret!). Because she seems hellbent on “taking action” against Billy when h…
It’s Christmastime near the Korvatunturi mountains, and something deep imprisoned inside it has been excavated by a company claiming to be seismic researchers is about to be released by its “elves”. Three men and one of their sons must stop this or else “naughty children” will at the mercy of a monstrous Santa Claus…the original Santa Claus.
The film plays with us for a little bit when it appears a “reindeer wrangler” has caught “Santa” in a wolf pit (it seems the local reindeer have been slaughtered by something ferocious and unusual), believing him to be a human casualty of illegal pit-trapping. It is only a little later the wrangler and two of his local buddies (also in the wrangling business) believe this casualty (who should have died but didn’t somehow) is perhaps Santa unearthed, asking the owner of the excavation company for $85,000 (this as damages for all the slaughtered reindeer).
I think why this was such a hit, as an import, was the premise of the idea that Santa was in fa…
Sorry, kids.

Tis the Season



I can honestly say that I mainly wanted to pop in and watch Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 out of tradition now since I have had it on in December since probably 2010. I think it is terrible, I won’t lie about it. I have read that those who directed and wrote this sequel were given little resources and did the best they could with what they had…which simply wasn’t much. I don’t plan on writing much about it this year; however, it has some fun moments that do entertain me. I won’t deny that much; straight-shooter, I try to be. Eric Freeman’s performance/character will stand the test of time for all the wrong reasons. People have often commented on Joseph Pilato’s performance in Day of the Dead for its overtly intentionally loathsome qualities, but Freeman, to me, one ups him. There’s no doubt to me that Freeman was dead set on you hating his stinking guts. He had that snarl and that grouchy cartoonish scowl that I couldn’t resist chuckling at. It is a pro wrestling kind of heelish…

Deck the Halls

I get up for Black Christmas every year in December. Like Carpenter’s Halloween in October, BlackChristmas is a film that makes for essential viewing for this horror fan. I’m a little uneasy with using “slasher” to describe Black Christmas. I think this is built as a disturbing black comedy/suspense film, not a slasher flick with a psychopath using a knife and hunting victims. Sure the killer in the attic has a deep-seeded trauma resulting from childhood experiences in the house now serving as a sorority for Canadian college girls. Yes, the killer moves from the attic and into the house to pick off the sorority girls. But this isn’t a gorefest. It doesn’t feature one-dimensional girls getting naked, dumb as a stump, and servicing the film as slaughter fodder. POV is certainly a staple in the slasher genre, but it is innovatively used in Black Christmas (much like it would be in Halloween four years later), particularly at the beginning. Spying on the girls from outside their window, c…
I admittedly gave the remake of Black Christmas a lot of attention in 2012 on the blog. It has kind of grown on me over the years, although I still find it a bit far-fetched regarding how Billy gets out of the institution, and the depraved back story is a more than a little skin-crawling.
I’d like to bury the hatchet with my sister…right in her head.
Look they put Billy in the cell so the screenplay had to get him out, so why not have the prison guard just open up the door, walk in without back up, and get a candy cane broken off right in his throat. If the idiot is willing to walk into the lion’s den without a game plan, then he’s deserved of his fate.
Right out of the chute, a chick gets a pen stabbed in her eye after the bag is stuffed over her head. Not long after, another girl goes into the attic and has the bag suffocating her before Agnes jerks out her eye. Yikes. Then even Santa, visiting the asylum for Lord knows why, is bled like a stuck pig, and so Billy will join Agnes, his s…

Don't Open Till Christmas

Well, from the immediate heavy breathing, I figure aware slasher fans will know what they are in for. Some bloke in a Santa costume meets up with his honey and looking on from behind them in POV is a killer. The couple goes to their car to make out in the back seat while that typical grinding Casio score builds the killer’s gradual approach towards their location in some back alley. The windows are fogging as the heavy breathing builds volcanically and I couldn’t help but return to The Breather in Student Bodies. The guy sees the breather, tells him to shove off, while his honey, obviously horny, just reinforces her passion and convinces him not to concern himself with the on-looking creep. Not listening to her, instead getting out and confronting this peeping tom; he’s immediately stabbed as his girl shrieks. Basic set up we have seen so many times. The knife finally pokes a hole in the girl; cue the music.
**
You ever watch a movie and the whole entirety of a scene becomes this blur due to an object of some sort that catches your eye and won't deviate from your attention? The daughter of a murdered business executive keeping up with the Santa killing cases has this tree on her table. Its this half-assed tree that looks plucked from the ground before it had a chance to form into something the least bit impressive. Just throw some d├ęcor on it and plop that bad boy on your coffee table. Its a train wreck much like this movie...couldn't resist.
Something never quite crossed my mind and into when I write about Silent Night, Deadly Night, until I was responding to a thread comparing it to Christmas Evil, in regards to why the former seemed so much more popular and discussed than the latter. This thought had nothing to do with the films in the same discussion but about the end results of SNDN; of the muscled killer after his murderous rampage led to the orphanage where he was tormented by Mother Superior who failed to understand how damaged he was, he never achieved success, really. Mother Superior thought she knew what was best for the child. He needed sympathy and a paternal figure that could give him care and proper treatment. But she, in her infinite wisdom, thought hard, tough confrontation of the very thing that damaged him—Santa Claus (well, the dirtbag rapist/psycho who murdered his father/mother dressed as Santa)—was the right thing to do. Ill-advised and wrongheaded (she thought her way was the only way, despite objec…

Scrooge (1970)

I had forgotten that I had written a review on my imdb account for the musical version of A Christmas Carol, until I went to post a fresh review after another viewing of the film tonight. I will just post my fresh review here and then add the old review after it for the film. I don't expect I'll write about this film again.

Fresh thoughts...


Pretty good musical retelling of the oft-filmed adaptation of the iconic Dickens novel benefits substantially by worthwhile presentation, particularly the evocation of the period of London for which greedy (and grouchy) money-lender Ebenezer Scrooge is met by old associate / business partner Jacob Marley (seven years after his death) and three ghosts afterward (Ghost of Christmas Past/Present/Future) during the Eve (into the early hours) of Christmas who show him how he wound up such a miser and what others think about him (and where he might wind up if he doesn’t consider his ways). I think the main problem I personally have with the film…

Silent Night

I was doting on the shock factor that resulted from Silent Night, Deadly Night back in ’84 and how times have changed since then. Nowadays, movies like the Black Christmas remake and this newer film from 2012 have taken what was so controversial back then and amplified it to the nth degree. No longer does the sight of a wacko in a Santa Claus costume have as much impact and resonance as it once did. We now just kind of grin or roll our eyes at it.***

Curse of Chucky


We were sitting around eating dinner on Thanksgiving, my family on my mother’s side, and I was asked about how many Friday the 13th films there were in existence. Not sure exactly how the conversation stirred in that direction, but I started counting to them on my fingers all of the films in the series, and it all really spurned from the topic of killer doll Chucky in the Child’s Play series. I had rhetorically offered, “Did you realize there were actually six of these movies?” Faces of perplexity looked over at me. Well, perhaps it was because I was almost out of breath going through the Friday the 13th films, but I digress…
**½