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Monday, October 22, 2012

10 Greatest Horror Quotes

Some of these are obscure, but they are the ones that ultimately never left my brain. These particular lines just struck a cord with me for one reason or another. Have a gander or let me know if you have an opinion on my opinions.

10. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
Freddy: "I said, where's the fucking bourbon!?"
He proceeds to kill Kristen's mother.

9. Society
Jim Whitney: "You were right Billy, I am a butthead."

8. Sinful
Aisha: "Daisy, Daisy, Daisy..." singing to Lilith.

7. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Henry: "Fuck the bears."
Henry proceeds to walk out of the convenient store.

6. Strange Things Happen at Sundown
June: "So the least you can do is help keep the house clean, or so help me God, I will tear out your fucking soul you COCKSUCKER!!!"
June proceeds to breakdown crying.

5. Session 9
Simon: "Hello, Gordon."
Gordon stares breathlessly at the empty wheelchair.

4. Jacob's Ladder
Paul: "I'm going to hell."
His words are sure of themselves and strike a cord with Jacob Singer and with the viewer.

3. The Last House on the Left
Phyllis: "You already hurt her!"
Talking back to her captors, Phyllis tries to infuse some sense into the madness of her and her friend's situation, at what is only the degradation stage of their torture. The line was improvised, as the actress was really trying to protect her co-star.

2. Tales from the Darkside: A Choice of Dreams
Michaelson: "It's a little bit like waking up in the middle of the night and finding a stranger in your brain."
Much like watching some horror that hits a little too close to home.

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street
Freddy: "This is God."
Freddy proceeds to chase the girl in the dream down the alleyway.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers

From the awkward, head-scratching, eccentric guy who brought you "Trash Humpers," comes "Spring Breakers" on spring break 2013. Harmony Korine has worked with Chloe Sevigny, Werner Herzog and Samantha Morton, as both writer and director and has been subject to controversy and blacklisting. I personally love the majority of his work and a lot of other people must also. It can't be easy to make a truly bare-bones independent project that can barely be called a movie like "Trash Humpers," then turn right around and get the support to make a big budget oddity starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and James Franco.
I've read about it on many different sites but I still can't tell what the hell it's really about. All I know is if it's written and directed by Korine, it's one to watch out for. Apparently Selena Gomez is only in the first half of it, but it's okay because Korine's wife Rachel Korine provides more than enough eye candy to fill the spotlight. She's the raver with the pink hair. If you want to see more of her before this movie premiers, check out Korine's last coherent film "Mister Lonely." She has a small, but memorable role in it.
Spring 2013. Finally a spring break that won't be a drag.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Duck! The Carbine High Massacre (1999) Review

Well well well. I've always been curious as to what "Duck!" might actually be like. After recently seeing Gus Van Sant's "Elephant," I wanted to see another cinematic take on the Columbine massacre. What better kind of movie to view than an exploitation movie? Also, Gus Van Sant's HBO film didn't really do it for me. I felt it was extremely blah. It purposfully didn't go into the motivations of the kids, but that left the movie as empty as Glori Ann Gilbert's cherubic little pinhead. I couldn't connect with anyone by watching the back of their head as they walked down a hall for 5 minutes straight. Ooooh, how avant-garde! If there is any headline-making story from America's recent history that's worth digging deeper into, it's the Columbine High School massacre.
Honestly "Duck!" did a far better job of this. It's smarter and not anywhere near as exploitative as you'd expect. It's not as funny as it wants to be, but there are laughs here and there. The movie is from the perspective of the two killers. Everyone else is humorously portrayed as a stereotype because of the way the media portrayed certain kids after they were killed. It doesn't always succeed at its social critique, but when it doesn't work it can defend itself by being nothing but a satire. Is it purposefully bad? At times yes, but it's impossible to tell when because it relies on goofy and mean reflections of characters as a critique. Kind of like a Troma film. See what I mean? For that reason, it is hard to review. It is obvious that the bare-bones budget keeps it from reaching epic heights in presentation, acting and storytelling. But ultimately, it succeeds at what it can succeed at.
What can it succeed at? More than you'd think. The movie is far more enjoyable and just watchable if you know about its filmmakers Bill Hellfire and Joey Smack. They were the exploitation masters of the late 90s/early 2000s and as it turns out, they had every right to make a movie like this. The tasteless humor keeps it within its genre, although why should it be afraid to be brash when the subject matter is uncompromising and far more than tasteless? Aside from the humor, it has many tender moments that cannot be laughed at at all. It is extremely sympathetic with the two boys, who are played by the two filmmakers. They wanted to make a Columbine movie before anyone else because they knew it was only a matter of time. Bill Hellfire is the director and plays the main boy. All around the time of the filmmaking, a very close young friend of his tragically died and his mother died too. On top of that, he was diagnosed with cancer and did intense chemotherapy while the movie was shot. You can tell by looking at him that he was on death's door. All of this plays into his approach and performance in "Duck!" Combining the tragedies in his real life with his young age, and those of the rest of the cast, adds a level of insight that Elephant was sorely lacking.
There is a sequence in its second act where the school bullies beat the living hell out of Bill. It isn't played for laughs at all and is instead the emotional catalyst for the assault of carnage at Carbine later on. Bill stays home from school to recuperate from the vicious bully attack. As a result, his best friend, played by his real life best friend and co-writer Joey, is given an 'F' by their teacher on their team assignment in class because Bill couldn't be there. Joey visits him at his house later that day to explain the bad news. They lament their lives together in a way that seems real and improvised. Bill tells Joey, in a painful state, that he is recuperating using all of his dad's Codeine. As you might guess, the line between acting and not acting is blurred in this scene. Bill could have very well been on strong pain meds and felt as if he'd been beaten to a pulp. It's strong stuff folks.
These two social outcasts and outlaws do make for a riveting chronicle. I'm talking about both the Columbine killers and the Carbine filmmakers of course. The saddest scene in the movie also works so well because of its insight. It is a scene where Joey, knowing that he won't come out of the massacre alive, says goodbye to his mother. He tells her that he's going to kill everyone at school and that he's going to die too, but she is too drunk and doped up to grasp what he's saying. She says something along the lines of, "Oh bye honey." I figure Bill must've been working through something, filming this scene. She wasn't there for him to turn to during his bout with cancer and she wasn't when he was arrested for making this film.
That's right, after the film had been on the market for less than a year, the filmmakers were arrested. A journalist wanted a big story and bought a copy of "Duck!" He turned it over to the FBI and was able to have them arrested for taking a real gun onto school property during an exterior shot late in the film. Soon they were all over the national news. They weren't plastered across the news for the reasons of the valid arrest, but for making a "bloody" and "tasteless" movie about Columbine. Suddenly, Bill and Joey were part of the media circus they had sought to indict. The local and national news stories skewed the facts, showing the arrest footage next to shots from the climax of the movie. The local news then interviewed local twits that hadn't seen the movie, in order to provide further slander. It provided the movie with much notoriety and the filmmakers happily gave interviews to the TV stations, making the whole thing seem hypocritical and cementing the movie's reputation as an exploitation picture. Who can blame them? It's the only reason most people know them, but it is ironic that their most famous exploitation picture is the only one that really wasn't exploitative at all to begin with.
So that is the story of "Duck!" It is probably the greatest school shooting movie ever but nobody will ever know. It is damned to its reputation.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Multi-movie DVD finds at Hastings

If you have a "Hastings" in your town, I suggest you peruse the cheap bins for DVDs that contain many horror/exploitation movies in one package. I was surprised to find so many good deals at my local store. They have many Midnight Horror Collection 4-packs and 8-packs with Full Moon and Brain Damage types of movies stocked, but there are rarer finds too.
There are loads of bigger collections like Drive-In Cult Classics 16-movie Set or Savage Cinema 12-movie Collection, loaded with 70s grindhouse sleaziness and camp.
Newer obscure independent films are packed by the truckload onto badly presented DVDs with little info, so be ready to do your own research after picking up a name or two.
I couldn't believe my eyes the other day when I found a collection I'd been meaning to get for a long time. I never wanted to shill out the money for something so stupid but it was only $5! It was the Andy Sidaris Collection: Girls, Guns & G-Strings. A 12-film set of the most Joe Bob Briggs-ready 90s films.
Now on to the documentaries. What better way to end your exploitation watching than with a documentary about said films?
Corman's World about Roger Corman. It interviews practically every titan in Hollywood who ever knew him. And get this: Jack Nicholson breaks down and cries in an interview near the end.
King of the B Movies about Bill Zebub. I haven't seen it but, c'mon, it's about king dirtbag so it's gotta be interesting. Visit his Youtube channel if you're unfamiliar with him.
Screaming in High Heels about 80s and 90s B-movies and their scream queens. Haven't seen it, but I've heard mixed reviews about it. Another one that can be found relatively cheap.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Exploitation Watching Update Sept 2012

Planet of the Vampire Women (2011)
This cheap cheap cheap flick had been receiving good word-of-mouth buzz and now it's out on a bare-bones DVD. I'm sad to report that Vampire Women doesn't work on any level. It relies too much on its intentionally bad special effects and its fuck-filled humor coming out of the mouths of terrible actresses. On the subject of the fanged fatales, they aren't as attractive as needed for the subject matter and random nudity. And as I always reiterate, if you are gonna hire loose actresses that can't act for shit, they might as well be the hottest idiots money can buy.

The Bunny Game (2012)
It might be the most controversial horror flick of the year because of the torture that everyone hears is real. I was so nervous about planning to watch it that I had a nightmare about the crucifixion and sexual brutality. Let me state for the record: there isn't any amazing torture to see here. The hardcore elements are limited to the main prostitute voluntarily giving a BJ at the beginning, her getting a symbol branded on her shoulders and another girl with a plastic bag over her head for several straight seconds. That's basically it. The story won't rope you in either. There's little to no character development and lots of fast back-and-forth editing to fill up the movie's 1:16 running time. So don't bother with The Bunny Game. It's not what it's slashed up to be.

Gabi on the Roof in July (2010)
Once you spot an appearance by a young Lena Dunham, you know this is a hipster movie. Luckily it's mostly hot hipsters in New York. The meandering plot starts with a painter that's on the verge of his breakout. His young sister shows up with a friend to spend the summer with him and to be a generally annoying hipster. She is unemployed and enjoys being obnoxious. There's tons of dialogue about how she's too good for any artsy job her brother tries to get her because she is too artsy and high-minded for anyone to appreciate. I wanted to strangle her, but that's kind of the point. The audience gets some much needed relief though by getting to see her walk around nude several times. Not a bad movie all in all. A bit pointless, but entertaining.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Get Them Clothes Off Bitch!

No I'm not talking to you.... most likely. Rather I'm talking about my favorite kind of exploitation scene evar! Feeling a scene coming in a movie where a woman is about to be forced out of her knickers gives me a red hot jolly rancher! That's sadly the entire reason this post exists, but I swear that it's leading to a post listing my favorite scenes that fall under this category. That'll be one of my very next posts, just let me think about it a little while longer. It's the most deviant kind of scene that feeds my inner 13-year-old peeping tom. My inner any-year-old really. I just wanna run to the top of that hill from The Sound of Music and sing my love for babes gettin' forced outta their jammies. It was at its height during the nazi exploitation era, catering to an audience that enjoyed sexual humiliation that didn't go as far as rape. It was best when it knew where to draw the line. You still see it occasionally, like with actress Dreama Walker in 2012's "Compliance," pictured above. C'mon ladies, a flick with a guy gettin' forced outta his clothes'd be pretty hot too right? You can level with me.

Ooooh. And what about that Maggie Gyllenhaal in practically every R-rated film she's done.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Love Letter to Tales from the Darkside

Darkside: A very low-budget 80s horror show from George Romero that you'd occasionally catch at 1:00 in the morning and be freaked by. The claustrophobia! The music! The isolated atmosphere! The concepts! The make-up effects! Oh the make-up effects!!
Having just rewatched an episode of the show for the first time in a long time, season 3's "The Circus," I feel I must tell the world (or at least some of you people) how I love Darkside. I have seen every episode and, for the most part, it was pretty consistently memorable. The best episodes usually dealt with one person's deep, dank fears being brought to the forefront in an isolated location. The low budgets that relegated the episodes to one or two sets worked magnificently for the center-of-night, sweaty nightmares that you vicariously live through the tenants of The Darkside.
I will at some point make a list of the 10 best episodes once I rewatch enough of them. Some were startling like "Inside the Closet" and others were felt in a more slow-burn and terrifyingly inevitable way like "The Last Car." Some were both, like the literal monster-of-an-episode "Seasons of Belief." I read somewhere that a guy in medical school made his classmate stop dead in his tracks by recalling this almost forgotten one. It's somewhat comforting to know that these guys in med school, that deal in blood and needles, are still sensitive enough to be frightened by monsters.
The show was always best watched at night and it always WAS because it lived in nighttime syndication. That was the best part! It came out of your TV and found you. Little unsuspecting you.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Uber-Babe Barbara Crampton

Just bask in these pictures of her now. The long-time, New York born, scream queen is 53 years old! And she looks like this!
Not only does she look amazing for her age, but she has also been through hell in the last several years. In a recent interview in Fangoria, she came clean about recovering from being severely ill. She developed two parasites in her system, from a trip to Mexico, and was bed-ridden for two years. According to her, it was a powerful virus named Epstein-Barr that wasn't caught in time. She was on heavy medications for those years. Luckily she had her family to help her pull through and now has a clean bill of health.
She has since shot a new horror movie after getting her life back on track. It's a home-invasion horror movie called "You're Next." It hasn't been released yet, but Lionsgate has the rights. She plays the mom, much like she now does in real life. Of all actresses who took a career break, Barbara's comeback story stands high at the top.
Above is a picture of the You're Next cast. I hope we haven't seen the last of her collaborations with Stuart Gordon either. But whatever she does next, I know it'll be energized and sexy because of her presence. Here's to her health.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Social Critic Uwe Boll

Uwe Boll. The man. The myth. The legend... In his own mind.
A couple years ago he made a film more serious and less laughable than his previous "efforts." Uwe Boll's movie Rampage seemed to predict a kind of killer we are really inching toward in real life. A fully-armored American white guy going on a machine gun rampage. Did he see the Aurora theatre massacre coming as well as worse shootings? Perhaps there's more to Uwe Boll than meets the eye?
Uwe Boll, true artist predicting the worst for America? Or prolific urinary tract infection personified in human form, trolling us all? Probably the latter, but only time will tell.
In the movie, this young suburban guy with armor randomly kills innocents. He makes up his own crazy reasons for the killings being justified, of course, just like all killers. I'm sure I'm not the first one to notice this parallel, but it's a bit frightening nonetheless.
Will we one day say that great patriot Uwe Boll saw it coming? Time for Uwe Boll to ring in on all of this, with his thick accent and slight fetal alcohol speech affects. Where are you when we need you?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Worst Movies Ever #8

The Freshman (1990)

No, it's not as bad as it looks. It's worse. And no that isn't a wax statue of Brando, that's actually him. I think.
Okay so this one isn't even horror related but I just saw it the other day and I hate it oh so much. I blame it on Mathew Broderick. His complete lack of any kind of anything skills make this movie practically a parody of a parody. Except for that nothing really happens that evokes the slightest chuckle. It isn't funny or dramatic really. I don't know what it is, I could barely even finish it. Not even being high helps watching Marlon Brando reverse all respect I had for him. He plays a pseudo-gangster who imports Komodo dragons for consumption. There are far too many observations (jokes?) in the movie about how Brando's character looks like Vito Corleone. Broderick finds himself running Brando's errands and chasing Komodo dragons.
I was just as puzzled as this Komodo dragon is. And probably about as puzzled as most Komodo dragons are every day of their lives. Every scene is just so worthless. I can't believe this ever got passed the script-on-napkin stage. Cross the aisle in the video store when you see it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Web Show - 'Inside Horror'

Check out Inside Horror on the Youtube channel 'thestreamtv' or by just searching Inside Horror. It's a horror news and talk show that interviews all kinds of horror legends. There's lengthy interviews with filmmakers like John Landis and Joe Dante and stars like Jeffrey Combs.
In the Combs interview he delves into playing Edgar Allen Poe and working with directors like Stuart Gordon on other movies. He promotes the new horror film he is in called "Would You Rather," with Brittany Snow and Sasha Grey. It's looks pretty dark and entertaining from the trailer shown and from what Combs says. Also, you can't turn anything down with Brittany Snow in it.
Also as a regular on the show as a horror news anchor is Rebekah McKendry who is also Fangoria's director of marketing. McKendry also just won the Best Director award at the Viscera Film Fest for the short film The Dump.
So check out the show. Here's the channel: