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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.