Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Review - The Tommyknockers (1993)

I remember when I first saw The Tommyknockers when I was a kid and remembering how terrifying it was for me and how uncomfortable this miniseries made me feel. Scenes like in the beginning when the dolls came to life or that montage that had all those people staring at the green fireworks, there were so subtle but it terrified me so much. This miniseries is a perfect example of how times have changed… it scared me back then, but now, it just puts me to sleep. It’s an average movie but has room for so much more improvement.

What this movie is essentially about is a small town woman who stumbles into the woods and finds a buried alien spacecraft. After digging it up, several of the townsfolk begin acting weird, they begin making things out of simple household appliances and some of them begin to hear things that aren’t there. I mean, the miniseries does follow closely to the original book and it’s really one of the better Stephen King adaptations.

What I really enjoyed about this movie was how freaky the movie can be without showing any kind of aliens or gore… this is not including the ending episodes. In fact, I think that the beginning part of this miniseries was freakier then the last part because it had more uncomfortable moments. Take for example the scene when Jim is running through the forest and he sees Bobbi looking ahead, she then turns around with this blank expression with glowing green eyes… that’s fucked up! Or when that automatic typewriter is typing, “Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at your door,” by itself in all its green glory… seriously fucked up shit.

One thing that I really like about Stephen King novels is the way that they progress and this one progressed nicely. It set up the main characters and it made you, in some way, feel for them and understand them more. I think that the characters were brilliantly casted and acting by both Traci Lords and Smits are some of the best acting I have seen in a TV series.


However, there are a few things that I do not like about this miniseries. The one noticeable thing was, and maybe it’s my DVD, half of the entire miniseries was off synch. The voices had a 1 second delay and it was pissing me off. It took me out of the movie, and even if it’s been in the final cut and it was my DVD, how do they pass a DVD inspection like that? I call lousy distribution. Even if the audio was synched right, most of the actors acted pretty bland… except for the above mentioned.

Another disappointment that I had was that there wasn’t a lot of the machines that people built as there was in the book. I felt like some of them were omitted, which is fine for time, but I really wanted to see them. And, a bit off topic, the aliens were iffy and the ending seemed a bit rushed but I can deal with it… those are just minor complains.

So, in perspective… the movie is decent, I won’t call it a masterpiece because it could have been better and it could have been distributed better but it was okay. It had a good pace, even though it seemed to drag here and there, there were some freaky scenes and the main characters were greatly casted aside from the bland supporting characters. I felt like the ending was a bit rushed and corny but that’s fine, I can accept that. In the general scheme of things… it was okay.


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Scare Game

I just got a request in my email today to feature a new web series called The Scare Game. Below is the official press release of the series. 

Life is simple for Vince (SCOTT BRYAN); get up, go to work, and put on a mask and chase your friends around with a butcher knife. Lately, hiding in the shadows and under the bed hasn’t been doing it for Vince. His relationship with the fierce Melora (KATE COSTELLO) falls apart while his brother, Martin (RYAN JASON COOK), becomes more and more of a stranger while The Major (JASON WITTER) just becomes strange. Things begin to change when Vince’s best friend, BABS (JENN DAUGHERTY) introduces him to Deedee (HANNAH KAUFFMAN) a quirky librarian a with strange and dangerous past. Now, the club will delve into a mystery that may lead them down a path they can never return from.

Lock your doors and keep away from the edge of your bed; Vince and his club of horror enthusiasts are hiding outside your window. The Scare Game is a new horror/comedy web series cast and crewed entirely in New Mexico. Season one will consist of thirteen 7 to 10 minute episodes exploring the topics of horror, voyeurism, and the ultimate unrequited love- fandom.

Uncanny Entertainment will produce the series entirely in New Mexico in a continued effort to elevate the exposure of the New Mexico film industry. Episode one: “The Scare Game” will premiere on October 15, 2009 on Edited versions of the episodes will also be released on,, and”

-       Official Press Release

I saw the trailer on YouTube and to be honest, the teaser was actually pretty creepy… if not, frightening. Below is the trailer.

And I was also fortunate to be given the Production team as well as a photo of them. The production team goes as followed:

Brian Wenrich (Producer/Production Designer)

Philip Hughes (Writer/Director)

Jenn Dougherty (Actor/Writer)

Scott Bryan (Actor)

Jason Witter (Actor)

Kate Costello (Actor)

If you want more information you can catch them on these sites:




Trailer - A Nightmare on Elm Street (HD) (2010)

So here is the debut of the trailer for the new Nightmare on Elm Street.
After watching the trailer... I was surprisingly intrigued by it and I normally hate remakes and Nightmare on Elm Street is one of my favorite movies of all time. The beginning shows how Freddy was burned and gives us the impression that he was wrongfully accused and it was nice to see this but I am a little iffy on it. It could be interesting. The rest of the trailer looks like your typical glossy testosterone enhanced movie with actors/actresses that look too old to be playing high schoolers. 

As for Freddy himself; before he got burned he looks like a hippie, which is okay, I am fine with that but as a burned man... I have a bit of an issue. His face, from what I saw in the trailer, looks a little 'alien,' which is the best way to describe it. I am just afraid that they may make Freddy a little too serious, which is okay, but what I liked about the original is that he was wild and crazy and he was insane. I still don't know, this is just my first impression on it. 

I hope it's worth it. 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Paranormal Activity Screening in Chicago

I decided that I should have documented my experience at the Music Box when I went to go see Paranormal Activity. My buddies and me got there 2 hours early and the line was already long. About midway into the wait we were getting hungry so my and my buddy left for Subway while my other friend decided to wait behind and save our spot. Well, after we got done eating all we really did was bullshit each other until some creepy tall guy with a beard came out of nowhere and yelled “FREDDYSFINGERS” at me. Turns out it’s Shuizmz from Horror Society. I also met Dr. Gore (Again), Kreeplady Kristen for the first time, A few folks from Wild Claw Theater and Stu from BuyZombie (again).

Left to right: Me, Shuizmz, Stuart Conover

Once we got into the theater after the long wait we were greeted by free popcorn and soda all courtesy of Paramount Pictures. They shoveled all of regular ticket holders into a small seating area to the right of the theater and all the people who bought their tickets from Ain’t it Cool were piled into the center and left seating rows. It was then when the Horror Society folks and me broke apart. Never saw them again. The movie was awesome and it actually frightened me but the real horror was when my buddies and I, after the premiere, went back to the brown line and realized the train stops running after certain hours.

Well, we trekked to the red line but it was fun seeing all my horror Illini blogging buddies again and some new faces. The next even where I might see some of them again will be tomorrow’s Zombieland red carpet premier. 

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Uncle Buck/The Exorcist Poster

I had to post it because it's one of the funniest mash-up posters that I have seen and I forgot who, on Twitter, posted this but it made me laugh my ass off!!!! My only response to this is... if they made 'Uncle Buck,' which is one of my favorite movies anyway, this way, it would be even more funnier then it already is.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tartan's Terror Pack Available Oct 13th

Chills and Kills from Around the World

Palisades Tartan’s Terror Pack in Stores October 13th

Palisades Tartan’s TERROR PACK contains a brutal collection of spine-chilling thrillers from around the world. This 3-disc box set will be haunting DVD shelf space October 13th just in time for Halloween.


From France we have SHEITAN, starring Vincent Cassel (OCEAN’S TWELVE, IRREVERSIBLE) as Joseph, a creepy and mysterious man whose pregnant wife remains hidden in a large frightening house. When a group of teenagers visit the house, sex, satanic possession, and incest become the dinner topics and what follows is not for the faint of heart…


From Denmark comes the aptly named SLAUGHTER NIGHT. When a teenage girl loses her father in a brutal car accident she brings some friends to an abandoned mine in hopes of retrieving the last manuscript her father ever penned about nineteenth century serial killers. It’s rumored one spirit with a taste for young, pretty flesh and decapitations still hunts the old mine hungering for another Slaughter Night…


Finally from Japan, we have CARVED: THE SLIT-MOUTHED WOMAN, a story about a beautiful bride who was grotesquely disfigured by a jealous husband. Pissed off and roaming the streets in a trench coat and surgical mask, her spirit is fond of children and punishing any who fail to find her pretty with fists, knives and one incredibly wicked pair of scissors…

SHEITAN played the Midnight Madness selection at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival and screened at the 2006 Tribeca, Edinburgh and Melbourne Film Festivals. SLAUGHTER NIGHT made its North American premiere at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival and CARVED was dubbed “An instant horror classic” from Screem Magazine. This boxset marks the first in what will a series of Terror Packs from Palisades Tartan, so be sure to look out for our next great mix of horror titles from around the world.

Review - Paranormal Activity (2007)

I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Paranormal Activity in theaters with a group of friends and I have to say, if the trailer scared me the surely the movie will frighten me… and that’s what happened. This movie truly scared me to death and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It’s so rare to see a movie that is actually frightening but this movie is a huge exception and it seems like all the scary films that are original are only getting select screenings and not theatrical. Paranormal Activity feels sort of like Quarantine mixed with a bit of Blair Witch Project and stirred with The Exorcist. But, what this movie accomplishes so well is that it does not let down the entire movie.

The movie is shockingly simple but effective; it’s about a couple who move into this house that is possessed by a ghost… and Micah, the boyfriend, is determined to document all the strange happenings that occur via camera. Well, when things begin to go wrong and the ‘ghosts’ become restless they soon realized that they aren’t ghosts and that there is more to the story than meets the eye.

Let me kick this review off my stating a few things that I really enjoyed about this movie; there was no production value and it was ultra low budget… but still terrifying and I think it goes to show you that you don’t need glossy effects and high profile actors to make a movie scary. All you need is a good script, director, actors and a camera. In a way, for filmmakers, this movie is very inspirational to anybody.

The acting in this movie is very believable and there were several times when the actors sounded too sarcastic but that’s why it’s so believable because they are acting as though they weren’t aware this was a movie. It gives the film a shocking sense of reality and that’s what this whole movie is based around; that this actually happened. Much like other films, this movie has no soundtrack but rather a haunting low ominous humming, there are no credits and the movie starts off without a title sequence. I really believed that I was watching a real documented film.

Now, lets talk about the scares in this movie. It takes a lot to scare me nowadays but this movie had me biting my fingernails and gripping the armrest. They start off as minor occurrences like things movie and dropping but when shit starts hitting the fan it’s intense and what’s really creepy is that most of the scares are noises; growling, strange moaning, walking and pounding and it’s really scary to think what it could be. There are times when Katie is being possessed and she just stands in the bedroom and stares at Micah for hours, or when the thing is dragging her. I jumped out of my seat so many times and I was screaming during some of scenes. I don’t think I have ever had so much fun being scared in ages.

All in all, I think this movie was made in response to all those paranormal investigation shows on the TV where they don’t show anything; this movie is like a slap in the face to them because shit is really going down. The movie utilized the bedroom scenes so well and even the camera work was so unnerving. It breaks away from your traditional possessions stories because there are loose ends, it’s not a happy ending and there are no cliché-ridden montages where the main character is researching things. It manipulates the audience into believing that they are safe but then hits you with a creepy moment. Granted, it started off slow and some of the humor may overshadow the movie but this is possibly one of the scariest movies I have seen this year… or even, for a long time. 

Palisades Tartan Thirst Contest

The contest you’ve been THIRST-ing for!

Palisades Tartan will fly two fans to London for the THIRST premier in October and

Introduce them to Director Park Chan-wook

Palisades Tartan has just announced the ultimate contest for fans of Asian Extreme films! Beginning September 10th 2009, US and UK residents can visit and sign-up for a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet director Park Chan-wook in person, have their picture taken with the celebrated filmmaker and travel to the UK to attend the London premier of THIRST.

Palisades Tartan will pay for the lucky winner and their guest to travel to London to attend the THIRST premier. This will be hosted by our theatrical partners, Metrodome Distribution, at the Curzon Soho on Monday October 5th 2009. Once the winner arrives, a personal driver will be waiting to chauffer them and their companion to a beautiful hotel located in the center of London. Park Chan-wook will be at the premier and lucky winners can look forward to enjoying lunch with him the following day. Meals will also be covered, but don’t expect live octopus on any of the menus.

The contest will run for approximately two weeks, from Thursday September 10th to Wednesday September 23rd 2009 (it ends midnight EST) and is open to both US and UK residents and the Republic of Ireland. No purchase necessary and complete rules and regulations are available at


THIRST is the new film from director Park Chan-wook (OLDBOY, SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, LADY VENGEANCE). Already a boxoffice smash in Korea, THIRST was honored with the Prix du Jury [Jury Prize] at the 2009 Cannes International Film Festival. THIRST tells the dark story of Sang-hyun (played by top Korean star Song Kang-ho, of The Host), a priest who reveres life and so selflessly volunteers for a secret vaccine which is meant to eradicate a deadly virus. The vaccine fails and a blood transfusion is ordered. The lifesaving blood saves Sang-hyun but was infected, leaving him a vampire with a newfound carnal desire for blood. Sang Hyun quickly realizes that blood is not the only thing he craves when a friend’s wife comes to him for help and the priest fins his faith tested in ways he would have never imagined.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Review - Jennifer's Body (2009)

I had the opportunity to see Jennifer’s Body, and I was going in think that it would be one of the worst movies of the year or at lest on of the worse horror movies of the year but it wasn’t all that bad. I refuse to say that it was good because it wasn’t… all it was, was entertaining and nothing more. It was popcorn fun, it was stupid and some things did not make sense but I think Diablo Cody had fun with this. I had one big expectation about this movie, but it turned out to be a twist for me and perhaps some for some of the audiences too… this is NOT a vampire movie, but rather a movie about teenage girl possessed by a demon.

To get started, I want to elaborate on some of the positive aspects of this movie; keep in mind the words ‘some.’ For starters, there were some pretty freaky scenes in the movie including some of the apparitions that Needy sees, one killings was a bit unnerving because it was silhouetted and Megan Fox all bloodied up and smiling is a bit freaky but it can also be funny seeing how this isn’t her kind of movie.

The idea of having a movie set in a small rural town with today’s youth and make it about possession was an interesting concept and it was handled quite well by Cody but there was one major problem that I had with this, and this brings me to my first negative point. Diablo Cody, after the breakthrough with Juno, established that she can write good, witty realistic teenage dialogue but for a movie like this… it seems too awkward and it kind of puts you out of the movie and some of the scarier scenes were broken because of typical teenage conversations (ex: when Jennifer is floating above the pool). I get the purpose of this, it was try to make this more realistic and Cody was have fun but it was just something that was too strange for me.

Another big issue that I had with this movie was some of the pointless scenes. The one scene that everybody went ape shit over was when Jennifer and Needy had this intimate kissing scene in which close ups of their lips and tongues were shown. Question, what was the point of this? It serves no purpose and I think that it was only in their to exploit Fox’s sexiness. Another pointless scene, that also aided in the sexiness was when Jennifer was swimming naked through the lake… then gets out naked and walks away. Again, what’s the point?

I am not going to bash Cody for this movie cause, quite honestly, there are more stupid and unentertaining movies then this and for a demon possession movie… pretty original and it does stand out from you typical teenage horror “horror-comedy” movies. There were a lot of scenes that didn’t need to be there (which makes me question why an Oscar winner would make a movie with plot holes?), some corniness and awkward conversational exchange.

It wasn’t that bad of a movie but it was far from being a good movie, it was average and it did have it’s laughs and some spooks but not enough to make me fully appreciate it or even or even buy it. It was original and I will give it that but if you are a horror fan looking for a good possession flick, I strongly urge you stay away from this movie but if you are a part of the younger generation of horror, then you’ll like it. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy 62nd Birthday Stephen King

“I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.

-       Stephen King

Today was the birthday of my all time favorite authors Stephen King and he truly is one of the best modern day horror writers out there. His books are so intriguing and so terrifying that they tap into our childhood fears, primitive fears and even our memories. He has become an icon for horror as well and his books have become a staple in American literature. Most importantly, some of his books have gain so infamous that they have been used in many pop culture references and trivia from time to come.

His books are about very simplistic stories of good and bad cut they often have an underlying story that is more complex. His novels, as well as his novellas and short stories, are brilliantly written and each character is taken care of and he especially gives a lot of attention to second hand characters as well. His books tackle very controversial subjects such as Catholicism and the believe of a higher God, sexuality, violence, domestic abuse, the law, teen angst, social cliques, conformity and traditional family values.

He has contributed so much to the horror society that it is almost overwhelming. Mostly all of his works have been adapted and even put into TV miniseries’; he has written screenplays, teleplays and even directed a pretty corny movie (Maximum Overdrive). Somehow, when reading his stories, audiences are filled with terror and biting their nails to see what happens next and anticipate the next fright that blindsides them when least expected; to still be able to do that in a society that his mainly dependant on a visual representation of these scares takes a lot of talent. 

I have personally loved his work ever since I stopped reading Goosebumps and picked up The Shining for the first time. I was so enthralled by his words and the way the he described things that I started reading more and more of his work. However, the one novel that I have loved time and time again breaks in at number one on my list and that is Desperation because of how gritty, raw and brutal that book is, and it coming in at second place is The Stand. Funnily enough, Desperation the TV miniseries was one of the worst adaptations of his work that I have seen but The Stand is my favorite adaptations of his work.

Some of my favorite books include:

The Shining (1977)

The Stand (1978)

The Long Walk (1979)

Roadwork (1981)

Cujo (1981)

Danse Macabre (1981)

Christine (1983)

Cycle of the Werewolf (1983)

Skeleton Crew (1985)

It (1986)

Misery (1987)

The Tommyknockers (1988)

Needful Things (1991)

Gerald’s Game (1992)

Dolores Claiborne (1993)

Nightmares and Dreamscapes (1993)

Insomnia (1994)

The Green Mile  (1996)

Desperation (1996)

The Plant (2000)

Dreamcatcher (2001)

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (2004)

Cell (2006)

Stephen King Goes to the Movies (2009)

The Dark Tower Series (1982,1987, 1991, 1997, 2003, 2004)


No author is more recognizable with modern day horror and literature than Stephen King. He is a great influence on horror as a whole and he is a huge influence in my life and I attribute him to pushing my obsession of horror further by providing me with so many great novels to read. I thank you Stephen King and have a happy birthday!

For a complete list of all books by Stephen King… click here.

For all merchandise of Stephen King… click here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Stand - The Stand

This is the fourth and final half of my ‘Stand Posts.’

The Plague can be read here.

The Dreams can be read here.

The Betrayal can be read here.

And now the exciting conclusion to The Stand! In this act, most everything is tied up in the end and it follows our four friends as they venture to Las Vegas to confront and destroy Randall Flagg while Flagg struggles to find all the moles that Mother Abigail sent to spy on him. This act also has some of the most powerful moments in the entire miniseries and is probably one of the more inspirational acts of the entire show. There are so many things that I love about this act that it is hard for me to convey through writing… but here I go.


There are a number of scenes in here that I love but one of my favorite scenes of all time, that has stuck with me all these years, would be the quarry scene. Why? Because in the beginning, the group playfully runs down the slop as though they were kids, laughing and having fun before they meet their demise. It’s so entertaining to see these men having fun after all these years and it provokes the inner kid in all of us. Also, when Stu breaks his leg and is unable to go on, the compassion and the fear that the rest of the characters have feels so real and it’s so emotional to see them leave him behind and carry on. It’s truly a memorable moment.

Another thing that I really enjoyed, and kind of ironic since I am an atheist, is the biblical references and allusions to biblical stories. Specifically, Stu and Fannie representing Adam and Eve of the new world, and how God nearly destroyed have of the world to make way for a pure society of good. In the end, when Stu falls the three men are on their own is a lot like the 3 disciples and Stu and Fannie’s baby is like the reincarnation of baby Christ in the new world.

I also really enjoyed the sequence that showed the four men walking across vast terrains because it really show’s the hero’s journey and what they must overcome and accomplish. It also shows the determination and persistence they strive for and it’s sort of inspirational in a way to see them continue walking. Much like what is said in the movie, they are sent out into the world only with the clothes on their backs so that they can be born again and become one with nature. It’s poetic.

Something that has always been on my mind and one of the more controversial parts of the movie, I think, is the development of the Trashcan Man. In the beginning we are assuming that he is offering his life for Randall Flagg and he even tells him that he is his servant but in the end, when he blows up his plane hanger and steals a nuke to send to Las Vegas… I can’t help but wonder if he was really working for God all this time. I question whether or not he really meant that he is was willing to give up his life for God and in the ending, it’s almost like he is welcoming the hand of God to take him. It is an interesting question.

Another thing that I really liked about, and it is a little trivial, is how funny Randall Flagg can be. Out of nowhere he would begin dancing or dropping puns... I mean, he seems like the kind of person that we all are inside... just some guy out to have fun with the expense of human life. It's really quite interesting to see his character shift from good to bad. 

Also, the ending when it showed a montage of all the characters that passed away, was one of the most heartbreaking memorials I have ever seen in a horror/drama. It really makes you shed a tear for what they did so that good could prevail. 

Last but not least, the soundtrack. This has got to be one of the best things about this whole series. It’s a mix between southern instrumental rock, country and folk… which is only fair considering the way this story pans out is very similar to that of some old folk song legends. The way the music just ads to the loneliness, desperate and inspiration tone to the movie gives me shivers every time I think of it. Even, when the music gets southern rockish… I feel as though I am in a western, which this show often resembles at times. 


Overall, this is one of the best Stephen King adaptations that I have ever seen and it really is one of the more emotional and hard-hitting stories. This is truly an epic masterpiece and for a TV show it really goes in depth with everything. It’s really tragic and it follows the hero and villain mythologies really well and compared to the Dark Tower series, it’s one of the more realistic epics.

As a kid, this show blew me away and it made me tear up several times and when I saw the ending all I can do is stare at the credits in awe… wondering what I saw and how to respond to it. Even now, as I look back on this show I still can feel the same way as I did back then and I still can feel all those emotions and wonder what happened. For me, this is perhaps my favorite Stephen Kind adaptation and I still cannot voice my opinion of this film on just four posts but I tried. I hope you guys enjoyed it. 

The Stand - The Betrayal

This is the third half of my ‘Stand Posts.’

The Plague can be read here.

The Dreams can be read here.

The third act in this quadrilogy is entitled The Betrayal and it’s rightfully named since the highlight of this part is when Harold and Nadine blow up a house in which several committee members were in. This has to be one of the most powerful acts in the entire miniseries and it really touches base on the relationship that each character has with one another. The second act focused on the two polar ends of the spectrum… good and bad, and this one focused on the characters and what drives them.


As I stated before, this part of the story is a lot more emotional and it really taps into the characters personalities and relationships. One of the most haunting yet sad moments, and one of my personal favorite scenes, is when the group hypnotizes Tom and tells him to infiltrate Flagg’s base to see what he can find out. What made this scene so sad is that in order to properly pass off that fact that he is not a spy, he must insult himself and call himself stupid and retarded and that his ‘friends’ kicked him out because they don’t want retarded babies. The length at which the people must go to achieve their goals. What made it spooky was how nerving it was for Tom to go through hypnosis.

Relationship wise, there are only two that I really enjoyed only because of how uncomfortable each was and how sad they really were. Let’s look at the relationship the Trashcan Man has with Flagg: here is a guy that is mentally ill and really has no control of himself and he was tormented as a kid, he is poor man, looking for his way in the world until Flagg persuades him into being evil. It’ sad that this guy got steered into the wrong direction. Now let’s look at Nadine and Harold: it’s a bittersweet relationship because you kind of feel sorry for both of them. They both were swung into evil unwillingly and unknowingly and both of them could have been heroes. Harold lost the love of his life and Nadine only wanted to be loved but they both couldn’t have it. It’s tragic.

Another thing that I really liked about this part was the location. Boulder City, Colorado is the perfect location for good people because it’s easy, it’s nice, it’s simple and it represents the American Dram that people strive for. Las Vegas is Sin City and it has gambling, prostitution, sin, cheating and greed… a perfect place for evil men to conglomerate.

I would like to end this post with the last couple of scenes from the show. The end of this act is probably one of the most emotional and heartbreaking of moments because these four brave men are leaving their newfound family and friends to confront Flagg and his army with and they know that they may not make it out. They leave, kissing and hugging their friends/family promising them they will be back when it’s all a life… it’s one of the most heartbreaking scenes ever. But, funnily enough, it’s one of the most inspiring moments in the movie. They are standing up for what they believe in and they are taking a stand against Flagg… against evil… even if it means certain death.

NOTE: Stick around for my next post on The Stand. 

The Stand - The Dreams

This is the second half of my ‘Stand Posts’ and the first one can be read here.

So, now we get into the second book of the story rightfully entitled The Dreams, since in this part of the story we focus on the dreams that people have been having and who Mother Abigail is and who Randall Flagg; two people that communicate through dreams.


First off, this part of the show begins with a sweeping shot of a full, flush, green garden alive and well and then we hear ‘Amazing Grace’ sung by Frannie as she sews her dead dad’s body bag… one of the most saddest tear jerking parts in the whole movie. I love how the two shots contrast between life and dead, much like the way good contrasts evil.

As stated before, what I love about this episode is how well the story focuses on both Mother Abigail and Randall Flagg and it provides some back-story to each of them. Mother Abigail is this sweet, grandmother-like character that loves everybody much like the way God loves all of his children. She is not prejudice towards anybody, even to atheists, and she has a heart that matches her witty voice. Randall Flagg is this surprisingly stable devil-like character who persuades other sinful characters to join his side for world domination.

One of my favorite characters arises from this part of the show, Tom Cullen, who is a half mentally retarded man who I connect to the most. He is a very sociable character who is lost in a world that he doesn’t quite understand; he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed but he is smart despite his disability. There are several other characters that you meet that you right away connect to in some way, and by this time the story is really starting to pick up.

One of the spookier scenes in this part would be the Lincoln Tunnel sequence since it really is anticipating. That dark grungy looking tunnel that is only lit up by the red and orange lights of the abandoned cars. As an audience member, you know something is going to happen but you don’t know when and when it does happen, you never expect it. One of my favorite sequences in part II.

All in all, this part of the show serves as character development and it sets up so that all the core characters can meet one another and if you listen and watch some of the scenes in this movie… it really is inspirational. There are powerful scenes that make you feel for the characters, evidenced when Mother Abigail is leaving her home. It’s one of the more mellow parts of the story (aside from Trashcan Man’s rampage) but it still serves as a very crucial part of the story.

NOTE: Stick around for my next post on The Betrayal. 

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Stand - The Plague

The Stand… possibly one of Stephen King’s best books and one of his more famous works. Even as a book, this story is very epic and tells of the classic tale of good vs. evil. In the book, the characters are so well developed that by the end of the story… you can’t help but shed a tear for them. There are brilliant character arcs, personalities and it controls the audience by tugging on their emotional strings. It has been compared to such works as Lord of the Rings and even ties into his other works like The Dark Tower. But, we are not talking about the book, instead we are talking about the TV miniseries that was adapted from the book and directed by Mick Garris.

The story follows a relatively basic outline; a government created virus is let loose from a compound and systematically kills off nearly every human in the world. The story then focuses on a group of survivors, each from around the U.S. who have been chosen by an elderly old woman sent by God to help fight against Randall Flagg, who wants to control the world. The movie, as well as the book, touches on subjects like Christianity, family and religious morals, good, evil and standing up for what you believe in.

Well, I want to quickly review over each section of the book and TV series. The book and movie are broken up into separate ‘books’ entitled The Plague, The Dreams, The Betrayal and The Stand. I will be quickly reviewing over The Plague.


This part of the story is exactly what is describes… it shows how the plague progresses and how people fall victim to it. What I really loved about this part was how well Garris shows the U.S. in turmoil and how well some of the set looks to show an apocalyptic world.

The opening sequence is that of an MP who rescues his family before the plague could take of them but in the haste of things, forgets to close the door and therefore he lets the virus out. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” plays as the camera strolls throughout the compound of dead bodies, setting up what is to come. The song brilliantly begins as though it’s heard from the radio.

Another thing I loved about this was how well the characters played out, not just the main characters but also the lesser secondary characters. They have emotion and Garris as well as King give them so much nourishment to outdo the main actors at times. They pay attention to them because they drive the story along. When they eventually get killed off, you are devastated and the way the military just hassles them around you feel as though it’s really happening. A good example would be Kathy Bates’ character.

Even the horror aspect of this movie is genius. Every time somebody meets Mother Abigail in the dream world they are reminded, by her, that ‘a storm is coming,’ she points to a ghastly looking scarecrow with glowing red eyes and a harlequin smile, ‘His storm.’ It’s frightening because you don’t know who he is and why he is evil. Plus, there are several shock moments when he appears out of nowhere and spooks people. It’s one of the more scary moments of the series. 

There is also this ‘fear of the unknown’ technique that I loved. Throughout the movie you are constantly reminded, through the radio and word of mouth, that there are military men shooting people, burning bodies, mass panic and hysteria but for the most part… you never really see all that much of it. You have to imagine it and you are in constant shock of what is happening. The film puts you right there in story and makes you follow the characters.

Also, the story right away sets you up for who is the hero and who is the villain. The hero characters are family friendly, caring, compassionate and loving and it’s a shame to see all this happen to them.

NOTE: Stick around for my next post on The Dreams. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Tiffany Problem (Short)

So... I finally got to watch a short film by Adam Green (director of Hatchet) entitled The Tiffany Problem and it is perhaps one of the best Halloween short films that I have seen. There have been several out there but this one was brilliant. It was funny... it was witty and it had one hell of an ending. Below is the video available from YouTube. 

Review - The Nun (2005)

Once in a while, you get a movie that was really bad but it had really good intentions and I have seen plenty of these films. One such film is The Nun, which I saw this morning. The story reminds me of I Know What You Did Last Summer and in fact it is another shameless rip off of the move. Essentially its about a group of girls, who have all grown up, that have a dark secret and are one-by-one getting killed by the ghost of a nun who likes to resurrect from water. There were a number of good things about this movie but there were also a number of bad things with this movie and I felt like this movie could have done without a nun.

What I want to elaborate on is the good parts of the movie and how many parts were supposed to be scary or good but didn’t do so well. There were some really legitimate scares in this movie and there were some times when it did catch me off guard, the only problem was that they were becoming a bit too clichéd. The special effects were pretty good for an indie movie and they weren’t as bas as some movies are so I can’t complain about that.

The acting was so-so and it was decent but some of the flashbacks scenes could have been a little more persuading because it seemed very overacted and as though the actresses were having way too much fun with the role rather then being committed. That is really my only complaint about the acting… the rest was good, could have been better but could have been a lot worse.

The main problem that I had with this movie was the story and the way the whole thing played out. I don’t know why they chose a nun, out of all things; not that I am complaining but it seems as though they initially wanted this movie to be a horror/comedy. They could have used somebody else. Plus, I hated that this movie was a shameless rip off of I know what you did Last Summer and the twist in the end was stupid. What was also a little unbearable was how predictable the movie was in some points. I mean, the plot could have been strung together a little differently and I think it would have been a lot more solid than it is.

Overall, this is a very average movie… it has some good things and it has some bad things and I think a lot of these aspects equal each other out eventually. I thought this would have been such a bad movie because the DVD box cover looked so awful. It’s another case of a misleading box cover. For an indie movie it has much more potential but it did deliver pretty good for what it had. I think most of you should give this movie a running chance.