Friday, December 31, 2010

I Want To Thank...

Well, it’s the second to last day before the New Years and it’s been a fun ride through the Horror Blogosphere. Paradise of Horror went from being a personal blog to a full-fledge horror blog with a small band of dedicated readers. I met a lot of great people and a lot of great horror bloggers, I found several nearby Chicago horror icons and I had an overall blast this year. I can only hope that 2011 will bring more greatness and fun my way. There are a lot of people I would like to thank this year but below are a list of people that I would like to personally thank for everything they have done for me and Paradise of Horror.

Pax Romano – I thank him for inviting me to be a part of a little April Fool’s Day prank. The prank was that all us horror bloggers were given screeners for a new indie movie called Manic Monday and we were to exaggerate the movie and make it to be the greatest horror movie ever made. I had a lot of fun with this and I felt like I was officially accepted into the world of the Horror Blogosphere. He was also the creator of The Union of Independent Horror Bloggers, of which I am but I have yet to post my badge saying so. Thanks Pax, for all that you have done.

Dale Lloyd – I want to thank him for all the help and information about VHS’. I never thought I would meet anybody else that had a profound love for the dying format until I ran into him. What I especially want to thank him for is helping me on my quest to find all the original pre-cert Video Nasties. I couldn’t have gotten started without his help. Seriously, to find another VHS enthusiast was one of the highlights of my year… I thought I was crazy for a minute. Because of him I my addiction to VHS was pushed to another level and I became interested in other dying formats like Laserdisc and records. Thanks, man!

Sean Duregger – Though we didn’t talk that much for the first half of the year, he was the first person to ever give me an opportunity to talk on his podcast. I don’t really like the sound of my own voice so I was a little nervous talking but I have to admit, if it wasn’t for Sean’s encouragement… I probably would be stumbling over myself a lot more. Thanks a bunch Sean, it certainly was fun and I hope to be on it again.

HorrO’s Gory Reviews – A newcomer to the Horror Blogosphere and somebody whom I began talking to half way into the year. I want to thank him for always supporting my posts and for being the first person who is a reoccurring commenter on my articles. It makes me happy to see people like that ‘cause it says to me, there are people who read my ramblings. Thank you HorrO for your constant support, I read your blog all the time and best wishes for the next year.

Amanda Norman – Ever since I interviewed her on my blog a while ago I began falling in love where her eerie but fascinating cemetery photography. I told her awhile ago that once I get a chance to go up to Graceland Cemetery I would take some pictures in homage to her photography and I will make good on that. I want to thank her because like HorrO, she has been a constant supporter of my blog and it means a lot to me. Every time I wake up and look on twitter, there it reads “The Gothic & Horror Daily is out INSERT URL Top stories today by @FreddysFingers” and I thank her for that.

Tim Jacobus – Not many people will know him unless you were a Goosebumps fanatic because he was the illustrator for the Goosebumps book. He was a hero of mine, somewhat of a mentor and a person that I never though I would ever converse with in my life. I want to thank him for allowing me to interview him (even if it was all online) because he made my childhood dream come true. This was a landmark in my blogging hobby and I will cherish everything he said. And thank you for your contributions to the Goosebumps book, from me and all the fans… thank you!

Jeff Farley – Much like Mr. Jacobus, I want to thank Jeff for something he and the entire production team of The Blob (1988) did to me as a kid. He was one of the special effects guys for The Blob and to finally be able to talk to someone who was part of the team made my year. I don’t think he realizes how influential his work was for me. I want to thank him for allowing me to interview him and I thought it was very enlightening. If you went back in time and told me, at the age of 12 or 13, that I would be talking to a special effects guy who worked on that movie… I would probably laugh in disbelief. Thanks a bunch Jeff for giving me the time and your special effects work.

Horror Society – I want to thank Mitch, Jessica and everybody else who is part of this elite group of Chicago horror fans for all the festivals they have supported in the Chicagoland area. They have been really nice to me this year and I feel like I have been accepted as one of their own. They introduced me to several Chicago horror icons like Kitty Zombie and Shu and I couldn’t thank them enough for all their work. I also want to thank Mitch for giving me a reviewing position on his team and for treating me with such kindness. Thanks, man!!

Nicki Nix – Much like Horror Society, she has been there through all the horror festivals that I have been to in Chicago. She is usually the first person that runs up to me and gives me a nice warm hug when I walk into the theater and I want to thank her for making me feel welcome to all the festivals.

Trevor Schoenfeld – Even though he is a last minute addition, I want to thank him for stimulating some great movie conversations but more importantly for inviting me to join the Tallyteers of which I am now a member. I hope to keep my “oath” of movie tallying and I hope to meet all the other Tallyteers. Here is a guy who has been tallying movies longer than I have and my first movie tally was just me collecting all my movie tickets.

Stu Conover – Stu Boo is probably the person that I really have to thank because this entire you he has given me some of the greatest indie zombie movies I have seen. He gave me an opportunity to further my movie reviewing hobby and he was patient with me even though some of my reviews were late. He is a calm person, a great person to talk to and is a great and funny guy! I congratulate him on getting married next year and I am very proud to be part of his Buy Zombie team. I met a lot of great people and I hope to stay with him and Buy Zombie well into the next 10 or more years.

The Fiji Mermaid – Simply put, I want to thank him for providing me with some great and rare soundtracks to add to my collection. Not many people know that I collect soundtracks and I want to thank him for adding some new titles.

The FearShop Podcast – I want to thank Mike and Frank for providing me with some of the greatest sound bits streaming on the inter-air. Every night, when the TV is off and I am left to type up reviews or articles… I turn on the podcast and listen to their humorous banter. They may seem like folks who only like blood and guts, but they also look deeper into the film for it’s BEAUTY! I think the Fearshop really understands how BEAUTIFUL horror movies can be.

HorrorBlips – We witnessed the fall of a great place for Horror Bloggers to monitor each other’s posts and to see where they rank overall. It was a great site and I personally loved it not for the rankings but because it gave me a chance to find some great horror bloggers that I never knew existed. They led me to blogs like Killer Kittens From Beyond The Grave, The Horror Digest and Planet of Terror. We will truly miss you and I want to thank you for all the help you have given me.

The Horror Blogger Alliance – On par with HorrorBlips, I want to thank the creator of this alliance, Carl of I Like Horror Movies, for giving us Horror Bloggers an opportunity to be a close knit family and to show others that they are not alone. It have me an opportunity to troll through the site an ultimately find new people to befriend. Some great blogs I found were From Midnight With Love, WGNON Helicopter and Deadly Doll’s House and I thank the alliance for this.

Talk Horror – This was one of the best findings I made all year. It’s a forum that is relatively small but everybody there has made me feel happy. I have been travelling from horror forum to horror forum trying to find my self-named “horror family” and I think I have found it. Everybody there has welcomed me with such warm attitudes that I felt like I really found my place in the Internets. Despite being slightly vulgar and crude, they still made me smile. I thank Bo and Friday for giving me a home.

I also want to give an eternal thanks to the folks who passed away this year and a special thank you and quiet remorse to those who contributed to the horror genre. They will be forever missed and we will never forget what they have done for us and for filmmaking. I raise my champagne glass in their honor!

- Dennis Hopper

- Corey Haim

- Peter Graves

- Zelda Rubinstein

To all my readers here on Blogger, on Facebook and on Twitter… I give you all my thanks for helping me get to where I am. I couldn’t have done it without you and I want to thank all of my blogger friends who have given me some great conversations and for supporting the Horror Blogosphere. Horror movies may not be getting better but I know us horror fans will always be one giant horror family. Here’s to a great 2011 and I wish all of you all the best!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 5 Best Horror Movies of 2010

As the year is coming to a close I can’t forget to mention this years greatest horror movies and boy… I have to say that I am sort of disappointed. Not because of the turnout but because the movies that I chose hardly fit into the category of horror. It’s rather sad that most of the ‘real’ horror movies made the top worst movies of the year and the dramas and thrillers made the top best movies. I blame this on the fact that all the studios were so preoccupied with remakes, sequels and slapping 3D onto all their films that they didn’t take the chance with a good ORIGINAL horror film. I would say it was a very disappointing year for horror but there were some diamonds in the rough… I just hope that someday these studios will learn. Below are my top picks for 2010 and I hope you enjoy.

Buried – Now I know it’s not a horror movie but goddamn is it scary! What can be more frightening than waking up, not knowing where you are, who captured you and finding out that you are buried in the ground in a wooden box? No, it’s not horror and it doesn’t have a monster or a ghost but it’s horror that people face over in the Middle East. What do you do in this situation? You can’t scream, you have limited oxygen and you only hope that you have light, water and a phone. This film was an indie movie that came out of Spain that hit big in theaters and rightfully so. What made Buried this good? The direction and set pieces (yes, set pieces) were a lovely homage to Alfred Hitchcock. We were thrown into the psyche of Paul Controy as he tries to figure out why he was put in a box. The cinematography was brilliantly choreographed, Reynolds’ performance was outstanding and the sound design made it feel like you were in that box with him. I found myself getting claustrophobic as I watched it. Personally, I thought it was one of the best movies of the year and not just within one genre.

The Crazies – I loved this movie. I loved it more than I thought I did back when I saw it. It was probably the best remake of the past 10 years and rightfully so. It was scary and I’ll admit that I jumped out of my seat several times and though I didn’t see the original… I’m willing to bet that it was far scarier than the Romero’s. What I especially loved about this film are the set pieces, mainly the car wash, which add not only to that small town feel but also that sense of a fading small-town America. Timothy Olyphant and Joe Anderson both demonstrated that they are badasses and that was probably the highlight of this film. Is it a zombie movie? No, it’s not. Is it a damn fine, action filled horror flick? You bet your dollar. Look for an especially creepy scene involving a pitchfork and a crazy doctor.

Shutter Island – If you knew me, you could understand why I was so thrilled when I found out that Martin Scorsese was going to direct a horror movie. To my surprise it wasn’t a horror but rather a thriller and a damn fine one. Everything from the art direction, to the performances all the way down to the opening and closing shots were so carefully crafted. I didn’t read the book so I can’t really compare the two but as a stand-alone movie it delivered the mystery, the chills and one sad ending. I’m not sure why many people didn’t like this after its release but I fear that it had something to do with the fact that many people guessed the ending. I’m not going to say that I disbelieve anybody but I am absolutely sure that a majority of the people who claimed they knew the ending are bullshitting because even my dad (who I swear moonlights as a detective) didn’t even catch this one.

Splice – This was a film that wasn’t really horror but rather a drama, or perhaps a thriller. Initially, I know a lot of people didn’t like this movie because it was too weird for them and maybe even funny to see Adrian Brody kissing a monster but I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a breath of fresh air compared to all the remake, sequel, uninspired garbage that Hollywood was dishing out. The girl who played Dren was outstanding as a character that isn’t human but also a character that doesn’t talk. I thought the story was very compelling, produced well and brilliantly directed. It was one of those movies where it was so weird, and so awkward that I couldn’t keep my eyes off it. I wanted to know what would happen next. I think it’s one of the most underrated “horror” movies of 2010.

The Last Exorcism – Yes, it’s hard to believe that I have this movie as one of my top horror movies of this year but hear me out. It’s a very strange, unbalanced documentary that tapes into why people believe in God and how people can be manipulated to do things for God. The film shows great characterization and though it’s pacing is pretty awkward the film is a slow buildup to a very powerful yet controversial ending. It has minimal scares and it seems like an in-movie documentary on how Reagan was exorcised in The Exorcist. I think what I really liked about it was it’s commentary on contemporary religion.

HONORABLE MENTION

Devil – Unlike some people, I actually liked this movie. It wasn’t outstanding in any way but I wanted to see how it would be played out. I’m not one of those idiots that will immediately throw a movie to the side because the director turned into a hack because this movie wasn’t directed by said hack. The film was very gripping in the sense that I wanted to know how it would end. I liked the characters were somewhat stale but likeable, however I wanted more depth with the Mexican maintenance man… I felt he could have had a lot of potential. I know I am in the minority here but I would have preferred if Shayamalan directed this.

Rare Exports – Just in time for the Christmas season, this film is a dark but rather odd look at the Santa Clause mythology. I can’t really say if this is horror or drama or what type of genre this fits into but I can agree that it is one hell of a trip. The direction was very strong and the story was very imaginative. I found the characters likable and lovable but what takes the cake are the elves. Yes, Santa’s elves are naked old men and we get to see, up in front, them running in the snow. I would love to watch this fun, whimsical but dark movie again just so that I can truly appreciate it for the Christmas gem it is.

Here’s hoping that 2011 will be much bett— oh who am I kidding. It won’t be.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Grim (2010)

I am pleased to announce that my newest film is finally up on YouTube. It was the ONLY movie that came out good considering that we shot everything on Bolex but this time we had the lighting equipment. The only problem is… it lacked a good ending because we ran into some difficulties. You see, the ending (as you’ll see) was supposed to show me taking a nice swan dive off of the balcony into the street below. Not to worry because what I climbed up on was actually just a small ledge where they would plant flowers. Below me, about 4 feet down, was the rest of the balcony so I would end up jumping down 4 feet but it would look like I jumped off the entire building. That didn’t stop the girls who were dorming across the building from flipping a shit. As soon as I climbed up on the ledge and threw my hands in the air I saw them react to me. One of them grabbed their phone and two or three of them ran for the window urging me to get down. I had to assure them it was for a movie so I told my buddy, Frank, to give me the camera and the lighting equipment so that I could put them at ease. I think I jut made matters worse because they probably thought I was trying to stage a theatrical suicide. So we couldn’t film the rest of that scene. That’s why there is such a hard cut between me getting on the ledge and the final shot. Hope you enjoy anyway.

Oh and that is real alcohol in that flask... 'cause I'm a method actor. ;)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top 5 Worst Horror Movies of 2010

Well it’s that time again, the end of the year is nearing and it’s been quite a bumpy ride for horror movies. Why is it bumpy you ask? Well, most of the movies that were being released were all remakes and those that weren’t remakes were either indie films that didn’t get the recognition they deserved or they were based on a book. I am actually a little disappointed by this year’s turn out for horror films because it proved that we will be seeing a lot of remakes yet to come. Below is a list of the worst horror movies of the year and have noticed that some of them are making the ‘Best of’ lists and I can’t imagine why this is so. These atrocities of filmmaking are paving the way for a slew of unoriginal, unimaginative, boring horror movies and it makes me have a grim outlook on what 2011 holds. What’s sad is that two of my ‘Best of’ movies aren’t even horror but rather dramas… but I had to put them to the list because otherwise it would be a Top 3 list. So get your barf bag ready, strap your goggles on and make sure to bring an oxygen tank… we’re diving into the wet mound of dog shit now.

Saw 3D – This was the worst film I had seen all year and that extends to genres outside of the horror realms. I knew that it wouldn’t be good because from what I witnessed, the Saw franchise was headed into the ground… but this movie dug a 60-foot hole in the ground and buried itself there. None of the characters were likable, the direction was so rushed that it felt like they wanted to dish it to the public so they could work on the next shitfest. The traps somehow got so absurd but yet so very bland at the same time. It was all elaborate and not as simple as the first Saw movie. Mix all this tainted filmmaking techniques with convoluted plotlines, terrible acting, unanswered questions, posters that have nothing to do with the movie, pointless killing, shitty 3D, and no sense of style or rhythm and you have Saw 3D in a nutshell. I would watch any horror movie that came out this year than watch this.

A Nightmare on Elm Street – I was trying to be very optimistic with this one. I tried looking at it with new eyes. I tried to enjoy it. I tried everything I could to try to sit through it and except it for what it was but I just couldn’t. I couldn’t except the fact that Freddy was stripped of his personality and made to look like a burnt alien. I couldn’t take the fact that they took out all the grit of the original and replaced it with the glossy conventions you’d see in The O.C. or Degrassi. I couldn’t take the fact that I knew what was a dram and what was reality unlike the original where you couldn’t tell the difference. Hell, I especially couldn’t take the fact that they decided to take out all the little things that made the original memorable; little things like Freddy’s tongue coming out of the phone or the dogs with the human heads. It was one of the most anticipated and most disappointing remakes of the year. They somehow turned the movie into a teen drama rather than a horror.

Piranha 3D – With the surprising success of My Bloody Valentine 3D Dimension decided to give another cult classic the 3D remake treatment and that cult movie was Piranha. This was very disappointing because it was camp and cheese times 1000. Too much for one movie. Unlike MBV, the characters are stupid and cardboard. It seemed like the only thing that this movie had going for it was the corny 3D effects, the bloodfest during the concert and… a lot of boobs. MBV had characters that were ‘badass’ whereas here, you hoped they died just so the movie ended. MBV hardly needed any T&A because the story was already compelling. The CGI was terrible and the movie moved so fast that it felt like it could have been a Syfy original movie. But cherry on this shit sundae was having a 3D dick get thrown at me. I’ll take Tom Atkin’s jaw any day.

The Human Centipede – I’ll admit that when I first saw this I wasn’t too disappointed and I had mixed feelings. Then I realized that hardly anything happened in the movie and the scenes that were, were usually seeing somebody getting force fed shit through their mouths. It occurred to me that what type of sick person would think of this and why would they think this is something people would enjoy… but I guess there are. Sure it was original but with that aside, is there anything worth enjoying in it besides seeing people force fed shit? The answer to that is no. The movie is dry, boring and very dragging. If there had to be one thing that was worth watching, it was Dieter Laser’s performance and that’s it. Otherwise, the concept for the movie is more appealing than the movie itself.

Predators – I hated this movie when it came out but after seeing it a second time I came to the conclusion that the first half of the movie was pretty good and after the waterfall scene it falls apart. The biggest disappointment for me was that there wasn’t enough awesomeness in it. I know it sounds stupid but the first Predator movie had explosions, testosterone fueled action and a notable action hero. Predators had none of that and the characters that could have been badass (like the Yakuza or the Cartel) had such anticlimactic deaths. Personally, if they made this an original movie and not a sequel… it would have been so much better.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Daybreakers – I didn’t have too big of a problem with this movie, in fact I enjoyed it a lot but there was something that was really wrong with now that I think about it. It was something that I wanted to see but was never given the proper direction to show it. Whoever thought of the idea for this movie didn’t realize that they could have made such a memorable dystopian society. Other than that, the movie wasn’t bad but I fear that many people thought it was just average. From a story that could have had such great potential to a movie that was forgettable once it got to DVD.

We can only hope that 2011 will bring us horror salvation.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The 80s: When Everything Was A Weapon

It was rather surprising when I found out that Jim Mallon directed a horror movie called Blood Hook. This was the guy that produced Mystery Science Theater 3000. What was even more shocking was that Kevin Murphy composed the score for Blood Hook and was the key grip. I guess I can’t be too shocked because how else would they know how a bad movie is made for their cult TV show. What was pretty shocking was the killer of Blood Hook and he revealed something about the 80s that seemed so obvious but I never paid any attention too.

This may be a spoiler for anybody who actually wants to watch his movie. There is a murderer going around this Wisconsin community killing people by launching, via fishing pole, an over-sized fishhook into people body’s and gutting them. So yes, he is essentially killing people by fishing them. Now if you think that is ridiculous listen to the killer’s motives. See, the killer owns a bait shop that doubles as a small army exhibit. It is revealed to us that he has a metal plate lodged into his brain from when he was a soldier. Well, since this plate seems to be picking up unknown signals, mixed with the sound the cicadas make outside, it creates a wave frequency (known as the Devil’s Music or something like that) that drives him to murder. I can barely explain it because I don’t fully understand it. What does this have to do with anything I mentioned before?

I have realized, and I might be a little late on this, that in the 80s… imagination was wild and anything could be a weapon of murder. Not just knives, bats, chainsaws or any other conventional ‘lethal’ weapon but other items. In Blood Hook, a fucking fishing pole is a weapon of murder. In Blades, a lawnmower. Below is a list of common non-lethal things that have been used as weapons in horror movies during the 80s.

- Fishing pole (Blood Hook)

- Lawnmower (Blades)

- Vending machine (Maximum Overdrive)

- Arcade system (Maximum Overdrive)

- Draw bridge (Maximum Overdrive)

- Children’s doll (Child’s Play)

- Television (Videodrome)

- Fog (The Fog)

- Closets (Monster in the Closet)

- Flying piranha (Piranha II: The Spawning)

- Cockroaches (Creepshow)

- Halloween masks (Halloween III)

- Microwave (Microwave Massacre)

- Mythological god (The Keep)

- Any given ‘weapon’ from Nightmare on Elm Street

- Coffee (Children of the Corn)

- Yogurt (The Stuff)

- Wine (Street Trash)

- VCR (The Video Dead)

- Popcorn and cotton candy (Killer Klowns From Outer Space)

- Scarecrows (Scarecrows)

- Slugs (Slugs)

These are just some that come to mind. I know I am missing a lot but I can’t remember all the 80s horror movies I have seen. The point is that it takes imagination to turn a cockroach or a vending machine into a weapon. All I can say in this case is… God bless the 80s.

By the way, I find it ironic that I came up with this post a few days after this post showed up on Evil On Two Legs.

Friday, December 24, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Yes,

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM

THE PARADISE OF HORROR

Here is hoping that all your holidays go well with friends and family and that everybody is safe and happy.

A Creature Called Camp

I didn’t know that William Malone was making movies back in the 80s, so you could imagine how stunned I was when I found out he directed Creature of 1985. The film is about an alien that is loose in a space colony and it’s up to a group of scientists to try to incapacitate it. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Alien that hunts it’s victims throughout a spaceship and a space colony… I think I saw that once but I thought it was called Alien or Aliens. But lets just say that Creature is a ripoff of Alien, but then Alien is a ripoff of It: Terror From Beyond Space, that would mean that Creature is literally a 50s sci-fi b-movie made in the 80s. That doesn’t mean it’s a b-movie because it was low budget but rather the film uses the same style clothing, props and set pieces as b-movies did back in the 50s. Let me explain a little more clearly.

The set design looks like it was reused from Planet of the Vampires; there are walls inside the spaceship filled with buttons, flashing lights and levers that do absolutely nothing. There are computer panels that don’t seem to be useful in anything they do and the walls are so blandly white and unappealing that they seem like they came from a Star Wars movie. All of this is fine but it’s weird because I feel like I should be watching this in black and white and not in color.

What I love even more, which adds to the films over campy 50s throwback are the costumes and the props. Everybody is walking around in clothes that you can find in any given Goodwill store: great flannel pants, white t-shirts, jeans and sports jackets. It’s as if the actors knew they were in a movie set in the future but didn’t care to dress for the roles. Than again, Alien does the same thing. The props, or the guns, in this movie look like toy guns in which the characters wield it around carelessly like they would in some forgotten Ed Wood movie. Even the guns look so generic and so cartoony that they don’t even look like they work or hold weight.

None of these aspects make me hate the movie because like I said, Alien had the same thing but what made this film even campier, or should I say added to the camp, was the poor direction and the terrible acting. These things with the production design turned this film into something that looks like it was literally made in 1953 on the back lot of a major studio. I wasn’t necessarily prepared for this so I ended up disliking the film but maybe if I watch it again with cheese in my eyes, I might like it. It certainly isn’t bad for one of Malone’s first films.

Also, coincidence?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Appreciation for The Creeper Part II

“It was like a human tapestry of pain and torture.”

Unfortunately for us Creeper fans the legacy of The Creeper only lasted for about 2 films, however there is another Jeepers Creepers film in the works but before we start guessing what the third movie would be about let us take a look about what was revealed to us in Jeepers Creepers 2. Jeepers Creepers 2 was sort of like Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2 because not only did it have more special effects but also it told us more about who The Creeper was and how unique of a character he is. In it’s sequel we aren’t left to our imagination as to what The Creeper looks like and how he works. We are given an in depth but rather dark look at how The Creeper really operates and how much of pedophile he is.

If we look at some of the most well known serial killers like Jason, Michael or Freddy they are all strong but none of them are naturally strong. Jason’s strength only goes so far, Michael may be strong but that’s only because he was ‘cursed,’ and Freddy can lift busses up because he can manipulate dreams. But The Creeper has the strength to flip over a pickup truck, lift up a bus almost off the ground and has the strength to carry his weight plus on other person. The difference here is that this is natural strength, however unnatural The Creeper may be. His strength goes further when he punches holes through metal and steel, which I haven’t seen done by any slasher. Most of the time they punch through dry wall and wood but never metal. We can than really assume that there isn’t any place to hide from The Creeper.

With extreme strength comes extreme speed and this is something that no other villain has. Think about it… most serial killers, like Michael or Jason, walk or sprint to their victims. The Creeper can run faster than a bus and can easily pounce on a victim before he or she knows what hits them. I would compare The Creeper to a Cheetah or a Lion because he stays quiet and still but when he sees his victim he beams towards them. Also, consider this: how fast do you have to fly to be out of somebody’s sight when they are looking at the sky? Pretty damn fast. This makes The Creeper literally a bat out of hell and very animalistic, a trait I haven’t seen in slasher villains.

In the first movie I assumed that The Creeper is very intelligent as shown through his whistling, his love for old music and his artistic abilities such as patching up dead bodies. This time around I can safely say that The Creeper is very artistic because he has a knack for handcrafting throwing blades and knives. Most slasher villains pick their weapons at random usually by going into a kitchen or finding something in a toolshed. Now, if we look at villains like Freddy Krueger or Jigsaw, they both handcrafted their weapons and contraptions of torture but what’s the big difference between those weapons and The Creeper’s weapons? Not only does The Creeper handcraft his weapons but he also makes these weapons out of human bone and skin. This is something that no serial killer, slasher or any villain had done outside of cannibals. As morbid at this may be, the weaponry is actually quite creative and very carefully made. The throwing star is patched up using skin, which takes a great deal attention and experience in sewing. However, the most interesting piece of weaponry he owns is a knife in which the handle is made of bone. Etched into the bone handle are carvings of helpless souls falling to the knees of The Creeper and a scene depicting a person running from The Creeper in a field. This sort of craft requires skill, precision and attention to detail… something that most serial killer would never take the time to do.

Personally, I think the biggest advancement that we got from the sequel is how The Creeper really looks. Much like any given slasher, the first film always shows the villain in shadow save for a few moments here and there but the second film always shows the gritty appearance of the villain. In Jeepers Creepers 2, not only do we see more of the psychical appearance but we also see how he regenerates himself. His body looks like a muscular, reptilian humanoid. He seems to have scales or some sort of bumps, his body is thick with muscle and his face looks like The Creature from the Black Lagoon. All this suggests that he is truly a living monster. He’s not some nut or psychopath but a real life monster. His wings are used more in this movie and from what we are told; they are thick like a shower curtain and filled with little red veins. He has an extra nostril on the bridge of his nose, his teeth are razor sharp, he has fins on the back of his head and his feet have giant talons growing out of them. No other slasher is like this because they are all human in some sense. The Creeper is neither human nor entity… just pure evil.

More importantly we get to see The Creeper regenerate his own head when he has to tear it off. Much like Freddy Krueger, The Creeper can manipulate his body into twisted skin and bone. In this film, The Creeper has to consume somebody’s head so that a new head can be fabricated in his chest. It’s a grotesque sequence of regeneration and it further proves that The Creeper isn’t just a master killer/hunter, but he’s also indestructible. He continues to play off the idea of growing what he eats. Unlike most serial killer villains, if you stab them or cut their arms off they have to continue on minus a limb whereas The Creeper can just grow back his arm after consuming one.

They also tap into the actions of The Creeper, which was especially freaky. Unlike other killers who just kill or pursue their victims for fun, The Creeper does it because it’s instinctual. Because he has to. Because he needs to. Here is a monster that not only has a keen sense of smell but also will hunt down its victim wherever they go. The Creeper will find them, kill them and eat them. Freddy would only hunt them down for a vendetta, much like most killers but The Creeper hunts his victims because he has to and that makes him especially dangerous and frightening.

Above all of this, the reason why The Creeper is such a landmark villain is because I think he his Victor Salva’s personal demon. See, Salva was a convicted child molester after he finished his film The Clownhouse and since than he hasn’t gotten any recognition. What he did was wrong but perhaps Jeepers Creepers was his way of trying to cast out his personal demons. Consider The Creepers actions: He mainly hunts down young men, he gets a sexual high off of smelling their scent, he engages in sexually explicit activities like lip-licking, when he sees a young man he breathes heavily, he strips his victims down and he essentially takes their soul away from them. Perhaps The Creeper is how Salva views himself and is trying to make things right. Salva is a sexual predator and The Creeper is a predator too… though physically they are different, mentality wise they are similar.

In summation, The Creeper isn’t just a monster that faded into obscurity but rather one of the greatest villains ever seen in horror history. I would consider him to be more frightening than Jigsaw or any of the other villains in the past 10 years. Even the Jeepers Creepers films themselves are extremely well made horror movies despite the amount of people who consider them tacky or corny. If that’s the case, Friday the 13th is tacky as hell, Nightmare on Elm Street is pure cheese and Halloween… well that’s just boring. I never thought about Jeepers Creepers that much because I thought it was just an average movie and the second was just ‘meh.’ After watching it and observing the filmmaking styles, the characterization and direction I have come to realize that Jeepers Creepers may be one of the last original horror movies. As for The Creeper, he is ands will always be the greatest villains in the past 10 years. I wish him well in the third movie.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TerrorVision: A Terrifying Look at the 80s

“I dance by the light of the TV screen

All night long

I watch the Medusa’s eyes turn green

But my own reflection I’ve never seen.”

What is TerrorVision? Is it the nickname of the alien program that plays when the Putterman’s get their new “pet?” Or maybe it’s the name of the newly found system of broadcasting alien transmissions through any given television set? Or perhaps TerrorVision was the name given to what the movie is about… a horrifying satirical look into the 80s living standards and pop culture. I’ve always asked myself why the film is so colorful, and why it’s cartoony looking but I think it’s because the filmmakers were trying to poke fun at the 80s and trying to make the film be as absurd as possible. TerrorVision is pure 80s hyperbole. If you look at the Putterman family you will notice things that make them the spitting image of what a typical 80s family was like only taken to the extreme. However, before I even talk about the family conventions I have to talk about the family members and what they symbolize in this age of MTV and rebellious youth.

The parents of the film seem to be yuppies that happened to have had kids. The dad is so preoccupied with looking good even if it means dousing himself in cologne and wearing tacky neck jewelry. He is always wearing clothing that only upper crush men wear such as a pink leisure suite, an ascot or wide popped shirt collars. His hair is thick and very big and he seems to have an overwhelming love himself and his wife. Speaking of which, his wife is the typical yuppie housewife. She is very cautious about her figure so therefore she has been bitten by the exorcise craze, she seems to like thin fitting dresses and she styles her hair to look like a doll. Both of them seem to be more worried about looking good in front of their house guests, or in this case social sexual partners, and expensive luxuries rather than their kids. Though, surprisingly they love their kids but they don’t show it the way normal parents do. The dad also seems to be some sort of twisted vision of a 50’s father who has a wide variety of slang like “Holy tomatoes.”

The daughter and her boyfriend O.D. seem to be the more… colorful bunch of this dysfunctional 80s family. She has taken the liberty to dress herself in mismatched clothing, wristbands, leggings, a wide assortment of bracelets and necklaces, and her hair has been dyed into so many colors that it looks like rainbow vomit. She is playing the role of a daughter, or an ‘angry girl,’ who has watched MTV way too many times. She is into hard rock but has not sense of head banging and she is embarrassed of her parents, which I find quite ironic. Her hair is huge and matted and fits with her Cyndi Lauper persona that she has. Her boyfriend, O.D., is overly dressed in leather, studded clothing and jewelry and has a tattered W.A.S.P. t-shirt… essentially playing the role of the rock-punk-rebel. He has so many studs and chains that it makes John Bender cringe but doesn’t have personality to fit. He acts like a stoner musician and keeps saying stuff like ‘dude,’ ‘radical’ and ‘little man.’ He is a walking parody of the rock ‘n roll punk movement that was going on the 80s. This was previously seen in Return of the Living Dead.

Now lets talk about Sherman Putterman, our hero and black sheep of the family. He is about 12 years old and he is the member of the family that embarrasses both the parents and his sister because he has a problem. See, he is a gun-crazed but ignorant boy who doesn’t really know what violence really is. Throughout the film he tries to warn everybody about the monster in the TV but the parents dismiss him because they thing he is having another “episode” and needs to take his pills. Sherman is what Generation X is… a generation that has been subjected to all the violence and morbidity on TV and they need pills to bring them back to reality. We can infer that Sherman is ADD or ADHD or possibly some form of very mild psychosis since he has a history of believing things that aren’t real. He is your typical youth in rebellion despite his mental handicap. If he were in the 00s, he would be the type of kid that sits home after school and plays extremely graphic video games, wants to join the army so the he can kill things and takes pills to make him more calm.

The Putterman home looks fairly normal on the outside but once you get inside it’s like walking through a Greek or Roman palace. There’re vases of ancient Greek gods on them, water fountains with stone cherubs, stone statues of angels and a giant Jacuzzi that’s synched to the music system. The home is lined with fancy décor ranging from pink marble to finished stone banners on the wall. Perhaps the home is meant to look like a palace or as the man of the house would say, “the love palace.” Perhaps the filmmakers were poking fun at the upper crust society and how they are so rich that they are able to afford luxuries that are pointless. The father seems to have gotten a new satellite dish but doesn’t know how to work it… so why did he buy it? Maybe he wanted to feel important or maybe because he can. This, in itself, is lampooning the yuppie culture during a huge financial relaxation in the stock market.

I think one of the funniest aspects of the house are the random paintings of violent, sadomasochistic sex that are strung about the house. They depict images of women and men engaging in S&M but they are drawn in sort of an Andy Warhol pop-art style. Hell, the parents themselves are comfortable with having sex with random people so maybe this is a commentary on the sex-addicted adults during this decade. We’ve already had movies that show this phenomenon but I think that TerrorVision subtly addresses it as well.

But perhaps one of the greats moments in this film is when the monster, or space doggy, is watching Earth vs. The Flying Saucers unknowing that Sherman is sneaking up behind it with a gun. I think it’s such a great moment because this monster, this thing, is gleefully watching saucers destroy Washington D.C. and I think that this scene has a lot of story to it. Considering that this film parodies the MTV generation, I think the filmmakers of TerrorVision are implying that those who watch all the pointless aggression on TV are rotting their brains and turning them into mindless creatures of violence. If we go further than that, maybe the monster also represents the monstrous things being shown on TV like the metal bands on MTV or the violent movies being shown.

I first thought that TerrorVision was a pointless but campy horror film that oozing with 80s cheese but after watching it again, I think it’s less of a horror and more of a dark comedy. It’s a comedy that puts the 80s on the line and blatantly makes fun of it. It’s not afraid to criticize the culture that it was conceived in and I believe that it’s an important relic of the 80s. Even though it’s bizarre and loony, people can learn what the 80s were like back than. Whether you believe that TerrorVision is a social commentary on the effects of the MTV generation, you can’t deny that it’s a film that you must leave your brain at the door for. It’s not a movie that should be taken seriously but I think the film is much more than just an alien flick… but a rare gem with a lot more luster to it than it puts off.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Fake Kind

I’ll admit that when the trailers for The Fourth Kind began showing I was very interested in seen the film. The entire movie passed off as a dramatic reenactment of what happened in Nome, Alaska in the year 2000. The evidence, or the video footage shown, was supposedly real archive footage. After watching the trailer and knowing this, I immediately was interested so when I got back I hopped on the MUFON database and was instantly let down. You see, all the “evidence” in The Fourth Kind was passed off as real but in actuality it was just part of it’s viral marketing. Ho hum. That didn’t stop me from wanted to watch it because it was about aliens and they were describing the ancient astronaut theory and telling us the four stages of alien contact. However, after watching the movie in it’s whole I know realize what the biggest problem that this movie suffers from.

I’m not going to knock the performances, or trash the story and direction because it was refreshing to see an alien movie that really shows the stage of ‘abduction’ and ‘contact.’ What I will trash is the footage that was shown in conjunction with the film. They were trying to pass it off as real but lets consider the fact that this footage was real, that would mean that the footage would ultimately debunk the idea that there are no aliens. If this footage was real than it would be the footage to prove that people have been abducted because we see people getting lifted out of their beds, we see people getting distorted from alien contact, we see alien spaceships and people talking in ancient Sumerian. The Fourth Kind wanted to show ‘actual footage’ of people being abducted but at the same time it tried to hide the evidence so that it wouldn’t seem like they were directly implying that all these events happened.

The reason why I went on the MUFON database, for those who don’t know what that is, is because MUFON’s (Mutual UFO Network) has record of every single UFO sighting since the 1940s. When I looked up UFO sightings in Nome, Alaska to try to find the basis of the story it only turned up 1 or 2 results. Additionally, the sightings were debunked as actual aircraft and it happened back in the 70s. So the part where Dr. Tyler was stating that there have been more missing persons in Nome than in any part of Alaska might have been false. It was a bitter disappointment to find out that Universal falsified evidence and news headlines to promote their movie because I wanted this to be a real reenactment but instead we get a hour and a half episode of Unsolved Mysteries. But I wont’ be too harsh on this movie because I admire the director and Universal’s attempt at trying to create a good viral marketing technique for their film. I just think that the viral marketing should be left to J.J. Abrams since he seems to know how to properly do it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The True Church of the Xenomorph



Although I am still very iffy on Aliens 3, I did have a very fun time with Jeff Martin. See, I proposed the question, “Why did Newt have to die?” because I felt the movie cheated me as a result of poor screenwriting. He responded by saying, “For your sins.” From that point on things got way out of hand we inadvertently created The True Church of the Xenomorph; a church that is dedicated to worship of the Xenomorph. The logic behind this is this: since the Mayans once worshiped these creatures, what would happen if their Xenomorph based religion trailed into the 21st century? Well, Jeff and I have taken it upon us to create a list of information for those of you wishing to join the True Church of the Xenomorph.

Info Jeff has created:
  • Contributing to the offering plate will be mandatory
  • In the Church of the Xenomorph, Sigourney Weaver is the Devil
  • They shall celebrate the Stations of the Egg.
  • Behold the Melting Pen, first held by Captain Dallas, a holy icon in the Church.
  • The existence of the “Space Jockey” will be hotly debated.
  • Supplicants shall wear pendants depicting Ash lying on a cafeteria table.
  • Those on the Xenomorph Right claim “Salvation through gestation.”
  • At reenactments of the Last Supper, smoking shall be permitted and cornbread will be served.
  • Ash would be a Saint.
  • Church member are allowed to conceal themselves amongst the ductwork during services, if so desired.
  • The True Church of the Xenomorph does not believe in the existence of so-called “Predators.”
  • Services are not to be dismissed with the phrase, “Game over, man.”
  • Liberal Xenomorphs have been known to sing “Hello, My Honey” during Sabbat celebrations.
  • Excommunication from The True Church of the Xenomorph is called “Ripleyfication.”
  • Suppression of the gag reflex is encouraged by Church Elders.
  • The prophets, O’Bannon and Shusett, are responsible for creating the Xenomorphic Scriptures.
  • The True Church of the Xenomoprh never serves deviled eggs at their pot-luck diners.
  • Visitors to the TCotX are always impressed by the low-lying, ankle high mist in the Sanctuary.
  • Some Xenos subscribe to the teachings of Saint Jeunet, but they are largely considered to be heretics.
  • The Church’s main holidays are Xeaster and Xmas
  • Church growth is dictated by how often the deep salvage ships come by, usually once every fifty-seven years.
  • The Church holds artificial persons in high regard, often giving them roles as bodyguards or protectors.
  • Those who claim to have found another Gospel of the Xenomorph are known as “Xenomormons.”
  • Xenovah’s Witnesses believe only 144.000 eggs will be laid.
  • Xenomormons have been persecuted for their belief in poly-chestbursting.
  • Xenomormons believe that the crew of the SULACO were one of the lost twelve tribes of Homeworld.
  • Xenovah’s Witnesses are aggressive proseltyzers, going from planet to planet, wearing nice suits and carrying tracts.
  • Xenomormonism is often confused with Scientology, which offends Xenomormons greatly.
  • Xenomormons tend to build colonies on the Great Salt Planet, U-TAH 518.
  • Acolytes must spend four years in Xeminary before obtaining a parish of their own.
  • Communion in the TCotX consists of lime green lemonade and cornbread.
  • Xenomorphs refer to purgatory as “the airlock.”
  • The True Church of the Xenomorph values strength over beauty, hence the saying, “There’s no phase like drone.”
  • Xenomorph worshipers can not love, but they will admire your purity.

Info I have created:
  • The pews will be designed with Giger-like architecture.
  • As a woman, giving yourself up for the egg harvest will be a great honor.
  • A cup of lime green lemonade would be offered as drinking the blood of the Xenomomorph.
  • Mass anit-Weyland propaganda will be handed out in masses. Bishop cyborgs will be offered as temporary sacrifices.
  • The Last Supper will depict the entire crew of the Nostromos during their last ‘supper’ including Ash and Kane.
  • To purify someone would involve either acid or a dirty magazine down the throat.
  • Ash would be a martyr.
  • Cats, especially orange tabbies, would symbolize bad luck and should be avoided.
  • Referring to the mass or any Xenomorph worshiping ceremonies as a “bug hunt” would be considered taboo.
  • The True Church of the Xenomorph only accepts the Xenomorph as the intelligent being in the Universe. Everything else is below it.
  • Xenomorph worshipers understand the parody behind SPACEBALLS but still regard the species as the supreme leaders of the Universe.
  • More Conservative Xenomorphs worshipers have been known to base hymns off of unfinished works by jerry Goldsmith.
  • ‘Exorcisms’ or ‘Xenomorphisms’ are welcome as a sign of good faith and those who are ‘possessed’ are seen as ‘blessed.’
  • During Xeaster the painting of Xenomorph eggs in warpaint is considered as a respectable duty.
  • Saint Scott and Saint Cameron are regarded as the people who founded The True Church of the Xenomorph.
  • Those who disobey any of the 10 Xeno-Commandments are sent to hell or as the Church calls it the Nostromo.
  • Genetic tampering of Xenomorph eggs is forbidden. Failure to do so would result in Ripleyfication.
  • Worshipers who shave their heads are actually honoring the fall of their adjacent brethren species. It’s sort of an ironic worship.
  • Saint Giger is seen as the only person who has properly depicted the Xenomorph in its true shape and landscape.
  • Those who break away from the Xenomorph founded the Xenovah’s Witnesses. They’re book of grace is called the Space Tower.
  • Xenomormons don’t believe that the Xenomorphs have visited Earth but rather observe it.
  • Xenomormons also believe that they were, in fact, two different Nostromos and therefore two different Xenomorphs.
  • Strangely enough, Xenovah’s Witnesses are the nicest among the Xenomorph religion.
  • True Xenomorph worshipers know not to call out to a Xenomorph by saying “here kitty, kitty, kitty.” (By Jeff): This lesson is taught in The Parable of Britt, a beloved Xenomorphic Bible story.
  • Xenuns during Sunday services tell young worshipers of the courageous tales of Saint Ash and Bishop II.
  • One such Xenomormon colony, LV-426, was destroyed by Xenomorphs because they didn’t observe proper Xeno-prayer.
  • In Xenomorphic studies, young worshipers are offered a noble position as a Xlater Boy. Adults are offered a role as Xeacons.
  • Xenomorph believers recognize the Xeno-trinity: The Xather, The Xeon and the Xeno-spirit.
  • A common phrase in Xenomorph worshipers is “It’s got a wonderful defense mechanism. You don’t dare kill it.”
  • Xenomorph worshipers understand that they mostly come out at night. Mostly.
So, knowing these rules… won’t you come and join The True Church of the Xenomorph. We offer a wide range of assistance, salvation and gestation. So, why not consider Xenomorph worship as new religion… and remember, you eternal being can be gestated through our services.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review - Rare Exports (2010)

When you think of Christmas horror movies you’ll most likely think about killers dressed up as Santa Claus going on a killing spree or maybe just a deranged lunatic murdering during the season. With the exception of that atrocity that is Santa’s Slay, what other evil Santa movie is there? What other movie redefined the Santa myth and made him to be a monster and not a saint? The answer is Rare Exports. Yes, it’s a jolly tale filled with yuletide fun and stuffed with holly-jolly happiness… that is if you disobey any of the rules. The film is about two kids that stumble upon an excavation site near their hometown. Little do they know that this site, located atop a mountain, was the resting place of the real Santa Claus and he wasn’t the joyful saint he was made out to be. Well, the kid’s fathers ban together to confront the excavation team (after they supposedly caused the death of all their livestock) but what they found was an abandoned dig site. Than, a creepy naked old man shows up in their town. Could this old man who has smells little kids and cookies be Santa Claus or is the real Santa bigger and meaner? You’ll have to find out.

What this film accomplishes that Santa’s Slay did not was it redefined the myth behind Santa and it did it quite well. As corny as it was, there was an entire montage of books showing drawings of Santa boiling kids, wearing cow skulls as masks, with giant horns and eating children. It took the myth and somehow still made it religions but in a demonic, Satanist sense. To do this takes a very clever and imaginative writer and I have to applaud them for this. I feel as though the directors wanted to play off of the foundation that was previously set up in Santa’s Slay but they took it one step farther. I saw this with the Chicago Horror Society and I couldn’t help but joke around that this would be the new origins of Santa. Tell your kids this story and tell them to not misbehave and they won’t even think about eating a cookie before suppertime.

But perhaps the greatest part of this film is how the writer and director incorporated certain holiday motifs into the film. At the very beginning of the film the excavation site manager gives the foreman a list of things not to do. One of these things is ‘no cavorting.’ The old man that escaped the shipping yard looks like a skinny Santa and when he smells Christmas cookies or children he goes apeshit. It plays on the fact that Santa enjoys cookies, milk and children. The best motif satirizes those wooden houses where you open each window or door to reveal the month day and what to do on that month. In Rare Exports, this door is taken to a new level when the main character realizes that behind the 24th door lies the true Santa Claus. Even the elves are… a little twisted but still retain their elfish nature like protecting Santa and detecting who has been good or bad. Much like the new Santa myth, these motifs take lots of creativity.

Rare Exports is also a movie that makes well with dark humor. What other movie has a hoard of naked old men running in one direction; junk flapping in the breeze and bears swaying back across their necks? One of my favorite points of dark humor comes when the old man they capture attacks one of the fathers after smelling cookies on him… so they wrap him up in a sack and hang him from a chain. The next shot shows this seemingly poor old man wrapped up in chains hanging from the ceiling, legs dangling, watching the people below him eat Christmas cookies. I guess where most of the humor comes from is how the director managed to turn typical Christmas things into grim situations.

Personally this film is one of the greatest Christmas horror movies made but that’s just it… I have a hard time classifying this as a horror. There isn’t that many scary moments in the film, hardly any gore, maybe a few moody scenes but the rest seems like a drama but it’s too bizarre for a drama. I can’t classify this movie as anything. The film does a miraculous job with the absurd plot and I think that’s its strongest point… it makes something so dark and funny ant tries to make it serious. I don’t think Rare Exports will get the recognition that it deserves quite yet but give it time and it will be on everybody’s holiday horror list. Now on the question of whether or not it’s a horror movie… well, I’ll leave that up to you to decide. If you get a chance to see this movie, go see it and I promise you that you won’t be let down.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My First Podcast (The Geek Couch)

Yes! I am pleased to announce that Sean of The Geek Couch invited me to be a guest on his podcast. I was actually a little shocked when he agreed to it because I never would have thought anybody would want me on his or her show. You see, I think I’m a very boring individual. I had a great time and even though I was a little nervous, Sean was pretty patient with me.

Click here to listen to the Podcast.

We talked about new theatrical releases, DVD and BD released like The Town and Despicable Me, and we discussed what movies we were watching and some that we recommend. Oh, and much more than that obviously.

I would like to thank Sean again for allowing me to be on his podcast, it was very fun and I hope to do it again some time. Thanks, man!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vincent Price Tribute Poster

Not many people know about graphic designer and media enthusiast Eric Slager but he’s 22 years old and he created one hell of a Vincent Price tribute poster. I saw that many of my other blogger friends did a post showcasing his tribute and before I even had a chance to come up with mine, Slager himself contacted me. He asked if I would be so kind into doing a post on his poster. Well… I did.

The poster itself is very gritty and it’s designed to look like an old late 50s or early-mid 60s poster; having all of the titles of the movies Price has been in compose his face. The mustache and hair are the only solid black aspects of Price’s faces. I quite enjoy it and I find it to be a very modern tribute to a great actor. Below is an image of the poster and if you click on it, it should blow up.

Vincent Price

1911-1993

If the poster doesn’t blow up, click HERE for a direct link from Slager.

But like all great things, there is a story behind this poster. If you would like to see where Eric got his inspiration to make it, please click HERE.

The Ünderbheit of Zombies

Let me first just say that I loved Dead Snow and thought of Nazi zombies was very refreshing but for me… the one thing that stood out was the zombie Nazi general and his likeness to a particular cartoon character. I couldn’t help but notice that he bared an uncanny resemblance to Baron Underbheit of The Venture Bros. Consider that they are both German, they both of those pale beefy looking heads and they are both very sinister, well Underbheit isn’t that sinister. But the thing that makes them so similar is that they both have very prominent jaws with exposed white teeth from their jawbone. When General Herzog appeared I quickly thought, “Oh my God, it’s Baron Underbhei—oh wait, it’s just Herzog.” Somebody please tell me that I am not crazy into seeing this.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Poor Man's Creepshow


What do you get when you combine the campy horror stories of Creepshow and the charismatic likeness of Vincent Price? Well, you get a poor man’s Creepshow knock-off known as From A Whisper To A Scream, which was alternatively called The Offspring. Essentially Price places an old bookkeeper for a town that has a dark history. A friend of his niece visits him right after she was executed to ask questions pertaining to her and Price begins to talk about the town’s dark history. It’s a horror anthology and it’s told as though we were reading history books on this town. But how is it a poor man’s Creepshow you may ask?

Well, there are two major similarities that the film bares to Creepshow but than again that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a rip-off. You know what they say everybody steals from everybody. The first similarity is that they both employ an over-the-top, ham-handed, corny story that’s usually just fun to watch. The stories in The Offspring (this is the short title), are not scary at all. In fact, a lot of them are so tacky and so exaggerated that they come off as either boring or just plain funny. A great example of this would be the story about the kids that torture the Civil War soldiers. It’s a direct copy of Children of the Corn only far more cheesy. Even the story about the glass-eater was so rushed that the acting was poor and story was uninspired. Creepshow’s stories were hammy but they were visually appealing. The Offspring has the veteran acting talent of Clu Gulager while Creepshow has the talent of E.G. Marshall so they both have some star value to them. The main point that I am making is that The Offspring’s stories were rushed and therefore they were very unappealing but Creepshow’s stories were stylized giving us something to enjoy about.

The last similarity, and this may only pertain to Creepshow 2, but they both have a very charismatic yet imposing host. Creepshow 2 had The Creep who was just like a cheesy TV host; he made a lot of sarcastic one-liners, he spoke in a deep creepy voice, and he was fun to watch because he was so physical. If I’m not mistaken Tom Savini played The Creep. However, The Offspring has got them beat when it comes to hosts because they had veteran horror movie icon Vincent Price play the bookkeeper for the town. His screen presents in magnetic in the sense that you can’t take your eyes off of him. Seeing him sit in his library, holding up a glass of wine, dressed in a robe and speaking in such a clear but pronounced voice made this a treat for any horror fan. It’s shame that he wasn’t in Creepshow as well.

I’m not merely saying that every anthology horror movie is a rip-off of Creepshow but I found that The Offsping really kept a lot of the aspects that made Creepshow what it was. Sure there was other movies like Body Bags or Tales From The Dark Side but The Offspring was way before this. It’s not a completely bad movie but it only made me want to watch Creepshow despite the presence of Price. But for a campy 80s horror tale… it’s worth a look.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The New York Quacker

Yes, as funny as it may be… there is a movie about Donald Duck going on a prostitute-killing spree. Well, not literally but the film does center around on a serial killer that disguises his voice by doing a Donald Duck impersonation. It’s funny because this killer would quack and laugh as he is slicing and dicing his way through the hookers he finds. What’s even better is that he would call the police station and antagonize the detective in charge of finding him. Imagine, getting calls from the killer you have to find but than realize that you are talking to Donald Duck. The killer would usually say something really sarcastic or a one-liner than proceed to quack-laughing. But as the movie goes in, the voice impersonation gets a little freaky because since you don’t know who it is… it’s as if Donald Duck IS the murderer. I think it’s one of the first movies to really use voice manipulation to hide the killer’s true identity but we saw that before this film in Black Christmas. However, New York Ripper takes it to a whole ne level.