Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

Fear Itself: Stuart Gordon Or Darren Lynn Bousman

July 21, 2008

I don’t know what my deal was last week when I did my reviews of Fear Itself episodes 5, Eater, and 6, New Years Day, but I was in exceptionally fine form when it comes to my particular brand of mocking comedy. Especially episode six, the brainchild of Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and Darren Lynn Bousman (Saws II-IV). If that’s not a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is.

As I said in the comments over at Den of Geek: you could give Darren Bousman the script to Citizen Kane, and he’d figure out a way to make it a mess. But hey, at least Episode Five was pretty good thanks to Stuart Gordon’s directorial prowess.

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Fear Itself 1.04 – The Forbidden Review Too Hot For DoG!

June 27, 2008

Here’s the official Fear Itself review for Den of Geek. Well, actually, it’s an explanation of why there is no review of this week’s Fear Itself at DoG, not a review itself. My original review, which you’ll find below, was a bit too… virulent, I suppose, for publication. I don’t blame them for not really itching to put it out there, as not only is it a little too controversial for what they’re trying to accomplish, it’s also completely disorganized.

That said, controversial and disorganized sounds like a blog entry anyway, so I figure I’d throw my 15 readers a treat. Instead of promotion something I wrote for Den of Geek here, I’ll give you something I wrote for Den of Geek that they thought best not to use. I don’t blame them; they have enough trolls over there without me adding to it by bringing up pedophilia and child abuse. I had my doubts as I was writing it as to whether or not it would end up publishable, and I figure they made the right call.

Disclaimer: It goes without saying that the views expressed below are my own (and those of the state of California). They don’t reflect back on anywhere I write at, nor do they reflect the views of any organization, past, present, or future, that may employ me and blah blah blah, covering my ass. Furthermore, nobody do anything fucking stupid and blame me for it. Further furthermore, don’t fuck little kids and tape it.

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Why Aren’t You Watching Fear Itself?

June 23, 2008

Sure Fear Itself had a rocky first episode, but if you stuck with it like I did, well… you’ve been rewarded. Episode 2 was excellent (and I forgot to link myself here last week when the review went up), and Episode 3, from the pen of Daniel Knauf (creator of Carnivale) was one of the best things I’ve seen on TV this year. If you’re not checking this show out, you should. It’s free online, so there’s no excuse not to. It’s turning into a great show.

If you’re not checking out the show, at least go read my reviews, so I can feel important and/or special. Thank you for your support. /Bartles & Jaymes

Feel Good Friday: The 13th

June 13, 2008

Joining up with Ginger, Coma, SQ, and the rest of the tubes for a feel-good Friday. Yes, I’m a hopeless trend-follower.

Bonus below the cut: the better Jason compilation video, with Ron’s Drive-In Totals.

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I kind of fear Fear Itself

June 6, 2008

Like those few folks that watched it, I got burned by Masters of Horror. Badly, I might add, as I tried to defend the show after it was past the point of all reasonable defense and just ended up sounding like a moron. “Hey!” I’d pout. “Dance of the Dead was still pretty good if you compare it to Homecoming! Dreams of the Witch House had some nice tits in it, too!” Eventually, as the crap continued to flow, Dario Argento got censored on pay TV, and Takeshi Miike was banned by fucking Showtime, I gave up.

When the second season started up, I tried to watch The Damned Thing (because I like Tobe Hooper and Boondock Saint Sean Patrick Flannery and thought it might be an improvement), but after that awful mess I simply gave up on the whole concept. Ditto Masters of Science Fiction, as if they couldn’t get Paul Verheoeven or Ridley Scott or James Cameron or Dan O’Bannon then it was hardly Masters of Anything, no matter how many Harlan Ellison stories you buy up.

Despite this, when NBC crowed about launching a new horror anthology, I was there. Even once I found out it was just basically a third series of Masters of Horror, just with less Masters and less Horror. At least now there’s the excuse of network standards and practices if the episodes turn out sub par. Fortunately, last night’s episode was actually pretty good for a spam in a cabin vampire tale. If nothing else, it entertained me unlike a whole lot of the Masters of Horror episodes, and it featured some very blonde Eastern European girls, which I can only assume has to be the result of generations of inbreeding, as every Soviette I’ve ever known has been brunette.

All that talk about how Masters of Horror was a horror-able disappointment has depressed me. Think when I get home I’ll cheer myself up by watching Snatch.

The Gate (1987) Film Review (4/5)

June 20, 2005

As a child of the 80’s, I can’t be helped for the things I’ve seen. Some of you kids, you lucky kids, don’t remember the Bill Cosby sweater, or the super-teased hair, or the neon headbands that some unfortunate characters in this movie wear. You can’t hold it against them, though it dates the whole film. They were probably the coolest cats in the crap-tank for their day. I know one day I’ll look back at my clothes and realize how dumb I looked, too.

This movie takes two of the most common themes in 80’s news hysteria, crams them together, and makes them into one spectacular horror movie that manages to both be legitimately funny and legitimately scary while still maintaining, for all intents and purposes, a solid PG-13 rating (dare I say it, had it been released now it would probably be PG, simply because there’s no tits). That’s right, the plot of this movie revolves around subliminal Satanic messages and album art buried into a metal record from evil, Godless Germany. When the world goes to hell and evil is running amuck, you can always blame ze Germans.

There’s also a geode. An eeeeevil geode that’s full of smoke and that writes things on your Etch-a-Sketch when you crack it open. If you have an evil geode (it’s a rock with crystals inside) like I do, you’ll already know not to read what it writes for you. Nobody told little Glen (Stephen Dorff, 18 years before you knew who the fuck he was).

Glen has a friend named Terry (Louis Tripp, who was never heard from again, mwahahaha!) who is one of those kinda weird kids. Apparently, because his mom died on him a year ago, he’s gotten really into lots of weird black metal bands from Europe, no thanks to his enabler father. Needless to say, this kid puts a lot of faith in his metal bands, so when a guy who sounds like Tim Curry reads an incantation that’s supposed to reawaken the demon king and bring hell on Earth, Terry stops headbanging long enough to read along. Turns out that the conditions are exactly right, and Terry starts the process of bringing hell on Earth. Thanks a lot, you little redheaded fuck.

To make matters worse, Glen’s parents go out of town, leaving him in the care of his big sister Al (Christa Denton) and her friends, the Lee sisters (Kelly Rowan and Jennifer Irwin, AKA Ug and Hideous Lee for those keeping score at home). So when weird shit goes down, Al doesn’t do what most kids would do and call their parents, because she knows if she fucks this up, she’ll never get a chance to throw 80’s parties and perform Wiccan parlor tricks with her weird-looking friends ever again.

Suffice it to say things get much worse before they get any better.

This movie is really one of the classics of the 1980’s, at least in my eyes, and it will probably be one of the horror films I’ll raise my creepy children on, simply because it has all the scary stuff you need at like age 6. The stop motion demons are really a major plus in my book, too, because I’m a fan of doing things the old-school way. The claymation melted phone just makes things even better. Add some spectacularly sloppy gore effects, a few shape-shifting demons, and an inter-wall zombie, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a classic movie.

I’m not doing it justice with this review, I know. I’m one of those people who has trouble expressing how awesome things are without using bullshit clichés like “awesome” and “sex-tacular.” Just give this flick another chance. It was great when you were a kid, and if you’re anything like me (you poor fucking bastard) it’s even better now that you can appreciate it more after having seen a thousand shitty digital effects.

Also, the Crucifyx demon-resurrection song? As soon as I find it, it’s going on the LC Album of Movie Soundtrack Greatness. The pre-rap spoken word breakdown in the middle just cements its place in greatness.

Old school, bitches. Always old school.

Ginger Snaps (2000) Film Review 4/5

December 13, 2004

I can’t help myself. I’m a sucker and a half for a good werewolf movie. Yeah, I know, there are more bad werewolf flicks than there are good werewolf flicks, but when I stumble across something quality, I just can’t help but share the wealth. Consider the wealth shared.

“Ginger Snaps” is a Canadian (wait, let me finish) horror movie about two youngish-teen sisters, 15 year old Ginger (Katharine Isabelle from “Freddy vs. Jason”) and 14 year old Brigette, otherwise known as ‘B’ (Emily Perkins, with freaky wig). Ignoring the fact that it’s practically impossible for anything Canadian to be great, and ignoring the fact that these two girls are supposed to be high-school sophomores when Katherine Isobel has an incredible rack, this flick is fucking insane in the best possible way. Just think, Canadian readers. Your tax dollars go to support a nascent film industry that cranks out quality like this bad motherfucker. Hug your government today.

Anyway, moving on.

What is there to love about this flick? Well, you know all those crappy self-referential “Scream”-style horror flicks that were churned out in the last 90’s and early double-aughts? Well this isn’t fucking one of them. There are no cheeky, joking references to other werewolf movies here. This shit takes itself seriously, and as a result, you take it seriously too because this wolfy bastard grabs you by your throat and throttles you with werewolf goodness.

Right from the very beginning this bad boy (or bad girl) opens up with some spectacular gore effects. It seems there’s a beast on the loose that’s horribly murdering local dogs, because I guess dogs are delicious, and this movie is festooned with bloody dog carcasses and entrails, making for some amazingly realistic canine corpses. The special effects on this flick are practical and dirty, and very, very, very well done. It’s nice to see where the budget went on this flick.

As for our heroines, Ginger and B are those two creepy gothish girls that always sat in the back of the class writing poetry about death, except these two enjoy faking together elaborate death scenes in the privacy of their home, taking pictures of their faked deaths, and using these pictures as school projects when they’re not playing field hockey in gym class (which is a lot of the time, as field hockey takes up half the day in the Canadian girl’s education system). In the beginning, Ginger is kind of plain-looking and B is a hopeless introvert, but once Ginger becomes Ginger the Werewolf, she manages to go from average kid to surprisingly hot. It’s amazing what good you can do, ladies, with a little makeup, a lot of cleavage and tight, revealing outfits. Oh yeah, becoming a werewolf helps a fuckin’ lot, too.

Take two teenie Goths, toss in a helpful drug dealer named Sam, who reads a lot of old books (Kris Lemche), mix liberally with heavy doses of vaguely crazy mom (Mimi Rogers) and an unfortunate kid named Ben who gets the worst possible STD in the world (Christopher Redman), sprinkle over a bunch of guts and blood and menstruation, toss in an awesome werewolf puppet model thing, and you’ve got yourself a fucking movie. Be on the lookout for a guest appearance by Xena’s voice, too.

This bastard is a great flick, and if you’ve got any love for the werewolf or for our creepy neighbors to the North, this is the flick for you. But don’t take my word for it. Cue the Reading Rainbow music.