Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2

Movie Review: Tucker & Dale vs Evil


Horror parodies are very difficult to do. Most of them end up being either too funny or too scary and result with a movie that is pretty much pointless and stupid. However, there are rare cases when a horror parody is done right, making for an intelligent and funny satire on the horror genre. The 2010 film, Tucker and Dale vs Evil, is one of those films that cleverly captures the essence of  a backwoods horror, while simultaneously poking fun at it and making you laugh.

The film stars Alan Tudyk (Tucker) and Tyler Labine (Dale), as two southern best friends who just purchased a "vacation home" in the woods. While en route to their cabin they cross paths with a group of stuck up preppy college kids who mistakenly take them for crazy hillbillies. However, Tucker and Dale are far from crazy hillbillies; in fact, they are actually really sweet and compassionate men.

While the two buddies are fishing later on that night they witness one of the college kids, Allison (played by the gorgeous Katrina Bowden), fall into the lake and hit her head. Dale, being the sweetheart that he is, jumps in and rescues her. However, Allison's clueless friends make the assumption that the two men are kidnapping her and all hell soon ensues.

Tucker and Dale are completely oblivious to the preppy kids's thinking and take Allison back to their cabin to recover. All the while, Allison awakens and learns that she was quick to judge the twosome and slowly starts to fall for Dale. Meanwhile, the group gather round and tell super douche, Chad (Jesse Moss), what has happened--even going as far to insist that one of the men was eating her face--resulting in a plan to take the hillbillies down.

What follows this is nonstop laughter, entertainment and gore. Chad, an asshole with a vendetta against hillbillies, tells the group that they must fight back or they will die. So, the dumb college kids "fight back", even though they weren't being fought in the first place, and end up killing themselves one by one. There is a hilarious scene involving a wood-chipper which in my opinion, is one of the highlights from the film.

When Tucker and Dale realize that the kids are dying all around them they assume that they came to the woods as a part of a suicide pact. The miscommunications and misinterpretations between the two groups makes for an interesting watch because of the outcomes that it has; i.e. the kids brutally and accidentally kill themselves and each other rather than Tucker and Dale, who never lift a finger to cause harm.

Towards the end of the movie, Chad's back-story is revealed to the two friends: His mother, along with her friends, had been hunted and killed by hillbillies in that very location twenty years before, which was why Chad brought his group of friends there initially. The way his story is delivered and received is a funny scene, because as horror fans all know--there's always a sad back-story that explains the "villain's" actions. The reason is also an intentionally ridiculous and poor excuse for the film's plot.

This film reminded me a lot of 2004's zombie parody, Shaun of the Dead, especially due to the friendship between the two characters. Although Tucker and Dale is good, it does not surpass Shaun of the Dead, which is probably one of the best horror parodies ever made. But, that doesn't mean it wasn't a good movie!

The movie is a must-see for fans of the genre because they can really appreciate the humor and cliche references made throughout the film. Tudyk and Labine have amazing chemistry together and they play the clueless-yet-loveable duo that you root for the entire movie so well. I wouldn't mind seeing more of this pair together in future horror projects. Tucker and Dale 2, perhaps? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.








4

Are You Not the Babysitter?


There is something I absolutely love about horror films that have the eighties look and feel to it. The eighties were all about the slasher flick and campy horror movies that most genre fans love. So, you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon the film, The House of the Devil (2009), directed by Ti West (Cabin Fever 2, The Roost), which is a throwback to the style of films seen throughout that decade.

The House of the Devil is a slow-burn horror movie that focuses on the 'satanic panic' craze that occurred during the eighties. The movie centers around a soft-spoken college Sophomore named Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) who is in desperate need of cash in order to pay for her new apartment.

The coed finds an ad for a babysitting job posted outside her dorm and soon finds herself in the home of a creepy couple, the Ulmans, played by the always awesome Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov. Foolishly thinking that all she has to do is 'babysit' for four hours to make the exact amount of cash she needs, Samantha agrees to stay and by the end of the night, her world completely comes crashing down around her.

West has a knack for brilliantly creating an eery and unsettling atmosphere by slowly building up dread for the movie's final act, which is truly terrifying. Not much is answered and we do not know much about the characters in sense of back-story, however; West heightens the plot's intensity by carefully revealing terrifying information to the audience while simultaneously keeping our protagonist in the dark.

Immediately, audiences know that our lead is going to be in trouble and once we begin to realize how bad the situation actually is, we wish we could save Samantha from her impending doom. Ultimately, Samantha does come face-to-face with true evil and whether or not she overcomes it isn't quite clear by the end of the film.

The underrated movie quickly became one of my favorite horror movies because of its style, storytelling, and believable acting by Noonan and Donahue. The film isn't over-the-top and violent and it scares because there was no boogeyman stalking the babysitter; the villains are just regular people who happen to practice Satanism.

The film plays on the fear that the scenario could actually happen because there are overly religious individuals like the Ulman's out there in the world. Whether someone is an overbearing Christian or a devout Atheist, people can be pretty crazy when it comes to their faith. All I know is, I'm never going to respond to a babysitting ad again, especially if the person paying me is Tom Noonan.

Overall, The House of the Devil is a must see for true horror fans, especially if you love films of the eighties. The story is different and not something we've seen much before, and it plays on a scenario that could actually happen. Not many people enjoy the pace of the film but I believe that it was done right, creating a sense of dread leading up to the movie's final fifteen minutes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

0

Upcoming Movies :)


Ah, I love hearing about NEW horror movies, and by new, I mean completely original and not a remake. Whenever I read about upcoming horror films, I get that giddy feeling inside that usually comes on Christmas morning. There are a few new horror movies being released that I'm super excited to see!

One horror movie that I've been hearing about a lot lately is Todd Strauss's (A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas) campfest, Final Girls. The film follows a young woman who is grieving the loss of her mother, who just happened to have been a former "scream queen" of the eighties. For whatever reason, the woman and her friends get sucked into one of the mom's most famous horror movies and are forced to face off against the film's larger-than-life villain.

Now, I haven't seen the third installment of the Harold and Kumar franchise, so, I'm not quite certain what to expect from Strauss's directing. All I know is--the movie sounds AWESOME! The film has been described as a cross between, Back to the Future and Friday the 13th, which just sounds like a mouthwatering combination. The movie is currently in the early stages of development so we most likely won't be seeing it until sometime in 2013.

The next horror movie is one that seems to follow in the footsteps of the Stanley Kubrick classic, The Shining. I'm referring to Ti West's (The House of the Devil) The Innkeepers. The movie follows two hotel employees who believe that the place is haunted. The 100 year-old hotel is finally closing its doors and its last employees decide to investigate, in order to determine if the place is indeed haunted. Weird guests and strange occurrences happen along the way, forcing the employees to decide what to believe.

The movie's trailer does look creepy; anything with a naked old person in it just FREAKS me the hell out. And there seems to be a lot more action in this than was seen in The House of the Devil, which is always a plus. I can't wait to see this film because after seeing House of the Devil, I immediately fell in love with West. The film took a very slow approach, casually building up to the last fifteen minutes of the movie and West's directing style is a favorite of mine because his film's tend to have an "old" eighties look to it.

However, West can either be hit-or-miss and The House of the Devil has been the only film of his that I've liked so far. I saw 2005's, The Roost, a movie about killer bats, and I wasn't very impressed. The movie did have a decent idea and look to it, however, I just felt like it was too boring and the acting was awful. And don't even get me started on the Cabin Fever sequel. BUT since I love West, I am willing to give his next movie a chance when it hits shelves on December 30. I have faith!

Another movie coming out soon is the horror, Smiley. The story follows a young, mentally unstable woman named Ashley, who summons a serial killer named Smiley through the internet.

The film is co-written by Glasgow Phillips of South Park fame, and after watching the trailer, I'm not sure if the movie is supposed to be funny or if it's supposed to be serious. I hope that it is intentionally meant to be campy because it does look like it's going to be a ridiculously fun movie to watch. And the killer Smiley looks pretty creepy. There's just something about a blank smile looking back at you that's just so unsettling!

There are several more new horror movies set to release within the next two years, these are just a few that stood out to me for various reasons. I'll admit that I'm most excited for Final Girls because the movie's plot sounds like something we haven't seen before and it seems like it's going to be a really fun watch. The Innkeepers is not a campy-horror, rather, it is serious and intent on scaring audiences everywhere. I'll be seeing the movie because I am slightly biased toward director Ti West. And Smiley is on the list because I don't really know what to think about it; the movie's killer looks different from all the other masked killers horror audience's are used to seeing.

What horror films are you looking forward to seeing?


1

Facebook Funded Horror


There are a lot of people out there who are striving to make films without having the necessary means to do so. However, with the internet, one can pretty much do anything. Director Brad Mills found that to be true when he used the social networking site, Facebook, to help raise $50,000 to fund his comedy-horror, The Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger, premiering this Wednesday in London.

The film, the first Facebook-funded movie, was shot over 23 days in Nova Scotia with a crew made up of mainly new graduates from Concordia’s Mel Hopenhagen School of Cinema. The director also used the social site to meet designer, Tom Hodge, who created the brilliant poster for the campy film, Hobo With a Shotgun, and asked him to make the poster for his horror-comedy.

Mills created the film in homage to classic's such as Friday the 13th, Psycho Cop, and Sleepaway Camp. He says that Forest Ranger is a "wholesome comedy with high nostalgic value," insisting that it is a horror film made by horror fans, for horror fans.

The movie's plot follows a group of teens who are drinking and partying in the woods and are unexpectedly interrupted by the psychotic ranger, who has an ahem, axe to grind. See what I did there? The movie follows the stereotypical plot of most campy eighties movies, involving a list of dumb characters and (forced) bad acting.

The horror-comedy originally screened at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. The London screening will be a part of a fundraiser for the film, suitably called, "Send the Ranger to Camp." Mills, along with the movies producers, hope that the fundraiser will help them to garner $2,500 to obtain worldwide distribution for the film.

I for one hope that they are able to raise the funds so that I can eventually see the movie. I applaud anyone who sets out to follows their dreams, especially by using methods such a Facebook and Twitter to help them. Bring on the cheeeeese!
0

Save the Chapel



If you're a fan of zombie movies then you most likely have seen the 1968 George A. Romero flick that started it all: Night of the Living Dead. The movie opens with a brother and sister duo, Barbara and Johnny, who are visiting their father's grave. Johnny teases Barbara and delivers the now iconic line, "They're coming to get you, Barbara." The scene is unforgettable, subtle and creepy, as it takes place in a graveyard in Evans City, Pennsylvania. Now, the Cemetery Association is trying to demolish the chapel which was seen throughout the graveyard scenes in the beginning of the film.

The chapel, which has been closed down and boarded up for some time now, is set to be torn down within the year due to it's devastating appearance. However, fans of the cult classic are rallying around the issue, trying their best to save the horror monument.

Gary Streiner, the film's sound engineer and brother of actor Russell Streiner (Johnny), is making his best effort to raise the $50,000 that the Cemetery Association said should cover the restoration of the building. Streiner has been selling t-shirts, posters, customized zombie portraits and pieces of the chapel's decaying roof. Along with the memorabilia, Streiner has set up an online ad campaign, Fix the Chapel, where fans are encouraged to make donations.

If the sound engineer's efforts do pay off, he'd like to make the chapel a horror museum or a wedding chapel for horror enthusiasts.  Streiner currently has only raised a meager $7,000 which is nowhere close to his final goal.

When the Cemetery Association learned of Streiner's campaign to save the chapel, they were impressed enough to put the building's demolition on hold. Association President, Ron Volz, stated to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "He's come up with great ideas to raise money, but 50 grand is going to be tough to raise...But if he gets zombies from all over the United States to contribute...he can raise it."

If fans cannot raise the money by next September Volz and the rest of the Cemetery Association isist that they must proceed with tearing the chapel down.

As I already mentioned before, I am obsessed with zombies, so, Night of the Living Dead is obviously one of my top horror movies. When I heard this news I was saddened because the chapel is a part of zombie history. I applaud Streiner's efforts to help save the chapel and I'd like to help spread the news in order to get more help.

If you love horror movies, or have a place in your heart for zombie films, or any type of monument that has meaning to you, please help save the chapel. A small donation can go a long way and I urge you to help. Please visit Fix the Chapel for more details.

Monday, November 28, 2011

1

Remakes, Remakes and more...Remakes. Sigh.


When is Hollywood going to learn that they need to stop remaking classic horror films of the '70's and '80's? There is absolutely no need to take something that is sacred in the hearts of horror lovers everywhere, other than money (of course), and most of the time those remakes result in something that completely lost sight of what the original film actually had--A Nightmare on Elm Street anyone?

There are rare cases when a remake is done right, even surpassing the original film. For example, the 2010 remake of the George A. Romero classic, The Crazies, was an improved version of the horror hit. Don't get me wrong, I love my Romero, but I also LOVE my Timothy Olyphant. The man looks mighty fine in uniform.

The remake had a much faster and exciting pace than the original slow burn style that Romero used making for a faster watch. We also got to know the main characters in the movie, making it easier for us to sympathize with them for all that they have to go through.

Another remake which did the job right was the 2006 film, The Hills Have Eyes, directed by Alexandre Aja. The movie is an obvious remake to the Wes Craven classic about a family who's RV breaks down in the middle of the desert and then are brutally stalked and attacked by psychopaths living within the hills.

Personally, I enjoyed the remake much better than the original. I love Aja's directing style and although he does have a tendency to be overly gory in his films, we learned a lot about the characters in the movie. The audience gets to see the family members interact with each other for some time before the action really picks up and when it does, we feel horribly sorry for everything that they are going through. Aja's storytelling allowed us to relate to the characters, love them, and root for them! Not many remakes go through the process of characterization.

The Hills Have Eyes and The Crazies are just two examples of decent remakes out of the hundreds of horrible, god-awful remakes that keep coming out year after year.

The 2003 remake of Tobe Hooper's, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, wasn't completely terrible but in no way did it even come close to the original film. The 1973 classic was and still is one of the rare movies that makes me feel dirty and need to take a shower.

The style of the film, along with the eery atmosphere that it created, made one feel as if they were watching something that was real. During the time, the film was known for being extremely gory, however, Hooper never showed a drop of blood in the entire film.

The original Chainsaw Massacre was a rare horror film that looked and felt real and relied on sounds and and images to help create fear. The sound of the chainsaw along with the protagonist's screaming as she runs through a dark woods will forever be with me. The remake didn't do any of that.

Instead of being subtle as Hooper did, Director Marcus Nispel tried making the remake "scarier" by including more blood and gore, immediately starting with a a scene where a girl blows her brains out. Was it absolutely necessary? No. But, nowadays, directors and production companies think that more blood and gore is all audiences want. Indeed, there are horror fans and moviegoers who do only care about gore and I find that to be sad.

If a movie mainly relies on grossing you out and just spilling blood all over the screen, there really isn't much depth or point to the film at all. I was extremely upset with the remake of A Nightmare on Elm street because we didn't really get to know the characters as we did in the original. Not to mention that the new Nancy(Rooney Mara) was not as strong and fearless as original Nancy was (Heather Langenkamp).

A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of my all time favorite horrors and the remake completely ruined it. There were classic scenes, such as Freddy's glove coming out of the bathtub while Nancy sleeps, featured in the film, but there was nothing really done with it; the scene was completely wasted and not used to its potential.

I become enraged every time I hear about a remake coming out, thinking about how the younger generation of moviegoers won't even know that it's a remake and they will never know how good the original film was.

My anger grew larger when I found out that they are going to remake the 1981 cult hit, The Evil Dead.The original told a story of a group of twentysomething friends staying in a cabin in the middle of the woods. The friends find a Book of the Dead and unknowingly unleash demons who possess them one by one.

The classic starred Bruce Campbell as the badass, Ash, who horror fans know and love all too well. Sam Raimi, the film's original director, will be producing this film along with Campbell. But, get this--there will be no Ash character in the film. WHAT? NO ASH? How could you remake one of the most beloved campy horror films of the past twenty years and not include the character who made the movie so enjoyable to watch?!

I was immediately hesitant to the remake at first but when I found out that Ash's character will not be featured, I became completely against the movie. Although Campbell does have a cameo, it's still not the same.

Along with The Evil Dead remake, which can be expected in 2012, there will also be remakes of the '80's Troma film, Mother's Day, and a reboot of the campy cheesefest, Chopping Mall.

When will it all end? Hopefully soon, or else, there will be nothing left to cherish in horror. I guess nothing is sacred when it comes to the movie business.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2

Pretty Much Dead Already


The Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale Recap
Warning: This post contains spoilers on tonight's episode. If you haven't seen it, first of all, what the hell is taking you so long to watch it, and secondly, don't read this if you would like to remain unspoiled.

My love for zombies is everlasting so, naturally, I am completely obsessed with AMC'S The Walking Dead. Sadly, tonight was the series's mid-season finale and it has left me foaming at the mouth for more. The episode followed the usual slow-burn storyline and the highlight was in its final ten minutes. The performances from both Jon Bernthal (who plays Shane) and Steven Yeun (Glenn) helped to make the episode stand out among the rest, leaving me satisfied and wanting more.

The episode, titled, Pretty Much Dead Already, begins very casually, with the characters appearing to be peaceful and content on Hershel's farm. However, the storm soon follows the calm when Glenn blurts out that Hershel has a barn full of walkers. Immediately, tensions begin to run high as the group argue over how to handle the situation and whether or not they should just leave the farm altogether.

Shane's character is very strong-willed and he seems to be taking over the authority that Rick has. He urges the group to leave the farm because it's too dangerous and there isn't much point to stay, especially since he believes that Sophia is dead. However, Rick is able to talk the survivors down, at least in the moment.

After the incident at the barn, besties Shane and Rick fight over the situation and Shane starts with wanting to leave again. He doesn't see why Rick is fighting to stay at a place in which they are unwelcome and unsafe. Then, Rick admits that Lori is pregnant, leaving Shane stunned. Shane later confronts Lori about her pregnancy, insisting that the baby is his, however, she shoots him down and tells him that even if the child were his, he would not be a part of its life. Ouch.

Meanwhile, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is pissed at Glenn for revealing the farm's ginormous secret but the adorable guy soon wins her over by revealing his sweet reasoning for telling the group. Glenn explains to Maggie that she isn't safe with the walkers in the barn and he doesn't want anything to happen to her. Aw, these two are so cute together!

While all the Maggie and Glenn cuteness is happening, Shane is growing more and more angry and a little psychotic, more so after his talk with Lori. He goes to the RV to retrieve the guns and finds that Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) has taken them in effort to help their chances of being allowed to stay at the farm.

In his usual way, Shane marches into the woods and confronts Dale, making for a great scene. Jon Bernthal plays Shane so well because I love his character while simultaneously hating him. This particular scene was my favorite because of the way Bernthal played off of Demunn. He was so nonchalant and fearless to the point where it was kind of scary because it made me wonder what he will eventually do later on in the season.

All of these things lead up to the episode's climactic final ten minutes, which were one of the best scenes so far this season. Shane decides that he is going to take matters into his own hands and fight for what he believes in and it seems that he is slowly convincing the others to follow him--minus Rick, Lori and Carl. He has a meltdown when he spots Rick helping Hershel bring walkers to the barn, which was a part of Rick's effort to win Hershel over.

What follows next is pretty much a zombie massacre and the group's plane ticket on out of there. Shane explains that what Hershel is doing with the walkers is wrong because the walkers are not sick people; they're dead. He then proceeds to shoot one of the walkers in the head. The cold manner to which Shane performs this action and the response from Hershel and the others makes this scene chilling.

I felt sad for the walker who was shot because of what Hershel had been trying to do with her. He had made them almost seem savable and had allowed me to sympathize with the creatures who we're supposed to automatically hate. Rather than hate the zombie, I was really pissed at Shane for doing what should have been done! I guess that was the whole point of the scene, huh? To make the humans look as bad as the monsters?

After this, Shane runs to the barn and opens the door, unleashing all of Hershel's dead family and friends. Shane, Angela, T-Dawg and Glenn then shoot and kill all of the walkers, one by one as Hershel and Maggie cried on the sidelines. The scene was actually quite sad because I empathized with Hershel for his loss, even if he is a crazy old man who thinks that zombies can be saved! Who knows, maybe they can, and maybe they eventually will later on in the series.

What follows this is something even sadder and shocking, at least, I wasn't expecting it. Sophia, the dumb little girl who couldn't follow Rick's simple directions and has been lost for most of the season, walks out of the barn. Only, she's not alive; she's a full blown walker.

What's weird about this revelation is that gun-happy Shane couldn't bring himself to kill her, even though she was a walker. Instead, the man with enough guts to do the job was indeed Rick. The episode ends with Mr. Grimes putting a bullet in little Sophia's head.

Overall, I really enjoyed this episode but then again, I enjoy every episode. A lot of people complain about the slow pacing of the show but I have no problem with it; we're learning about the characters and watching them grow. Don't get me wrong, I love me some zombie action, but I also do love seeing how these characters are struggling to make it in a post-apocalyptic world.

I can't wait for the show to come back in February and I can only imagine what will happen in the rest of the season. My guess is that Shane will try to take control completely, and succeed, and somehow force Hershel to let them stay. Ugh, I'm already having zombie withdrawals.

What did you think of the mid-season finale?



Saturday, November 26, 2011

1

Apparently Being a Sitcom Star Makes You Psychic!


She looks like my uncle's gf, Denise.
I've always wished that I had psychic abilities and sometimes I'm convinced that I do. Deja vu has got to mean something when you're having it all the time--right? Well, anyway, I think I've discovered how one actually achieves the gift of psychic ability; be a former 90's sitcom star. At least, that's what the cuckoo Brett Butler did.

The 53 year-old comedienne and actress quickly rose to fame in the 90's with her hit family sitcom, Grace Under Fire. The actress fell off the map shortly after the sitcom ended and according to her interview with Entertainment Tonight, that's when her psychic abilities came into full swing.

Butler has struggled with substance abuse in the past and she insists that she is clean now. In the interview she discussed how she has overcome a lot in the past few years and has developed a new outlook on life. The star explains that she is doing stand-up again and she has fully embraced her psychic ability.

Has Butler had these psychic abilities all her life, lying dormant until she finished her show? Or did she wake up one day with the ability to read people's minds? She didn't give too much detail during the interview but she did mention that she was currently working on a reality show based on her psychic gift. How incredibly convenient.

I can't help but wonder if Butler is just messing with us and this is all just a ploy for her new show, which may or may not be about psychics. Either way, the bitch is crazy and you know what? I'm okay with that. I fully support and love her craziness. I can't wait for her new show.
1

Pete Doherty Sees Amy Winehouse's Ghost


British Rocker, Pete Doherty, 32, claims that he is being haunted by the ghost of Amy Winehouse. The singer of The Libertines and Babyshambles is so frightened of the ghostly apparitions that he has fled his London home and escaped to Paris.

The Sun newspaper spoke to Doherty's friends about his troubles and they insist that the 32 year-old is so terrified, he can no longer stay in his home. The troubled Brit told friends that he has seen Winehouse's ghost at least three or four times since her death in July.

The former Mr. Kate Moss has apparently seen the late singer's reflections on his windows and has seen her ghostly images in his bedroom at night. The source told The Sun, "He is utterly convinced that he has seen her ghost. A lot of people will think his visions are probably drug-induced but he claims he is clean." Hmmm, now why would anyone assume that Doherty's ghostly visions were drug-related?

Doherty and Winehouse were often seen photographed together around London and they performed numerous times together, most notably during 2009's V Festival. The rocker was reportedly so distraught over her death that he could not bring himself to go to her funeral. Really? What a great friend. Maybe Winehouse is coming back from the grave to haunt him for failing to pay his final respects.




1

The Ultimate Midnight Movie


Have you been longing for the days of the campy, B-movies that used to be shown in drive-in theaters? Do you spend your days hoping for a worthy new release of a horror anthology? Well, worry no more; Chillerama is the answer to all of your horror needs. The film, which plays homage to classic anthologies such as Creepshow and The Twilight Zone: The movie, hits shelves Tuesday, November 29.

The movie is a breath of fresh air that contains four different stories which span over four different decades of cinematic history. The movie, presented by Image Entertainment, includes brand new horror stories from the minds of directors, Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen), Tim Sullivan (2001 Maniacs), Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2), and Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City).

The foursome came together to present their unique story ideas with titles that include: Wadzilla; I Was a Teenage Werebear; The Diary of Anne Frankenstein; and Zom-B-Movie. Audiences can expect familiar faces of horror such as Joel David Moore (Hatchet), Lin Shaye (Insidious), Ray Wise (Reaper, Jeepers Creepers 2), and Kane Hodder (Hatchet, Friday the 13th).

Each story follows a different decade, beginning with Rifkin's 50's era monster spoof, Wadzilla. The second story in the anthology is Sullivan's Teenage Werebear, a spoof of classic 60's films such as Grease and Rebel Without a Cause. Green's Diary is the unconventional comedic love story involving Hitler and Anne Frank, while Lynch's Zom-B-Movie is an obvious spoof of classic zombie movies.

The movie takes place on closing night of the last drive-in in America, and Cecil B. Kaufman (Richard Riehle of Hatchet) unleashes the ultimate horror movie marathon of lost horror films. The movie was theatrically screened across the country for horror fans over the past 3 months with the final stop ending in Madison, Wisconsin.

I personally love horror anthologies, particularly  Trilogy of Terror (that damn little doll!), and I cannot wait to see this film. The stories sound interesting and somewhat new, and the film features a story directed by my major crush, Adam Green, so, obviously I will be seeing this one.

I'm not a huge fan of Sullivan because I thought that 2001 Maniacs was horrible, but I strongly believe that Green and Lynch know exactly what horror fans want and like, so, I know that their stories will not disappoint.

If you enjoy classic horror anthology movies and drive-in style films of the past, then keep your eye out for Chillerama which will be released on DVD and Blue-Ray this Tuesday, November 29.


1

All I Want for Xmas is Adam Green&Joe Lynch


Director Adam Green has just given me one more reason to swoon over him. Not only is he easy on the eyes and an intelligent horror director, the 36 year-old is adding altruism to his resume with the charity, "A Very Green and Lynch Christmas." The event will take place on Monday, November 28 at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz in Austin, Texas.

The charity, sponsored by Green's production company, Ariescope, is determined to raise money to build an elevator for veterans at the Austin American Legion Hall. Oh, if only I lived in Austin!

Along with Green, the event also includes his best friend, director Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2). The duo will hold a silent auction, screen films, give away prizes, have stump trivia, and much more! The night's prizes will include: An autographed Hatchet screenplay; A plaque of Victor Crowley's Hatchet overalls, signed by Kane Hodder; a date with editor Scott Weinberg, and plenty more!

The evening also encourages attendees to challenge Green and Lynch with their best horror trivia in a game of, "Stump Adam Green and Joe Lynch." If audience members succeed in stumping the horror twosome, they can choose from several awesome prizes.

Longtime pals, Joe Lynch and Adam Green
Both Green and Lynch continue to show their appreciation to the fans who made them successful by making an effort to reach out to them, and by giving back with free movie screenings. Next up, the gruesome twosome can be seen in their collaborations, Chillerama, a horror anthology homage to B-movies, and Holliston, the FearNet series based on their lives.

So, if you happen to be in the Austin area this coming Monday at 7 pm, why not enjoy yourself at a horror extravaganza while simultaneously doing a charitable deed? The night is sure to be filled with fun for everyone and it definitely won't disappoint.

Friday, November 25, 2011

0

Paul Soter of 'Broken Lizard' Directs First Horror


Paul Soter directs "Dark Circles"
Paul Soter, member of the comedic 'Broken Lizard' group and star of films such as Super Troopers, Club Dread, and Beerfest, recently talked with Bloody-Disgusting.com about his new horror film venture, Dark Circles.

Dark Circles is a film that follows two new parents (played by Jonathan Schaech and Pell James) who are suffering from infant-induced insomnia. Along with the stress of parenthood, the couple begins to see things within the confines of their home and they soon worry about their insanity. They quickly become more and more delirious as they begin to uncover the horrors living behind their walls in the terrifying new thriller.

Soter explains to Bloody-Disgusting that the film does not rely on the comedy that most of us are used to seeing him in and audiences shouldn't expect it to be anything like the Broken Lizard comedy-horror, Club Dread. He told the magazine, "I look at ‘Club Dread’ and I like it. I enjoy it, but that was where I learned how difficult achieving that tonal balance [between comedy and horror] can be...It’s a hard thing to do and I’m glad we took a stab at it but it’s a hard little tonal tightrope to walk.

The funnyman had no trouble conceiving the idea for the movie's plot; he based it on his personal experience of becoming a new father and a new homeowner simultaneously. He explained that during that time, losing sleep and worrying about taking care of a new child, one starts to lose their sense of reality. He decided that all of the added pressures and vulnerabilities made for the perfect backdrop for a haunted house film.

When BD asked Soter which he enjoyed more, comedy or horror, he replied: I love comedy and I love doing Broken Lizard, but as far as a consumer - I watch horror movies all day long.

Soter went on to explain that he wants to stick with horror for a while, in between doing Broken Lizard comedies. He told the mag that he already has other horror scripts written and has an idea for a horror TV show as well.

Horror and Broken Lizard fans alike can expect to see Soter's first full-length horror film when it debuts sometime in 2012.



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The Human Centipede 2


Imagine waking up naked in an empty warehouse. You're hog-tied, cold and confused. Then, without warning, a creepy looking dude with bug eyes turns on the light and you soon realize that you're one of 12 people. As your eyes adjust you see that you have unwillingly become a part of some sick bastard's sadistic plan, helping to form a human centipede. If you're wondering what type of person would do such a thing, director Tom Six shows you in his sequel, The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence.


Being a fan of 2009's, The Human Centipede: First Sequence, I was super excited to see this follow-up. I entered the film with high expectations, which is usually when one is let down, and after a brutal 1hr and 28 minutes, that is exactly how I felt.  The film was disgustingly overdone and unlike the first film, too much of the ass-to-mouth action was actually shown, essentially ruining the atmosphere that the original film brilliantly built.

The Human Centipede: First Sequence was introduced to audiences as the film with the controversial and hard-to-swallow storyline: A crazed surgeon, obsessed with connecting humans, kidnaps three individuals and surgically connects them mouth to anus, creating a "human centipede". Get it?

The film was not as graphic as one would expect, rather, it told the audience what was happening instead of actually showing it, relying on the power of imagination to create horror. There's a great scene where the doctor feeds the first person in the centipede, causing a normal--and disgusting--human response, but the director doesn't focus on the details of what is actually occurring. Instead, he focuses on the actress's face and her response to gross the audience out.

I applauded the film for it's originality and overall gross factor, especially in a world filled with horrible remakes. The film played on several fears and I found myself questioning what I would do if I was ever in a situation like the characters in the film. I liked the way the first film ended because in a way, it was left open. Two years later, Six brought us the next entry in his messed up head: The Human Centipede II.

This time around, the film does not focus on a crazy doctor, rather, it follows a deeply disturbed man named Martin (Laurence R. Harvey). Martin is obsessed with The Human Centipede film and that obsession leads him to want to make his own human centipede. Instead of using three people, Martin brilliantly decides that he's going to use 12! Huh?


The entire film is shot in black and white and our protagonist never utters a single sentence, which gives the movie an eery feel. Harvey does a great job playing the character and I found myself feeling sorry for Martin in certain points throughout the film.

Martin struggles with mother issues, which was most likely Six's failed attempt to make some point or reason for this film. However, there is absolutely nothing redeeming about this movie.

The events that follow once Martin gathers his 12 victims is, to be frank, REDONKULOUS. The violence and grotesque acts that are performed in the remainder of the movie are unnecessary and stupid. The director was clearly looking for 'shock factor' and simply trying to out-due his first film.

The over-the-top gore is what really turned me off because it seemed like Six was shoving it down the audience's throat, trying anything and everything he could think of that would gross people out. He completely lost and ruined what he had with the first film, which was almost a bit simple and subtle. And trust me, there is nothing simple or subtle about this movie.

There was no psychotic doctor with a back story; there was just a random weirdo who was overly obsessed with the first movie. I tried telling myself that the sequel was making a point to show what crazy fans will do in response to movies, but I realized that I was giving Six too much credit.

Overall, this movie isn't even worth watching, unless you really, really want to see people sharting in other people's mouths. Yeah, that actually happened. The movie was pointless and filled with unnecessary graphic scenes meant solely to cause controversy. Skip this one. Rent the first movie instead.

















Thursday, November 24, 2011

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Gobble, Gobble Motherf#cker!




Instead of participating in the usual Thanksgiving traditions of watching the Macy’s Day parade while simultaneously stuffing your face with a juicy bird, why not change things up a bit and enjoy a viewing of the horror gem, Thankskilling.

Thankskilling (2009), a low-budget comedy horror, tells the tale of a homicidal turkey who delivers his vicious reign to a group of college kids on Thanksgiving. The film looks and sounds so bad that it actually is appealing to die-hard horror fans that are simply looking for a laugh.

The movie was written and directed by Jordan Downey and co-written by his pal Kevin Stewart. The pair created the holiday horror romp as homage to all of their favorite campy, B-level holiday-horror films of days past (Chopping Mall, Jack Frost, and Uncle Sam).

Before Thankskilling came to be, the buddies played around with two different ideas for their low-budget movie. The friends initially thought of doing a film about Easter, involving a giant, killer Easter bunny, but eventually decided that a movie about Thanksgiving would be best. Downey and Stewart immediately came up with the clever title, Thankskilling, and went to work on creating the evil, foul-mouthed turkey killing machine.

The movie follows the typical B-movie formula usually seen throughout the holiday themed horror films most popular in the eighties, involving the stereotypical characters such as the Jock, the Slut, the Good Girl, the Nerd, and of course, the Sheriff. The movie’s plot is simple and traditional: a bunch of college kids on thanksgiving break get stalked and killed, one by one.

Although I have not had the chance to see this movie yet, it looks like it is an enjoyable and hilarious movie that follows the criteria of one of my favorite horror subgenres: camp! Clearly, one would need to go into this movie lightly and without taking it seriously because obviously the film was not made to be taken that way.

The movie doesn’t look like it is filled with the best acting ever, but again, what campy horror film does? The title alone should let one know what to expect and it should steer away non-horror fans without an open mind. The film’s tagline is “Gobble, Gobble Motherf#cker” for crying out loud. I will definitely be watching this movie this year, especially now that I know more about it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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Boy Sees Dead People



The Daily Mail reports of a family's woes over their 5-year-old son's apparent visitations with a 'grey skinned' ghost.

The toddler's father, Dagan Gerrity, insists that his son speaks of a grey-skinned man who sits on the edge of his bed at night, talking to him and keeping him awake. Gerrity claims that his son first told him about the ghostly visions six months ago in their home in Birdlington, England, and states that the child is scared and unable to sleep at night.

Along with the child's claims, family members insist on witnessing objects moving in the boy's bedroom, as well as a ghostly face that forms on the wall inside their home.

Gerrity told the Daily Mail, "The first time it happened, Dagan's mum Emma and I heard him crying on the baby monitor. I went up to him and he was just crying his eyes out." Gerrity went on to say,"'At first I thought it was just his imagination, or he had had a bad dream. Of course you never expect this kind of thing to be true, I've never believed in this kind of thing before. But there's no denying it now."

The Gerrity family, along with their neighbors, also claim that they experience plenty more paranormal activity ranging from noises and movement in the upstairs rooms. The activity has frightened Mrs. Gerrity so much, she wants to move. Mr. Gerrity said, "The whole thing has got us really spooked. My wife wants to move, she doesn't want to stay in the house anymore."

Gerrity claims that the activity picked up shortly after having their home renovated. Hmmm, this sounds like a case for the Ghost Hunters International Team.

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What to watch


Be on the Lookout for Upcoming Horror Programs for November and December


Just in time to soothe your tummies after Thanksgiving, Chiller TV will air, The Future of Fear, on Friday, November 25. The two hour special, narrated by Linda Hamilton(Children of the Corn, The Terminator), delves into the history of horror, rehashing how the genre made its way into the mainstream and what the future holds for it. The program looks back at horror classics such as, John Carpenter's Halloween, and also discusses the newest faces of the genre. Also featured are interviews with some of horror's biggest names, including: George A. Romero, Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Allan Ball, and John Landis.
George
Unfortunately, I don't have Chiller and I would love to hear how this special is from one of my readers!



A&E will air part one of the two part mini series, Stephen King's Bag of Bones, on Sunday December 11, followed by the conclusion on Monday, December 12 at 9pm. The made-for-TV movie stars Pierce Brosnan, Melissa George, Annabeth Gish, and my personal favorite, Jason Priestly.

The movie is based on the Stephen King bestseller of the same name that follows novelist, Mike Noonan (played by Brosnan),on his journey as he tries learning how to cope with the death of his wife, Jo (Gish), while simultaneously trying to overcome writer's block. He soon relocates to the lake that he and his wife once shared and discovers that there are many mysteries lurking there.


Santa comes early this year with the oh-so-merry DVD release of Hostel 3 on December 23. Sadly, Eli Roth isn't behind the torturous fright-fest; Scott Speigel (From Dusk til Dawn 2) takes over as director, this time bringing the money-for-murder fun to the city of sin: Las Vegas! This time around, the Elite Hunting club finds its victims from a group of dudes, played by Kip Pardue, Thomas Kretschmann, and John Hensley, who were just trying to have fun at a Bachelor party. I guess what happens in Vegas not only stays there...it kills you too.



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I Heart Horror


Welcome to my Blog!

As you already know, my name is Amanda and I'm completely obsessed with all things horror. I also have a love for writing and I decided to combine my two passions together and the result is this horror blog!

I know what you're thinking:Who cares?At least, I know that's what I would be thinking. I'm just some nobody girl who thinks she's important enough to the point where people want to read about her life. Cue the rolling of your eyes now.
But, give me a chance. I only need a few minutes of your time so that I can quickly explain myself, before I get to posting about the horror-related stuff that you came here for in the first place.

My love for horror and writing has led into a deeper interest of horror magazines such as Rue-Morgue and Fangoria. My life goal is to not only write horror novels, but I also want to write for the aforementioned publications where I can showcase my love through various articles and features pertaining to the horror world. The only problem is...it's kind of hard to actually land your dream job, at least for a recent grad like myself.

I know that my dreams are possible if I keep working hard and I figured that I would start with this blog. I decided--why wait for something to happen?Why wait when I can create my own venue dedicated to horror and my writing? So, that's exactly what this blog is; it is the answer to all of my career questions and woes.

Mandy's Morgue of Horror is a girl's view of the macabre. This blog will include all of the latest horror updates, reviews, features and more. This will be my attempt at my own personal "horror magazine" where I will try my best to accomplish my writing goals. Without a doubt, this blog is my newborn child and I urge you to give me a chance, read, comment, and submit! After all, you wouldn't want yo kill a baby...would you?

xoxo Amanda

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