Tag Archive: horror

January 29, 2011

A Saturday night alone in front of the tv?  Nothing wrong with that!  While Mick was out having a boys night, I decided to have some fun movies to keep me company.

Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

This movie is exactly what I want out of an A&C flick.  Lou being lovably hilarious.  Bud being his usually cranky self.  A host of guest stars that nearly steal every scene.  In this case, Bud and Lou are joined by none other than Lon Chaney Jr. and Bela Lugosi…because you can’t meet Frankenstein without the Wolfman and Dracula!  There’s some great physical comedy and plenty of zingers.  The story is as silly as can be, but that’s not important.  It’s damn fun, and you should watch it.

Abbot & Costello Meet The Mummy (1955)

After all the fun of Meet Frankenstein, I thought I’d really enjoy Meet the Mummy.  Unfortunately…well, it wasn’t bad.  I guess there’s just so much A&C I can take in one sitting.  I missed the famous faces that were so prevalent in the earlier film, although I did get a jolt of excitement from recognizing Kam Tong (also known as Hey Boy from the brilliant western serial Have Gun Will Travel), with his one line where you don’t even see his face.  I might give the movie another shot at a later date, in which case you’ll hear more then.  For now though…meh.  Feel free to tell me I’m wrong.

January 22, 2011

Another marathon day!  Saturdays tend to be the days when my body still tries to wake me up at godawful hours of the morning, so I’m forced to crawl out of bed and seek comfort on the couch.  These are the times I usually watch things that Mick doesn’t want to watch. 

So I started off the day with

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1959)

This had a lot of things going for it.  60s and 70s B-movie horror is some of my favorite stuff ever.  It had a weird, completely implausible premise.  And the copy on the DVR was from an old episode of Elvira’s Movie Macabre.  All good things.  And yet…

I did not like this movie.  I really wanted to, and I was convinced that the first 20 minutes or so were a great start.  And then…let me recount this scene for you:

Man and woman are driving in a convertible; he takes a turn too fast and the car crashes; man is thrown from the vehicle and rolls down an embankment, but is surprisingly uninjured; woman is still in the car (I assume she was wearing her seatbelt), which has mysteriously caught on fire; she reaches out a hand as if pleading for assistance; man cringes, and hands her his coat; moments later, man reaches into the flaming car and takes the coat with her head wrapped neatly inside.

I had to pause the damn movie after that because I had so many questions. 

It’s probably not much of a spoiler to tell you that the man takes the head to his lab where he pumps it full of juice and a mysterious “elixir” that keeps her head alive without a body, seemingly just sitting on a cookie sheet filled with blood and some sort of pumping mechanism.  Oh, there’s also an Igor-type assistant with a withered arm, and a mysterious “experiment gone wrong” creature locked in a closet. 

From there, the man begins a long and arduously-misogynistic search to find his fiance a new body.  He checks all the reasonable places: strip joints, bikini modeling contests, art school sessions, even picks up ladies walking down the road.  At one point there’s a stripper catfight.  It’s a series of horrible representations of women who all fawn over the murderous man who obviously hadn’t thought of things like VD when he went on his body-quest.  I won’t tell you how it ends, except to say that the woman sort of wins and the man gets his comeuppance.   

Le Mans (1971) 

After breakfast, I turned on TCM and watched the last half hour of Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo.  Because it’s Saturday, and why the hell not. (Why the hell Knotts?)  After that, they stuck with the racing theme and showed Le Mans, which I stuck around to watch because it has two things I adore: fast cars, and Steve McQueen.  If you like real F1 or Grand Prix racing, this flick is great.  If you’re really into Days of Thunder, this might not be your thing.  For one, there’s hardly any dialogue in the whole film.  There’s hints of romantic subplot, a relatively unexplained rivalry, and just enough backstory to make you care what happens to Steve McQueen (like you need an excuse to care about Steve McQueen).  But the thing you have to remember is that McQueen was really into racing in real life.  He wanted to make a movie about racing.  He even got clearance from the  producer to do all his own driving. (Did I mention he was the producer?)  

But trust me, folks, this is not NASCAR.  Though the story is sparse, it has an understated intensity that lets characters speak volumes in mere glances.  The racing is genuinely exciting to watch, and of course there are some excellent crashes to witness.  It’s not a light-hearted or thrill-a-minute kind of flick, but if you want a slow-burn with some sweet cars and a handsome protagonist to keep you company while you do laundry, put it in your queue. 

Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

And then TCM made a completely off-the-wall jump, from car racing to Greek mythology.  Don’t get me wrong, I am defintely not complaining.  Ever since I was wee, Ray Harryhausen has been one of those men who make me love to love movies.  When I was young I loved Clash of the Titans, and Jason and the Argonauts is a film I came upon within the last decade and have just adored.  It may not have quite the star power that Titans has, but I think the animation is far superior.  The skeleton warrior fight scene is one of the most impressive stop-motion animation sequences ever put to film.  (It was here that Mick and I had an indepth conversation about the merits of both Harryhausen and Rankin-Bass, and what if Harryhausen had done Rudolph.)  I don’t think there’s much praise I can give to this film that hasn’t already been heaped upon it by generations of fans, so I’ll leave it at that.  On a related note, I want to start a metal band called “Children of the Hydra”.

Here, watch some skeletons kick ass.

January 15, 2011

Talk about your productive day!  In addition to getting up and getting donuts for breakfast, driving to Wimberley and back, having lunch with Mom and Aunt Heather, and yarn shopping, I managed to watch two movies!  And football!  But we’re here to talk about movies.

Ip Man (2008)

Somehow I missed this one up until now, despite hearing so much about it.  We got the BluRay in from Netflix a few weeks ago, and Mick had just turned it on when I walked in on Saturday.  It’s based on the true story of Master Ip, a famous Chinese martial arts master who defied the Japanese invaders to save his town, friends, and family….and also happened to train Bruce Lee later in life.  The film is beautifully shot and the fight scenes are amazing.  There were at least a handful of moments where I cried out in empathy with joints bending backwards and people getting a boot to the face.  Donnie Yen does a great job of playing the lovable hero who can also crush your soul with his fist.  Another highly recommended one.

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

CUSHING!  I have an intense adoration of Peter Cushing, and therefore of Hammer films across the spectrum.  The Draculas are my favorite, but The Curse of Frankenstein is among the most fabulous of the Hammer horror collection.  Peter Cushing is, of course, the mad Doctor Victor Frankenstein whose fascination with pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery becomes an obsession with creating the perfect being.  He goes from curious to passionate to completely self-absorbed, locking himself in his laboratory for days, ignoring the warnings of his colleagues and going so far as to commit murder to acquire parts for his ultimate creation.  The wonderful Christopher Lee plays The Monster, although he doesn’t get to show the full range of his genius (not having any lines or much direction for his character).  Robert Urquhart is also commendable as Frankenstein’s mentor and colleague Paul, who continually tries to talk Victor into coming back to reality, abandoning his madness and destroying the creature.  If you like Hammer Horror, Peter Cushing, Terrence Fisher and the like, you’ll like this one.

Just the facts.

Hey kiddies!  Hope you’re having a fabulous Wednesday, and a very merry St. Patrick’s Day. 

I wish I had something exciting to tell you, but things have been busy at work and leaving little time for fun and excitement.  So here’s a little news for the day to keep you occupied:

Because we here at YGFAD are unashamed Eli Roth groupies, I was excited to read that his new production, The Last Exorcism (nee Cotton) has a release date!  Come on August!

Here’s an equation I never expected, but in the end it’s not so surprising:
John Mellencamp + Stephen King + musical = The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.
The project has already been postponed once, but now there’s a director on board.  That’s a start, right?  No release date as of yet.

Speaking of musicals, Poe is also getting a CD/DVD release!  Haven’t heard of it?  It’s only a musical about the works of frickin Edgar Allen Poe, penned by Eric Woolfson (of Alan Parsons Project fame) and starring Steve Balsamo, who played the titular role in London’s 2009 run of Jesus Christ Superstar.  Prog rock horror musical FTW!  {For the record, Ian Gillan was still the best Jesus, hands down. Sorry dude.} 

And because I like Scalzi and I think he makes a good point, here’s a nice logical reason why we still don’t have replicants and Jupiter is still a celestial behemoth (and, as far as we know, not full of magical monoliths).

SGU anyone?  New trailer’s up on io9!   Reminds me how much I LOVED the last two minutes of the last episode. 

Someone give this guy a hug.  Preserving the lost art of VHS cover art! 

And just for fun, here’s a pretty picture of space dust!

Today I am wearing a new shirt.  A shirt I bought yesterday, as a matter of fact.  This particular shirt is, for lack of a better word, fuzzy.  It is shedding tiny little fuzz particles every time I touch it, and the result is me looking like I’ve been clawing in the dirt all morning.  I’ve washed my hands about fifteen times this morning, and it just keeps coming back, because every time I stand up I have to tug on the shirt a bit.  It’s incredibly frustrating.  I just had to get that off my chest.  Thanks for listening.

Speaking of chests, this was at the top of my feeds this morning:

“One of the beneficiaries of Avatar’s success could be the on-again, off-again Heavy Metal movie. Now there’s talk it may be reborn as an all-3D, all-animated anthology with contributions from Avatar’s James Cameron, Watchmen’s Zack Snyder and David Fincher.” (via io9.com)

Heavy Metal?  In 3D?  Holy bouncing breasteses RIGHT IN MY EFFING FACE, Batman! 


And, in case you were wondering, I am totally listening to Don Felder at the moment.  Duh.

I wouldn’t consider myself a Heavy Metal fan, per se…partly because I was never a 17-year-old boy, and as such I just never got a ton of exposure to it.  I would consider myself a fan of the soundtrack and its featured South Park episode (see above).  And in that respect, I want to see it done well.  I want Heavy Metal to be awesome.  As awesome as, well, heavy metal!

There’s also a lovely article on the new Preadators movie up on io9 today that makes me feel a little better about it than I may have before.  I have an intense love of the original movie and an intense dislike of remakes, so I’ve been a little hesitant to be all gung-ho about it.  But there are two words that really jump out at me and make me very happy here: “practical effects”.  It’s not that I’m against CGI (okay, maybe I am a little), but I think it has a place.  CGI is for things that absolutely cannot be done practically.  Not for “enhancing” things that already exist (*cough*Lucas*cough*), not for making real people look like cartoon people (because that can be done practically too).  And it should especially be avoided in the horror and action genres.  When I see a giant explosion, I want to know that it really was a giant fucking explosion.  I watch Mythbusters, I know it can be done.  I know people that can make disgustingly true-to-life rotting flesh and delicious blood.  And I’ve seen Guillermo del Toro make creatures ten times more terrifying than anything a computer could dream up.

one of the only movie creatures that ever gave me nightmares

 That bastard still gives me the shivers.  There have only been 5 movie characters that have ever attacked me in my dreams, and that’s just the latest one.  The others, in case you’re interested, are (in order from earliest to most recent):
1. gremlins
2. the stair-rail snake thing from Beetlejuice (nos. 1 and 2 were actually both in the same dream, and I’ve had this exact same dream at least 4 times in my life.) 
3. Gollum (not particularly scary except when he comes out of your roommate’s closet and tries to eat your face)
4. a Chucky-esque little kid (cuz let’s face it, little kids are frickin creepy. especially the kind you can’t kill, even by swinging them baseball-bat-style into a wall repeatedly and throwing them down a flight of stairs.)

Now I’ve lost my train of thought.  And it’s after 3:00, and I was just given the ok to sneak out of work early today since I’ll be putting in overtime in my boss’s absence at the end of the week.  So that’s where I’ll leave you for the day, little ones.  Come back tomorrow, things should be less scary.

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