The Dark Universe….Mummy Review

The Dark Universe….Mummy Review

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I waited a lot longer to see this movie than I originally expected. First, I love the classic Universal Monster Movies! They hold up in many ways and laid the ground work for the horror genre. I believe my favorite to be is House of Frankenstein, where they just threw a few of them into the same film. Now, Universal wants to go back and highlight some remakes and put them all in the same universe…because it works for Marvel.

Not a terrible idea, but its really a fucking goldmine and it would work if you would actually make these horror films……but instead we get monsters in action films…(Not surprised)

What makes horror work in modern day or even in the past? Big budget? NO! A List actors? NO! ( It has worked before, but it is not needed. It literally kick started the career for many unknown actors) CGI? FUCK NO! (I know someone in this world could argue this with me, but no. You lost if you believe it to be so. If that is the case, don’t watch horror or read me)

Sadly, The Mummy falls into these like I expected it to.

First off, Alex Kurtzman directed this picture. I am guessing he watched all the super hero movies he could before he even looked over the script. (Something he ignored for Amazing Spiderman 2) With a filmography that is hilarious to look it, Anyone could guess the lines of a box office flop flowing in.

I Just lived on the hope in my heart.

I admit I feel victim to the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. I have been trying to ignore that and I do argue movies that get praised or thrown out. I almost believe there is a conspiracy on Rotten Tomatoes where everyone plays follow the leader with certain critics. (I miss Ebert)

Soooooo…I waited a week, went alone, bought my ticket, received my free popcorn & drink (Membership) and sat down as the only person in the theater. With my feet kicked back on the seat in front of me I watched with excitement the trailer for IT! (My favorite book) I enjoyed the classic Universal opening that turned into its dark doppelganger of the Dark Universe Logo.

It thought it was cool.

They show the backstory of how the mummy came to be and a fat Russell Crowe. (I only remember what he looks like from Gladiator) I was eager to watch in the beginning, not laughing at all the poorly misplaced jokes about Tom Cruise only lasting 15 seconds, balls deep in Annabelle Wallis. The CGI stuck all over this film in the most piss poor attempts to avoid hiring makeup artists that do more than polish Tom’s face. The middle of the movie became a little interesting but it was hardly the mummy anymore…more like (Spoiler) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde versus Tom Cruise in a fistfight. I was so agitated with Tom’s charecter, the love interest with a weird love triangle with the mummy that I was praying the mummy would win! By the climax of the movie I saw an annoying fight that feels like something I have seen a thousand times (In action films) and kept editing the film in my head to make it better. The film has pieces that worked, if executed correctly.

Seriously, I could have fixed this movie for them….but I will get to that.

This is a few things that I thought were cool for the movie

  1. The Mummy herself. Minus the terrible CGI on her eyes I actually really liked her. Why they changed her name from the already fictional Anck-Su-Namun blows me away….maybe Ahmanet was easier for them to say. I liked her because they could have made her really scary but they dropped the ball on it, so I could tell she did her best.
  2. The easter eggs in the middle of the film introducing us to a Dark Universe that made me giddy as a horror fan. The creature from the black Lagoon’s hand was in a jar, Dracula’s fanged skull in another…and a body….I am guessing was The Bride from Bride of Frankenstein. Sadly that they are all dead…like this movie.
  3.  This was just an interesting thing. They mention that London is literally built on top of graves all over the city. So when Ahmanet summons the dead to rise  it made these zombie/mummies chasing after Tom Cruise. That is a really cool idea that fell on its face and exploded into dust. (Imagine if she unleashed all the dead to rise and attack the city) But Zombies are a bit stale (Understatement)
  4. I could believe Russell Crowe as Mr Hyde. I liked his accent for the five minutes we could kind of hear it.
  5.  I liked Brian Tyler’s music for the film.

The Bad

  1. They tried to slide comedy into it.
  2. CGI for even how she moved at times, even for the makeup of Mr. Hyde. Did we really need that for his eyes? The only CGI that was fine was the sandstorm.
  3. No atmosphere at all. No clue that this came from a horror series. Remember with the name The Mummy you recall horror films. (Its Brenden Fraser’s fault) I mean Dark Universe is the name of this franchise!
  4. Why the fuck was this rated PG-13? That’s good news for the rest of these movies. Dracula drinks blood but we won’t see any of it. The Wolf Man eats people but nothing more than a nibble.
  5. Who the hell was Tom Cruise supposed to be? He is labeled as a selfish grave robbing/ U.S. Soldier who happens to be Imhotep but never called that. I had no idea who the hell he was suppose to be and why I should cheer him on! That is why I was cheering the mummy to kill everyone…literally making this a Dark Universe.
  6. BAD pacing!
  7. The fact they tried to mislead an audience about the Dark Universe without establishing a good movie yet, all the while trying to hit a home run by doing a superhero style movie with a mummy. You know a corpse with super powers. Makes for a great superhero!

They attempted this before…in 2014 with Dracula: Untold. It suffered from everything this movie suffered from. It was suppose to be the start of the Dark Universe, but they swept it under the rug, started over with a different monster, but used the same formula! If it didn’t work then, why try it now?

Universal, don’t be scared of a R rating. It worked for Deadpool (overrated) and Logan! (Liked it!) Monsters have more right to an R rating than superheros and mutants.

One day I may write my version of this movie like I want to do with Dawn of Justice and other films that were destroyed by critics, but that might exhaust me. Just watch Wonder Woman…it is really good!

 

Whiskey Wednesday: The Basis of Life

Whiskey Wednesday: The Basis of Life

Well, it’s Whiskey Wednesday, and that is my favorite day of the week. Which is strange because I still have to work in the fucking morning, but I’m pretty sure my employers are used to my hangover mornings. (They make me food occasionally so it’s all good.) I have already drank three whiskeys, which is six shots of cherry whiskey all mixed with one little can of vanilla coke zero. That is a delicious drink so I suggest it. Some nights I suck down Jameson and ginger ale, or just a simple well whiskey with a little RC from the local bar in Downtown Bloomington. (Where I live.) However, I fall into a strange trance of thought that ranges to all of my adventures throughout the week, and all the shit I usually deal with. Maybe it’s interesting, but maybe it’s not. I am my own worst critic.

 

A snake named Rhaegar.

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Isn’t he pretty? (Looks a lot bigger than he actually is…)

So late last week my boss, Mark asked if I was interested in buying a python from his breeder friend. It was a lesser with black and gold colors. (Beautiful) I told him I would think about it, even though I was totally going to buy it since the breeder only wanted a 100 bucks for a snake that is worth much more. I ran off to my local pet store and bought a new tank. While trying to put my new tank in my vehicle I had happened to clip the corner across my right arm and I gushed blood like a stuck hog. I rained blood down and dripped into the parking lot. Great….The next day I ran over to Mark’s house and met the breeder who gave me my shy little ball of joy. At the time I was only 75 percent sure I wanted a second snake, (I have an adorable albino baby corn snake girl named, Banshee.) but after I put him in my hand I went from 75 to 100 percent. I do realize that owning these snakes has made me less attractive to at least 50 percent or more of the female population, which is a real pain in the ass but I guess if you can’t love my precious little rat banes then maybe you can’t love me. I did name my snake after Rhaegar Targaryen, which is a dead prince mentioned in A Song of Ice and Fire book series. (Game of Thrones) Rhaegar is probably Jon Snow’s father or maybe its Ned Stark’s older brother is his father! Who the hell knows besides Martin!? (New sample chapter from The Winds of Winter) Maybe I will cross this topic down the road, but it’s a real bitch to write about fan theories.

 

The Marvel Civil War

Every fucking person I have talked to went on and saw Captain America, Civil War on opening night. I originally meant to but I got distracted with this little thing called, “Having a Fucking life!” But no seriously, I really wanted to see it. Matt and I saw it Monday night and we both really enjoyed it. I am really burnt out on Marvel movies right now and I have been waaaaay more invested in the Marvel Netflix shows. (Daredevil, Jessica Jones) They just have a darker tone, especially with my personal fav, The Punisher joining in! (I am planning a long Punisher topic in the future.)

 

Matt’s Going Away Party

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I am throwing a little party for my best friend, Matt this Saturday. We will start off playing games and start drinking with our friends before we wonder into the downtown life and get white girl wasted, but honestly we are usually worse than that….Matt is currently dating a girl out in L.A. and will be leaving on the 23 of this month to join her. I have gone almost 20 years of my 25 year life with this kid by my side…..things will be interesting…..

 

Book Stuff

With the release of my first novel coming very soon, I have grown paranoid about the content in it. I have gotten a little crazy with the stress in it and getting a fucking cover made. I will be releasing a collection of short stories a short time after the release. One of the stories I dedicated to my mother for Mother’s day, which she claimed she loved. (Maybe) Very soon you will see a sample chapter appearing on here.

 

Problems

Well, we all have problems, like how I just broke Rheagan’s new heat bulb. So now my golden boy has to go a night without any warmth. Another problem is getting my apartment clean for this party on Saturday. (Also need to invite the bros….) Getting enough sleep so I don’t live on green tea and coke zero at work. Make dinner….oh yeah….Maybe getting a date? Or make some hella bank and moving on from this cesspool of a job and finding a better existence of reality. I should probably stop bitching.

 

Food

Whiskey makes me hungry so I am going to bake catfish and some Cajun green beans…..Nothing special about this…..well maybe Cajun green beans. (Just green beans covered in butter or olive oil with dashes of Cajun seasoning….its amazing.)

 

(Notice how each section I write gets smaller and smaller……)

 

What’s New Bro?

I am going to be writing articles called “Why all the hate?” It’s where I look at celebrities or things that the world hates and argue that we shouldn’t. I may even tell you who you should hate. This first person I am going to argue for will be, W. Axl Rose…….Side note…..I have a chart I am making called “Sex and Cheeseburgers.” Yeah, you will never look at a Whopper again without thinking about handjobs….. Very sad handjobs… (I totally had to add Handjobs to my dictionary and I am not proud of that….)

 

What am I watching?

Currently, I am watching Party Down when I fall asleep, Buffy or Angel when I am cleaning, and possibly the new episode of Arrow before slumber land.

 

T.W. Lycan is out!

What the F Hollywood! Witch Movies

What the F Hollywood! Witch Movies

We all have seen them in some shape or form. Witches. A very casual theme around Halloween. Ugly women with green skin, maybe more ugly who want to gobble up all the kiddies.  The fairy tales fill our childhood with mystery and fear, and as we get older they become something else entirely…..

Witch movies….What the fuck!?

Now before I elaborate, I want to say that I’ am not talking about Witch television shows. For example, Charmed, Sabrina, Salem, and not even Buffy The Vampire Slayer. (Love this show) All feature witches, but do you know why I am not going to talk about them? Well, they all are fucking wrong. Sexy witches! Tons of them, or at least on a Plain Jane level. Now, I love Dark Willow as much as the next Buffy fan that wants to bone her. (More of a Cordy and Faith kind of guy) Plus, she was one of the few things that was great about season 6.

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Fuck these guys

I am only going to rant about movies because they all come with the possibility to scare us. They are meant to scare us….yet they cannot…..allow me to explain. Witches and Hags were very common in early folklore. The Grimm fairy tales are good examples. (Not that fucking show) A lot of our early folklore, urban legends, and all kinds of cultures tell us about hideous women who pledge to Satan, praise him by fire, eat children, sacrifice them to the devil, play with the dark arts etc. The hysteria it would bring to villages was horrifying that lead to more than one murder. American history has its own Salem witch trials to show for it. Now, allow me to explain why I hate the movies……

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

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We all know this movie. A loved and cherished classic by many. A popular book series with a few movies. (Returned to Oz is better) The first one gave us this witch.

As a kid I was terrified of her. The green skin, her voice and cackle. (I love a good witch cackle) I would always think she would fly down on her broomstick and eat me. She was a good witch.I am not alone when I said I was scared of her. Many people suffered her as well. However, she would become the mascot for how witches should look. Green skin, ugly, maybe a crooked nose, warts, wears a big pointy hat, her crystal ball, and broomstick. Some of this is right and some of this is wrong, but it ruined witches for years to come. That look is used in pop culture. Too many examples to explain, (I will say Banjo Kazooie) but I fear this is what took the seriousness out of the Witch. Plus, we all know Glinda The Good Witch is the true villain of that movie. I’m serious, look it up! Now that I got this out of the way….its time to get to the bad examples…..

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

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I remember when this came out and how the whole world said it was the scariest movie! As a kid I was so excited to see it. We rented it from Blockbuster (R.I.P.) and couldn’t wait to see this Blair Witch……so there were some stick bound together, some yells, some bloody pieces, and an old house. No witch! No Bloody witch! It’s called the Blair Witch Project, so don’t you think there should have been a witch at any given time. The best part of the movie is when they interview people and you hear all the legends. The rest is a bunch of paranoid people running around the woods and crying into a camera!

I will give it credit for the scary atmosphere it created. It gave the sense of something looking in the dark….however I really think this film had so much more potential and it failed to live up to its own hype. They used the internet to make fake web articles, and the purpose was to make people believe that there kids really went missing and their “found footage” was real. Back then it was easier to make fake articles without a thousand people figuring out the truth in 10 minutes. Highly debatable for awhile before the truth came out, but that marketing scheme drove people into the theaters and all the film does is a bit of a let down. Why not show the silhouette of a woman standing in the background watching them? Maybe a terrifying cackle coming from the woods? Perhaps we get a glimpse of a hideous old hag when they discover the house, her face quickly vanishing from the window? The opportunities to make this movie better with an extra 20 minutes could have sold me and could have made a scarier movie. It was loved when it first came out, but has a fair share of hatred years later. Did it help pave the way for the Found Footage films that appeared in recent years? Yes. Is it the best? No. Honestly Cannibal Holocaust is the best. (It started the genre) Most of all it was false advertising for a Witch that does not appear at all in the entire movie.

I wonder if True Detective got the idea of a bundle of sticks from this movie……

 

Lords of Salem (2012)

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Well, I got what I wished for. Fucking Witches. Did it come from a good movie? No. Once again another movie that had potential and failed. Failed miserably. A disc jockey gets a record called Lords of Salem and starts her on this spiral down hill about a coven of witches and they want her etc. The film isn’t scary, but the film does deliver on witches, praying to the devil around a fire, but where director Rob Zombie fails is what hurts the movie. He gets these creative ideas that are suppose to make up and or explain events through weird mystical scenes. Think the White Horse thing from his Halloween 2 remake. In this they have this whole vacant apartment scene that was so weird and out of place it took my interest out of the movie. If it was suppose to be a dark meaning I sure as hell didn’t get it. Is it about witches and the devil? Sure, I got that part, but the movie was a mess with a predictable ending. I feel the witches were too much, and so much that they stray from the source material and begin to create their own. Rob Zombie’s only good film is The Devil’s Rejects (2005) and that’s because he does a smart and creative straight to point brutal film.

There is one good part that I felt Zombie should have exploited. In one scene Sheri Moon is walking through her apartment and in the background standing on her kitchen counter is a naked, nasty, old hag of a witch. It made my skin crawl and I was excited if he was going to do these little things throughout the film. Nope, he dives in as fast as he could and leaves nothing for build up or for our imaginations to make. At the end if this I will say that this movie was confusing, but predictable, and it was probably only 5 minutes and a lower budget away from being some snuff grindhouse film from the 70s.

Hey, at least I got some fucking witches!

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

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No! That is all.

The Witch (2015)

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Finally! A witch movie about witches! Witchcraft! Paranoia! folklore! Even some god damned Puritans! It literally had everything I wanted, everything I have been bitching about. Apparently the director also had a fascination with witches and wanted to make a really good film. The film deals with a Puritan family being haunted by witches or just a single witch and a lot of the horrors come from the family turning on each other. The film showed hideous hags, a child sacrifice, a boy being seduced, a torn apart terrified family, possessed animals, a crow scene that was chilling, and even a witch cackle. (It was more of a laugh, but terrifying.) The film was well directed, acted, filmed, and even gives you some while leaving the rest to the imagination.

However, There’s one huge problem with it. The target audience didn’t like it. In recent years we have had a few indie horror films make a splash. (Babadook, It follows etc) They are well directed, and original movies, with terrifying scares that leaves their target audience baffled. This movie didn’t do that.

Now all films can be classified by three differnt types of moviegoers. 1. Critics, 2. Movie lovers, 3. Target audience. Critics give awards and praise to a film, movie lovers just enjoy all types of movies and don’t make a big deal about them other than just something they can enjoy, and the target audience makes your money. Those are your horror lovers….and they all seemed to find this movie boring…..Now I consider myself being a part of all three of these categories so when I finished watching The Witch I felt conflicted. The actual witch stuff was great, a beautifully directed film, but as a horror film it just kind of sucked. A lot of confusing conversations about evil and only one really scary part. (The crow scene) I understand anyone’s disappointment in the film and I could easily see it fall into the cracks of a forgotten movie.

Each movie missed out on making a perfect witch film. I feel that Hollywood has never understood the formula.

The Wizard of Oz (A classic, but started the stereotype)

The Blair Witch Project (Great idea, but doesn’t have any witches)

Lords of Salem  (Potential with the idea, but poorly made film)

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (The fuck is this?)

The Witch (Great movie, bad horror film)

Now maybe I am being a bitch and need to shut the hell up (If I could) and maybe some of you actually enjoyed some of these films. I have a bit of a biased opinion and I have only seen a select few films. If you know of any foreign films that are really good I would love to hear about them, or just any I flat forgot about, please tell me. I also think that if you enjoy witches of any sort then you should check out these films. You might enjoy them! I kinda did…..and remember Witches be Bitches!

Side Note: Horror Hotel or City of the Dead (1960) Its pretty good old Christopher Lee movie about a town full of witches. It’s not very accurate at all but it is a good black & white horror flick that is mostly forgotten.

 

 

A day in Review: The Jungle Book

A day in Review: The Jungle Book

When I awoke this morning I realized I had only slept a couple hours. The night consisted of drinking, reading, and binge watching. The sun was wide and bright when my eyes could finally close. I awoke to the news of Prince’s death, and reading the details on Chyna’s death. This process was a “wake up” moment and to keep my mind from focusing on the “book shit.”

It is always in the morning when I think of my novel, or how I hate my novel. The many changes one could make to it can swirl in my mind to the point of disaster. Irrational fears of a failed polish job lead me quicker to the neck of a whiskey bottle. But not that early in the morning. (I am not that fucking crazy) I had to focus on what lay at my fingertips for the day.

Braize, Laundry, Jungle Book. (Possibly a pizza)

Braize is a small time eatery open just a few hours a day, located inside a VFW. They are bread pockets stuffed with meat and all kinds of goodies. The Rasta 4 Eye is so good I almost popped a testicle! I was meeting Basar there to chit chat over the mysteries of life…and Batman.

After having my fill I ran off to do laundry and gave my dog Nessie a walk. Fat John joined me on our journey. I was sucking down large amounts of tea, for my lack of sleep was catching up on me and I sure as hell did not want to fall asleep during the Jungle Book. I really hate to miss a part of a fucking movie.

When I returned to my apartment I sucked down even more tea while diving into video games to cleanse my brain of my negative thoughts. Soon, my father called to catch me up on life and stopped to tell me that he might have found a cancer spot on my dog, Nessie. My stomach turned at the thought. With my book coming so very soon I couldn’t imagine the fucking stress of my dog weighed down on top of it. She would be my number one priority if that turns out to be the case. I am positive that it is nothing, but fuck my thoughts today. Nightmares creep in when I am unaware.

I picked Shaffer up and we traveled to the theatre, where we ordered food and waited for the film to start. We chatted about writing, movies, and bullshit. It is our norm. We discussed our lack of excitement for another Marvel movie, (Though we are making plans to see Civil War on the opening weekend) and are rising excitement for what the future might hold with Suicide Squad and D.C. We chatted on the interesting choice of Idris Elba as Roland for the Dark Tower. Though Roland isn’t described as black, I love the fact that they are giving this talented actor a chance at the center of a loved Stephen King series.

When the movie began we went through a mix of previews that looked to be terrible and yet enjoyable. I actually want to see the next TMNT movie….but it might just be a nostalgic guilty pleasure…. Then the newest opening of the Disney castle greeted us at the beginning….the it descended into a jungle……

The CGI was amazing. Some of the best work ever! Voice acting talents of Ben Kingsley and Idris Elba were spot on! Bill Murray and Christopher Walken were enjoyable to. I don’t even remember the plot of the original so the story was a treat. My only set back that I had was the child actor. He wasn’t the worse thing, (Kid from Babadook) But he was able to pull it off. I am never sold on child actors. Very few are ever talented. Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the film. I wasn’t positive that I would have enjoyed it as much as I did.

After the movie we took off for Family Video to wonder around and judge and find more movies to devour. Shaffer went for Cooties and a couple others that slipped my mind (One had Tom Hardy in it) I rented the last Hunger Games movie. (HATED the previous one) and Sisters (It was OK) Tina Fey looked attractive in it….which is weird if you watch 30 Rock…..Oh yeah….got a pizza in that too!

The Blackhawks live on!

My book thoughts are better and they are always best in the middle of the night……its called The Devil in the Details. I might post a chapter soon…but I will probably pussy out and post a short story or something. I change my mind quite a bit. People never get a good read on me…….Oh well….That is what my stories are for!

 

 

 

 

Trick ‘r Treat Review (2007)

Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
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Director: Michael Dougherty

Starring: Dylan Baker, Brian Cox, Anna Paquin

Summary
Just a great movie. I never heard much about it before it came out but it was instant love after first viewing. It is the ultimate Halloween movie and with a new Horror monster for us to love in a cute way. The movie is composed of all the events that occur in a town on Halloween night. It is told in little stories that mix back and forth with each other. I can only tell it like this..

Red Riding Hood: Anna Paquin plays a girl who is getting ready for a Halloween party. The film makes it to be that all of the older girls are pushing her to lose her “virginity” at a Halloween party. She wears a red riding hood costume and she is looking for a guy. She is being pursued in the woods by a guy in a vampire (Dylan Baker) She beats him and throws him in the party with a broken leg. It is revealed they are all werewolves and her “First time” is when she rips her skin off and feeds. images (3)

Carving Pumpkins: Earlier in the night the man (Dylan Baker) poisons a child who doesn’t check is candy. He tries burying the bodies of the dead children in his back yard. His son is yelling at him from the window annoying him. He finishes the job and goes inside to help his son carve a pumpkin. The film makes it out to be that he will murder his son. When he goes to lunge the knife it lands into the severed head of one of his victims. “Don’t forget to help me with the eyes.” images (2)

Zombies: A group of kids collect Jack o Lanterns to place as an offering for the souls of mentally challenged kids who were murdered by a bus driver when the bus went into a lake. They bring a witch who is a young girl that they like to pick on. They tell the tale of the kids who died, take her down to the lake and scare her as zombies. When she falls and breaks her glasses the kids laugh and knock the jack o lanterns out. An old myth says to never blow the pumpkins out before midnight. The actual mentally challenged kids rise from the lake as zombies and try to eat the kids. They ask the witch for help but she leaves them to die.

Bus Driver: Following where the kids left off their story. The bus driver who is a bitter old man who scares away a few Trick ‘r Treaters from his door. When Sam (The horror monster) sees this he comes to make him pay. He attacks the bus driver in a brutal fashion that goes on all over the house. The bus driver shoots him to pieces and after pulling his mask off reveals to be some type of pumpkin monster that eats candy. He is about to kill the bus driver with a half bitten sucker (Signature weapon) but sees a candy in his pocket and takes it. Since he was given a treat he will let him live. Hours later the bus driver is handing candy out to the kids when he is visited by the zombies of the mentally challenged kids they proceed to kill him.

The Good

Great movie. It was filmed like a comic book and played on these myths of Halloween like never blow out the Jack O lantern before midnight and always give treats and not tricks for Trick ‘r Treats. Always check your candy was a good solid one too. It was original in a horror film, clever, and funny at times. Upon rewatching I saw clues hidden for the werewolf story line. When they are changing they tell the sister if she doesn’t come out then they will “Huff and they will puff” which was all a wolf reference. There are a few clues to their actual nature throughout their scenes. Sam is a great character. He is supposed to be this little kid in makeshift potato sack mask who is seen in every storyline. He is a demon who murders people who do not follow Halloween traditions. I think with a few more well worked movies he could become one of the great horror monsters. The acting overall was good for a lesser known movie.

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The Bad

It’s dull in a couple scenes but that is usually forgotten. It’s so original it is hard for me to diss. It is told in a style similar to movies like Crash or Pulp Fiction but with good twists and turns. I can’t hurt it too much.

Overall

Fantastic! Best Halloween movie ever! I hope you didn’t even read my review went straight into watching it. 4.5/5

Fun facts

Sequel is coming!

What’s Next?

I lied about the next review so don’t hold me to it….it could be anything!

31 Nights of Horror #6 I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

I Spit on Your Grave

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Director: Meir Zarchi

Starring: Camille Keaton

Summary Spoilers (I’m saving you a 101 minutes of garbage)

The worse movie I have ever seen. Here we go…..Years ago I was first told to watch this movie. “It’s soooo disturbing and soooo much worse than The Last House on the Left.” It’s true it is sooooooooooo much worse. Not because of what the movie depicts, it’s just because it is one of the worst movies ever made. In so few words it is about a girl who is writing a novel who is eventually gang raped by three country hicks and a mentally challenged man for about 25 minutes. She goes to church asking for forgiveness and then seduces the men and kills them in brutal ways like cutting the balls off and disemboweling another with a motor boat.

The Good

NOTHING

The Bad

Terrible acting by everyone, especially the rapists. All the sound quality is horrid and the script is just ridiculous. Hardly any speaking and no direction and so flat and simple. I have no idea how this film even received a budget. The original title is Day of the Woman and some people tried to argue this film is about empowering women. So a raped woman gets revenge by sinking to the rapist’s level and beyond? I can’t see how that is feminist. I feel the director wanted to make the film rougher than The Last House on the Left. They are both exploitation films this is true, however Wes Craven knows how to direct a movie (I have shown this already) and this Meir guy has no idea. I think Meir’s idea for a good movie was to make the most graphic rape scene ever just so people will talk about his movie and go see it. I can see why this guy has had little to do with any other movie since then.

Overall

0/5

Fun facts

The late Roger Ebert put this film on his “Most Hated” list.

What’s Next?

I need to get this movie out of my head….maybe a video game? (Resident Evil 2)

31 Nights of Horror #1 Scream (1996) Movie Review

WARNING SPOILERS!

October 1, 2014

Scream (1996)

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Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson

Starring: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Skeet Ulrich, Jamie Kennedy, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, and Drew Barrymore.

Summary

During the 90s many horror films were sequels to popular slasher franchises. Usually all were hated upon by critics and the only really good one was Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. (More on that later) In 1996 Scream was released and it shook up the way we view horror movies forever. Advertised as a horror film this cleverly crafted film was more of a dark comedy than a slasher movie. The film makes several references to other horror movies and the rules on how to survive them. Many scenes have the characters break the 4th wall always reminding you that they are in a horror movie. The constant references to horror movies and the use of a self-awareness almost parody the movie and the genre as a whole. (Ignore Scary Movie)
The film opened with Casey (Drew Barrymore) receiving a phone call from a stranger who is flirty with her. They converse on the topic of horror movies which leads to the killer having Casey’s boyfriend tied up outside. He only lives if she can answer some questions about horror movies. When she fails he guts her boyfriend and turns his attention to her. He is seen wearing a black cloak with a white ghostface mask. The mask was based on a painting “Scream” by Edvard Munch. She is brutally stabbed and hung up from a tree for her parents to find. The film was originally advertised as starring Drew Barrymore. This was a surprise to the audience when they see the star butchered in the opening scene. Clever.

drew

The film follows Sydney (Neve Campbell) a girl who is trying to get over the death of her mother and the circus that followed with the trail of the killer. After the murder of Sydney’s fellow students the town of Woodsboro is flooded with press including Gale (Courteney Cox) a news reporter who claimed Sydney fingered the wrong person that murdered her mother. The night after Casey was murdered, Sydney was called and attacked by the killer. Her sex deprived boyfriend Billy (Skeet Ulrich) appears and a cell phone falls out of his pocket. Sydney panics believing Billy to be the killer. He is arrested by Dewey (David Arquette) but was later released when it was revealed that Billy’s phone did not make those calls. Sydney stays with her best friend Tatum (Rose McGowan) who is also Dewey’s sister. After Sydney confronts Gale and speaks to Tatum she is coming to a fact that maybe she was wrong about who killed her mother.
Randy (Jamie Kennedy) who works at a video store is having a conversation with Tatum’s boyfriend Stu (Matthew Lillard) and Randy think the killer is Billy based on other horror films. The genius part of this movie is that it keeps you guessing at who the killer could be. Clues are featured for different characters. Randy is an expert on horror films just like the killer, Sydney’s father goes missing, Billy has already been accused for being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and Stu is just crazy. I even made a note that the sheriff of the town is wearing the same black boots of the killer.

stu

The climax is that Stu is throwing a party at his parent’s farm house and Tatum convinces Sydney to attend. Dewey and Gale are investigating the party from a distance. During the party Tatum is attacked and killed by the killer in a garage door, unknown to the rest of the guests. Billy attends the party and Sydney proceeds to have sex with him upstairs. Randy reveals the rules you must follow to survive a horror movie.

1. Never have sex.
2. Never drink or do drugs.
3. Never say, “I’ll be right back.”
4. Never ask, “Who’s there?”
5. Never go outside to investigate a strange noise.
(The last two were given by the killer at the beginning of the movie)

rules

After the sex Billy is attacked by the killer and is left for dead. Sydney runs and finds Tatum’s body and watches Gale’s camera man gets his throat slit. Dewey gets a knife in his back and Gale crashes her car. With nowhere left to run Sydney can’t figure out who to trust between Randy and Stu. She locks herself inside and an injured Billy comes to her aid. He lets Randy in the house and shoots him. Sydney realizes that Billy’s wounds are fake and runs into Stu who has the voice box that was used on the phone. Once she realizes that Billy and Stu are the killers they proceed to stab each other before killing Sydney. They reveal that they have Sydney’s father tied up and that they are going to frame him for all the killing so they can plan the sequel.

billy stu

A still alive Gale distracts the killers long enough for Sydney to escape and call the police. Sydney throws a television onto Stu’s face, killing him. Billy tries to stab Sydney to death, but Gale shoots him. An injured Randy tells Sydney to beware around Billy’s body because he could come back “for one last scare.” He opens his eyes and Sydney shoots him in the head “Not in my movie.” It is revealed that Dewey is still alive as he is being carted away to the hospital. Gale reports on the events that have occurred. Credits.

The Good

It’s a smart movie that really breathes life into a stale series. All the characters are diverse and we can easily figure them all out by how they react and what they say. The performance of Skeet Ulrich is fantastic. When he turns on the switch from puppy face boyfriend to psycho killer you can instantly feel scared for Sydney. The look in his eyes looks genuine, and the smile is wicked. He has a very Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange feel. Mathew Lillard is just as convincing. My favorite moment was when Randy is drunk watching Halloween. He is telling Jamie Lee Curtis to “Turn around. He’s right behind you.” During this exact moment the killer is walking behind him. Sydney and the camera man are watching this from a hidden camera screaming, “Right behind you!” It’s one of those self-aware moments that makes the movie so clever. That scene was literally watching a movie, within a movie, within a movie!

The Bad

The cast is too old to play high school students. They act incredibly well, but they all look 30 trying to play 18. (Scream 4 did a better job) I feel the script should have been longer. It should really play on the mystery of who the killer is. Add a few more red herrings maybe even a few more jumps. Really dive into Sydney’s mother’s killer. Go through the past and add a few more details and clues. The movie does have an empty feel. In the sequel it feels more solid thanks to the story from this movie, but I feel more story would have done wonders and strengthens the plot and even the development of Sydney’s character.

Overall

I give this movie a solid 3.5/5. It’s a smart, exciting movie for the average watcher and a must see for horror fans.

Fun facts

The writer Kevin Williamson is notorious for creating TV series such as Dawson’s Creek, The Vampire Diaries, and The Following. He has also written for Scream 2, Scream 4, The Faculty, Cursed, and I Know What You Did Last Summer. (Scream 2, 4, and Cursed were all directed by Wes Craven as well.)

In Wes Craven’s first film, The Last House on the Left, I noticed a strange similarity in details to Scream. Right before the killer Krug is killed, he has 3 wounds on his plain white shirt. One in each shoulder and one on his left side. Before Sydney Shoots Billy in his head, he is wearing a plain white shirt with wounds in both shoulders and one on his right side. It is harder to tell by all the fake blood on Billy’s shirt but the darker spots match the injuries from Krug in The Last House on the Left. (This may not have been intentional, but it seems unlikely that it was a coincidence seeing how Scream references horror movies.)

Henry Winkler and Wes Craven both have cameos in Scream. Henry is the school principal who is murdered in his office. Right before he is killed he walks out into the hallway and we see the high school janitor Fred, mopping the floor. Its Wes Craven dressed in Freddy Kruger’s Hat and sweater. (A Nightmare on Elm Street was created by Wes Craven)

The movie was a hit and became somewhat of a horror icon from the 90s. Caller IDs sales shot up after this movie came out.

A popular catch phrase was taken from this movie, “What’s your favorite scary movie?”

What’s Next?

I will be jumping into a science fiction horror film, Event Horizon (1997)