RINGS

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{cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls

It’s been 12 years since The Ring 2 (TWELVE?!?! YEARS?!?!) so I suppose it was about time for Samara and her f’ed up psychic video feed to resurface, because we need something other than reality to terrify us in 2017 – amirite?

Terrify isn’t exactly the word I would use here, but Rings does have its moments — I just wish its moments had been closer together in say, a tighter 60 minute package instead of a looooooooong and slowly drawn out 1 hour and 45 minute one.

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Phantasm: Ravager – Reggie the ice cream man does not mess around

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{Cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls}

“I could really go for a Rocket Pop right now”

So begins the saga of Reggie in Phantasm: Ravager, the fifth — and apparently final — installment of the Phantasm universe. The pony-tailed ice cream truck driver has been on a journey to defeat The Tall Man and save his friends from otherworldly possession and freaky rabid Jawas (aka: Lurkers) since 1979, alternately kicking-ass, singing songs, and hooking up with random chicks while driving a sweet 1971 Hemi ‘Cuda.

In Ravager, Reg enters the scene wandering through the dessert in his dirty, torn, and familiar white ice cream man uniform wielding a custom-made shotgun. He’s in search of BFFs Mike & Jody, and also trying to find out who the hell had the balls to steal his car from its hiding place. Luckily, he finds it just as those flying killer spheres show up to cause him all kinds of trouble. But that’s just the beginning … (more…)

The Neon Demon

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{cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls} 

“I know how I look. What’s wrong with that?”

Last night I finally go to see Nicolas Winding Refn’s epic shock porn horror art piece, The Neon Demon, which many of the people at Cannes deemed as “trash,” and walked out of. A few people in the theater with me last night for the preview screening also walked out — however, thought Refn’s film was pretty brilliant both visually and in its hilarious skewering of a problematic industry I’ve never been able to understand or embrace.

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The Funhouse Massacre

DSC_3008{cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls}

“It’s not like the Funhouse is creepily positioned in the middle of nowhere with only a broken-down asylum nearby, haunted by the ghosts of its dead, deranged inmates …what’s there to be afraid of? Come on!”

Except it’s totally like that. The Funhouse Massacre unleashes a posse of the most dangerous serial killers on the local haunted funhouse on Halloween night, supplying each of the murderers with an almost unlimited supply of victims—most of whom believe they’re just watching “part of the show.” (more…)

Junk Bonds: The Return of Junk Bucket

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This is one of those rare instances where I’ve seen a sequel *before* I’ve seen the original, but in the case of this splatter-filled horror comedy, I think it’s fine. I’ll eventually get around to watching Stephen Lange’s first feature: Junkbucket—and based on its sequel: Junk Bonds: The Return of Junk Bunket, I’m sure I’ll like it just as much!

Writer and Director Lange uses his horror knowledge to drop some great tributes to classic splatter flicks, making this 2013 film feel like something that could have been made in the 70s or 80s … and I mean that in the most flattering way possible.

The story for Junk Bonds closely resembles 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only instead of Leatherface, the Big Bad is Junkbucket: a man who’s got his own “junk” sewn to his face instead of a regular nose, wears his victim’s faces stretched over a bucket, and whose weapon of choice is a phallic axe/club combo. (more…)

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days …. Ish

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So much for getting this all wrapped up last October! Excuses are lame, so I’m not going to make them. Instead, how about I finish what I started by giving you the scoop on the rest of the Stephen King adaptations I’ve seen.

{side note: even though I LOVE The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Stand by Me, and Dolores Claiborne, I don’t really consider them horror so I didn’t include them in this list}

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I really wanted to like this one, because John Cusack! And Samuel L. Jackson! And a creepy haunted hotel! But unnnnnnnggggggh….I hated it. The special F/X were pretty boss, but the plot is a mess, the acting is just plain NOT good, and the chosen ending (out of several alternatives) was pretty fucking awful. I know there are a ton of people who love it, though…maybe they appreciate it as over-the-top entertainment? So while I’d say SKIP IT, I don’t know, you guys. You might like it.

Apt Pupil
It’s been awhile since I watched this one, but I remember being really impressed with how the story was translated on screen. Ian Mckellan is postivitely terrifying as Kurt Dussander, and Brad Renfro (poor Brad Renfro!) is equally so as his student? Admirer? Hater? Who knows. This is one of the stories that I was really into when I was a kid, so a lot of the nostalgia I have about Different Seasons is probably leaking over to my love of this adaptation. (more…)

The Babadook

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Holycrap, you guys. HOLYCRAP. I was not prepared for how awesome this Australian horror film would be. I mean, how scary can another spin on The Boogeyman actually be, right? The answer, though, is REALLY F’ING SCARY. The basics: grieving mom, out-of-control son, creepy book, unleashed creature, possession, and some really amazing imagery.

The Babadook is a non-stop ball of tension from beginning to end, the acting is freaking amazing, the creature F/X are great. I can’t even express how surprised I was by this movie, and how utterly terrified I was while watching it. Bonus: The Babadook pop-up book featured in the film is so goddamn cool! I hear the filmmakers are considering a kickstarter to produce it for real, and I am prepared to throw my money at them as soon as they do.

Willow Creek

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{Cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls

Holycrap, you guys. I was not expecting to get completely and totally sucked in by Willow Creek, especially because Director Bobcat Goldthwait has been calling it, “The Blair Squatch Project.” But 10 minutes in, I was ALL in, and even though the premise is ridiculously goofy, the film itself falls firmly in the horror genre.

The ridiculously goofy premise is this: Jim (Bryce Johnson) and his girlfriend Kelly (Alexie Gilmore) take a road trip to the site of the Patterson-Gimlin film footage in search of Bigfoot. It’s clear up front that Kelly isn’t a believer and that even though Jim might kinda-sorta want to believe, this is more about a fun birthday weekend for him that fulfills his childhood dream. Jim’s brought along a camera with plans to film the entire trip as a documentary of their findings, frequently turning it on himself and Kelly and interviewing local townspeople on the way to their end destination. (more…)

Carrie, Carrie, Carrie

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Stephen King’s “Carrie” has  been adapted three times now, and while I’m a long-time fan of DePalma’s 1976 version, the newest addition by Kimberly Peirce is pretty damn good too. Really, the only horrible misstep is David Carson’s 2002 made-for-television version, which whole-heartedly SUCKS.

SPOILERS! SPOILERS!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!  (more…)

Italian Horror Double Feature: Argento’s Tenebre and Dracula

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In order to save my sanity (lest it break from too many awful adaptations) I had to take a break from my Stephen King project this weekend to review a couple of horror films by Dario Argento instead.

Ah, Dario Argento. I feel like Italian horror is either something you completely love or completely hate, and I’ve been completely in love with Argento since I viewed Suspiria when I was a teen. After that, it wasn’t long before I was driving down to Scarecrow video every weekend to check out more Argento films, along with some Lucio Fucli and Lamberto Bava (Demons and Demons 2! YES). In order to love Argento, you have to love bad dubbing, melodramatic acting, and watching women’s heads crash through glass windows over and over and over … and over again. Which I do!  (more…)