Italian Horror Double Feature: Argento’s Tenebre and Dracula

Tenebrae 2

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…)

Seriously. Now.

Cabin in the Woods !!! !! !!! ! ! Go see it. Now.

THAT IS ALL.

Splinter

Man oh man. I finally caught Splinter the other day due to my friend Carl’s recommendation and HOLYCRAP WAS IT AWESOME.

It’s about a couple who gets kidnapped by an ex-con – only to end up trapped inside a gas station by the craziest parasite ever put on film. I mean, this thing is BRUTAL. Spiky, and brutal. I can’t really say anything else without ruining what happens, but this thing has some of the best special F/X and bloody gore I’ve ever seen. Just a really fantastic little horror film.

Definitely recommended! Check it out.

She kinda deserved it.

(via horrorharbour):

May

oh sweet, sweet May. It may be sick and wrong, but I love you.

Why John Carpenter’s Halloween Rules

31 Horror Movies I Own #31: Halloween (1978)

Still one of my favorites, Carpenter’s original Halloween may not be packed with the level of blood and gore that movies made now are, but it’s still creepy, unsettling, and yes, even scary.

Good girl Laurie Strode (Jamie Leigh Curtis) has a boring evening of babysitting planned for Halloween while her two slutty girlfriends hook up with their dudes. Unfortunately for all of them, “The Shape”, AKA Michael Myers, has escaped from the mental institution he’s been in for the last 15 years.

Some of the best scenes are of The Shape stalking Laurie and planning his attack, and of course, Donald Pleasance as the over-the-top Dr. Sam Loomis (a nod to Hitchcock’s Psycho), exclaiming how Michael is “pure evil”.  I also thoroughly enjoy Curtis’s excellent screams and her traumatized appearance throughout the killer chasing her around the house.

I consider it a must-see every October 31st. My Halloween wouldn’t feel right without it!

The sequels—well, they all have their problems, and I’ll dissect them another time. But for my thoughts on the Rob Zombie remake(s), take a look at this entry I made back in January.

Happy Halloween!

The Return of the Living Dead

31 Horror Movies I Own #11: The Return of the Living Dead
“Send. More. Cops.”

If any movie cemented my love for Zombie apocalypses, it has to be 1985’s The Return of the Living Dead. Like any good horror-obsessed-alternative teenager in the 80s, I saw this (it has The Cramps and The Damned on the soundtrack, for chrissakes!) before the original Romero Night of the Living Dead—a fine ground-breaking film in its own right, but without the glamour and glitz of this blood-soaked, special F/X-laden, naked punk-rock dancing girl extravaganza. (more…)

Piranha 3D

10 THINGS I LEARNED FROM PIRANHA 3D

  1. Swimming into a passage that connects your lake to a secret, underground, prehistoric lake = not a good idea.
  2. Walking out on to an old, creaky dock in the middle of the night = also, not such a good idea.
  3. Swimming amongst rows and rows of millions of Piranha eggs and then POKING at them = an even worse idea.
  4. Floating in an inner tube = WORST IDEA EVER.
  5. Two naked chicks can hold their breath underwater for a REALLY long time.
  6. A glass bottom boat classes up any homemade porn video.
  7. Piranhas don’t like the taste of breast implants.
  8. It’s possible to still be alive, even with all of your leg meat gnawed off.
  9. The guy who runs the wet T-shirt contest is going to die in the most horrible way possible.
  10. The first bite draws blood, the blood draws the pack (thank you, Christopher Llyod. I only wish you had said “Great Scott!”)

Let the Right One In

The Right One??

Thanks to this month’s DVD releases, I finally got a chance to see Let the Right One In (Lat den ratte komma in) – a movie that every one of my filmgeek friends has been talking about since FOREVER. All I heard was “it’s fantastic” and “it’s amazing” and “it’s one of the best films I’ve ever seen! YOU HAVE TO GO SEE IT NOW”. And you know what? They were right. I messed up by not getting off my lazy ass and seeing this in the theater.

To be cliche, “this is not your mother’s vampire movie”. Hell, it’s not even my vampire movie, and I’m only approaching 40. This thing makes me think I might be missing out on some kind of super-cool secret Swedish Vampire genre. But, I digress.

Allow me to simplify:

“Aw, this is such a sweet story about these two misfit kids forming a bond…HOLY CRAP SOMETHINGISREALLYREALLYWRONGWITHTHATONE Look out! Augggh! Gross! WHOAAAAAA….what??? Awwww.”

Only 100x cooler than that. Is there splatter? Oh yes, there’s splatter. Along with some shots that are so beautiful I can barely breathe and an effectively creepy CGI’d gang of cats (trust me on this one, guys – it’s not as cheesy as it sounds).

In any case, it’s not like every scene is soaked in blood – the murders are actually timed out quite nicely to the pace of the film – but when they do happen, they sure make an impression.

Also, make sure you watch it subtitled. It makes it even creepier, somehow – and the English dubbing is way too jarring to enjoy.

For Real

Although it’s my least favorite of the 3, Scream 2 has a GREAT opening death scene. Ignoring the kind of lame “knife through the stall” death of Omar Epps – let’s skip ahead to Jada Pinkett’s spectacuarly scary stabbing in the theater.

Why so scary? Because *I* believe this could actually happen. You’ve got a theater full of entertainment fanatics in the same costume as the killer, brandishing fake knifes and making stabbing motions. It’s entirely plausible to me that someone could get stabbed to death for real in this sitch – and by the time anyone realized it, it would be way too late. Plus, the back and forth between Pinkett’s death and Heather Graham’s on screen near perfect re-enactment of Drew’s death from the first film is pretty damn cool.

Extra bonus points go to Craven for showing splatter on a theater patron’s arm (right after the second stab). 🙂

Android Splatter

I couldn’t find a photo of the actual moment of splatter, where the queen Alien shoves her gigantic spiked tail through Bishop – but here’s a shot of Lance Henricksen (well, half of him anyway) with Ripley and Newt in the aftermath…which is still pretty splatter-rific.

I wonder what the hell that is anyway – milk thickened with something? Paint? Paper-mache paste? Hmm…I’m going to have to research this.