Pet Semetary

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It may be complete and utter madness, but this year I’ve decided to start with a “retrospective” theme again. Last year was Wes Craven, but this year I’m focusing on horror films based on the works of Stephen King … which is likely to get very, very painful since so few of them are great. Or even good. Or even watchable. But! Believe it or not, there are some gems. Such as this one, which I have a soft spot for.  

Pet Semetary, a 1989 film by Director Mary Lambert (who also helmed the PS sequel as well as the recent SyFy masterpiece Mega-Python Vs. Gatoroid) is based on one of the King novels I read until it was falling apart when I was a teen, and was giddy with excitement to see in the theater when it was released. Unfortunately the bonehead dude I was dating at the time had other plans, mainly: walking out of the theater about 55 minutes in when he was personally offended by the storyline. NEEDLESS TO SAY THAT GUY DID NOT LAST.

Anyway! I managed to see the rest of it later when it came out on VHS. And I was hooked immediately. The movie stars a handsomely-coiffed Dale Midkiff as Louis Creed,  Denise Crosby (aka Tasha! Yar!) as his wife, Fred Gwynne as their older (yet not much wiser) neighbor, Jud Crandal, the most annoying child actress in the world as their daughter Ellie, and Miko Hughes as their son, Gage, who was just a little over 2 years old when this thing was filmed. (Fun fact: Hughes also played Dylan in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare(more…)

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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.

Slither

Joining the list of horror movies that are a whole lotta fun is James Gunn’s Slither, which combines laughs with over-the-top special F/X that rival even Cronenberg’s grossest creations.

Michael Rooker stars as Grant Grant (ha!), the wealthiest man in small town whose hot wife, Starla, is the envy of everyone else, in particular police chief Bill Pardy — played by my favorite guy ever in the history of ever, Nathan Fillion.

Unfortunately, Grant stumbles upon a sticky alien thing which promptly infects him, and then sets out trying to turn the rest of the town into zombies, which eventually adhere themselves to Grant Grant in a big, seething mass. Leading the viewers to say, along with Bill, “Well now, that is some fucked up shit.”

And it is. It really, really is. But even though there’s enough saliva, goop, entrails, teeth, bone, blobular body parts, guts, and disgusting pulsing worm creatures to cover 20 horror films, you’re still going to laugh your way through this one because it’s so. damn. funny.

Every line of dialog is clever. Everyone in the cast is perfect. And they don’t skimp on the buckets of blood and gore. Slither is absolutely one of my favorite hilarious horror movies ever, right up there with Evil Dead 2.

Highly recommended for horror fans and comedy fans alike – and if you haven’t seen Super (also directed by Gunn), you should check that out too.

Hatchet II

I thoroughly enjoyed Adam Green’s Hatchet, and I was really looking forward to seeing the sequel – especially because of all the “banned from theaters” controversy – but also because, HELLO: Tony Todd rules.

Unfortunately, Hatchet II didn’t quite live up to the hype.

[SPOILERS] It started out really strong, picking up right where the first movie ended with Danielle Harris’s character, Marybeth, struggling to free herself from the grasp of deformed murderer Victor Crowley. Director Green moved right into the gross-out horror, which involved a guy being dragged across the floor by his own entrails, and Green’s trademark buckets of bloody splatter. I laughed, I cried. It was perfect…

Enter Tony Todd, reprising his role as Reverend Zombie – and then it’s about 50 minutes of exposition, planning, and well, frankly, boring, boring, boring until we get to some more death. Sorry, but that is just too damn long to keep me hanging in a movie that’s made with a tongue-in-cheek plot.

I think it’s pretty easy to pinpoint the exact scene where the MPAA said “Ohhhhh NO. No way, you are not releasing that.” Which is pretty silly, really, because (like in the first film) the gore is so ridiculously over-the-top that there’s no way any of it looks real. But hey, they made Clive Barker trim the knife-to-the-rat scene in Hellraiser, but left the hooked face-off maneuver intact, so we all know they’re cracked anyway.

I’m not saying the F/X aren’t hilarious and great, because they are (I love the excessive amounts of blood spray!) – the last scene, in particular, is pretty damn fantastic – they just took an awful long time to get there. The first film clicked things along at a pace that made sense, so the gory pay-off was even more awesome.

Still worth a watch just because I appreciate Green’s work (which reminds me that I need to address Spiral sometime). Just don’t be afraid to use that FF button…

Oh, and Tony Todd still rules. Of course.

Offspring

It’s October! Which means it’s time for 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days. Last year I did a post every day on about a horror movie I own, but this time I’m gonna mix it up with stuff I own and stuff I’m watching on DVD.

First up – Offspring, which I checked out on streaming Netflix mostly because I had seen The Woman a few months ago, and this is its prequel. And after watching, I gotta say that despite a lot of bad acting, this film is pretty bad ass. If they’d tweaked the special F/X just a bit (admittedly probably not their fault, I bet the budget on this was pretty low), and hired people who could deliver lines better, I think it might have been kinda terrifying. Also, I’m not sure why the second female cannibal had crazy punk rock hair extensions in white and purple-black. But, I digress.

SPOILERS AHOY: (more…)

The Woman

Due to a serious of very fortunate events, I got to see Lucky McKee’s The Woman – which I had been DYING to view since its Sundance controversy. Anytime you have a guy blowing up after a screening saying, “This is degradation of women, in the absolute way…I would say this film outta be confiscated, burned – there’s no value in showing this to anyone.” you have my attention.

And honestly you had my attention anyway, because I think McKee’s May is one of the best horror films ever made. The Woman is definitely NOT May – but it’s also not so horribly offensive that it should never see the light of day. It almost like that guy (and several others who complained) have never seen a horror movies in their lives. (more…)

PETA’s got nothin’ on these guys.

More horror-vertising!

This one is by a Dutch Animal Rights group. Pretty gruesome, yeah? Man, why don’t we have advertising like this? Check out the stills over on Animal also.