Movie Poster Madness: Flesh, It's What's For Dinner

A brilliant, pitch dark comedy set in the Eisenhower Era about an Ozzie and Harriet couple who happen to be cannibals! What do you mean you've never seen it?
As always, John Waters was way ahead of the pack with this twisted fairy tale that ends with the citizens of Mortville feasting on the corpse of their disposed matriarch, the evil Queen Carlotta (played by the legendary  Edith Massey).  What do you mean you've never heard of it?

Not a horror film, but a deeply disturbing tale of revenge , best line (uttered as a woman is serving up her dead lover as dinner to her husband), "Start with the cock, you know where it's been".
Another non horror film; a brilliant black comedy about a couple who pose as swingers and kill the horny bastards who come to their apartment, steal their wallets, and sell their bodies to a dog food manufacturer.  And yes, Raoul does become the main course by film's end. 


ADD Film Review: Sorority Row

Set at the same college sorority house where Hugh Hefner shops for new play-mates, Sorority Row tells the tale of a practical joke that goes wrong.  Several months after the fatal joke, people start turning up dead.  Is it revenge from beyond the grave?  Is it a crazy outsider?  Is it someone who has seen too many slasher films?  

Who cares?   Frankly, I was rooting for the killer in this one as the six sexy sorority sisters are a lame bunch of airheads and all deserved to die.  Carrie Fisher (as the house mother) brings some much needed camp value to this one, I wish she had turned out to be the killer, or the final girl.

The murders are creative, the plot is full of  holes so big you could drive a station wagon full of pretty, white co-eds through it.   Still, one could do worse than this film, it's a silly, stupid, fun ride.


Penn Badgley's Contract Stipulated He Be Shirtless in 40% of The Stepfather

Penn Badgley is a cute little veal chop, no denying that - and in the dreadful remake of The Stepfather he stepped into the same role that Jill Schoelen made famous in the 1987 version.  That said, I don't recall Schoelen showing this much flesh...
...as for his acting, well, that is, hey no wonder he kept taking his shirt off!


Movie Poster Madness: Big Breasted Women of the 50's in Peril EDITION

She loved him for his brains...
 The beast made her swoon
She needs RID.
Another swooning lass.
The Creature likes a gal in a one piece.
 Seems he went on to prefer them in silky numbers.
And finally, the Monster on Campus likes gals in flowing nighties.


Survival of the Dead

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead today, and I am happy to report that I loved it - of course, that does not mean you will.

Romero, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, has opted to mash-up a few different genres this go - around, and concocted a movie that's tough to pin down.  Oh sure, the zombies are here, humanity is falling apart, that's a given - but as usual, Uncle Georgie is much more concerned with the human condition than the walking dead's condition (well other than the fact that they are walking dead).

Borrowing largely from the Western, The Big Country, the film's plot concerns itself with two warring family patriarchs who live on a small island off the coast of Delaware.  Said father figures are at odds over what to do with the zombies; keep them around until they see the error of their ways, or just shoot 'em in the head.  Into this uneasy situation comes a small group of soldiers (as well as a young man tagging along), and before too long, sides are chosen and the fun begins.

I must confess my first question was: Why are  people who live off the coast of Delaware all speaking in thick Irish brogues?   And furthermore, what's up with all of the horses and the somewhat archaic atmosphere of this place?  But it does not take long to realize that Romero wanted to fuck with the viewers sense of time and place. . . to sort of shake the audience out of what he or she might expect and introduce them to a world where Irish immigrants never loose their accents, where a bucolic settlement can thrive in the 21st century, where many of the people dress like they just wandered out of a staging of High Noon, and where people (and one zombie) use horses as the primary means of transportation - it's called "suspension of disbelief"...I mean if you can buy flesh eating zombies, why can't you buy into this skewered environment?

But fear not, Survival of the Dead is not all Sweet Rosie O' Grady and spurs that jingle jangle.  Early on, we get the social commentary that we've come to expect from Romero.  In one of the film's eeriest scenes, someone comes across the work of a group of red-neck survivalists who claim they were being chased by a group of zombies.  The hillbilly's beheaded all of the ghouls and spike their noggins on poles in the woods.  At first this scene might seem creepy, but upon further inspection, when you notice that all of the heads are African American, it's  disturbing on a whole other level.
There is also some humor in this one.  From the zombie done in by the fire extinguisher, to the teen male bemoaning the fact that his mp3 player no longer works and he is forced to find music on vinyl (gasp!) to the flaming head of a ghoul used to light a cigarette.
I also could not help but notice that midway through the film, when the soldiers hole up at town hall, it's clear that place was set up for a wedding complete with tacky decorations and a rotted wedding cake - the only thing missing was a zombiefied Miss Havisham.  Maybe I was reading too much into things here, but that whole bit seemed Dickensian in nature.
For the gore-hounds out there (and you know who you are), Survival of the Dead does not disappoint. You'll find plenty of disembowelment's,  splattered guts and gaping wounds.  And as for the zombies; well they are everywhere.  I was especially creeped-out by the underwater ghouls ( a nod to Shock Waves?).  
In the end, Survival of the Dead is more a tale of the weakness of humans, as opposed to the durability of mankind. Like always, we are our own worst enemy (see the Tea Party movement for proof) ; we are more interested in proving who is right instead of what is right.  We will kill each other rather than compromise, or see a different point of view, and that, my friend, is why we loose, and why, in this film's universe the only survival can be that of the dead.


ADD Film Review: The Final Destination

Once again, death goes on a working holiday and seeks out some attractive twenty-somethings that it will deploy through a series of Rube Goldberg-like machinations.   Many of the killings are creative, and you Chuck Palahniuk fans might find the swimming pool death somewhat reminiscent of the scene in his short story "Guts".  Be that as it may, you might question some things like; why are there palm trees in Indiana? Or, why would a hospital put a hydrotherapy room above an ICU?  Don't question any of it, turn your brain off and go for the ride - it is what it is.  Special bonus points to the film makers for giving us some Nick Zano butt cleavage!
Hooray for Butt Cleavage!


Movie Poster Madness: Internal Combustion FROM HELL Edition

This one scared the bejesus out of me when I first saw it on television back in the Jurassic period.
James Brolin, nuff said.


ADD Film Review: A Perfect Getaway

Not so much a "whodunit" - more of a "whogonnadoit".  And no, it's not a slasher film either.  A couple on their honeymoon meet up with another couple on their honeymoon, and then they meet up with yet another couple (who are not on a honeymoon) - suspicions arise, red herrings (and red snappers) are everywhere.  Timothy Olyphant shows his butt.   Breathtaking scenery of a remote Hawaiian Island . A wry sense of humor keeps this movie on track (sit back and wait for all of the references to other films, film making, and film plots).  Have fun and enjoy the twists and turns...did I mention that Timothy Olyphant shows his butt?


Scream, The Prequel

Woodsboro High School - One Week Before the Death of Casey Becker... (click on the picture to watch).


Movie Poster Madness: The Second Time Around editon

Can't get enough of a good thing?  That's what sequels are for.  For better or worse, let's take a look at some of the movie posters that heralded the second go around of some of our fave horror films...
In a word, dreadful.
I know I saw this, but I can't remember anything about it.

I really wanted to like this one, but aside from the tequila worm monster, it was pretty tepid.
Did anyone even see this sequel?
Actually, I rather enjoyed II and III of the Psycho follow-ups.
I know a lot of people liked this movie (as well as the subsequent sequels to Phantasm), I was not among them.


Mo'Nique is Gunning for the Cyber Horror Elite: The Cyber Horror Awards

It looks like some awards were handed out today, and I can't find Mo'Nique mentioned in any of them - yikes! 

B-Sol has polled his fellow horror bloggers and cooked up this years Cyber Horror Awards - Right This Way to see the Nominees and the Winners! 

Meanwhile, I suggest that those of us who voted better steer clear of a certain shoe-in for best supporting actress (in that other little awards show that's going on tonight), as the Cyber Horror Award looks the only accolade this woman has not been offered!


48 Words on THIRST ( a film review for those with ADD - because they'll never make it through this long movie)

A confusing, confounding, comedic, bloody, erotic story about a young Catholic priest who becomes a vampire and falls in love with a friend's wife.  Religious overtones, a goofy ghost and some really nifty Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon-like flying scenes.  A bit long, but ultimately a satisfying film.


Forget Shutter Island - Scorsese Scared Me with After Hours

I was all of 24 years old when I first saw Martin Scorsese's pitch black "comedy", After Hours.  I really related to the lead character, a bored twenty-something stuck in a 9 to 5 reality, yearning for something edgy, an adventure on the dark side of town...happily, I never got my wish:
After Hours tells the tale of of Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) , a young man who works at a mind numbing job ( a "word processor")  in a large office in mid town Manhattan.
 One night, after leaving work, Paul goes to a coffee house and while reading, Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer he is hit upon by a pretty gal named, Marcy (Rosanna Arquette) who begins to tell him how much she loves the novel.  Later on she tells him about her roommate, sculptress, Kiki Bridges (Linda Fiorentino), and how Kiki makes these incredible "Plaster of Paris bagel and cream cheeses". Paul tells Marcy that he'd love to buy one, and she gives him her number.
Later that night, Paul calls Marcy and she invites him over - seems her apartment is on the other side of town, Soho.  So Paul takes a wild cab ride that ends with his lone twenty dollar bill being sucked out of the window, leaving him penniless and stranded on the dark side of Gotham...
Once he gets to Marcy's apartment, Paul discovers Kiki working on her latest objet d'art, a peculiar paper mache sculpture of a man cringing and seemingly crying out in anguish.  Nonetheless, Paul is fascinated with the smoky voiced sculptress and eventually he starts helping her with the statue...
 ...eventually, Kiki asks Paul to give her a shoulder massage, and while Paul thinks he might get lucky, Kiki ends up falling asleep, and Marcy finally shows up.  At first things seem OK, and Marcy invites Paul into her bedroom to talk...it does not take long, as he listens to her babel on about burnt flesh and an alleged rape that occurred to her in this very room, for Paul to suspect that Marcy might be few cents short of a dollar.
Later on the couple go out for coffee and ...hey look, it's Dick Miller!
After coffee, they go back to Marcy's loft and when Marcy goes to take a shower, Paul discovers that his new friend has some odd reading material...
...things go from bad to worse as Marcy offers Paul some pot, which turns out to be nothing more than oregano, then he questions several of the tales she has told him, and finally he demands his "Plaster of Paris bagel and cream cheeses".  Marcy looses it and runs from the room in tears, and Paul figures it's time to beat a hasty retreat...
...when he tries to take the subway home, he discovers that the fares have gone up at midnight and he's just few cents short of the amount he'll need and the fare-taker will not let him pass.  Disgusted he goes back above ground and finds himself in a sleazy bar where he meets a waitress named Julie (Terri Garr) who invites him back to her place.  Clearly, Julie's got some issues of her own, and Paul is starting to get a bad vibe from her.  When he looks over at  her bed and see's that it's surrounded  by rat traps, he knows he's got to get out her place - pronto!
Things go from bad to worse for Paul, and like Dorothy in Oz, all he want's to do is get home...but circumstances keep him from moving on...
...when he ends up back in Marcy's apartment, he finds her dead in her bed and calls the police and leaves some notes leading them to the body...meanwhile we discover that a rash of robberies are occuring in the neighborhood, and due to  several more misadventures, Paul is now the prime suspect.
Of course it does not help when Julie, who is upset over Paul spurning her advances, has posted wanted posters of Paul on telephone poles.  Nor do things get any better when Paul meets Gail (Catherine O'Hara) a manic Mr. Softie Truck operator who seems somewhat unhinged...
 ...and leads an angry mob that chases him through the streets of Soho...
...at one point, while hiding from the mob, Paul witnesses a shooting and says, "I'll probably get blamed for that".
Somewhere along the way, Paul ends up in a punk club and almost forcibly is given a Mohawk.
Eventually Paul ends up with a middle aged woman named June (Verna Bloom), who seems to take pity on him and agrees to hide him from the mob who are still after him...
...iroically, June is also a sculptress and she wraps Paul in chicken wire, and starts laying on strips of paste and paper over him in order to hide from Gail and her mob.  Of course, when she's through he looks just like the statue that Kiki was working on.  Once she's through, she leaves him alone...
...and a pair of burglars (Cheech and Chong) break in and steal,what they think, is a statue and toss it into the back of their van.  Of course they don't know that there is a man under the paper mache, and as such, Paul finally gets to leave the dark side of town...
...and the van's doors fly open and Paul falls out of the back , the sun is up...
...and Paul is back at his office building, his nightmare ended. Back to the safe, mind numbing world he wanted to escape from only hours ago.

OK, so it's not really a horror film, but After Hours is a deeply unnerving piece that manages to take elements of the Wizard of Oz, Kafka's "Before the Law", and several Hitchcock movies and mash them up into one creepy film noir comedy  that for whatever reason, scared the hell out of me when I first watched it many years ago.