Tuesday, November 30, 2010

EVEN MORE THINGS I LOVE TO DO! (inspired by horror films)

Gettin' So Fresh & So Clean
Stretching!
Being Festive
Enjoying Delicious Smoothies
Impersonating Jack Nicholson
Shopping at GAP
Wearing Red Lipstick & Short Bobbed Hair
Seducing Men
Make Out
Find Myself In Deep Thought
Laying In Bed Without Sleeping
Hatin' on Pretty Bitches
and of course


Spending A Lovely Evening At The Cinema





Thursday, November 11, 2010

FROZEN:TURNS OUT ADAM GREEN DOESN'T SUCK

I've gone on record a few times expressing my distaste for the horror fanboy's wet dream, Adam Green.  I undergo wars of debates with fellow horror fanatics constantly about his films Hatchet and it's follow-up Hatchet 2.  I appreciate comedy and gore as much as the next person, I just think they're a bit overrated...You can put your pitchfork and flames away, now. Thank-you.  That being said, I turned myself away from the highly anticipated thriller Frozen simply because Adam Green's name was attached to it.  This is the part where you can all say "I told you so" and I'm forced to bite my tongue.  Frozen was pretty damn entertaining.  Not only did Green pair up the anticipation of death feeling made popular by 2003's Open Water, but he cast a group of actors that I grew up with.  I don't mean literally, but when you're watching the kid from Air Bud and the hot dude from The Animorphs start to be in danger, it pulls at the heart strings like you're watching your baby brother being thrown out with the bathwater. 

I have to hand it to him, Green knows how to make a suspenseful film.  This isn't to say the film isn't without it's problems, but I actually believed and felt for these three characters.  Frozen is such a drastic contrast to Hatchet, that it's almost hard to believe that both films came from the same mind.  While Hatchet remains over-the-top and borderline campy, Frozen is highly stylized and very minimalistic.  Of course there were moments that left me kicking my knees up and groaning in disgust (you didn't think Green would make a film without just a little bit of gore, did you?), but overall, I was left with an extremely tense feeling and the hair on my arms standing at attention.

The story follows three (what seems to be) college students up at a ski resort for the weekend.  Dan and Lynch have been best friends for years, but this weekend Dan has decided to bring his girlfriend Parker.  Parker, who is much less experienced forces the group to be on bunny slopes all weekend and Lynch decides at the last minute to try and persuade the lift operator to let them on the bigger hill for one last run before it closes.  The three climb aboard the ski lift but after some communication errors and a less than attentive snowcat driver, the park is closed for the next five days and the three are left dangling high above a mountain, alone. 


To add to the fact that this film was incredibly well paced, I watched this under circumstances where no one around had seen the film.  The past few instances where I've watched scary movies from the comfort of my dorm room futon, someone in the room had seen the film, usually myself, so other things were around to distract us.  However, for some reason or another, the games of Halo: Reach stopped, obsessive facebook updates subsided, and cellphone text messages remained unread.  Green grabbed a hold of the 5 of us watching by the throat, and didn't let go until the credits began to roll. Basically, what Jaws did to going to the beach, Frozen did to going to ski resorts.

The craziest part about this film, is the near-perfect character development.  I absolutely LOVED the dialogue between the characters, especially once put in the life-threatening situations.  Emma Bell's portrayal of Parker was one of the best female characters in a horror movie in a long while, and Lynch played by Shawn Ashmore was an extremely likable and strong character that I found myself pulling for under my breath.  What tops it all off is that Adam Green did this entire film without CGI and without a green screen.  This three actors did an entire film from a fucking ski-lift.

To put it simply, I officially do not and can not hate Adam Green anymore.  He impressed me wholeheartedly with Frozen and more than made up for his comedic gore-fests.  He delivered a remarkably realistic thriller with characters that the audience actually cared about, and snuck in some gross-out moments for good measure.  I still dislike Hatchet, but Adam Green has successfully made me want to stick to sledding and snowball fights this winter.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

RANDOM RAMBLINGS FROM BJ-C

As always, the concept behind Random Ramblings has been completely and 100% ripped off from Brian Solomon of The Vault of Horror.

Rumor has it, the brilliant mind behind the novel Let The Right One In has nabbed himself another movie deal.  His novel after LTROI (which spawned the best horror movie of the new millennium as well as one of the best horror movie remakes in existence) is a zombie tale titled Handling the Undead.  It was written in 2005 but was finally translated into English in 2009.  A Swedish movie is in the works and if it ends up anyway similar to its sister film, we're going to be in for an absolutely astonishing zombie film.  Keep it up, Lindqvist.

After what seems like FOREVER, there's FINALLY going to be a Silent Hill sequel.  I wasn't as hardcore into the games as most horror freaks (I never was one to have gaming consoles) but I absolutely loved the film.  Michael J. Bassett has been announced as director for it and it's been said to be filmed in 3-D.  I'm not so sure how I feel about the 3-D thing, but if it's Silent Hill, I'm in.  It doesn't seem like it's going to continue the story of Rose and her darling daughter, but it will be picking up with Heather Mason and her father of Silent Hill 3 (video game) notoriety. 

This should honestly go without saying, but I'm officially a Walking Dead-Head.  AMC may sometimes slip when it comes to showing quality films (I'm looking at you Thir13en Ghosts), but if there's one thing they know how to do, it's make a damn good television series. I finally caught up on Breaking Bad, it takes some major skill to turn Poppa Malcom In the Middle into such a badass. As much as I love my precious Mad Men, I think TWD may take over AMC's television popularity contest.  Now it's just a matter of seeing if the Emmy's will actually appreciate the masterpiece that is The Walking Dead or if they will shun it because it has to do with flesh devouring zombies.  My guess is that they'll look past it, but that's nothing new.

I've finally found a film to give me the willies.  Australian horror flick Lake Mungo is officially the most unsettling film I've seen in the past five or so years.  I'm not saying that Lake Mungo is a film that is going to make you pee your pants in fear or hide behind a bucket of extra buttery popcorn that you didn't want to pay for but you felt pressured by the cute girl behind the counter to buy it, but it is surely a film that sticks with you for days after.  Filmed much like an episode of Dateline, Lake Mungo is a film that left me with goosebumps and my jaw firmly attached to the floor.  It's a slow burn, but well worth the results.  



Word of advice to anyone who is incredibly dedicated to their Halloween costume and also incredibly dedicated to drinking at parties...DO NOT USE ACRYLIC PAINT ON YOUR BODY UNLESS YOU CAN GET IT OFF EASILY!  My God.  Halloween was a fabulous night, but when it's 3am and all you want to do is sleep but you can't because you're covered in cheap Wal-Mart costume makeup and acrylic paint and you have to have someone be of assistance in order to wash it off your skin before you ruin all of your bedsheets, it reaaaaaally puts a damper on things. Not to mention, if you're making your own mask, make sure it's easily removable so you don't spend your night drinking out of a straw. Not that I know from experience or anything...

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Came, I SAW 3D, I Cried: The Atrocity That Was Saw VII (SPOILER ALERT!) Guest post by BJ-C BFF Erin

Considering I’m Brittney-Jade’s soul sister, you’d assume I know a thing or two about the horror genre.
DING DING DING! You are correct! However, while I share her adoration of Italian gore films and
zombies, there’s one franchise we consistently disagree about: SAW. I am a certified fanatic. Seriously,
it surprises people; I’ve got the corny merch from the blood drives, the promo posters, the DVD giftbox
sets (including the baller Special Edition Saw V with a rotating mechanical blade). I stalk the pre-release
trailers, illegally downloaded the computer game, and have made a point to attend every midnight
showing since legally allowed (yeah, I was one of those 16-year-olds who snuck into Saw II, believe it!).
Needless to say, I was PUMPED for Saw VII, also known as The Movie Regrettably Titled Saw 3D.
Whatever, I would take the 3D sell-out with a grain of salt and watch the beautiful ending to the
franchise that’s taken over a third of my life. I counted down the minutes for months, and finally, on
October 29th at 12:01 am, I found the greatest disappointment in my life.

SAW 3D SUCKED. There, I said it – it was TERRIBLE! I don’t know who actually died and left this
atrocity of a concept behind, but the movie lacked every signature Saw trademark of the past six pieces.
There was no eerie green tint, no lulling suspense, no crazy-stop-motion-panic that was so akin to the
trap victims. And the extra five dollars I dished out to watch this POS in 3D gave me maybe two scenes of
intestines flying at my face. COOL.

And the traps? Oh, don’t even get me started. The store front lovers scene that opened the
movie was a complete joke. Save for Saw IV, each sequel’s opening scene/trap has exquisitely set the
tone for the rest of the movie, but this trap was just pointless. Who are these three people and why do I
care? Bro gets played by ho who’s dating another bro. Bro kills bro or bro kills ho. This isn’t the Jersey
Shore and I really don’t care about these two idiots and their t-shirts or their dumb broad hanging on the
ceiling. Dear god, I was hoping the trap would just kill them all. I called chicken on Jill’s Blade Train trap,
we’ve already seen impaled ribs before the See No Evil trap, and the publicist deserved every second of
the Speak No Evil trap for not being able to shut hers. Almost every single trap or fate in this edition has
already been seen before (The Angel Trap/Saw III and The Breathing Room/Saw VI), from the x-rays of
the Wisdom Combination trap (Venus Fly trap/Saw II), the burning of the Brazen Bull Oven (a more gruesome version of Obi’s Furnace trap/Saw II). Hell, the vicious Classroom Trap that made everyone cringe during Saw III is used not only once in the Horsepower Trap, but TWICE, secondly to seal Bobby’s fake as a liar-liar-pants-on-fire – which, by the way, wasn’t even clear from the start of the film.

The greatest mistake made by the writing and production team of Saw 3D was their entire
disregard for making me care. Instead of building on previously featured characters as many of the
previous six have so brilliantly done, Saw 3D is a chock full of randos, none of whom I really feel any
sympathy towards whatsoever. Even Bobby’s “Sawed-Off Anonymous” group lacks the presence of the
plethora of familiar faces we’d expect. Sure, we get Simone, the angry amputee, Emily (Saw VI), Mallick
(Saw VI) and Addy, the old lady who no one remembers, but their cameos do nothing for the plot or
progression of the series. What about Brit, the sasspants who will permanently represent Dr. Spock
whenever she raises her hand in class? Or Daniel, the Shia Lebouf-resembling son of Detective
Matthews? Or Tara and Brent, the mother-son team forever changed by dooming William to the Wicked
Witch sentence? There were so many freaking fabulous possibilities for character updates and twists, but
instead we got a stupid-last-minute-addition-lawnmower-floor trap. Oh goody! (*Note: For a real
lawnmower hacking, check out Dead Alive, thanks.)

In conclusion, Saw 3D is half-baked at best. It’s trying to cram an entirely new storyline focus
that took ten hours to build into a measly 91 minutes. I appreciate the revival of Dr. Gordon, I do -- and
the sick way he puts his M.D. to use on that hot pipe -- but it feels like the writers had an extra ten
minutes of film tape and a contract with Cary Elwes . Even if it were adequately intertwined, the
switcheroo has become too Saw-cliché to be surprising (first it’s really Amanda, then it’s really
Hoffman…pretty soon we’ll just find out John’s a sextuplet). It’s also extraordinarily apparent through
the entire film that Saw VIII is ready for its 2011 release. There are so many loose ends left by both the
previous six sequels and this “final chapter” that to deny the release of an additional movie would
enrage both fans and Lionsgate investors alike. Why was Jill still interested in continuing John’s work
after she divorced him? What happened to Dr. Gordon’s wife and daughter? Who the frack are the two
pig masks accompanying Gordon on his kidnapping of Hoffman, and HOW THE HELL WAS JOHN ALIVE AND WELL ENOUGH TO GET A COPY OF BOBBY’S BOOK?!

If it’s not already obvious enough by the lack of answers, Betsey Russell spilled the beans on
the “unbelievable idea” the writers discovered whilst filming. So unless Lionsgate would like my severed
right foot express mailed to their P.O. Box, I expect that my Halloweekend tradition live on at least for
one more chance at the perfect “final chapter.”

HOLY SCARY JACK-IN-THE-BOX, BATMAN!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

SCOTT KENEMORE: ZOMBIE AUTHOR EXTRAORDINAIRE (A COME ON FEEL THA ILLINOIZ FEATURE)

I've had the opportunity a few times to actually sit down and have some face time with Scott Kenemore, but I will be brutally honest and confess that on both occasions...I never did.  I'll be honest, I had no idea who he was at the time and felt like a total moron that I hadn't prepared properly.  At the time, I hadn't read his books yet, so I'd have absolutely nothing to ask him.  I know, great horror enthusiast, right?  So on those two days, I creepily eyed his table (he's cute too) plastered with zombie books and held my breath hoping he didn't wave me over.  Anyway, I did have a wonderful email dropped into my box a while back from Scott Kenemore asking if I'd check out his book.  He's a Chicago native and the author of some of the most well recognizable zombie books on the planet, so of course I agreed.  I was quickly sent a copy of The Art of Zombie Warfare: How To Kick Ass Like The Walking Dead, and I never freaking read it.  Thanks to a college schedule and the inability to make time for everything, it sat on my book shelf for about 5 months.  In that five month time span, Kenemore cranked out another book.  This time, he's created a fierce novel entitled Zombie, Ohio.  I was sent another email asking if I'd promote it and that's when I suddenly remembered that I needed to read his other book.  I know, I suck.

Anyway, I finally DID get around to reading not just the book he sent me but also The Zen of Zombie: Better Living Through the Undead (2007) Z.E.O, (2009), and The Code of the Zombie Pirate (2010).  Sometimes being a total goon that reads constantly has its perks.  I digress.  All of his books have a quirky charm and Kenemore obviously knows his shit when it comes to the walking dead.  Not only does he have a sharp tongue for zombie culture, but his books are entertainingly addictive.  The four books are written like a "how-to" guide inspired by zombies, while his forthcoming in February of 2011 is a novel.  I've obviously not been able to read Zombie, Ohio yet, but the first four have impressed me enough that I know I'll get my hands on his novel as soon as I have the money. 


You can track down any and ALL of his books on Amazon, Borders, or at Barnes & Noble.  If you're feeling anxious, you can pre-order Zombie, Ohio HERE <--(click that to pre-order)

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: CHILD STARS OF HORROR EDITION

AMC launched my favorite weekly film celebration of the year with their Halloween marathon.  They play the very best in all things Michael Myers by showing the films from the first through the fifth (yes, including Season of the Witch).  Not only does this excite me by spoon feeding my five of my favorite slasher films of all time, but I also get the opportunity to remember how freaking adorable Danielle Harris was as a child.  Now, we all know that Danielle Harris transformed from a poorly cut banged little darling into a steaming hot slice of sex...but what about the rest of the horror kids we know and love?  This is going to be a new trend that shows up from time to time, so expect to see others show up in the near future! Inspired by Danielle Harris and my overabundance of watching VH1, here's the "Where Are They Now?" of children in horror films.  [NOTE: I'm doing ones that aren't dead, well known (Kirsten Dunst, Drew Barrymoore, etc), aren't super notorious (Kyra Schon etc.), aaaaand I'm only picking five for today.]

DANNY PINTAURO known for Cujo
We can all remember the scared and frightened little boy being terrorized by Stephen King's little pup, or at least acting as the adorable little tyke in the popular sitcom Who's The Boss.  Pintauro didn't get nearly as much credit for his acting chops as a kid, but in response has done primarily stage work.  In 1997, Pintauro took a brave step and came out of the closet as an openly Gay man.  Shortly following, a large scandal occurred when very suggestive and very VERY nude photos of Pintauro surfaced all over the place.  He received a bit of a backlash and hasn't been getting nearly as much work as he could be.  Some people just can't overcome that 'child star' curse.

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MEGAN BURNS known for 28 Days Later...
When it came to Danny Boyle's new-age zombierage infected outbreak film, genre enthusiasts quickly fell in love with the character driven masterpiece.  With an incredibly strong cast, many people were thrilled with the performance from Megan Burns as what seemed to be the youngest person in all of Britain, Hannah.  Hannah's character had to endure everything from survival, losing her father, watching her father turn into a zombierage infected creature, and the possibility of being raped by the British Armed forces.  Unless you know better, you'd probably recognize her more as the front woman for the Goth-Pop UK sensation, Betty Curse.  I'll be honest, I had no freaking clue that little ol' Hannah turned into the raven haired sultress.  Now, the lyrics of Betty Curse are a little too Hot Topic for me, but she's developed quite the following of angsty teens over in the UK, so she seems to be doing pretty well for herself.

********************************************************* 
MIKO HUGHES known for Pet Sematary
Although potentially going down in history as the cutest child to chop an Achilles tendon, Miko Hughes was one of the more predominant child actors of the late eighties and early nineties.  He seemed to be "that cute kid" with guest roles in tons of movies and plenty of television sitcoms.  (Including playing the son of Nancy Thompson, herself).  There's just something about a little boy with big brown eyes and dimples that just made audiences want to kidnap him and keep him in their pockets.  I mean, look at him!  He's about to take a scalpel to his dad and I still want to catch toads in the backyard with him.  He's had the occasional work here and there, but nothing comes even close to his winning streak as a child.  Maybe he had an awkward stint in puberty or something, because all grown up...he's kind of a babe. Granted he's got a babyface still but...I digress. Now, he's a DJ, a blogger, a dance dance revolution enthusiast, and...a beekeeper.  Yeah, you heard me.  Baby Gage, is a friggen bee-keeper. *********************************************************


DANNY LLOYD known for The Shining
His first, best, most iconic, and the role that is probably still paying the bills for him, was portraying the son of Jack Nicholson in The Shining.  Although unaware he was acting in a horror film, Danny Lloyd's performance gave an entirely new meaning to "Red Rum" and made it incredibly horrifying for children to run around hotels for the rest of eternity.  Hell, I'm a firm believer that one of the scariest scenes in Kubrick's masterpiece is when the film cuts away to Lloyd screaming and immediately cuts back to the original scene.  That kid has the scariest looking expression when he screams.  Next to potentially The Grady sisters from the same film, the character of Danny Torrence may be one of the creepiest child performances known to man.  Since scaring the sheets off of generations (and generations to come), Lloyd has become a teacher/professor of the hard sciences in the Midwest.  He has been known to hit up a convention or two throughout the years, but his primary concern has been his students. Here's hoping he doesn't foam at the mouth for texting in class.
*********************************************************


JOHN FRANKLIN known for Children of the Corn
Alright, this one is a bit of a "trick answer", but my blog...my rules.  I take back my previous statement about Danny Lloyd, John Franklin is the CREEPIEST horror film portrayal by a "child", ever.  Maybe it's because he suffers from a growth hormone deficiency so I know that behind that 8 year old face is someone closer to around 24, or maybe it's because he has these piercing eyes that look like they could shoot lasers into your soul, either way, he's fucking horrifying.  John Franklin struck terror into the minds of adults everywhere as the child preacher, Isaac.  He also provided the voice for the literal Good Guy doll in Child's Play, Cousin Itt in two Addams Family films, and was later the bellhop in Tower of Terror.  Backtracking to what I mentioned earlier, Franklin was actually no kid when he played Isaac.  He already had obtained a BFA in Theatre and Teaching before getting cast as Isaac.  I have to hand it to him, for being nearly 24 years old, he played a damn convincing child.  Franklin has since settled down with his life partner, David, and teaches theatre at a high school in California.  
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