Thursday, December 22, 2011

AMERICAN HORROR STORY'S TATE LANGDON: THE REPLACEMENT FOR EDWARD CULLEN?

This is my first and final warning. This article will contain mild spoilers about the show American Horror Story and it's intriguing character "Tate". I will do my very best not to spoil plot lines in the show, but I will be spoiling some of the despicable things that his character has committed over the course of this show. So please. If you don't want to know, don't continue reading this article. ~BJ-C
Last night wrapped up the first season of Ryan Murphy's newest addiction worthy show, American Horror Story.  A few articles ago, I spoke very highly of the new series and marked it as the show that may have saved horror themed television series.  The Golden Globe nominated series has been a thrill ride every week and deserves all of the praise it has been receiving.  The character that seems to have taken the world by storm, however, is Evan Peters' portrayal of every teenager's heartthrob ghost, Tate.  Now, I'll be honest with you when I say I was totally a Tate fan-girl at the beginning.  Evan Peters is a total babe and his character was so evil and yet remarkably charming.  He has the surfer hair with the "boy next door" looks encompassed by a sense of danger.  Although a total bad ass, he's extremely romantic and seems to know exactly what to say at all the right moments.  What girl under the age of 25 wouldn't be cast under his spell? 
 The relationship between Tate and living girl, Violet became the newest fictional couple to be "shipped" all over the internet and was given the name "Violate".  If you just type "violate" or "tate langdon" on the tumblr search bar, you'll be bombarded with hundreds of thousands of images of the two that have been created by fans of the show.  Okay, so he had a couple of selfless acts, he got her a flower, told her he loved her, and protected her a bit.  That's really endearing and I will not take that away from him.  He really did genuinely care about the girl and it was actually sort of nice to see a character trying so hard to make someone else happy. But...
 
This is a huge but here, let's be honest when I say this...he's a fucking psychopath.  To quote the character directly "In 1994 I set my mom's boyfriend on fire and then I shot fifteen kids at Westfield High. I murdered the gay couple who lived here before you and I raped your wife".  Wow.  Let's add that up to the fact he's a compulsive liar, manipulative, let the demon in the basement tear apart a girl's face, almost killed a kid who had been there for one night because Violet made eyes at him, and talks shit to his mother?  Wow.  This is marriage material right here.  Yet all it takes is for him to let the water works flow and to stammer out an "I love you" and girls everywhere are dropping their panties. 
Are you fucking kidding me?  This kid is a psychotic nut job and yet he just needs to pout his lips and suddenly all is forgiven.  I have been doing a bit of trolling on the fandom message boards just to find out what the hell these girls are thinking, and the results are quite horrifying.  "He’s twisted, he’s an imbecile for what he has done. But are we perfect? You are hiding yourself behind a grey face [this means posted anonymously]. I can easily say that you are a coward. I can say that I had my ”fucked up” boyfriends. And I haven’t said that “if treats me ok I’ll love him” No. I said that I love his way of loving Violet. There is difference."  But are we perfect?! I'm sorry. I'm not perfect in the slightest but I'm also not running around raping my girlfriend's mother or shooting up the school.  You can love someone as much as you want, but if you're a bad person...you're a bad person. No amount of compassion you show towards another person will ever change that.  Oh! Oh! But he loves her sooo much and he protects her! Yeah, so does the police department, but I'm not writing fanfics about that, now am I?
"I think you can tell Tate has changed though, because he asks Gabe not to look at him when he was about to kill him, and he wasn’t killing him to hurt anyone, he was doing it to make Violet happy. Which is sick and twisted, but so adorable and cute. Idk man, I just hope that Violet in the next series gets to see the difference in Tate, and that her Dad tells her that he accepts what he has done." Wait, what?  Does this girl realize that she's essentially saying that she would accept people like The Columbine Shooters, or The men who killed Matthew Shepard or I don't know, PEOPLE WHO RAPE THEIR GIRLFRIEND'S MOMS because "they've changed?" This is just demented. Sick. And. Demented.
I blame Edward Cullen for this.  That god damn franchise made it okay for girls to "fall in love" with complete lunatics and society made it cool for women to worship the grounds of men who deserve prison time.  At least Violet had the mind to leave his crazy ass, even in the afterlife.  
/endrant.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

THE HAMMER VAULT: MARCUS HEARN RELEASES THE THIRD HAMMER HORROR MASTERPIECE



As a self professed book nerd with a penchant for one day transforming my living quarters into the poor man's horror version of Urban Outfitters, I LOVE coffee table books.  Over the past few years, I've been privileged enough to get my carny sized hands on plenty of horror goodies, but absolutely NOTHING compares to the beauty and sophistication of Marcus Hearn's series of books centered around The Hammer Horror franchise.  The first book, Hammer Glamour acted as a bit of an encyclopedia for the ladies of Hammer Horror films. The second book, The Art of Hammer was a portfolio of all of the iconic poster art throughout the years of Hammer films.  Now we are presented with The Hammer Vault, 176 stunning pages of history surrounding the legacy of Hammer Horror films, then and now.  We are given an inside view of some of our most cherished and favored films of yesteryear, as well as some little known favorites that may have left our brains.  To say that this book is breathtaking is an understatement.  I should expect no less from this series, but my God, this book is gorgeous.  

This isn't to act as a definitive encyclopedia on Hammer Horror, but it was written by the official Hammer Films Historian, Marcus Hearn.  This book showcases hundreds of posters, props, scripts, publicity materials, never-used poster art, photographs, letters, and production images from more than 80 films.  Hearn includes historical text along with all of the images giving the reader a little insight to what the production was like on the film, and attempts to shed some light on the groundbreaking and memorable films.  While many may not particularly enjoy hearing the trials and tribulations of how the production went, I find that information to be fascinating.  We often overlook what goes on behind the camera, and having a better knowledge of the production can help us appreciate the final product so much more.  If that doesn't sell you, maybe the pages from Peter Cushing's scrapbook will do the trick...

What I find myself most impressed by is the variety of the films included in the book.  Hearn didn't focus primarily on the years of using Playboy models as their actresses, but they focused on the transgression of the company as a whole.  Let Me In is even included as well as the Daniel Radcliffe starring remake of The Woman in Black.  When I say that this book covers it all, I mean it.  The book is truly a one of a kind gem and perfect for any horror lover.  If you enjoy Hammer films, this book is a must have. 



Saturday, December 17, 2011

BLACK CHRISTMAS: KEEPING THE FEAR DURING THE CHEERIEST TIME OF THE YEAR

I'm definitely going out on a limb when I make this confession, but I didn't see the original Black Christmas until about three years ago.  In my defense, I was only eighteen years old...and not Canadian.  Black Christmas isn't exactly a film that is just sitting around suburban video rental stores screaming "WATCH ME!".  I was only able to finally experience the film that ignited the flame of the horror movie fanatic's obsession with slasher films when I was given a copy of the DVD as a gift.  As the holiday season begins to rear it's ugly, LED blinking head, Day of the Woman is going to shine a divine light on a film that often goes overlooked.

What first attracted me to the film was the simple, yet believable storyline.  In typical horror fashion, the story is centered around some drunk and horny college kids disobeying Mom & Dad.  Things are only a little strange when the kids start receiving calls from a deranged caller making graphic, sexually inappropriate statements.  Now, what we tend to forget is that this film took place in the 1970's, a time when caller ID and *67 didn't exist.  They were still using rotary phones for God's sake.  Bart Simpson would have had a field day back in the 70's.  Since there was no way for anyone to tell who was calling, it made it even more horrifying to discover the calls were coming from inside the house.  Caller ID or not, knowing someone is in the house and screwing with you...is scarier than one would think.

Maybe it was just the filming styles of the 1970's, but the coloring of the film really added to the irk of it all.  I mean that literally.  Horror films in the 1970's didn't have these bright and vibrant CGI colorings the way horror films do now.  It had a very bleak and depressing feel even when the scary moments weren't happening. Bob Clark used a hell of a lot of interesting camera angles including the "point of view" shot which allowed audiences to see the world from the view of the psychopath, and added an element of danger towards the unsuspecting victims.  This concept was relatively new for slasher films and gave a claustrophobic feel.  To put it simply, this film created some of the horror staples that are executed in all horror subgenres today.

The ballsiest move was perhaps having the film take place around the holiday season.  When we think of films like Halloween, we expect to be scared.  It's the night of monsters and ghouls, if we're not scared, we're not doing it right.  However, Christmas is intended to be the polar opposite.  We're supposed to be cheerful, and covered in snow, and opening presents, and getting drunk because our parents ridicule us over family dinners, and watching 24 hour marathons of Bob Clark's other film.  We're not supposed to be hacked off one by one.  Throwing the audience completely out of their comfort zone only added to horror the audience would sit through.  This "fish out of water" concept helped pave the way for other slasher staples.  Putting gruesome occurrences in seemingly happy environments (babysitting, summer camps, school dances etc. etc.) became the most demanded situations for slasher films, and Black Christmas is what started it all. 

The most obvious of the slasher staple, is the female power shot.  While Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street may have brought us the "final girls", Black Christmas is gushing with feminist overtones.  The film takes place in a sorority house and exposes the status struggle between sorority sisters.  Each of the characters represent a different type of woman in the 1970's and the film showcases these women that were often seen as rebellious during their time.  Olivia Hussey's portrayal of Jessica followed the VERY controversial topic of having an abortion.  Showing a woman making such a strong decision based on what was right for her body was almost unheard of at the time. The undertones of Jessica's abortion along with religious subtexts dealing with abortion vs. immaculate conception could take an entire novel's worth of analysis, but make sure the next time you watch the film, you look out for it.  Okay, okay.  Moving on.  Margot Kidder's Barbie, is the overtly sexual party girl that represented the women of the 1970's that were finally liberating themselves sexually and taking control of their sex life.  Women were actually enjoying sex and enjoying it for themselves, rather than for male satisfaction only.  Barbie was essentially one of the first "party girls" and she was one of the first female characters to be proud of her sexuality and paved the way for the horror archetype.  Clare, the "powerslut" to say the least, was the first one to admit about her sexual conquests and also the first one to bite the dust.  Thus ushering in the "sluts die first" rule that horror films have taken such a liking to.  To contrast, Andrea Martin's Phyllis was the innocent intellectual who inspired much of the characteristics of the modern "final girl".  Female archetypes in horror films are almost as prevalent as the racial archetypes and Black Christmas was one of the first films to blatantly expose them.  

This is definitely a must-see for any horror fan, and is (in my opinion) the grandmother of the slasher subgenre.  While it may get complaints for being a tad bit predictable (sans the twist ending), the film is only predictable because we've seen the format copied so many times before.  This film is the root of the basis for a good percentage of the modern horror films that we know and cherish today. Instead of sitting through 24 hours of Bob Clark's most famed Christmas film, take a trip down memory lane and dig deep into the foundations of what makes a quality horror film. 




...and if this isn't enough to convince you, John Saxon is in it. You're welcome.

Friday, December 16, 2011

100 GREATEST HORROR MOVIE QUOTES OF ALL TIME

Since I had finals week, auditions, hell week, and driving home from University, I've totally neglected you. 
BUT.
I found this and I'm giving it as a present to you.
For the purposes of the video, all intentionally funny quotes (like Bruce Campbell's Army of Darkness quips, or Chuckys various one-liners) have been left out. And yes, I know there is quite a few lines in the video that can be construed as humorous, but in my opinion all of these lines were never intended to be amusing, unlike say "Hail to the king baby". Oh, and these quotes are not ranked, nor is there any order or countdown.
-message from the creator

Monday, November 28, 2011

2011: THE YEAR HORROR WENT TO TELEVISION?

As the changing seasonal winds begin to blow throughout my Midwestern campus, I find myself reflecting about the year 2011.  As a proud survivor of TWO raptures and someone who managed to choose a school other than Penn State, I was lucky enough to ultimately deem this year as satisfying.  While my personal life has been decently satisfying, I fear that the world of the horror genre may be signaling a drastic change.  2011 was undoubtedly the year of unoriginality.  A whopping amount of the horror films that were released this year were sequels, remakes, reboots, or films heavily inspired by already beloved ones.  Obviously there were some "little indie films that could", (Hobo with a Shotgun, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?) but as a whole, this year was a little more than lackluster for quality horror films.  To contrast to this, television shows within the horror genre EXPLODED with creativity and entertaining themes. 

Previously mentioned on this blog, Ryan Murphy's sensational hit American Horror Story has completely taken the horror television genre by the collar and threatened it for its lunch money.  AHS is the combined effort of every staple within the genre and shaken all together like a bottle of glitter at a Ke$ha concert.  As a horror fanatic (and I huge Ryan Murphy fangirl) I feel it is my duty as a genre fan to try and expose everyone I know to this masterpiece, and pray that it continues on to earn the viewership it deserves.

Back for its fourth season is everyone's favorite Vampire series, True Blood.  I'll admit...I stopped watching the show halfway through the train wreck that was season three.  My hopes were crushed and I found myself unable to pay attention any longer to the ridiculous storylines and unbelievable character arcs.  A friend of mine is a complete and total diehard fan of the series and assured me that season four was more than making up for season three.  Against my better judgement, I gave the show another chance.  You know something, I'm so very glad that I did.  Season four packs a hell of a punch and Anna Paquin is as cute as ever.  Luckily for fangbangers everywhere, season four was powerful enough for HBO to renew the show for a fifth season to come out this summer. 

Earlier this October, AMC finally brought back the most talked about show of 2010, The Walking Dead.  Even after the very public firing of Frank Darabount, the season premiere, "What Lies Ahead" broke the record for the most watched cable drama in basic cable history, attaining 7.3 million viewers.  Not too shabby for a season opener, eh?  What excites me even more is that the episode was directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton...A WOMAN. Holla. Anyway, TWD has been bringing in the audiences with record numbers and although hitting a bit of a low spot throughout the middle of the season, last nights' mid-finale (directed by another woman, Michelle MacLaren) more than made up for it.  I am thirsting for it to be February just to find out how the rest of the season is going to go.  Last night really hit me in the gut, but it's exactly the jump start the season needed.  Is it a shock that the best two episodes of the season were directed by women? Not. One. Bit.

To put it bluntly, horror movies this year were less than stellar and horror television shows seem to be paving the way for genre fanatics everywhere.  Horror filmmakers everywhere should take a page from the book of these shows.  Remakes and sequels don't have to be the status quo, your audiences are THIRSTING for originality and characters they actually care about.  Quit slacking off and relying on jump scares and CGI and focus on what they teach you the first day of film school...the storyline matters. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: THE MOST ADDICTIVE SHOW ON TELEVISION

I did an article for The Blood Sprayer eons ago in which I discussed how horror themed television series are often times some of the most poorly constructed shows on T.V.  The horror genre is an acquired taste to start with and trying to implant the spooky sensations anytime other than Halloween is often under appreciated or watered down in hopes to appease the cable lineup.  However, tv mogul Ryan Murphy has once again brought a series to light that has injected an addictive substance through my veins and driving me to the brink of insanity trying to figure out just what the hell is going on.  I first found myself a "RIB" fangirl with his show Nip/Tuck.  The captivating story lines and the fact he actually gave a shit about character development had me hooked from start to finish.  As a theatre student, I'm also a total gleek and have followed the Glee series since the beginning.  While the two shows are ridiculously different in structure and content, I will admit that I am obsessed with both of them.  When it was announced that American Horror Story was going to be hitting homes across America, and penned by Ryan Murphy, I will admit I did quite the little fangirl dance.  FINALLY, RIB back to his roots of Nip/Tuck with something edgy, sexy, scary, and crazy. 
 Let me be frank, here.  What in the name of Hell have I gotten myself into?  Jesus Fucking Christ, man.  The show follows The Harmon family who moves into this gorgeous mansion for dirt cheap.  Even with this economy, any good horror fanatic knows that is just SCREAMING that it's haunted, a murder site, plagued with death, near bad neighbors, or there's something living underneath it.  Despite it all, the Harmon's purchase the house using it as a home and also as an office for Ben, the patriarch of the family to use for his psychiatric appointments.  The family is trying to get a new lease on life after Ben was caught bonking a young girl by his wife.  The Harmon family consists of Ben, his wife Vivien, and their daughter Violet.  Immediately upon moving into the home, strange things start to happen and they are visited by their peculiar neighbor, Constance.  Now, let me stress the word "peculiar" In the world of this show, many of the characters are left ambiguous as to whether they are dead or alive.  Constance is one of these characters. 
There isn't much known about the house other than the fact there were some really strange events that took place on its grounds, and it seems that anyone who dies on the property is stuck there forever.  Well, that, and there's some crazy shit living in the basement.  Quite possibly the scariest thing about this show, is that many of the ghosts don't appear to be ghosts at all.  They don't float, they aren't transparent, and you can interact with them the same way you could interact with any of the living.  Leaving the viewer in complete confusion as to which characters are actually alive.  Wise move, Murphy.  This isn't to say that there aren't plenty of ghosties that are very obviously, well, dead.  There are plenty of people haunting the property that are rotting, decaying, bleeding, ripped apart, or demonic in appearance.  Murphy has found a fantastic balance of gore as well as story.  All of the gore has its purpose and it never once feels too over zealous. 
The show manages to pay homage to plenty of horror staples both from the cinematic world as well as the real world.  There are scenes inspired by things ranging from Psycho, SAW, Candyman, Rosemary's Baby, A Nightmare on Elm Street,  and a more obvious reference to the Columbine tragedy.  Many people seem to be complaining about the obvious shot-for-shot references to things we're already familiar with, but I always find it as a sweet surprise and a clever way to remind the horror fans that the writers are developing this show with us in mind. 
 It's the character development that is easily the most redeeming factor of the show.  Like I said before, most horror television series have a tendency to suffer from a lack of good storyline and likable characters.  While Jessica Lange shines as Constance and the rest of the adult cast give absolutely compelling performances, it is in Evan Peters' portrayal as Tate Langdon that seems to have overtaken AHS fans by the throat.  Who would have thought the kid screaming "I think I'm in love with her dude" about Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass would transcend into such a heartwarmingly horrifying character.  If there's one thing I will never deny Ryan Murphy, it's that he creates some damn interesting characters.  Without giving too much away, Tate has the qualities of a person that would be universally hated and disgusted...and yet it's next to impossible not to love everything about him.  To quote Tate himself, "How sick is that?".  The relationship that he has spawned with Violet Harmon is one of the most realistic relationships I've seen on television in a very long time, and the twist to it is heartbreaking to say the least.  I won't tell you what the twist is, you'll have to watch for yourself. 
All and all, this is a damn good show.  If you like anything remotely close to anything even accidentally resembling horror, you need to be watching this. 

Special thanks to
for posting all of these images, 
and helping support my habit.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

POST 666: THE DEVIL THAT WALKS AMONG US-A LIFELONG LOVE AFFAIR WITH MICHAEL MYERS

Six more days til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. Six more days til Halloween, SILVER SHAMROCK!  Today embarks on a cliche horror day, as this will be the six hundred and sixty sixth post on Day of the Woman.  Rather than go the predictable route and write about something religious (since I've already covered it), I chose a more personal topic: The devil that walks among us.  Michael Myers is hands down my favorite of the main slashers.  Despite the recent reboot of the franchise, my heart has always remained in the sleepy town of Haddonfield, Illinois.  As the holiday of his namesake peeks its head around the hedges, it's only fitting that I finally fess up and admit my love for the Shatner faced shape.   

My earliest recollection embarking the emotionless maniac was after my fifth Halloween, the first trick or treating experience I can consciously remember.  I had spent the evening running around the neighborhood dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West and cackling at children in the street.  Even as a kindergartner, I was a big crusader for remaining in character.  After the night was overtaken with hooligans intent on smashing pumpkins and stealing children from unsupervised toddlers, I managed my way back into the front door with my pillowcase filled with sugar dragging behind me.  The living room was dim and my mother sat with a wine glass in hand with her face glued to the television.  Exhausted, my dad picked up my (at the time) two year old sister and retired for the remainder of the night.  I poured out my conquests into the middle of the living room and began organizing the horde (something I would do every year following).  After the chocolates were separated from the sour, my mother extended a makeup remover wipe to me and simply said "Come here, I want to show you something". 

I climbed on top of the couch and snuggled into my mother's embrace.  The film began to roll, and I don't think I blinked the entire duration of the film. It was as if some sort of supernatural force had taken a hold of my psyche and forced my eyes wide A Clockwork Orange style without any contraption to hold them open.  I sat on the couch paralyzed and my mother just looked down at me and said "So, what'd you think?"  I turned to look back up at her and at full conviction exclaimed "THAT WAS THE COOLEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN!"

Years would go by and my infatuation with The Shape grew to an almost unhealthy level.  I found myself renting the films as much as humanly possible and shutting down my entire evening if AMC were to play it on television.  There was an instance one Halloween where a teenager wore a Michael Myers costume and just stood silently in the middle of the street.  I couldn't walk down the block if I saw him there.  For as scared as I was, I couldn't help but hope that I'd see him at the end of the road whenever I turned a corner. 

Maybe it is the preference he has for murdering people in the comfort of their own home, or the fact he shows absolutely no signs of struggle or weakness while he does it.  Michael is the embodiment of pure evil and he makes it his goal to assure that you're aware of it.  He doesn't need one-liners or a slew of imaginative means of torture to destroy his victims.  He slashes, and he dashes...and yet makes sure his victims feel every single second slip away.  He's not just a serial killer, he's a cruel personification of malevolence.  To top it all off...he can't die.  It doesn't matter what anyone does to him, he can not die.  If anything, that's the scariest part of him all.  Michael Myers is the epitome of a horror icon and has been a staple in my little horror pumping heart.  Here's to you, Michael Myers for your successful career causing nightmares, surviving any and every challenger, and making a name for yourself as the perfect example of a Halloween slasher. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WHAT MAKES A GOOD HORROR MOVIE?

A number of horror movies have been released as of late to panned reviews from critics and low box office numbers.  It has been suggested that mainstream horror has lost its way and it seems as if we're only another remake away from destroying any cinematic credibility we once had.  This is focusing solely on mainstream horror for simplicity's sake.  If I were to open the can of worms and include indie/underground films/films with limited releases, we'd be splitting hairs.  Regardless, mainstream horror has been perpetually insulting not only genre fans, but audiences for far too long and it's gotten a little out of control.  So, I pose this question-what makes a good horror movie?  We sit here and talk about how horror films are going downhill, and yet we aren't making any arguments as to how to fix something.  If you are going to complain about a problem, make sure you have an answer to fix the dilemma.  With help from those that gave input through the Day of the Woman facebook page, here's a base on what it is that makes a good horror film. 
ATMOSPHERE
Within five minutes of posing the question on facebook, I was overwhelmed with requests that a good horror film contain "atmosphere".  When a horror film rests on the instant gratification of a jump scare, it doesn't allow the audience member to slip themselves into the world of the film.  Bertolt Brecht made a name for himself creating performances that were made specifically to distance the audience from what was on stage.  While this practice may work for certain art forms, horror films are not one of them.  If you want a horror film to truly invade the consciousness of an audience and show its strength through standing hairs and goosebumps, the atmosphere is going to play a pivotal role in the success of creating fear.
PLOT
One of the main attributes that horror films appear to be omitting is a strong plot.  It appears that most horror films are being created with the sole purpose to shock or frighten, and the storyline holding the film together seems to receive the least amount of focus.  While a killer, monster, madman, or event can be terrifying, it will be hindered dramatically if there isn't a plot to support the actions.  Thanks to M. Night Shyamalan, horror films have also been placing a greater emphasis on developing an impacting ending, rather than a concise vision throughout the entire duration.  This is leaving the audience without a feeling of fulfillment and irritation caused by the holes left behind.  
ACTORS THAT CAN ACT
As a student finishing up a degree in theatre performance, there is nothing more disappointing than sitting through a horror film and knowing an actor/actress was cast purely on their appearance or their reputation rather than their talent.  Horror films are notorious for giving many well known performers their "big break" or their first chance at a feature film, and yet it has only been as of late that we've been seeing more and more people pop up in horror films that shouldn't have ever made it past an audition reel.  We've focused so much of our energy into their physical appearance which only works in the realm of one-sheets and promotional material.  If you want a successful film, you need talented performers.  I hate to say it, but sometimes...people really are just a pretty face.
SCORE
Underscoring has been proven to either make or break an experience.  The sounds of screaming violins and breathing in the darkness have haunted the nightmares of movie goers for as long as sound has been implemented into film.  The score of a horror film is one of the most fundamental components of a production and yet one of the most overlooked.  Mainstream horror films have seemed to make it their goal to incorporate popular music into their scenes in order to create a more identifiable experience for audience members seeing it directly after the release, but that unfortunately goes out the window once the film is no longer the flavor of the week.  There have been far too many instances in which I've watched a mainstream film from the 1990's and was completely thrown off by the music choices.  However, the score for a film like Suspiria or Psycho will remain timeless and will continue to frighten audiences regardless of generation. 
PACING
If I have to be the one to say it, I will.  Horror films today are moving far too fast.  There's a popular theory that drama moves slowly, comedy moves quickly, and horror movies slowly but finishes quickly.  Insert "that's what she said" jokes as you please.  We has humans have been forced into this hustle and bustle way of life and our horror films have begun to follow suit.  If anything, we need to slow the films down if only to contrast to the way that we function.  If we slow the films down, it will help to create an unusual experience for the audience as it will be a way of moving that we aren't used to.  Filmmakers are often times unsure on how to pace a film and then the payoff hasn't been worth the ride.  You have to pace yourself with everything in this world, (running, relationships, sex, eating)  and this includes films.  
A BALANCE OF BLOOD AND GORE
For the love of all things holy, can we PLEASE stop making films with gore for gore's sake?  Seriously.  Just because a filmmaker decides to blow half of the budget on buckets of blood or gets a little trigger happy with CGI, that doesn't mean a good horror film is going to come from it.  Eli Roth and the SAW franchise are perfect examples of how concentrating too hard on gore can cause the overall film quality to suffer.  Seriously.  I'll take a bloodless film over a sixty-five person human centipede any day. 
BELIEVABILITY
Now, listen to me with care when I say that believability doesn't necessarily mean realistic.  Many classic horror films with fantastic (meaning fantasy, not "cool") aspects of the world around that are still able to remain believable are frequently the films that appear to be the most chilling.  If an audience member is equipped with the tools to subject themselves to the world of the film, the experience will then become all the more horrifying.  If the film isn't believable, the audience member will no longer be able to relate to the situation at hand, and therefore will more than likely find a way to avoid the intended fear. 



NOTE: I am in no way all knowing, this is purely opinion based.  Feel free to add your suggestions in the comment section of this article

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Grzegorz Domaradzki's Night of the Living Dead

For the past six months, Grzegorz Domaradzki has been slaving away at creating one of the most breathtaking images paying homage to George A. Romero's masterpiece.  

Limited to only 250 prints, this original screen print can be yours if your heart so desires it. 

Maybe you're not big on color, he also has a silver/glow-in-the-dark variant that is limited to only 100 prints.

If you're interested, you can purchase this beautifully crafted poster by visiting:


As a special bonus, if you type in
"DAYOFWOMAN" 
upon check-out, 
you will receive 15% off!

Monday, October 10, 2011

BJ-C'S BIGGEST HORROR GUILTY PLEASURES

The always fabulous Christine Hadden over at Fascination With Fear is spending her October putting her compulsive list-making to good use.  Every day in October, she's putting up a list.  Seriously. Every. Freaking. Day. Welp, yesterday she posted a list dedicated to nine of her biggest guilty pleasures.  She's inspired me to analyze my own guilty pleasures, and I'm going to pass the savings on to you!  Without further ado, here's my personal list of my biggest guilty pleasures.
THE HAPPENING
The movie with killer plants, the movie where Mark E. Mark talks to a fake tree, the movie where Zooey Deschanel does nothing but STARE for 2 hours wait, that's every thing she's ever done, and the movie that put the nail in the coffin on M. Night Shamalahymen's credibility.  On paper, this is quite possibly one of the worst films of the last ten years.  The premise had so much promise, but the ill-timed comic relief, poor casting choices, and misguided vision of the director bit everyone involved in the ass.  It just didn't work.  Well, for most people.  I happen to find this film hilarious and I could watch it all day, every day if only to watch Abigail Breslin's less talented brother try to go gangster on a door.  Sue me. I like what I like and I like this movie.
MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE
So, remember that time Stephen King tried to direct the film version of one of his films and made the soundtrack comprised of nothing but AC/DC music and gave the guy from Mighty Ducks a huge romantic/heroic lead role?  Yeah...me too.  This film is ridiculous, pure and utter chaos, and I can't get enough of it.  I mean, THERE'S A VENDING MACHINE THAT TRIES TO KILL YOU! How can you not get behind a film like that?  Oh yeah, because the voice of Lisa Simpson spends 90% of the film screaming "Curtis" while wearing an outfit she stole from Blossom's closet.
BRUISER
You know what?  I don't care that George A. Romero tried to make films that weren't about zombies.  I freaking love this film.  I love it so much, I wrote a love letter to the protagonist for Romero Week over at Freddy In Space.  Get off me, I like it.
 RAWHEAD REX
Clive Barker characters are usually very hit or miss for most people.  The general consensus seems to be that Rawhead Rex was a miss.  A pagan God gets a little cranky and destroys everything in its path, and it looks...like that.  There's ridiculous gore. It's Irish. I like the accents. Deal with it.
MONSTER MAN
What could possibly be worse than waking up in the middle of a sexual fantasy only to find out you're actually eating out the wound of road kill?  Nothing, except the fact that I proudly own this monstrosity on DVD. I guess this is cheating considered I have a hell of a lot of sentimental value tied to this film.  This film is ridiculous in every sense of the word, and the music sounds like something left over from a failed Disney Channel series.  Despite all of its glaring issues, I could watch this film anytime, anywhere.

Okay, I'm going to cut myself off at 5 before I destroy any more of my credibility. 
Peace, Love, & Brains <3


Thursday, October 6, 2011

CAESAR AND OTTO'S SUMMER CAMP MASSACRE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE

It was nearly two years ago when I first introduced Day of the Woman readers to the gospel of Caesar and Otto brought to you by Fourth Horizon Cinema and the mind of Dave Campfield.  This B-Movie to end all B-Movies has since spawned its own youtube channel and quite a stir amongst cult horror fans everywhere.  Not only was this film the return of Felissa Rose in another summer camp film, but it also delivered us a hilarious look at the acting/directing chops of Dave Campfield.  I am now pleased to announce that Caesar and Otto's Summer Camp Massacre can now be yours!  You too can enjoy the blood and fun by purchasing your own copy of the DVD, which is now available on both the film's official website, and Amazon.  If you're into silly horror films with absurd situations and buddy-style tag team friendships, then this is the film for you.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

IF YOU LIKED ______ YOU'LL LOVE ______

Now that Halloween has been peeking its little head around the corner, it's also become the time where I find myself bombarded with friends asking for movie recommendations for the frightful nights to come.  If I'm being completely honest, I've discovered something ridiculous.  My friends are cowards.  Seriously! Instead of trusting my judgement and recommendations, I'm stuck listening to "Well...I really liked ________ do you know anything like that?"  Most of the ________ films are usually some mainstream garbage cranked out by Anchor Bay and I am left shaking my head and trying to plead with them to watch something else.  So now...I present you SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
If you liked PROM NIGHT, you'll love THE LOVED ONES
I still haven't been able to wrap my finger around it, but there's an overwhelming amount of the collegiate population that found themselves scared by the remake of Prom Night.  Apparently, they can easily identify with how teenagers treat Senior Prom like some monumental event in their lives that they believe will actually matter in ten years.  Oh well.  Australians have been really picking up their game when it comes to horror, and they further proved it in 2009 with The Loved Ones.  While not as much of a party filled prom as the Brittany Snow edition, this film shows what happens when you turn down an invitation from the quiet girl at school.  Spoiler Alert: Don't decline invitations from the quiet girls at school. They don't take it well...
If you liked TWILIGHT, you'll love NEAR DARK
Okay, I'm sort of stretching it on this one considering most Twi-hards have some sort of brain damage.  If I'm going to rat on how much Twatlight blows, I should at least be able to combat their obsession with a proper horror equivalent.  Near Dark is exactly what Twilight would be if Stephenie Meyer understood vampire folklore, wasn't Mormon, and had the talent to write a decent storyline.  A vampire love story of epic proportions, this film is jam packed with fabulous one-liners, vampires BURNING in the sunlight, and a test to see how far someone is willing to go for love.
If you liked THE RING, you'll love A TALE OF TWO SISTERS
I don't know why, but Americans really have some sort of issue with creepy dark haired women.  While vastly different from The Ring, this South Korean import deals with tragic deaths within a family and the horrifying events that take place shortly after.  The film has beautiful imagery, some unsettling nightmare scenes, and a pretty decent amount of spookiness paired with an eerily wonderful score.  Seriously, trust me on this one.
If you liked CABIN FEVER, you'll love SPLINTER
Eli Roth did to shaving your legs what JAWS did to swimming in the ocean.  I see his flesh eating bacteria and raise him a "Thing-esque" plague.  Overlooked gross-out film Splinter has moments that genuinely made me squeal out of my seat.  Ladies and Germs, that doesn't happen very often.  Without spoiling it, there is one in particular that got an audible reaction out of me.  Watch it, and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
 If you liked SAW, you'll love DREAD
Okay, there's no madman hell-bent on teaching lessons and there's no unnecessary gore.  The torture in this film is far more cruel than anything Jigsaw could concoct.  Think of what you're most afraid of.  I mean, really REALLY afraid of.  Now think about someone using that against you to the nth degree for no other reason than to ruin your life.  Add that to the uber sexy Jason Rathbone, and you've got yourself a movie.

Like these lists?  Let me know and I'll be sure to create more of them for you.  Comment with suggestions and I'll be sure to crank out more through the month of October!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

GPOY

For all of you n00bs out there, GPOY stands for "gratuitous picture of yourself".  In tumblr world, you put GPOY under anything that remotely reminds you of yourself.  For example, if I saw a picture of a small rodent shoving acorns into its cheeks while I was shoveling Ben & Jerry's Schweddy Balls into my mouth, I would reblog the photo and tag it "GPOY".  It also can be used literally, when you post an actual picture of yourself.  Why the hell am I rambling on about this?  Because I want you to be my friend on tumblr!  I've had a couple of people ask if I have one, and I do!
Follow me on tumblr!

On another note, one of my professors was selling his collection of nearly 2000 titles for only $4.50 a pop.  Needless to say, I scooped up some of the good ones.  He had a ton more that I would love to add to my collection, but these four seemed like a necessity.  Don't shoot me, but I really didn't own my own copy of any of these films.  Now that I have them, I am a much much happier person. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

THINGS I LOVE ABOUT HALLOWEEN!

Oh darlings, hello. I've been away from a computer for a while and have been surviving off of mobile devices for a bit.  Long story short, I'm back.  As October has reared its beautiful little noggin, it's time to bring back an old favorite.  Image lists! A while ago I would post "things I like to do" and use an image from a horror movie to describe it.  I'm going to (attempt to) post every day for the rest of October just to keep everyone in the festive mood.  I once posted a video blog about the things I hated about Halloween, and it was so well received, I made a sequel to it.  To combat those video blogs, I would like to present to you an image list of the things I LOVE about Halloween.
THE FACT SHOVELING MY FACE WITH CANDY WILL BE SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE
DOGS IN COSTUMES
SCARING THE CRAP OUT OF MY BABY SISTER
PUTTING ON COSTUME MAKEUP
THE FREAKS THAT COME OUT AT NIGHT
NIGHTMARES
SEEING THE EXORCIST PLAYED ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY SEVEN TIMES
HAUNTED HOUSES
 COSTUME PARTIES
JACK-O-LANTERNS
THE RETURN OF THE WALKING DEAD!!!
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