Monday, January 31, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, that time of year has come upon us once again!  Tomorrow starts Women In Horror Recognition month.  Founded by the incredible Hannah Neurotica, WiH is a time set aside to focus on and celebrate all the women in the horror industry.  

Day of the Woman will be spending this month promoting the events relating to WiH month around the country as well as doing small write-ups here and there about women who have helped shaped the genre we love so dearly.  Keep your eyes peeled for new things every day!

Tomorrow also spawns a contest for an original piece of art by DotW favorite, Christopher Zenga!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Oy vey my darling Womanizers!  This past week has been a HUGE one for DotW. Like...SUPER FREAKIN' HUGE.  

  1. BJ-C was recently interviewed for Western Illinois Magazine.  It's the magazine my college cranks out every semester and it's available all over campus as well as other locations in Western Illinois.  Their upcoming theme is "unusual places and people in Western Illinois", and apparently I'm unusual enough to have a story written about me!  I had my interview for it yesterday and I'm more than excited to pick up my copy of the magazine at the end of the semester.
  2. Rob Delamorte of was ever so kind to invite me as a special co-host for his weekly podcast Delamorete's Dungeon of Deadly Delights.  We talked horror, 2010, Scream Queens, and Black Swan. You can hear the recording of it HERE
  3. Yesterday morning, I was asked to call into Macomb's Classic 103 radio station to talk Rocky Horror and Day of the Woman.  I had to wake up mighty early, but I do know that the radio station was being played at our campus rec center as kids were asking me all day how I nabbed the gig to call in.  
This has been an extremely humbling week for me and I as always thank all of you for your never ending support!


Sunday, January 23, 2011


It was just over a year ago that Andre Dumas of The Horror Digest and I compiled a list of iconic horror scenes that were especially frightening to my dear friend Andre.  You see, among her fear of sharks, she's also afraid of vomiting.  After a torturous and potentially therapeutic session of facing her fears, the tables were turned on yours truly.  So today, my Womanizers...Andre gets her revenge.  Any true DotW fanatic should know that my bugaboos are Lawn Gnomes, Leprosy, Clowns, and eye trauma.  Figuring it would be next to impossible or way too easy to do the other ones, we settled on creating a list of  
The Best Eye Trauma Scenes in Horror.


I always think of this immediately when I think about eye trauma. I can't imagine what it would feel like to get your eye plucked out of your head. Just the thought that someone or something could pull your eye ball out, and that those...eye...root things could snap off and then things would hurt really bad....yeah. Bad news. Also, Uma Thurman stepping on the eyeball does nothing to make me feel any better about this situation.

I'm never actually sure what this dude was doing to that Asian girl, but all I know is that there is a gnarly eye ball hanging out of that poor girl's head. Thanks to Paxton's quick thinking, his easy solution is to cut the eye ball off---resulting in a very sudden, unexpected and horribly gooey blob of....eye juice plopping out.

When I was a little one, this scene caused me a great deal of stress and unhappiness.  It's very unfortunate that birds have the easy ability to peck someone's eyes out, and it was very unfortunate that Alfred Hitchcock made an entire film about birds being crazy assholes.

I know I already brought this up in my list about needles, but duh it applies here as well. That squish squish noise in the eyeballs is very traumatizing. Would YOU like to have 5 little needles plunged into your eyeballs by a psycho like Asami? Didn't think so.

Did you ever take a class about psychology and learn about Phineas Gage? He was a railroad worker who in a freak accident had a large iron rod driven straight through his head and brain and he was okay after, just a little... different. This incident has been used when talking about t the unfortunate side effects of lobotomies. Lobotomies for some reason remain a creepy cornerstone of old mental institutions. In one of the creepiest scenes in Session 9, Warren from Empire Records finds Hank on the stairwell after he had been missing. Hank wears sunglasses and seems a little...different. It is not until later that we discover why Hank was acting all funny.... inpromptu lobotomy!  Seeing the orbitoclast being slowly pulled out of Hank's eye socket is one of the most traumatic things I have ever seen. Why did they make me look at that? Why? And yes I used the word orbitoclast. Jealous?

The Soska sister's Dead Hooker in a Trunk was one of the more entertaining and eye opening experiences in my indie horror watching career. A film that takes exploitation and runs with it and a film that is stuffed to the max with gore, gore and beautiful gore. One moment in particular however had me exclaiming with wonder, confusion and holy eye trauma madness. After the peak of the greatest scene in the film, Geek (played by Jen Soska) is standing in a parking garage when some dude with a baseball bat smashes her head---causing her eye ball to pop out.  I stopped trying to figure out how this scene was possible seconds after it happened because I realized it was just too fantastic to be talking logistics about. It is at once fantastic and extremely cringe inducing when you imagine such a thing happening to yourself.

This opening moment in Saw II may never have come to actual fruition but it's really the thought that counts. I will set the scene for you. Imagine you wake up and find yourself hooked up to one of Jigsaw's cute little death traps. You find out that he has hidden the key to your heinous trap somewhere on you....or shall I say in you. An x-ray is shown to give you a clue, showing that the key is implanted behind your eye. You now have to dig out the key with a scalpel or you DIE. Would you do it?  I gotta be honest here and say that if push should ever come to shove, I would be dead pretty quickly. I really don't care if it means I die--if I have to cut my own eye with a scalpel to free myself from some loony contraption that some loony created so that I could value my life better--I am peacing out of that world. No thanks. I'd rather take my chances with Satan.

This 16 minute surrealist short film from 1929 was produced in part by the master of Surrealism himself--Salvador Dali. In its early opening sequence a man sharpens a razor, next we see a close up of a woman's face being held by the man. Then without warning the man uses the razor to slice her eye ball open!  If you have ever held onto the belief that old silent films lacked the same kind of brutal gore that films today have---check this out for yourself. It's on Netflix Instant Watch and you won't be disappointed. It is to this day one of the sickest things I have ever seen--and it does not hold back one bit. The moment may be quick, but it's sure to stay with you for a very long time.

And of course how could we talk about eye trauma and leave off the most agonizing traumatic eye scene of them all? Even if you have only seen Zombie once and remember very little about it--you will remember this scene. You will remember it because it is the longest scene ever. Much in the Lucio Fulci style of things that make you want to pull your hair out as you wait anxiously for the big pay off---this giant splinter in the eye moment will have you yelling. Just get it over with Fulci, god.  It's gross, funny, horrifying and extremely trauma inducing for anyone who gets the least bit anxious from eye gore. It's the ultimate in eye trauma! And it's so horrible yet you just can't look away...kind of like how Paola is forced to look right at that giant splinter as it comes right for her eye...


As little Ralphie will tell you, there's nothing worse than a kid with broken glasses.  I see his argument and raise him a pair of glasses that have broken WHILE YOU'RE STILL WEARING THEM.  In the dreadful "remake" to the Stephen King classic, we see the long-lost half-sister of Carrie White being a vindictive little bitch, and forcing shards of glass to explode into someone's eyes.

Ashley J. Williams very well be the love of my life, but I'd be a huge flaming liar if I didn't admit that I squeal like a little girl every time he jumps on the basement latch and that eye goes flying into a screaming mouth.  It's the epitome of adding insult to injury.

Lucio Fulci really has some eye fetish.  I had to narrow it down between this one and New York Ripper and I can honestly say that my choice was made based on the fact I figured this image would be a lot easier to stomach than the other.  It's an eye falling out in a film where a woman has pale eyes. AKA...this film is my worst freaking nightmare.

You know, I thought Cannibal Holocaust was bad.  AND THEN I WATCHED THIS.  What seriously happened to the filmmakers as a child that caused them to create this?! Not to mention, this is the same movie that shows a woman being hung by her rack.  Uh...yeah.  There's something in this film for anyone with a bugaboo.

When I think the eye trauma can't get anymore traumatic, THEY HAVE TO BUST OUT THE SPOON.  It's one thing to show things getting shoved into the corneas, but it's an entirely different creature to show someone literally having their eyeball scooped out like tapioca pudding.  The real kicker?  This is one of the TWO options I could have done for this film.  Oh yeah, there's that whole shoving a needle the size of my forearm through the eye as well.

...she stabs herself in the eye with a pair of pinking shears and then puts the eyeball on her doll made from human body parts.  Enough said.

Ted Raimi can take a blow to the head with a meat pounder like a pro.  In what is possibly the most artistically creative use of CGI blood in a movie who's title sounds mysteriously like a gay porn, this "eye-popping" (thank you, I'll be here all week) scene made me scream like a little girl.  I was expecting his head to just bust open or his brain to fall out, but when his eye popped out of his head like a nerf gun...I freaking lost it.

Yes, there are movies outside of the horror genre.  Horror or not, this is by far the most notable eye trauma scene in the history of cinema.  Now, I'm Italian and I LOVE me some Rocky Balboa, but I literally have to leave the room when Mick cuts him open so he can see.  Hell no, hizzle no.



Saturday, January 22, 2011


I swore to myself that when the Sci-Fi channel changed their name to the "hipper" SyFy, I was boycotting the entire channel and refusing to watch anything they put on the air.  As the seasons turned and their marketing began to overpower my commercial viewings...I couldn't handle my potentially two week sobriety and I caved in.  I was seduced by the siren song of a SyFy original movie and there was no escaping her tempting grasp.  I'll admit it, around Halloween the ONLY two channels I watched were SyFy and [AMC] (except for when ABCfamily was showing Hocus, Pocus...girl's gotta have priorities).  Even though SyFy is notorious for showing some of the worst horror movies ever made and editing the classics to the point of almost destroying them.  This post isn't about bashing on SyFy or anything of the sort, it's more so a rhetorical post.  ...if that makes even the slightest sense.  SyFy is a bit of an enigma, so to speak.  The strange thing is that everyone who watches SyFy is fully aware of how God-awful it can be at times, and yet we can't look away. Maybe CAPRICA, Dr. Who, and Battlestar Galactica can reel in teh ubernerdz, but what about the rest of the world?  A television station can't possibly run solely on a few decent series.  My theory?  SyFy has made it their goal to create the most ridiculous movies known to man, specifically because they know we're going to watch them.

I'll admit it, I've left on WAY more SyFy movies simply to see how dreadfully vomit-worthy their latest CGI monster was going to be.  Is this something I'm ashamed of? No.  Is this something I'm proud of?  Not a chance. I'd rather not tip-toe around it...SyFy Original Movies are some of the most poorly crafted pieces of muff cabage I've ever had the displeasure of sitting through.  The acting is one hundred times worse than Nicholas Cage in Knowing, the story lines are one BILLION times worse than the Nicholas Cage version of The Wicker Man, but the monsters are adored and lovingly accepted just as much as Nicholas Cage.  HOW DOES THAT WORK!?  If someone told me there was a station playing movies that contained a shark with the ability to take down an airplane or a film that starred a giant crocodile with a penchant for teenagers, I'd tell them to eat my box and stop pawning "ironically entertaining" monster movies at me.  The strange thing, THESE MOVIES EXIST!  My God, half the time I think the SyFy Original Movie committee sit around a board room with creatures written on little pieces of paper and thrown in a hat or by shooting darts at a labeled board.  There is no possible explanation for half of the nonsense this station has compiled and put on the air.

And that's another thing.  HOW DOES THIS SHIT GET GREEN-LIT!?  I seriously think a six year old could bring an idea to the table and probably have just as good of a chance to get their film made as the people working for SyFy.  Every once in a while we're blessed with half-way decent films, but for every Dog Soldiers, there's at least twenty Dinocroc vs. Supergator.  The other strange trend I've been noticing is the overabundance of casting washed up 80's icons that might not necessarily have been meant for the movies to begin with.  I love me some Debbie (excuse me, Deborah) Gibson as much as the next person...but I will never believe for the life of me that, that woman is a scientist of ancient sea-beasts.

In all honesty, I think the only reason people claim to "like" these films is because half of humanity is under the "hipster spell".  Meaning: "the uncooler you are, the cooler you are".  We only like these movies because it's the complete opposite of what we should be doing.  We should be ragging on these films and boycotting the stations but instead we promote them and spontaneously purchase the buggers when they go on sale at Wal-Mart in the five dollar bin.

I will say that I'm more than excited for the premiere of their new reality show, Face Off.  I'm a sucker for all things TV competition based, and to pair that with special effects've got me.  The show will center around the idea "Who is the Next Great SFX Artist?"  The show will premiere Wednesday January 26th, 2011 at 10/9c.  For all of you fans of the god-awful films, have no fear!  Mega Python vs. Gatoroid will premiere on January 29th at 9/8c.  


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


NOTE: As always, Let the Right One In is not only recommended, but encouraged
As I type this, I'm currently curled up on a couch with two of my favorite people in the entire world in Chicago, Illinois.  Above my Macbook screen lies three wide open windows exposing snowcapped trees and windowsills.  While I type away, the other two are effortlessly tiptoeing their fingertips across their books.  To set the mood, I've put on the Let the Right One In soundtrack and we let ourselves become fully encompassed with the snowed in, winter wonderland feeling.  Sooner or later, the bemused silence will become unbearable and we will obviously decide to pop in a movie in place of reading.  Unfortunately, the two people I am snuggled up with are NOT horror movie fans.  It is for this reason that I've compiled a list of films that work great with these sort of days.  I'm not talking about watching Christmas themed horror films, because it's January 11th...and if I have to hear one more lame "Santa Claws" pun, I'm cracking skulls. No, I'm referring to horror films set against a pure white setting, where the horror chills our bones like Jack Frost nipping at our noses.  Here is my list for the best horror movies for those snowy afternoons.
I've found myself to be one of the biggest crusaders for this British horror import.  The story follows a family meeting up for some New Years festivities in a winter home of some sort.  Suddenly, the children all start to fall ill and act very...strange. Vomit, blood, foot prints, and even cat guts are all contrasted beautifully in the snow.  The more I watch this film, the more foreshadowing moments I notice from the beginning, and the more I love it.  It's an interesting take on the "killer kid" genre, and a very well executed one at that.
One of Stephen King's "lesser known" works, this one is probably one of my favorites.  Crossing just about every genre border from horror, to sci-fi, to thriller, to psychological, action, and even a bit of humor here and there...this one just works.  It almost seems like Stephen King threw everything in there, including the kitchen sink, and it came out wonderfully.  The story deals with aliens, ghosts, diseases, mind-slippage, a ridiculous snow storm, and Morgan Freeman.   Honestly, can you ask for anything more?

I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is John Carpenter's masterpiece.  The undisputed best remake of all time and one of the most widely praised horror films in history, this story of an unknown creature attempting to take over everything in it's way is done flawlessly WITHOUT any shotty CGI.  The effects are marvelous, the story line is horrifying, Kurt Russell plays the bad-ass to end all bad-asses, and the snowy terrain makes things all the more chilling. 
While this film is notorious for the events that happen within the Overlook Hotel doors, we cannot forget that the reason the Lloyd family is stuck in the hotel in the first place is because of the snow storm of the century.  The snow even played a vital enough role to completely change the original ending of the novel in Kubrick's adaptation from the moving shrubbery to the ice labyrinth.  The very essence of cabin fever is perfect for when the snow traps you in your living room with your younger siblings and nagging parents. 

One of my favorite roles played by Christopher Walken, this Cronenberg flick is as stunning as it is haunting.  Hey, is anyone else noticing a pattern here?

Oh yeah, there's the pattern. Stephen King REALLY likes snow in horror films.  I find this to be completely acceptable, as he's the master of the horror novella and all of his stories give me the creeps.  Most of his movies end up being disappointments, but occasionally we're given something actually worth his merit.  This, my friends, is one of those examples. 

Surprisingly, I didn't get my grubby little paws on a copy of this until this winter.  I'm so glad that I did, because this film was a thrill a minute and I'm a little confused as to why it isn't better known.  In my opinion, it's completely underrated and was extremely aesthetically pleasing. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011


It was about a year ago that I joined forces with Andre Dumas of The Horror Digest to tackle a list of epic proportions.  You see, we didn't just do your ordinary "scariest killers, hottest ass-kicker, most likely to steal from children while naked and American" type of lists.  Andre and I stared fear straight in the face and basically told it to lick our boots.  Andre, is HORRIFIED of sharks...and vomit.  With that in mind, we concocted a list of the best vomit moments in horror films.

Now, a year later...she gets her revenge.  BJ-C here has but four bugaboos.  Lawn Gnomes, Clowns, Leprosy, and eye trauma.  While it would be far too easy to create a clown list, we figured it'd be way too difficult to create a list for leprosy or lawn gnomes.  So, I'm doing eye trauma.  In the near future expect a list chock full of Spaghetti-Horror glory...and the possibility of me peeing my pants or crying in the corner in the fetal position with a thumb in my mouth. 


 I HATE lawn gnomes. HATE HATE HATE with a capital HUH sound.  Animated or not, I had a small panic attack in the middle of a mall when I saw this playing on the televisions overhead.  Whoever created this film can die. They can be part B in the human centipede while trying to battle Cthulhu in the pit from Army of Darkness.  I don't give a flying bull testicle how cute the name sounds, this film is going to haunt my dreams until it comes out on Blu-Ray and the advertisements stop. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011


While most of the world was out celebrating the end of the decade by destroying their livers and paying their respects to the porcelain God, yours truly was spent bundled up next to a skype-date trying not to let my bout of food poisoning completely ruin my evening.  It figures that the time I choose to make my "big comeback" would also be the time my health decides to reject Chicago style Mexican food.  Blech.  So while we're already two days into the new year, I have not forgotten to deliver my annual Top 10 of the year list.  As always, a disclaimer is given on how I choose the films I choose.  Some of the films on here were made on a budget lower than what constitutes a suitable prom dress, some of the films on here were made in 2008, but not released to the general public until 2010, and some of the films on here never made it to a wide release.  Yet let me firmly remind you all of the DotW policy: My blog, my rules.  On that note, here are MY top 10 horror films of 2010.

I'll be the first one to admit that when this film arrived in my mailbox, I was gleaming with excitement to write an absolutely scathing review.  The plot is so undeniably ridiculous, it's hard to believe a quality film came out of it. did.  The story of a beautiful teenage girl and her autistic brother trapped in a boarded up (there's a hurricane a brewin') house while their evil step-father has trapped them inside with a violent and two week starved ex-circus tiger that he bought from Meat Loaf.  I KNOW. IT'S RIDICULOUS.  However, Burning Bright was one of the more tense films I've seen in a long while and well deserving of its praise.  There are some things that could have used work, but I was mighty impressed.

I never thought there would come a day where a film about an exorcism could instill with me the same amount of fear as The Exorcist.  I'm not a religious person, but religious horror films scare the living bajeezus out of me.  I found this film to be exceptionally well written, as it wasn't concentrating on scaring us every waking moment of the film.  There were moments I actually found humorous amongst a sea of painful, unsettling, and of course, horrific scenes.  I found it to be one of the strongest exorcism films to date, and the twist's growing on me.

I used to hate Adam Green.  I still stand my ground in saying that his Hatchet films were overrated and I refused to be one of his little fangirls.  I now bite my tongue, because Frozen was freaking awesome.  A visually stunning look at a worst-case scenario on top of a ski-lift, I was genuinely kept on my toes for the entire duration of the film.  The dialogue was convincing, the pacing was superb, and there were gross-out scenes done in a very "Adam Green" fashion.  If he continues making his films less like Hatchet and more like Frozen, I very well may become a Green fangirl after all.

I'm scared of clowns, lawn gnomes, catching leprosy, and all forms of eye trauma.  Some of these fears, I'm well aware of how they came to be, but others have left me in the dark.  DREAD follows a group of people who strive to learn just exactly what causes human fear.  Let me tell you, I took a chance on a horror film starring the same guy who plays the constipated Cullen in Twilight...and it was a chance worth taking.  This is one of those films that not only irks you, but makes you feel like you should take a shower afterward.  The actions the characters make are unthinkably cruel, but executed in a remarkable fashion. 
I love me some homage films.  Ti West's House of the Devil is quite possibly one of the coolest films made in a very long time.  I actually included it on my top 25 films of the decade last year, but that's because I'm a big ol' snob who got to see it before 2010.  However, it was widely released this year and that's why it's being included on this list.  It's a sure-fire reminder of why the horror films of yesteryear were so scary, and why buckets of gore don't always constitute a quality horror film.

05) [REC] 2
Point of View films have two options to go when it comes to film quality.  You can either be so god awful the world resents you for it like Diary of the Dead or you can be so mindblowingly incredible that the world can't get enough of you like [REC].   The second installment of a film that shook the genre last year, [REC] 2 picks up immediately where the original one left off and left just as big of an impact as the first one.  There's something about the intimate feeling of a POV film that makes it ten times scarier, or maybe it's because demonic Spaniards are just creepy in general.
This is probably the worst "quality" film on this list, but it's one of the most enjoyable.  Birdemic honestly looks like it was made in MS Paint by some kid who didn't feel like playing Oregon Trail during computer class.  It's The Room of the horror genre, if you will. Absolutely everything about this film is terrible.  The acting is like something out of a rejected community college theatre class, the effects are worse than a 3rd grade science project, and the story is blatantly ripped off of Alfred Hitchcock in a less than honorable fashion.  This film is one of the worst films ever made...but that's what makes it so wonderful.
For four hours, I was given the opportunity to watch what could very well be one of the best horror documentaries of all time.  I've always been a Michael Myers girl over Freddy, but I'll be damned if this film wasn't absolutely outstanding.  Now I'm a goon by nature when it comes to documentaries, but this one takes the red and green striped cake.  It doesn't matter if you're a diehard fan or not, this documentary will suck you in and keep you there until you finally wake up.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the prime example of the expression "less is more".  I cannot stress to you enough how unsettling and off-putting this film is.  A slow burn, yes, but one that gave me legitimate nightmares and consumed my conscious for days after viewing.  Simplicity is a beautiful thing, and I find films like this one powered with the ability to fester within us long after we've ejected the DVD.  This isn't the type of film to pop out and make you scream, it's meant to resonate within and leave a haunting impression.

A good friend of mine gave the absolute perfect description for the best film of the year.  "The only problem with Let Me In, is that Let The Right One In exists".  You know something, he's absolutely 100% correct.  Mind you, this is coming from the undisputed LTROI fangirl.  While the film is not as good as it's predecessor, it more than holds its own.  I was very uneasy going into this, but I happily admit how pleased I was with the final product.  It managed to capture me in the same way the original did, and managed to do so while remaining ever faithful to the film that inspired this version.  Matt Reeves earned my undying respect with this remake and Chloe Moretz is undoubtedly going to take over the world.
Related Posts with Thumbnails