Thursday, March 31, 2011

THE HISTORY OF GHOSTFACE: INSPIRED BY SCREAM 4

Unlike most of my horror comrades, I wasn't alive for the glory days of Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger.  I'm not even old enough to legally drink (less than 2 months to go!), and the slasher that reigned my childhood is the latest of the so-called "slasher franchise canon" to tip-toe their way into the limelight.

In the 1990's, the horror genre was cursed with a bit of a mainstream drought, so to speak.  While the horror films that were released underground lead to countless cult followings and praise, the ones the average movie-goer were exposed to were less than stellar examples.  This isn't to say there weren't fabulous films from the 1990's (Army of Darkness, Candy Man, Cemetery Man, Silence of the Lambs, Sixth Sense, etc. etc.), but the obsession with slasher films from the 1970's and 1980's had gone from horrifying to pathetic.  I'm sorry, but it is preposterous to even have an accidental thought that the fisherman from I Know What You Did Last Summer or the antagonist from Urban Legend could ever even attempt hold a candle to Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees.  It was in 1996 when horror god Wes Craven came to the aide of the slasher depraved grunge children of the 90's and delivered us Ghostface. 

While there have been five different actors to don the Edvard Munch inspired mask and cloak, Ghostface has always been voiced by Roger L. Jackson. (Yes, the same guy who voiced Mojo JoJo on The Powerpuff Girls).  Like many slashers, Ghostface is always human but the person behind the mask often exhibist extreme durability against physical harm, super-human strength,  and exudes an almost supernatural level of stealthiness.  While the character beneath the mask may change, they all have the same motive.  Kill Sidney Prescott.  Craven created Scream with the intention of almost parodying the world it was living in by exposing the "rules" of the slasher genre.  With that mindset, Sidney Prescott is almost 100% on par with Laurie Strode of the Halloween series, with Ghostface as her Michael Myers.  In each film, the Ghostface killer(s) often murder people close to Sidney and taunt her by use of the phone with threats and intimate knowledge of her life, or the murder of her mother.  Basically, if you ever meet Sidney Prescott. RUN.  Also like Halloween's later insallments, the Ghostface costume is not unique.  The world of Sidney and Ghostface is the world we live in now, and the Ghostface costume is easy to purchase and wear for fun.  I've always found this to be an interesting twist in that anyone could be Ghostface, regardless of location.

Ghostface was created as a mute character, only speaking when using the telephone or as the voice-changer for whoever was wearing the costume.  When speaking to his victims, he doesn't pop out immediate hatred but instead attempts to reel them in by flirting or complimenting.  Wes Craven considers Jackson's voice performance as Ghostface to have "evil sophistication".  I couldn't agree more.  Ghostface does seem to make grunting/groaning noises when injured, which always gives away the human underneath the mask.  Because Ghostface is different people, his characteristics often change depending on who is underneath it.  Some of the killers were seen as "clumsy" and would fall over objects when running, giving their victim a chance to get away.  However, anyone that used the Ghostface costume immediately shared the trait of screwing with their victims and prolonging a kill when they appear to have an advantage. For example, the Billy Loomis/Stu Macher Ghostface would almost always gut their victims after killing them with the exception of Tatum Riley who was killed while trying to squeeze through a doggy door built into a moving, mechanical garage door.  
 I will never forget the first time I ever laid eyes on the Ghostface killer's mask.  I was barely six years old and I had once again stayed up all night watching scary movies while my parents thought I was safely tucked away in bed.  It was during a commercial break for one of the films Svengoolie was showing that night when a very blonde Drew Barrymoore picked up the phone to hear the infamous question, "Do You Like Scary Movies?"  I peeked my head around the couch and stared in vain as my brown Bettie Page bangs struggled to cover my eyes.  That's when I saw the mask.  Without even thinking, I screamed as loud as I could and ran down the hallway into my room, slammed the door, and locked it.  I didn't sleep that night, and I wouldn't until after the commercials stopped running. The sight of Ghostface is one of the first memories I have as a child of being genuinely scared. To this day, I'm more than a little uneasy around the masks during Halloween time because the six year old inside of me wants to run away.  While the Scary Movie franchise turned him into a joke, he was a very scary creature for anyone who grew up in the 1990's, and deserves his due.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

MAC ELDRIDGE'S BLOOD ON THE PLAIN NEEDS YOUR HELP

It was a little more than a year ago when I first featured a review and did some of my best promotional work through the blogging community for a short film entitled Chemical 12-D. The short film that could seemed to explode throughout the horror community and the blogosphere could not stop fawning over such an aesthetically pleasing zombie short with barely any dialogue, but a killer storyline.  Now, a year later, Mac Eldridge and his crew needs our help.  I recently contacted Mac asking if he'd like to send a message to all of you out there in DotW land, and this is what he had to say

"I was honored a bit over a year ago when BJ and her blog reviewed a short film of mine, Chemical 12-D.   The review was kind to the film, and from there, the short propelled itself in the blogging world and also in the festival circuit.  It was because of her first review that Chemical 12-D was written up so well from websites and blogs across the board and now I am here because of my next project, Blood on the Plain.  Unlike 12-D, BotP is a mixture of genres between western and horror, and is also a short film for the feature we plan to make.  We have already shot one weekend and have come out with some incredible footage, and now we're in process of raising $5,000 to shoot the final weekend- the big horror scene.  What I'm asking for now is your help.  The horror community has been extremely receptive of me and my work, and I want to give everyone an even better project, but I need your support to do so. The producers and I wanted to tell you that we're offering percentage points if anyone is interested in owning a percentage of the film.  Basically, 100 bucks get you a half percent of the short film.  Once the film makes money, the investors are the first to get their money back (its guaranteed by me).  From there, they make a half percent after they are paid back in full.  That also includes if the short gets sold to make a feature. If you are interested in making a larger donation (and want to talk logistics) please feel free to contact BJ so we can get in touch"

-Mac Eldridge

ALRIGHT, YOU HEARD HIM.
HELP OUT WATER COOLER PRODUCTIONS BY DONATING TO THEIR INDIE GOGO PAGE

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SPOOKYTOWN: SPIRITS HAUNTED BAR AND RESTAURANT

How many times have you thought to yourself "I love horror, but I really love food and alcohol" ?  If the answer is "more than once", then you should invest yourself and some interest into helping out Kristi Nommensen Dorson and her plan to start a haunted/horror themed hot spot...THAT'S OPEN OUTSIDE OF HALLOWEEN!

The following article was sent to me from Ms. Dorson herself to be broadcast to all you here.

As so many of our stories seem to go, I've been attracted to the 'strange and unusual' since I was a wee thing. My dad has always been a freak for Halloween and has provided a home yard haunt for the neighborhood kids each year from the time I was little. It seemed only natural that a love of horror movies, haunted houses, and spooky things would be in my blood. I've also always had an entrepreneurial mindset and have dreamed of, amongst other things: being a writer, owning a cafe, running a haunted bed and breakfast, owning real estate, running / living in a roadside attraction, running a restaurant, starting a variety of different stores, and more. When I was 23, my family and I stopped at a popular tourist spot in Spring Green, WI: The House On The Rock. I had no idea what I was in for when we stopped for what we thought would be a brief visit. I had no idea how much my mind was about to expand. Needless to say, I loved the place instantly, and it remains one of my favorite places ever, as well as a source of endless inspiration.

Since then my ideas have been brewing and slowly meshing together. I started gathering ideas of what I would include in my OWN version of House On The Rock, if I were able to build one. What sort of collections would I fill the place with? I began calling it my "NOT House On The Rock House", which was eventually shortened simply to "The Not House". My list includes things like: spooky tiki bars, haunted diners, living walls, collections of creepy old toys (like Boglins), collections of awesome horror shirts (such as those from Fright-Rags), a movie theater / drive in showing horror movies and cult classics, rooms full of Rube Goldberg machines, a car museum (for my husband) with a hearse section (for me), a life-sixed replica of the Lord of Darkness from Legend, a haunted bed and breakfast, a steampunk room, a room full of miniature replicas of horror buildings (such as the mansion from the Tales From The Crypt intro), and more. It occurred to me that I would need a lot of money. AND a lot of land. Since I have neither, the dream has just continued to build and I have always considered it a 'semi-retirement' goal.

It so happens that a few months ago, we visited the Raven's Grin Inn for a friend's birthday. Raven's Grin, for the uninitiated, is a FANTASTIC year-round haunted attraction in Mount Carroll, IL. Run by Jim Warfield and his wife Jessica, it defies explanation and is well worth the time to visit. (Their website can be found at http://www.hauntedravensgrin.com). We have been out there several times and have even struck up a friendship with Jim and Jessica (great people!), and yet it never occurred to me to look at Mount Carroll as a site for my vision, at least until this last trip, when we spent some time in one of the local bars and found that it is for sale. Opportunity? DEFINITELY! My husband and I talked to the owner quite a bit, then went home and spent a couple days thinking about it, and decided we were going to give it a go. Opening a spooky-themed bar and restaurant right next door to a fantastic, established year-round haunted house just seems like the perfect thing for us. 

And so, the idea for "Spirits Haunted Bar and Restaurant" was born. I started a blog to chronicle the process (http://theroadtospookytown.blogspot.com). We have no available capital, and I am only in the process of writing the business plan and doing the financial research right now. What we DO have is a huge dream that has been building for years, a passion for all things spooky and unique, a love of fun, and the drive to make it all happen. I realize my vision of Spookytown, my tongue-in-cheek name for the whole kit and caboodle, is an immense Disneyland-sized dream that may never be fully realized. Spirits is step one, and it may be the only step we ever take, or it may take us places even I have never dreamed. But I believe in dreaming big. And I believe there is a thirst for some place like this; a place for the misfits, the freaks, the lovers of the strange and unusual. A place we can congregate and share our passions. A place that even the 'normals' can visit and get a taste of the otherworldly, if only for a day or two. I BELIEVE IN SPOOKYTOWN. And I am going to make it happen. For you, for me, and for everyone that's ever believed, even if only for a moment.

Friday, March 25, 2011

HORROR MOVIES: THE MUSICAL!

I'm not dead, I promise.  As many of you know, I'm currently studying Theatre with an emphasis on Acting while I'm away at university.  I'm currently Assistant Stage Managing the musical on campus this semester and the vigorous rehearsal schedule has taken away any of my time that could be spent blogging.  Unfortunately, this means that my life has been completely overtaken by show tunes in place of zombie groans and screaming women.  To combine the two things that overtake my world, I present to you some of the greatest triumphs in Musical Theatre history dedicated to horror.
CARRIE: THE MUSICAL
 
 REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN: THE MUSICAL!
CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE
JEKYLL AND HYDE
SWEENEY TODD: 
THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET
EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL
BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL
 
THRILL ME: 
THE LEOPOLD AND LOEB STORY
 
And let us not forget some of the lesser known musicals like
The Texas Chainsaw Musical
The Fly: An Opera
Giant Killer Shark: The Musical
The Toxic Avenger: The Musical
and 
Creature from the Black Lagoon: The Musical

Sunday, March 20, 2011

PATRICK BATEMAN DOES REBECCA BLACK

I'm pretty sure Rebecca Black still got a reservation at Dorsia's...BUT WHICH SEAT DID SHE TAKE?!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

NIGHTMARE ALLEY: AN ANTHOLOGY OF AWFULSAUCE

If you've been a longtime reader of Day of the Woman, you should know that BJ-C is quite the indie film lover.  I'm a firm believer that a budget does not determine a film and a body count isn't a measurement of horror.  With that being said, I LOVE low budget, awful horror movies.  I'm a total gorehound and am always the girl in the back of the theatre laughing at the dismemberment instead of huddling under my seat.  I'm one of the biggest supporters of indie films and I have a strict policy on Day of the Woman to never turn down an indie film regardless of backing or not.  HOWEVER-I will not spoon feed less than stellar films to my readers...because that's just rude.  Your mom didn't give you hot-wet garbage for dinner, and I won't either. Not that long ago, I wrote a piece over at The Blood Sprayer about the differences between a campy film and a crappy film.  I gave many examples of GOOD campy films, but didn't focus too much on BAD campy films.  I've been avoiding reviewing this film for a while after the debacle that occurred over at Planet of Terror between good pal Cortez the Killer and some "Anonymous" fanboy, as well as the tirade the director went on over at The Blood Sprayer...but after hearing it is going to be reviewed in Rue-Morgue magazine, I have to bite the bullet, accept the possibility of being e-harassed, and deliver everyone an old fashioned rant.

Nightmare Alley is quite possibly the WORST film I have ever seen.  I didn't request Nightmare Alley to be sent to me, but after hearing so much smack talk about it, I took the initiative to develop my own opinion of the film.  Now the people behind this toasted shit sandwich did quite the job at slapping on a pretty outfit and whoring this piece of trash all over the proverbial corners of the horror blogosphere.  If you're wondering why I'm taking such a harsh tone in describing this film, understand that my tact checked out the door after the producer stalkingly attacked two of my dearest horror chums in defense of this shitstorm.  On that side note, I would gently like to direct your attention to a little guide a wrote specifically for indie filmmakers   I digress,  Nightmare Alley was clearly an attempt at the "so bad it's good" style of filmmaking that only a true horror fan can appreciate.  I commend any filmmaker for attempting to create a film in this sort of style for it is next to impossible to successfully execute it.  There is a very fine line between so bad it's good and downright bad.  Nightmare Alley didn't just fall off the tight-rope, it took a flying swan dive through a ring of fire and splattered on the pavement before the audience vomited all over the result in protest.

The film is broken apart into 8 stories (much like a Creepshow film...but amateur at best with 5th grade Halloween party special fx) which I found to be the biggest problem with the entire film.  With this many stories, it's difficult for the viewer to develop a connection with any of the characters or appreciate any of the humor.  The stories are unoriginal to say the least and poorly written. I'm sorry, but I've seen better and scarier episodes of Goosebumps.  I agree with my comrades in saying if the film concentrated on three to four of the episodes (much like Trick 'R Treat) this would have vastly improved the film.  Unfortunately, we do not live in a world of "what ifs" and we are instead left with a piss-poor excuse for a horror anthology and 88 minutes of our lives that could have been better spent counting white rice from behind a sneeze guard at Panda Express.  
Not far behind the storyline, the special fx look like something out of a junior high haunted house.  Let me write this as boldly and as obviously as I possibly can for all of those out there who want to cry "low budget hater" at me.  A LOW BUDGET HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BAD FX.  I've been a huge promoter of Indymogul.com's Backyard FX as they have shown the world how to create quality horror FX while sticking it to the recession.  This film obviously doesn't know how to work their way around the googler, as everything looked AWFUL.  I'm not even talking Dead Alive big and brutally awful, I mean "I was four seconds away from leaving the price tag on my prop leg" awful.  The makers also have absolutely ZERO comprehension as to how to even use a damn camera.  Say it with me: FOCUS.  For the love of God, you'd think they used cotton balls as a lens filter for half the movie.  Shit, I've seen Senior Photos that look edgier and classier than this film.  That and they obviously borrowed the subway lights from Adventures in Babysitting to try and illuminate their fail-whale of a film.
Nightmare Alley definitely has it's heart in the right place, but it just didn't work.  Passion for the genre, doesn't automatically make a good movie.  Need a better example?  Look at M. Night Shyamalan.  You're welcome.  This film tries to get away with it's poor film making by claiming to be a low-budget thrill ride, but it's nothing more than a shit sandwich dipped in hobo sweat that is clawing at it's low budget as a way to excuse it's glaring flaws and instead be as cheesy and terrible as humanly possible.  I assume the people involved had a good time making this travesty, but no one else is in on the joke.  Their heart was in the right place, I really got what they were going for...but there was just no finish line at this 8 legged race.

I think The Liberal Dead said it best and for that, I have to steal their words. "Honestly it felt like a group of twelve year olds who had just discovered punk rock and indie horror went to their local Target with 30$, wrote up a brief script with crayons, then proceeded to steal mom and dad’s camcorder for an afternoon of goofing off with Halloween supplies for laughs."
I couldn't have said it better myself. 

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

STEP AWAY FROM THE BLU-RAY AND HELP SAVE JAPAN!

It goes without saying that Japan is in quite the state of turmoil and are in desperate need of some assistance. After being rocked by an 8.9 hurricane, one hell of a tsunami, and some nuclear meltdowns, the least we can do is try to help in any way that we can.

The money that we nonchalantly blow on crappy DVD's from the Wal-Mart five dollar bin (because their five dollars), our morning caffeine fixes, and our non-generic groceries could be put to a much better use. 

While you struggle to picture your life without that $9.99 in your pocket, try to imagine to think of a life without everything you once knew with the possibility of radiation poisoning lingering above your head.  
By clicking Godzilla, you can be taken to a page to donate to the Red Cross. If you don't have $9.99, that's fine, any amount will do!


Have a heart, help save Japan!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

MARCH MADNESS: Dr. Orin Scrivello

Dr. Orin Scrivello very well may be the only doctor featured on March Madness that prefers to be leather clad and on the back of a bike.  While the doctors featured previously may have created demented creatures or eaten their victims, but Dr. Orin Scrivello is in the business of making your smile look beautiful.  He's your dentist, and he enjoys the career he picked. He's your dentist, and he gets off on the pain he inflicts.  Although the movie/play may not be the scariest thing in the world, but his abusive tendencies are something that cannot be ignored.  Don't let his large smile and Steve Martin portrayal fool you, he beats the crap out of his girlfriend.   We must commend Dr. Scrivello for being the only person in existence to make being a D.D. S. sound sort of bad-ass, but also for being the only dentist in history to perform on a patient while singing with do-wop girls, after inhaling laughing gas, and without being sued.  Way to go, Scrivello. Just watch out for plants with the voice of Levi Stubbs.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

ZOMBIE, OHIO & LET ME DIE A WOMAN: TWO BOOKS YOU MUST READ BEFORE YOU DIE

Homework? Bitch, Please.
Now that midterms have FINALLY taken a seat back in the life of BJ-C, I was able to sit back and do some recreational reading.  I'm a total bookworm, but I've forced myself to avoid the stacks of novels sent to me in place of some War Poetry and Kristin Linklater's books on "freeing the natural voice".  Don't get me wrong, I'm psyched to study Theatre and English...but there's an assload of reading required for both of these majors.  ANNNYWAY.  Two AMAZING authors, Scott Kenemore and Alan Kelly have sent me copies of their books Zombie, Ohio and Let Me Die A Woman.  Both of these books are horror essentials and tickle two very different parts of my personality.  It is for this reason that I've decided to review them together.

 Scott Kenemore is no stranger to Day of the Woman.  The man has four full length zombie books out already, and took a dive into the world of novella with his newest addition Zombie, Ohio.  This Chicago native has managed to weave a tapestry of horror, humor, and intellect.  This one is less of a "OMG ZOMBIES" book and more of a murder mystery, which adds an even more incredible twist to the traditional zombie novel.  The story focuses on Peter Mellor, a regular college professor who dies in a car accident without realizing he's actually dead. Peter then reanimates but has no idea he's a member of the walking dead and hopelessly attempts to readjust to society.  While the poor man attempts to put together his life, figure out who the hell killed him, and reconnect with his loved ones, zombies begin a reign of terror.  Kenemore does have quite the graphic detail for all the gorehounds out there, but his writing style is something I always enjoy.  It's written with much intelligence, but sprinkled with dark humor and the ever popular sarcasm.  Kenemore is a truly talented author and has painted us a grimly wonderful post-apocalyptic world to escape to.  

 AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

Alan Kelly is a genius.  There, I said it.  If John Waters had a baby with a foul mouthed, quick witted, feminist, pulp fiction star...it would more than likely star in this Irish author's debut novel.  I'll be completely honest when I say that it's almost difficult to put into words just how awesome this book is.  This is the sort of novel that has to be experienced, rather than just reviewed.  The tale tells of Bunny Flask, with the help of her friend Kiffany, who has fought hard to champion women working in the horror genre in the magazine 'Blood Rag'. (Can you see why I'm so obsessed with this?)  Unfortunately, the magazine is bought out by the chauvinist greed mongler, Mick Jones.  When Alice Fiend is brought into the picture, Bunny's world seems to be over as she knows it.  After everything falls apart, Bunny decides to make her own future...with weaponry!  This book is gritty, filthy, violent, hilarious, and represents everything great about the pulp fiction novels of yesteryear.  It's nearly impossible to believe that this is a debut novel for how vivid the characters are written and how powerful the storyline is.  Alan Kelly may not have written a book that will work for every audience, but it exceeds with flying colors for those with even the slightest interest in pulp fiction. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SLENDER MAN: THE UNTAPPED SAVIOR OF THE HORROR GENRE

"We didn't want to go, we didn't want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time..."

If the experiment with Perkins 14 taught us anything, it's that sometimes original ideas aren't half bad.  It's just the actual production that tends to jack everything up.  Now, we must admit as horror fans that one of if not the biggest complaint we all make is the fact that production companies crank out oodles of dough for less than stellar story lines and the ever-so-dreaded remake craze.  The sad part is that the internet has happily handed over us a slice of fried gold, and the internet seems to be where it is staying.

Enter: Slender Man.  The Slender Man is a fake mythical creature completely created on the forums of SomethingAwful which has since grown to be a psuedo-meme and invaded more than it's original forum.  He's become the target of numerous deviantART pages, youtube channels, and fanfictions.  The brain child of Victor Surge, The Slender Man is usually shown as a tall and thin silhouette, wearing black pants, a black suit with a white shirt, and a black necktie underneath. He's normally depicted without a face and has the ability to stretch and shorten his arms as well as sport some crazy tentacle type things.  Think if "The Tall Man" from Phantasm and Doc Ock from Spiderman had a baby.

 The amazing thing about The Slender Man is that the tribulations of internet forum lurkers everywhere have contributed to create an immensely creepy backstory. According to the Mythical Creatures Guide, "He has the need to kidnap children, and is seen right before the disappearance of a child or multiple children. He seems to prefer fog enshrouded streets and wooded areas as a way to conceal himself from being noticed. It should also be noted that children have been able to see him when no other adults in the vicinity could. Children also have dreams or nightmares concerning The Slender Man before their disappearance. Confiding these stories to their parents are met with the usual parental admonition: overactive imaginations."  It goes on to say "Even though The Slender Man is a total fabrication, people have already claimed sightings. He appears to the unwitting mostly at night, and most always peering out of wooded areas or near rivers. He has also been reported to peek inside left open windows and to walk out in front of lone motorists on long uninhabited roads. The Slender Man or men, have appeared everywhere from Japan, Norway, and America to name a growing few."  While The Slender Man is nothing more than a character created for a contest, it doesn't change the fact that he is extremely haunting.  I can't help but look at the media created in his image and believe that Victor Surge is really just outing a creature that we've all been too chickenshit to make mention of.  I know that's complete rubbish, but it's fun to think about.  Which is the real point of this entry.

Why don't we take a step back from the bad remakes and the PG13 teen-horror garbage, and actually put together a solid film with a character that has already established a following as well as been proven to scare the wits out of anyone who sees it.  The Slender Man is something that the /b/tards of 4chan like to say "once it's been seen, you can't unsee it".  SO WHY AREN'T WE INVESTING IN THIS!?  We all know production companies only care about money, and this is a GUARANTEED cash cow.  There's enough internet buzz and e-bsession surrounding it, that the film would be next to impossible to flop.  It's a highly marketable creature because of how simplistically scary he is, and it would be the face of slasher films for the new millennium.  Think of the sequels and Halloween costumes this could generate!  If Hollywood wants to save the horror genre, someone should invest in some Slender Man.  Then again, since when does anyone listen to horror fans that actually like horror?  We'll probably get a cartoonish Candlejack movie before they crea


Please note that the post is supposed to end in the middle of the section. Google around some Candlejack mythology and you'll understand the joke :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

MARCH MADNESS: Dr. Hannibal Lecter

Continuing on with March Madness, today's focus is a man that I've had a torrential love affair with for most of my life.  I'm a girl who likes her lover with a heaping helping of intellect, and Dr. Hannibal Lecter delivers much more than the average person can chew.  His mind is something that we cannot even fathom a description for, and his keen eye for the finer things in life are just a slight look into the psyche of one of the greatest crazy doctors in horror movie history.  In a little over sixteen minutes of screen time in The Silence of the Lambs, Dr. Lecter manages to not only suck us into his perspicacious views of the world around us, but showcase his lust for human flesh...AND MAKE US LIKE HIM.  My God, the man should be ousted onto another island like a leper, and it's next to impossible not to idolize the man on his astute merit alone.  Throw all of this information into a bowl, add a dollop of Anthony Hopkins, and stir.  What we're delivered is quite possibly one of the most notable performances in horror antiquity if not in all of cinematic history.  Hell, the man won an Oscar for 16 freaking minutes of screen time.  At least the Academy noticed SOMETHING right.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

HORROR VIDEO GAMES: THE KRYPTONITE OF HORROR FANATICS EVERYWHERE

For as much as I like to talk the talk on being a horror aficionado, I will be the first to admit that I can't necessarily walk the walk.  I'm an absolute pro at sitting in the theatre in a calm position while the rest of the audience is jumping and screaming in their seats, and I'm the person who's left laughing at the insane deaths in gory films like SAW or Hostel.  I will be the first to admit that you practically have to drag me kicking and screaming into a Haunted House. There, I said it.  When I'm in the comfy confines and safety of my dorm room or a movie theatre, you can bet your ass that I'm the cockiest person in the room.  If you put me in an interactive scenario where I have to watch out for demented clowns peering in from the corners of the room or demons jumping out from the walls, I very well might scream and cry in a public setting.  Not that I know from experience or anything....Anyway, the same thing goes for video games.  I might still be lucky enough to be sitting on the comfort of my XL twin bed, but I assure you I'm most likely extremely tense and on the verge of pooping my pants in fright.

There's something about the interactivity of a video game that instills a fear within me that is beyond compare.  As I type this I am seated on a ninety-nine dollar futon riddled with Pringles crumbs next to a feisty ginger boy playing Silent Hill: Homecoming with the only light illuminating the room coming from a thirty-two inch SONY.  That's a lie, my Macbook is doing a mighty fine job keeping me occupied and well-lit.  Consider my Mac to be the equivalent of watching a movie in Eli Roth "chick vision" while he plays this game.  I'm watching everything that happens, my heart is racing like a Bronco on Interstate 405, but I find myself slowly concentrating more and more on this entry and less and less on the television screen.  Maybe it's the fear of the unknown, or maybe it's the horrifying music Silent Hill composes to accompany the spine-chilling game play. I fully accept the pathetic statement of admitting to be afraid of some moving pixels on a screen, but horror video games are my ultimate kryptonite. Never mind, I spoke too soon.  It's the combination of all of these factors with some of the more innocent sounds like a child's laughter or a sweet lullaby softly humming in the distance that give me the heebie jeebies.  I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who laughs in the face of a special edition Blu-Ray of a horror film but cries like a girl without a prom date in the presence of a horror video game, so here's my thoughts on why horror video games induce a small stroke during game play. 

First of all, video games don't necessarily have to end.  When we watch a horror movie, we can safely assume that we will have a beginning, middle, and an end.  This is in no way the case when it comes to horror video games.  If you don't use a walk-through, you could be playing a game for hours, days, even months.  This means there is a constant sense of dread whenever a controller is picked up.  They're absolutely unpredictable.  The scares in a horror movie remain the same, while depending on which way you turn in a video game, you could narrowly escape danger, or come face to face with a blood-thirsty boss.  Speaking of, Pyramid Head just made an appearance and I just experienced a small coronary.  My apologies, I am most likely going to digress on the occasion as the boy progresses throughout the game.  This is a perfect example of it's unexpected outcomes.  Neither of us had the slightest notion that he was to appear, and he did.  Which of course, made me want to cry like a Girl Scout with the inability to sell cookies.  I'll address the concern that I'll ultimately receive which is "BJ-C, how can you be such a wimp about Silent Hill when you were a SH Nurse for Halloween?".  The question pretty much answers itself.  I'm remarkably fascinated with the world of Silent Hill, simply because of how much it horrifies me.  The nurses are both sexy and scary, and this is why I chose to dress as one.

Back to the games.  Another reason we're so scared by the games, is the fact that we are directly associated with the character.  We as the holder of the controller are responsible for whatever happens in the world of the game, and our skills as a player are a direct correlation to the survival of our virtual character.  It is because of this that we find ourselves almost morally invested into the situations at hand.  Horror movies are in a sense, an outsider looking into another place unlike our own, while a horror video game seems to become a part of us.  We feel what our character feels and we see what they see.  Our full involvement in the life of the characters in the game causes us to subconsciously attach our emotions along with theirs.  When put in the world of horror or thriller video games, it makes it far more easy to walk around a corner and experience a jolt of adrenaline when a creature rears its disgusting head.

The more I analyze this, the less I feel like a total wuss.  I guess when it comes to horror video games, I'll stick to Left 4 Dead, Zombies ate My Neighbors, or DeadRising...so I can kill zombies with a Servbot head

Friday, March 4, 2011

MARCH MADNESS: Dr. Victor Frankenstein

This March, Day of the Woman will be doing a month-long celebration of all the mad scientists and cray-cray-crazy doctors.  Let the March Madness begin!

It would be a downright crime not to open up March Madness with a little insight on the granddaddy of all things mad scientist.  Dr. Victor Frankenstein is the man to birth THE most iconic monster in movie history.  (Step off Godzilla, Frankie takes this cake).

Despite Mary Shelley describing Dr. Frankenstein as a tragic character, he has been permanently ingrained into the minds of humanity as the king of the bat-sh*t scientists.  Not to mention the Victor Frankenstein of the Romantic period is not a doctor, as he is usually portrayed in adaptations, but a college dropout.  Eat your heart out, Bill Gates.  As for the "Baron" title? That's all movie magic too, and no title is given to his father, either, although they are quite the well to do family.  Most movies have portrayed Victor Frankenstein's as a man in his twenties or thirties. In the book, Victor was only nineteen when he created his monster.  Just swallow that in for a second.  The most memorable movie monster of all time was the brain child of a 19 year old drop-out.  I'm in college and twenty years old...and all I have is a blogspot site.  I'm clearly slacking.

Dr. Victor Frankenstein is the king of monsters and there has yet to be anyone coming to claim his throne anytime soon. 


For more Frankenstein goodness (better than I can ever give) check out
FRANKENSTEINIA !
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