31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!! - with "HOLLOW GATE"


HOLLOW GATE

Alternate Title:
Hollowgate

German Title:
Hollow Gate - Das Tor des Todes

USA, 1988
Director: Ray Di Zazzo

2/10



Barely 100 votes on Imdb? Yes, this is one helluva forgotten late-80s Halloween slasher - um, rightly forgotten :-) "Hollow Gate", the first and only film by some guy named Ray Di Zazzo, is a super-silly little no-budget shot-on-video (SOV) stinker about a boy who nearly got killed by his drunk stepfather during an apple-bobbing contest. That incident turns him insane and 10 years later, he goes on a killing spree. Nuff said.


Di Zazzo is clearly one completely untalented hack who has absolutely no idea how a horror movie works. His direction is horrendous and his script is a fucking joke. There's no thrills, no chills, no atmosphere, no nothing. The camera work sucks and the dull synth-score is the musical equivalent to Valium.

The acting is equally crap. Almost no-one is able to deliver a somewhat decent or slightly believable performance. One-time actors Richard Dry and Katrina Alexa are probably the absolute worst actors in history.


The only enjoyable thing about "Hollow Gate" is Addison Randall as the killer. He slays off the teens in really fun ways (axe in head, scissors in eye, run over victim with a harvester) and he constantly pulls off amusing lines, like:
"Happy Halloween, you filthy old hag!" / "War is hell. The gooks are out!" / There's no way out, filthy little pig!"

Overall, inane 80s rubbish. Recommended to slasher-completists only.

30 October 2012

Halloween Buddies: MUNDANE RAMBLING

HALLOWEEN BUDDY #7:
KARINA BAMBER


Me Irish mate Karina Bamber [who considers herself as "Dreamer. Blogger. Bullshitter."] has the honour of being my lucky number seven. She's the mastermind behind the wonderfully entertaining film-blog "Mundane Rambling" where she shares her mundane and rambling thoughts about movies, TV stuff and books, and, like Daniel, she's also a long-time member of the FB Film Geek Circle.
She's a massive bookworm, an avid fan of football and Formula One and she has an absolutely delightful humor. Many of her updates/comments made me LOL a lot.
I like that "cheeky wee blade":D



Who are you and why do you blog?

I’m Karina, a blogger from just outside Belfast. I’ve been reviewing movies for a good few years now but I honestly don’t think I would stick at it if it wasn’t for my blogging friends! :-)

I love the cinema but I also love all the dvds that are recommended to me from the blogging community!!

What are your all-time favourite horror movies?

This is probably the most mainstream horror list you will ever read!
  1. [REC] (2007) – one of my all time favourite Spanish films!
  1. The Ring (2002)  – the first horror film I saw in the cinema. I was sixteen and terrified!
  1. Candyman (1992) – watched it when I was 11 at a sleepover and it scared the hell out of me. I still refuse to make eye contact with the bathroom mirror in the middle of the night.
  1. Insidious (2010) – ridiculously recent but I don’t care! It was a brilliant cinema experience as the crowd really got into it. It was terrifying and hilarious. I have placed this movie up on such a pedestal.
  1. Eden Lake (2008) – discovered this during Michael Fassbender season. Torture horror really isn’t my cup of tea but this film is very much the exception to the rule. It is graphic but the social aspect of it makes it cleverer than it appears.
Do you prefer watching horror / non-horror movies at home or at the theatre?

Most definitely the cinema but then again that would be my answer for any genre! I have been known to close the curtains and turn the volume up on my crappy home system in the middle of the afternoon to try and recreate the cinema.

Who is your favourite horror icon? and why?
(Freddy, Chucky, Pinhead etc.)

The Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth. He isn’t technically a horror icon but I think he is a brilliantly dark character in a fairytale setting!

What was your favourite Halloween costume as a kid?

I was a witch but it was before the days of proper costumes so I usually went dressed in black bin bag and accessorised with yard brush and toy cat! Don’t get me started on carving a turnip……

What are you up to this Halloween?

Aside from Paranormal Activity 4 (which I already know will disappoint!) I am having a LOTR day. There will also be apple pie and some form of cider consumed.

Tell me the first 3 things that come to your mind when you think about Austria (not Australia):
  1. Nuns
  2. The National Anthem thanks to Vettel winning every bloody F1 race in the Red Bull
  3. There is no L in Austria
Thank you, Karina!

PRICK (2011)

PRICK
(9minute short)

Canada, 2011
Director: Colin Berry

9/10






Sounds fun, but isn't fun at all: "Prick", the directorial debut of Canadian filmmaker Colin Berry, a bizarre, thought-provoking and slightly disturbing short film about a sociopathic serial killer who kills his victims with a self-created poison. Or is he actually a poor soul who's cursed with a deadly touch? Or is he a just nutcase who's imagining things?


Berry tells this mysterious and haunting tale without dialogue, but with striking images and powerful symbolism. Ian Batt gives a stunning and highly believable performance. The cinematography is beyond awesome, the fragile score is captivating and moving, the effects look stunning and the editing is pitch perfect.

Undoubtedly one of the best shorts I've seen this year.

29 October 2012

Halloween Buddies: KWEENY TODD

HALLOWEEN BUDDY #6:
KWEENY TODD


This year's second last Halloween Buddy is the horror-blogger-scene's most famous redhead Kweeny Todd a.k.a Queenie T (or simply 'The Queen'), a fun and crazy girl who was born somewhere in Canada and raised by a pack of werewolves who brought her up on horror movies and stuff.
She's a cool girl with a fabulous sense of humor, she's completely addicted to H.P. Lovecraft, Otep and Halloween, and she constantly provides her fans and avid readers with tons of updates on nearly every social network (FB, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger, YT...).
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh K'weeny R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn ;-)




Who are you and why do you blog?

I am Kweeny Todd, The Demon Blogger:
http://kweenytodd.blogspot.com/
Why do I blog? Because Sweeney Todd won't shut up until I do! It keeps me sane. I tell you, being possessed by a Demon who sings can be very trying...
To be honest though, I'd probably be doing this even if he didn't possess me. I love horror and have since I was small. It's where I feel the most at home, where I can reflect safely on the nature of monsters and the darkness in humanity, and where I get the most enjoyment out of my day.


What are your all-time favorite horror movies?

I love...
* Hellraiser (1987) - Because it's Clive Barker!
* Candyman (1992) - Another awesome Clive Barker movie.
* Dead Alive aka Braindead (1992) - Because I kick ass for the LORD!
* The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1973) - Freaked me out as a kid.
* John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) - It's brilliant and has amazing special effects.


Do you prefer watching horror / non-horror movies at home or at the theater?

I just think they are both different experiences. They both have their ups and downs. When I go to a theater I feel like I am having a special experience. When I am at home I can watch a horror movie in my PJ's. Really depends on my mood which is better.


Who is your favorite horror icon? and why?
(Michael, Jason, Pinhead etc.)


Pinhead. Because he hits a primal, dark cord inside me, showing me a monster I feared lurked within me. What happens if we go beyond our desires, our excesses? What would we become? He's beyond human experience, altered so vastly and strangely whatever humanity he once had is stripped from him.


What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

I had an adorable costume once made by my aunt. I told her I wanted to be a witch, and also a superstar. So she made me the Superstar Witch, with shinny sliver accents, hair, crazy Kiss-like make up. It was awesome.


What are you up to this Halloween?

Well, I just finished an awesome Halloween weekend with friends, where we carved pumpkins, watched some movies for the HHMMMADNESS, and went to a Halloween Haunted Town.


Tell me the first 3 things that come to your mind when you think about Austria (not Australia):

I think Mozart, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Franz Kafka.

Thank you, Kweeny!


http://kweenytodd.blogspot.com/


DEAR GOD NO! [/SLASH Filmfestival 2012]

DEAR GOD NO!

USA, 2011
Director: James Bickert

6/10











"Dear God No!" is a fun way to pass 80 minutes. It's not a 10/10 masterpiece as some critics and reviewers claim (*shakes head*) and it's definitely far from being as awesome as other Grindhouse-type films like "Hobo With A Shotgun" or "Father's Day", but... yeah, it's fun. 80 minutes of fun. Not more, not less.

- The Good -
It's packed with boobs (actually, tons of boobs), semi-badass bikers, great gore and practical effects. The acting is as amusingly silly as it could get, the soundtrack is cool, there's some really funny Nazisploitation, an appearance of good ol' Sasquatch and many cool one-liners ("We're free
to bang life in the ass!").


- The Bad -
In terms of tension and pacing, it's about as dull and boring as "Werewolves On Wheels". Hell, there's lots of scenes that actually look like outtakes from that movie. Script and direction are mediocre, most of the acting is lame and I hate the fact that almost every single character is completely unlikable.

Overall, decently entertaining exploitation, probably best enjoyed
with a six pack of beer and some pizza :)

Imdb

28 October 2012

Halloween Buddies: LITTLE GOTHIC HORRORS

HALLOWEEN BUDDY #5:
LITTLE GOTHIC EMMA


"Little Gothic Horrors" is the delightfully gorgeous and super-stylish blog of my FB/Blog buddy Emma, a very nice girl from Melbourne, Australia, who's madly in love with the delightfully dark and gloriously gothic side of life.
On FB and on her blog, she constantly treats her readers and followers with tons of wonderful images of creepy cats and scary bats, eerily beautiful sweets and super-yummy cakes, hot vampire chicks, fantastic-looking paintings, scary posters, stunning magazine covers, comics, film stills, groovy clothes and much, much more.
She's also a frequent commenter/liker who never forgets to visit your blog/site
- oh, and in November, LGH and the Diary are teaming up for some
Addams-Family-Awesomeness. Yay! :-)




Hi Emma! Who are you and why do you blog?

My name is Emma, and my blog is Little Gothic Horrors. I've been smitten with the spooky and the supernatural since I was a very small child and I have a serious obsession with 'The Addams Family'. I love Halloween and the ambience of old-school Gothic horror. Charles Addams, Edward Gorey, Ronald Searle, Tim Burton, Neil Gaiman and Gris Grimly are some of my creative heroes. I enjoy both the super-creepy and the lighter side of the dark side.

Little Gothic Horrors was originally just the name of the little dolls that I make. Somewhere along the line, I got the idea to start a blog about all the delightfully dark things I like. I have "met" some of the most wonderful, fun people since I've been in Blogland. I'm part of an awesome community.

What are your all-time favorite horror movies?

Straight horror: 'Psycho' (1960), 'The Omen' (1976), 'The Thing' (1982), 'Jaws' (I have a pathological fear of sharks, yet also a morbid fascination with them.), 'Constantine', 'Underworld', 'Underworld: Evolution', 'Count Dracula' (1970 - Some dodgy moments and the worst American accent in cinematic history, but the most faithful adaption of Bram Stoker's book), and the 1979 TV version of 'Salem's Lot'. I also have a sentimental attachment to Hammer Horrors because I watched them on TV with my dad when I was small.

Horror with comedy: 'An American Werewolf in London', 'The Frighteners', 'Sleepy Hollow' and 'The Lost Boys'.

Horror-themed: 'Beetlejuice', 'Corpse Bride', 'Coraline',
and 'The 'Burbs' (My absolute, all-time favourite comedy!).

Cheesy Halloween: 'Hocus Pocus'.

(I watch a lot of horror TV too, like 'Supernatural' and 'The Walking Dead').

Do you prefer watching horror / non-horror movies at home or at the theater?

If it's a really scary film, I'd absolutely prefer to experience jump scares in the privacy of my own home rather than risk public humiliation. Haha. For lighter horror or non-horror, I like both. It's fun to go out to the movies, but I also love watching a DVD with a bottle of wine and Chinese takeaway.

Who is your favorite horror icon? and why?
(Freddy, Chucky, Pinhead etc.)

Dracula. I first read Bram Stoker's, 'Dracula', when I was 12 and it made a huge impression on me. Vampires were my first horror love and I weep for the damage that 'Twilight' has done to the genre.

What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

Sadly, Halloween isn't a tradition in Australia. It's growing in popularity but it's still primarily a novelty. I did manage to rope some of the neighbourhood kids into trick or treating when I was about 10. We managed to cobble together a bunch of really lame costumes ourselves. I was a vampire... naturally! ;)

What are you up to this Halloween?

I always carve a pumpkin. The orange Halloweenie pumpkins have to be imported from the US because that type aren't grown in Australia, plus it's Spring here, not Autumn! They cost a small fortune, but I have to have a jack-o'-lantern. I do spooky-themed decorations and food, and just have a party night, watching movies, with my husband, son and cat. I always have goodies ready for trick or treaters... but tragically... they never come.

Tell me the first 3 things that come to your mind when you think about Austria (not Australia):

Hahaha. As an Australian, I understand the frustration over the Austria/Australia confusion. My parents actually visited Austria a couple of years ago and brought back a "There are NO kangaroos in Austria" T-shirt for my son.
Also, at a 2010 G20 conference, the South Korean hosts had figurines of world leaders in national dress and made the faux pas of having our female Prime Minister dressed in traditional Austrian-style garb. But I digress...















Well, besides the awesome Maynard Morrisey, the first three things that pop into my mind when I think Austria would be:


1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
2. Mozart
3. 'The Sound of Music'

Thank you, Emma! :-)

http://littlegothichorrors.blogspot.com/ 


27 October 2012

IT'S IN THE BLOOD

IT'S IN THE BLOOD

USA, 2012
Director: Scooter Downey

4/10











I hate to be the partypooper, but... yeah, I really didn't like this movie. Watching it twice didn't help. I almost feel bad for not liking it, because it already got tons of VERY positive reviews, but... I guess some movies aren't made for me.


Writer / director Scooter Downey's debut feature "It's In The Blood" tells the story of an alcoholic father and his eidetic son who become stranded in the woods, where they have to deal with painful and traumatic memories, as well as with a bloodhungry monster that follows them.

What may sound like some kinda creature feature, is actually an interesting but weird and completely underwhelming psychological survival-drama with some horror-elements, that tries to be different and super-clever, but completely fails due to a strangely unappealing and somewhat predictable plot, a director that seem to be unable to tell a complex story in an understandable and unconfusing way, and a script that is sooo full of metaphors and stuff, I yelled at the screen in frustration.


The extremely slow pacing and lack of suspense make for an incredibly dull watch. It's only 80 minutes long, but it actually feels like it goes on forever. Also, the high amount of flashbacks is annoying, the CGI looks meh (worst CGI fog since "The Shrine") and the unobtrusive score left me cold.

What saves the movie from being a disaster, is the beautiful cinematography, the superb editing and the absolutely excellent acting. Sean Elliot shines as disoriented young man, Jimmy Gonzales kicks ass as uber-vile scumbag, and Rose Sirna is simply wonderful.
Lance Henriksen is obviously the movie's highlight. He gives an intense, almost flawless performance as grumpy old sheriff, and delivers some really fabulous lines ("I clean up, grab a beer, go sit in the ol' rockin' chair and watch TV. You know, I haven't paid that bill in over a year. All I get is white noise. It's like ants fighting... I sit there every night watching ants fighting until I fall asleep... and in the morning I get up and do it all over again... and that's all there is. I got nothing left...
but white noise.")



Not terrible, but most certainly forgettable.

Imdb

Thanks to Sean Elliott and Scooter Downey for providing me with a screener.

25 October 2012

Halloween Buddies: HAKK WYLDE

HALLOWEEN BUDDY #4:
BONNIE KNAPP PAVONE

a.k.a HAKK WYLDE

Bonnie a.k.a. Hakk Wylde is a super-cool gal from New York with an uber-fabulous taste in horror (her alltime faves are AMAZING!) and a super-hilarious humor. Her constant use of words like "redonkulous" or "dagnabbit" amuses me a lot :-)
She's a very active member of the Fright Meter Awards Committee, she's even more active in the FB Halloween Horror Madness and just recently, she started her very own horror-blog "FIRE IT UP!". You see, Horror without Bonnie would be just lame xD









Who are you and why do you blog?

Growls and Salutations! My name is Bonnie Knapp Pavone, but I have recently discovered my alter ego: Hakk Wylde…a beer-guzzlin’, horror-analyzin’ cerebral adrenaline junkie! After many years of driving my friends and family crazy with my horror rants I have finally come up with the nerve to post my madness for the whole world to see on my blog at hakkwylde.com. I realized at a young age that the themes featured in horror and genre movies more adequately reflected the issues and demons I faced in my own life than the movies that other kids my age were watching. But I guess you could also easily blame it on the fact that I grew up across from a creepy old New England cemetery as well!

What are your all-time favorite horror movies?

DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE [aka CEMETERY MAN] (1994)
Trippy, romantic and bombastic! I adore this movie. It has a dreamy-dark tone unlike any other. I could watch it every week!

FRIGHT NIGHT PART II (1988)
A guilty pleasure for me all the way! I have loved this film since the early 90’s, which makes sense since as a pre-teen my addiction to horror had its first full ripening with anything and everything Vamp-ish. This sequel is sexier (and funnier, in my opinion) than the original and has a cheesy 80’s guitar score that makes me swoon!

MAY (2002)
This is the movie that finally dragged me out of the “horror closet” so to speak. After seeing Lucky McKee’s small-of-frame yet big-of-heart-and-horror gal May in action I could no longer deny that I was a horror fan. In fact, May taught me that I was BORN for horror. Watching May was like looking in a mirror to me. I could have easily become this poor girl. Rough upbringing, introverted and strange, causing accidental…damage (?) to friends and loved ones… But May also has passion and desire as deep as the ocean. Don’t stand in her way! Just let her take what she desires and move on…hopefully, leaving you with enough ‘parts’ to function properly in her wake!

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008)
This movie is a beautiful example of the hidden complexity of adolescent problems and emotions. And the frost-bitten Swedish locale reflects the isolation and ostracization of the lead characters so perfectly. Better than its more action-based American remake, LET ME IN, it is also one heck of a Vampire tale!

HELLRAISER (1987)
I constantly ask myself, why the Hell-raisin’ Hell are all the sequels (after the second…and number four, which I secretly kinda dig) total tripe? Where to start?! The original, however, is a great example of sex/death connection, borders and exploration. It’s haunting and gritty-sexy. It also exposes the common darkness found behind a seemingly happy nuclear family.

RAVENOUS (1999)
I have so much love for this film. I don’t even know where to begin. RAVENOUS is part Wendigo story, part Manifest Destiny…as compared to cannibalism. America Devours!! Muahahaha! Robert Carlyle is not to be missed in this. He’s crazy…poetic…Ravenous. See it now!

Do you prefer watching horror / non-horror movies at home or at the theater?

I definitely prefer watching movies at home - horror or otherwise - with the exception of screenings at horror conventions and film festivals. You canNOT beat the energy at those! Besides, I can’t drink my beer while watching a movie in a traditional theater! NO SALE! Haha!

Who is your favorite horror icon? and why?
(Jason, Freddy, Pinhead etc.)

PINHEAD. Hands down. Overall he may not be adequately explored or utilized as a character but his essence is that of primal desire and dark ascension. He stands for something ever probing and teasing about the Otherworld…an almost modern, asexual leather-clad Hell Dominatrix of sorts. Like the devil himself, Pinhead only opens the door to possibility…with an intriguing puzzle box. Except when that door opens there is no turning back. I pray often that someone will make another HELLRAISER with bite AND depth.

What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

Witch. And I must have been a witch in my elementary school plays at least twice! I guess I was the only girl in my class willing to cackle with glee and wear an ugly nose. I always pondered the choice of vanity over depth of character, even at that young age. To me, the Witch was the coolest thing in the play. Why wouldn’t I want to be the witch? I mean, I’m cacklin’ right nah! HAHA!

What are you up to this Halloween?

Like many of us horror fans I’ll be trying to celebrate Halloween all month long! I’m starting by participating in THE MADNESS this October, a horror movie watching competition on Facebook. Then for the weekend of Oct 12th I will be in Worcester, MA for the Rock n’ Shock convention. I’m finally going to see Zakk Wylde (Read: SOUTHERN VIKING GUITAR GOD!) in action in Montreal Oct 20th…and I’ll definitely be rocking out the weekend of the 27th with family and friends. On All Hallows Eve I will be frying my brain with as much beer and horror as I can stand and finally, I will be stretching Halloween into November (!) by attending the NYC Horror Film Festival for the weekend of Nov 9th. Can’t wait!

Tell me the first 3 things that come to your mind when you think about Austria (not Australia):

1.Arnold.
2.Beautiful landscapes.
3.Whether or not we may be related (my maiden name, Knapp, is German…so that’s kinda close, right?) LOL }: D

Thank you, Bonnie!

http://hakkwylde.com/


SPLIT THE CHECK

SPLIT THE CHECK
(7minute short)

USA, 2012
Director: Patrick Rea

8/10





After the super-awesome "Wrong Number (review here), Patrick Rea is back with "Split The Check", his second short film this year, and again, he delivers some really nice quality work.

"Split The Check" starts out as quite harmless dinner of three couples in a restaurant, and ends in a hilarious mini-massacre. It's fun and entertaining from beginning to end, and full of highly amusing lines ("20 years of marriage are like a fridge, a place to put your meat.").


The acting is strong and enjoyable, especially the performances of Brad Meehan ("Get Off My Porch"), Erin McGrane, Michelle Davidson and Aaron Laue (all "Nailbiter"), Nathan Towns' uplifting over-the-top electro-score is excellent, and the photography of long-time Rea-collaborator Hanuman Brown-Eagle is once again simply gorgeous.

Aside from the fact that it's a bit predictable, I had a really great time with it. Thumbs up!

Split The Check on Facebook

23 October 2012

FATHER'S DAY [/SLASH Filmfestival 2012]

FATHER'S DAY

Canada / USA, 2012
Directors: ASTRON-6
(consisting of Adam Brooks, Jeremy Gillespie, Matt Kennedy, Steven Kostanski & Conor Sweeney)

7/10









Next to "Dead Sushi", one of the festival's funniest and most hilarious movies: "Father's Day", a super-awesome piece of grindhouse/gore-awesomeness and a wonderful tribute to the exploitation-cinema of the 70s and 80s - written and directed by Astron-6, a Canadian film-production collective, produced by the mighty Troma company.

"Father's Day" is 100(!) minutes of pure fuckin' insanity. It's loud, it's wild, it's sick - and it's brilliantly entertaining. The over-the-top acting is terrific and every single character is a total hoot. Direction and script are neat, the camera work is fine and the pumping 80s electro-soundtrack is just marvellous.


There's tons of brutal kills and harsh violence, gallons of grandiose gore and beautiful blood: crushed fetuses and bodies, ripped out and puked out intestines, cut off body parts, bitten off penises, chain-sawed heads, male rape and other cool stuff. There's also a badass comercial break in the middle, a great-looking TV-station intro, lots of fabulous nudity and a wonderful cameo from Lloyd Kaufman who shows up as both Satan and God!

Aside from the fact that it's clearly too long, "Father's Day" is Troma-cult-trash at its best and it totally kicks fucking ass! I highly recommend to watch it as a triple feature together with "The Taint" and "Hobo With A Shotgun" :-)

Imdb

22 October 2012

Halloween Buddies: MELISSA BRADLEY

HALLOWEEN BUDDY #2: 
MELISSA'S IMAGINARIUM

"Melissa's Imaginarium", the wonderful world of Melissa Bradley, long-time blogger and author of six erotica/horror-novels. She's one of my longest and dearest blog buddies, and a frequent visitor of my blog who never forgets to leave a comment.
She has a great taste in horror movies, a wonderful humor and she's a fantastic writer. I got the chance to read her fourth novel "Maxie Briscoe: Werewolf" (review here) last year - and guess what? Right, I loved it! :-)







Hi Mel! Who are you and why do you blog?

I'm a fiction writer with a naughty streak a mile wide, attitude to spare and have a huge love of film, especially horror. I got into blogging because I wanted to connect with other people who share my passions.

What are your alltime-favorite horror movies?

This is hard. Let's see:
The Howling, The Exorcist, Halloween, Halloween H2O, Suspiria, An American Werewolf in London, Dog Soldiers, Scream, Night of the Living Dead, Zombieland, The Evil Dead, Child's Play, Frankenstein, The Wolfman (1941 and 2010),
A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wicked Little Things...
I can't stop myself LOL 

Do you prefer watching horror / non-horror at home or a the theater?

I prefer going to the theater when I can, especially with horror. I love people yelling and screaming at the screen. 

Who is your favorite horror-icon? And why?
(Michael, Jason, Freddy etc.)


Fave horror icon is hands down Freddy. He killed with such panache and absolute glee. It made me laugh.
 

What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

Fave Halloween costume was Space Hooker. When I was 14, my bff and I sprayed our hair silver and green, wore these outrageous little dresses with aluminum foil, chains and other futuristic looking accoutrements we applied along with sky high silver heels and ray guns.
We called ourselves Space Hookers. Why, I have no idea. LOL 

What are you up to this Halloween?

This Halloween I will be watching a marathon of horror films with friends after I take my nephews trick or treating to score some candy.

Tell me the first 3 things that come to your mind when you think about Austria (not Australia!):

Austria to me is gorgeous mountains, Mozart and powerhouse skiers.

Thank you, Mel!


http://melissasimaginarium.blogspot.com/ 


21 October 2012

C2 KILLERINSECT (a.k.a. Ticks)

C2 KILLERINSECT

Original Title:
Ticks


Alternate Title:
Infested


USA, 1993
Director: Tony Randel

6,5/10






"C2 Killerinsect" (a way cooler title than the lame "Ticks" - oh, and the German cover artwork is also way more awesome) is a fun little 90s trash gem, directed by Tony Randel ("Hellraiser 2", "Amityville 1992"), written by Brent V. Friedman ("Syngenor", "Necronomicon") and produced by the mighty Brian Yuzna ("Re-Animator 1-3", "Society").



It's a silly but highly enjoyable monsterfest about giant killer-ticks that slime their way through the forests to suck the blood out of every living organism. At times a bit boring and most of the characters are annoying douchebags
- fortunately, it's so packed with gore, slime, tension and action, you simply forget about all the flaws.

We get to see lots of bloodthirsty ticks (small ones and huge ones), huge amounts of yucky tick-eggs filled with gooey slime, and many bloody kills. The special effects (all practical) look top notch, the make-up looks hilariously cool (check Clint Howard's deformed head below), and scenes like the hunt for the syringe-tick or the kick-ass climax are just stunning.


Highly recommended to fans of stuff like
"Critters", "Arachnophobia" or "The Nest".

Wiki ~ Imdb

20 October 2012

Halloween Buddies: KHARA GOMES

HALLOWEEN BUDDY #3:
KHARA GOMES
  FUCK YOU, YOU STUPID, UGLY CUNT!


Floridan Khara (who considers herself a "Professional Zombie Killer"). She's a huge horror buff, an avid reader of all genres, she has about the same silly humor as me, and she loves to talk about horror, life, universe and everything.
She's not a blogger but... oh my goodness, it would be awesome if she would start her very own blog sometime in the not-so-distant future because her style of writing is simply excellent. Check her epic answers below!!





Hi Khara! Who are you?


Who am I? I am an enigma. I am the sunrise shining brightly, I am the dark of night. I am the cosmos, the alpha, the omega; the whispers of the wind, the raging of the storm. I am the...psych!
Just kidding.
I'm Khara Gomes, just your average single mom (with a spicy edge) trying to make it in America (and barely getting by). I love my kids, coffee, books and bookstores, tattoos, piercings, going to concerts (everything but Justin Bieber), light cigarettes and light beer. And, oh yeah, anything and everything horror! My days are spent attending classes (majoring in English) and my evenings are spent curled up with a good book. My nightcap is a good horror movie, something new or something as familiar to me as an old friend.

What are your alltime-favorite Horror movies?


1. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
If there was ever a moment in movie magic that was the embodiment of the word, "brilliant", it would have to be "The Silence of the Lambs". I'm already a huge fan of Thomas Harris's works but, Silence is the only novel that was made into an equally amazing screenplay. The mockery that was made of "Hannibal" with a lackluster Julianne Moore playing Clarice Starling (barf) or "Red Dragon" with (shivers) Edward Norton completely put me off, seeing as how much I loved Silence. But Silence itself...the stunning cast...Anthony Hopkins as the cannibalistic Dr. Lecter, Jodie Foster as FBI Agent Clarice Starling, (beautiful yet, subtle beauty, troubled by dark memories of her childhood), Anthony Heald as Dr. Frederick Chilton, the asshole supervisor of the asylum in which Dr. Lecter is held, Ted Levine as Jame Gumb ("Buffalo Bill"), the wannabe transexual turned serial killer...just astounding! The chemistry between the entire cast, even those I have not mentioned by name, will always be top notch quality in my opinion and very few books that have been adapted into films have lived up to the same standards. "The Silence of the Lambs" paved the way!

2. The SAW series (2004-2010)
I just can't help it. No matter how downhill the story line went after the 3rd movie (IMO), the overall concept of fight or flight, do or die, cherish your life and what you have, etc., is ingenious to me. The first movie especially left me clueless halfway through...I was betting on Cary Elwes character somehow being the one behind it...then I got to the point where I really had no fucking idea who was what, how they got there...nothing. Then, Tobin Bell, Jigsaw himself, gets up off the floor?! Talk about a WTF moment! And of course, one can't forget the traps, especially "Amanda" and her bear trap. I love how she begins to cry when she realizes she must kill her cell mate, and then her eyes widen when he starts to wake up, and BAM, BAM, BAM, she's digging through intestines, wanting that key, needing that key. There was such an artistic beauty in the pain, agony and realization of one's own mortality and I applaud James Wan and Leigh Whannell for shedding light on the psychological concept with fairly minimal gore (as compared to lesser films like Eli Roth's "Hostel"...zzzzzz).

3. Seven (1995)
Again, I'm a sucker for a psychological thriller. "Seven" (also written as 'Se7en') pushes the limits on the 7 deadly sins. While I'm not much of a fan of Brad Pitt, I can say he plays an egotistical, half-cocked detective pretty damn well. Gwyneth Paltrow's character is briefly on-screen (thank god...she is much too "sweet" for such a film), Morgan Freeman is fabulous as Pitt's mentor and almost "Saw-like" himself, warning Pitt to keep his cool throughout the investigation (reminiscent of Jigsaw's warnings, especially in Saw 4). And OMG, Kevin Spacey...how wonderfully sadistic and cold in his portrayal of the serial killer! Once again, the undertones of psychology have been applied. From gluttony to vanity, we see human nature in its rawest form. The same way it has been said that true stuff is the funniest stuff, true humanity (and complete lack of it) is much scarier than any boogeyman...especially when the "boogeyman" is us.

4. Insidious (2011)
What can I say? I watched "Insidious" for the first time in the theater and jumped out of my seat so high at several parts that I disturbed my fellow movie goers in front and in back of me. Perhaps it's because I have children, perhaps it's because I adore the directing of Wan and Whannell (reverting back to "Saw" AGAIN, haha), perhaps it's because "Insidious" has such a dramatic title and had less public marketing than most films in the genre. Whatever the reason was, the simplest things make this movie the best. The more outgoing son in a coma...or was he? "Daddy, I don't like when Dalton walks around at night". The mother who suspects something more than a medical explanation...the "ghost child" dancing to "Tiptoe Through The Tulips". There is something demonic in itself when one takes such a whimsical song, from such an outdated time, and turns it into something sinister. The ending was mildly disappointing however...don't get me wrong, I loved this film and refuse to sleep without a light on every time I see it, but that ending...it makes me want to shake my head and concentrate on the better aspects of the film over the ultimate outcome. Just sayin'.

5. House Of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Answer me honestly. Who saw "Baby" (played by Sheri Moon Zombie) as a threat until she took the travelers back to her fucked up family's house? Talk about a "BAM, I'm hot and psycho" twist! The rest of the movie was a little disorganized, I admit. But the gore was shocking in such a way that left me with chills. Remember the "Bill-fish"? I expected them to bring him back alive but mortally wounded...but already dead? Stuffed? Molded in a grotesque fish-form? I had to rewind that part and absorb what I had seen several times before it him me, "Dude, they fucking killed, Bill!" (no pun intended). Zombie wrote such crazy but strangely human characters that I couldn't resist being "Team Family" and by the end of the film, I was rooting for them wholeheartedly. The way Zombie exploited the "preps" by using "Baby" as such a seemingly innocent force...it completely changed my point of view on those standard "hotties", that maybe underneath, they're as corrupt and ugly as the worst of them; Zombie's hidden message that maybe looks can and will be deceiving.

Do you prefer watching horror / non-horror at home or at the theater?

Horror, all the way! I love watching movies at home...My friends ARE great at getting me the new stuff, too, haha...but nothing beats the theater, being surrounded by a handful of strangers and your best mate and watching the reactions of others, knowing that others see all your jumps and jaw drops, too. Then of course, there's the commentary...especially from my beloved African-American friends who love to let me know that "the white bitch always gets killed before the brother" and love to yell at the screen, "You're gonna get it now, cracker!" Like that moment at a rock concert, when the soulful slow song comes on (probably the only one the band ever produced) and everyone whips out their lighters and there's this equality and unison embodied in the gentle swaying of hips and hands...watching horror movies at the theater brings out that same kind of brotherhood of man, a kind of neutral ground in which everyone is equal...equally shitting their pants (or not, depending on your stamina).

Who is your favorite horror-icon? And why?
(Jason, Freddy, Chucky...)


It's probably because I read the books and fell in love with Harris's writing style, but my favorite horror movie icon will always be Dr. Hannibal Lecter. (SPOILER ALERT) In "Hannibal" (GO READ IT, IT'S BREATHTAKING!), Dr. Lecter and Clarice become lovers...sure, it's only in the last few pages or so, but the build-up is astounding.
He is such a dark character, threatening, malicious...but something inside himself is softened by Agent Starling. It's the underlying passion he feels for her that has ultimately drawn me to his character. After all, it was beauty who tamed the beast.

What was your favorite Halloween-costume as a kid?


I was always a strange little child. While many children were outside, exploring the backyard, riding bikes, playing with other children, I would be indoors reading R. L. Stine and Christopher Pike, fantasizing about otherworldly things like witches, ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Therefore, as seemingly simplistic as it may sound, my favorite Halloween costume was a witch. I idolized icons like "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" and I memorized every poetic little "incantation" that graced the television, whether it be something from Sabrina, "The Craft", "Charmed", "Hocus Pocus", or the countless other shows I grew up watching that featured magic, namely witchcraft. I looked forward to Halloween more than my birthday (6 days before Christmas) and more than Christmas itself. And as soon as August hit, I knew that the stores would be stocking their shelves full of Halloween-themed decorations and I relished in the thought of buying new pieces to add to my witch costume (which I was continually making bigger and better than before).
As a young child, I looked forward to my first "witch hat", as a preteen, I jumped for joy when my mother finally relented and let me buy black nail polish (which she firmly detested until I relentlessly nagged her for it) and by the time high school came to pass, I was all decked out in black lipstick, polish, ripped fishnets, knee-high leather boots that laced up in gothic fashion and a nose ring, a real one. In my youth, I would cast little "spells" to earn sweets and other childlike rewards; whereas, in high school, I "chanted" in hopes the head cheerleader would "accidentally" go crashing down the stairs. I was the shit, nay, I was THE shit. And even now that the days of imaginary play have all but faded, I still feel my heart skip a beat when that time of year comes around again and I can now share the excitement with my own children. Do I still dress up as a witch? You bet your sweet ass I do. After all, in the words of the wise Lucy Van Pelt ("It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"), "A person should always choose a costume which is in direct contrast to her own personality."

What are you up to this Halloween?


For Halloween, my girls and I are dressing up like Monster High dolls and trick-or-treating. I'm already introducing them to the darker things in life, in small, innocent increments, haha It's what happening BEFORE Halloween that I'm super hyped about! Every year, even when I was prego with my youngest, I attend Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando, Florida. My favorite years so far have been 2007 (when Freddy, Jason and Leatherface were main features) and 2009 (when they FINALLY hosted a "Saw" house). This year's houses feature "The Walking Dead" and "Silent Hill", with a special house designed by Alice Cooper. I have high hopes for it!
Also, I'm attending a Rob Zombie/Marilyn Manson concert, dubbed "Halloweenie Roast". It's an exciting month for me, indeed!

Tell me the first 3 things that yome to your mind when you think about Austria (not Australia):

Austria reminds me of several things, actually, and even though my family is Portuguese, we have a few ties to Austria. First, "The Sound of Music" which my mother constantly watched when I was growing up (also, her name is Lisel, and that musical is the only place I've heard her name in use). Second, my great-aunt Austria who passed away in the early 2000's. She was named after the country when her family was travelling through and her mother went into labor and was helped in her delivery by Austrian gypsies. And lastly, Strudel, because this BBW knows how to enjoy the finer things in life and Little Debbie ain't got shit on the delicious delicacies of Europe.


Halloween Buddies: THE RANDOM MEXICAN

Yay, it's Halloween-Month a.k.a. October, and instead of doing just another HBOTM,
I decided to something special: in the next 11 days, I give 7 of my movie buddies the Horror-Movie-Diary-RESPECT they deserve. 7 movie buddies who are all equally addicted to cinema and/or love to talk/write about it.

HALLOWEEN BUDDY #1:
RANDOM MEXICAN'S MOVIE REVIEW EXTRAVAGANZA

The Random Mexican a.k.a Daniel Hernandez, the mastermind behing the Movie Review Extravaganza and long-time member of the FB Film Geek Circle. He's a cool and witty guy who watches and writes about nearly every genre (Horror included), he's an avid collector of photos of him with celebrities (the collection on his FB profile is impressive!) and he adores the adorable Shirley Manson as much as I do =D



Hi Daniel! Who are you and why do you blog?

Daniel Hernandez aka "The Random Mexican". I’ve been a movie lover for about as long as I can remember. Around 2005 I figured that I watch so many of movies that it just seemed to make sense to keep track of my thoughts about them.

What are your all-time favorite horror movies?

THE EXORCIST (1973)

Still gives me chills each time I watch, truly a classic.

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)

Something so unsettling about this film but it works so well.

SUSPIRIA (1977)

Doesn’t make much sense but is just like a techicolor nightmare.

THE THING (1982)

One of my favorite films all together and just impressively well constructed.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)

Such a wonderful film that really set the stage for the modern zombie genre and my love of it.

Do you prefer watching horror / non-horror movies at home or at the theater?

If I had a choice, it’d always be at the theater. I have a nice home theater set up but nothing really matches seeing it on an actual big screen.

Who is your favorite horror icon? And why?
(Michael, Freddy, Chucky etc.)


Freddy gave me nightmares as a child but I couldn’t stop watching the movies. As an adult, I still have an affinity for the character.

What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

Actually was never the type to dress up for Halloween, I’d just eat a lot of candy.

What are you up to this Halloween?

Drinks will probably be consumed as I admire a lot of the people who put effort into cool costumes.

Tell me the first 3 things that come to your mind when you think about Austria
(not Australia):


    - Arnold Schwarzenegger
    - Mozart
    - The start of World War 1

 

Thank you, Daniel. Happy Halloween!

http://flicksfan.blogspot.com/


17 October 2012

EVIL (2012)

EVIL

Original Title:
Zlo

Slovakia, 2012
Director: Peter Bebjak

7/10








"Evil" is the very first Slovakian film I've ever seen - and it's a really good one! Director Peter Bebjak created a tense and creepy little found-footage horror-flick about a film crew in a mysterious old house where something evil lurks.


It might not be the best or the most original movie in this subgenre, but it's definitely one of the better ones I've seen this year. It's thrilling, it's frightening and it's entertaining, thanks to the tight and well-paced direction, a clever and unpredictable screenplay full of cool twists and turns, and a few super-scary settings.
The actors all delivered solid performances, the camera work is fabulous and the eerie soundtrack works very, very well, especially the music during the finale.


As for the scary stuff... ok, we have basically seen it all before: levitating people, possessed and bloodhungry people attacking helpless victims, people being dragged away, black-eyed ghost girls, some guy standing in a dark corner, Poltergeist action, night vision etc. etc.
But to my surprise, all these clichéd found-footage-elements were used in new and unforeseeable ways. I actually didn't see any of the jump scares coming :-o

"Evil" is a gem among all the crappy shaky-cam-garbage that's coming out lately. Recommended!

Imdb
Watch EVIL on CINECLIQ

Thanks to Swagato from CINECLIQ who provided me with a screener.

DEAD SUSHI [/SLASH Filmfestival 2012]

DEAD SUSHI

Original Title
Deddo sushi

Japan, 2012
Director: Noboru Iguchi

8/10








Cult-director Noboru Iguchi disappointed me with the more-than-mediocre "Zombie Ass: Toilet Of The Dead" - but he fully satisfied me with the wonderful nonsense that is "Dead Sushi", a hilarious comedy-flick about an armada of undead flying killer-sushi (brought to life by an insane scientist), threatening the guests and staff of a sushi-inn.

"Dead Sushi" is fun from the first to the last minute. It's packed with cool over-the-top characters, super-silly gags and witty dialogue lines ("I've been reborn as a Tuna!"). There's lots of kick-ass martial-arts scenes, glorious-looking gore, awesome make-up effects that reminded me of Screaming Mad George's work, and some decent CGI.



The acting is good (especially the performances of Rina Takeda and Shigeru Matsuzaki) the inn-settings all look gorgeous, and the cinematography is just fabulous.
Highlights: every single sushi attack, two pieces of sushi humping and creating millions of baby-sushi, a talking omelette-sushi called "Eggy", a singing sushi choir, a flying battleship made of sushi, the half-man-half-Tuna creature, deadly Ramen, a couple kissing each other with raw egg yolk in their mouths, and that one guy who realizes that "things have reached the point where they no longer make sense".


A masterpiece in stupidity and goofiness :-)

16 October 2012

DIE WAND (The Wall)

DIE WAND

English Title:
The Wall

Austria / Germany, 2012
Director: Julian Pölsler

9/10








I'm hard to satisfy when it comes to film adaptations of novels or short stories that I love and/or read countless times, e.g. I was immensely disappointed by highly acclaimed movies like "American Psycho" or "Perfume", and I HATED the crap out of "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" which was an insulting slap in the face of every Douglas Adams fan.
Fortunately, Styrian director Julian Pölsler managed to create something I can appreciate as much as other successful adaptations like "The Cement Garden" or "The Piano Teacher".


"Die Wand" (=The Wall) is the awesome adapation of Marlen Haushofer's fascinating novel of the same name, probably one of the greatest Austrian novels ever written. It tells the story of a woman vacationing in a remote mountain hunting lodge who becomes isolated from civilization by an invisible, indestructible and inexplicable phenomenon that she calls "The Wall". She realizes that everyone on the other side of that wall is dead, and that she is probably the only survivor of this catatstrophe...

It's not a movie for the masses. I'd say, it's a movie for only two audiences: fans of the book and arthouse aficionados - but these two audiences will (probably) fully embrace it. "Die Wand" is a very slow, very quiet drama about the urge to survive, the positive and negative sides of loneliness, the carelessness of nature and the expendability of humanity, including some serious criticism on the patriarchal society, and social criticism in general.


The movie stays very true to the original story and manages successfully to thrill you from the very first to the very last minute, thanks to Julian Pölsler whose script and direction perfectly capture the melancholic and gripping atmosphere of the book - plus: a surprisingly creepy first half hour.
The cinematography is fantastic, the violin score is breathtaking, the droning sound of the Wall is frightening, and the editing is simply superb.

Yet, the movie's unquestionable highlight is Martina Gedeck ("The Lives Of Others", "Agnosia") who delivers a believable, realistic and stunningly impressive performance, and an equally awesome voice-over.


Final verdict:
an absolutely adorable adaptation. Marlen Haushofer would be proud of it!

Imdb

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