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Friday, April 30, 2010

Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party! And the Nightmare Continues…Edition!

freddy1 Hello all you jumpin' and jivin' dance machines! Glad you could make it out tonight to enjoy some fine ass jams at the hottest place in town…Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party! As some of you may know, there is a brand spanking new Nightmare film making it's way into multiplexes. Of course, it is a remake, but it's still a Nightmare film and the character in this Nightmare film goes by the name Krueger – Fred Krueger. Considering this is Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party, the need to acknowledge it is kind of important, whether or not the actor is Mr. Englund.

When I started doing this segment, it was meant to be what it is now, a place where I can post great official music videos from horror/cult movies, awesome musical dance scenes from films that are of my liking, and anything that I may find fun and entertaining. Now, while the name Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party might be a catchy one (or, at least that was what I was hoping!), that catchiness is not the reason for the segments name.

freddyOut of all of the monsters, all of them, Freddy Krueger is my favorite of the bunch. He is the one that I grew up on, and while my favorite horror movie might star his rival, Michael Myers, it is Krueger that holds a massive chunk of my horror loving black heart. While some of the things I love him for are out of youth and nostalgia, he is the monster that represents everything that this segment is. I mean, look at the major amount of content I pulled from the Nightmare films for so many of these dance parties in the beginning! He was the definition of a rock star, or a rap star, or whatever style he so chose to take on. 

Friday Night Dance Party!Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party was inspired by wanting to have a fun open ended place to get down and show some clips that I find worthy of our time and attention. In that same vein, it is in honor of a monster that is the one that I grew up on, the one that produced movies that, while not necessarily all great, are a part of my childhood and what shaped my young horror mind. Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party is in essence, a tribute to Fred Krueger, so whether or not this new Nightmare is going to suck…I am still happy to see Freddy making it back to the celluloid form.        

I've been doing this segment almost as long as I've done this blog (which really isn't all that long) and the Nightmare inspired videos I have saved for the Dance Party are almost completely dried up. I am holding on to the few I have for special occasions and the ones I have would be in line with the Nightmare films of old, thus my reason for going with this completely insane non visual audio clip. It's called Freddy Krueger Rap and while it is about the Fred that haunted pre-remake, it is about the monster specifically, which I thought would be most fitting with the new film coming out.

Check it out, son! 

 

There isn't much to learn about this Freddy rap, outside of it being brought to us via some dude named Jiggerbean. Whatever, it's a totally fun little rap and what Mr. Jiggerbaen says about this track on his You Tube page is, by the end of recording it, he was hammered, which is noticeable in the song and makes for a good chuckle. Drunk or not, the lyrics are hysterical and every second of it is pure gold. My favorite line is about Jason and his machete, being chopped up like spaghetti! 

Anywho, I hope I didn't bore you with all the useless info I spilled all up on your monitors, but I wanted to explain my love for the character of Krueger and why he is the influence of what is a staple of Chuck Norris Ate My Baby. Hope you dug the Freddy rap and hope that new Nightmare film is decent, though, I have heard some pretty bad things…sigh.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Every Single One of Us, the Devil Inside

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I know I'm a little late to the game with the much hyped and mostly well received 2009 Ti West film, The House of the Devil, but I did finally get around to watching it after taking a risk and purchasing the VHS/DVD combo pack well over a month ago. I couldn't have been in a more perfect mood as I put the film in and I'm not exactly sure how that perfect mood played into my enjoyment of the movie, but I am sure that my mood was sustained throughout.

house1For the most part, The House of the Devil is basic in premise, focusing on Samantha (played by the very easy on the eyes, Jocelin Donahue), a college sophomore that rents an apartment to get away from the less than stellar lifestyle of dorm living. Samantha has one issue, she has no money and needs to come up with the first month's rent by Monday. Desperate, she takes a high paying one night only babysitting job, however, there is a very good reason it's a one time gig, but that reason is not a very good one for Samantha.

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The House of the Devil is often called a throw back to late 70's, early 80's horror, but I see it as less a throwback and more of a style of filmmaking used by West to tell his story. I think it's less an homage and more of an influence that the films of that era have on West as a writer/director, as he is making a type of film that he himself loves and would enjoy seeing on screen. That era of cinema is what would be his influences as an artist and that is where he pulls from. In addition, The House of the Devil is set in the 80's - which is something that serves the story in a way that a modern set film would make very difficult - so the choice in aesthetic is more than fitting.

house5 A big part of why House succeeds as it does is it never feels false, or like an imposter or cheap imitation of movies that came out during that time period. As others have said of the film, I could have been told this movie was made in '81 and outside of some of the familiar faces, I would have believed it. The House of the Devil looks like a 70's/80's film, but more so, it encapsulates the films of that time even outside of it's facade. It captures the essence of a time in cinema that has passed us, a time in cinema that is sorely missed and all but gone due to a general audience that lacks attention spans and patience.

house6 Going into the movie, I was well aware of it being an extremely slow burn. Even though I do enjoy me a slowly paced film, I generally like to know if a movie is going to crawlhouse7 beforehand, just so I can be prepared for it, as I too suffer from a short attention span. I'm not sure if this knowledge helped my viewing or not, but I do know that the slow pace of house8 this film is it's strongest attribute. West is incredibly restrained with the pacing of the film as well as the scares and it isn't until the last ten minutes that the payoff, well, pays off for the viewer. Nevertheless, it is less about the payoff, which indeed, does payoff, and more about the build up from frame one, to the explosive finale.

I'm not one to frighten easily, or get creeped out by a movie, and maybe it was my "perfect mood," but The House of the Devil had me literally on the edge of my computer chair. There are a few perfectly executed jumps scares in the film and to be honest, I jumped right out of my skin at those off guard moments. Now, the jump scares are few and far between, but they hit so hard that I kept expecting another one to happen and that is where The House of the Devil works best. I sat and watched as I waited for the next scare, but that wait would prove to be long as West kept me on my toes, eagerly waiting for something to happen and the second something would happen in any other movie, he would move on to the next scene, only for the tension building process to begin again.

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I was seriously a bit of a wreck by the end of this film…my nerves were fried as from the film's first moment, it just builds and builds this severe tension that almost never breaks. It's like having a rubber band be stretched right in front of your eye, but it's tensity almost seems infinite and still, the fear of it's imminent snap holds strong no matter how long the stretch. It's wreaks more havoc on ones nerves than a first kiss in seventh grade. Even when the movie hits that final stretch and makes a complete 180 turn, I was worn out from the tension previously built and was suddenly being assaulted with pure anarchy. I almost couldn't even focus on what was happening, and it took me a few moments to get my bearings back. Shit gave me heartburn.

house12All of the tension in the film is carried out so well on a technical level, with fantastic camera work, filled with great angles and shots, mixed with nice use of house10shadows. The sound and editing really stood out and I even jumped at the screeching of a chair at one point, then after wiping my ass, I felt slightly embarrassed. I was quite impressed with the skill houseWest showed in The House of the Devil, and even more impressed with his approach to the movie's tempo as he was able to mix both in a masterful way.

Not everyone is down for a movie that takes it's time, but while The House of the Devil goes at it in a slow way, it is done in such a fashion that it actually makes it more effective. Well, for me at least. There could have been more shocks tossed in, but they would have been cheap and only served as instant gratification, taking away from the incredible build up that this film has. Even with hopes that were high, I was totally taken off guard by how well crafted The House of the Devil was and I think West has made what will be considered a near classic by my standards.

PMS: Oh hi! I just added this wonderful review of House of the Devil to Final Girl's Film Club thingy that happens in a future world after this review was written. Crazy, right? Anyways, you can go to Final Girl's page *right here!* to see who else reviewed this film in the future, including Stacie's own thoughts, which are even further in the future! What's with the life preserver?!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Totally Tubular Trailers!

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Here we go again with yet another fabulous set of trailers that are sure to pique your interest in one way or another. Unless you accidentally stumbled upon this site while looking for something to make syrup to, in that case, you probably don't care at all. I don't blame you.

Moving on… 

First up is a trailer for Splice, a film about two scientists who create something a little more than they expected when playing with human and animal DNA. This trailer starts off a little hokey, but by the end, it looks like it could be a pretty cool little horror film in the vein of Species, only better. Hopefully. One positive thing about Splice is it's helmed by Vincenzo Natali who directed one of the best horror films of the 90's with Cube, so we'll see if he can do something solid with this one.

Next trailer I got for you is for The Mechanic, which is a remake of the fantastic 1972 Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent hit-man film. While it would be very hard to live up to the original, if any man in film is worthy of playing a role once played by Bronson, it's Statham, though they are about as different as you can get in every way. And in all honesty, it's Statham that has me interested in giving this one a shot since I have a bit of a completely straight man crush on him. However, Ben Foster does not help this film at all and hopefully he can subdue his overacting for one fucking moment in his life.

This next trailer is for Alexandre Aja's much anticipated and long in the works, Piranha 3D. I have no reason to go over this one as you know about the movie already, but seeing this first teaser, I am pretty underwhelmed. Piranha 3D looks decent enough, but the second the titular antagonists are shown, I am completely flabbergasted with how shitty they look. I mean, this is a film that is going to be wearing it's cheese firmly on it's sleeve, but the piranha effects are not where you want to get that feel from. Sorry, SyFy already has that covered and it's never a good thing when a film has bad CGI creatures no matter what film it is. I have a really bad feeling about this one after seeing the trailer and my anticipation for the film just went into the toilet. Plop. 

(My apologies about the video and the ad at the beginning – apparently, Piranha 3D is so important that embedding is disabled on You Tube.)

Now, this last trailer makes up for the let down of Piranha by keeping shit real! Burning Bright (aka Ravenous) is one I have been excited for since hearing the insane premise, which is about a young girl and her autistic brother getting trapped in their house during a hurricane. Doesn't sound too bad, I know, but they aren't trapped in the house alone, instead, they are trapped with a ravenous tiger! Now that's what I am talking about! This movie looks awesome and cool and tight and bad-nasty and sick and wicked and dope and badass and rad and phat and and and… *passes out*

Sorry, I had a tiger trapped in a house film breakdown for a second, forgive me. Check out the trailer and get ready for your breakdown! 

And on that high note, I leave you, but not for long as I will be back ASAP to hold and love you the way that you would want to be held and loved.

Monday, April 26, 2010

CNAMB Presents: Monster of the Week!

Hey, remember this segment?! It sure has been a while since I've done a Monster of the Week…maybe I should change the name to Monster of the Quarterly! Aww jeez, just how silly would that be?! Not that I ever really did Monster of the Week every week per say, but it has been far too long since I have done one, so for that, I apologize. So, in it's long overdue return to what will hopefully be a more normal rotation, I have what would be an interesting monster for this edition of Monster of the Week. This is a creature that draws mixed reviews from horror fans for it's celluloid incarnation, but for me, it is a monster that scared the corn right out of my ass when I was a kid and one that I still have a soft spot for.

Alright, lets get this long overdue show on the road and introduce our Monster of the Week… 

Rawhead Rex!

rawhead

Rawhead Rex is a monster to be reckoned with – this massive madman has appeared in print, film, and even a handful of graphic novels. My first introduction to Rawhead Rex came via the 1986 film adaptation of the short story from Clive Barker's third volume in the Books of Blood series. So, while some may say the movie is awful (including Barker himself), at the time I saw it, it was pretty damned scary, mostly due to how monstrous and toothy Rawhead was. Plus, the Ireland setting is a fantastic one and there is a very appealing and natural atmosphere about the film due to it's dark and gloomy setting. Granted, I was pretty young when I saw the movie, so that of course factors heavily into my fear of the creature quite heavily.

Now, whether or not I enjoy the movie, I know it's not all that great, something that came to me when I first read the short story some years back and was blown away by how good it was in comparison to the film. However, even as I read the story, all I could think was how difficult a story it is to translate to screen, mostly due to the inner thoughts of Rawhead himself. Anyways, the film is not a good one, but it is a fun one for being cheesy and completely out there (that baptism scene?!), and you gotta love that big dopey Rex with his crossed glowing red eyes and intense fear of the female flow.    

I really wish Rawhead Rex would see a rerelease on DVD again someday. Lions Gate Home Entertainment owns the license, but still no plans are in place for a release, which is unfortunate. Either way, I still love me some Rawhead (wait, what did I just type?) and I think he makes for an interesting and fun return to Monster of the Week! 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Horror Hangover

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Hello sleepy heads! I'm proud to say that after missing last week, The Horror Hangover is back and better than ever baby! Well, maybe not better…actually, come to think of it, maybe not even as good as it sometimes can be, but there's still some crap on TV to watch today, so that's a start!
SyFy starts our day at 11:00 with part 1 of The Curse of King Tut's Tomb (2006), followed by part 2 at 1:00. This Russell Mulcahy epic is about King Tut's tomb and the curse that lies within, but that's just a guess, so don't quote me on that. One thing you can quote me on, is the film star's Caper Van Dien doing his best Indiana Jones imitation. So if your math skills are up to snuff, that equals fours hours of CVD! You can thank me later.



Up next, USA gives us a little afternoon action with The Condemned (2007) at 11:00. I don't know too much about the film outside of the premise being familiar to something like The Running Man, which is okay by me. It also stars Steve Austin, someone that I am sure can hold his own with the action scenes and tough guy persona, as he is best known for his wrestling work. Plus, it never hurts having Vinnie Jones in a film either, unless it's X-Men: The Last Stand that is (I'm the Juggernaut, bitch!). Surprisingly, The Condemned has a 6 on IMDB, which is not a bad score for this type of film, so it may be worth a view for anyone hungry for some action.


The action continues at 12:00 when E! goes undercover with True Lies (1994). True Lies is just plain old fun, and anything Schwarzenegger, is always going to be supported here at Chuck Norris Ate My Baby. Plus, it's always enjoyable watching Jaime Lee Curtis strip, one because it is hot, and two, because her ass is almost as flat as Jessie Spano's in Showgirls.


At 1:15, we get even more Casper Van Dien action with Sleepy Hollow (1999) on TNT. I love Sleepy Hollow quite a bit and I think it's one of Burtons best films, as well as one of his best team ups with Depp, outside of Ed Wood, naturally. It was a film that came at a time when horror had been in a bit of a slump and the throwback to atmospheric, Hammer horror styled cinema was more than welcome. Great film and definitely my pick of the week!


Last film of the day comes at 3:30 with Transporter 2 (2005) on FX. I love the first Transporter film with how solid it was and how it showed me what a badass one Mr. Jason Statham is. The sequels are not quite up to par and I found them both to be slightly disappointing and a little too over the top in comparison to the first film in the series. Still, love me some Statham and even a mediocre Statham action film is a decent enough way to spend a portion of your day.


That's all she wrote, kiddies…have a good hangover and thanks for stopping by and making CNAMB a part of your day!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Freddy's Friday Night dance Party!: Kicking and Screaming Edition!

scream

I always have a crate full of videos to be randomly picked from each week for this little segment known as Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party, and tonight's has been in that crate all the way at the very bottom for some time. If there is one thing this video doesn't make me want to do, it's dance, rather, it makes me want to leave my computer, go outside, and scream at babies in frustration with how bad it is. Go ahead, click play, and within 20 seconds, you too will want to Scream!   

This aptly titled song, Scream, was performed by Master P and featured Silkk the Shocker for the 1997 sequel, Scream 2. There really isn't much to find out about this track and my effort past wiki is no more than scrolling down the goggle page. I would assume that both P and Silkk wrote the song, but in the end, who cares? I personally cannot stand Master P and consider him to be one of those people who, in his heyday, was everything that was wrong with Hip-Hop and music in general. He's faded out, thankfully, but his obnoxious legacy still irritates me, thus, my slight ranting. His catchphrase was Uhhhhh, for crying out loud! It's more like Ughhhh.

I generally do not use videos for songs or artists that I dislike, but in the spirit of what this segment is all about, videos like this one do need to be acknowledged every so often. In one way, part of me is happy to see a video like this as it's somewhat recent and music/horror movie intergraded music videos are not as common as they were back in the day. However, the lack of the Ghostface character picking up the mic shows that the 80's did OST music videos the best. As for the film itself, Scream 2 is okay, though I have not seen it in many years. I was initially disappointed in it when it came out, but it cannot be any worse than the third film.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baby Babble: Trancing to the Oldies

trancers

It's that time of the month again folks, and no, I'm not talking about that time of the month, I mean the time has come for the newest issue of BThroughZ to be unleashed onto the interwebs! There just so happens to be a party going on over at BThroughZ and it's being thrown by B-movie legend Charles Band with Tim Thomerson on the tables and Helen Hunt working the strobe. What's the name of this party you ask? It's called Trancers and no, Trancers is not the transvestite version of MANswers, but a 1985 sci-fi action film of the low budget variety as well as the focus for my review this month over at BThroughZ. So if you feel like dancing (and who doesn't?), then clickity click away and all your dreams will come true. Well, if your dreams are to read a review of Trancers written by me that is.  

ATTENTION!!! This is future Matt-suzaka, and sadly BThroughZ no longer exists, so here is a link to my review of Trancers which is now located on the very blog you are reading! Enjoy! CLICK HERE!

 

vote

Before I let you all go, if any of you are LAMB members, you may be aware that it is time for the 2010 LAMMY Awards. Now, while the thought of being nominated for something like Best Blog, Best Horror/Sci-Fi blog, or something along those lines, would be super duper, I would doubt that a possibility. Maybe Funniest Writer is a possibility, but I have read plenty of blogs that are funnier than mine are and my humor isn't for everyone ('cause not everyone is awesome!). However, there is one award that this here blog totally deserves and actually may have a chance to win, and that is for Best Blog Name! I mean, I know the name Chuck Norris Ate My Baby is pure gold, but even if I didn't, enough people have told me so, so it must be true! So, if you are a LAMB member, vote for me and I'll cook you some bomb ass fettuccini alfredo.

Click that banner down thuuur to learn all that needs to be learned.

LAMMYS 2010

That's all the pathetic self promotion I got for you this time around. Thanks for your time and remember, whether or not Jesus loves you, I always will and that is something you can count on. Onward Baby Eating soldier.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Only Good Nazi, Is an Undead Nazi

dead11 I had very low expectations for 2009's Dead Snow, which could possibly be due to the fact that it was touted as a horror comedy and I was hoping for something a little more serious I guess. Many of the reviews I looked at were (and still are), for the most part, lackluster and the complaints about the film only ensured that I would more than likely hate it. As it turns out, those reasons that I should dislike Dead Snow are very much there, but for some reason, they didn't bother me all that much.

Directed by Tommy Wirkola, Dead Snow follows a group of medical students who take a trip to a secluded mountain cabin for a weekend of skiing and fun. Their good time is flipped upside-down when they are faced with the threat of vicious Nazis, but these aren’t Neo-Nazis were talking about here folks…nope, these are Zombie Nazis, straight out of (Compton!) WWII! Now, why would Zombie Nazis do something this uncalled for? Well, there's this conveniently (but well) told back-story where it’s explained that during WWII, a group of Nazis tried to steal valuables from the local people near the end of the war. The townsfolk took action into their own hands, attacking and killing many of the Nazis, and chasing the remaining ones into the frigid mountains, where it is thought that they all had froze to death. Since then, there have been many deadly and strange occurrences to happen in the surrounding area.

dead5Now, Dead Snow is a Zombie film, but it really does not follow the structure of one, nor, outside of a few scenes, does it hardly ever feel like one. Instead, much of the film, dead6especially the first half, follows the structure of a Neo-Slasher movie. I guess with the feel of a Neo-Slasher film mixed in with the snowy and secluded setting, Dead Snow has a lot in common with another well know Norwegian horror film, 2006's Fritt Vilt (better known in the States as Cold Prey). Both films have similarities, but are essentially quite different from one another, however, it is easy to compare the two in many ways but one, which is Dead Snow is less serious when it gets down to the nitty gritty.

dead1Marketed as a horror comedy, Dead Snow is looked at and compared to films like Shaun of the Dead and the more recent, Zombieland. However, I would not consider it as dead2much a horror comedy, as I would a fun horror movie with comedic moments. I don't think it tries to be as funny as the films just motioned and the humoristic elements seem to be more so at the film’s tail end, when the Undead-Nazis really make their presence known. When the attempts at humor are made, they work pretty well and there are some very funny moments that aren't too over the top and some that are slightly so. Things like a Nazi taking a bite out of one of the characters, only to come up with a mouth full of feathers from the heavy winter jacket. Or, a character that fights off an attacking Nazi while hanging off the edge of a cliff by the intestines of another Nazi. Pretty funny stuff.

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Too many powdered jelly donuts? 

Even though it's been done many times before, Dead Snow has a great setting and the surrounding winter wonderland is the perfect place for blood to be spilt. And there is plenty of blood, guts, brains, and even the before mentioned intestines, to satisfy the basic gore needs of some horror fans. However, one of the issues that I take with this film is the fact that there is a liberal use of CGI blood. Now, there are some great effects on display in Dead Snow and many of them look practical, so I don't really understand the need to put in the extra-extra fake blood. Only thing I could come up with is maybe the folks behind the movie wanted to bloody it up a little more after the fact, so they added in the CGI blood afterwards to meet their quota. Bad move.

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Now, I already alluded to the fact that I liked Dead Snow, but there are plenty of issues with the movie outside of the CGI blood work. Besides the zombified Nazis, it's not a very original film at all. There is very little that we all haven't seen before, from the setting and the story, to the characters as well as the interaction of those characters. Then there is the one thing that can always irritate most any horror fan…self-referential horror characters and situations. There's a ton of self-referencing in this film, from conversations about Friday the 13th and April Fools Day, to a horror-nerd character wearing a Braindamage shirt, who also warns about certain situations and how they would play out in a horror film. Even some little moments like a trip to a tool shed for weapons, i.e. a chainsaw, are clearly inspired by Evil Dead II.

dead3Still, the referential stuff wasn't completely annoying, even though I didn't really like it and it made me cringe a little, it did not ruin the movie for me. Maybe it was because the movie was subtitled, making it less obnoxious? I don't know, this entire film has stuff that would normally bother me, but with this film in particular, these things just didn't. Maybe my low expectations helped and I could have been in just the right mood to enjoy Dead Snow, but it could also be that it's a wicked fun movie, problems or not. It's very well made, with some great music, solid acting, and some very funny little moments. There are also a few standout scenes that display some serious talent, one being a buried alive scene, as well as a scene where a character wakes up from being unconscious, only to see through groggy eyes that they are being eaten alive.

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I think the filmmakers behind Dead Snow did exactly what they set out to do and for the most part, they did it very well. They certainly did it much better than what was done with Cabin Fever 2. I can see many people not liking this film and to a point, I don't blame them. There was quite a bit of hype for Dead Snow and it doesn't live up to that hype whatsoever, but there is a lot of mindless fun to be had with the movie and it's certainly worth a watch with expectations in check.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'd Buy That For A Dollar!

Well, it's been quite a while since I had to skip a Hangover, but there was almost nothing on TV worth mentioning this Sunday and I can only do as much as the schedule allows me. Sorry kiddos. I know just how important this segment is to all three of you, so I shall make it up by providing a couple of incredibly odd, but totally entertaining television commercials that I recently discovered. All three of these TV ads star a face that should be more than familiar to all of you, and that is the face of a certain officer of the law known as, RoboCop!

Enjoy the madness that is about to explode all up in your brain… 

 

So like, part of me wants to know what they're saying (in the ads), but deep down, I know the truth cannot be nearly as grand as what is in my mind. Then again, maybe it it is, but I'll never know and never do I desire to find out. Also, nothing says "buy noodles" like a character from a hyper violent sci-fi action flick directed by Paul Verhoeven. On top of that, nothing is more ironic than the character of RoboCop being used to promote consumerism. I guess a cop's salary must not be all that great in a dystopian Detroit if Murphy has to resort to sponsorships, but whatever puts baby food on the table I guess.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party!: HOLY Shit Edition!

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Yes yes y'all, you don't stop, Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party, ROCK ON! Now, how's that for a start to the evening?! Yeah, I think you're ready to step into a world filled with sick moves and grimy grooves, and nothing says grimy like today's kickin' clip, which delivers the offensive goods by the bucket load. Before we get started, I want you to know that I won't tell you what to say, nor will I tell you what to do, but the only thing I ask of you, is to get ready to move to this rocking tune. As for me, I'll join you when I'm good and ready, because, You Don't Own Me!

Written by John Madara and Dave White Tricker, You Don't Own Me was performed in 1964 by the uncompromisable, Lesley Gore. I don't know what it is, but I have always loved the girl group music of the 60's and You Don't Own Me is just a fantastic and slightly haunting song that blows away 97% of the female driven pop music of today. That was a time when female singers gained fame with their talent and ballsy take-no-shit attitude, not facade. There were no Auto-Tunes, or over-the-top music videos and fashion sensibilities, just some bitchin' ladies on stage, singing their hearts out about shit that mattered to them.

Okay, now that I'm done jabbing about my mom's music, lets talk about the film, shall we?! Released in 2000, The Convent is directed by Mike Mendez, who later went on to direct The Gravedancers, which was one of the better entries in the very first edition of After Dark's 8 Films to Die For. This opening is a ka-razy way to start off a movie and the use of You Don't Own Me just totally puts it over the top in the awesome department. I wouldn't say the rest of the film lives up to that wild opening, but The Convent is a solid and very entertaining little horror flick that is filled with a lot of creativity on a short budget and also has some spot on humor. In addition, you get an older, but still very yummy, Adrian Barbeau on a motorcycle. She can lead my pack anytime.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wrasslin' Bears

Considering the source of this blog's name, along with my intense love for the man and what he means to film fans such as myself, there has sadly been little-to-no Chuck Norris action on this blog. That is, until now. How, or why I never knew about this clip until I accidentally stumbled upon it recently, is beyond me, as this clip is the literal definition of gold. Shit, it just might be platinum. Like my fronts.
As you can tell from the title of the You Tube clip that I have provided below, it's Chuck Norris vs. a bear, as in, a bear that lives in the woods and eat bitch asses for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Luckily, Chuck ain't no mark-ass buster, so this furry fool is in for the fight of it's life. Let's see how this unfolds…

Phenomenal, right?! I cannot help but wonder if the bear is thinking, "bad idea," after shit starts to get hectic and Norris' beard fluffs up as he goes into full-on defense mode. There are a few moments there, where it's not even totally clear as to whom the bear is, then again, Norris is technically a bear, just not the kind that eats porridge and shit. Even Chuck's fine ass dime piece gets a little thrown for a loop, as she picks up this fucking branch and then just stands there, trying to figure out which furry bastard to hit. It would have been great if Chuck and the bear would both be yelling to the girl "Hit him, he's the bear!" "No, I'm Chuck, hit him!"

Now, there are a few key moments in this video, one which comes at 25 seconds and the other, at 47 seconds. However, while the 25 second mark is amazing, it's at 47 seconds where you will witness the greatest moment to ever happen in all the history of celluloid. Go ahead, go back and re-watch the clip just to see those moments again…totally worth it. I could watch this video on a loop for the next 20 years, complete with a colostomy bag, and one of those helmets that hold beer cans.

Monday, April 12, 2010

By the Dawn's Early Light

dawn8 With an extremely low budget of just over one hundred thousand dollars, Dawning tells a very simplistic story, but it is one that is filled with intense character development created by a family stricken with inner turmoil. Director Gregg Holtgrewe (who also co-wrote with Matthew Wilkins) uses his budgetary limitations positively to craft a film that does what many films with much bigger budgets lack, and that is characters with depth. The film centers on Chris (Jonas Goslow) and Aurora (Najarra Townsend), two siblings who take a late night trip out to a secluded cabin in the woods to visit their father Richard (David Coral) and stepmother Laura (Christine Kellogg-Darrin). Right off the bat it's clear that the family suffers from a troubled past, but it is a troubled past that many of us can very much relate to.
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They are a family that has gone through a divorce, causing a slight rift between both Aurora, Chris and their father, and they are doing their best to ignore it. Richard is also a recovering alcoholic, and while it is not clear as to the implications of his past drinking problem, it is very obvious that it was and still is a problem for the family. These issues begin to surface when the family dog goes missing, only to be found wounded deep in the woods. Much to the chagrin of Chris and Aurora, Richard decides the best thing to do is to put the family pet down to relive it of its suffering, even forcing a reluctant Chris help him do so.
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It's around this time that things take a frightening turn for the family when a stranger (Danny Salmen) breaks into the house and holds them captive. The stranger, who has clearly been physically harmed, claims that there is a force out in the woods, a force that killed his girlfriend and means all of them harm. Now, the family is forced to deal with a man that might be out to hurt them, and the possibility that there is a threat lurking in the surrounding woods. Is he crazy, or is he telling the truth and what should they be afraid of?

Dawning's premise, in a nutshell, is just that and for much of the film; the family is divided as to what to do in the situation with which they are faced. They are forced with the possibility that the dawn5stranger could harm them, but if he is telling the truth, there could be something much worse. This brings about and expands the parallels of each character that was slightly hinted to before things went awry. Personal demons, past family trauma and a lack of trust all collide and come bubbling to the surface as the family is put in this dangerous situation.

This is a film that keeps from explaining exactly what is happening to the family and the stranger, but there is a threat, and it is never made clear as to what that threat is. What was somewhat clear, to me is the family and their lackdawn6 of stability may have something to do with their unknown antagonist. I will not get into my theories as to keep this review spoiler free, but it was something that I found to be very interesting.

While it may move a little slowly for some, It's nice to have a low budget film make up for it's lack of money for special FX and cheap scares, take the time to focus on the characters and their interactions with one another. Many of us can relate to this family as they have problems that are universal, and the mixture of their family drama and threat at hand are done very well. All of the actors do a convincing job portraying what is somewhat heavy material, and I think that part of it may come from the relatable subject matter.

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Dawning is a film that burn's slow and keeps things simple with it's great cabin in the woods location, minimal characters and basic premise. It is a well-made film, low budget or not, and looks quite impressive on all technical fronts with decent lighting, tight editing and nice camera work to convey a terrific sense of atmosphere. There is solid tension throughout as the family are never sure what’s exactly causing all of this to happen, and the rift between the family members only builds upon that tension. Having such complex and deep characters is what makes Dawning a great little independent horror film that stands out from the pack, and I can only highly recommend seeking it out.

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If I really like an independent horror film, or any independent film for that matter, I will always push as many people to see it as possible and this would be the case with Dawning. So I urge you to check out the film's official website for more info. Also, baby eater extraordinaire, Cortez the Killer, did a fantastic interview with the movies director, Gregg Holtgrewe, over at Planet of Terror some time back, so make sure to check that out too.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Horror Hangover

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It would be an understatement to say that this week's edition of The Horror Hangover is scant, however, there was just enough on TV this afternoon to warrant doing a post. So, on the show shall go! 

Starting off this fine day, SyFy takes the piss out of mother earth with a slew of natural disaster films. First, things get twisted at 11:00, with Atomic Twister (2002), followed by Earthstorm (2006) at 1:00, and finally, the day takes a rocky turn for the worse, with Asteroid (1997) at 3:00. I usually do not include SyFy natural disaster films in the hangover, but I did want to have some sort of option for you all this afternoon. It could be worse, I guess, but not much.

It isn't until 2:00 when things finally pick up with Snakes on a Plane (2006), courtesy of FX. This is one where television edits almost work in favor of the film, just for the pure fact that the dialogue is actually much more entertaining than a person simply swearing. Fun movie that is always good to drop in on at any point during it's runtime.    

Thank heaven for AMC, who brings out the big guns with The Terminator (1984) at 2:30. The Terminator is one of my favorite films and an 80's classic. A pitch perfect genre mixture of sci-fi, horror, action, and Schwarzenegger, who as the T-600 is truly frightening. Amazing movie that still holds strong to this day (much more so than T2), The Terminator is definitely my pick of the week!   

Already 4:00 and the Hangover is winding down, and it's not ending on a good note either when, I Know Who Killed Me (2007) is pooping all over TV screens thanks to Lifetime Movie Network. I haven't seen this film, but have heard nothing but awful things about it, which honestly makes me super curious to the point that I kind of want to see it. However, I cannot fathom that this film actually made it into theaters after viewing this trailer. It totally should've been a made for Lifetime movie, so it is fitting that it's on that network's movie channel. The film really should have been called, I Know Who Killed My Career and the big reveal in the end would be that it was LL all along, or her drug dealer. Either one works for me. I know one of you have seen this film, so fess up and give me the goods!

As I said, slow goings this afternoon, but at least there was something on to watch, so the day isn't a total bust. Either way, hope you all have a wonderful day, and an even better evening filled with butterfly kisses on your nose. Oh, how it tickles!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party!: Naturally Born to Dance Edition!

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Steering about as far away from the hip-hopsplosion of last week's Dance Party as possible, this Friday's track attack is vastly more serious and much darker, to say the least. And despite the title of this post, this one doesn't really make for a good dance tune, unless you're on LSD, then you should be okay. So, gear up folks and prepare to have your senses assaulted visually, and audibly with, Burn!    

Written by Trent Reznor and performed by Nine Inch Nails, Burn was written for the 1994 Oliver Stone film, Natural Born Killers. It was specifically written for the film, which is very obvious, as Burn is a perfectly intense, brooding, and chaotic song that is tailor-made for a movie like Natural Born Killers. Definitely a spot-on pairing of musician and film to create something that, still to this day, is relevant, as well as somewhat uneasy. The video, which echoes the sporadic and powerful imagery that flashed across screens in the movie, is extreme and passionate, with it's flashing images of beauty, and horror.

As for the movie itself, I'm a huge fan of Stone's slightly pretentious, overly in-your-face, social commentary about media, television, and the negative influence they have on a society hungry for violence. Obviously, much of what Stone was touching on with the film, rings even truer now than it did back in 1994 with the near take over of media and the need to consume it by so many. Plus, Wayne Gale is gonna put a hot pepper up your ass when he gets home, so that alone makes the film tops in my book. Great film, great song, and a great video, but not as great as, TOP THAT!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Baby Babble: Issue 9 From Outer Space

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I have an XTREME triple dose of Paracinema madness for you all today! First, I posted a review of the 1962 horror classic, Carnival of Souls, which you can read at Paracinema…The Blog. Head over and check out what I thought of the film and if I myself consider it a classic or not.

Click here to read!

Before you take off to read that sick review of Carnival of Souls, I have another nice and warm slice of greatness to serve you today. There is a brand new issue of Paracinema on the horizon, issue 9 to be exact and it promises to pound a whole lot of awesome into your noggin. That should be clear by the dope cover art. Some of the features in this newest issue include:

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In Space, What You (Almost) Hear is Ka-ching!: The Genius Film Marketing and Knuckleheaded Toy Merchandising of Alien
by Todd Garbarini

The Death and Life of Cinema: An interview with Joe Dante
by Brian Saur

Emanuelle, Transnationality and the Cannibalisation of Cultures
by Ben Buckingham

How Hannibal Lecter Helped me Through a Difficult Time in my Life
by Jessie Robie

Australia’s Hollywood Pioneers and those who followed
by Bruce J. Patience

Devastating Color: Horror and magic in Herschell Gordon Lewis’s The Wizard of Gore
by Madelon Hoedt

And that is just the beginning of all the greatness that will be found in issue 9!

That's not all I got for ya today kiddies…on an extra incredible side note, if you pre-order this new issue between now and April 18th, you will be entered to win one of FIVE copies of James Gracey's upcoming book, Dario Argento! Now, that is truly XTREME beyond all that is known to man and you would be cah-razy to miss out on the magazine, as well as the chance to win a book you should buy anyways!

ArgentoClick da link to pre-order!

Monday, April 5, 2010

This Review is For a Serial Killer Named Tony

tony7 Tony is a snapshot into the life a lonely-loser fittingly named, Tony. In essence, Tony is a middle-aged dork, a guy that wants to make friends, but no one cares to befriend him. He has a very oily DJ Conner inspired hairdo, a rapist stache, unflattering glasses, and an overall wimpy demeanor. But most importantly, Tony is also a serial killer.

Directed by Gerard Johnson, Tony is a London based film that has no actual storyline. Much of the film's runtime is spent with Tony as he goes about his daily routine, which includes a copious amount of action films, awkward attempts to build relationships, and of course, the occasional murder. Some compare this film to Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and that comparison is only slightly accurate. The film is a character study of a serial killer, but only as deep as the character goes in his life as it is at this moment in time - meaning there is no back-story as to why Tony is how he is. There is no explained history of a terrible childhood, abuse, or anything along those lines, instead, the viewer is left to their own device as to how Tony became this way.

tony Brilliantly played by Peter Ferdinando, Tony is not a character that is likeable, nor is he someone that you can completely hate either. He really tries to make friends with people, but his awkwardness is a turn off to potential friends, as well as making him an easy target for more dominant males. As I mentioned beforehand, Tony is a huge fan of action films, which really plays into Tony's character in many ways. He has a clear obsession with masculinity, an attribute which he himself does not possess, but clearly wishes he did.

tony1 Tony also has a habit of hanging out at gay bars, which mixed in with his tough guy movie fetish, may lend one to believe he is a homosexual. However, when faced with any sort of actual homosexual interaction, he wants nothing to do with it. This could be looked at as a motivation for his murderous tendencies, as he is tortured by the sexuality that he denies, but I personally do not think that is necessarily the case. He is constantly trying to make friends and the only people that seem to be interested are people that can benefit from Tony (he also hangs out with some scummy drug dealers at one point). The guys he meets in the gay clubs are under the influence, so they are horny and willing to hang with anyone in their intoxicated state, even Tony. And Tony is fully aware of this.

tony2 He just wants to have some one to hang out with, someone to watch Death Warrant with, but no one really wants to do those things with Tony, and that is where he losses his grip. Another motivator for his part time occupation as a serial killer comes from his own lack of male dominance in a socially acceptable way. When Tony murders someone, it makes him feel like a man, a man that can overpower another man by taking his life. Tony becomes the dominant one. He doesn't appear to be crazy, Tony never snaps, and he barely shows signs of insanity, unless he is actually attacking someone, but even then, he is mostly calm.

tony3 Tony is Johnson's first feature length film and he does an admirable job for such a green director. Tony is reportedly very low in budget, but looks quite good and the London location has a perfectly gritty aesthetic for Tony to prowl. Most of the camera work is following Tony around in an almost documentary type of way, and there are some nice looking long shots that take in all of Tony’s urban surroundings. The best use of location in the film is actually in Tony's apartment, as it is so plain and unpleasant, that you cannot help but feel a little creeped out by the setting in which he lives.

tony4While I wouldn't call Tony a scary film, there are some affectively creepy moments that made me feel very awkward along with the characters involved. It's a very uncomfortable film at times, but Tony is an uncomfortable character. There isn't even a whole lot in terms of kills, or brutality, and the film's strength all comes from the character of Tony and Ferdinando's fantastic performance, as well as some of the technical aspects of the movie. There are also some humorous moments that are funny in the darkest of ways, meaning that they won't make you laugh out loud, but you'll appreciate them for being there. 

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Tony is a film that has no real plot, has poorly executed confrontation, no resolution and basically, no purpose. However, the film exists to act as a window into the life of a serial killer and in a way, a person that could very well be in any of our lives without us knowing it. He's the unassuming killer who is not looked at as a threat, which is the scariest kind I would assume. Tony is an interesting character study that foregoes basic act structure to focus on the mind of a lonely man and mostly does so in a somewhat successful way.

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