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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RIP Sally Menke

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With a resume that includes every film directed by Quentin Tarantino, Sally Menke's contribution to cinema is quite impressive, and the news of her passing is beyond unfortunate. People often overlook the importance of great editing, but the second you see a film that is poorly put together, it really sticks out like a sore thumb. An editor can control the flow, tone and direction of a film. They can make an actor look great, or completely terrible. They can even make a scene epic, or completely subdued and personal. Editors are the unsung heroes of film, and Sally Menke's contribution to the form is quite important.

Menke had received Oscar nods for both Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds, and being a huge fan of Tarantino's films, I see this as a major loss as her work on his movies was so very important to their success. While her passing is saddening - especially considering her age - she will always be remembered when I watch something like that amazing car chase in Death Proof, the House of Blue Leaves scene where The Bride faces off against the Crazy 88 in Kill Bill Vol. 1, or any number of amazing scenes she helped bring to life.

Dumpster Diving For Gold: Only to Find Yourself

About midway through the summer, my road warrior partner and I made our way to what must be the grandest of antique/flea markets either of us had ever been in. I'm talking at least two and a half hours were spent just quickly gazing over everything, taking in the massive amount of dusty history and thinking just how cool - and way overpriced - some of this stuff was. While the innards of this Mecca were impressive, there was a sadness that filled the air as there was almost nothing worth talking about as far as movie paraphernalia goes. This is the type of place I expected to find some serious random memorabilia, yet, nearly a thing was worth more than an inquisitive and respectful glance.

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As I made my way through the monstrous maze, I stumbled upon a massive collection of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction magazines - like three full boxes of them - and within one of these barely stable boxes, I hoped to find one special issue in particular. There was a good 40 minutes of time that I spent flipping through every allergy inducing book before I realized my luck was running on empty and sadness began to settle in. I didn't find that one issue I was searching for, and I then began to walk around in a catatonic state of disappointment with a lurking sinus infection due to the lack of Swiffer use. And then, from afar, I saw a wall filled with numerous books, and hope suddenly came rushing back to my being. As you can see, this is quite the collection of literature, plus, this was only one of two sides that had called for me to scrounge through.

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While this collection of books was massive, it didn't take long to find a few random pockets of Isaac Asimov Magazines and the search would be back on with a fury. With a new sense of hope and a sparkle in my eye that glistened as I flipped through each issue, I finally found this…

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See that dude on the left? Look familiar? Well, he shouldn't, because I look pretty different since I posed for this cover when I was 13-years-old, but that is in fact me, the kid with the tight pant roll unlike any you have ever seen before. I know, it's pretty sexy how I'm just chillin' in the cut like it's no one's business - in a pose that begs to be imitated - but please, compose yourself for a moment - lets not get off track here. This fine piece of ass, I mean art, was done up by an artist named A.C. Farley, and I already went over that connection in the second paragraph of this post from the past, so no need to go over details again as it's less about the history, and more about actually finding this thing. 

Seriously, it is one of the coolest things ever to be in some random antique store in Indiana, only to find a magazine that has me on the cover!  Like, that magazine has been there for who knows how long, in a state far from where I am from, and I found it! So, while I did not find some awesome old movie poster, or cool toy, or what have you, I did find something that would have more sentimental value than I would have ever expected to have randomly run into. 

isaacasimovJune1990

The Art of Fashion

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Hey folks, just wanted to give you a heads up that I posted my first piece over at The Gentlemen's Blog to Midnite Cinema, and I would be thrilled if you took the time to check it out! It's a look at the fashion sensibilities of one David Sloan (as played by Sasha Mitchell) in Kickboxer 3: The Art of War, and boy what a look it is. Stop by, learn some great tips for the next time you need to pick out an outfit, and I promise you'll thank me later when you get all the ass in the club!

Take it away, Sasha!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Lurking…

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You can run and you can hide, but chances are you wont make it through the month of CHUCKTOBER alive!

Can you dig it!!?

The Horror Hangover

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The season is a changing, and with that comes a chill in the air that I find to be quite refreshing, especially when my hand is furnished with a beverage of high alcohol content. It helps fight off the germs that are all around us with all of those nasty peps wiping their nose and putting their fingers in their mouth and shit. However, too much alcohol can just open you up to allow that sickness to lay it down on you hard, resulting in one hell of a hangover. So heed my warning good people of the internet, drink and drink a lot, but stay away from people with crusty gloves or you will regret it in the morning.

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With that said, if you do suffer from any sort of illness, hangover or even both, then I am here for you, every Sunday (well, almost), to help you survive the day with the warmth of a good movie (well, almost). 

We begin the hangover with a double dose of decent hyperactive action films over at USA, staring at 10:00 with Smoking Aces, followed by Shoot 'Em Up at 12:30. I enjoyed both of these films, with Shoot 'Em Up being a fun but totally moronic action movie that has an opening that is quite laugh out loud from what I remember. Smoking Aces, on the other hand, was surprisingly good and had a lot more going for it than what the movie was sold as.

If you're in the mood for some action, then USA is the place to go, if you are in the mood for something far worse, then make your way to SyFy. Their slate this fine afternoon consists of a film called Rock Monster at 1:00, followed by Ray Harryhausen's Cyclops (with Eric Roberts!) at 3:00. Now, wouldn't it have made more sense to show Cyclops at 1:00 instead of 3:00, and is that the dumbest joke I have ever crafted? The answer is to be determined…

If you might have a taste for something that is a little more on the classic side to fulfill your horror needs, the Fox Movie Channel has you covered with 1958's The Fly at 1:00 and that film's follow-up, Return of the Fly, at 3:00. Nothing can fulfill and rescue an afternoon of previous evening guilt quite like a little Vincent Price, not even a CGI Cyclops. I don't think I even have this channel, but if I did, this would be the way to go for me, as I find films from the mid-60's and before to be quite nice to relax to while couch laden. 

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Now the decision is yours to make, so enjoy the day the best you can feeling the way you do, and may you pick a film that makes you feel a little better than dead. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Girls Always Fall For the Bad Boy

Due to the unfortunate interruption known as work, life and now me being extremely tired and it being a little too late to do up a proper dance party (and Friday is over to top it off), there will be no FFNDP this evening. I know, it's terrible, but you'll get over it after a day or so. Vodka helps. Not to be one to simply let the night run on empty, I do have a little Freddy related video clip from that youtube place where all those youngsters be watching them hippity hoppity videos that are so popular these days.

It's a quickie about Freddy Krueger finally finding someone to love, and I don't know anything about it outside of the obvious stuff like it's animated, short and all sorts of adorable. It really follows the old adage of, if you love something, stab it, and if it comes back to you again then it was meant to be.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Gentlemanly Introduction to A Friend of Ours

The Gentlemen\ There's a new kid on the blogosphere block and while there are already way too many to follow as it is, this times things are a little different. The blog in question is titled The Gentlemen's Blog to Midnite Cinema, and is in conjunction with one of the planet's finest genre podcasts, The Gentlemen's Guide to Midnite Cinema. If you aren't already aware of this podcast, then you are missing out on what is one of the finest and most versatile film podcasts out there, covering a vast array of the cinema that we all love dearly. The two main hosts, Willy and Samurai, are deeply knowledgeable film fans, and their sense of humor has a way of causing infectious giggle fits at any given moment.

So this new site will be, in essence, an extension of the show itself. It has been spearheaded by the hardest working man in genre blogging, Aaron of The Death Rattle, and there are a slew of other wonderful contributors that are sure to tickle your pickle with interest. T.L. Bugg of The Lightning Bug's Lair, Emily from The Deadly Doll's House of Horror Nonsense, as well as part time GGtMC guest hosts, Rupert Pupkin of Rupert Pupkin Speaks and Pickleloaf from Assorted Loaf, just to name a few. Also, I would be remised if I did not mention that the amazing and adorable Matt-suzaka of Chuck Norris Ate My Baby will also be contributing from time to time. Oh, wait, that's me!

So I urge you all to stop by The Gentlemen's Blog to Midnite Cinema, become a follower and just watch as all your dreams slowly begin to come true. Do it for America!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Haunted Hands and Belly Full of Health

Halloween is creeping towards us at an alarming rate, and by this point nearly every store FINALLY has their Halloween gear in place, and I am finding more and more of my purchases being of the haunted holiday variety. During a trip to the grocery store a few days ago, I bumped into a massive display carrying a Halloween version of one of my favorite cereals, Cap'n Crunch. As is the case with all styles of this wonderful sugary snack, it is delicious as all hell, but what makes it different from the usual CC cereal is the haunted crunchy ghosts (no relation to crunch berries, mind you) that turn the milk from white to a spooky shade of green! What?! How is that possible you ask? Satanism, of course, but boy does the devil taste delicious!

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Sam Adam's Octoberfest is one of the highlights of every Halloween season for me, and as you can see, I have already indulged in a few swigs of this here tasty beverage. I actually love pretty much any type of micro-brewed Oktoberfest, but I am not sure how much variety I will find in my part of Ohio (though, they do hold an actual Oktoberfest here!), as opposed to Mass where there were more than enough choices to give half the state alcohol poisoning. My personal favorite - and the one I will miss the most - is Berkshire Brewing Company's Oktoberfest out of Deerfield, MA. If you love great beer and are ever anywhere near New England, make sure to keep an eye out for it, or any of their brands, and send me a couple of 64 oz growlers while you're at it!

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I have one more thing that made its way into my life and, in turn, my heart recently and that is this awesome hand-soap dispenser that I found while scooping out the Halloween scene at K-Mart. The second I heard the sweet sound of evil cackling and organ music, I was sold. Best part is you can just tap the top of the dispenser to get the song to play, so I can keep on having dirty booger fingers with no worries of them becoming clean due to my Halloween fiend like tendencies. I conform to no form of soap.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Horror Hangover

Well, this week is certainly not amazing, but it is a step up from the previous week, and that is thanks to a few choice films that we have on slate for today. However, as Halloween creeps closer and closer with each week that passes, I expect the Hangover to grow faster than Tom Hanks in Big. Anyways, enough useless nonsense from me…why don't you all climb aboard the S.S. Horror Hangover and we can get started on our journey.    

Hmm…where to start first…okay, we can head over to FX for what is a solid day of movie watching, starting in the wee hours of 9:30 with the film, Jawbreaker. It's funny, I saw this movie back when it came out and I remember very little about it outside of it being an attempt at a modern version of Heathers. I also remember thinking it was pretty decent too, but that was a long time ago now, so who knows just how good the film actually is. Either way, a bitchy Rose McGowan is always a joy to watch if you ask me.      

After you recover from your sore jaw, you can keep it on FX for today's next film, which is 30 Days of Night at 11:30. Meh, I loved it when I initially watched it, the second time however, the flaws came flooding in with the quickness. Ben Foster is annoying, which is almost always the case, and the vampires were corny as all hell. Seriously, the language they use is hysterical, and the way they constantly growl and try to bite at the air just makes things all the more ridiculous. Close your mouth dude, you look lame. Outside of those important issues, the movie is pretty cool.  

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Staying with FX for one more film, 2:00 gives us a monster of a good time with Cloverfield. Perfect? No, but I absolutely love Cloverfield and totally bought right into the awesome marketing, and I still find myself falling victim to any possible hint towards a sequel. Like, I am convinced that Let Me In is actually Cloverfield 2. Definitely a great film to watch whilst laying in your hangover induced death bed.

Now that we are moving on and away from FX, we can take a quick, and I mean quick, trip to SyFy for the barf they have on tap for the day. I can get into a cheesy end of the world SyFy movie from time to time, but when they show them, they show them all, and they do it often. I'm over it, so I'll blast through this one for the sake of my sanity.

11:00 Meteor

1:00 Supernova Part no-fun 

3:00 Supernova Part pooh

Done.

Okay, now if you do want to spend some time with an apocalyptic film that is actually good, head over to IFC for a 3:00 showing of Right at Your Door. Great, simple and very intimate little film, Right at Your Door trades in wild happenings for a scenario that could certainly ring very true in our modern times, thus, making it pretty frightening.

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That does it for today kiddies…I'll see you all the next time around. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

BThroughZ: Paranormal Entity

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The newest issue of BthroughZ just recently went up, and with that comes the review that I did for The Asylum's Paranormal Activity cash-in, Paranormal Entity. As is always the case, there are plenty of great things to check out in this month's issue, so I fully encourage you to play around for a bit, after you read my review, of course. Plus, I think I came up with the best review title ever for the movie, so you'll have to check it out to see what it is. Click on the magazine cover with the boobies for the pathway to heaven. 

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

Friday, September 17, 2010

Jean-Claude's Friday Night Dance Party Part 3!: Drunken Boxing Edition!

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This Muscles from Brussels is truly marking his territory here at CNAMB, and now with his third time tearing it up on the dance floor, Jean-Claude Van Damme has had the most dance party appearances outside of Freddy Krueger. I'm sure that makes him enormously proud. But what he should really be proud of is his ability to tantalize us all with every move he makes, and no, this clip is not quite as infectious and move groovy as My Name is Jean Claude Van Damme - I will Dance For You, but shit will really put you in the mood to let loose. 

This clip comes from the Van Damme 1989 martial arts classic, Kickboxer, and really shows what an imposing force JCVD is when he gets in a groove. He just gets up there and swings his dick around for a minute and next thing you know, dude has two girls under his spell. And heck, how can these ladies resist? I mean, it must be very difficult to fight off the urge to rock it with JCVD when he is adorned with some fabulously fitted khakis, matched with some sort of onesie that looks to have buckles on it. There is no saying no to that, it is what it is, and to fight it is to fight yourself.    

It's no wonder the locals are so quick to brawl with Jean-Claude in what is one of the greatest scenes in all of cinema. Guy came in, looked better than everyone else, danced like Denny Terrio wishes he could, takes all the bitches and then proceeds to rape the floor and shake his butt cheeks like it's no ones business. It was only a matter of time before the male patrons of the finest establishment in Thailand take shots at this khakied dance machine. The fight scene is nothing short of spectacular as Claude Van pulls off his signature moves perfectly, only to finish them with a little sway to show that he is indeed drunk. My personal favorite - the no look, behind the back head butt, only to be one upped slightly by the perfectly placed splits-kick-to-double head-split. Lights out, bitches. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ten Times the Awesome!

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The newest issue of Paracinema Magazine has been unleashed on the ever waiting earth, and it just so happens to be somewhat of a milestone as it is the tenth issue! Quite the accomplishment for a DIY film magazine that focuses on thoughtful articles about genre cinema, as opposed to the usual poopie-caca-doodoo that can be found in most every other magazine on the market. As always, I urge you, the dear readers of CNAMB, to pre-order the September issue so you can see what you are missing out on. PLUS! There may or may not be a little something that yours truly may or may not have had a small hand in included in the issue. What could it be? It's a secret, and the only way you will ever find out is to pick up the issue for yourself!

Now, besides the little influence I may or may not have had, there are plenty of other fantastic articles the promise to make straight love to your brain, while massaging your heart. Those would include: 

Melodrama in Fast Motion: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls As Not Just Strange but Scathing

by Adam Blomquist

Pink Socks and Monsters: Excess in Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession

by Todd Garbarini

Film Fanatical: A Conversation with Author Danny Peary

by Brian Saur

Robert Downey, The Fool Prince

by Brett Taylor

The Voice from Below

By Mike White

Send In the Clowns, If Your Conscience Can Handle It: The Complications of Watching Clownhouse

by Emily Intravia

To pre-order Paracinema Issue 10, click the link for crying out load! While you're there, make sure to check out all of the awesome back issues that are available, many of which are as low as FIVE DOLLARS!!! That's cheaper than a handjob from a crackhead. Not that I would know. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Road: To Nowhere

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Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, 2009's The Road follows a father and his son as they are trying to survive in a dead world where there are almost no resources left. There is no plant or animal life left, let alone much food and water. The very few humans that are still alive, are dangerous bandits that more than likely will rob them for their belongings, as well as taking the flesh from their bones just to fill their hungry bellies. There is little to be said as to what has caused the world to get to this darkened point, but there are flashbacks to a once happy life that would come to crumble under the pressure of the cataclysmic happenings.

theroad1 I'm not really sure what else there is to say about The Road story wise, as it's as simple as watching a father and his son walk from point A to point B. They have a few theroad2run-ins with various people, some good, some not so good. They find food and shelter but are forced to run away due to fear of being cannibalized by scavengers. They are on a journey, but it's a journey to nowhere, essentially, which really makes their travel and need to survive completely pointless. While that may seem poetic in a way, it's unfortunately pretty boring to be quite honest.

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The Road is about the despair of a father, a father that’s love and fear is so deep, he would kill his own son to keep him from being knowingly victimized by bandits. He even teaches his son that suicide is the alternative to being possibly raped and eaten by less than respectable survivors of this apocalypse. On the other hand, the boy has hope, a youthful hope, an unrealistic hope that his father knows can be very dangerous for the overly hopeful and trusting boy.

theroadThis is not a film that would focus on action but on emotion. Intense, heart ripping, emotion, and there are twenty gallons of that   emotion displayed on theroad3screen, but not one single drop of it has any sort of impact. I'm not sure if I can pinpoint why The Road couldn't pull me into the character's plight, but it seemed as if it was expected of me to have certain reactions without earning them first. Without making me care for the characters beforehand.

I am the type of filmgoer that can easily have emotion projected on me, even if it is from a source that I have no personal connection with. I can channel it and be completely swept up by sentiment and passion, as I can simply relate to it as a human being with feelings. So maybe not having a child of my own could be looked at as a factor, but I seriously doubt that's the case. I should be able to feel a connection, whether or not I have a similar one in my own personal life.

theroad4 It is that attachment that would make or break this film, and without it, The Road fails incredibly. I didn't root for them to make it because there was theroad9nothing  to be made - there was no investment because there was no point. To make things worse, the boy was incredibly annoying on almost every level. The character is obnoxiously whiny and mopy, and it's not even because he is living a horrible life in a devastated world, it's because he has all this hope while his father doesn't. Give me a break.

Kodi Smit-McPhee's performance doesn't help any either, as everything he said and did drove me up the wall. He really gives Jake Lloyd a run for his money, and if he said 'papa' one more time, I may have tried to fit my head into the garbage disposal. I cannot help but think if there had been a better actor involved, the film may have been slightly more bearable for me, but I stress slightly because the character is hokey to begin with. Mortensen, on the other hand, is fantastic, but that is not much of a surprise, I suppose. Nevertheless, his gripping performance seems all for not since his character couldn't grasp my affection in the slightest.

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It's really too bad, The Road is simply gorgeous and the look is what I think we all would come to expect if the world was indeed dead. The decay of the planet and the minimal characters that inhabit it are all very believable on an aesthetic level and the art department deserves much kudos for their projection of this lifeless future. While John Hillcoat's direction is technically solid, being the director, he also failed to deliver a film that could make me care at all about its characters and what happens to them. I never once felt their pain or even their few moments of happiness, and if I cannot feel it, why should I be invested in it?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Horror Hangover

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Finally, after a two week hiatus, The Horror Hangover is back and as mediocre as ever! I would love to be all sly and joking about that but this is not the cream of the crop as far as hangovers go. However, there is at least enough to motivate you all to wake from your deep slumber, grab the remote and wait for the pain to end.

As I said, there isn't a whole lot on, so I thought I would get fancy and include a TV show today, but it is a show that fits like a glove here at the hangover. Starting our day is a special episode of Ghost Adventures: The Beginning at 10:00 on the Travel Channel. This is actually the two-hour documentary that would go on to influence the series, so I certainly think it's kosher to include it, and if you have not seen the show before, then it is a must. In fact, here are four reasons why you should. 

The forth reason is clearly Zak Bagans and his bod, of course. Speaking of bods, you might want to gas up that monster truck, 'cause we're taking a trip to the Road House at 1:30 over at VH1. I mean, this is Road House we're talking about here people, it's a tough guy classic starring the late great Pat Swayze, Pat's butt, Sam Elliott, Sam's mustache AND beard and a whole lot of ass kicking. No more need be said.  

And taking us to an early death, SyFy will occupy the rest of the hangover with a slew of movies I am positive will deliver the goods. First up is the Tobe Hooper film, 2005's Mortuary, which is showing at 11:00. Hooper really fell off pretty hard, unfortunately, but I won't front, the trailer looks okay in a ridiculous and fun way. Still, I also read not one thing to support that thought, so I feel inclined to believe it isn't very good.

 

Next up on the SyFy platter of poop is a film titled Intermedio, which is showing at 1:00. The film is about a group of teens that are plagued by dangerous ghosts while being trapped in a Mexican border tunnel. Intermedio has a worse IMDB score than even Mortuary, but it does star Cerina Vincent, something I can certainly deal with.

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Well, our day is now coming to a close with our last film, which is a 3:00 showing of The Cursed on SyFy. I'm beginning to think we may be the ones that are cursed with what SyFy is making us sit through this Sunday, but at least it's all over, right? Well, hopefully next week is a little better, but please make sure to brush your teeth before me meet. Yo shit smell like dragon farts.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Paracinema Gets A Pair of Fat Lips

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It's once again time to take a trip over to the wonderful world of Paracinema…The Blog. If you are to do so right this very second, you can check out my incredible review for Vicious Lips (aka Pleasure Planet)! What is (or are) Vicious Lips you ask?! Well, if you must know, it's an 80's sci-fi/horror/musical/comedy, set in the future, and follows an all girl rock band that run into all sorts of crazy trouble!! How crazy you ask? Wicked crazy! Now, enough with the questions and get to the reading (by clicking here!). Oh, and have a great day.

No trailer for this one to be found, but here is a clip that is more than enough to whet your appetite, and also serve as a look into the future of Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party - Me

Friday, September 10, 2010

Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party!: Nice F**king Model Edition!

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With the recent and unfortunate passing of Glenn Shadix, I thought no time would be better than to show some love for the Tim Burton horror/comedy classic, Beetlejuice, on Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party. Shadix perfectly played Otho, a flamboyant interior designer that was one of the unfortunate (or fortunate?) victims of the infectious Caribbean rhythms in a scene that gives us today's wonderful dance party extraordinaire.

*Warning*

It takes a good minute and a half to get to the dance party goods here, so I apologize in advance, but the lead up is, of course, worth the watch.

Written by Irving Burgie, William A. Attaway and performed by the King of Calypso himself, Harry Belafonte (who also had a total of three other songs that were used in the film), Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) was cemented as a piece of American pop culture due to its use in this scene from 1988's Beetlejuice. To be honest, Day-O is completely ridiculous (and wicked annoying during baseball games) but it so perfectly works for this hysterical scene, a scene that is really sold by the letting it all hang out performances from the cast. Especially the always amusing Catherine O'Hara, who really shines the comedic light in just about everything she does.

I don't know what else to say about this iconic musical moment outside of it being super fun in the silliest of ways, something that is not always easy to achieve. When it comes down to it, this scene speaks for itself, and I do know watching it again makes me want to revisit Beetlejuice as it has been far too long since I've seen it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Totally Tubular Trailers

Is there anything better than watching trailers? Well, how about watching great trailers, huh? Yeah, that's right, great trailers, and we (as in me) got a bunch of them here for you today. So grab your popcorn and get ready for another set of fantastically awesome trailers!

monsters

First trailer up to bat is for the British science fiction/monster movie, aptly titled, Monsters. This is one that has been bouncing around the internet here and there, but I still don't think it's as well known as it should be. I'm honestly avoiding too much as far as the plot goes, but it is clearly a post-apocalyptic/alien invaded (past tense) film, with what looks to be a very H.P. Lovecraft influenced style of creature. The budget is reportedly only $15 thousand bucks, and I really cannot wrap my head around that figure as Monsters looks like it has way more money behind it than that number suggests. If you haven't yet seen it, check out the trailer below, and the movie will be available on On-Demand, Xbox Live, Playstation Marketplace - and all the usual online suspects - on the 24th of this month.

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DesertedHouse

Next up comes the trailer for Deserted House, South Korea's first foray into the ever-so-popular - and growing - handheld genre. I'm sure many are already over this style of film, but I personally love it and have hardly been disappointed as of yet. Plus, South Korea does have a decent track record for putting out pretty great films. However, the plot is a little on the been there, done that side with it being about a group that goes missing after exploring a haunted house with a horrible history, and the only evidence of what happened to them is to be found in the frightening footage left behind. Still, familiar or not, this non-English trailer has a few moments that are certainly worth a look.

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bedevilled

Keeping things in the same region, our next trailer is for Bedevilled, a movie that is being described as a Korean Slasher film, though, I would say it looks more like a revenge flick. Bedevilled is helmed by first time director, Jang Cheol-so, who has previously worked as an assistant director on a handful of Kim Ki-Duk films, so he comes from as good a film background as one can. Now, while there is an English subs trailer if you prefer, the no speaka no English trailer I have provided here is the better of the two in my opinion. You'll see what I mean when it hits the 1:20 mark, and when it comes down to it, the language of sickle into human flesh is a universal one.

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The final trailer for the day is for Adam Wingard's A Horrible Way to Die, a film about a woman who is starting over again in a new town and under a new identity, in the hopes of getting away from her incarcerated ex-boyfriend. However, things go awry when her ex escapes from prison, only to come after her, leaving behind a bloody trail along the way. The ex is played by A.J. Bowen, who is really starting to carve out a decent little nitch for himself in the horror genre. He was also quite frightening in his role in 2007's The Signal, so I can imagine he will bring the intensity convincingly enough to make A Horrible Way to Die a possibly great film to watch.

Not a bad batch, and as always, I hope there was something in there somewhere that tickled your pickle. Until next time.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Because I care

Since there hasn't been a hangover worth doing for the second week in a row now, I thought I would take this time to focus on something that is of the utmost importance to me. Your safety.  A buddy of mine showed me this workplace safety video some time back, and while I have seen plenty of classic safety videos, this is one that comfortably sits on a throne of blood, ruling over all others. The wonderful music, the phenomenal acting, and of course, the gruesome, incredibly violent and blood soaked deaths! This shit is like watching a Final Destination film in under five minutes, but better! I shall give ye a warning as this video does contain many violent images that kick a ton of ass, but it is OSHA approved, so it's okay.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party!: Just Say…Maybe? Edition!

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Here we go again, with yet another funkdafied edition of Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party, and boy did you pick a hell of a time to check what we got going on up in here. I see a cat like you strolling in, looking all decked out, ready to do this party right, and we have just what the doctor ordered to make your night nothing short of alright. What you need? Want some coke? Have some weed? You know me, I'm your friend, your main boy, thick and thin. I'm your Pusherman.

Written and performed by the great Curtis Mayfield, Pusherman appeared on the 1972 album, Super Fly, which would double as the official soundtrack to the Blaxploitation classic of the same name. Deservingly ranked on numerous best album lists, Super Fly is one of the greatest to come out of the era as well as one of the best to come from a Blaxploitation film. The anti-drug themed collection has plenty of unforgettable tracks from Superfly to Freddie's Dead, but my personal favorite of the bunch is Pusherman. There's something about the way Mayfield speaks the raw point of view lyrics in a fashion that, while not actually being sung, still comes off as very soulful. It simply gives off this cool vibe, and the way his meaningful words simply flow off of his tongue are certainly a major piece of influence on Hip-Hop music.   

I was actually planning to use the Mayfield in film club performance from Super Fly because I simply love that scene, but I also love the monologue that Carl Lee (who ironically died of an over-dose) gives at the beginning of this clip too. It perfectly sets up the awesome drug dealing/making moves photo montage, which plays as an integral turning point for the film's characters. If you've never seen Super Fly, it is a must, but if for whatever reason the genre isn't your bag, then the music is most definitely worth your time. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Last House on the Left 2009: Rebuilt With Different Tools

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*Spoiler Warning* If you aren't familiar with the story of The Last House on the Left, then there are spoilers in this review. However, everything I have written here is shown in the trailer, but I feel a warning is still worthy. -Me 

Not all remakes are created equal and while this is a time when remakes are one of the biggest downfalls, complaint inciters and problems with the movie industry, it isn't so much remakes that are the problem, it's the people behind them. Shitty movies are always abound, it's not just remakes of films that we horror fans hold near and dear to our heart that muck up the cinemas. However, they do encapsulate the many issues Hollywood has, namely the lack of creativity and respect for the art of film. Taking what once was great, only to churn out a lesser version for the sake of a quick buck.

thelasthouseontheleft2009As is the case with all cinema, there's the good, there's the bad, and occasionally we are graced with a remake that is done properly. This would be the case with 2009's reboot of thelasthouseontheleft20092the Wes Craven/Sean Cunningham exploitation classic, The Last House on the Left. The story remains similar enough to what was done back in 1972, focusing on two teenage girls, Mari and Paige (Sara Paxton and Martha MacIssac), that are abducted by a demented family of criminals led by an escaped convict named Krug (Garret Dillahunt). After Paige is murdered, and Mari brutally raped, the gang unknowingly take refuge in the summer home belonging to Mari's parents. Woops.

As was the case with the last Last House, this version is simply a modern retelling of The Virgin Spring, putting a set of parents in the position to face the people that would bring harm to the child that they brought into the world. One of the big differences between both this take and the previous versions of the story is that their daughter survives and (barley) makes it home, which is partly how the parents become aware that it was their houseguests that did this to her. While it seems like it may have been a commercially acceptable attempt to take away from the shock of having both girls murdered, it actually works on a different emotional level, as the father knows that one of the men, staying in his home, raped his own daughter.

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What works about the film in comparison to the original, is the fact that it is a glossy and well-crafted update. One of the many complaints for a remake of a gritty film from our past is that the new one will be an overly pretty-fied version that will have no chance of capturing what was done in the original. However, that is what actually works for this incarnation. I've already seen a grimy and grungy version of The Last House on the Left, so seeing the story with a different pallet actually gives the film its own identity. To be a successful remake, there needs to be a separation form the source material and to go with a stylistic and well-crafted version is a major departure from 72's Last House.

thelasthouseontheleft20094 Another major piece of the successful remake puzzle is being able to somewhat improve upon what was done with the original film. While I love Craven's Last House, and consider it an thelasthouseontheleft20095exploitation classic, it is certainly not without its problems. Two that immediately come to mind are some of the dialogue scenes between the parents as well as everything involving the two police officers. Overall, in this update, the dialogue is solid and mostly natural for all the characters, including the teenage girls, the rents and the gang of psychos. And of course, there is not a cop in sight, but it would be hard to not improve upon the police scenes that were found in the '72 Last House. Even if one of the cops was the leader of the Cobra Kai.

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With Last House being a rape revenge film, it is that aspect that works as the film's vengeful drive. While this update is not nearly as brutal as its predecessor, it definitely has its moments and the rape scene itself is a tough watch, as it should be. However, there is an emotional additive that was not found in the Craven film, and after the rape there is an intense and uncomfortable quietness between a few of the characters, namely the female of the group, Sadie (as played by Riki Lindhome), that spoke volumes as to how heinous an act it was, even to a couple of seemingly heartless murderous thugs. No matter how bad of a person she is, Sadie is still a woman, and rape is one of the worst things that can ever happen to one, so this was a nice touch of humanity to see her slight but important reaction to the events.

thelasthouseontheleft20099Now, I'm giving this film a lot of credit, and while it is mostly deserving, it is not without its own faults. While the cast is actually quite impressive all around - with a group of actors that thelasthouseontheleft20097have collectively seen a fair share of genre  work - they all sure are purdy. I'm fine with the parents and teenage girls being attractive – they are the seemingly perfect people  thelasthouseontheleft20098that are having their lives thrown into chaos, so they should fit that mold. But why can't Krug's gang be at least a little bit ugly? Not a one of them is nothing short of attractive, and no amount of creepy facial hair and snarling can take that away from their looks. It truly speaks volumes as to the difference between 70's cinema and the cinema of today. Ugly people were put in film for that reason and David Hess is an ugly dude and so isn't the entire gang in 72's Last House, and they are a whole lot more intimidating than the '09 crew because of it.

There are other minor faults (some would state the film's final moment as one, which I somewhat liked in a throwback to outrageous 80's horror sort of way) and this movie is far from perfect, but director Dennis Iliadis made a film (with the help of both Craven and Cunningham) that takes from the original what was necessary and crafted a movie that can stand on its own two feet…even if the house isn't actually the last one on the left or not.

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