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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holiday in Handcuffs (2007): Sleighed by the Bell

Holiday in Handcuffs 2007

I can only imagine that there are less than a few of my readers who would actually watch a movie like 2007's Holiday in Handcuffs. An ABC Family Christmas movie staring Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez does not make up the type of cinema of those who normally frequent Chuck Norris Ate My Baby, but I do know there are a select few out there whose love for bad cinema isn't solely relegated to horror and action films. There is a certain level of bad taste that one must possess to get on board and actually watch a movie like Holiday in Handcuffs, and I think the entertainment value comes from how silly and utterly ridiculous mainstream, feel-good movies can be. Like, in a way, when you laugh at a film such as this, to the point of enjoyment, it's almost as if you're laughing at what normal people actually find entertaining. It's like laughing at country music in front of people who like it.

Holiday in Handcuffs 2007 (4)Written by Sara Endsley and Directed by Ron "Tremors" Underwood, Holiday in Handcuffs follows the tale of an artist named Trudie (Melissa Joan Shart) whose Christmas is not going as holly and jolly as she'd like. From a botched job interview to Mr. Perfect dumping her the day before he is supposed to meet her equally perfect parents on Christmas Eve, Trudie, being the outcast of the family (aka the artist), is fearful of the prospect of once again being looked at as the family loser. But ya know, she is, so she really should just roll with the punches at this point.

Anyway, in an act of desperation, Trudie uses this antique gun displayed at her restaurant job and takes a random guy hostage with the thought that she can force him to act as her Mr. Perfect and keep her parents off her back. And guess who her Mr. Perfect replacement is? No, not Danny Trejo… it's Mario Lopez, of course. However, I think we all know the real Mr. Perfect is Zach Morris, but I guess his salary wasn't in the budget. Conquering Kelly Kapowski demands the big bucks. 

Holiday in Handcuffs 2007 (2)

So there you have it, Trudie takes Lopez hostage, forces him to act as her beau and completely believable hijinks ensue. From convincing her parents that David has a social quirk that causes him to act as if he's been kidnapped, to an impossible chance where love is so blind that it transcends being taken hostage at gunpoint.

This being an ABC Family Christmas movie staring Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez, Holiday in Handcuffs is mildly entertaining at best and can only be relegated to those who like televised parades and minivans. Or someone like me, but I digress. Much of the fun I have watching a film like HIH (that's short for Holiday in Handcuffs) is predicting every little thing that will happen before the film even begins, only to be right almost every time. However, I also had a blast watching Joan Hart, or Hart, or whatever, constantly make these faces as if she just shot up some incredible black tar heroin. Like, I thought I was watching Intervention: The Movie for a second.

Holiday in Handcuffs 2007 (5)Something else I found to be pickle tickle worthy is witnessing Mario Lopez trying is damnedest not to be A.C. Slater. I mean, this guy is only three preppies, a momma and a backwards chair away from being full-on Slater. The guy cannot fight it, no matter how much relaxer he puts in his hair. 

Since I already feel like I'm running out of shit to say about this film, I suppose I can take a minute to mention the rest of the cast, which is surprisingly pretty solid. The ever lovely Markie Post plays Trudie's mom; Tim Bottoms shaves his BUSH to play her dad, while June Lockhart does her best "I'm a sassy but kind of unaware about it in a way that is simply hysterical" performance as Trudie's grandma. Oh, and mom, dad and grandma are their character names, just so you know.

Besides mentioning the cast outside of team Lopez/Hart, or Joan Hart, or whatever, and the fact that the cabin setting is off the hook dope, there's not much else I can drudge out of myself to say about this one. Depending on your specific tastes in cinema, there is a good chance that you may find Holiday in Handcuffs to be the feel good movie of 2007. Too bad it's 2011.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

CNAMB Presents: Presents!

What Death-cember would be complete without a post where I show-off the Christmas goods that I received, while completely ignoring the true meaning of the holiday in a completely selfish and childish way? So here we are, only a few days after Christmas, and - despite the fact that there was not even one flake of snow to be found and the sun was shinning strong like my chest after an intense aerobics class - it was quite the wonderful Christmas celebration indeed. Of course, the fact that the overall holiday was very satisfying and fun on all fronts, the main factor for success is certainly do to all the awesome gifts I got! How selfish?!   

For this holiday season's edition of Presents, I went and saved myself the headache of having to spend an hour and a half typing, instead opting for the much elongated six hour headache of trying to make a video post with a shitty phone camera and cumbersome editing software. Soon enough I'll be able to use my actual video camera (it's a long story), and poorly synched videos littered with horrendous image quality will be a thing of the past.

Anyway, why am I typing when I already did the video? Go ahead… press play, enjoy and be sure to share the awesome gifts you received in the comments section!

………………..………………

 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Great Gift Ideas For: Robocop

Santa and Robocop

Christmas shopping can be quite the task for many of us, especially when it comes to picking out the perfect gifts for those who we love and care about the most. While it's tough searching out the perfect holiday gift for your aunt Janice, whose main interests are cat hair and cigarette butts, no one is more difficult to shop for than your local Robocop. I mean, what exactly are his hobbies? What is Robocop passionate about? What is it exactly that you could purchase that would force Murphy's gun to pop out of his leg with a joyful glee? Well, I went ahead and came up with a few great gift ideas that you can use while out making moves for the Robocop in your life.        

  • A new chick - Seeing as Murphy spends much of his time moping about, daydreaming of a past relationship that is long gone, a great gift idea for him would be a gift card to match.com. I mean, who wants a bummed out Robocop around? Not me, and the only way to get his mind off that old dime piece of his is to get his oil squirting again.
  • A hat - Because Robo's head is wicked off-putting, and it doesn't take much to cover that thing up. I understand he is going for the whole "I'm still a human being with emotions and feelings" look, but when it comes down to it, your head is a total gross-out, bro.    
  • A bottle of stainless steel cleaner and polish - Working the streets of Detroit can take one heck of a toll on a stainless steel bod. And using a stainless steel cleaning/polishing product will not only clean Robocop right proper, it will also give him that freshly brought to life look he had when he first opened his eyes and focused on that pen.  
  • A pair of middle fingerless gloves - In the event that he must extract important information, or just flip someone the metallic bird, a pair of middle fingerless gloves would be a nice way to keep Murph's hands warm without cramping his style.
  • Christmas shoes - Something that has always plagued Robocop is the fact that every year when he shows up to church for Christmas mass, there is never a time where he isn't totally embarrassed by the incredible sounds his steel boots make as he strolls into god's amphitheater. A nice new pair of Christmas Shoes, tailor made to fit his specific arches, is the perfect gift to help Murphy with this problem, while also giving him a true sense of style and pizazz. Of course, no pair of Christmas Shoes would be complete without a copy of NewSong's classic Christmas shoe song, The Christmas Shoes. Suddenly, Robo's got a whole new attitude when he's walking down the aisle, ready to take that communion without any fear of standing out in front of the rest of the churchgoers.

Hopefully some of these gift ideas help inspire you to bring joy to the Robocop in your life, while also bringing joy to the world, because a happy Robocop is a hard working Robocop, right?! ED 209 best watch his non-Christian ass.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

All I Want For Christmas…

…is for The Raid to get its bad ass out and into a theater where I can see it, stat!

Also, how about Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive on DVD/BD for crying out loud? In this day in age, a four month wait for a home video release is like an eternity, especially for a film of this caliber!

Drive 2011

Lastly, I would absolutely love it if Garry Marshall stopped making movies.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Elves (1989): More Camels than Elves

Elves 1989 Poster

Written and directed with at least ten pounds of acid in his system, Jeffrey Mandel's Elves (1989) is a holiday horror film that goes well beyond your typical B-Movie and into a realm where nonsense makes perfect sense.

Elves is a Christmas set monster movie about an "elf" that is released from its three inch grave when a 28-year-old teenager named Kristen and her two friends (collectively dubbed the 'Sisters of Anti-Christmas'?!) partake in some cockamamie séance in the middle of the forbidden woods using her grandfather's forbidden book of magic. Or something along those longwinded lines. Anyway, releasing an elf that, in all likelihood, will go on a B.A. rampage of death and destruction is the least of Kristen's problems.

First of all, Kristen (Julie Austin) has this shitty waitressing job at the mall, where her boss is a complete dick and the mall Santa asks her for a bit of oral just before he's mysteriously murdered by the titular (and singular) creature. So, yeah, work sucks for Kristen. Things don't get much better when it comes to her home life, either. Kristen's little brother is a perv who likes to peep on his sister's "big fucking tits," as he so eloquently (and wonderfully) puts it. Her mom, well, her moms (played by Deanna Lund) is a total full-on bitch in a way that one can only find in a film from the '80s. However, very few bitch mothers were ever so asshole-ish enough to punish their daughters for going out into the woods by taking away all the money in their savings account.

Elves 1989 4

Empty bank accounts and booby obsessed brothers be damned, for they are minute issues in the big scheme of things as Kristen's biggest problem is her very own grandpa. *Spoilers ahead!* A man who is planted firmly in a wheelchair and ever so profusely gargling out the worst and most inconsistent German accent I have ever heard, Kristen's grandfather (Borah Silver) is not only a bad grandfather, he is a bad father, too. That's right, Kristen's grandpa is also her father, but grandpa's moral compass isn't so much defined by his incestuous ways as he did have his reasons for banging his daughter, and that was so Kristen could be born. You see, grandpa is a Nazi who, with his bestest Nazi friends, were planning to use Kristen's womb as a grow room for the master race. To achieve these results, at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, Kristen must be impregnated, through penetration, by the elf.

You still with me here?   

Unlike its "inspiration," Gremlins, which totally delivered on its plural title and, unfortunately, had very little in terms of Nazi incest and monster boning, Elves is somewhat lackluster when it comes to monster-induced terror. The elf itself (isn't a rapper, like myself!) is a complete and total joke, which is fine, mind you, because jokes make me laugh, and I did a lot of that throughout my time spent with Elves.

Elves 1989 2

The creature, in all its one facial expression, foam rubber glory, is super fun time awesome, but there are so many other things about Elves that really make it stand out as a true leader of the (shit) splat. One thing that immediately makes me smile in my mental Elves retrospect is the dialogue. With that said, I shall provide a few lines of said dialogue to entertain you with:

Kirsten's Mom: "You look terrible."

Kirsten: "Yeah, well, I had a rough day at work... Santa got murdered."

*

Some chick's off the cuff poem: "Life is long and life is hard, Kevin's is thick and Dave's is a yard!"

*

Kristen's pervert brother: "Is everything all right?"

Kirsten: "No, Willy. Gramps is a Nazi."

Now, while this magical dialogue is, well, quite magical, some of the best verbal wordplay belongs to the real star of Elves. A man who rains pure gold from his very being; a man who pours out of his celluloid confines and forces his way right into all of our hearts; a man known simply as Dan "The Dragon" Haggerty.

Instead of typing up Hag's brilliant dialogue, word-for-word, I nabbed this YouTube clip and set the code to start at the correct scene, just so you could hear it for yourself, right proper. Trust me when I say it's incredible.

Up until this point, there is no sort of reference to Hags ever being a detective, so this here is a straight up, talking to yourself while in a Santa suit, expositional scene.

Anyway, Haggerty owns the shit out of Elves; when he graces the screen, it is with the poise and the presence of a lion. It's as if the world simply stops to watch him run around, straight tearing shit up in his grey sweater, sleeves loosely rolled up with a continuous trail of Camel brand cigarette smoke following closely behind his flowing golden mane. And really, while talking about Haggerty in this movie (who's character's name is, 'Who Cares'), I have to go over his smoking for a second, because the amount of butts this cat puts down is the stuff cancerous legends are made of.

Elves 1989 3

There is not a moment where Hags isn't seen with a fucking Camel tucked in-between his grotesquely yellowed fingers. Early on in the film, when Hags discovers a dead body and a shootout pops off at the mall, the dude is running around the place, all stealth like and raptorial, but the entire time he's smoking a butt! He even takes the time to finish off the last few drags before he leaps into action, and when I say finish off, I'm talking down to the filter. And if that's not enough, there is a car chase where the camera randomly cuts to the inside of his vehicle as he's driving, and there was a point where I swear he was pushing in the car cigarette lighter. Ten seconds later, while still in the midst of a serious car chase, the camera cuts back to a from behind shot of Haggerty and he is actually lighting up a smoke!

Unless you go the grey market or illegal download route, Elves isn't the easiest film to obtain, but it can be watched on You Tube in parts (which is where the above video is taken from). It's unfortunate that it's not available on Netflix instant (or how about DVD?!), as they often will put up a few rare and hard to find titles for streaming, but alas, no such luck as of yet. Regardless, if you find yourself entertained by the worst of the worst, then I cannot encourage you enough to seek out an evening spent with Elves. Because, quite honestly, nothing says Christmas like incest, Nazis and a heavy dose of the Turkish blend.     

Thursday, December 8, 2011

All God's Creatures: Love Heals All (Stab) Wounds

all god's creatures

When a person is damaged, in one way or another, sometimes the only solace they can find is by partaking in things that might not be reasonable within the bounds of normal human standards and practices. Some resort to drugs and alcohol to feel complete. Others may find that the only way to feel as if they are in control is through domestic abuse or even by partaking in some form of abnormal sexual deviancy. Then there are the select few that can only fulfill their emptiness in the most taboo of ways, by taking the lives of innocent people.

The latter is where Jon falls. Jon is not what you would call a very big fan of women. Well, at least not a big fan of women of the night, that is. You see, Jon spends much of his spare time away from his coffee shop job picking up hookers. But instead of letting them rock his world, he rocks theirs, by taking their world and ending it. While his reasoning for this awful habit is never made clear, Jon often spews out the phrase "filthy whores" (amongst a handful of other descriptives that most women do not enjoy being referred to as) as he ends the lives of these poor women. Therefore, it seems that at some point in his life, Jon was wronged or seriously hurt by a female that was important to him, thus creating an intense hatred for women and, more specifically, prostitutes.

all god's creatures4

Jon finds his happiness, his solace, in ending the lives of women that represent something very personal and possibly even painful to him. Something that is so deeply seeded that there is nothing that could keep him from continuing his nightly slayings. Nothing except maybe a woman. The right woman.    

In walks Delia, an extremely attractive woman who has a certain swagger and charm that Jon has never encountered before. From the second she walks into Jon's coffee shop, Delia steals all of his attention, almost shining a ray of feminine hope that Jon has not seen in a longtime, if ever. Jon witnesses a woman that is unlike any other, unlike any of those filthy whores he is forced to slay on the regular. Delia sees a man in Jon who is genuine, sweet and someone who breaks the mold of what she knows about men, specifically the men who have been in her life. Of course, Delia knows nothing of Jon's murderous hobby, but Delia also has a few secrets of her own.

Much like Jon, Delia carries more baggage than an airplane (yeah, of all jokes I went with that one!). She too is a lost soul of sorts and has many issues to deal with. Like Jon, Delia is damaged, broken from many years of abuse. Delia is in a place where she will do anything to set her life, and the life of one very important family member, on the right track. However, getting there is a difficult road, and the only way she can see to create the right life for herself is to resort to selling her body.

all god's creatures6

Delia needs to find solace for herself as well as for her younger sister, and the only way she believes she can go about it is by prostituting herself out. However, it goes much deeper than that for Delia as she is a woman (well, more than likely a girl at the time) who was sexually abused by a man. Her solace may come in the form of her domination over her clients, the men she sleeps with for money. She is using them to get what she wants and bosses them around as she sees fit. She is in control, and uses this sense of dominance to fill the emptiness left gaping from a haunted past.

Two different people with two very different ways of coping, coming together and finding solace in one another. But can that solace be broken when one potential partner is a serial killer who enjoys murdering prostitutes while the other is just that, a prostitute?  

all god's creatures3

Directed by Ryan Cummings and Frank Licata and shot in 16 days on a budget just under $20K, All God's Creatures has this certain level of charm about it, and much of that can fall on the well-written lead characters and the actors that portray them. Both Jessica Kaye (who plays Delia) and Josh Folan (who plays Jon and also co-wrote the film with Billy Fox) put out some great performances in this extra low-budget film. Folan is convincingly intense and intimidating as Josh, while Kaye has this indescribable presence about her that I find difficult to pinpoint. Her performance is quite refreshing, and she has this certain thing about her that is completely and utterly charming. She fully embodies the character of Delia, which is very important in a film where a serial killer is swooned by someone he would normally look at as a potential victim.

Despite the film's financial shortcomings, All God's Creatures is a nicely made independent thriller, though, there are a few questionable technical decisions. This would be specific to the handful of strangely handled montages that play throughout the film. The way they are shot and the odd, pop-infused music choices seemed to be quite off kilter from what the movie is going for and is slightly reminiscent of Canadian made, teen focused Lifetime movies. A traditional score or maybe something a little more simplistic with a slight edge would have worked better for certain moments. However, I do believe these montages and the music choices were meant to play more towards the sweet, romantic angle of the film, but they just seemed to be distracting from what is the heart and strength of the movie.

all god's creatures2

Regardless of those few minor tonal and technical fumbles, All God's Creatures is hinged on the characters, the performances and the idea that there is always someone out there that can help fill those empty voids in our lives. The viewer is put in a position to care and root for both Jon and Delia's relationship, despite their respective dysfunctions, and the fact that the movie is successful in generating sympathy, as well as a desire to see them succeed, says a lot about the success of the film as a whole.

If you fancy a date with a serial killer or, better yet, a nice looking hooker, then you can nab yourself a copy of All God's Creatures by clicking here and going to the official website.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Death-cember Has Begun (like, five days ago)!

christmas1

Oh, hey, this blog.

Posting has been more than scarce around these here parts as of late, and while CNAMB fatigue played a small role in things early on, it's now more or less become an issue of time. Not Time magazine, but time as in the thing that you can travel through if you own a car created by a cocaine dealer in the '80s.

Anyway, factors for not having much time are my extensive training in the Martial Arts, raising black bear (does that need an S for plural?), working on my own brand of four-ply toilet paper, and, of course, a whole lot of time spent at work. Guess which one of those sucks the most? So yeah, I've been wicked busy with work, but I've also been totes busy writing about other stuff on another site that is not at all film related, but it's a paying gig that brings in that extra cash for doing something I like to do, even if it is not film related.

With that out of the way, I cannot let another day pass without at least mentioning the fact that it is Death-cember, the month where I focus my reviews and other such nonsense on movies set in the winter/snow/ice/cold and/or the holidays. Clearly my lack of posting has shown how prepared I am for such a joyous occasion, however, I am working on a few things that are sure to stuff your stockings in a way that only I am able to do. You can look at this Death-cember as the year mom and I are too broke to afford all the gifts you wanted (because it went up our nose, just like your tuition), but it's the thought that counts, and the love we share is what matters the most. YAY! Christmas is the best when you have love! 

Need some Death-cember in your life? Click on that Creepy golden Santa to the right and read away, while also enjoying posts that aren't formatted properly anymore!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

And Soon the Darkness: Should've Went to Cancun

and soon the darkness2

1970's And Soon the Darkness is a British thriller that tells the tale of two young women, Jane and Cathy (played by Pamela Franklin and Michele Dotrice), who are spending their vacation cycling through the rural back roads of France. Both girls are of contrasting personalities with Jane enjoying the sights and experience of taking a bike trip though the stimulating, lush French country side, while Cathy is a little more interested in having traditional 'ho fun' with one of the locals she spots at a café. Later on during their travels, Cathy and Jane end up having a few random run-ins with the man from the café, but no actual interactions occur, but his random presence certainly piques Cathy's interest more than ever.

and soon the darkness

The two girls take a quick rest off the side of the road and begin discussing their next move. However, when Jane says she wants to continue on with their bike ride, Cathy complains that she's tired and would much rather take a nap and catch a few rays (you know, typical ho fun). The two have a small quarrel about their differing desires, and Jane ends up going to a nearby café for a quick drink while Cathy stays behind so she can do a little sunbathing. After she has a little time to cool off, Jane makes her way back to the spot where she left Cathy. However, when she returns, she finds that Cathy is nowhere to be found; she has simply vanished without a trace.

Now Jane is left all alone in a foreign land, trying to piece together what may have happened to her friend. She is faced with a wicked language barrier and carries a guarded sense of urgency, as she is not exactly sure who she can and cannot trust. Jane later learns from one of the few English-speaking locals that there was a girl murdered in the area years before, which rightfully worries Jane, as the murder victim fits the same description as Cathy. Even more concerning is Paul (Sandor Elès), the mysterious man from the café that Cathy was digging on earlier, who claims to have been an investigator on that murder case. However, Jane cannot determine whether or not she can trust Paul as much of what he has to say, as well as his presence throughout the day, seems to all be a bit too fishy. 

and soon the darkness3

Regardless of its title, And Soon the Darkness avoids resorting to the threat of nightfall for creepy atmosphere. Instead, director Robert Fuest generates genuine chills and tension through skillful camerawork, careful pacing and subdued sound design to achieve a sense of dread and unease. And he does so right in broad daylight. Fuest bravely and successfully delivers a handful of tightly wound scenes of pure suspense that occur in the bright shimmering light of the summer's sun, in an area so picturesque that it's hard to believe a murder, or anything of the sort, could ever occur. And it's all tucked into a story that's built on confusion, mistrust and a complete lack of security for our protagonist, which translates directly to the viewer.

All of the acting is tops, specifically the attractive, salmon colored butt-cuts wearing, Pamela Franklin, who plays the role of Jane in a way that is defensive but strong willed. Her expressive face conveys much of what cannot be expressed through language as most of her interactions are with people she is unable to converse with. I would say that the film's only real flaw is in its predicable ending, however, there are a number of clues that would point to the conclusion and eventual reveal of what happened to Cathy. Nevertheless, the film remains unclear enough to where you will question your clue driven prediction at certain points, thus keeping one from ever being 100% sure until the final moments.

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And Soon the Darkness is a prime example of what made well-crafted cinema of the 1970s so wonderful. It's patiently paced with a deliberately ambiguous tone that puts the viewer in a position of being just as unsure as Jane about the whereabouts of her friend as well as her own safety. Robert Fuest allows the story to unfold naturally, which helps to mount an uncomfortable feeling that slowly creeps up your spine throughout the picture and up until its eventual finale.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ch**k No**is Ate My Baby Shut Down by the Government!

Join the fight against censorship. If you think it doesn't or couldn't affect you, think again, homeboy (or homegirl… I don't wanna be sexist here).

Follow this link to learn more!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chucktober Giveaway Winner!

Finally, a winner has been picked! If you want to find out who won the Chucktober DVD/Paracinema Magazine Giveaway, then you'll have to watch the video below!

Before you do though, I must apologize for the audio issues. I don't know what it is with me and video, but some shit always seems to go wrong, and this time out I am bringing you my version of Kung-Fu Theater. Which is actually kinda cool. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Salute Your Shorts: Waffle

waffle

Sliding in just over 5 minutes, Waffle is a cautionary tale that enlightens its viewer to the horrible things can happen when one hides their true colors in a deceitful way. The short focuses on two very different high school girls. Wendy is the school reject with a horrific facial deformity, while Dana is a seemingly popular girl who has the looks to match her social status. While at first glance these two young women appear to have absolutely nothing in common, it is Wendy who always finds a way to win the school science fair each and every year, and Dana wants to see an end to her reign. Why would the good-looking, popular girl want to win a science fair? I'm not so sure, but it's an unimportant detail, I suppose.  

Written and directed by Rafael De Leon Jr., Waffle is a well put together short film that whips by so fast there isn't much time for a story to be fleshed out. The viewer is dropped directly into these characters lives with the short opening up just as Dana is eating dinner with Wendy and her mother in their home. Amidst some strange and slightly concerning conversation via Wendy's mom and a few unclear glimpses of Wendy's awful disfigurement, Dana grows uncomfortable, and soon her true intentions are revealed. However, Wendy and her mother have some nefarious intentions of their own. With that comes a quick conclusion that is fun, albeit a little lax with its impact due to there being no investment in the story. To be fair though, it is a short film, so this is less of a complaint and more of an observation. It should be noted that the film does follow a tight and precise three act structure, working as a prime example of how backstory can be properly conveyed when exposition is handled properly.

Waffle is still out and about on the festival circuit for what will probably be the rest of the year, so that would remain to be the only way to see the film as of this moment. However, if you do find yourself in the position (not THAT position!) to see the film, be sure to. It's fun enough and so quick that it's difficult not to claim that it's time well spent. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Baby Too Big to be Eaten?! Wah-wah-WHAT?!

the babyWell, Chucktober is all over now, and as I whimper out of the month tired and underwhelmed due to an elongated state of blogging boredom, a less than exciting Halloween, and some personal bullshit, I have to reposition myself to shine that positive smile upon the world. Or something. Depending on my mental state, chances are things will be a little scarce around here, but hopefully that equates to some better quality post by yours truly. Only the finest in dick and fart jokes for my readers, I say!   

Anyway, I do have some classy content to share with you, but that content is at a place much classier than this, and that is Paracinema. If you feel the need to read about one of the most mind-bendingly strangest films I have ever seen, ever, then head on over to Paracinema to read my review of 1973's The Baby, a film about a baby who is literally too big for his britches.  

Speaking of Paracinema, in the next day or so I will be revealing the winner of the Chucktober DVD/Paracinema Magazine giveaway, so don't fret, freters! All of those who were awesome enough to share some great Halloween traditions with me deserve a big thanks, and I wish you all the best of luck in the upcoming drawing.

And once again, speaking of Paracinema, if you were not already aware, the independently produced cult/genre film magazine was recently picked up for distribution, meaning there's a real good chance you can grab yourself an issue at a store near you! For your convenience, I have provided a list of retailers across the United States and Canada carrying this fine ass bitch of a magazine.

Paracinema retailers 

Don't be a commie… support your independence by picking up an issue of Paracinema! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bad Trick or Treat Ideas: Fruit

bad trick or treat ideas

WOW! FRUIT! YAY? I mean, you might as well just give me an apple with a razorblade in it. At least I can use the razor to cut your phone line and your electric before I come into your home and take all of the good candy you kept to your asshole self.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's like QVC but sluttier

You know, it sure is getting cold outside and all, but that don't stop me from wanting to show off my midriff to all the neighborhood boys. The only problem is, all of my dangling belly button rings are either dolphins, crescent moons or butterflies! lol! I have absolutely nothing seasonal to decorate my navel with, but thanks to the fine folks over at Body Candy Body Jewelry, I can properly decorate my front porch in the hopes that I can draw a few visitors to my backyard, if you know what I mean.

WOW! There is so much Halloween hotness to choose from, I don't even know where to begin!

One of my favorites is definitely the glow-in-the-dark Sexy Witch, witch, as Kelsey claims, "does glow so bright," something that works as a great distraction from the festering venereal disease that I caught when I let that meth dealer go down on me in Joanne's Chevy Beretta last August. lmfao! On the other hand, I doubt if someone like Billy Bob would really give a turd about a few scabs and warts.

Speaking of warts, I love those pumpkin earrings soooo much! However, nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to the super groovy glow in the dark spider dog tag! Ugh, I wish Cleophus "Rock Salt" Jeremiah was still around to pick me up in his Firebird. I miss those special nights where he'd come by my house at like 2:30 in the AM, and he would be sooo wasted! Boy, we would drive around and listen to Ugly Kid Joe for hours and hours. If he were here to pick me up right now, I would totally give him that dog tag at the end of the night. I bet he would have married me then, instead of getting with that fat cow Linda Mae Macintosh! You do know that's not his kid, right? That pig's been with every guy from here to Chewaback County. And I'M the slut? Whatever. lol!

Anyway, as much as I love all of these adorable naval pieces, Body Candy don't do COD (can you believe it?), so I guess I'll just have to go pick up an 8ball instead.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Goosebumps at 33: Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns

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Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns

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Halloween is just around the corner, and no one is more excited that Drew, a young lady who simply adores the holiday with all her heart. Her anxious best friend, Walker, doesn't quite share the same enthusiasm for Halloween as Drew, but he remains loyal to his adorable best bud nonetheless. Regardless of enjoying the fright and fun that can come from All Hallows' Eve, Drew does not enjoy the horrific practical jokes provided by rival girl/boy duo, Tabby and Lee. You see, Tabby and Lee are a couple of wisecracking practical jokers who will more than likely individually die all alone of old age, just like that little fart Stephanie from The Headless Ghost. Every Halloween, Tabby and Lee find multiple ways to scare the living doodoo out of Drew and Walker, and, like J.Lo, Drew has had enough!

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Drew, tired and beaten by the horrific pranks that have plagued her ever so devastatingly, finds herself being lent a helping hand in the form of her two old friends, Shane and Shauna. Shane and Shauna promise to help take revenge on Tabby and Lee, and the only thing that Drew and Walker have to do is invite them to go out trick or treating together. Little do they know this would eventually land Drew, Walker, Tabby and Lee in trick or treat heaven, where all the houses are decorated and contain owners who are handing out multiple candy bars the size of Val Kilmer. Heaven indeed. Also, diabetes indeed, but I guess these kids are young and have a few years before they have to sweat the small stuff. 

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As would be expected, massive helpings of beast like candy bars in a neighborhood straight out of my wet dreams is probably not all that it appears, and that is surely the case here. This is where I stop talking about the episode's plot and talk about some other stuff now.

Coming straight outta Compton on October 26, 1996, during the show's second season, Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns is yet another delightful little outing in the Goosebumps pantheon. The Halloween setting is pretty much an automatic win in my book, and there are plenty of fun and/or ridiculous little moments that are worthy of a smile or two (depending on how many mouths you have, of course).

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One of the best moments is when Walker and Drew reveal their horrifically lame Halloween costumes. Walker – who, despite his deceptive name, is not a Texas Ranger – is dressed up as a dark and stormy night (don't even ask) while Drew dresses up as a super hero named, ready for it? Super Drew! Super Drew?! That's a bit of a copout, no? Like, if I put on a pair of tights (which I would never do, 'cause I quit ballet) and a mask, I could say I'm dressed up as Awesome Matt and get free candy? Weak, brah. 

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In any event, Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns is a purrr-fect episode of Goosebumps to enjoy on a dark and spooky Halloween night, and I would be remised if… I'm Sorry. I don't know why I spelled the word perfect like that. Purrr-fect?! I guess I was just trying to be seductive, maybe build up my readership through sex appeal, and now I just look like a big fat idiot. Damn it.

Oh well, until next time, kiddies… 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chucktober DVD Giveaway!

As I mentioned in my latest Dumpster Diving for Gold vlog post - which I fully expect you will watch at least ten more times… a day - I have picked up a few great films on DVD that I wanted to use as giveaways for my lovely readers. What sort of prompted me to do a giveaway at this time, right in the middle of Chucktober, was a little tweet I laid my eyes on the other day…

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With this incredibly boner inducing news, I figured what better time to giveaway a copy of Undisputed III: Redemption than with a Scott Adkins tweet claiming that there is indeed a fourth Undisputed film in the works? However, there is one tiny little problem here. I must remind you that it is indeed Chucktober, and it's my vow to try my damnedest to keep all content this month horror related, and Undisputed III is certainly not a horror film (it's a Rom-com). That's where you, good reader, win BIG.

To make this shit Chucktober official, I am not only going to give one lucky winner a used copy of Undisputed III: Redemption, I will also throw in a used copy of Adam Green's fantastic Ski lift horror film, Frozen, just in time for winter!

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And you know what, to sweeten the pot even more, I'll even toss in one back issue, of the winner's choice (so long as it's not sold out), of Paracinema Magazine (as well as a few other secret goodies!)!

Now, you're probably thinking, "Matt, this is totally radical, but what's the catch?" Well, it's actually quite simple. With only eight days left until Halloween (YIKES!), I would love if you'd share with me your favorite Halloween tradition. What do you love to do every year, more than anything, during the Halloween season? It can be anything whatsoever, and it doesn't have to be all that elaborate, either. Come up with an answer, leave it in the comments section of this post with your name and email address, and you will be entered, simple as that. The giveaway ends at midnight Friday, October 28th (Eastern Standard), so you have exactly one week from today to leave your answer. Soon afterwards, I will tally all the names of those who enter, drop them in a hat and announce the lucky winner in a vlog.

Two of my favorite movies of 2010, an issue of one of my favorite magazines (after Bear magazine, that is), and all for less than the price of a cup of coffee. What isn't great about that?!

Good luck, and I look forward to your answers!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dumpster Diving for Gold 4: EVER

Hey, look at this… a brand spanking new episode of Dumpster Diving for Gold (that I recorded in September), all ready to make sweet ass love to your very being. Yeah, I know, that's kind of gross.

In any event, I tried using a different camera to record this one, and it sort of worked, though there are some odd auto focus issues that make this shit seem as the video is breathing. Like, you might have an acid flashback from watching this. Or, if you're sensitive to bright colors and flashing lights, you might get all seizure on me, which would not be good because I depend on you for support.

Enjoy.

Some post video thoughts:

More favorite?

The pressure got to me, and my Boyka imitation blew. Ma bad.

Boy, I sure don't shut up, huh?

My ability to read out loud is horrific.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bad Trick or Treat Ideas: Necco

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Chalk is simply perfect. For blackboards, hop-scotch and marking the position of a dead body, you just can't beat it. As a snack item, chalk really isn't such a great idea. An even worse idea is trying to give away what is essentially chalk to any child, let alone anyone under the age of 73. Necco. What is that, short for necrophilia? Sadly, necrophilia leaves a better taste in my mouth than Necco candies do. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Night of the Demons 2010: Party Foul

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Adam Gierasch's 2010 remake of Night of the Demons takes the basis for what was done in the original film and applies it to the end destination, with a few minor tweaks added to the journey. Instead of following a small group of teens to an intimate party where everything literally goes to hell, this incarnation populates its shindig with a full staff of party animals. Once again, Angela is throwing the dopest Halloween party in town and everyone is E-vited. As the party rages on and the drugs finally show up (thanks to a tubby Eddie Furlong playing the role that would define his personal life), the cops come in and shut it down. Shortly after the house is cleared out and everyone has left, a handful of stragglers straggle their way back onto the property, only to somehow get locked in. As far as major problems go, being stuck in a house with a handful of good-looking people, tons of alcohol and plenty of music, one really cannot complain. However, toss in a few demons and, well, I suppose the word demon kind of says it all.

night of the demons5I generally don't like to compare remakes to their influences; however, there are a select few that garner the comparison, and I think Night of the Demons is one of those films. One of the things that this new version does that I enjoy is the main idea is in place, but the situations unfold very differently for the characters. You get something new without losing the basis for what make Night of the Demons Night of the Demons. Though, it's not to say that what's new is refreshing cinematically, just new from what has been seen previously.

In fact, I think it's safe to say that Night of the Demons lacks even the slightest hint of originality, and that comes from all aspects of the film. The characters are masterfully stereotypical, the unnecessary backstory added to the movie is as pointless as it is uncreative, and it would be impossible not to know exactly where the film will go next. On a technical level, well, it's not too bad overall, but there are some serious issues strewn throughout. Specifically, the super sped up camerawork that makes its way through the film's opening party setting, only to slow down and focus on something in a motion much slower than normal (like a sexy girl dancing or someone puking). And of course, this is accompanied by a ridiculous swooooosh sound that's supposed to convey… actually, I don't even know what it's supposed to convey. Awesome party, maybe?

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Bobbie Sue (Dead Box) Luther in a role that perfectly plays to her natural talents

Another issue that this remake suffers from is the fact that the Angela character (this time around played by Shannon Elizabeth) has very little to her in terms of generating any sort of interest. She's completely one-dimensional and more of a coincidental character, wherein the original she was, in a way, the star, or at least a major aspect of the movie. Here Angela plays back-up singer to the character of Maddie (Monica Keena, who looks somewhat less malformed than normal), who is clearly the heroin when the viewer is introduced to her wicked hot friends, both of whom have massive tits and wear skimpy Halloween costumes.

Now, I may sound like I am hitting Night of the Demons with a lot of negativity so far and I sort of am, but that really doesn't reflect my actual enjoyment of the film as a whole. In fact, I actually quite enjoyed it - for what it is. Let's face it, as much love as I have for Kevin Tenney's film, it sure is far from perfect, and I think it would be safe to say that it has almost as many problems, collectively, as the 2010 remake. 

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The '88 film starts off awfully slow, and the only thing that it has going for it in the first 45 minutes to an hour is Linnea Quigley's introduction (which makes for a great cameo in the remake, it should be said) and some of the laughable performances and hysterical characters. It's entertaining in a very cheesy way, but that's about all until the film finally takes off in the final 30 or so minutes. The remake does a better job of moving things along at a faster pace, however, it does cause for some latter moments where things do begin to drag on.

As for the demon action itself, the original still takes the funfetti over the remake. Regardless, I do like the look of the demons as well as how they interact with each other (demonic orgies are h-o-t HOT!). The approach of the demons, as well as the film itself, is a little more tongue in cheek than the original. Gierasch and co. certainly had a specific vision for Night of the Demons, and that was to make a fun film that can play for a modern audience, while being mostly faithful in spirit to the original. And I believe they were successful, for the most part.

night of the demons2The movie is a fun watch, plain and simple. It's even almost as fun as the 1988 Night of the Demons; however, it isn't quite as memorable. Of course, Tenney's film has the unfair advantage of nostalgia going for it, but it also has a better presence with how the horror is effectively delivered. Now, the '88 Night of the Demons isn't the most frightening film ever made, but it does have a genuinely spooky atmosphere about it as well as a few creepy moments. Specific scenes that come immediately to mind are the Quigley lipstick trick and Angela's Stigmata Martyr dance.

As strange as the lipstick in the tit scene is, there is something about how Quigley does it, something about the dead serious and completely crazed look on her face that has always stuck with me. The scene is recreated (with a slight twist) in the remake in a way that is certainly entertaining, but it doesn't have nearly the same effect. What is even less effective though, is Angela's dance sequence in the remake. What was truly a frightfully seductive and hypnotic highlight in the 1988 Night of the Demons is not even remotely worth mentioning in the remake. In fact, it's kind of pathetic in comparison.

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I have my criticisms of the film (and they are definitely warranted) but as I said, I found myself enjoying Night of the Demons 2010. It's certainly no classic, and it's debatable as to whether or not it's even any good, but it does capture the essence of the original film without being an exact replica of it. Despite suffering from some typical, modern-day cinema shortcomings, it feels as if it fits in with the world of Night of the Demons, and, most importantly, I had a good time watching it. Quite frankly, that is really all one should expect. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Baby Babble: Some Quick Pregame Thoughts on Paranormal Activity 3

Will the latest film in the still youthful Paranormal Activity franchise be able to replicate what its predecessors have done in the past? With less than 10 days left before Paranormal Activity 3 receives its major theatrical release across the country, I wonder if there will be enough audience interest to once again generate Activity at the box office, while also delivering something of worth. Personally, I really enjoyed both the first and second Paranormal films; however, I am weary about this prequel to a prequel where we already know the children will be safe.

Based off what I have seen in the trailers and TV spots and what I know of the story, I believe the chances that lightning will strike 3 times is pretty low. I love the idea, aesthetically, of an '80s period piece told through the home video technology of the time. On the other hand, outside of the date and time code, I don't see any real indication that a retro look has been fitted to this film. Moreover (and this is me being nitpicky), who the fuck could afford more than one video camera in the '80s, let alone multiple?!

As for the fear factor, there are some superbly creepy moments strewn throughout the trailers thus far, but unfortunately, there are also some moments that look way too big and overly manufactured for a Paranormal Activity film. In that sense, this is a sequel, so I suppose the ante must be upped, the scares bigger and all that stereotypical sequel jazz that comes with a sequel. 

The mathematical chances that Paranormal Activity 3 will be able to deliver some good scares and another story that isn't completely derivative is fairly low. In all fairness though, I was quite weary of the PA2, and I ended up enjoying that film quite a bit due to the smart direction the story took and a few likeable characters (specifically the character of Ali). Regardless of my skepticism for PA3, having Christopher B. Landon return as the writer and the team behind last years fantastic documentary, Catfish, are certainly promising pieces of this equation.

In the end, all of these pregame thoughts mean very little when it comes to the final product (I just like to read myself write), which will not be revealed to me until I make my way to the theater and see the film for myself.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Goosebumps at 33: The Headless Ghost

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Previously on Goosebumps at 33…

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The Headless Ghost

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That sure is a whole hell of a lot of shit going on to start things off, isn't it? You're probably all like, "what the hell is this crap, huh?" Well, if you're still here after all those crazy photos, this is Goosebumps at 33, a yearly Chucktober tradition (as in, I did it last year) where I watch and review Goosebumps episodes without any nostalgic bias, whatsoeva. The kicker here is I am watching episodes of the much beloved children's horror show, for the first time, through the eyes of a 33-year-old man, who is now actually 34. Details, brah. 

First up on Goosebumps at 33, I have a little ditty known as The Headless Ghost, a title that I am positive I will mistakenly type as The Headless Horseman at least seventy-five times.

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Originally airing on September 21st, 1996, this season 2 episode focuses on Duane and Stephanie, who have become best known around town as the Twin Terrors of Wheeler Falls. You see, both Duane and Stephanie, who are not actually twins (talk about false advertising), have built a nice little reputation for themselves by pulling off pranks and scaring the poop out of the residents of Wheeler falls. Their main place to practice such tomfoolery is Hill House, a tourist attraction haunted by the ghost of a headless boy. As the tale goes, some moron kid was so into strawberry ice cream (strawberry, really?) that he fell into a dumbwaiter and somehow it decapitated him or some shit. Bet that wouldn't have happened if he was eating chocolate ice cream, because chocolate ice cream is for people that win. 

In any event, Duane (who has this marvelous '20s styled Flapper hairdo) and Stephanie grow bored of pulling off such elaborate pranks and decide they need a good, true scare for themselves. They figure the best way to do so is to spend a night in Hill House searching for the head of the mediocre-berry ice cream loving boy. Little do they know, they are in for the scare of their lives.

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I suppose the one thing that sticks out in The Headless Ghost is one-half of the Twin Terrors, Stephanie. The best way to describe Stephanie is she is a full on obnoxious busybody, who has little to no redeeming qualities about her. She lacks respect for even the simplest of things, for instance, she uses the term "smooth move," but completely neglects to mention anything about Ex Lax?! Like, listen here, Steph with the lame-ass laugh, that line don't work without the Ex Lax ending, so get your head out of your idiot ass and learn how to rank of peeps properly, kay?

Outside of Steph-fanny face, The Headless Ghost is actually a great episode in the Goosebumps library. It has a nice, creepy colonial setting with the Hill House itself, giving it an instant spooky factor. It would also makes for one of the more serious episode in the series, or at least more so than others that I have seen thus far. It's mostly all about the scares and atmosphere, though there are a few simply adorable moments strewn throughout! One of my favs is a simple little line that plays out in a very funny but subtle way. It involves a scene where a ghost wants Duane's head, so he pointedly tells him, "I need your head, Duane!," at which point Duane simply responds by saying, "I do too…" It's pretty hysterical.     

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As with every episode of Goosebumps, there is indeed a twist, however, The Headless Ghost breaks free of the oppressive chains of one single boring plot twist by giving the viewer not one but TWO different twists! Yowzaziwowa!! I won't go into detail about either of them (you know, in case you might watch the episode?), but I will say that super-bitch Stephanie learns a little lesson about respect. And thank heaven for that, 'cause that chick pissed me the crap off from moment one.

The Headless Horseman is a solid episode that would certainly entertain any fan of the series, and more importantly, it's a nice way to kick off Goosebumps at 33. Great location, fun story and it's nice and SPOOOOKY!

Until next time kiddies…

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