Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Head Trauma

Head Trauma is a pretty weird and freaky film.
I think they had the right idea but it wasn't totally realized in the film.

George (Vince Mola) has been away for 20 years. It is never said where he has been, but he has recently arrived back in his home town after this long absence.
He has returned to claim his grandmother's house which is scheduled for demolition. It is condemned and so George wants to fix it up to save it from the wrecking ball.
He sets up camp (seriously, he literally sets up a tent in the living room of the empty house) and sets about cleaning things up.

A neighbors grandson comes over to investigate, and he and George have a scuffle because George thinks he's a squatter and neighbor Julian thinks he's broken into the home. George succeeds in falling down some steps and hitting his head in the little fight.

On a side note, this is apparently where the 'head trauma' title comes from. I don't really like the title after seeing the whole film - it deserves a more fitting title. It is not a medical mystery like the name eludes to. And it almost gives too much away.
I can only assume they chose that title becuase the trauma to George's head is what has given way to all the paranoia and fear that starts.

Anyway, Julian is scolded by his grandma and made to help George clean up the house in retribution for 'throwing him down the steps'. So George and Julian make up.

A few days into the refurbishing, George starts seeing and hearing things, and believes that perhaps something bad has happened in the house. He starts to believe there are evil spirits after him, and with all the weird shit going on, you don't know whether there is something evil at work or if perhaps George should just punch his ticket for the looney tunes ride right now.

There is alot of creepy imagery and bizarre flashbacks that move this film along, but at times it is confusing.
Like the remotely similar Session 9, you are given clues (in the flashbacks and visions) that elude to the mystery of the house and of George - and it becomes obvious to the viewer that something very bad has perhaps happened in George's past and he has either outright forgotten it - or has chosen to put it away somewhere in his mind.

Head Trauma has alot of spooky moments, and I love the dark atmosphere it has.
But it is certainly not an action film - and those that like their horror fast paced will want to head elsewhere for their thrills.
But I'd give it a solid 3/5.


Apparently this is based on true events.

Here's the synopsis of the movie -

Brandi (Mena Suvari) is a nurse assistant at a rather large nursing home, and she is up for a pretty nice promotion.
But Brandi likes to party with fellow co-workers and her drug-dealing boyfriend until late into the mornings.
One night, after some hefty drinking and popping some ecstasy, she gets in her car - utterly messed up - and promptly barrells down the street, slamming into a homeless guy crossing the street.

This presents a real dilemma for our girl.
The dude she hit is now STUCK - I mean wedged in like a vienna sausage in one of those little cans - in her front windshield. The windshield wiper is even impaling him through the side, let alone the compound leg fractures and obvious other bloody injuries.
And he's still alive.

Now, Brandi could do the smart thing (call 911 for pete's sake!) - and she even thinks about doing the next smartest thing (drop him at the ER)... but when she arrives at the ER (yes, she's still driving around with this poor gent stuffed in the windshield) there are medics taking an ambulance out and she is unable to just drop him off without being seen.

So she does the unimaginable.
She drives home and pulls the car into her garage.
To think that someone actually did this just amazes me.

Her louse of a boyfriend (who had a separate car and had to go to the store before going to her house) then arrives and she tells him all about it. He thinks she has struck a bum and left him for dead and no-one will even know. She lets him believe this and they hit the bedroom for some nocturnal fun. (again, can you believe it?)

Meanwhile, Tom (homeless guy) is awake and trying to figure out how to get out of the car.
These events all takes place over the course of just a day or so.

In another ghastly move, Brandi calls a taxi and goes to work the next day - leaving poor Tom dying in the garage.
When at work she is reprimanded for not calling if she was going to be late.
This is when Brandi discovers she left her cell phone in the car!

I don't want to spoil the ending, so I'll just leave it at that.

This film is actually just a gruesome morality play.
What would you do? Up for a big promotion, don't want to get busted for alcohol and drugs, let alone leaving the scene of a crime...

Well, I'd have called 911 regardless of the outcome, but hey- that's just me.

Much more of a black comedy than a straight forward horror film, this is one unique and original story.

Ripped from the headlines, it proves truth really IS stranger than fiction.

movie poster for 'Stuck'...

My pic for Halloween.
Wish you were here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Someone needs to cut the grass...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Just wanted to give a big shout-out to my favorite podcast!

They are celebrating one year of podcasting and I have to say thanks for all the awesome episodes, guys! You've kept me totally entertained!

If you haven't had a chance to hear Ted and Tony ramble on aimlessly (just kidding!), you really need to gear up your MP3 player and give these guys a listen. Or just go to their website and hear it there.

They really know their horror and each week gift their listeners with conversations ranging from the latest movie to scary tv to conventions, gaming, books, music and all things horror!
Sometimes there is a theme, such as 'J-horror' or 'Tim Burton' - sometimes they just do a 'from the hip' episode and discuss whatever comes to mind - horror related of course!
For instance, recently they did a super episode on Kevin Bacon. When you think about how many genre films the man has done, it's amazing the episode wasn't split in two.

You can find a direct download for the show at or you can get it from iTunes - either way it's free and you can't go wrong with these two. They are intelligent and have alot of fun doing it.... and by fun I don't mean they are a couple of drunks giggling and talking about themselves like alot of awful podcasts I have heard!

There is also a cool forum where people like us (weirdos that live and breathe horror) can chat amoungst other like-minded folks! Hey, I'd rather be weird than ordinary, right?
It's easy to register, so get on there!

So thanks again to for a year of great tuesday nights - and here's to another year, and another, and another... etc!

This one is in Ireland.
Nice gate.


Oh yes, this movie is Jaws on Outback acid!

I wasn't expecting much from this movie, simply because I figured it was more of a 'crazed giant animal on the loose' movie-of-the-week.

Not so.
Simply put, 'Rogue', as you can tell by the dvd cover, is about a rogue, oversized crocodile in Australia and a group of tourists who get stranded in the croc's territory.

Surprisingly, I really liked this film. Compared with the other croc movie 'Primevil' (2007), this movie was Psycho and Primevil was the remake of Prom Night (ugh).

It is by the director (Greg McLean) of the un-nerving 'Wolf Creek' - and that guy knows something about tension.
And it wasn't like a creature feature of the week kind of thing. It was so much better than that.
The croc was a BIG one, yes - but not too unbelieveable.
In the dvd extras they explained they didn't want something that wasn't true-to-life, so they found that the biggest croc down there that anyone knew of was like 37 meters big (!!!) so they went with just 35 meters. Still, the thing was so huge. It really looked pretty authentic- they used both animatronic crocs and a bit of CGI - it was extremely realistic in my humble opinion.

I believe I will purchase this dvd for sure when the price goes below 10 bucks. It's worth multiple viewings in my book.

Radha Mitchell & Michael Vartan

The stars (Radha being of Silent Hill fame and Vartan was on Alias if you remember) were quite worthy and added a bit of star quality to the flick.

Story goes like this: Pete (Vartan) is a travel reporter on location in the Australian outback.
He takes a scenic river tour guided by Kate (Mitchell). Educationally, she seems to know what she's talking about and the tour is going along fine with its cast of random stereotypical characters on board (the asshole, the sickly mother, the mourning stranger, the annoying bickering couple, the token beer-guzzling locals and such).
Then some of the tourists think they saw a signal flare along the rocky cliffs at river's edge, so Kate goes to a secluded area of the river that is not part of the tour to see if someone is in distress. Turns out, it's them.

(Of course right here is where you stop and say wait a sec...)

But they proceed and end up stranding themselves on a tiny island of sorts along the river that is quickly being overtaken by the tide... as well as our friend the giant croc.
The remaining half of the movie has our heroes attempting to find a way to escape the wrath of the deadly killer.

The director pulls a Spielberg in that he doesn't show the crocodile until pretty far along into the film, and at one of those 'holy shit!' moments. Well done.
Some aspects are of course preposterous, but this IS a monster movie of sorts, right?

Basically it adheres to the notion that crocodiles are absolutely territorial and will defend their homes with a violence and cruelty like no other beast.
I couldn't help but think of the late Steve Irwin while watching this, and I tended to wonder if he'd ever come across a croc of this size. If so, I'm willing to bet a year's salary that he hasn't tackled it and tried to relocate it.
"Have a look at this little beauty!..... Isn't she just dahhhling?"
(Miss you, Steve.)

Rogue is not a gore-fest but should satisfy any horror fan with a hunger for a good monster flick.
The cinematography is fantastic, and shows the Northern Territory of Australia in all its stark wonder and natural beauty. It's like watching an R-rated National Geographic show, or perhaps 'Wild Kingdom' (I'm dating myself with that remark).

So I would have to recommend this movie as a must-see. It's so hard to find decent creature features that aren't bad enough to have a Mystery Science Theater dialogue added to it.
Check it out.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Strangers

I've heard this movie: The Strangers, is based on true events.
Or at the very least, inspired by them.

I wouldn't go as far as to say I believe that, but I can believe it would happen, especially in this day and age.

The Strangers is a disturbing movie, and meant to be that way.
Everyone's seen the movie trailer, either in theaters or during a 30 second tv spot:

"why us?"
"because you were home..."

Now, I was expecting to truly be scared. I mean, as scared as I was at the end of the Blair Witch Project the very first time I saw it. Freaked.

I wasn't freaked.
But I was, I won't deny it, spooked.

James (Scott Speedman) and Kristen (Liv Tyler) are headed to a family house in the country after a celebratory night that turned sour. Already, tempers are flaring and you can cut the tension with a knife.
Soon though, they tame things down a bit and they start to get their groove on in reconcilliation.

Then there comes a knock at the door.

Seeing as how it is just after 4 am, they cannot imagine who would be knocking at this late hour.
They answer the door, and there is a girl, half in shadow, who asks if Terri (or some other name, forgive me I forget) is home. When they answer no and the girl says 'Are you sure?', that should have been their first clue. I mean, who would say that? Yeah, I'm pretty sure!

Things go downhill from there.

Chilling scenes of these 'strangers' in various locations start: outside behind a tree, sitting on a swing, standing in the back of a room in the house un-noticed... all are terrifying in their own way. They all wear white masks, albeit different ones - as you can see below.

What do the strangers want?

Apparently just to at first tease and toy with, and then torment and terrify our couple.
And they do just that, until it escalates to a somewhat unexpected conclusion.

What is most disturbing about this film is that this can actually happen, at any time, to anyone, anywhere...

There is a french movie 'Ils' (aka 'Them') which I have seen and it is very similar in theme.

I blogged about it here.

I can't say I prefer the french 'version' of this story - they both have equally frightening segments. Liv Tyler is very believable and genuine, and Speedman is equally up to the task.

And it was scary - in a real life kind of way.

But I was still able to go out my front door and onto my porch and un-plug my halloween light-up pumpkin right afterwards, so make of that what you will...

Presumably in the old west?

Monday, October 27, 2008

I think this is my favorite. It has so much character!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trick or treat?

This really looks like one of my old haunts.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Big place.
Nice yard.
I suppose they couldn't afford the upkeep.
Beautiful, though.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Somewhere in America's heartland, someone is crying.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This is one of my favorites. I love the 'round' room (turret).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I think this might be a painting, but I'll include it cause it was probably done from a real life place, I'm guessing.

Halloween fun

Check out my other blog for more of these friendly Halloween canines.

I think the 'parents' of these dogs need psychological counseling.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another one that I think could definately be refurbished.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Unborn ( trailer )

I don't usually post videos cause I hate it when they are on every damn post.
But I think movie trailers are appropriate for my blog...
And this movie looks pretty damn good.


I'm not hungry, ok?

Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds
What can I say?

Well, I can say that I wish like hell that I didn't purchase this movie sight unseen.
And I really CAN appreciate a good B-grade horror flick, I really can.
Enjoy them, even.
And I was really looking forward to this sequel.
Never again.
Note to self: Always. Use. Netflix. First.

First let me say that I am a fan of the first Feast. It really rocked - it was something kind of different, and the acting actually wasn't too bad (for a horror film). It was pleasantly over-the-top. The script was campy and fun, it was fast-paced, and the amount of gore was just right.

And I can watch alot of gore.
But this movie was like a puke-fest, blood-fest, 'bodily fluid'-fest and a gratuitous nudity-fest all wrapped up in one. I know what you're thinking, horror fans: "I like alot of all of the above"....Trust me, you don't.
This film is truly one of the most appallingly bad, disgustingly nauseating, repulsive flicks I have seen in awhile. I could handle the gore, but when pretty much every character started projectile vomiting (over and over!), I didn't know whether to laugh or upchuck.

Feast 2 starts directly after the end of the first Feast.
The creatures have moved on down the road from the bar they left in ruins, and they gang up on a town of (apparent) losers who are holed up at various locations around the village.
Every character is worthless and unlikeable.
Honey Pie (the chick from the first movie who took off in a truck and left everyone else for dead) is back and for some reason, everybody pretty much hates her so she is on her own.
The bartender (Director John Gulager's dad, Clu) is back, as is the twin sister of "Harley Mama" - that would be "Biker Queen" (seriously, I'm not making this shit up)... Of course she is back, she's the director's girlfriend.
Also joining in the family fun is a new character (whose name I forget but if you watch the movie you'll know who I'm talking about) - he's the biggest jackass of them all. I think his name might be Greg. He's played by the director's brother. Nothing like exposing your entire family to your horrific directing skills.

Basically there is no plot for this cheese-fest (not that the first one had one, but it was just sooooo much better).
All the characters just run around screaming obscenities constantly and getting blanketed with blood and gruesome body parts.
To make matters worse, the monsters have giant (I mean whoppingly large) genitalia, and it is on full view at all times. Not scary. Not even funny.

And if I haven't convinced you that this is a waste of time yet (hard to believe you're still interested!).... one of the first freaking things you see on screen is a German Shepherd get blown to pieces! Now that JUST AIN'T COOL, man! I should've known right then to hit eject...

But in addition to the canine carnage, there are (and I shit you not, here) catapulting midgets, monsters copulating with alley cats, farting autopsy recipients, and in the worst thing I've seen - maybe ever - they throw a baby into the air and it not only smashes to the cement (splat!), it is then savagely devoured by the hungry creatures. Say it with me now.... OH. MY. GOD.

This is not Evil Dead II, folks. There are no redeeming qualities to speak of, I'm sorry.
And if it gets really cold this winter - with the skyrocketing price of natural gas - I just may throw this piece of rubbish on the fire to keep warm.

And now for the really crazy post script.
They made Feast 2 and Feast 3 back to back.

B-grade fun

It Waits (2005)

Sometimes I just like to watch really campy, thoughtless horror.
"It Waits" fits the bill pretty good.

Usually this kind of movie is on the Sci-Fi channel on Saturday afternoon, but this one has the advantage of having a recognized star (at least in the horror genre) as the lead - Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever, Return to House on Haunted Hill, Sasquatch Mountain).
Now I'm not saying she's a great actress or anything, but she is good enough to watch for a few hours)

(In case you can't place who she is)

And any guy that didn't watch something she was in just to look at her, well... I can't say more.
I mean, she is extraordinarily pretty. Among other things...

Anyway.... It Waits (dumb title by the way) is the story of Danielle (Vincent), who is a forest ranger (yep.) struggling with the fact that her best friend was just killed in a drunk driving accident in which Danielle was driving. Added to that are troubles with a boyfriend (also a ranger) and some missing campers she can't locate, and that about sums up the first part of the movie. I mean, there's always a useless sub-plot that has nothing to do with the real heart of the story.

But there is something out there in the woods (because there always is).
It stalks.
It lurks.
It waits.
Oh brother.

Key plot points:
There is a Native American legend not unlike alot of movies we've already seen. (If you're looking strictly for Native American themes, rent Wendigo instead).
The creature is awakened by a group of scientists (?) who decide to blow half a mountain off to look for.... what? I can't remember.
'It' starts stalking anyone we see on screen.
It looks almost exactly like a cross between Pumpkinhead and the Creeper (Jeepers Creepers) - so much so that it even sprouts wings and flies away! (mega-rip-off!).
Some dude in a camper mysteriously appears and starts yakking about the 'legend'... I've already forgotten what he said.
Danielle and said boyfriend are obviously the creature's main targets.
Maybe she peed in his Cheerios, I don't know.

Anyway, I actually watched this all the way through and thought it wasn't too bad - in a Netflix free-viewing sort of way.
So if it ever pops up on Sci-Fi or Fuse some afternoon, you can watch it without puking.
Hey, it's better than Feast 2!!

What's that I hear?
You want another pic of Cerina Vincent?
Ok, here you go:

Perhaps Louisiana or Mississippi?
Looks like that style of architecture.
I'm thinking alot of voodoo thoughts with this one...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Here's another ESTATE-like property.
And this one is really, really cool!
I'd paint it white, of course.
It really looks haunted, doesn't it?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Now this is a crying shame.
Somebody has to own this huge property.
With today's mortgage crisis I bet you could get this for a song and a dance.
I'd take it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Whoa, there's a light on in this gem...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I like this one, too.
Nice location, lots of trees - house has character.
Who walks away from these properties, I wonder?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Seems like this one could have some potential if you add some new windows and a paint job.
The frame structure still looks good.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A movie with BITE

Teeth (2007)

Here's a film I took awhile to see because I just kept thinking: Seriously?
Well I probably shouldn't have waited, cause it was a real hoot!

Again reaching into my bag of 'instant Netflix viewing', I decided to finally give this movie a go.
It was a hit at the Sundance movie festival last year. It is certainly a strange and unusual idea.

Dawn O'Keefe (Jess Weixler, who seems like a cross between Keira Knightley and Winona Ryder) is a high school virgin (rare these days, I know) who gives "purity" speeches at her high school, begging teens her age to forego sex and stay abstinent until marriage.
This is all well and good, until she meets Tobey (Hale Appleman) and develops a more mature crush on him.

However, Dawn has something different about her.
Straight to the point: she has teeth in her vagina!

This is an actual medical myth/mystery known as Vagina Dentata. I really can't see myself explaining this, so read about it here, or better yet - here!

So... seeing as how Dawn's never experienced intimacy, she isn't quite sure what feels different about herself, but she's aware there is something amiss 'down there'...
Apparently she's never shredded any tampons. Sorry, had to mention...

Her and Tobey head off to the local make-out spot and things get carried a bit too far - Tobey has actually already had sex (bad boy! No!) and felt "remorse" (yeah, right!) so he has been abstaining for quite a long time, and he is done with purity and ready for some action - he pretty much forces himself on Dawn and suffice it to say, his male genitalia suffer the consequences.

Now I wouldn't want to give everything away here, so I'll stop there with the "intimate" details (no pun intended).. but you gotta see this movie to believe it.

As sub-plots, Dawn also has a raunchy, ridiculously sex-crazed nasty half-brother who has had the hots for her since they were little (say it with me now - eww!). He figures in the equation quite prominently.
She also goes to the OB/GYN for help and unfortunately has a perverted gynecologist - of course things go downhill after her feet are in the stirrups.

Then there are other boys that have made a bet that they can be the ones to get her into bed first... you can leave it up to your imagination (but the film won't!)...

There is a mentionable amount of gore, as you can imagine. But I think the acting by young Jess Weixler is really quite good, and I'm anxious to see something by her in another genre. I think she could have some pretty good acting chops.

There is an absolutely eye-popping scene involving a Rotweiller near the end. Truly outrageous!

So check out Teeth for something really different.
I can guarantee it will leave you (especially you guys!) thinking about your next roll in the hay.

Time for a little B & W creepiness.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I can hold it, thanks!

"Rest Stop 2: Don't look back" is the sequel to the similarly named 'Rest Stop: Dead Ahead".
If you haven't seen the first one, I wouldn't bother with this one. It follows very closely and ties up some loose strings from the original. Or at the least, check out the first one before renting this.
The first Rest Stop was panned by critics and wasn't exactly a hit. But it is a real guilty pleasure of mine.

The second one starts off exactly one year after the events of the first one.

To recap, Jesse and Nicole have left (runaway) together, heading from their native Texas to sunny L.A. to get into showbiz (yeah, right!). They are well on their way, just having crossed the border into California when they make a pit stop at a rest area.
Danger and mayhem ensue and to get straight to the point - they never are heard from again.

Well, Jess's brother, Tom, has recently arrived home from Iraq (he's in the Army) and makes it his mission to go looking for his long lost brother.
(As if no one has ever searched for them or questioned the fact that they never even called to say they were in L.A. or that they were ok...)

Anyway, Tom takes his alcoholic bitch of a girlfriend (incidentally Nicole's best friend - how convienient!) and another friend - who had an uber-crush on Nicole -with him to hunt them down.
As stupid and unbelievable as it sounds, Tom and co. end up at the VERY rest stop that Jess & Nicole had all their woes. How ironic.

If you can check your brain at the door and just watch this for the fun of it, it does offer some good gore and a bit of backstory that isn't entirely mundane. There are alot of recurring characters that we get to learn more about, in particular, the beyond-weird family from the camper-on-wheels and of course, the driver of the menacing pick-up.

Rest Stop 2 really delves into the 'ghost' aspect of the story, which was briefly touched upon in the first movie - and this really does help alot to realize all is not as it seems. You know, the old "who is real and who is a ghost' thing? There are a few creepy and unsettling moments.

I must say I absolutely HATED the girlfriend character - she got on my nerves like a two-year old at a doctor's appointment for shots. I wished bad, bad things on her, and someone apparently heard my wishes, so that was gratifying.

There is some obligatory nudity, as well as some comic relief (the buddy character gets stuck in a port-a-potty with some rather foul results!) and like I said, the gore factor was fairly decent.
But there isn't alot to think about here.

If you can just relax and not continually criticize, you'll be fine.
In the extras, the director and writer hinted that if this does well (it was straight to DVD) they have many more 'stories' to tell about the rest stop. I think that would go over like a lead balloon.
Please stop now. You've said it all, I think.

All in all, not a total waste. Worlds better than the April Fool's Day remake!

Looks like the ivy-monster attacked this one...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Real shame about this one, it was special.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Creepy houses: not just out in the country, apparently.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Really looks like the house in the Blair Witch Project....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This house really gives me the willies.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Here's the abandoned house for wednesday.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Abandoned houses

I have a real like for creepy, old abandoned houses.
Places that look like they have a story.
Places that look haunted.

I've decided to hunt the web for some pics of places that look like I would most certainly not want to go there on a dark evening alone.

(When I was a teenager, however, my friends and I had a passion for checking these places out on weekends. I won't say we broke in, because most places were already falling down around us and weren't locked - some didn't even have doors. Or the door was hanging precariously off the hinges like in some horror movie... )
We lived for those 'haunted house hunting' weekends.

I can only think of one place that is actually still standing... and maybe at some point I will drive there and get a new picture of it for here on the blog.

But for now, I will do a pic of the day for the rest of October.
Tis the season!


The joke's on me, apparently.

Oh. My. God.
Could this movie be any crappier?

I'm thinkin' no.

Let me start by saying I am a big fan of the original April Fool's Day (1986) and so I kinda veered away from this "re-make" (or maybe more like re-imagining)...
I would have been wise to just keep on veering.
As a matter of fact, I suppose I shouldn't even be talking about this movie as I actually didn't even finish it. I was lucky that I didn't pay any money to see it (at theaters or rental) - I watched (part of) it on Instant Viewing on Netflix.

This trashbinder of a film has really no reedeming qualities whatsoever. Pure excrement.
I really thought with Scout Taylor-Compton (Rob Zombie's Halloween) as one of the stars, it might be semi-worthwhile, but I would be mistaken.
The dark haired beauty on the cover in the red dress (Taylor Cole) would be much better suited for straight out modeling. She's pretty, but...
Well, maybe she's good in other parts - if she had better scripts to work with. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

The original April Fool's was campy and quirky and totally dated mid-eighties fare, but the acting was decent and the plot (though sometimes critisized as a cop-out) was fun. If you haven't seen that one, I'd suggest adding that to your must-sees.

The 2008 version has bad - no, AWFUL - acting, no real originality to the script, worthless death scenes (at least for as long as I watched it) and really un-likeable characters. I don't know why they made this film at all.

I just thought it was my duty to warn anyone reading this not to waste an hour and a half (or even 45 minutes, like I did) putting up with this debris.

So, to sum up - this movie sucks, if you hadn't guessed that already.
Steer clear.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Recommended reading: Part 2

Another review for my friends at my favorite podcast

Review of 'Heart Sick" by Chelsea Cain..

It is a stellar first novel!

Not extreme horror, per se - but definately on that vein.
It's very grim, dark and disturbing and would be fantastic put to celluloid.


Archie Sheridan is a semi-retired Portland detective with a past history of being abducted by a female serial killer who tortures him beyond belief. Gretchen Lowell is the serial killer ("The Beauty Killer") who he has finally imprisoned - she still has a hold on him, albeit emotionally, to this day.
He tracked her for ten years leading up to his subsequent abduction and her eventual capture.

He cannot get past it. He relives the time he spent with her every day, keeping some sort of sick feelings for her deep inside. Like Stockholm Syndrome a bit. She even left her calling card for him to remember forever the events: she carved a heart onto his chest.

Archie cannot let her go and continues to visit her in jail. He is addicted to pain killers - and Gretchen, like his medicine, is a sort of crutch for him. She uses this against him in a sort of sick game. She lives for it. Archie is the only one of her victims that lived. She designed it that way.
Because he cannot let the past go, he is compelled to ask her help (a 'la Silence of the Lambs) when he returns to help the force on a current case. A serial killer is killing and dumping teenagers after soaking them in vats of bleach.

Their troubling and unsettling conversations and questionable behavior is the root of the novel. Is Archie in love with Gretchen? How can that even be possible?

Also figuring into the mix is a reporter, Susan Ward - a punk-rocker type of young woman who is covering the case and in turn, working closely with Detective Sheridan. She is determined to get her angle - to follow Archie's return to the force and his hunt again for another serial killer and how that is affecting him with his dreadful past... She is wiser than her years and naturally develops feelings for Archie, though he is unable to reciprocate due to his strange and preposterous devotion to Gretchen.
This book is wrapped in layers of mental anguish, physical destruction, shame, deceit, addictions, mystery and fine character development. I highly recommend it.

As for the movie it SHOULD become:
I'm thinking maybe Cate Blanchett, Diane Lane, Carrie Ann Moss (The Matrix), or Demi Moore (though the part may be too complex for her talents) as Gretchen.
Perhaps Viggo Mortensen (because he can do anything!), Liam Neeson, Kevin Bacon, Kurt Russell, Robert Downey Jr., or even Richard Gere (stretch your imagination) as Archie Sheridan. And as for the younger, punked out journalist Susan Ward - how about Zooey Deschanel, Rachel McAdams, Anne Hathaway, or Selma Blair.....

I can seriously see any combination of these actors in this film.... except the Diane Lane/Richard Gere thing. Too much romantic movie history - wouldn't work. I especially like the Robert Downey Jr./Cate Blanchett combo.

Oh, and by the way - I am currently reading the just released sequel: 'Sweetheart'.
I'll let you know...

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I'm not fortunate (read: wealthy) enough to have Showtime as part of my satellite service (I choose to subscribe to Netflix instead) so I was unfamiliar with the tv show "Dexter"...

So when a friend of mine told me about it - told me it was right up my alley - I looked it up on Netflix to see if I could get Season 1 - and it was right there on the 'instant viewing' list! Which means I can watch the entire first season for free because I belong to Netflix. Yee-ha!

No, this is not a plug for Netflix - though it could be, cause I'm tellin' ya - they ROCK!
yes, you should subscribe!!!

So anyway, I sat down in front of my lovely 19 inch monitor at my computer and thoroughly enjoyed the first episode.

Dexter (for those who don't know) is a crime scene analyst - a specialist in blood splatter patterns.
And there is real reason why he is such an expert at this job.

He works nights as a vigilante serial killer.

A serial killer who kills serial killers and other bad perps. People who evade justice.
People who, in other words, deserve it.

Of course no one knows he does this, as he is quite good at his job. He covers his tracks so well and is obsessively methodical, no one seems the wiser.

By day he hangs at the office, where everyone seems to just love him. He's a likable guy! He brings donuts! The upper crust but wretchedly unintelligent female dept. head is in lust with him.

His sister works there as a cop as well. She's stuck working on vice as an undercover prostitute and is just dying to get into the homicide division. She appreciates Dexter's unique insights on crime and is hoping to use his smarts to her benefit to get ahead. She, of course, has no idea he goes all Bundy in the evenings.

There only seems to be one dude (a police sargeant at his station) who is creeped out and wary of Dex. But he is unable to catch him doing anything out of the ordinary, so Dexter goes about his business of weeding out the super creeps (i.e. pedophile murderers, rapists, snuff film producers, etc...)

Dexter and his sister were adopted as young children. There are flashback scenes to his childhood - scenarios with his detective father after Dad discovers Dex's penchant for killing small animals in the neighborhood. Dad knows Dex has problems. He knows he will escalate to killing humans and so he begins to teach Dexter how to recognize the 'bad guys' and use his homicidal urgings for the greater good.

Dex even has a girlfriend. She is perfect for him. Psychologically damaged from both mental and physical abuse from her ex-husband, Rita has no interest in sex. This benefits Dexter, because he cannot wrap his brain around caring about sex enough to get around to it. He is too busy plotting, scheming, and killing people to get emotionally involved with anyone.

"Yeah, honey.... I'll be there soon, I'm just finishing something up..."

This show is extremely well written and entertaining.
You cannot help but to like Dexter.
You find yourself actually rooting for him NOT to get caught.
Played with absolute perfection by Michael C. Hall, this is one show that if you are a horror fan, you are bound to LOVE.

So if you have Netflix, give it a shot.
If not, it is also for sale on Amazon for like, 20 bucks or so.
It's worth it!