Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Lust for a Vampire (1971)

Dead Alive (a.k.a. Braindead, 1992)

The Passion of the Christ (2004)

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Aftermath (1994)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays From Fascination With Fear!!

Hope you and yours are feeling the love this Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Real Life Horror: A Rant About Xmas Shopping

Why do I do this to myself every damn year? I wait till the last minute, because life inevitably gets in the way, and then I am stuck at the godforsaken mall on the Sunday before Christmas.

I'm a relatively sane person. Most of the time. BUT... the holiday season gives me an anxious feeling in my gut starting about, oh..say, November 1st. They start pushing it down our throats at about 12:01 am and it doesn't end till the after-Christmas sales the second week of January. Black Friday should just be renamed 'the day we do not speak of' as far as I am concerned.

Thus this post, if you'll forgive me, is a peek into the horror I truly feel at dealing with the unenviable task of heading out to the mall. This, my friends, is real life horror - at its most reprehensible.

So I had a few things I desperately needed to get in order to have a Merry Christmas (well, in order for those around me to have a happy holiday - my relief was one-stop shopping at the liquor store!) and I found myself making the trek to the mall this fine afternoon. I had two goals: finish the damn shopping and make it home before the Steeler game came on at 4.
What happened from the moment I got in the car until I finally made it home (in time for kick-off, natch) is chronicled below. Bear with me.

People who take the carts out of Sears Grand ought to have their heads knocked off by those mall guards on the Segways. I do believe it says NOT to take them out of the damn store. But invariably some idiot with a couple unruly kids comes barreling down the small aisle in the literature section at Borders, one kid in the seat with his feet kicking his mom's crotch, the other standing up in the buggy section, pulling books off the shelves like cereal boxes. Why me?

And on that same note - what is up with those Segways anyway, I mean - seriously? How efficient would they be at stopping crime? I'm thinking I could probably out run any one of these yay-hoos if I had just snatched a purse or stolen a hot pretzel. What are the chances that the dude on wheels would actually catch me without running down some lady with a baby or a granny looking to buy a pair of crocs at the kiosk? They have to be the stupidest thing I've ever witnessed at the mall - and that includes all those Indian women trying to lather hand cream on my wrist. Gah!

A guy in front of me at a traffic light reached into his backseat and pulled out a flask (!) and took a swig. Um, DUI here he comes! (But you know, I was secretly thinking how warm and comforting a little swill of Jim Beam might have been as I waited for all the jagoffs in front of me to learn their colors - green means go, ass-munch!)
But I can only assume I'll see Mr. Johnny Walker alongside the road on my way home...

I witnessed an elderly woman get lost in Macy's. As I stood in line, I felt sick to my stomach as I watched her mill around near the women's sportswear, anxiously looking for...someone? She looked as old as God, with a long purple coat made of faux fur (as if there is a purple four footed beast out there in the hills of western PA somewhere), whisps of gray hair peeking out from under her black and gold (Go Steelers?) knitted cap, and a purse as large as a carry-on suitcase over her shoulder. She was wrinkly and sad, and finally took a seat beside the service desk without saying a word. I almost said something to her, but she shut her eyes so I didn't bother. Yes Grandma, we're all exhausted.

For those of you with kids, I apologize in advance.
It's certainly no secret that kids, in general, make me crazy. So when shopping, it's all I can do to avoid the toy section of every/any store in the lower 48. I just cannot tolerate looking at children's do-dads, novelties, and trinkets.
But here's the thing - many stores have surprise toy sections. As in, you'll be walking amongst the pots and pans, just looking for a 12 inch copper-bottom skillet, and wham! All of the sudden you turn the corner and are staring a display of Barbie dolls in the face. Ahhh! What the heck? Kids make me cringe, and never more than some snot-nosed little tot swinging a Barbie around by the hair whilst Mommy digs through her purse looking for that 15% off coupon.

Parents are, for the most part, less than stellar and pretty much let their kids get away with murder these days. They allow them to race through the aisles, open up the juice box or cereal they haven't even paid for, throw cheerios all over the floor, scream like wild banshees, and basically make everyone else - including myself - miserable. My mom would have given me shaken-kid syndrome if I'd have acted like that. Then she would have told me to wait till my father got home. Yikes.
Anyway, there were so many unruly children and so many tales to tell about this excursion that I don't have all day so I'll have to refrain altogether. Suffice it to say the little humans at the mall are my least favorite.
And don't even get me started about the line to meet and greet Santa Claus. That is an area to avoid at all costs.

Okay, so I know it's a cellular world and all that crap, but I did a little experiment when I went into the mall. I told myself I would try to find ten people who weren't either talking on, texting, or at least holding onto their cell phones for dear life and see how long it took me. Folks, I entered the mall at Borders and made it the whole way through the ridiculously busy crowds to the food court (a lengthy jaunt, probably a half mile at least) before I counted ten people NOT attached to their phone. This included the beast of a woman in front of me at the Hallmark store. (I did not, however, count mall employees - who if they could, I'm sure would have been on their cells chatting about how bawdy and uncontrollable the consumers were.) This woman had like, six Hallmark ornaments filling her arms as she still struggled to text someone. The line was like a football field long as it was (I'm exaggerating for effect) and she couldn't be bothered to move up in the line as it crawled forward. This irritated me so much that I almost threw down my cards and left. But I do have some heart left in my chest cavity and didn't want my elderly grandmother not to get her holiday greeting. I digress. Cell phones are everywhere. Which you already knew, as did I. But that's not what bothers me... it's how damn rude everyone is using them.

Traffic is utterly unbearable during the holidays, and today was no different. I am relatively lucky - it is a straight shot down a major highway to Pittsburgh Mills. Granted it is a boring 35 miles (!) but at least you can go 65mph. This is part of the problem though. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I get a little nervous sometimes at people's driving habits. Not to mention the ghastly cell phone use we are all aware of, but what almost bothers me more is the tendency that some drivers have to ride up close to your bumper then back off. Like, I'm already going 75 mph (whoops!) - do you really NEED to go faster? Today I had a dude in a white Durango following me like a scene from Joy Ride or Jeepers Creepers. He kept showing up in my rear view mirror, taunting me into driving faster then backing off. He nearly had me convinced that he had me mistaken for some mob hit he was assigned to. Apparently upset that I continued to go faster than him and he couldn't get around me lest he drive twenty miles over the speed limit, he kept accelerating so much that I eventually caved and let my Jeep drop to 50 mph just so the bastard would pass me. Later when I turned off to the mall, I passed his car pulling into Smokey Bones (a rib joint). Guess he just couldn't wait to have that BBQ sauce. Prick. If it had been dark I'd have been totally wigged out.

Speaking of food, I had every intention of grabbing some delicious broccoli-cheese soup at Panera Bread when I set out. It never happened. I couldn't even bring myself to stop for a soft pretzel, I was so anxious to get out of there. It took everything I had just to get back to my car. I spoke with my husband and my friend Kristy (who talked me down from the ledge I'd climbed onto, so thanks for that, K) and drove away. Not before sitting in my car an extra three minutes just to piss off the lady in the Beemer behind me waiting impatiently for my parking space. Hey, I had to get a dig in somewhere!

I ended up scarfing down a steak taco at Taco Bell once I got closer to home and had calmed down. Best damn taco ever, I'm telling you.
But if that's not scary, I don't know what is.

Christmas Bloody Christmas

Happy Holidays, gore hounds!


Don't Open Till Christmas

Tales from the Crypt: And All Through The House

Silent Night Deadly Night 2

Jack Frost

Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Killer Mutant Snowman

Silent Night Bloody Night

To All A Goodnight

Silent Night Zombie Night

Don't Open Till Christmas

Silent Night Bloody Night

Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas (2006)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Possession of David O'Reilly: The Film Paranormal Activity Wanted To Be

Written and directed by Andrew Cull, The Possession of David O'Reilly (aptly named The Torment in Britain), is a film I'd been waiting to see for quite awhile, hearing good things about it and wishing it up my Netflix queue anxiously.

After viewing it, I have come to believe this film is what Paranormal Activity only wishes it could be. While I sat waiting.............for something to happen in PA (that's Paranormal Activity, not my home state of Pennsylvania), David O'Reilly starts off strong and continues that way till the end.
Though it is hard to categorize, I will say that. With the title, one would obviously think it is a story of demonic possession, and maybe that's exactly what it is.

However, it has so many differing elements to it that it's hard to lump it in with possession exclusively. Part ghost story, part psychological thriller, part drama...oh, it's all in there.

When the film starts we meet Alex and Kate, a good looking (not that it matters but let's just put it out there) British couple about to embark on an evening of take out and a movie at their London flat. As the movie's credits roll, Alex speaks to Kate and when she answers she says "Don't answer it"several times. Upon further scrutiny, Alex realizes Kate is sleeping, and he wakes her. Thinking she was just talking in her sleep, he pokes fun at her warning him not to open 'whatever' when a knock comes on the door. Weirded out considerably, Alex still apprehensively goes to the door. After a few moments consideration, he peeks out the door and sees his friend David there.

David, in a state of disarray and a combo of confusion and sadness, asks to come inside. Visibly shaken, he explains to Alex that he has caught his girlfriend Sara cheating on him and needs a place to stay - to which the couple at once agree to. Kate heads up to bed to let the two guys have a chat, in which David explains he found pictures of Sara naked, and he didn't take them. He's in such a state that Alex becomes concerned and tells him to make himself comfortable and go ahead and get some sleep. After awhile Alex himself heads up to bed, leaving David alone downstairs.

It becomes rapidly evident that David is one strange individual, but possibly not by his own hand. Something is going on. He anxiously watches his reflection in the bathroom mirror, is frightened to look outside the curtain, thinks he hears voices that aren't there (or are they?), and talks nervously to himself.

What we are thinking, as an audience, is that David has downright flipped his lid. The acting is so believable, so profoundly effective - that you actually have yourself thinking perhaps he has slipped into a state of paranoia. Or maybe he's showing signs of schizophrenia - he seems about the right age for it to surface, right? You begin to feel so badly for him, as he wanders around the apartment - a sweating, restless mess - that when he looks out the window and sees something walking in the back yard it quite literally scares the pants off of you. You're suddenly thinking, "did I just see that?!" Not unlike the moment in Signs where the alien walks by, you're at the edge of your seat and/or hitting the rewind on your remote. But you needn't worry, there's more where that came from.
When David gets out the salt and pours a line of salt across the doorway, there's no doubt he believes there is a demonic presence following him. He's apparently done some research, which would lead one to believe this has been going on for awhile. But even then we're still thinking 'Riiiiiiiight!"

Stranger yet is the moment when a young woman comes to the door early in the morning before Alex and Kate are up. When David answers the door the woman, very pregnant, tells him she can't actually remember why she came to the door. She doesn't recall what brought her there, but she introduces herself regardless. When David tells Alex about her later, we are baffled to hear that Alex was unaware they were finished with renovations on the top floor apartment. In other words, he didn't know there was anyone living there. Questions simply have to be raised on that subject, and they are.

Though David makes it through the first night, the suspense that builds - not entirely slowly - will have anyone a bit anxious. In the morning Alex and Kate are quizzing David about his night, whether he slept alright - and you have to wonder how on earth they slept through all the ruckus he made racing aimlessly around the apartment throughout the night. Soon David is telling Alex the whole story... that he has been seeing things, hearing things, and is desperately afraid of something.... something he can only see out of the corner of his eye, something that he can only see in the dark...something that is trying to harm him.

While David is relaying his various woes to Alex, Kate has found a notebook of David's and it's stocked full of strange journal entries and bizarre drawings - creatures that look like demons, for one. Seems something has been going on for quite some time, and there is a lot more to David's issues than meets the eye.

As we sit and listen to David, we are in the same boat as Alex. He feels so horrible for his friend, and the more he hears the more he has to assume they need to get David some serious psychological help. But when they fare much worse the second night, when Alex discovers he isn't exactly sure what he may have seen in the darkness as well, and it scares Kate. Truth be told it scares us too, because now we're not sure what we've seen either. Is there something there? One very tense moment comes when Kate wakes up to find David staring down at her and Alex, but then we see he's looking past them.
When Kate and Alex are trying to comfort David as he looks beyond them into the room, we see what he is seeing. Some sort of winged, possibly horned, dark creatures. But did we actually see that? Did they? Is it really there?

It's a serious mind-fuck of a film, actually. But it has the potential to be very frightening if you just go with it and don't think too hard about it. On one hand, it seems like a tale of a young man standing on the precipice of madness. But the other hand is feeding us some serious, demon-infested thoughts. When David is stuck in a room with the pregnant girl from upstairs, some ghastly secrets are unveiled and the film starts morphing into the supernatural realm. Hard to understand sometimes but that segment of the film is so telling - and so unnerving - that it's hard to shove it aside as coincidental.

Perhaps you can see where I'm going with this. Maybe you think you can figure out the ending. But I'm here to tell you that while not a surprise, the ending is still rather stunning. My only hope is that they are not setting it up for a sequel. It really wouldn't be plausible, but that's never stopped anyone before, has it?

All in all, this film is a far cry from the Paranormal Activities of the world. It's a movie that should be able to find a home at the very least with the dissatisfied Paranormal moviegoers. Personally, it was so much more interesting than that "other" demon possession film - much more believable, and with SO much more going on.
Best of all, I didn't need a Dramamine!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Bloody Sunday: Celebrating a Year of Carnage

This post will mark the 52nd Sunday Bloody Sunday! When I posted the very first SBS all those weeks ago, I really had no idea I was going to make it a regular feature - but then I kept running across great shots of gore here and there and voilà!, here we sit a year later.

SBS always seems to get the most comments, so I can only assume there are a whole lot of others out there equally as demented and macabre as myself. I thought about making this the last one, but seeing as how there will always be bloody good (or bad!) films out there, I'll keep bringing on the hemoglobin.

Therefore, in celebration of the red stuff, I've chosen 20 of my favorite shots from the last year.
So as Frank (above, Hellbound, Hellraiser 2) raises his glass, you should too! Here's to another year! Cheers!

The Shining

True Blood


Voices (a.k.a. Someone Behind You)


Ichi the Killer

I Spit on Your Grave (a.k.a. Day of the Woman)

The House by the Cemetery

Hostel 2


The Devil's Rejects

The Descent

Profondo Rosso (Deep Red)

Dead Snow

Day of the Dead



Blood Feast


28 Weeks Later