Monday, July 28, 2008

Ladies have skeletons too!

Ahh... Demi Moore.

Men love her, women want to be her.
My hubby wants her to talk dirty to him just so he can hear her husky, sexy voice.

The perpetually young-looking former Mrs. Bruce Willis and the current Mrs. Ashton Kutcher has been more about tabloids than movies as of late, and let's face it - if you were lucky enough to marry someone 15 years your junior, you'd want to brag too!

But you know, she started out in horror as well.
In the 1982 shit-fest "Parasite".

Parasite (1982)

Now Demi has gone on to make alot of memorable (in one way or another) films (Ghost, Striptease, Indecent Proposal -to name a few)... but she has also done a fair amount of work in the genre.
I can't really count her as one of my favorite actresses or anything (though I do have a soft spot in my heart for the old 80's standby 'St Elmo's Fire'!) but I did enjoy more than a few of the following flicks:

Disclosure (1994) - perfect casting, actually - in both roles.

Ghost (1990) - her best, no doubt.

Half Light (2006) - liked this alot, actually, and it has a great music score.

Mortal Thoughts (1991) - Can barely remember this...?

The Scarlet Letter (1995) - E-gads this was baaaddd.

The Seventh Sign (1988) - another piece of crap

Mr. Brooks (2007) - not bad if you can tolerate Kevin Costner.

In closing,
I just can't see her on stage at the Academy Awards anytime soon.
Let's just leave it at that.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Kevin's Skeleton

Kevin Bacon has such a prolific movie career that there is literally a trivia game
( Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon ) named after him.

In 1980, he starred in the first film of one of the genre's biggest franchises - Friday the 13th.

Here he is getting the old arrow through the neck - love that scene.

It has been said that Kevin won't talk about or own up to one of his very first actual starring roles - that he is ashamed of the movie.
Well honey, seems to me you've continued to make tons of other films that slide right into the genre in one way or another.
He's played serial killers (more than once), a vengeful dad, a pedophile, a molesting boy's school guard, a nut-job scientist, and more than a few outright criminals, among other roles.

I, for one, am a big fan and always look forward to his 'every-guy' character acting.

Some of his more prominent genre roles include:

Death Sentence (2007)

Mystic River (2003)

Flatliners (1990)

Hollow Man (2000)

Murder in the First (1995)

The River Wild (1994)

Sleepers (1996)

Stir of Echoes (1999)

The Woodsman (2004)

Trapped (2002)

Wild Things (1998)

and last but not least, the crap-tastic:

Tremors (1990)

Looking forward to much more from this great actor in the future.
And in the meantime, Kevin, try not to forget where you came from.

(that's gonna leave a mark......)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Skeletons in the closet

For my own personal amusement, I have decided to post a series of photos of people who got their start in my favorite genre. Whether or not they own up to it, history (and photos and film) do not lie. Face it, many of our favorite and most popular stars got their start in horror movies.

The first example is of course, Johnny Depp. Anyone who knows me knows he is my favorite actor, no question.

And the movie? A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Playing Glen, the main character (Nancy)'s boyfriend in 1984, he had the misfortune of dying one of the most unusual deaths in horror. Death by bed-suck.

Good ole' Freddy found Glen in his dreams and sucked him into his bed, along with his tv and other odds and ends. A volcano of blood then erupted and splashed all over the entire room. Quite unique, even for a horror movie.

Look how young and downright cute he was...
(still ain't too shabby, to say the least)

Johnny had a cameo in 'Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare' - shows he's not afraid to fess up to his roots.
Unlike alot of stars, Johnny has never tried to hide from his 'horror-ble' beginnings.

In fact, he has thrived on dark, brooding, and sometimes even malicious characters.

Examples would include:

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Sleepy Hollow (1998)

The Astronaut's Wife (1999)

The Ninth Gate (1999)

From Hell (2000)

Pirates of the Caribbean (2003-2007)

Secret Window (2004)

Sweeney Todd (2007)

Here's hoping he doesn't lose his feel for the genre anytime soon.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I just found a cool site I have to share:

O.T.I.S. aka Odd Things I've Seen.

I wish I could say I know the 'author' of this site but he has chosen not to include his name, stating that his 'name, as well as his life, is unimportant'...

It's basically a blog and good photos about a bunch of strange, unusual, famous and infamous places in the world.
Such as The Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts (home of 'Session 9' fame)....
The Great Pyramid in Egypt, The Lizzie Borden House, The Exorcist stairs, etc...

Whoever he is, he is a good writer - and he's went alot of places I am quite interested in , as well as a few I've already been to - such as the House of Seven Gables in Salem, Mass. (as seen below)...

photo: O.T.I.S.

It is also obvious the blogger is well-read, as he has pictures and text of many visits to famous literary heroes homes, birthplaces, and honorary statues.

I've had fun reading it - hope you do too.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Master's Abode

My cousin Jackie recently moved to Maine and on a day trip up to Bangor she took this photo for me because she knows how much I adore and admire Stephen King.

This is one of his two homes in Maine (I believe his winter home is in Florida) - he's had it a long time because I remember seeing a black & white photo of it back in say perhaps... 'The Shining' days. I think it is his primary residence. He used to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters years ago but then it got too... overcrowded... as you can well imagine.

Front gate - how cool is that?
I do believe he commissioned an iron-worker to craft the entire fence around his home.

Just thought I'd share...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

ShuDDer with fear?

Well I cannot say this is the scariest film I have ever seen, by a long stretch.
But I can say I didn't hate it as much as all the reviews I have read, pretty much everywhere.

Shutter is a 2008 remake of a 2004 Thai horror film. This American version stars Joshua Jackson of Dawson's Creek fame and Australian actress Rachael Taylor (who completely ditches the accent)...
The film opens at their wedding reception where it is quickly noted that they are leaving pretty much immediately for a working honeymoon in Tokyo, where Ben (Jackson) has landed a fairly lucrative photography deal and Jane (Taylor) is basically along for the ride.

Once in Japan, they are driving on a dark road in route to the cabin they are staying in temporarily until they get to Tokyo. With Jane driving, they suddenly hit something in the middle of the road. Jane sees a young woman - Ben sees nothing. They also wreck the car but are not injured. Going back to the road to look for the woman, they are unable to find her - leading Ben (and the police) to think they hit an animal.

Unsettled, Jane has a rough time adjusting to her new life in Tokyo. They hunker down in their new loft apartment and Jane wanders the city streets while Ben works photo shoots with some lovely ladies (flirt flirt).
Jane soon is frightened several times by visions of what she thinks is the young woman they hit on the road. Ben, in turn, has several very expensive photos he has taken be ruined by some unusual streaky lights on the photos. He starts to get nervous....

Jane takes the freak show on the road, asking around and finding an underground magazine that specializes in 'ghost photograpy'. At first she thinks the photos are fakes, but the editor then shows her a room of what he says are the real thing.

Meanwhile, Ben is also affected by strange apparitions and more messed up photos. He finally realizes the 'ghost' they are seeing is someone that he knew. It is, in fact, a woman he had a relationship with in the past but he dumped her due to her turning into a stalker-nut job. Megumi (his fling) is apparently dead. They go to her apartment and find her near-mummified body. They have her cremated and buried. They flee Tokyo and head back to New York.  But as in all typical horror movies, Megumi just isn't finished ... (of course).

Like most other remakes of Japanese (or in this case Thai) horror movies, there is a dark haired creepy ghost-girl. Nothing new to report there. However, I was pretty fascinated by the whole ghost photography thing. I watched some of the extras on the DVD, telling the history of ghost photographs, and also the history of Japanese ghosts.

Yurei, basically meaning 'ghost' in Japanese, are a long-standing part of Japanese culture and history. In the movies 'The Ring' and in particular 'The Grudge', we learned that if someone is killed in a violent or shocking manner, the dead are presumed to turn into Yurei - to avenge their death. They hold a grudge (!) and are not settled until their souls are satisfied and content.
Not an easy task, if you have noticed.

In any event, I actually enjoyed 'Shutter' and thought the acting was pretty fair. I don't really know why it was so universally panned. It did make over $43 million at the box office, so someone went to see it.
I have a hard time finding things wrong with horror movies and I guess this is no different. Or maybe it's just cause I was a Pacey fan from way back!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Films to die for... or so they say.

Two films I recently got from Netflix are two of the 'After Dark HorrorFest' series - where each year there are "8 Films to Die For" and they are supposed to be "too graphic, too disturbing, and too shocking for general audiences". Ok, right. I'll be the judge of that.

First I saw Borderland.

I didn't know any of the actors except Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, in a complete character turn-around from that role) and Rider Strong (Cabin Fever).

After an initial gory sequence to set up who the bad guys are, it starts out like most typical movies of this kind. Some college-age guys are looking to score and have some fun so they take off to the Borderland - the area where Texas and Mexico meet, notorious for drugs and other illegal activities.

They (almost too quickly) find some women, eat some magic mushrooms, smoke some weed and drink some drinks. They head off to a local carnival so the rides can make them sick. (that doesn't happen but it should have!)
Then one of the dudes decides to go home alone and for some reason takes a ride offered by one of the said bad guys (who, in their right - or even messed up- mind, would do this?) They take him to a farm of some sort and proceed to hang him upside down like a butchered hog. It's obvious he's going to be someone's hobby.

The other dudes eventually start looking for their friend when he never comes back to the hotel and eventually contact police who are not at all helpful and in fact seem petrified of the men they assume have abducted this young man.

These criminals are involved in a Satanic cult, are drug lords, and have taken to kidnapping tourists and apparently sacrificing them in the name of Satan.

The pursuit to find their friend is basically the rest of the movie, which almost turns into a 'shoot-em-up' type of film before it is all said and done. There is a moderate amount of gore but no real sense of reason or continuity throughout.

Sean Astin really does shock here as a sadistic thug. It's hard to see Samwise be so cruel!

Borderland is supposedly based on actual events, and the dvd extras delve into that story if you care to watch them. I do remember the Matamoros story- it broke when a 21 y/o American tourist disappeared there in 1989 and was later to be found murdered by this cult. Supposedly tons of bodies were discovered in shallow graves around the property. Nice.

In any event, the movie had its moments. I wouldn't say it's purchase-worthy or even a 'must-see', but it passed the time sufficiently.

The same cannot be said for Crazy Eights.

Actually, it isn't really that bad. It is more confusing than anything - and me explaining it here won't be easy.

So, here we have a group of six thirty-somethings who have come back to their small hometown to attend the funeral of a close childhood friend. The cast is really quite impressive, with some regulars of the genre (Dina Meyer of the 'Saw' series, Traci Lords of porn star fame as well as several low budget horror outings, Frank Whaley (from 'Vacancy' and 'Pulp Fiction') as well as George Newbern (Brian from 'Father of the Bride'), and Gabrielle Anwar (Scent of a Woman)...

Anyway, of course the friend has a letter for them, detailing that they are to find a time capsule they made years ago, hidden in a certain trunk, located in a deserted barn nearby. They all seem to have trouble remembering this event. Though they all admit to having been plagued with bad dreams and odd recollections throughout their lives.

However- they do, in fact, find this trunk, but when they haul it out of the barn and open it, besides the dolly and the slingshot, a small skeleton of a child is inside. One guy, Brent (Whaley) decides he's outta there, and the rest have to follow 'cause he has the keys. They try to leave but the road keeps going in circles, and they drive past the same decrepit old plantation-type house over and over. Brent thinks he sees a little girl in the yard, so he decides they should all go ask her if she knows how to reach the main road.

Of course they then cannot find the girl.

The investigate the house, after splitting into two groups. One of the men, Wayne (Dan DeLuca) gets injured, breaking his leg after falling down some cellar steps... (not much for being careful I guess) ... They drag him further into the basement (which surprisingly still has electric. Go figure) and try to splint it.

Once inside they all become overwhelmed by the house and memories that overcome them that they cannot explain. They find pictures of themselves as little children on the walls, and come to realize they must have been orphans who grew up together there at that very house.

But something very bad is lurking there as well. I don't want to give everything away, but suffice it to say - there is a reason they have all been 'summoned' back here. One by one, they must face their fears and their ultimate destiny.

I actually thought the premise and the beginning of the movie seemed pretty good, but as time went on and they were trying to tie things together and wrap things up, it just got more and more convoluted for me. By the end I was saying: WTF?

There are a few truly creepy scenes, which almost made it worth it, and the actors did the best with the material they had.....I guarantee if they had casted nobodies, this would have been unwatchable.

In the end, this kinda falls rather flat for me.

And I had heard this was one of the best of the '8 films to die for'.... well it isn't making me slit my throat any time soon. Oy.