Friday, December 21, 2007

Analyzing Star Wars: Darth Vader

When you think about a character like Darth Vader, what do you think about? Do you picture the mechanized face of ultimate evil within a galaxy far, far away? Do you see, in your mind, perhaps the ultimate badass?

I wouldn't be surprised if you do. I mean, Darth Vader might have been one of the toughest, meanest, and cold hearted bastards ever committed to film.

Well, in one film anyways.

Darth Vader was introduced in 1977 as the ultimate villain in Star Wars. Since then, there were 5 more films and each sought to weaken him. In The Empire Strikes Back he gets down on his knee and says

"What is thy bidding, my master?"
This is an act of complete submission. Not only is he not as powerful as his Master, the Emperor, he admits and accepts it!

Then, in Return of the Jedi, we see Vader completely preoccupied with his son. Not only that, but we see what's behind the mask, a frail old man!

From there, Lucas decides to make him even less evil by redeeming him! Allowing Vader to destroy the emperor and save his son. In the course of three films Darth Vader goes from being the most evil creature in the galaxy to being just another misunderstood man who only needed the love of his son. What a bunch of crap!

Then, we sit through three more movies showing us how Vader became Vader. And, if there's one thing that will always destroy an illusion, it's to show how the illusion was created. The night isn't scary when you know the sun will come back up in the morning, and the wizard isn't as imposing when you pull back the curtain. We all know this. So, Vader becomes Anakin. And, Anakin is just a confused young man who was unable to control himself. He made some bad choices. He doesn't deserve our derision, he shouldn't be feared because he's different.He's Frankenstein's monster, and he just wants to be loved.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monster Movie Poster Mondays

We pause here, yet again on Monday, to look at the kind of posters that no one bothers to make anymore. A shame, really. I mean, these posters are great pieces of art! Compare this weeks poster for Destroy All Monsters from 1968 to...well, any current poster.

What would you rather have, not necessarily on your wall, but on the wall at the old cineplex? This draws your eye to it. This stands out. Admittedly, I should have chosen a different one since I'm in New York this week. I could have taken the American Godzilla poster, but it's a pretty boring poster, isn't it?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Let's ask Google

Did you know that I'm currently inching my way towards 400 posts? What began nearly two years ago as a humble project to stave off boredom has become...a humble project to stave off boredom, BUT a project that people actually kind of read.

People tend to end up here via one of 2 ways, most often. Either by coming here from Final Girl ((I love the film club) and I thank all of you for that) or via Google. So, I thought I might try to stumble down that path that we all eventually succumb to (usually in lieu of something good to talk about) to take a look at some of the Google searches that have brought people to my humble site.

7 dollar popcorn

Thank you. Yes, someone actually came here because they may have actually wanted to.

we should have got the 1 dollar popcorn

I agree. However, we're nearly 7 times better.

what happened to mila?

I've been trying to figure that out myself. She used to be a halfway decent actress. She's made some bad choices as of late though.

mermaid vs werewolf

I'm telling you, someone should make that movie. I'd see it.

movies with chalk of destiny in it

The only one I can think of is Day Watch. It's good stuff. Check it out.

how to back-up movie flight of living dead dvd ?

According to the MPAA, you are more than welcome to buy a second copy to enjoy should you have a problem with your original.

gary oldman switch phones

Why? Is there a problem with the one he has now? Are you trying to sell him an iPhone?

very polite guy gary oldman

He sure is. He doesn't even mind if you try to sell him an iPhone.

le singe est sur la branche

I swear to you, people get here that way. Yes, the monkey is on the branch. I get it.

palpatine was scared but luke was

Luke was what? Luke was a fucking Jedi. That's why Palpatine was scared!

why doesn't vader know about luke and leia

No one told him. He wasn't exactly invited to the shower you know.

is luke stronger than vader

Yes. Vader is a pussy.

does vader hate emperor

Yes. Vader is actually very emo.

kate beckinsale talks about wearing latex in underworld

Really? I may have to try that google search myself...

secure house against velociraptors

Install round doorknobs. They can figure out the handles.

amelia heinle looks like denise richards

Doesn't she? It's kind of creepy.

what if they don't think you kiss good

It's probably because you spend too much time searching Google for things like this.

That felt good. Cathartic. I think we really helped some people today. And remember kids, if you have any questions YOU'D like to see answered here someday, just search google and end up here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Machine Girl

Ok, I know everyone else posted about this earlier in the week (I would have as well if I hadn't had other things I wanted to post. Damn me for planning ahead!), so, I'm sure it's old news to you by now. For those of you who haven't seen it yet...enjoy!

Yakuza, Ninjas, Human Tempura, Finger Sushi, Flying Guillotine, and the Drill Bra! It just looks brilliantly bizarre.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Great Movie Gadgets Part 1: Octopus 2: River of Fear

I have a feeling that I could mine Octopus 2: River of Fear for blogging gold for DAYS. I won't subject you to such an awful fate. However, I do want to take the opportunity to demonstrate how not to create props for your movie.

Here we see our intrepid heroes, Nick and Rachel, analyzing some octo-goo on a, presumably, generic cotton swab with they're amazing Octo-Finder 2000 from RonCo.

The Octo-Matic 8000

Let's look at two things here, as highlighted below.

In the red square, you see that the Oct-O-Mizer 4000 is using regular film canisters as it's analization ports. Put the goo in the film container, and the chemical composition is displayed on the screen, highlighted in blue. So, lets take a closer look at our analysis output.

Well, according to the goo, it's June 27th. That's right the Oct-B-Gone 9000's display screen is nothing more than a digital calendar! A calender that they show to you as our inexplicable heroes read off the supposed chemical composition of the octo-goo.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

That was Mark Heap? From Spaced? Really?

I was really, really looking forward to seeing Stardust. I'm sure I've mentioned, in the past, being a huge fan of Neil Gaiman's work. I have all of his novels. I've even read them! I have 3 DIFFERENT copies of Stardust. Hell, I actually even have 3 Sandman tattoos. So, it's not an understatement to say that I have enjoyed his stories.

Which, of course, makes it difficult to watch a film adaptation without comparing it to the source material. It's the same as watching a remake of a beloved film. You don't really want to fault it for not being the original, but it's not the same story.

In the case of Stardust, the changes don't hurt the story too much. There are a few things that I really wish had been left in from the book though. For example, when the star falls to Earth, or more specifically, Stormhold, we are told immediately that the star is a person.
In this case, Claire Danes, or Yvaine. In the book, it's a mystery, for at least a few pages, that this is the case. And, from what I can recall, when Tristan finds her, we (as the readers) do not know what she is. We learn with him. This would not have been a bad change if not for the scene following her fall to Earth and preceding Tristan's discovery. In this scene, we see Michelle Pfiefer as a witch who wants the star in order to remain young. And, she eats a part of the heart of the last star that fell to Earth.

It's a subtle difference, really. I think, though, that it makes a difference in how you view the characters. This shows you, right away, that the witches are horrible. There is no question about it. It's like letting you know that a stop sign is red by hitting you in the face with it though. Had a little mystery existed as to the nature of the star, we could have learned that the witches were evil a little slower, and then let it build and develop over the course of the story. Unfortunately, director Matthew Vaughn decided to go a bit over the top with it. It's fine, and it works, it just could have worked better.

Then there was Captain Shakespeare, as played by Roberto De Niro. The EFFEMINATE Captain Shakespeare. This is a character that is largely not in the book. There is a somewhat similar character, in that he also has a flying ship, but Capt Shakespeare is new. And a bit odd. I could never tell if it was really funny or really disturbing to watch him prance around in a dress, give Tristan a makeover, and try to hide it all from his crew. It was decidedly strange, however.

The other big difference is the ending, which I won't go into to much detail about. It's not that the ending is changed, it's that the events leading to it have. I understand that the decision was made in order to make the ending more cinematic, but it's still kind of sad. If only because I love the ending from the book. Not every movie needs a climactic battle at the end.

Despite some minor changes though, it stays very true to the story. It has the same sort of feel as the novel did. And that's the hard thing to capture in any adaptation. The casting was spot on, and having Ian McKellan to narrate the story was a great choice. 8 bolts of lightning in a tube out of 10.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monster Movie Poster Mondays

Monster Movie Poster Mondays has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? It's a good way to start off the week I think.

This weeks poster is Godzilla vs The Thing.

This would be Godzilla's 4th movie and would be the first collaboration with Mothra. A partnership that would benefit both through at least 10 movies. The poster itself is somewhat reminiscent of the poster for The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. Though, really, monster movie posters of the time tended to follow a somewhat similar formula.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

In response to The Rec Show

Ray, over at The Rec Show posted about why he hates the Speed Racer trailer. I decided to write a response to him in the comments there, and then I decided that I would post it here as well.

You know, when I was a kid, I absolutely LOVED the Popeye movie. I haven't seen it in years, and maybe I wouldn't like it now, that's certainly possible. But, as a young dreamrot, I adored it. Any time we could, my brother and I would watch that movie. And, while I don't know that I've seen the live action Flintstones and I certainly have no interest in Transformers, I know I'm not the intended audience. You said it yourself "so that no reasonably intelligent adult could stomach it". That's the point. These movies aren't intended to be viewed primarily by adults. They're intended for children. And I know plenty of kids who liked The Flintstones, Transformers, and one that you left off the list here, Scooby-Doo.

"Kids are not stupid, and especially not today. They are savvier and more technologically-competent than any other generation before them. They know live action when they see it, and expect the same real-world physics and logic to apply to live action when they watch it; however, their minds relax those standards when watching a cartoon."

This may be true, but it's not about real world physics. Movies have always defied the rules of the real world. Whether it's the Original Trilogy, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, horror movies, action movies, anything. The rules of the real world don't apply. Movies are not about reality. Movies are entirely about suspension of disbelief. It's escapism. Why a movie like Star Wars or The Matrix works is that it brings you into it's own reality where it's own laws matter. You escape your own life where a car accident is fatal and enter a world where young men can move objects with their mind so long as they receive instruction from little green men.

For Speed Racer to be successful, the Wachowskis must make us believe in this world of theirs. A world where these sort of crazy physics are possible. They did that with The Matrix. For all of the flaws, they're story related. No one complains that the action was too unrealistic. They succeeded in creating a world in which the viewer buys into that reality. THAT is successful movie making.

The key is going to be making an enjoyable movie. If they can do that, they'll win this battle. If the movie is engaging and entertaining, you will be able to forget that you're watching something that could never happen and get sucked into a story that takes you out of your boring life and into a world where the impossible happens.

Think about your favorite movie, then ask yourself "Could this really happen?" No, most often it could not. But remember the next time you watch it that for two hours, you're willing to accept a world in which it can.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Movie Trailers Rule!

So, here we are on a quiet Friday morning. Snow has been falling here. It's raining in LA from what I was told when I got a phone call at 8am. And the blogophone is lighting up with the release of the Speed Racer trailer. So, I'm going to go ahead and jump onto that band wagon as well.

I used to watch the cartoon with my brother, back in the early nineties when MTV was showing it. Admittedly, it looks very slick and cgi-oriented, but when you're trying to do something as crazy as a live action anime adaptation, I find that the more bizarre you make it, the better it works.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Monster Movie Poster Madness

A while back, I ended up with a bunch of graphics on my computer for different Godzilla movies. And, I keep stumbling across them whenever I forget what's in that folder. Now, at this point, I don't remember where they came from or why I have them. My guess is that aliens put them there. It's only a guess though.

So, I've decided that I will share them with you. Over the course of however long it takes, or until I get bored with it, I will post some of my favorite Godzilla posters. I may even find myself some other Monster Movie Posters if I enjoy this.

So, without further ado, here is our first Monster Movie Poster. Let the Madness begin.

Why this one? Well, Megalon is a badass. I mean, he has drills for hands! What's more badass than that? Chainsaws? That's the level of badassery that you're dealing with.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Face the thing that should not be

Let's talk octopi. What do we know about them? Well, they have eight legs, they squirt ink when scared, they are thrown onto the ice at Red Wings hockey games, and (if I recall correctly from my meat eating days) are kind of bland and chewy, kind of like the EasyMac that I'm having for lunch today.

None of these topics, however, are addressed in Octopus 2: River of Fear. Why would they be? None of them make for an entertaining movie. What does make for an entertaining movie is a combination of every cop cliche you can think of and then a healthy dose of massive cephalopod. It's like a recipe for an entertaining movie. Take 1 part buddy mystery, 1 part giant monster, and a pinch of love interest and you have yourself a movie.

The truth of the matter is that Octopus 2 reminded me a LOT of Shark Attack 3. In a good way. The big difference being that Shark Attack 3 was a bit wittier and made some attempt to explain the presence of the prehistoric beast. Octopus 2 makes no effort to explain anything. The presence of Chthulu is simply a given. He exists. That all there is to it. There is little effort put into explaining the why of the situation. Hell, there's not much effort put into much of the problem. In fact, at one point, our heroic police officer, and his contractually obligated love interest, the mayor's aide, resort to using perhaps the most mind boggling device to locate the octopus' electronic calendar with a couple of film cannisters attached to it. What's amazing about this is that is it so clearly a calender.

This is not the movie you're going to want to watch for the writing...or the effects...or the actors. No. In fact, I'm not sure WHY you would want to watch this, I'm only sure that you do. One of my friends told me that this is one of the 'five worst movies' she'd ever seen. I disagreed, arguing that she should probably watch more movies with me. However, it cannot be argued that this is a good movie. No, not by any means. What it is, is a movie with a giant monster attacking New York for no reason. And, to be honest, I'm okay with that. 6 massive tentacles ripping through the hull of your facility...however that works...out of 10.

Monday, December 03, 2007

FGFC: A day late and a dollar short...well, almost

It seems like just yesterday that we gathered here to discuss the last Film Club entry; Eyes of a Stranger. What's that you say? It seems that way because I've barely posted since then? Hmm...touché. Fair enough. My week of posting everyday followed by my subsequent time away can be explained. You see, my dog ate it. I was abducted by aliens? Still not buying it? Ok, fine. I travel a lot for work and haven't had time. That's the truth of the matter. Well, mostly. I did go to Georgia for Thanksgiving just because I wanted to. Ah, but the traveling wears on the body and I returned to find myself exhausted and then sick.

Yes, sick. So sick that I did not have a chance to watch The Hand over the weekend like I'd planned. What's that? If I were sick all weekend wouldn't watching The Hand have been the perfect choice since I was lying on my couch the whole time anyway? Sure, had I remembered some time prior to 11pm Sunday night. And besides, I had done so many shots of the Quil over the weekend that it probably wouldn't have been worth it.

My plan had then become to watch and review The Hand after work. My body had a different plan though. I felt like hell when I woke up and stayed home from work. A shame, I know. So, I find myself here, Monday afternoon, still sick but not in a Quil induced daze. Therefore it is NOW that I've decided to watch the movie while drinking some tea and chowing on some soup.

Michael Caine plays John Lansdale, a comic artist. His wife kinda maybe wants to leave him to go to New York. And during a heated discussion in their car, he loses his hand in a freak accident. As his hand was not found at the time, it could not be reattached, meaning that from here on out, all of his friends would refer to him as Stumpy, Ole One Hand and John Missing Hand-dale behind his back. This is, naturally, never mentioned on screen.

Losing his hand forces John to re-access his career options. And by re-access I mean he got shit canned. These things happen. I mean no one is going to hire a comic artist who can't draw, right? Wrong-o, buddy. A college in California that may or may not be cooking the books certainly will. So, off to California John goes leaving his wife and child behind.

It was at this point that maintenance paid me a visit. One of my wall outlets got broke due to the wind last night (long boring story) so I had to turn the movie off for a while. We resume the action in California where John's wife has decided that having some time apart might be nice. As a result, John manages to cheat on his wife with one of his students and fine an obscene drawing. The kind he used to draw with his right hand (dun dun dun) only, you know, more obscene.

Stumpy thinks he's blacking out and doing the drawings. Meanwhile, the girls he's shacking up with is going to LA with another instructor for xmas. This of course makes John SUPER happy. Like, totally. So totally happy that he goes and gets drunk and stays in a motel rather than going home where she is supposed to be meeting him. Anyways, it's all okay because John's wife has been sleeping with another man. So that justifies everything, right? Of course.

Of course, none of this explains the titular hand. Somehow it's either on the loose, killing people and drawing obscenities or it's all in John's head and he's blacking out and drawing obscenities himself. Oliver Stone (yes THAT Oliver Stone) does a good job of implying that the titular hand could be a being on it's own, or it could be a product of John's subconscious. It's the ambiguity that really sells the story. Does the hand have a will of it's own? Does John control the hand? Is John acting out these murderous impulses himself while his mind believes it's a separate entity doing it? These are the mysteries we are left with.

Which, I think is a good thing. Think about it, had it been confirmed that the titular hand had a will of it's own, there would need to be some sort of reason for it. The big 'HOW?'. Now, had they shown that it's certainly all in his mind, you'd feel cheated. Kind of like the ending of High Tension. It's cheating. It's like saying it's all a dream. However, by leaving it as an unanswered question, it's up to the viewer to decide how to approach it. It's really the only way to legitimately end the movie without pissing people off.

If I were to, someday, hypothetically, rank Michael Caine's performances, I imagine that this would be up near the top with Jaws: The Revenge (I know, I'm the only person you know who liked it. Whatever). And speaking of ranking, I'm going to count to 8 out of 10 healthy fingers on BOTH of my healthy hands.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Einstein at the movies: Dragon Wars

I asked myself just now, "Self...what could possibly be better than deleting everything on my mp3 player so that I can refill it with all new (and some of the same) stuff? Huh? Tell me! Tell me now!"

"Well, me...that's an easy one. Dragon Wars."

"Hell yeah!"

That's right. Dragon Wars doesn't just get a 'Hell yeah!', it goes out and fucking earns it.

We should explain a few things. Wait? Did I say 'we'?

Are we using the pluralis majestatis again? No.

Am I talking about me and myself? No, not this time.

So, what's this 'we' shit then? That implies more than one. Who else is there?

And, Al, so long as you play nice, you're welcome to stay. So, Al, what is it worth knowing before seeing Dragon Wars?

That's right. It's always nice to know that you're paying attention.

Ok, so we have rivaling serpents.

What? You don't have a serpent!

That's great. Nobody cares.
Why do I keep bringing you back?

Do you have anything else to add?
I like Sweet too, but I don't see the relevance. You know what. I'm done with this. I expected more from you Al, you're a goddamn theoretical physicist, not 15 year old with a MySpace!

Dragon Wars might be one of the two best Korean monster movies I've seen this year. It's very different from The Host, just a very different tone to the whole thing. Where The Host had an environmental subplot, Dragon Wars does not. If The Host were the main course, Dragon Wars would be the dessert. It's lighter, but enjoyable in a much different way.

I highly recommend it. In fact, I'm not sure I can put it any better than "If you get the chance, see it. It's worth it." 9 old men faking a heart attack very poorly to explain to your kid that he's been chosen by the gods to turn a serpent into a dragon with absolutely no sexual overtones out of 10.

Monday, November 12, 2007

And David Caruso as the Tough Guy Electrician

There's video store a couple miles from here called Mammoth Video. It's been there for years but it now going out of business. It's tragic, in a way. For one thing, it was a Mammoth Video that hired me ten years ago (and closed it's own doors 8 years ago now). Not to mention that it's yet another video store shutting down. It seems to be the end of an era. Video stores just aren't what they used to be.

In the glory days of VHS, most movies cost $100 per tape when they were first released. It wasn't cost effective for a consumer to purchase the tapes. Video stores thrived. Then came DVD. DVDs were designed as a consumer product. They're affordable. The average guy can go to the store and buy whatever DVD he wants as a somewhat reasonable price. And, thus, the end of the video store era. They just aren't necessary anymore.

The upside to this is that as the stores close, they liquidate their inventory, allowing the likes of me to purchase movies like Session 9 at discounted rates.

I knew very little about the movie going into it. I'd heard that people liked it, but knew nothing about the plot or the setting. I wasn't sure if I was going to be watching a movie about a demon from hell or a movie about a guy going nuts and killing everyone. In fact, a case could actually be made that it was both of those things.

The problem with a movie like Session 9 is that it's very difficult to talk about without giving most of the movie away. So, to hell with it. Gorgon killed everyone. There you go. That's the movie. It's a six year old movie and if I've effectively ruined it for you, well, you had plenty of time to see it. Shame on you for not doing so sooner.

The question that the movie raises but opts out of answering is...well, the obvious one, "Why?" Why does Gordon descend into a mental state that allows him to kill, not only his coworkers, but also his wife and baby? Well, the movie DOES answer this, actually. Simon convinces him to. So, I suppose the real question is "Who is Simon?"

It all started with Mary Hobbes. Mary was a patient at Danvers State Hospital who suffered from a multiple personality disorder. Simon was the personality that killed Mary's brother and family. When asked why he did it, he explains it was because she let him. He tells the doctor interviewing Mary that "I live in the weak and the wounded."

"I live in the weak and the wounded." This can be taken to mean at least one of three things. 1) Simon is the personification of evil that lives in all of us, able to manifest himself in those not strong enough to suppress him. B) Simon is a demon, able to possess those who are not strong enough to fight him off. 3) Simon is a ghost. A remnant of the patient Mary Hobbes that was left behind when she died in the facility.

I have a hard time believing that it may be a demon, despite the Satanic Cult angle presented early in the film (Satanic Cults were a big fear in the Eighties for some reason. I remember it being all over shows like 20/20. No one is worried about them anymore though). There is a supernatural element presented in the movie, but it's never overtly shown. It's just sort of hinted at. So, let's assume that Simon is not a demon.

So, could it be that Simon is just a part of all of us, lurking in the darkness of our psyches waiting for the opportune moment? Let's assume not. If only because I don't like what that implies. It would mean that anyone is capable of these acts. And it raises too many other questions like "Why is Gordon the one who listens? Why not the other guys?"

That leaves us with the possibility that Simon is a ghost. That, I think, might be the most plausible explanation. Gordon is under so much stress from his failing business and new child that the ghost of Simon is able to whisper into his ear and convince him to do these evil things. Gordon is weak, the stress has made him so. As such, he is susceptible to the influence the the ethereal Simon is able to exert.

Obviously, the ghost theory is very similar to the demon theory. The difference is the way they go about their business. Demonic possession implies that Gordon had no control. He couldn't have stopped himself no matter how hard he tried. If Simon we a spirit, whispering ideas into Gordon's ear, however, it implies that to some extent that he could have said no. He was too weak though. He committed the crime and then hid it from himself. He couldn't have been capable of such an atrocity, no way! Nu uh! Not him!

See, I love movies like this. It's not just that I love a good, creepy ghost story. It's the kind of movie that you have to think about afterwards. Everything isn't laid out in front of you like a buffet. You have to really look and consider it and decide for yourself what was really happening. There is no right or wrong answer, there's only the answer you take from it. I just wish David Caruso would make eye contact with people like a normal human being.

8 lights turning off as you run down the hall trying desperately to outrun the darkness out of 10.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

There may not be a single movie that I'm looking forward to more next year...

What an awful laugh.

You know, you forget sometimes (Ok, *I* forget sometimes) just how great Tom Hanks was as a comedic actor. The guy was hilarious and brilliant, but he took that dramatic turn 15 years ago now and never really looked back. I can't really blame the guy for wanting to be taken seriously and win Oscars. I mean, doesn't any actor want to be recognized for his work? In the bottom of my heart though, I just wish he's return to the kind of movies he made back in the 80s. I miss that Tom Hanks.

(the video was posted earlier at The Rec Show. I couldn't stop laughing though.)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Again with the Katee Sackhoff posts...what the hell

Remember how good Battlestar Galactica used to be? You know, before the New Caprica storyline? Yeah. Season 3 was...well...mostly not very good. It started off really strong, but the problem was the aftermath. The escape from New Caprica might have been one of the most amazing battles I've ever seen in a science fiction series.

But then...then...there was the inevitable fallout. The trial. The revenge. The petty infighting. It just wasn't fun or incredibly interesting. It just dragged on and on. Then the end of Season 3 came and they revealed the last of the unknown Cylons. And I was floored. It gave me just a glimmer of hope for Season 4.

But first, lets go back to the middle of Season 2 with what is essentially a long episode called Razor. There are two distinct story lines here, one is Lee Adama's first mission as Captain of the Pegasus. The other is about Admiral Cain and what the Pegasus and her crew did immediately following the Cylon attack on the 12 colonies. The whole thing is tied together via the story of Lt. Kendra Shaw.

Shaw came aboard the Pegasus the day of the Cylon attack. She was there at every pivotal moment as well. The execution of the XO. The turn to piracy as they scavenge crew and parts from the civilian fleet. The discovery that Gina is a Cylon. Shaw was, not only there, but an active participant in each of these events.

Shaw also becomes Lee's XO when he takes command. She is the one who, ultimately, designs the attack on the Cylon Guardians. The what? The Guardians. And guess what they are...

Fuck yeah, dude. Old school Centurions. Oh hell yes. There's even a gold one! How fucking cool is that! (Notice, not a question.) They explain that they tried following a different evolutionary path than the humanoid Cylons. Anyways, it makes sense in the movie. I'm not going to try to explain it. In fact, I'm not going to try to explain anything! Hahahahahahahahahahaha!


Battlestar Galactica: Razor is...*ahem*...FRAKKING AWESOME. Seriously. It made me remember how much I love the series. And it makes me really excited for Season 4. I'm just thankful that they did this as a movie so that I have an excuse to talk about it here! 9 gold Centurians out of 10!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Everyone should hire ME! Who cares if I'm qualified for the job?

Cinematical is hiring and, I have to admit, I briefly considered applying for a position. Not because I fancy myself a professional movie writer. Oh no. I'm not even sure that it's something that I'd want to do. I mean, I'd worry too much that I'd end up hating it. I considered it just to see if I could get some critical feedback on my writing. Maybe I'll change my mind and send something in anyways, we'll see.

Even if I did though, I wouldn't get the job. Why do I say that? Well, I don't meet a single one of the criteria of what they're looking for.

Our ideal candidate(s) will have some combination of the following qualities:

  • You live and will work out of the Los Angeles or New York City area.
  • You specialize in all things geek (superheroes, graphic novels, video games, etc).
  • You shoot, edit and host your own videos (film related or not) online.
  • You will be able to contribute 75 posts a month (roughly 2 to 4 posts per day).
Ok, so lets see how I stack up...

Live in NYC or LA? Nope. Nor do I have any DESIRE to. I like living in the Detroit area most of the time. Sure, it's a dead zone. The economy sucks and there's rarely anything incredibly interesting here. I mean, what is our claim to fame at this point? Kid Rock and Eminem? Woo-fucking-hoo. Still, it's home. And, I'm cool with that.

I don't specialize in much of ANYTHING. I watch bad movies and play Guitar Hero. And I'm not particularly good at Guitar Hero! I certainly don't consider my self a Guitar Hero specialist, so we can say I probably don't meet that requirement.

Shoot, edit host any of my own videos? Nope. I'm 0 for 3 now.

75 posts a month...hmm, lets see, how many posts did I make last month...7. Less than 10% of what they'd want. In fact, my most prolific month was my first, Jan 06 when I made 50 posts. In fact, I've only hit 30 twice since then. I'll be the first to admit that one of my biggest problems is a lack of consistency around here. I'm not exactly proud of that, but it is what it is. This is a hobby. I work on it when I can, and when I can't, I don't.

So, I'll never turn pro. I'm okay with that. I like that this is something to do in my spare know, when I have some. I like that it helps me (slowly) improve my writing.

Oh well, it just means that you're stuck with me (and the new store that I'll talk about SOMEDAY, but not today. Or tomorrow. Tomorrow it's all about BSG Razor!)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I wonder why he dropped 'The Dragon'...

Ok. Let's make this quick. The Last Sentinel is a sci-fi action movie set in the nearish future. The United States became a police state, policed by drones. Cybernetically enhanced...cops...or something. I guess they started as people. They're more robot than human.

Don "no longer The Dragon" Wilson plays Tallis, a genetically enhanced soldier. The last of his kind. The others were wiped out in battles with the drones.

Katee Sackoff plays Starbuck. Except, she's not actually Starbuck. This isn't Battlestar. No, she plays...Girl. She is never given a name.

The last character is Tallis' gun. Which can talk. But not in that Sledgehammer kind of way. No, more like Cortana from Halo. It offers guidance and is essentially an A.I.

It's a post-apocolypic future...humans have been hunted to near extinction by cybernetically enhanced drones...but at least they still have vitamin water...

The story is fairly generic. It's not bad. It's not great. It's just what it is. A little sci-fi. A little action. A little Katee Sackhoff side-boob. It's entertaining enough to watch on a Saturday afternoon when there's nothing else going on. Don't go out of your way for this one is what I'm saying, I guess. On the other hand, if it's on, and you can't find the remote, it's not terrible. Drink some beer first though if you really want to feel the full effect of this one. 6 bottles of vitamin water out of 10.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"He is really good at staying alive, and trying to kill him and failing... just pisses him off."

I really dug The Bourne Identity and it's sequel The Bourne Supremacy. Part of it is that I dig spy movies. I mean, I want to see The Saint again. How many times have you heard that? How many people have you heard tell you that they wanted to see The Saint let alone AGAIN. I dig spy movies though. And I liked the Bourne movies. They were a great contrast to the James Bond stories. Bond was always a little jokier. A little cheesy even at times. But, that WAS Bond. It's what the stories were, and they were FUN.

Then, along came Jason Bourne. He wasn't a lot of fun. He was very real. He wasn't a big old cartoon. He was the anti-James Bond. So, what did Bond do? He changed. They made him more serious. So now, there isn't as much difference between the franchises. They're both very raw and serious.

This leads us to the question, how well does Bourne hold up in this, the new age of James Bond?

Fairly well. The Bourne Ultimatum, the third and final act of the story, amounts to one massive chase scene from London to Casablanca to New York. And while it gets a little tedious at times (hey, I can only watch a chase scene for so long before something else needs to happen) it is a fun action movie. People are constantly getting killed or stalked by CIA spooks or blowing things up, all the while Bourne is finally getting to the bottom of who he is.

As a viewer, throughout the trilogy, I felt like I was constantly in the dark about something. As though there were some tangible bit of info that I were missing. In the first movie, I chalked it up to the fact that since Bourne was in the dark, as viewers it was only natural that we should be too. That feeling continued through the second movie. This time though, while I constantly felt like I was missing something, it was much more difficult to attribute it to a story telling device. Maybe it was because it had been two years since seeing the second movie, but the pieces just didn't seem like they fit together. And, to be honest, the movie could have done a better job of catching the viewer up at the beginning.

8 Vespas blowin up because you thought the bomb was in the bag out of 10.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Haha! That's right, here it is, November 5 marking my glorious return to the ranks of the Film Club Coolies! Yes, I am once again counting myself amongst the ranks of the elite members of the Final Girl Film Club!

I can not sufficiently explain my lack of participation over the past few months. No, not without tales of kidnapping, debauchery and murder best left for stories told around a table full of men and women holding pints of beer in various states of full and emptiness, and lo, I could only reach the tip of the iceberg that is that tale before admitting that I was lying! The truth is that I am merely lazy!

So lazy in fact that I almost missed this one too! I know! It's unbelievable. If Stacie had not posted a reminder, I would have certainly forgotten. In fact, I had three other movies to write about for you, but instead have elected to put those off for the time being and concentrate on November's Film Club selection, Eyes of a Stranger (No. Not the Queensryche song. Though, that would have been pretty badass.).

Please, allow me to summarize...It's Miami, 1981 and there's a guy going around raping and killing ladies. He calls them on the telephone and then does his work. Meanwhile, also in Miami, there's a news reporter who is very...passionate about the case. She has a sister who, after being assaulted and nearly killed, is deaf and blind.

A man who's killin ladies, and two ladies...I don't see how their stories could possibly intersect. In fact, he'd probably have gotten away with it if not for those meddling kids! Wait, wrong story.

See the reporter is very...passionate because of what happened to her sister. And when she sees a man changing clothes in the parking lot of her apartment building, she becomes a tad bit suspicious. In fact, she becomes convinced that it's him. That this neighbor is the killer. No one is willing to believe her though. And by 'no one' I mean her boyfriend.

Suspicion is immediately placed upon the neighbor. You know what that means, right? It can't be him. It's too obvious. There must be some sort of twist or turn. That's where they trick you though! See! It IS him. Totally! And the movie makes no real effort to hide it. There's no misdirection. It's totally the neighbor dude! It's that simple. This is 1981. It's a simpler world. There's no redial. No *69. No caller id. And not all movies have to have a hundred little twists and red herrings.

There's no mystery. Yet, Eyes of a Stranger exudes suspense, it oozes from it's every pore. There's a buildup to each kill that has you on the edge of your seat. You know what's coming and who is doing it. But, it builds, builds...builds to it. It's the when. It's the how. That's the big unknown. I found myself getting nervous watching it more than once.

Tom Savini handled the makeup effects...which explains the couple little pumps of blood coming from the bullet hole at the end of the movie. It was a nice little detail to add in and is worth noting. The movie, overall, is pretty good. It's worth checking out if you're into suspenseful movies about serial killers, which, I'm usually not. I'll be honest. If not for the Film Club, I'll be honest, I never would have watched this. And that would have been my loss. 8 belts bought at the dollar store since the killer seems to leave them as a signature at each murder, except it's 1981 and there aren't any dollar stores you bastards out of 10.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

2 things that bother me about Jurassic Park 3

Both of them are in the beginning.

1) It's illegal to go near the island, so why put your phone number on the parachute?

2) What the hell happens to the boat that got wrecked in the fog?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Quick Reviews of Bad Movies: This time it's musical

My friend had told me about a movie called Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, I don't recall the context of it, but that's my story. I netflixed it, and last night, we tried to watch it.

I'm not a guy who turns off a movie without seeing it to the end very often. In fact, I can only think of two times that I've ever done it. But, holy hell batman, Jesus was wearing striped socks.

Fucking Canadians.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Don't forget to title this post dummy!

Welcome welcome welcome! It's finally that day we've all been waiting for. That's right, if you go on over to Shoot the Projectionist, you can finally check out the final list.

As you know, this list is the final product of countless nominations and a final vote by people all over the internet with questionable taste, much like myself. In fact, I WAS one of those people. You may recall that I shared my list of nominations with you back at the start of the month. It's only fitting then that, here at the end of the month, I should finally share my vote with you. In fact, I'll even show you the final list. In fact, I'll show you both! My list, and the final list, at the same time, presented in GLORIOUS side-by-side-o-vision!

31. Bride of Frankenstein (1935; James Whale) 285 pts. Ravenous (1999; Antonia Bird)
30. Aliens (1986; James Cameron) 286 pts. Aliens (1986; James Cameron)
29. Poltergeist (1982; Tobe Hooper) 288 pts. Dracula (1931; Tod Browning)
28. Seven (1995; David Fincher) 289 pts. Night of the Living Dead (1968; George Romero)
27. Night of the Hunter (1957; Charles Laughton) 290 pts. Frankenstein (1931; James Whale)
26. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956; Don Siegel) 292 pts. Frailty (2001; Bill Paxton)
25. Carnival of Souls (1962; Herk Harvey) 302 pts. Audition (1999; Takashi Miike)
24. Carrie (1976; Brian de Palma) 310 pts. Pulse (Kairo) (2001; Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
23. The Ring (2002; Gore Verbinski) 317 pts. Slither (2006; James Gunn)
22. (TIE) Eraserhead (1977; David Lynch) 327 pts. The Fly (1986; David Cronenberg) 327 pts. Shaun of the Dead (2004; Edgar Wright)
21. The Brood (1979; David Cronenberg) 347 pts. The Return of the Living Dead (1985; Dan O’Bannon)
20. Rosemary’s Baby (1968; Roman Polanski) 364 pts. Seven (1995; David Fincher)
19. 28 Days Later (2002; Danny Boyle) 381 pts. The Eye (aka Gin gwai) (2002; Pang Bros.)
18. (TIE) The Wicker Man (1973; Robin Hardy) 391 pts. Eyes Without a Face (aka Les Yuex sans visage) (1960; Georges Franju) 391 pts. Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987)
17. (TIE) Nosferatu (1922; F.W. Murnau) 413 pts. The Descent (2005; Neil Marshall) 413 pts. Dawn of the Dead (2004; Zack Snyder)
16. The Evil Dead (1981; Sam Raimi) 421 pts. The Hitcher (1986; Robert Harmon)
15. The Blair Witch Project (1999; Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez) 450 pts. The Devil’s Backbone (2001; Guillermo del Toro)
14. The Haunting (1963; Robert Wise) 464 pts. In the Mouth of Madness (1995; John Carpenter)
13. Don’t Look Now (1973; Nicolas Roeg) 469 pts. Godzilla (aka Gojira) (1954; Ishiro Honda)
12. Suspiria (1977; Dario Argento) 482 pts. Haute Tension (2003; Alexandre Aja)
11. The Birds (1963; Alfred Hitchcock) 483 pts. Event Horizon (1997; Paul W.S. Anderson)
10. Jaws (1976; Steven Spielberg) 526 pts. The Thing (1982; John Carpenter)
9. Dawn of the Dead (1978; George Romero) 645 pts. Dawn of the Dead (1978; George Romero)
8. The Thing (1982; John Carpenter) 661 pts. Jaws (1976; Steven Spielberg)
7. Alien (1979; Ridley Scott) 675 pts. 28 Days Later (2002; Danny Boyle)
6. The Exorcist (1973; William Friedkin) 723 pts. The Descent (2005; Neil Marshall)
5. Psycho (1960; Alfred Hitchcock) 747 pts. Ringu (1998; Hideo Nakata)
4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974; Tobe Hooper) 784 pts. Cube (1997; Vincenzo Natali)
3. Halloween (1978; John Carpenter) 824 pts. The Ring (2002; Gore Verbinski)
2. Night of the Living Dead (1968; George Romero) 862 pts. Alien (1979; Ridley Scott)
1. The Shining (1980; Stanley Kubrick) 997 pts.
Ju-On: The Grudge (2003; Takashi Shimizu)

Ok, fine. That wasn't as glorious as it sounded. If you desperately want to see a better version of it (In SUPER GLORIOUS side-by-side-o-vision, you can see it here)

It's worth noting that there are no ties in my list. Also, I got Dawn of the Dead in the right spot, but ended up with Jaws and The Thing reversed. So close! Apparently, I'm the only person in the world who doesn't like The Shining though, I went with a different 'house drives someone crazy so he kills his family' kind of movie. Such is life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

dreamrot's favorite movies: The Burbs

If you asked 100 people in their twenties what their favorite movie to come out of the 1980s was, you probably get a lot of different answers. There's a lot of love for movies like The Goonies and The Dark Crystal. Labyrinth would probably come up as well as The Empire Strikes Back, maybe even Return of the Jedi. In other words, the movies we watched as children. And you'd get all the bullshit nostalgia and sentimentality to go with it. I'm sorry, but a lot of the movies that people still seem to love from the eighties just aren't that good.

If you asked me, however, you wouldn't get any of those answers. I'd tell you flat out that my favorite might be The Burbs. In fact, it might just be one of my favorite movies ever made.

The Burbs is, at it's heart, the quintessential suburban story. Mayfield Place is meant to be Anyplace, USA. When people think of the suburbs, of America, Mayfield Place is that image. Meticulously cared for lawns. Clean and quiet neighborhoods. Eccentric neighbors who can't mind their own business. If ever there was an AMERICAN image, this is it.

You can see, through the movie, the prevailing attitude of our suburbanites, "The Klopecks are different. They aren't one of us. They must be evil. Look at their lawn. They don't come out during the day. They're so different than us. We have to do something about them."

Of course, the great irony is that it turns out that the neighborhood is right and that the Klopecks ARE indeed evil. That's just one of the things that makes the movie so great. We spend almost the entire movie watching the neighborhood's paranoid reaction to the new neighbors.

Sure, the Klopecks aren't the Cleavers. Is that so terrible though? It's at the end, that Tom Hanks' character Ray, finally learns that it's okay that they're different and that the neighborhood really is just paranoid. It's after destroying the Klopeck's home that Ray sees just how crazy they'd all become. And of course it's at this point as well that we see that the Klopecks managed to fool everyone.

That illusion is shattered however when we see the inside of the Klopeck's trunk. This, naturally, leads one to wonder what kind of fool drives around with skeletal remains in their trunk? Aren't you just ASKING for trouble at that point? I mean, even a busted tail light could get you pulled over and then, catch a cop on a bad day and you can get searched if he can find even the least bit of 'probable cause'.

That's not the only question that is raised by The Burbs. The other question is 'Doesn't anyone have a fucking job to go to?' Ok, I might believe that Rumsfield and Walter are retired. And we know that Ray is on vacation. Ricky is a kid, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. What about Art? What the hell does he do? Other than mooch off of his neighbors that is... His wife is out of town and all he does it talk to the neighbors. Is he on vacation too? Was he laid off? Is he unemployed?

The movie is also the good kind of horror comedy. The kind that works. The kind that still manages to be unsettling.

Carol: Ray isn't coming out of his room until he resembles the man I married.
Art: Carol, We don't have that kind of time.

Ray: I've never seen that. I've never seen anybody drive their garbage down to the street and bang the hell out of it with a stick. I-I've never seen that.

The lines, even out of the context of the movie are great, and the humor is obvious. But, what makes the movies so unsettling is how accuratley it sums up the American experience more than any other movie I can think of. This movie is us in a nutshell. Every cliche. Every bit of xenophobia. It's all there. Sure, the Klopecks turn out to be the bad guys we all thought they were, but we only find that out by accident, by coincidence. For all of the neighborhood's spying and investigating they weren't able to turn up the smallest bit of evidence. They dug up the Klopeck's yard and burned down their house and couldn't prove a goddamn thing for all their efforts. They were the monsters, not the Klopecks.

Friday, October 12, 2007

What next? Are you going to have Sulu played by a Korean? Oh...

You may have heard by now that Simon Pegg has been...(don't do it...don't say it...) PEGGED (merde!) to play a young Scotty in the new Star Trek movie.

Let that sink in.

Simon Pegg as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott.

Now that you've considered it, pondered the possibilities and mulled over the implications in your mind, you must be wondering, "Well, what do YOU think of all this?"

I'm glad you asked.

I think it's an incredibly bizarre casting choice. Simon Pegg is an amazing COMEDIC actor. He however, has an incredibly unique stlye/persona that I think will overshadow his performance. Maybe that's just it though. Maybe this will be the breakout dramatic role that Pegg needs. Maybe this will show the world just how gifted he really is.

That or it could be an amazingly bad choice and Pegg will play the role with a bit of a smirk the whole time.

And before you ask, yes, I do remember Pegg in Band of Brothers. Playing an American soldier no less, he was able to come off as a perfectly serious person as opposed to a guy ready to make a joke. Of course it was a very small role, and he was a minor character.

"Okay, who would have been a better choice?"

I don't know, someone Scottish maybe? Ok, that's not fair, Doohan himself was a Canadian.

It just seems like a weird choice to me, but, hey, it could be brilliant, right? That's always a possibility...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Quick Reviews of Bad Movies: Just because it was free doesn't mean it was okay.

Today I am going to list one of my grievances with Continental Airlines. I flew from Houston to Detroit today and there was an in flight movie. Evan Almighty.

What a bland, boring, unfunny piece of shit.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

31 Movies...Honorable Mentions

Yesterday, I presented my list. Today, we're looking at a few that didn't make it

Frankenfish, Spring Break Shark Attack, Insecticidal, etc

These are the kind of movies that I love. Unfortunately, they're not often that scary, or really that good. Bad acting, bad CGI, lots of deaths. It's just fun stuff. Actually, most of the movies I would have liked to have included but did not fall into this category. I can't help it if I'd rather watch Raging Sharks instead of Rob Zombie's Halloween. That's just the way it goes. Someday, someone is going to try to make a list of 31 horror movies to watch and laugh at while getting drunk with your buddies. I will excel at creating this list.

Land of the Dead

This might be my second favorite Romero movie behind Day of the Dead and it was on the list until the last minute (I won't tell you what replaced it). Some directors make me feel like they're losing sight of what they're doing as they make more movies...I have no doubt that Romero's Diary of the Dead will be fantastic.

A Tale of Two Sisters

I haven't seen it, but so many people have told me so much about it that I had planned to watch it over the weekend in the HOPE of including it. That didn't happen. I sold my soul to Knights of the Old Republic instead (again). My goal for this month is to watch it.


Japanese zombie movie that suffered the same fate as A Tale of Two Sisters


It's not really a horror movie, is it? It good. It's a little gruesome at times. I wanted to include it, but there were as many reasons not to as there were to include it. Oh well.


A lot of people really dig this movie. I'm not one of them. It was good, don't get me wrong, it just wasn't great. It's a lot of setup, and the end, while a bit shocking and creepy (in true Miike fashion) just isn't enough to salvage the story for me. It's good, but not great.

28 Weeks Later

I dug it. Seriously. I have no good reason for it not making the list. It just didn't. I considered it, but just didn't feel that strongly about it. This shit is never perfect.

Alien Resurrection

I thought about it, just to be a prick. I like the damn movie. There's just nothing all that scary about it.

Night Watch, Underworld

I really like these two werewolf vs vampire movies, but just couldn't justify putting them on the list. Night Watch came close to making it though.

Night of the Living Dead

Simply put. I preferred Dawn of the Dead. And didn't feel a need to put this one on the list as well.


The Universal horror classic. This is another one that was painfully close to making it. I absolutely love this movie.

The Eye

Actually, I have no excuse. This one should have been on the list. Sorry.

Needless to say, there were a ton of movies that cold have made my list but did not. Overall, I'm happy with my list though. That's what counts, right? No? Oh. Well ok then. Screw you! I don't need your validation! Jerks.

Two in the chest, one in the balls. That's whay I say.

In an effort to show how relevant I am to the times, here I am on new release Tuesday talking about a movie that comes out on DVD today. How topical!

You hear about a movie with a title like Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane, and inevitably you think at least one of the following three thoughts:

1) Is this a sequel to Outbreak? Do you think they got the same monkey to come back? Probably not. Fucking prima donna monkey probably wanted a huge trailer this time around.

2) This is going to be terrible. I wonder HOW terrible...

3) I have to see this.

If you're me however, it's all three.

It all starts with a pretty kick ass opening song and credits over some CGI internal organs. The song itself it pretty sweet, I actually ind of wish I knew what it was. From here it's onto a quick cliche check.

Flight attendents excited to see the 'sights' in Paris? Check.

Top secret government cargo? Check.

A retiring pilot flying his last flight? Check.

And this is only five minutes in! Well, into the movie of course, we're actually HOURS into the flight. Lets just say the plane is much closer to Paris than New York. But, there's a big storm forcing them to divert course. Of course the storm naturally 'shifts' the cargo, releasing the experiment. The cargo is a woman. Well, it was. The guard somehow has an automatic weapon on the plane and shoots the reanimated woman. She then comes back to life and kills the dude.

Quick passenger rundown now. You've got two pairs of horny teenagers who serve no purpose. A professional golfer. A cop transporting a prisoner. And a creepy guy who turns out to be a TSA agent. Overall, the plane is MAYBE half full.

All the turbulence is really beating the folks up. And our captain thinks someone should check on the 'cargo'...meanwhile, the turbulance has forced our cop to hit his head, knocking him out and letting his prisoner escape.

Of course, the zombie attacks and kills the people investigating. So, lets send more investigators! The TSA agent and the cop are going into the hold to look for the escaped prisoner. Normally, one would that that one of them will get bit and make it back up to the passenger deck to spread the disease. Is that what happens? No. Both make it out of the cargo hold without a bite.

They do get into a fight with the zombies in cargo though. And the TSA guy MISSES the zombie and hits a flight attendant on the passenger deck. And the first zombie makes it up out o f the cargo hold and attacked a different flight attendant. There's only one flight attendant left now.

Ok, you know how when zombies come out of the grave they do that hands through the dirt thing? They totally do that throught the floor of them plane. It was at this point that I decided that I love this movie!

For all of it's cliches, FotLD is one hell of a fun movie. My biggest complaint is the story line about the teens who are going to Paris and the stupid love triangle thing going on. There was no point to it other than to kill a little bit of time. It was fairly useless.

7 nuns praying in coach only to be devoured by zombies out of 10.

Monday, October 01, 2007

31 movies I would recommend for someone's month long Halloween movie marathon (aka, the post where I throw all of my credibility away)

It's with some trepidation that I am making this available to the world at large. Mostly because I know that my taste in movies is suspect to begin with, and here I am, confirming it for everyone. Eh, fuck it.

Here it is, my nomination list for the 31 FLICKS THAT GIVE YOU THE WILLIES.

Alright, since this is a nominating list, it doesn't need to be in any specific order, so here it is, my list as presented in the format of... The 31 movies I would recommend for someone's month long Halloween movie marathon.

Some things to note. This is MY list. It reflects MY tastes. I'm not a huge fan of Carpenter, it shows in the list. I'm not a huge fan of slasher movies, it shows in the list. I don't care about the Freddie and Jason movies, it shows in the list.

I also tried to stay away from all those low budget, scfi channel movies that I love. I enjoy watching them, that does not mean that they're good. Some of the movies veer towards comedy, and may not be as scary as others, however, I included them because, well, I think that they are good. Also, I think that they showcase a good blend of horror and light fun. And you need that sometimes.

The other consequence of my list is the format I chose to present it. I took it as a challenge to create a list of 31 movies I would recommend for someone else's movie marathon. This means that I may not have made a list of 'the 31 greatest fucking movies I ever saw and if you disagree you're a cock sucking asshole from outer space'. I picked movies that I like and that fit certain thematic requirement, arbitrary as they may be. What I do hope it accomplishes in terms of nominations though it to give a couple of smaller gems a little credit and maybe a bit of a boost, even though half of them will be the same shit everyone else is nominating.

Oct 1: The Ring

This was a toss up. I could have put Ringu on the list instead and been just as happy. However, I think that the American remake is equally as good, and a great way to ease into what's yet to come here in the first week. Not to mention, it's a great little kick off to the whole month. I think it's really a great, creepy movie that really serves to demonstrate that Hollywood CAN remake an Asian horror movie well. So long as no one is paying attention yet.

Oct 2: El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil's Backbone)

This Spanish ghost story from Guillermo Del Toro has a ton of atmosphere. It's a creepy little ghost story in an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War. While not as heavy on effects as El Labarinto del Fauno, it's still an amazingly fantastic piece of work.

Oct 3: Ju-on

Ju-on was one of the first Asian horror movies I watched, and still one of the best. It scared the shit out of me. The pale little boy. The atmosphere. The undefined evil that just bleeds off of the screen. This was the rare instance that I was glad I wasn't watching the movie alone.

Oct 4: Haute Tension (High Tension)

Now we're talking. Alexandre Aja gave us a neat little psychological twist in this one that people either love or hate. Ending aside though, this movie it a tightly wound ball of fury and pain. What's starts like any other movie quickly dissolves into a frantic chase. Trying to escape alive.

Oct 5: Ils (Them)

This is a very new movie, but certainly worthy of inclusion on the list. Claiming to be based on true events, you can't help but get emotionally involved in this movie. 'Them' refers to an unknown person or group who is terrorizing a young couple new to Romania. The events themselves all take place over the course of a day and a most.

This takes us into our first weekend, aptly titled Isolation Weekend (I tried to get a couple of themes going while stringing together some of the movies)

Isolation Weekend:

Oct 6: Kairo (Pulse)

Kairo itself isn't a perfect movie. What it is, however, is an excellent study in loneliness and isolation. It's the end of the world as electronics seek to drive everyone apart. The Japanese original is miles better than it's 2006 American counterpart which was like watching lepers suck cock.

Oct 7: 28 Days Later

It's 28 days after the outbreak of the rage virus when Jim wakes up from a coma, alone in London, and unaware of the crisis he's about to face.

This leads us into Zombie Week. Might as well do a week of zombie movies, right?

Zombie Week!

Oct 8: Resident Evil

Not the greatest movie ever made, but a good little zombie adventure. Milla Jovovich is kicking ass, the effects work and the zombies themselves are creepy as hell.

Oct 9: Slither

Say what you want. I liked it. And, sure, the little slugs turn everyone into a PART of Grant, they still exhibit many zombie-type behaviors.

Oct 10: Boy Eats Girl

This is one that I'm sure will not be on anyone else's list. I'm okay with that. This little Irish zombie movie was good though! Part teen comedy, part bloodbath, this zombie movie is the rare diamond in the rough. It looks like just another zombie movie at first glance. Once you get deeper though, it's a movie with a lot of heart, not to mention a lot of zombie killing.

Oct 11: Return of the Living Dead

Dan O'Bannon shows us that he can do something besides write creepy movies like Alien with this sort of sequel to Romero's Night of the Living Dead. While a bit more comedic in tone that Romero's work, the unrelenting hordes of undead still stand out. Not to mention the twist that killing them spreads the disease.

Oct 12: Shaun of the Dead

The story of two guys who's lives barely change when the zombie apocalypse comes. Part romantic comedy, part zombie flick, and part social commentary, this movie just works in so many ways that even if it's not exactly scary, it's hard NOT to include it.

Dawn of the Dead Weekend

Oct 13: Dawn of the Dead (original)
Oct 14: Dawn of the Dead (remake)

Here's a twofer for you. Both are the stories of a zombie outbreak. Both have their survivors seeking refuge in a mall. That's where the similarities end. Both however are excellent movies.

Oct 15: Alien

Could you make a list without Alien? No, it would be like making a list without The Thing.

Oct 16: The Thing


Oct 17: Jurassic Park

Okay. This might not be what most people consider a horror movie. However, the velociraptors themselves make this a worth while inclusion. Speilberg basically manages to do for raptors what he did for sharks.

Oct 18: Gojira

This is another one that straddles the horror fence. It's hard to think of a more frightening allegory for the use of weapons of mass destruction though.

Oct 19: Jaws

The movie that made a generation of kids afraid of the water. Mechanical problems forced Speilberg to do the one thing that ultimately makes the movies so effective...limit the screen time for the shark. Nothing is scarier than what you don't see. More than 30 years later, it's still an amazing movie.

Oct 20: Dog Soldiers

Neil Marshall manages to make an amazingly sinister werewolf movie on a scifi channel budget. You never know who to be more afraid of, the werewolves, or the black ops.

Oct 21: Jurassic Park 3

Fuck you. It worked for me.

Oct 22: Shikoku

A Japanese ghost story about a young girl with long black hair, go figure. This one, though, managed to send a chill up my spine. It's not Ringu, it's not Ju-on, but that works in it's favor.

Oct 23: Silent Hill

It's the atmosphere and cinematography that really make the movie here, not the story. Silent Hill has a look to it. There's little else to say. It feels creepy. The fog around the town, the burning coal mine, ash covers everything, and when the darkness careful!

Oct 24: Open Water

What's scarier than being abandoned in the water due to bad counting? When the sharks arrive.

Oct 25: Cube

You're alone with a group of assholes for no apparent reason in a facility designed to kill you.

Oct 26: Evil Dead 2

The first time I saw it, I hadn't slept in days and must have felt much like Ash when the appliances and taxidermy started laughing and howling 'dead by dawn'.

Sam Neil Weekend

Oct 27: In the Mouth of Madness

One of the few movies to really scare me. Like, really scare me. In fact, I wouldn't feel that scared watching a movie again until Ju-on.

Oct 28: Event Horizon

Great characters, great concept. Poor execution, but still an enormously creepy movie.

Oct 29: Ab-Normal Beauty

Oxide Pang's story of a photographer who becomes obsessed with death. The ending isn't perfect, but it's still a great story.

Oct 30: The Hitcher

The devil himself comes out to play on Devil's Night as Rutger Hauer terrorizes poor C. Thomas Howell in an unrelenting killing spree across the desert.

Oct 31: The Descent

Claustrophobia, monsters and madness. Can you ask for more? No.


That's it. That's my list. Criticize me all you want. Tell me I wouldn't know a good horror movie if it handed my a business card that said 'I'm a Good Horror Movie'

Tomorrow, I'll take a look at a couple that I wish had made the list but did not. And, naturally, by 'tomorrow' I mean 'when I get to it'. And by 'when I get to it' I mean 'tomorrow'