Currently, I'm trying out Wordpress. I always liked the look of the blogs there, and decided to give it a go. I feel it's a little more user friendly and the look is much more clean-cut and nice.

Jenny's House of Horrors @ Wordpress


#343 -- Insanitarium (2008)

Director: Jeff Buhler
Rating: 4.5 / 5

Once again, I found myself watching (and really enjoying) a movie that I didn't expect all that much from. I hadn't even intended to watch this at all (I just downloaded Crackle to my computer and I wanted to see how well it worked), but I just couldn't turn it off! The synopsis that Crackle gave me was pretty bland - something about a guy getting himself committed to an insane asylum in order to break out his whacko sister. See, I've seen a couple of hospital-based horrors, and they're all the same at their core: crazy doctor does mean things, patients die, one patient retaliates and fucks shit up. Yeah, okay. I've seen it before, and I wasn't exactly jumping up and down with excitement to see it again. But, here! It took a turn that I did not expect AT ALL. Sure, if I'd read some reviews, or maybe even a synopsis somewhere else, I might have known what was up. But I'm glad I didn't, because I was surprised at how things turned out, and that's what made me love this movie.

I already gave you the synopsis: a guy convinces folks that he's crazy so he can get into the asylum where his sister is. See, they won't let him talk to her or see her, so he just wants to make sure she's a live. Seems like a good idea, right? Wrong. Once he gets there, he starts to realize that -  hey! - they're doing some pretty wacky shit here, and I don't think I want to be here anymore. But, just what is all that wacky shit? Well, I think part of the reason I enjoyed it so much was that I didn't know what that wacky shit was going into it. That might be the case with you guys, and I definitely don't want to ruin for you; so, I'll save that until later for those of you who don't care.

Anyways...There are several reasons that this movie was great. First of all, it drug me in and wouldn't let me go. From the first few minutes, I was hooked. I could feel the love that Jack had for his sister, and the lengths he was willing to go to to make sure that she was okay. Plus, he was hot. I'm still a woman. Then, when he started acting crazy, I was totally hooked -- he was so good at it! And everyone knows I love me a crazy man. Oh yes. Seeing the other crazy people was great too. They all had individualized personalities that were interesting and unique. I think the character development in this one was wonderful; I even felt like I knew the minor characters pretty well, which is definitely not common in horror movies. There was one guy who reminded me of Hannibal Lector, liked to touch and smell people and was overall one creepy motherfucker. There was a chick who was obsessed with sex, but anytime anyone touched her, she'd freak and scream rape. Oh, and she ended up doing some pretty gnarly things to the security guard that she was fucking. There were plenty of others, but let's move on. I thought the story was great and, even though Jack's decision was downright stupid, it had heart. He was a good guy who loved his sister, and it's always easy to root for the good guy. I also have to praise Jesse Metcalfe on his great acting. He went from an intelligent man to a mumbling psycho in no time, and it seemed an easy transition for him. It seemed natural and believable. And the gore! There was plenty of blood a-flowin' in this one, and it looked great. The kills were great, and the effects that brought them to life were well done. There was one scene where a guy broke a woman's arm, licked the protruding bone, and then proceeded to rip the arm completely off and eat it. And a machete to the face -- gotta love a machete to the face.

All of that sounds great, right? Well, it should, because it is. But that's not even including that wacky shit I mentioned earlier. That's just icing on the bloody cake that was already pretty delicious to begin with.

Continue reading if you want to know what was REALLY going on...

#342 -- Cut (2000)

Director: Kimble Rendall
Rating: 3.5 / 5

It's funny how you can choose a movie for weird reasons that aren't always good. I definitely didn't choose this one because I thought it sounded great. My boyfriend thought we'd already watched this, but I didn't. He was thinking of a movie called Skeleton Crew, but he didn't believe it. So, we started the movie to see who was right. I was, of course, but that's not the point. See, it's funny because you can choose a movie you might not necessarily think is going to be good, and then it is. If you choose a movie you expect to be great, it usually isn't. At least, that's my luck most of the time. Cut isn't the best movie, not even one of the best, but it's good; I didn't really expect that.

It was filmed in Australia and Germany, with a mostly Australian cast; but there was one person that I recognized -- Molly Ringwald! She was older, and blonde, so it took me a minute to recognize her; but I was happy to see that she was actually one of the main players. It's sad how no one seems to care about her anymore; I actually like her. Kylie Minogue was also in it for a little while. I'm not really familiar with her (I know the name and one of her songs), so I didn't recognize her at all until I saw her name on IMDB. Anyways...It started off with a horror movie being filmed, and Molly was its star. It was something about a man who had been horribly burned and went around killing people. Well, the actor who played the killer wasn't very great in the director's eyes, and she planned to fire him. He didn't like that, so he killed her. He also killed some other man and attempted to kill Vanessa (I'll try to refer to her by her character's name, rather than Molly...); thankfully, she was able to defeat him with a swift kick to the nuts and a pair of garden shears . Needless to say, that movie was never finished.

Fast forward to twelve years later, and a group of film students decide to finish the film. As they're doing research, they learn that there's a curse on the movie: anyone who tries to finish it dies. That doesn't stop them, of course, because they're quite determined. The director has some personal issues with the movie, which aren't exactly shocking, but you'll get over it. Sure enough, once they start production, people start to die.

There are plenty of red herrings here. We argued throughout the entire movie, because we each had our own theories on who the killer was. Each was cleared, however, and it left us scratching our heads wondering just who the fuck was under that creepy mask. It made for some suspense that a lot of movies I've seen are desperately lacking. So, it's got that going for it. The characters were just okay; some were well developed and likable, while some others were just background players. The most we knew about most of them was who was fucking who, and who everyone wished they were fucking. But that's all we need to know, I guess, since society is obsessed with sex. I did like the killer, and I thought the mask was creepy though it was simple. There were also some good kills going on, though most of them were offscreen or hidden. The ideas of those kills were great though -- like a girl having her head cut off by a motorized saw. I'm guessing that budget issues kept them from being able to show these kills in all of their glory, which I think is better than showing us something that looked tacky and horrible.

I know the story doesn't sound all that unique, but it actually kind of is. There's a twist at the end that I, personally, wasn't expecting. Once it started to be implied and theorized, I hoped that it wasn't true, actually. I wanted things to go one way, and they didn't. But once it all happened, I was actually glad for it. It was different, and they went a different route than I thought they would. It's not your typical slasher movie.

But, really, it all comes down to one thing: was it interesting? Well, I'll tell you this. We were only going to watch a few minutes of it, to determine whether or not we'd already seen it. We ended up watching the whole thing. That's got to mean something, right?


#341 -- Texas Chainsaw (2013)

Director: John Luessenhop
Rating: 4 / 5

I want to start off by saying that I'm not a TCM uber fan. It's not because I don't like it; it's just because I haven't seen all the movies. I've seen the original, and the 2003 remake. I loved how the original was filmed, and how Tobe Hooper directed it; I thought the remake was okay. So I haven't been all that exposed to the movies or Leatherface. Even if I had seen all those, I'm hardly a purist when it comes to these things (I loved the F13 remake), so I'm sure I'd still like this movie. It's not technically a remake, since it takes place after the events of the first movie; but I'm sure there are some old school fans out there who have a problem here.

So, right after Sally escaped from the Sawyer clan, the police showed up, along with a group of angry townspeople. Those townspeople burned the house to the ground, presumably killing everyone inside. There were two survivors: Leatherface, and a little baby girl. Two of the townspeople took the baby and raised her as their own daughter, named her Heather, and she grew up without having the slightest idea of who she really was. That was, until she got a letter saying that her grandmother had passed away -- a grandmother she didn't even know existed. This grandmother had left her house to Heather, and she and her friends took a little road trip to see the place. Along the way, they picked up a cute hitch-hiker (after hitting him with their van; and he actually paid them to give him a ride.) who would prove to be not quite as friendly as they'd thought. When they left to get something to cook for dinner (which he paid for), he decided to steal everything valuable in the house. That led him to the basement, through the wine cellar, and down to the dungeon where Leatherface lived. He was killed, and the maniac was set loose once again.

The main thing people have a problem with is the time line. Heather was born in 1974, right after all those events took place. She couldn't have been older than twenty-five, so realistically speaking, the movie couldn't have taken place any later than '97 or so. But everything was extremely modern. Since the movie did seem to take place in 2012, she would have to be somewhere in her thirties. People have a problem with this, but I don't. I could tell myself that, maybe these fancy cell-phones and things could have been around back in '97 (after all, I was only seven years old then; I don't have a clue what cell phones looked like then), but that's not really necessary. I do believe that Heather could have been in her thirties. The actress who played her is twenty-six, so it's not too far off. Besides, people do tend to look younger than they actually are. I'm twenty-three, people tell me I look fifteen. It happens, people! Besides, this is a horror movie; often times, while watching horror movies, you have to force yourself to believe things that you otherwise wouldn't. It's normal. I really don't understand why there's such a big issue here. Well, scratch that. It's a modern day sequel to a classic movie that everyone loves. People are bound to look for things to bitch about, and I guess they couldn't find anything else.

My point is, I really don't give a shit about the time line being unrealistic. The biggest issue I ever have with a horror movie is that it's boring. If it's exciting, has a decent story and good characters, I'm behind it. I don't care how contrived it seems; if it's done well, I'm cool. And I think this one was very well done. The crew behind the movie knew their stuff; they were either big fans of the movies or they did their research. With the film-making, it was pretty true to the original. And they threw some things in there that should have made fans giggle (I know I did...). Like Officer Hooper, and the fact that the lady who played Sally in the original was Heather's grandmother. And Gunnar Hansen, the original Leatherface, was a white-haired member of the Sawyer family here. I thought it was cool. There were other small things about the movie that I liked as well. Like the fact that Heather knew absolutely nothing about her blood relatives, yet she still grew up to be a butcher. It's in their blood.

I don't know how he was portrayed in all the other sequels, but what I know from this and the original (I don't remember anything about that remake in 2003), makes me really love Leatherface. In the original, his family forced him to do the things he was doing. They were rude to him, and I can assume that he suffered childhood abuse. He wasn't "all there," and he didn't know any better. He thought what he was doing was normal, and that all these people were hurting him for nothing. In this one, someone said that he had the mind of an 8-year-old trapped in that big 'ol body. It's really sad if you think about it. He's only doing what he was taught to do, and everyone hates him for it. A few other things I really like about Leatherface: he has his priorities straight (family comes first), and he gives absolutely zero fucks. He will chase a bitch out into town with his chainsaw blaring and not think twice about it. I know he's not the brightest guy, and he probably, literally, doesn't think about it. But I think he's a badass. That was what I liked about him in the original, and they kept that going here. He actually chased Heather to a carnival and sent all the patrons fleeing. Most other killers would lurk in the shadows and wait. Not Leatherface!

But what it really comes down to is the fact that the movie was entertaining. The action was pretty much non-stop, there was a decent amount of gore (which I always love), and that family bond that Heather and Leatherface shared was touching. Seriously, I thought I was going to cry. So the times aren't realistic; I can live with that. So the characters did a few things that don't make sense. Because horror movie characters are always smart about the decisions they make. I can live with that too; we all can, because we have to. It was entertaining, and it stayed true to the only original that I'm familiar with. To me, it's a winner.


MMM Day 7: #340 -- Frankenthumb (2002)

Director: David Bourla
Rating: 4 / 5

As May Monster Madness draws to a close, I will leave you on a very light note. Today's movie was written by Steve Oedekerk, the same guy who brought us Kung Pow. I think it's pretty easy to tell that this movie is not one to be taken seriously. It's silly, and it's funny as hell. It's actually one of several in the Thumbs! series, which includes Bat Thumb, The Blair Thumb, Thumbtanic, Thumb Wars, and The GodThumb. The characters are all -- you guessed it -- thumbs!

So, we're all familiar with the story of Frankenstein, and this one's pretty much the same. A monster is created, it is cast out, it runs amok, and it's led to a lighthouse and torched. It's amazing how they can tell pretty much the exact same story in such a weird way. These characters aren't nearly as tragic as those in Frankenstein, nor are they quite as sophisticated. In fact, they're all just downright dumb. But dumb in such a fantastic way.

Pepper & Humpy
Dr. Frankenthumb's assistant is not named Fritz, or Igor, as we've grown accustomed to. He is a hunchbacked thing named Humpy. Yes, Humpy. And the Monster actually has a name here! His name is Pepper, because he spiced up Dr. Frankenthumb's life. He's pretty mean to begin with, and he definitely doesn't like Pepper at all. Or small animals. But once his daddy casts him out, he starts to feel bad and becomes a very comical version of the creature that I love. Sad and lonely. I think my favorite part in the movie is when one of the angry mob finds a lighter, and he gets the shit beat out of him for it. An angry mob just wouldn't be the same without the torches, I guess. Either that, or the extremely weird ending, in which Bat Thumb himself makes an appearance.

The way that the characters speak, and their facial expressions are absolutely hilarious. They're over-the-top and stupid as hell, but it works. There are plenty of things going on here that don't make a lot of sense -- like the random cyclops that appears in the mob -- but it's all the more fantastic because of them. It, like Kung Pow, thrives on the things that don't make sense. Because they're nonsensical in a way that makes them hilarious. Again, not a movie to be taken seriously, and I would hope that no one would. If so, there's something seriously wrong. The story of Frankenstein is one that I have always loved, and I have no problem with poking fun at it. It's a light-hearted good time; you'll laugh and you might lose a few brain cells, but hey! We don't need all of those anyway, right?

Note: If you find the link in The Trailer Park for this one, it's actually a link to the full movie, if you're interested.

Well, the madness is over, guys. I had fun, and I hope you guys did too.


MMM Day 6: #339 -- The Thing (1982)

Director: John Carpenter
Rating: 3 / 5

This is actually the first time I've seen this movie. I'd heard great things about it, and I knew that a lot of people loved it. The idea was intriguing, so it was definitely on my watch list. I thought it was going to be a masterpiece, but I was disappointed with it for a couple of reasons.

Synopsis: A group of explorers in Antarctica come across an Alien being that is able to take the form of whoever or whatever it wishes. We follow their collective mental breakdown as they try to figure out who they can trust, and whose body has been overtaken by The Thing.

And...that's pretty much it. It started off with some Norwegians in a helicopter trying to shoot a beautiful Husky dog. Right off the bat, I was pissed; I was more worried about that dog in those couple of minutes than I was about anything else throughout the rest of the movie. Of course, the dog had been "possessed," and it actually would have been really helpful if those people had been able to shoot it. The group that the movie follows killed the Norwegians, and The Thing infiltrated their camp. They took the dog in, after saving it, and put it in a kennel with a bunch of other dogs. Apparently they had a hobby of rescuing wild dogs. Immediately, the dog began to attack the other dogs an adopt their appearances. The group learned from some research that it would keep on doing this until all other life forms -- threats to its life-- were eliminated. Most of the movie consisted of each person losing their trust in the rest. They didn't know who they could trust, until they figured out a way to test their blood for The Thing's presence. So, it was a bunch of accusations and not a lot of action.

Where there was action, though -- oh boy, that was some fucked up shit. I can't even describe what The Thing looked like, but it was pretty gnarly. It was nasty in a I-think-I'm-gonna-puke sort of way, and the effects were wonderful. The problem was that there wasn't much for me to care about. There were a lot of people in the camp, and none of them were very developed. At least, not in a way that I could get behind. None of them seemed to care about each other, they didn't really have any memorable characteristics, and I have a hard time even remembering their names. After all was said and done, the movie ended on a fairly calm way that kind of felt incomplete All that being said, I did enjoy the movie. The story was unique and, again, the monster was fucking incredible.

I'm feeling kind of weird at this point. There are several movies that are loved by many; and most of those I find somewhat boring. I think this would have been a lot better if the creature had been on screen more often, because that was definitely the best part. It was so great that it's a total shame that it was hidden for so long. I get that it was hidden inside the explorers, and it was part of the story; but I'm sure they could have figured something out. Really, that's the biggest problem that I have with it. Otherwise, it's definitely entertaining.


MMM Day 5: #338 -- Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Rating: 3 / 5

I wanted to include Dracula in this week's monster madness, but I already reviewed the 1931 movie a while ago. I found this on demand, and I jumped on it. I've gone against everything I believe in. I have now seen two Dracula movies, and I haven't read the book. The shame!

I love Bela Lugosi as Dracula. To me, he is Dracula, and he always will be. This variation on the Count was interesting, to say the least. I thought Gary Oldman did a good job with the role, and the character was definitely creepy and different. But I just couldn't let myself believe that it was Dracula. He was a monster out of a child's nightmare. He could transform his looks at the blink of an eye -- from young to old, from human-like to werewolf to giant bat-creature. I'm familiar with vampires being able to transform into other beasts, but...the way I like it, they turn into regular bats and wolves. It seems more natural that way, if that makes any sense. The reason that I love Bela's Dracula is because he is natural. He was a monster disguised as a human; very sophisticated and romantic. This Dracula tried to be those things, but I just didn't feel it like I did with Bela. He lived in an enormous castle in Transylvania, he wore extravagant clothing, and he spoke with eloquence. But it just wasn't the same.

The love story at play here felt more like Romeo and Juliet than anything. In the beginning, we see Dracula with his lover, Elisabeta. Assuming (for reasons I didn't catch) that Dracula was dead, she took her own life. Dracula then stabbed a cross, from which gallons of blood spewed, and somehow turned himself into a vampire, swearing that he would avenge her death one day. How you can avenge someone's suicide is beyond me. Jump to the 1800s, and the story picks up in familiar territory. Jonathan Harker traveling to Transylvania to meet with the Count with real estate business. He ended up seduced and held captive by Dracula's three brides, while the Count went to London to seduce Jonathan's wife-to-be, Mina. Even though she barely knew him, and was apparently deeply in love with Jonathan not long before, she fell in love with Dracula. She married Jonathan anyway, even though she knew that she wanted someone else. Then she let Dracula transform her, and tried to protect him as Jonathan, Van Helsing, and some other people set out to kill him.

It sounds good, now that I write it out. And I guess the story is pretty good, it just wasn't executed in a way that I could get behind. The love story wasn't developed quite enough, and I couldn't feel the love that they supposedly felt for one another (neither Mina and Jonathan's, nor Mina and Dracula's). It didn't leave a mark. That love story is actually the only part of the movie that I was able to follow, since that was the main plot point going on here. The rest could have been cut out and I wouldn't feel any differently. I felt like I just couldn't follow the movie. Every couple of minutes, I felt like it had skipped and that I'd missed something. I just didn't get it. Though I did like Gary Oldman somewhat, the rest of the characters just didn't sit well with me. His was the only one that was actually developed; the rest were dull and forgettable.

Visually, the movie was great. I loved the atmosphere at work, and the cinematography looked good. The special effects were also striking, and it felt like a gothic fairy tale. A low budget movie with no effects or fancy camera work can still be a great movie if it has a great story to back it up. But a movie with all the technology to its disposal will still fail if the story is lacking that special something. That is the case with Bram Stoker's Dracula. Again, I haven't read the book; but those who have say that this is an awful adaptation. I'm not sure how the 1931 movie holds up for those people. But for me, sixty years, a lot of money and fancy equipment did not make a better movie.


MMM Day 4: #337 -- Monster from a Prehistoric Planet (1967)

Director: Haruyasu Noguchi
Rating: 3 / 5

First off, this title is a little bit misleading. Don't be fooled the way I was. I thought there was going to be some time and/or space travel going on here, and that we'd be dealing with some dinosaurs or something. But that's not the case. The "prehistoric planet" is an island...On Earth, in Japan. The original Japanese title translates to "The Giant Beast, Gappa," or something along those lines, and that makes a lot more sense. I guess they figured "Monster from a Prehistoric Planet" sounded cooler. Well, it definitely roped me in. That's not to say that it's a bad movie, but I was ready for some T-Rex action, and I didn't get it.

Synopsis: A group of explorers travel to said island to locate some exotic animals for their company's upcoming tourist attraction: an island/park called Playmate Land. They meet island natives who worship a god called Gappa that resides in a forbidden part of the island. Intrigued, the explorers venture into this forbidden area and discover an egg. The egg hatches, and out comes a baby lizard. They take the baby back home for research, and to get it ready for the park's opening. But that made Mama and Daddy Gappa very angry, and they went a'searching for their baby.

So, what exactly is a Gappa? To me, it looked like a giant pigeon with a tail. That could breathe fire. Since it was a bird-lizard, it had great homing abilities, and Mama and Daddy found their baby easily. Since this was a great discovery, the scientists/money-hungry-executives were all over it. So, when Mama and Daddy showed up and started tearing the city apart trying to find their baby, they refused to believe the solution was as simple as giving the thing back. Or rather, they just refused to give it back, because they'd lose money. They succeeded in scaring the two away for a while, and they retreated to the waters. Then, the idiots lured the things back up, thinking that they'd be able to kill them this time. When they were unable to obliterate the things, they finally decided to give the baby back.

At times, I found the movie hard to follow, because I felt like it jumped around a lot. Maybe it's just me. But I was still able to get the gist of things. Stupid people do stupid things, and Japan is destroyed -- as it often is. I liked the Gappa monster, though. It was definitely comical, and it reminded me of something I'd see on an old episode of The Power Rangers. I kept waiting for Megazord to swoop in and save the day. Despite the fact that there were no dinosaurs, or time travel like I expected, I still found it entertaining.


MMM Day 3: #336 -- Leprechaun (1993)

Director: Mark Jones
Rating: 4 / 5

When we're children, we're taught that Leprechauns are cute little things who can bring great luck. Everyone knows the story, at least a little bit. Leprechauns were the protectors of treasure, and they took their jobs very seriously. There are two things that I've always heard about these little guys. One, that if you can catch a leprechaun, he'll grant you a wish. Like a little Irish genie. The second is that, if you catch him, you can convince him to show you where his treasure is hidden. You can imagine that losing the thing that they are sworn to protect must be very devastating. Sometimes, maybe, it might make them very angry. Angry enough to kill in order to get it back.

That's what happened here. A man named Dan O'Grady, after travelling to Ireland to bury his grandmother, returned home with a sack full of gold. He told his wife that he caught a leprechaun, and the leprechaun revealed his hidden treasure to him. O'Grady planned to move out of his house with his new-found fortune, but of course, his wife didn't believe a word he said. Until the little guy showed up and killed her, that is. He managed to imprison the Leprechaun, and O'Grady ended up in a retirement home, probably completely off his rocker after what happened, and a man and his daughter moved into his old house.

Once they move into the house, Tory and her father meet the Three Men Who Paint, brothers hired to fix the house up. They are Ozzy, Alex, and Nathan. Nathan is the cute, hunky one; Alex, the little boy with a potty mouth; and Ozzy, the man who isn't "all there" and acts like a child himself. Ozzy accidentally let the Leprechaun out of its prison, not long before he and Alex discovered the sack full of gold. They hid it in a well, and the Leprechaun went about trying to find it. This little guy was severely angry, and all he wanted was his gold back. But these two kids didn't dare give up there secret, until it was almost too late.

I was just three years old when this movie first came out. I'm not sure when I saw it for the first time, but I've loved this little guy for as long as I can remember. He's cute, in a monstrous sort of way; he's vicious, and just downright funny. Leprechauns are supposed to be these cute little men who like to cause harmless mischief; not this little devil who likes to kill anyone who gets in his way. It's just like a killer Santa: it's just not right. But at the same time, it's hard to be scared of this guy because he's so darn cute and funny. That's not to say that he doesn't do some horrible things, because he certainly does. In this one, he actually killed a man with a pogo stick. Just jumped up and down right on the guy's chest. It's comical, sure, but just imagine! That had to hurt. As far as I can remember, he's always had unique and entertaining kills, which is one of the reasons that I love him.

Give me back me gold!
So, once the Leprechaun gets his gold back, will he stop tormenting the ones who took it? Well, if they haven't spent it, or eaten it (like Ozzy did...), I suppose he would. But that rarely happens; people who come into that sort of money will usually spend it pretty quickly. A lot of the times, people will give him back a portion, thinking that he won't notice if they keep just a little bit -- which is far from true. He knows exactly how much he's supposed to have, and he's not going to let you off easy. Even if you do think it's just a little bit. So, it's usually just one attempt after another, until everyone is dead and he can get every little bit of his gold back.

Now, is the movie perfect? No, of course not. The effects aren't the best I've ever seen, but they're far from the worst. But that's really the only thing going against it, and I can live with that. Jennifer Aniston plays Tory, and she must be good since she's come so far since then. I loved Ozzy and Alex the most, though. They worked really well together, and I loved both of those characters. Ozzy, the big teddy bear; and Alex, the cute little potty mouth ("Fuck you, Lucky Charms!" ha!) The story is great, I think, even if it is a little silly. If you take a look at the mythology of Leprechauns, though, it really isn't all that farfetched. It does make sense; it's just not something we're used to seeing. Perfect? No. Entertaining? Hell yes! I mean...it's a killer Leprechaun for crying out loud. How could you not love it?


MMM Day 2: #335 -- The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Director: James Whale
Rating: 5 / 5

I first saw this many years ago and, even though I didn't remember everything about it, I did remember that it was very sad. The first one was sad in how misunderstood The Monster was; but this one is on another level entirely. It really tugged at my heartsrings, and actually brought tears to my eyes. The Monster definitely proved himself a very tragic character here, as if there was any doubt. This, along with the first, doesn't exactly feel like a horror movie to me. Sure, there are mad scientists, and the monster that came from their experiments, and all that good stuff. But The Monster isn't the villain at all. The townspeople are the real monsters here, because they refuse to even try to understand him. They see something different, they don't understand it, and so they attack it. They're bullies. If they'd taken the time to get to know him, they'd realize that he meant no harm to anyone. It's a tragic, dramatic love story...with monsters. The best kind!

So, at the end of the first movie, we saw the angry mob chase Henry and his Monster to a windmill and try to kill them with fire. They thought they were successful, but they, of course, were not. Henry was injured, but The Monster was only plagued with anger. At first, it seemed like he'd changed; like he was so angry that he didn't even care anymore, because he was attacking people for no reason. But then I realized that these were the people that had chased him there and set fire to him. He wanted revenge. Once he got away from those people, he changed back into the big teddy bear that I've always loved. He actually made a friend in this one: a lonely, blind musician. He was drawn to the man because of his music, and the man was extremely kind to him. He was blind to his "hideous" features, but he wasn't blind to his sweet nature. The man took care of him, fed him, gave him wine and cigars, and even taught him how to speak. At one point, The Monster began to cry, because he'd finally found a friend. But of course, all good things must come to an end. A couple of hunters wandered by and tried to attack The Monster. Afraid, he thrashed about and ended up setting fire to the old man's shack. Fortunately, the hunters had gotten the old man out before the fire consumed everything.

Meanwhile, back at the Frankenstein Castle, Henry was recovering, and he and Elizabeth finally got married. He was visited by Dr. Pretorious, a man with his own plan. He was able to create these little miniature people in glass bottles, and he said that he grew them himself, rather than creating them from dead parts. How he did this, I have no idea, but it was definitely interesting. What he wanted to do was combine their separate brands of genius to create another creature: a bride for The Monster. Henry wanted no part of it, however. He resisted, until Pretorious brought The Monster to his house and kidnapped Elizabeth. So, Henry agreed in order to get his girl back. It was successful, and the bride was born. But she, like everyone else, was terrified of The Monster. Heartbroken, The Monster decided that he no longer wished to live, and he planned on taking his new Bride, as well as Dr. Pretorious down with him. He actually let Henry and Elizabeth leave, though I don't really understand why. I feel like he was angry with Henry for creating and then abandoning him. The only explanation that I can come up with is this: The Monster knew that they were in love, something he wished desperately to feel, and he thought that they should be able to enjoy that for as long as possible. He's a monster, sure, but he's a compassionate soul. I've always preferred this one to the first, probably because, even though I'm a horror lover, I'm also a sucker for a good love story. This one is tragic, but it's still a love story. It evoked emotions within me that I've been through in my life: abandonment, loneliness, and misunderstanding.

In the first movie, Boris Karloff's name wasn't included in the credits. Where it should have been, there was a question mark instead. Here, he's credited as just Karloff. At the end of the credits, it says: "The monster's mate: ?" So, they stuck with that little tactic, which I found to be really cool in the first movie. Of course, now we know that The Bride was Elsa Lanchester (who also played Mary Shelley, which I have just now realized), but I just think it's an awesome scare tactic. I think more movies should do this; it adds some mystery.


May Monster Madness Day 1 -- Monster Spotlight: Zombies

So, May Monster Madness is finally here. I feel like I'm late, but it cannot be helped. I work the night shift, so the only time I have to write is during the day. I actually did try to watch a movie, but exhaustion took over and I kept falling asleep every five or ten minutes. So, that's out of the question, sadly. Instead, my first day is going to be a simple one. I did Monster Spotlight once before, and never did find the will to do it again. I guess now is the perfect time, and I'm going to focus on my favorite of all horror movie monsters: zombies! From here on out, I will be reviewing monster movies, but for now, let's talk about some of those awesome undead creatures. These are my favorite zombies.

Fat Santa Zombie from Silent Night, Zombie Night

I watched Silent Night Zombie Night for Creepmas last year, and I was really disappointed by it. That being said, one of the zombies left a mark on me. I don't know what it is about this guy, but I thought he was so awesome. He looks like he just ate one too many Christmas pies or something. He was most definitely the best part about that movie.

Zombie Baby from Dead Alive

This is an entirely different story, however. I loved Dead Alive. It was cheesy, it was gory, and just all around a good time. This little guy is what happens when two zombies make love. If a zombie love scene isn't awesome enough, add in a little zombie child chewing its way out of its mother. And he's just so gosh-darn cute, don't you think? The first thing I thought when I saw him was, "This is what mine and Jason's baby will look like." Jason Voorhees is my future husband, and I see him in pretty much everything. I do honestly believe this is what our child is going to look like. So, that's reason enough for me to love him. Rock on, Jason Jr.!

Cemetery Zombie from Night of the Living Dead

There were plenty of great zombies in this classic movie, but this is the one that stuck with me. His is one of the first faces you see in the movie, and he is precisely what was "coming" for Barbara. He is a part of one of the most known and quoted scenes in horror, and I love him for it. I love all the other zombies in the movie as well; especially the way their heads sounded when they were hit by hammers. Great stuff.

Julie from Return of the Living Dead 3

I'm sure there are quite a few people out there who were confused by Julie. Is she something that I want to run away from; or do I want to jump her bones? She was sexy as hell, and I personally consider her a sex symbol. I don't care if she was dead or not. Not only was she a bombshell, but she was also a badass. She was not one to be fucked with, even though that's precisely what I'd like to do with her. I'd just have to steer clear of all the glass/springs/wires pierced into her body.

"I can feel myself rot" zombie from Return of the Living Dead

What I love about this gal is that she was the first talking zombie that I'd ever seen. She might even be the first talking zombie ever; I'm not sure. She explained exactly why she and her zombie friends had to eat brains, and she succeeded in making me feel bad for them. She was such a sad lady.

"Send more paramedics" zombie from Return of the Living Dead

Most of my favorite zombie characters do come from the ROTLD series, because...well, those movies rock. I just love this guy, because that was one of my favorite scenes in the movie; and it's one of my favorite horror quotes ever. It was just so funny. The words themselves are funny, but the way he said it made it even better. It was like he was ordering Chinese food. 

The zombie chickens from Poultrygeist

There's nothing quite like zombie chickens, especially ones that people feel inclined to sing about. This movie is one of my absolute favorites. It had everything going for it, and the zombies were fantastic. I mean...angry Native American spirits trapped in frozen chickens that have come to life. What could be better?

Tarman from Return of the Living Dead

Ahh, Tarman. We all love you. Not only does he look awesome, but he was pretty darn scary, especially when he showed up out of nowhere, dripping his goo everywhere. Besides, he's the reason that all those cute graphics say "Brainssss!" in their thought bubbles rather than "Any body part I can get ahold of!" Or "Flesh!" Neither of which have quite the same ring to them. 

So, those are my favorite zombies. I think it's pretty easy to tell what my favorite zombie movie is, huh? Who are your favorite zombies? Anyone I left out? 

Oh, and enjoy these other wonderful Monster-related posts!


#334 -- Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust (2008)

Director: Silvia st. Croix
Rating: 3.5 / 5

When I saw the first of this trilogy, I loved it. It was delightfully cheesy, with just enough horror to make it amazing. Even though I've still yet to see the third one, I think I can safely say that I'm a fan of the trilogy. This one wasn't quite as good as the first, but it was still really enjoyable.

At the end of part one, we left off with the rest of the gingerbread men being sold at some sort of bake sale. I guess they thought that only that one particular cookie had been possessed; otherwise, why in the hell would they have sold them? Anyways, when this one starts out, one of those cookies is being delivered to a movie studio, along with a box of other goodies. This time, Gingerdead Man isn't killing for revenge, though. Sadly, he didn't come back for Sarah. This time, he's trying to move his soul into an actual human body, and he plans this from something that he read in a Satanic spell book. It, of course, calls for some human sacrifices, so he sets about killing everyone at this movie studio.

Cheatum Studios is own by a guy named Kelvin. He inherited the place from his father, and is apparently running it into the ground. They've got no money, they're running several products that they can hardly afford, and everyone on set hates each other and they're always getting into fights. Plus, their biggest celebrity is a little whiny brat, because he think he's better than the part he's supposed to play, and he spends most of his time in his trailer refusing to come out. They've got plenty of problems. When this killer cookie shows up, though, those problems don't seem like such a big deal. I think what I like most about this movie is the movies that Cheatum was making. There was one called Space Spankers, or something like that; there was some sort of parasite in some girl, and the only way to get it out was to vigorously spank her. There was something about a Hamburger Detective, and then the best one...Tiny Terrors. This one was about some little demonic puppet creatures, and they were fantastic. One looked like the love child of Papa Smurf and the Abominable Snowman. One was an evil robot; one was a big-boobed pirate lady, and one called Shit-For-Brains that was a baby doll with shit on top of its head. Then, there was one called The Haunted Dildo. It was literally a dick with a face, in a tuxedo. I seriously want them to make a movie just about these little guys. Hell, they could make a movie just about The Haunted Dildo, and I would be all over it.

Anyways, there were some other things going for the movie. I really liked Kelvin, I think mostly because of this guy's acting. It was horrible, but I could tell that it was purposely horrible, which I love. There was also a guy named Tommy, who was a part of a Make A Wish foundation, and his dying wish was to see the studio. He was wonderful, and I thought the actor that portrayed him was phenomenal. There weren't really that many gore effects to speak of, even though there were a lot more kills here than in the first one. The most memorable kill was when Gingerdead Man fucked a gay guy in the ass with a curling iron. Good stuff.

Even though there were some great things going on here, I don't think it was quite as good as the first one. There were more kills, true, but it was missing that special something that the first one had. There weren't as many cookie-puns; or, if there were, they were forgettable. There was no Gary Busey, which I think had something to do with it, since we got used to the idea of him being the Gingerdead Man. That's really the only problem I had with it: that it wasn't quite as funny as the first. But despite that, I still found it highly entertaining, and I'm looking forward to seeing part three.


#333 -- Albino Farm (2009)

Directors: Joe Anderson & Sean McEwen
Rating: 3 / 5

There were a few reasons that I found this interesting. First, and most obvious, the synopsis and title together gave me an idea of what the movie was about, and I liked it. Second, Chris Jericho. I like his in-ring character, so I was interested in seeing what type of character he'd be playing here. From the title and the little bit of information in the synopsis, I thought that this was going to be about some kind of farm where people are transformed into mutants; then, said mutants run rampant throughout the town, and these random kids will have to fight for their lives. It was nothing like that. I'll get to it in a moment.

First, let's meet our characters. Stacy, the final girl who is far from interesting. Brian, the asshole. Melody, the skanky one (because she took her tits out to convince Jericho and company to take them to the Albino Farm). And Sanjay, the nerd/token minority. None of these characters were extremely interesting. I'd say my favorite was Sanjay, but that's just because I have a soft spot for nerds. He didn't have that many lines, and he wasn't all that interesting either. The most interesting thing about them was how stupid they were. So, they were going on a trip, of course. Doing a project for school on rural America and its legends, or something like that. They get a flat tire after almost running over a dwarf, and they end up at a gas station where a fat blind man tells them that they should go home. He says something about a legend, mutters nonsense no one understands, and convinces the kids that they just have to find out what this legend is all about. So, they go in search of it. In the town of Shiloh, they find out that these people aren't normal; they all suffer from a deformity of some sort. Some just have hair-lips or crooked eyes; some others have claw hands and other nasty stuff. No one wants to tell them anything about the Albino Farm. Still convinced that it's real and they have to find it, they continue on their journey, until they meet Jericho and company. After paying them twenty bucks and flashing some boobies at them, they agree to take them where they want to go.

The Albino Farm is a fenced in establishment where mutants run around killing people. These people are seriously fucked up, and they're pretty angry about something. Maybe they just don't like outsiders. So, one by one, the group starts to die off. The last two end up in some caves, running from the mutants and blowing shit up.

I was kind of confused about all this at first, but I think I get it. The townspeople were all uber religious (which I'm sure is completely shocking to everyone). There was some scripture that said something about deformed people being cast out. So, I assume that all these deformed folks were imprisoned in the "farm," and some of their descendants were still there, just waiting until some poor kids showed up. That doesn't really explain how the other people were free (they weren't as bad as those in the farm, but they were still technically deformed in some way). I guess that, after so many years, they realized what they were doing wasn't right and stopped imprisoning people. Some were just unlucky.

The movie wasn't great. There wasn't a lot of suspense, and it wasn't entirely unique. We've all seen this shit many times before. I will say, though, that the creature effects were wonderful. The mutants in the farm were truly disgusting and ugly; and they looked great. The acting? It was okay. I really enjoyed Chris Jericho, though. I like him inside the ring; even when he's being a dick, he's entertaining. Some people have problems with his character here, because he's a dumb redneck (his in-ring persona is very intelligent), but I still found him entertaining. He was funny, and definitely the most interesting character of the lot. It was just too bad that he wasn't present more often. The movie really tried, but it just fell short. It had some things going for it, but in the end it was completely forgettable.


#332 -- Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Rating: 5 / 5

Once again, I'm caught reviewing a movie that's not technically horror. IMDB classifies it as drama/fantasy/war. But I really don't give a shit what anyone else calls it. There are elements at work here that just scream horror to me. Besides, it's one of my favorite movies, and I'll review it if I want to, dammit.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, the princess of the Underworld escaped into the human realm. Having been in the dark for so long, the sun blinded her and made her forget who she was. Devastated, her father had portals erected all around the world, awaiting her return. He was certain that she would return one day; perhaps in a different form, in a different time. But she would return, and he would be ready to embrace her.

In Spain, in the 1940s, during war-time, a young girl named Ofelia moved to the countryside with her mother. They lived with Ofelia's new stepfather, Captain Vidal, an evil and malicious army captain. Her mother was with child and very sick, though Captain Vidal didn't care about her at all. All he cared about was having a son that would carry on his name (which didn't work for him). Vidal wasn't only cruel to his enemies; he was cruel to everyone he came in contact with, unless they completely obeyed him without question. Even then, they could never be sure that he wouldn't turn on them. With her mother being ill, and herself being surrounded by death and violence, it's no surprise that Ofelia longed for an escape. A fairy-like creature led her to a labyrinth out in the woods, where she met the Faun. The Faun told her that she was the long-lost princess of the Underworld, and that her father was awaiting her return. Before she could return to her throne, however, she would have to complete a set of tasks to prove that her soul hadn't turned mortal. The Faun gave her a magical book that would explain each of her tasks, and these tasks had to be completed by the full moon.

Pale Man
Ofelia's tasks led her on an incredible adventure, and she met some very interesting creatures. There was a giant toad living in the trunk of a massive tree; the fairy-like creatures I mentioned earlier, which were able to shapeshift and sometimes resembled stick-bugs. There were two creatures that out-shined all the rest. First, a creature called Pale Man, who reminded me of Lord Voldemort, with his flat snake-like nose. His eyes weren't in his head, though; they were in his hands. His body was disgusting, yet somehow compelling (he looked like a naked old man, thankfully not anatomically correct), and he was genuinely creepy as fuck. Then there's the Faun, who was an absolute masterpiece. He's based on the Pan of Greek mythology, which is obvious by the title. Pan was a goat/human hybrid in those mythologies, and that was taken to another level completely here. Visually, Pan's Labyrinth is one-hundred-percent stunning and beautiful. The story was incredible, and I liked how it stayed true to mythology while creating something completely different (like how Ofelia was not supposed to eat anything when she entered the lair of Pale Man, as with Persephone when she first entered the Underworld). The conflicting emotions of child-like wonder, fear, hatred, and love definitely made for a wild ride.

The Faun

To me, Pan's Labyrinth is a perfect movie. It has everything that a good movie should have: wonderful characters, beautiful cinematography, uniquely compelling and spooky creatures; suspense, and scenes that will make you genuinely worry about the characters you've come to love. It is a very dark fairy tale that is both beautiful and frightening.

Fun fact: Some of you might already know this, but I certainly did it. Doug Jones, who played both The Faun and Pale Man, also played Abe in the Hellboy series. I think this guy has a knack for portraying fantastical and awesome creatures.

#331 -- The Slaughterhouse Massacre (2005)

Director: Paul Gagne
Rating: 2 / 5

So, I went to Movie Stop the other day because I realized that I hadn't bought anything new in a while, and I wanted to add something to my collection. I decided to buy one that I'd seen and knew I liked, and then one that I hadn't seen. So, I bought Dead Silence, and...this. Thank goodness it was only $2.99. I walked out of the store hoping that it would be good, but knowing deep down that it probably wouldn't. Mostly because on the cover it boasted that it was "more terrifying than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," and that it was "the scariest movie of the year!" If it was really any good, it wouldn't be comparing itself to something else. But...why compare your shitty movie to one that people around the world have come to absolutely cherish? That's just dumb. But I digress...

Let me break it down for you. The story of the killer is broken into different parts in the movie, so you find out new information a little at a time. But I'll just let you in on the whole sorry mess right now. Marty Sickle (clever, right?), who worked at the slaughterhouse, raped and killed some girl. Everyone knew he did it, but due to lack of evidence, he was set free. The girl's boyfriend and his jock friends decided to take matters into their own hands, so they went to the slaughterhouse to get some revenge. They hanged Marty over a tub and left. But the rope broke, and Marty fell into the water. Uncomfortable, probably, but very much alive. A little while later, a couple decided to go into the slaughterhouse to have sex (because to the girl, the idea of making love where defenseless animals were murdered was extremely arousing). Marty came out of the shadows, killed the guy, and the girl took his head off with a machete.

The first scene in the movie was that couple getting freaky next to the tub. The scene took about ten minutes. Then it cut to ten years later, and a group of college kids had decided to go to the slaughterhouse. By then, Marty was an urban legend. They said that, if you go to the slaughterhouse, at the exact place where he died, and say a rhyme ("Sickle once, Sickle twice, Marty came to take a life," or some stupid shit like that) three times, he'd rise up from the tub and kill everyone. So, the guys thought it would be funny to get one of their friends to put on a costume and jump out at their girlfriends to scare them out of their bras and panties. But the thing is, it took them for-FUCKING-ever to even get there. There was a ridiculously long party scene (a very boring party, by the looks of it; I thought college kids were experts on this...) that was absolutely pointless, and then they finally made their way to the slaughterhouse. They did their little rhyming game, but their stoner friend (whose name was, literally, Stoner) was too busy -- you guessed it-- getting stoned in his car outside to remember that he was supposed to be doing something. That was his role throughout the entire movie, by the way: getting stoned in the car. He did nothing else until the last ten minutes. Anyways, when they started to hear creepy things, the guys just thought it was Stoner doing what he was supposed to be doing. It wasn't, of course, and it turns out that their little rhyme actually worked.

Looks more like a pedophile than a psycho-killer...
When I started to get really bored and looked at the timer, I realized that nearly an hour had went by, and nothing had happened. It took about ten minutes for those kids to die at the beginning. The party scene was about twenty minutes, and I think fifteen of those focused on two naked chicks making out. Then, once they finally left the party, they spent 5-10 minutes wandering around an abandoned town, with the final girl whining constantly about how she wanted to go home. So, that's approximately thirty/fourty-five minutes. At about the fifty minute mark, someone finally got killed, and by that point, I would have been happy with someone falling down and bumping their head. The kill was actually pretty decent, but it only got worse from there. And, after wasting so much time developing characters that still remained underdeveloped, they actually killed one person offscreen. After wasting our time, they had the balls to not show us everything, those fuckers. The entire movie was about an hour and a half, so you can see how long any real action took place. Actually, scratch that. There was no real action. The so-called action sequences were rushed and half-assed and didn't look good at all.

Let me go back to that final girl. I hated her. She was annoying as fuck, and all I wanted was for her to shut the hell up. I actually liked her best friend more; but she, for some reason wasn't final girl material. I guess because she didn't rope her cheating boyfriend into proposing to her by telling him she was pregnant. The movie wasn't that bad, technically speaking. The kills did look cheesy, but I've definitely seen worse. It was just too slow, boring, and had too many scenes that made absolutely no sense at all (like the girl taking her skirt off at the end, for no reason whatsoever). It boasts that it's scarier than TCM; but it's just a shitty rip-off that tried to be good and failed miserably.


#330 -- Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Director: Robert Hiltkiz
Rating: 4 / 5

One thing you should understand about this movie: it's really not all that good, technically speaking. There's not a whole lot of action and the kills are kind of dull; plus, the main character is a weirdo. But, dammit, it's entertaining and I love it. I'm not the only one who loves it, so you can't blame it on my soft spot for summer camp horror. It's genuinely an awesome movie.

The two main characters are Angela and Ricky. Angela's father and brother were killed in a horrible accident when she was little, and she went to live with her super creepy aunt and Ricky. Auntie sent them away to camp Arawak, and that's when things got sticky. Angela was not a normal kid by any means, which I guess is understandable after all the trauma she'd been through, with watching her family die and everything. She never spoke, never participated in any activities, and for a good chunk of the movie all she did do was stare at people. Definitely not your average kid, which is why all the other kids liked to pick on her. They were absolute pricks to her, which kind of pissed me off. Sure, she was different, but that doesn't give you any reason to be so mean. The only person who actually got to know her was Ricky's best friend, Paul. He had a little crush on her, and they ended up having their version of a summer fling. He was the only person that could get her to talk. It was sweet.

Let's get back to everyone picking on Angela; whenever this happened, they died. The first person you'll actually be extremely glad about. From the moment they arrived at camp, you could tell this guy was a pedophile. He actually tried to molest/rape Angela, and he ended up with a huge barrel of boiling water dumped on him. Good fucking riddance. Since the murders happened after someone had done something wrong to Angela, it's pretty easy to guess who the killer was; it was one of two people. I could tell you which one, and it wouldn't ruin the ending at all, but I won't do that. I'll let you figure all that good stuff out for yourself.

The kills really aren't anything special, which is extremely unfortunate. If they had been, this movie would be right up there with the rest of my favorites. The one memorable one was when it was implied that a girl was fucked to death with a curling iron. I'm not sure if that was the intention, or if that's what actually happened, but...it sure as hell seemed like it. And that's just hilarious. Other than that, though, they're pretty bland. The characters are another story altogether. You'll be creeped out by Angela, but feel sorry for her at the same time. You'll love Ricky because he's so sweet and protective; plus he's got a mouth on him that would make a sailor blush. Paul was also a sweetheart, and you'll love the cute little relationship that he and Angela had. The rest you'll probably hate. They were all dickheads. When they were killed, even if the kills were a bit dull, you'll love it just because it means they'll finally shut the fuck up. So, the characters were interesting and easily evoked some kind of emotion, whether it was good or bad.

But none of that even matters. The best part of this movie is the ending, and that's what makes it so popular. There's a twist that you will not expect at all, and it's just so fucked up that you can't help but love it. Plus, it's the scariest part in the whole movie. It genuinely creeps me out. And it's so messed up you won't know whether you want to laugh, cry, or puke all over everything. So, if you can make it to the end (I'm making that sound like a more difficult task than it is; it's not that bad), you definitely won't be sorry.