Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Forest

I had to do something before I pulled myself into fishnets and eyeliner for the new year's evening's festivities, so I watched pseudo-slasher with a supernatural element, THE FOREST. Quick aside - the new year's plans did NOT amount to much being as how New Year's Eve is a great big fat amateur night, imo. It's just an excuse for regular dumbasses to get drunk and obnoxious. I don't need a holiday or even a specific reason to get drunk and/or obnoxious, because I'm always representing. So yeah, went and put in an appearance or two and then I'm reinserted myself into pajamas, almost two hours before midnite rolled around and then fell asleep to NEW YEAR'S EVIL on the vhs player. Word. I must be getting old. Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled review -

Two married couples - Steve and Sharon and Terri and Charles - decide over a playfully chauvinistic dinner one evening to take a camping trip to revitalize their marriages. Yes, I said it was a slasher of sorts and if you're as sick of slashers as I am of zombies, there's probably little I can say to sway your opinion of THE FOREST right off the bat. But there is a curious melding of horror flavors here which more than set this apart from its stalk and slash brethren and we'll get to them in a second. The girls set off first, out right defying their husbands (!), with the destination being an agreed upon campsite a few hours hike through the woods. Steve and Charles aren't far behind them, but some radiator trouble and a slow mechanic put them several hours behind the girls.

Night falls and the girls set up camp and are visited not by a hulking brute with a machete and coveralls but a pair of ghostly children who warn them in ethereal voices to beware their daddy. They disappear into the darkness and the children's ominous mommy shows up, telling the girls if they see her kids to send them home for a severe punishment. By the time she disappears, the women are more than a bit freaked out and and Sharon takes off to hide. Terri waits in the campsite, hopefully for the arrival of Steve and Charles, but is instead visited by John, the ghost kids' daddy who is very much alive with a taste for human flesh. When Terri asks John not to hurt her he responds, 'I don't want to hurt you, but I'm starving....' He quickly dispatches Terri with a hunting knife in a rather realistically gory way and then drags her body back to his cave for supper time.

A few beats later, Steve and Charlie arrive at John's lair, which is decorated with cane furniture and a candelabra. There's a nice looking roast cooking on a spit and John shows up outta nowhere and offers the men some dinner. Steve, Terri's husband, obliges, eats some of the meat, which John claims is deer meat, and then has a weird cold chill. John then regales them with the tale (told through an over the top flashback) of how he killed his cheating wife after he caught her in bed with the refrigerator repair guy. Oh yeah, and she had the kids locked in the closet as she fornicated.

So John had no fucking choice but to off her and leave their two children suicidal and move to a cave in the middle of the wilderness. Sounds reasonable, non? And now Steve and Charlie are at his cannibalistic mercy. Trust me, a compound fracture will be suffered and more blood will be spilled as the rest of this supernatural stalk and slash unfolds....

I mentioned how this is a curious melding of horror flavors and I wasn't joking. The setup at the beginning is your straightforward slasher set up, and almost reminded me a little bit of Jeff Lieberman's JUST BEFORE DAWN. It's efficient as far as staging and atmosphere goes, and as I mentioned, the gore is gratifyingly realistic. So if this was the sum of its parts, which it's not, this would be a great Friday the 13th riff. But add a dash of ghostly kids, a vindictive ghostly mama, and a crazy, almost sympathetic, murderous daddy, and you've got yourself something wholly unique. The ghost kids make it almost bittersweet and Gary Kent ( who plays the lunatic dad) brings a pathos to his character that makes the whole affair seem almost vindicated. BUT, he's a freakin' cannibal, and while we never see him in all out human flesh tearin' mode (i.e. chowing down on a liver or anything) we can't get too sentimental about his state of affairs.

So what of the themes, my fellow perverts? You know I'm an English teacher and I need to discuss the undercurrents. All good slashers aren't without them, and I'd safely put this on the list of basically unheard of, or at least unhailed, good slashers. There's definitely a theme of marital discord running through the whole deal, hence the beginning and the whole plot setup as we have it. Although, some of it does seem a little offensive (were you surprised?) in that the women are perpetually patronised. But then it falls back on its chauvinistic head when the girls find themselves in the woods alone and are praying for the men to arrive. I don't quite know what to make of it all...So I'll move on, because I've had some wine and also worked New Year's Day brunch, which trust me, is not fun...

Despite the frustrating aspects of woman's portrayal in this film (and many others, mind you), I'm also frustrated that we never learn the catalyst for John's cannibalism. Sure, he lives in a region teeming with wildlife, yet never resorted to hunting? How could he count on the occasional passerby to provide him with a food source? This is frustrating in and of it self, but with a cast of only four victims, my bloodlust is also hardly sated. Sorry, ya'll know I'm not a gorehound, but I love a high body count, especially if the kills are inventive. Here they're just kind ho hum.

Everyone is pretty darn believable, if not unintentionally amusing (think the placement of some cheesy 'feminist' rock songs, not that I even know what that means), in their prescribed roles. Suspense is dealt out in believable doses and, while there's plenty left wanting in the end, as far as unanswered questions are concerned, this is still a pretty enjoyable romp. It's neither classifiable as a slasher or a ghost tale or any other subgenre really, but still holds its on for this strange amalgamation alone. Worth checking out at only an hour an half, for reals.

Check it out..if you give it a chance you might even find yourself harkening back to Fulci's HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY. There are some similar elements, at least enough to warrant a pretty close comparison.

Happy New Year, pervs.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary to ME!

Ya'll need to put on your party hats and party like this crow because today marks the Cavalcade's first anniversary. And while I'm not one to linger too long with past reflections of a year gone by or muse too long on coming resolutions, this has been a great year, blogwise as well as otherwise. I absolutely love being part of this here blog-i-verse. I can't say that I have any specific plans for the next year of the Cavalcade's existence as of this moment, but I will resolve to keep trying to make it awesome and wonderful and weird. And more cats in costumes, fer sure. All my followers are the best perverts I know! Here's to a great next year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from all of us - me, Moochie, Deniro (pictured above in her xmas finery), Tuna, October, and Bela - at the Cavalcade of Perversions! Looking forward to drinking myself silly, getting some awesome stuff, namely a big old pile of cash from the parent types, and firing up the old VCR for drunken movie watching late into this evening and the next. Hope ya'll perverts all have a good one! Love you!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Barn of the Naked Dead (1973)

Simone, Loretta, and Sherri are three cute dancers on their way to Las Vegas to meet their agent. Of course, they have to drive through the desert and break down along the way in the middle of freakin' nowhere. After a night spent in their car, Andre comes to the rescue and takes them in his beat up old jeep to his nearby farm. Left to explore while Andre goes to get something within the house, the girls discover a caged cougar and an outbuilding where at least ten young girls are chained to posts in the floor. Before they can even react, Andre adds these three new lovelies to his menagerie and later becomes convinced that Simone is the reincarnation of his dead mother.

That's about all there is to the threadbare plot which grinds to a halt after Simone and company are captured by Andre. Occasionally, the captives are forced into mock circus acts as Andre bull whips them, but the whole circus thing kinda seems forced. It's like, oh here are some cages at the location we found for our movie - let's tie in a circus theme of sorts! I would have like to have seen it used more to Andre's advantage, it could he's a total psycho and thinks women are animals and the actor (Andrew Prine) plays the part with such chilling aplomb it made it almost difficult for this girl to sit through. He's got some amazing lines like, 'I'm your trainer - you obey me and you'll be part of the greatest animal menagerie of history - disobey me and you will SUFFER!' and 'Breeding is important - some of them seem untrainable - it will be my DUTY as ringmaster to train them!'

However, Andre ain't all that in that he never carries a gun, but can apparently overpower three fit young ladies without so much as a struggle. Director Alan Ruldolph (yes, the same Alan Rudolph who directed CHOOSE ME and TROUBLE IN MIND) seems almost embarrassed by scenes like this, and quickly cuts away before the viewer has time to think about what just happened. But this viewer, who has ample time to think about all kinds of stuff, couldn't help being offended by the outright stupidity of the women in this movie.

Certainly, the minimal brutality we are actually treated to in the film isn't enough to break these women's wills so easily. I cannot be forced to buy that these women at some point or another (some having been held captive by Andre for as long as six months) had tried some form of escape. As a weird film aficionado, I guess you could say I'm used to (for lack of a better term) women being depicted as weak, but being depicted as stupid is another thing entirely.

For instance, when Andre becomes convinced that Simone is his dead mother, he unshackles her and then whips the living daylights out of Sherri. Simone idly watches - couldn't she use her new found maternal authority to thwart Andre's attempts to harm her friend? She does have the smarts to play along; however, instead of trying to convince Andre to let the girls go, she more just pumps him for information to carry the plot and action along.

Another instance of women's lack of intellect here is when one girl who has become useless to Andre for whatever reason is 'set free.' Before letting her go, Andre makes her don a yellow smock which he smears with cow's blood. He gives her a running start and then releases the wild cougar he keeps in a cage for this express purpose to hunt her down. How can she be so naive? The cougar is right there! She could just take the blood-soaked shirt off! But no, she runs out into the desert and of course, gets killed.

Oh, and there's some HILLS HAVE EYES-ish back story (even though this film was made in 1973 and HHE was made in 1977, but you get it) involving some nuclear testing in the area. Andre's dad has been deformed and mutilated by atomic radiation and stalks the farm, occasionally getting his burned hands on a fleeing victim or two. But this whole things seems stilted and arbitrary (a jab at the Man? At the Establishment, maybe?) and meaninglessly tacked on to the end of the film as some sort of plot device (?).

The film was in part modeled after the case of Robert Hansen of Anchorage, Alaska. Between 1977 and 1981, Hansen tortured and sexually abused seventeen women. What was most chilling about his crimes was that he would release the women naked into the countryside, give them a head start, and then track them down with a high-powered hunting rifle. He was eventually caught and received life imprisonment.

It's all grisly enough and weird, but not in a wonderful way like a movie called BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD should be. Prine as Andre is the true star here, chewing scenery all over the place and generally being as menacing as possible. He's a charismatic psycho and charming, if not completely off his rocker. Andre and his creepy dialogue are the one thing keeps this from settling right into an utter waste. The film can be found under the alternate title TERROR CIRCUS.

Window Decorator by Charles Simic

In my stir-crazy, snowed-in state, I found some seasonally morbid poetry for you all. Enjoy!

I see you put Christmas Lights
And a tree in the window
Of a funeral home. Very nice,
I say. There are even teased
Wads of white cotton
To make us think of snow,
From the same stash, I suppose,
You plug ears and noses with.

Lord knows what else
You've got waiting for us beyond
The heavy, ornate door.
Santa's beard for grandma
Laid out in her coffin?
A new sled for some little girl
And even a lone snowflake
Freshly fallen on her sleeping cheek?

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Christmas Outfit

Only I'm gonna alter it into a sexy dress with two santa heads on the boobs and one on the crotch. So hot.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Yes, Pigs! is the name of the movie I just watched. This is not a post about excitement over Wilbur or Babe, Pig in the City or anything regarding actual pigs. And yes, the exclamation point is part of the title. I'm not overly exuberant enough about pigs to justify punctuating the title in such a manner on my own.

However, I am pretty excited about the movie Pigs! It has a surreal, almost psychedelic feel, which I wasn't expecting going in, because I had little expectations at all about a 70's film possibly about pigs distributed by Troma that was for some reason in my netflix queue. It could have gone either way - I would wind up loving it and singing its praises from the balcony of my condo like a crazy person or I would relegate it to some underused portion of my brain never to be called upon again. I'm pleased to say the former wound up being true. Shall we?

The pretty, but disturbed, Lynn (director Marc Lawrence's daughter, Toni Lawrence), stabs her father after years of sexual abuse. She's condemned to a mental institution, but escapes when a nurse on Lynn's ward disrobes to fuck a doctor type and Lynn winds up stealing her outfit and car. She drives a bit and winds up at weirdo ex-circus performer Zambrini's (director Marc Lawrence) ramshackle cafe in the countryside. Exhausted and broke, Lynn asks Zambrini for employment and he eerily complies, offering her less than Ritzy accommodations in the back of the restaurant.

Before Lynn arrives we know Zambrini's up to no good, as we saw him feed a dead man to his pigs. But he's not all bad, see, since he apologizes to the corpse beforehand. "I gotta do it, they got used to human flesh. The first time it was an accident - they got loose in the field. There was a drunk in the field asleep, yeah, asleep." Did Zambrini actually kill this unfortunate fellow or did he dig him up somewhere? Director Lawrence thankfully keeps Zambrini's necro-dealings ambiguous.

No worries, Lynn's pretty deranged herself, and Zambrini quickly takes her under his wing. Sensing she's on the run, but not really caring why, Zambrini covers for her when local law enforcement (pig joke here, too easy) Sheriff Dan starts sniffing around. Seems the tags on Lynn's VW have expired and she's attracting suspicion as the pretty young lass Zambrini's been hanging around with. Zambrini's not without his own acquired suspicions however, as his two dotty old neighbor bitches, Ms. Macy and her sister, Annette, have been complaining about Zambrini and his pigs for quite some time. Ms. Macy will tell anyone that'll listen to her ramblings that Zambrini's been killing people and feeding them to his pigs. She tells Sheriff Dan, "he feeds the pigs dead people and then he eats the pigs!" to which Sheriff Dan replies, "Where does he get the dead people?" Ms. Macy's got an answer for that too and hysterically wails, "From the cemetery after he kills them!" The scenery is chewed right off the set for this hilarious exchange.

Dan then goes on to tell Ms. Macy that body has recently been stolen from the morgue, thus making Zambrini's actions even more ambiguous. However, if you want the less ambiguous, how about Lynn's growing psychopathic nature? After she's nearly raped by a amorous customer from the cafe, she invites him back round to hers the next night and castrates him in her bed. Zambrini, discovering Lynn and her now-dead suitor, calms her as she rocks back and forth, delirious and childlike. And what do you think he does with the dead body?

Things only get more deranged and out of control, spiraling into an almost incestuous feeling love story, between Lynn, a psycho teen with a daddy complex, and Zambrini, a grave-robbing body-snatching pig farmer/possible cannibal. What complicates this further in my mind is the fact that Zambrini and Lynn are father and daughter in real life - taking this to a meta textual level I haven't experienced since Asia and Dario. Zambrini and Lynn never kiss or embrace or do anything on screen that would lead you to believe there is a sexual relationship between them, but they're both so odd, and the dynamic between them so instantly weird, it's hard not to imagine something happening. What confounds this further and takes it to a new level of perversity is that Sheriff Dan implores at one point of Lynn, "are you related to the Great Zambrini?" to which she responds with a resounding no. But Dan's a love rival, having already made his affections known to Lynn on more than one occasion.

It's almost as if Zambrini has become her surrogate father, and because I'm a pervert, and Lynn's been raped by her daddy, it's hard to not think of Zambrini possibly doing the same. There is one particularly hellish sequence in which Lynn is experiencing a nightmare. We see Zambrini enter the darkened room (the print that I watched was horrible - so sometimes it's hard to tell what is going on) and advances across to her bed where she lies sleeping. As we think the rape is imminent, Zambrini makes sure she's asleep and begins slashing her face repeatedly with a straight razor. The camera spins out of control and we're treated to the cacophonous squeals of pigs distorted and amped up to the point of utter madness. That being said, it's a great scene.

For a film titled Pigs! I haven't really talked too much about them thus far. They are a constant fixture here, what could even be referred to as harbingers of death and madness. They certainly mirror the madness Zambrini and Lynn both experience. We see them push their dirty snouts through the rickety gates of the pig pens, we hear their high pitched squeals that wind up just sounding savage. Lynn's screams are often merged with the pig squeals at opportune times during the film, causing much discomfort for the viewer. Not just aurally, but visually as well. Because when Lynn goes crazy, the camera goes crazy.

It makes you feel almost high. That, and the film is neither set here nor there. It's somewhere in the desert, the local economy seems to consist of Zambrini's pig farm and an oil rig, and there aren't that many residents. The fact that most townspeople at least have some kind of idea what Zambrini is up to, but then nothing is really ever done about it, smacks of a surreality. He's allowed to continue in with his grisly business, without anyone challenging him. Weird, right?

But you know, I might be reading to much into it. Yeah, pigs conventionally symbolize greed or uncleanliness, but I don't think director Lawrence lingers too long at a symbolic level. In fact, as I mentioned previously, the pigs, while an overarching presence throughout, could have been left out entirely and the movie could have functioned just on Lynn's burgeoning and continuing madness and killing spree.

And hey, look, a female killer! How unusual. But I've bored you enough for now. Watch Pigs! although I will warn you, some of the 'action' does drag. But it's got a great noise-like score, Toni Lawrence is chilling as Lynn, Zambrini's effectively creepy, and there's a whole lot going on beneath the surface of this forgotten unconventional slasher. Too bad for the unfortunate tagline on some alternate box art I found - 'If you go down to the woods today, you're in for a pig surprise.' Wow, it doesn't get any worse than that. Now that fucking tune is in my head. The film can also be found under the title Daddy's Deadly Darling.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jenn's Essential Holiday Watchin'

Well, the holidays are hard pressed upon us, and this season I can be found scurrying around (read: I go to the wine store and find the least expensive bottles I can find to give out to family members) getting ready for what is probably the cheapest buildup since my last one night stand. Since I don't 'work' that much as is, I can't even boast a terrific vacation to make way for holiday madness, but if there's one thing I do (well?) is watch weird movies and talk about them here. Through my cold medicine and malbec-induced hazed, I bring you my essential holiday movie watch list:

1. Female Trouble, directed by John Waters. JW (as I like to call him) is the one of the main reasons I'm here bringing you perverts hours upon hours of entertainment (ha!). I've derived the name of ye old blog from one of his flicks and I deem him essential viewing any time of year. However, if you see my post prior to this one, you'll see the reason this makes the holiday list.

2. Gremlins. While not an outright Christmas movie, per say, it's still set at Christmas and is weird and wonderful enough for me to watch it every season. It's a kid's movie about monsters and I probably also wouldn't be where I am without a movie that inspired my love of monsters at such a young age. I'm feeling all warm and nostalgic now.

3. Silent Night, Deadly Night, all of them, up through that terrible one Brian Yuzna directed. I don't care, as a horror movie fan at the holidays, you drink tons of wine, get out your gift wrap, start wrapping those gifts, invite your ex over and get to havin' this marathon. End the night forgetting everything you saw except Linnea's boobs impaled on taxidermy and let the tears flow. Feel free to even roll around in the carpet with the VHS still rolling. Wake up the next day wondering if you asked your ex to get back together but don't even feel embarrassed.

4. Black Christmas, the Bob Clark version, of course. A great slasher if there ever was one and Margot Kidder is such a bitch! Not to mention death by crystal unicorn.

5. Santa's Slay. I don't watch pro-wrestling, but damn if I don't become a fan of pro-wrestler Goldberg over the course of this whacked-out tongue-in-cheek holiday horror romp. I show up for the Goldberg, I stick around for the outrageous puns, and I leave with a nice buzz due to lots o' practical violence and silly gore gags. This one's a good time.

Well, I think I'm going to call it a night for now. I've been battling a cold for days now and not feeling all that stellar. But hey, I'm still drinkin' and watchin.' Make sure you check out Elwood Jones' blog, The Depths of DVD Hell for the remainder of this month because he'll be running lots of stuff about what his favorite bloggers deem essential Christmas viewing. He was kind enough to ask me for my thoughts, and you got 'em!

PS. Moochie was not harmed in the pic above. He got in that box and ASKED that we cover him in bows. We could only comply. Ya'll don't understand how insistent he is.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Divine Christmas

Nothing says Christmas like a three-hundred pound drag queen pushing the tree over on her mother because she didn't receive cha-cha heels. Seriously, it's not Christmas if I don't watch this scene with Divine from Female Trouble at least six or seven times. And you'd be surprised at how many people have recently told me real-life stories of the tree falling on a family member.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Night of the Demons

Several nights ago, I don't remember when exactly, because most of my nights have run together due to my aversion to working (read: laziness), I drank copious amounts of vino and watched NIGHT OF THE DEMONS for about the ten millionth time, crying actual tears at its greatness as the story flickered across my retinas. Now, I fucking love NoftheD because it's goddamn good (and I'm about to tell you why) and I dare anyone to challenge me on this fact. Aaron, that does not mean I am challenging you to another duel. In fact, we've been getting along lately, so let's continue in that vein.

Reasons why NIGHT OF THE DEMONS is Cavalcade approved super awesome fun time:

1. Linnea Quigley. Two words and they are Linnea Quigley. I love this glorious scream queen in all her movies, but I especially love her here. She's working with her then husband Steve Johnson (on FX) and he makes her stick a tube of lipstick in her boob. Great stuff. If my husband was ever like, here - stick this tube of lipstick in your tit on camera while you're pretending to be possessed by demons, I don't know if I could. But I would if I was Linnea fuckin' Quigley.

2. FEAR is on the soundtrack. Don't lie. You like FEAR. You like you Bauhaus, too, and you'll hear them here as well.

3. The frame story is gold. You've got an old guy who hates Halloween and gets his comeuppance in the end by the hand of his old lady with some inspiration from an old Halloween urban legend. Razor blades in apples, anyone? Razor blades in apple pie, for that matter?

4. Amelia Kincaid as party hostess, Angela. Love her in her black wedding dress, love her as the creepy goth chick that invites all sorts of jocks to her party at an abandoned haunted funeral party just to fuck with them. Love her even more for for fellating the bullets out of a gun in part III. Had I been half the goth chick Angela was in high school, I would have thrown similar said party and gotten all the assholes to come and then subsequently unleashed demon forces on their asses.

5. Practical effects, lots of cheezy dialogue, lots of stock characters and the ability to not feel old and boring. It's effectively spooky, fun, and Halloween-y. And as we move into Christmas and I get the urge to watch all sorts of Christmas-themed horrors, I can still watch NIGHT OF THE DEMONS any time of year and feel good about it.

As the wine takes effect (I know it's early, but I actually have to go to WORK tomorrow - the HORROR), I'm waxing nostalgic and getting all sentimental. That, and I watched RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III last night, another one that gets me all weepy in that the practical FX are grand, the casting superbly bad but in a good way, and the premise ridiculous. I feel fifteen again. Not bad for a cranky old heavily tattooed cat lady like me.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Hearse

Normally, after all my family members die and my husband divorces me within the same month, I choose to head to my creepy old dead aunt's house out in the middle of nowhere for a summer of fixing up the house, dating ghosts, fighting with lawyers, and leading on young teens that work at their daddy's hardware stores. And being pursued by creepy hearses for no particular reason is always on my list of good times.

Such is how Jane's summer unfolds. She moves out of San Francisco for the summer - you know it's San Francisco cause look, here's some row houses. Over there, the Golden Gate Bridge! Here's some hills. It's all standard boring scene establishing stuff that's straight outta a made for TV movie, which I'm guessing THE HEARSE (1980) was made for TV, given its generic score (think ominous music at night, lilting piano scenes for the ghost sex - calm down - we'll get there in a minute, and boring we're moving out of the seventies into the early eighties score stuff for establishing shots and driving music), and lack of violence, as well as lack of female anatomy.

Jane moves into her old aunt Rebecca's house. Seems there some animosity amongst the townfolk - Rebecca's been dead almost thirty years (and there's nary a spec of dust in her house and it's not even all that decrepit) - and the town's lawyer Pritchard has been taking care of it. He wanted the house for himself, but since Jane's mom passed away a few weeks prior, the house now belongs to Jane. So Pritchard's miffed as fuck, even more so when he has to deliver the keys to Jane in the middle of the night when she arrives after being chased by a mysterious antique hearse on the road into town. We're not showing too much promise so far - the hearse is mainly concealed by the crappiness of my avi file and Jane, while it's intimated that she's a pretty loose canon (she sees a shrink before she leaves for BFE), she's just Jane, as her name might imply.

The slow burn continues as Jane settles into her new abode. Yeah, the place is big and sometimes the music box in the back room seems to play itself creepily and once in awhile Aunt Rebecca will make her presence known when you're on a ladder three stories up cleaning windows to scare the shit out of you, but it's home. Hell, it was free. I've always wanted to inherit a house - I don't even care what kind of house. No more mortgage, no more townhouse association fee.. but whatever. The filmmaker or whoever is going for a creepy old dark house vibe and it just ain't happening. Most of the 'spooky' stuff takes place during the day and the movie is freakin' called THE HEARSE. Less house, more demonic carriage of the dead, please.

Despite these sundry unpleasantries concerning her new dwelling, Jane is met with equal animosity in the town. Seems old Auntie had quite the reputation, as Jane will come to find out, the old broad was a card-carrying Satanist and pissed off more than a few townies with her witchy ways. Even the kindly old Reverend (who I don't trust for a second) Winston stops by to encourage Jane to attend church. She politely tells him she's not interested, but not before my favorite dialogue of the movie is exchanged.

Jane (upon seeing the Reverend pop up kinda outta nowhere): You scared the hell out of me!
Rev. Winston: I guess I should take that as a compliment.

Yeah, start slapping your knee now, I know. It really doesn't get much better than that. Or does it? I did mention ghost sex, didn't I?

So Jane's being hated on all over town and the house is weird and there's this hearse that likes to follow her at night, and she's been reading her Satanist aunt's journal at night before she goes to bed during thunderstorms (which is my usual reading material - it really relaxes me - especially by candlelight during power outages and I play the Halloween theme on a battery powered radio as I do so). Needless to say, she's having these funky nightmares where she attends her own funeral and her dead body hisses at her and there's all these old people in the church with fog and smoke. Remember that visit to the head shrinker? Yeah. Well, is Jane just crazy or is this whole business with the Satan worshipping aunt and her boyfriend, Robert granting her eternal life some big secret in the town that everyone knows about by Jane? You figure it out, because I'm bored. I told you this was a slow burn.

But we still have to get to my favorite part - the ghost sex. Despite all the aforementioned stupid shit, Jane meets Tom, a dapper gentleman that seems a bit out of time and place, but handsome enough nonetheless. And Jane's on the rebound big time, having been jilted by her man only like a month ago, so why not. When he offers to help her after her car breaks down on the side of the road, she invites him in. The make a date to see each other again and the next thing we know, they're out on their first date in a row boat in the middle of the lake in the middle of the night musing about love and death. Excuse me, but if some dude was like, hey Jenn, let me take you out in this canoe on this lake AT NIGHT and talk to you about the differences and similarities between being truly in love and truly dead, I would not want to go on that fucking date. No sir. I'm scared of canoes and lakes, especially at night. I also have a particular aversion to pretentious conversation as well. But hey, everyone else is hating on Jane, I'm not going to. And you'd date a ghost, too, if he flashed a thin-lipped smile at ya like this:

One thing leads to another, as things are wont to do, and Jane and Tom (what boring names - indicative of their romp) end up in the sack together. It's all tender and sweet with that nice piano music and everyone seems to enjoy themselves, given their happy facial expressions. After the coupling, that pretentious ass Tom leaves before he even gets to have coffee made for him. I don't trust him. And I've already spoiled it for you.

Jane falls hard and then decides to call Tom, but his numbers unlisted. Duh duh duhnnnnn! Get the digits before you do it with him, girl. After some more weird hearse pursuits, cemetery visiting, and Satanic journal reading, Jane figures out that Tom is actually Robert, Aunt Rebecca's partner in Luciferian crime, and he's come to make her immortal. I'd have to consider the sexy times though - what was it like doing it with a ghost? If it was okay, I might consider it. She's seems so ga-ga over Tom, why not? What else is she going to do - return to San Francisco and be a kindergarten teacher with and forget all about her otherworldly love affair and Beelzebub lovin' ancestry? I'd go with the more supernatural scenario, personally. I might even forgive Tom for that awful row boat date.

But before you can say I don't really give an eff, Reverend Winston (I know! And to think I was wary of him from the get!) comes over uninvited and and exorcises the house. Robert Tom and Jane get into a hearse/Chevrolet car chase and the hearse bursts into flames. FIN.

I tried to get a good pic of the hearse for you guys but my avi file was too dark, so here it is in flames. It really is the best thing about the movie - it's vintage looking - I'm not sure what make or model or anything - but it'd be a great hearse to drive around in - all purple curtains hanging and a big hood ornament. You know what they say about hearses with big hood ornaments? I'm not sure, either.

This is one of those that I had much more fun writing it up than I did actually watching it. It was slow, slow, slow. I want to take it by its shoulders and yell at it to hurry up! In fact, I cooked and ate dinner, had two phone conversations, and cleaned the kitchen during the hour and a half run time for this molasses-ed paced thing and STILL kept up! I wouldn't say totally avoid, but I think I'd just say 'meh' on THE HEARSE. (I like typing it in all CAPS; it makes it seem so much more ominous.) I mean, it shouldn't have even been called THE HEARSE; it should have been called something like AUNT OF SATAN or even something more ridiculous like HEARSE OF DEATH. That's a good title. Somebody make that movie for me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

RIP Paul Naschy

I mean this sincerely when I say there is great sadness in my heart today because Paul Naschy is no longer with us. For those of you long time readers, you know how much I have a heart on for the Mighty Molina, often referring to him as my boyfriend. Most films in my opinion could be easily improved with even just a cameo appearance by the man. He was a cinematic force to be reckoned with and I love every moment I see him on screen. I am not lying when I say there are tears in my eyes as I type this. Good thing I have fuck all to do today - I'm gonna grab some tempranillo or maybe even some tequila (something appropriately Spanish) and get busy with a Naschy-movie-a-thon. RIP Paul, we'll miss you! 1934-2009