Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Movie Watching Spectacular

October Horror Movie Challenge over. Here's the playlist.

1. HEAD OF THE FAMILY (1996). Totally Full Moon and totally way more talking than I remember from when I watched this in the early nineties. The sassy Jaqueline Lovell steals the show as the white trash Loretta. I remember her from another Full Moon production, HIDEOUS, and all I can really remember is her topless wearing a gorilla mask and strong-arming someone with a pistol.

2. FRIGHT NIGHT (1985). The original. I love Chris Sarandon in this, his greatest role, a slacks-and-turtleneck-wearing, apple-chomping vampire named Jerry.

3. CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954). Quite possibly my favorite misunderstood monster (who I also sport a tattoo of). I can't pick a favorite Universal classic, but this comes close.

I can now go back to falling asleep even MORE during movie watching.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from all of us here at the Cavalcade. We spent the day at the DMW utterly hating our lives and now we are home for wine and pumpkin carving and wine and dinner and wine and horror movie watching and wine. We don't get trick or treaters because you have to be buzzed into our building, but that's fine because I hate kids any way. Although it would be fun to scare them...

Enjoy these attempts at costuming the felines. The mere presence of the pumpkin suit has made all the cats extra sassy. Better photos possibly forthcoming.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October Horror Movie Challenge - Final Week

Day 22 - THE KEEP (1983) directed by Michael Mann. Nazis guard a citadel in the middle of nowhere Romania that harbors a demonic force. Said demonic force runs into a Jewish scholar that can likely stop it. Good, scary stuff, if not a little on the predictable side. Ian Mcclellan and Gabriel Byrne star, giving this a little bit of a cult edge.

Day 23 - NIGHTWISH (1990). After much birthday carousing (drinks, brunch, more drinks, a bacon martini, a haunted hayride, and drinks), NIGHTWISH ensued. Although it has a 1990 date, it feels more eighties and stars a 'oh, that guy!' (Brian Thompson). Ghosts, aliens, a crumbling mansion, some grad students. If only this was made about eight years before it's time.

Day 24 - BURN, WITCH, BURN (1962). There used to be a band here in Richmond called Burn, Witch, Burn, and I always thought that was a good band name. A professor discovers his wife has been practicing witchcraft to advance his career, gets pissed, and destroys her occult supplies and unleashing terrible evil in the process. Without her help, he's fucked. Way above average and easily this week's highlight, I'm sorry I waiting so long knowing this existed and I never watched it.

Day 25 - PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 (2011). The only film I watched in the theatre for the Challenge thus far, I had a blast watching this with two friends not used to watching horror movies. I am not gonna lie - I was a little scared to come home to a dark house all by myself at night after my girl dropped me off. I had to turn on every light in the house. Including a few nightlights. And four candles.

Day 26 - THE NESTING (1981). An agoraphobic mystery novelist takes residence in an old haunted brothel in the middle of nowhere. Decent, if not a little boring and predictable, this chiller seems a bit removed from its time. Not at all bad, but not at all good, either. The lead gets on my nerves a bit but I don't feel at all guilty when she inadvertantly kills her shrink. Not what I was expecting in a movie called THE NESTING. I was thinking killer wasps or roaches in somebody's weave or something not nearly as understated as this.

Day 27 - PUMPKINHEAD: ASHES TO ASHES (2006). Doug Bradley and Lance Henricksen in the same fucking movie? Yeah, maybe if the year was 1987 and this wasn't this. Still, how can I resist a vengeance demon movie with Doug Bradley and Lance Henricksen in it? I can't. So there. I enjoyed this shit show thoroughly, even though I was only a little wasted at the time. And is this the fucking third or the fifth? Do I care? Only a little.

Day 28 - BRAIN DEAD (2010). Oh, I love you, Kevin Tenney. You gave us NIGHT OF THE DEMONS and fucking WITCHBOARD, so I expect great things from you. Too bad you did not deliver with this cheap-ass crap-fest with the WORST lighting ever (hey, don't film a zombie/horror/captive people movie in BROAD FUCKING DAYLIGHT (the FINAL DESTINATION movies are guilty of this a great deal, as well) and expect it to be great.) There's a little something called atmosphere, which you should know. But hey, everyone needs a paycheck, so whatever. This is crap. I just wanted the zombie monsters to show up and eat all the losers that populated this movie so they would stop getting on my nerves. So much for that. By the time the zombies got around to it, my pizza was here and I had better things to do, like EAT PIZZA.

Day 29 - CHILD'S PLAY (1988). Duh. Only the second movie of the Challenge I had really seen before. Like really, really seen and know all about. Chris Sarandon! Brad Dourif! Give me the power, I beg of you!

Day 30 - GOOD NEIGHBORS (2010). The presence of two beautiful cats practically from the first frame made me very, very anxious. Any time you see cats in a horror movie, especially this early on, means they'll meet a very untimely death. And they figure so prominently I got very very nervous. Almost to the point where I stopped paying attention and started cooking dinner while only half paying attention. And of course I'm right, the cats do meet an untimely end and there is revenge taken, which is the only thing I find redeeming about this predictable piece of annoyingness. You care about no one, except the cats, of course, and the presence of Scott Speedman alone makes me want to kill myself. Not particularly recommended but partially because I'm a crazy cat lady. This was also NOT what I was in the mood for and I should have just netflixed a monster movie of yore. Or watched something from the archives. And oh, how I hate that outdated SCREAM style cover with the disembodied heads floating above or below the title. Oh, how I loathe it.

There's week four, y'all. Neighbors and witches and vengeance demons and Nazis and citadels and ghosts and nestings and zombies and killer dolls and cat murder (the horror!) and who knows what's in store for tomorrow! We're both off all day and it is THE actual day so we will decidedly stay in and drink wine and watch tons of classics. Halloween is much like New Year's to us, in that it's a total amateur night and we'd much rather be at home with cats and Bela and Boris and Vincent and Basil and the rest.

Until tomorrow....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Bela Lugosi!

Happy birthday, Bela; you would have been 119 today! I'll be at work tonight, but once I'm home, it's my Bela DVD collection box set on my new Blu-Ray player with my cat named after you.

(I love that I share a birthday week (I'll be 29 AGAIN on Sunday) with Divine and Bela.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Divine

Today would have been the legendary Divine's 66th birthday. Watch PINK FLAMINGOS or FEMALE TROUBLE, quote every line, and then stare longingly at the framed photo of Divine with Santa Claus you keep in your entryway while you fight back tears. You are missed, you beautiful creature. You are missed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Week Three - October Horror Movie Challenge

Day 15 - PUPPET MASTER II: HIS UNHOLY CREATIONS (1991). Oh Day 15, how I hardly remember you. Puppet Master II, what a shit show. Or maybe it's all the booze talking. In recent months, I've been revisiting some of these Full Moon Productions I loved so much in early nineties and realizing I was a very different person in the early nineties. (But I still dress relatively the same - boots, leggings, plaids.) There's an Egyptian brain serum and some side love plot involving reincarnation of a lost love (isn't there always?) but not enough here to keep me awake for very long.

Day 16 - HISSS (2010) directed by Jennifer Lynch. Think Bollywood without the singing and dancing crossed with what? A snake goddess hellbent on revenge towards a wealthy old white dude with brain cancer that stole her snake lover while they were doing sex so she would pursue him and offer him an immortality stone in exchange for her lover. Yep. That's what this is crossed with. And it might sound like a good time (the snake goddess in human form is impossibly hot, as well) it's pretty craptacular. Cheap, cheap, cheap, but there are some good gore gags and the snake transformations are actually pretty nice. Not what you would expect from David Lynch's offspring, given her other work, but whatever.

Day 17 - John Carpenter's THE THING (1982). Duh.

Day 18 - THANKSKILLING (2009). Recommended to me by my bar partner, who inexplicably smells EVERYTHING and has a serious fascination with boobs. (He drew a crude set on my birthday card last year.) This god-awful, but self-aware, horror movie making at its best (worst?) makes Troma look like they have a high class sense of humor. If you ever wanted to hear a turkey hand puppet say 'nice tits, bitch' then look no further. Misogynistic, poorly acted, over-the-top on purpose, and offensive as the day, this one clocks in at just 66 minutes, which seriously feels like an eternity, but not in a bad way. How many Jon Benet Ramsey jokes can you take in an hour? Watch this and find out.

Day 19 - CARNY (2009). Starring Lou Diamond Phillips as a small town sheriff with an escaped cryptozoological beast on his hands. Maybe or may not be the Jersey devil, because it escaped from a truck at a carnival with Jersey plates. Nice try, crappy script. Sideshow stuff is cool, but I do find it hard to believe such an outfit would hit upon small, religious town Reliant aka Bumfuck Nowhere, USA. All characters are either assholes or you don't care about them, so when they become monster food, you continue with your game of Angry Birds and try to give even less of a shit.

Day 20 - THE BLACK CAT (1934). Bela Lugosi birthday = Bela Lugosi movie. Horror stalwarts Karloff and Lugosi out evil each other over the affections of a young newlywed. Awesome set design, awesome performances, some very Caligari-like imagery, a cat, and a Karloff flaying. Good, good, good stuff.

Day 21- GUTTERBALLS (2008). I wish I could tell you how much I loved this because the MANIAC inspired cover makes me giddy with glee, but it was Friday night, I worked until 3 a.m. and had to be up at 9 a.m. so I probably watched all of ten minutes. I awoke to the DVD menu starting over and no recollection of what had just transpired. It still counts, because this is my blog. I still have the DVD, so a repeat watching will take place.

There's the third week. Started slacking there towards the end, what with two late night bar shifts and the anticipation of birthday celebrations (read: drunkenness) getting in the way. But I'm still in. Don't tag me out yet.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October Horror Movie Challenge - Second Week!

Day 8 - 976-EVIL II (1992) and directed by Jim Wynorski. Not nearly as good as the first one, because I used to be totally obsessed with that, due in part because I remember those hotline numbers you could call and my friend down the street in the seventh grade got in trouble with her mom because she was calling Freddy Krueger and Bobby Brown for like 19.99 a minute and it was a huge deal and I was instructed never to call those numbers EVER or else I would dealt with accordingly. So of course the fact that there was a HORROR movie about these sorts of things is going to go down as some awesome shit to a thirteen year old me. I had seen this one before, so I put it on, had a few glasses of red wine, and promptly passed out. I remember some such shit about astral projection and the complete and utter absence of Robert Englund and Stephen Geoffreys and that is about all. I still have the Vestron Video copy so I can revisit whenevs.

Day 9 - JAWS OF SATAN (1981). Lots of fun to be had here with snakes, Christian overtones, witchcraft, wayward priests, demonic possession, overt sexual symbolism, strong female leads, the first cinematic appearance of a ten-year old Christina Applegate, and a constantly-eating mortician. (I swear one of these days I'm going to compile a list of all the filmic morticians that are always fucking eating on camera.) This wasn't great, but it was pretty good. Me likey.

Day 10 - I BURY THE LIVING (1958). There's a new cemetery director and he thinks he can cause people who buy plots to die by some sort of push pin on a map voodoo shit and this plays out over the course of many, many minutes. I was on the phone for most of this, discussing some work drama, so Sam caught more of it than I did. I found it to be lackluster at best.

Day 11 - THE GIRL SLAVES OF MORGANA LE FEY (1971) - sexy sexploitation romp featuring a vampiric beauty intent on acquiring souls of other lovely ladies to continue her immortality, her dwarf assistant, and some all out Jean Rollin-style imagery from Italian director Bruno Gattilion. Good times, here, perverts, good times. Sexy ladies tied up in dungeons, a dwarf scheming to get in their pants all the while, and some other ethereal/exploitative stuff. I dug it.

Day 12 - SWITCHBLADE SISTERS (1975) directed by the venerable Jack Hill. I remember this being a ROLLING THUNDER (Quentin Tarantino's early nineties distribution company) release, so when Sam had just started this on Wednesday night as I rolled home from work, I was down to watch, as I hadn't seen it when it had its revival on VHS almost twenty years ago. Good stuff here - girls, guns, and gang warfare - all with ridiculous fucking accents and plenty of knifings. Wish I hadn't waited so long, but I'm glad I did because I don't think I would have enjoyed it two decades ago.

Day 13 - CHAWZ (2009). Korean wild boar invading the human sphere movie. The title is no accident, but there is nothing that can really redeem this, especially the attempts at black humor. Boring. I feel asleep. But you already know how I work late and drink lots, but this is this week's crap-fest. Total.

Day 14 - THE APE (1940). I showed up for the Karloff, stuck around for the lab-or-atories and circus stuff, and got drunk on the fact that Karloff had to don a fucking ape skin and kill people for their spinal fluid to find a cure for polio. I chose this one in part for its brevity (62 minutes and I'm tired, especially after a Friday night bar shift), but was mostly entertained.

There you go, pervs. Just a regular ol'week. Boris and girl gangs and sideshows and horror chat lines and dwarves and killer boars and Christian snakes and all sorts of other good stuff. You're welcome.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

First Week of the October Horror Movie Challenge, Y'all!

Day 1 - Al Adamson's DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN (1971). What do you think of when you think of Adamson's pictures? Be honest. They ain't all that, but that doesn't mean there isn't fun to be had. Because here you have a fucked up looking Dracula helping a Anton Levey looking wheelchair bound Dr. Frankenstein bring an even more fucked up looking Monster (back) to life. There's a serum for immortality, a Vegas showgirl with a missing sister, a mute, riddled by alcoholism Lon Chaney, Jr. (which is depressing and sad and almost sick), an appearance by Forry, awesomely bad hair, loads of expository dialogue, a dwarf carnival barker, and all the trappings of something wonderful. To quote Sam 'It's not a great movie, but it's got great shit in it.' Well said.

Day 2 - THE BAT (1959), starring Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead. Fairly run of the mill mystery/suspense thriller. There's some stolen money, an old dark house, a masked killer, and a mild Scooby Doo ending. Vincent's sorta kinda evil here as a greedy doctor and Agnes is pretty annoying as a mystery novelist. The rest of the cast acts as they're supposed to and the killer has some pretty cool fingernails on his black gloves. S'aright.

Day 3 - THE UNNAMABLE (1988). Lovecraft and urban legend inspired, this tale takes four college kids into a haunted house. Much POV demon breathing, practical SFX, and Miskatonic University references ensue, and we're unfortunately left wondering why this garnered a sequel, which I think I have on VHS somewhere here in the house but can't remember either purchasing it or watching it. And the box art totally spoils the monster!

Day 4 - NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (1986). Perennial cult favorite, due mainly/mostly in part to Tom Adkin's chain-smoking cop with a vengeance performance, the gory practical FX, the horror movie in-jokes, and the mix of teen sex comedy with alien zombie plague plot. Throw in a zombie cat, a zombie dog, annoying frat douche-bags, some nubile sorority sisters, and some slug alien thingys that enter your body through the mouth and cause your head to explode and you have a pretty good 90 minutes or so. Schlocky and predictable, this one is still quote-worthy and an overall good time.

Day 5 - THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED (2001). This stars a broke ass Randy Quaid phoning it in as a doctor with a past in small town. He tries to keep everything on the down low with the particulars on how he really adopted Ben, an 'orphaned' kid with some pretty freaky telekinesis tricks. It's all fairly typical (I hate you, dad! You're grounded, son!) up unto a point and then pretty Dr. Stillman arrives (Nastassia Kinski, no less, but by no means as hot as when she was in CAT PEOPLE or in that nun's habit in TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER!), a big city therapist thinking she can save Ben. Some light B&E on Stillman's part in the name of therapy, and the fact an alien might be terrorizing the countryside performing brutal murders from those he seeks a certain retribution. There might not be an alien, though, because it could be all in Ben's MIND. And really, if you watched this far, you've already wandered off to the bathroom three times, made popcorn you didn't even want to eat and called attention to a cat's ear placement at least more than twice. This is that boring. Not even the Randy Quaid crazy factor can change that. I want to be punny and say something about my world ending or some such clever thing to tie it all into the title, but I don't care and I took an Ambien halfway through this mess. No apologies.

Day 6 - SNOW CREATURE (1954). An American botanist and his scotch-drinking assistant head into the Nepalese Alps accompanied by some scotch-drinking sherpas who declare mutiny when a yeti steals the lead sherpa's woman. All is forgiven however when the botanist and said alcoholic capture the yeti and bring it back to L.A. Hijinks ensue and honestly, I wish I could tell you more but the fatigue and sleeping pills took their toll and I passed out towards the end. And don't let the word hijinks fool ya, this one is played as straight as an arrow. It is from the mf'ing 50's. I just wanted to say hijinks in the same paragraph as sherpa, two words I love and rarely get to use in tandem. BTW, this still counts towards the challenge even though I fell asleep. I work very late into the night getting perverts like you drunk for my own monetary benefit so you all can get over it.

Day 7 - THE WASP WOMAN (1959). Roger Corman-directed psuedo-science schlock as it's intended to be. (And Jim Wynorski of CHOPPING MALL fame directed the 1995 remake!) Janice, the aging proprietor of a cosmetic company, tries an experimental royal jelly injection to save her failing beauty and enterprise. When the scientist she gets the serum from is hit by a car (plot point!), she must resort to other methods to keep the inevitable at bay; the inevitable being she turns into a fucking wasp. The cover art is excellent and all this plays out exactly how you want it to, but it's good, classic Corman monster fun.

The first week of the challenge is over! I had some fails and some near misses, but I'm still having fun! I have no idea what's in store for the second week, so stay tuned!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen...

Welcome to the Odditorium! Easily this year's highlight from the Virginia State Fair, I give you the sideshow, old-school-as-hell-as-it's-intended-to-be, in the form of a museum with the live acts taking place on stage. The hot blond chick (subject to opinion, hehe) in some of the pics is me and I'm, sadly, not part of the exhibit. Sam didn't get pics of the Feegee Mermaid they had on display (much to my chagrin, read: bitching) on the account of his camera being wonky. Another member of our party did, and I await the awesome pics he has for us. Until then, let these awesome taxidermy gaffs and so forth speak for themselves. More in store....

Pumpkins! And Maybe a Cat or Two....

Behold! It's time to pick pumpkins!

Moochie wants to go pick pumpkins. Too bad for Moochie.

Upon arrival. Screaming kids everywhere! Yay!

The hayride. More screaming kids! But some of them were kinda funny!

Casey and me.

The smallest pumpkin EVAR! AHHHHH! It's about to meet its DOOM!

Partial haul.

The loading of the full haul. Twenty bucks. All you can carry. We had two casualties.

The Pumpkin Inspector a.k.a Soap Sud.