31 Days of Halloween: Day 8: The Ice Cream Man

A few days ago I had a dream that I owed Clint Howard some money. I didn’t feel like paying him so he broke into my apartment and stole my porn. This scary, realistic dream inspired me to watch the movie The Ice Cream Man. 

Clint Howard plays a creepy ice cream man. When he was younger he loved his local ice cream man. One day while waiting to get his ice cream on, he saw the ice cream man get killed.

He spent a lot of time in a mental hospital until he was released then he took the job as an ice cream man.

While serving ice cream to kids and neighborhood people, he manages to kill people around town and uses their parts in the making of his ice cream. 

There is no denying that this movie is terrible and Clint Howard will forever have a face that will make anyone shudder but it’s a fun little flick. 

After I watched this movie I looked into what other films the director did. Ya’ll will never believe what kind of films the director did before taking on The Ice Cream Man. He did porn! He was all about the porn! I find it beautifully ironic that I had a dream that Clint Howard stole my porn and I woke up thinking, “hmm I should watch Ice Cream Man again.” 

I never believed in magic until now. 

Thank you Ice Cream Man. 

30 Day Horror Movie Challenge: Day 4- A Horror Movie You Thought You’d Love and Didn’t

When I was 15 years-old, I went to my very first concert. A lot of people I’ve known went to some lame-ass concert as their first but mine was White Zombie, bitches. 

I always had mad phat respect for Rob Zombie; not only for his musical talents but for his deep rooted love for horror movies. He was like the ultimate fan boy whom had a cool sense of style about it. I admired that. 

So you can understand my excitement when word got out that Rob Zombie was directing his first horror movie. 

Aye, where do I begin? The basic plot is about teens traveling around in search of road side attractions and local urban legends. When entering a hickory part of Texas, the crew have a bloody and terrifying entanglement with a brutal serial killing family. End scene. 

I do understand what Rob was going for and the attempts he wanted to make and I do understand that restrictions got in his way of that for the most part. But I do also believe that Rob had the ability and integrity to make a decent film and it feel short here.

No one can know how hard I tried to like this movie. I really, really, really wanted to but I just can’t lie to myself. I found it choppy and almost hillbilly home video-esque. I even gave it another extra viewing just in case I was wrong the last 2 times I watched it and didn’t like it. Well, third time is a charm in confirming that yet again, I didn’t like it. 

Zombie did redeem himself for me when he followed this movie up with The Devil’s Reject. I had no desire in the world to see this but a cute, fellow horror fan talked me into it and I ended up loving it. But more on that another time.

As much as I wanted to follow Rob Zombie’s transition from horror lover to horror film creator, eh, I just couldn’t love House of 1000 Corpses.

Did I mention how really hard I tried?!

Screamathon: Scream

This weekend Scream 4 hits theaters so in preparation for the new series, I’m revisiting the first three movies as a part of my Screamathon.

Starting with the classic first movie…

Around a time when the slasher genre was dying a painfully slow death, Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson collaborated to awaken and modernize the world of horror movies with Scream. 

Scream took a simple plot about a teenagers stalked by a crazed killer and added humor, flair and a structure of rules that every horror nerd knows by heart. 

The opening scene starts with a girl, Casey, hanging out at home alone, getting ready to munch on some popcorn and enjoy a movie. Her night is interrupted by a phone call by a seemingly friendly stranger. A conversation about horror movies takes an odd turn when the caller reveals that he’s watching Casey. The movie’s intensity picks up when Casey is brutally murdered. 

And let me just say, it’s one of my favorite opening sequences. It was the moment that I knew I would love this movie forever. 

From then on the town of Woodsboro is shaken by the tragedy and memories of the murder of Maureen Prescott, town whore, still lingered after nearly a year. 

Sydney, daughter of Maureen, becomes the main target of the killer and all of her friends start dying off or become the suspect. Sydney learns that she maybe fingered the wrong guy for her mother’s death and that the real killer is back to finish her off. 

Scream brought back the core elements of what a horror movie should be, scary, bloody and engaging! Adding the intrigue of “who’s behind the mask?!” and the clever wit of the “typical horror movie” formula, made Scream an iconic film in the horror genre spiraling off many spoofs and other “who-dunnit” horror movies. 

Scream bonuses! 

Closure Review

Closure, the first full length play by Jake Perry, is about four estrange friends reuniting after a tragic death. 

Dennis and Catherine visit Matt’s remote cabin during Labor Day weekend to break the news that their friend Maria has died. The four have not been together for 5 years and the pent up anger, heartbreak and some semblance of good times from the past all flood through this dramatic two act play. 

The strength of the performances between Catherine (Sarah Brooks), Dennis (Austin Talley) and Matt (Jake Perry) is undeniably impacting. I found myself laughing at Dennis’ wall-building jokes, feeling Catherine internal pain and struggle and affected by Matt’s solitary character. 

I had my fair share of broken friendships and relationships and viewing this play gave me the full perspective and all the emotional aspects of the ups and down of what closure can bring to things in our past. 

Closure is playing in Chicago at the Viaduct Theatre 

If you’re in the Chicago area, see Closure for it’s final weekend Sept 23-26th. 

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Review

Hello readers! I’m doing an actual post live from Comic Con! I told myself that I was going to have fun and stay away from any computer activities but I find myself on Chicago time and hours to kill before my day starts. Also I didn’t have a blog post ready for Saturday so this is going to be an amazing filler. 

So my last panel of the night was Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. It was a fun panel and I was even given a super cute button. By the end of the panel people with a certain button got to go to a special screening. And yes, I had the very same special button! So I’ll cover more on the panel when I do my official CC update but on to this review.

I’ve mentioned several times before that I’m really bad at video games. When it comes to shooting, running and jumping, I just can’t seem to press the right buttons at the right time and I die a lot. Woe is me. But I lived in a house with two brothers that loved playing video games. They spent countless amounts of hours trying to get to the next level and defeat the big bad person. I spent those very same hours watching them with an intense visual fascination that not even porn can provide. 

I’m sad to say that I never got a chance to read the SP books. The story seems like something I could easier get into and really love. So if you don’t already know the story, here goes it:

Scott Pilgrim, a laid-back rocker, meets the girl of his dreams, literally. He finds out that if he’s going to date her, he has to defeat a league of her evil exes. The girl, Romona, is intriguing and exciting to Scott, so he’s all about trying to win her over. With each ex battle, Scott learns more about Romona and he starts to fall in love with her. Awww. Like video games, each level get more hard to beat but Scott fights his way for Romona’s heart and for his own self-respect. 

Putting my love for Edgar Wright and everything he touches aside for a minute, I really love all the elements that put this movie together. The music and video game sound bytes complimented every scene and added a fun touch to the movie. The old-school Batman-like “POW!” and “BAM!” action texts added a lot of charm and feel to every action as it flew on the screen for every time the phone rang or someone was hit. The characters offered quirky greatness and endless hilarity. And also, the fight scenes were hot!

Wright is such a fan boy to everything he does and it shows in this movie. He created a perfect balance of his personal style and the vision of the comic book creator, Brian Lee O’Mallory and he made this movie fantastic. I highly recommend this to everyone and I can’t wait to see this again once it hits theaters! 

The Darkness Within Review

When I moved into my current basement apartment, the first thing I did was walk around the glass squared mosic-like windows and look into them to make sure people couldn’t see me doing stuff. It’s creepy enough that I have neighbors walking by my windows all the time but the thought of anyone trying to look in makes me want to move again. 

Newly engaged couple, Chad Morgan and Ashley Sera are starting a new life together in a new apartment.

The couple deal with the adjustments of spacial limitations, big ass spiders and a creepy neighbor.

Chad becomes obesssed with his peeping next door neighbor Mr. Reed and sets out to discover what’s up with him. 

Chad’s fixation on Mr. Reed causes his mental state to spin out of control. As things in Chad’s life start to unfold, he starts to question his own reality. 

This creepy indie psychological thriller was made for $3,000 on a mini-DV cam and took place in the director, Dom Portalla’s own apartment. If that’s not impressive enough, the movie actually rocked too! I enjoyed the unraveling of Chad’s struggling psyche and also I loved that there was a The Shinning reference towards the end. This girl loves her horror references. So check out more information on The Darkness Within on the website and see the trailer below. 

“The Darkness Within” [2010] | official feature film trailer from Dom Portalla on Vimeo.

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Splice Review

Tonight I went to the screening of the upcoming scifi psychological thriller Splice. 

There were many things that piqued my interested about this movie. The trailer alone was intriguing enough by just showing a bit of the creature known as “Dren” Later on I found out that the writer/director Vincenzo Natali was also the same man behind the insanely awesome Cube. I didn’t need anything else to sell me. 

Splice is a modern day Frankenstein story about Clive and Elsa, two rebellious scientists breaking ground in genetic splicing. They have successfully spliced different animal DNAs but their goal is to find a compound that will one day cure diseases. 

Elsa, being the most determined of the duo, takes things a step further by splicing human DNA with an animal’s DNA. What starts off as a curiosity fulfillment veers into ethical territory when the creature composite “Dren” is born into the world. 

Elsa’s focus on science draws her to see what she can learn from Dren but her maternal instincts takes over and the science project becomes a mother/daughter experience. Clive’s devotion to Elsa blurs the very large line between right and wrong. Clive knows that Dren shouldn’t exists and he feels that she is a mistake but he also see Elsa in a mothering nature that he was not ready to provide for her. 

As Dren gets older (aging days by the minute) she becomes more aware of herself and how powerful she truly is beyond her limitations. Elsa and Clive keep her a dirty little secret hidden away from the world, which makes her crave a taste of the outside even more. It’s then when things become more out of control and violent and the turn of events become unsettling and well, fucked up is the nice way to put it. 

Splice is a splice of humor, ick factor and a beautiful sadness. As a viewer, I could connect with every character. Elsa had her heart-felt love, Clive’s sympathetic manner and Dren’s child-like wonder. Towards the end the characters hit different directions that may either throw the audience off or disturb them deeply. Or both at the same time. 

I hate to think that this may not be well received amongst the general public but I thought it was a great and fantastically twisted! 

Splice hits theaters on June 4th. Go see it! 

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Final Girl Film Club: Spider Baby

It’s time for another round of Final Girl’s Film Club and this month’s selection is Jack Hill’s directorial debut classic film, Spider Baby (or The Maddest Story Ever Told). 

A look into a loving yet demented “family,” Bruno (Lon Chaney Jr.) a caretaker/chauffeur is left to take care of three child-like adults that suffer from “Merrye Syndrome.” The syndrome causes the kids to mentally and socially regress back to a young age though they are fully formed adults.  The children keep to themselves in the seclusion of their family home but they are also kept at a distance from the world because they are dangerous. Distant greedy relatives decide to drop by to claim the property and the revelation of the Merrye family’s mental state turns deadly. 

The thing I love most about this film is the performance of Lon Chaney Jr. The character Bruno shows a lot of restraint and patience with the children. They do bad things and they feel like they will be hated for those things. Bruno can’t fault them because of the raw genetic deal they got. They don’t know any better so he cleans up after their messes and consoles them instead of trying to establish right from wrong. Bruno grows tired of his duties but he promised their father that he would care for them. Chaney’s song in the beginning of the film sets the tone of what crazy wild ride the audience will experience but his character is the glue to the maddest in this story. 

The other performances are masterfully convincing. Virginia, who is known as Spider Baby, thinks she’s a spider. She eats bugs and trap people in her “web.” Ralph (played by the infamous Sid Haig) is the grunting ape-like “dumb” one and Elizabeth is the whiny tattle-tale of the three. All the characters have to illustrate how damaged and youthful the kids are all without recognizing their physical age. 

The end of the film has two important elements. One being Bruno’s final step to taking responsibility and a questionable open ended-ending. Don’t you just love those “The End…?” moments? Well, I do! I’m attempting to be vague to anyone who has not seen this but it’s a great ending! 

Spider Baby’s dark tone and black humor makes this worth checking out. 

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The Fourth Kind

Last night, I was in the mood for a bad/mediocre type of movie. After scanning my On Demand options, I decided to check out The Fourth Kind.

I had heard that it wasn’t that good but I had to see for myself. I knew this movie came out of the shadows of the Paranormal Activity hype so I wanted to give it a chance to see if people where just comparing it to P.A. and being let down or if maybe it was not that great at all.

Well, it wasn’t that great. At first I couldn’t be sold on the premise that any of what I was going to witness was true. I think after Blair Witch, we all learned our lesson.

Alaskan town folk start to experience sleeping problems that maybe related to alien abduction. People having been disappearing for years in this town but psychologist Abby Tyler discovers the truth and a possible cover-up.

It almost had a Mothman Prophecies/small town where something freaky happens feel to it only it didn’t build up to the main event the audience was waiting for.

The movie started off solid. Some of the footage was eerie and it hooked me. But from then on it took a stale, boring pace. I kept thinking “When are they getting to the fireworks factory?!”

When things reached the pivotal point in the end, nothing made sense. I felt like the movie took a messy pile of non-sensical flashy bits, threw in some over the top drama and tried to sell it as a huge freaky occurrences.

The “THIS IS REAL” angle was pushed so much down my throat, it put a bad taste in my mouth. I’m not alien connoisseur, but I’ve watched my fair share of Unsolved Mysteries when I was a youngster. It didn’t make sense to me why aliens would single out one broad and her family, then makes a bunch of threats to her. I always thought of aliens as the kind that are all like “yo, we are going to borrow you right quick, shove some stuff up your butt, then drop you off somewhere and erase a little bit of your remember. Maybe you’ll remember this, maybe you won’t till years later. But meh, you’ll likely never seen again. Peace!”

I tried to go into this movie with an open mind but to be honest, when it comes to alien abduction movies, a part of me will always seek out a Fire in the Sky counterpart. No other alien movie has been so effective as to strike fear in me. I believed the guys’ stories and the scene when the main character has his alien interaction was terrifying. *shudder*

I wasn’t expecting The Fourth Kind to be as good as Fire in the Sky, but I was at least hoping it would instill that alien abduction fear into my 13 year-old self that sat in the watched Fire in the Sky for the first time.

No such luck. Wa-Wa

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