Tag Archives: challenge

Carpe Scream Day 14

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Wednesdays are family movie nights, so this Wednesday, I bring you another family-friendly monster movie: “Wallace & Gromit, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”

Wallace & Gromit The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, 2005 Dreamworks

This is a fabulous send-up of your usual monster movie. Man wants to benefit mankind through science, something goes horribly wrong, man is now cursed to transform into being that stalks and destroys the people he was trying to save. Though in this case it’s vegetables. The movie is set in a sleepy Yorkshire village where everyone is trying to win the prize vegetable competition.

The send-ups and parallels of other famous monster movies like The Wolf Man, King Kong, and Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde are brilliant and well worked in. Gripping dramatic camera shots, haunting music and brilliant animated expression add horror and gravitas to a very silly story.

My favorite is when Gromit comes across a mass of half-eaten vegetables and the camera gives you a graphic shot of pulp and seed and juices, while the orchestra goes nuts, and Gromit reels against the door, overcome by the senseless destruction. You can almost just imagine that a half-eaten squash is as horrifying to him as a bloodied broken corpse. It’s really well done and a great movie to share with the family.

Carpe Sceam Day 12

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Tonight I took a look at The Blair Witch Project.

The Blair Witch Project, 1999 Artisan Entertainment

I remember this coming out when I was in High School. The hype behind it was as subtle as this:

Movie studios don’t lie, do they?

The movie studios plugged this as hard as they could as a genuine documentary filmed by three dead people. They even went as far as to pay IMDB to list their credits as (missing: presumed dead).

And I think almost every high school student in the United States fell for it. I mean, with camera footage this crappy, with really bad sound and editing and obviously no real dialogue, what else could it be? A REAL studio wouldn’t release this motion-sickness inducing home video, right??  And really that’s why it was deemed to be one of the scariest horror movie of all time.

But the minute you realize that this was all a “plausible” hoax filmed in a public park with 2 handheld cameras (they had to stop filming every time families on their bikes road by), it really takes the wind out of the Blair Witch’s sail. Every vomit-inducing quick pan. Every sound blip, every time they TALK ABOUT THE F*** MAP…

(NSFW Language)

it just makes me really kind of angry at the studio for being the unholy mother chosen by Satan to give birth to all the found footage movies that are saturating the horror-movie genre right now: rollercoaster rides full of clunky dialogue and NOTHING HAPPENING.

Paranormal Activity 6: The Ghost Dimensions? Yeah. THANKS Blair Witch.

Go stand in the corner!!

Carpe Scream Day 10

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Today, I watch a classic Corman Film, Edgar Allen Poe’s the Haunted Palace.

The Haunted Palace, 1963 American International Pictures

Well one thing this movie does NOT have is anything by Edgar Allen Poe save one poem at the end. This movie is almost 100% H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.” In interviews,Corman stated that he was very much a Lovecraft fan, but no studio wanted to produce a story a story by this “unheard of schlock writer.” That’s when it was decided to rename this picture, “The Haunted Palace,” and claim it was based on a poem by Edgar Allen Poe, seeding the “castle” angle throughout the movie. After all, Corman had already made several well-received Poe pictures with Vincent Price, so why not?

Pictured: Zero Ravens.

That being said, this is actually one of the strongest movie’s Corman’s ever directed. The pacing is better than your usual Corman, the story is well presented and visually interesting. Price’s performance is, as always, very entertaining, and the final sequence is satisfying and nicely grim.

GO PATS!

This is a jewel of classic B-Movies, and definitely worth a watch.

Carpe Scream Day 8

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Day 8 is here, and I’m dipping back into the retro vault for some old-fashioned B-movies like…

House on Haunted Hill, 1959 Castle Films

This movie centers around a party at a haunted house where the guests must stay the night to win a big cash prize. It features the crown prince of terror, Vincent Price, and some ladies who are very good at screaming. It lives up to the Castle tradition of containing about 14 minutes of plot in it’s 75 minute run-time. But despite the cheesy special effects and some really LOOONG pauses, it’s great fun to watch, especially if you watch one of the many available commentary tracks for this. My favorite is via RiffTrax. And if you think old films are too sacred to poke fun at, I submit this side-splittingly terrible moment.

“Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” I love my new roller skates!

And there are actually some very good thrilling scenes in it, like with the phantom rope. Eating fine brie every day is a bore. Some days I just want the guilty pleasure of some creamy salty American Kraft singles in my movies.

Carpe Scream Day 7

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Today I watched Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.

Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, 2005 Warner Bros. Pictures

I remember the excitement over this movie coming out in 2005. I think we were all waiting for another enchanting Nightmare Before Christmas with a Victorian grimdark flair. Unfortunately when you set the bar at the top, anything less is just…well lesser.

The movie starts out promisingly, with a strong cast, interesting premise that’s rife with old world mystery and charm and Burton’s famous stark colour palettes of greys and blues. And then somewhere around the middle the story just starts to slow down. Our zany underworld characters are more twee than charming and seem a bit forced in for comic relief, like Cinderella’s mice.

Peter Lorre is SO big with the kids these days.

The Peter Lorre impersonating maggot is to blame for most of it. The kids didn’t get the reference and he didn’t earn more from the adults than a tired eye-roll. The songs start out strong, but sort of peter out as Elfman rather phones in the later numbers.

That being said, it’s still a fun movie. I love watching it with my kids and thrilling to the creepy Emily, laughing at the goofy ghosts. They even get all swoony over Victor and Victoria, which is remarkable in a kids’ film and they got so excited when Christopher Lee (God rest him) showed up.

Now it’s a party, bitches.

When all’s said and done the worst thing that could be said about Corpse Bride is that it’s not Nightmare Before Christmas, and that ain’t bad.

Carpe Scream Day 6

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So, today I saw the 3rd installment of the Omen franchise, The Omen III, (The Final Conflict)

The Omen III The Final Conflict, 20th Century Fox

This movie was a rather dissappointing finale to the storyline. There’s just a whole lot of nothing happening in it and it’s chock full of thrilling poorly-lit action sequences.

the omen 3

Pictured: Actual action-packed action (probably).

Seriously, when you compare this to the almost cartoony deaths of Omen II, these deaths are almost like in Disney movies when we have the bad guy fall off a cliff into shadow.

When things do start to happen (at around the Half-hour mark) it gets good. Sam Neil has some great performances and things start moving, we’re introduced to the second Christ, and then…. a baby-killing sequence. Fun. Stuff. I get that it’s supposed to set the tone and be a parallel to the infant genocide of King Herod, but it’s a gruesome sequence and uncomfortably long.

It’s also the 3rd movie where we’ve seen absolutely no conflict of powers between God and Satan. Whenever Satan attacks something holy, it’s a one-sided struggle (and I use the word struggle lightly). It’s the 3rd movie, and we’ve still seen no real conflict, not even an internal one, which they hinted at in the second movie.

When Damien is a little boy, he’s weaker, vulnerable, and there’s a sense of danger and uncertainty. Now that Damein is a big strapping grown-up, it’s pretty boring.

Please, Lord, help to ease Monica’s pain and let her not have to watch this movie again, Thy will be done.

I was hoping for an ultimate showdown at the end, but end came as a quick “bam”, some cheesy lights, and the Mormon Tabernacle choir. UGGH. There was so much more they could have done with this if they’d led with characters and not with events.

Final note on the Franchise: Watch movies one and two, and then read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. 

Carpe Scream Day 3

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Well, I’ve seen the Omen several times, so I decided to finally watch the sequel…

Damien Omen II, 20th Century Fox

I have to say, this one is slightly less of a thrill ride. The pacing is pretty slow, and the movie relies more on stunning color pallets and gorgeous location shots than it does on plot.

Apart from that, I like that we got to know Damien’s character as he’s starting to grow up and discovering his dark powers. Johnathin Scott-Taylor’s performance as the 12-year-old antichrist is really captivating and heartbreakingly sympathetic at times. I also love that we get to see another huge classic actor like William Holden take the reins as the next father figure/martyr. Plotwise, I had to laugh because it’s almost like a very dark version of Harry Potter.

“Yer a Wizard, Harry.”

The only thing I didn’t like was that we spent so much time with “Uncle Rich’s” work and a lot of side plot-lines that seemed disconnected and didn’t really seem to go anywhere except to provide us with a body-count. The deaths themselves were also faster, bigger, splashier, and in the end more cartoony than interesting, because they had to top Patrick Troughton’s skewering and David Warner’s decapitation. I laughed at every cheesey death, where with the first Omen movie, I gasped. They could have trimmed all that and added more scenes of Damien bumping off classmates and teachers while discovering himself as a man to make it better. Like discovering girls…

“…and then I set her on fire!” Hahahahaha!

I’ll probably go ahead and watch the Omen III and IV to see how I like the over-arching story, but maybe I’ll do it later.

Carpe Scream Day 2

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In keeping with our inadvertent theme of happy family life, Day 2’s feature was The Omen.

The Omen 1976, 20th Century Fox

First of all, I’ll just state for the record that I ADORE Gregory Peck and David Warner. I’d watch them in damn near everything. Secondly this is just a solidly good movie. I have no idea why they remade it (especially since, from what I can tell, it was shot-for-shot and line-for-line identical). I love soundtrack, the characters (especially David Warner) and the plot from beginning to end. (And the Doctor mark 2 Patrick Troughton as a brilliantly creepy fallen priest seeking redemption.) Oh, and David Warner, did I mention him?

Dat hair.

And Once again, this movie makes some great parallels between the true nature of fear and the strange quirks of ordinary children that drive parents to madness. Also, as a Catholic, I adore a great good vs. evil plotline with all the clout of biblical angelic battles for dominance, unless those stories run for 4 freaking seasons *cough* supernatural *cough*

I highly recommend this one for a good horror that’s more thriller than a gore fest, that has a strangely classical feel to it and a fantastic tragic hero.

And they get an honorable mention for having a tricycle scene that’s almost as scary as The Shining.

A for effort, Damien, but Danny Torrence did it better.

Inktober Day 3

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Just as luck would have it, I’m participating in another challenge this October, the October Horror Movie Challenge. It gives me an excuse to watch all the movies I’m usually too chicken to watch under the excuse of “research” for my horror comic. That being said, I did this while watching Cabin in the Woods. I’ve always been inspired by the fabulous inking style of Colleen Doran, so I tried to use some of the technique I’ve observed in her art while doing this.

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“Dont Go In There!” by Monica Marier available for $35

Note: Horror movies are rubbish to watch while inking because the jumpscares always screw up my lines. It’s a bit like trying to ink on a plane where someone keeps bumping your elbows.

Again, feel free to post links to your inks after this post, or critique mine! If you want to join in, go on ahead. Additionally, if you see an inks of mine that you like, they are available for purchase. Email me through the blog contact form if interested. International shipping will be charged extra for outside US rates.