I missed 2 days this weekend, but you know? That’s okay. Instead of worrying about making it up or stressing, I’m going to just keep going. So here is a cute little H. P. Lovecraft colouring page. I always dreamed that some day I can do a full colouring book of these. Some day. Anyways, feel free to print and colour this and share it with me. I’d love to see what you do!
Today’s another kids’ movie night so I’m reviewing “Monster House.”
First off, I have to confess that kids’ movie or not there were elements of this that were pretty dang scary, not least of which is that the movie’s story, execution, and even film and color palette, are very reminiscent of old 80’s slasher movies. The movie is obviously set in the early 80’s and with a touch of Spielberg and Zemeckis (co-producers) over the whole, this has a very Halloween meets Goonies meets E.T. feel to it.
There’s a visceral grittiness to the characters and dialogue that feels unscripted and anxious which makes it scarier and more grimdark than your usual fluffy kiddy fare, and that’s very much on purpose. That’s solely for the purpose of making the viewers of ALL ages feel like the kid protagonists. We are transported back in time to when parents wouldn’t believe us, our hormones were turned against us, and when we were slowly becoming aware that real evil existed in the world, and not just in our books and movies. It’s a very helpless feeling and this movie cashes in on making the viewer feel vulnerable and alone.
No punches are pulled either. The evil’s origin story is as dark as you can get for a kids’ movie. This is not a movie for the real young’uns. This one is for the kids who think, “maybe I’m too old to dress up this year.”
Today’s movie is a double feature: both the stage production and the Tim Burton film of Sweeney Todd. First up, is the filmed production of the Broadway Version with George Hearn and Angela Lansbury.
This is really the bible of this show as far as precedent and how to beat it. Hearn and Lansbury are superior as the demonic and impish Todd and Lovett. Hearn’s deep basso and terrifying expressions really make him a fantastic tragic villain.
I’m only sorry that Angie’s comedy chops aren’t as good in this as they’ve been in other things I’ve seen her in. She’s a little too over the top and her stiff-legged waddle and monkey-faces aren’t as funny as if she’d played it more straight. Yes, it’s stage. Yes that’s how 70’s theatre was, I get it. I think I was spoiled by seeing Emma Thompson do it in the staged concert on PBS. She is my favorite Lovett.
All in all, this version is a bloody good time and worth watching.
And then there’s this:
I’m pretty sure the creation of this was Helena prancing around Tim in a sexy lingerie and singing “Do it! Do it! Film it! Film the musical, baby! Come on!” and him eventually saying yes. It’s clear that Tim had no desire to make a musical. Half of the numbers were cut out, all of the crowd’s lines were cut (so you can sing it yourself at home!) But for that, it’s not a terrible version, if you look at it as bringing demension to the story that you can’t on the stage, the quick cuts, the crowd shots, the action, and the blood. SO MUCH BLOOD. LITERALLY BUCKETS OF BLOOD.
That’s really the fun part. In the stage show, the producers have to be conservative with blood in the show, so the actors aren’t slipping in giant wet lakes of it during the production. In the movie we get to see graphic portrayals of real blood, bugs, meat and other delicious closeups and subtle winks and nods that we’d never get to see on a far away stage.
Where it falls short is, sadly, the lack of experienced singers in the major roles. They managed to find great performers and singers for the secondary players, but Depp’s gritty constipated grunts, and Helena’s flat whistles utterly fail to enchant, and are perhaps the bigger reason Burton cut out more musical numbers. So this makes a great sing-along and it’s visually exciting. And for all the weak singing, Depp summons a wonder pathos for Todd and Helena brings the subtle quirky funny no problem. Of course, this is the REAL reason we went to go see this when it came out.
Here’s today’s Inktober and this might be my favorite one this year. I’m watching Sweeney Todd for Carpe Scream and I started thinking about a picture of Sweeney Todd I’d drawn when I was in college (about 1999). I’d never SEEN Sweeney Todd, I only had the soundtrack, so in my head I had to imagine what everyone looked like. In my head, Sweeney was thin as a rail and blond. Everyone was like “what?” but I thought it was cool. Anyways, here’s an updated pic of both Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett. It was done with Faber-Castell pen and a Crayola red washable marker.
Today I watch a great gothic anime Movie, Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust.
I’ll just start off by saying, Oh My God Madhouse,
Oh My God Madhouse,
Oh My God Madhouse.
This is SO visually gorgeous, I love this. Every second is eyeball candy. The writing’s pretty punchy and very entertaining, voiced perfectly by wonderful voice actors. The only thing is that there’s so much obvious world-building behind this series that I sometimes get a bit lost and have to hit Wikipedia. We also get very little of everyone’s story, so unfortunately the story is not as compelling because we don’t get to ride in any one character’s head. The vampire hunters, come kind of close, but they’re not really the main characters either.
So for a beautiful, scary, gory, creepy, vampire festival from the classiest neighborhood of Hell, I highly recommend Bloodlust. Just don’t ask me a lot of the story, because I still don’t know. (Apparently the books are like this too).
Today I watch my first Freddie movie. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
This was on TV when I was in College. I was aware of Freddy as a kid. One could hardly avoid the Halloween costumes, parodies, pop-culture references or that popular Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince rap about him. I also recall the outrage that Freddy had been “killed off” in the last movie. So when New Nightmare started and I realized that it was the actors playing themselves against a movie-Freddy come real, I knew enough to get most of the references and I was too hooked to turn the movie off,
First of all I LOVE this concept. Love, love, love, love seeing Wes Craven, Robert Englund, and Heather Langenkamp and a score of other Hollywood actors playing themselves in a terrible shifting dreamscape of what’s real, what’s Freddy’s trap, and what’s only a movie. It was especially cool to see Robert England as more of what he’s really like, instead of a creature actor, even if it does betray his love of tinted Lennon glasses.
It’s has that self-awareness and face recognition of a Muppet Movie with a dark macabre monster twist. I now know that it’s lost the cartoon-y feel of the previous Nightmare films, and watching it a second time, it does seem to lose that “Craven” feel to the whole affair. I prefer more when he’s over the top and unabashed, than when he attempts more stark realism.
So, in my opinion as far as Nightmare movies go, watch the first one, and then watch this one. Also, apparently Depp would have done this movie but Wes was too shy to ask him (since Depp’s rise to stardom). What a missed opportunity!
Happy Future Day, Hill Vallians! We didn’t get hover-boards, but I think being able to stream movies via internet is a pretty awesome feature. So today on Netflix, I watched The Others, and now I will use future technology to tell more than my kids about it!
I had never seen this movie before, but sadly I’d had the ending spoiled for me about 10 years ago. And the scariest seen was already given away in the freaking trailer.
That being said, it was really entertaining to watch with the twist in mind. I could actually follow the second story very well and I liked the characters a lot. It made it definitely less-scary, but no less interesting. I’m not a huge Nichole Kidman fan either, and I found her captivating in this.
Nitpicking:I did flinch a few times at inaccuracies. The weird not-at-all-doctrinal views of supposedly Catholic teachings made a few scenes really groan-worthy. And memorial photos to “preserve souls?” Please. Memorial photos were mementos and nothing more, usually taken because family photos cost a tidy sum and there were very few occasions other than a birth or a wedding that people would gladly plonk down money for them. Also, I like Christopher Eccleston, but I really don’t know why his character was even in it. His brief appearance didn’t give us any new information and it was sort of pointless and confusing
But the cinematography and great story-telling made this a great movie. I’ll add it to my yearly roster from now on.