Tag Archives: horror

Carpe Scream Day 11

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Today, I watched a classic Monster B-Movie, that wins the best movie song award: The Blob (1958)

Super Groovy.

This one features Steeve McQueen as a “young teen” that rallies a town to defend itself from an interstellar parasite that devours and absorbs flesh.

17 going on 28.

As far as movies go, this one certainly has a more sophisticated, compellingly written and well shot production quality, and is just plain entertaining. I love the cast, the varied characters, the real struggle of the teens fighting for their town and the people who eventually help champion them. My only complaint is that the pacing can get a bit slow in places.

It’s also not afraid to laugh at itself, which any horror movie should be if it can help it.

I think there’s some requirement that all 50’s SciFi movies contain a character named “Steve.”

I remember seeing this one when I was younger, and finding the blob pretty terrifying. I mean, it “dissolves” you. How horrible is that?

It also makes a great marinade.

As a parting gift I leave you with The Blob drinking game:

Every time someone says “Steve,” take a drink. Don’t die.

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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 5

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Today, I watched one of my Halloween Favorites: Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow, 1999 Paramount Pictures

Let me just start out by saying, that this movie is pretty much what I wanted Sweeny Todd to be. It’s just so much over-the-top, gory, grimdark fun! It’s got its weak points like the zero-chemistry between Depp and Ricci, the terrible writing for Katrina’s character, and oodles of anachronisms (yes, I know, it’s just silly fun!). But the stark palette of black, white, and red is visually gripping. Elfman’s terrifying score gives me fever chills every time I listen to it. It also features a large talented cast of “Hey,I know that guy!” fame.

Pictured: Alfred, Principal Rooney, Chancellor Palpatine, Uncle Vernon, and Dumbledore

All and all, the wonderful cast and story, are all whimsically dark and entertaining. I harbor a secret wish that Burton returns to some of this witty, nutsy, style of movie soon. Hell, he can even stick Depp and Bonham-Carter in it. What the hell.

Fun Fact: Johnny Depp himself stated that Ichabod Crane was an easy character to get a hold of, once he imagined himself playing a 16-year-old girl.

Escort Miss Depp to the fainting couch.

DOUBLE FEATURE

These days, I ALWAYS follow up this movie with the Disney Short of the same story.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, 1949 Walt Disney Pictures

This one is much more faithful to the original story, in fact the narration is taken almost entirely from it. And it’s narrated by the king of the velvet voice, Bing Crosby. Disney perfectly captivated this wonderfully humorous story of two ruthless gold-diggers out to nab the richest, hottest peach in town.

She’s got huuuuuuuuge tracts of land!

My favorite part is the Halloween Dance and the musical number Bing performs. This cartoon used to scare the hell out of me as a kid, but damn if I didn’t love every bit of it.

This is definitely one of my favorite stories and an American Treasure.

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.