Horror-thon Overall Recap

•October 29, 2009 • 5 Comments
exhumed

HORROR-THON

I feel bad that it has taken me so long to do the write-ups, but I’ve been busy essaying for school and spraining my ankle.

My friend Jimmy and I arrived to the Exhumed Films 24-Hour Horror-thon at around 10:45, which ended up being just fine. We definitely had to wait in a long line, but it wasn’t hellish, and we managed to nab highly desirable seats (well, I considered them highly desirable at least). We were in the middle section, about 5 rows back, on the aisle. Jimmy definitely resented my insistence upon sitting in the aisle seat, but he did not realize that women pee approximately every 90 minutes, especially when downing Diet Coke and Rockstar energy drinks at a breakneck pace. No one sat next to him anyway though, so we both got to stretch out.

I was a little bit worried about what to wear since I had never been before, and there were two major factors to consider:

1. This is a big event, so people are probably going to be taking pictures. Therefore, I cannot look too shitty.

2. I need to wear clothes that are comfortable enough to snooze in if I so choose.

There are very few clothing options that fulfill both criteria, so I decided to worry less about looking good and more about being cozy. With this in mind, I chose to wear…leggings as pants.

Personally, I think the practice of wearing leggings as pants is pretty horrifying, but I decided to take advantage of the fact that this is a marginally socially acceptable practice at the moment and will probably only remain so for another year or two before people remember that it is actually only okay if you are in 1st grade. I hoped in vain that a huge truckload of people from an American Apparel ad would show up. Luckily, my leggings were black and totally opaque, so it wasn’t as much of a faux pas as it could have been.

leggings as pants

I hope my ass was not this visible.

I also wore a plaid shirt that kind of looks like a real shirt but is actually made of the same kind of fabric that long underwear is made of. Basically I showed up in glorified pajamas. I felt a little weird at first, but come 4 AM I was glad that I was not one of the seemingly endless number of girls who showed up in cute dresses, tailored coats, and knee-high boots.

The films were wonderful, and will be described in detail shortly (many with screencaps, including Raw Force, so watch out).

Jimmy and I stayed the whole time, and I slept only a short while, during City of the Walking Dead. Jimmy fell asleep at 2:45 in the afternoon on the first day during Godzilla on Monster Island, then again briefly during a couple of others. I did, however, miss parts of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and The Children due to breaks for food.

doublenaut

Sweet print by Doublenaut, doublenaut.com.

I also deliriously stumbled out of the theater at around 3:45 to pee, and on my way there I’m pretty sure I sleepily asked the Exhumed Films guys if they wanted help taking out the trash. What the fuck was I doing? Yes, Anne, at 3:45 in the morning these guys who are surrounded by burly bearded men are going to ask the sleepy 5’3″ girl who is not even wearing pants for help taking out the fucking trash. I guess I am just really helpful when tired.

My timing throughout the whole Horror-thon was actually incredibly bad. I really wanted to get a shirt and browse DVDs, but by the time I got out there everything had been packed up. The prints they had as part of the All the Colors of the Dark art show were absolutely wonderful, and I would have loved to maybe pick one of those up as well, but they were gone when I went to buy. Prints are kind of my thing – I was a printmaking major until I exhausted the coursework in my area of study (relief printing), and didn’t want to have to trek to Swarthmore or Penn for classes.

Naturally, when we got out the next morning, the prints were back out, but I had already used my cash on junk food. Bad choices galore.

It might have been nice to have some sort of schedule of when things were going to be sold, but I’m sure that would have been a pain. Unfortunately it seemed like in order to buy anything I would have had to leave the theater during the trailers and shorts, which I wasn’t willing to do.

ihouse philly

The International House in Philly, site of Exhumed Films 24Hour Horror-thon

The International House was a wonderful facility, and everyone working there was incredibly friendly, especially the nice cafe dude who made me a kickass breakfast sandwich and the nice front desk guy who gave a very sleepy Anne directions to the Wawa. It seems like a good place to live, and I would totally consider living there if I didn’t go to Bryn Mawr where I get to live in a castle.

Exhumed Films 24-Hour Horror-Thon 2009 LIST

•October 25, 2009 • 7 Comments

Just got back from the Exhumed Films’ 24-hour Horror-Thon. It was wonderful. The films (and their clues) were:

1. Creepshow (1982) – HINT: “Beloved (by some!) horror/monster movie directed by a genre favorite.”

2. Godzilla on Monster Island (1972) – HINT: “Giant monster movie.”

3. The Fly (1986) – HINT: “Science-fiction/horror modern classic* (*assuming a movie made nearly 25 years ago can still be considered ‘modern’)”

4. The Oblong Box (1969) – HINT: “‘Old School’ Gothic horror starring two genre favorites.”

5. Friday the 13th:  The Final Chapter (1984) – HINT: “Slasher sequel that many people enjoy in spite of (or perhaps because of) its utter stupidity.”

6. Raw Force (1982) - HINT: “Definitely one of the weirdest, most gratuitous, bat-shit craziest films of the evening, if not of all time.”

7. The Next Victim/The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971) – HINT: “Stunning giallo from a master of the genre. No, not that one…”

NOTE: I got a little confused about this one, because I knew that I had seen it, but also knew that I had never seen a film by the name “The Next Victim.” It’s also called The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, and Martino’s film Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972) is a reference to the note in this one. Now it all makes sense.

8. City of the Walking Dead (1980) - HINT: “Sleazy, absurdist zombie movie guilty pleasure.”

9. Hercules in the Haunted World (1961) – HINT: “Verily! A sword-and-sandal epic unmatched in the annals of time!”

10. Trauma/Exposé/The House on Straw Hill (1976) -HINT: “Rarely screened thriller that is dark, brutal, and generally unpleasant. Starring a genre favorite.”

11. Lady Terminator (1988) – HINT: “Okay, remember how insane Movie #6 was? And how you thought nothing could make less sense, or be more entertaining? Well, this movie may just have movie #6 beat on all counts. Seriously, poke that guy sitting next to you and wake his ass up. He’s not going to want to miss this.”

12. The Children (1980) – HINT: “Nifty, creepy, and fun little horror movie starring just about every genre favorite ever.”

13. Piranha (1978) – HINT: Enjoyable “animals attack” film starring just about every genre favorite ever.”

14. Re-Animator (1985) – HINT: “Wow, what a surprise…the Horror-Thon ends with yet another zombie flick. Oh Exhumed Films, you are so predictable…”

Posts on individual films, shorts, and the Horror-Thon in general coming shortly, after I take a much-needed shower. I will say in advance that Exhumed Films put together a fantastic set, and that the people who came out for it were fun, completely non-obnoxious, and in general not like the dudes singled out at Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors in 1985.

EDIT: Posts actually won’t happen until tomorrow because I’m really much too sleepy to do anything besides drift off to sleep while watching Bride of Re-Animator.

EXHUMED FILMS 24-HOUR FEST TOMORROW!

•October 23, 2009 • 1 Comment

My friend Jimmy and I are eagerly anticipating the Exhumed Films 24-Hour Horror-Thon tomorrow. I wish I could bring my laptop and do some on-site blogging, but unfortunately my laptop is about as functional as a brick right now.

More posts as soon as my technological situation improves – posts are no fun without screencaps!

I will probably post about the Exhumed Films movies before I write about ones I’ve already watched, because I won’t be able to make screencaps of them anyway, so there is no sense in waiting!

If you read this blog and you see me there, say ‘hello!’  I don’t bite, and it would be sweet to meet some of the people who send me emails.

I look like this except no more bangs and I am probably 7 pounds heavier. Also I will probably leave my red dress at home and opt for an ensemble more appropriate for a 24-hour horrorthon.

I look like this except no more bangs/ Also I will probably leave my red dress at home and opt for an ensemble more appropriate for a 24-hour horrorthon.

WordPress lets me see what search engine terms people use to find my blog. I think it is hilarious that my Blair Witch Project post gets about 100 hits a day when it is one of the shortest ones I did, and contains no spoilers or screencaps.

Funniest search terms to get people here:

  • shoves lipstick in her boob
  • annie potts egon spengler babies
  • hypnotizes men with her boobs
  • paranormal which one has da shitty ending?

18. April Fool’s Day (1986)

•October 20, 2009 • 1 Comment

april_fools_day_poster-778143I was lucky enough to pick up April Fool’s Day (1986) in a “2 DVD Set” (the cover lies, it’s actually one double-sided disc) with My Bloody Valentine (1981) for five dollars at a Wal-Mart in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was a great deal. I hadn’t seen either of those movies since I was a kid, and April Fool’s Day hadn’t been the easiest to get a hold of until I found this disc. Apparently, it’s actually the only format in which April Fool’s Day is available right now (obviously you can still get it on eBay or Amazon from second-hand sellers) but I am not complaining due to the insanely low cost, and what I consider to be a pretty good transfer.

The movie stars Deborah Foreman, who I love: she also stars in Valley Girl, which is one of my favorite movies with one of the best movie soundtracks, and 1988′s Waxwork, which isn’t terrible. Looking at her IMDB page though, it looks like she also had a small role in Real Genius, which is another of my favorites. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for her next time I watch it. Also, there is apparently a remake in the works, and I was prepared to get all pissy about how Valley Girl wouldn’t be Valley Girl in the 2000s, until I learned that it is going to be an 80s musical. It now has my blessings/total encouragement, obviously.

Deborah Foreman thinks Nicholas Cage is "like, trippendicular, y'know?"

Deborah Foreman thinks Nicholas Cage is "like, trippendicular, y'know?"

More importantly, it looks like she was in a movie called Lunatics: A Love Story (1991), co-starring…Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell? Here is the plot summary:

A delusional and paranoid poet hallucinates and almost becomes a serial killer, but saves a beautiful girl from street-gang members and becomes a hero. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com. (thanks, frankfob2!)

How have I not seen or heard of this movie? That is a bigger mystery than the mystery of who the killer is in this film.

The premise of the film is that Muffy Sinclair is a really rich girl who goes to Vassar, and who just inherited her family’s summer house, which is on an island only accessible by ferry.  The first scene we see is Muffy (Deborah Foreman) organizing her basement before her friends arrive, which is the first hint that she is up to something. She even assures her maid that the party she is throwing for her friends this weekend is going to be “bloody unforgettable.”

While poking around the basement, she finds a jack-in-the-box that she received on her birthday as a child, and has a birthday flashback to her youth. For some reason, only adults were invited to her party even though she was a kid. When she received the jack-in-the-box, which looked totally innocuous and had a cute duck on the side, she spun the handle and out popped this horrifying monster that growled at her:

Evil monster that scared little Muffy.

Evil monster that scared little Muffy.

To add insult to injury, all of the adults at the party laugh at her when she gets scared. This rivals Damien’s birthday in The Omen for Worst Birthday Ever. It actually might beat it, because Muffy wasn’t the Antichrist and so you can’t make any excuses about how she “deserved” it or liked it.

So you know right away that Muffy is going to be at least a little fucked up because she was traumatized as a child and had terrible parents who liked to scare her and invite their friends over to watch their kid get scared.

Then we meet all of her college friends who are coming on the ferry to Muffy’s house. They are (prepare for screencap overload):

Biff from Back to the Future

Biff from Back to the Future

This bitchy girl.

This bitchy girl.

Hal, who is Southern and wants to bone Muffy (he's in it for the money).

Hal, who is Southern and wants to bone Muffy (he's in it for the money).

A nice girl, and her boyfriend, Fake Keven Bacon

A nice girl, and her boyfriend, Fake Keven Bacon

Fake Rob Lowe in St. Elmo's Fire and a nerdy girl

Fake Rob Lowe in St. Elmo's Fire and a nerdy girl

Also, the Constable, Muffy’s boring distant cousin Skip, the ferryman, and the ferryman’s assistant Buck are on board as well.

The prank, which leads to...

The prank, which leads to...

Fake Rob Lowe has a video camera and is telling all of the boys that their flies are down as a joke, but then Biff and boring cousin Skip do a serious prank in which it looks like Skip gets stabbed in the stomach with a knife accidentally. It is pulled off way too realistically (and in a half a second) to have been done without a special effects crew or at least some kind of professional makeup artist, but I guess these kids are mostly rich so they can afford to plan things like that.

vlcsnap-2009-10-20-22h46m26s41

...a non-prank.

Unfortunately, Buck dives in the water to save Skip, and gets his face smashed by the ferry. Not good.

They finally get to Muffy’s house, and Muffy plays some funny tricks on them (champagne glasses with holes in them, etc.) Someone is also planting fucked up things in the guests’ rooms, like a recording of a baby crying in the room of one of the girls who had gotten an abortion.

People start to die in interesting ways and it would ruin the movie if I went into too much detail, because it really is a pretty good slasher. Muffy starts to look obviously deranged and we begin to suspect that she is actually Muffy’s insane twin sister Buffy.

"This is not the Muffy we know and love. She would NEVER do her hair like that."

"This is not the Muffy we know and love. She would NEVER do her hair like that."

Stop reading here if you don’t want to know the end to the movie.

I like this movie a lot, but I really didn’t like the twist in the end, both because you could see it from a mile away, and because it just didn’t really make much sense.

It turns out…it was all a prank! Well, it was a “dress rehearsal” for Muffy’s plan for the house…she is going to turn it into a murder mystery themed bed and breakfast! Except those guests will know it is fake, so this really wasn’t anything like a dress rehearsal. Also, who did Buck’s makeup when he staged his ferry-related injury? It happened in less than an instant, and I don’t know anyone who can apply makeup that good, that fast, while in the water. I know it is a campy slasher/mystery and I shouldn’t care, but it was actually a really good movie up until the end, and then it sort of ruined it with an improbable twist ending a la Haute Tension.

I think the movie would have been great if Muffy’s evil sister Buffy actually existed and offed everyone.

Plausibility of twist ending: 3/10

Movie up until that point, as far as 80s slashers go: 7/10

Awesomeness of purchasing this and MBV on dvd for 5 dollars: 8/10

Anne rating: 6/10

17. The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008)

•October 17, 2009 • 3 Comments

I watched The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008) with my sister because it was free on On Demand.

Follow? Don't mind if I do!

Follow? Don't mind if I do!

The movie starts out with a scene of a 17-year-old girl in the late 90s who is following a string through the woods. This string has post-it note messages on it that say things like “follow” or “keep going,” etc. This goes on for about a mile, so someone went through some serious trouble to do this. While she is following the string, she keeps hearing scary whispers, having major headaches and looking into the sky a lot.

"Hmm, maybe this mysterious headache and these creepy whispers could be portents of doom..."

"Hmm, maybe this mysterious headache and these creepy whispers could be portents of doom..."

If you have ever seen a horror movie, you know that you should not follow a scary string through the woods when you are hearing whispers and other creepy things are happening as well, because the end of the string will inevitably be soaked in blood and have a post-it note that says something like “Happy Deathday, now you die!” on it.

It ends up just being her boyfriend, though. He is wishing her a Happy Birthday, and thought that a creepy old cabin in the middle of the woods would be the best place to do it. Unfortunately, her dad shows up and totally ruins their special moment, and takes her away.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that he freaks out and yells that he “can’t let her turn eighteen,” and that “the darkness is coming for her,” and that it’s “all his fault,” and then crashes his car and kills her. Not a good birthday present. Also, this story is not really related directly to the main story except to establish the fact that the whole “girl is going to turn eighteen, that is bad” thing has happened before to someone somewhere.

We are then introduced to Molly Hartley, who is another girl who is going to turn eighteen soon.

"My nose is bleeding. Could I be the Antichrist?"

"My nose is bleeding. Could I be the Antichrist?"

Molly and her dad are new in town. They moved here to get a new start after Molly’s mom tried to kill her because she thought she was going to turn into a demon (like the 90s girl and her dad, get it?) Molly has transferred to a new prep school, and in order to make her transition easier, they ask the most intensely disliked girl in school, who actively tries to proselytize and argues against the Bible being studied in Lit class because it’s “sacrilegious”  to take her to all of her classes. In addition, she has a school counselor who is keeping an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t start doing crazy things like her mom. Lame!

The situation is compounded by the fact that Molly just looks scared all the time, and has headaches and nosebleeds constantly, and even has visions of ravens sometimes. Scary shit, I know. After one really bad nosebleed, her dad comes into school and shouts at her in the hallway in front of all of her new classmates:

"HOW DO YOU THINK IT MAKES ME FEEL, to know that my OWN DAUGHTER is HURT and BLEEDING, and doesn't even bother to CALL ME?!?"

"HOW DO YOU THINK IT MAKES ME FEEL, to know that my OWN DAUGHTER is HURT and BLEEDING, and doesn't even bother to CALL ME?!?"

That is what he actually says, by the way.

Luckily, she manages to attract the attentions of Chace Crawford, who is the richest kid in town, despite the fact that both of her parents are crazy and she is a nosebleed-prone nerd. His girlfriend is not happy about it though, and she has really bad hair.

75% of the movie then proceeds as such:

I have a nosebleed. Do I hear whispers? Yes. I am scared!

Luckily for Molly, nothing really scary happens to her at all. Well, nothing demon-related. Her mom comes back to try to kill her again (the nurse at the hospital let her go because she believed her about Molly), and then Molly has to kill her, which is never fun. The flashback scene in which we see Molly’s mom try to kill her for the first time is a direct Carrie rip-off, even recycling some of Piper Laurie’s lines, which is not cool. Oh, there is also this moment that lasts about half of a second, during which all of their special effects budget was wasted:

"I am still scared, but in the bathroom this time."

"I am still scared, but in the bathroom this time."

"Rahhh, I am behind you, and I am a demon probably."

"Rahhh, I am behind you, and I am a demon probably, but I am wearing your clothes."

"NOW I'M EVEN MORE SCARED!"

"NOW I'M EVEN MORE SCARED!"

At the end of the movie, Molly Hartley runs over to Chace Crawford’s house because she has been running around scared all day and has accidentally killed a few people. Chace Crawford and the school counselor were in on it the whole time though! They are apostates of Satan, or something evil like that! And now…the darkness is coming for Molly. She is going to turn 18. Uh oh. She will turn into something so vile, so horrifying, that her mom and another girl’s dad were willing to kill their children to prevent it from happening:

Pretty and popular and the valedictorian!

Pretty and popular and the valedictorian!

Oh, she also gets to date the attractive rich boy. I’m also going to guess that she doesn’t get gross nosebleeds anymore.

Scariness of anything that happens to Molly: 2/10

A promising opening sequence that could have been great but ended up just being a gift from her boyfriend: 5/10

Anne rating: 3.5/10

Here is the poster, it didn’t fit up top:

haunting_of_molly_hartley_ver2

16. Video Violence…When Renting Is Not Enough (1987)

•October 17, 2009 • 2 Comments

videoviolence1a To warn you ahead of time, I have a really nasty virus and a high fever, so this may not be as sophisticated and insightful as you are used to. I will most likely also overuse parentheses and exclamation points.

Last night I had crazy fever dreams, including one in which I was a huge wolf and had to construct shelter for the winter because there was a big blizzard coming, but at the same time I was also a little girl getting trapped in the ruins of a castle and I didn’t know enough German to escape.

This movie was not as funny as I had hoped it would be. Really, for a direct-to-video, late-80s no-budget slasher, it was actually pretty decent. The acting was terrible, yes, but the “snuff film” sections of the movie were incredibly realistic.

There is a dude who has just moved to this small town from New York to open a video store. He knows something is weird because he just opened, but already there are more than 300 people in the video club. Do you know what that means?

Over 300 people in the town have VCRs!

Shit, do you  have chills already? That is a seriously sinister statistic, or at least it is presented as such. I know that actually probably would have seemed anomalous in 1987, but it is still pretty funny.

I am a dude who has a video store.

I am a dude who has a video store.

This guy is married and is a pretty boring character, but unfortunately the movie is about him so you are stuck.

The main jist of the plot is that the town is full of murdering maniacs who make homemade snuff films and they keep sneaking their snuff films into his video store to fuck with him, and then in the end they end up murdering him and his wife as well, and they take over the video store for their own sinister purposes!

Here are the important bits:

1. The town only has two police officers: the guy who greets people and the police chief. Also, he wears a sweater vest and a toupee.

Police chief.

Police chief.

2. The snuff films are often really creepy and realistic. There is one scene in which the two main murderers (Eli and some other dude, he calls it “the Eli Show” and he always wears stupid hats) kill this hitchhiker (I can’t post a good screencap because there is too much blood and nudity and I don’t want my blog to be rated “mature”) and carve Eli’s name into her chest. It made me really uncomfortable. I think the fact that they are exactly the kind of untalented, fucked-up guys that you would expect to really see in a snuff film that makes it creepy. I made a sanitized version of the screencap for you:

vlcsnap-2009-10-17-14h42m25s217

3. The other murder scenes are totally hilarious! One of them takes place in a deli, and they chop a guy’s head off and put it in a pot and actually get an actor to look into the camera and say “Soup’s on!” THEN, they take the guys arm and put it in the deli meat slicer. Classic.

4. The music composed for this film is actually pretty great.

Overall -

3/10 for plot

8/10 for gore

4/10 for acting

7/10 for sweet synthy soundtrack

2/10 for how much I cared about the main characters

Anne rating: 4.8

I continue to be behind.

•October 14, 2009 • 6 Comments

Hello all,

Sorry about continuing to be behind. I think my goal for the month is going to end up being “watch and write about as many as I can” rather than a set number, because unfortunately every time I try to watch a movie on my laptop (where 90% of my movies are), this happens:

pazuzu

That is actually a real photograph, it’s not even shitty Photoshop.

 
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