Thursday, December 30, 2010

Washing Machine by Sonic Youth

This Sonic Youth album is pretty good, but I never really count it in my top whatever. Since it came out in high school, I listened to it about a trillion times, because when you're a kid you can basically just sit and listen to an album without doing anything else and feel like you accomplished something. I bought it on a school trip the day the OJ Simpson verdict came out, and I remember being the only non black person on the bus who was happy about it, not because I didn't think he was guilty or some racial thing, but just because I wanted him to play Nordberg again in the next Naked Gun movie, which never even happened. Check out the songs and remember what a magical time the mid 90s were!

RATING: 70%

My Year at the Movies: 2010

A lot of people my age don't go out to the movies very often, at least that's been my experience based on where I live and the people I know. Myself, I go a lot. In 2010, I went to the movies 22 times. 20 of the movies I saw were from 2010, one was 2009's Sherlock Holmes and one was a repertory screening of a William Shatner movie from the 70s that I saw at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas. Now the average person might think that 22 trips to the movies is a lot (and it probably is for someone who's not a professional critic), but I didn't even manage to catch everything I wanted to see this year. I didn't get to watch The Social Network, I didn't get a chance to watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World until it came out on DVD, and Black Swan hasn't even gotten a wide release yet. The movies I saw this year came from a wide variety of genres: comedies, action flicks, horror movies, comic book movies, Oscar bait, and even two movies in 3D. So while a lot of critics are saying that 2010 wasn't a particularly strong year for movies, I can't complain too much, at least no one nuked the fridge this year.

Rating: 75%

(Image from brooklynindiehouse.com)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Specials - #12: A Muppet Family Christmas

A Muppet Family Christmas is my absolute favorite Christmas special, it just isn't Christmas for me unless I watch it at least once. There's been maybe one or two years in the last twenty three that I wasn't able to watch A Muppet Family Christmas and those were horrible times which need not be mentioned again. In the special, the Muppet gang decides to head down to Fozzy's mother's farmhouse for Christmas. The Muppets are eventually joined by the Sesame Street gang and the Fraggles. There's lots of singing and laughing and holiday cheer, it's god-damned beautiful. Merry Christmas y'all.

Rating: And a Partridge in a Pear Tree%

(Image from trustedopinion.com)

Friday, December 24, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Specials - #11: A Claymation Christmas Celebration

This one might be a little obscure. I can remember watching A Claymation Christmas Celebration back in the day, but I don't think it's been shown too many times since then. In the special, two dinosaurs host a program explaining the origins of popular and traditional Christmas songs. A running joke in the special has characters mixing up the lyrics to "Here We Come A-wassailing," replacing wassailing with waffling, waddling, etc. The special was produced and directed by Will Vinton, the man behind the California Raisins, the short-lived Eddie Murphy series The PJs, and the truly bizarre Adventures of Mark Twain. Basically, if you've never seen the special and you've read this far anyway, just remember it was the 80s, it was stop motion animation and it kinda made sense at the time.

Rating: 2 Turtle Doves%

(Image from icanalwaysbefound.blogspot.com)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Specials - #10: A Garfield Christmas Special

Wow, watching A Garfield Christmas Special last night totally made up for sitting through Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol earlier in the week. It had been quite a few years since I last watched the Garfield special and I'd honestly forgotten just how good it was. It's short, it's sweet, the songs don't suck, the animation is classic, and the nostalgia factor is very high. I was a big time Garfield fan when I was a kid and the television specials were always something to look forward to. Out of all the Christmas specials that I've covered so far, this is one of the only ones that I actually own on DVD. I bought it at the time more so for Garfield's Halloween Adventure, but now I have another reason to dust it off every year. Thinking about it now though, I bought it online and probably got it in an order with a bunch of horror movies, so there's a good chance my name's on a list somewhere now.

Rating: 3 French Hens%

(Image from buychristmasgiftsonline.us)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Trying To Blog While Waiting For True Grit To Start

It's too hard to be witty when I'm surrounded by this many white people.

12 Days of Christmas Specials - #9: Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has been adapted for films, television and the stage about a gazillion times. I could have easily done reviews for a dozen different versions of A Christmas Carol, but instead I chose to review the one with Mr. Magoo. In case you don't know/remember, Mr. Magoo was a delightfully senile and essentially blind cartoon character who appeared in a number of theatrical shorts and television specials from 1949 until political correctness came into fashion. At 53 minutes, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol is a lot longer than it needs to be. The special is padded out with way too many crappy songs and references to razzleberry dressing, whatever the hell that is.

Rating: 4 Calling Birds%

(Image from dvdnear.com)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Specials - #8: A Very Brady Christmas

Before watching it again last night, I probably hadn't seen A Very Brady Christmas in almost twenty years. And even though I have no real connection to or affection for the Brady Bunch franchise, this particular Christmas special has been occupying real estate in my head since I first saw it back in the day. This is probably why I was never really good at calculus or why I can never remember people's birthdays. Important chunks of my brain are clogged with memories of Bobby Brady driving a race car and Marcia's cool phone that looked like a panda. Ah, such is life.

Rating: 5 GOLDEN RINGS%

(Image from icanalwaysbefound.blogspot.com)

Monday, December 20, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Specials - #7: Frosty the Snowman

I know a lot of children's entertainment is supposed to be kinda dumb, but Frosty the Snowman is seriously retarded. It's a shame too, Frosty was made by Rankin/Bass, the same folks who made the Rudolph special. Only this time around, the special was made with traditional cel animation instead of stop motion animation. It's not even particularly good cel animation either. The voice dubbing is terrible as well, I've seen Godzilla movies with better dubbing. And why the hell does Frosty say "Happy Birthday!" whenever someone puts the magic hat on his head?

Rating: 6 Geese-a-Laying%

(Image from wolfpacktrees.com)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Specials - #6: Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special

My God, the late 1980s was a bizarre friggin' time to be alive. Go back in your mind to the time when Pee-wee Herman was one of the biggest names in children's entertainment. Remember all the neon and the puppets and screaming real loud? I bet you'd think that the guest list for his Christmas special would've featured some really big names. Sure, there were a few: Magic Johnson, Oprah, Cher, and Whoopi Goldberg. But Zsa Zsa Gabor? Frankie and Annette? Little Richard? And musical performances from Grace Jones, k.d. lang, Charo, and the Del Rubio Triplets? Say what?

Rating: 7 Swans-a-Swimming%

(Image from buy.com)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Specials - #5: A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas is a bit of an odd duck as far as these Christmas specials go. It's probably one of the only specials to feature both the Biblical story of Christmas as well as an anti-commercialization message. And the protagonist, Charlie Brown, is one hell of a sad sack. It's also kinda funny that this special along with Rudolph and the Grinch, which have been annual staples of the Christmas season, were made over forty freakin' years ago. There's only a handful of specials that have had that kind of durability over the years, which is to say, don't count on watching Shrek the Halls with your grand kids.

Rating: 8 Maids-a-Milking%

(Image from imaginabox.com)

Friday, December 17, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Specials - #4: A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All

Our hero, Stephen Colbert, is just getting ready to leave his cabin to go tape a Christmas special with Elvis Costello when he's confronted by a bear, trapping him inside his woodsy abode. While Stephen laments missing out on the preparations for his Christmas special, he's visited by a hunter (Toby Keith), the Fourth Wise Man (Willie Nelson), his old pal Jon Stewart, a forest ranger (John Legend), an angel (Feist), and there's even a special guest appearance from Santa Claus himself (George Wendt.) There's singing and dancing and eggnog and awkward encounters under the mistletoe. In the end, Stephen learns that there's no greater gift than the DVD of his very own Christmas special, which you can purchase right now at any fine retailer where DVD's are sold. So, if you love Christmas or Baby Jesus or America or anything else for that matter, you owe it to yourself to pick up your very own copy.

Rating: 9 Ladies Dancing%

(Image from justmanaging.com)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Specials - #3: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

I won't bother with a recap of this particular Christmas special. You know what it's about, don't pretend like you haven't seen it a million times already. One of the reasons I decided to review a bunch of Christmas specials this year was so that I could go back and watch some of the classics that I hadn't seen since I was a kid (and some, including this one, that I'd been avoiding for years.) The main reason that the Grinch landed on my list of specials to cover was because of the narration by Boris Karloff, but what turned out to be even better than that was the animation by Chuck Jones which combined Dr. Seuss' artwork with the classic Looney Tunes style. But honestly though, thank God the thing was only twenty-five minutes long, the endless rhyming lists of Who decorations and instruments drove me nuts.

Rating: 10 Lords-a-Leaping%

(Image from howthegrinchstolechristmas.film.bigbestmovie.com)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Specials - #2: He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special

Everyone who's anyone in Eternia and Etheria is getting ready for Prince Adam and Adora's big birthday celebration. But after some of his trademark shenanigans, Orko ends up on Earth where he meets some adorable little children who teach him all about Christmas. Orko and the children are eventually transported back to Eternia, but the Christmas cheer they bring with them upsets the balance of good and evil. Horde Prime enlists Skeletor and Hordak and their various bumbling minions to capture the children and snuff out the Christmas spirit. Will He-Man and She-Ra be able to protect the children from the Evil Horde? Well, duh. I mean, these specials were made for kids, it's not like they were gonna show Skeletor murdering the poor little Earth children or anything. What did you think was gonna happen?

Rating: 11 Pipers Piping%

(Image from tvshowsondvd.com)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Specials - #1: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Instead of reviewing Christmas songs this year, I thought I'd review a few Christmas specials and I figured there'd be no better way to kick off the reviews than with Rankin/Bass' stop motion classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I realized, while watching the special last night, that it was probably the first time that I had sat through the whole thing since I was a little kid. Now I'm sure you probably all know the gist of the story, Rudolph is born with a shiny red nose which makes him an outcast in Christmas Town (heck, even Santa thinks Rudolph is a freak.) In order to spare his family from the shame of having a freak for a son, Rudolph decides to run away with an effeminate elf named Hermey. Along the way, they make a few friends and learn some valuable lessons about the importance of family (or something like that.) Overall, I enjoyed revisiting Rudolph, especially after I realized that the guy who did Donner's voice was the same guy who did the voice for J. Jonah Jameson on the old Spider-Man cartoon.

Rating: 12 Drummers Drumming%

(Image from store.livenation.com)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Columbia House

So let me get this straight, you're gonna send me a dozen CD's for a buck and then all I have to do is buy three more at the regular price. What's the catch? Oh, so the "regularly priced" discs are actually more expensive than they would be if I bought them in a store and your selection sucks and you charge way too much for shipping. I see. Seems like a pretty shitty business model in the post-Napster age, doesn't it? Oh, what's that, you're actually going out of business? Can't say I'm surprised. Say hi to Blockbuster on your way out.

Rating: No more annoying phone calls at dinner time%

(Image from seeklogo.com)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dirty by Sonic Youth

Dirty is the most radio friendly rock album Sonic Youth ever made. It was released in 1992, during the height of "Nirvana Fever" or "Grungedom" or "A Recession." My friend Farnell really liked a song from this album used on the My So-Called Life soundtrack, but then when I lent him Washing Machine he practically puked in my face. I don't know why so many of my Sonic Youth reviews devolve into questions of "listenability," but so goes England. If you want to see a young Jason Lee, check it out!

RATING: 77%

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sister by Sonic Youth

If somebody is trying to be different and not claim Daydream Nation as their favorite Sonic Youth album, they'll probably claim Sister. It immediately preceded DN, but whereas the later album is more interested in long experimental noodling, this album is a lot of radio length songs with surprising listenability for the average dude/tte who hates Sonic Youth. Actually, it's a great album, with the best opening track of all time, so I guess you should listen to it and remember the glory of the roaring 80s.

RATING: 91%

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Salt Lick Restaurant

I happened to be in Driftwood, Texas recently (no, really, I was vacationing in Austin) and I was lucky enough to get to eat at The Salt Lick. Open since 1967, The Salt Lick is known for its open barbecue pit, friendly staff, generous portions, and their convenient BYOB policy. I opted for the "Family Style" all-you-can-eat meat plate, which came loaded with pork ribs, sausage and brisket. And, since I was in Texas, I washed all that meat down with a few cans of Pearl beer. I ate until I was legitimately concerned that I might vomit and was subsequently full for more than 24 hours after I left the restaurant. Not bad for $16 plus the price of beer.

Rating: Meat Coma%

(Image from sweetleafteablog.com)

Jackass 3D

If you're already familiar with the Jackass crew, I don't really need to tell you what Jackass 3D is about. It's exactly what you think it's going to be, except this time it's in 3D. To their credit, they actually use the 3D very well. Some of the best moments in the movie come when the stunts are shown in super slow motion. I could describe some of the movie's highlights for you, but the whole Jackass 3D experience is funnier (and more painful) if you go into it cold.

Rating: Ouch%

(Image from onlinemovieshut.com)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a crime novel by Stieg Larsson, you may have heard of it. I don't read a lot of crime novels or mysteries or thrillers, so I might not have been the target audience for this book, but I read it anyway. It seemed to me that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was reaching Da Vinci Code levels of literary hype, so I thought I should just go ahead and read it so I wouldn't feel out of touch when I heard people talking about it. At around 800 pages or so, it made for great airport reading. Was it any good? I guess so. It was full of murders and journalists, Nazis and hackers, corporate crimes and casual sex. So, I mean, if that's the kind of stuff you look for in a book, then, you know, you'd probably like it.

Rating: Not one mention of Swedish Berries%

(Image from collider.com)

Monday, November 22, 2010

EVOL by Sonic Youth

This was Sonic Youth's first album with its lineup of the past quarter century. Listening to it always reminds me of band trips, or riding the bus to school, since I think it was only the third Sonic Youth album I bought. It's a pretty great album, but too bad I can't listen to it without being reminded that Sonic Youth appeared on Gossip Girl to play an acoustic version of "Star Power" from this album. Ow, my childhood!

RATING : 81%

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bad Moon Rising by Sonic Youth

Usually when people ask what Sonic Youth album to start with, I say Daydream Nation or Goo or something. The album furthest from the top of that list would be Bad Moon Rising, an album which almost entirely eschews melody (even by Sonic Youth standards) for sound collages and woven noisescapes. It's my third favorite Sonic Youth album. The song "Death Valley '69" is the most listenable to the uninitiated, but everybody's heard that one, so here's some other links.

RATING: 92%

Monday, November 8, 2010

Childrens Hospital

Childrens Hospital (and that's not a typo) is a comedy series currently airing on the Cartoon Network (despite the fact that it is not a cartoon). Originally created by Rob Corddry (formerly of the The Daily Show) as a web series in 2008, Childrens Hospital is an over the top parody of hospital dramas. The cast features a veritable smörgåsbord of veteran comedic performers: Rob Corddry, Ken Marino (formerly of The State), Rob Huebel (formerly of Human Giant), Megan Mullally (formerly of Will & Grace), and Henry Winkler (formerly of Arrested Development) among others. The humor on Childrens Hospital is somewhat absurd and anarchic, so it's probably not for everyone. But if you're a comedy nerd like me, this is a show you will not want to miss.

Rating: 85%

(Image from chicagonow.com)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Confusion Is Sex by Sonic Youth

This is not one of my favorite Sonic Youth albums. I've always thought the recording sounded so flat, and it makes a lot of the songs uninteresting. Well, it turns out that they spent a few days recording it, then accidentally put all the tapes on top of one of their speakers because Thurston Moore didn't know magnets erase tapes (you big dummy!). Then they had to rerecord the whole thing in like three hours. I guess that makes sense, since their first EP sounds really great, and their second EP, Kill Yr Idols, which is included on the only version of this you'll ever find, also sounds great. I dunno, buy it if you want, but there's like 14 or 15 Sonic Youth albums you should buy first.

RATING: 51%

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monster Cereals










These were a lot better before I was a grown-ass man. Ow, my teeth.

RATING: 39%

Monday, November 1, 2010

KFC Double Down

When it was announced earlier this year that KFC was coming out with the Double Down sandwich, I have to admit I was intrigued. A bun-less sandwich, combining two KFC chicken breasts with cheese, bacon, a special sauce and enough sodium to kill a horse. With no bread or vegetables to get in my way, was the Double Down my path to fast food nirvana? Nope. It was like eating a salty, deep fried catcher's mitt.

Rating: 25%

(Image from onepeggenius.com)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dawn Of The Dead

#1 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

So the number one pick for my list shouldn't be a surprise to basically anyone who knows me, because I've made every one of my friends watch this at least once. This horror movie sequel to Night of the Living Dead imagines a zombie apocalypse that disintegrates society more and more, so a quartet decide to hole up in a shopping mall where - oh, why am I even explaining this to you? The blood is a weird color and it's a rough movie in construction, but the writing, atmosphere and characterization are the best. No movie makes me feel better watching it than this one. If you haven't seen it, and I can't imagine that's true since the site's audience is mainly people I've probably forced this movie on before, then you really need to go rent it from wherever even rents movies anymore, pronto buster.

RATING: 100%

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jason X

In the future, 2008, Jason is captured by the government and held in a research facility. Unable to kill or transport him, Jason is placed into suspended animation. In the even futurer, 2455, Jason's body is found by some students among the debris littering Earth's abandoned surface (Wall-E was right). Jason wakes up on a spaceship and starts killing everyone. Some other stuff happens, but it's all so fucking terrible I don't even want to write about it. Ye gods, this movie sucks!

Rating: Face frozen in liquid nitrogen and smashed on counter%

(Image from impawards.com)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nosferatu

As far as blatant copyright infringements go, Nosferatu is probably one of the most famous and best. Basically, it is the story of Dracula, except they couldn't get the rights so they changed "vampire" to "nosferatu" and "Dracula" to "Orlok" (they got sued). It's pretty boring, but the Count looks awesome. But I guess if you wanted to see a better movie that is about this movie you could always check out Shadow of the Vampire, which I forgot existed until just now.

RATING: 50%

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

Jason's killing days seemingly come to an end after he's gunned down by the FBI. But then, wouldn't you know it, Jason's remains hypnotize the coroner, allowing Jason's demonic spirit to move from body to body. While a mysterious bounty hunter tries to warn everyone that Jason can only truly be killed by a blood relative. Did I mention the estranged marriage subplot? Or the sleazy tabloid news reporter? Or the creepy couple who run the local greasy spoon? Or the appearance of props from the Evil Dead series? No? Then, boy oh boy, you're in for a treat.

Rating: Stabbed with a magic dagger%

(Image from impawards.com)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New York Ripper

I guess in 1982, at the height of the slasher genre, Lucio Fulci must have seen a couple of American slasher movies and said "Oh, ok, sex and violence against women, I can do that. TO THE EXTREME!" I mean, I knew Fulci could do violence, but I really don't think I've seen any non-porns with sex this graphic. Anyway, the plot is a serial killer quacks like a duck and kills women. Sounds pretty straightforward, but don't worry - Fulci crazies it up enough by the end so nobody knows what's going on.

RATING: 52%

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pieces

Have you ever looked in a funhouse mirror? The reflected image is familiar yet humorously/freakishly distorted. Pieces is the funhouse mirror reflection of slasher movies. When American filmmakers attempted to cash in on the slasher craze they usually just tried to amp up the levels of gore and/or sleaze in their films, the Spanish filmmakers behind Pieces decided to amp up the crazy. And when I say crazy, I don't mean crazy in a sadistic, violent, mean spirited, especially misogynistic way. I mean crazy insofar as the movie contains, among other things, a random and pointless kung fu scene.

Rating: 62%

(Image from thevaultofhorror.blogspot.com)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Them!

Speaking of bugs, Them! is a movie about ants who got all giant due to atomic bombs. According to Wikipedia, the source I tell all my students to use, it is regarded as one of the best science fiction movies of the 50s. According to me, the only source I ever use, it is regarded as a boring piece of dookie. The ant effects are pretty good, but too much of the movie is this scientist with one of those old-timey "smart person" accents claiming that they're witnessing biblical prophecy. Thanks, doc! Hope you got that opinion peer reviewed.

RATING: 44%

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Return of the Fly

I was going to write a legitimate review for Return of the Fly but I don't think anyone can sum it up better than Glenn Danzig already did:

Return of the fly
With Vincent Price
You guinea pig
Yeah, return of the fly

Couldn't have said it any better myself.

Rating: 70%

(Image from movieposterdb.com)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Carrie

As everybody knows, Carrie is the story of this girl who gets made fun of and has a crazy religious mother. Then she goes to prom with this nice boy and everybody finally accepts her except for three or four douche laroues who dump pig blood on her, which makes her go all telekinetic Columbine on the whole school. I guess the lesson is either don't make fun of people or don't let people get on your nerves, I'm not sure which. It's hard to review this movie because it set the tone for a million horror movie/Stephen King cliches, but I guess it's pretty good, 1970s split screen and all.

RATING: 73%

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Thing

Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley and a bunch of other dudes are at an Antarctic research station when they unwittingly bring a shape-shifting alien into their midst, much gore and paranoia ensues. Holy frigballs, I love this movie. Every time I watch it, I wish I was watching it again for the first time, just so I wouldn't know what gooey surprises were lurking around the next corner. And even though I'm a big Halloween fan, this is quite possibly my all-time favorite John Carpenter film. The special effects work by (an apparently coked up) Rob Bottin are amazing.

Rating: 95%

(Image from impawards.com)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

An American Werewolf In London

#22 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

I thought I ran out of horror movies on my top 100 movie list (WHICH I SWEAR I'LL FINISH), but hey, here's the best werewolf movie ever made. I really miss the days when talented, non-genre directors like John Landis would take a shot at making a horror movie. I guess the Grindhouse double feature kind of counts, but those dudes weren't even trying to make something good. Anyway, the plot is an American college kid gets turned into a werewolf, except he's in London. Co-starring lots of shots of the main dude's wang.

RATING: 93%

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is a faux documentary about Leslie Vernon, an up-and-coming serial killer. The documentary's crew follows Leslie around as he prepares for his latest killing spree. Most of the film is shot in a hand-held documentary style, but there are a number of sections in the film that are presented in a traditional cinematic style, mostly whenever Leslie springs into action. Though Behind the Mask deconstructs a lot of slasher movie conventions and clichés, it avoids most of the pitfalls of post-Scream horror movies by placing its characters in a world where Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees are real-life serial killers. Clever horror movies rarely work, but Behind the Mask is an interesting, post-modern take on the slasher genre.

Rating: 79%

(Image from best-horror-movies.com)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Survival Of The Dead

Another George Romero zombie movie, and perhaps a chance to redeem himself after Diary of the Dead. The plot here is a couple of Irish families have conflict on an island off the coast of Delaware? Ugh, we get it, we get it, we're the real bad guys. Also all of the gore is computer generated and looks tres fake.

RATING: 43%

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Slumber Party Massacre

This movie has one of my favorite old-timey movie clichés in it: the important news bulletin that the characters don't hear. Two or three times near the beginning of the movie, we're shown characters who are listening to the radio when a news bulletin comes on warning of an escaped mental patient/serial killer/whatever. But without fail, every time this potentially vital piece of information is broadcast, the characters get distracted or they turn off the radio. I don't think this particular cliché gets used too much anymore, but it shows up all the time in older horror movies. On a completely different note: The Slumber Party Massacre is supposedly a feminist horror movie because it was written and directed by women and features a killer who uses an over-sized drill to kill his victims, but it's pretty much a standard, by-the-numbers, exploitation flick. Heck, the biggest gag in the movie is a woman in a refrigerator.

Rating: 61%

(Image from impawards.com)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chopping Mall

Oh, sweet, look at that poster. I bet this movie is totally about killer security robots that go out of control and zap people with their lasers.

RATING: 11%

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shredder

A lot of bad slasher movies were made in the wake of Scream's success, Shredder was one of those movies. In Shredder, a bunch of horny, snowboarding douchebags break into an abandoned ski resort and are picked off, one by one, by a masked skier with a hard-on for winter sport etiquette. It's kinda like Friday the 13th crossed with an episode of Scooby-Doo, just nowhere near as good. "You kids stay away from that abandoned ski resort. It's haunted." "Screw you, old man. We came here to party! Woo!"

Rating: 49%

(Image from Amazon)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Horror Of Dracula

Also known as just Dracula, Horror of Dracula is a movie about this foreign dude named Dracula who likes to drink people's blood. At the beginning of every Dracula movie I always want Jonathan Harker to end up being pals with Dracula, and then maybe they play some board games or go for a nice walk or something, but that's never how it works out. I hate to admit it, but I'm 30 and this is the first time I've ever seen a Hammer horror film. My bad, ok!

RATING: 76%

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Phantasm

How can I explain Phantasm? Well, there's this creepy Tall Man who's killing people and turning them into midgets in Jawa cloaks. He's also got these floating silver spheres that can drill a hole in your head. Oh, and there's these guys who drive around in a sweet Hemi Cuda who are trying to stop the Tall Man. Did I mention that the Tall Man was killing people and turning them into midgets so he could send them into another dimension?

Rating: 76%

(Image from impawards.com)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Evil Dead

The Evil Dead is a horror movie that everybody knows about some friends who go to a cabin and then accidentally turn into demons, known in this movie as "deadites." It is not to be confused with another movie with this exact plot, called Evil Dead 2. That's standard fare for horror movies, sure, but in this case a bunch of the exact same things happen and one of the characters is the same and no reference is made to the first movie. Um. If you haven't seen this movie, that's totally crazy and I'm not even going to address it.

RATING: 73%

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jaws 2

The great white spectre o' death returns to Amity Island, this time with some cool scars courtesy of a flare gun (because chicks dig scars). Chief Brody knows something's up, but no one wants to believe him. So it's not long before water-skiers, divers, pleasure boaters, and helicopter pilots are getting chomped down with a vengeance. The original Jaws was a masterful thriller, but Jaws 2 plays out more like a slasher film, with most of the shark's victims being horny teens. After directing Jaws, Steven Spielberg would go on to direct films such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark. After directing Jaws 2, Jeannot Szwarc would go on to direct films such as Supergirl and Santa Claus. 'Nuff said.

Rating: 75%

(Image from impawards.com)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thinner

This movie is about a fat lawyer who gets cursed by a gypsy for accidentally killing his daughter. In movies people always seem to have very negative opinions about gypsies, but, like, are there even roving bands of gypsies in America? To be fair, the curses the gypsies place on people always seem to be way worse than the transgressions committed. Maybe not so much in this movie, since the guy did get a mob boss off for murder and also killed somebody, but in Drag Me To Hell that curse was way worse than the nice lady doing her job at the bank. Anyway, this movie kind of sucks and the makeup effects are terrible, so don't bother.

RATING: 36%

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Burning

The Burning is a sleazy little slasher movie from 1981 that has the distinction of being one of the first movies ever made by the Weinstein brothers. The story involves a bunch of camp counselors and horny teens being stalked and killed by a deranged former camp caretaker who had been horribly burned years earlier in a prank gone awry. The Burning's big draw, more than anything, has to be Tom Savini's practical makeup effects. Having recently done the effects for such horror classics as Dawn of the Dead, Maniac and the original Friday the 13th, Savini was at the top of his game. The Burning is also notable for starring a young, though already balding, Jason Alexander.

Rating: 77%

(Image from Amazon)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Teeth

Teeth is the heartwarming story of a high school girl who has vagina dentata, more commonly known as tooth coot. In a better movie this could have been used as a great metaphor about struggling to come to terms with one's sexuality or something, I don't know, but here she seems to be cool with it pretty fast. Also, I thought the premise would be pretty limited for a horror movie, but she manages to dismember a lot of members without actively setting out to do so. As far as genital based horror movies go, it has to be in the top three, although to be fair I've never seen Killer Condom.

RATING: 57%


Friday, October 8, 2010

I Was a Teenage Werewolf

Michael Landon plays Tony, a latchkey kid with anger management issues. Tony seeks help from Dr. Brandon, a quasi-mad scientist type who "treats" Tony with a combination of drugs and hypnosis. The treatment, for reasons that never make a whole lot of sense, causes Tony to turn into a werewolf whenever he gets upset. And seeing as Tony already had a short fuse, it's not long before he wolfs out and kills some chick who was just trying to practice her gymnastics. I Was a Teenage Werewolf has yet to be released on DVD, but I definitely recommend checking it out if you can find it.

Rating: 67%

(Image from examiner.com)