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Archive for October, 2012

A Nightmare on Elm Street Vs. Friday the 13th – Two Iconic Horror Franchises

Happy Hallowe’en my fine feathered freaky friends. Today I would like to briefly discus and compare two of the biggest horror franchises of all time: A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. I have recently completed rewatching both series, and while I love both, I would say both are not equal. Both series are iconic: show someone a cheezy goalie mask or a glove with  knives as nails and most likely they will know what movie franchise it came from. 

Friday the 13th, the original movie, was released in 1980, taking the horror world, and pulp culture in general by storm. It tells the story of a young, mentally challenged boy who drowned due to the negligence of counsellors at the summer camp, Camp Crystal Lake, and the revenge extracted by is crazed mother. This movie introduced us to the character of Jason Voorhees (just Jason from now on), but what many people forget (or don’t realize) that Jason isn’t even in this first film. It’s the second film that we finally get to meet Jason, but even then he’s not wearing his Goalie mask – he acquires that in the third film when he takes it from the ”Prankster” of the group. The Friday the 13th Series continued for 11 movies, including the cross over film Freddy Vs. Jason – 12 if you include the 2009 remake (or re-imagining). Along the way Jason evolves a little, going from a creation of his mother’s sick and twisted mind to a burlap sack wearing killer, then gaining his mask. At one point he’s able to from body to body as an evil spirit. Hell – he even ends up in space. Some things that don’t change are the facts that no matter how slow he lumbers, Jason will catch his victim and no matter how dead Jason seems to be – he’s not. Jason is a relentless killer, but not an intelligent killer. He gets the job done, but he doesn’t think much – but he doesn’t need to. At first it’s not apparent that he’s a supernatural being, but soon it becomes apparent that he’s not mortal, seeing that he cannot be killed. Many, if not most of Horror’s cliches have originated from this series. He’s the original unkillable killer.

A Nightmare on Elm Street debuted in 1984 and introduced the world to Fred “Freddie” Krueger, a vicious child killer, murdered in a fire by residents of his town seeking justice when a legal loophole set him free. Freddie has found a way to infect the minds of his victims by entering through their dreams. Sporting his now famous gloves with knives on the tip of each finger as his primary weapon, if Freddie kills you in your dreams, you’re dead in real life. The Nightmare series had 8 stand alone films as well as the crossover film, Jason Vs. Freddie and a remake/reimagining of the film from 2010. Freddie, from the start is a supernatural being that haunts the dreams of his victims, and unlike Jason, has a working mind – he’s devious, and taunting. Yes he has a working mind, though it doesn’t seem to work that well.  Just a side note: the original film starred a young Johnny Depp – He dies in a extremely bloody scene.

Both series are great. Sure, not each movie of each series is great (hell, some are just downright bad), but as a whole, each are important to the horror genre – changing the entire genre in their own ways.I have to say I prefer the Friday the 13th series over the Nightmare series for one main reason: Remember when I said that Jason was mostly mindless and Freddie had a mind? Well Freddie’s mind, while working, is a silly mind. His taunts are silly and his puns are worse. With Jason, he’s just going to kill you – he’s not going to make some dumb, silly pun or taunt you in a ridiculous manner. He’s just going to keep coming until he gets you. Still – I like both series and say that if you are a fan of horror then you should watch both series. If you don’t then I argue that you really can’t consider yourself a connoisseur of the genre.

What’s your view on the two series?

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Eating Raoul (1982) – Just Your Regular Good, Clean Fun Movie – About Murder for Profit and Cannibalism

I am getting old. Really I am. I just can’t believe it was 29 years since I watched this film. That’s a long time. I’m glad it was worth the wait.

1982’s quirky black comedy, Eating Raoul is a charming little film about an odd, prudish couple, Paul and Mary Bland (played by Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov) down on their luck, with a dream of someday opening a restaurant. When Paul’s cultured, if snooty attitude towards a specific wine gets him fired from his job at the liquor store, that dream seems to fade even more. That is until they accidentally kill a swinger (or two) and realize there’s big money in luring perverts to their place and killing them and taking their cash. Heck, they even get good at it.

Things start going so well that they decide to get new locks put in when they find a flyer for a discount lock service. They call the number and shortly Raoul of Raoul’s Discount Locksmith (played by Robert Beltran who later played Chikotay on Star Trek: Voyager) shows up, scans there place, cons them into new locks and leaves. Later that night, after a busy evening of bonking perverts over the head and taking their money, Raoul reappears with the express intent of robbing the Blands while they sleep. The Blands wake up and catch Raoul in their kitchen, in the process of stealing Paul’s expensive wine collection. The Blands angrily confront Raoul demanding their money back. That’s when Raoul let’s them know he knows they killed and robbed people for the money – the bodies were pretty much in plain site due to an issue with the garbage compactor. Instead of getting ugly, the mood changes quickly when Raoul offers a deal: he’ll get rid of the body and cars of the victims for a profit that they all share. Now they’re in business. Like many businesses, there’s a little back stabbing, adultery, attempted murder and eventually cannibalism.

This really is a quirky, low budget film. It’s kind of subdued and slightly abstract film, and despite the high body count, there’s absolutely no gore. That’s not a bad thing, just a weird thing. I like this film quite a bit and recommend it, though I know I’ll get a few emails saying it sucked. Too bad I l liked it.

Check out the trailer here:


Tales From the Crypt Presents: Ritual (2001) – Potential Wasted By Not Enough Story

I wanted to like 2001’s Ritual, really. I like Tales From The Crypt, and I like Zombie Films. Unfortunately, I did not like this Tales From the Crypt Zombie Film.

Do you remember the Crypt Keeper from the 1980’s and Early 1990s? Yes? Than you would have expected the Crypt Keeper to introduce a Tales from the Crypt movie… right? Yeah, I expected that also, but guess what? No Crypt Keeper. Alright, not a great start. 

So, the story is about a Doctor, suspended from practicing medicine in the states for two years due to a decision that was forced upon her. She has accepted a position on a mansion in Jamaica, caring for a rich guy that thinks he’s being controlled by dark forces. Jamaican style Voodoo, called Obeah, is being blamed for his illness, while many believe he is just plane crazy.

This is a movie about plotting, revenge, black magic and silly people. It’s a movie where we are treated to seeing the main character’s apparently permanently erect nipple push though her blouse. It’s a movie of brothers – of family betrayal. It’s a movie 30+ minutes too long for the amount of story contained within.

This movie dragged on so long. Take about 30 minutes away and it would be okay.

I say don’t watch this film. It’s not the worst I’ve seen – hell, it’s not even close. Still, it bored me.

I can’t even find the trailer for you folks to watch – sorry. Those of you with Netflix will be able to watch it with no problems if you really feel you need to.


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer (2012) – To All Those Who Told Me This Sucked You Can No Longer Suggest Movies to Me Anymore

Okay, I have to stop listening to people’s opinions when it comes to movies. When I first saw the trailers for 2012’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer, I thought that it looked like it was going to be a good, silly action film. Then I made the mistake of listening to people who’ve said that it sucked, sucked badly. Well, I just watched the film and I am pissed at all those people. This movie was awesome.

Truly a silly concept: Vampires are making a (secret) claim for the U.S, using the cover of the Southern Unites Sates policies to hide their existence and plans. Abraham Lincoln, as a boy, had discovered their existence when he witnessed one of the creatures of the night take his Mother’s life, and growing up, planned and plotted revenge.

As a young man, Mr. Lincoln is recruited by a Vampire hunter and taught the methods he would need to battle Vampires, and agrees to attack and kill them only when receiving instructions to do so, all the time waiting for the instructions to kill the Vampire that killed his mother. Growing impatience with the wait causes friction between the young Mr. Lincoln and his mentor.

Time advances and Mr. Lincoln becomes President and overseas what appears to be a losing war against the South and it’s Undead allies. The Vampires’ extend their  grasp and influence over the and start taking a more direct part in the war with entire platoons of Vampires, leading Lincoln to devise an interesting method of combating the hoards of Undead.

This movie is stylish: it looks fantastic, the acting is passable (not amazing, but good enough), and the story, while silly, is interesting and compelling. If you can suspend your sense of disbelief  then is is a great, fun film to watch. I definitely recommend it.

Check out the Trailer here:


Act of Valor (2012) – Wow – Way Better Than I Expected

Act of Valor (2012) was a movie that got a bit more press than it might have normaly got due to the fact that the movie used real Navy Seals. This is a good action film – not a great film, but a good action movie.

So, the Seals are used to extract a kidnapped female operative that had been posing as a doctor, helping poor kids in Mexico. Add to this the fact that the kidnappers are working with a Georgian (in Russia, not the Southern U.S.) Terrorist who plans on having 16 suicide bombers detonate themselves in 16 different locations in the U.S., using high tech, undetectable suicide vests, thereby plunging the U.S. economy into chaos.

Well filmed, and action packed, I really enjoyed this film. THere are no award winning performances, and there wasn’t any particular character that I liked or particularly hated – but this film didn’t need that. It had a good balance of explosions and gunshots and plotting. Sure, it’s a bit of U.S. flag waving (and I am not an Amaerica), but that said, this is a great “guy’s movie.”

So, in short, if you want to watch a good, military action film, check out Act of Valor.

Check out the trailer here:


Things to Come (1936) – A Truly Great Film

I just finished watching the 1936 adaptation of H.G. Wells story, Things to Come and must say I found this to be an excellent film. Made just before World War Two, the feeling that war palapable in Europe and this move plays on that feeling. In the movie war breaks out and is waged for so long (decades upon decades)that eventually society breaks down into feudal city states, constantly warringwith each other, and technology failing – what machinery that actually works is usually bits salvaged from other bits. 

This is a movie that shows  the bleakness that many Europeans felt on the cusp of World War II. This movie is a vision of what most likely seemed a possibility: a future of endless war and suffering. This is a great movie.

There are not many author’s that embraced trhe future in the way that H.G. Wells did. HE didn’t sugar coat it and fill it up with Utopias, butterflys and rainbows. This was a warning… of Things to Come.

The timeline of the movie spans decades – from 1940 to 2036. A war breaks out between the Axis and Allies but goes on so long that no one knows who’s winning or even if anyone is in charge. Feudal communities have broken out, with local Warlords running things.

Luckily for man, a group of scientists have created a society to keep man from descending completely into barbarity.

There is a lot to this movie, and I did not feel olike I was watching a movie from 1936, but a timeless story with a universal message. This is a movie that deserves to be watched.

This might be the best movie on this site.

Good news folks, you can watch it for free because it has slipped into the public domain.

Here is the trailer:

 And Here is the whole amazing movie:


The Blob (1958) – Fun Filled Cheezy “Horror”

There’s something to be said about many of the Sci-Fi/horror films of the 1950s. They usually have some sort of charm and 1958’s The Blob is no exception.

Taking place on one long night in July, 1957, in a small Pennsylvania town after a meteorite strikes and it’s contents, a gelatinous substance proceeds to start engulfing the town’s residents, starting with the old farmer that first discovers it. A couple of local teens discover the farmer, his hand engulfed in the goo, and rush him to the town’s doctor. Soon the doctor and his nurse, as well as the affected farmer are all absorbed by this monster. The teens are of course are not believed until it’s too late and the creature… the Blob has grown to epic proportions.

This is a cool, fun old film that deserves to be watched by any fan of the old “Creature Feature” films. This film starts the late, great Steve McQueen.Make sure you check out this film, as I believe that it’s available freely on the Net in streaming format.

Here is the trailer: