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B

Beaster Day (2014)

Damien Ross

The Snygg Brothers

“What’s the difference between a wife and a job? The job still sucks after 10 years.”

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Opening scene: Tom is the best man at his father’s wedding. He’s still not over his parents splitting up, nor does he care for his new mom so instead of delivering a complimentary speech, he just shits all over his dad then bails. He tries to hitchhike out of there, but gets his hand cut off and then killed by Peter Cottonhell, AKA: Beaster Bunny. Hey, this film was made in 2014, try Uber ya jackass! This scene has nothing to do with the rest of the film.

The following morning, a dog catcher is getting ready for work, which involves, but is not limited to, stuffing a lot of socks down the front of his pants. He works for Dog Catchers in the Rye.

Elsewhere, a woman is cooking a lot of bacon and sausage for her husband, but she won’t let him have any because he’s much older than her and needs to watch his cholesterol. He wanted her to cook it so he could smell it, but now he’s begging for a piece as his daughter calls. His daughter is a struggling actress losing her apartment so she’s trying to see if she can stay with him for awhile, which he does not want. Apparently, she is quite the mooch.

An alarm clock wakes a woman up as we meet yet another character and I now have no idea how much time has passed since the wedding. She walks downstairs, makes ice tea, then sits on the back porch. Who sets an alarm just so they can chill out in the morning? Towering above her is the 50 foot tall Beaster Bunny, which looks a lot like a shitty puppet. Somehow, she cannot hear it breathing, but once she sees it, she runs screaming and gets hit by a pickup truck. Her body is on the street and her forearm is severed as the Beaster Bunny comes over and does something to her head causing her eyeball to shoot out of its socket and fly back into the house landing in the ice tea. Her husband wakes up and drinks it.

Dog Catchers in the Rye are having a morning meeting and today they’re going to catch their ultimate dog! They announce the Dog Catcher of the Year and it’s the first year Sock Boy didn’t get it. Hector got it and Sock Boy is bitter.

We meet another woman, taking care of her garden until she notices all the carrots have been pulled. She follows the carrot trail, that’s a lot of fucking carrots, which leads her to a huge rabbit hole. Behind her, comes the Beaster Bunny and she screams the most pathetic screams I’ve ever heard. On the plus side, he snatches off her tank top, and we get to watch her run topless through the woods until he cuts off her head.

Cholesteryl guy takes his daughter, The Actress, out to breakfast. She won’t let him eat meat either. He’s miserable without meat, he reminds me of Donald, from Microwave Massacre, only not quite as pathetic. He gives her an ultimatum: Get a job by the end of the week or she’s out of the house. She hasn’t even moved in yet!

The Beaster Bunny looks like a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton wearing a rabbit suit and moves like a puppet from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. It goes after a lady on a horse. The horse runs for their lives. Actually, it just casually trots away as the lady gets ripped in half.

The Actress gets hired at Dog Catcher in the Rye where she meets Sock Boy. He tries to woo her with his dog catching stories, but she doesn’t care about dogs, she just wants her dad off her back.

In the woods, a couple are going to have a picnic despite not bringing any food with them. The man wishes they were at a diner, but at least he can smoke in the woods. His girl plans to skinny-dip even though there’s no water. She makes him turn around while she takes off her clothes, then leaves. He looks for her, but all he finds is her naked lower body and the Beaster Bunny, who chases him. He finds a switchblade and a pack of cigarettes so he grabs the cigarettes. This film is actually funnier when it’s not trying to be funny. It also introduces a lot of characters that have nothing to do with each other just to kill them. You’d think that if you were gonna have so many kill scenes you’d have kills that didn’t look ridiculous.

The next character they introduce looks like a hippy or a pimp, but he’s actually the Mayor and he’s planning a huge Easter celebration for the town, which is really nothing more than a way to get sponsors so that he can make himself some money.

Another girl goes into the woods just to look good and die. This film has a lot of nudity considering how terrible it is. I’ll never understand how they talk girls into even starring in a film like this, let alone get naked.

Roger (a fellow dog catcher) gets a call to go after a tree rat AKA: Squirrel. He was planning to play hockey, but instead, runs into the Beaster Bunny. Apparently, he is the first body found and the Mayor blames the attack on wolves.

Elsewhere, Sock Boy takes The Actress into the woods to train her. Why would you look for dogs in the woods? I thought the problem with wild dogs was them being around people, like in town. Sock Boy continues to try to impress The Actress with his dog war stories while she looks at him like he’s stupid. She looks like Neve Campbell’s mini me and he has a crush on her, but she has a crush on Hector, the Dog Catcher of the Year. She tries to get information about Hector outta Sock Boy so he tells her that Hector is gay.

The Actress takes a break. She puts on her headphones and reads a book as the Beaster Bunny sneaks up behind her and burps out a human foot. She screams, then runs into Sock Boy, knocking him down. She leaves him there, then comes back, takes his car keys, and leaves him again as he professes his love for her. He catches up to her at the car, but she drives off without him.

The Mayor is having a press conference and reporters ask him questions so he continues to lie about what’s going on because he doesn’t know there’s a giant bunny killing people, he just wants to make his money off his Easter Day thing.

Hector discovers the Beaster Bunny in the woods so he runs away, but trips and lands chest first into the rock that he left his trophy on, which impales his chest and kills him.

In the morning, the rest of the dog catchers find out about Hector. The Actress is heartbroken. Hector was the only one who understood her.

Sock Boy finds a trail of mail that leads him to the Beaster Bunny who is eating the mailman. This is the first time he has seen the Beaster Bunny. He runs away screaming. He runs all the way back to the dog catcher station and tells them about the giant rabbit, but they just laugh at him. He tries to assemble a team, but no one will join him. He begs The Actress, who has actually seen the Beaster Bunny, but still looks at him like he’s crazy too so he’s on his own. He runs down the street yelling that everybody needs to kill the rabbits until he comes across a preacher preaching against gays. The preacher knocks him out with a Bible and he’s taken into custody.

The dog catchers are hired for security at the Easter Day celebration that people are coming from miles away to attend, which is right next to where Sock Boy is locked up so they can all hear him screaming about how they’re all going to die because there’s a Beaster Bunny on the loose. Then the Beaster Bunny shows up so everybody starts running as Sock Boy watches from his window. They all look to the Mayor to do something, but he doesn’t know what to do and nobody in town has any guns because they’re illegal. The Mayor gets stomped into a big bloody peace sign as the Beaster Bunny goes on a killing spree, decapitating three people as Sock Boy watches helplessly.

The Actress runs home and catches her parents doing some weird sexual shit involving bacon and a fishing pole. She gets the key to his gun room and for some reason he has a complete arsenal of automatic weapons. Is he the one who confiscated the town’s guns?

She goes back, armed, and frees Sock Boy who appears to be drugged. She dresses him up like a carrot, making him the decoy. He sees the Beaster Bunny and runs the other way, inadvertently luring it over to the rooftop where The Actress shoots it in the head six times and it falls to the ground dead. Sock Boy goes over to make sure it’s dead then poses next to it, taking all the credit for the kill. And just like that, it’s over. The End.

You can have an awesome movie idea, but if your special effects suck, so does your movie. I’m not gonna pretend that this was a great concept, but for those of you who always shit on CGI, have fun with this.

This film had a lot of kills, but they all looked ridiculous. If this review sucked, sorry. I changed it up this week. Instead of typing my notes as I watched, I used the dictaphone so a lot got lost in translation as I tried to decipher what my phone thought I was saying. It also doesn’t help that I was laughing hysterically as I tried to narrate. Lesson learned.

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The Badass Bitch Award goes to The Actress, who’s character’s name is actually Brenda. She was new to town and had a lot to figure out. Her dad had given up on her and she lost the only person she’d connected with, but in the end, she got a gun and took care of business.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t hitchhike!

2) Stay out of the woods!

3) Don’t mouth off to a preacher!


Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)

Damien Ross

James Nguyen

“She’s taking a shit.”

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The brilliant idea: Publish as is. No proof-read, just do what the director did (The numbers are actually bullets in my notes, I was worried they wouldn’t transfer over. I apologize for all the weird spacing. So here it is, a little look behind the curtain).

  1. Third time watching in four months.

  2. This film opens with our protagonist, Rod, driving his Mustang Hybrid, a car that doesn’t actually exist. And he drives. He drives in real time to a restaurant, which feels like forever, but it’s actually only the first four minutes. The music sounds like the score of a dark comedy (satire?).

  3. Rod is weird and awkward. I don’t think he’s supposed to be, he just is. The editing is terrible.

  4. He is seated and notices a hot blonde. After peering at the menu for who knows how long, long enough for her to finish her meal, he follows her outside as she leaves. After establishing that they went to high school together, he then asks if she is from around here, huh?!

  5. Nathalie.

  6. They had English together. She doesn’t remember him. A better film would have taken this moment to show the awkwardness of remembering someone in a specific way who has no idea who you are or why you remember them. Instead, it’s just awkward cuz Rod is awkward. She’s a model and has an audition to get to, still it seemed she was blowing him off. Is it normal for a model to eat a big ol’ breakfast in a pie house right before an audition? He doesn’t let her get away without first swapping numbers.

  7. Rod’s at home watching the news. I don’t know if it’s the next day or he just got home. Apparently, it’s the following morning because he turns off the tv to go to work. The news does some weird foreshadowing talking about dead birds and dying polar bears. The cops are gonna look into the cause of death for the birds (I know there’s a lame joke in there somewhere).

  8. I spend the next three minutes of screen time watching him drive to FUCKING WORK!!! Granted, he did stop at the gas station to fill up his Hybrid Mustang, why am I watching this guy pump gas?! Especially, into a non-existent car that shouldn’t need gas that often. This is three minutes of no dialogue.

  9. Rod is a salesman? which is ironic cuz he sucks at talking, but he just closed a million dollar deal on whatever it is exactly that he does for a living.

  10. Nathalie gets accepted to be Victoria Secrets covergirl. Rod calls her. They both had a great day: He made a big sale and she’s now a covergirl. He invites her to dinner then plays basketball with his friend, Rick.

  11. They get tired and mention that it’s hot. More foreshadowing: A heatwave in the middle of winter? Even though it’s sunny out and all the characters are dressed like it’s summer.

  12. They call it a game and go over to the fence to bullshit. Rick looks to be about a foot taller than Rod so I don’t Why Rod would wanna play basketball with him. Rod tells Rick about Nathalie and Rick gives him the ol’ “When ya gonna score man?” Cuz that’s how guys in their mid to late 20’s talk.

  13. Next scene Rod is eating breakfast again, watching the news. Today it’s a wildfire. In the winter. The doorbell rings, it’s a solar panel salesman so Rod buys solar panels. (Many subtle environmental messages peppered throughout this film)

  14. (I’m watching this on Frightflix so every time a commercial comes on I instantly notice how well done the commercial is compared to this flick. This is like a movie that should have a cult following, it just doesn’t)

  15. Rod meets Nathalie at the Vietnamese restaurant for their date. After they are seated, the camera pans around the restaurant aimlessly for an eternity before locking down on a painting that has nothing to do with anything.

  16. Nathalie begins small talk and Rod responds with a long ass soliloquy delivered like he was on a job interview. That’s when it dawned on me: This screenplay, which was probably only about seven pages long, was written by a black man. Although this film is trying to convey an environmental spin, to me, all it really depicts is how lame white people look to black people. The shit Rod says is the most boring contrived crap you could say to another human being. Apparently, Nathalie is not very smart so Rod looks like a catch.

  17. I’m only 20 minutes into this movie.

  18. The next day, Nathalie visits her mom to tell her about Rod and she reveals that he’s a software salesman.

  19. next scene opens with a white poster that reads, “Imagine Peace.” The music playing sounds like the baseline and rhythm of “Imagine” as the camera lowers, revealing an Asian chick, riding Rick, who’s got a Beatles’ haircut. Afterwards, ol Yoko gets a call, it’s Nathalie inviting her on a double-date. Rick’s girlfriend is like best friends with Nathalie? So they possibly all went to high school together, but don’t know each other even in hearsay.

  20. At work, Rod’s company has a conference saying they’ve just made a billion dollar acquisition, which means a big payday for everyone. Once again, the editing is terrible and the applause comes in waves as the camera pans from person to person.

  21. Rick’s girlfriend is best friends with Nathalie and she’s setting up a double date. Rick tries to convince Rod to buy a Ferrari with his new found wealth to impress Nathalie, but he’s planning to start his own green tech company and even boasts of the 100 mpg’s to the gallon his hybrid Mustang gets.

  22. Rod has a solar panal seminar and manages to get ten million dollars in funding. The dollar amounts are so generic in this film, a million, a billion....

  23. Rod takes Nathalie to an Art and Pumpkin festival, the banner shows that it’s October even though earlier they mentioned what a hot winter it was. Hot in October wouldn’t be a big deal, especially in California.

  24. After the festival, they drive to the beach to take a walk, the ocean is loud as fuck. On their first date she asked him what kind of woman he wants and now he’s asking her what kind of man she wants. He then starts to kinda lecture Nathalie, which turns into him bragging about himself and his recent accomplishments. Their romantic walk on the beach has suddenly turned into an infomercial, until they come across a big dead bird.

  25. Next they go to Nathalie’s mom’s house. Rod asks her mom how she feels about being retired and she goes into this long tirade, yet still it feels like she is describing herself at a job interview.

  26. Next, go to dinner. Geezus, this is longest day ever. inside, a funk band(?) is playing. They’re playing a song called hangin out with my family. It sounds like a lame version of a late 70’s rap where there has a melodic singing part to endcap each rap verse. Black guy wrote the script, white guy wrote the rap. Rod and Nathalie get up and dance, they appear to be the only patrons in the bar. On behalf of Rod, Instead of singing, “Hanging out with my family,” they should have changed up the lyrics to, “hangin out with my Nathalie.

  27. It’s finally dark. He takes her back to her apartment and get it on, I think.

  28. In the morning, it’s dead silent, until the birds come. They sound like World War 2 planes, somehow they seem to be dropping bombs. From far away, the birds don’t look that bad... When they stay in one place in front of Rod’s hotel, not so much. Which brings us back to Rod, who paid for a hotel room, but you can tell he didn’t get any cuz now they wakin up in the same shit they were wearing in their get it on scene.

  29. After almost 50 minutes...

  30. They only have three graphics for the birds, tons of birds, hovering in three different positions for the next 40 minutes!

  31. Rod and Nathalie barricade the window and wait. Eventually, the noise stops, and they run for help where they meet Ramsey and Becky.

  32. They have no weapons so they arm themselves with metal coat hangers, which holds off the birds long enough to get into the van where Ramsey has a machine gun and a couple of pistols just chillin.

  33. They find some dead bird victims and rescue a couple of kids. Every graphic of a bird getting shot looks exactly the same, and all the while, cars are just driving by. These kids can’t act either.

  34. The kids get hungry so they stop by a convenient store. Natalie grabs sandwiches out of the refrigerated deli counter, probably not a good idea. They escape and go have a relaxing picnic, instead of just getting the fuck out of there.

  35. They see an old guy on the bridge. He tells them to go away, the birds are contaminated, but they don’t listen. They convince him to have a chat back at the picnic area.

  36. The old guy is a doctor and tells them about the bird flu virus. Global Warming is causing all kinds of diseases to go viral. He then goes on a long spiel about Global Warming. He’s an ornithologist who knows everything about birds except how to stop them. But the birds aren’t the problem, people are, they’re the ones ruining the planet. This guy is on Team Bird, and even refuses a ride!

  37. Rod asks Ramsey about going back to the Marines and Ramsey asks why we can’t just give peace a chance.

  38. Becky gets killed while trying to take a shit. Now Ramsey wants to save everyone from birds to avenge Becky.

  39. The birds can emit some kind of orange excrement that is fatal, bye Ramsey. Rod and Nathalie escape with the kids. Over an hour in we get the first kill.

  40. They stop to help a George Poppadopolis looking guy and he robs them at gunpoint, until an evil eagle saves the day. Rod and Nathalie bail, leaving behind the gas that George was trying to steal.

  41. They meet another hippy, it’s not the director though. He lives in the tree and starts dropping knowledge about Global Warming, and how the birds are only going after people in cars and at gas stations, you know, normal folk who don’t live in the trees, but instead over-consume resources and never give back.

  42. Tom Hill, the tree guy sounds like he’s got it figured out as he goes back home and the gang goes back to their van, but then a forest fire starts so fuck Tom’s theory, I think Rod is just bad luck.

  43. As they drive, that wannabe John Lennon music comes back on and they discover Mya and Rick, dead in their car.

  44. They keep driving and now the kids are hungry. They pull over by a body of water and Rod discovers a fishing rod in the back of the van and decides its fish for dinner. If contaminated zombie birds are flying around looking for revenge, the last thing I’m eating for dinner is fresh meat.

  45. They drive to another part of the coast and get out. The birds, I didn’t realize there were this many eagles, I thought they were endangered? They fly away, as if they’d just said something profound, but they didn’t. The four of them just watch em go and the credits roll. The End.


Angle/Afterthought: it’s hard to call this a horror movie, more like bad sci-fi, but bad even for 1960’s standards.

There’s a message buried deep in here.

Final thought: All the bad shit went down the morning after Rod and Nathalie just had the best day of their lives. Not sex, the whole Covergirl/millionaire pointless leadup. This film got a 1.2 rating on IMDB and I strongly recommend reading the comments over there.

Award:

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t take refrigerated food if the powers been out for awhile!

2) Don’t shit in a field when there’s airborne zombies about!

3) Don’t pull over to help people!


Bitten (2008)

Damien Ross

Harvey Glazer

“I don’t like cats, and I don’t like people who own em, so who gives a fuck?”

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Jack, played by Jason Mewes!, is a paramedic who works the graveyard shift. His girlfriend just left him for a yoga instructor and Roger, his partner, is tired of hearing about his personal life. Jack just wants someone to take care of him for a change.

On his way home, Jack gets kicked out of a convenient store, which is kinda funny, you know, a little homage to Clerks, and then goes home. His ex left him five messages. He cracks a beer, turns on the TV, and goes to sleep. He’s only been single for one day and is already convinced he’s going to die alone.

The following night, he finds a girl in the alley by his apartment covered in blood. He takes her up to his apartment. While cleaning her up he notices a bite. He makes some calls trying to figure out who she is, but to no avail, and even she doesn’t know who she is. He figures out that her name is Danika. She's cold and has the shakes, but refuses to go to the hospital so he brings Roger over. Roger is convinced she’s a junky going through withdrawals. 

On his way to work, Jack runs into his ex in the hallway right outside his door. She wants her stuff back, he says not now (Danika is inside), but she still has her key so once he’s gone, she let’s herself in. 

After his shift, Jack goes home and finds his dead ex-girlfriend inside. He and Danika then proceed to get it on about 12-feet away from her corpse when she bites him. He gets pissed, then quickly realizes she’s a vampire. Just like that. He rolls his ex up in bubble wrap and stashes her body somewhere in the apartment.

The following night, Jack goes home and waits for Danika in the shower, but she never shows. He gets out and finds her by the bed, shaking, like a junky. She needs more blood. Jack goes out and gets her a cat, but it just makes her sick. Jack steals some blood from work, but that doesn’t work either so he offers his arm, which works, but it’s not enough. 

Jack lures fat Vanilla Ice, one of the guys who’s always meaning-muggin him outside his apartment, under the guise of a drug deal and she gets her fix. While cleaning Vanilla up, the ex comes back to life. Danika breaks the mop handle in two, stabs her, but misses her heart. Jack grabs the other half, stabs the ex, and then fat Vanilla. Sooo, how long until Jack turns?

At work, Roger has been noticing a change in Jack, but he’s also been against Danika the from the beginning. He sends Jack home, but he’s getting tired of covering for him.

Jack gets home and Danika starts asking him a bunch of questions about his ex. They start making out until she pushes him away. She needs more blood. Danika is about the laziest vampire I’ve ever seen. She sleeps all day, then just sits around doing nothing all night while Jack goes to work. They don’t really have a whole hell of a lot of time together and instead of enjoying it, she sends him out to fetch her more blood. Get your own damn blood, I’m paying the bills woman!

Jack lures Vanilla’s friend up to his apartment. He thinks he’s gonna find and help his friend, instead, Danika eats him. She takes a shower and leaves Jack to clean up the mess, again.

Danika gets all dressed up and wants to go out, but Jack says it’s too risky so they get into a big fight. He falls asleep and has a nightmare, but wakes up to Roger calling cuz he’s late for work. Danika brings a girl home, a snack in case things get outta hand with Jack and she needs to feed.

In the morning, Jack wakes up in a bed of blood. The blonde from the night before is dead and now  he’s had enough. While trying to clean up, the landlady barges in wanting her rent money. She sees what’s going on and Danika feeds. That’s a lot of blood in a short amount of time.

Jack shows back up to work, after missing three days, and Roger is pissed. And the missing bag of blood has been noticed. Just then, they have to go out on a call, it’s near Jack’s apartment. It’s the guy that kicked Jack out of the convenient store earlier. 

At the end of the shift, Jack tries to go home, but Roger sends him on a run across town as subterfuge so he can go to Jack’s and see what’s really going on. Inside, he finds the empty bag of blood. Jack comes home. Roger thinks Danika is a junky and that Jack is throwing his life away over a girl, again. Jack kicks him out, but Danika needs more. He tricks her and locks her in his room. He leaves and it’s especially bright out. 

Jack takes a walk and sees couples everywhere. He heads over to Roger’s to spill the beans. He’s ready to dump Danika, but he doesn’t know how. He realizes he has to kill her and goes home. Soon Roger realizes that Jack is going to kill her! 

Jack tries to break up with her through the locked door. As he tries to open the door to kill her she kicks it down and throws him across the room just as Roger walks in. Jack tells Roger that she is a vampire. Roger doesn’t believe him. He goes to check on her and gets thrown back over to Jack. Jack attacks and gets fangs in the neck for his efforts (that’s twice now). Roger comes up from behind and stabs her repeatedly. Roger holds Jack while he lay bleeding and they wait for help to arrive. He assures Jack that he won’t let him turn into a vampire. The End.

So, to me the vampire heroin metaphor is pretty clear in this film, although it’s not a preachy theme. Jason Mewes was a heroin addict, so much so that Kevin Smith stopped making Jay & Silent Bob films because it became too hard to clean him up in time for filming. He and Smith are good friends and around the time of this film Mewes finally got clean. Kevin Smith even started a podcast to document Jason’s progress and to give him incentive to stay clean and also a platform to talk about it. 

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Kevin Smith is a Badass, however, the Badass Award in this film goes to Roger, for being a good enough friend. Granted, he wasn’t a good listener, he made up his mind about things without hearing the whole story, but in the end, he came through. Don’t ya love how the Badass Bitches actually have to do something to get this award? Nancy set up elaborate traps and figured out how to pull Freddy Krueger into reality so she could kill him once and for all... “Roger was a good enough friend....”

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) When you break up, get your key back.

2) Don’t bring strange girls into your apartment.

3) Don’t date a vampire.

4) Don’t break up with a vampire.

5) Listen to your friends.

Bikini Bloodbath Christmas (2009)

Damien Ross

Jonathan Gorman

“Ew, you’re bleeding from your vaj!”

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This film opens with a butcher cutting meat, packaging and labeling each cut as a clever way to introduce the opening credits. Is it also a metaphor for how the film views women? This film feels like it was made in the late 80’s. Did I say the word film enough times? Film film film!

Next scene, Ms. Johnson is laying on a hospital bed. A worried blonde and a Will Ferrell looking woman stand above her worried. It’s Jenny and Mrs. Johnson. They leave.

Cut to Jenny relaying a flashback scene to two friends and holy shit, less than three minutes in, we got boobage! And then a shower scene, which leads to more boobage!

The flashback tells the story of a slumber party where a crazed chef went on a killing spree. He went after Jenny last and she killed him with a rake? The girls worked together at a bikini car wash to raise money for school when they decided to have a seance to contact their dead friend Portia, but instead resurrected the psycho chef.

Later, Jenny and friends are bikini clad working at a store. Chef is back and bites a girl’s throat open in the bathroom. At this point, I have no idea what’s going on. The previous flashback was obvious because it was shown on an old film real, but now I can’t tell present day from memory.

There's a bikini Santa meet and greet. No, Santa is not wearing a bikini, but still, grown men are sitting on his lap as the music kicks in. Santa wrestles a fake black bearded man in an inflatable tub.

While washing up in the bathroom, some guy gets strangled and electrocuted from behind with Christmas lights. Then another guy gets blown up in his office by a small amount of gasoline.

Chef kills Santa with a claw hammer then steals his outfit so he can attend the big Christmas party. More bad music as we cut to the girls blending alcoholic beverages to pre-funk for said Christmas party.

At dark, the party gets crashed by three rival whatevers. There’s a guy in a black suit and sunglasses, his name is Gina Davis, and he made the shit sandwiches earlier that I failed to mention, cuz it was stupid. Jenny and a weird German lesbian, William Defoe, go out to the hot tub while the other four girls stay inside and play strip poker. I’m not sure what’s up with the names in this movie. Two of the girls playing quit to go to the upstairs bedroom to play doctor and soon after, the remaining two hear screams, and not the joyful kind. Santa Chef has struck.

Gina Davis goes out to the hot tub to join Jenny and William Defoe. He gets butt naked except for his sunglasses and cross necklace.

In the kitchen sits Mrs. Johnson, not to be confused with Ms. Johnson. Mrs. Johnson is actually a man. He sits in awkward silence at the table with Sapphire before splashing what’s left of his drink on her. Now she has to take a shower, which is nothing more than an excuse to get naked before meeting her demise. Instead of a shower, she changes her shirt, and takes a shit, which is probably the most graphic scene of this whole film. You get to see the turd hit the water. Then ol’ Santa Chef kills her. All the murders look the same: A knife stabbing through a bleeding bath towel.

Back in the kitchen, Mrs. Johnson is hanging out with the last live girl not currently in the hot tub and we get some clarification: Ms. Johnson is Mrs. Johnson’s sister who was killed by Santa Chef before he became Santa Chef and was just Chef, understand? Mrs. Johnson, who still looked like a man at the time of his sister’s death, wants revenge. It’s been almost one year to the day since his sister was murdered.

Gina Davis shits in the hot tub. There’s a lot of shitting in this movie, relatively speaking, and the turds look like those cheese logs rolled in nuts that you see around the holidays. Jenny and William Defoe promptly leave the hot tub and go back inside where they run into Mrs. Johnson still seated at the table.

Cyclops and mullet boy show up. Mrs. Johnson and Gina Davis have a showdown then Jenny invites William Defoe upstairs. They end up in the same bed as the two girls who initially got murdered up there. They run back downstairs and Mrs. Johnson Calls the cops. Jenny freaks out. It’s happening all over again, all her friends are being killed!

Gina Davis has to shit again. He can’t get into the bathroom so he sticks his ass out the window and proceeds to unload. That’s when Santa Chef shows up with the less polite-side of a claw hammer and impales his asshole. The others find his body and run back downstairs then run back up, this time making Mrs. Johnson, armed with two frying pans, lead. They find Sapphire’s corpse on the toilet. They run back downstairs again and Santa Chef starts killing. They run outside and Santa Chef approaches, then hits Mrs. Johnson in the face with the hammer. Santa Chef unmasks himself and he’s actually, Ms. Johnson, Mrs. Johnson’s sister who didn’t really die. She was always jealous of him. Mrs. Johnson tries to talk his way out of it, but his sister ends him. Festive music plays and a cop shows up. The End.

What in the actually fuck? Apparently, there are two movies that proceed this, but somehow, I don’t think watching them first could’ve rationalized this shit-show. It's as if the writer had never actually met a woman before, let alone a lesbian. Also, if a shit movie, no pun intended, is the best you can do, cool, but by the third installment you should either have a handle on it or people should just stop you during production. This film is fine for a late 80's or early 90's skin-flick on late night USA back in the day, I just didn't realize that by 2009 they were still making them. This would be quite the little gem for a 12 year-old at 2AM, but if you're older than that, it's probably not for you. Listen to me, getting all preachy.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t get together with your friends and have a seance.

2) Don’t shit out the window, never thought I’d say that.

3) Find a job where you are required to wear more than just a bikini.

The Babysitter (2017)

Damien Ross

McG

“You drove a car into your house, I really didn’t see that coming.”

babysitter9[1].png

This is the story of a 12 year old little nerd named Cole. He is in middle school, but gets picked on and bullied by 14 year olds, leaves his toys around the house, and still has a babysitter. His babysitter, Bee, reminds me of Elisha Cuthbert in The Girl Next Door. He has nothing going for him except for his hot babysitter, and his cute neighbor, Melanie, who has a crush on him. That actually doesn’t sound like a bad gig at all. He is scared of everything. Spiders, needles, driving...

What I liked about this film was that it started out as your typical nerd with a crush on a hot girl/coming of age flick until the moment it became a horror flick. Granted, it’s bubble gum horror, but this probably woulda freaked me out when I was ten. Watching this movie a second time, I noticed the first 15 minutes foreshadows the entire film.

Cole’s parents go out of town for the weekend so it’s just him and the babysitter. Bee is like the hot nerd or the cool big sister, his best friend, his only friend, who he happens to have a crush on. She’s into all the nerdy stuff that hot girls aren’t supposed to be into.

Bee gives Cole a shot of Mike’s before bed. Instead of drinkinking it, he dumps it into a plant while she's out of the room, leading her to believe he drank it, A) to impress her and B) because he has the question we all ask ourselves at some point early on in our lives, usually before we turn 12: What goes on after I go to sleep? He goes upstairs to bed and FaceTimes Melanie. Melanie is the typical anti-love interest character, like Duckie in Pretty in Pink. The one right in front of you all along, but you’re too busy aiming too high to notice.

Cole hears the doorbell ring. It’s Bee’s friends: Max, Allison, Sonya, John, and Samuel. They play a combination of Spin the Bottle and Truth or Dare. How cliche. Samuel is new to the group. Cole spies from the top of the stairs and gets to see Bee’s wild side as she’s dared to kiss everyone in the room. She gets real wild on Samuel’s turn and stabs him in the head with two knives! The plan is to use his blood for a satanic ritual. Bee has a really old devil book. They also need Cole’s blood, the blood of the innocent, but Samuel seemed innocent enough to me....

The irony to me is that most horror movies, well mainly slashers, tend to in a roundabout way preach against certain teenage behaviors. The victims usually get murdered while having sex or on their way to the sex or just after the sex. They’re usually drinking, but they always tend to be defying their parents somehow, while films involving satanic rituals do the opposite. In a slasher film, being the virgin makes you the Final Girl, whereas in a satanic film, you’re the first to go.

Cole runs back into his room, calls 911, then fakes sleep as the group enter. Apparently, Bee drugged the shot of Mike’s that Cole poured out, but at least they’re planning to take his blood with a needle in his sleep rather than two knives to the head-Bee doesn’t want to go to effort of finding a new innocent kid.

Bee catches him trying to escape then he faints from blood loss. He awakes tied to a chair surrounded by the satanists. He just about gets himself off the hook till the cops show up. They kill the cops and now there is a lot of blood in Cole’s house. Allison got shot in the boob.

While the others are distracted, Cole runs back up to his room. John (the black guy) dies first, trophy to the neck, well, after a fall from the second floor. Cole escapes out his window via sheets tied together, Rapunzel style. He flees to the garage, grabs a drill, bug spray, a lighter, and a firework then hides under the house. Sonja decides to climb into the crawl space to look for him. He traps her in there. Kinda weird that the entrance to the crawl space screws on and off. He shoots the firework at her so now there is a fire under the house so he blows her up with the bug spray.

Now Max is after him, but Cole is saved by Jeremy, the bully from earlier who is now egging his house. Max tells him to go stand up for himself. Cole tries to get Jeremy to help him against the satanists, but to no avail and now Max is back. He chases him up the treehouse. Max falls out of the tree house and in an act of God hangs himself.

Bee’s got a gun and Cole runs to Melanie’s, who is home alone. Apparently, her dad is out with a Protestant. Bee enters the house with shotgun in hand so they hide in the bathroom. Melanie kisses him and he tells her to stay there and to call the police. As he escapes, he tries to draw Bee after him as he heads back home. For some reason, his house isn’t on fire and despite all the noise and gun shots, none of his neighbors react. He goes into his kitchen where Allison is still alive and attacks him. Bee blows her head clean off. Cole’s got a lighter and Bee's devil book.

If you mix the blood of the innocent with the blood of the sacrificed and drip them on the pages of the devil book you get what you want. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to just kill someone innocent so you wouldn't have to bother mixing the blood? And why does she have to do this more than once? It sounds like she has to follow up every weekend, like some sort of satanic subscription.

Bee tries to get Cole to join her, but instead, he lights her devil book on fire. He then runs out of the house, steals Melanie’s dad’s car, and crashes it back into his own house. The car lands on Bee and they have their final heart to heart. It’s a sad moment in terms of saying goodbye to your childhood and hello to adulthood. You spend the first 15 to 20 years of your life trying to escape your youth and the rest of your life trying to get it back. It’s that moment when you think about parents reflecting on their kids saying, “They grow up so fast.” At some point in adulthood, you understand their confusion as you realize what an unnecessary hurry you were in. Cole doesn’t need a babysitter anymore. It makes me think of that quote, “Youth is wasted on the young.”

Eventually, someone reacts because the Fire Department arrives so now the neighbors are everywhere. It’s over... But if you wait until after the first song in the credits ends you’ll see that Bee is still alive. Sequel?

The Badass Award goes to Cole for overcoming his fears and killing the one he loved for the greater good.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Go to sleep when it’s bed time.

2) When running for your life don’t go up-or down for that matter-stay on the main floor and go out the front door.

3) Don’t fall in love with your babysitter.

 

Bay Of Blood (1971)

Damien Ross

Mario Bava

This film opens with an older woman in a wheelchair. She is looking out her window at the bay. A noose goes around her neck, a figure kicks her chair out from under her, and she strangles to death. As the figure plants a suicide note he is stabbed to death by another figure.

In the next scene, a couple are in bed together. The man, Frank, gets up and gets dressed. The woman is his secretary and the man is on his way to the bay to check out an alleged suicide. The woman wants to go to, but he tells her to stay. The dialogue was hard to hear, I think he was having an affair.

Next we meet Simon and the Bugman, on the bay, but briefly. Simon is doing weird things to a squid.

Next, a group of teens(?), two couples, arrive at the house on the bay in a dune buggy. They check out the abandoned house and are being watched. So far, all the Italian horror films I've watched, which is not very many, seem to rapidly introduce you to a barrage of characters. You don't really know what's going on until the end, and then it kinda makes sense. You kinda have to draw your own conclusion.

Next door lives a tarot card reader who is unhappily married to the Bugman. She plays with her cards and he plays with his bugs.

One of the girls goes skinny dipping while one the guys, Robert, finds a way into the house (I only caught Robert's name). The skinny dipper discovers a corpse in the water, it's the body of the man who killed the woman in the wheelchair. She quickly gets out of the water, but gets her throat slashed before she can warn the others.

The other couple are inside having sex. Robert, who hasn't even bothered to check on his girl since she left, hears a noise and checks it out. When he opens the door he takes a knife to the face, which was actually kinda gruesome. The couple having sex get speared together as I realize this group serves no purpose to the film other than to give us a few more casualties.

At this point in the movie I got confused as a man and a woman walk out out of their trailer and get into their car saying goodbye to their kids. I totally thought this guy was Frank and that he was cheating on his wife with his secretary, but this is Albert and Renata, two totally different people as the cast grows.

They go to the Tarot Lady and Bugman's house. The man who killed the woman in the wheelchair is Renata's dad and Simon, the squid sucker from the beginning of the film, is the wheelchair woman's illegitimate son.

Renata goes into her parents house and finds the four corpses in the bathroom, but doesn't seem all that alarmed. There's a man at the door with an ax so she stabs him with a pair of scissors and gets out of there. Bugman finds the bodies next and then Albert. He tries to call the police, but Albert chokes him out with the phone cord.

Now the secretary is on the scene and the Tarot Lady gets her head chopped off. Secretary finds Frank wounded, it was Frank with the ax!

Okay, this all might sound confusing, as it was to me as I watched it so now is probably a good point in the review to unpack this plot: Frank and Secretary wanted to buy the house on the bay from the wheelchair woman, but she wouldn't sell so he had Secretary seduce Renata's dad and talk him into killing her and make it look like a suicide by leaving a page from her diary as the note. Frank killed Renata's dad, but Renata wants the house too.

Frank paid Simon with the will money to kill all of them including Secretary, but Frank double-crosses and kills Simon. The power is cut off and there is a struggle between Albert and Frank. Albert kills Frank and he and Renata escape back to their home and now the house on the bay is theirs! Until the sound of two gunshots are heard and they both drop. It's their kids. Their son killed them, only he doesn't know it. "They're good at playing dead." The end?

Okay, Italian horror flicks are weird, but for some reason, once I finish one I want to watch another. I've also noticed I have a new found love for 70's films in general. I've always hated 70's films ever since... The 70's. All right maybe the 80's, but ever since I recently watched Carrie, Amityville Horror, and The Omen on a quasi marathon, I found them not to be as slow and depressing as I remembered.

The special effects in this film reminded me of Tom Savini, that thick weird shade of fake blood.

I've heard this referred to as the first slasher flick, but I have to disagree. For one, there were multiple killers, and not like Scream where they were in on it together trying to acheive the same goal, but more like a who dunnit. We had killers with the same goals competing against each other for a fortune. It was more like the game Clue than a slasher flick. I say this over and over it feels like, but when I try to disprove a genre, I'm not attacking or taking away from the movie, I'm working on definitions. This is more like a heist, only you don't realize it until you get to the end and put all the pieces together.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Secretary for tricking Renata's dad into killing his wife so they could live happily ever after even though she got her's in the end.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't go skinny dipping alone.

2) Don't have sex in a house you've broken into.

3) Don't call the police from the scene of the crime.

The Burning (1981)

Damien Ross

Tony Maylam

"Hey, told you not to beat your schlong last night, it's drained your power."

Camp Blackfoot (first header): It's a dark night as a group of kids plot a revenge prank on Cropsey, the asshole caretaker. They light candles in a skull with worms coming out of it in the caretaker's room while he's sleeping. He wakes up and screams upon seeing it, kicking it over thus lighting his bed on fire. For some reason, he sleeps with a can of gasoline at the foot of his bed and that's when the prank goes horribly wrong. He runs outside engulfed in flames screaming until rolling into the lake. The kids bail and leave him there.

One Week Later (second header): He is in the hospital as a couple of interns talk about how gruesome he looks.

Five Years Later (third header): Cropsey is released from the hospital so naturally he goes to a prostitute. Five years is a long time, and it was probably even longer than that. Once she sees him in the light, scared, she tells him to get out. He grabs a gigantic pair of scissors from the counter and stabs her in the the stomach.

Camp Stonewater (this is the fourth and final header and we're only like 13 minutes into the film): There's a softball game going on and Cropsey's POV is watching from the woods. It is not clear which team he is rooting for.

This is the film debut of a 22 year old Jason Alexander with a full head of hair, but I'll be referring to him as Costanza. Holly Hunter is also in this, but I didn't notice her.

In the morning, Sally is up bright and early and hits the shower. We get a little boob action, which felt kinda dirty cuz I'm 40 and she looks barely legal. The showers are pretty open. It looks like a camp resort bathroom, but there's no roof. She hears noises and gets scared for no reason, considering it's broad daylight, but she screams and the entire camp hears her. It's not Cropsey.

It turns out to be Alfred peeping at her so Counselor Todd has a talk with him. Alfred is an outcast with no friends, and he hates going to camp every year. Todd empathizes with him and tells him he got kicked out of camp five years prior.

Glazer is a meathead bully and the biggest non-counselor at camp who has a thing for Sally. He finds Alfred and pushes him around as he threatens him.

In the next scene, other kids befriend Alfred and try to get him to swim even though he doesn't know how until another misleading POV shows up and knocks him into the water. It's Glazer, with a maniacal laugh as Alfred nearly drowns. Glazer swims across the lake to a raft where the girls are so for revenge, Alfred's new friend Woodstock shoots him in the ass with a pellet gun, Men At Work style. All the while, there has been some weird male on male touching in this film.

That night in the cabin, Costanza scores porn mags and condoms. It's always kinda weird when a group of dudes look at porn together, especially at these guy's age. However, there is something about that adolescent freedom when you're away from your parents and everything is still new. This is pre-Internet, when you had to learn things hands on, or from talking with friends, you couldn't Google shit, you had to actually leave your bedroom.

Glazer gets mad at Costanza cuz he wanted lubricated condoms as Counselor Todd crashes the party. It's dinner time. They go to the dining hall. Glazer is full of frustrated teenage testosterone and wants to fight everybody cuz he has a thing for Sally, yet Costanza never hesitates to mock him and stick up for Alfred.

At this point, Alfred is slowly being set up as the red herring. He keeps gaining motives and he is already the outcast even though it's not even the same camp.

Woodstock realizes he doesn't have his Vitamin E pills so he goes back to the cabin alone. Conveniently enough, the cabin light doesn't work. For some reason, any time a character is alone and hears a noise they get scared shitless even though we are now at minute 38 and there's been no murders and no mention of Cropsey. Another mysterious POV creeps up, only this time it's Counselor Todd. They find the vitamins and go back to the mess hall.

The next day, half the camp embark on a three day canoe trip. That night, they sit around a campfire a couple of miles away from the main camp and Todd finally tells the story of Cropsey. It's quite an exaggeration from what we witnessed in the opening of the film, but just then, Eddy pops out in a Cropsey costume and scares the shit out everyone.

Later, Eddy finally hooks up with Karen, the girl he's been eyeing this whole time. Karen is reluctant, but he eventually convinces her to go skinny dipping with him. She won't have sex with him, so he tells her to get the fuck out of his face.

Karen goes back to dry land to find that her clothes have been moved and are now hanging on random tree branches. Finally, a legitimate reason to be scared, but instead she assumes it's some of the other kids playing a joke on her. At 49 minutes in, we get our first kill, other than the prostitute.

In the morning, Todd and Michelle find Eddie sleeping down by the lake. Somehow he survived the night, but they soon discover that all the canoes are gone. Since Karen went away mad, they assume that she canoed back to the main camp and accidentally set all the other canoes free, but Glazer blames Alfred.

Since they are stranded they decide to look for some wood to build a raft. Once complete, about half the camp set sail to either find the canoes or sail to the main camp. After awhile, they spot one of the canoes so they row toward it. I was expecting them to find Karen's corpse inside, but instead it is Cropsey! How long had he been lying in there waiting? He annihilates everyone on the raft with hedge clippers. Way to make up for lost time!

Later on that evening, Glazer and Sally finally get it on, much to her disappointment. "Is that all?" He leaves her there to get some matches to start a fire and its bye bye Sally.

Alfred surreptitiously follows Glazer all the way back to Sally in the sleeping bag then watches Glazer get killed, which clears Alfred's name. Somehow, when Cropsey killed Sally he had trouble overpowering her, but then just picked Glazer up like he was nothing.

Alfred runs back to camp and finds Todd. Of course Todd doesn't believe him and despite the circumstances Alfred agrees to calm down and lower his voice so's not to wake up the others. Todd follows him back to the murder scene then gets sliced.

The raft floats back to the shore so Counselor Michelle swims out to it. She's horrified as she discovers the dead bodies on board, but the good news is Todd is still alive and now the rest of them have a way back to the main camp. The remaining survivors get on the raft, except for Todd, he tells them to bring the police back while he looks for Alfred.

When the raft gets back to the main camp, Michelle tells the goofy supervisor what has happened, but he doesn't believe her. She takes a speedboat back to Todd and the police are on their way in a helicopter.

Alfred got nabbed by Cropsey. Fortunately, Todd heard his scream and he has an ax. While looking for them, he has a flashback to the night they pranked Cropsey in the big reveal: Todd was in on it, surprise, surprise!

Cropsey appears, but instead of hedge clippers, he is now armed with a blowtorch that he somehow acquired. Now if I were Cropsey, I'd stay the hell away from fire, and if I were Todd, I'd stay the hell away from campgrounds. For the first time since the prank we see Cropsey's face and yeah, those skin graphs didn't take.

Alfred breaks free and Todd splits his head in two with his ax. Alfred then lights him on fire with the blowtorch. This is probably the quickest finale scene I've ever seen. No struggle whatsoever and Cropsey probably got about five minutes of screen time total.

It ends with a new group sitting around a campfire. A new counselor is telling the same Cropsey story that Todd told earlier as if setting up a sequel, but alas, this is the last we will ever see of Cropsey.

The Badass Award goes to Alfred, whose awkward creepiness paid off as he was the first to see the killer, witness the murders, get help, and he lit Cropsey on fire, granted, he was already dead.

The Gilligan Award goes to Todd, who despite being heroic in his own right, was still involved in the initial prank which led to this whole disaster.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't sleep with a can of gasoline at the the foot of your bed.

2) Don't go skinny dipping in the middle of the night.

3) Don't leave your girl in the woods while you go get anything.

The Beyond (1981)

Damien Ross

Lucio Fulci

"Trust me, I'm a doctor."

Prophecies have been collected and passed down from generation to generation for over 4,000 years in the book Eibon.

An angry mob comes to a hotel to confront a painter they think is a warlock. They whip him with chains, crucify him to the wall, and then pour molten shit on his head thus opening one of the gates of Hell.

Present day, about 60 years later, its Mary! Not really. This is not a direct sequel to The City of the Living Dead even though it's referred to as the Gates of Hell Trilogy. Mary is now Liza and she has inherited the same hotel we saw 60 years earlier in the intro. It is unclear how long since it was last opened.

One of the painters, Larry, sees a glimpse of a creepy woman with white eyes and no pupils in the window. He falls off the scaffolding down to the ground. Less than 10 minutes in and already this is not a good film for painters. Even though his feet hit the ground first, he immediately begins spitting up blood. He is eventually taken to the hospital and we never see him again.

Plumber Joe shows up and we meet creepy Martha. Somehow everybody that has anything to do with the hotel know each other except Mary doesn't know anyone. Dr. John does mention later that it's a small town. A hand comes out of the wall and rips Plumber Joe's eyeball out. That being said, this seems like a pretty tame gate to Hell considering it's a small town, but there's no stories about this hotel or anything bad happening in the last 60 years.

It's not until Liza is driving down the road and is stopped by a white eyed blind woman with a dog standing in the middle of the road that she gets any kind of warning. She picks up the lady, Emily, as if they were supposed to meet there. They go back to the hotel. Emily tells her that she can't explain why, but Liza needs to leave and go back to where she came from, and of course, Emily can play piano. Typical blind stereotypes.

After Martha discovers Plumber Joe's body along with another corpse, Joe's wife visits him at the morgue. I thought she was Martha and just didn't look as creepy in the light, like that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry was dating that woman who always looked different depending on the light. Turns out she is a different person and has a suit with her that she somehow put on him all by herself. She turns around and screams, but we don't get to see what's causing her to scream. Her daughter, Jill, rushes in to find Martha lying on the floor with some kind of acid trickling down upon her head. She opens a door and finds a one-eyed corpse standing there. The next time we see Jill is at her mother's funeral and she has white eyes.

Emily tells Liza the story of the painter from the beginning of the movie, not Larry. 60 years ago in room 36 he found the key to open a gate to Hell. Liza still won't leave and Emily runs away. Liza breaks into room 36 and finds the Eibon. The painter's corpse is still nailed to the wall. She runs away and finds Dr. John at the door. They go back up to investigate and of course the painter is gone. And so is the book. And Johns never heard of Emily.

While looking at a book in the library, Liza's friend Martin, falls off the ladder when thunder scares him. Then a group of tarantulas start eating his face, which was actually pretty gross, the sound it made and one of them started to pull out his eyeball... Luckily, the book stayed open on his page, but then the picture disappeared.

The real Martha is back and pulls a huge clump of hair out of the bath tub drain in the cellar and what looks like zombie Plumber Joe pushes her head into one of the spikes that crucified the painter earlier and her eyeball pops out. That's roughly three eyeballs now.

Liza and Dr. John wind up back at the morgue, which is infested with zombies, but not the disgusting ones from the last movie. These are more like sleepwalking cadavers. They find Jill there. Jill starts to grab Liza's face so without hesitation Dr. John shoots a big ol' hole in her face. They escape, but in the end, they find themselves in the painting with white eyes.

This movie was much gorier than the previous one and also had the highest rating of the three. The effects were probably quite groundbreaking for the time period, but it didn't make a whole lot of sense. Granted, I've only watched it once, however it does seem like the characters end up getting abducted into the gates of Hell without really even knowing it by the end.

The Badass Award goes to Dr. John for having a gun, knowing how to use it, and not running out of bullets. Also, he did his homework and read the Eibon even though he didn't believe in it.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Take caution when the blind harbinger warns you to leave.

2) Don't check out haunted rooms alone.

3) Research properties you inherit. Granted this was pre-internet, but she still coulda looked into it a little bit, especially after Plumber Joe got his eye ripped out. That's not normal.

 

Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon (2006)

Damien Ross

Scott Glosserman

"You gotta be able to run like a freakin gazelle without getting winded, plus, there's that whole thing of making it look like you're walking while everyone else is running their asses off. And I gotta stay with them."

The first hour of this film is the deconstruction of the slasher sub-genre where Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers are real. Meet Leslie Mancuso. Leslie is planning to reignite the legend of Leslie Vernon. Taylor is the journalist interviewing him for a documentary, which was a clever way to make this a found-footage film.

Leslie is a charismatic antihero who walks us through the intricacies of being a slasher while in the process breaking down the building blocks of a slasher movie.

Location: The location is the old Vernon house where the murders originally took place and the house has become somewhat of a legend, to the point of urban legend. If you go there on a certain night you can hear the sound of....

Target Groups: Leslie walks us through a college campus and points out various groups looking for the obvious tropes, but especially looking for the potential Final Girl, although he never calls her that. He needs the right group that fit the bill, but also a virgin among them capable of 180ing herself into a victorious outcome, even though that would mean he loses. He's not just the puppet master, he has shit at stake too. Once he picks her, he must plant the seeds that something bad is going to happen.

Red Herring: After the preliminary strike of serving paranoia he must then throw a curveball, which in most movies is used to set up a plot-twist, but in slasher flicks it is mainly used when we don't know who the killer is. Friday the 13th had no need for this because other than in the original, we know Jason is the killer. A movie like Urban Legend does. It's basically a tool to mislead the viewer.

Everything is going to plan and the librarian tells Kelly (and the viewer) the origin of Leslie Vernon when Leslie pops out, but before he can kill the librarian Doc Halloran saves the day. Now Leslie has an Ahab.

Ahab: The reflection of everything that is good about humanity. He will do anything to stop evil. Like Dr. Loomis in Halloween, he is the only hope to save the victims from impending doom because he is the only one who truly understands what is going on.

Leslie and the film crew stalk Kelly, the virgin/victim, at the diner where she works when Doc Halloran spots them and exposes Leslie Vernon for who he truly is, a former psychiatric patient of his, Leslie Mancuso!

The final night is coming, and the film crew doesn't realize how serious Leslie is as he walks them through the final location. He explains the setup and the reaction each victim will have like a game of chess.

The Closet: Safe place, like a womb. There's no point in looking for someone who is hiding because that just gives more time for the others to escape. No one can escape.

Lights Out: Cut the power, kill the first victim, and stash the body where the Final Girl will find it. At this moment she will turn from victim to heroine and empower herself with a big long hard weapon. She'll want to take away Leslie's long weapon, his manhood, and empower herself with it.

Sabotage: Tamper with their car and all potential weapons rendering them ineffective when needed most.

Ahab II: Having figured everything out, Doc Halloran will show up in time for the final showdown. Assuming he loses, Kelly will now be reborn, innocence lost, and hell-bent on revenge, the Final Girl!

The Result: After Vernon's first kill, just as he predicted, Taylor and the camera crew have a change of heart. Instead of being documenting bystanders, they decide they need to stop him. It's all fun and games till someone gets hurt. At this point, the found-footage angle is abandoned and we are in a real movie.

The X-Factor: Kelly is not a virgin. Far from it in fact, she fucks like a porn star. There was no pleading from her man to take away her innocence as she resists... But it's only a shock from Vernon's point of view because it was his meticulous plan, however we now have a new Final Girl, Taylor.

It's worth noting that the Final Girl doesn't necessarily have to be a virgin, her character is more a link to the past. She's the good girl. She begins as the anti-modern day woman, more old fashion and innocent in a Donna Reed sorta way, but along the way she makes the transformation into a superwoman, rather than just the foul-mouthed, stereotypical, feminist, party girls we see die along the way.

Final girls generally have non-gender specific names and in this film that is the case for Kelly, Taylor, and even Leslie.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Taylor, for going back in to save all the teenagers, and becoming the Final Girl, even though three other people survived with her and she probably wasn't a virgin.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't hang out with virgins.

2) Run like a motherfucker till the sun comes up and don't look back.

3) Don't hide.

4) If you're in a group, make sure there's at least one poor sap slower than you.

5) Don't be a hero. You won't beat the villain. Hit him as hard as you can and once again, run.

 

    Bloody Birthday (1981)

    Damien Ross

    Ed Hunt

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    Well the kids in this movie definitely put today's kids to shame. They're outside running, learning how to shoot guns and bows, drive cars, stash bodies, scrapbook, and they're only ten years old! Today's kids just sit around playing video games with no ambition, unable to do half of what these kids do. Also, for a quarter apiece, they got to watch Julie Brown get naked through a hole in the wall, which is something I've been wanting do since the seventh grade!

    Unfortunately, it seems that it is unwise to have a child while the sun and Earth eclipse Saturn because it creates a baby who has no conscience and bad intentions, but when three unrelated kids are born at the same time, all bets are off.

    What did we learn? Survival tips:

    1) Don't hide in old refrigerators.

    2) Don't have premarital sex?

    3) Never trust or underestimate kids.

    4)Don't have kids when the Earth and sun eclipse Saturn.

    Black Christmas (1974 & 2006)

    Damien Ross

    Black Christmas (1974)

    Bob Clark

    "The next time you're gonna get that gun up your ass... Sideways!"

    Was this the first slasher flick ever made? I mean sure you have Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Psycho, but I don't think those count. My reasoning, because the victims came to the killers. You could argue that point in Black Christmas, since Billy did live in the attic for who knows how long, but to me it seems different because we don't know shit about Billy, and he usually has to come out of the attic to kill.

    The weirdest thing about this movie to me is that it was directed by Bob Clark, the man who would go on to direct another Christmas classic, A Christmas Story. And if that doesn't seem odd enough, he also directed Porky's 1 and 2. Bob Clark sounds like an interesting guy.

    The movie takes place in a sorority house on Christmas or very near Christmas, which is funny because this movie has nothing to do with Christmas. This could have taken place at any time of year. They didn't use Christmas as an excuse to make the campus a ghost town or the weather really bad so the power was out and people were stranded, Billy didn't wear a Santa suit, it was basically just a cool title.

    The sorority girls, Barb, Jess, Phyl, and Clare begin receiving obscene phone calls and soon Clare was missing. Clare's dad comes into town to visit, which is when they notice that not only is Clare missing, but her car is still there.

    Mrs. Mac is the den mother and a lush who stashes liquor all over the house. She has a book with a bottle cut out in the pages, a bottle in the tank of a toilet, and an empty bottle in the closet. Somehow, Clare's dad doesn't seem to notice.

    Jess is pregnant and wants to have an abortion, but her boyfriend, Peter, wants to get married and keep the baby. Jess doesn't want to marry Peter and the baby is going to interfere with her dreams.

    Barb is kinda the rebel who gets all the badass lines, but they seem to fall flat when they come out of her mouth.

    For some reason, the search party for Clare starts at night time, which sounds like a terrible idea: Let's search when it's too dark too see anything! I don't know if it's Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but it seems like a long day.

    Lt. Ken Fuller is the dad from Nightmare on Elm Street where he was also a cop. Sgt. Nash is hands down the worst cop maybe in all of cinema. He dismisses everything and just seems to not want to do his job. Fuller arranges the phone tap.

    Jess answers the phone, it's Billy. He wasn't on long enough to get a trace, but he repeats something Peter said earlier. Now Peter is a suspect! Peter has been upset ever since the news that Jess does not want to marry him, but if you notice, Jess answers the phone every time it rings so she should know if Peter was in the room whenever they got a call. There's a scene around this time where Jess hears the kids caroling and seems like she might be having a change of heart about the abortion.

    When they finally manage to tap the phone they find that the calls are coming from inside the house. Is it weird that Billy has his own phone line? In the fucken attic? Nash gets the duty of calling Jess and telling her to get out of the house and of course he fucks it up and tells her that the killer is in the house so now she has a moral dilemma because her friends upstairs may still be alive. Peter comes to the rescue, but Jess kills him because she thinks he is the killer.

    Although this movie was set up for a sequel there never was one, however I did read an article last week called, Movies That technically Were Sequels. Bob Clark had no interest in being a horror movie director, but had he made a sequel, it would take place years later and Billy would go back to the house to finish what he had started, but instead of on Christmas, on Halloween, hence, Halloween.

    A better opening for a sequel might have been a flashback scene as Jess remembers that she was getting the obscene phone calls before she told Peter she was pregnant and then Billy kills her and begins to finish what he started. Sequels use to fill in the blanks of the mysterious villain, now we have remakes.

    The Badass Bitch Award almost went to Jess for attempting to save her friends, but she killed Peter who was innocent and she had already assured Fuller that Peter was present during at least one of the calls.

    The Gilligan Award goes to Nash for being a shitty cop, not following directions, which got Peter killed... Oh, and Billy got away.

     

    What did we learn? Survival Tips:

    1) Don't go into the attic!

    2) Don't lie to the cops.

    3) Don't have unprotected sex with men you don't love.

    Black Christmas (2006)

    Glen Morgan

    "Tastes like chicken, because it's chicken."

    This remake brings what the original didn't: A back story. The original had no backstory and we never really even saw Billy, which is not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of remakes from this era give full backstory, sometimes even a prequel, and try to be over the top by showing you the villain as much as possible. I say less is more.

    This one has more of a Christmas feel. There's presents, snowy weather... The holiday is actually used for its potential detriments.

    The film opens with a kill scene, Clair, but with a different spelling and different last name this time around and instead of her father coming to visit, it's her sister. Mrs. Mack, played by the actress who played Phyl in the original, is the only returning character from the original besides Billy, except she's not a complete lush this time.

    Billy escapes from the mental ward he's been locked up in since killing his parents as a kid. Billy's mom hated him, but his dad was cool. His mom would lock him in the attic and one day killed his dad as he surreptitiously watched. She remarried an alcoholic loser and one night when he passed out, she raped Billy conceiving his little sister, Agnes.

    Billy kills his family, except Agnes, but he does pull out her eyeball and eats it. He has a weird thing about eating eyeballs that is never explained. Then he makes cookies out of his mother's flesh.

    Every year, the sorority puts a present under the tree for Billy knowing he will never come pick it up. Billy is not a mystery, everyone knows who he is and what happened.

    I could barely tell Melissa and Dana apart, I thought one of them died twice. I understand they want all the girls to be hot, but mix it up a little. In the original, Margot Kidder and Olivia Hussey are both beautiful, both brunettes, but they look nothing alike. Not to mention they played two distinctly different characters.

    When they go outside, they see Eve's car and her severed head by the driver side door. Plot-twist: Definitely not Agnes. The only reason Eve was even in this movie, and for less than five minutes I might add, was to honey-dick us into thinking that she was the sister.

    They are stranded in a snowstorm and there seems to be two killers because there's no way Billy could be getting around this quickly. This is where the movie starts to get over the top and ridiculous. How did Agnes and Billy meet up? Why is Agnes helping Billy? He ate her eyeball!

    This movie would have been better had it not been a remake. There's actually only a few things that tie it to the original that easily could have been changed. This definitely had more of a Christmas vibe, but I think both movie creators just really loved the name Black Christmas, which is a bad ass name.

    The Badass Bitch Award goes to Kelli Presley for killing both Agnes and Billy and dumping her boyfriend after finding out about that sex tape.

    What did we learn? Survival Tips:

    1) If you notice one of the mental patients are missing, call for back up.

    2) Don't go out to check the power alone!

    3) Stay together!

    The Babadook (2014)

    Damien Ross

    Jennifer Kent

    “If you're that hungry then why don't you go eat shit?!”

    Samuel's father died while taking his mom to the hospital to give birth to him. Samuel has nightmares and behavioral problems, which causes his mom to have sleeping problems. Basically, Samuel is an out of control brat.

    One night Amelia, Samuel's mother, found a book, The Babadook (which is actually an anagram for A Bad Book), that she decided to read to Samuel so he would go to sleep, not realizing what a scary book it was.

    The days passed and Samuel was haunted by The Babadook, so much so that Amelia ripped the book up and threw it in the trash. The next morning, there was a knock on the door. No one was there, but there the book lay. The pages were put back together with new ones added in, pictures that depicted her killing her dog, then her son, then herself. She put the book on the barbecue and lit it on fire. Apparently, the demon can't put ashes back together cuz we never saw the book again.

    Even though Amelia's husband has been dead for at least seven years, we still have to hear about him every time she interacts with someone.

    Samuel seems to know a lot about The Babadook, but for some reason he's not elaborating about any of it. Eventually, the book's prophecies begin to come true, but Samuel saves the day in an ending that didn't tie anything up. 90 minutes of waiting for an answer and nothing.

    I was disappointed watching this movie because I'd heard a lot of good things about it, but other than creepiness, there wasn't really much there. To me, it was more a story that signified the horrors of being a single mother. She had an out of control brat and the only help she had was her sister who bailed because she couldn't stand the little shit and she had a choice. Amelia tried her best, but sleep deprivation is a motherfucker and she eventually lashed out at him. It happens. You love your kid, but on a long enough timeline, not enough sleep, and no one to tag in, you start to act like a dick. It doesn't help that he was a little shit, but maybe he just wasn't getting the proper attention he needed due to a single mother scenario.

    The book signified her inner feelings: Kill the kid, kill the dog, then kill yourself. In the end, it was her fault for being a shitty mom, but maybe that's the plot-twist: The Babadook wasn't actually a book, it was a vessel for the viewer to witness her innermost thoughts as she got more and more far gone due to sleep deprivation and the director played it smart by instead of revealing the twist, letting you figure it out for yourself. Looking back now, I like this movie more, I was just it expecting it to be something it wasn't.

    What did we learn? Survival Tips:

    1) Don't read scary books to your son who is already having nightmares.

    2) Be a good mom, establish a relationship with your kid.

    3) Sleep.