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C

Cujo (1983)

Damien Ross

Lewis Teague

“Fuck you dog.”

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I should probably preface Stephen King films by pointing out that I haven’t really read any of his books. I’ve read It, The Mist (short story), and the ending of The Body (another short story), because I wanted to see how Stand By Me really ended. Other than that, nothing. I mention this only to point out that Stephen King reviews are based solely on the films and not a comparison to the book or the book’s meanings, it is strictly a review of the films at face value. 

In the opening scene, an innocent St. Bernard chases a bunny into a rabbit hole filled with bats and gets bitten on his poor little nose.

Next scene: A little kid, Tad, played by Danny Pintauro, pre Who’s The Boss, is afraid of the dark. He wakes up his dad, Vic, and his mom, Donna, played by horror queen of the 80’s, Dee Wallace.

In the morning, Tad is eating breakfast and feeling better, despite having moved all of his bedroom furniture over to block the closet door. His parents come downstairs. Vic’s friend, Steve, stops by and Donna starts acting weird.

After a tennis match between Vic, and Steve, we the viewer, not Vic, learn that Donna is having an affair with Steve, who likes to play the trombone after sex. That’s not the only thing he tromboned. All the while, Vic wants to have another baby. He basically feels a void in his marriage, but doesn’t know what it is, so he wants to throw a baby at the problem.

Vic takes his car to a mechanic who hates money so the mailman refers him to Joe Camber. He takes his family over and they meet Cujo, the St. Bernard from the opening, with a fresh wound on his nose.

Also, Vic invented a cereal that is now suspected of causing internal hemorrhaging.

Donna drives her Pinto over to Steve’s, (her Howling co-star and real-life husband), to break things off. He seems understanding, at first. Vic drives by and sees the two of them outside, but can’t double-back in time. Donna picks Tad up from school and daddy’s home early, but he doesn’t confront her.

Meanwhile, Cujo is getting worse as his family wins the the lottery, $5,000. Cujo is sensitive to loud noises.

Steve visits Donna because he wants her back, but she fights him off. She wants to work things out with her family, but now she knows that Vic knows. He’s leaving for 10 days, damage control for that cereal epidemic thing. Donna apologizes for the affair, but still he goes. He forgot to take the pinto over to Camber’s.

On a foggy morning, back at the Camber place, Cujo is looking rabid as fuck. Joe Camber’s wife and kid left town to visit her sister. Joe’s friend, who previously made fun of Cujo for being too timid, gets attacked and killed by Cujo. Joe finds the body and when he goes to make a phone call, Cujo finds him. Meanwhile, Donna and Tad are on their way. When they get there, Tad’s seatbelt is stuck, which may have saved them cuz as she tries to free him, Cujo attacks the car. Trapped inside, Donna honks the horn unaware that everyone at the Camber’s is already dead. Now the car won’t start as Cujo waits on the porch. She gets the car to start, but not for long. Cujo waits.

Now it’s dark and Tad has to pee. The phone in the house rings, distracting Cujo. I know I couldn’t pee under those circumstances so suddenly just peeing in the car doesn’t seem like such a bad alternative.

It’s morning, and they’ve been trapped in the car all night. Donna spots a baseball bat. The car still won’t start.

The mailman is about to head over to Camber’s until he’s reminded that the mail is on hold, which is weird because his wife and kid left, but Joe stayed home. What kind of entitled bitch is he married to?The phone rings again, which sends Cujo into a frenzy and he begins to destroy the car until it stops.

While Tad is sleeping, Donna makes a go for the baseball bat, but Cujo gets her. She fights him off in front of an awoken and horrified Tad, who is already afraid of monsters. Does this mean she has rabies now?

Suddenly, Vic wakes up with a strong desire to go home. Donna hasn’t answered the phone in two days and knowing she had an affair, he assumes she’s shackin up with Steve again. Why didn’t he just call Steve? Throughout this whole thing, he has yet to talk to Steve. Steve probably doesn’t even know he knows.

Tad is all fucked up. As the parent of a six year old, I must say that baseball bat would’ve been up that dog’s ass by now.

Vic arrives home and the house is all thrashed. He calls the cops and blames Steve, but he is smart enough to let the cops know that his wife was taking her car over to Camber’s. 

The cop goes over to Camber’s, but instead of approaching the car he approaches the house and Cujo gets him. Donna can’t get her car door open while Cujo is distracted and apparently Tad has asthma.

Nobody has heard from the cop on the scene so Vic takes matters into his own hands and is on his way.

Tad is half dead. He hasn’t had food or water in days so Donna decides it’s now or never. She beats Cujo down with the baseball bat, grabs the cops gun, but doesn’t shoot him. Instead, she takes Tad into the Camber house, gives him mouth to mouth, and he’s back. But so is Cujo! He crashes through the window for one last hurrah and now she shoots him. Then Vic arrives. The End.

This film was totally different than I remember, then again, that was fifth grade. One thing I notice about Stephen King is that he takes no prisoners. He fully commits to the terrorizing of his characters whether it’s a struggling writer, adolescent kids, or even a toddler, which is the beauty of writing a horror novel vs. a horror screenplay: Different mediums get away with different extremes. Books probably get away with the most. Movies come in second, although whether creating an original screenplay or adapting a novel, they still have to be marketable to the viewers. The fans understand, but not all the viewers are fans. Music has it the worst. There’s things you can get away with in a book, there’s things you can get away with in a movie, but the backlash of the PMRC in the 80’s made it difficult to do the same thing with songs. After a decade of blaming Ozzy, Punk Rock, and Heavy Metal, then rap for every fucked up thing teens did, we entered the 90’s. Punk was now grunge and the hair-metal that grunge destroyed resurfaced as Death-Metal. This brings me back around to my point: You can write a book about Satanism, you can make a movie with a guy playing Satan, but once you write songs about it, forget it, you are fucked. Hell, your whole genre is fucked because while a band like Morbid Angel is gung-ho Satan, an equally heavy, more experimental band like Carcass, who’s lyrics you’d need a medical dictionary to understand, judged next to Cannibal Corpse who also had nothing to do with Satanism, while each song was its own grotesque horror film, to Napalm Death, who might have been the heaviest of them all in their heyday, but were purely political.These were the four best of that early 90’s period, but if I played a song from each, you probably wouldn’t even know you were listening to four different bands, you would just think of Satan, and kill your mother kill your father gibberish. And I do not claim to be a Death-Metal expert, my friends were listening to this shit non-stop while I was listening to Black Flag, but the point is, I don’t really remember what the point is, I just like to talk about music whenever I get the chance. It is interesting though, how music doesn’t have the same rights as other forms of creativity. Maybe that’s why they have to be the extremists. Now that I think about, that’s what makes music dangerous: It effects the culture first, the hardest... Nerds get rejected by sports, chances are they’ve already played an instrument, and notes are adaptable. 

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The Gilligan Award goes to Donna. Donna is a horrible and selfish person. There are many examples of it throughout the film, but it’s not until she almost lets her son die to keep herself out of danger that the pieces start coming together.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t wait till the last minute to get your car fixed.

2) Leave the car running until you know the shop is open.

3) Don’t wait until you’re completely depleted to fight back.

Christine (1983)

Damien Ross

John Carpenter

“Maybe it’s because for the first time in my life I’ve found something that’s uglier than me.”

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Detroit 1957: Bad to the Bone is playing. It’s funny when a time period is being recaptured on film, but the song playing came out 25 years later.

While going down the production line, a Red Plymouth Fury hood crashes down, smashing a worker’s forearm. Later they find a worker dead inside, while Buddy Holly, Not Fade Away, plays on the car stereo. Note: The dead worker was a black man.

Rockridge, California September 12th, 1978: Dennis picks his nerdy friend Arnie up for school. Tanya Tucker’s version of Not Fade Away, is playing on his stereo. Arnie’s mom is kind of an uptight bitch and both of his parents are embarrassed that he’s taking shop, all the while, he’s a 17 year old who still plays Scrabble with his parents. Nowadays, parents would just be glad their kid isn’t locked up in the basement playing video games.

It’s the first day of school and now that they’re seniors, Dennis wants to get Arnie laid. Why do teenage boys care about each other’s sex lives so much? Dennis is the cool jock, the opposite of Arnie.

In shop class, Dennis stands up for Arnie against a group of bullies led by Buddy Repperton. Buddy breaks Arnie’s glasses, but it’s nothing a little tape can’t fix. Buddy then gets kicked out of school for having a switchblade.

On the way home, they see the old beat down Plymouth Fury from the opening and stop to take a look at it. An old man, Lebay, comes out with the keys and says the car’s name is Christine. Lebay clearly just wants to get rid of it. Arnie pays $250, despite Dennis trying to talk him out of it. First day of shop class and he’s ready to fix up a junker. That’s pretty cheap though, musta bought it off Lebay, get it, Lebay? Nevermind.

Arnie goes home and gets into a big fight with his parents about Christine. They won’t let him keep her at the house so he storms out and takes her to a garage, Darnell’s Auto Wrecking. Darnell, the owner, thinks he’s a real hardass and for some reason pegs Arnie as a troublemaker. Dennis can’t understand why Arnie likes Christine so much.

Arnie spends the next three weeks working on Christine and possibly earning Darnell’s respect, but he still acts like a dick. He propositions Arnie with a job, kinda, just cleaning up around the shop in exchange for all the scrap parts he needs.

Even though Dennis already has a cute little blonde, Roseanne, that wants him, he has his sites set on the new girl, Leigh, everybody does. He approaches her in the library, and gets shot down, she already has a date for Friday-at least pick up on girls when Roseanne’s not around. Dick.

That evening, Dennis goes to pick Arnie up to go to the movies, but Arnie has to work. Arnie is acting different. He no longer wears glasses and nobody sees him anymore. He’s always working on Christine. He’s becoming less quirky and more confident. His mom tells Dennis that she found out the previous owner was found dead in the car from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The next day, Dennis goes over to Lebay’s. Turns out, it was his brother’s car. His brother’s daughter died in it, and his wife killed herself the same way he did. Lebay had made him get rid of the car, but she came back three weeks later.

Next, Dennis breaks into the garage to pay Christine a little visit. He tries to open the door, but it won’t open. You Keep A Knockin comes on the radio, which freaks him out so he runs away. Well, A for effort I guess. What was even his plan?

The next day, Arnie shows up to the football game with Christine. Dennis is running for the ball when he sees Arnie and Leigh in the distance, kissing. He gets tackled and carried away on a stretcher while Christine watches. Now we know why Leigh was busy that Friday night.

Arnie visits Dennis at the hospital. He’s wearing a neck brace, his ribs are wrapped, and so is his knee... What the hell, from one hit? A centimeter over and he woulda been paralyzed from the waist down. Looks like his football career is over, but Arnie brought him a book of 5,000 dirty limericks so it’s a wash.

Arnie takes Leigh to the drive-in, in the rain? They’re making out till he puts his hand up her shirt and she storms out of the car. He goes after her to see what’s wrong. She says she can’t, not in that car, she hates that car! At first I thought she knew it was evil, but it turns out she’s just jealous. Arnie care’s more about that car than he does her. Typical girl. They want you to be passionate about something so long as they come in first in that race.

They get back into the car. Arnie calls her on her jealousy so she starts slapping the seat, then something goes wrong with the windshield wipers. Arnie gets out to fix it so Leigh unwraps a cheeseburger from the dash. She takes a bite, the radio comes on We Belong Together, and she starts choking. Arnie realizes something is wrong as the doors lock, trapping her inside and him outside. Finally, some middle-aged dude yanks her door open, pulls her out, and gives her the Heimlich maneuver. Who the fook was that guy?! Then he just walks away without saying a word!

Arnie takes her home. She tells him to get rid of the car. She thinks the car is jealous of her and she’s never riding in it again. Also, Christine plays creepy old songs while they make out in her... There’s an awkward sentence for ya. It could be over between her and Arnie.

Arnie gets back into the car, but it won’t start, not until he sweet talks her. The stereo lights up, I Wonder Why, by Dion & The Belmonts comes on. Christine uses the radio to express herself, she’s like a big ol’ red mobile mix tape. Arnie drops Christine off at the garage and goes home. Buddy and the gang show up and start destroying her. Keep A Knockin comes on the radio again.

The next day, Arnie takes Leigh to the garage. He’s not planning to drive Christine, he just forgot his wallet. He sees the damage done to Christine and is devastated. Leigh tries to comfort him, but he lashes out at her. He shoves her and yells at her, and even blames her. Then he goes home and blames his parents, anybody who had a problem with Christine. He even fights his dad.

He visits Christine. He talks to her a little and then she fixes herself up. He thinks nothing of it.

Later, Christine goes after one of the bullies, Moochie. He’s probably the one that shit on the dashboard, that’s who I’d go after first. He’s a little surprised to see Christine back in one piece. The headlights turn on and the chase begins. He does okay for an 80’s fat guy, but eventually, he gets smashed.

Arnie visits Dennis at the hospital with a couple cans of beer? Dennis heard about ol’ Moochie, and the damage done to Christine, but Arnie assures him it won’t happen again. It’s Thanksgiving now, so we’re a good three months into this film.

One afternoon, as Arnie leaves school a little early, he is greeted by Detective Rudolph Junkins (Harry Mutha Fucken Dean Stanton! RIP). Junkins has questions about the car, and apparently has already talked to everyone Arnie knows about the incident. Arnie tries to hide how badly the car was damaged by the bullies, all the while being a suspect in a murder. But Arnie is cocky as hell, a complete 180 from the character we met in the beginning of the film. Christine is to Arnie what the alien symbiote suit was to Peter Parker, but I still prefer Arnie over Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3, what a cringe-inducing shit show that was!

That night, Arnie calls Leigh. He wants to see her, but even though she cares about him, she done. He flips out on her. Too much too soon. You can’t just be a loser your whole life then over night become a stud and expect to know how to handle it. Now he’s sad and doesn’t even have any friends to turn to. Dennis was a stud, but he was always a good friend.

Buddy Repperton and a friend pick up some beers and go for a drive. The car behind them has its brights on so Buddy decides to play games not realizing it’s Christine! He pulls over at a gas station. They get out of the car, they think Arnie is driving. Christine rams his car and blows up the gas station, killing Buddy’s friend. Buddy takes off running and Christine, now a fireball on wheels, chases after him and runs him down.

Christine drives on back to the garage and Darnell opens the bay door, but how does Christine get in and out the rest of the time?

Darnell’s gotta gun cuz he knows it's not Arnie inside, but to his surprise, there’s no one inside! He smiles and takes a seat even though she’s charred. The stereo comes on, Bony Moronie. The driver side door shuts and locks. The seat adjusts forward, and forward, and forward, crushing Darnell into the steering wheel. The stereo then turns off.

The next day, Arnie shows up in a vest. Detective Junkins wants to know where he was the night before. He shows him the receipt proving where he was, then he finds out about Darnell, and Buddy, but Christine looks brand new.

Leigh calls Dennis who is out of the hospital and back at home. They meet up and Leigh asks him what he knows about Christine. Leigh is onto Christine. She leaves Dennis, just as Arnie stops by to pick him up in Christine. Dennis Calls Christine an old rust bucket and Arnie gets offended. They drive and crack open beers.

They have a heart to heart and Arnie goes off the rails. Dennis sees how far gone he really is so the next morning he takes a screwdriver and carves, “Darnell’s Tonight,” into Christine’s hood.

Dennis and Leigh meet up at Darnell’s that night. They devise a plan involving a bulldozer. Where'd he get a bulldozer, did he get it off Lebay? He sends her into the office to close the door once Christine is inside, but Christine is already there, hiding. Christine charges Leigh, but she gets out of the way. It turns out, Arnie is inside Christine, well, until he crashes into the office with no seatbelt and gets ejected out the windshield. He gets impaled along the way by a shard of broken windshield and dies. Christine plays, Pledging My Love, then tries to back over Leigh.

As Christine makes another go at Leigh, Dennis crashes down on her with his bulldozer. Christine stops, but starts to come back to life as Rock and Roll is Here To Stay, comes on the stereo. Dennis runs her over smashing her completely.

The next morning Dennis and Leigh stand with Detective Junkins staring at the block of steal that used to be Christine and mourning the death of Arnie when they hear, Come On Let’s Go, by Ritchie Valens. It’s just a worker with a boom box, but Christine does make one final wiggle, The End.

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The Gillian Award goes to Dennis Guilder. I almost gave him the Badass Award cuz he did finally destroy Christine and save the girl, despite being injured, but let’s face it, this whole thing was his fault. Sure he was Arnie’s best friend, but he probably kept Arnie around to feel better about himself and get help studying. If he hadn’t been such a stud and raising the bar so high for Arnie-even pressuring him to lose his virginity-Arnie probably would’ve been fine. He would’ve obeyed and endured his parents while saving up and studying for college and eventually had a good life. Instead, he felt he had to compete in the here and now of high school. He’d learn how to fix cars, squander his college savings in the process so he could win the hot girl while at the same time destroying Dennis’s future, which was only fair because Dennis destroyed his first. Sadly, in the end, Dennis probably got the girl.

This brings us to the Arnie/Carrie parallel: Both were bullied outcasts who got revenge via supernatural powers. Carrie had telekinesis, Arnie had his car, and both met their demise at the hands of their very own power. Paints a sad picture for the outcast.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t hide from a car in a narrow loading dock. What do they load from that little dock anyway?

2) If a car is chasing you and you’re on foot, stay off the road.

3) Don’t bring a switchblade to a car fight.

4) Wear your seatbelt.

Christmas Evil (1980)

Damien Ross

Lewis Jackson

“I wish I had a lifetime subscription to Penthouse Magazine!”

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Christmas Eve 1947: From the staircase, A mother and her two sons sit and watch Santa come down the chimney. The sons, Harry and Phil, don’t know it’s just their dad. Okay, so the older brother, Phil, might. Kinda weird when Santa comes down the chimney, but it’s creepy as Hell when he gets sucked back up. How’d he do that?

A little later, after Harry and Phil are supposed to be asleep, Harry goes back to the stairs and witnesses his mom getting it on with Santa. Horrified, he runs up to the attic and breaks his snow globe, then slices his hand open with a shard of the broken glass.

Present Day (33 years later): Harry wakes up in his Christmas pajamas. He turns on the Christmas music and has a little bounce in his step. Apparently, he still likes Christmas. His shaving cream laden face even looks like Santa’s beard, until he cuts himself and has a flashback of the night he broke his snow globe. Was this the first time he’d thought about it since?

Harry goes up to his rooftop with a pair of binoculars and spies on the neighborhood kids in their bedrooms. This really illustrates a concept I never thought about: Santa is a pervert. Why is he so obsessed with watching little kids and what there up to? He sees one kid cutting pictures out of an issue of Penthouse and immediately runs back inside. He pulls out two huge books, one red, the other white. The red one is where he keeps track of the naughty kids, the white is for the nice. How does he know these kids’ names?

Harry works at Jolly Dream, which sounds like an adult sex shop, but is actually a toy factory. Harry was recently promoted, but tonight he is forced to fill in on the line with the rest of the animals. These are some lame ass toys.

On his way home, he passes by The Odd Couple Lounge. He stops to look in the window and sees Frank, the guy who’s shift he just covered, inside drinking. Frank’s supposed to be out of town, and he hates Christmas, that’s two strikes. Harry continues his walk home, furious. He walks into his apartment and angrily hums Santa Claus is Coming to Town then breaks a toy from his dollhouse. Then he goes out and spies on a couple getting it on on their couch.

In the morning, Harry watches the Thanksgiving Parade. It turns out the couple he was spying on was his brother, Phil, and his wife, which makes it even weirder. Harry calls Phil and cancels their Thanksgiving plans. During the parade, Santa makes an appearance, which inspires Harry to make a Santa suit and paint a sled on the side of his white van.

Harry decides that not only should the naughty kids not get presents for Christmas, he should also kill them and goes after the Penthouse Kid first. He tries to grab him as he waits by the car for his mom, but he gets away. The kid tells his mom there’s a monster in the bushes so she slaps the shit out of him and they drive away.

Harry puts on a normal suit and goes to his employee Christmas party. He gets into a big argument with his boss and a new higher up about the hospital donation plan and storms off. He goes downstairs and steals a bunch of toys, like, a shit ton. This is why you don’t have company parties in the actual building you work at.

Harry has perfected his Santa beard.

Christmas Eve: Harry’s got his Santa suit on, presents wrapped, and a butcher knife. He hops into his creeper van and heads over to the Penthouse Kid’s house first. His name is Moss? Harry drops a folder off on the doorstep with a mean drawing of a kid on it. Kinda pointless and immature, but better than killing him I guess.

Next, he heads over to the children’s hospital. The security guard brings out a couple of the staff and Harry opens up his van of stolen toys. They get more staff and just about clean him out.

Harry then goes over to the church where his boss is just as a crowd empties out. A few guys start talking shit to him so he hacks three of them in their heads and makes a run for it in his van.

Harry goes to another party and is spotted by two guys who drag him inside. They have no idea what he’s done. There are kids at the party so Harry dances with women and little girls, he’s the life of the party! Eventually, after handing out presents, it’s time for Harry to leave, but first he warns them to continue being good, then basically threatens them if they don’t.

Back at the church, the cops are on the case.

As Harry drives, he starts thinking about that Christmas hating Frank and how he tricked him into working for him. He drives over to Frank’s with a ladder and climbs onto his roof. He tries to go down the chimney, but he can’t fit and gets stuck. What a fucktard. He finally gets himself out and climbs back down the ladder. I wish this film had ended with him freezing to death stuck in a chimney. He finds an open window, how very un-Santa, not to mention, what he should have done in the first place, and also a great way to get yourself shot. He climbs inside and puts presents under the tree then goes to Frank’s room and tries to smother him with his bag of left over toys? When that doesn’t work he takes the star off the top of the Christmas tree next to the bed (who, other than people living in studio apartments, would have a Christmas tree next to their bed?) and slashes his throat. His wife wakes up horrified, but Harry is already gone. If Harry hands out more toys, the kids that receive them will never have any idea that their toys were almost murder weapons.

The next morning, Phil is worried because it's unlike Harry to not show up on Christmas and then sees the special bulletin on TV about a murderous Santa. Oh, it turns out Phil is the younger brother even though he looked and acted like the older brother in the opening.

Harry goes to Jolly World and starts destroying toys, meanwhile at the police station they have a lineup of Santas for Frank’s wife to look at. All the while, the cops make lame Christmas jokes.

Phil finally gets a call from Harry. Harry is cryptic and says he’s finally gonna play his tune and everyone is gonna dance. He hangs up and gets back in the van, but his van gets stuck in the snow, he walks from here. He gets bumrushed by the local kids, which scares the shit outta him. They want presents, but the parents are not far behind, and they want blood. One of the dads pulls out a knife, but the kids protect Santa. The knife guy’s wife and daughter attack him and he drops the knife. His daughter grabs it and runs it over to Harry and he escapes. The parents light torches and go after him. Harry is crying. They find him so he hauls ass back to his van, which is still stuck in the ice. He gets unstuck in the nick of time.

He drives back to Phil’s house. Phil knew it was him (Phil’s wife seems to have some kind of a thing for Harry. There was some kinda on the downlow connection between them that the film never explored, but I felt it). They argue and Phil chokes him to death and puts him back in his van only he’s not really dead. He wakes up and punches Phil and drives away. He drives up the street into the torch carrying mob. Rather than run them over, he swerves, goes off an embankment, and flies away. The End.

I had to do a little research afterward and read that he didn't really fly away, he plummeted to his van death. That being said, he never confronted his parents about what happened? At no point in his life did he find out there’s no Santa and that was just his dad? Was he mad at his mom, or mad at Santa?

In the end, Harry’s message wasn’t so bad, it was his means that was the problem. You can’t just force people to be good because once you force people to live up to your definition of good and eliminate choice, that’s when things get fuzzy. Definitions blur, labels get made, sides get chosen... We’re kinda living in that today: Everybody’s definition of good is different.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t talk shit to a guy in a Santa suit.

2) Don’t actually try to go down a chimney.

3) Get a life, and stop being such a control freak.


Carnage Road (2000)

Damien Ross

Massimiliano Cerchi

“Oh don’t worry about it, I gotta go to town for shit paper anyway.”

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This film is also listed as Carnage: The Legend of Quiltface. It opens with a young couple out in the desert. The guy photographs his girl so she takes off her shirt. Less than two minutes in and we already have boobage. I don’t know how they convinced a girl to take her top off in what looks like a high school media-tech project, but I’m also not complaining.

The guy puts an old towel down on the rocky ground and they start getting it on. Little do they know Quiltface is watching. He walks up with his machete and starts hacking them up, somehow killing both of them even though she was on top. Cheezy is too nice a term to describe this kill scene, this looked ridiculous. The kill barely looked intentional. It looked almost like he tripped and landed on them.

Next, the opening credits roll and apparently Quiltface is playing himself. What?

Elsewhere, in a motel room, an alarm clock goes off waking up Robert and Linda. It’s time to get up for a photo shoot, but neither of them are motivated. The photo shoot is extra credit, but they don’t wanna graduate college and enter the real world. They pack up and go outside to wait for their ride. The driver arrives. He’s a complete jackass, but fucken hilarious. “P-l-e-a-s-e, get the fuck in please.” You gotta love a guy that says, “What for?” a lot. They pick up Mike and Amy. Mike is a complete nerd and Amy is the hot girl who’s totally stuck on herself.

Along the drive, Driver begins to tell them the legend of Quiltface. They of course mock and don’t believe him. Quiltface wears masks made from human faces, but the name Leatherface was already taken. Everything Driver says is awesome. He drops them off in the desert. He tells them he’ll be back at 8 O’ clock, don’t be late, and don’t be out after dark. He also tells them not to smoke weed even though he was smoking a blunt the whole drive.

The four of them walk until they find a good place to shoot even though everything looks pretty much the same. Quiltface is lurking and watching, but instead of a POV angle, it’s an over the shoulder angle, you know, so there’s no confusion as to who’s watching. There are no trees or anything to hide behind so he’s basically standing in plain sight, but they can’t see him.

Mike sees something and decides to go check it out, with his fucked up walk. Ironically, he is the only actor in this film to continue an acting career. Actor, Sean Wing went on do films I’ve never heard of, but a lot of films I never heard of. He comes running back because he saw a snake. Then he thinks he sees Quiltface. Maybe it was just a mirage. The others don’t listen.

Elsewhere, Driver has van trouble and a blunt. It might be worth watching this film just for him.

Meanwhile, the others continue to walk and ponder Quiltface. All legends come from truth: Bigfoot, Loch Ness, aliens....

Mike gets tired and tells the others to go on without him. The others agree to go, but not too far, they plan to take some pictures. I don’t know why they want pictures of this shitty desert. Even more baffling is that in the opening, a different couple were also taking pictures of this same shitty desert.

Mike gets taken out. He thought it was birdshit on his glasses, but it was blood. I don’t know where the blood came from, but Quiltface appears from above with his machete and another crappy kill scene ensues.

The others finish their little photo shoot and look for Mike, but he’s gone. Amy continues to be an incessant bitch and Quiltface is not far behind. They see him and forget how to use their legs. Amy trips over nothing. Quiltface grabs her while Robert and Linda escape. Now Linda is mad at Robert for not doing anything. Instead of running, they fight about it. He calms her down then they continue to run. 

Quiltface takes Amy back to a seemingly abandoned trailer and ties her to a rafter, then frees her and chases her through the house before finally planting his machete into the middle of her skull. 

Robert and Linda are still running and their legs look to weigh about 200 lbs apiece. They stop and this is the beginning of Robert’s hilarious screaming. They make up, and try to find the drop off checkpoint. Why does everybody walk fucked up in this movie? Robert and Linda feel like they’re walking in circles and then they run into Quiltface. Even Quiltface has a fucked up walk. Robert distracts him so Linda can escape and takes a machete to the head for his efforts. 

Quiltface catches up with Linda. Linda trips and figures her best bet is to offer up her body. She pulls up her shirt, which Quiltface is into till she kicks him in the balls, then in the ass and makes a run for it, but trips again. Quiltface hacks into her lower back with his machete. Then he gets up and does a dance. I can’t tell if he’s happy or angry. He then walks off. 

Somehow, Robert wakes up. He should be fucken dead! Instead, he staggers as he cries for Linda, with his bitchass scream. He stumbles into a trailer park/junkyard. It’s a white man’s version of Sanford and Son. The old hillbilly sitting in the chair is the same Charles Manson looking guy this film has sporadically panned in and out on throughout. Not sure if he’s good or bad, or is he Quiltface?

Robert begs him for help. Hillbilly knows of Quiltface, and Robert is not the first to end up here. Quiltface has never bothered Hillbilly. Hillbilly has lost everyone he cared about and enjoys seclusion. Quiltface shows up and Hillbilly scares him off. He offers Robert a ride to town, but goes into his trailer first. Robert hears a scream from inside and assumes the worst. Whenever Robert runs, he looks like he just won a marathon, like his body gave more than his legs could carry as the finish line tape  rips across his belly, except there's no marathon, that’s just how he runs.

Robert grabs a big pipe and creeps into the trailer. Hillbilly is fine, he was just “Funnin” with him. Hillbilly pulls out a pistol and leads to a another trailer. Inside, what’s left of Amy is hanging along with other severed body parts that still look fresh. Maybe it’s not Amy, it might be the couple from the opening of the film. Robert makes a run for it and Hillbilly never actually had any bullets.

Robert runs for the truck, but Quiltface dry-humps him unconscious. He wakes up, strung up by his wrists. Now Hillbilly and Quiltface are in his face. He’s still screaming like a bitch. It sounds like he prepped for this role by listening to the Korn outro of Daddy... Oh relax, that’s my favorite Korn album too. He somehow escapes by knocking out Hillbilly? This upsets Quiltface immensely. He grabs his machete and follows. After a short chase, Quiltface catches up. The showdown looks like a big brother beating up his little brother, till Robert grabs the machete and sticks Quiltface in his side. Then he runs away like a true Final Girl.

He wanders, crying, barely able to walk, even though nothing ever happened to his legs. He finds the checkpoint, the van! Still crying, he opens the door. Driver looked dead, but is actually just sleeping. He climbs in and they drive away. Robert says Quiltface killed his friends. Driver says, “I warned ya.” He tells Robert to go to sleep and he’ll wake him up when he gets to town. Driver pulls over to take a shit, Quiltface gets in and takes the wheel and drives off? The End.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Listen when people warn you about trouble instead of just immediately dismissing it. 

2) If you’re escaping, don’t stop to argue, escape, and work your problems out later.

3) Don’t start screaming for people when you know there is a killer on the loose, you’ll lead him right to you!








 

Cabin 28 (2017)

Damien Ross

Andrew Jones

“Do you got a bathroom? It’s about to get Niagara Falls in these draws.”

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This film went straight to dvd and had no previews, so I know it’s gonna be awesome, score!

Sue is a single mother of five who moved her family into a cabin. Marilyn, from across the street, drops her son off for the night so she can have a date-night with her creepy husband, Marty, who seems to have a thing for Tina, the almost legal daughter.

Johnny is staying out for the night at his friend Dana’s. Dana is a boy. Sheila, the older sister goes out for the night to the Cooper’s, good Christian folk.

Later that night, Sue answers a prank call. “Why haven’t you checked the children?” She then goes to bed, leaving Tina downstairs alone, but at least she checks the children first.

There’s a knock on the door while Tina is watching Night of the Living Dead. A Hitchhiker is at the door. He wants a ride into town. She’s smart enough not to open the door, but still dumb enough to talk to him through the door and arranges to call his friend to meet him at the local bar. He already knew there was no car at her house, but asked for a ride anyway. She never really calls his friend, she just pretends to.

At 1am, the hitcher is back. He’s mad that Tina didn’t call his friend and he knows she didn’t because he cut the phone line, yet still he went all the way to the bar and waited anyway?

He gets inside the house and Sue fights him off. She and Tina run up to the kid’s room. Sue hits him with a baseball bat and he’s out. She gives Tina the bat while the hitcher comes to and for some reason Sue can’t work the door to get out of the house as the hitcher walks ridiculously slow toward her. And now we see that there are two of them.

Johnny and Dana come home drunk and sneak into Johnny’s bedroom, which is also the basement. Dana goes outside to pee and it’s goodbye Dana.

Predictably, Sue hits Johnny in the head with a baseball bat when he comes upstairs thinking he’s the hitcher. Now the two hitchers are on the attack. But Wait, there’s a third one.

Tina gets out of the house and tries to get help, but is picked up by a car instead. Of course, the driver is in on it and takes her back to her house as this film goes from suspenseful thriller, to predictable horror movie. They make Sue watch as they kill Johnny while a sappy acoustic guitar plays in the background like an episode of Sons of Anarchy.

They kill Sue and Tina, but none of the small children. I suspect that Marty was one of the killers and since that was his kid that walked in on them he didn’t kill him. Did he forget that Sue was babysitting? Maybe this was all him just being embarrassed that he couldn’t afford to pay her?

In the morning, Sheila comes home. The bodies are on the living room floor. Sheila looks at her mom and Johnny’s corpses and has a flashback scene, like we don’t know who they are. Maybe they put Tina in the trunk of their car. Tina was missing and they were carrying something body-sized when they left. Sheila goes upstairs and finds the little kids. They’re fine.

The final scene is a police interview with Marty as the film tries to point the finger at him even though this case is still unsolved.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Sue for fighting off the enemy and defending her family at all costs even though in the end she would lose. She also always had a pretty cool head and came up with decent plans on the fly.

The Gilligan Award goes to Tina because upon hearing the knock on the door if she’d have just ignored it maybe none of this would have happened.

I walked into this film completely unaware of the Keddie Cabin Murders in April of 1981. The Strangers has also been accused of being inspired by this same case.

Cabin 28 seems to deny being based on the Keddie story with a disclaimer at the beginning, but almost all of the first names are the same. The only real difference are the ages of the characters. Tina, who is depicted as being almost 18 in the film, was 12 in real life. Johnny and Sheila seemed to be late teens, maybe 20, but in real life were 14 and 15, Johnny the eldest. The two youngest were about 4 and 5, but in real life were 5 and 10.

The problem with basing a film like this on the events of a case like the Keddie case is that everyone who knows what really happened is either dead or were never caught. Other than forensic conclusions, there’s no way to know what really happened, however, there is the exploitable interest in fact-based movies, especially horror. At the same time, it seems a little crass to keep the names the same in a tragedy where it is impossible to know all the facts. On a positive note, it does open people’s eyes to a quadruple homicide that was never solved so it’s a shame this film wasn’t more popular, it could have worked as a gofundme for the case. Instead, it was hidden in plain site on a Walmart shelf between a bunch of other straight to dvd films that no one will ever buy, and once they run out, will never be reordered.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t tell your daughter to take the trash out immediately after getting a prank call that scared the shit out of you.

2) Don’t answer the door at 1am, especially if you think it might be someone you just fucked over.

3) No matter what kind of trouble you’re in, never just immediately hop into a stranger’s car.

 

 

Clown (2014)

Damien Ross

Jon Watts

"7 O' clock on a Thursday, where could a clown go where he's not being seen?"

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Kent is a real estate agent. It's the day of his son Jack's birthday party and his wife, Meg, is pregnant. The clown they hired is double-booked and can't make it, which is ridiculous, but what's even more ridiculous is Kent finding a clown suit in the house he's at. He arrives at the party, clown suited up and saves the day, then falls asleep that night on the couch.

In the morning, he awakens and can't get the clown gear off. He tries, but gives up because he has to be at a job-site so he shows up in full garb.

At the site, he excuses himself to the bathroom and proceeds once again to remove the suit, this time with a box cutter. After deeply gashing his wrist, he immediately goes to extremes by ditching the knife and grabbing a sawzall. He still can't get the suit off, but miraculously, doesn't cut his throat open.

When he gets home he tells Meg what's going on so she tries to help by ripping off his fake clown nose and part of his real nose in the process.

Kent suddenly remembers the initials he saw on the crate which contained the clown suit, "M.K." He gets a hold of the brother, Burt Karlsson, who warns him to stay away from the suit, but it's obviously too late for that.

They meet at a warehouse and Burt informs him of the Nordic Cloyne origins. The white skin and red nose were caused by the extreme cold conditions and the Cloyne had to kill five kids a year, one for every month of winter-apparently Nordic winters last almost twice as long as ours.

Burt drugs him and tries to chop off his head. He believes decapitation is the only way to kill the demon because, oh yeah, the suit is possessed. Of course it's possessed! It'd be pretty stupid if he happened to find a clown suit in a time of need and it wasn't possessed. The suit is not a costume, it's the skin and hair of a demon. He fails, and when Kent wakes up, he tells him that he must kill himself.

As Kent begins to transform, he decides to call his wife to tell her he is going to kill himself. After hanging up, he shoots himself in the head and his blood is a rainbow splatter on the wall. Only he doesn't die.

Next he tries to decapitate himself with a clever saw setup, but not only does he fail again, he kills the little boy next door who was spying on him. The blood tastes good.

After finding the Cloyne book, Meg finds Kent and chains him up in the basement.

At this point, the story flips and becomes more about Meg. I wanted to spin this into a story about a man who already had one kid and now there's another on the way. Maybe his real-estate business isn't going so well as he realizes he's not a man, he's just a clown and this is a metaphor for his meltdown... But alas, he didn't even know she was pregnant yet.

Meg tracks down Burt at the hospital and pays him a visit. Burt once wore the suit and his brother helped him remove it, but it required the death of five children.

After being bullied at school, Jack comes home and finds his dad in the basement. He tells his dad that it was Colton who bullied him then sets him free. Kent kills Colton and then he's off to Chuck E. Cheese.

Meg gets home and is attacked by her possessed dog(?), but is saved by Burt, who somehow knew where she lived and managed beat her home. Burt assures her that he is the only one who can save Kent and provides her with more back story about the suit. They have to cut off Kent's head, even though Burt once wore the suit and his head is still intact. They magically guess that the only place a clown could hide would be at Chuck E. Cheese.

Kent seems to be turning more and more into a demon as he kills. Burt and Meg find Kent, but he is all demon now. "Bring me another child and you can have your husband back."

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Meg for her support of her husband and the safety of her family. She actually abducted a little girl to sacrifice, but in the end, she couldn't go through with it. When it came down to the choice between saving her son or saving her husband she chose her son by somehow decapitating her husband with a sledgehammer.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don't feed homeless people you find in the woods.

2) Lock your door when you're home alone.

3) Don't be a bully.

4) If your dad is chained up in the basement, maybe consult mom before setting him free.

5) Don't bring an ax to a clown fight.

City Of The Living Dead (1980)

Damien Ross

Lucio Fulci

"That was John-John. He said Emily just killed his parents. Emily died two days ago."

Cause: A preacher, Father Thomas, hangs himself thus opening the gates of Hell. At a seance, Mary sees this in a vision, and dies of fright.

A reporter, Peter, starts snooping around. He goes to the cemetery where Mary was buried, but she wasn't buried too deep because the gravediggers shift ended. Once they leave, Peter hears noises coming from the grave. It takes him forever, but finally he walks back over to the coffin, which is only covered by about six inches of dirt, and begins hitting it with a pickaxe. After almost killing Mary with a pickaxe to the face, he manages to rescue her. Luckily, they hadn't bothered to embalm her or any of the other usual things morticians are supposed to do to a corpse before burying it. How bad would it suck to wake up in a coffin though?

Even though this film takes place in New York, they seem to be heavily concerned about the Salem witch burnings. Weird things are happening all over the city. People are being frightened to death and animals are acting weird. Also, whenever a zombie is near, there is strange animal-like growling.

For some reason, it is up to Peter to close the gates of Hell. Mary tells him that the cemetery in her vision was called Dunwich. Dunwich was built on the original ruins of Salem where the witches were buried and they have to close the gates by All Saints Day.

Emily is off to go meet Bob. Bob is the local pervert that everyone suspects is in on the craziness going on, except Emily. Emily encounters Father Thomas. He rubs a handful of worms and maggots on her face. She has cardiac arrest and dies with a look of fright on her face that suggests that she was scared to death.

Elsewhere, a couple are making out until Father Thomas shows up. It seems he can turn people into zombies just by staring at them. The girl's eyes bled bloody tears before she started puking up her entrails for quite awhile. There's a couple scenes in this movie that go on and on to the point that it's almost humorous. Eventually, she runs out of guts and rips open the back of her boyfriend's skull.

Emily's little brother, John-John, sees Emily's zombie corpse at his window so he runs downstairs to tell his parents. They totally dismiss it. Nobody has appropriate proportionate reactions to what goes on in this film.

Sandra finds Mrs. Holden's corpse on her kitchen floor, but instead of freaking out, she calmly calls Gerry, her psychiatrist, Emily's boyfriend. By the time Gerry arrives, her body is gone, but there are noises upstairs. Now Gerry is calm and Sandra is freaking out. There are a lot of characters spread out through this movie, but eventually, some of them come together.

Bob is now taking refuge at the Ross garage in the backseat of their car. Anne, the daughter goes out there and sees him while getting her weed. Her dad catches them and flips out on Bob. He shoves Bob, which results in him tripping over a drilling lathe and turning it on. He grabs Bob and proceeds to push his head toward the spinning drill bit, which took a good ten minutes. The drill going into his head looked good, but this was just another one of those moments that turned hilarious because it took so damn long.

Peter and Mary find the cemetery from her seance and somehow Gerry and Sandra have found the exact same place! Now there's four of them. They go to Gerry's office where they discuss the recent events when the wall breaks open and just like the Gwar song, maggots are falling like rain! And for a long time. They're just standing there getting pelted by maggots.

Afterward, Gerry gets a call from John-John, saying that Emily just killed his parents so they rush over to save him. Emily kills Sandra giving her the ol' ripping the back of the skull open.

The zombies in this movie don't really wander, they just kinda show up.

They break into the Thomas family tomb. Inside, Sandra rips the back of Peter's skull open and rats eat his brains. She then has a stare down with Mary until Jerry stabs her in the stomach and kills her. They are surrounded by more undead when Father Thomas shows up. He stares at Gerry like he's gonna do something so Gerry stabs him in the stomach with a cross and he and all the other zombies burst into flames. Up until now, I had no problem with the score, but at this point watching the zombies burn, it sounded funny to me. I was also expecting Father Thomas to say something. I hoped he would somehow wrap it all up, but he didn't, he just burst into flames.

When they climb out, John-John is walking with two cops then starts running toward them with a big smile on his face. His family is dead, but oh look, there's Gerry. Instead of closure, there's weird sounds, freeze frame on John-John and roll credits. Wtf? The Gates of Hell is an unofficial trilogy, so it's not like the next movie, The Beyond is gonna clarify anything.

About halfway through writing this I started to feel like I did when I tried to write about Phantasm. This time it was probably my fault, but I still blame Phantasm. Apparently, I had no idea what was going on in this movie by the end. I thought I did till I started writing about it, but it did feel more supernatural than zombie.

The Badass Award goes to Gerry for being a stomach stabber and having no reaction to anything that happened.

1) Don't camp out in the garages of people who hate you.

2) Don't attend seances.

3) Don't make out in parked cars.

Cabin In The Woods (2012)

Damien Ross

Drew Goddard

"Cleanse them. Cleanse the world of their ignorance and sin. Bathe them in the crimson of... Am I on speakerphone?"

The first time I watched this movie I enjoyed the first hour then thought it went a little haywire. I think that's partly because I had been watching movies that started out strong, then just completely unraveled by the 60 minute mark, and partly because I didn't realize what I was watching: A deconstruction film.

A deconstruction film is where instead of getting a completely original script with coincidental cliches, you get a film that throws all the tropes of that genre, or in this case sub-genre, mixed into a bowl and thrown right into your face to show you the building blocks of creating a film of said genre. After watching this movie, Scream, and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, you should be well on your way to writing your very own slasher flick.

The film begins with an unnamed elitist puppeteer group getting ready for a show, but as the viewer, we don't know what the show is, yet. They serve to narrate and let us know what is going on behind the scenes. They lay down the rules and groundwork.

Elsewhere, we meet Dana, a college student who was fucking her professor until he broke up with her via email. Next is her friend Jules, who has just dyed her hair blonde, aka, the slut. Marty is the stereotypical pot head, Curt is the jock, and Holden is the bookworm.

Each character is a slasher movie trope: Whore, athlete, scholar, fool, virgin. The main thing that changes in a slasher flick is the killer, although he doesn't change much. He is usually a he, and somebody who was wronged and now out for revenge, but not always. Let's look at our top 5:

Freddy Krueger was not a victim, however he was ganged up on by the parents of his victims.

Jason Voorhees was an innocent kid who drowned in the lake while the counselors who were supposed to be watching him neglected their responsibilities. It began with his mom taking revenge, then him, then it just kinda seemed like he enjoyed killing, and after a certain body count number, where do you go from there?

Michael Myers was just plain evil. Let's face it, there was nothing scary about him before he killed his first victim. He was just a little boy for the first five minutes of the movie before becoming an iconic monster. He wasn't the first slasher, but he usually gets the credit. Since there was no market for slasher movies yet, we got less of a back story, which is ironic because that movie does start out with his back story, although brief.

Leatherface is a questionable slasher because although he did slash, he didn't go after his victims, they came to him. The victims came into his home so he killed them. Had he used a gun, it may have been considered self-defense, provided he didn't show up to court wearing a mask made of human flesh.

Well maybe there's only four, considering that no matter how iconic Pinhead and Tall Man were, they weren't actually slashers. And maybe slashers aren't just out for revenge, but I think these four cover the basis for slasher motives. All that being said, this is not a slasher movie.

They are on their way to a cabin in the woods for the weekend and they drive an RV, how anti-camping can you get? They stop at a seemingly abandoned gas station where they meet the creepy old owner who warns them not to go any farther. As always, the signs are there, but the victims never listen. It's almost as if the movies are designed to make us root for the killer. The slasher sub-genre is filled with the most unlikeable victims of all horror.

At the cabin, during a game of Truth or Dare, the cellar door flies open combining two horror movie elements, but it's usually supernatural flicks that involve an old game we've all played or are at least familiar with, and an inkling to go into the basement.

Unbeknownst to the characters, when they go into the basement is where they inadvertently choose their destinies. Dana finds a diary and before anyone else can make a bad decision, she begins to read Latin verses aloud, which brings corpses back to life outside. Now everyone has to deal with her decision.

Marty the pothead is the only one who notices and questions their change in behavior, all the while the puppeteers are leaking gases into the house to help control the outcome of the experiment.

Jules and Curt go outside to fuck, which is a no-no in slasher flicks. They are met by the Redneck Buckner Family Zombies who kill Jules and the fun begins! It's no longer just a game set up by the puppeteers. Curt gets the fuck outta there.

Inside the house, Marty accidentally breaks a lamp and finds a camera, which is a metaphor for how clearly he sees what is going on, ironically, considering he's the pothead who stereotypically should have no idea what's going on. Unfortunately, he gets killed before he can tell anyone.

One by one, they all get killed, except for Dana. The puppeteers watch through their screen and are relieved that the virgin survived. The virgin's death is optional as long as it is the last. But how did Dana become a virgin? It was announced in her first scene that she was fucking her professor!

The Final Girl Trope: The Final Girl isn't necessarily a virgin, she just has the innocent qualities. She's not the party girl, she is usually the nerdy girl with a boyfriend who she withholds sex from and worries about her future. She never takes chances until being pushed by a life or death situation.

This leads us to the age old question: Are slasher flicks sexist? On one hand, you have the Final Girl who manages to survive and defeat the villain while the men die. On the other hand, the Final Girl is the innocent girl next door who in order to defeat the villain must transform into the very opposite of how she survived in the first place. You could say that her slutty, rebellious friends who were killed died based on lack of merit whereas the Final Girl earned her scars... But let's face it, she never has a training montage that would justify her ability to kill the villain, she magically acquires it as she goes. Then in the sequel, she's the first to die, but that's beside the point, that's just to show us how much more badass the killer will be this time around.

Surprise! Marty is still alive and has found the gateway to the puppeteers, an elevator. Once outside of the elevator they see their worst nightmares trapped in glass cages. Would this movie have been better had they gotten the rights to all other horror movies?

In order to appease the ancient ones, Dana must die last, however she doesn't have to die, but Marty does. Marty and Dana release all of the creatures which attack the puppeteers. Hadley finally got to see the merman. The annual sacrifice is what keeps the gods below, it is the end of the world if they see sunlight. If Dana kills Marty she saves the world, but instead, they light up a joint, hold hands, and await the end.

The Badass Award goes to Marty, who despite smoking weed persistently throughout the entire film, still had a clear enough state of mind to question what was really going on when nobody else could.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Listen to the harbinger of death at the gas station.

2) Don't go into the cellar.

3) Don't read Latin out of an old diary.

4) Don't stand with your back to the window.

5) Don't have sex in the woods.

The Conjuring (2013)

Damien Ross

James Wan

"You know, and it's the damnedest thing, but we also get all kinds of birds that will just fly into the side of the house and break their necks."

Roger and Caroline Perron have finally bought their dream home so they and their five daughters move in, but this house is not what it seems. For example, there's a basement they initially didn't know about, and some demonic spirits that won't leave, but by the time they get in contact with the ghost hunters, Ed and Lorraine Warren, it's too late. The evil spirits are not just in the house, they have attached themselves to the family and are looking for a host.

This was a good movie, even after all the buildup before I watched it and even despite the fact that supernatural horror is my least favorite sub-genre. But it's based on a true story right? Well isn't everything if you really wanna get technical? I don't know how spot on to facts it was, but that's the only reason why they got away with the daughter sleepwalking, cuz didn't I just see that in Sinister? Now I gotta watch a family who happens to buy a haunted house and their kid sleepwalks?! All in all it was good though. Hard to believe from the viewers vantage, but if you think about it, all it really was was a lot of banging, sounds, and weird touching. It's not like anybody got killed or killed anybody so who knows? It didn't really scare me, but it was creepy with great throwback cinematography to 70's and 80's horror without being too blatant. And the ending was good! I get so tired of watching movies for an hour before the whole thing falls apart.

I will throw in my own twist and give the Badass Bitch Award to Caroline Perron for getting possessed and fucking people up before eventually overpowering the demon and coming back to normal.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Bring you're dog in at night and if he won't go into your new house, maybe he's trying to tell you something.

2) Don't give evil spirits permission to possess your dolls.

3) Don't go into the basement!

 

    Circle of Eight (2009)

    Damien Ross

    Stephen Cragg

    Ed: Ya ever taste an ear of sweet corn in mid-July? Well you'd know if you had. You can eat that stuff raw and it's absolutely delicious. That's why they call corn nature's candy.

    Jessica: I don't think people actually call it that.

    Ed: Maybe not, but they should.

    Jessica moves into an apartment building, The Dante. All the patrons are a little weird and have no regard for privacy or knocking. One by one they start to die or do they? Jessica is trying to escape her past: She let her little brother die to save herself. Evan is the only one Jessica can trust it seems, but even he is kinda weird despite falling in love with her after only knowing her a few minutes.

    If what I am writing doesn't make sense it's because this movie didn't make any fucking sense! Throughout the whole film you get the feeling that it is leading up to an ending that is going to wrap the whole thing up with a psychological twist that explains everything, like Identity. It doesn't. She keeps reliving this whole thing over and over again until she gets it right. When she gets it wrong, she falls out her apartment window to her death and when she gets it right, she burns to death.

    The movie is called Circle of Eight, but in the final scene the cop is on the roof with the rest of the cast making it a circle of nine. It's not so much that it didn't make sense, it just could have been executed better. If they keep reliving the same day over and over then how does Ed have 90,000 flash drives? What did we learn? Survival tips:

    1) If you move into a new apartment complex and start finding dead bodies, move.

    2) Don't leave candles burning on your bedroom floor.

    3) When somebody tells you not to go into the file room, I don't know why, but do not go into the file room!

    Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

    Damien Ross

    Bradley Parker

    "Getting attacked by a radioactive bear, I call that exciting."

    Six friends go on an extreme tour of the Chernobyl ruins. When they get back to their van they find that it won't start and they are stranded for the night. They're extreme tour guide gets killed and Chris gets bitten by wolves. On the second night, zombies come out?

    This movie sucked. I hate saying that, but, it's true. It did startle me when the bear came out, but then it just ran away. They used that bouncy photography shit so that when anything actually did happen, you really couldn't tell what happened.

    They crossed a rickety ass bridge that was erected over four feet of water. For most of the movie nothing was happening. It was all build up for more nothing. I don't even know how Michael and Natalie died. It felt like a lot of scenes were cut out. There wasn't much story and I didn't give a shit about the characters.

    What did we learn? Survival tips:

    1) Stay in the van and let the big Russian guy with the gun handle it.

    Carrie (Franchise)

    Damien Ross

    Carrie (1976)

    Brian De Palma

    "They're all gonna laugh at you!"

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    The time period of this film immediately stands out to me: Miss Collins, the gym teacher, smoking in the principal's office and Chris, a female, got slapped three times in one day.

    Carrie was an outcast. She was different and thus a target for all the “normal” kids to pick on. The movie starts with her freak out over her period in the girl's locker room shower while the other girls laughed and threw tampons at her (it seemed to me that she was a little old to be having her first period, maybe that was supposed to add to her weirdness?), but I'm sure the bullying started long before that.

    Carrie also had a horrific home life. No father, and a fanatical religious mother who made Mrs. Havisham seem boy-crazy. Carrie was a sheltered young girl and the day she got her first period really put her on the map. All the girls involved were punished and resented her for it, except Sue Snell. Sue was involved, but was the only one to feel remorse. She even later turned on Chris and got her boyfriend Tommy to take Carrie to the prom. But ol' Chris just couldn't let it go. For some reason, she had it out for Carrie and was determined to ruin her life.

    Chris devised a plan. She rigged the prom votes so that Tommy and Carrie would win and as they accepted their crowns on stage in front of everyone, a bucket of pig's blood would be dumped on her in front of everyone to further humiliate her.

    This unleashed Carrie's telekinetic massacre like a school shooting. She trapped everyone inside the gymnasium (except Sue Snell who'd been kicked out earlier after being spotted by Miss Collins), and unleashed her murderous revenge killing everyone, even Miss Collins, the one person who had been genuinely nice to her throughout this whole ordeal.

    Chris and Billy escaped only to be killed later as they tried to run Carrie down in Billy's car. Like a lot of high school shooters, Carrie then went home, killed her mom, and then herself. Granted, her mom tried to kill her first and I don't think she intended to kill herself, but the end result is the same.

    The final seen has Sue Snell visiting Carrie's grave in the scariest scene of the whole film, the hand popping out of the grave. It still gets me a little bit, but never as bad as the first time when I was in the 8th grade watching it alone at 2am. Sue wakes up, freaking out with her mom sitting bedside.

    This movie was faster-paced than I remembered it. Bad stuff happened and before I knew it, we were at the dance. It was a good pace. I do think Carrie's enemies would probably have needed telekinetic powers to have gotten the bucket of blood to actually land on Carrie.

    The Badass Bitch Award goes to Carrie. Even though she was the villain, she started out as the victim. She was driven to insanity by those around her. The kill count I found was 73, which may be the highest number in a single horror movie. It takes place at a prom (even though proms generally don't take place at your actual high school, neither do high school reunions for that matter, but in movies they always do) so there you have the majority of the junior and senior classes trapped and doomed to burn to death. It may have been a small town, but it still seemed like it would've been more than 73.

    Carrie might be the baddest bitch in horror movie history, but there are three runner ups: Jennifer Hill (I Spit on Your Grave) Beth Salinger (Hostel 2), Estelle Collingwood (Last House on the Left, the original). Although, Carrie looked possessed while these three dick choppers were in full control.

    The Gilligan Award, I hate to say it, but it goes to Sue Snell. Although she meant well, had she just butted out and not talked Tommy into taking Carrie to the dance, probably none of this would've happened.

    What did we learn? Survival tips:

    1) Don't be a bully.

    2) Don't use religion to escape reality.

    3) Learn the difference between being a prankster and being an asshole.

     

    Carrie (2013)

    Kimberly Peirce

    The opening begins with Carrie's soon to be mom, giving birth to Carrie, and just like Carrie didn't know what her period was in the original, somehow her mom had no idea she was pregnant.

    I thought Chloe Grace Moretz was way too cute to play Carrie. Part of Sissy Spacek's charm was that she wasn't pretty and you could believe any bad thing you heard about her. Granted, in high school, beauty is painted by the brushes of your peers. Chloe was cute in a way that I felt sorry for her when things went wrong, but ultimately, it just seemed like she was surrounded by assholes. Sissy actually seemed like an outcast who got bullied. I believed something was wrong with her and it peeked my interest to find out what it was.

    Do high school boys really play La Crosse now?

    While Chloe is too cute to play Carrie, Julianne Moore is much creepier to me than Piper Laurie. I actually found Piper oddly sexy in The Faculty, you know, after the aliens got to her. Julianne Moore kinda creeps me out in everything she does so it was a perfect fit.

    Why didn't Sue just level with the gym teacher when confronted? Typical example of the person who could have prevented the gunman had she spoke up before the incident rather than after. I still feel like Carrie is prophetic of the high school shootings of today.

    In this remake, Carrie's telekinesis was over the top. In the original, it was subtle and slowly built up until something actually happened. Sissy wasn't in control, she was in a trance-like state as if possessed, but Chloe was Darth Vader using the force to deliberately kill everyone. Complete control. The Chris and Billy death-scene was better though. The original looked funny due to bad camera effects.

    Carrie goes home.

    Parents shouldn't tell their kids their personal problems. Carrie's mom is the worst single mom ever, even compared to Amelia from The Babadook. In an attempt to save her own life, Carrie crucifies her mom, then in a Return of the Jedi moment frees her, “I've got to save you.”

    Ironically, Carrie's mother was over-protective over a daughter she didn't give a shit about.

    I don't mind a remake, so long as you have something to add other than special effects. A lot of late 70's and early 80's slasher flicks offered minimal backstory that remakes have filled in, but to use the same script with prettier actors who were never supposed to be pretty?

    The book Carrie, which I've never read, but am flipping through now and it seems to be a compilation of news reports. It may have been more interesting had they used a found-footage angle... I don't know, anything other than advertising that Hollywood is out of ideas.

      Carrie 2: The Rage (1999)

      Katt Shea

      Rachel's mom is taken from her and admitted into an insane asylum. Years later, Rachel is a teenager living with foster parents. She is a loner, except for her best friend Lisa. But the jocks in this school are assholes who lie to girls in order to sleep with them and have even made a game out of it. Lisa finds out that she was used and commits suicide.

      Rachel's foster parents don't give a shit about her, she's just an extra $300 a month. Her dog, and only friend now, gets hit by a car, which is when she meets Jessie. Jessie is a jock, but he's tired of all the shallow jocks and cheerleaders and finds depth in Rachel. He's different.

      This story turns into the original Carrie, except the story line reads more like the popular movies of that era, She's All That had the exact same story line, but nobody died.

      They brought Sue Snell back, but as usual, when a character survives the first movie (especially a female, usually the Final Girl), she gets killed off after relaying important information from the original film.

      Somehow, Rachel is related to Carrie, but if ever there was a movie that needn't a sequel, it's Carrie. The best part of the movie was when the Home Improvement kid got his nuts shot off by a crossbow. The Badass Bitch Award goes to Rachel for killing everyone and shooting H.I. boys nuts off with said crossbow.

      What did we learn? Survival Tips:

      1) Don't be an asshole.

      2) Treat girls with respect.

      The Car (1977)

      Damien Ross

      Elliot Silverstein

      “Wouldn't that be fantastic? Farting music. For a year!”

      Wow, so many questions... This movie was listed as: Horror, mystery, thriller. None of these genres are quite accurate. The only mystery was how I made it to the end.

      A car with no driver drives around killing people, only you can't really tell that there's no driver because the windows are tinted. All of the cars in the movie are driving in high speed to make it look like they're going really fast and the score sounds like something off a 70's cop drama.

      Nobody knows where the car came from or why it is killing people and we never find out. A couple of shady characters make appearances for no apparent reason and well, let's just hope nobody decides to remake this in the near future, although I wouldn't be too surprised with all the Fast And The Furious bullshit we live in.