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The Graveyard (2006)

Damien Ross

Michael Feifer

“When I find that bitch I’m gonna shag her into next week.”


This film opens with a group of friends: Allie, Sarah, Charlie, Michelle, Eric, and Jack. They get together at Placid Pines Cemetery to play a game called Run For Your Lives, which is basically just an adult version of hide and seek. Eric is it. He counts while the others run, but once he reaches 20, he is greeted by a madman wielding a knife between him and the gate. The madman runs away. It turns out to be a prank, the madman is actually another friend, Bobby, who proceeds to chase the others with said knife, which is fake, but Eric is not in on the joke and while running for his life, impales himself on a broken fence and dies. Party foul!

Five years later. Bobby is released after serving five years for manslaughter. Michelle drives him to meet up with the others at camp (this was actually supposed to be the third installment of the Bloody Murder trilogy, which I’ve never heard of or seen, nor did this film prompt me to go it check out), located right by the cemetery, the scene of the crime. It’s their attempt at closure.

Charlie immediately seems to have a problem with Bobby. Even though they were all in on the prank, somehow it is solely Bobby’s fault that Eric died that night. Michelle meets Peter Bishop, the groundskeeper, who she seems to make a little love-connection with despite being Bobby’s girl before he got locked up. Bobby’s getting all kinds of screwed. Jack arrives with his new girlfriend, Veronica.

Elsewhere, some guy is tied up in one of the cabins. He’s been tortured by a masked man with the smallest hatchet I’ve ever seen till the masked man finally kills him. Who the fuck was that guy?

Allie, Jack’s ex from five years ago (opening scene), sees him having hilarious bunk bed sex with Veronica through a window, which ends prematurely.

Michelle finds Bobby alone in a cabin and he’s being weird. Sarah runs away to beg for forgiveness so Michelle goes after her. Sarah looks for Eric’s grave. He was buried in the same cemetery he died in, but his grave is just a perfectly dug up hole. It looks exactly how graves look right before they lower the casket. Whoever dug him up is a pro.

Veronica hits the shower while the killer stalks her. She hears a noise and says all the classic cliche lines until finally face to face with the masked killer, but she’s not even the least bit startled. “Very funny,” she says, assuming it’s Jack. The killer pulls a shower curtain over her head and chokes her to death. Michelle and Sarah immediately come running because they heard screams even though there weren’t any screams.

The group gather back together wondering where Veronica is when Bobby walks in. Bobby is bitter about his friends leaving him to take the fall and spend the last five years locked up. The search for Veronica begins. Zoe hops out of a tree. Zoe is Sarah’s ex-girlfriend and we find out that Sarah is gay. Zoe threatens to kill them all, then leaves. Once she makes some distance, the killer drops down from a tree and slices her throat open. Why do most revenge flicks begin with the killer killing people who had nothing to do with the initial catalyst of the storyline?

Jack has a new prank because Jack is an asshole who’s totally out of touch with reality. If anything should've been learned from Eric’s death it's that Jack is a piece of shit who only cares about himself, and maybe quit playing pranks. Bobby dresses up in his original costume and pretends to kill Jack with a ridiculous amount of fake blood. Apparently, prison didn’t take Bobby’s sense of humor away and his bitterness was fake. They go back to camp and find that all of their cars have been tampered with. Missing batteries, slashed tires, and cut fuel lines. Okay, so maybe “tampered with” was a gentle euphemism. Also, there is no cell phone service so Bobby goes for help.

Jack and Allie go into a cabin and he almost gets her to have sex with him, but there’s a noise so she goes to check it out. When she returns, she finds Jack’s severed head. She runs? The question mark is because she was barely running, meanwhile the killer was hauling ass and slashes the back of her leg, then her throat. The others find Jack’s mutilated body.

Bobby gets stopped by Sheriff Pierce who handcuffs him and runs his name. Bobby still has his rubber knife and fake blood on his hands. He doesn’t bother to tell the sheriff that either are fake. Sheriff Pierce relentlessly brags about having not fired his gun since 1974, but believes Bobby killed the headless handless guy they found a week ago. Bobby has been at the camp the whole day after being released, but suddenly, now he’s been out for days? It is now daylight as Sheriff Pierce locks him up in a little Mayberry cell.

Peter and Michelle break into Charlie’s room. He has pictures of Sarah on his laptop. There’s writing on the pictures that reads, “Die! Die! Die!” Sarah distracts Charlie. They’re alone in a cabin so he attempts to make a move on her, to which she declines so he calls her a prick-tease and then electrocutes her, which makes her shoes bleed. He knew she was a lesbian so I don’t really understand the confusion once she shot him down. If she is a “prick-tease” it’s not cuz she’s a bitch, she’s just not into dudes. Michelle finds Sarah’s body. Charlie goes to his room. He opens his laptop and the screen reads, “Look under the bed. Seriously look under the bed.” There’s a snake under the bed. Bye Charlie.

Sheriff Pierce gets a call. It turns out Bobby is innocent, he didn’t kill the headless guy with no hands. Sheriff Pierce apologizes and has a burglary elsewhere to investigate so he just leaves Bobby in his office. On the wall is his award for the last time he shot somebody.

Peter and Michelle make out.

The fax comes through back at the Mayberry office. The headless/handless guy’s name was Peter Bishop. So who’s the Peter Bishop they’ve been hanging out with? Bobby steals a motorcycle and heads back to camp.

Peter and Michelle are still making out and now it’s dark. How long were they making out? He offers her some whisky. Peter is actually Adam, Eric’s little brother. They should have just called this movie Red Herring cuz it desperately tries over and over again to mislead you. Unfortunately, in the process of misleading you it creates situations where it would have been all but impossible for Adam and the killer to be in two places at once. Couple that with a wardrobe change... forget it. Also, I thought the group were best friends at one time, but they don’t remember Eric’s little brother? Not one member of the group recognized him?

Adam dug up Eric’s body and burned down his house with his parents and Eric's corpse inside. He was so tired of hearing about Eric, Eric, Eric.. Sounds like middle-kid syndrome. Now it’s time to finish Run For Your Lives. Adam drugged the whiskey he gave Michelle. He carries her back to the cemetery and counts to 20.

Bobby finds Michelle hiding behind a tombstone just as Sheriff Pierce finds them. Adam kills Pierce then he and Bobby fight it out while Michelle escapes. Adam wins and crucifies Bobby to the cemetery gate. He then chases Michelle until Bobby, who has somehow managed to free himself, knocks Adam into Eric’s grave hole. Adam starts to climb out so Bobby shoots him with what must have been Sheriff Pierce’s gun. But Sheriff Pierce is actually still alive, takes credit for the Adam stoppage, and now wants another award: Officer of the Year.

Bobby and Michelle sit in the backseat of a cop car waiting and wondering, what now? Start a new chapter? Michelle was all ready to hook up with Adam, but as soon as things didn’t work out she’s willing to settle for ol’ Bobby? The driver side door opens and a figure gets in. In the rearview mirror we see Adam’s eyes, where is he gonna take them? Credits roll.

Okay, so maybe it’s because the jock-types never turn around and write horror movies, which leaves just us nerds to write the scripts that portray them in an extra negative light, but really, the younger brother wasn’t recognizable? And you have to imagine that the four dudes had to be tight with each other, yet they didn’t communicate with each other at all? If they were really friends, the death of an equal friend should've brought them closer together. This co-ed Friends bullshit relationship where four guys and three girls are all buddies is hard to swallow.

The Badass Award goes to Bobby. He took the fall, served five years for manslaughter, and despite this, he was the first to go for help. Even after getting locked up again, he still felt enough loyalty toward his friends to return and save the day without even knowing if there was anyone left to save. What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t shower at night at a basically abandoned campground.

2) Don’t check out noises in the night alone.

3) Don’t walk down an empty street at night holding a rubber knife and fake blood on your hand.



Gremlins (1984)

Damien Ross

Joe Dante

“While you’re opening your presents, they’re opening their wrists.”


Randall Peltzer is an inventor wandering through Chinatown looking for investors and maybe a Christmas present for his kid. Inside a shop, he discovers exactly what he’s been looking for, the cutest little thing since the Ewok a year before, a Mogwai.

The old man inside tells him the sacred three rules: Keep him out of bright light, especially sunlight, that’ll kill him. Keep him away from water. Do not feed him after midnight. Despite the disastrous consequences that could ensue, he only expands on the light, nothing else. Given that Randall is an inventor looking to be a hero to the world, he settles for being a hero to his son, and doesn’t bother to ask.

Randall’s son Billy works at the bank and for some reason brings his dog, Barney, with him. Mrs. Deagle wants to kill Barney. It’s annoying enough when people have to bring their dog everywhere, but why would you constantly bring your dog around a woman who has been quite vocal about wanting to kill it?

The Peltzer's kitchen is filled with all of Randall’s failed inventions. Randall comes home with Billy’s present. He has to open it now cuz it won’t wait until Christmas. We meet Gizmo and mom immediately breaks rule number one by taking a Polaroid picture with the flash on. Randall then explains the three rules.

Pete, the neighborhood kid, comes over to deliver the Christmas tree and meets Gizmo. Pete accidentally spills water on him and out sprouts five more little Mogwai. Gizmo is sad. He must know what’s up. Later, Billy finds Barney tied to a porch beam by Christmas lights. Billy assumes Mrs. Deagle is behind it. He doesn’t realize the new Mogwai are already malicious even before they turn into gremlins.

The next day, Billy takes one of the new Mogwai to school to show Mr. Hanson, the science teacher. Hanson is going to run tests. Afterward, Billy walks Kate home from work. Kate hates Christmas and doesn’t celebrate it. It’s the time of year where a lot of people get depressed.

When Billy gets home the Mogwai are hungry, and since it’s only 25 minutes to midnight, he brings them a shit load of chicken. It looked like his family ordered KFC and didn’t bother to eat any of it. Back at the school, Mr. Hanson is still there, but calls it a night. He leaves all his shit out including a half eaten sandwich.

In the morning, Billy has a bunch of nasty larval cocoons around his bedroom. The new Mogwai unplugged the clock at 11:35. Too bad Randall never thought to invent a digital alarm clock, we could have avoided this mess altogether. Mr. Hanson has the same thing, the metamorphosis. The eggs hatch and for some reason, Mr. Hanson has his on his desk while he shows the class a filmstrip. Billy is on the way, instead of going home to check on his own science experiment. Mr. Hanson is searching for his missing Mogwai. He finds it and of course the black guy is the first to go (Mr. Hanson is black). Charlie arrives and the gremlin terrorizes him.

Meanwhile at home, Gizmo is held hostage on the dartboard while the others wreak havok. Instead of an ugly worm going into a cocoon and coming out a beautiful butterfly these cute little Mogwai transform into evil demonic creatures. Billy’s mom is alone in the house with them armed with a kitchen knife. She kills one in some sort of food processor invention, stabs another, then cooks the other in the microwave. Billy gets home in time to save mom and now Stripe is the only one left. He escapes.

Stripe’s footprints lead Billy to the YMCA. Stripe jumps into the pool and Billy gets the fuck out of there. He goes to the police. They don’t believe him and now Stripe now has an army.

Dory’s Tavern, where Kate works, is infested with gremlins, but she’s just serving them as if they were regular paying customers. She makes her way out armed with a Polaroid camera just as Billy shows up in his piece of shit VW bug that now won’t start. They make a break for it on foot. On the way to her house, which given the circumstance seems like a weird time to have a heart to heart... Kate tells the horrific story about her dumbass dad getting stuck in the chimney and dying on Christmas, hence, the reason she hates Christmas. Her story is weird while at the same time adds nothing to the plot. Maybe they wanted Phoebe Cates, but she looked too goth for the part so they had to make up a backstory to explain her darkness? At any rate, she seems unaffected by the presence of the gremlins.

The gremlins are at the movies. Snow White. Billy blows up the theater not knowing that Stripe was across the street getting candy. Somehow this battle took all night so Gizmo saves the day by opening a curtain, letting the sunlight in on Stripe, which kills him?

The old Chinese man appears at the Peltzer house to take Gizmo back. “With Mogwai comes great responsibility.” How the hell did he find them?

The Gilligan Award goes to Randall, for not asking more questions about the Mogwai.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Mom for taking out the first three gremlins without hesitation.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Keep them out of light, especially sunlight.

2) Keep them away from water.

3) Do not feed them after midnight. Isn’t it technically always after midnight?


Green Room (2015)

Damien Ross

Jeremy Saulnier

"Okay, they're called cartridges. The bullet is the part that enters your brain if you keep talking shit. And this gun only has five cartridges, not six, cause they're big as fuck and only five fit the cylinder. So please, shut the fuck up and don't test me."

This film started out slow then jumped into high gear. It's about a punk band who basically begin the the movie being interviewed before a gig. The final question that kinda rings throughout the rest of the movie is, "Who is your desert island band?"

After the gig, they find out they've been stiffed, each making about $6.80 apiece. The interviewer is also the club owner. He feels bad so he sends them up to another club where his cousin Daniel works and they can make some real money. The Catch: It' a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.

When they take the stage, as a goof, they decide to cover Dead Kennedys, Nazi Punks Fuck Off (I've always referred to them as The Dead Kennedy's, but I guess I've been wrong all these years). The skinheads don't take too well to that, but not too bad of a reaction considering that going into this movie I knew there'd be a murder, I just didn't know who.

After the gig, Pat goes into a room to get his cell phone when he sees a girl lying on the floor with the handle of a knife handle sticking out of her skull. He immediately panics and calls the cops as he leaves the room, which was a very un-punk thing to do. Typical millennial punker.

Inside the room is where we meet Amber who was not part of the group, she was a friend of the dead girl. She and the band, Pat, Tiger, Reece, and Sam, get trapped in that room, the "green room," which it is never actually referred to as in the film. They are held hostage by Big Justin, I think, who has a gun.

Not a lot of survival tips for this one cuz these guys actually make some decent decisions. They play the odds: There's five of them with no gun against Justin who has a gun so they rush him, and apparently Reece is a cage fighter. This is what I always want to see because usually in this situation, people see a weapon and cooperate, even though they know they're gonna die. Not saying I'd be some badass in that circumstance. Reece gets Big J in an armbar and now the punks have the gun.

Darcy, the owner shows up, and tries to talk them down through the door. He says everything is fine, but they need that gun because it's not registered. The police have come and gone, but they'll be back and Darcy's biggest concern is that unregistered gun.

As they eventually try to hand over the gun through the door, Pat just about gets his hand chopped off so Reece breaks Big J's arm. Knowing they're fucked and basically unarmed, Reece repeatedly chokes out Big J with a shitty looking rear naked choke till Amber slices Big J open deep with a box knife. You'd think they could have taught him just a little jiu-jitsu before filming this movie. This RNC looked even worse than John Lithgow's in Dexter.

They break through the floor, momentarily leaving Pat behind, where Amber discovers it's a heroin ring. They find some duct tape and head back up. Duct tape is a punk rock first aid kit, among other things. Tiger tapes up Pat's wrist and after that he seems fine. I mean, he'll probably never play guitar again.

A game of cat and mouse ensues where a dog does most of the killing for the skinheads while Amber does most of the killing for the punks.

Instead of continuing an elaborate synopsis, I will instead pose a question: What makes a movie a horror movie? What is the definition? I've heard this referred to as a horror movie, but to me that'd be like calling Romper Stomper a horror movie. Just because you're afraid of skinheads that doesn't put them in the same realm as Freddy Krueger. I liked this movie, but it's guys with guns, is The Expendables a horror movie? Granted, I just watched Don't Breathe and I'll agree that that is a horror movie even though that is also a guy with a gun. To me a horror movie is something that could never happen, but it would suck if it did. Something more in the realm of impossibility. Thrillers are more in the realm of shit that could actually happen and in some cases actually has. That's what makes thrillers scarier as you become an adult is knowing the difference between fiction and non-fiction. That might be a shitty definition, but Jason Voorhees could never exist whereas a Hannibal Lecter could. Then again, I am also the same guy who will argue that Star Wars is not Sci-Fi, it's Fantasy because: Magic. That's right, Jedi's are magic! Why genre containment can have an affect on the validity of a movie I don't know, but people seem to get really mad when you deny them their genre. I've heard an argument that The Toxic-Avenger is a horror movie because a little boy graphically gets his head run over. It's not.

I enjoyed Green Room, despite not considering it a horror movie. See there I go apologizing for not thinking it's a horror movie. It's good, but I might of actually liked it better had I not expected it to be a horror movie, kinda like He Never Died.

I thought they did punk rock right and the casting was good, RIP Anton Yelchin, a 2016 casualty I'm not sure a lot of people are even aware of. The big guys in this movie totally remind me of meatheads I used to see at shows back in the day, even the nice ones.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Amber for being the most hardcore and confirming the most kills. She never hesitates to put a fool on his back.

What did we learn? That this movie doesn't belong in the horror section, just like The Offspring doesn't belong in the punk rock section. Nooch!

Survival Tips:

1) Don't call the cops in plain sight of the murderers!